“The report, the launch, the minutes of the Advisory Council meetings – all point to a ‘just get it done and get it out’ approach. And as with previous, failed, economic strategies it will go through various hoops of progress reports and ‘accountability’ that are underplayed and soon forgotten. But without anyone taking real ownership, without a genuine attempt to identify and plan a way forward, little will change.”
‘Clearly the political and institutional landscape has changed dramatically since 2014. One inescapable fact about any future debate on the economic case for Scottish independence is that the terrain – by which we mean the political, economic, social and cultural context – has shifted significantly.’
“A start to redressing this imbalance would be for the UK Government and the devolved governments to sign the European Charter of Local Self Government – then we could at last begin to have serious conversations, based on a joint understanding of and respect for each other’s roles, on how we are to successfully tackle the substantial and increasingly complex issues of the future.”
“Challenges lie ahead. But one major difference between Big Oil and Big Wind is that the latter has the potential to help rescue the planet from the climate emergency.”
‘A speech by the First Minister acknowledging Scotland’s role would be useful; a fund to promote research on Scotland and the empire, including a virtual museum, would be even better….As Scotland struggles with new questions about identity, it is important to confront the reality of what happened in the empire.
“The issues are whether and how an independent Scotland would make the transition, at what cost, paid for by whom, over how long and, crucially, what policies would be needed to get to a position where people are at least no worse off. These are not insurmountable but they are challenging. But the SNP, as the main advocates of independence, does not appear up to the challenge.”
Substantial powers are held by Holyrood that could be used to build a strategy that would deliver on the promise made of Scotland becoming the “Saudi Arabia” of renewables. The opportunity and moment may soon be lost if not taken now.
Scotland has ambitious targets to reach net zero by 2045 and, so far, we are falling behind in the cuts to emissions needed to reach these targets…More needs to be done to improve our green and blue spaces, and protect the species that depend on these habitats.
“We hope that a clear, transparent, assessment of financial requirements, that meets with consensus from those who know, work for and draw on these services, emerges. An underfunded National Care Service is unlikely to do any better than the system that it seeks to replace.”
‘The risks are higher for the Greens than they are for the SNP. Voters are likely to see any failure of government as Green failure too. And with only two ministers, their ability to effect meaningful change is limited. They may find themselves carrying the can for any mistakes without ever having been in a position to take a different path.’