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The truths they don't want you to read....

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hope for Uist

Range head, UistSurprise, surprise, but according to the Gazette the Defence Minister is to visit Uist and to discuss the proposed cuts.

And who is bearer of these good tidings, but the prospective Labour MP, Cllr Donald John MacSween, who also has the very welcome news that socio-economic factors will be taken into account in coming to a final decision on the closure of the Rocket Range.

Good work by the Council-led Range Task Force, presumably on the back of the recent meeting with Ministers in London. And if I read between the lines correctly, an easy exit route for the Government to reverse the decision 'having considered all the facts'.

Obviously Labour consider this a winnable seat, or Mr MacSween wouldn't have got the nod ahead of everyone else - and what looks like the ear of the Minister - on this matter.

What this demonstrates that speaking to the Minister is the key, and then using that to its maximum advantage. That applies whether your are in the governing party or in opposition, and all the more underlines the failure by Angus MacNeil to lobby the junior Minister when he met with her after his advance confidential briefing on the closure plans.

Regardless of political allegiance, everyone should now pull together to persuade the Minister that the socio-economic impacts would be so adverse that there should be no suggestion that the closure go ahead.

Meantime, sign the petition against closure.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic news. It's great to know that there's a chance of turning this around and saving the Range.

However, it should not be forgotten that this campaign was not helped by the antics of Angus Brendan MacNeil MP. For all his great charm and likeability, there are too many flaws for him to be seen as a serious politician. They include an extremely intuitive but superficial intelligence; a capacity to over-simplify matters; even his day-to-interest in only the most striking and topical of events. This could be seen in his campaign to 'clean up' the Commons. Laudable it might have been, but his own party also takes money from wealthy men. Does he suppose they are doing this for nothing?

He does not even have the ability to see that we all have to talk to those who oppose us. (Hence his refusal to speak to the WHFP.) Sometimes our survival as a community depends on the times when we do.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:00pm
If you read the petition, Mr MacNeil's "signature" is absent. He's obviously too busy saving the rest of the Islands. Yeah right!

Anonymous said...

I hear that they are going to St Kilda looking for the rarely spotted Absent Allan, and the rarer Lesser spotted Macneil. Word has it the last time an Absent Allan was spotted, he was playing with his blackberries in the Castle Grounds. As for the Lesser spotted Macneil you have to go back 4 years, where one was spotted in a hotel in Orkney.

Anonymous said...

8.40 -

Youve obviously gone round an extremely high number of shops which have the paper copy os the petitions to read through every signature.

Please explain how on earth you managed this?

Anonymous said...

Speaking about the vist of the Minister, who said?
“Playing the old trick of lobby me lobby me won’t wash.”

Why, our MP, who clearly believes that pointless motions in the House of Commons are more important than actually bothering to speak to the people who wield the power.

This explains why he didn't lobby the junior Minister after he received the confidential briefing some months back, and why he has never bothered to speak to the Scottish Secretary about Qinetiq.

Useless or what?

More interested in cheap headlines in the Gazette than actually achieving anything.

Anonymous said...

The old trick of 'lobby me, lobby me' is just another way of saying 'persuade me', 'talk to me' and is probably the most essential part of any politician's trade when (s)he is trying to work for his or her constituents. It is sad and dispriting to see that Angus Brendan MacNeil MP has not learned these skills yet. Instead, he continually deploys those that are best suited to his former full-time trade - writing long epistles to the national press. Unfortunately, the Western Isles needs someone representing them who has the ability to deal with the complexities of representing its people - not someone who takes refuge in cheap and sensationalist slogans and populist campaigns.