View from West­min­ster: Bren­dan O’Hara

Campbeltown Courier - - LETTERS / NEWS -

THE WEST­MIN­STER par­lia­ment re­con­vened last week af­ter its sum­mer re­cess and al­ready, sadly my fond me­mories of sunny Span­ish beaches and fam­ily out­ings to Kil­martin glen are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly dis­tant.

For MPs, it has been straight back down to busi­ness as Brexit and the un­fold­ing UK chaos of the UK try­ing to legally dis­en­tan­gle it­self from the EU be­gins in earnest.

And I have ab­so­lutely no doubt that Brexit will dom­i­nate this par­lia­ment like no sin­gle is­sue has ever done be­fore in peace­time.

And that the out­come will be chaotic.

That is be­cause the gov­ern­ment is try­ing to do some­thing that has never been done be­fore; and it is try­ing to do it with neg­li­gi­ble plan­ning or prepa­ra­tion.

So we face the prospect of the West­min­ster par­lia­ment be­ing bogged down for weeks on end de­bat­ing and dis­cussing the EU With­drawal Bill, af­ter which in­ter­minable line-by-line scru­tiny on the minu­tiae of the Bill by the Brexit Se­lect Com­mit­tee will fol­low.

At the same time, the UK’s ill-pre­pared min­is­ters will be be­ing tied in knots dur­ing pro­tracted ne­go­ti­a­tions with an in­creas­ingly em­bold­ened EU.

For­tu­nately we in Scot­land know that be­ing in gov­ern­ment doesn’t have to be this way, as our first min­is­ter proved last week when she un­veiled the rad­i­cal and am­bi­tious pro­gramme for (Scot­land’s) gov­ern­ment.

She laid out a pro­gramme, the high­lights of which will see an end to the pay­cap on our pub­lic sec­tor work­ers, recog­nis­ing their con­tri­bu­tion to the health and wel­fare of our na­tion:

The ex­ten­sion of free per­sonal care for those in need un­der the age of 65;

The cre­ation of a Scot­tish Na­tional In­vest­ment Bank, ded­i­cated to in­vest­ing in our economy and in­fra­struc­ture;

An am­bi­tious car­bon emis­sion re­duc­tions tar­get and mak­ing it eas­ier to switch to non-pol­lut­ing ve­hi­cles;

A bot­tle and can re­cy­cling scheme to take harm­ful waste out of our en­vi­ron­ment;

Brand new so­cial se­cu­rity pow­ers, with dig­nity and re­spect at its core; one tai­lored to Scot­land’s spe­cific needs.

While the gov­ern­ment at West­min­ster sinks into a mess of its own mak­ing.

We are for­tu­nate that Scot­land’s gov­ern­ment is get­ting on with the day job for our pub­lic-sec­tor and low-paid work­ers, the sick, vul­ner­a­ble and the el­derly, our economy, our stu­dents and of course, our pre­cious en­vi­ron­ment.

Ar­gyll and Bute MP Bren­dan O’Hara.

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