Scottish Executive Launches International Relations Strategy

28 September 2004
"Buzzwords, warm words, group hugs, gimmicks and fluff"

SNP MEP Mr Alyn Smith has today commented upon the content of the much trailed Scottish Executive International Strategy launched this morning (Thursday).

Mr Smith said:

"Another glossy brochure from the Executive with the word "strategy" on the front. Haud me back! There is little in this document to dislike, but there is not much to get excited about either and Scotland could do so much better. Much of the rhetoric in the document is worthy, but the fact is Mr McConnell lacks the powers to be anything more than a tartan cheerleader, and until we have the powers to make ourselves an objectively more attractive place to study, work, set up business or visit then this confetti of strategy papers are just so many buzzwords, warm words, group hugs, gimmicks and fluff.

"The Executive has at least advanced a bit from the meagre ambitions of the European Strategy which had as key aim to promote Scotland as nothing more than "one of the leading regions of Europe". Not even THE leading region! This document plans to promote us as "A leading small nation" so perhaps we should be grateful for small ambitions.

"I'm going to pass it to a few of my Irish MEP colleagues and see what they reckon. I wonder what they will make of circular phrases like "the UK Foreign Office and British Council promote Scotland and Scottish interests as part of their work to promote UK-wide goals"? Half of them would not know a haggis from a black pudding, and why should they? It is well past time that Scotland stopped talking about it and started doing it, before the new entrants to the European Union race up and overtake us."