When Nicola Sturgeon came to power she was clear about her animating cause. Her “personal defining mission” was to ensure that kids born to poorer parents would get as good an education as those raised by the rich. That project is now officially dead and in place of that moral cause we are offered cuts to education.
The cuts came in a brutal Spending Review by the Finance Minister Kate Forbes. Despite the Scottish Government’s budget increasing in real terms over the next few years, public services are going to be slashed. As Forbes boasts of a financial reality check, for those of us on the centre-left, all the wrong people are cheering her.
The movement whose bumper stickers promised to prioritise Bairns Not Bombs is cutting early years provision in real terms. The party whose members cosplay as The Bruce or Black Douglas on their protest marches is cutting the budget for the stewards of Arbroath Abbey and Stirling Castle by a quarter. The leader who flies around the globe to proclaim that closing the door on the UK means opening Scotland to the world is cutting spending on trade and tourism by 16%.
After 15 years of local council services being stripped to the bone by the SNP, a fresh round of cuts will go marrow deep. It is just as well that compliant SNP council leaders have been replaced across Scotland by opposition parties who will at least voice complaint.