MSPs must join forces to improve health and education

AS A Scot living in England it was most refreshing to read of the planned co-operation between the First Minister and the leader of the Scottish Labour Party to agree joint plans to tackle the “attainment gap” in Scottish schools (News, 8 ­February).

Education and the National Health Service are two areas which would benefit from a multi-party approach. The opportunities and challenges in both health and education should be tackled rationally with the objective of delivering long-term stability rather than short-term headline-grabbing fixes and changes which absorb the energy and the resources of health professionals and teachers respectively.

In England the policy statements by both the Conservative Prime Minister and the Labour leader appear too often to be of the “yah-boo” school of political debate designed to please their supporters and to secure a good mention on the news headlines without addressing long-term issues. The priority does not appear to be to address the issues for the benefit of the country but to secure re-election for the benefit of self and party.

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I am hopeful that Scotland will adopt a balanced long-term approach in these areas, relying on consensus based upon facts and reasoned argument in the best traditions of the Scottish Enlightenment.

Andrew Ferguson, Ewhurst, Surrey