Is Former First Minister Bashing Scotland Or IS He Right To Say That Scotland IS “Stuck In Treacle”?editor
From the Daily Record…
A former First Minister has claimed Scotland is “worse than it ever has been” due to the constitutional standoff over independence.
Jack McConnell said the country is “struck in treacle” and he does not know how to get out of it.
The former Scottish Labour leader served as First Minister from 2001 until narrowly losing the 2007 election to the SNP.
His administration pushed through the smoking ban in public places and focused on education reform, international aid and combating sectarianism.
Although a [lifetime] advocate of devolution, McConnell gave a downbeat assessment of the state of Scottish politics since the independence referendum in a recent interview.
Speaking to Holyrood magazine, he said: “I just find the polarisation of politics, and of debate since the referendum in 2014, has now got us essentially stuck. We’re really no further forward than we were in the autumn of 2014.
“Putting the pandemic to one side, almost nothing has changed in Scotland since the referendum.”
He said there is “no potential” in the immediate future to improve public services as “all we are doing is waiting for the next referendum”.
McConnell said: “I think we’re in a situation now where probably Scotland is worse than it has ever been. And I find that just incredibly sad. I’m really, really, sad.”
On the drugs death emergency, he said: “The drugs issue, for example, yes, it is complicated, but we’ll be no further forward on it, I guarantee you, by this time next year.”
He added: “The idea of devolution was to create better public debate in Scotland and more accountability. And it seems to me that we’ve ended up in a place where we have the opposite. And I don’t know how to change that.
“Right now, I genuinely feel like we are stuck in treacle and I don’t know how we get out of it.”
He also spoke at length about the decline of Scottish Labour, which has gone backwards at every Holyrood election:
McConnell said there had been a “real split” after 1999 between Labour MSPs who believed in devolution and MPs who found it “difficult to come to terms” with the Parliament.
He said: “I have always talked about the four nations, I always talked about the United Kingdom, rather than Britain.
“I strongly objected when different Labour leaders in the post-Blair era talked about one nation and not four nations.” Click here to read at source…
As a point of interest, I once attended a diocesan meeting in Motherwell, where a well known historian quoted Jack McConnell on the subject of the oft-criticised “sectarian problem” in Scotland – McConnell had allegedly opined that we don’t have a “sectarian problem”, we have an “anti-Catholic problem” in Scotland. For the record, Mr McConnell is not a Catholic.
That suggests that the former First Minister has the ability to be objective and honest in his appraisal of issues affecting the country. But is he right about the years since the independence referendum in 2014 – has nothing really changed? If so, why are the Scottish Bishops not speaking out about the matters which affect us all, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
The US bishops have just failed – painfully publicly – to uphold Catholic teaching on abortion by refusing to apply Canon 915 which prohibits those causing public scandal from approaching for Holy Communion during Mass. Game, set and match to Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi. But, make no mistake about it, the Scottish Bishops are likewise failing to apply Church law to pro-abortion politicians, causing untold scandal to the faithful and endangering souls, including the souls of the pro-abortion politicians themselves. They just avoid broadcasting the fact in the mainstream media.
Hence, I find myself agreeing with Jack McConnell; Scotland is much worse now that it’s ever been and it really IS stuck in treacle and doesn’t know how to get out of it. The same is true of the Catholic Church. The key question, then, has to be – what, if anything, can be done about that treacle?