A better deal?
Rural Scotland has suffered years of neglect at the hands of the mainstream political parties
Now that we have a new parliament, can we necessarily assume that it will have a new outlook, a new set of priorities? Sad to say that’s far from a ‘given’; the record of successive Scottish Parliaments since the first in 1999 has been a pretty depressing one in that the obsession of each of them, no matter which party (or parties), has been with the Central Belt.
That’s not all that surprising since that’s where the bulk of the people – also known as voters – live. But in my recent travels around the country, there is no doubt that the feeling of alienation amongst country folk towards Holyrood and all its works is growing rather than decreasing, in spite of the reassuring but phoney words from the various political parties.
When the Scottish Parliament first got going there was widespread feeling amongst many, especially those on the Right, that this new body had nothing to do with them and that, therefore, they needn’t bother voting in its elections. That this was a wholly myopic, not to say plain daft, view has been proved with each subsequent election, and measure after measure that affected everyone became the law of the land.
I had absolutely not a shred of sympathy for those who moaned about what had passed onto the statute book, but who’d never bothered to vote in the four elections since 1999. That said, in my opinion there is very little doubt that rural Scotland has had a pretty poor deal from what