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Letters / Competent government?

Thank you for Caitlin Turner’s contribution on ‘highly protected marine areas’ (HPMAs), a Green Party policy demand enshrined in its co-operation agreement with the SNP Scottish government.

HPMAs are needed, but can only work with coastal communities at the table

Given today’s reports that Treasurer Colin Beattie MSP has been arrested, the SNP’s sensational implosion looks set to continue, casting doubt over how long this dubious partnership can last.

During the recent SNP leadership campaign candidate Kate Forbes declared: (The Scotsman):

“I cannot understand why anyone (…) trying to stem depopulation in rural areas, thought (HPMAs) would be a good idea (…). It’s an example of how not to do government.”

“I would commission a feasibility study into giving councils more power… (and) … consult on which of Marine Scotland’s statutory responsibilities could be more effectively delivered by local authorities” (JT emphasis).

Good sense, many might think. However, the supposedly ‘pro-localism’ Greens huffily threatened to withdraw co-operation if Forbes won.

Importantly, she also emphasised the need to demonstrate competent government. As opposed to continually fomenting conflict with Westminster and indulging in political fads, a disastrous strategy that has seen 30 per cent of the party’s membership walk away before the present crisis erupted.

Forbes should thus be well-placed to step up when ‘continuity candidate’ Yousaf’s leadership inevitably fails under the weight of the “tremendous mess” (SNP president, Mike Russell) he has inherited.

Breaking with the Greens and returning to minority government was a challenge she was willing to accept.

SNP grandee Fergus Ewing MSP agreed. Describing the Greens, not one of whom was directly elected, as “wine bar pseudo-intellectuals who’ve never got their fingers dirty but want to lay waste to thousands of rural Scots’ jobs”, he demanded an end to the “green tail wagging the yellow dog” (Daily Mail).

He was right. The SNP’s downward spiral will not end until their feet land back on solid ground and they begin the serious work of rebuilding the trust of members and Scottish voters, in general.

Let’s face it, if they want to differentiate themselves from Westminster, then demonstrating the ability to govern effectively, for all Scottish people, would be a very good place to start.

John Tulloch


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