ALEX Salmond has been accused of using his final days in power to sell out Scotland, after Dutch rail operator Abellio was awarded the contract to run ScotRail services from April 2015.
The pertinent question here is, what would British labour in Scotland have done differently? And the answer is, absolutely nothing. The Scottish Government is constrained by tendering rules laid down by the UK government and was obliged to award the rail franchise to the best bidder. No other government could have done anything else.
In fact, the Scottish Government has done rather well to secure the deal that it has. The living wage; no compulsory redundancies and improvements to rolling stock are all worthwhile gains that will benefit workers and travellers alike.
What we are seeing here is, not the government being held to account by a “loyal opposition” looking after the interests of Scotland’s people, but the petty and pointless sniping of a political clique entirely focused on its own interests.
One of the predictions made prior to the referendum was that, in the event of a No vote, the British establishment would seek to undermine the Scottish Parliament in various ways. It was further forecast that the British parties at Holyrood would play an active role in the effort to bring Scotland’s democratic institutions into disrepute. We might claim Johann Lamont’s contemptible conduct as evidence of this anti-parliamentarian campaign, but for the fact that it is indistinguishable from the small-minded, partisan ineptitude that has characterised the opposition in the Scottish Parliament since the SNP took power in 2007.
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