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ref date:12 Mar 2002 (WBA)
Labour in Scotland under fire because it is sleazy

The SNP leader John Swinney, has urged Jack McConnell (the man who controls Scotland on Londons behalf through the Scottish executive and the so called Scottish parliament) to act swiftly to "clean up" Labour-controlled local authorities, Mr Swinney said in a letter to the first minister: "Fife Council is embroiled in the mire of Labour cronyism and 'crossover' politics, yet instead of approving radical action you seem set simply on making a scapegoat of the former first minister.

"There have certainly been McLeish muddles that need further investigation, but so do the many Labour party fiddles the length and breadth of Scotland.

"As first minister you have an overriding responsibility to the Scottish people to ensure that local authorities maintain the highest standards of probity, yet your actions in office show that you are determined only to protect your party from democratic scrutiny.

"It is time that you stood up and explained what your administration will do to stamp out the scourge of cronyism. I presume that you are desperate to have Mr McLeish removed from politics lest further scrutiny makes it plain that Fife is little different from most Labour local authorities.

"They have allowed special favours and back-room deals to take the place of open, democratic politics and have polluted the relationship between politicians and the voluntary sector."