The scariest scare story ever told.

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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.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-2117718/British-people-committing-suicide-escape-poverty-Is-State-wants.html

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.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cz5dl9fhj7o

“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.

Kindest regards,

David Milligan Lvss 

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21 thoughts on “The scariest scare story ever told.

  1. Dave I think what you set out is a very plausible scenario. There has already been chatter at Westminster about how Scotland should mirror the rUK more closely than it does. We are after all all part of the same country. I take your point about health, but I am sure we could agree that it doesnt necessarily stop there. Brown’s recent “make Scottish education like English education” was a case in point, which would have vast implications – obviously at school as the syllabus would change, the form of examination would change, but also, and this might seem very insignificant, so too would holiday times as the times for national examinations would change as well.
    The mistake that England made in 1707 was to leave our our education, our legal system and religion intact. These gave Scotland an anchor to maintain our own separate identity. As you point out they could very easily legislate on health care. Brown is talking about education. Some months ago I was talking to my solicitor who was forecasting the demise of Scottish law – just look at the Scottish firms being taken over by English firms. Its also relevant he is a senior official with the Law Society. Perhaps the Church of Scotland could change its name to the Church in Scotland?
    Anyway, I think its important to remember that any such changes arent just about practice, about what services are delivered in what way, but about the maintence of a separate identity, about making at least a few of our own decisions, about not being absorved into a much larger entity and quite simply, disappearing.

  2. A nightmare scenario indeed – we are through the Can and Should stage of talking about the ‘why’ of independence and your article perfectly illustrates the reasons we MUST gain our independence.

  3. Reblogged this on A Yes Voter in Nairn and commented:
    Few pro-Union voters have clearly thought through the consequences of a No vote prevailing. This article more than sums it up. Vote No and get less than nothing…

  4. Thank you so much for this, David. Your analysis is so important and, indeed, so scary! I got this via facebook and I assume you will wish us to share it as widely as possible.

  5. Great article, well written. Just one question – you mention that Labour were the architects of the bedroom tax. Do you have any links to articles on that? Tried searching myself but could only find references to the ConLibDems being the architects. Would be great to be able to quote that as well as Labour being the ones who introduced the Atos assessments.

    • The Scottish government balance the books each year because they have no choice. The limitation of the block grant sees to that.

      The deficit is an entirely different thing. It is more to do with the “charge” that the UK treasury apply to our bottom line. When we regain our independence that deficit will quickly disappear (if we want it to).

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss

  6. Do you think we will still have free bus passes, free care for the elderly, free prescriptions and free tuition fees. I am not sure if you mentioned these. I sure they’ll go and maybe they will bring back tolls on the bridges. The more you think about a No vote the more frightening it becomes.

  7. Many thanks David

    Apologies as I may not have been clear, I wasn’t referring to the ‘net fiscal balance’ but the ‘current budget balance’ which ‘illustrates the difference between current revenue and current expenditure and measures the degree to which taxpayers meet the cost of paying for public services’.

    GERS 2012/13 shows that expenditure was approx. £59.5million in 2012/13 while revenue was approx. £47.5million or, at best, £53million if the geographical share of North Sea revenue was taken into consideration.

    • What you may be missing off those figures is the amount the UK Govt spends and charges us for things that don’t benefit Scotland. Our share of the Olympics, the Jubilee, wars etc etc. That adds almost £17 Billion to our bottom line. The expenditure includes that £17 Billion figure. That’s the charge that creates our deficit.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss

      • Thanks David

        In this instance, the current expenditure which I was referring to from GERS is the ‘public sector current expenditure’ and ‘is the sum of the current expenditure of general government for Scotland and public corporations. Current expenditure includes items such as wages and salaries, social security payments and day to day health expenditure’ i.e. not expenditure of the UK Govt.

        GERS shows that public expenditure exceeded revenue in Scotland.

        These figures are obviously estimates only however they are ‘statistical estimates of public sector revenue raised in Scotland and of public sector expenditure for Scotland’.

        If you could give me more info on ‘our government at Holyrood always balances the books each year’ that would be appreciated as from the GERS statistics published by the Scottish Govt it looks like that isn’t the case.

      • Anyone in the Scottish govt from any of the parties will tell you that each year the books have to be balanced. That’s just a matter of record each year. If you wish to know if Scotland would be a wealthy country if independent and you’re only using GERS as your source then good luck with that. Don’t forget that GERS is compiled at the Scottish Office using figures supplied by the UK Treasury.

        Can you tell me what it is that you’re actually trying to find out and possibly I can point you in the right direction. If you’re trying to decide whether Scotland would be a wealthy country if independent then using GERS in isolation would definitely point you in the wrong direction. I also keep one eye on the latest discoveries in the oil industry in Scottish waters. At the moment the OBR has put a value on the oil in the North Sea at £1.5 Trillion. The OECD put the value at £4 Trillion. How can this value be so different? Even if we accept the OBR value, that is the value placed on the 28 Billion Barrels still to be extracted. It will take 40 – 50 years for extraction to be completed. However, it seems that a new field has been discovered called “The Atlantic Margin” and from the reports published it is the largest subsea oilfield in the world. It lies to the West of the Isle of Lewis. Now, with regard to GERS, that is a document that’s compiled one year out of date, and even so you’ve got to know several of the factors that effect how the figures turned out in a particular year. The latest GERS that you’ll be looking at is 2013/14 released in February of this year and the oil tax revenues are well down due in part to a problem with one of the main production platforms and the pipeline and also due to tax deducted as a result of the massive investment for the future. As an example Total are putting £20 Billion in as investment in new equipment. It’s estimated that oil production will rise from 1.5 million barrels per day to 2 million barrels per day by the end of 2016 due to this investment and that doesn’t include any extrapolated figures for the new Atlantic Margin oilfield.

        So as you can see, what you are looking for is very important. You need to answer that for yourself first. If you just want to get into some cerebral manipulation of GERS in isolation then I’m afraid I may get bored with that. I’m more interested in the actual potential that Scotland has. And from what I can see, it’s massive.

        Kindest regards,

        David Milligan Lvss

  8. Thanks David

    As I’ve already said a couple of times, I’m trying to find out how ‘our government at Holyrood always balances the books each year’ not ‘if Scotland would be a wealthy country if independent’.

    As you ‘may get bored with that I’ll certainly ask elsewhere.

    • Sorry about that, if the journey doesn’t end with a definitive answer as to whether it’s likely that Scotland is viable as an independent nation then in my estimation that journey isn’t valid. Why don’t you ask John Swinney is he balances the books each year and he’ll answer “Of course I do, I have no choice in the matter”. Also I’m trying to get my head around your question. If your intent is simply to find out that one thing then a simple search on the Scottish Government website should answer you, however, I’m still puzzled as to the direction of your “journey”. Is your wish to try to make sense of the numbers involved or are you trying to find some great truth that hasn’t been discovered? It does seem strange that someone would ask something that’s a matter of public record and is signed off by the opposition parties in Holyrood instead of asking the blatantly obvious question as to whether Scotland is viable. What would be the point? I’ve answered you so feel free to take your investigation as to the colour of concrete elsewhere.

      Kindest regards,

      David Milligan Lvss

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