This is proving to be a difficult time for our politicians - both here and in Westminster. Public discourse is beginning to swing away from the apparent consensus that we need to reduce pollution, eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and at the same time try to do things in the most energy-efficient way, i.e. stop wasting energy.
From the transport point of view there are obvious solutions, but of course these involve not only a change in personal behaviour but some loss of choice and even extra expense. It's easy to agree what must be done, until it is one's own convenience or money which is affected. The wrangle now taking place over the extension of the ULEZ scheme to Greater London, and the passionate debate about the future of two Scottish roads, have caused a collision between what people say they want and the realisation that they may be personally affected by it. Unless all political parties agree on what must be done, the danger of being voted out of office rears its head and affects party and parliament members' actions. It would be pointed out that no party can achieve anything if it's not in power, therefore policies must be made attractive to voters. Unfortunately that is probably an unreachable goal.
In the end voters' decisions are more affected by personal desires than 'the good of all'. The media, which could perform an effective educational role in pointing this out, is often more tempted to pursue campaigns which will gain public support and chime with the requests of powerful lobbyists. Politicians are going to have to find some collective courage in the near future. Leadership is required, and that often means explaining unpalatable truths. The temptation for some politicians to resort to party politics and the 'Trumpian' method of trying to win an argument by insulting the views of other parties must be resisted. The recent example of labelling one of the parties which expressed doubt about the wisdom of spending billions on road projects as "car hating" is a case in point.
On the face of it, all the Scottish political parties support moves to eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels and to curtail energy wastage, so a considered discussion on how to achieve this would be far more beneficial than infantile point-scoring.