Friday, 8 April 2011

The Fantasy Land of Devolved Politics

It’s official. The 2011 Scottish Parliamentary elections are entirely divorced from reality. The manifestos published thus far - Tories, Lib Dems and Labour - solidify the view that devolved politics in Scotland operates in a fantasy land removed from the economic realities of our time. How else can we explain the crowd pleasing expenditure commitments of the main political parties?

In many ways the political parties in Scotland are like financial markets: they want to get back to business as usual (expenditure commitments & maximising private returns at all cost respectively) as quickly as possible. Neither one is prepared to take a step back and analyse what went wrong.

Of course, elections are not the time or the place for our parliamentarians to question their current modus operandi, but their manifestos should have been shaped by the truly different economic times we find ourselves. Indeed, reading their litany of spending promises one reasonably questions whether or not the 2008 economic crisis actually happened.

Our manifesto called for our policy makers to wake up and undertake a fundamental root and branch review of our political and economic infrastructure to ensure that our democracy, economy and public services could be delivered in a different way.

This doesn’t look like it’s going to happen anytime soon.

Barry McCulloch, CSPP Policy Manager
(These opinions are those of the author)

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