Scottish Transport Minister resigns over weather fiasco

Stewart Stevenson's head rolled today. Well, I said somebody's should, but only time and a thorough public enquiry will tell who is responsible for the pathetic logisitical failures of the last week. The colossal failure of Scotland's government to deal with the effects of the weather is shameful. It seems that wherever the public sector is involved, it's default position is to give up. I reprint an email from my local council in reply to my query as to why the rubbish bins have been ignored for two weeks, and it is so breathtaking in its apathy and equivocation that it is meaningless:

Waste Services are currently trying to reinstate refuse and recycling collections where roads have been treated and access is available.  Please put out your bins, excess bags and recycling boxes on your normal collection day only.  Our aim is to catch-up on collections by the end of next week where possible  
I'll say it again. If Dr Weasel can drive 14 miles in a saloon car to the ERI and my coalman can get through in a lorry to deliver coal, why not the bin men, who have at most a three mile journey. And why miss the collection for TWO weeks?

Edinburgh was full of calf deep slush for several days running with no clearance scheme to be seen. Buses were just cancelled, with no warning, across the board, leaving thousands of commuters stranded. And of course there were the motorways, with drivers being stranded for hours, some overnight, in their cars. Nobody appeared to be cogniscent of the fact that people were cold, hungry and probably wanting a pee. Stuff happens of course. The weather has been remarkably bad. But that did not stop Mr Stevenson conveniently leaving out the fact in his statement to the Scottish Government that he had been sent a severe weather warning the night before the chaos occurred.

Annabel Goldie MSP, Scottish Conservative leader, said: "This is not a time for subterfuge and spin – it beggars belief for the SNP to selectively quote from Met Office reports to back up the pretence that Monday's snow was 'unforecasted'." (Scotsman)

Aunty Annabel certainly does not mince her words.

How could it have been handled differently? Well for a start, the minister responsible might have been working full-time to make sure that as much could be done as possible. It seems he did not. Neither did he declare some kind of emergency for, emergency it was. One source of the traffic congestion was a series of heavy vehicles that had blocked the roads. I want to know why it took several hours to clear them and why the police simply closed off escape roads and asked people to stay in their cars. It's easy to sit in a chair and slag everybody off, but I cannot help wondering why nobody appears to have taken charge early on.


Jim said...

Thank God. His constituents have been screaming for him to go for years.
Good that the cold got him in the end. He pushed through the ludicrous climate bill that will waste billions in the future while old folk freeze to death. Jim Mather is in Cancun sucking up to the Malawian president and other despots promising to save them from global warming so might get the job. Bunch of SNP pricks.

Jim said...

The SNP's Jim Mather talks to some one party one religion despots in order to save the planet ..

Dave said...

I saw this on t'internet and wondered how the author managed to get it on the BBC site.
After all the Beeb and the Met Office are both co-conspirators in the great AGW scam that will cost us our money and ultimately our freedom.

"December 1981 was the snowiest and coldest of the last century but the way things are looking, this December could turn out to be the coldest since 1894 when Queen Victoria was on the throne! "

I notice that they were trotting out the excuse of the cost preventing them having more snowploughs, etc. They'd have based their future requirements on information supplied by the Met Office, who are convinced that it's getting warmer and snow will be a thing of the past, so no doubt they told the government not to bother replacing the snow ploughs and gritters as they came up for renewal.

As I keep saying, we have more to fear from the cold than the warm