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(Owned, Edited and Printed in Scotland since November 1926)
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Content of the Flag in the Wind Web Site is the copyright of the Scots Independent Newspaper.

[ Issue 604 - 30th December 2011 ]



Compiled by
Jim Lynch


 

We wish all our readers a very
Happy New Year

 

I start this week and finish this year with an apology for last week’s Flag;  when I make up the schedule for the compilers, I always mark which weeks I will be putting together the Scots Independent, as that week I have tunnel vision, and am a bit pushed!  It is also the case that Tricia, the webmistress, rarely has to hassle me, as I put the dates in my diary.  Anyway, last week she was surprised not to get my contribution, and by the time she established whose turn it was the birds had all flown off for Christmas!

At the end of the day, to coin a cliché, I had to cobble up something, determined not to break the claim that we had been updating weekly for 11 years, so you got a wee makeshift!  Sorry about that, and the missing compiler will get a visit from the heavy mob.

 

 

Farewell 2011

How strange it seems to look back to this time last year, when it seemed that Labour was cruising to an easy victory.  I do recall looking at the other parties as they strutted about in the Parliament, Labour arrogant, the Tories a constrained cock a hoop, after all they were the London Government, were they not, and the Liberals scurrying back and forward, undecided as to whether or not they would team up with Labour in the Scottish Parliament, neatly squaring the circle with their deal with the Tories in London.  And the opinion polls had us on a hiding!

Linda Fabiani MSP I did not find it a comfortable time, as so often over the last 45 years the cup has been dashed from Scotland’s lips, and I was very apprehensive that this would happen again.  I spent the election working in Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, as this was the nearest winnable constituency – well I did also think of Almond Valley, as that is next door also, but plumped for what had been familiar territory four years ago.  At the start of the campaign, I got a bit of a fillip in Galashiels, when virtually every one I spoke to reacted positively, and this was Liberal land, so that looked good.  Most of the rest of the time I spent in Penicuik, with brief forays into Newtongrange , and it was difficult to gauge reaction as I was delivering leaflets during the day, so not talking to people.  However, I was not conscious of any animosity, nor did I see any sign of Labour, who claimed a big following there;  that in itself is not any indication – in Glenrothes in 2008 we saw no sign of Labour and their vote materialised from nowhere – strange how the marked up electoral rolls  vanished just after polling day there, but that is another story?

In the last week of this campaign, one of our workers was hailed by a passer by in Penicuik “Why are you folk working so hard?  You’re walking it!”  So there might have been a perception, but I missed it.  I also had the feeling on polling day that the people coming into the polling station I was on were broadly favourable;  this did not last because when Labour saw we were manning the polling station they sent someone down to stand there on their behalf.  He was a very nice man, and after a while he said to me “You’re doing all right”.  I was surprised, then he told me he had been a remedial teacher and could read body language;  he saw that the people were reacting to me, but not him.  That I was not aware of, but when the boxes for that station were opened I was told that one sample was 8 Tory 12 Liberal, 22 Labour and 81 SNP.  I know it is probably not fashionable nowadays to man the polling stations, but I believe a polite, cheerful presence helps, and people know you are there.

Christina McKelvie MSP My days of going to the Count are long past, so I went home to watch the results coming in on television.  The first one in was Rutherglen, held by Labour, gloom – then Linda Fabiani took East Kilbride, joy, and then the roll started!  I jumped off my chair when Christina McKelvie took Hamilton – that iconic seat – and the wins kept happening;  I had to phone Tony Grahame at the count in St Boswells, I think, to find out how Christine Grahame had got on.  Their result was not finally sorted but they had a majority of approx 5,000 – OK I could go to my bed – 5 am.  The next morning my son Peter was on the phone – he had been in the BBC studio all night, commenting;  after a bit I asked him how we had done in Edinburgh Western, where I live.  “You’re no listening, faither”  I was told “The only seat the SNP did not win in Edinburgh was Leith”.  You could have knocked me down with a feather -   or a leaflet!

A stunning result all round from the SNP, and one which I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams.  We did not foresee the 2007 result either. But  that one  went to the wire, and without the dogged determination of Dave Thomson in Inverness at the final declaration of the votes on the Friday afternoon, we could well have been the largest opposition, rather  than the largest party.  The work had been done then, but chance might have snatched it away, but was not allowed to!

What a wonderful time to be a nationalist.

 

 

Megrahi

I wonder why the Scottish press has such a grudging approach to all the things the SNP tries to do?  As I write there is a front page story in the Herald that makes you think that the SNP has been deliberately keeping information on al Megrahi from becoming public.  This is so  far from the truth that it is ludicrous, but no one notices.

The SNP was not in power when Pan Am 103 came down; that was on 23rd December 1988.  There was no Scottish Parliament in existence at that time, and there was a Tory government in Westminster, but no one pointed the finger at it.  The scale of that disaster dwarfed petty politics.  After a long and detailed investigation, the Libyans handed over two of their intelligence operatives, in the hope of getting back into the UN ‘s good books.  I do not know if they thought the men were guilty, but we went through the trial at Kamp  van Zeist and one man was not guilty, the other guilty.

Kenny MacAskill MSPThere has always been doubt in my mind as to whether Megrahi was guilty;  one of our SI colleagues, the late David Rollo, spent years researching this case, and he was adamant that Megrahi was not guilty.
He spent time at the trial, and visited Malta where he spoke to the shopkeeper, because of the discrepancies between the height  of the man who bought the clothes and Megrahi.  David said that he wanted to buy underwear and asked for a size;  with just one glance at him the shopkeeper said “That’s not your size; you’re  “x” size”, and he was dead right.  The fact that the shopkeeper was paid a couple of million dollars by the CIA and then emigrated to Australia was another reason for doubt.

In any event, the blockage in releasing information about the alleged miscarriage of justice is not due to the Scottish Government, but to officials in Whitehall and Washington, and the Scottish media know this, so why are they trying to pass blame on to the Scottish Government?

It is also the case that the Scottish Government has never said it believes Megrahi is innocent;  right from day one they have upheld the judgment of the Court, as any Government is required so to do.  At the same time they wish the due process of the law to be observed.  They have been anxious to publish all the documents they can;  perhaps now the truth might come out.

Still the complaints about Megrahi, because the guy had the effrontery to stay alive;  the odds were that if he had remained in Greenock prison he would have died quite quickly, and one can imagine the uproar in the Middle East if that had happened.  As it was, Gaddafi spared no expense to keep him alive, but no one knows what would have happened.  How to describe that situation?  “Events , dear boy. Events.”

 

 

Labour hypocrisy

I suppose I should not be amazed by anything the Labour Party in Scotland does, but this week we have them complaining about the SNP Government having a Council Tax freeze, and the serious consequences for local government services. 

Now in the Labour Party  manifesto did they not have a Council Tax freeze for two years?  That must have been a good freeze, as distinct from the SNP bad freeze!

 

 

Tory hypocrisy – coming down the line

In the last Scottish Parliament, the Tories voted against minimum pricing for alcohol as an issue of principle.

Now that the Prime Minister has decided that minimum pricing is a good thing for England, expect Tory support for minimum pricing in this Scottish Parliament, as a matter of principle.

 

Liberal hypocrisy

A Liberal principle is as hard to find as the Higgs Boson particle;  if I discover one I will let you know.

 

Footnote

You know how everything in London is better and more sophisticated than we humble Scots can appreciate, I was vastly amused by this item in the Christmas edition of Private Eye.

“Big Society Award.

Caring Hammersmith & Fulham Council directed Afghan refugees arriving in the borough to seek advice from the local branch of the Southern Afghan Club – which is a society for the owners of pedigree hounds.”

 

 

Aivenan the odds


Kenneth Fraser

    The heid pynt o the Government’s plans fir the new session o the Scottish Pairlament is shair ti be the Referendum on Independence. But whan the day daws, wul that match be a ferr ane? On the tane side we’se hae the S.N.P., on the tither the haill wecht o the Estaiblishment. Can we dae onything ti aiven thir odds?

   Lest year the Government set oot whit it proponit as the rules o the Referendum*.

There isnae space here ti expoond them at length, but in short, they wad set up an independent Scottish Referendum Commeesion ti haud the jaickets an see ferr play. The pairt o the paper that is maist meaninfu ti this wad be the leet o the soums o siller that aabodie wad be alloued ti spend on their campaigns. The Government propones that, as in 1997, on ilka side there soud be an owerairchan bodie ti rin the campaign; they coud spend £750,000. Ilka poleetical pairty coud spend £100,000. Ither bodies the Commeesion alloued ti tak pairt (we micht think o Tred Unions an the like) coud spend £37,000 ilkane, an ilk single person that wantit ti, up ti £3,000.

   Efter that, aabodie interestit haed a chance ti sen in observes on thir proposals. Twa hunner did, but ainly 13 war frae organeesations, an some o  thaim war S.N.P. brainches. The ane that carried the maist wecht wes frae the (Breetish) Electoral Commeesion. It jinkit a wheen o the quaistions i the paper as owre poleetical, but A jalouse the Government wadnae like whit it haed ti say aboot siller. The Commeesion thocht the leemits set oot abune war owre nairra fir the public guid. They threipit that the owreairchan bodies soud be able ti spend £2,250,000; poleetical pairties the same as fir a U.K. referendum (that micht be as muckle as £1,000,000); ither permittit bodies £100,000; an single persons, £10,000.

   Nou the pynt o aa thir feegurs is that, in practice, maist pairties an bodies in Scotland are strangly agin independence; an the heicher thir leemits are set, the mair the unfriens o independence wul be able ti yaise the pouer that their walthy backers gie them; ye’ll can dae the soums yersel. Sae we maun howp that i the en, the Government’s laicher feegurs wul bear the gree.

 

Kenneth Fraser

*Fir aa this, see the Scottish Government wabsteid unner:
 www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/Elections

  

Poll an Aonaidh

Calum MacEacharna

Mo chreach! Chunnaic na seachdainean mu dheireadh gluasadan mòra ann an aonaidheach Alba. Tha am fear aig ceann an fharpais son ceannard nan Tòraidhean Albannach, Murchadh Friseal, ag iarraidh pàrtaidh ùr deas air a’ mheadhan a chur air dòigh ann an Alba, saor o smachd Westminster. Bhitheadh ainm ùr agus lèirsinn eadar-dhealaichte aig a’ phàrtaidh seo le sealladh Albannach air gnothaichean poileataigeach. Chan fheudar ràdh gun toireadh e taic don aonadh chugallach agus cuideachadh do a charaidean Sasannach ann an Westminster. Fhad ‘s a nì Friseal deas Bratach an Aonaidh a shlaodadh sìos bho phrìomh-oifis nan Tòraidhean Albannach agus bratach na h-Alba a chur na àite cheart, sgaoil na Làboraich Albannaich toraidhean an rannsachaidh orra fhèin.

Fhathast leònte an dèidh a chaille duibhe san taghadh, a rèir coltais nì am pàrtaidh am “biggest overhaul in living memory” le Làbor Albannach ga ghearradh fhèin air falbh bho phàrtaidh na RA air gnothaichean Albannach air fad. Am measg mholaidhean eile bidh an ceannas fosgailte do BPA, BP agus BPE an àite dìreach buill na Pàrlamaid Albannaich. Tha iad airson bunait poileataigeach “ùr” a stèidheachadh ann an Dùn Èideann. Feumaidh tu faighneachd – dè tha am pàrtaidh air a bhith dèanamh fad nan deich bliadhnachan mu dheireadh? Fo ìmpidh SNP thug iad a-staigh sgaoileadh-cumhachd, a’ creidsinn gum marbhadh e “nationalism stone dead.” Nach iad bha ceàrr! An àite sgaoileadh-cumhachd a dhèanamh lùthmhor rinn iad an dìcheall bacadh a chur air. Chleachd iad Holyrood mar sgoil-àraich Westminster, dèante follaiseach leis na daoine eòlach a chaidh don deas mar Mhairead Curran, Catrìona NicSheumais is eile. Thèid na molaidhean ùra sin a dheasbad aig co-labhairt pàrtaidh na RA, a’ sealltainn cho mòr fo smachd Lunnainn ‘s a tha iad. Tha duilgheadasan a’ Phàrtaidh a’ cumail orra a chionn ‘s gu bheil na Làboraich ann an Glaschu a’ tuiteam às a chèile uile gu lèir le buidheann chomhairlichean ag iarraidh a sgaradh gus “Glasgow Labour” a chruthachadh.  Gu dualchasach b’ e Glaschu a bh’ ann an Làbor agus vice versa. A-nis fanaidh sinn le geasachd gus am faic sinn dè thig à poll tiugh measgaichte nan Làborach.

Tha mise den bheachd, is gu follaiseach bidh Friseal ag aontachadh, gun ann briseadh air falbh an aon rathad air aghaidh do na Tòraidhean. The am pàrtaidh air a bhith a’ crionadh bho na seasgadan is tha feum aig Alba air caimdeal a ghabhas creidsinn. Saoil an gabh iad?

  

Unionist Mud 

Calum MacKechnie 

Wow! The last few weeks have seen some fundamental shifts in Scottish unionism. The frontrunner for Scottish Conservative leader, Murdo Fraser, wants to set up a new centre-right wing party in Scotland free from Westminster domination. This  party would have a new name and different outlook with a Scottish perspective to political matters. Needless to say it would still support the wavering union and help its English friends in Westminster. As Fraser is preparing to hoist down the Union Jack from Scottish Conservative headquarters and give the saltire its rightful place, Scottish Labour divulged the findings of its internal review.

Still wounded after its catastrophic election defeat the party is apparently to undergo its “biggest overhaul in living memory” seeing Scottish Labour full devolve itself from the UK party on all Scottish matters. Among other proposals the leadership will be open to all Labour MSPs, MPs and MEPs as opposed to just members of the Scottish Parliament. They want to create a “new” political base in Edinburgh. You have to ask - what has the party been doing for the last decade? With SNP pressure they introduced devolution believing it would “kill nationalism stone dead.” How wrong they were! Instead of making devolution a vibrant political process they made a concerted effort to hinder its progress. They treated Holyrood as a nursery school for Westminster, illustrated by many of its prominent figures making the move south such as Margaret Curran, Cathy Jamieson and others. These new proposals are to be debated at its UK party conference, thus demonstrating how Londoncentric they are. The party’s woes continue as Labour in Glasgow is in complete meltdown with a band of disaffected councillors wanting to form a breakaway faction called “Glasgow Labour.” Traditionally Labour was Glasgow and vice versa. Now we all wait with fascination to see what comes out of the thick, churned mud that is Scottish Labour.

I feel and Fraser obviously agrees, that the only way forward for the Conservatives is to break away. The party has been in decline since the 60s and Scotland needs a credible   opposition. I wonder if the Tories will be?

 


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   Newsnet Scotland    
    Reporting Scotland's news, as it happens.


SYNOPSIS

Tuesday 27 December
 
Kevin Stewart MSP

SNP MSP Kevin Stewart, Deputy Convener of the Local Government and Regeneration Committee, today welcomed confirmation that all councils in Scotland have agreed to freeze the council tax for another year.

He said:

"People like what the SNP is doing. In local communities and across the country we have improved front line services and have 1000 extra police officers helping bring down crime rates to their lowest level for 35 years while freezing the council tax - which makes a real difference to people's lives."
 


Wednesday 28 December

Aileen McLeod, SNP MSP and member of the European and External Relations Committee said:  "This is a boomerang attack by George Lyon - which underlines exactly why Scotland needs our own voice and votes at the top table in Europe, instead of being misrepresented by the Tories.

"George Lyon is simply parroting the Lib Dems' Tory masters - when even his own party leader and Deputy Prime Minister believes that the UK's policy of isolation in Europe spells economic disaster.

Aileen MacLeod MSP"When the UK does use its votes in Europe, it regularly does so against Scotland's vital interests - as our farmers and fishermen will testify. It was a previous Tory Government that was revealed believing that Scottish fishermen were 'expendable' against Westminster's wider objectives in Europe.

"An independent Scotland in Europe will have its own voice at the top table, better able to represent Scotland's vital interests and negotiate from a position of strength".

"That is a far better prospectus for Scotland than the Lib Dems' pitiful policy of being led by the nose in Brussels by the Tories."


Tuesday 27 December

Westminster SNP leader Angus Robertson MP has welcomed the news that Alex Salmond has won the prestigious The Times 2011 Briton of the Year award.

The First Minister has rounded off a memorable year, in which the SNP won the first ever majority government at the Scottish Parliament, by taking the prize in a year described by a newspaper not known for its pro-independence stance, as: "2011 -The year of Alex Salmond".

Alex SalmondThe Times also said:

"Mr Salmond demonstrated the electoral appeal of claiming a monopoly upon optimism. He persuaded voters that he was a man of bold vision, a man who, with charisma, would be able to do things differently."

Mr Robertson said that he was delighted with the First Minister's success:

"Alex is a charismatic leader both for Scotland and for the SNP. This award is testament to the ambition of the Scottish people and the hard work of the SNP.

"The First Minster's aim and his drive is to continue moving Scotland forward, and to deliver the long awaited referendum on Independence.

"It has been a remarkable year for the First Minister, the SNP and Scotland but we are well aware of the hard work that lies ahead of us over the coming months and years.

"Alex Salmond and the SNP have put their faith in the people of Scotland which will allow the voters the choice to decide the future when the referendum comes in the second half of the parliamentary campaign.

"As we move closer to the referendum the First Minister and the SNP will engage in a serious and robust debate with everyone who has an interest in moving Scotland forward. The debate will give the people of Scotland the facts they need to decide how they are going to vote on the constitutional future at the referendum on Independence."

NOTES:

First Minister Alex Salmond has also won winning the "Best Politician" award at The Scottish Green Energy Awards

In October, Mr Salmond received the "South Australia International Climate Change Leadership Award" from the government of South Australia.

He also picked up the UK Political Studies Association "Politician of the Year" award.

And Mr Salmond won the Spectator magazine's "Politician of the Year" award, as well as the Herald newspaper's "Politician of the Year" prize.


Tuesday 27 December

Perth and North Perthshire SNP MP Pete Wishart has called on the UK Government to extend its competition and create a new city in each of the nations to mark HM The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012. Under current proposals only one city will be created from the 26 towns which have applied, with a decision expected early in the New Year.

Pete Wishart MPIn a letter to the UK Culture Secretary, Mr Wishart said it was not too late for the competition to be extended and allow the creation of a new city in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as happened during the Golden Jubilee competitions, or create multiple cities as happened in the millennium competition.

Perth’s bid for city status was completed in May 2011 and was personally delivered to the UK Cabinet Office in London by Mr Wishart and Perth and Kinross Provost Dr John Hulbert. The 50-page application detailed the fair city’s claim for the restoration of city status and includes messages of support from a large number of some of Scotland’s most prominent leaders, including the First Minister Alex Salmond.

Perth’s claim is based on its history as Scotland’s first capital and latterly as the official second city of Scotland and the application emphasises its strengths as a growing regional centre within Scotland.

Commenting, Mr Wishart said:

“Creating new cities is a great way to mark Her Majesty’s 60 years on the throne and it should be an opportunity that benefits each of the nations across the UK. There is no reason why this competition should not be extended and it is certainly not too late.

“It is disappointing that the UK Government’s is only offering city status to one candidate from across all of the UK. It would have been far better to initiate separate competitions in each of the nations - as in the Golden Jubilee competitions or multiple cities from across the UK as happened in the millennium competition.

“Perth’s claim is unanswerable, based on its Royal history as a mediaeval capital, where the kings of Scotland lived and were crowned; and on its modern prominence at the centre of one of Scotland’s fastest growing, and most successful local authorities.

“Our bid is backed by the local community, the First Minister of Scotland and all opposition leaders in the Scottish Parliament. It is Scotland’s bid and I know that Perth will be a worthy addition to Scotland’s official cities.

“Even at this late stage, it is not too late for the UK Government to deliver a fairer, truly inclusive competition that matches the ambitions of candidate towns across the UK. The Westminster Government should recognise the distinct civic traditions from each of the nations, and at even this late stage seek to extend this competition to allow a winner from each of the nations across the UK.”
Note:

Details of the competition can be found here:
http://www.culture.gov.uk/news/news_stories/7611.aspx
 


Tuesday 27th December
 
Angus Robertson MPAs the MoD face criticism over cuts to frontline service personnel and basing in Scotland, a parliamentary question by SNP has revealed that the MoD is employing a “battalion” of 690 press and communication officers.

Commenting on the parliamentary answer, SNP Westminster leader and Defence spokesperson Angus Robertson MP said:

“In the wake of cuts by the Ministry of Defence to frontline personnel, the closure of bases and the scrapping of essential conventional equipment programmes, people will be staggered that the same department can justify a whole battalion of press and communication officers.

“Just this month the MoD announced the loss of over 100 civilian jobs at the Army Headquarters in Edinburgh which will hit the local community.

“Even an army of spin doctors cannot justify the crazy defence decisions the UK Government are making which has seen the loss of 10,500 defence jobs in Scotland over the last decade, combined with a defence underspend of £5.6 billion.

“The UK is making really bad decisions for defence in Scotland which leave big capability gaps. We should make better defence decisions in Scotland and not leave it to London.”

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/


Tuesday 27 December 2011

Edinburgh Central SNP MSP Marco Biagi has hailed cross party calls for the Green Investment Bank Political to be located in Edinburgh.

In a letter to UK Business Secretary Vince Cable, Scottish Government Energy Minister Fergus Ewing, Labour's Rhoda Grant, Liberal Democrat Liam McArthur, Conservative Mary Scanlon and Scottish Green Party leader Patrick Harvie have united to make the case for Scotland’s capital to become home of the bank.

The Edinburgh Central MSP says his constituency is recognised around the world as a centre of excellence in financial services.

Mr Biagi said:

Marco Biagi MSP"Edinburgh has a long-established global reputation for financial services excellence and I am delighted that all of Scotland's parties have united behind the bid to locate GIB in the city.

“The quality and skill of the local workforce should be capitalised on – and what better way to do that than allowing them to help make the GIB a success.

"Only last month Edinburgh hosted the Scottish Low Carbon Investment Conference, where former US vice-president Al Gore strongly praised Scotland for its lead on renewable energy.

"When you combine the city’s financial expertise with its work in the low carbon sector you establish the perfect centre for green finance.

"There is cross party commitment to a UK wide Green Investment Bank that will help to direct investment to the industries, improvements and key areas that can and will build a new green economy. A Green Investment bank must be close to the people and industries it is working with, to understand the needs of the industry and the benefits that can come from key investment in the right places.

"Scotland has the energy industry, the financial sector and the green potential to make this the perfect location. We are leading renewables and particularly off shore energy development. The best way to understand what the industry needs to fulfil its potential is to be amongst that industry. These elements - particularly the proximity to companies and individuals actually working at the front line of decarbonising our economy cannot be accessed anywhere else.

"It is time for the UK Government to recognise Holyrood has ticked all the essential boxes to allow it to be located in Edinburgh.

“Scotland is leading the renewables revolution so establishing the centre for green finance in its capital city has enormous potential that cannot be ignored.”
 


Monday 26 December 2011
 
Kenneth Gibson MSPIn the season of peace and goodwill to all, the SNP have seized on growing disunity between Labour and the Tories after a row broke out over the role that the Prime Minister will play in the anti-independence campaign.

A war of words has erupted between the unionist parties and within Labour as Tom Harris MP and Thomas Docherty MP welcome the prospect of sharing a platform with David Cameron while Ian Davidson MP and Jim Murphy MP claim to be against the “toxic” proposal.

Commenting on reports of the row Kenneth Gibson, MSP for Cunninghame North, said:

“It is supposed to be the season of peace and goodwill amongst all, but the unionist campaign is looking decidedly disunited. While David Cameron is welcome to front the anti-independence campaign, it will be interesting to see just how well received he is by the people of Scotland.

“Labour can’t decide if they should cooperate with Tories or not and they can’t even agree amongst themselves – how can they be expected to give a consistent and clear message to the people of Scotland?

“There was reports last week the two main unionist parties were having secret meetings to stop Scotland moving forward, desperately trying to find a common cause to bind them and sell the out of date idea that the status quo is the best thing for Scotland.

“But their private meetings have resulted in public disarray - only the SNP match the ambitions of the Scottish people and we will deliver the referendum on Independence.”


NOTES:
http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/political-news/parties-war-over-pm-referendum-role.1324695973
http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/3936-foi-request-reveals-labour-secret-meetings-with-coalition-ministers-after-snp-victory


Friday 23 December

SNP MSP Paul Wheelhouse has welcomed a promise from Post Office Ltd that a revamp of post offices will not necessarily result in closures.

In a letter to Mr Wheelhouse from Post Office Ltd, the group pledges “there will be no closures” and it “won’t be pressurising anyone to change to one of the new operating models”.
Mr Wheelhouse, SNP MSP for South Scotland, said:

“This is a welcome commitment from Post Office Ltd that I hope will bring a huge relief to many rural sub postmasters and people across Scotland.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP“This means it will be up to individual post sub masters and not be pressurised into undergoing the modernisation.

“But it is still worrying the group is going ahead with its “revamp” which means rural communities still could be affected if the sub postmaster wishes to go ahead with it.

“I agree modernisation needs to be done – but this shouldn’t be to the detriment of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“The SNP is committed to helping our post offices, which is why we have our £1m post office diversification fund to help boost their businesses.

“The letter also said there would be no downgrade in services – which I cautiously welcome. I hope Post Office Ltd can keep these promises and continue to deliver a service that many people heavily depend on.”


 


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