Sir, The bi-annual Convention of the Highlands and Islands was in Oban on Monday October 30, with a range of high-profile Scottish Government ministers speaking at the event, including Deputy First Minister John Swinney MSP.
The event, which seeks to ‘strengthen alignment between the Scottish Government and member organisations’ excluded opposition parties, despite its aim to connect the Scottish Government to local groups.
It is extremely disappointing that the Scottish Government chose not to invite any opposition politicians to attend the event.
Whilst apparently being open to the public, there was no information advertising the event on the Scottish Government website, which instead only carried the details of last year’s event in Inverness.
The whole thing smacks of the type of closed shop exercise that we have all come to expect from this centralised SNP government, which is clearly only interested in parroting party political messages rather than having a genuine, cross-party conversation about the future for the Highlands and islands.
I have written to Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Keith Brown MSP to make my concerns clear.
Perhaps if the Scottish Government is keen to engage with local groups, then next time it will extend an invitation to local politicians from all parties to join in the conversation.
Donald Cameron MSP