Right of Reply: Donald Dewar
The Secretary of State for Scotland responds to a recent article by Deborah Orr
Monday 15 February 1999
I am grateful for the tribute to Scotland's optimism, but found it difficult to follow her argument. I do not recommend an early return to Wishaw, given her spectacularly unkind description of that town.
She is entitled to her thoughts, but Scotland is not heading for full blown recession if there is not a further cut in interest rates within weeks. Nor can Scotland on any fair basis be described as finding itself "in an industrial slump which is 10 times worse than that of the rest of the United Kingdom".
Of course, Scotland cannot be insulated from the world's economic problems, and manufacturing industry does face difficult times. But Ms Orr should recognise that jobs are also being created in Scotland and around 20,000 more are in work than was the case one year ago. Can I draw her attention to the headline in the recent Bank of Scotland report - "Demand strengthens in service sector in January. Rate of decline in manufacturing continues to ease" - not quite in tune with her version of the industrial equivalent of Apocalypse Now.
Apparently, in the pubs there is nowt but talk of the "fabulously vocal booing" in protest against job losses that greeted me on a trip to Ibrox, where Rangers play. It's a little puzzling as I haven't been there for some five months. The score that day was 0-0 and I don't recall any booing, fabulous or otherwise. Still, it's nice to be remembered. Very flattering indeed, but I fear without foundation, even if a splendid piece of whimsy.
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Academy criticised after no non-white actors nominated
tvAn expose of hooliganism masquerading as an ideological battle
artLee Hadwin can't draw when he's awake, but by night he's an artist
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 4 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
- 5 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Ed Sheeran texts Noel Gallagher to offer him tickets after that Wembley Stadium rant
Blink-182 split: Tom Delonge is 'disrespectful and ungrateful' say Travis Barker and Mark Hoppus
Emma Watson to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' rediscovered after 35 years
Sia apologises for 'Elastic Heart' music video that sees Shia LaBeouf wrestle 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia