Smiley’s people

NO wonder Ruth Davidson looks like the cat that got the cream these days. While the Tories have almost been wiped out in ­Scotland, it must at least bring a degree of satisfaction to her that the Labour and Liberal Democrat parties in Scotland continue to dance to the mischievous tunes played by David Cameron while support for those parties also evaporates here.

Day after day the SNP record in government is denigrated by both Labour and Lib Dem politicians, as well as their party activists, while Chancellor George Osborne continues to tighten the austerity noose. Perhaps former prime minister Gordon Brown, who recently commented on the exploitation of English nationalism by the Tories, is now finally waking up to the fact that he and his party were manipulated by Mr Cameron during the referendum campaign – it was no coincidence that the day after the vote Mr Cameron announced his English Votes for English Laws plans.

Certainly, in spite of overcoming issues around introducing Curriculum for Excellence (which was endorsed by all parties), achieving record targets in the NHS in the face of heavily increasing demands and reducing recorded crime to new lows while re-organising the police force to significantly cut costs, there is plenty of scope for improvement in the Scottish Government’s performance. It also should be noted that constructive criticisms of governmental performance should always be welcomed, whatever the sources, if we are sincere about improving our society.

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That said, the final irony for Labour is that it seems that, of their leadership contenders, only Jeremy Corbyn has his eye on the ball with regard to attacking unnecessary austerity but because his party hierarchy and most of it supporters remain in the thrall of the Westminster establishment and the London-based media, Mr Corbyn is now essentially unelectable as a future Prime Minister. Please, stop smiling Ms ­Davidson.

Stan Grodynski

Longniddry, East Lothian