A Guardian reader’s response to the above passed to us by reader, brobb:
What an appalling editorial.
Firstly, I hope that it was written by a man. It would be shameful indeed for any woman to fail to acknowledge that under the SNP, Scotland has become the first country in the world to make period products available free of charge to all women and girls who need them. There is the baby box given to all new mothers containing not just some essential products but even a book to let mother and baby bond over words and pictures. There is the child payment paid over and above UK child benefit, which is in the process of being rolled out. For those who would have struggled without these innovations, they are significant indeed.
Secondly, and this is unforgivable, in her interview Greta Thunberg did not even mention Scotland. She said that developed countries in general were not doing enough to tackle climate change, and she singled out Boris Johnson in particular for blatantly lying about the UK government’s achievements. It was the BBC who decided that this was a direct attack upon the SNP, and produced a headline saying as much (while editing out all criticism of Johnson), but then again in Scotland their role as the propaganda wing of the Tory party is so blatant that few of us take what they say seriously any more.
And when it comes to drug deaths, surely any newspaper worthy of the name would be aware of exactly how often the Scottish Government have requested permission from Westminster, to whom drugs legislation is reserved, for permission to introduce initiatives such as safe consumption rooms which have led to massive drops in drugs deaths in countries where they have been introduced, but which are not legal under current UK drugs laws. Westminster has point blank refused every time without even bothering to give a justification.
Historically Scotland has had appalling problems of inequality and health. You should be aware that Glasgow Council, controlled by Labour until the most recent council elections when the SNP took over, fought tooth and nail against paying their female workers equal wages. The incoming SNP administration is now having to find hundreds of millions of pounds for backdated payments having acknowledged that they have to do the right thing, something which the so called party of the workers never did. Many of the health issues relate to a history of appalling slum housing which did not really begin to be tackled until today’s elderly were well past childhood, and a legacy of heavy industry where health and safety had not been implemented and all sorts of pollution was rife both in the workplace and in the wider community. The results of generations of neglect can not be fully turned round within two or three parliamentary terms whatever some auditor thinks (speaking as a former auditor myself!).
You would struggle to find anyone in Scotland who would not acknowledge that firstly, Brexit is a disaster inflicted upon us against our will and with no acknowledgement whatsoever of our clearly expressed wishes in 2016, and also that Johnson’s Tories are the most appalling government in our lifetimes and that there is no realistic alternative government in prospect south of the border. The realisation is dawning that the only prospect of a future that does not include supermarkets with permanently empty shelves is to choose independence and renewed membership of the EU.
By Jethro Mann