Something has to give, we’re standing still at best

We are standing still so what is the point –  Right now in Scotland we are standing still, in many ways we have either been standing still or going backwards since the referendum in 2014, but certainly since Nicola Sturgeon took over and the SNP became the dominant party in Scottish Politics. Jim Spence has an interesting article in The Courier today about fairness.

JIM SPENCE: SNP are hypocrites for claiming they want a fairer Scotland


In the article Jim discusses that Nicola Sturgeon’s government agreed a wage of almost £3,000 a day for the boss of the nationalised shipyard on the Clyde. It’s an act of rank hypocrisy from the people telling us an independent Scotland would be a much fairer place. He is correct in some ways, and as was discussed on Through a Scottish Prism at the weekend it is not just the shipyard, it is most if not all of our intuitions. There are just over 130 quangos in Scotland, which include Scottish government public and health bodies, executive agencies, non-ministerial offices and commissions.

Scottish Water is led by Susan Rice, an American Banker and also Head of the Scottish Fiscal Commission. The Chief executive of Scotland’s National Investment Bank, earns a salary of £235,000, in total 17 of the 89 chief executives earned more than the First Minister’s £157,861 salary. Fifty-five earned over £100,000. According to the 2020 Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the average salary for all Scottish workers is £25,616. (The Herald)

Scottish Government figures from 2019 suggest the inequality gap is widening in Scotland, with the top 10 ten percent of the population earning more than the bottom 40 per cent combined. About one million Scots are living in poverty according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Scottish Government figures from 2019 suggest the inequality gap is widening in Scotland

Go and have a look at who leads those quango’s, as noted in The Prism, it is the same people doing the rounds, appointed by the Scottish Government, in the same way that these type of people are appointed by the Westminster Government, nothing changes, standards fall, and the people who suffer the most are Scots and those at the lower end of the scale.

The Scotsman suggests that the SNP is on track for its most successful local elections in its history and could match Labour’s historic support across councils last seen in 1995. A YouGov poll also asked the question of how people would vote in a second referendum, of those asked the 2014 question, 53% said they would vote No and 47% Yes with undecided voters excluded.

Since Nicola Sturgeon took over there has been no change in those who intend to vote YES

A damning indictment of the SNP Government and of Nicola Sturgeon in particular, not only do we not live in a fairer Scotland, but our institutions are carbon copies pretty much of UK institutions so for all of that hard work since 2012 when the first referendum was announced, for all of the mandates, for all of the years of trust put in SNP Governments we are standing still at best.

Jim Spence goes on to say that “There’s a dark secret hiding in plain sight in Scotland; and that is that many folk including many within the current Scottish Government are actually rather Conservative, albeit with a small c.

Scots might not vote in big numbers for Boris Johnson and his Bullingdon club set, nor for Douglas Ross’s Scottish Tories.

But plenty want to conserve and keep what they hold, whether that be their wage differentials or increasing house values”.

With the English Government in Westminster continuing to refuse a referendum on Scotland’s future, with the SNP failing to move those in favour of independence forward in the face of the worst set of conditions and Tory Government in history, with the cost of living crisis and fairness at the bottom you have to ask yourself what is the point?

The SNP may well win big in the May council elections, but that will say more about us than them in many ways, it will not be an endorsement of their governance or their policies which are Tartan Tory with a small “c” as Jim Spence points out, it will be an example of our failure to be  brave, to think out of the box, to hold politicians to account, something has got to give or as I said there is no point.

Think about that vote in May, it is not just about who runs our councils, it’s about more than that, it’s about sending a message in many ways to the SNP and Sturgeon, standing still at best is no longer acceptable.



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5 Responses to Something has to give, we’re standing still at best

  1. duncanio says:

    I think that you are right that a big SNP victory in May says a lot more about us than anything else.

    Studies show that it was working class fold (53.6%), those in the lowest income quartile (56.4%) and people living in social rented accommodation (61.9%) voted in favour of Independence in 2014. Conversely, the middle class (41.7%), higher earners (55.4%) and owner-occupiers (35.4%) voted against statehood. [see

    The middle classes and better off are comfortable with Sturgeon. She and her cabal are no threat to their well-being.

    The working class, sadly, whilst still in favour of Indy are probably now wedded to the SNP the way they were to Labour for 65 years after WWII.

    It’s not going to be easy to break through now.

  2. ambouche says:

    How to get rid of quangoes?

  3. Alan D says:

    “Since Nicola Sturgeon took over there has been no change in those who intend to vote YES”

    Only if you look at the headline figures. Compare a poll dataset from October 2014 with one taken recently. Pay attention to the age groupings, for both Yes/No as well as holyrood list intentions.

    We went from the youngest age group being roughly 50-50 yes-no, as well as only 25% of them backing the SNP in 2014 to them being 79-21 and some 40% of them supporting the SNP. At the same time, the oldest age group went from being 47-53 yes-no, with 34% of them backing the SNP in 2014 to 25-75% and only 20% of them voting SNP.

    Like it or not, Sturgeon’s SNP has remade itself as the party of the young. That strategy has its risks(see 2017) but it’s working in the longer run.

    • Alan

      My next blog that I am working on is kinda about that and once I finish it I would love to know what you think. I have spent the last few days chatting to people about the state of things and I am now writing a comment about it, I’ll be honest it is a bit depressing and what you highlight is a part of it to be fair.

      Thanks for commenting.

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