Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 894 total)
  • Scottish politics thread
  • aberdeenlune
    Free Member

    The drugs death statistics are a great stick for unionists to beat the Scottish government with. So genuine question for unionists what is it they do in Wales or England that we don’t do in Scotland to reduce drug deaths?

    alanl
    Free Member

    “It’s still remarkable that the SNP are still likely to hold onto Government (within a minority coalition)”

    Thats easy, there’s a hardcore of Independence supporters of around 30%, if they turn out, the SNP get in in most seats.

    “ Scotland is a nett producer of electricity, much of it from renewable sources but we pay the highest bills because electricity prices are pegged against the price of gas.. “

    And that is an utter scandal throughout the UK. Everyone is paying higher costs because of this stupid pathetic decision to pay the highest price (gas) to produce electricity. And Labour ,afaiaa, have not mentioned that they will change this terrible Law/Act when they get into power. It’d be the perfect way to reduce electric bills, and finally reduce gas use, as it will cost far more to use it. Do the UK Government get a large tax feed from North Sea gas still, thus reducing their incentive to reduce gas use? And which of the UK parties are still in the pockets of the oil/gas giants? Just the Tories, or are Labour there as well?

    “The GDP is Islay, population 3,300, is greater than Birmingham, population 1.1m and yet 75% of that money bypasses the island to the Treasury’s coffers.”

    Whisky presumably? I do find it hard to believe that, or is it, as the population is so small, a large exporter makes the population have a large GDP / earnings per Islander? So per head the figure is high, but the total sums are nowhere near what Birmingham produces?

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    “So genuine question for unionists what is it they do in Wales or England that we don’t do in Scotland to reduce drug deaths?”

    Why is that only a question for unionists? Isn’t that a question the Scottish Government should be asking?

    If the underlying conditions in Scotland and Wales are the same, but the policies and delivery differ, then it’s got to be the policies or the delivery, and evidently the Scottish Government is doing worse than its counterparts in Wales. Or is there something fundamentally different about Scotland’s population than Wales’s population that makes them significantly more susceptible to opiate addiction and drugs-related death? Seems very unlikely to me.

    mefty
    Free Member

    “I do find it hard to believe that, or is it, as the population is so small, a large exporter makes the population have a large GDP / earnings per Islander?”

    It is hard to believe because it is complete and utter bollocks.

    2
    j4mie
    Free Member

    Well another thread full of cheerful, polite and respectful conversation that is the usual anti SNP nonsense.
    Can’t believe I wasted time reading some of it.

    gordimhor
    Full Member

    It’s a small island which is a base for a massive industry with huge exports.  How much the island benefits from that industry is questionable.

    So far as drug deaths go I do not believe any of our governments are excelling themselves.

    The notion that opiates or street vallies are confined to glasgow or the central belt is daft, they are all over the place.

    We cant even be sure the stats are being measured in the same way so comparisons may not be valid

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    Devi Shridar :Yet again, we in Scotland have the lowest life expectancy in western Europe. Here’s how to improve it

    That’s…the same article that’s in the OP. Deprivation explains the different outcomes within Scotland and England (Pollokshields vs Govan), but it doesn’t explain the different outcomes between Scotland and England. In fact, as has been mentioned above, the rate of poverty across Scotland is slightly lower than in England, and the rate of child poverty is significantly lower. So why are the drug addiction and drug death rates so much worse in Scotland than in England?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    PCA

    as has been explained.   The improvement in poverty rates will take a generation to take effect and drug policy is a reserved matter and steps the Scottish government wanted to take as a harm reduction approach were vetoed by the tories.  Several steps proven to reduce deaths

    But don’t let the truth get in the way of your snp slagging 😜

    intheborders
    Free Member

    But don’t let the truth get in the way of your snp slagging 😜

    Which is why I asked very early on what they want the “Union” to look like, since this is all under the their Union.

    Zero response from them all.

    bearGrease
    Full Member

    Looks like the Greens have left the Scottish Government coalition.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    “Left” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there…

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Which is why I asked very early on what they want the “Union” to look like, since this is all under the their Union.

    Surely the issue is that giving more power to a Scottish government was supposed to make things better. Arguably it hasn’t so what would be the point of Independence? I think it’s easy to accept that the UK as it is has problems. The question is how do you solve it. It’s a bit like Brexit: The EU is far from perfect. Does leaving make things better?

    1
    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    Looks like the Greens have left the Scottish Government coalition

    Best to say they walked out. They are trying to be Green after all.

    nickc
    Full Member

    what is it they do in Wales or England that we don’t do in Scotland to reduce drug deaths?

    The emphasis of drug policy in Scotland is on harm reduction, the emphasis is Wales and England on the other hand is more focussed on rehabilitation and recovery.

    It’s wrong to say that the fault of increased death rate falls to Westminster, the divergence in policy in Scotland is a devolved matter. The system is Scotland has reduced the emphasis on the moral aspect of drug taking and relies on the drug taker’s willingness to engage with support to give up on their own, critics of this essentially take the view that this approach does little to actually help addicts becasue it emphasises addiction is something to be managed rather than overcome.

    Personally I can see what the SNP were trying to achieve, remove the stigma of drug taking and reducing the harm of illegal drugs and replacing them with safer (state administered) alternatives. The experience in Scotland has actually been that the harm of addiction is a more pressing need than harm reduction policies can achieve especially when routes to recovery and rehabilitation have been reduced or in some cases removed all together.

    Edit: I’m not in any way suggesting that drug policies in England/Wales are some sort of shining beacon of success, they are not. E/W still has some of the highest rates of drug taking in western Europe, the record is nothing to crow about. I think that with some corrections, the Scottish system would probably yield better results as the experience of similar policies in other European countries has shown.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    as has been explained.   The improvement in poverty rates will take a generation to take effect and drug policy is a reserved matter and steps the Scottish government wanted to take as a harm reduction approach were vetoed by the tories.  Several steps proven to reduce deaths

    But don’t let the truth get in the way of your snp slagging 😜

    You’re just repeating the same thing you did before, and it still doesn’t stand up to reason. You could argue that improvements aren’t happening solely because the Scottish Government doesn’t have the power to legislate on Misuse of Drugs Act, and that’s the only thing left to do thay will have an effect.

    But that is somewhat implausible because criminal drugs law is just one important factor among many, and it doesn’t explain why the drug addiction and drug death rates are already so much worse in Scotland than in other parts of the UK that have exactly the same drugs laws (as @nickc pointed out) and worse levels of poverty (as you have alluded to).

    The sources are all above…

    Which is why I asked very early on what they want the “Union” to look like, since this is all under the their Union.

    I don’t see what drugs deaths and drug addiction rates in Scotland under the Scottish National Party have to do with the pluses or minuses of the Union. It would be an abject failure if a unionist party were in power in Scotland and responsible. Not everything is about the Union. Why are those high rates in comparison to similar populations elsewhere a topic that only unionists should care about? It’s a weird suggestion.

    I’m not really interested in the independence vs union discussion as it’s perennial and stagnant, and I think it’s odd and disingenuous that the SNP’s most hardy want to explain every situation as a failure of the union. Salmond stitched up ferry procurement – that’s the Union’s fault. Huge drugs problems and inequity in health outcomes within Scotland – that’s the Union’s fault. Sturgeon’s husband nicked again – that’s the Union’s fault. Mrs Miggins dropped her messages on the zebra crossing – it’s perfidious Albion again!

    1
    poly
    Free Member

    PCA – you might be right and the difference is down to access to rehab and culture of dealing with addicts.  It is surprising that a fairly subtle distinction has such a stark contrast.  So I did a little digging on what constitutes a drug death in Scotland v England.  I need to do some actual paid work now – but if I have picked it up right – there are two categories:

    – all deaths where any drug, including prescribed medications or over the counter pain killers contributed to the death

    – deaths where drug misuse (ie illegal drugs) were a factor.

    it appears that the first is consistently measured across the U.K. and Scotland is much worse than the rest.  The second is not directly comparable between constituent parts of the U.K.

    now I’m not saying Scotland doesn’t have a drug problem – it absolutely does (and as someone says that’s not unique to Glasgow or even the big cities).  BUT before we bash the government on either side for drugs death inconsistencies are we sure that the anomaly is mainly dealing in street drugs rather than mental health related overdoses (and of course street drugs and MH are not entirely separate issues anyway).

    so I come back to my earlier question- are we even measuring the same thing, and add a supplementary question – if we are, do we know what we are measuring?

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    https://www.gov.scot/publications/national-mission-drugs-annual-monitoring-report-2022-2023/pages/4/

    It’s all in section 4.3.1. This is the data to which the article in the OP and @somafunk ‘s post refers.

    BoardinBob
    Full Member

    Is drug usage higher here than in England or Wales or just that deaths are higher? I’d strongly suspect drug usage is much higher. I can’t find the article but there was a report a while ago that Glasgow had the highest rate of people combining drugs, mainly cocaine and ecstasy. They love a sesh up here. I’ve long suspected a lot of it is driven by the grey miserableness for a good chunk of the year.

    gordimhor
    Full Member
    munrobiker
    Free Member

    What the hell is going on here? I was at a government environment conference last year and one of the top civil servants presenting effectively held his head in his hands and pled with his audience and said “our government has said we’re in a climate crisis, but no one is acting like we’re in a crisis”.

    12 months later and we’ve now scrapped the climate targets (achievable or otherwise at this point, should have tried harder earlier) and booted out the one party that cares from government, a few weeks after introducing an agricultural payment policy that’s worse for the environment than England’s (it disregards it entirely!). The SNP risk losing a lot of their left wing voters here. This is significantly more important than drug deaths.

    nickc
    Full Member

    Tories, Labour and Lib Dems all apparently supporting a no-confidence vote in Yousef Humza

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    The SNP risk losing a lot of their left wing voters here.

    To who though – Scottish Greens? They’re not going to form a majority government and none of the other parties have “greener” policies than the SNP.

    VNC could come down to Ash Regan, which would be ironic.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    The Scottish Greens statement is a real zinger: https://greens.scot/news/statement-snp-have-sold-out-future-generations

    Apparently they’re not a bunch of softly-spoken Birkenstock wearers…

    gordimhor
    Full Member

    “This is significantly more important than drug deaths”
    To the economy yes, to the world as a whole yes.
    Up to this point I don’t think too many of the Scottish electorate have actually seen first hand the effects of climate change, you could argue that many of them have seen the effects of drug addiction.

    1
    scotroutes
    Full Member

    From the SGP statement;

    If they can’t stand up to members of their own party…

    In my mind the party leadership is there to carry out the wishes of the members, not to dictate to them.

    gordimhor
    Full Member

    “In my mind the party leadership is there to carry out the wishes of the members, not to dictate to them.”

    FFS that’ll never catch on

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    In my mind the party leadership is there to carry out the wishes of the members, not to dictate to them.

    And if they don’t mind losing the votes of people who are in favour of what the Greens represent then that’s fine.

    Can’t speak for anyone else but personally I’ll be voting Green regardless of electoral maths after today.  Before I was thinking about voting for the most likely pro-independence candidate but now it’s more important I register my opinion on environmental and social issues.

    If that results in a Labour MP then so be it.

    ChrisL
    Full Member

    I have the impression is that independence is the only thing all SNP voters agree on. When it comes to other policies it seems to be a very broad church. If the SNP leadership is bowing to pressure from the party’s right wing then there’s probably a decent number of left wingers and possibly centrists in the part who will feel aggrieved – just like how the party’s right wing has felt ignored at other points in the past few years. In which case the leadership has to pick a direction that isn’t purely coming up from the membership, or they’d never have a policy on anything except independence.

    And it’s not like there seems to be a strong consensus in the party about how to achieve independence either.

    1
    intheborders
    Free Member

    Surely the issue is that giving more power to a Scottish government was supposed to make things better. Arguably it hasn’t so what would be the point of Independence?

    You do realise that independence & devolution are two totally different things don’t you?

    Devolution is a Unionist construct and it’s the UK which is deciding which bits of policy it’s going to let Scotland manage, and even then it’ll take control when it doesn’t like their approach.

    What we have is what YOU want, control of Scotland by Westminster.

    ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    I wonder if the recent report sounding a note of caution around the NHS treatment of transgender young people has played a part in this – the report’s recommendations seem to be at odds with the Scottish Greens’ policy aims, and probably add some weight to those voices within the SNP of broadly the same perspective.

    More generally, I’m not sure where the recent travails of the SNP leave me politically – I’m still broadly in favour of independence, as the current devolved arrangement leaves Scottish policymaking vulnerable to Westminster politicking aimed at subverting Scottish Government aspirations (whether SNP or Labour), particularly under a Tory administration. For most of my voting life, I was a solid Labour voter (and party member), but there’s nothing about the prospect of Anas Sarwar as Keir Starmer’s glove puppet that appeals to me politically (other than the absence of the current Tory government).

    imnotverygood
    Full Member

    You do realise that independence & devolution are two totally different things don’t you?

    No. Really?

    kimbers
    Full Member

     but there’s nothing about the prospect of Anas Sarwar as Keir Starmer’s glove puppet that appeals to me politically (other than the absence of the current Tory government

    do we think that may well be enough to see plenty of SNP voters ticking Labour when they get into the ballot box?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    but there’s nothing about the prospect of Anas Sarwar as Keir Starmer’s glove puppet that appeals to me politically (other than the absence of the current Tory government

    do we think that may well be enough to see plenty of SNP voters ticking Labour when they get into the ballot box?

    The number of Labour MPs returned by Scottish voters does not affect the odds of a Labour or Tory government at Westminster.

    I’m not sure what policies folk would be voting for if they switched to Labour, given that Anas Sarwar simply says whatever SKS tells him to, and the latter changes his mind day by day.

    It’s likely that a number of SNP non-voters might now rethink their position and vote SNP again next time round – especially if Yousaf decides to fall on his sword.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    Oh – massive kudos to @politecameraaction for having the presience to start this thread 😂

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    I’m not sure where the recent travails of the SNP leave me politically…I’m still broadly in favour of independence

    …which is fair enough, because the SNP is not independence, and not all of its failures and successes are a story about independence vs the union. The SNP being terrible or fantastic in a devolved government doesn’t really change whether independence is a good or bad idea.

    1
    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    The SNP being terrible or fantastic in a devolved government doesn’t really change whether independence is a good or bad idea.

    I’m not sure about that, could look at it two ways, the SNP have hardly been a party of excellence over the last decade and it’s going downhill fast at the moment with everything that’s coming out now combined with the current leadership. Now that could be because Westminster blocks the SNP from doing a fantastic job for Scotland (for those who believe in sunlit uplands) or Westminster is curbing the worst of the  SNP and providing a solid funding base for Scotland.

    At the moment though neither Westminster or Holyrood are performing particularly well. It’s the same argument about Brexit, accept that despite it’s issues the EU gave the UK some stability, same applies to Scotland without Westminster. I’m not sure I’d be happy with the SNP at the reins post independence.

    I think the current state of the SNP does reflect badly on the idea of independence as well, independence and the SNP are intrinsically linked.

    politecameraaction
    Free Member

    I don’t understand what happens if Humza loses a vote of no confidence. The other parties don’t want to form a coalition government and any minority government would be too weak to achieve anything the SNP didn’t want. So does that mean elections?

    1
    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I think the current state of the SNP does reflect badly on the idea of independence as well, independence and the SNP are intrinsically linked.

    Again, Scotland won’t become a single party state post indy.

    Is this a variation of the Johann Lamont argument that Scots are genetically incapable of governing themselves?

    And really, we’re trying to argue that the problems with the EU are equivalent to the problems with Westminster?

    ratherbeintobago
    Full Member

    Is it like Westminster where it’s nominally a person who forms the government? So the SNP a could theoretically form a government under a different leader?

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