Gourock to Dunoon bridge: The SNP’s fantasy politics leads to nowhere – Brian Wilson

I retain a loyalty to my home town and was curious to find it won a place in the SNP manifesto with a commitment to “explore the potential for a bridge from Gourock to Dunoon”.

The SNP wants to explore the idea of building a bridge from Gourock across the Firth of Clyde to Dunoon (Picture: Danny Lawson/PA)

Needless to say, there is not the remotest possibility of this coming to pass. Indeed, the Gourock-Dunoon bridge serves as useful metaphor for the contrast between a fantasy manifesto and more prosaic reality.

Under the SNP’s watch, Dunoon had its car ferry service removed, by-passing the town with predictable consequences.

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The wonderful Victorian pier – Dunoon’s hallmark owned by a cash-strapped local authority – is in desperate need of rescue. Make-and-mend on the Rest and be Thankful scarcely fills travellers going the long way round with confidence.

Each could be addressed with relatively modest expenditure. Instead, they start talking about a bridge that will never be built. Job done.

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I see we are also to have “the creation of a recognised Gaidhealtachd to raise levels of language competence”. If anyone can tell me what “creating a recognised Gaidhealtachd” is going to achieve, I will be more than interested.

Here in the real world, I live in one of very few parts of Scotland where there are nominally over 50 per cent Gaelic speakers and it is nigh-well impossible for any young family to find a home, while crofts change hands for impossible prices. But let’s have a “recognised Gaidhealtachd” and the problem will be solved.

I must make a note to check in five years’ time what became of the bridge to Dunoon and the recognised Gaidhealtachd.

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