Tele column – 5th January 2018

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, it will be easier” so said Alfred Tennyson. A lovely sentiment indeed. Sometimes amidst the hyperbole, media bias and political point scoring we can miss the good news stories. And despite working with one hand tied behind their backs the Scottish Government continues to deliver. They have delivered the baby box, scrapped the public sector pay cap, tuition fees have been abolished, over 650 schools built or refurbished, record health spending with 12,000 more NHS staff, childcare provision increased to 30 hours a week, 70,000 affordable houses built and 40,000 more planned, prescription charges scrapped, free sanitary products provided in schools, colleges and universities, crime at its lowest for 43 years, fracking banned and the list goes on. I have no doubt some people reading this will be furious that, under the SNP, Scotland has been so well governed but I would ask them to take a step back and see what can be achieved. Forget the party affiliations, these are good outcomes for the people of Scotland that should not be ignored. As we start to make progress regarding drug addiction as a health issue, with a view towards drug consumption rooms and welfare reform is under way with four basic income pilots in the offing, I sincerely hope that the Labour Party don’t view these as vehicles for political opportunism. We don’t get many chances to make positive changes, it would be a shame if the waters were muddied for political self-gratification. This is a time to pull together and create the best possible Scotland. A little political maturity would make this year easier.