Praise for Putin

Comments made by Alex Salmond in his recent interview with GQ magazine dominated the headlines this week.

 He provoked an angry response from the Ukraine community in Scotland for expressing his admiration of President Putin who according to Amnesty International has cracked down on political dissent, encouraged arbitrary arrests and corrupted the judicial process.

 But Putin wasn’t the only one to receive Salmond’s praise. He also described the media mogul Rupert Murdoch – whose papers where embroiled in the phone hacking scandal – as a ‘remarkable man’.

 To cap it all off, during his interview he appeared to characterise Scotland as a ‘nation of drunks’.

 In the backdrop of all this, there were stories that didn’t make the headlines, but which are impacting on our young, the old and the type of society we want to be.

 It was confirmed that the SNP’s education policies are sucking the life out of our local colleges.

A survey of numeracy in Scottish schools revealed that the number of primary school pupils doing well in maths has dropped hurting their life chances.

And the crisis in our hospitals was highlighted yet again in an inspection of the Southern General, which found patients who were cognitively impaired being moved from ward to ward hampering their recovery.

These are the issues that are of real concern to the people of Scotland. And these are the issues that Alex Salmond needs to focus on.

 He should spend less time being interviewed in fashion magazines and more time taking action to help ordinary working people.

 Unfortunately for us all, Scotland will be on pause as long as the First Minister’s vanity project continues.