In Scotland, with a devolved government, we have given ourselves some universal social benefits. We have free prescriptions whereas people in England have to pay £8.05 for each item. Prescriptions are also free in Northern Ireland and Wales. We have free care of the elderly, free public transport for the over 60’s and for the younger folk we have free tuition fees. Over and above that we have an independent, publicly owned NHS in Scotland and our Water authority is still in public hands. How come? How did we manage to get so much that the average person in England would give so much for? The answer is simple, Scotland more than pays its way in the United Kingdom and our government at Holyrood always balances the books each year. The NHS in Scotland has always been an independent organisation and Scottish Water avoided the privatisation feeding frenzy of the 80’s due to the Strathclyde Water Referendum. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strathclyde_water_referendum,_1994
The people of Scotland are being asked if they want full independence in September the 18th this year in a referendum and the “Yes” vote is on track to claim the prize if they keep up the campaign that they’ve managed so far.
But what happens if the Scottish people suddenly change their mind and cast a “No” vote? What then? We’ve been told that there are all sorts of goodies in store if we only vote no. The three main unionist parties that couldn’t agree on the colour of grass want us to believe that the door to more powers is open if we just take the threat of independence away by voting no.
It’s almost like making a deal with Dracula in some old black and white movie, he promises he won’t drink our blood if we put away the crucifix and he may actually reward us for doing so. Would we believe him? No of course not. Most of us would be holding that crucifix until he turned into a bat and fluttered away.
Now I’m not suggesting that the leaders of those political parties are actually vampires, sucking the lifeblood of the poor people but you can certainly see the analogous parallel. At least vampires offer a kind of life after they’re finished with you whereas the London-centric coalition have people committing suicide after they’re finished removing what little dignity the poor and disabled have left. The actual statistics would shock you much more than any “Hammer House of Horror” movie ever could.
Right now, the figure doing the rounds is that 11,000 people have taken their own lives or died an untimely death directly due to the way that government policies have devastated their lives. I’m no fan of the “Mail online”, however this little article explains my disgust at what Westminster has done to its own people. Please remember the piece was written in 2012 and things have moved on, things have gotten worse.
Now you may think that Labour get off “Scot free” here but the Labour leadership have already been warned that the “austerity project” will be stepped up if Labour win in 2015. And they are still part of the UK government machine right now. Don’t forget it was Labour who held the reins when the “credit crunch” happened and they were also the architects of the “bedroom tax”.
I’ll paint a picture here, a picture that should shock you, a picture that no normal person in Scotland could honestly accept if they had the power to change it.
On the 18th of September 2014 let’s say for a moment that the people return a no vote, it could be marginal, who cares? So long as 50% of the voting public plus one person vote no, that’s how it would be. Now this is where we enter into the territory of supposition and conjecture, but with the aid of logic we can make a few predictions that should stand up to the rigours of common sense.
We’ll forego the speeches that would be made by political leaders from Westminster, the gloating and condescension, however, what would be going on in the background would be a death stroke to prevent the people of Scotland from ever trying this again. The chancellor (of whatever flavour) would announce cuts to the Scottish budget in November of 2015 commensurate with cuts being applied in other parts of the UK. This would amount (as has been mooted already) to £4 billion per year taken directly off our block grant. That would be the end of the road for many of our universal benefits. Of course the Scottish government could raise extra taxes in line with the Scotland Act 2012 to keep the universal benefits, but as that would mean taxpayers in Scotland paying more than taxpayers in any other part of the UK, it would be an unpopular move and one that would be a poisoned chalice for the Scottish govt Either way the public outcry would be deafening.
The House of Lords would re-reserve healthcare in Scotland (the Scottish NHS). And they can, easily. After all we’d have voted to accept anything they want to do. That’s how Westminster would view a no vote.
Next, healthcare legislation would quickly be brought forward to mirror that “enjoyed” by the people of England. They slid that one past the people of England easy enough, so what makes you think the people of Scotland would be any wiser? The English NHS was privatised and they didn’t even have “to tell Sid”. (British Gas sell off)
I’ll let someone else tell you the really interesting story about how the UK Coalition Government performed a move worthy of the greatest masterminds of our time. Many of the Coalition Cabinet have large vested interests in private healthcare companies. At least they admitted that much by declaring those interests.
“It’s nothing personal you see, it’s just business”. Well it is personal, the NHS is important to the majority of people living on these islands we share. Yet again we have the needs of the few taking priority over the needs of the many and don’t kid yourself, a no vote would have them sharpening their knives to fillet our Scottish NHS. It would be hard for them to mop up the drool on the Cabinet table.
The next thing on the chopping block would be our Water Authority, Scottish Water. Nothing would stop the straight sell off of Scottish Water to generate funds. The London centric parties in Holyrood have been calling for this over and over and there would be little the Scottish government could do to hold back the tide on that one. It would be sold and the people of Scotland would be in the same mess as the people of England find themselves. Some would say that’s only fair, some of the people saying that actually live in Scotland.
This would be a crushing blow for the people of Scotland who live in a water rich environment having to put a brick in the toilet cistern to save money on extortionate water bills. I lived in England for 18 years and I assure you, you don’t want that.
So there you have it, the scariest scare story ever told. In my opinion it’s a prediction of logical actions after a no vote.
We have a responsibility to each other to vote yes in the referendum because we can’t afford the alternative.
On the 18th of September 2014 we have to follow through because we’ve got too much to lose and I haven’t mentioned the oil once.
David Milligan Lvss