One of the main issues of the 12 December general election is, of course, Brexit. This, in turn has given voters a chance to reflect on how the chaos of the last three and a half years of Tory Brexit has arisen.
The LEAVE the EU campaign, led by Boris Johnston and Nigel Farage, was to a large degree based on lies and misinformation. Even today, it is difficult to take anything the prime minister says at face value. This lack of trust in the UK Government, internationally, has resulted in a large devaluation of the pound and a reduction in our economic performance.
Alone, among political leaders, Boris Johnston has failed to appear at leaders’ hustings to justify his stance. This tells us everything we need to know, in the face of an Andrew Neil grilling on his grasp of events. Clearly, Boris does not want a second EU referendum, given the dubious nature of the first.
The time has come to reverse the brutal austerity of the last twelve years, the damaging effects of Universal Credit, with its five-week waiting period. Those with lowest incomes, the young, elderly, and disabled have paid the highest price while the richest people have enjoyed tax cuts and become richer.
The election is important to everyone, of all ages throughout the UK. Locally, we have all received the usual deluge of Lib Dem papers, leaflets and letters, with the usual dubious claims. Most of these, I received, in the past two weeks, did not even mention the main issue, Brexit, which the Lib Dems tell us they oppose; maybe more strongly, in England.
The SNP has been strongly opposing any form of Brexit, since 23/06/16. Clearly, our existing EU deal is better and less damaging than any alternative deal on offer. Meanwhile, the Labour neutral view on Brexit is unconvincing. It is difficult to be neutral on the biggest and most divisive issue in the past 74 years.
The major and most urgent issue of all is, of course, climate change and rising carbon dioxide levels. Rising sea levels are particularly bad news for our low lying coastal areas in the years to come.
Sadly, the climate change emergency, along with many other urgent UK issues, have been on hold at Westminster during the past three and a half years of UK Tory Brexit chaos. Boris even wanted to shut down Parliament to prevent discussion.
Brexit has of course many consequences for Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Gibraltar along with the rest of UK. People in Scotland are increasingly aware of the successful well-governed small countries, which surround us. Large scale devolution of powers, including independence, has worked for, not against them.
Locally, Robert Leslie, the SNP Orkney & Shetland candidate, with his detailed knowledge of the main issues facing us, has been a breath of fresh air, during the present election campaign.