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Pure propaganda from Labour

THE letter last week from Councillor Ross Martin, educational spokesperson of Cosla, illustrates why Labour is faring so badly in Scotland. It is an undiluted piece of Labour party propaganda, regurgitating the Government line on the glories of the comprehensive spending review. As I indicated in the piece he is criticising, which I contributed for the Scottish Liberal Democrats, where there are genuine real-term increases in money for education these are welcome. The Government is good at presenting financial proposals to make it look as if there is growth where little or none exists.

Cosla conveners should be probing the reality behind the window-dressing of Government announcements. Cosla officials did expose the problems posed for councils by the Labour Government persisting with the planned Tory cuts in council budgets for the current year.

Their political spokespeople said little. They should seek answers to questions about how the admitted cuts in many council departments' budgets will affect vital services, how the parts of the education service whose budget is not specifically increased will fare and how best to use those genuine budget increases.

The contrast between their strident response to previous Tory cuts and their muted response to Tory cuts imposed by a Labour Government was striking.

Cosla remains a Labour poodle, a poodle which did not bark at the Government publicists. It is sad that Mr Martin and his Labour colleagues place their loyalty to the Labour party and their hopes of office in the Scottish parliament above their duty to fight for good educational and other vital council services.

Donald Gorrie Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson on education House of Commons, London

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