Greenock Telegraph 26th August 2022

If you are lucky, then life is full of good choices. Where do I choose to live, what do I choose to drive, where shall I go on holiday? These are all life affirming and add to a sense of wellbeing. But they are also all tied to financial status. The reality for many people is that financial choices are more likely to be, do I pay the energy bill or the rent? Do I eat today? Politicians are supposed to make choices and make decisions that mean people don’t have to choose between heating or eating, people don’t have to rely on food banks to stave of starvation. Obviously, we are failing in that. Whether you want to blame, the Scottish government, UK government or Inverclyde council, that’s your choice too. And understandably those most affected by the years of austerity and a looming recession probably don’t care who created the problems, they just want them fixed. Their issues are very real, extremely personal and are faced on a day-by-day basis. Listening to the current Conservative and Unionist party leadership debates one could be led to believe that none of the problems we have UK wide have been created by the twelve years of their governance. Solutions, no matter how simplistic or unrealistic, trip of their tongues as if they have not been part of the problem for all these years. The one hundred and sixty thousand or so Conservative and Unionist party members that are given the choice as to who will be the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom must be saddened by the choice, they have but at least they get a choice. The rest of us are powerless as we watch the Punch and Judy show draw to a close. We must wait to see which puppet will be in given the nod. Unfortunately, the choices they make from their ivory tower will not reflect the issues that most people face daily and almost certainly their tenure will be as unfruitful as their predecessors. Unless we in Scotland can think of a better choice, one that suits us better and allows us to make decisions that better reflect us and our society. Life is full of choices; we just need the courage to make them.