ARE you bored yet? As questions about this election go, that seems to be the most obvious to ask. 

That’s because the Tories seem intent on turning this election into a fiasco.

In contrast, Labour’s great achievement is to say nothing, most especially when it comes to abuse of Dianne Abbott, one of its longest-serving MPs.

Meanwhile, the LibDem leader has fallen in a lake.

The National: Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey takes a fall during his Lake Windermere photo-op on Tuesday

And, whenever those parties mention Scotland it is, invariably, in the context of how the people of Scotland should do their duty to Westminster-focused parties.   

I suspect I overstate my case, but not by much. So far, this election is boring. And that’s also, by and large, true of the genuinely Scottish campaigns. Everything I see, read and hear so far says that nothing anyone has yet had to say about any aspect of the campaign, in or out of Scotland, is of any great significance. 

Mostly, we have learned about Tory incompetence, LibDem attention seeking, Labour aggression – most especially towards those who are, or have recently been in that party – whilst the SNP wants, as Keir Starmer once did, to simply be taken seriously again, whilst pretending that the past does not matter.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond reports BBC Scotland and STV to Ofcom

It is, therefore, to be hoped that this election might still come alive. 

It would be even better if something really relevant to Scotland comes out of it –apart from arguments on election debates. 

But what if it does not? Suppose that from now until July 4 comes we must suffer miserable campaigns from the Unionist parties, all of whom are promoting the same basic idea? That idea is that politics cannot provide an answer to any known question because consumer choice is the only thing that they think matters in life.

And, what each those parties now believes is that whatever it is that government offers, it does not involve consumer choice. As a result, every one of these politicians believes that their job is to offer less government. That is precisely why their offerings are, without exception, so uninspiring.

READ MORE: Faiza Shaheen: Labour 'block candidate in row over Twitter posts'

In contrast, for all their own neoliberal failings, the SNP do reflect the belief in community that still exists in Scotland but which is increasingly noticeable by its absence in England, in particular. 

The result is that the SNP have a story to sell, even if the Unionist/independence line is ignored. The commitment to the community that they have gives them the chance to talk about how they have promoted social goals in a way that sets them apart from the English-orientated parties that are their main competitors. 

I suggest that it is this difference that can stop this election being boring.

The varying attitudes towards child poverty exemplify this difference and how it can be exploited. 

The Tories introduced the two-child benefit cap in England that has pushed one million children and their families into poverty.

Labour are saying they cannot find the £1.8 billion required to relieve this poverty, although some very simple changes to the taxation of wealth would let them do so, with ease. 

The LibDems say they will get rid of the cap, but so what? They have no chance of actually putting into effect any policy that they propose at this election, so small is the chance a hung parliament.

The National:

And then there are the SNP, who pioneered the baby box [above] idea, and have also since Covid made additional payments to families in Scotland to support the most vulnerable children. Their policy on child poverty is distinct, decidedly different, and even daring when the resources made available to them by Westminster are constrained. They have proved that they can actually deliver a policy to tackle child poverty when others are not even showing an inclination to try.

The difference in approach is significant, and important. I should add, it is almost holy unknown about outside Scotland, which is a fact that the other parties might be relying on. There is, however, no reason for people in Scotland to not know about it. That gives the SNP the chance to exploit their success with this policy as evidence that the division between them and the Unionist parties is much more significant than the simple issue of independence would suggest.

READ MORE: Luke Akehurst: Labour pick 'extremist' Israel lobbyist for safe seat

The evidence that this policy approach provides is that the SNP still believe in the power of government to deliver benefit for the people of the country. Simultaneously, it is apparent that the English parties contesting this election do not believe this. They, instead, seem to believe that government is a burden, to be suffered mainly by the well-off.

If the SNP do not exploit this fundamental difference in approach towards the whole issue of governing, and on the role of government, then it is making a serious tactical mistake in this election campaign. They have to make clear that if the people of Scotland want to vote for a party that actually believe they can make a change, they have only one option available to them. And there is nothing boring about that.