Warring SNP and Green parties being in power is no good for the Scottish people

It's been clear for a while the Bute House Agreement was a busted flush. What started out as a well-intentioned idea has turned sour for both the SNP and Greens in recent months.

The Record was one of many voices arguing this week for the two parties to go their separate ways. The sudden nature of Humza Yousaf's announcement yesterday still took many by surprise.

It certainly shocked the Greens, given some of their senior MSPs had spent Wednesday evening trying to convince rank-and-file members to support the continuation of the agreement.

The late-night summons of Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater to Bute House on Thursday morning did not go down well. The Greens claimed afterwards Yousaf has given in to reactionary elements within his own party.

It's true that several SNP MSPs have not been able to hide their disdain at working with the Greens in recent years. But away from Holyrood, the general public could clearly see not all was well with the powersharing deal.

A succession of policy failures, such as the bottle deposit return scheme, had shaken confidence in the Scottish Government. The blame for that mess was pinned on Slater but the reality is it was an SNP policy which both parties managed to botch.

The backlash against the Gender Recognition Reform Bill passed in 2022 saw the Nats and Greens cover their ears to the concerns of some women.

It left an open goal for the UK Government to step in and block the legislation on the grounds of breaching equalities laws. It was another avoidable political mess.

Following Nicola Sturgeon's abrupt exit from frontline politics in early 2023, Yousaf was the only SNP leadership candidate to state his firm support for the continuation of the Bute House Agreement.

It left room for Kate Forbes to position herself as the change candidate and it was almost enough for her to win, despite the wider controversies around her stance on other policies.

But gleeful opposition politicians should today take a reality check. Scotland, like the rest of the UK, faces an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Ordinary people cannot afford to put food on the table while sky-high energy bills continue to keep inflation high.

The NHS in Scotland still cannot meet demand. Patients face months-long waits for non-emergency procedures. There is a desperate need for political stability. Minority government has worked before for the SNP. It must work again. Opposition parties must work together to find solutions to the pressing problems facing Scotland.

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