Friday, April 25, 2008

Constance Tries to Calm Storm

The letters page of the West Lothian Courier in recent has been red hot with insults and retorts over just where blame should be shunted regarding St. John's hospital. Some of the worse had come from Labour councillors and Labour MSP Mary Mulligan. Mary had been a junior Health Minister up at Holyrood at the time that acute emergency services were downgraded at St John's. She subsequently resigned her post to help fight for the hospital.

No at the time there were a series of public meetings. I attended one at Bathgate which occurred shortly after Mary's resignation as did Fiona Hyslop. At the end of that meeting all three parties agreed that the case for St. Johns was beyond politics and there was a verbal agreement to work together on this for the sake of the community in West Lothian.

However, in the lead up to last May's election it was Labour who broke ranks first and started to use the hospital provision as their charion of 'virtue'. The mudslinging in the press has made for poor and sad reading as the public figures seem constantly to seek to want to lay blame rather than propose solutions. Step forward Livingston's SNP MSP Angela Constance in this week's paper. She may have 8 years less experience as an MSP than Mary Mulligan but she showed true character in not getting involved in the custard pie fight, merely castigating those responsible for the damage they were inflicting on the whole stop the downgrade movement across the county. She went on to say the process is long and tough, something we all knew from day one but which Labour want to ignore, and outlined what movement had started.

So now that I've praised the SNP MSP from one half of West Lothian and the Labour MP from the other half all in the same week I think I'll need to lie down, if I'm not put down first that is.

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