Home » latest » RHODA GRANT says of the SNP-Green leadership ‘as breakups go, this one did not end well’
rhoda grant says of the snp green leadership as breakups go this one did not end well

RHODA GRANT says of the SNP-Green leadership ‘as breakups go, this one did not end well’

Since my last column, there has been a change in how Scotland is run, with the end of the Bute House Agreement and with it, the end of the SNP-Green coalition Government. As breakups go, this one did not end well. The resignation of the former First Minister followed, and the coronation of a new leader put in, unelected by the Scottish public through internal appointment by the SNP. The Cabinet and Ministerial reshuffle has introduced only a few new faces though I fear not many new ideas will be forthcoming. Continuity will not cut it. I and Scottish Labour pushed for an election so that the Scottish public could have their say in who runs the country and we will continue to push for change that this country needs. With the appointment of Kate Forbes to deputy First Minister, having a Highlander in a senior role in government is welcome and I would expect the dial to be shifted away from centralised decision-making policies that unfairly impact Highland and Island communities. Now, the SNP are a minority government. Being unable to command a majority means they will have to work with other parties to get support for progressing their policies. This can make for more effective legislating. The government will have to listen, consult, and collaborate more to ensure their policies get the necessary backing of other parties, which in turn can lead to more robustly tested bills. This month is the 25th anniversary of devolution. The Scottish Parliament was delivered by Labour. Holyrood was deliberately designed to ensure proportional representation of voices and to encourage cooperation between parties. Governing by minority was an important part of this approach. We will see in the coming weeks and months how the change in SNP government will play out, but this is an opportunity for change to how things are done. With John Swinney now back in government, another familiar face was in Parliament earlier this month. Alex Salmond appeared before the Public Petitions Committee to give evidence on the inquiry into dualling the A9. He spoke of politics being the language of priorities and delivering on projects was based upon ‘integrity and honour’ through committing to these priorities. He said plainly that the list of excuses given by the SNP were pathetic. It is rare for me to find common ground with Alex Salmond but on this, I agree. It was clear that the SNP government did not prioritise the A9 project despite continuous manifesto promises to have it dualled by 2025. This echoes a fundamental point that many across the Highlands feel; in terms of policies and action, communities here are way down the SNP priority list. Along with other Highland MSPs and campaigners, I will be raising awareness and holding discussions with the government around safety measures that should be looked at along the A9 in the period of work over the next several years along the route. Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

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