The Year Ahead

DURING the Christmas period we can all be a little guilty of eating, drinking and spending too much.

Suspending reality, we switch off and worry about the consequences of this later.

While we may do this for a few weeks of the year, the Scottish Government have been guilty of doing it all-year-round.

With both eyes firmly focused on the referendum in September, they have failed to confront the reality of the serious problems facing our NHS, colleges and police force.

The alarm bells being sent out from doctors, nurses and patients that our health services are buckling under the pressure have been drowned out.

The cries of young people unable to get a college place have been lost in the SNP’s spin machine.

And police officers who are being burdened with more and more paperwork due to the cuts in backroom staff are not getting the necessary support they need to keep our communities safe.

Despite these harsh realities there are still things we can look forward to in 2014.   The Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup represent a great opportunity to promote Scotland as well as creating a sporting legacy for our country.

Most of all we can look forward to the constitutional question finally being resolved and — if the polls are correct — the rejection of separatism.

This will allow politicians to come together in solidarity and use the powers the Scottish Parliament already has to address the issues that matter to people here in Inverclyde and across the country; low pay, the inequitable ‘bedroom tax’, care for our elderly and the lack of opportunities for our young people.