May 23rd, 2011
After months of hard-campaigning, mud-slinging and bitter words, a spirit of consensus broke out in the Scottish Parliament this week.
All parties took part in a debate on taking forward Scotland’s future and discovered a degree of common ground that would have been lost on the public looking on at the recent election.
With the SNP given the responsibility of a majority government, they must now concentrate on bringing forward the promises they made to the electorate without having to cut deals with the other parties.
For the opposition, it allows us to focus on what really matters, lending our support in the many areas we agree and setting out a credible alternative where we disagree.
In this new political landscape, it brings us all a new kind of liberty that may help us achieve the kind of politics that people crave
Against that backdrop, expectations are high yet in this community, this new government got off to the worst possible start with the revelation that we are to lose the Gourock-Dunoon town-to-town vehicle passenger ferry service.
Barely a month after the election, the bombshell that these services, and the valuable jobs that go with them, are to be lost is a bitter pill.
Communities on both sides of the water feel let down that this process was drawn out until after the election and brought the worst possible outcome.
I have called on the SNP Government to act to protect the workers impacted by this preventable situation and for a minister to come to Gourock to see the traffic chaos that will ensue in the town.
In America, they say ‘campaign in poetry, govern in prose’, and they would appear to be the approach the SNP Government took to our ferries.
But it is clear that the public are tired of being told one thing at election time, only to see reality forced upon them once the votes are counted. They are right to expect better.
In politics, talk is cheap, and only in our actions will those expectations be met.