Sometimes a week in Westminster can be momentous, some days even infamous – last week was something else!
On Monday, the Tories passed a bill that was nothing short of an attack on workers’ rights, specifically the basic right to withdraw labour in disputes. They were happy to clap nurses, but now they want to make it easier to sack them. Families in every community are struggling to put food on the table or heat their home because of the direct actions of this UK Government’s handling of the economy but instead of apology and support, they are looking for scapegoats.
Tuesday came, and with it, an attack on democracy and devolution. The UK Government chose to weaponise legislation passed by two-thirds of MSPs to flex its muscles over Scotland’s Parliament and seek to create a diversionary culture war.
It seemed things couldn’t get much worse by Wednesday, but we still had the Retained EU Law bill to debate. Hundreds of you wrote to me to share your dismay at the contents of the bill, and these are concerns I very much share.
The sunset clause in this bill means that fundamental rights will be scrapped automatically if not first identified and replaced by the end of the year. Do you trust this Government firstly to have the competence to review thousands of pieces of legislation by the deadline and secondly to make decisions in the interest of the public rather than their donors, cronies and chums.
This UK Government seems intent on destroying hard-fought rights and legislation that protects those who need it most. They also seem determined to undermine devolution at every turn as they attempt to impose more and more direct rule.
It’s easy to forget how different decisions taken by the Scottish Parliament impact us every day. Just imagine if Westminster made all the choices?
We’d be paying for every prescription, you’d be paying bedroom tax, we’d have fewer doctors, nurses, and police officers. Untreated sewage would be allowed to run into our rivers and coastline, just for a start. The list goes on, and it is long.
Make to mistake, this UK government is only getting started – they know they’ve lost voters because of the mess they have made and so are doubling down on their right-wing credentials to stoke division, and it is the most vulnerable who are left paying the highest price.