Tory silence deafening
The silence from Conservatives in Scotland has been deafening since the budget and particularly since Iain Duncan Smith’s resignation.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson declared after the budget that George Osborne’s tax cuts for the better off were “absolutely the right thing to do”.
Yet we now know they were paid for pound-for-pound by cruel cuts to personal independence payments which support people with disabilities.
I find it hard to see how the Conservatives can begin to justify these proposals. Frankly this disaster deserves to destroy the Conservative Party’s support in Scotland for a generation.
Iain Duncan Smith has now made it clear – and he should know – that the combination of welfare cuts for the poorest and tax cuts for the richest was profoundly unfair. It is also clear that the Conservative government will continue to push this approach.
The tax on sugary drinks looks like it was intended to be a total diversion from the main point. The government have missed their spending targets badly and are making ordinary people pick up the pieces with cuts to disability support, universal credit and local services. The Chancellor’s sugar tax may seem sweet but his hidden cuts are sour. This is not a long-term economic plan, it is a short-term economic scam.
Hidden away are further unnecessary cuts to public services.
The whole direction of travel of the budget is wrong. I think many people in Rutherglen and Cambuslang will be disappointed by the budget and worried by it. Councillor Robert Brown Lib Dem candidate for Rutherglen
Thursday, March 24, it is perhaps appropriate to consider an end-of-term report on the Scottish Government’s performance.
Having been in power for the past nine years, the SNP has had adequate time to achieve most of its policies and aims. So what has been the reality?
On constitutional matters the SNP failed to deliver its primary aim of independence.
It also broke its promise to respect the will of the Scottish people.
Nicola Sturgeon at the party’s recent conference threatened to launch a new campaign for independence. So, yet again, the SNP’s lack of focus on governing the nation will result in disappointment, deprivation and declining standards of health care.
The SNP has failed to address poverty in Scotland.
The gap between poorer people and the better-off has widened. Life expectancy in areas of Scotland is lower than in some developing countries.
The education attainment gap has widened between children from relatively well-off homes and those less fortunate.
Motorists have been failed. Just consider the state of the roads.
The health targets established by the SNP are being failed.
The decline in nursing and medical training facilities has resulted in a shortage of GPs, wards being closed due to lack of nurses and midwives and A&E units being overwhelmed by patients.
The SNP has also failed police and the public.
The SNP’s creation of Police Scotland has resulted in dissatisfied police personnel, an increasing lack of trust in the police and closure of local police stations.
It would be nice to think that the endof-term report could read “Could do better” but, sadly, this government has failed. It should not be given another five years to fail Scotland. John Brown via email
Could you please consider the following verse for publication?
It was written to mark the election of Kezia Dugdale as the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, followed by Jeremy Corbyn’s election as leader of the UK Labour Party.
As Kezia Dugdale continues to insist she leads an autonomous Scottish Labour Party I would like to dedicate this wee song to her:
The Dug fae the Dale
The dug fae the dale hid tae gather the sheep, an get them aw intae a pen. Cause the dug fae the dale won the contest, by beatin a wee dug called Ken. Noo the dug fae the dale wis aw happy She had the Top Dug Title tae keep But in her joy, she seemed tae have forgotten
It wis the Shepherd who belanged tae the sheep.
Aye, it’s the Shepherd that belongs tae the sheep ma lass That’s the hawn ye’ve been dealt So you can sit on your throne Ye can hiv a wee moan Aye – but ye’ll dae whit yer telt.
Now, the Dug fae the dale’s got a deputy, She calls him Deputy Dug Already he’s runnin all over the place An makin her look like a mug He want’s wan of them referendums He want’s tae ban the bomb The Dug fae the dale thought she wis in charge
The Dug fae the dale wis wrong
Aye, it’s the Shepherd that belongs tae the sheep ma lass That’s the hawn ye’ve been dealt So you can sit on your throne Ye can hiv a wee moan Aye – but ye’ll dae whit yer telt. Noo the Shepherd’s been duly elected A man wae a beard called JC Already he’s made a big impact There’s some say he’s parted the seas Others say that he’s fed 10,000 Wae a loaf and a wee bit of fish Well, I’m biding ma time fur the water tae wine
That’s the trick that we don’t want tae miss
Aye, it’s the Shepherd that belongs tae the sheep ma lass That’s the hawn ye’ve been dealt So you can sit on your throne Ye can hiv a wee moan Aye – but ye’ll dae whit yer telt. John Starrs by email