Will Hutton makes his case for imaginative thinking by Westminster in the last ten days of the campaign to stop the breakup of the UK. In this paragraph be succinctly explains why we in Scotland have had enough of the Union…
The big argument is that Scotland does not need to be permanently yoked to English Toryism’s infatuation with a libertarianism that denies obligations to society and each other, has abandoned justice and equity in its public policy positions and is the author of the great “cashing out” of the past 30 years. All our utilities, five million council houses, many of our great companies and swaths of real estate in our cities have been cashed out in the name of market forces, of liberalisation, of being open for business and wealth generation. What has been created is predator capitalism, massive inequality and a society organised to benefit the top 1%. The country needs to build, innovate and reinvent social partnership. Independent Scotland can strike out in this direction.
We have nothing against the people south of the Border but we do want to build a society that we want. Hutton goes on to say that an independent Scotland will carry on in much the same way. But he forgets that the SNP are a regional authority not a national government which has stepped into the void in national politics to effect change. After a YES vote the people of Scotland will decide what government they want. It could be that Alex Salmond is actually a turkey voting for Christmas and that a strong Socialist party will emerge before the first general election of iScotland.
I will vote for it if…
It proposes an independent currency with our own central bank
It looks outward to Europe and to the Commonwealth
It proposes a fair tax regime for everybody and every organisation
It has long term realistic plans to tackle inequality and nurture everybody’s health and well-being.
Some suggest this is wishful thinking but better to live in hope than vote for Will Hutton’s picture of the present and no doubt future Westminster government.
I have the feeling that everything worth saying about Scottish Independence has now been said. Ron Ferguson in the Press & Journal summarises the debate clearly.
We have gone through all the technical arguments with neither side in the debate actually being terribly convincing. The future is not ours to know about sums it up. So it remains a single question. Each individual voter has to rely on their own emotional psyche, if there is such a thing, to decide a preference for government from Westminster or from Holyrood.
I personally believe that England which dominates Westminster is going in a direction which I don’t like and that it will not easily be changed. Scottish voters will have minimal influence. On the other hand I have written before that I doubt some of the present politicians’ abilities. So I do hope that a Yes vote will result in many of the present campaigners stepping up to the plate to make Scotland a society we can all be proud of.
Better Together and their pals are suggesting that the NHS is safe in Scotland because it is a fully devolved matter. That is absolutely true. But…
What they fail to add is that as soon as there is a NO vote, the Westminster gangsters will start to dismantle the Devolution arrangements. They can do this because the present arrangements are not constitutional but merely the result of an Act of Parliament at Westminster which can be changed at any time.
Cameron has many times failed to fulfil what he pledged as leader of the opposition since he has been prime minster. It is totally naïve to think that he will deliver more devolution to the Scottish Parliament if we remain in the Union. It and the Scottish people will be emasculated.
The media are failing to deliver this message and yet it is vital that the true position is widely known because the NHS is the major factor in how many people will decide to vote. Somehow the YES campaigners must get this message out to the undecided voters.
Fraser Nelson, right wing Editor of the Spectator, in the Telegraph writes this
But if Britain were to somehow leave the European Union and become the 51st state of America, we would actually be one of those poor states. If you take our economic output, adjust for living costs and slot it into the US league table then the United Kingdom emerges as the second-poorest state in the union. We’re poorer than much-maligned Kansas and Alabama and well below Missouri, the scene of all the unrest in recent weeks. Only Mississippi has lower economic output per head than the UK; strip out the South East and Britain would rank bottom. We certainly have our problems; we’re just better at concealing them.
Darling and Cameron have both said that the NHS in Scotland is utterly safe as does Malcolm Chisholm. But they all explain that this is because Health is devolved to the Scottish Government. They naïvely state that under the Barnett formula the amount of money available has gone up in line with increased spending in England.
I agree that this is absolutely correct and we can rest assured. Or can we? It is in fact only the case under the present devolved regime. That regime is in fact entirely subject to the whim of the Westminster Parliament as Devolution is not part of any constitution. The worry therefore remains that the next Westminster government which is likely to be Tory will simply re-arrange the devolution regime and so will be able to privatise the Scottish NHS. The money will be the same but a big junk of it will go to private company profits and not into services.
Only complete Independence will guarantee a future public NHS and equitable other public services.