Wednesday, 18 September 2013
Switched On Scotland?
Once the leaves start to fall so start the political circuses generally referred to as the 'conference season'.
This week the LibDems are doing a grand job of tearing their coalition partners and colleagues apart and from the few speeches I've managed to read to their conclusions, it would appear most are fighting something - either to keep their job or to grab someone else's.
I've attended two political party conferences in my life. Both were many years ago now and in the days when SNP members did debate matters. Nowadays, partially due to the wonder of television, party conferences are tightly staged managed.
Was it at an SNP conference that the party agreed to this policy? The document is entitled 'Switched On Scotland' and it reveals the Scottish Government's dream of making Scotland's cities free from the 'damaging effects of petrol and diesel fumes' by 2050 with an 'almost complete decarbonisation of the road transport sector'.
In the words of the friend who brought this to my attention: "Are the SNP hell bent on destroying themselves?"
Seeing images of Keith Brown and Gordon McGregor (the Energy and Environmental Director of Scottish Power) in the Foreword is surely enough to turn most Scots into cynics. For those like myself who are of a cynical nature, it may take some strength to read the propaganda, but it's all there: 'improve local air quality', 'public heath and wellbeing', 'energise Scotland's economy through opportunities for flourishing green technology industries".
I don't want an electric car and I've yet to meet anyone who does. The Scottish Government is now investing £14m ridding itself of all its petrol and diesel vehicles which will be replaced by electric models.
In the past few weeks I've had more than my fair share of 'energy efficiency' companies telephoning to tell me I'm eligible for one of the 'new' grants. I can have a ground air system or an air to air system but not one would discuss the actual cost to me. As I said to one young woman who was grimly determined to finish her sales spiel, "There's never a free lunch." Sadly she didn't understand my meaning.
The job creation target in the renewable sector was blasted by the Auditor General last week and I can't see it improving much in the coming years because we will continue to import equipment and expertise.
Local councils complain about their city centres dying, but if council car parks are to be turned into 'charging ports' then fossil fuel drivers will go elsewhere.
Earlier in this post I mentioned the word 'dream'. Hopefully this policy stays in the SNP's dreamland because if it doesn't it will cause them more than a few nightmares; one being a rapid loss of supporters. This is a vanity project too far and should be switched off immediately.