Liz LowreyWell dear readers it appears that as crisis follows crisis in this Dis-United Kingdom we may be tempted to batten down the hatches and sit out the incoming storm.

For swathes of the population sadly this is not an option. We have, as even the MSM acknowledges a perfect storm brewing. With the savage cuts being made to the Universal Credit uplift that has provided a lifeline to families, escalating fuel prices, shortages of petrol and lack of workers who play an essential part in food production this is certainly the worst of times.

While no one single factor can be blamed for this sorry state of affairs I firmly believe that the Tory Party ideology is at the root cause of these problems. For years the country has been run on a hand to mouth basis where essential services have been cut to the bone and austerity has stalked the lives of all but the privileged minority.

Our Scottish Government has tried to mitigate some of the most savage and inhumane polices. However as a non independent country we can only put sticking plasters on the festering wounds caused by toxic Tory policies. As if the Tory austerity agenda on its own wasn’t bad enough we then had to endure the internal Tory Party squabbling about our membership of the European Union culminating in the fiasco that is Brexit. The majority of folks knew little about the EU prior to the Brexit referendum and sadly a large number of people particularly in England believed the Brexit lies displayed on buses. The blustering Buffoon currently safely ensconced in Downing Street was so ambivalent to the whole affair that he had two prepared sets of sound bites, and I do wonder if he tossed a coin to decide if he would back Remain or Leave. I suppose giving him the benefit of a coin toss is kinder than my belief that his only interest in Brexit was furthering his own political agenda and feathering his own and his cronies nests.

From day one Brexit has been an unmitigated disaster and this coupled with the global pandemic has strained countries throughout the world to their limits. However throughout Brexit and the Pandemic we have the misfortune to be led by a fool who thinks making Muppet jokes on the global stage is a way to promote the Dis-United Kingdom.

Dross at First Minister’s Question Time could hardly contain himself this week as he crowed about the Scottish NHS. Maybe one of his rescued chickens would make better points. What he omitted from his party piece was that throughout the Dis-United Kingdom all health services are suffering. What has caused this apart from the pandemic is patently evident. Chronic staff shortages and underfunding of vital services under the Tory austerity programme have been contributing to the current crisis for years. Again as long as Scotland remains shackled to this we can never hope to compensate for all the damage being inflicted on the Scottish NHS.

As the perfect storm prepares to engulf us all we must not forget another far from perfect storm affecting the world. As COPs 21 approaches each of us should try in every small way possible to live more sustainably. The climate emergency is ruining many people’s lives throughout the world. It is often the poorest and most under represented countries that suffer the most and in order to support our fellow humans simple changes in all our lives can start to make a difference.

Whilst I would encourage you all dear readers to act like hares when it comes to the climate emergency -rapid action is needed to save further damage to our planet, the question of when to hold a second referendum is another matter.

I’m not a political strategist and although I’d love it if Scotland was already an independent and successful country timing of the next referendum is crucial. In the timing of the second referendum I’m sure that I like the majority of SNP members have put our trust in our First Minister and the Scottish Government to make this decision. The motion carried almost unanimously at Conference stated that a referendum will be held once the immediate threat of the pandemic had passed. The way that we will win a future referendum is by engaging face to face with our fellow citizens and whilst this is happening on a smaller scale right now there are many people who would not be comfortable with a referendum ongoing in the middle of a pandemic.

There are various disgruntled naysayers who allegedly support the cause of independence but like the giant Buffoon in Downing Street they rely on sound bites to further their own agendas. How disappointing for them that the Believe In Scotland event was a resounding success with lots of participation and engagement with people throughout Scotland. The Independence movement is very much alive and active in Scotland contrary to what you will read in MSM. The naysayers that constantly gripe and criticise the SNP for killing off the independence movement are obviously unaware of the Tortoise and the Hare story. We as a movement are doing the slow painstaking work that is required to build towards an independent Scotland.

An important step to this will be securing as many SNP councils in the May 2022 elections. The work done by councils impacts every aspect of our lives and we in Perth and Kinross are well aware of the many failings of the Tory led coalition of chaos currently in charge.

Whilst independence for Scotland is the ultimate goal this will not be achieved without careful planning and much legwork. Until that day I’m happy to be a slow and steady tortoise progressing forward so that we can all live in the Council area and Scotland that we want and deserve. In order to achieve the next step on our journey to independence I hope that we can all work together for a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland that we can all live in and enjoy together.

Liz Lowrey

Image by StephenWheeler from Pixabay