FMQs: Jackson Carlaw stunned to discover austerity hurts the poorest

After this week’s Brexit drama in Westminster, it is hard to not to notice the feeling that Holyrood is like a parallel universe of mundane, business as usual politics.

The Tories have apparently clocked on to the discovery that austerity is bad for poor kids and their education opportunities, with Jackson Carlaw opening proceedings with a question about dwindling teacher numbers.

Nicola Sturgeon hit back with her usual retort about services being worse in England, a crutch FMQs viewers are all too familiar with after her NHS defence a few weeks ago.

Unhappy with the figures, Sturgeon recalculated with her own, new way of measuring teacher numbers. Much like if you changed every way you measured a Prime Ministers performance, Theresa May would be doing a stand up job.

Labour leader Richard Leonard extended an ‘olive branch’ good faith question to the First Minister about avoiding a no deal Brexit. Sturgeon mentioned her meeting in London with Jeremy Corbyn and the Prime Minister, as if those are two separate people after May was forced to turn to Corbyn and ask him to sort out her Brexit mess.

Sturgeon then commented on the jeers from Tory MSPs as she and Richard Leonard were discussing No Deal preparations, stating firmly that every Conservative politician in the country should hang their heads in shame at the state their party had made of the country.

Hard to disagree with, but with thousands of people homeless or in poverty in Scotland, and 35 SNP MPs making no deal more likely by abstaining on a Customs Union, it’s probably time the First Minister does the same.

Richard Leonard welcomed the FM’s ‘cooperative tone’, but whilst the cross party cooperation in Holyrood in the face of the ongoing Westminster soap opera is probably a good thing, it does make the affair a bit less exciting.


Image: Scottish Parliament

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