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Local Politicians Slam UK Threat to Black Watch Name

Published date : 10 May, 2012

The Scottish National Party’s Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for Perthshire South & Kinross-shire, and Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, have hit out at UK Government plans to do away entirely with the Black Watch name, revealed by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond in an interview in the Daily Telegraph. Speaking  today (Tuesday) Mr Wishart said: “To suggest, as Mr Hammond does, that units like the Black Watch no longer have close ties to their traditional recruiting grounds is absolute nonsense and a slur both on the soldiers of the Black Watch and the communities from which they come. “The numbers that came out recently to welcome the Black Watch home from Afghanistan are testament to the link that still exists.  Perth is – and will always be – proud to be the home of the Black Watch. “Philip Hammond sends these brave soldiers off to war but he shows absolutely no understanding of some of the things that are really important in bonding them together into the efficient, effective fighting force that they are.” Ms Cunningham continued: “This is precisely what we warned would happen when the UK Government, under Labour, merged the historic Scottish infantry regiments.  “We were assured that despite the merger, regimental distinctiveness and traditions would be retained – the ‘golden thread’ as it was called.  Well that thread has been well and truly snapped and frankly was a fraud from the very start.  “The UK Government’s priorities are clear.  They prize Trident over tradition and white elephants over red hackles.  The price of the Union on Scotland’s armed services is becoming clear for all to see.”

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