Thomas Kerr: It’s time the First Minister got back to focusing on her day job

Thomas Kerr: It’s time the First Minister got back to focusing on her day job <i>(Image: Newsquest)</i>
Thomas Kerr: It’s time the First Minister got back to focusing on her day job (Image: Newsquest)

LAST week felt like Groundhog Day for followers of Scottish politics.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court set out its verdict on the SNP Government’s bid to hold a second referendum on Scottish Independence unilaterally. As predicted by almost every legal expert, the court ruled unanimously that it does not have that power.

So, here we are again.

Nicola Sturgeon has wasted hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ cash and valuable court time to be told what any Modern Studies student could have told her.

Meanwhile, Scotland continues to be let down because her administration has its eye off the ball again.

Nicola Sturgeon’s independence obsession comes at the cost of our day-to-day wellbeing. On virtually every front domestically the SNP/Green Government is failing Scotland.

A couple of days before the Supreme Court’s ruling, I attended an event hosted by FAVOR UK on Scotland’s drug-death crisis.

A year on from Nicola Sturgeon’s visit to Bluevale Community Centre, with my party leader Douglas Ross, to meet and listen to volunteers, we are no further forward in tackling a tragedy that blights and shames Scotland. Campaigners and volunteers are dismayed at the inaction of SNP ministers on this issue.

Inexplicably, they still refuse to get behind Douglas’ Right to Recovery Bill, which enjoys the overwhelming backing of charities and experts in the field. It would enshrine in law the right of everyone with an addiction problem to receive the treatment they need.

Teachers walked out on strike following a dispute between the SNP and teachers over pay.

The last pay offer was rejected by unions in September, yet it took the Education Secretary until last Tuesday to come up with a new deal at the eleventh hour in a desperate bid to prevent the strikes going ahead.

The offer was rejected within an hour, the industrial action went ahead – and now 16 additional days of strikes have been announced. That’s a hammer blow to our young people who are already being let down by a shambolic postcode lottery education system that punishes working-class kids.

We also saw the First Minister squirm in Holyrood when challenged on the state of Scotland’s crumbling NHS. On Monday, we heard that NHS chiefs have lost trust in Humza Yousaf and started talking about what a two-tier health service might look like.

After all her ridiculous scaremongering about the Tories’ plans for the health service, it’s Nicola Sturgeon’s NHS leaders who were given the green light to discuss charging patients.

The First Minister should be focused on health, strikes and helping us through the cost-of-living crisis.

But she’d rather stand outside Holyrood addressing a hardcore of Nationalist fanatics on independence than addressing her dismal record in government. Scotland deserves better than a washed-out, one-issue SNP.

It’s time the First Minister revaluated her priorities and got back to focusing on her day job. Enough of her separation obsession. She must either get back to work or step aside for someone who actually wants to make Scotland better.