I’m all for Independence but I don’t want a government which follows, acts and looks like Westminster. Unfortunately, in the past few weeks, I’ve witnessed an SNP MP not only fail to answer the questions asked, but actually try to turn them into a party political broadcast. Just answer the question as it was asked please. Don’t fall into the politician’s mantra that it’s politics and our message has to be stated at every opportunity.
We’ve also got the minimum price for alcohol saga. This falls into the useless posturing section like the ridiculous CO2 reduction targets which won’t be met and won’t do anything other than cost jobs and increase the cost of energy. It’s the “hey look at us we can pee up the wall higher than you can so there” followed by a blown raspberry. They claim a lot and the actual results show it’s been ineffective and costly. And now we also have the Edinburgh trams which is nothing more than a vanity project but they have to be saved. Why? Well just because.
The Free Dictionary definition for a politician is – “one who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and manoeuvring”. That doesn’t sound particularly nice does it? If your best friend was described like that, would they remain your best friend? Unlikely I’d say. Now, Alex Salmond is held in some high esteem by people who say he is probably the best politician in the UK at present, although there doesn’t seem to be much competition really? Do we want our First Minister to be described in such terms? Does the end justify the means? Only to a certain extent.
I’m not entirely sure that many people think beyond the goal of Independence. At times I feel that we’ll wake up one morning, having gained Independence, and we’ll all look around at each other and ask “Well what next?” I know there are a lot of people out there who do think about the day after Independence and the years and years after that. Where is the debate about this though? Has Alex been on TV and in the newspapers asking us all to think about the future and what the Scottish people want? Not that I’ve seen.
The minimum price for alcohol uses the same old stick that is the only tool in our politician’s tool box. Hit people in their wallet. The trams now look like they will produce the same effect. The SNP are now going to support the completion of the trams as long as they go to St Andrews Square. I’m pretty sure this is to avoid the embarrassment which doing the sensible thing, not spending any more money on it, would have meant. No, it’s far better to hit the tax payer at least twice to get the thing completed.
Being hit twice? Well Transport Scotland has put and will put in more money so that’s hit one. Borrowing £250 million so it can be completed but will have to be paid back will be hit two for the next thirty years. If we want to get really picky hit three will be in the tax payer having to subsidise tram operations to an estimated £4 million per year every year that it operates. The best approach by far would be to stop putting any more public money in. Then, if the politicians want to complete the trams project as it now stands they can either finance it from their own pockets or they can sell it as it is and let a private company take it over, complete it and run it.
The SNP Government will no doubt allow the mugging of tax payers to continue. It’s guaranteed that Westminster would. This is Scotland, not Westminster. We have to be better than this. We have to be twice as good as we should be to ensure our success as an independent country.
So let’s leave behind the definition for a politician – “one who seeks personal or partisan gain, often by scheming and manoeuvring”. Let’s move forward and use an improved definition – “one who works tirelessly, honestly and with integrity to achieve the best outcome for the voters they represent”.