I AM now in my third term as a Labour councillor for Southside Central. The ward includes Govanhill in the First Minister’s constituency. 

My inbox and social media are busy, particularly with complaints related to missed bin collections, infestation and concerns of a potential public health crisis in the area.

Definitely not the call for further constitutional obsession announced by the First Minister in recent days.

Families are more concerned about the cost of living crisis. Our fellow Glaswegians are having to decide between heating and eating. Surely combatting poverty and inequality must be a priority for all levels of Government – not another divisive referendum.

There have been calls by the Greens and the SNP for a more compassionate, thoughtful and caring Scotland yet Free School meals were voted down by the SNP with the Greens only this week in the Scottish Parliament.

The calls for a different approach are in vain as the Finance Minister will continue to savage local government funds and anyone in public sector employment will be targeted.

Cost of living is a central issue yet the First Minister is taking the Grand Old Duke of York approach of marching up to the top of the hill again only for them to march back down.

We now have Groundhog Day politics as the Tories continue to botch up Brexit and the Nationalist want their own form of Scottish Brexit – no matter the consequences.

Meanwhile, there are humanitarian injustices all over the UK that unite us. This week marked five years since the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The 72 who tragically lost their lives and left their loved ones behind. The fight for justice continues.

Even this week the Tory Government has been pushing ahead with the Rwanda policy that is unethical, expensive and there are concerns it risks increasing trafficking and smuggling. 

The last few days showed up the cynicism and severe lack of moral core of the UK Ministers over the flights to Rwanda. 

Can you imagine the outcry if we sent Ukrainian refugees to a continent far away, to a country with a dubious human rights record?

The idea that communities across the UK don’t face similar problems or that Scotland is unique, ‘different’ – spare me the self-righteousness

Cities all over the UK are united in their history of standing up 
for the underdog and there are many citizens who will say “not in my name”. Last week local residents in Peckham, similar to Glaswegians, in my neighbouring ward at Kenmure Street resisted forced deportation and demanded a more humane asylum seekers policy.

We can have a better Glasgow and Scotland but the dead-end, identity politics of the UK, Tories and the Scottish Government will continue to hold us back.

Scottish Labour is making progress and in Glasgow, we are only one seat behind the SNP. In the UK there is a real prospect of Boris Johnson being defeated at the next general election

Surely that is our priority as we elect leadership that seeks to find solutions not stoke divisions. We deserve better.”