Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Salmond Mantra the Same and Tippexing his Mistakes

I've just read that as the SNP head for their conference in Perth Alex Salmond is still churning out the same unaltered mantra:

"We have the talent, energy and ambition to match the success of
neighbouring, independent nations - indeed, independence is the natural state
for nations like our own."

Just which neighbour is he looking at.

To the North West we have Iceland still struggling on the verge of insolvency but being greatly aided by many countries, its Scandinavian cousins and the UK in the form of finances and business like Philip Green looking to buy up companies. So with the financial sector one of the key corners stones of Salmond's bid for independence shored up by money from the UK Scotland have matched Iceland that way.

To the South West we have Ireland who were the first EU country to break the ranks and insured deposits in all their banks for fear of losing one or two of them. Well I suppose Alex matched them, by promising to bail out his banks, from funds from a Scottish Central Bank he'd magicked out of thin air in an hour of need, with funds he'd promised for one bank proving insufficient for that one never mind the second bank that fell on hard times later.

To the East even Norway has had to seek loans from other countries to help out its financial sector and that even with its well established and substantial oil fund.

I'm glad that both Nick Clegg and Tavish Scott, ably assisted by Vince Cable of course, Have spotted the real need. This situation is well outside the control of any individual country. Salmond of course will point out that he made suggestions, well after Vince Cable mind, but he was unable to back them up, or get the scale of the problem anywhere near the right ball park with his on the hoof solution making. Then on last night's news Salmond was still blaming London Bankers for the failure of the Scottish banks. Just who was managing the asset and liabilities balances of HBOS and RBS then to make them some of the most vulnerable banks to the current scenario?

As for Alex Six point action plan.

1. Looking at capital projects that can be brought forward from the later years of
the parliament and introduced quickly, to stimulate construction and the housing

2. Maximising the effect of the Homecoming series of events for next year, acknowledging the importance of tourism as a driver for the Scottish
economy and using that to help other sectors.

3. Finding ways of improving advice to business and streamlining the planning process.

4. Boosting energy efficiency, particularly in vulnerable households.

5. Rolling out two pilot projects around the country to help the elderly claim maximum benefits.

6. Looking for additional measures to tackle fuel poverty.

Well it takes this crisis for Salmond to go greener with points 4 and 6 so that is too be welcomed. He's realised that his moratorium on capital projects is not going to be looked at well, of course things are now 16 months behind where they should have been, but glad he's brought that forward, good idea of Tavish's that.

As for point 3, does that mean he will be reinstating regional economic development which he centralised after taking power. Why is 5 only going to be 2 pilot projects rather than something that will help everyone permanently.

Two of his points appear to be correcting things he's done away with. Another two are things that other parties were crying out for at the end of last year beginning of this when fuel prices were soaring. One is timid.

As for the boast to tourism that is dependent on so many other factors like people worries about savings, maybe not taking overseas vacations as much etc, heavily dependent on world affairs over which no tourist destination can have absolute control, no matter how much of a draw when times are good.

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