Saturday, 7 April 2012

Labour find lost steel plant?

While rowing down the River Twitter today with a few chums I encountered some outrage about a council election leaflet being distributed by "Scottish" Labour in North Lanarkshire. Curious as to what the fuss was all about, I dispatched a member of my dedicated research team to secure a copy of said local election literature. By which I of course mean that I asked somebody to email me pictures. They did. And I'm duly grateful.

I can also see what what was the cause of the fuss. The leaflet in question makes the bold claim that, "Labour would use Lanarkshire steel" in the construction of the Forth Replacement Crossing. A remarkable promise - not least due to the fact that the supply contracts for fabricated steel which they are promising to bring to Lanarkshire have already been awarded to firms in Poland, Spain and China.

We might be forgiven for wondering by what authority "Scottish" Labour councillors might be empowered to arbitrarily rip up these contracts. We might also ask of them what part of the council's budget they plan to set aside to cover the inevitably substantial penalties that would surely be incurred.

But wait! There are even bigger questions that Labour must evade answer. Not least the small matter of where in Lanarkshire they intend to source the 50,000 or so tonnes of fabricated steel involved. Up until now the rest of us had been under the impression that the necessary production capacity simply did not exist in North Lanarkshire, or in Scotland. In part, at least, we came to this conclusion because no firms in Scotland had troubled themselves to tender for these very lucrative contracts as might reasonably have been expected if they existed and were capable.

As Transport Scotland stated,
No Scottish firms bid to supply the huge amount of raw steel required by a project of this scale... - Steel suppliers announced on new Forth Crossing
And later re-stated for the benefit of the terminally confused,
It was confirmed that Tata Steel only played "an indirect" role in tendering for the supply of steel plate for the project. Contrary to misleading speculation, there were no Scottish bids for FCBC’s steel fabrication subcontracts. Tata Steel’s plant in Motherwell manufactures steel plate, it is not a steel fabricator. - Statement on behalf of Minister for Transport Keith Brown and Tata Steel

But it appears that "Scottish" Labour, in a plot straight out of an Indiana Jones movie, has discovered the long-lost phantom steel plant of Brigadoon, which was previously thought to be mere myth.

Or have they? We must await the next instalment to find out.


  1. I remember them fighting tooth and nail for something but I think it was their expenses that they fought so valiantly for,because they gave up on the Lanarkshire Steelmen quite quickly.At the same time they also lost integrity and honesty,in my opinion that is.

  2. well labour are kinda out of touch, maybe they haven't clicked that ravenscraig and dalziell are shut now.

    1. Or maybe they're just plain dishonest. What is striking, however, is the brazenness of this dishonesty. They simply don't seem able to conceive of their lies being challenged.

  3. It's funny you should say this. It reminded me of this File on 4 which I heard ( ), where they speak to a man named John Paul McHugh, a union leader at the Tata Steel works in Motherwell, and he claims that Tata were bidding to supply one third of the 40,000 tonnes of steel being used in the new bridge.

    It is hard to tell who is lying here. Politicians, the BBC or the union rep.

    1. The Tata plant is a plate mill. They do not produce fabricated steel. There is simply no getting away from that fact.

  4. So is it labor force who make it shut down? I'm confused.