Former First Minister Alex Salmond has predicted that the Liberal Democrat vote in rural Scotland will evaporate like snow on the hills during a campaign visit to Argyll and Bute.
Mr Salmond joined the SNP’s Argyll and Bute candidate Brendan O’Hara in Oban and Campbeltown this week as the party aims to live up to opinion polls which suggest they could take more than 50 Scottish seats in the May 7 general election.
“People here in Argyll and Bute, and across rural Scotland, have been betrayed by the Liberal Democrats who meekly supported their Tory masters throughout their term on Government at Westminster,” Mr Salmond said.
“Nowhere is this cutting betrayal more obvious than in the privatisation of Royal Mail by the Tory/Liberal Government. This represents a threat to the universal service obligation in rural communities - the principle which means Royal Mail has to deliver in all areas, the same number of times of week, for the same price. This dangerous threat, caused by the Tory/Lib Dem privatisation, is currently hanging over our rural areas and threatening to drive up prices and reduce devices. “Even Margaret Thatcher didn’t dare privatise the Royal Mail but it seems nothing is beneath the Liberal Democrats in their kow towing to their Tory allies!”
Mr O’Hara, who will visit Rothesay this Sunday for The Buteman’s general election hustings at Rothesay Pavilion, added: “Across this constituency, I speak to people who are shocked by the utter betrayal of the Liberal Democrats.
“People didn’t vote for the Tories, but that’s what they got when the Liberals cozied up to their cronies in the pursuit of power at Westminster. In Argyll and Bute we call the Lib Dems the ‘bedroom tax party’.
“Here in Argyll and Bute people aren’t willing to forgive and forget this betrayal. Rural poverty and fuel poverty remain a real problem here and the Liberal Democrats have kept the Tories in power to inflict five long years of austerity.
“The SNP’s progressive plan to bring in modest increases public spending – will allow us to protect our NHS budget, invest in education and childcare and create more job opportunities for our young people. This stands in stark contrast to the Westminster parties’ plans for more cuts and more austerity.”