The CalMac service is suffering from disruptions and cancellations after it emerged that one of its ageing fleet of vessels has been put out of action for at least eight days. Ferries that belong to the network of vessels, which is taxpayer-owned, have had to be re-organised with a host of services cancelled to try and cover the loss of a 21-year-old MV Hebrides. The ferries provide a vital service for the island communities that rely on supplies delivered by the vessels as well as transport links.
And, the issue is not expected to be resolved for over a week.
Donald Cameron, a Scottish Conservative MSP for the Highlands and Islands and the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture, took to Twitter on Tuesday to blame the SNP for the situation.
Mr Cameron wrote: “The SNP were warned in 2010 they needed to regularly replace vessels in the ferry fleet to sustain the service.”
He added: “It’s in them, and no one else.”
Replying to Mr Cameron’s initial post, many Twitter users took the opportunity to criticise Scotland’s largest political party.
One person wrote: “No one else to blame but SNP and those that vote for them. Karma.”
Another added: “Well said Donald,” with a thumbs-up emoji at the end.
A third said: “Pretty soon thanks to the SNP’s incompetence, no one in the islands will be eating at all…”
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One person wrote: “How about we borrow the new Royal Yacht? Pretty sure the entire fleet could be replaced with the £250m going to be used on that. “
Another said: “It wouldn’t matter who was in power the ferry problems are played out right across the globe but then again the Tories are great aren’t they…”
The news comes a day after Nicola Sturgeon edged one step closer to another independence vote as she announced the plan for her major new coalition deal with the Scottish Greens.
The SNP had been locked in negotiations with the Scottish Green party since the SNP fell short of an overall majority in Holyrood by only one seat in the last election on May 6.
The deal will secure a pro-Scottish independence majority in Holyrood standing at 72 – seven more than the 65 needed.
This new arrangement will provide a majority to vote for a second independence referendum after the country voted against an independent Scotland in 2014.
This landmark deal would also place the Greens in power for the first time in the UK.
For the last five years, the SNP have operated a minority government with support from the Greens to pass the annual budget.
Earlier this week it was confirmed that Sturgeon will appoint the Green co-leaders Patrick Harvie and Lorna Slater as ministers.
After revealing the details of the deal with the Greens on Tuesday, Ms Sturgeon is expected to confirm her intention to hold a second independence referendum once the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, the new Liberal Democrat leader said: “Scotland desperately needs new hope but with the Greens now signed up to support the SNP at every turn, Scotland is now stuck with the status quo.
“We need to fight the climate emergency with ferocity but without the baggage of nationalism.
“The planet doesn’t have time for the new nationalist coalition to drag us back to the all-consuming divisive constitutional arguments of the past.”