IT is said that a government loses an election rather than an opposition winning one.

A poor record in government, incompetence in running the economy and public services, poor leadership and misjudged public perception are the downfalls of many governments across the world.

As we near the General Election, the Conservative UK Government has gone beyond expectation in bringing misery and harm to everything they touch. It is, thankfully, set to be wiped out across the board.  Under the UK’s first-past-the-post electoral system, the path to Number 10 is a right-leaning, centrist one. Despite the cries protesting differently, we know that while a Labour government would be better than a Tory one, the margins of difference between the two are now paper thin.

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This week Keir Starmer set out the Labour Party’s pledges if it is, as expected, to be elected into government. This was announced as “six first steps to change Britain”. This, of course, is not to be mistaken for Labour’s “five national missions” that they announced last year, and please try not to confuse these with Starmer’s “10 promises” he made to change Britain when running to be the leader of his party.  During the big reveal of their latest six-step journey to nowhere, deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “The Tories abused your trust, but Labour will never take you for granted.”

I find this a ridiculous statement as that is exactly what this Labour opposition has been doing and will continue to do while the party sits comfy in the polls.

 No-one is inspired to vote for Labour because of what they seem to imagine are bold and progressive policies. They are moving to Labour because the Conservatives have been so bad. The Tories have been so terrible, and frankly dangerous, in government that Labour have not needed to commit to change all that much.

Despite the rhetoric of “change” which Sir Keir mentions every fourth breath, in his fifth he said, “stability is change”. By that he means, no real change. Austerity will continue, Brexit will continue, inequality will continue.

When it comes to U-turns, rehashing and backtracking on policies and commitments, it is now a regular occurrence with Sir Keir, and he isn’t even the prime minister yet. During his leadership campaign he pledged higher income tax for the top 5% of earners, scrapping tuition fees, bringing services into public ownership, free movement within the EU, a green new deal, abolishing the House of Lords and reforming Universal Credit. All pledges that have come out of the prime-minister-in-waiting’s mouth that have now been scrapped or backpedalled on. 

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Most abhorrent of all is the stance that the Labour Party has taken on the two-child benefits limit/rape clause. It claims that it will not scrap the heinous policy because it will cost too much. What kind of Labour Party is happy to continue the misery that this policy inflicts on families across our country?

With enough U-turns to make you feel like you’ve been on the waltzers, alarm bells should be ringing. If Sir Keir’s Labour are comfortable breaking so many pledges before they’ve even got a foot in Number 10, then it is cause for concern.

Labour themselves know they are not all that different from the Tories – in fact they welcome them with open arms and give them pride of place when they cross the floor of the House of Commons.

Ultimately, Scotland will continue to be treated as an annoying afterthought regardless of who is in Number 10. Since 2015, because of a strong cohort of Scottish MPs from neither of the main UK parties, the SNP have kept Scotland’s interests front and centre.

This is where the SNP must rise to the challenge and proudly stand as an alternative, and as a reminder that Scotland’s best days are undoubtedly ahead of her.