MP mis­in­form­ing

Rutherglen Reformer - - Reformer View -

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.

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