Dear Orkney News
The Tuesday 4 th May BBC1 Hustings confirmed what earlier ones have led us to believe. Nicola Sturgeon stands head and shoulders above the other 4 Party Leaders.She has shown us strong Leadership throughout the past 14 months to keep Scotland & its people safe and also as First Minister since 2014. Nicola has barely had a day off since the advent of the Covid 19 emergency.
With the benefit of hindsight she knows some mistakes were made but she got most things right. She has held up her hands and said sorry, we would have done some things differently had we known at the time. This is a sign of honesty and strength, not weakness. Nicola follows the evidence & the Science and does not do Populism. What you see is what you get without an ounce of conceit or self importance. She will have a good team with many new faces behind her by time voting closes on 6 th May.
The Tory & Labour Parties have gone through Leaders at an alarming rate, over the past 20 years as they try to keep up with Scottish, UK & European Politics. The aggressive 3 Jobs Scottish Tory Leader Douglas Ross has made less impact that his predecessors Ruth Davidson or Jackson Carlaw. On the one hand he tells us that a vote for the SNP is a Vote for Independence while on the other hand he tells us only Boris will decide. He rants about Independence without focussing on a Green Recovery.
If one looks at the arc of prosperous, well governed, democratic, independent Countries surrounding Scotland on all sides, we would conclude that Independence is a Good Thing. Ireland, Iceland, Norway & Finland all used to allow other countries to take their decisions for them but in the past 100 years decided to do this, themselves & have never looked backwards.
Anas Sarwar has shown himself to be the smartest Labour Leader since Donald Dewar. He understands that half his Labour Membership and the majority of Unions favour either Devo- Max or Independence. He has distanced himself from UK Labour Leader, KeirStarmer, who used the whip to back the disastrous 24/12/2020 Low Deal Boris / Gove Tory Brexit. He has also shown close backing for many of the SNP led issues of rebuilding the NHS, improving mental health services while including fairness and moderation at the centre stage of their campaign.
Green Joint Leaders Lorna Slater & Patrick Harvie have both performed well in all the radio & television hustings. They are quite close to much of what the SNP stands for on Climate Change and a Green Renewable Energy Recovery. Lorna is a marine engineer and follows the evidence too. They also understand factors such as inequality, low incomes and poverty.
Willie Rennie, the Libdem Leader of the fifth Party in Scottish Politics merely seeks attention to get noticed. He is wrong to attack teachers & schools on their difficulties, over the past 14 months. Everybody knows parents, pupils & teachers have found the Covid 19 emergency hard. Mental health issues are widespread across all age groups.
Honesty and working together with the SNP, Labour & the Greens offers the best way forward.Green Energy issues have ensured that the SNP understands the magnitude of the challenges we face in green energy production, social housing, care for the elderly, soclfuel poverty & fairness. Highlands & Islands SNP Candidates are all strong in Green, NHS, Education & Green & Climate Change credentials.
Even the Scottish Tories regard sleezy blustering UK Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson as an embarrassment. They managed to keep him as far away from Scotland as possible during the election campaign.
Europe greatly misses the UK at the Centre of European Decision Making leaving both poorer that prior to 01/01/2021.Hard Tory Brexit has increased division and boosted the campaigns for both Scottish Independence and a reunited Ireland. One day, Brexit will have to be reversed and seamless trading with our European neighbours restored, but right now huge damage is being made to the Scottish & Rest of UK economies along with damage to the UK’s International reputation.
We are where we are & Brexit has made the post covid 19 recovery much harder. Meanwhile we can only hope that as many as possible first times voters turn up at the voting stations.
Yours , John Mowat, Orkney