Politics should grow up

Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out party's plan to avoid cuts to public services.
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale sets out party's plan to avoid cuts to public services.

There is no denying that politics in Scotland has changed since the general election and last week’s paper paid tribute to that by focusing on the recent tns poll.

Since the general election a day hasn’t gone by when we haven’t heard the phrase stronger for Scotland, in Scotland’s best interests or the words Smith commission but what hasn’t changed is Scottish labours commitment to protecting people and being the only party in Scotland that is really anti austerity.

SBBN SBSR Barrie Cunning

SBBN SBSR Barrie Cunning

Last week the snp stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tories and voted down Labours motion to increase the basic rate of income tax in Scotland which according to independent sources would not have had a detrimental impact on the less well off but in actual fact could have generated half a billion pounds that could have been used to off set cuts as a direct result of snp and Tory austerity.

During the general election the Snp sold themselves as being the saviours of Scottish socialism and emphasised that they were the only party that could stop further tory austerity cuts in Scotland. Clearly their idea of stopping cuts is to use government as a staging post, do nothing and install further cuts by squeezing local authority budgets that are having a detrimental and serious impact on our front line services which has resulted in 130 job losses at Scottish Borders council.

Kezia Dugdale was right when she said: “If faced with cuts to our children’s future, I choose to use the powers we have,” and I welcome this for two reasons.

Firstly we are now talking about the use of powers that will be coming to the Scottish parliament this April and secondly the whole political debate in Scotland has shifted from the constitution to policies that will make a real difference to the people of Scotland. In short the people of Scotland are fed up with grievance school yard politics and want to engage in grown up intellectual politics and see policy that will make a real difference.

There is no denying that the snp are a superior spin machine but at the end of the day what wins every time is policy not style and I for one would like to see the SNP put their money or rather their 1 pence where their mouth is and act like a government who wants a better Scotland and not just indulge in grievance politics against Westminster just because they didn’t get their own way. Dare I say it the ‘no’ camp won the independence referendum because the majority of the people of Scotland knew that what the snp were offering was reckless, dangerous and down right negligent, it’s no wonder they don’t do anything in government as they are too scared how it might look in the polls. They are a party of no action, no policy and no substance.

John Swinney said in an interview recently that the price of oil wasn’t central to their economic policy.

I mean who would base an economic policy on a volatile commodity such as oil?

Oh wait, the SNP would and I have two words to the SNP every time they talk about the referendum “oil price” because had they won the referendum we would have been chapping the door of the IMF, people in Scotland would have been worse off.