IAIN Gray’s cheap, ill-informed diatribe in the Perspective section yesterday is nothing more than blatant electioneering for the Glasgow Labour Party, putting party politics above the city he professes to love.
The timing of his attack is laughable.
Edinburgh was this month announced as Best Large City of the Future and Best Large City for Foreign Direct Investment Strategy, as well as receiving awards for Economic Potential, Quality of Life, and Business Friendliness from the Financial Times’ Foreign Direct Investment magazine. These accolades follow a long string of triumphs of the Liberal Democrat/SNP administration in the city.
Iain suggests that Edinburgh was a “beneficiary” of the Green Investment Bank. That’s insulting to Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, the Scottish Cities Alliance, Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Universities and other private and public partners, including Glasgow City Council, which all supported Edinburgh’s bid for the good of the nation.
The benefits of this collaborative approach are already being enjoyed with 800 new jobs announced last week, when Spanish renewables giant Gamesa chose Leith for a new wind turbine plant.
New styles of bank, such as Tesco Bank and Virgin Money, have chosen to headquarter their operations in Edinburgh. Innovative companies, such as Avaloq, have chosen Edinburgh. Amazon has set up a customer service centre here. This reflects widespread confidence in Edinburgh.
Indeed, under the Liberal Democrat/SNP administration, foreign direct investment into Edinburgh last year totalled £530 million, compared with Glasgow’s £320m.
Iain Gray does Edinburgh a disservice by talking down Scotland’s successful capital city. Perhaps the desperation of his own majority in East Lothian being slashed from nearly 2,500 to 151 votes last year obscures his views.
Labour has, in recent weeks, haemorrhaged councillors and lost its overall majority in Glasgow.
If that’s what Iain considers the “drive, determination and direction” of “dynamic optimism”, the longer the Labour Party remains out of government the better.
• Jenny Dawe is Liberal Democrat leader of Edinburgh City Council.