With the news that support for the SNP in Scotland has risen to 60%, it is beginning to feel that we are part of a social experiment where normal rules do not apply.
The SNP won 50% of the General Election vote in Scotland after running a campaign based on one person’s personality and policies everyone accepts were stolen from Scottish Labour. Since then their new cohort of MPs have rightly received a great deal of positive coverage and public expectations remain high.
Whilst this honeymoon period may explain a rise in the polls, the recent performance of the SNP Government in Scotland does not. In recent weeks in Scotland we have seen that the SNP run education system is under real stress. Childcare is failing parents. Literacy is falling. There have been problems with exams and students from poor areas are failing to get proper access to university.
In addition to the problems in Education, this week we found that the SNP have missed their own A&E waiting time targets for 295 weeks and this comes despite reports that at least one health board is manipulating the data. Further to this we have seen real problems in Police Scotland and our local authorities.
So the question must be why is support growing for the SNP when so much of what they control is failing? Why do normal rules do not apply? One could blame the media or accuse the SNP blaming others for their problems. However, I feat the other political parties in Scotland must accept some of the blame.
At least some of the support the SNP have gained must be due to the fact that the electorate does not trust the opposition parties in general and Labour specifically.
How can Labour recover trust? Firstly, it must be proud of what it has achieved. It must remind Scots that it doubled NHS funding, took 200,000 people out of poverty and introduced the minimum wage. Secondly, it must built a policy platform around social justice and do all it can, including accepting support from the SNP, to deliver it.