Scotland on Pause

Last week, in his usual self-congratulatory tone Alex Salmond finally announced the date in which the referendum will take place.



Despite his pre-election promise that he would concentrate on the issues that matter to ordinary working Scots such as the economy, elderly care and the cost of living, his government’s sole focus up to now has been on independence.



As a result, we have had two wasted years in which real change could have been achieved.



Instead of using the existing powers of the Scottish Parliament to secure college places, to bring down childcare costs and to prevent pensioners languishing in hospital corridors such as at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, the First Minister continues to peddle the myth that only through independence can these serious issues be addressed.



This is despite the fact that he and his ministers have admitted in private that this will not be the case.



Sadly, even though the date for the referendum has now been finalised, we are likely to see more of the same in the next eighteen months.



Rather than facing up to the challenges our country faces tough decisions will be put off for another day.



As a consequence, Scotland will be put on pause and problems will be stored up for the future.



And it will be hardworking Scots who will pay the price.