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MoD mandarins waging a secret war on Scotland

George Adam MSPGeorge was mention in an article by Joan McAlpine in the Daily Record.  The story is outlined below.

 

 

 

JOAN argues that it’s time Scotland controlled the future of civilian defence jobs north of the border – rather than decisions being made in London.

 

 

 

MANY folk were shocked at the proposed pay rise for MPs at a time when most public sector wages are frozen.

But it’s not just politicians in Westminster who live in a parallel universe to the rest of us.

Whitehall bigwigs enjoy salaries that dwarf even those of MPs.

Bernard Gray, Chief of Defence Materiel, earns £220,000 PA plus access to a £49,000 car and chauffeur perk.

Gray was brought into government as a Labour adviser and hit the headlines last year when he charged £23,000 for hotel stays, including the £360 a night Sofitel near Buckingham Palace.

His track record does not suggest much sympathy for the ordinary bloke. But next week Gray will decide the fate of Scottish civilian defence workers.

They are based at the UK National Codification Bureau, who catalogue defence equipment for Nato from a base in Glasgow and were set up in 1986 as part of a programme to disperse UK government jobs to areas of high unemployment.

The workers are skilled, many with degrees and HNCs in engineering. They have helped hundreds of UK firms win export sales. The MoD want to move their jobs to Bristol.

When Paisley MSP George Adam, wrote to the UK Government to protest about the proposed transfer, he was told it was part of a savings drive to cut the national deficit.

But a value-for-money survey for the MoD found it would cost MORE to move the jobs to Bristol.

A leaked document obtained by myself also shows the MoD’s equipment and support operation in Bristol are about to spend millions recruiting 1300 staff – while throwing Glasgow workers on the dole. It seems based on nothing more than prejudice.

Last month Major General I M Copeland, who is based in Bristol, told unions he was determined to press ahead with the move.

He claimed a “geographically dispersed workforce” would not ensure “coherent working practices and outcomes”.

The unions refused to accept this and the final decision will be made by Gray after they meet next week.

Naturally the workers in Scotland feel they are being discriminated against. What other conclusion can they draw?

They are also used as political footballs by the anti-independence campaign. The Glasgow workers approached Labour politicians for help, including Richard Simpson, MSP for central Scotland.

Simpson told them that their jobs would disappear with independence and passed the matter to a Westminster colleague.

Scotland remains very much part of the political union and these workers are still staring redundancy in the face.

Concentration of political power in the south of England will always work against Scotland, even if we deliver better value for money.

The MoD’s own statistics show that between 1997 and 2012 there was a defence underspend of £7.4billion in Scotland.

That means we paid £7.4billion extra tax to support jobs elsewhere, mainly the south of England.

So when the No campaign next moan about an independent Scotland having to set up “costly” new institutions, think about it this way. We already pay a great deal for institutions such as the UKNCB.

We will continue to pay the same for it after all the jobs are transferred from Glasgow to Bristol.

An independent Scotland as a member of Nato would need its own national codification bureau, like every member of the alliance.

We would pay about the same and keep skilled workers like those in Glasgow.

 

The full article can be found here.