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

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Parliamentary questions

Can anyone explain the rationale behind this question to the Minister?  It seems to do nothing but undermine the Range, compared to Wales.....
Hebrides Missile Range

Mr MacNeil: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many pairs of fibre-optic cables his Department has between Hebrides Range and the mainland of Scotland. [14019]

Peter Luff: The Ministry of Defence has no fibre optic cables running between the Hebrides Range and the mainland of Scotland.


Anonymous said...

At least, give the man credit for his consistency. He undermined the existence of the Range before - and got away with it.

Why shouldn't he play the same stunt again?

Brìdean said...

I don't get it... how does posing this question undermine the Range? Are ministers going to suddenly realise that there are no fibre optic cables and decide to close the Range on that basis?

Anonymous said...

Re Bridean

No - but he is drawing attention to the inadequacies and weaknesses in the current set up, which no politician with a smidgeon of skill or sense would ever dream of doing when there was the possibility of jobs being threatened in his consituency.

But then he neither has skill or sense, does he?

Apart from talking about goal-mouth technology and the difficulty of filling in his expenses form online.

Both of course are essential to the welfare of his constituents!

Anonymous said...

Did someone at the range prompt him to ask this question for a particular reason, or is he just naturally stupid?

He might as well be writing the bid be Aberporth to steal the jobs.

Range Task Force members are apparently livid......

Anonymous said...

Surely he is only making the point that remote operation of the site would not be possible unless fibre optic technoligy was available.
Government is unlikely to throw away the investment in the Island over the years. More likely to continue with the range and keep it as a fully manned facility.

Anonymous said...

Think he's drawing attention to the strengths of the current setup because they have no fibre optic and therefore would require a hugh investment to be able to run the Range remotely as they probably need fibre to do so.

RangeHead said...

9:42 - and drawing attention to any shortcomings is helpful?

With friends like these...

A better question would be along the lines of: when are the links to Benbecula to be upgraded?

Anonymous said...

Rangehead, I'm just surmising why he would ask such a question. Helpful? Possibly, because without fibre I suspect they cannot run the range remotely and by finding out that they don't he can prove that it's not feasible on economic grounds? Hence the range is kept.


Anonymous said...

Might he be actually clever here? If the government decides that a fibre optic link across to the range is important, might it then be sensible to piggy back enhanced broad band conections to the rest of the islands on it?

RangeHead said...

2.21am aka 9.42 can you choose a false name to make it easier to follow you through the thread? Select name/url to create an identity for each post.

The absence of a Fibre Optic cable was highlighted in the review as a major weakness, or more precisiely, the existence of one was a create strength for Wales.

Instead of drawing attention to weaknesses and grandstanding, MacNeil should be finding solutions and bringing pressure to bear to have a cable run from Uist.

Brìdean said...

Oh right then let's try and cover up the fact that there's no fibre-optic cable - if anyone asks then just try and change the subject!

'drawing attention' to the fact that there's no fibre-optic cable matters not a jot - I suspect they might know these facts already!

Some people just have a pro-Labour/anti-SNP agenda - it's playground squabbling - grow up FFS!

For the record, I've always voted Labour and never SNP... but I don't feel the need to dogmatically disagree with every SNP move just because the SNP are Labour's biggest competitor. The reason that the SNP and Labour parties attract the most support in the Isles is because their policies are fairly close - i.e. left wing.

Baldie MacSwidgeon said...

Angus is merely pre-empting the defence spending revue, he is a committed pacifist and therefore wants all military personnel removed from the Western Isles.
He is intimating that he may know where there is a large amount of fibre optic cable available at a reasonable cost due to Kenny F. getting mixed up between metric and imperial when kitting out the Bayhead office for live real time streaming of the office in action.

Anonymous said...

Re Bridean

It's obvious that - even in your wild and mispent youth - you never had a poker-playing past.

If you had, you would realise that you never put on public display the weakness of your hand, in the way that Mr MacNeil has just done. By drawing attention to the fact that the Benbecula Range does not have a fibre-optic cable, it's as if AB is dancing up and down, brandishing the fact that he has only a two or three of clubs when his opponent bears a brace of aces.

The problem is that in this particular game, it's not AB that's likely to end up in only a bra and knickers. It's the guys at the Range who will be stripped of all their assets by the match's end. No doubt they will be perched in one of these tents the MP mentioned in his own last submission to 'protect' the Range's future, displaying their every last (Greylag) googe pimple to the prevailing winds.

And that, Bridean, is not a matter of party politics. It is simply common sense. It doesn't say much for you that you can't see it.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you doubting Toms ask him Surely that would be the sensible course to take instead of bitching about in the dark?

Anonymous said...

Re - 2.43

When has he ever answered a question he's ever been asked about consitituency matters?

Such as wind farms....?

He's not going to make an exception now, is he ...?

PS - We do know his opinion on goal line technology!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. MacNeil,
Please could you tell me why you ask such stupid and potentially damaging questions in Parliament risking putting the economic future of the Uists at risk?
Concerned Uist Resident and employee of Qinetic...

Do you think that would do it? The trouble is, I've written to him on a few occasions before over the last 5 years and am still waiting for a response

Foot-loose said...

Fibre optic cable and national grid connection - a two-in-one solution for Qinetiq!

Anonymous said...

Angus - I watched coverage of the Papal visit all day - fleeting between the office and home - a great occasion - which showed Scotland and her leaders of all hues in a good light. However, one thing did strike our family as peculiar - during the SKY TV coverage we saw our MSP, Alistair Allan, taking Communion from a Priest, and then (correctly) blessing himself. One wee question is our MSP a Presbyterian or is he a member of our Church? I think we should be told - if he's converted, good and well, if not, well.....he really is taking the biscut.....

Anonymous said...

11.23: Is this really true? Are you 100% sure?

Anonymous said...

Unless he has an identical twin I am 100% certain. I am not the only person to have seen it. It was also on the BBC News 24 website.

Brìdean said...

Apparently it was only someone who looks like Alasdair Allan.

Brìdean said...

1:01pm Why not use a name so you can be addressed?

My point is that it is extremely naive to think that by not mentioning the lack of fibre-optic cable then the people that make the decisions will forget about this fact.

Also, asking the question is not going to make ministers think "Oh, no fibre-optic cable... we better close it then!"

From what I can see he has extolled the virtues of the missile base.

Lochcarron said...

Re - Bridean

Think the naivety is all on your side.

Politics (of any kind) is always a game of bluff, where you try to overplay your own strengths and divert attention from those of your opponent. One is well aware that those in Aberporth are going to be conscious of the failings of the base in Benbecula.

However, you perform a dance of the seven veils to obscure these facts, drawing attention instead to your 'merits'.

The strip tease comparision still holds in Angus B's case. Instead of doing this, his first step has been to stand in the middle of the spotlight, cast off his clothes and shout;

'Look at this, Taffy!!!!'

In short, and for all the rhetoric he used in the Commons the other day, he displayed the political skills of a congenital idiot!

Not for the first time!!!!

Anonymous said...
Looks like him to me!

Lochcarron said...

Re Bridean

His 'extolling of the Range' - as reported in the Gazette - also only involves the names of two Government ministers.

Would it not also be helpful to involve other Scottish MPs in the way that the current cross-party campaign defending the aircraft carrier order is currently doing?

Or is basic co-operation with others beyond the Gypsy Rose Lee impersonator that currently 'represents' the Western Isles in Parliament?

Bridean said...


Clearly you have an anti-MacNeil agenda so there's not much point in debating with you to try and convince you that anything he does is positive.

The stuff you come out with regarding pulling veils and what not - give me strength! Do you think an MP can just use bluff and bluster to fool people into thinking that there is an undersea fibre optic cable? There isn't one there, and these facts should be made known to the public. The people who make the decisions know it's not there, so 'highlighting' it makes no difference to them.

Anyway, I am sick of Labour's and the WHFP's anti-SNP rhetoric and will vote SNP next time!

Lochcarron said...

Re - Bridean

Judging by your comment at 2.55, an SNP vote was always your intention anyway. Your supposed neutrality was just a pose, and not, given your evident imbecility, a very convincing one either.

But I must finish by apologising to AB...

A man of his stature would never have performed a full striptease. He would have known a gentleman always leaves his jacket on.

Anonymous said...

In order to remotely operate the range from Wales there would have to be in place a considerable amount of secure, high speed, data transfer infrastructure.

If there is none, the range cannot be remotely operated without considerable investment.

Until such investment is made, the range must be staffed so that the UK can continue deep range testing of defence systems.

It is very likely that the level of investment in hardware and fibre optics required is far in excess of the alleged savings from moving operational control to Wales.

Bridean said...


Eh? My comment at 2.55pm? The one where I said that it was someone that looked like Alasdair Allan?

What's that got to do with who I vote for?

Why would I say I was a Labour voter if I was not?

Given your lack of judgement so far, I can only deduce that you are an imbecile!

Lochcarron said...


It was the speed with which you leaped to the man's defence that gave the game away. Clearly you jumped to a conclusion without ever taking the time to examine the evidence.

Just as you did in this particular case.

Clearly the reaction of the worst kind of political groupie.

A completely unthinking one!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't see this blog going very far if the bloggers insist on insulting everybody in sight whether they be fellow bloggers or politicians.

Anonymous said...

8:48 PM Erm, there's been much more virulent arguments than this on the blog. And as for it not "going very far", if you check the archives it's been doing very nicely for over half a decade so far. If you want it to go away because you don't agree with some of the comments, you're probably in for a big disappointment...

Lochcarron said...

Re - 8.48

Totally agree with 11.12 am.

Nothing wrong with a little brusque debate. In fact, it's an essential part of democracy.

Bridean, in particular, seems to have no concept of that. One little discussion and he's off (apparently) to declare his allegiance forever to the SNP.

Aguing with him is a bit like - to quote the words of Denis Healey - being savaged by a dead sheep. No depth. No insight. No tenacity.

A poor soul, really!! I'm surprised the SNP would even want him.