Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

Every week, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore writes a column for newspapers in his Borders constituency. Here’s this week’s edition. 

The Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Torch

Despite the wet, windy weather, I am glad to say that the Diamond Jubilee celebrations last week were a great success here in the Borders and across the UK. It was great to see so many local communities getting together to congratulate the Queen on 60 years serving the country, making it an extremely memorable and enjoyable occasion. From one historic event to another, last week’s celebrations follow swiftly onto the arrival of the Olympic torch in the Borders this week. Yesterday the flame passed through Eddleston, Peebles, Innerleithen, Walkerburn, Selkirk, Galashiels, Earlston, Gordon, Greenlaw, Duns, Chirnside and Foulden and I know that Borderers will give it a warm and enthusiastic welcome.

The people of Scotland have already given the Olympic torch relay a fantastic reception as it arrived in the country last week. The Olympics is an event for the whole of the UK and the reaction of people in Scotland shows that we are right behind it. With less than 50 days to go, that excitement will continue to build and I look forward to being part of the crowd lining the streets today to welcome the torch to the Borders.

 The Eurozone

There continues to be a huge amount of concern surrounding the stability of the Eurozone with news last week that Spain’s banks are to receive a £100 billion loan to stay afloat. The UK has an overwhelming interest in the securing of a healthy Eurozone with local businesses, growth and jobs here in the Borders relying on our neighbours’ stability and security. For this reason, I believe that the UK needs to be fully engaged in helping our European partners resolve their problems. This is the right thing to do as a responsible member of the international community but more importantly, helping resolve the crisis will help avoid the huge repercussions that a Eurozone collapse could have on the British economy.

Here in the UK we are putting our own house in order, but we now need the Eurozone to do the same. 3.5 million British jobs depend on the EU economy, and 40% of our exports go to the Eurozone. This is why I am supporting efforts to end the crisis which is so damaging to our local businesses.

 Syria

It has also been shocking to hear of the brutal attacks on women and children in Syria by Assad’s forces in recent weeks and a number of my constituents have written to me to express their outrage at these actions. The UK Government absolutely condemns Assad’s regime and we are working with our partners in the international community to do more to isolate the regime and demonstrate that the whole world wants to see a peaceful transition from this illegitimate government.

The UK Government also recently announced the expulsion of Syria’s charge d’affaires – Syria’s most senior diplomat in the United Kingdom – and two other diplomats from the embassy. This action was a direct response to the horrific killing of over 100 people including 49 children and 34 women in Houla.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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3 Comments

  • cynicalHighlander 15th Jun '12 - 7:44pm

    Here in the UK we are putting our own house in order

    No you are not as all you are doing is continuing bailing out insolvent privately owned corporate banks with taxpayers money so that the rich can get richer.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Albert Einstein

  • Last week our lack of growth was those nasty foreign chappies fault.
    Our Banks say they are lending but only to those with ‘financially sound’ business plans

    George Osborne’s latest ‘wheeze’….
    Lend (GIVE) £100B of taxpayers’ money to the banks at 0.25%? interest.
    After a ‘suitable’ delay they will lend it to, presumably less financially sound borrowers, at 10%? interest.
    Should these borrowers default , endangering profits, the taxpayer will presumably again ‘bail out’ the banks.

    No wonder bank shares soared in value.

    Why couldn’t the money be put to better use. The UK is desperately short of ‘affordable’ (social) housing but such thinking is anathema to the Tory led coalition.

  • Malcolm Osborne 24th Jun '12 - 1:17pm

    Michael, I agree with you when I hear you saying you are in favour of ‘Home Rule’, but you have to spell out, specifically, what additional powers will be devolved to the Scottish Government, otherwise, you leave me no choice, I have to vote for independence.

    Regards.

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