Thursday, February 19, 2009

Retaining No Credibility

I see that the Scottish Lib Dems have set up another of those one-off websites. This time, it's to 'campaign' to retain the UK opt-out of the European Working Time Directive in respect of retained firefighters.

Personally, I’m full of admiration for the work the retained do on our behalf. Without their willingness to put themselves on call at all hours, large parts of Scotland simply couldn’t have the levels of professional fire cover which they enjoy at present. If this opt-out were to end, it would mean the closure of smaller stations, which would mean that vital response times to incidents would increase, placing lives at risk.

However, I can't help but wonder why, if the Lib Dems are as concerned as they claim to be about the impact of this change, did their MEPs manage to split and vote both for and against removing the opt out when the vote was held on 17 December 2008? And why, given the particular impact on Scotland, did the solitary Scottish Lib Dem MEP, Elspeth Attwool, vote to remove the opt-out herself?

People are used to the Lib Dems facing both ways depending on who their audience is. On an issue as serious as this, shouldn't they be offering us a united front? Perhaps more to the point, isn't it the height of hypocrisy to be stating that you stand for one thing in Scotland, while voting for precisely the opposite in Europe?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Labour isn't much better either.

You might like to see a list of Labour's latest spin

With these follow ups.

Glasgow Labour's school policy

Iain Gray undermined