Monday, 23 March 2009

The trials of Elmer Fudd.......

Elmer Fudd srikes again. Salmond does have a very anoying smile on his coupon especially when being interviewed on telly. But who could blame him he must howl with laughter every night before he says his prayers after FMQs. Mr Fudd cannot have any more feet left to shoot holes in, what a fud.

By Tom Gordon
Labour leader’s attempt to personalise battle with Salmond backfires

HE WAS held up by Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray as an example of a youngster let down by the SNP's apprenticeship policy.

Lewis Doig, from Tranent in East Lothian, was described in parliament as a despondent young man left high and dry by the government when he was given his notice on the building site where he worked as trainee.

But Gray was left with a red-face last night when Doig said he was actually five days into a three-week apprenticeship trial when the Labour leader claimed the 19-year-old was facing certain redundancy and did not know where to turn. Only urgent government intervention would help his constituent, Gray told Alex Salmond at First Minister's Questions on Thursday.

Gray made the same claim in his weekly internet broadcast the following day.

However, on Friday Doig learned that his trial employment had evolved into a full-time job and he was able to take up a college place and complete his apprenticeship.

It has also come to light that Doig was expelled from a training place at college for fighting a fellow student, and is something of a minor internet celebrity thanks to a drunken foul-mouthed YouTube video.

Gray said in Holyrood that his 19-year-old constituent was recently given his notice because of a lack of building work and attacked Salmond at First Minister's Questions on Thursday.

He said Doig faced the dole just three months short of finishing a four-year qualification as a joiner because the SNP was failing to guarantee people apprenticeships. Mentioning him by name six times, Gray spoke of "the respect that we have for young Lewis".

Speaking to the Sunday Herald, however, Doig revealed that when Gray told Salmond urgent intervention was needed to save his apprenticeship, he was already a week into a trial period with a new employer.

On Friday, he learned he would be kept on long-term, allowing him to take up a college place and complete his training.

Also, in a video titled "Doigy Steamin" posted on YouTube last year, a youthful Doig is shown in a less flattering light, rolling on the ground drunk and using obscenities, including: "Let me get up, I'm gonna kick f*** oot ye."

The clip was posted last October by one of Doig's friends, giving Gray's team ample opportunity to find it before Thursday's clash. In it, Doig sways wildly before falling to the ground, then laughs: "Where's ma hoose? Take me tae ma hoose, please. Here, who's this c**t? Scott's the f***ing coolest c**t of all."

Doig said the episode was filmed several years ago, at the start of his apprenticeship, and he hoped it would now be removed.

There is no suggestion that Doig is currently involved in any form of bad behaviour.

The unravelling of Gray's attack raises fresh questions about his judgment, and that of his team.

When Gray succeeded Wendy Alexander as leader last September, he and his team decided to make more use of individual cases at First Minister's Questions in order to contrast Salmond's rhetoric with facts on the ground. The tactic can backfire badly if there are any loose ends.

Kenneth Gibson, SNP deputy convenor of Holyrood's education committee, said: "Iain Gray should be less desperate to drag constituents into First Minister's Questions and more concerned with getting his facts right."

A spokesman for Gray, added: "Iain Gray wrote to education secretary Fiona Hyslop a month ago on behalf of his constituent. We are glad to hear that efforts by his employer will help Lewis finish his apprenticeship, but call on Alex Salmond to follow through on his budget promise of an apprenticeship guarantee for all apprentices facing redunancies."

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