Time to reset Scottish politics on a truly progressive course offering real change, says Fox

Commenting on today’s events, Scottish Socialist Party National Co-Spokesperson Colin Fox said:

“‘Politics can be a brutal business’, said Humza Yousaf, announcing his resignation as Scotland’s First Minister and SNP leader at Bute House today after barely a year in both offices.

“And, it might be added, it is hardly helped when you are as cack-handed as he was in ending the coalition government he led until last week.

“On the face of it he had to ‘fall on his sword’ after inept decision making on his own part. He ended the Bute House Agreement that marked the deal with the Greens to establish a coalition government in Scotland in a way the latter felt was ‘insulting’ and ‘disrespectful’.

“Hell hath no fury like a Green minister scorned!

“Yousaf had claimed the coalition government at Holyrood had simply ‘run its course’, but later apologized for his handling of the schism which was widely considered cack-handed at best.

“In truth, there were very significant tensions both within the coalition – which the Greens had questionably claimed was ‘progressive’ – and inside the SNP itself. Those differences were on the face of it over issues of gender identity – and the interview Patrick Harvie gave BBC Scotland regarding the Cass Review were considered ‘the straw that broke the camel’s back’ for many in the SNP – and climate.

“But the issues go far deeper than that. The challenges facing them both were much more profound and threatening. The Scottish Government had long lost its treasured reputation for ‘competence’ – remember their poll ratings during the days of the COVID pandemic?

“Now it faces deep seated crises in NHS provision in Scotland, the ongoing scandal over social care, and the feeling they have lost their way on justice.

“There is a real danger that the Scottish public, groaning under the impact of a cost of living crisis, beset by waiting lists in the NHS, languishing of ever growing housing queues and facing cuts in services, are reduced to spectators to politicians’ Holyrood games.

“Scottish Socialists say it time to call a halt to navel gazing and address to the sea of problems which MSPs were elected and paid to deliver answers to.

“Urgently, these must include:

Action to rebuild our NHS, with the immediate halt to the exploitative PFI schemes currently leeching billions of pounds every year at the expense of patients.

Launch a major council house building programme to provide modern green homes for rent and break the power of landlords.

Scrap, not freeze, the Council Tax – as promised by the SNP 17 years ago – replacing it with a tax based on income.

Introduce free public transport to slash car pollution, end social isolation, and as a major contribution to combat the climate crisis.

“The Scottish Socialist Party says that it is the introduction of policies which impact on voters’ real lives, rather than who is sitting at the head of the Cabinet table, that needs now to be top priority.”