Six reasons for Scotland to stop talking about a second independence referendum – Susan Dalgety

What Scotland needs is decent public services – surely that’s not too much to ask for, writes Susan Dalgety.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 6:00 am
Labour MSP Alex Rowley favours a second independence referendum. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Will everyone please stop talking about a second independence referendum – and I don’t just mean Nicola Sturgeon.

There are even some senior Labour folk, such as Fife MSP Alex Rowley, who favour a second shot at asking Scots if they want to leave the UK, only six short years since we said a resounding no.

Most folk, except those whose political career depends on it, are fed up with the constant chatter about another referendum.

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What we really want is to be able to get a GP appointment when we need it, not when the system says we can have one.

We want all our children to get the best education possible, not just the 39 per cent of school leavers who are lucky enough to study for a degree.

We want our frail old folk to get the best possible care – preferably at home, but in a comfortable care home if required.

We want trains that run on time, and with enough seats for everyone.

New hospitals that open on schedule and are safe for patients.

Childcare that ordinary mums and dads can afford.

In short, we want decent public services. Is that really too much to ask?

The Scottish Government will publish its 2020–21 budget next Thursday. Thanks to how Westminster works out the UK Budget, Scotland has more public money per head of population to spend than England, nearly £2,000 more per person.

Running a country is tough, particularly when there are increasing – and changing – demands on precious public resources.

Our population is ageing, our infrastructure creaking, and the world of work is changing beyond recognition. All the more reason for the party of Government to focus on what matters to us, and not what works for them.