It's General Election time in the UK and for approximately 21 years I voted SNP. Wasn't complacent in my choice of party and wanted Scotland to have a referendum on independence, playing the long game. Even after losing the referendum, I continued to vote for the SNP in the 2015 General Election. The Smith commission proposals were important for further devolution to the Scottish parliament. Looking back on the series of events it was actually John Swinney MSP and Deputy First Minster who was the main figure in the negotiation of Smith, what did the SNP MP's actually achieve for Scotland at Westminster ?
Not long after 2015 General election is when the SNP lost my vote due to one of their most corrosive policies at Holyrood, Parts 4 and 5 of the children and young person's Bill(Scotland)2014. This is commonly known as named person and child plans. The SNP Scottish government wrote legislation that the UK Supreme Court found incompatible with Article 8 of ECHR on the ground of the right to Privacy and have been revoked from law. We have never received an apology and they're getting ready to present new legislation to the Scottish parliament before summer recess.
In the last debate on Named person John Swinney mislead parliament on Supreme court ruling over the term "well being" and stated in response to Liz Smith MSP question:
"Will 'well being' be defined in the new bill?"
John Swinney responded:
"Third Liz Smith will be aware that the term well being is present and defined in the 2014 act Parliament will have to consider the legislation that I introduce."
This is the actual Supreme court ruling on "well being:"
"Well being" is not Defined. Its only guidance as to its meaning is provided by section 96(2), which list 8 factors to which regard is to be had when assessing well being. The factors, which are know under the acronym SHANARRI, are that the child or young person or would be: "safe, healthy, active, nurtured, achieving, respected, responsible and include". These factors are not themselves defined, and in some cases are notably vague: for example, that child or young person is "achieving" and "included."
They claim to give a stronger voice to Scotland. Their main election campaign slogan in 2015 was "Stronger for Scotland" and made it 100% clear a vote for the SNP isn't about independence we are "One Scotland". Having a stronger voice at Westminster, or so thought some of the NO voters that leant the SNP their vote in the 2015 General election.
Stronger for Scotland is what the SNP claims but then completely ignores Scots on all devolved issues. They are the master of ignoring the majority of Scots and deflecting from their own failings here in Scotland.
They have had 10 years in our devolved parliament to prove to Scots that they can run Scotland better than anyone with devolution. The SNP hasn't used this opportunity to advance the case for independence other than forcing independence down everyone's throat. In fact, in the last 10 years, the SNP has breached our human rights and destroyed what was once world class education.
The gap between the poor and rich is the same but attainment itself is tumbling for all children, rich or poor. Solutions they then come up with are even more disturbing than the destruction of the education system. Plans including dropping out of international measuring of education, lowering pass marks and forcing further education institution to give poorest students place on courses even if there are brighter students that lose out on a place. There is a cap already placed on number further education places for Scottish students to make and only the quota number of students gets the privilege to have free education. The policies have not insured increase of educational standards for the most disadvantaged, they are lowering educational standards taught at state school for all child, that will make them equal! Completely corrosive to Scotland, the children are the future of Scotland.
The SNP turn their attention on the family unit, instead of increasing reading and numeracy in primary 1 and stripping back the infant years of primary school to focus fully on the building blocks of anyone's further education, i.e. numeracy and literacy. Wanting to focus on well being at school and the sooner they get their hands on the children away from their filthy parents and into hands of their named person in the school years the better, aye only in their minds.
It isn't difficult to teach someone to read and write but it is highly repetitive learning, and the reason the attainment gap exists to this day is because they have never increased reading time at school. This is the difference between kids that do and don't attain, the repetitive reading is done at home. Unless they start doing repetitive reading at school there will always be an attainment gap. This is where they are wrong in focusing on well being rather than the building blocks of academic study.
These are devolved matters and this is a general election and the focus should be on reserved matter in this elections but, yet again Nicola Sturgeon the First Minister of Scotland, has abandoned her obligations to the Scottish people at Holyrood to be the face of the Westminster election campaign.
Seriously what is point of the SNP MP's if the leader of the party doesn't trust even the deputy leader of the party and leader of the SNP team at Westminster Angus Robertson MP or another standing MP to man the ship? After the referendum, they also gained mass increase in membership. When I witnessed this happening, I knew it was a reaction of grief caused by the losing the referendum on the YES side and the SNP became a point of solidarity for too many YES voters.
Three election campaigns and Nicola Sturgeon is the only voice we hear and the only face we see. Where is the new talent to this party that has seen it flushed with loads of new blood?
This almost presidential campaigning where we see 1 opponent verse another. This is a UK general election and you are selecting the candidate to represent you in Westminster. Each of the candidates are as equally important.
Nicola Sturgeon is the leader of the SNP, but her duty is at the devolved Parliament not Westminster. The SNP candidates are going to be on the ballot paper not Nicola Sturgeon. These would also be the people directly involved with anything to do with Brexit being a reserved matter.
The SNP have flip flopped on independence and EU membership in a total car crash of a campaign. The conservatives have took the stance that their vote is for the union, great! feed into that divide. Scottish Labour are a joke. The liberal democrats aren't very Liberal in a valid way. The Scottish Green party the only other independence supporting party, not living in one of larger population centres in Scotland for the Scottish Green party to even field a candidate, I couldn't vote for them if they did field a candidate here, they aren't any kind of effective opposition to the SNP and in their Scottish Parliament election campaign 2016 they called their male candidate non-women, you don't get closer to the meaning of emasculation than that.
This election is seeing people vote in very complacent manor and policies are out the window. The battle lines are drawn and it's a fight against the unionists and the nationalists with an added dimension of Brexit influence on both Yes and No voters.
I voted Yes and Leave and think it is important to have strong Westminster government in the negotiation with The EU but when I am presented with a rock and hard place situation, I walk down the middle and spoil my ballots for Scotland sake. Hopefully one day, sanity will return and policies beyond the constitutional question will become important once again in Scotland.
Balance to All Things, Toploader
You can swing to the right
If it makes you feel alright
You can veer to the left
Get your problems off your chest
Talk to God, I don't know
But you know which way to go
Oh, you give the balance to all things
There is a balance to all things.