Richard North, 28/10/2005  

Scotland’s Deputy Enterprise Minister, Allan Wilson, seems to be a little confused as to what enterprise entails. In the land of Adam Smith, they appear to think that enterprise means getting lots of money from some central fund and dispersing it among various projects.

Mr Wilson has announced gleefully lowland Scotland has just received £75 million from the European Social Fund, described as a “very significant amount”, to go towards 400 projects.

One must presume that a similar amount will be disbursed towards highland Scotland and, maybe, another sum for the islands of Scotland. One must also presume that the Scottish “government” will have to come up with matching funds.

Among other matters, there is football. £175,000 is proposed for a project to “help young football apprentices acquire skills they will need if they fail to make the grade as professionals”.

Alternatively, you can describe it as “a scheme to equip would-be footballers in Scotland for a life outside the game”.

Well, of course, looking at the way those who do make the grade behave, it might be a good idea to equip them all with some kind of a life sense, but, surely, that is known as upbringing and education.

Well, at least, it isn’t just the British taxpayer that is footing (no pun intended) this particular bill.


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