Thursday, 5 March 2009

Quiet news day so. . .

Today seems a quiet news day as we wait for the results of the count for the Edinburgh University Students Association elections.   I did take a call from ITN who were looking to do a programme on Sir Fred Goodwin's local connections in the community.  No contribution from me except to say that whilst
  • the culture of bonuses rewarding failure must change and
  • the conduct of some bank executives (including Sir Fred) deserves further investigation to ascertain what evidence there is of them breaking the law
the current attempt to focus attention on his large pension is a distraction and wrong.   The law applies both ways - and if he was awarded a pension, the contract should be honoured.  We need better (not more) regulation and a witch-hunt  and media frenzy is just what we do not need.   It's not that I don't have some sympathy with ITN in their current difficulties, I just have no desire to be part of dishing the dirt on Sir Fred.

The 25th anniversary of the beginning of the miners strike led me to call Radio Scotland on the Morning Extra programme this morning.  Having been on the picket lines (in my former life as a policeman) at Bilston Glen at the time, I just had to object to the repeated contempt of some very brave people who went to work in the face of extraordinary intimidation and bullying.   To hear the presenter and some contributers again and again contemptuously label them as 'scabs' needed a bit of balance.   The programme was remarkable for the number of times the current economic downturn (and most of Scotland's other ills) were blamed on Mrs Thatcher.  We Scots need to move on.


Anonymous said...

"we Scots need to move on" but no rebuttal of Thatcherite policy having been bad for the nation?

CR said...

The blaming of Thatcher as the source of 'everything wrong' was really striking. Top of the litany was 1) closing the pits (when we now have to import coal), 2) destroying our manufacturing base and 3)the poll tax. Time does not allow a fuller response. . . but 1) the mines were being run in a unsustainable way. The undemocratic NUM took an all or nothing approach. Mrs T was hardly responsible for the intransigent strategy of the NUM with its contempt for the rule of law. 2) I am not sure I have seen any other model of dealing with the inefficiencies which brought Britain to the brink of anarchy and bankruptcy 30 years ago - other than to address them. Besides, it is 19 years since Mrs Thatcher resigned. 3. Along with many others I believe the poll tax would have been a much fairer tax. Of course, I don't believe everything done was right but your assumption seems to be that I must rebut her. Actually, I think her overall legacy for the UK was very positive - and on the world stage, her influence on the biggest issue of the second half of C20, the Cold War, was one of towering good.

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