On Thursday history was made as the
Scottish National Party, who only a decade ago seemed destined to play
second fiddle to the Labour Party in Scottish politics, became the first
party in the Scottish Parliament's twelve year history to form a single
party majority. More importantly, for the first time there is a
pro-independence majority in the Parliament, and consequently a
referendum on whether Scotland should leave the United Kingdom will be
held within the next five year term.
There are just over three months to go before the elections for the
Scottish parliament, which take place on May 5th. Aside from the
contest itself the Scottish electorate is left with the knowledge that,
whoever wins the election, massive cuts are set to follow after the
Nationalist Scottish Government set a budget in December clearly aimed
at winning this election.
John Swinney’s launch of the Scottish budget went down like a damp squib
as the Nationalist government attempts to balance its way between the
cuts from Westminster and the increasingly unpopular administration’s
electoral prospects in May. The Finance Minister announced a raft of
cuts, “efficiency savings” and real wage cuts.
On Saturday 20,000 people marched through
the streets of Edinburgh to show their opposition to cuts in public services.
The march was called by the Scottish Trade Union Congress to launch their
“There is a Better Way” campaign, which they have described as the beginning of
the fight against Tory cuts north of the border.