No party has had the courage to offer up radical ideas

When the polls open tomorrow, a key question will be how Covid-19 impacts on the turnout.

The pandemic has compounded already entrenched inequality which in turn increases voter apathy.

The poorer people are, the more disenfranchised they feel, powerless to have their voice heard in the corridors of power.

Who can blame them?

Laying aside IndyRef2, not one of the main parties has had the courage to offer up radical ideas which could genuinely transform the lives of the majority of people in Scotland.

The parties are huddled together in a middle ground, where there is hardly a fag paper between them in the eyes of an electorate in need of far-reaching reforms.

All of the leaders talk about what a golden opportunity the post-Covid recovery presents yet their response is to tweak a status quo which has done nothing for the majority of those put through the ringer of this hellish pandemic.

What cowards they are.

Take the curse of zero-hour contracts, a practice which is torturously insecure for already exploited workers, who find themselves in and out of work on the whim of the boss.

Anas Sarwar has pledged he would stop zero-hour contracts in the public sector but, right now, without power, he can promise he will make the earth flat to encourage cycling. Employment legislation is reserved but the SNP, in power for 14 years, has failed to use its soft powers and outlaw zero-hour contacts in all its publicly funded awards to companies.

Unite has called for zero-hour contracts to be banned completely in publicly funded businesses and for a condition to be imposed to give trade unions full access to the workforce.

In reality, the union has found the Government’s “warm words” rarely translate into accepted practice.

On many occasions, this pandemic has been compared with a war but there is a distinct absence of the revolutionary, post-war Labour government thinking.

Since that government passed a series of measures which became known as the Welfare State, there has been an erosion, not an enhancement, of the philosophy of caring for people “from the cradle to the grave”.

Only the Greens have had the courage to call for a wealth tax, while the rest peddle various versions of the monstrous myth of trickle-down economics.

Tory leader Douglas Ross is suggesting tax cuts, while Sarwar and the SNP say there is no need for tax increases.

If trickle down was to work, we would need more than the odd pack of cornflakes tossed in the food bank donation bin in Tesco.

As the working poor, queueing at a food bank near you, can attest there is no empirical evidence to suggest the fatter the cat, the more likely he is to share his grub.

Most of the super-rich don’t even pay their taxes thanks to offshore companies, tax write-offs and loopholes.

In practice, those on modest incomes pay a disproportionate amount of tax.

Some of us are holding out for an independent Scotland, in the hope we can ditch the status quo and bring in a government to the left which would bring forward radical social reform.

That would mean ditching the SNP as soon as we sign off from the south.

Under their watch, more than a million people are suffering in poverty, 240,000 of them children.

The solution offered up thus far is a 20 quid child benefit. Don’t spend it all at once, folks.

But as the rise and fall of Jeremy Corbyn demonstrates, any politician suggesting reform to the left of Blairism is instantly treated as a pariah, certainly by some of the media.

But would, for instance, renationalistaion of key industries really be so crazy, as we watch millions of our citizens being pushed into fuel poverty by rip-off energy companies or unable to afford travel on inefficient train and bus networks?

A study by Aberdeen University found the worse the inequity, the less likely its victims were to vote, creating a vicious circle of economic disparity.

But no matter how disheartening this election may feel, not participating is the worst response because if we want dramatic social change it is the only starting block we have.

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