Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Latest King of Scotland

So Joke’s big election idea is to spend, spend, spend on education. There’s no question in my mind that we should increase our education spend not just in Scotland but also right across the country. We seem happier as a nation to pour money into policing the world and getting involved in aid when we should be looking to improve our education system as fast as possible. I’ve always argued that philosophically, our children are our future, and have never understood why we have consistently undervalued this most fundamental of activities.

So if I agree why is he wrong? Well as usual it’s a barely thought through idea, which as part of the manifesto covering all sorts of initiatives, it needs funding. Joke’s response when confronted with, how are you going to pay for it when Scotland’s ‘net income’ is to remain static was to say. “The additional resources available through overall efficiencies in the Scottish budget and the additional resources committed to the spending review by the Chancellor - those resources will be committed to education. That will mean other budgets having to cut their cloth, but it is the right choice for Scotland.” In other words there will be a spending freeze elsewhere so that other departments, it’s assumed, will have their budgets pegged to inflation only rises. Notwithstanding this, Labour said yesterday that Edinburgh would have ’formal capital city status conferred upon it’ AND increased spending.

Now I know that elections are a time for promises, ones that will be almost certainly broken, but to borrow from a comment made about the Joker on an earlier thread. This is all a bit ‘Janet and John’ from the Farce Minister. Is it because he and most of his colleagues have never had a proper job and don’t understand how you run a business? Added to which whenever the Joker’s put under pressure he always looks like he’s making it up as he goes along. Most scarry of all, he was a maths teacher before he became the latest King of Scotland. He even began his speech by saying. "Forty years ago in Lamlash primary school, isle of Arran, I told my primary three teacher I wanted to teach sums." It looks like he going to have to back to school, but not as a teacher.

Afterthought - so bang goes the Waverley Line because the budget has already gone over where it was set and rumour has it that another 20% hike is being 'kept under wraps.'

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