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neil robertson

India's many friends in Scotland will have been dismayed to see this headline in the local press.

I hope it has been made very clear to The Mayor of Kolkata and to The Chief Minister of WBengal
that such discourtesies involved a British (UK) junior Minister in London who few people here in
Scotland will have even heard of, and who has no responsibility for education, culture or tourism.

All these political
responsibilities lie with The Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh and with The Scottish Government led by Mr Alex Salmond:

Anne McKechin is a Westminster Labour MP who works for London's man in Scotland Jim Murphy:


I do wish Labour in London would stop playing politics with overseas links such as this and
a further reason for dumping British Council is
to put an end to such unnecessary UK meddling?

I wonder who paid her fare and if details of that will be released?!
Scottish minister keeps Mayor waiting, meets CM instead
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Express News Service
Posted: Feb 07, 2009 at 0147 hrs IST

Kolkata British Minister for Scottish Affairs Ann Mckechin, who was schedule to visit the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) to meet Mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya on Friday, chose to meet Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee instead and kept the Mayor waiting with all his elaborate arrangements to welcome the minister.

However, after meeting Bhattacharjee, Mckechin appeared to be excited about various projects that funded by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

“The progress of all projects funded by the DFID, including the slum development, health, malnutrition and e-governance is satisfactory. The chief minister has briefed me about them. A centre of excellence in the city is on the cards,” said Mckechin.

“I want more Indian students to opt for higher studies in Scotland. We are also working to strengthen the trade relations between the two countries. We have planned to attract more middle class tourists to Scotland by including it in the tour package for the United Kingdom,” added Mckechin.

Meanwhile, a visibly disappointed Bhattacharya, who had ordered to decorate the KMC premises with flowers, said: “We had made arrangements to welcome her as we were told that she would be coming to meet me. We kept on waiting but she did not turn up. We were not even informed about the change in her plans.”


neil robertson

Interested to note that the Vice-Chair (sic) of British Council's
Associate Parliamentary Group (MP Nigel Griffiths) is a member of the Public Accounts Committee -
according to his recent profile
in "The News of The World" ....



Lots of questions, and no answers. Just a sad fact of life that trash like this happens everywhere, it seems.

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