Friday, 27 March 2009

What does "brick for brick" actually mean?

Yesterday at FMQ's Iain Gray asked Alex Salmond to take responsibility for the lack of delivery by Education Minister Fiona Hyslop.

The latest admission by Hyslop, that there are 1000 fewer teachers in Scotland's schools than a year ago is bad enough.

But the SNP has already abandoned it promise of reducing class sizes in P1-P3 to 18.

As for the SNP's promise to match Labour's school building programme "brick-for-brick": it is a disgrace and a disaster. Not one new school has been commissioned since the SNP came to power.

Meanwhile Fiona Hyslop and Alex Salmond travel the country opening the latest of the almost 200 schools that Labour commissioned and built, and shamelessly basking in the reflected glory of the achievements of others.

This is more than just another party-political bunfight. The education of our children is a key to our future prosperity. The provision of new and efficient buildings in which teachers can teach and children can learn is vital to this process. The non-delivery of new schools is a crime against a whole generation of youngsters, and the Scottish Nationalists should be ashamed of their failure to deliver such a basic requirement of any competent administration.

Two weeks ago, three junior ministers were sacked. I don't know how competent or otherwise they were, but it seems to me that Ms Hyslop's incompetence is so great, and she is so close to the First Minister, that it gives her a paradoxical protection from the the fate which she surely deserves.

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