Today in The Herald I see that some of the unelected Labour and Lib Dem M.P.s from the last parliament are upset at not finding employment easily. Anne Begg is 60 and disabled and says that she has no plans to return to full time work. Many disabled, much younger, have difficulty finding even part time work so don’t think she will find many tears flowing there.
“She said the sheer number of livelihoods lost in May, not just among MPs but also members of their staff, had been quite traumatic”
I believe she is right. She didn’t seem to worry about this until now though. Up until May they continued to believe it was their right to be the representatives of most of the population of Scotland. They were wearing the same clothes the Tories were. Not just in the way their policies were shifting. They genuinely believed that where the Tories had God given right to inherit certain parts of the UK, they had equal rights to inherit the rest. Never mind that the reasons for the setting up of the Labour Party were no longer there (industry, employment, seeking fairness for the working class), they had entered a new era in their heads. They now had a divine right to their backside on the green benches and when they tired of that to move through to the red benches and wrap their old, tired bodies in ermine while they doze. The House of Lords was now perfectly acceptable to the most socialist member if they could sell their constituents for the right price.
Presumably the likes of Anne Begg thought that even if she retired, the successful candidate would still be Labour, would continue to employ her members of staff who wanted to continue working and therefore saw no need to build in an extra safety net for them. They have the same rights and supports as any other worker who loses their job through no fault of their own. If the system isn’t supporting them as you would wish then welcome to the world of the ordinary constituent. You had your chance to make it better when you were in government, you didn’t!
“Rarely has such political success rested upon so little”
Was Monday’s headline on David Torrance’s piece. I never read him, can’t tolerate most of what he has to say. What happened Monday? Blame the enforced languidness that was enforced Christmas media rubbish and post viral apathy. Let’s face it, we would never agree. He is way to the right, I am somewhere in the centre, but to imply that the S.N.P. in government have been standing still is preposterous, and yes, us foot soldiers are being patient as we can see things will all come together eventually.
In our time in the Scottish Parliament the S.N.P. has worked hard at improving the basic living standards for the ordinary person. My long time pen friend in the U.S.A. has issues with an elderly mother. She would be SO appreciative of free personal care, free treatment at source and free medication. These are basics that make life so much more tolerable for those who really need it (and remember they are not really free as they have been paid for by our taxes). The road infrastructures that are taking place may not be so appreciated by those in the central belt but for those of us on the peripheries of our Country, most of us do appreciate the improvements that are being made. At the moment if I want to make a journey from here to Inverness by car I have to allow 2 hours if I have a set time to be there. The (almost) equivalent distance in the central belt is Edinburgh to Glasgow in just over the hour (according to an online calculation site). I am sure the good people of Fife appreciate the Forth Road Bridge a bit more than they did before December. You also have the choice of train and fast bus that we don’t have. Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t swap places for the world. It is just nice that we have a Scottish government that appreciates that we in the rural areas like to get a wee bit more modern. It also benefits you when you come to our beautiful areas for holidays and short breaks.
The other thing the Scottish Government is doing is peddling hard to combat the effects of the cuts the U.K. Government is imposing. They are trying to find ways that will protect the people of Scotland from the full blow of the impacts. The U.K. government can see that we have been using our budget wisely to maximum benefit so they are now trying to force us into the position where we impose an extra tax on the people of Scotland. Yes this would alleviate some of the Scottish Governments financial woes but it would mean the people of Scotland are paying an extra taxation for the rights that the people of England continue to get by paying the same tax rate as now. Taxation is complicated and I do not understand it but I do know that no-one likes to pay something twice.
From a press release this week from the S.N.P. :-
2015 has been a bumper year for the SNP in local by-elections – as the party celebrates 25 new councillors elected from 28 by-elections contested on and since General Election Day.
Based on results in the same seats in the 2012 local government elections, the SNP vote is up by 12.9 per cent, while Labour’s vote has fallen by 13.3 per cent.
Derek Mackay says –
“These results show that despite a change of leader north and south of the border, people in Scotland are continuing to reject a hopelessly divided, completely ineffective Labour party who aren’t even regarded as a credible party of opposition, never mind a credible party of government.”
Yes, the S.N.P. in government, and the party as a whole, have a lot more to do. Know what would be even better for Scotland though? Good and effective opposition parties. Henry McLeish got his champion policy of free personal care through the parliament because the S.N.P. were an effective opposition. They could see what this would mean for the elderly, the infirm and their families.
We need the Tories, the Labour Party and the Lib Dems to be effective campaigners for their constituents. They are not in the parliament to play party politics. They are there to further the policies their party has agreed on and to get them implemented on behalf of the people who voted them in on those policies. They will not win everything they want but by debating and compromising where they can, they can show their electorate that they are trying to make the changes that those people voted them in for. Nothing happens overnight. You have to stick at it.
One thing I can tell you, shouting S.N.P. bad loudly and often ain’t going to increase your vote.