How important is a target?

Does the Scottish Government really care about people?

Once upon a time, The Scottish Government was mainly concerned with making the lives of Scots people better. Remember when the government led by Alex Salmond passed legislation to remove toll charges on Scottish bridges. Remember the introduction of free personal care, free school meals and the promise of a non-profit state run energy company. Remember these?

The impetus behind all of these changes was to make life a little better for those living in Scotland, but also to provide ‘clear blue water’ between the priorities of the Scottish and English (UK) governments.

Now the Scottish government led by Nicola Sturgeon has other priorities. These priorities don’t seem to recognise the financial challenges faced by families in Scotland today.

At a time when the cost of living is increasing because of the impact of the insanity of Brexit and the massive 54% increase in energy prices, two decisions made by the Scottish Government bring their priorities into sharp focus.

In 2017, at the SNP Autumn conference, Nicola Sturgeon announced, to a standing ovation, the creation of a non-profit State controlled energy company which would supply consumers “as close to cost price as possible”. However, just at the time when such an organisation would be extremely helpful to the Scottish people, the SNP have ditched the proposal, having done no work to establish the promised energy company. Was it ever a serious proposal or was it always intended by Sturgeon simply as a crowd-pleaser at conference to give her another ego-boosting ovation.

As mentioned above, one of the early SNP government actions was to remove tolls from most road bridges. An argument advanced at the time was that it was unfair on those using the bridges to pay when those using ordinary roads travelled for free. It was a policy much acclaimed within the party.

However, in the last couple of days, an article in the Times has revealed that the SNP are considering re-introducing bridge tolls, allegedly to cut car use in pursuit of their green agenda and probably encouraged by their Green partners. No doubt mindful of the argument when tolls were removed, they are are also thinking of converting some major roads into toll roads. Equally unfair to all?

If fast, flexible, low cost public transport was available throughout Scotland, or if everyone lived within walking distance of their workplace, it might be an option to try to encourage people to stop using their cars, but this isn’t the case virtually all over the country, so the practical effect of the policy will be to increase the cost of essential travel for those who have no real alternative to using their car.

To add insult to injury, the Workplace Parking Levy gets introduced next month (4th March). This allows Local Authorities to place a charge on companies that provide parking spaces for their employees. The scale of charges and the specific size and type of car park to be subject to the charge are at the discretion of the Local Authority.  Companies can decide to pay the levy themselves or, as I suspect most will do, pass the charge on to the employees.  Another cost for already hard-pressed employees.

From the above, we see that the main priority of the current SNP and Scottish Government is keeping to their promise of net zero emissions by 2045.  Sticking to a target set to beat almost every other country on the planet has, perhaps through fear of being shown to have failed, proved to be the main driver of Government policy, eclipsing the need to prevent the suffering of large numbers of Scots citizens by piling on even more taxes, making lives already blighted by the effects of Westminster policy even worse.

So next time the SNP or Scottish Government tells you how evil the Tory government in Westminster is, just remember how much suffering among Scots families the Scottish Government themselves are prepared to accept so they can say they met their self-imposed target and beat the rest of the world to net zero.

The opportunity to boast beats the safety of our citizens every time?

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11 thoughts on “How important is a target?

  1. The SNP Scottish Government’s record on public transport is woeful.

    The most they have done are piecemeal improvements to existing rail lines and the odd short rail re-opening. The proportion of Scotland’s rail network electrified is way below European norms with no electrification north of Dunblane. There is no comprehensive development plan for Scotland’s railways.

    The SG has powers to initiate schemes to transfer freight from road to rail – they are virtually unused.

    They promised to re-regulate the bus industry – they reneged on that.

    As far as urban transport is concerned the record is even worse with little or no development taking place and complete reliance on private bus companies in most urban settings. However there are regular much hyped “announcements” of paper schemes such as the “Clyde Metro” which eventually fizzle out into nothing.

    And now the SNP appear to be content to preside over a post-covid spiral of decline in public transport usage.

    Actions speak louder than words and their inaction on public transport says to me that they don’t really believe the dire warnings of climate change. Why should we?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Their inaction on public transport is much like their inaction in so many other areas, particularly on independence related areas. Having done nothing to create a decent linked public transport network, they seem perfectly happy to introduce rules to force commuters on to the non-existent system. Like so many other areas, there seems to be lots of words, but very little action.

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  2. Sturgeon and her cabal are stooges of the British elite. We need to replace her as a matter of urgency. She has Betrayed the independence movement, whats worse is currently in the process of selling of Scottish assets piecemeal, all part of the UK ,Ok ploy . To impoverish us even more .At the end you will be offered Devo Max a status quo that does nothing for to make your present life better and does nothing for your future .
    Sturgeons mirroring of right wing politics is to implant in your head that their is no difference between Saxon and Celtic, Brexitland. So the elites message is why bother we are tethered together in eternal misery a false togetherness, colonial subjects to the end, Vote Alba break this sick mold they have made for us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If you hadn’t already realised, surely the wind power sell off would have been the last straw. Selling a £multi-billion asset for buttons is not the act of someone who’s planning to take Scotland to indepencence soon. As for Devo Max, it would be just as useful to us as Devo anything else. Power devolved is power retained and, in any case, no form of Devo Max would ever be accepted by the English MPs in Westminster. Look what happened to the Vow.

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  3. I would say it is even worse than that , their policies make NO SENSE , they have made public transport free for young people yet they complain about overweight and obese young people , they complain about oxygen circulation for kids in schools so they set aside £300,000 to cut the bottoms off classroom doors and when they were pulled up about it , the response was everybody and their dugs misinterpreted what shirley anne shit for brains actually meant
    At 71 I can honestly say I have lived through some shit governments mostly Liebour with Magrit and her troughers but honestly these clowns are ahead of the pack of numties , and yet some dafties still think they are doing well and support them

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    1. Too many in the Scottish Government seem incapable of thinking through the policy statements they make. They have a whole bunch of civil servants at their beck and call to make sure they understand the consequences of their ideas. Don’t they listen to the advice or are the civil servants too busy with Self Id and Hate Crimes to have the time.

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  4. They have no care for the Scots. The policy they are most proud of is travel for kids. Well, whoopiebloodydoo. Any adult that has to pay to use public transport knows all too well how the costs are forever rising and cutting into already low wages. So low in fact that many households had to work 2 and sometimes even 3 jobs to make ends meet and that was before the massive price hikes on essentials.It is good for their newest industry though – food donation outlets. That industry is skyrocketing.

    The SNP for many years were called Tartan Tories. They used to laugh it off. Now, they embrace it and attempt to out do the Tories. Bad enough that they want to emulate a foreign country’s political party and current reigning English government, but to emulate one that is abhorrent to any decent minded human? That is unforgivable.

    If the SNP contingent of the Scottish Government want to emulate other countries they should look more to Eastern or Scandinavian countries where the people are happy, the countries are spotless and well maintained and they have a strong focus on education and family life.

    The SNP Scottish government contingent don’t want to emulate those aspects as the immediate financial rewards aren’t there. It is something they have to invest long term in and so looking only to the next election they go for soundbites not real change that would have a long term positive effect.

    It sadly isn’t the one aspect of the English government the Scottish government are keen to emulate. Folk think the English government have one up on Scotland and can do as they please but it isn’t due to numbers or their policies (which the Scottish government endorse by refusing to govern Scotland – the one job they were actually elected to do) but because both main English political parties play the long game. They plan decades in advance and tweak minor aspects of governance. Thus it matters not who is in office as the long term goals remain the same.

    In Scotland, the Scottish government won’t even assert its authority let alone plan to do so long term. This the Scots always lose out – boh in policy and its desire to reassert its full statehood.

    The true SNP patriots who have died before seeing their country free from the treaty and union would be birling in their graves if they could see what has become of the SNP and hoe they have abandoned Scottish independence.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That they’ve become too used to the power and money is the least bad option because it means they didn’t start off meaning to cheat and lie. However we got here, we know the SNP under Nicola Sturgeon have absolutely no interest in independence. It would be nice to think they had a long term plan for independence, but there isn’t even a short term plan, unless you count making promises in the few months before an election.

      It’s hard to imagine how we can change things as there are too many who are happy with her leadership, either because they’re just getting well paid or because they themselves don’t see independence as a priority. The numbers who recognise Sturgeon’s inaction are growing, but not growing fast enough at the moment to make a real difference. Just look at the million who fell for the “both votes SNP” scam last year.

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  5. The SNP remind me of new Labour they seem to be full of sound bite but with no real substance. GRA is a perfect example of distraction politics. Looney policy’s that no one is interested in except the Yahoo’s and weirdos of an exlabour persuasion.
    2016 we were dragged out of the EU there was plenty eloquent speeches about independence and getting us back in the EU. What has happened since then, nothing .Sturgeon has wasted her time fighting feuds shafting those who criticise her instead of what we voted her to do, delivering independence. She is all about keeping power feeding her narrsistic supply while working with her Union pals to keep independence at bay for as long as she can. It’s academic if she is a plant of the British state or is just a secret Unionists. The problem I have now with the SNP is wheres the dissent from the missrule of this rotten dictator that is Queen Nicola. Why are the MPs and MSPs quite.?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The SNP are now a direct replacement for Labour. Labour must be kicking themselves that they didn’t think of the independence scam first. Had Labour added promises of home rule or independence on to their promised support for the working class, they would have been unbeatable.

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