Government let Grangemouth down

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With the closure of the Grangemouth petrochemical complex the SNP has lost any chance of being taken seriously as a party to govern an independent Scotland.

Surely this was a time to “man up” and take a leadership role in encouraging the unions to accept that compromises have to be considered in this time of austerity.

To appear to give the unions some hope by talking of there being buyers around for a plant losing millions of pounds a month is at best disingenuous.

And what of other firms and individuals whose employment is linked to the Grangemouth plant?

With the closure of the mining industry in West Lothian the expansion of the petrochemical industry in Grangemouth in the 1960s changed the lives of many in the area who exchanged dangerous jobs in the pits for well paid jobs in a “clean” industry.

Have their sons and grandsons forgotten this?

Nina Mair

India Street

Edinburgh

AMidst the problems at the Grangemouth plants, it is apparent that there is no perception of where governmental responsibility really lies. While it serves the interests of the First Minister Alex Salmond to appear to be in the lead on the issue, he has no responsibility, because matters of both employment and the Scottish economy were reserved to Westminster in the devolution settlement.

Nor does the Secretary of State for Scotland have any locus. We should all be aware by now that no real job attaches to that title, so there is no point in his insinuating himself into the proceedings, albeit belatedly.

Responsibility comes within Whitehall: in the Treasury and the Department of Work and Pensions. Yet we have heard nothing from their ministers in the sphere of business, the economy or employment. Although the news about the closure of the petrochemical plant came out two hours prior to Prime Minister’s Questions at noon on Wednesday, no MP saw fit to raise the issue.

Regarding the regrettable loss of jobs, the unemployment and other benefits will fall upon the relevant UK department.

All of this has occurred under the auspices of the Union. While it is difficult to visualise the course of events had we been independent, it is feasible that with the close proximity of full powers residing at Holyrood, there could have been a more acceptable negotiated outcome

Douglas R Mayer

Thomson Crescent

Currie

If the Scottish Government has the same success finding a buyer for the refinery as it did in saving Hall’s of Broxburn, such a demonstration of competence will surely be the last nail in the Yes campaign’s coffin.

Magnus K Moodie

Boswall Terrace

Edinburgh

That the SNP might consider nationalising the Grangemouth refinery is absolutely par for the course; the clue is in the N in SNP, ie National. The SNP, rightly or wrongly, still views the oil in the waters off Scotland as a national, albeit finite, resource and likewise it apparently regards the refinery in the same way. I can hear faint echoes of the old Nationalist war cry, “It’s Scotland’s oil”, all over again.

The same is true of the utilities in Scotland. After all, according to the Nationalists, Scotland is rich in renewables, hence their profligate spending in subsidies to the foreign firms that manufacture the wasteful wind turbines that despoil our countryside. Based on what could yet happen at Grangemouth it is almost certain that, should independence occur, in addition to oil and gas, the energy supply companies could be nationalised as well and, given the way these companies treat the consumers, who would raise a voice in dissent? Certainly not the general public.

Brian Allan

Keith Street

Kincardine-on-Forth

It is a weakness of SNP thinking that those in charge assume everyone sees the glorious future of an independent Scotland as they do.

It will be – in their minds – a place where nothing goes wrong, and everything falls effortlessly into place for the success of their plans. Grangemouth is but a small example of what actually happens in the real world. The way our First Minister deals with it will tell us a lot.

Malcolm Parkin

Gamekeepers Road

Kinnesswood, Kinross