Margaret Ferrier MP, has already shown a willingness to stand up for the rights of her party in the UK Parliament, whether in terms of appropriate seating arrangements or agitating to turn the independence referendum into a “neverendum”.
Sadly, her record in ensuring that the information she puts into the public domain is actually correct is proving less impressive.
A particular recent example is her recent tweeting (on July 11) of a mocked-up receipt purporting to represent “the real Scotland Bill” – a supposed £11.7bn that Scotland has apparently to pay to the rest of the UK.
Margaret has thus far failed to clarify the source of her information; most probably because it is utter fantasy. The supposed bill (for everything from High Speed rail costs to refurbishing the Palace of Westminster to London sewage costs) is a mixture of exaggeration, supposition and misunderstanding of how such projects are being funded (in some cases, entirely privately and in others with no input from Scottish taxpayers).
At the same time, the “bill” manages to entirely ignore projects in Scotland which, effectively, are funded by UK taxpayers as a whole.
Most staggeringly of all, Margaret’s list includes £2.5 billion for “share of UK’s repayments on £1.5 trillion national debt”. This phrase actually makes no sense at all and I can only imagine the author of this “bill” is guessing at Scotland’s share of interest repayments on UK government debt.
However, these figure are certainly from no published source I can find (and Margaret has thus far failed to enlighten us). Of course, this debt has been built up over time by governments that have (often for good reason) decided to maintain public expenditure at levels beyond government income.
Perhaps I was just out of the room when the SNP were calling for all of those massive reductions in public spending to prevent the debt rising.
It is an uncomfortable truth for those that continue to agitate for separation that Scotland’s position in terms of public finances is almost exactly the opposite of what the SNP would have us believe. In the most recent year, the Scottish Government’s own figures show that public expenditure in Scotland was £12.4 billion MORE than tax raised.
Margaret’s election as part of May’s “SNP tsunami” was an unexpected one and she should be cut some slack for the limited understanding of the public sector finances that she displayed in the election campaign.
However, the people of Rutherglen now need an MP who will be honest with them and desist from posting made-up nonsense on the internet. Eddy Graham, Burnside.
Obsessed by Labour
I found Margaret Ferrier’s article in last week’s Reformer to be a fascinating insight into the SNP psyche.
Ms Ferrier and her colleagues at Westminster have been quick to hail themselves the true opposition. A laudable claim, if there was any truth to it.
In her piece, Ms Ferrier mentions the Tories four times, yet Labour are given seven mentions, and that doesn’t count her pop at James Kelly MSP.
If the SNP are the true opposition, why is most of their energy directed towards opposing the Labour Party who haven’t been in Government for five years? Why aren’t the Tories the target of Ms Ferrier vitriol every week?
Only a few weeks ago Ms Ferrier chose to blame Labour for council cuts imposed by the SNP Government. The reason appeared to be, they voted for the Charter for Budget Responsibility which would have been passed even without their votes and wasn’t, as the SNP like to pretend, a “vote for austerity”.
The truth is, as we seen on page five of the same paper, that the SNP exist for one reason and one reason only - Scottish independence. That is fine, that is their right, but it saddens me so many appear to believe their “progressive” stance is in anyway genuine and not just opportunistic and cynical. If you voted for the SNP you voted to break up the UK. People should not pretend it was for anything else. It is not for the SNP to be Labour’s moral compass.
Ms Ferrier ends her piece with a tired and wholly predictable comment about “The Vow”. The Vow was clearly an awful idea from the Better Together campaign, but it’s already been conclusively proven it had no baring on the result of the referendum. As for whether it’s been delivered of not, I suggest Ms Ferrier actually reads it rather than just spouting the nonsense that comes from Nat HQ. John Maxwell, By email.
Buzzfeed can buzz off!
Buzzfeed is correct. There is no good reason for anyone with that attitude to visit Rutherglen and I will happily wave to them as they pass by without stopping.
If there is anyone living here who feels that way, as seen on the Reformer’s facebook page, then off you go, on your way and I will help you pack your bags!
We don’t want you. We don’t do low class. Dorothy Connor, By email.
Relief road welcomed
I can assure Ms Gowran (Letters, July 22) that I have visited this alleged ‘arcadia’ many times.
The only wildlife I have observed have been lazy dog walkers excrementally enhancing the environs.
The question really is a no-brainer - at present, two busy, wide, dual carriageway trunk roads are connected by one dangerous mile of narrow residential street (at the primary school area only seven yards wide!). Serious accidents are inevitable. Money is available to eliminate this hazard, and it is stupid, selfish and perverse to suggest rejecting such an opportunity simply because a few dog walkers will be inconvenienced. Charlie Shaw, Blairbeth Road.