Tuesday, 24 March 2009

You can't trust the SNP, part 4,937

No, I'm not referring to today's news that teacher numbers in Scotland have fallen by almost a thousand, in contrast to the SNP's pledge in 2007 to maintain teacher numbers. That's just a Gnat manifesto promise and I think we all know by now that they're not meant to be taken seriously.

What I'm actually looking at is the way that some Gnats refuse to accept reality when the Government reverses yet another policy.

Take, for example, the debate on forestry in the Scottish Parliament last week following the abandonment of the Gnats' plan to lease out up to a third of Scotland's forests, and in particular the contribution from Highlands and Islands Gnat member Dave Thomson.

In it, the Edinburgh-based MSP launches an extraordinary tirade against the Lib Dems for supposedly misleading people about the nature of the Government's proposals, claiming they only applied to forests in the south and west of Scotland and that we were scaremongering when we pointed out the effects they could have on forests in the Highlands.

It's a magnificent attack, marred only by one small issue: the official briefing document on the subject makes absolutely no mention of the leasing proposal being confined to the south and west of Scotland. It's quite clear that the leasing plan was one for national consideration.

Now, I'm not going to suggest that Mr Thomson was lying through his teeth. Nor am I going to say that he's obviously so blinded by his hatred for the Lib Dems that he can't even think straight. I'm not even going to suggest that he's too stupid to be an MSP.

But I do think it's quite extraordinary that someone who lives only a few hundred yards from Craig Phadrig forest in Inverness hasn't bothered to keep himself informed about basic issues about the future management of it - and then is daft enough to launch an attack on others when we point out possible problems with his government's proposals.

Mr Thomson, you can be the Gnats' attack dog if you wish. But just make sure you're not barking up the wrong tree in future.

UPDATE: Whoops - delete all instances of 'Thomson' and replace with 'Thompson'. Although some might suggest it's actually the Gnat MSP who's been taking the p.

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