Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Moray MSP Caught in Green Lie

The SNP at their recent conference moved into the green arena and echoed Liberal Democrat calls for micro-generation of renewable energy.

However, the MSP for Moray decided he would back up these calls with action. He invited the press to his home in Forres to witness solar panels being installed on his home. He claimed in his press notice that he was the first MSP to install micro-renewable generators at home.

Whoops! He should have asked around a little more because without any fanfare Andrew Arbuckle the Liberal Democrat MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife has had them on his Fife cottage for 5 years. Also mentioned were two of the Green members also have had wind turbines constructed near their homes which supply the excess to the national grid.

So congratulations to Mr Lochhead for catching up, but no praise for trying to be a massive self publicist to boost the green credentials of a party playing catch up on action.


Anonymous said...

I think lie may be a bit strong. He was certainly mistaken it seems, but I doubt it was intentional, otherwise i`m sure it wouldn`t have been so warmly welcomed by Friedns of the Earth. And frankly I`d be very surprised if the Green MSPs werent already hooked up to micros.

A lie would be something like deliberatley claiming allowances to which you weren`t entitled from the Scottish Parliament - which would lead to your resignation when it emerged...rather like Andrew Arbuckle's predecessor, dont you think?

Anonymous said...

I think he is probably correct as in he is probably the first MSP to have a Solar panel fitted. Other MSP's may have had them already (ie before they were MSP's. If another MSP had them fitted since being elected it's a bit disappointing that they weren't prepared to make this public to encourage others. We need to stop being so negative about others actions just because they arn't in our party.

Anonymous said...

I think he is probably correct as in he is probably the first MSP to have a Solar panel fitted. Other MSP's may have had them already (ie before they were MSP's. If another MSP had them fitted since being elected it's a bit disappointing that they weren't prepared to make this public to encourage others. We need to stop being so negative. If people in other party's do things we agree with we should welcome it.

Mark McDonald said...

Andrew Arbuckle wasn't an MSP 5 years ago, so he IS the first MSP to have micro-renewables "fitted" to his house ;)

Also, a wind turbine being built next to your house isn't micro-generation.

Also, Stephen, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones, or should we start talking about the curious relationship between many Lib Dem politicians and the truth?

Gordon Kirk said...

I see that this site is bannered "Make Poverty History".

This seems to be a Lib Dem site (hard to tell 'cos of their perpetual lying) and off course everyone knows that they have lied about killing student debt.

They've made it much worse.

They say look at what we've done in government. I have and it stinks when you're a student.

I'm going to New Zealand to avoid paying off my debts to this smelly Lib Dem government in Scotland.

Richard Thomson said...

Oh dear, it seems like Mr Lochhead can't do right for doing wrong. So much for the Lib Dems being the party that doesn't do 'Yah, boo sucks' politics.

In any case, surely a lie would be something more like Jim Wallace boasting before the 1999 election that 'Tuition fees will be dead by Monday', then going ahead and introducing them anyway. Or someone like, say, Menzies Campbell denying on Good Morning Scotland that his party wants to increase road tax on a Mondeo to £850 a year, when that's exactly what it says in his tax plans?

Stephen Glenn said...

Anonymous 1

Lochhead goes from saying. ‘I am the first MSP to have solar panels installed’ in his press statement to ‘I am delighted to learn that I am not the only MSP to install solar panels’ when asked to comment when it was found he wasn’t. Press releases are seen as a statement on behalf of the party so if he failed to be mistaken in his facts when pressing forward the party position in such a public way I don’t know how else to describe it.

While you think lie is strong by saying something in a public forum which is false what else can it be called?

Anonymous 2

While the Scotsman did not state if their were others or not it may be possible the article is not clear if any of these have been installed since they became an MSP or not, in fact I’m sure there are others not mentioned in the article. However, I did praise his actions I am merely attacking his attempt to distort the truth for political gain, which is something the other political parties are willing to do at the drop of a hat. See above and below you own comments.


I agree that the Greens wording is vague. Nobody can tell if they are on their own land with excess going to the Grid or merely living near a wind farm run by someone else. Also the fact that Andrew has been environmentally conscious since before he entered Holyrood is not in dispute. However, the article also does not rule out the possibility of others not also having solar panels on their houses which may have been installed since their election.

Mark I point out inaccuracies in anything that SNP, Labour or the Tories say. Whether they are outright lies, misinformation or saying one thing and doing another. That is the nature of political blogging and I welcome the opportunity to debate issues relating to the subject. I leave my comments open and unmoderated so that other views can be expressed regarding what I write.


I’m bemused by you link from Make Poverty History to student debt, as even the poorest student I have known in this country is still in a far better state than many less well off people in regions of the world I have visited.

However, I take it your comment relates to the Student Endowment. Which was all that Labour were prepared to give as a compromise following consultation to look into removing Tuition fees as part of the 1999 partnership agreement. It has long been a campaign of the Liberal Democrats to get rid of student fees both through Holyrood and Westminster. It is still in our manifesto for next Mays elections.

I can assure you a truly Lib Dem government would not have you paying off your fees after you graduate and would be looking as restoring the student grants system.


As for the Mondeo issue this is for a car that is creating between 166 and 185 g/km of CO2 However these taxes most importantly are to change behaviour so that we can save the planet rather than raise revenue.

Now there are similar sized cars, which have lower emissions and fit into one of the 4 lower bands either equal with the current Vehicle Excise Duty or below. As even Ford are now working on cars with lower emissions these aims are not solely being looked at practically by the Liberal Democrats.


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