The first step to confidently reasserting our Independence and from that our Scottish social democratic values - Christine Grahame
Such is the power of social media, an ideal environment for conspiracy theorists to breed. Infernos on Greek Islands, floods sweeping whole communities off the face of the earth, droughts extending over years, am I missing something?
Yet some appear to miss the point, grinning to the camera beside the temperature gauge at Death Valley. Don’t they even recognise the irony “Death Valley”? No selfies for people standing beside the ashes of their homes.
Yet it only takes a by-election to demonstrate Labour is quite prepared to ditch the most modest of carbon reduction policies to secure a few votes. I’m talking the Tory retention of Uxbridge and South Ruislip constituency.
Sir Keir Starmer, more of him later, immediately blames Sadiq Khan, Labour Mayor of London, for his Ultra Low Emmission Zone policy (ULEZ), and lest I am accused of misrepresenting, said “I don’t think there is any doubt that ULEZ was the reason that we lost the election in Uxbridge. And I have said we should reflect on this, including the Mayor. I have spoken to him as you would expect, and so there will be that reflection." You bet he did. I think we can read that as throwing Sadiq and ULEZ under that London bus.
So, we can’t look to any putative Labour government to take a moral stand on global warming. On top of that Labour, feeling a bit chipper under the stewardship of Tory-lite Sir Keir, is set to retain the cruel Two Child Benefit cap. I would remind you that this Tory policy states that benefit can only be claimed for two children and that if you wish to claim for additional children you must evidence, I repeat evidence, that they were the result of non-consensual sex. That’s rape to you and me.
Now while the Labour leader in Scotland, Anas Sarwar, says that is wrong, he will try to persuade Sir Keir to u-turn (and good luck with that). Iain Murray, sole Scottish Labour MP, says they are both right. How come? Answers on the usual.
Then factor in the disaster that is Brexit supported by Labour (and indeed the Lib Dems) and the continuation of austerity by whoever rules at Westminster and surely you must be asking what can be done? How do we in Scotland take our full responsibility to reduce carbon emissions? How do we ditch such cruel policies as the Two Child Cap? How do we move from more decades of austerity? How do we reduce inflation which is running twice the level of our EU neigbours?
One thing’s for sure, we won’t change anything by continuing to vote for Westminster values. Values which place 500 young men on a floating prison simply because they endured dangerous and deathly seas to escape war and poverty, or better still, try to sell them off to Rwanda. None of this represents my values and I hope yours. Now is when we need to be radical and that requires that first step to confidently reasserting our Independence and from that our Scottish social democratic values. Anything else will be more of the same.
Christine Grahame is SNP MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale