Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Statement By Anne Moffat..............

This statement has just been released by Anne Moffat.  I wonder how long it will take the First Minister to slip any of this into his response at FMQ's?

I am deeply saddened that my service to East Lothian Constituency has come to an end in such distressing and appalling circumstances.
Firstly, may I say that it has been a privilege and a pleasure to serve this constituency and to be in a position to know that through my work and the work of my office team we have been able to help so many individuals who have sought assistance.
Regrettably, the manner in which I have been treated by so called comrades and labour party activists leaves me with a sense of disbelief that such conduct is prevalent in a democratic socialist party.

I want to take this opportunity to publicly put on record my absolute conviction that I have been the victim of systematic and sustained bullying at all levels of the Labour Party. I have never been asked to provide any evidence of this behaviour but I can assure everyone that I have never claimed anything which I could not evidence and substantiate. A bullying culture exists at all levels within the Labour Party. By simple example on Tuesday morning the NEC endorsed the decision taken to remove me as candidate. Immediately the NEC position was declared, I was contacted by representatives of the media to ask for my comments on the decision.
Unbelievably, at the time of this press release I have yet to be formally notified of the NEC decision.
The meeting last Friday was shameful to the Labour movement. The contributions of individuals during the meeting were vicious and slanderous.

Sadly there are no politics left within East Lothian Labour Party, only personal spites and divisions. I wish Iain Gray had the strength to unite the Party but I doubt it. My sympathy lies with the voters of East Lothian who now have only two choices….. a bitter and divided Labour Party or the Tories?

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Edinburgh Trams - The Debacle Continues

I drive in Edinburgh a lot, and like everyone else, I'm fed up with the tram works.  Today Edinburgh Trams Board issued this press release:

Edinburgh Trams Board Updates City on negotiations

This update follows a meeting of the Edinburgh Trams Board today.

The Board noted formally its profound disappointment with the lack of progress by the consortium (with the exclusion of CAF the contractor responsible for the manufacture and delivery of the vehicles) against the expected progress.

The Board also expressed deep concern that the latest revised programme provided by the contractor Bilfinger Berger proposes an additional delay to the original programme which would extend this by a further 30 months from now to a completion date of January 2014. This was deemed to be entirely unacceptable by the Board, as was an unqualified increase in cost.

At the meeting, the Board reviewed options in order to achieve the delivery of the trams. The Chairman acknowledged the frustration being experienced by the many stakeholders across the City:

“My concerns and those of my fellow directors are for the people of Edinburgh who have continued to suffer from these seemingly endless delays. I am genuinely not in a position to talk in detail about the confidential aspects of today’s meeting – this is for reasons of commercial sense. However I can say that today we have been presented with a series of options by the management team. We have had a full and constructive discussion around these options and have a clear sense of what we need to do to achieve the best possible outcome. We have also been reassured that the basis on which we intend to move forward is fully justified and that the enhanced rigour requested by the Board earlier this year has been followed to the letter.

At the meeting the Board reviewed our legal and commercial advice and the findings from a set of specially commissioned audits on the consortium’s progress. The meeting addressed the key issues in detail and concluded with an instruction to the management team to continue to apply rigorously the legal terms of the contract to the contractor including and taking into account fully their actions to date. While the board will continue to seek a reasonable negotiated outcome to all matters in dispute, the clients’ rights will be strenuously safeguarded.

Our stakeholders are entirely unified in the resolution to apply the full terms of the contract.

“As soon as there is more to say publicly, we will provide that information. Our priority, and that of our partners, remains the delivery of a 21st Century integrated public transport system, that represents good value and which Scotland’s Capital City deserves. This we will do.”

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Leaders Debate

The SNP have threatened to review their broadcasting policy after it was announced that Alex Salmond would not be taking part in the General Election leaders debates.

Who cares?

Minimum Pricing Fail?

In what could prove to be a fatal blow to the SNP's flagship minimum pricing, the European Court of Justice has ruled today that the minimum pricing of tobacco in Austria, Ireland, and France violates EU law.

Obviously, this refers to tobacco and not alcohol, but I'd suggest that a similar result would be forthcoming if a similar case was brought for alcohol.

The opinion on this does seem to have ebbed and flowed, but this may well be the final straw.