We’ll keep fight­ing a Tory regime hell-bent on harm

Rutherglen Reformer - - Memory Lane - Com­mons Com­ment

We re­cently marked the mile­stone of 100 days since the gen­eral elec­tion.

In that short space of time we’ve seen the Tories bull­doze through sound pol­icy faster than they can sell off so­cial hous­ing.

So far they’ve man­aged to scrap child poverty tar­gets, slash Work­ing Tax Cred­its, cut sup­port for re­new­ables, tar­get Trade Unions to deny work­ers’ rights, trash Free­dom of In­for­ma­tion, and ig­nore the over­whelm­ing man­date that the SNP hold in Scot­land. And that’s only the tip of the ice­berg.

Although the SNP haven’t alone been able to halt the Tories at ev­ery turn, we have man­aged to pres­sure the Tories into a few U-turns.

David Cameron’s Gov­ern­ment has al­ready shelved plans to run a ref­er­en­dum on the UK’s mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union on the same day as next year’s Holy­rood elec­tions. They have kicked their ab­hor­rent pro­pos­als to abol­ish the Hu­man Rights Act well into the long grass.

Plans to re­peal fox-hunt­ing leg­is­la­tion in Eng­land and Wales were sen­sa­tion­ally scrapped af­ter some deft ma­noeu­vring from the SNP benches.

Ridicu­lous pro­pos­als to stop MPs from Scot­land vot­ing on is­sues which help set the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment’s bud­get fell apart, when faced down by our 56-strong con­tin­gent on the op­po­si­tion benches.

While all this has been hap­pen­ing, Labour has been busy look­ing at it­self in a mir­ror, ar­gu­ing over what it sees.

As their lead­er­ship con­test drags on I hope that who­ever wins, the sec­ond largest party get their act to­gether when Par­lia­ment re­con­venes af­ter re­cess.

The Tories have a wafer-thin ma­jor­ity, and ab­stain­ing on crit­i­cal is­sues is not an op­tion. With the poor­est, the most vul­ner­a­ble, and hard-work­ing fam­i­lies firmly in Tory sights, it is time for the op­po­si­tion par­ties to work to­gether con­struc­tively.

The Tories can be suc­cess­fully chal­lenged. It is in­cum­bent upon all those in op­po­si­tion to hold their poli­cies un­der a mi­cro­scope.

Some­times it doesn’t even war­rant such close scru­tiny. Take sanc­tions for in­stance. Of­fi­cial fig­ures re­leased by the UK Gov­ern­ment have shown that al­most half of all sanc­tions im­posed on ESA and JSA claimants have been over­turned when re­viewed.

This stag­ger­ing fig­ure is fairly re­flec­tive of the cava­lier at­ti­tude that the Tories take to wel­fare. Ill-thought and poorly im­ple­mented, sanc­tions are caus­ing mis­ery for hun­dreds of thou­sands.

I’ve had too many con­stituents con­tact me al­ready seek­ing help and ad­vice about sanc­tions, and this sim­ply can­not con­tinue.

The regime is a di­rect at­tack by the Tories on so­ci­ety’s most vul­ner­a­ble, and it must be op­posed.

The SNP’s record isn’t go­ing un­no­ticed by the public, and we’ve cel­e­brated some fan­tas­tic by-elec­tion wins re­cently.

The Wishaw by-elec­tion last Thurs­day saw Rosa Zam­bon­nini take the seat with over 50 per cent of the vote, and in Denny and Ban­knock Paul Garner cel­e­brated an as­ton­ish­ing win, tak­ing nearly 70 per cent of the vote.

As a party we’re tak­ing noth­ing for granted.

We’ll keep on de­liv­er­ing for peo­ple, and fight­ing a Tory regime hell-bent on harm.

Im­pact Mar­garet Ferrier reck­ons the 56 SNP MP’s have made their mark at Westminster

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