DRAMATIC Westminster reshuffles, autumn budgets and pricey iPad expenses have filled the last fortnight with headline-catching political twists and turns.

Buried amongst these big headlines was last Tuesday’s announcement from the Scottish Government that the request from Ferguson Marine’s chiefs for an immediate further boost of £25 million investment was not on the radar.

I don’t want to dwell on the negatives but I feel it would be wrong not to mention a disappointing article I read on the BBC news site last week.

It wrongly claimed that the current situation with MV Glen Sannox and MV Glen Rosa had left the yard’s “proud 120-year reputation tarnished”.

It is crystal clear that this is not the fault of workers at Ferguson Marine.

The yard’s reputation is and should always be one of proud shipbuilding notwithstanding the various changes in ownership and leadership over the last decade which have inevitably not helped matters.

I am sure I have the agreement of all political colleagues on that point.

It is in fact because of that reliable reputation that Ferguson Marine Shipyard was selected by the UK Government and the Royal Navy to manufacture major units of the new HMS Belfast frigate, with fabrication work having started in early May this year.

That contract clearly demonstrated the ability of the yard’s skilled workforce and the potential for the yard to be competitive. Any risk to those vital military contracts must be high on the agenda of the yard’s current owner.

The Scottish Government minister gave reason and rationale for his decision not to write a further cheque at this point, which has been widely met with political criticism as read in the Tele already.

In response I asked the Scottish Government this week what it was actually doing to secure future work for the yard, when hulls 801 and 802 eventually set sail for pastures new.

The response was disappointing to say the least.

Ferguson Marine shipyard is a vital employer for the region and its skilled workforce have the potential to bring new and exciting contracts to the Clyde.

The yard has already shown itself to be a viable and competitive contender for future shipbuilding projects once the current shackles of capacity are released.

The job of the Scottish Government, as the current single owner and financier of the yard, is to ensure its long-term future is viable.

That needs a plan.