Wednesday, 20 July 2011

RAF Leuchars closure and UK's Defences

Whilst the impact on St Andrews matters locally, the economic implications will be balanced by the use of the base by the army.

The real implications of what the Cameron and Clegg Government, however, is doing is unforgiveable.

From the time he first came forward to lead the Conservatives, in a contest against David Davies, Cameron dismayed me - he showed then in answers to questions about restoring our traditional regiments, that he has a poor grasp of the overall value of the Armed Forces. It is one reason why I left the Conservatives and joined UKIP.

Other politicians have been parochially vigorous but have not put their careers on the line in the defence of the Armed Services overall. This base closure is just another drastic step in a disastrous chain of events which MPS have sat and watched - indeed, condoned.

Coupled with the concept of building aircraftless aircraft carriers, scrapping ships and reducing the Britsih Army to the point where they couldn't fill Wembley Stadium, this new round of cuts puts us in a position now where we will not be able properly to defend the interests and safety of Britons. The Coalition clearly believes our future role is to play a second fiddle within a European Union Force. Holding on to the nuclear deterrent is all that will gives us credibility within that Force. Balance has gone - the impact is greater than any local disruption we may see North East Fife in the base changing from the RAF to the Army. Folk need to look at policies in future and not have simple pavlovian responses when we have the chance to influence, or choose, future governments.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Fife Health Board Experiment going wrong........

It is time to question the value of the elected local Health Board being piloted in Fife.

The Health Board is in charge of NHS Fife - with half its members being elected. This is a move designed to make the Board more accountable to users, more democratic and in tune with local need.

Well, that is falling apart, as far as I am concerned. I have watched in disbelief as the Board has jiggled pharmacy services in Leuchars and Balmullo, going from bad to worse. In an exercise which now seems to me to have been designed to kick the issue into long grass, the Board set up a special sub committee to examine and resolve the question of who gets what pharmacy in this rural part of Fife.

Two appointed board members were joined by two elected members, none of whom, I understand, represents East Fife, to make the important decision to either allow the GPs in Balmullo to have a pharmacy, or not.

The vote against the local plans, supported by the local people, was 3 to 1 against local needs. I don't call that a system designed to represent local views.

UKIP has a policy whereby this is exactly the sort of issue that should be decided by a local referendum - especially where a so-called local board is seen to be biased against local views.