While it may be altruistic for Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont to demand an explanation for the £50,000 spent on Alex Salmond’s trip to the USA seeking opportunities for job creation here (your report, 24 January), it could be regarded as an investment if it has brought £100 million into Scotland.
However, the economy, employment and benefits are reserved to Westminster. That means if there are jobs coming here – and they should have arrived by now, two years later – the income tax they generate is shipped off to the UK Treasury.
But it would not matter what initiative Alex Salmond took to create jobs, the credit would be claimed by the coalition. At Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday, David Cameron laid claim to the recent increases in employment in Scotland.
It’s a pity Mr Salmond did not adopt that ground, in which case he would have won hands down, because it is these circumstances that make the case for independence, and force Labour on to the back foot to justify the absurdity of it all.
Douglas R Mayer