Brian Monteith: Don’t listen to scare stories, jobs are here

The Jaguar C-X75 that featured in Spectre is to be built in Britain. Picture: comp

The Jaguar C-X75 that featured in Spectre is to be built in Britain. Picture: comp

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IF you rely on broadcasters for news, such as the BBC, ITV (including Channel 4) and Sky, you can be forgiven for thinking that the economy is about to collapse, the public services will implode and universities disappear.

Such is the reporting of the ‘impartial’ special correspondents who often have as much real life work experience as David Cameron or Nick Clegg. Which is not much. These are the sort of people who think travelling north is taking the Northern tube line in London – from Waterloo to Charing Cross.

We are told it’s all due to Brexit, of course, and it is nonsense. When eventually it becomes incontestable that the world has not collapsed, that the earth is in fact round, not flat, and the third world war has not kicked-off, do not expect these broadcasters to say how successful we are or how their ‘reported’ warnings about Brexit were wrong.

What they report is what they select from the news feeds and their highly selective choices are what betrays their bias.

To be objective it is far better to scan the websites of business papers that can give more space to what is happening in the UK and what investments have been announced and jobs created. I’ll let you into a few secrets you may not be aware of, all announced this week.

Amazon is creating an extra 1000 new jobs in the UK this year with its boss Doug Gurr declaring it’s ‘business as usual’ following Britain’s decision to quit the EU.

This takes Amazon’s new jobs tally for the year to 3500. All told, the firm employs 15,500 people across the UK and supports another 74,000 jobs through Amazon Marketplace.

The Three Stills Company is investing £10 million in a new whisky distillery in the Scottish Borders, which will renovate and re-use old listed buildings and create local jobs. What happened to those dire warnings for the whisky industry? Thanks for your confidence Three Stills!

In Oban, Scottish Sea Farms announced it will invest £35 million in a Marine Resource Centre, creating high-quality jobs and training opportunities in aquaculture, bio-chemistry and engineering. Another vote of confidence to be welcomed. Did you hear that on Sky?

Durham Council is expanding its Aykley Heads business hub, creating up to 6000 jobs and generating an estimated £370 million for the local economy. So much for Brexit sending communities across the country into a tailspin...

Jaguar Land Rover opened its £20 million ‘Special Vehicle’ plant this week, which will build supercars like the Jaguar C-X75 that featured in the 007 film ‘Spectre’.

The Indian-owned carmaker also announced it will create 250 new jobs and invest another £7.5 million in a special Classic division, which will restore and re-manufacture vintage designs. So much for Brexit killing the car industry.

There are far more than this short selection. So keep calm and carry on.

Inquiry shows we were duped in backing Blair’s war on Saddam

Eventually Chilcot has spoken (after the EU referendum, of course). Tony Blair, who only two weeks ago was telling us to vote remain, is now undoubtedly a disgraced man in the eyes of the majority of the British public.

War is to be avoided at all costs but there are times when even democracies are willing to contemplate it as the last resort for their own security. That reasoning has now been shown to have been absent.

Few remember the Scottish parliament voted to support the UK government in its hour of need.

Those of, such as myself, who had been willing to put our faith in the Prime Minister and our intelligence services must acknowledge we were duped.

May’s mess over UK’s EU citizens

Whatever the outcome of the Brexit debate, no one, not Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Michael Gove nor any serious campaigner was advocating EU citizens already living and working in the UK would lose their right to be here.

It is, therefore, shameful and appalling that Theresa May has refused to rule out such an outcome.

The way to build bridges and win friends in the EU is to take unilateral action and commit to maintaining existing EU citizens’ rights. That way we shall shame other nations into protecting the rights of our ex-pats. And if others countries don’t see it that way why would anyone want to stay there?

Wales show Scotland the way

…and so to the European football championships and brave Welsh team that reached the semi-finals only to run out of steam against an enigmatic Portuguese team that’s still to fire on all cylinders (or maybe they flatter to deceive?).

I shall never forget that Welsh win over Belgium or Northern Ireland’s spirited performances, especially the non-stop singing of their fans.

The message is loud and clear for Scottish football, success and glory is possible for small footballing nations. The only thing holding us back is our football set-up. Do the men in blazers have the wherewithal to make it happen?

First for Tory women

So, it’s down to Theresa May versus Andrea Leadsom for the position of Tory leader and therefore who becomes the Prime Minister. Whoever wins, the Conservatives will have delivered two female Prime Ministers when Labour has not even had a woman leader. So much for the party of feminism.