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Sunday, 10 February 2008

Scottish Current Affairs

Scottish Current Affairs. The Skye Bridge Story. Multi-national Interests and People Power. At Hogmanay in 2004 there was a huge street party in the West Highland village of Kyle of Lochalsh. Across the water in the Isle of Skye village of Kyleakin there was similar celebration. Many hundreds joined the party and the fireworks display from both sides of the Kyle. The occasion was the scrapping of the tolls on the Skye Bridge that had taken place, without warning, ten days earlier. Behind this public display of joy is a story that had run for more than ten years. It is a story that goes right to the heart of government policy, the Skye bridge was the first Public Finance Initiative in the UK, where a public project is built by private capital and the investor charges for the facility for years to come.

The Skye and Lochalsh community felt a strong sense of injustice about what was being imposed on them from afar and The Skye Bridge Story is an entertaining and gripping account of events. ‘We were not, as we first thought,’ writes Andy Anderson who has compiled this account of island protest, ‘just opposing a government. We were in fact opposing the whole mindset, which was itself a ‘captive’ of international companies who were determined to use the Skye Bridge project as an experiment.’ Richly illustrated and presented as a bilingual Gaelic/English text, The Skye Bridge Story is a life-affirming account of what is possible when people exercise their sense of justice. The Skye Bridge Story: Multi-national Interests and People Power.

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