‘Minimum income of £37,000’ plan for families in independent Scotland – Daily Record

SNP MSP has claimed an independent Scotland could guarantee a couple with children a minimum income of more than £37,000 a year.

Neil Gray admits the plans have not been costed.

But the deputy convener of his party’s flagship Social Justice and Fairness Commission said a future Holyrood Parliament could unite behind a minimum income policy to beat poverty.

He also called for a “greater distribution of wealth” as a way of paying for a more generous social safety net.

The Commission, announced by Nicola Sturgeon in 2019, aims to offer a policy “blueprint to future governments” if Scotland breaks away from the UK.

In an exclusive interview with the Record, Gray said the proposals in the Commission – which also include the decriminalisation of drugs for personal use – have yet to have the costs outlined.

But he points to work by social justice charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation to back up one of the Commission’s key ideas, which is for a pilot of a minimum income guarantee. The report says the concept is based on a combination of minimum wage, tax allowances, income-related and other benefits, as well as pensions.

Gray, 35, said: “We very much based our work around the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. I think their figures for a single person were £19,200 a year, and for a couple with children around £18,700 per person a year.

“I think that would provide a far greater investment in people than we are seeing at the moment, and would provide far greater security.”

Asked if he believed an independent Parliament could reach the levels outlined by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, he said: “Yes, I think we could.”

A land value tax and increasing social security payments are also ideas the Commission’s final report said should be considered. Another key call is the eradication of poverty.

Gray gave credit to the last Labour government for cutting poverty levels but said progress on social security under devolution can be undercut by Tory policies such as scrapping the £20 uplift in Universal Credit.

On the economy, an independent Scotland would be likely to start with a large budget deficit and the SNP will face detailed questions on the affordability of the Commission’s recommendations.

Asked if the focus of an independent Scotland would be on deficit reduction, Gray said: “I don’t think it is necessarily going to be that at all.

“The negotiations around creating an independent Scotland, obviously the deficit will be part of that, but we are inheriting a deficit that has been made on our behalf. It’s not been made by us.”

Asked how the Commission’s recommendations will be paid for, Gray said: “We very deliberately said this is not a costed manifesto.”

The report looks at potential tax rises and is positive about the introduction of a land value tax which could hit large estates. Gray said: “There needs to be a greater distribution of wealth in Scotland at the moment. We have a huge amount of wealth tied up in land.”

£166 million cash injection for green technology and 60,000 UK jobs – Gov.uk

Government announces major cash injection for green technology and development as part of Green Industrial Revolution.

  • £166.5 million cash boost will drive forward developments in critical technology needed for a green industrial revolution including carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen
  • funding package will help benefit energy-intensive businesses like Tate & Lyle, BAE Systems and Celsa Manufacturing, creating over 60,000 well-paid green jobs across the UK, cutting business costs and helping to revitalise industrial heartlands
  • UK government powering ahead with ambitious commitments set out in the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a green revolution just 6 months ago

The green technology required to help the UK meet its world-leading climate targets has been given a £166.5 million cash injection, just 6 months on from the publication of the Prime Minister’s 10 Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

The multi-million pound investment, awarded to innovators, businesses, academics and heavy industry right across the UK, will accelerate the delivery of the critical game-changing technologies needed to further drive Britain’s climate change ambitions, while creating over 60,000 jobs across the UK.

The £166.5 million funding package announced today (Monday 24 May) will develop technologies in carbon capture, greenhouse gas removal and hydrogen, while also helping find solutions to decarbonise the UK’s polluting sectors including manufacturing, steel, energy and waste.

This investment will help put the UK at the forefront of the green technologies of the future, while supporting British industries to lowers costs, remain competitive and protect jobs as they improve their energy efficiency and transition to a green economy.

This significant investment will help the UK meet its ambitious climate commitments, including reaching net zero emissions by 2050 and the world’s most ambitious climate target of reducing UK emissions by 78% by 2035 compared to 1990 levels.

Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

We are determined to tackle climate change and make it win-win for both our planet and our economy. Today’s major cash boost – targeted at our most polluting industries – will encourage the rapid development of the technologies we need to reign in our emissions and transition to a green economy, one that reduces costs for business, boosts investment and create jobs.

Just 6 months ago, the Prime Minister set out a clear 10 Point Plan for creating and supporting up to 250,000 British jobs as we level up and build back greener from the pandemic. Today we’re boosting our armoury for the fight against climate change and backing innovators and businesses to create green jobs right across the United Kingdom.

The Prime Minister’s ambitious 10 Point Plan committed to removing 10 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, generating 5GW of hydrogen by 2030, and creating 250,000 green jobs.

Today’s announcement takes the UK closer to delivering on these commitments and includes:

  • £60 million to support the development of low carbon hydrogen in the UK and to identify and scale-up more efficient solutions for making clean hydrogen from water using electricity. This will take the UK one step closer to using low carbon hydrogen in key industries across the UK – from powering transport such as trains and ships to factories and the heating systems in our homes. This funding will help create around 8,000 hydrogen jobs set out in the 10 Point Plan
  • £37.5 million to fund the largest government programme of greenhouse gas removal methods helping cement the UK’s status as a world-leader in this technology. Of this, 24 projects across England and Wales will receive up to £250,000 to fund innovative designs that develop new ways of removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and store them safely, and a further 5 projects will receive up to £4.5 million each to investigate the viability of adopting greenhouse gas removal methods at scale
  • £20 million to support the development of the next generation carbon capture, usage and storage (CCUS) technologies so they can be deployed at scale by 2030. This could include funding innovative technologies that widen the suitability of CCUS to a larger range of UK industrial uses such as chemicals and cement, reducing the cost of deploying CCUS and helping industrial waste or power sector companies to capture and store harmful emissions from the source, before they are emitted into the atmosphere
  • £20 million to establish a new virtual Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre that will accelerate the decarbonisation of key energy-intensive industries which currently make a significant contribution to UK emissions. Run by Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, the Centre will bring together new technologies and address the challenges faced by industrial areas, helping to provide solutions that reduce costs, risks and emissions. This centre will connect and empower the UK industrial decarbonisation community with over 140 partners, including industry and business, government and regulatory agencies and world-leading academics, working together to deliver an impactful innovation hub for industrial decarbonisation
  • £16.5 million through the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund to develop new technologies and processes that help energy-intensive sectors cut their emissions, while reducing their energy bills. Projects receiving funding include Tate & Lyle to decarbonise its London sugar refinery and cut emissions by up to 90% and Celsa Manufacturing to install new technologies that improve energy efficiencies in the process to melt scrap metal and produce steel. BAE Systems will also receive funding to install energy efficient technology that could save equivalent annual emissions of around 700 households
  • £8 million for projects to develop innovations, such as repurposing textile waste, new clay production techniques for the ceramics industry and concrete manufacturing that support the rapid recovery and sustainability of UK industry. Projects include developing glazes for fast-fire manufacturing of ceramic tiles made entirely from recycled waste, creating a cost-efficient, low carbon concrete manufacturing solution using waste materials and developing the world’s first, high temperature heat pump that can compete commercially with burning fossil fuels
  • £4.7 million will establish a new Transforming Foundation Industries Research and Innovation Hub. The hub will be led by Cranfield University and will help industries like metals, glass, cement, paper and glass to work together and address their common challenges while accelerating the development and adoption of new technologies and business models. This could include creating new, smart materials and processes that enable cheaper, lower energy and low carbon products

On Wednesday, the newly formed Net Zero Expert Group will meet for the first time. Chaired by the Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, this group was a key commitment set out in the PM’s Ten Point Plan, and brings together an expert group as part of Task Force Net Zero to drive forward net zero targets, providing advice on tackling climate change and helping to develop new polices to support the development of the government’s Net Zero Strategy. This will be published ahead of the UN climate summit COP26 taking place in Glasgow this November.

Challenge Director for UK Research & Innovation’s (UKRI) Industrial Decarbonisation challenge Dr Bryony Livesey said:

The introduction of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre concept shows the commitment to not only fund large scale decarbonisation efforts, but to make sure we continually learn from and adapt to their early results and challenges. By enabling the Centre to build evidence on a range of areas from direct costs and emissions to skilled jobs and wider net zero policy, we believe we are creating a more adaptive and responsible path for the UK’s big industry to take to remain at the forefront of a global low carbon culture.

Challenge director of UKRI’s Transforming Foundation Industries challenge Bruce Adderley said:

For the Foundation Industries there are huge benefits to be gained by looking at reducing and re-using waste materials that arise from the creation, processing and use of the products manufactured by these sectors, so it is inspiring to see so many innovations that tackle this challenge head on. The focus these projects bring on greener alternatives, lower emissions, and energy saving, will have an impact across the economy, support the move towards net zero in the UK, and we look forward to helping them bring their innovations to fruition. The research hub also represents a crucial step forward in addressing innovation in these industries, by introducing a more collaborative environment to share knowledge and experiences.

Professor Mercedes Maroto-Valer at Heriot-Watt University said:

The role of the Industrial Decarbonisation Research and Innovation Centre will be to consider a wide-range of opportunities and challenges for the industrial sector to decarbonise– starting with the industrial clusters and our joint ambition to deliver the world’s first net zero industrial hubs by 2040. The research and evidence we’ll work through with our academic and industry partners across the UK will not just focus on industry itself, however, but also how it will shape society and economies at both a local and national level. It’s a key part of making sure the UK heads down the most effective path with its decarbonisation efforts and I’m looking forward to starting the journey.

£86 million of the total funding package announced today comes from the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and systems, helping the UK end its contribution to climate change.

Projects receiving funding include:

  • Professor Christopher Evans, UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology is being backed with almost £4.5 million to manage and restore peatlands to maximise their greenhouse gas removal potential at farmland near Doncaster, and at upland sites in the South Pennines and in Pwllpeiran, West Wales. Peatlands store more carbon than any other ecosystem on land, but as a result of human disturbance they are rapidly losing this carbon to the atmosphere. This project will re-create, and where possible enhance, the environmental conditions that lead to peat formation, and to re-establish a secure long-term carbon store in the landscape
  • Celsa Manufacturing, Cardiff, Wales, will receive £3 million to install new technologies to reduce emissions and improve energy efficiencies in the process to melt scrap metal and produce steel. Further, this project could increase domestic scrap processing and production of steel in the UK, reducing the next to import materials from around the world – lowering the country’s carbon footprint
  • Saint-Gobain Glass, Eggborough, North Yorkshire, will receive over £1.4 million to deliver a new flat glass production furnace to improve the efficiency of its UK plant while reducing energy consumption, emissions and on-going maintenance costs. The company has designed a new furnace and production line component replacements that utilise the latest technological advances
  • Tate & Lyle, London, will receive over £500,000 to study how it can decarbonise its sugar refinery and reduce greenhouse gas emission by 90%. The company’s Thames Refinery currently uses boilers fired with natural gas to generate steam and power for its refining operations, which emits carbon dioxide. The aim of the project is to explore new technology that reduces emissions and can also remove carbon from the air that could be deployed at Tate & Lyle’s refinery and also at other sugar refineries around the world
  • Phillips 66 Limited, Humberside, will receive over £500,000 explore switching fuel in its gas refinery’s industrial fired heaters with renewable and low carbon hydrogen. Doing so will help to decarbonise these heaters and significantly reduce emissions, while demonstrating the importance of hydrogen for industrial fuel
  • over £250,000 for a Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology project led by Storegga, owned subsidiary Pale Blue Dot Energy, with technology partner Carbon Engineering (CE), engineering partner Petrofac Facilities Management, and support from the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh. DAC technology has the potential to accelerate UK net zero efforts by capturing carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere so it can be stored permanently underground. This project will research and develop an alternative to using natural gas to power the calciner, which is a kiln that operates at high temperatures and a key step in the process. This will enable the system to run on clean energy only, eliminating the current requirement to co-capture the carbon dioxide from natural gas which is used in other systems
  • Scotland’s Rural College alongside partners University of Strathclyde, Agri-EPI Centre and No Pollution Industrial Systems Ltd, is receiving over £200,000 to reduce the environmental impact of beef production. The project aims to capture the greenhouse gas methane from housed cattle and convert it to carbon dioxide and energy using a novel system. At the same time, manure and waste feed will be converted to a fertiliser and biogas that will be used to power farm sheds and produce low-carbon fruits and vegetables. As a result, farmers could improve their profitability, increase their selection of goods to sell and utilise natural resources through more sustainable low-carbon farming that reduces their carbon-footprint
  • BAE Systems, Glascoed, Wales, has been awarded over £82,000 to incorporate energy efficient technology that replaces a steam heating system at the company’s Glascoed site. The project aims to reduce energy consumption and the company’s carbon footprint by up to 25%, saving the equivalent annual emissions of approximately 700 households
  • William Cook Holdings Limited, Sheffield, will benefit from over £38,000 to improve energy efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint by recovering waste heat from its furnaces to produce electricity, among other uses

Westminster must stop Sturgeon’s separatist empire-building – The Spectator

It is so rare to see a Conservative push back against devolution creep that I didn’t believe my eyes at first. Stephen Kerr, newly elected to the Scottish parliament as a list member for Central Scotland,  highlighted this week the £2 million per year the Scottish government spends on a Brussels office with 17 staff members. This crypto-embassy is joined by similar set-ups in Washington DC, Beijing, Dublin, Berlin, Ottawa and Paris. All in, Nicola Sturgeon’s administration is spending just shy of £6 million each year to run these offices and employ almost 40 staffers across them. Kerr says: ‘It’s clear the SNP are doing this to try and boost international support for separation, using taxpayers’ money to do so.’

Now, it’s true these overseas ‘Scottish government offices’ didn’t begin with the SNP. They started under the deservedly forgotten first ministership of Labour’s Henry McLeish. It’s another one of those things set up by Labour that definitely wasn’t going to undermine the Union and help the SNP. Those always work out well. What the SNP has done, however, is aggressively expand the quasi-diplomatic estate established by Labour, something I’ve been banging on about for years. While a separatist-run Scottish government creating an embryonic network of embassies for a future independent state is audacious enough, it is far from the only facet of the SNP’s foreign policy strategy.

Glorified junkets to foreign capitals are stage-managed by the Scottish government as state visits, and dutifully reported as such by much of the Scottish media. Following the Brexit vote, Sturgeon sought meetings with representatives of European governments (sometimes successfully, sometimes less so) to ‘set out Scotland’s perspective on the result of the UK referendum on the EU’. She even delivered a speech at the French parliament in which she pronounced that ‘Scotland and the Scottish government is committed to the European Union’, branded Brexit ‘isolationism’, condemned the UK government as ‘unwilling to recognise the complexity of the vote across the UK’, and talked up independence. This was not Sturgeon firing off some tweets from her personal Twitter account. Holyrood’s First Minister — a minister of the Crown — addressed another country’s parliament in the name of the Scottish government to undermine the policies of the UK government on reserved matters. This brought no censure or sanction.

Westminster’s complacency about such challenges to its authority has only spurred the nationalists on to further power-grabs over reserved matters. Law professor Andrew Tettenborn has noted how the SNP’s recent incorporation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international treaties into Scots law will create potential obligations on the UK that ministers in Whitehall have hitherto avoided by not making them domestic law. The Scottish government is openly pursuing a foreign policy not only independent of that pursued by the UK government but at times directly contradictory to it. A folly begat by Scottish Labour’s diet nationalism (and political vanity) has, with the relentless efforts of the full-fat nationalists, become a serious challenge to Westminster’s sovereignty.

Nor are such challenges limited to foreign policy. When a mob prevented UK Border Force officers from detaining two suspected illegal immigrants in Glasgow earlier this month, Sturgeon branded their actions ‘unacceptable’. The actions of the Home Office, that is, not the mob. ‘To act in this way, in the heart of a Muslim community as they celebrated Eid and in an area experiencing a Covid outbreak was a health and safety risk,’ she opined. Her justice secretary Humza Yousaf said: ‘I abhor Home Office immigration policy at the best of times, but to have taken the action they have today is at best completely reckless, and at worst intended to provoke.’ Yousaf, now health secretary, later agreed with an interviewer that it was proper for him to ‘delegitimise’ the UK rule of law because, he reasoned, ‘I think people look to me for ensuring that I, and the Scottish government, are the voices of justice’.

While it is commendable that Stephen Kerr is pushing back against the Scottish government’s separatist empire-building, it is a dismal state of affairs that it has been left to an MSP, barely five minutes in the door, to do what the UK government should have been doing years ago. Maybe the blame lies with Boris Johnson’s utter terror at having to even think about Scotland, let alone act like the prime minister of the place. Maybe it’s down to Michael Gove, whose love-bombing strategy seems to begin from the assumption that Westminster needs permission from the SNP or the wider Scottish establishment to govern Scotland. Maybe it’s the quality of advisers at Downing Street, some of whose ideas for saving the Union have major 9 a.m.-tutorial-and-not-done-the-reading energy. Whatever the cause, if the UK government wants to keep the ‘UK’ in its name much longer, it might want to start doing some governing.

SNP councillor on Eurovision: ‘We hate the UK too’ – The Spectator

fter the UK finished bottom of Eurovision on Saturday, you might have thought British hopeful James Newman was the big loser of the night. But step forward, Rhiannon Spear, SNP Greater Pollok representative, who managed to embarrass her newly re-elected party with a late night display of classlessness.

The SNP’s national women’s convenor posted: ‘It’s ok Europe we hate the United Kingdom too. Love, Scotland.’ Spear also serves as chair of Glasgow City Council’s education committee, tasked with the development of school curricula and educational attainment of children – what an example she sets them.

Predictably her tweet sparked a social media backlash, with Scottish Conservative chief whip Stephen Kerr leading the charger over her ‘abhorrent language’ claiming: ‘the mask has again slipped from the SNP and this is another example of their toxic obsession with division’ and adding ‘We should be teaching tolerance and inclusion, not hate and division.’

” />

And now as sure as night follows day, Spear has deleted the tweet and apologised ‘for any offence caused’ only after her words gained traction online. Steerpike wonders why a party which created the new offence of ‘stirring up hatred’ as recently as March should have so many members obsessed with repeatedly publicising their own hatred of the UK.

Good to see that ‘civic nationalism’ on show once again…

Scotland’s GPs ‘at breaking point’ amid rising Covid workloads – The Scotsman

The BMA survey of 669 GPs also found 88 per cent said they or their staff had been subjected to verbal or physical abusive behaviour from the public in the last month.

Almost two-thirds (65.9 per cent) said the abuse had grown worse since the beginning of the pandemic.

Some 82 per cent said they lacked confidence that plans for NHS recovery would support GPs and 66 per cent said they were considering cutting the number of sessions they work.

Dr Andrew Buist, chairman of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee, said: “The results of this survey make for extremely difficult – and disappointing – reading.

“GPs in Scotland are at breaking point with ever-increasing workloads. We are still involved with the vaccination programme rollout and staffing Covid assessment centres as well as trying to ensure those patients in our communities with greatest need get the care they require.

“Let’s be clear and absolutely put to bed the damaging myth that GP practices have been closed during the pandemic.

“Yes, we’ve had to clinically assess people differently, but all the evidence suggests that means we are working harder than ever.”

He said there was a shortage of GPs and the need for physical distancing had made consultations more difficult.

Dr Buist continued: “We urgently need reassurance from the Scottish Government that general practice will be adequately supported as we recover from this pandemic.”

Scots Indians accuse Nicola Sturgeon of ‘silly gesture politics’ over Indian variant name change – The Sun

SCOTS Indians have slated the government for “political correctness gone mad” after a deadly new variant of Covid was renamed in case it caused offence.

The double-mutated strain which originated in India has ripped through Glasgow’s southside community causing the city to be placed in Level 3 lockdown limbo.

In a gesture to the Glasgow’s Indian minority communities on Friday Nicola Sturgeon vowed to use the term April-02 instead of “Indian” variant amid concerns the term would offend.

But Neil Lal, president of the Indian Council of Scotland blasted the decision as “silly”and “gesture politics.”

In a scathing rebuttal he told the Sunday Mail: “I’ve not heard from one Indian who has voiced any concern over a Covid strain being called the Indian variant. Not one.

“No one is taking offence to it. It’s an overused term, but it’s political correctness gone mad.

“We’ve certainly not been asked our views on it. We’ve had the Brazilian, South African, Kent and other variants. There’s been no indication any people from these areas have suffered after a strain was named after the region they were from.

“It just looks like gesture politics and empty ones at that. India has bigger problems on its plate than a variant name.

“When I heard about it, I just thought it was very silly.

“This is just playing to the galleries. The facts speak for themselves. People don’t feel stigmatised because a variant developed in India.”

It is feared to be more contagious that the Kent variant that caused the Boxing Day Level 4 shutdown with a ramped up vaccination program underway to combat its spread.

On Friday Humza Yousaf, MSP for Glasgow Pollok and Cabinet Secretary for Health & Social Care said: “There is also a reason why we are calling it the April-02 variant.

“I think it’s so, so important for us not to allow this virus to divide us as communities and people, and I think I would just like to reiterate that message.”

Pollokshields, at the heart of the Glasgow outbreak, was the scene last week of a major protest when the Home Office tried to remove two men targeted in immigration raid.

On Sunday, Professor Jason Leitch, Scotland’s national clinical director, said some members of Asian minorities had been reluctant to have the jab.

She said: “There are some question marks right now, and there will be more data published in days to come, over the efficacy of the vaccine with the Indian variant.”

Never Their Fault – The McGuigan View

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a political party which has been in a position of power at the top of government for 14 years would take responsibility for its actions and admit when it gets things wrong as opposed to blaming others. Well that may be true in other countries but here in Scotland, the SNP are always finding someone else to blame for the state of our country.
They’ve managed to socially engineer a great number of Scots into believing somehow all of Scotland’s problems are at the feet of the Conservative government in Westminster and not the SNP Scottish government. 
 
Immigration, defence and some elements of the environment policies are in the hands of the Tories… outside of that Scotland pretty much already has its own ability to make decisions over a majority of issues. The Sturgeon government is indeed very powerful, but having power and using it are two separate things. We could have a government of national unity in Holyrood working together to end child poverty for good, tackle in work poverty and fix our education system as well as drugs crisis but nope instead we have another 5 years of SNP/Greens chaos pursuing the same old ideological, grudge and grievance politics. 
Nicola Sturgeon seems to be an architect of this theory, in that she blames Boris Johnson for literally all of Scotland’s ills despite the fact she is the most powerful First Minister in the history of devolution, and her government is the most powerful devolved administration in the entire UK. This covers issues which Scotland badly needs to pay attention to and fix. Notably, the drugs crisis where Scotland is the drug death capital of Europe, where in 2019 stats show deaths were 23 per every 100,000 people (Powell, 2021). Powers over drug misuse are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, as part of the massive overhaul of powers we’ve seen transferred between the governments over the past 5 years since the Scotland Act (2016) was passed, closest to ‘devo max’ as we’ll ever be surely?
It seems that all the nats are interested in is virtue signalling and finding others to blame. This can be extended to issues regarding child poverty, a subject to be treated with great sensitivity no political point scoring. SNP MP Mhari Black (known for her maiden speech where she lamented the rise in food banks usage in 2015), appeared before a committee at the House of Commons and called out the Tory government. She said, “People in poverty are not the problem – the government that ignores them is.” Clearly, referring to the UK government and how immoral it was. If only the SNP could do something about it… well, actually they could. 

Education and health (factors which can be used to tackle child poverty) are fully in the control of Holyrood, as well as powers to increase financial investment. Powers which won’t be used by the SNP to make things better. Mhari Black likes to virtue signal, but perhaps she should have a word with her colleagues in Edinburgh. It’s typical and become boring. 14 years later, and the people keep falling for it. Black talks about being ‘ignored’ yet, she is a member of a party which has openly stated it will gladly put key matters of the day to the side to pursue an ideological route to separation. Again, that’s the term ‘separation’ because it’s not actual independence.
Education, another issue which needs to be paid attention to more. Scotland’s education system has been ranked the worst in the UK for attainment, where consistency those deemed to live in ‘poor areas’ haven’t received equal opportunities.

Notably the exam fiasco last August where low income students were punished. Across the UK, Scotland’s system has ranked 15 out of the 15 metropolitan areas.  John Swinney has wrecked our education system, he may as well wreck our recovery from Covid now. 

 
We’re 14 years down the line, why can’t they take responsibility for their own actions? Scotland still receives very generous Barnett consequentials, and has the ability to take on these challenges face-to-face. In the 2000s, when it was the ‘Scottish Executive’, the administration was much less powerful but did tackle Scotland’s knife crime epidemic and got back positive results. This was because we had a government of pragmatists. 
 
Currently, we have a government of ideologues who constantly want to whip up tension and pursue a ludicrous course of separation. Recently, the SNP also claimed the lowest income for each Scot in an independent Scotland would be £37,000 not bad, that sounds great but wait… ‘these figures aren’t fully costed’ was the small print. Okay then, so you can make nonsensical claims but no way to cost them. Welcome to Scotland in 2021! 
As I stated in articles before the election and now after, this parliament has to be about recovery. Scotland needs to recover and be fixed. We have a drugs crisis, waiting times at A&E not being met, a failing education system and an economy which is driving away investment with these pointless job and life destroying restrictions.

At this stage, even with the Indian… I mean April-02 variant around (have to extra PC now), the vaccine has worked and it’s time to end all restrictions yet Sturgeon for the sake of a good old nanny state wants to deflect from other domestic matters. I should note that the rise has been in cases, not deaths or ICUs but cases. There is absolutely no need for this and the people continuing to support these measures need to get a grip. 

What our political discourse has shown is that the SNP never want to take the blame for their own actions. They’ve took their foot off the pedal regarding massive problems Scotland faces, like drug deaths and lowering educational standards and they’ll never have to worry about the opposition as a threat. A 3 way split will cement decades of SNP rule to come, independence or not. 
If the Scottish government didn’t have these powers and was like a local council, essentially powerless I would sympathise but they have had enough time and power to get these problems sorted. Instead, they want to pursue an agenda of grudge and grievance. I’m no fan of the Johnson government in Westminster and goodness knows what those new Northern Tories see in the party but they are not to blame here. 
So remember next time you see Mhari Black, Ian Blackford or any other SNP MP try and deflect blame from the incompetents in Holyrood, it’s because of the agenda to maintain their strong grip on power. 
14 years down the line, when will the SNP start admitting maybe some things are their fault? 🤦‍♂️