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

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Our MP's successes

I like to give out plaudits where plaudits are due, and not just criticise for the sake of criticism, so I was rather stung by a recent posting that I need to make "another anti-MP or MSP comment".

Let's turn that about completely and encourage supporters to list Angus MacNeil's success in bringing tangible benefits to the islands over the past two years. The Labour Party have been very vocal in demanding that he name five things that he has achieved, and I don't think that the wider public have got a balanced view on all he has done for us.

I'll start ......

He stopped the Harris Community Windfarm, in the teeth of 90% support from the community, the Council and various departments of the Scottish Executive.


Anonymous said...

Gold medal in the three-in-a-bed piping championship (whilst never removing his jacket!)

Anonymous said...

Sorry Angus you can't really attribute the windfarm public enquiry solely to Angus Macneil as it was the Scottish Executive that made the decision so I think that one is really a plus point for Mr Allan.

Anonymous said...

he brought shame and scandal to our islands...

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:07 - of you think our MSP has a single thought without the approval of MacNeil then you are in cloud cookoo land.

Anonymous said...

"I like to give out plaudits where plaudits are due, and not just criticise for the sake of criticism"

Ha ha, good one Angus.

Anonymous said...

Angus – you should ask the staff of Bethesda what they make of the claim by our MP that it was the snp that sorted the issue about the hospices status. You’ll find that their response is far from charitable. Pathetic that the MP is now desperately scrambling around claim credit for things he and his party never did. He should go the Harris and explain why he and the MSP managed to contrive a situation that the people of Harris didn’t want ie a costly public inquiry for 3 turbines. And when they’re in Harris they should take a trip to Scalpay and tell the Scalpachs why the factory hasn’t re-opened. Another empty promise – just like their lies about ferry fares being reduced “two weeks after the election”

Anonymous said...

Angus, you indicate that the plans for the Harris wind turbines should go ahead because the majority of the community support it.

Does the same hold for the Lewis Wind Power plans (ie, if the majority of the community are against it, they shouldn't go ahead)?

(For the record, I am totally in favour of the Harris proposals. Is there a statutory reason for the executive to refer the proposals to an inquiry, or are they just following due diligence given the complaints made by SNH?)

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:31 - don't shoot the messanger. Just tell us one thing he has achieved for the islands.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone hear Bonking Brendan filleted by Councillor DJ MacSween on Radio Scotland on Friday about Sunday ferries and ferry fares. Fantastic stuff – clearly he can only perform if he’s accompanied by a piper. Inarticulate, stammering, twit. The MSP didn’t turn up for the radio programme. I’m sure the eminent Dr Allan will want a REFERENDUM on the Sunday ferry issue. It’s certainly not an issue he could possibly have a view on. By the way, where’s RET gone ? Answers to the Nattery HQ, Bayhead, Sy.
Donald Manford’s beard must be turning colour – being represented by these comedians. Donald fly’s the flag for the party like no other representative in the islands. He’s a credit to his party and to our community. If only the bespectacled gormless one and the energetic Barrach were in the same league.

PS I wonder if our MP will be doing the rounds at the island games this summer ? I’m told he’s unrivalled at tossing the weight over the bar….I wonder how he practices……?

madrudhach said...

As one of people who asked the question in the Gazette last January. "About 5 things he has done for the islands" Well I now know of two things he has done. He first of all brought shame on the Islands by inviting two teenage girls to his room and supplying them with drink."and this is no Labour Party smear as he admitted to it,and the only thing he apologised for was being found out by a Labour supporting newspaper."
Secondly along with the MSP he has helped to put a stop to all community wind farms on our Islands. This will leave the Shetlands moving in and getting the interconnector and we are going to be left with a declining population.

Along with Alex Salmond they remind me of the three monkies Hear no Evil, See no Evil and Speak no Evil.

Anonymous said...

Listen again to Lesley Riddoch here.

Anonymous said...

He's managed to avoid contributing to any topical issue that has affected our islands since May 2005.

Anonymous said...

Just listened to the interview, very interesting with some great pearls of wisdom coming from our MP. I can't wait for the executive to overturn the decision to have a public inquiry. The SNP seem to be able to make up the law as they go along.
Shame that Alasdair Allan was too busy to contribute to a debate about the state of the Islands transport system or the devastation that the Public inquiry of a community owned windfarm is going to have, there are obviously much more important things that he had to do as we are constantly reminded of how hard he is working for us. Maybe he was busy spiking his hair.

Anonymous said...

The most anyone can say in MacNeil's favour is that he in Stornoway at least once a quarter, mostly.

Oh, and he employed Alasdair Allan instead of a local, hence increasing the population by one. Unfortunately, our MSP is here even less than our MP.

Anonymous said...

Did I miss an entry on this blog about the SNP aboloshing the graduate endowment tax, which benefits students from the isles?

Or what about the proposal to abolish business rates for small businesses, including those in the isles?

Or what about the SNP opposing nuclear weapons in Scotland?

Or what about perhaps the biggest change, which is the SNP, Tories, Liberals, Greens, etc (ie, everyone EXCEPT LABOUR) bringing maturity and positivity to Scottish political debate?

Labour activists - please accept that the people are fed up of your negative attitude. You didn't learn your lesson in 2005 and paid the price again in 2007. Drag yourself out of the 1970s and realise that this is a new Scotland, where the emphasis is on working TOGETHER to get things done.

Anonymous said...

RET is part of the SNP manifesto, and is on their website:

"...the Scottish government will commission a study into Road Equivalent Tariff (RET), reporting on options for improved connection to our northern and western isles by end of 2007. As part of this we will undertake a pilot project on RET to the Western Isles which will include support for freight and tourist journeys."

You can see the full thing at the address below:

So, it's only fair to hang fire on the RET complaints until the end of the year. If there's still nothing by then, though...

PS, it only took me 5 minutes to find this, anonymous. It's quite easy to get answers on the internet, if you're that keen to see them.

Anonymous said...

Just listened to the Lesley Riddoch show and what a tanking Brendan took from D J. As for Anonymous 4.53 a proposal to abolish business rates for small businesses, including those in the isles? Is the same as Brendan stated we would have a report on RET with in 3 months after he was elected where is it. Get real Anonymous 4.53 you know as well as I do that as Madrudhach called them the three monkies are not going to do anything for the Islands. We know that the previous executive delivered with the ADS but the SNP were not happy with it and were going to have RET. There is a better chance of pigs flying than the SNP executive delivering for us.

Anonymous said...

Some of the posters on this thread (and others) are a reminder of why NuLabour were unceremoniously dumped in the Western Isles last May.

Jealousy can be a terrible thing, especially when combined with bitterness and a tendency to rant.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:15pm
I think the question was Angus MacNeil specific not related to the empty promises that the SNP made prior to election day that they seem quite happy to ignore now.
Not a single thing has been delivered by either party or individual though.

Anonymous said...

Your inability to actually defend the SNP with facts proves that the posters on this board are right. ABM and AA have done absolutely nothing to benefit the islanders, one reason they will be unceremoniously dumped at the next elections.
What the islands need is a local independent candidate who understands the place not someone who panders to their master

Anonymous said...

Isn't it telling that the SNP supporters cannot give us ONE achievement of Mr MacNeil, preferring insults or manifesto committments for an election in which he didn't stand.

Come on, GIVE US ONE OF HIS ACHIEVEMENTS, that benefits the islands. There are some aren't there....????

BTW, I voted for him, only to find he is a useless as Calum MacDonald

Anonymous said...

Like 5penny I am deeply disillusioned by Angus MacNeil. He got my vote last time, but we have replaced one waste of sapce with another.

Anonymous said...

Admittedly, ABM's tangible achievements for the Isles wouldn't exactly fill an Encyclopedia Britannica but, as in the case of the 'useless' Calum Macdonald, this may have something to do with Scottish (and especially Hebridean) affairs being sidelined/ignored in Westminster because of the new Scottish Parliament, the Lothian question etc. It makes an even better case for total Scottish independence, I would have thought...

But I still admire Calum Macdonald's gumption for rightly branding the LWP and BMP wind factory schemes 'a waste of time and energy'. Too late for him, alas!

Anonymous said...

For the SNP to achieve control over Scotland and then push for independance they must first win the Labour seats in central Scotland, this will not be achieved by fulfilling promises made to the Western Isles.
The Western Isles needs representatives who would put the needs of the Western Isles before the needs of any party.
I think AA is the ultimate party puppet.

Anonymous said...

eyoop, keep driving down everyone's expectations of MacNeil's performance.

Presumably his next election address wll say, "Vote for me, I can't do much for you".

Sad that you have such a low opinion of his potential, perhaps next time you will vote for a candidate who will try and achieve something.

Anonymous said...

No answer to my previous post yet:

"Angus, you indicate that the plans for the Harris wind turbines should go ahead because the majority of the community support it.

Does the same hold for the Lewis Wind Power plans (ie, if the majority of the community are against it, they shouldn't go ahead)?"

I suppose it's easier to batter our elected representatives with such language as "three monkies", "waste of sapce" (sic) and "party puppet" than to answer a straightforward question.

I look forward to a sensible reply (without the colourful party political banter, if possible!).

PS, I think Alastair Allan goes back to the islands most weekends. He's certainly been holding regular constituency surgeries throughout the isles (as did his predecessor Alasdair Morrison, quite rightly). Get your facts right before trying to be clever. Or funny.

Angus said...

Anon, above, I was pointing out that the Harris proposal enjoyed the benefit of three major factors:
- that it was a community development
- that the community was supporting it
- and, that the Comhairle supported the planning application

None of the other three major applications have these three conditions, and that is why we have a major disagreement about the plans.

My concern is that the community schemes in Uist, Barra, Uig and the West Side will all now have to find an extra £30-50k to pay for lawyers at any Inquiry.

For the record, I warned about this - both publicly, and privately inside the SNP over two years ago - and suggested a position that would have allowed community developments to be supported whilst allowing a different view on the big developments.

Unfortunately, our MP refused to discuss the planning applications with the Councillors, and the first we knew about his stance was when we received a second-hand press release. And the rest is history, and a consequence of an ill-thought out position.

Anonymous said...

eyoop, our MPs achievemnets wouldn't fill the back of a postage stamp.

As for being ignored by Westminister - the Comhairle secured 30 jobs from the London based DTI, against UK opposition. Consumer Direct (where I work) shows that we aren't ignored if we have a good enough case. Macneil should stop issuing press releases and actually do something.

BTW, Angus Nicolson can claim part of the credit for Consumer Direct, making him a more successful politician for the islands than Macneil and Allan combined.

Anonymous said...

Yes dead right Anonymous 11.11pm

The fact is that Angus MacNeil got elected on a position which was clearly not pro wind-farms and so did Alasdair Allan. People seem to forget that.

Both will be judged on what they do for individual constituents as much as how often the get their mugs in the Gazette or get onto Radio Nan Gael. Something that seemed totally lost on the previous incumbents
from London Labour.

At no point did they promise a time limited public enquiry - they might have indicated a preference for it - thats not the same thing.

Secondly at no point did they promise RET 2 weeks after the election. We hardly had a First Minister two weeks after the election.

And what might really scupper this RET development is not the SNP Government breaking a promise it intended to keep in good faith but the Labour and Lib Dem politicians who forced them to back the tram routes in Edinburgh at the expense other transportation priorities in the Government's manfesto.

Lets look at the real facts surrounding our SNP politicians. You seem to have missed the fact that despite the disgraceful personal attacks on Isles FM nearly each day at election time, Despite the Sunday Mail Story Despite various people trying to wade in to the sitting MSP's rescue at various hustings and despite the vitriol aimed at AA in many circles (on this blog among other places) by desperate Labour activists who said the SNP could never elect an in-comer who was never here, despite Labour saying we could never elect a Barrach in Lewis, DESPITE ALL THAT.. they have between them duly dumped two sitting Labour politicians who had close to two decades to turn this into a safe Labour seat.

What does that say about Labour and their failure to win a seat of any kind in the Highlands and Islands in the last two elections?

You can post on here all you like folks, the Labour spin died with Tony Blair's Cash for Peerages scandal so brilliantly left at his doorstep by the MP for the Western Isles Angus MacNeil.

Read it and weep. Read it and weep.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:11 and Anon 8:52.

A great bit of anti labour diatribe.

BUT what exactly has ABM and AA done for the people of the Islands since they were elected then? Please name just one tangible thing.

We all know that they were elected.
We all know that they go rid of Morrison and Calum BUT what have they done since for us the people?

Cash for peerages was a story that was fed to ABM by his leaders to get him some glory. Please don't ever insult us into thinking that he is even remotely intelligent enough to have thought of it himself and again, what good has it done us?

Oh and Anon 8:52, I think that you will find that MacNeil and Allan both did say that they wanted a time limited public inquiry and then Allan brought the referendum into the options, neither of which has happened.

Also, if ABM was on an anti wind farm ticket then why did he say on the Lesley Riddoch interview that he had talked to the minister to try to get him to reverse the decision.

All you do is say whatever suits the moment and not what is reality or actually DO anything. You will get caught out next time for the same reasons that our last MP and MSP were.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:52
Through my tears I checked your "facts", I suggest that you check out the link below

Also, I really hope that you aren't going to spend the next 4 years blaming the SNP's lack of delivery on manifesto promises on those horrible opposition parties.

Don't forget what your friend Anon 4:53 told us:

Or what about perhaps the biggest change, which is the SNP, Tories, Liberals, Greens, etc (ie, everyone EXCEPT LABOUR) bringing maturity and positivity to Scottish political debate?

You can't have it both ways, despite trying.

Anonymous said...

For the record Angus, have you had a formal apology from the SNP yet?

Angus said...

Apology??!!?? I haven't even had a letter confirming my expulsion - just the pathetic email.

Anonymous said...

Still no-one can tell us anyhting Angus Brendan has done that directly benefits the islands in any shape or form.

Eyoop tells us not to expect much. Anon tells us to wait. and the SNP supporters have nothing but taunts, and cries of 'the new conscencous politics you Labour bastards'. Which actually means f'off if you don't agree with us.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. Seems like the Labour Party is STILL struggling to come to terms with 2 election defeats in 3 years in the Western Isles. Just accept it - you lost. The fact that you did lose twice in consecutive elections should be an indication to you that the public is not happy with you (duh!). why not concentrate on going back to the policy drawingboard insted of sneering childishly at the SNP? (I am not an SNP supporter by the way.)

Anonymous said...

Well, the first thing ABM did that benefitted the islands was get rid of Calum Macdonald by a good majority (Calum himself apparently was so relieved, or rather freed from the political shackles he'd had on till then, that he actually told the truth about the north Lewis and Eisken wind factories - 'a waste of time and energy'). Memorable.

This paved the way nicely for the removal of Alasdair Morrison, thereby helping to virtually remove NuLabour red from northern Scotland in May 2007, a brilliant day for this country and the Isles.

But like I've said before, some people just keep bitching bitterly while others do the work. Ah well.

I'm still not quite sure if the few regular acid commenters on this board are Labour diehards or a very, very, VERY small group of ex-SNP malcontents. I don't suppose it really matters though, eh?

Anonymous said...


And the last thing that ABM did was........

get rid of Calum Macdonald by a good majority

"But like I've said before, some people just keep bitching bitterly while others do the work"

WHAT WORK????? That is what this particular posting is all about, what has ABM done?

All you seem to be able to do is snipe about the labour party.
I am not a labour supporter and trust me, it will matter who the dissaffected on this board and farther wide are when there is another election which may not be that far away.

Anonymous said...

Any of you anonymous Labourites, if you had read my post you would have seen that I addressed ABM's workload and AA's for that matter in the fact that he doesnt need to be getting airtime on RNG or pics in the SY Gazette like our former politicians were paranoid about to be actually doing things for the consituency.

As for Alex Salmond feeding Angus the Cash for peerages investigation. So what? He still had to take it further. Thats like complaining that Tony Blair fed Gordon Brown the PM's job. oh hang on!

Now hands up all Labour MSP's in the Highlands & Islands. Come on baby hands up! No? MP's? No? ! surely one? No? :-)


Anonymous said...

Erm, Anon 4:51, think you had better check what you've written. Someone earlier posted a link to the Scottish Elections results for 2007 and I think you'll find that there are 3 H&I MSPs.
Oops or is that Eyoops!

Anonymous said...

Labour = War
Labour could have stopped Blair.
All Labour members have blood on their hands.
If any Labour member had any decency they would have left after the decision for war.
The blood of innocent people is on the hands of the Labour Party. A stain that will never go away.
Vote anyone but Labour and yes even Tories if they can beat the Party of War!

Anonymous said...

SNP won in the Western Isles because it was there turn, Not because of Policy, I very much doubt if 90% of the Western Isles voters are in favour of Independance, which in the short to medium term would be devestating for the economy of Western Isles.
AA did promise RT for the Western Isles, he obviously can't deliver.
Which either makes him incompetent or stupid.
Changing of the Westminster boundarys will get rid of ABM,
It will be interesting to see how the local SNP and Labour parties react to Charles Kennedy as their MP

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:05

Thanks for your post, but could you explain how my post was "anti labour diatribe" please. I don't think I mentioned the Labour Party in my post. Though it is perhaps no coincidence that the overwhelming majority of nasty language on this blog seems to be aimed at the SNP and it's elected representatives.

I was merely pointing out the contradictions in the council's wind farm arguments. If the 3 criteria to judge a wind farm's are (in Angus' own words):

- that it was a community development
- that the community was supporting it
- and, that the Comhairle supported the planning application

then the LWP proposals meet only the last (you cannot class it as a community development, since only a fraction of the benefits go to the community).

Anonymous said...

I notice there's a lack of people on this blog clamouring for '5 things' that the three Labour MSPs for the Highlands & Islands have done for the islands since they were elected. Are these politicians being dismissed by SNP supporters as "party puppets"? No. I guess SNP supporters have a wee bit too much class for that.

I expect the Labour MSPs are far from "party puppets", and are probably working hard both in parliament and throughout their constituencies, just as our MSP and MP are.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6.23

Ill assume you are being impartial but pedantic.

I think you can take the Labour Free Zone jibe, and I concede it is a jibe, at their hopeless peformance in the Highlands & Islands over the last two elections, in the context in which it was delivered, i.e number of seats won in the Highlands & Islands.

If members from the top up lists at the Scottish Elections only deflects this jibe to their satisfaction then fine by me.

I submit to your statistical pedant. :-) well done.

madrudhach said...

Anon 8:34 You ask what the 3 labour list MSP's have done for the Islands. While as minister for Education Peter Peacock invested more money in to Gaelic medium education than any other minister had previously and also in to nursery education. Peter also assured CNES of over £52 million for the new schools in Barvas and Balavanich and the refurbishment of Bayble as a new community school.
So before you start asking stupid questions, regarding Labour list MSP's think first.
So along with our elected monkeys at Westminster and Holyrood we also have 3 SNP list MSP's how have also not delivered for our Islands, but we cannot say that when Peter was part of the Labour led executive.

ps. What an own goal that was Anon 8:34 instead of 2 monkeys we have 5 representing us. " What a circus" Mind you it is amazing what you can teach monkeys to do maybe Alex Salmond is the clown in the centre of the ring.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:07

"Bonking Brendan", "Inarticulate, stammering, twit", "the bespectacled gormless one"

What a shame to stoop to such nasty language, worthy only of the gutter press. Have the lessons of Labour's negative campaigning in 2005 and 2007 not sunk in yet?

The public don't like it, and it totally detracts from any sensible points you might have been trying to make.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 9:46 pm "And when they’re in Harris they should take a trip to Scalpay and tell the Scalpachs why the factory hasn’t re-opened."

Jeez, talk about Labour spin! Perhaps you should think about the circumstances under which the factory closed, and the utter disgust directed by the locals at the Labour MP at the time. Do you remember that? I do!

Anonymous said...

eyoop, don't try to find me into your neat little boxes that satisfy your desire to be right.

I voted for Macneil to get rid of Calum Macdonald. NOT SNP to get rid of Labour. The party was irelevant.

If there is a half decent candidate at the next election I will vote to get rid of Macneil who is every bit as bad as Calum.

That's not pro-Labour, it's anti-useless.

Anonymous said...

Throwing personal insults about, whether you are a Labour supporter or an SNP supporter, is counterproductive.

Not answering simple questions and resorting to bluster is even worse.

Can anyone tell me anything positive our MP or MSP have done for the islands to keep my children here and give them jobs?

Anonymous said...

If eyoop insulted less and answered the questions posed he might actually have a case.

Anonymous said...

Madrudhach, apologies if you misinterpreted my post. I'm not looking to score goals.

I said that I expect the Labour MSPs to be hard working. Your posting confirms that they are.

They are to be congratulated for this, as their work has benefited the islands (I assume that the other 2 MSPs work as hard as Peter Peacock). I don't care whether they represent Labour, Tories, Greens, SNP, Liberals, whoever. As long as they're working for the islands, we should say "well done".

My point was that, on the whole, the Tory, Green, SNP and Liberal supporters appear to be trying to engage in serious debate (there will always be exceptions!), whereas Labour appear to be stuck in the "if you say black, I'm saying white" politics we should be leaving behind.

Everything is shades of grey in the end. Try and lay off the negativity and cheap insults and we might start working towards a better future.

Anonymous said...

In a short interlude from the party politics, could I encourage everyone to vote for the Ness playpark, which has been nominated for some National Lottery money. Here's the link:

If you've ever been to Eoropie and have seen the playpark, you'll know what a great achievement it was for the community to build this.

Apologies to Angus for hijacking his blog with this good news story.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

What are Westminster MPS from scottish seats supposed to do these days anyway? Apart from pick up a huge salary.

Anonymous said...

The playpark is an excellent project and I've voted for it.

Anything that gets children out into the fresh air and away from the gogglebox and computer games is good.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't even understand what the most basic responsibilties of Government are, so how can he be expected to achive anything?

Anonymous said...

There have been a few comments on the blog about our MP having a "fat salary".

Whilst MPs do vote on their salaries, the salaries are advised by the Senior Salaries Review Board, an independent body. (In December 2006, some Conservative and Labour MPs wrote to the SSRB calling for a 66% increase to their salaries.)

On top of that, expense claims often exceed politician's salaries.

George Lyon, Liberal MSP, claimed mileage expenses in his constituency when he was in New York at Tartan Week. Another Liberal MSP, Keith Raffan, stood down shortly after an abnormally high expense claim. David McLetchie resigned as Scottish Conservative leader over his taxi expense claims.

Indeed, our own Alastair Morrison had the 4th highest expenses in 2003/4 with £89,397. And had the highest travel expenses in 2004/5 with almost £20,000.

Of course, the main reason for this is that he had to travel regularly between Edinburgh and the Western Isles. But how often did he fly business or first class rather than economy class?

Maybe Madrudhach could provide a breakdown of his flights by economy, premium economy, business class, and first class for us...

Angus said...

Without defending the expenses regime, can I just point out that the flights between Stornoway and Edinburgh are all one class, economy.

Anonymous said...

Good to hear that, Angus. I only ask because there have been flights where Mr Morrison was 'cordoned off' from the other passengers at the front of the plane, and have been told he used the executive lounge at Edinburgh Airport.

Given the debacle of the £440m parliament building, it's important that politicians (whether MPs, MSPs, MEPs or councillors) try and set an example by not overspend unnecessarily.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to come to this debate late - i've been away, but I think it was eyOOPS who said that the good thing that ABM did for the islands was get rid of CM - isn't that a bit like saying; "good old Stalin the guy before him was a lot worse. LS

Anonymous said...

"but I think it was eyOOPS who said that the good thing that ABM did for the islands was get rid of CM - isn't that a bit like saying; "good old Stalin the guy before him was a lot worse. LS"

Er, well no, not really. Using such ludicrous comparisons weakens your argument considerably.

Anonymous said...

ID cards – 9 votes against introduction of this affront to civil liberties
Terrorism bill – 16 votes against another affront to civil liberties
Replacement of Trident nuclear missile system – 2 votes against this affront to humanity
Investigation into Iraq war – 4 votes for
Reform of the House of Lords into a 100% elected house – voted for although, sensibly, later voted against a bicameral parliament.
Voted for keeping sub post offices
Voted in favour of reducing the voting age to 16
Asked over 200 questions of government departments
Spoke in 29 debates last year

Of course there are some who think these actions do not affect us teuchtars so far away from London!

Anonymous said...

You missed this 'success' in The Herald 25/7/07:

Angus MacNeil, the SNP's Westminster transport spokesman, condemned the government transport policy on environmental grounds, and its failure to plan a high-speed rail link, but Tom Harris, the Transport Minister, pointed out that the SNP had not supported any of the government's investment to date.

He said: "Angus doesn't understand that to increase the top speed of any train by 15% requires an increase in energy of 90% so it is frankly naive to assume a high-speed link would in some way be environmentally friendly.

"By 2009, we will have invested more than £8bn upgrading the west coast main line between England and Scotland, every penny of which the SNP opposed. In the meantime, while we have been looking at ways to increase capacity on the west coast line the SNP have been busy cancelling rail and tram projects in Scotland and giving the go-ahead to roads. So, no lessons from the SNP on environmental credentials."


Angus is obviously to ill-informed to understand his brief.

Perhaps he's hoping for a high speed raillink between Barra and Benbecula?

Anonymous said...

There was a recent radio debate questioning the green credentials of trains - they pollute more per passenger than modern buses - and suggesting that the railway lines be tarred over and used by buses to provide fast link services between towns. It's an interesting thought, however trains pollute less than planes and if there was a high speed rail link between London, the major cities of northern England, and central Scotland there would be less people flying and less planes required.