From Cradle To Grave


I developed a wee glow about me this morning, reminiscent of 1980’s TV adverts for a popular oat based breakfast cereal. This happened whilst reading an article about the Scottish Government’s plans (assuming an asteroid the size of David Coburn’s TV interview TelePrompTer screen doesn’t come crashing to earth somewhere around Milnathort between now and the 5th May) to provide a “Baby Box”for every precious new wee Scot that is born, the future custodians of our ancient and beautiful land.

This reasonably simple Nordic style initiative is being introduced by the SNP to try and help address the blight of 21st century poverty and the inequalities that go along with not knowing where the next meal for you and your children is coming from.

These “Baby Boxes” will be packed with clothes, nappies, and toys, and will made of sturdy material with a built in mattress so that they can be used as a cot for the baby in its early months. Studies elsewhere apparently have shown too that the use of these “boxes’ has potentially seen a positive breakthrough in helping the prevention of cot-death.

I”m not a member of the SNP, or any other political party for that matter, but I think they should be roundly applauded for taking this step.

There will be the detractors and cynics who call it a gimmick, designed to pick up votes in May. There will be the usual cries of “the young lassie that lives next door to me has two wee bits of weans, smokes and has got Sky TV, and gets everything fae the social”.

The ‘Hootsmon’s’ keyboard warriors will have a field day, but this clear statement of intent by Nicola Sturgeon’s government, alongside the proposed further extension to the school meals programme to nursery age kids, the continuing protection of tertiary education from fees, free prescriptions and putting up barriers against the “Bedroom Tax” show that this government means business. They regularly get criticised from the Left for not being radical or progressive enough but for me any government who puts its people at the centre of just about everything it does is not going to go too far wrong.

Within the boundaries of what they can do, at the moment, and importantly, what they ultimately want to achieve,and who they need to persuade to get there, I think they are doing a great job for the most part, and, pardon the melodramatic language, they are trying to make sure no Scot gets left behind in terms of access to health care, services, education and opportunities. Like all governments they slip up, and they will disappoint, but the alternatives are infinitely worse.

I’m not getting in to the big argument on second votes in May, that’s being well debated and argued over in other forums, but a future Scotland with many varied parties, maybe one or two totally reformed perhaps, committed to a strong caring social democracy for the people of Scotland is the target. We need to get the mandate to start the process to create that future first.

Changing the subject slightly I notice the Herald’s commissioned BMG Research Poll has come up with some unexpected results (not). Labour are toxic in Scotland, and even more so if you add the word ” Scottish” before Labour. Who would have guessed it?

I thought the best quote though was “Those living in more affluent areas are least in favour of a second referendum, whereas those living in Scotland’s most deprived areas strongly support a second referendum being triggered”. No shit Sherlock.


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