Comment: 2015 and an election like no other

Photo by Andrew Cowan
Photo by Andrew Cowan

Now that the Christmas and New Year break is over everyone seems to be back in to the usual rhythm of things.

The kids are back at school; folk are back at work and, finally, the last of the Christmas decorations are away. However life moves quickly from one event in to another.

Unbelievably the general election takes place in less than 100 days.

On 7 May, the people of Scotland will go to the polls to decide who their local MP will be. The Scottish result overall could have a big impact in determining how the UK is to be governed over the next five year period.

I’m sure all Extra readers will agree on one thing: Scotland’s voice must be heard.

This election is set to be like no other. It takes place in the aftermath of the independence referendum, which awakened a whole new generation of politically minded people such as I have never seen in Scotland before.

It also comes as the SNP now stands as the largest party in Scotland and the third largest party in across the UK in terms of membership– and opinion polls suggest the SNP is on track to make huge gains.

However we can take absolutely nothing for granted and will be working flat out between now and Election Day for every vote.

It’s no surprise that the public are responding well to the SNP. In government we have protected family budgets with the council tax freeze, maintained free education with the abolition of fees, introduced free prescriptions and maintain free travel for those aged 60 and over.

We’ve also had to react to pressures put on our public services by political decisions made at Westminster. That’s why I was pleased to see Nicola Sturgeon announce an additional £100m for our NHS

Yet at a time when we’re striving to protect public services, Scottish Labour appears to be heading in a different direction. Over the past few weeks Labour have voted with the Conservatives to impose an additional £30bn of cuts to the public sector; voted with the conservatives to renew trident nuclear weapons – at a cost of £100bn – and abstained during a vote which would have seen a moratorium on fracking right across the UK. How is this Labour standing up for Scotland?

The SNP wants to see a strong Scottish Parliament, strong public services and an end to austerity which is causing harm to millions.

We also wish to get rid of the obscenity that is Trident from our shores.

We can do things better, but only if Scotland’s voice is heard at Westminster in May.

Of course I continue to work hard for all my constituents. If anyone has a problem they wish to discuss with me please contact me on james.dornan.msp@scottish.parliament.uk or 0141 632 5238