Petty point-scoring highlights the confrontational nature of Scottish politics

THE LEADERS' Debate hosted by STV may have been too long and too confrontational, but it did highlight one key fact: only Scottish Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Scottish Greens stand prepared to use the powers coming to Holyrood.

All have put forward a plan to tax those who can afford it a little more and invest that money in cutting inequality in Scotland. One could argue that the Liberal Democrats don’t go far enough, the Scottish Greens are unrealistic or that Kezia Dugdale is being too ambitious.

However, it is clear that these parties have a radical a vision for Scotland.

In contrast, the Scottish Tories and the SNP appear happy with the status quo. Both are doggedly trying to appeal to middle-class Scots whilst telling the rest of us that public services can be improved without real-terms increases in spending. Both refuse to tax the richest 1 per cent even a penny more. Indeed, a new neo-liberal consensus appears to have established itself at the heart of Scotland’s political establishment.

(Dr) Scott Arthur

Buckstone Gardens, Edinburgh

The second leaders’ TV debate was rather disappointing. While we all hope to see more women getting into politics, there was little to encourage them in this combative style of debate, with constant interruptions and speaking over each other, particularly sadly, from the female leaders.

Scotland has more powers than ever before to decide on its own future direction, which should surely encourage positivity, yet much time was wasted trying to score points off each other, particularly in suggesting opponents were aligned either now or in the past, with the Tories in the UK parliament.

Keith Howell

West Linton, Peeblesshire

The leaders’ debates show them pulling in different directions, each trying to satisfy their own trivial agendas, while what actually needs to be done is being ignored. This confrontational style of so-called “government” is a luxury we can no longer afford in today’s dangerous world.

We need a real leader to pull us together in the face of domestic and international problems that are simply being ignored.

The time for party dogma is over.

Malcolm Parkin

Gamekeepers Road, Kinross