If Nicola Sturgeon heads the list of the most influential women in the world (your report, 2 July), one wonders which world the judges are living in.
For all her success in the recent general election, the judges should surely have taken a closer look at the SNP’s record of failure on a number of issues that come under the SNP’s devolved watch.
For example, its lack of flexibility over free childcare access for nursery places; its lack of transparency over pupil testing; its spending on schools has fallen; its record on apprenticeships with Scotland having half the rate of young people starting apprenticeships than in England.
Then there’s its record on NHS and emergency waiting times; its complete failure on housing with 150,000 people on housing waiting lists and tens of thousands more denied house ownership through ending the right to buy and closing help to buy despite huge demand and its failure to meet emission targets for the fourth year running, and its Budget underspend of £200 million.
To cap it all, the oft-quoted SNP response to any question about Scotland’s ability to run its own affairs, that “we have the oil”, is now discredited following the Office for Budget’s Responsibility’s latest significantly reduced projections on oil prices which highlight the madness of full fiscal autonomy for Scotland and questions the SNP’s economic credibility.
Since her election as SNP leader and a successful general election, Nicola Sturgeon has assumed near pop star celebrity status supported by ruthless PR.
However, leaders should be judged by results and it is high time that those who blindly support her and the SNP cause should (a) question her SNP government’s failings on those devolved day-to-day issues for which they have long had responsibility, and (b) ask themselves what she has actually achieved during her period in office for the good of the whole of Scotland.