Politics, like rugby, is a passing game

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Harry Truman had a sign on his desk which famously read: “The buck stops here”.

It was perhaps stating the obvious, since the desk in question was in the White House’s Oval Office and Truman was president of the United States.

Yet it would be nice if our SNP lords and masters at Holyrood were at least occasional visitors to the well of responsibility.

This week, despite vociferous opposition from across the Borders to the closure of courts in Peebles and Duns, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame, chair of Holyrood’s justice committee, voted to swing the axe. Pleas by various groups, including Scottish Borders Council which had beseeched Ms Grahame to “stand up and be counted for the Borders”, fell on deaf ears.

Ms Grahame says she was persuaded by Scotland’s top judge that the current network of sheriff courts is not fit for purpose, rather than the need to make savings.

And she blamed the need for cutbacks on the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition at Westminster.

So yet again the buck is passed to London. And at Westminster it is nimbly handed on to the previous Labour government.

Oh how British & Irish Lions rugby coach Warren Gatland must hope his players show such deft passing skills against the Wallabies a week on Saturday.