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

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Incompetence, stupidity or laziness?

I have received an email bundle of FoI requests, which I am still working my way through.

The bundle contains some very damning correspondence relating to the Rocket Range, and appears to depict both the MP and MSP as liars.

But, I'll let you be the judge of that.....

In July 2007, Mr MacNeil received a letter from Lord Drayson about the review, which contains the key phrase:
If all these proposals were taken forward there could be a significant impact on the number of jobs at the range. However, I would stress that, at present, these are no more than proposals.
and later:
I am writing in similar terms to the constituency MSP, Alasdair Allan.
Six months later Mr MacNeil sprung into action, at the request of staff who were hearing rumours about the plans, and arranged a visit to the site.

But look at the terms of the memo that resulted from that meeting.

MacNeil was concerned about "stemming the rumour mill", and then made it very clear just how serious an impact any closure of the facility would have.

And then did nothing, as far as we can tell, except - as requested - to be kept informed.

Of course when the solids hit the fan and the Council set up the Task Force there was a sudden burst of press releases
mock-outrage from MP and MSP, who have repeatedly tried to claim their lack of advance knowledge of the situation.

There was a fourth option that I didn't have space for in the headline, and it appears to me to be the real story of these emails.

I believe that the workers in Uist were to be sacrificed by our MP and MSP to score a party political point, and it was only due to the massive, intensive and successful intervention of the Council that this was avoided.

I'll be posting further on this later today, work permitting.

(Link to pdfs now fixed - thank you for pointing this out)


Anonymous said...

The truth is out and it is even worse than previously believed. MacNeil and Allan were warned in July 2007 of the review implications and "significant job losses" if proposals went ahead. For two years they did nothing. Cynicism, stupidity, laziness? Who can say but they should never be forgiven.

Anonymous said...

Hope you are wrong about the MP and MSP being prepared to sacrifice jobs for their own political ends, they must now produce hard evidence of what they did , who they spoke to and how they organised the fight to save these jobs since they were told in July 2007. I can forgive Mr. Allan, who was new in the job, for not doing anything, since defence is not a devolved issue, but I cannot forgive Mr Macneil.Blaming other people will not wash.

Anonymous said...

just read full story in whfp. unbelievable. these guys must be forced to explain and on this occasion macsween is right - it is their own party who should be saying so because they have been let down as much as anyone

Anonymous said...

Once all the political point scoring has been concluded, presumably shortly after the forthcoming election, the smart money is on the range being massively downsized irrespective of which side gets to the top of the grubby heap.

Despite being a supporter for an independent Scotland I cannot help thinking that the islands have been somewhat let down by MacNeil. However, equally, we have also been abandoned and betrayed by the UK Labour government.

Anyone out there prepared to stand for the islands rather than hide behind a party, or or the fundamentalists?

Anonymous said...

'Somewhat let down?'

And the gold medal for understatement goes to the contribution from 8.49...

Anonymous said...

Incompetent, lazy and self centred. That is what our MP is. He was willing to see 120 people lose their jobs for his own political gain.

It is realy sad to see the calibre of MP and MSP we have compared to the calibre of politicians we have had in the past. Donald Stewart, Calum Macdonald, and Alasdair Morrison fought for the Islands whether in power or in opposition. Not crap like ABM came out with "lobby me doesn't wash". He should realise he has to work for the Islands and not attacking the Government all the time.

Mind you did he not vote with the government this week in attacking Gnasher. Oh sorry that was a clerical error that was to blame for that, or had he had a few to many G&T's.

Anonymous said...

All we have been hearing lately is how these people have let us down... what have they actually done to help the Western Isles - I do not have a clue what they can or even actually do. I have previously asked for assistance on smaller issues nothing on this scale and have been really let down it is interesting to know on the huge issues in the Western Isles they also do nothing.

Anonymous said...

How far we have been led down a side road since the heady days of the seventys, when we were focussed on INDEPENDENCE, not nationalism.
Can we afford to take another gamble on a frolicking playboy in London? He had the cheek to compare himself recently to Donald Stewart, who was a consummate politician, respected by all, on a cross party basis, so much so that Callaghan made him a Privy Councellor, despite the fact that the SNP were a constant thorn in the side of the Labour Government of the day. Can anyone, by any stretch of the imagination, picture the present motley SNP crew in Westminster commanding the same respect? It wasnt any jacket on or off incident that tarnished the ABM star so much as his utter incompetence and failure to understand the role that he was elected, in good faith, to undertaker. He has alienated just about every group that supported him, a fresh eager young fellow, who would be a fine ambassador and tireless worker for the Western Isles. Someone who would soon carve himself a new niche in the style of Donald Stewart, and settle in for a good 20-30 years of solid representation. How wrong we were, and how the men and women of stature and standing, few of whom are still active in the Party, must bitterly regret selecting ABM as the candidate. Is there no one left among us who will grasp the thorny thistle, and get him to do the decent thing, for the sake of the cause and the Party?

Anonymous said...

is ther still a uist branch of the snp? If so it would be interesting to hear what they think of their man's performance

Anonymous said...

Remeber this blog 2, 3 and 4 years ago when I posed the question to the SNP supporters on here:

Name 10 things that Angus MacNeil has done for the islands.

I was lambasted, abused, criticised etc and told that he hadn't been MP long enough to be able to achieve anything. Well, here we are, almost 5 years after he was elected to be our MP, SO no excuses this time SNP.

Since being elected as the MP, name 10 things that ABM has done for the Western Isles.....

Over to you. Glad it's the weekend as I will have lots of time to read your copious list of responses.

Anonymous said...

The only thing that has tarnished the SNP and it's MP & MSP is the constant stream of misinformation that has been pissed out by The Labour party in the hope that some of the splashes stick.
It is a sign of utter desperation to try and make Mcsween an acceptable option.
Why was he so desperate to be on the task force? because he was probibably well briefed by the very people who were going to closedown the place and this was seen as a perfect opportunity to set Mcsween up as their saviour rather than a psopective representer of the very people who wanted the place closed down.

Anonymous said...

Re - 12.23

Though not a Nationalist, I can sympathise with your dilemma and agree with much of what you write.

It's only the last 5 words - 'the cause and the Party' - that let you down.

In the grand scheme of things, any Party or cause is far less imprtant than the people of the islands themselves.

Anonymous said...

Anyone out there prepared to stand for the islands rather than hide behind a party, or or the fundamentalists?

Angus, what are you doing for the next 5 years?

Anonymous said...

#11:06am - Are you Bunter or Kenny Flip?

The Uist Councillors asked for MacSween to be on the Task Force as they believed that he could influence Government in a way that MacNeil could not.

Cllr Carlin was prepared to demit from the Task Force to allow MacSween on.

MacSween's membership of the Task Force was bitterly opposed by the SNP Group.

But, it appears that the Uist Councillors were right and the SNP were wrong.

If we had relied on the influence of MacNeil alone the Range would be closed by now.

He didn't bother contacting the Scottish Secretary to arrange a meeting to discuss the plans. But he did issue lots of press releases insulting the Labour Party and demeaning others efforts.

Is it true he gatecrashed a Task Force meeting with the Minister by pretending to be Angus "Storas" MacMillan? I'm told that he didn't respond to Council invitations to attend, and only went along when Manford told him to go.

Anonymous said...

Who's K Flip or Bunter??
Read Heb News about Councillors being informed in 2007 .
Maybe Mcsween was of that day.
Surely Mcsween would have checked with Council about their knowledge in regards to range before going of on one about MP's knowledge.
As i said it was all set up to assist Mcsween in his crusade to gain a seat in parliament.
If my memory serves me right did Mcsween not request to be on task force. His constituency isn't exactly close to the range is it ?
Don't recall him setting up a task force when the Harris Tweed Mills were paying off, or Arnish closing down, But then again it was'nt LABOUR who was responsible, or was it.

Anonymous said...

Think this has all back fired on Sweeny Tod! CNES and him knew at the same time as Macneil (ta heb news)!! I would like to vote Labour- but- he is such a no good creepy, out for him self, grinny person. Think he would be worse for us.

Anonymous said...

So now it is ok that ABM ignored the warning because the Comhairle did too? Does this not make them all a bunch of wasters who do not deserve to represent us?

Anonymous said...

Re - 11.06

Read that statement again. More carefully and slowly.

It says Southern Isles councillors!!!

Anyway, this was an area of responsibility that most councils would remit to their MP. He is, after all, their man on the spot.

It also doesn't change the fact that when pressed for a statment recently, AB was more than a little economical with the truth.

Anonymous said...

So many smokescreens ....

The MP was told by the Ministry of Defence about a matter of huge significance for his constituency in a policy area reserved to Westminster. That put the ball in his court - not the MSP's, not the council's (though both of them should make their own explanations) but first and foremost the MP's.
So straightforward question: What did he do and when did he do it? If he can't or won't answer then he shouldn't be in the job. Couldn't be more straightforward and that would apply no matter what party he belonged to.

Anonymous said...

I think we need to focus on a main point - who ever had this information should have told the people who it ACTUALLY affected. All are to blame, these people clearly do not have our interest in mind.