Friday, June 16, 2006
I don't know enough on this to say whether he is right that
Many MSPs believe the railway will never happen, that it made more sense to vote it through and leave it to ministers to take the decision to halt the scheme when they see the real cost rather than be honest but unpopular before next year's elections. How naive. This railway is the Liberal Democrat's Holy Grail and the very reason for their existence in the Borders.........Clearly ALL of the other MSPs believe that it won't, or conceivably are willing to pretend. However what really got me was the following sentence
I can assure you, the railway's costs will go seriously over estimate. Borders Council, whose project it is, will ask for more finance and the coalition government will oblige meeting, say, 80 per cent of the costs. Local taxpayers will be asked to meet the rest - still a lot of money
I asked to speak against the Bill, the only person to do so, but as I was not called the arguments went unheardBeing allowed to speak, even alone, is what Parliament (from the French - Parler = to talk) is supposed to be about. Give the SLD their due each time I spoke alone against a conference motion (on the smoking ban, motion against 3rd world free trade, motion for political correctness inspectors in Scottish industry) I was given the proper chance to speak. Speaker George Reid, who I would normally say has done a decent job, should be ashamed of this. No matter how many parties are approving this behind closed doors it is his job to see that opposition views are heard.
Whether Mr Monteith will turn out to be wrong & all the other MSPs right, or vice versa, will be determined by events.
Yes, but they eventually kicked you out on trumped up charges!
But as an independent he was one of the only MSPs who voted according to what he believed, rather than party advantage or tactics. That in itself is refreshing.