‘The Parliament has been curiously conservative with little appetite across the political parties for bold reform, especially in addressing many of the wicked problems that continue to scar Scotland.’
‘We cannot go on like this. Every year since 2014, steep annual increases in drug-related deaths have been met with promises to look into causes and propose solutions. Meanwhile, people continue to die, as evidence-based and life-saving solutions are left on the shelf.’
‘How the Scottish government plans to fund the £180 million policy remains to be seen. But after years of cuts to UK social security, it is a pleasant change to see significant new efforts to reduce child poverty’.
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‘Scotland’s current “justifiable assault” defence therefore contravenes children’s human rights. Quite frankly the law must be changed to ensure compliance, both in Scotland but also across the UK.’
‘The challenge with setting ambitious targets is that parliament can be judged, not just on whether or not it is meeting these targets, but on the effectiveness of the reforms they are implementing.’
‘ Based on patterns of investment, Scotland is closer to the approach taken in Serbia than Sweden.’ ‘But free higher education has to be well-funded higher education for it to mean anything.’
‘If reforms are to be effective, rebuild trust and be regarded as legitimate by all governments, collaboration and mutual consent will need to go hand in hand.
‘If national and local government and umbrella bodies do not feel that is their role, then they should not be recommending or providing support for particular practical advice to those on the front line, and even less requiring compliance with it.’