08 February 2007

Taking a toll

The issue of tolls on the Forth and Tay Bridges is the big one in Holyrood today, and has already claimed a victim: Scott Barrie (Lab, Dunfermline West) has resigned as a Labour Party whip, obviously as a prelude to voting with the for their abolition in contravention with Executive policy. It remains to be seen how the other Fife Labour and LibDem MSPs will vote - they have gone on the record in the past as opposing tolls, but don't want to hand the SNP an easy victory. Again, this is madness: better to inflict a defeat on the Executive, than to support a policy unpopular with your constituents and risk defeat in May, surely?

Also, the Greens are an unknown quantity: they obviously support tolls as a means of keeping car use down, but it's unclear as yet whether they will support the Executive. If they do, then Labour and the LibDems win the day hands down: they win the vote, and their MSPs in Fife get to rebel, safe in the knowledge that they've voted how their constituents probably want them to, and also in the knowledge that the Lab/Lib/Green majority can absorb it.

1 comment:

Mark McDonald said...


The Executive will have calculated that they can afford to lose the votes of the Fife MSPs, and the Greens will abstain to negate this and thus allow them to win the vote.

It's all a contrivance at the end of the day.