“We did not vote for this, we do not deserve this”

Tuesday April 26th 2022

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly column for Midlothian View

Before I turn to the pressures of astronomical energy costs and inflation let me first celebrate just a little that we now have the option of wearing face coverings.

Actually in my forays into supermarkets and garden centres, my weakness, many are still wearing them but I suspect that will diminish through time. The weather though chilly also helps lift the spirits as does the lengthening daytime hours.

I am back doing my Tesco surgeries. As you may recall my Penicuik Tesco surgery is the 4th Friday of the month 11-12. Parliament is now fully open to all MSPs and for the first time in years the Chamber was packed for FMQs with folk in the public gallery.

That said in the world beyond the UK Westminster walls, backs are up against them. Food prices are on the climb, part fuel costs, part Brexit. With the pressures on daily life, the Scottish Government just cannot keep mitigating the effects of the UK government’s harsh policies. You name it: increases in National Insurance, cuts to Universal Credit, VAT and state pensions-all UK.

But to hear the opposition parties in the Scottish Parliament all we have to do is harvest more from our crop of money trees. Demand after demand, all un-costed, and all having to come from existing budgets for health, housing, education and so on.

Let’s not forget what has been done: child payments, free school meals, free travel for pensioners and under 22s, no prescription charges, no tuition fees, the list goes on, funds to prevent the bedroom tax, helping businesses through what is known as the Small Business Bonus scheme which means some pay no rates at all and others just a portion. But it cannot go on forever without us being in charge of our entire economy.

Add to that the Tories and their so-called “levelling up” agenda which simply means by-passing the Scottish Parliament and them directing funding directly to their chosen local councils. Can’t get elected to govern so simply duck past it.

We have the disgraceful triumvirate of Boris, cake and wine is not a party, Priti Patel selling unfortunate refugees to a country with a dubious human rights record and Rishi Sunak, Mr Green card himself, with a wife who has declared she does not intend to permanently reside in the UK (Non Dom status). Only now once exposed, is she coughing up for UK income tax. Now we have the Sunak swimming pool, while others are drowning in debt, underlining once again the privileged in power while the poor are punished.

Without Independence it will be more of the same. Yet with only 6 Tory MPs at Westminster Scottish democracy is trampled underfoot. We did not vote for this, we do not deserve this. Make sure with the coming local elections you vote for the people who will represent your area and stand against this Tory austerity, send a message once again to Boris and his cohorts that Scotland rejects them once again.

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