One news story that caught my eye this morning was the SNP complaint that a young girl (who happens to have a Labour MSP as a relative) has been granted £9,000 a year in taxi fares in order to attend Dance School of Scotland in Knightswood throughout the year. The story struck me in light of yesterday’s discussion on Better Nation where Kate (SNP) wrote “Carping, sniping, empty posturing. That’s what the people rejected, so we’ll (Labour’ll) give them more of the same.” and Aidan Skinner (Lab) followed up with “The other thing is that there’s a developing and hardening narrative that the SNP are relentlessly positive, above the old, discredited politics and offering something new. They aren’t.”.

It didn’t take long for a bit of evidence to back up Aidan’s point.

I vividly remember the one kid in our school who wanted to do German and had to get a taxi out to Kilsyth every other day to make this happen (as we had no German teachers). The girl lost out on a good half an hour of her lunch break whenever these trips took place and had to sit on her own in a class of strangers. So, obviously, we thought she was mental. Now, of course, I’m 15 years older and wiser(?) and I’m in a relationship with someone who speaks three languages and I, luddite Brit that I am, only speak the one, the dearth of opportunities open to Scottish youngsters now abundantly clear.

A Scotland where we don’t aspire to be creative, cultural, sporty, healthy and knowledgeable because it’s too hard or it costs too much or it means ‘the other lot’ might win a few more votes than us is a terrible prospect for our nation to find itself in and, yet, hardly a day goes by that a headline doesn’t relate to something along those lines. How do so many other countries find it so easy to make all the pieces fall into place? Why is it so damn hard for Scots to better themselves and feel good about it, all at the same time?

So, it is disappointing to see the SNP acting in this way. North Lanarkshire council has a £3.7m fund to spend on moving children around to match potential with opportunities and this case of a young girl going to dance classes in Scotland’s only centre of excellence looks like a no-brainer decision to me. If the local councillors know that the family are multi-millionaires or the little girl can’t dance for toffee (unlikely if Scotland’s leading dance school is welcoming her in), then they should state their arguments accordingly but throwing mud in the hope that it sticks just because Labour happens to be distantly involved really does undermine any complaints that the Nats may have regarding any mudslinging coming their way, particularly involving Brian Souter.

I can’t see any problem with the taxpayer helping to make sure this girl gets the best chance to dance and, if the SNP wants to really have the positive vision for a better Scotland that it regularly claims to, I’d be surprised if they had any real problems with it either. But then, I would say that, because I really can’t dance for toffee.