Scottish Labour's confusion and hypocrisy
- Published on Monday, 17 December 2012 10:01
- Posted by Vicki Mitchem
The confusion and hypocrisy that runs through the Labour party in Scotland has been laid bare by a letter from Helen Eadie MSP publicly contradicting statements previously made by Anas Sarwar MP and Ken Macintosh MSP.
Both senior Labour politicians have attacked the Scottish Government's use of Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) to help make the case for Amazon to bring a significant volume of jobs to Fife.
However, in a letter to European Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Helen Eadie called for the option of using RSA to bring large companies to less prosperous parts of Scotland to be maintained, citing Amazon's decision to invest in Fife as a positive example.
Meanwhile, Labour in Wales has in the past provided a grant reported to be in the region of £6 million to Amazon to bring significant numbers of jobs into Wales.
This inherent contradiction in position is a major embarrassment for the Labour party, raising questions over what the party's position actually is.
Commenting, SNP MSP Annabelle Ewing said:
"This is a major embarrassment for the Labour party, revealing a split between the leadership and their backbenches.
"It speaks volumes about the determination of senior people in Labour to turn anything and everything into a political attack on the SNP, while ignoring the voices of people on the ground.
"Helen Eadie is entirely right to point out that the jobs that employers like Amazon bring to places like Fife are incredibly important.
"Perhaps instead of rushing to make unthinking attacks, Anas Sarwar or Ken Macintosh should have asked the many people who have benefited from these new jobs whether they thought using RSA to bring Amazon to Fife was the right thing to do.
"Did they even consult their party colleague Helen Eadie as the constituency MSP for the affected area before making their ludicrous attacks?
"Did they speak to their colleagues in Welsh Labour who in the past have also used grants to bring jobs from Amazon to Wales? Or did they simply charge in to make a ludicrous attack on the Scottish Government without stopping to think about the internal divisions it would create?
"If Labour was genuinely concerned about Westminster's inability to ensure that companies pay their taxes, then they would be arguing for Scotland to gain the power to collect corporation tax.
"The simple fact is that Labour's attacks have been exposed as utterly hollow and have only laid bare the confusion and hypocrisy that runs through the senior ranks of the party."