Since its inception, the Scottish Parliament has not been renowned for its reforming zeal. But the pandemic has thrown up a range of challenges that must be addressed if a ‘working’ system is to re-emerge in hospitals, schools and the courts. It is surely right then that the electorate has some idea of the competing views of each of the political parties as to how they intend to respond to the pandemic’s effects.
‘There was a day when anyone associated with the Duke of Buccleuch would have been anathema to the SNP but in its desperation not to frighten the horses, the current SNP leadership is willing to abandon what its membership in its heart knows is required. The SNP is simply letting a good crisis go to waste.’
“Nicola Sturgeon and the other no longer young SNP nationalists are in a hurry. They need Johnson to confirm that his English Europe-hating Tories will indeed deny Scotland its centuries-old place as a small but distinct European nation that has contributed much to European science, philosophy, and culture.”
‘.Like the Bourbons, the Conservatives have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing. But Labour are in danger of the same. Time is running out for a reasonably well developed alternative option that might be included in a future referendum. Not only would this enrich a stale debate but would allow Labour to escape the potentially lethal embrace of working with the Tories again.’
“The Brotherston Principle demands that Government fully respects its expert advisors, it also demands of those advisers that they draw on the best expertise, work together to achieve a best consensus, and speak out strongly if the Government chooses a course of action which flies in the face of reason or squanders precious resource of time or people on justifying failure,” writes a senior medical statistician.
‘Without real and substantive change in council funding, both fiscal and legislative, then the only budget option for councils will be more cuts, fewer services, fewer workers.’
Ahead of the Westminster election on 12 December, James Mitchell explains how party competition in Scotland is shaped by interrelated questions of policy, competence, independence and Brexit…’
‘Together, these measures could reduce the political and economic significance of the border between Scotland and England, even in the event of an independent Scotland becoming an EU member state while the rest of the UK stayed out. How ironic that DUP intransigence may inadvertently aid the case for Scottish independence!’
Gaps between rhetoric and delivery reveal urgent need for joined up thinking in Scotland’s plans for tackling climate change: ‘Scotland must cut emissions to zero by 2050. Increase the 2030 target to 77% and, crucially, commit to actions on integrated policies to make that happen.’
‘If you believe that every power currently held by the EU should be devolved completely and immediately upon Brexit then, yes, you can describe the UK government as grabbing those powers. But, you’d then have to explain why you were previously happy for the EU to hold those powers.’