As the unseemly scramble for votes continues apace in our islands, I think it is well worth noting that words and promises come very cheaply. I am not speaking here about blatant lies, but it is well worth having a quick glance at the Lib Dems 2010 election promises.
The party ran on an anti-austerity programme, opposing any “in-year” spending cuts and yet in their pre-coalition, post election talks with the Labour Party, a few days later, they stated that there “could and should be in-year spending cuts, further and faster than Labour’s own proposed cuts”.
So there we have election talk… a mixture of dry pabulum and shallow claims. Currently, of course, we also have our SNP candidate speaking as though the SNP are some kind of lobby group, a group on the outside of Scottish politics, mired in the wilderness of Holyrood, rather than the all powerful party that has been in government for the best part of ten years.
Despite the desperate claims and promises of the SNP candidate, the brutal truth of the matter is that Holyrood has been a very comfortable and cosy refuge for such a parcel o’ rogues, masquerading as progressive and forward looking politicians, whilst in reality being nothing other than Westminster’s apologists. It is a real pity too, as the SNP is the only party that offers us the opportunity of getting rid of Thatcherism.
As other hopefuls extol their special and particular attributes, their experience and their access to important ears, it is refreshing to note that our ‘Wir Shetland’ councillor has cast off his support for the Lib Dems and is now ploughing an independent furrow.
Our young people may well be gulled by these promises of a rosy future, motherhood and apple pie, but sadly we have heard it all before.
And what, you may ask, do I bring to this cluttered table. As everyone is surely aware, an individual is virtually helpless in such political company. I know from my own experience in the local council, that even at that level, an individual counts for little.
However, all is not lost, for if nothing else individual voices can be heard, not stifled and controlled by the Chief Whips. The one promise I will give you is that I will never lie to save my skin. I am asking you to give Holyrood a bloody nose and tell Scotland that there is an appetite for a fight.
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