MEET the new boss, same as the old boss. After ten years in office, Nicola Sturgeon has become just another boring fiscal conservative, while Labour under Jeremy Corbyn, who is touring Scotland this week, has become the vibrant, left wing alternative. That's the current narrative, at least. The SNP and Labour have swapped roles, leaving Yessers not knowing which way to turn. There's some truth in it, but life is a little more complicated.

For a start, Mr Corbyn is not quite as radical as you might think. The UK Labour Party is pro-nuclear for one thing, and despite being a life-long member of CND, Jeremy Corbyn has accepted the renewal of Trident and the indefinite retention of Britain's nuclear deterrent. On taxation, whatever the Scottish leader, Richard Leonard, may be saying, Jeremy Corbyn’s policy is less radical in the UK than the SNP’s is in Scotland. At the general election, UK Labour proposed only to increase taxes on those earning more than £80,000 a year; Nicola Sturgeon has increased taxation for everyone earning more than £33,000, the top 80% of earners. I'll come on to Mr Leonard's tax policies in a moment.

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Then there is Brexit. The UK Labour Party supports Brexit, and Jeremy Corbyn has even refused to endorse any softer versions of it, through remaining in the European Single Market. Indeed, there isn't a cigarette paper between Mr Corbyn’s policy on Brexit and Theresa May's, despite Labour's attacks on Tory incompetence. Given what we now know about the likely impact of Brexit on economic growth, it seems perverse for Labour to be calling for a “Brexit for jobs”. The Scottish government meanwhile has continued to campaign vigorously to remain in the single market and the EU.

The SNP has been much criticised for losing its radical edge and becoming “managerialist”. There are tendencies in that direction, and all governments become defensive and set in their ways. But their record is much better than many left-wing critics give them credit for, and not just because of free tuition fees and the abolition of prescription charges. The Scottish Government abolished the right to buy, got rid of the worst aspects of PFI, introduced free school meals and extensive child care. It has done its best to mitigate the effects of welfare cuts by compensating for the bedroom tax and constructing a new welfare regime in Scotland. It has abolished fracking, abolished public provision in the NHS and legislated for a National Investment Bank.

I don't want this column to sound like a party political broadcast for the SNP, but on any fair assessment, the Scottish government has achieved a great deal within the confines of the devolution settlement. The most serious challenges to the SNP's radical credentials are the attainment gap in education and local authority cuts. Things are improving at secondary school level, but as few working class students as ever are entering the “ancient” Scottish universities. This is important because the free tuition fee policy only really makes sense if higher education is genuinely open to all, and not merely the well off.

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Yesterday, The Herald reported that Scotland's roads are crumbling as a result of years of council cuts and austerity. But that's not the worst of it: social care has been pulverised and education is under acute strain. The fabric of the local state is crumbling and voters are beginning to notice. However, the solution is not obvious. More money has gone into local government in the recent Scottish budget, but a lot of that will be eaten up by the 3% pay award to public sector workers. Having approached the ceiling of its very limited income tax powers, the only way is up for council tax.

The SNP always argued that there's nothing particularly radical about increasing council tax, because it is not a particularly progressive tax. Many in Labour agree, which is why last year, a number of Labour councils decided to continue the freeze after the Scottish government finally lifted it. The SNP has altered the bands and allowed councils to raise 3p but is rightly reluctant to go back to the days of whopping annual increases in council tax.

Mr Leonard’s answer is to double down on income tax and to propose a wealth tax that could hit the pension funds of many who don’t regard themselves as particularly wealthy, like doctors. The policy would anyway be impossible under Holyrood’s present tax powers. Mr Leonard has, quite fairly, sought to embarrass Nicola Sturgeon by quoting back at her her support for the 50% tax band before the 2015 general election. But she has responded that she is not in any position to introduce that policy in Scotland alone because her statutory Fiscal Commission has told her that it would not bring in the claimed revenue.

Trying to reverse the UK government's austerity policies by using income tax alone in Scotland would be fiscally irresponsible and politically ruinous. Without the full range of tax powers - including corporation tax, dividend taxation, capital gains tax – the Scottish government’s scope for increasing tax revenue further is severely limited. Devolving income tax on its own was always a trap in the 2016 Scotland Act, even if the Scottish government had little choice but to fall into it.

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The truth is that Labour and the SNP are largely on the same page as far as domestic policies are concerned and voters know this perfectly well. The big divide in Scotland has always been on the constitution. Now that this has subsided as an issue the parties are struggling to define their differences.

However, there is more to politics than income tax, and the Scottish government has already moved the dial on that. This explains why there is little evidence that Labour is about to restore its dominance of Scottish politics any time soon. Jeremy Corbyn is a remarkable phenomenon, but Labour is not commanding the opinion polls even at UK level in the way it should given the evident disarray of the Conservative government. And Nicola Sturgeon is not about to take any lectures from Jeremy Corbyn on radicalism.