Regardless of which way you voted, the UK at least now has some clarity. Boris Johnson’s thumping victory in the general election has removed any doubt that Brexit will happen. The electoral map of England has been redrawn, and the Conservatives have a mandate to govern as they see fit.
In Scotland, of course, the map looks very different. SNP dominance remains the order of the day. The Conservatives continue to provide the main opposition, while Labour and the Liberal Democrats still seem like movements in search of a purpose. The Greens have purpose, but are a marginal party.
This is the state of play as we enter 2020. The campaign for the 2021 Holyrood election will begin in earnest when the politicians return from their Christmas holiday. England may now have a break from elections and referendums. No such luck in the north.
It looks as if independence and a second referendum will dominate the discourse. This is a shame. On the policy front, there are so many challenges facing Scotland – the economy, the performance of our schools, the pressures facing our NHS, and more. Reform Scotland will continue to argue for ambitious, evidence-based reforms to our public services and a clear-eyed approach to the reality of the changing economic climate.
We had a productive and high-profile 2019, producing important and well-received research papers, measurably impacting on government policy, and hosting a series of well-attended events with a wide-ranging array of speakers, including Nicola Sturgeon, Lord McConnell and Tony Blair. We have secured an abundance of media coverage, and feel set fair for the coming year.
In the coming months, as the parties put together their manifestos for the 2021 election, Reform Scotland will continue to advocate an approach based on our four key principles: prosperity, opportunity, compassion and courage. The last of these, especially, remains sadly lacking in Scottish politics.
Since launching our Melting Pot blog back in July 2015, it has become customary to end the year by bringing together 12 months of articles in one place. The views expressed are those of the authors and not Reform Scotland. You’ll see on the list a diverse range of topics, covering among other subjects Brexit, education, and how, 20 years in, the workings of the Scottish Parliament could be improved. We’re looking forward to making Melting Pot an even more vital hive of ideas in the New Year.
It remains for me to thank you all for your continued support. There is so much to play for in the year ahead, and I hope you’ll be at our side as we give it our all. See you in 2020.