Spare us the tired rhetoric, please

Rutherglen Reformer - - View -

As the coun­try goes to the polls, it seems noth­ing can stop the SNP jug­ger­naut.

As a proud Union­ist and sup­porter of the United King­dom, I won’t pre­tend to be de­lighted at the prospect, but, alas, that is the beauty of democ­racy.

Of course, the cam­paign has been one of frus­tra­tion for those of us op­posed to na­tion­al­ism: The SNP and their leader seem to have adopted a Te­flon coat­ing.

Our own SNP can­di­date does not even un­der­stand her party’s pol­icy of Full Fis­cal Au­ton­omy. I at­tended the re­cent hus­tings in Burn­side and was amazed at Ms Ferrier’s lack of knowl­edge on a key is­sue.

All the sound­bites about Tri­dent and the pro­posed road through Blair­beth should not hide the fact our po­ten­tial MP was woe­fully out of her depth.

I’ve been taken by the num­ber of peo­ple who say their SNP can­di­date shows “pas­sion”. Once again, vot­ers are fall­ing into the trap of fo­cussing on the tone of the mes­sage rather than the mes­sage it­self.

That is a good thing for the Na­tion­al­ists, as their mes­sage is, to put it mildly, a load of non­sense. en­dorsed by their Tory and Lib Dem pals.

What their con­clu­sion tells me is that af­ter over 300 years of union and a se­ries of gov­ern­ments of dif­fer­ent colour (in my adult life­time, Tory, Labour and now Tory-Lib Dem), Scot­land has been dein­dus­tri­alised and left in a to­tally par­lous state de­spite the dis­cov­ery and ex­trac­tion of mas­sive amounts of oil and gas from Scot­tish ter­ri­to­rial wa­ters.

The con­trast with Nor­way and other Scan­di­na­vian coun­tries is stark. Of course, as he in­di­cated at the hus­tings, Mr. Greatrex doesn’t like Scot­land be­ing com­pared to Nor­way.

I sug­gest this is mainly be­cause Nor­way high­lights the ap­palling fail­ures of suc­ces­sive UK gov­ern­ments

When putting your cross be­side a name, it is worth re­mem­ber­ing that the SNP ex­ists for one rea­son and one rea­son only - to sep­a­rate Scot­land from the rest of the UK.

Do peo­ple re­ally be­lieve they will go to West­min­ster to get a bet­ter deal for the Scot­tish peo­ple? Or does it not serve their ob­jec­tive more by cre­at­ing more di­vi­sion across the UK?

Do we want some­one rep­re­sent­ing Ruther­glen and Hamil­ton West who is hell-bent on destroying the very coun­try whose Par­lia­ment she sits in? Or do we want one who will work con­struc­tively with those from across the na­tion to make things bet­ter for peo­ple ev­ery­where - not just in Ruther­glen, but in Rother­ham, Rhyl and Ran­dal­stown as well.

The SNP is not a bea­con of pro­gres­sive pol­i­tics. Their anti-aus­ter­ity stance has al­ready been taken apart by the IFS. They have been un­able to give us a sin­gle re­dis­tribu­tive pol­icy since they came into power at Holy­rood. Their flag­ship poli­cies dis­pro­por­tion­ately ben­e­fit the mid­dle-classes. De­spite free tu­ition, more peo­ple from de­prived back­grounds go on to col­lege or Uni­ver­sity in Eng­land and with re­gard to Scot­land, in­clud­ing from 1997-2010 un­der his own party.

As a re­ward for re­duc­ing Scot­land to the hope­less sit­u­a­tion that they de­scribe, the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the var­i­ous Union­ist par­ties want you to re­turn them to power to con­tinue the same poli­cies.

Poli­cies which by their own ad­mis­sion, have been a com­plete dis­as­ter for Scot­land!

To use an old quote from this axis, “No Thanks”. I will be vot­ing SNP at this elec­tion. They at least wish to adopt a dif­fer­ent strat­egy in an at­tempt to build the Scot­tish econ­omy. The Lon­don­based par­ties will not even try. David Stevenson, By email. Wales than in Scot­land.

None of th­ese are “bad poli­cies” as such, but spare us the tired rhetoric of the SNP now be­ing the party of the work­ing class, the party of the left.

In many ways, they re­sem­ble the very New Labour they claim to loathe. They cosy up to Ru­pert Mur­doch and other big busi­ness peo­ple.

But they go even fur­ther than New Labour. Poli­cies such as armed po­lice and the named per­sons act point to a party will­ing to do what­ever it takes to gain con­trol of ev­ery facet in the lives of pri­vate cit­i­zens.

Scot­land may have been “po­lit­i­cally en­er­gised,” but I see lit­tle ev­i­dence that this has been pro­gres­sive in any­way. The SNP don’t en­gage in de­bate. They sim­ply re­sort to tired sound­bites and shout­ing down op­po­si­tion, as they at­tempted at the hus­tings in Burn­side.

Vote for them if you wish, but make sure you ac­tu­ally re­alise what you are vot­ing for. A party whose leader preaches about poverty while fly­ing around in her own, branded he­li­copter. John Maxwell, By email.

Talks started that saw Clyde Gate­way buy the old Ruther­glen East Parish Church hall and hand it over to the lo­cal com­mu­nity devel­op­ment trust.

Mem­bers of the ur­ban re­gen­er­a­tion group’s board agreed to en­ter into dis­cus­sions with own­ers Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang Hous­ing As­so­ci­a­tion.

The move re­sulted in Healthy‘n’ Happy hav­ing their own base for the first time. It be­came a com­mu­nity devel­op­ment trust in 2012 and moved from Whit­law­burn to its cur­rent base in May 2013.

Else­where, seven-year-old Ben Magee from Burn­side helped to start the Race for Life on Glas­gow Green, with for­mer X Fac­tor win­ner Alexan­dra Burke.

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