Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Prof 'Red' Midsummer

Well, well, well. It hasn't taken Visiting Prof 'Red' Midsummer long to come out of the woodwork to launch his post election campaign to make Scotland ungovernable by our duly elected government. As many will know, Red was the member of the Academy who, in the run up to the May election, offered up the highly objective academic opinion that "the SNP is not fit to govern" (love the picture). Not content with bringing the Academy into disrepute by such self-evidently politically motivated rhetoric, Red has now proposed (Scotsman, 12 June) that the Standing Orders of the Scottish Parliament should be changed to enable "...committees to be allowed to make amendments [to the budget] rather than make [non-binding] recommendations". This would, of course, rob the governing party of the right to set Scottish spending priorities to the extent that these did not chime with the majority on any specific committee. But wait - has Red considered the melee that will ensue should his latest attempt to undrermine Scottish democracy be accepted? There are to be 15 Commitees in the new Parliament, which gives scope for 15 non-coordinated revised budget proposals. To say that financial chaos would ensue is to put it mildly. But, of course, that is quite probably precisely his aim. I so much wish that Red would simply accept his retirement from active service and surrender the title (sic) that the ever-fawning former Labour spin-doctor Peter MacMahon bestows upon him at every turn - Scotland's leading public spending expert...doesn't seem that smart to me.

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