Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Olympic Financial Control? Fallen At The First Hurdle

Some folk may remember that shortly after Christmas, my goat was got by the Labour Party. Specifically, their repeated and tedious claims that the SNP was somehow trying to deprive vulnerable groups of public money, through a reduction in the amount of 'ringfencing' in local government finances.

Never mind that this is also what the Labour Government was doing in England. Never mind that Labour Councillors in Scotland have been queueing up to support the initiative. Homelessness; mental health services; children's services; disabled children and families; Hogmanay celebrations; flood prevention... all at risk from the SNP Barbarians at the gate. Truly, in her desperation to seize the agenda, Wendy Alexander's campaign of scaremongering left no shroud unwaved or ambulance unchased.

How ironic, then, than within the last half hour, Scottish Labour MPs have voted through a measure to divert £675m of further Lottery funding towards the financial black hole that is the London Olympics. Note that that this isn't a hypothetical reallocation of money, but an actual diversion of resources which would otherwise have gone to benefit some of our most needy communities.

Scottish Labour's claim to a monopoly of concern in matters of social justice has always been a complete fraud. Hopefully, it's now there for all to see. And how sad that in backing the government on this matter, the Tories and Lib Dems have elected to hide behind the flimsiest of figleaves - a government 'assurance' that this will be the last raid on Lottery cash to pay for the Olympics.

Hmmm. And the band played believe it if you like...

No comments: