Opposition parties are failing to turn the SNP tide

by jack nixon

For while there is much to admire, even respect in the way the SNP has grabbed power in the 21st century, it is not healthy to have what is rapidly becoming a monopoly of our national political scene.

And yet in the run-up to next year’s Scottish elections, there is no real indication that the tide is turning, which is quite remarkable given that the SNP honeymoon has lasted since 2007 when they first came to power.

Indeed all the indications are that come next year the party is going to increase its stranglehold on the country.

But I can only sit back in the cheap seats and view the march to power with some concern, particularly as the party is in danger of obsessing itself with what goes on across the border in Westminster.

While the leaders and their 56 elected MP’s fiddle in England, it is my opinion that key issues, meriting attention are in danger of burning before our very eyes.

I am particularly concerned about the neglect of our local government, our much-vaunted education system, and of course the dear old NHS which is once more a political football.

The demise of our vastly underfunded local government is quite alarming, and yet the Scottish government has insisted in continuing to freeze the council tax, which given the problems of maintaining the very services they say they hold dear is a total contradiction of the current situation.

The decimation of further education is also hard to countenance, leading to closures and mergers which do nothing to promote - quite the reverse - what was once a quality service in at least this neck of the woods. As a consequence the training of young people is virtually at a standstill.

The neglect of the NHS is an ongoing problem, but again I would contend it needs concerted action before the black hole gets any bigger.

This action will only come when the SNP government are put under some pressure from the hopelessly inept, so-called main parties who have failed to remotely come within touching distance of providing a decent challenge.

The Labour Party is the most stricken, paying the awful, but deserved penalty of near extinction after jumping into bed with the Tories on the issue of the referendum last year.

I predict they will not in my life time, or even ever, be a force in Scottish politics.

As for the Tory Party they have never understood Scotland and its complex issues, while sadly the Liberal Party look to be dead in the water.

So after a plea for a challenge I am left to accept that it may not be forthcoming, at least in the foreseeable future, leaving me to appeal to the SNP government to square up to its responsibilities, as opposed to obsessing about Westminster.

Independence may be on the horizon, but in the meantime there is a job to be done here in Scotland first.