Greenock Telegraph 30th July 2021

In the Victorian era the great and the good liked to holiday in Scotland. They would put on their kilts, pick up their guns and fishing rods and go hunting. This annual excursion to the wild North qualified them to talk about Scotland in warm tones of affection. It was their playground and it enriched their feeling of wellbeing. And today this tradition of an annual jaunt to plant their feet on Scottish soil continues but it’s the great and good of Westminster now. The media huddle and party lines are carefully prepared, and the obligatory photo opportunity carefully staged. Then it’s a swift exit and that box is ticked for another year. I shouldn’t complain, every time a Tory minister comes North of the border it is a boost for independence. But their message bothers me, ‘we love Scotland, we want to help keep you safe, you are better in this unequal abusive relationship, trust me’. This is then repeated in the usual media outlets.  Two recent events prove without any shadow of a doubt that Westminster is incapable of governing in a compassionate manner. The UK cut foreign aid by £4 billion, cuts that will harm the poorest people on this planet. People in countries whose economies were destroyed by British colonialism. The International Planned Parenthood Federation have said this action is unlawful but let’s face it acting unlawfully has never stopped this Tory UK government. And domestically they have refused to extend the £20 uplift in Universal Credit, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have said this “will create immense immediate hardship and it is completely avoidable”. These amongst many actions reaffirm my view that the UK government is not to be trusted with Scotland’s destiny. The days of Scotland being treated as a side show must be committed to the past if we are to build a better future.