Nationalist disasters, Daily Mail, R Allison, 23/11/20.
THE volcanic-style eruption of faux outrage from the SNP and their separatist acolytes concerning Boris Johnson’s reported comments about devolution being a ‘disaster’ was entirely predictable. However, one should hark back to the establishment of the Scottish parliament in 1999 following the referendum in 1997. The late Donald Dewar. often referred to as the ‘Father of the Nation’. firmly believed that devolution and the establishment of a Scottish parliament would neutralise the threat of the national-ists and their desire for independence. But that policy has clearly been disastrous, as rightly described by Boris Johnson. If the nationalists want to look even closer to home around policy ‘disasters’ then, unfortunately for the ordinary people of Scotland, the list is almost endless – from the destruction of our world-leading education system to the management of the Covid crisis and the Salmond inquiry. When the SNP faces real scrutiny on its domestic record right across the spectrum then those not blinkered by the desire for independence will very quickly see the disaster that is this SNP government. RICHARD ALLISON. Edinburgh.
SNP don’t believe in devolution, Press and Journal, K Shortreed, 24/11/20.
I always find it amusing when Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP leap to the defence of devolution, this time in response to Boris Johnson’s claim that it has been a disaster (Press and Journal, November 17). The SNP don’t believe in devolution and never have. Back in the 1990s the Scottish Constitutional Convention, which laid the groundwork for the Scottish Assembly, was boycotted by the SNP. Only when devolution was obviously going to happen and the SNP didn’t want to be left behind did Alex Salmond persuade his party to back it in the referendum. They boycotted the 2008 Calman Commission, which was charged with beefing up Holyrood’s powers. The SNP did send John Swinney to participate in the 2014 Smith Commission on enhanced powers for the Scottish Parliament but were rubbishing its proposals as soon as the ink was dry.
The worthwhile benefits that devolution has brought, such as free personal care for the elderly and the AWPR, were delivered by the Labour-Liberal Democrat administrations under Donald Dewar and Jack McConnell. Apart from running down our education standards to the point where we no longer participate in international surveys on education, the SNP’s time in office has been mainly characterised by using the Scottish Parliament to drive a wedge between Scotland and the rest of the UK. I decided to vote Yes/ Yes back in the devolution referendum thinking it would lead to the better governance of Scotland. Thanks to the SNP, it is a decision I now regret. Keith Shortreed, Cottown of Gight, Methlick.
Comedy hour at Holyrood, The Herald, J Stephenson, 23/11/20.
COMEDY hour again at Holyrood. Mike Russell – who is retiring in 2021 – tells us that there WILL be a referendum next year because it will take so little time and effort to prepare for one. Presumably, this is on the basis that SNP information about the things that matter to people will be as sparing of substance as witness statements in the Salmond inquiry. Hilariously, Mr Russell claims Scexit offers the best hope of repairing the economic damage of the coronavirus. That will be because the UK Treasury has provided Scotland with the billions of pounds that have kept hundreds of thousands of Scots supported in the crisis through furloughing and other measures, something unacknowledged by the administration to which Mr Russell belongs. Still, I suppose as Constitution Secretary – a post that violates the devolved/reserved prescription – he has nothing else to do but pontificate about constitutional matters and collect a fat salary. Jill Stephenson, Edinburgh.