You wait and wait for a bus to come and two come along at the same time right?. One Libdem Alistair Carmichael MP and Lawyer and two Ms. Whitford snp MP and Consultant NHS Doctor. Mr Carmichael we know about as he is now in the dock having sworn to tell the truth, he is charged with lying to the electorate. The other Ms. Whitford finds herself the subject of an article by Mark Ward of “Scotland’s big Voice” which is a social media site accusing her of telling industrial lies about the NHS to the voters, very similar accusations. Will Doctor Whitford however find herself in the dock?, will those upstanding public spirited snp followers who insisted on Mr. Carmichael facing the courts insist on Ms. Whitford meeting the same fate?. For some reason I suspect they won’t. The following is the social media article concerned NB - The authors and the site are a matter of public record which rather begs the obvious question, will she in fact demand her day in court to defend her reputation which will be in tatters surely if she does not.
Up pops this scion of honesty, truth and virtue; the MP who made her Oath in Scots Wahey Brigadoon dialect, has tweeted, "Scotland's Police and Fire services are ONLY ones in UK that pay full VAT. Costs £33 million / year! Tories determined to keep it that way" says she.
Well, Ms Whitford. Where to start? In 2012, UNISON and the FBU both raised this with the Scottish "government", arguing that these services could have retained their exemption status by not centralising them, as the SNP then decided to do, in the face of this evidence.
In fact, George McIrvine (UNISON Police Staff Scotland Branch) categorically stated that it would have "strengthened greater local democratic accountability, now sadly lacking in the new Police service", while seconding an FBU motion.
He tellingly continued, "But of course that would have meant less direct ministerial influence and control over Scottish Police. At the time in 2012, some of the Scottish Government’s explanations raised suspicions that they knew about this issue of VAT exemption before the Police and Fire Reform Bill was published".
UNISON then submitted a Freedom of Information request for the correspondence in relation to the Police and fire VAT.
“Surprise, surprise Congress, the Scottish Government refused this on the 'catch all' grounds that this was only advice to ministers. They even refused to confirm that such papers even existed".
However, UNISON got the documents on appeal, said George, and the key point was that HMRC had made it crystal clear that a National Force would not qualify for VAT exemption.
Damagingly, Mr McIrvine observed, "This was never included in the consultation, and consultees were not given the full picture of the consequences of the centralisation of police and fire.
“Not the standard of openness we are entitled to expect from any government. More a case of burying bad headline news that doesn’t support the Scottish Governments centralisation agenda.
“The Scottish taxpayer, and indeed police and fire support staff, are now paying the hefty price".
Not quite the picture you're painting, Ms Whitford, is it? Evidence which is minuted in parliament which proves unequivocally that you are in fact lying. No surprises there, eh.