WITH a General Election on the horizon, the UK political scene is buzzing with more satire and drama than the Fringe.

The usual headline act is the political game-playing of Tories and Labour, as they jostle for votes.

It’s quite something to watch the political posturing and manoeuvring in the run-up to any General Election but this is something else. Perhaps if there weren’t real-life devastating consequences, it would be comical.

We’re used to all the promises that fly around but this time the Tories and Labour seem to be competing in a grand spectacle of who can offer the fastest race to the right with wedge issues created and no real sensible politics offered.

It is populism and a scrap for power, scrabbling for English votes. Nothing they offer is remotely geared towards Scotland, which has for so long proudly worn its left-leaning heart on its sleeve. It’s in our spirit, our community values and our vision for a fairer future. But looking at the broader UK landscape, you’d be hard-pressed to see our reflection.

The SNP, on the other hand, are making the more challenging, “grown-up” choices. We prioritise policies that reflect Scotland’s values, particularly on issues such as equality and climate change.

Where the UK parties might be swayed by the ebbs and flows of public opinion, the SNP have been consistent in championing these issues. We’ve consistently shown a willingness to grapple with the hard questions, often making decisions that may not be popular in the moment but resonate with Scotland’s long-term vision.

This isn’t about painting us as saviours but acknowledging our commitment to keeping Scotland’s best interests at heart.

Take the environment, for example – we’ve seen the backtracking on UK climate objectives. When the world is screaming for us to pay attention to our planet, to treat it with care and respect, reducing commitment is reckless. “Rishi’s roll-back” is a dereliction of duty.

By stepping back on these objectives, the UK Government prioritises short-term economic gains over the long-term health and safety of its citizens, the environment and the global community.

Climate decisions impact industries, jobs, and the economy. By turning it into a wedge issue, there’s a risk of holding back innovation and deterring investments in sustainable industries, which could be a source of future economic growth and job creation.

Countries that lead in green technologies today are likely to be economic leaders tomorrow. We only need to look at the reluctance of the UK Government to fund the carbon capture project at St Fergus in Aberdeenshire, and the holding back of wind farms in favour of pillaging more oil which we can’t even argue is for domestic needs. This will hold us back in a globally competitive market. It can affect international collaborations, trade partnerships and even the nation’s soft power.

On the topic of equality, the situation becomes even starker. The discourse from certain corners, such as Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s concerning comments on immigration, is out of place in modern Scotland. Our history of welcoming folks from all walks of life doesn’t deserve to be lumped in with this blatant pandering to a certain type of voter.

Braverman’s comments didn’t just raise eyebrows, they raised concerns about the direction the UK is headed in. Scotland, with its rich cultures, has always championed inclusivity. Such divisive rhetoric feels like an affront to Scottish sensibilities.

The comments also send a chilling message globally, potentially emboldening regimes that already marginalise or persecute some communities, by suggesting their struggles are not valid reasons to seek sanctuary.

Such divisive statements politicise the very concept of asylum. If the nation’s leaders begin to waver in their commitment to helping our fellow human beings fleeing persecution, it not only impacts those seeking asylum but risks diminishing our standing as a defender of human rights and equality.

These remarks play into the hands of oppressive regimes. It indirectly communicates a tolerance or even endorsement of their persecutory practices. It’s as if we’re saying: “Your gross human rights violations aren’t severe enough for us to intervene.”

This isn’t just about domestic politics, it’s about our role and image on the global stage. Besides the Tory UK Government pulling us down to the depths of low-bar politics, where is the alternative in this Union? There’s none with Labour. Where there once was hope, especially among left-leaning Scots, the difference between Labour and the Tories is a difference in tone rather than substance.

You’d expect the Labour Party, the supposed champions of the working class, to be the beacon for Scots who yearn for social equity. But it’s like watching a friend lose themselves, trying to fit in with the popular crowd. The bold red of Labour, which once signified passion and a commitment to the masses, is now a huge red flag. Scotland notices.

Thankfully, the Scottish people have shown time and time again that they can see through political games. They value genuine efforts towards equality and climate change over flashy empty promises. It’s heartening to see a nation prioritise the health of the planet and the wellbeing of its people over short-term gains.

We traditionally prefer to pay a little more to have equality than gain a little more to the detriment of our fellow citizens. We are a “shirt off our backs” type of people and I love that about us Scots.

Scotland will never truly get what it votes for under the current UK political structure. With the SNP making grown-up decisions while Labour and Tories chase cheap votes, we have a choice.

If history has taught us anything, it’s that the Scottish people have the resilience, wisdom, and foresight to make the choices that resonate with their values and long-term vision. We have the chance at every election to make such choices and the coming General Election makes that especially pertinent.