My hope – it may well be, and probably is, a forlorn one – is that Scottish politics can move on from two things: its endless constitutional obsession, a distraction that has dragged our national performance down and denied us competence as a measure of success; and our persistent complaint that there is simply not enough money to make anything better than it currently is. Scotland has been subject to a counsel of despair, been denied any real, worthwhile vision of hope, for too long. We must return to the real world, to the art of the possible – it is possible to shift our educational performance, to reform aspects of the NHS, and grow the economy, to make improvements in each without billions and billions more in public spending. Not easy, but possible. That’s what government is for. We can’t simply tax our way to making things better – economic growth and tough choices are the keys, and will be for the foreseeable future.

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