Evel deeds

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The SNP’s attitude to English votes for English laws (Evel) reflects the basic cynicism at the core of Scottish Nationalism, attempting to make every story one of grievance.

The day after the referendum they said any new powers would not be enough or would never come. When the Smith Commission findings were announced, within minutes the SNP dismissed the proposed powers as inadequate, betraying the cross-party consensus of the process they had just taken part in.

Now their 56 new MPs, despite Nicola Sturgeon’s initial assurances to the contrary, use each and every opportunity to be negative.

This is particularly so in regard to the delivery of the new powers for Scotland. Instead of showing enthusiasm for what they could do with these new powers, the SNP just view each step of the legislative procedure for their delivery as a chance to spread grievance and discord.

Proposals for Evel have triggered another by now lame round of mock outrage from the SNP leadership. Clearly only the rights of Scottish Nationalism count in their world.

On principle they are against any proposal that might strengthen the United Kingdom, or deliver benefit to people outside of Scotland.

Keith Howell

West Linton

Peeblesshire

Is it only me who recalls those days before the referendum campaign when Scottish politics was about real issues affecting everyday lives? Before the SNP dominated politics, obsessing about constitutional reform?

In recent months the SNP has shifted focus from Holyrood to Westminster. Why? Because this is where Nicola Sturgeon hopes her power-grabbing dreams will come true.

The referendum result overlooked, Ms Sturgeon has apparently forgotten she signed the Edinburgh Agreement to respect the outcome of last September’s vote.

It would seem she can’t quite remember the SNP is a signatory to the Smith Commission.

Meanwhile in the real world, A&E waiting time targets continue to be missed. Declining numeracy and literacy rates impact on young people as the SNP government year-on-year cuts education and training spending relative to the UK. Unemployment worryingly persists at higher levels here than across the UK as a whole.

The First Minister predictably claims she needs more powers to address these problems. So how come, if the SNP really is the anti-austerity party, it stubbornly refuses to use long-held powers to vary income tax by 3p to begin to help less well-off Scots?

The reality is that the SNP is fixated on back-door separation. Little else matters to Ms Sturgeon and the SNP hierarchy.

I’ve an idea: how about the SNP deliver effectively on the powers it already has, plus the additional ones it will shortly receive, before demanding more?

Martin Redfern

Royal Circus

Edinburgh