Scotland’s Big Bridge in the Wrong Direction
How many times have heard politicians say: “We would love to have more….(fill in your own subject) but we just don’t have the finances to spend at the moment!”
This is used for anything which might help a relatively small number of people, but we all know that is complete rubbish!
We roll our eyes and shrug our shoulders, because we’ve heard it all before.
It is now time to get this attitude changed.
Politicians have to be held to account!
Government, whether in Scotland or the rest of the UK, and I imagine worldwide, always seems to find the money for big projects which they think will reflect well on whatever party is in the position to fleece us at that particular time.
How do governments, especially devolved government like Scotland’s, find this hidden stash of loot? When at the same time, telling us they can’t influence job creation, because that is still controlled by the evil trolls in Westminster.
But billions of pounds are suddenly available to build a new bridge across the Firth of Forth.
Maybe they picked it up after someone had dropped it as they ran for a bus? Maybe they had a few hundred million pounds on the winner of the Grand National?
I don’t know, but it appeared, and now a bridge has been almost completed. Did there need to be a new crossing? Given the amount of traffic using the existing bridge, the answer is probably yes.
Does Scotland need a huge amount of new affordable housing built? The answer is definitely yes. Which would I rather have seen done?
Definitely building new houses.
There is a desperate shortage of decent housing in Scotland, and the government could and should be prioritising construction of new homes.
But the new Forth bridge will be a wonderful feat of engineering which will show Scotland at its best. Already it looks amazing. Which will be good for tourism and help with the economy.
It will of course, be a great vanity project and wonderful publicity for the SNP government and especially First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
I can see her and her cabinet of intellectual midgets, standing grinning like chimps as the news crews film them and the cameras of the tabloid press snap and flash, sending pictures of these publicity hungry, underachieving parasites, round the world.
This will also be beamed into the front rooms of the very people who are desperate for a decent home.
I’m sure, as they try to block out the draughts of the Scottish winter, they are standing cheering about the huge number of social houses this mass of steel and concrete could have built. Or perhaps not!
But they can feel a deep warmth for the joy this structure is bringing to the political classes, having their pictures taken by the world’s press. Or perhaps not!
If the money can be found, apparently quite easily for this giant vanity project, then it can also be found for getting people out of very unsuitable accommodation and into warm draught free homes.
I hear politicians saying we need more people living in Scotland to take it forward to a bright utopian future, but if they don’t provide homes for everyone, this isn’t going to happen.
I see homeless people sleeping rough in shop doorways in towns and cities in Scotland in the 21st century. This is utterly unacceptable.
Any competent government would make sure its priorities were to have housing for anyone who was homeless.
There’s only so much charities can do.
It is up to politicians to do the job they are paid to do.
Not to build a bridge across the Forth, but building bridges with the poor and needy.
Showing them that they matter, and aren’t seen as a nuisance to be swept away into corners of society.
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ALSO BY MJ BLAIR
Michael J Blair contributes political analysis to DDA, and he can be reached at: email@example.com. His Twitter handle is: @mmjblair
[Bridges over Firth of Forth photo courtesy of Frederick Blake, Wikimedia Commons]