THE winter chill might still be in the air, but the season of change is upon us.

Last week’s by-election result in Hillhead, although not yielding a win for Labour, marked a significant shift.

The near 10% increase in Labour’s vote share is not merely a statistic: it’s a signal from the electorate, a declaration of discontent with the prevailing political winds and a demand for a course correction.

Bring it on!

When I thought about it, maybe part of that result was due to a realisation of what the SNP’s recent budgetary decisions would mean for our city’s children.

The electorate are rightly angry at the potential slashing of funding for the pivotal MCR Pathways programme, and they know that it is emblematic of a broader, more sinister trend.

Budget “Service Redesign” is a smokescreen that barely conceals the administration’s disconcerting indifference to the future of our young.

These cuts are not mere policy adjustments; they are a flagrant renunciation of our collective responsibility to nurture and empower the next generation.

The SNP’s budgetary manoeuvres are a stark reminder of the harsh reality where financial expediency often trumps the sanctity of educational opportunity and youth development.

The reality is that by masking them it only makes the administration seem more guilty about what they are unleashing.

It is imperative any decisions made now must be brought to relevant policy making committees within the council for review and scrutiny.

The time for the SNP hiding their decision making in the dark should be over now, the stakes are simply too high.

Talking about the stakes being too high, on a final note I couldn’t write this week’s column without mentioning the repugnant comments recently allegedly hurled at Diane Abbott.

The toxic undercurrents of racism and sexism that continue to taint our political discourse are simply too much and must stop immediately.

This incident is not an isolated aberration but a glaring manifestation of the deep-seated prejudices that still plague our society.

Our unwavering commitment must be to combat such bigotry, to foster a political and social space where diversity is celebrated, and equality is non-negotiable.

The collective outcry that has arisen in the wake of these developments – from the Hillhead by-election to the SNP’s controversial budget cuts and the alleged reprehensible attacks on Diane Abbott – signals a pivotal moment.

It is a call for a renewed commitment to social justice, to a vision of society where policy decisions are grounded in empathy and equity, where political discourse is purged of hatred and bigotry.

Having experienced racism and Islamophobia I am passionately committed to calling it out.

 In the face of these challenges, the path forward is clear.

We must channel our collective outrage into constructive action, rallying together to demand accountability from policy makers and those in power to protect the foundational pillars of education and social welfare, and to steadfastly oppose the forces of prejudice and division. The time for complacency has passed.

The moment to stand united, to fight for the ideals of fairness, justice and inclusivity, is upon us.