Record View says the SNP and Greens must accept the inevitable and say goodbye

First Minister Humza Yousaf addressing Scottish independence campaigners at George Square in Glasgow.
First Minister Humza Yousaf addressing Scottish independence campaigners at George Square in Glasgow. -Credit:Wattie Cheung

Humza Yousaf, Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater must accept the inevitable. The Bute House Agreement has not worked and it would be best if the SNP and Greens now went their separate ways.

Nicola Sturgeon fell short of an overall majority at the 2021 Holyrood elections and was keen to take her party into a political marriage of convenience.

Independence supporters were initially delighted as many at the time were still convinced an IndyRef2 was a realistic prospect. But that plan was shredded on sight by the Supreme Court and the SNP-Green partnership has struggled for credibility since.

Instead of major constitutional reforms, the Scottish Government has become bogged down in a series of botched domestic policies.

The failure to deliver a workable recycling scheme for single-use drinks containers was an embarrassment. It was the kind of environmental policy the Greens were brought on board to implement.

Big business was onside but a failure to listen to the concerns of smaller producers sunk it. The Greens then stood back as Humza Yousaf announced his government would again freeze council tax, despite their party’s longstanding commitment to reform.

The Scottish Government last week ditching a key climate change commitment was understandably the final straw for many Green party members. The Record recognises the urgent need for environmental policies which will tackle climate change.

But they should now be delivered by a minority SNP Government that works alongside other parties in Holyrood on an issue-by-issue basis. The Bute House Agreement should end.

Alcohol deaths are alarming

IT'S alarming but sadly not surprising to learn Scotland still has the highest rate of alcohol-related deaths in the UK. As a country, we continue to struggle with our relationship with drink and time and time again, that's borne out in national statistics.

Our alcohol consumption is often a symptom of wider societal problems caused by poverty and depravation.

But the change in our habits brought about by Covid - with people drinking at home more often and more heavily - has now become the norm, leading to the biggest spike in alcohol-linked deaths since 2008.

In Scotland there were a shocking 22.9 booze-related deaths per 100,000 people in 2022, compared to a UK average of 16.6. Campaigners are right that we have to change our ways - this is an alcohol emergency putting further stress on our struggling NHS.

All tools that can be brought to bear to tackle this crisis, from better treatment and recovery services, to minimum pricing, to marketing restrictions, should be on the table.

Because we cannot continue like this.

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