Tory budget blues

When I was a wean, budget day was about the price of beer and ciggies. It was about how much a gallon of petrol was going to cost. Now it’s about how little poor people are going to have to eat. It’s about how many young people whose family lives have broken down are going to find themselves sleeping in doorways. It’s about how many disabled people and their carers are going to be trapped without support or respite. It’s about how many low paid workers are going to find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt without job security. And it’s about tax concessions for those who are already well off, the braying middle classes whose sense of entitlement grows ever greater. Budget day is about the rich getting richer on the broken backs of the poor. It’s about a fractured society ruled by those who know the price of everything but the value of nothing.

There’s been a sleight of hand rebranding of the minimum wage as a living wage which isn’t a living wage, but a massive slashing of tax credits for low paid workers. The poorest paid aren’t going to be any better off as a result of this budget. As usual, the ones who will benefit will be those who are already better off. It will be those who expect to inherit a million quid from the bank of mum and dad. It will be those on higher than average wages who’ve been taken out of the highest tax brackets. The tired grey faces on the bus will stay tired and grey, worried about job insecurity, worried about paying the rent, worried about putting food on the table, worried about paying for clothes for the weans. But Jocasta and Farquhar will be jetting off to the Seychelles, so that’s OK then.

So some days, you find that your natural reservoirs of patience and tolerance have run dry. Like when you see Labour people on Twitter complain about evil Tory budgets which slash the support for the poor and marginalised, give tax breaks to the better off and increase spending on the military. The word hypocrite was invented for people like that.

You can’t help but tell yourself that this is what they voted for after all. We had a chance to escape from this fate, but when the voters of Scotland were asked to think about the future of their country, Labour told them to think about the price of their car insurance and their holidays to Portugal. They scared them with threats to their pensions, they assured them that the NHS was safe. They lied, they threatened. And worst of all they stood shoulder to shoulder with those Tories they now condemn, and they did this in the full knowledge that Scotland might one day find itself prostrate and defenceless against the axe wielding maniacs of the neo conservative right. They lied and bullied so that Scotland would remain defenceless and incapable of deciding a different path for itself. They insisted that living with the very real threat of Tory rule was better than independence. Then they complain that we are subject to the fate that they wanted for us, and moan that some people call them rude names on the Internet. Well Labour, you got what you fought for. Dry your crocodile tears and suck it up.

So their protestations now against the unfairness and mendacity of Tory budgets ring as hollow as Ian Murray’s head. They’ve not got a leg to stand on, just like the poor who have had their support cut off at the knees thanks to the Tories’ benefits cuts. And all there is left to say to the bankrupt ideologues of Labour is – what the hell did you expect, fools? This is the consequence of what you fought for. You did this. You brought this on yourself, and you brought it on the rest of is. It’s only a pity that moral indignation doesn’t bring much of a comfort. It’s the only wealth we’ve got left.

Neither do Labour and its media friends have any right to complain that that Scotland’s single Tory MP has been able to reject every single amendment to the Scotland Bill. One MP gets to overrule 58. As far as Scotland is concerned, it’s like the General Election didn’t happen. The Conservatives are stuck in a watered down version of the Smith Commission time warp, and refuse to recognise that Scotland’s vote in May was a vote for greater powers for Scotland, that it was a vote to reject the inadequacies of the Smith Commission.

None of this matters. The Tories have a majority, and Labour and its media pals enabled it. They worked to ensure that Scotland remained in a place of powerlessness. Of course what evil Tories do is the fault of the evil Tories, but it’s also the fault of the Labour party. It’s the fault of the Daily Record, it’s the fault of the Lib Dems. They campaigned for Scotland to leave its arse exposed to the Tory air, they can’t complain now that it’s getting kicked.

This budget comes just a day after Kezia Dugdale, the candidate for leader of the Labour party in Scotland, said that the party had done too much for the vulnerable, and needed to concentrate more on those who have holidays in Portugal and complain about their car insurance. So we know what their priorities are going to be. Not fairness, not justice, not social inclusion, not democracy for Scotland.

So this is where we are. A nation that’s not allowed to act like a nation, trussed up on the table of a Tory banquet where we are the meal not a dinner guest, and we’re served up to someone else. The Conservative knives dig into our flesh and cut off slices for the bankers and the rich. And Labour chose this fate for us. They worked to make it happen. They don’t get to complain about it, and they certainly don’t get to lead the struggle against it. Scotland’s independence supporters are the new labour movement, not that sorry excuse of a self-serving party.

This is where we are, but it’s not where we need to remain. Every day, the appeal of independence grows ever more attractive. Every day, the hypothetical risks of self-determination shrink before the brutal realities of life in the UK.

Here were are in the dark days, the bleak times, the depths of winter, suffering the Tory budget blues. But the light of a Scottish spring is coming yet.

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53 comments on “Tory budget blues

  1. macart763 says:

    Not another damn thing need be said in dissection. Nailed it Paul.

    As for those miserable lying hypocritical pricks who sold Scotland’s electorate into this bullshit scenario?

    Well fucking done (slow hand clap).

    • jimnarlene says:

      Not so much “a slow hand clap” but, a hard face slap; just like the one we’re getting from Westmonster.

      • macart763M says:

        Oh, they’re braying like the asses they are right now, but 2016 is coming and as far as I’m concerned neither Cameron nor BT delivered on their referendum pledges. I hope those pricks have policy wonks that read these pages. If they think we’re getting back into any box they’re in for a rude shock after the way we’ve been treated in the past fortnight.

        • Justin Fayre says:

          Slightly off topic but Peonage was a term used for working for very very low pay or indeed nothing – it was also called debt slavery – to pay off an assumed debt. Peonage was abolished by US Congress in 1867. Did snything like this ever occur in UK Just wondered as might be possible for working poor to sue for labouring fot no pay to pay off debts ran up by Bankers

          • macart763 says:

            Debt bondage is as old a practice as it comes and forms of it can be found on every continent on the planet. Its still heavily in practice today throughout Asia. Migrant workers in search of a better life are still working off their ticket as it were in sweat shops all over the globe.

            In ye olden times another form in our european history would have been serfdom or working a rich man’s land to keep a roof over your head. ‘Course if you had a bad year, didn’t meet your tithe/quota, or got on the bad side of the landowner you and your family could find yourselves kicked out in the cold with only the threads on your back.

            In our own experience there was the bonded slavery enforced on folk who were perceived to have broken the Crown law and sent overseas to serve their time in bonded servitude in one of his majesty’s colonies.

            • Justin Fayre says:

              Thanks for that macart.
              I was aware of these examples. Just hadn’t tied them in with Debt Slavery for some reason.
              Nice to know where today’s guilty parties get their ideas.
              :$ LOL
              This came about after a heated discussion re the difference between wealth creation and free enterprise.
              Guy couldn’t understand why I could relate to one and not the other until I tried to explain that one turns competence into profit while the other turns gross incompetence into gross profit.
              Ongoing example is the scandal of the Crown Prosecution Translation Services in London and surrounding area.
              To cut a long story short
              Service put up for tender.
              Failed Dragons Den contestant forms company and unbelievably ‘blags’ his way into winning tender.
              Result is utter chaos and whole system grinding to halt.(Google CPS Privatisation Scandal)
              Guy sells company within months to Capita for millions.
              Nothing reported in media of course.
              Makes Serco and Abelio seem remarkably sane
              Sorry for saga

    • Vince Diaz says:

      {Thank you kindly Macart, Saved me typing. To me the Key paragraph is : “None of this matters. The Tories have a majority, and Labour and its media pals enabled it. They worked to ensure that Scotland remained in a place of powerlessness. Of course what evil Tories do is the fault of the evil Tories, but it’s also the fault of the Labour party. It’s the fault of the Daily Record, it’s the fault of the Lib Dems. They campaigned for Scotland to leave its arse exposed to the Tory air, they can’t complain now that it’s getting kicked.” Paul is so spot on!}

      • macart763M says:

        If tomorrows pages are filled with hand wringing Labour editorials pointing fingers I may be physically ill. Those Labour and Liberal enablers would do better to crawl back under their rocks for the foreseeable future. They brought this about with no ifs, buts or maybes. I hope they’re bloody happy with their pooling and sharing.

        Important thing is to let folk know this can be made right. They’ve seen the results of the Scotland bill debates. They’ve seen how Westminster and the press treat them and their representatives and now they’re about to feel the effects of the first blue tory budget. It doesn’t matter whether you voted yes or no on September 18th. What matters is today and from today forward. We really can put an end to this treatment. All we need do is grant the Scottish government permission when they ask for it.

        As for the shysters, users and liars who led us all into this omnishambles? As ma auld grannie used to say ‘ thiv made thir bed’.

        • Justin Fayre says:

          I honestly think too many of them are too far gone.
          Brains fried by a staple diet of junk TV for the masses, all brainwash

        • Justin Fayre says:

          ,Craig Murray’s comment that No Voters were either Greedy, Frightened or Stupid really does have merit
          The Greedy – Dont think anything can be done there

          • macart763M says:

            I can empathize with the view, but refuse to give in to it. We came from nowhere two years ago and took twenty percent out of a thirty point lead. In the past 9 months we’ve witnessed a revolution in Scottish politics and a historic result. We can do this. We can keep communicating, using new media and social media, banging on doors and talking to anyone who will give us five minutes.

            Now though, it really is about fighting a very personal, real and immediate fear. Its about giving people the courage to weather this shit storm. Give them the confidence and the hope of setting it right. More than ever folk are going to need a helping hand. To the self interested and the union right or wrong types? There will be no argument.

            For those who believed in a devolution process, those who were duped, those who were frightened into voting no? They’re going to need that hand and we have to reach them.

        • Justin Fayre says:

          Craig Murray had it almost right when he divided No voters into 3 categories Greedy, Frightened or Stupid.
          I’d like to add brainwashed to that category.
          The ones that can’t tell the difference between neo liberalism and wealth creation.
          Nothing wrong with wealth creation – working hard to provide as good a life as possible for your family and building a business.
          Neo liberalism is the pursuit of untold wealth by cracking down on the desires, hopes and living standards of others who are the backbone of society.
          It shouldn’t be a case of left versus right but a case of right versus wrong.
          Now excuse me I must’nt miss my fix of Come Dine With Me followed by Jeremy Kyle.
          It’s like the Roman Times all over again
          While the rich and powerful grow more corrupt and the rest starve. Feed the really poor to the lions for the entertainment of the brainwashed masses.

  2. As ever you manage to lift my spirits when anger and despair against Tory government, their bankers and corporations. They want us browbeaten and cowering so they can strip the remaining assets of this beautiful country, kill off its people with no Nhs, no welfare,no jobs and a patronising English Parliament that ridicules us. Independence is vital to preserve this Nation for our future generations. WGD you are heaven sent and hellbent on winning our freedom

  3. IcySpark says:

    I just checked how much worse off you would be if you are on £10k a year and it’s £1272 per year cut in Working Tax Credits for a single person, over 25, working over 30 hours per week. That’s a 13% cut in income.

    Here’s my workings:

    Salary: £10,000

    WTC Basic Element: £1940
    30 Hour Element: £800
    Maximum WTC for single person working 30 hours or more is: £2740

    Current WTC income threshold: £6,420. Taper: 41%
    New WTC income threshold: £3850. Taper 48%

    Current WTC withdrawal calculation would be:
    (£10,000 – £6,420) x 0.41 = £1467.80

    Therefore current WTC calculation would be £2740 – £1467.80 = £1272.20 per year

    If we take the new figures from the budget for £10,000 salary:
    Future WTC withdrawal calculation based on new budget figures would be:
    (£10,000 – £3,850) x 0.48 = £2,952

    Therefore WTC will be £2,740 – £2,952 = £0

    For a single person, over 25, working more than 30 hours per week, on a salary of £10,000: Under the new system from today’s budget you will get ZERO WTC where as at the moment you would get £1272 per year.

    This is a massive cut in working people’s income and will no doubt send thousands more into working poverty.

    • Lou Nisbet says:

      Sorry to have to tell you but ALL your calculations are in vain. You see in a small un-noticed section of the budget mentioned in only one newspaper Gideon has REMOVED WTC from anyone who does not have children. Your nett result was a foregone conclusion. What he in his economic illiteracy does not understand is that small businesses have been the ones that have contributed most to his two million more employed and he has just pulled the rug out from under them.
      More importantly of course he has denied the vital resource of WTCs to any small business setup in the future. As a Chancellor he has just made his greatest contribution to the unemployment figures but in the WRONG direction. He is an unmitigated, incompetent fool driven by an ideology of uncaring crassness, stupidity and cupidity.

  4. Jab64000 says:

    Wow – excellent article Paul. I listened to the budget today and I kept on totting up in the plus and minus column all the points he made. I ran out of space in my minus column. We can’t afford to do it too soon as this time we have to win ! But I do feel that the time for Indyref2 is getting much closer. I almost think the Tories think that as well as they are not in the least interested in mollifying anything they do to us !

  5. Justin Fayre says:

    You don’t need me to say it, it’s been said so many times before but I’m going to say it anyway – the master has just outmastered his own mastery. Best one yet.
    The gloves are well and truly off. No more deception needed. Integrity, justice and decency have gone the same way as the farthing and the florin. .Old fashoned and out of date as far as the braying hyenas are concerned

  6. Pam McMahon says:

    Another great article. You are exactly correct. All those who promoted the No vote last year; Labour, Tory and Lib Dems,the 2 State Broadcasters and the print MSM have caused this budget and it’s weary consequences, and all those who voted No have brought into being this agenda to hammer the aspirations of Scotland to make it’s own decisions about it’s own people.

    None of them has any right to criticise the result they fought for, because they have lost any credibility with the Scottish electorate, by ensuring that we will ALL suffer from their No vote until we regain our independence.

    They might have to drag themselves to the nearest food bank with the rest of us in the years to come, whingeing about the Tory budget, but some of us who actually voted YES will be paying to make sure that there is still a tin of soup for them to collect there.

  7. gavin says:

    David Mundell, Scotland’s Gullible-General and his Morningside aide-de-camp, think all is well.
    The Scots are back in their box. Smith has ‘fixed it’, or the fix is in, one of the two.
    Danny Alexander( remember him? ) claims the 56 are powerless.
    Let me assure him, that if 59 Carmichael clones or the same number of Murphy-lites had lied or sneaked their slithery way in, Scotland would still be utterly helpless in the face of the Tory Ascendency.
    550 is a bigger number than 59—even for a Lib Dumb.
    Oh, plus 900 Peers, probably soon be a round 1000.

  8. […] Tory budget blues […]

  9. Jim Campbell says:

    Excellent article… emotive and motivational. I feel one thing must be pointed out though, we are not the ones who need convincing. On many other national sites I hear the same battle cry resounding through the land, unfortunately, it’s falling on ears already answering the call. We must reach out , and convince, all those who will not hear, or see, what is happening in this “great union of nations”.
    Wastemonster is the equivalent of asking us to a parley, and locking us in and setting fire to the roof. They bray in condescension and hypocrisy at our attempts to show them for the lying , thieving, self serving excuses that they really are…. this is what we must make Scotland’s No’s aware of, and soon.
    This kind of treacherous, offhand treatment of a nation will lead to hostilities I do not relish but the rejection of all things Scottish, inc her people, can only hold fast for a finite period of time.

  10. E Jenkins says:

    “A nation that’s not allowed to act like a nation”
    Even now, after all this crap the polls STILL show a majority against independence.

    • Angry Weegie says:

      That’s what gets me. What will it take to get people to see what’s happening. Even the MSM have been reporting some of the stuff going on and yet this poll says not many see it as a problem.

  11. lastchancetoshine says:

    Ah but on the bright side , the BBC has been well rewarded for it’s support. um…..

  12. Morag says:

    No matter what happens, there are too many people convinced independence would be even worse. Project Fear still has its lying hooks in them. Somehow, these people need to be shown the true situation.

  13. Liz S says:

    Labour’s downfall in all of this is that they are caught between trying to appease those in middle England and also trying to win back the Scottish vote.

    However to be seen to concede and pander too much to the scots is frowned upon by certain regions in England and the media. And the reverse is also applicable . Labour needs to realise that Scotland is now unwilling to play this game as scots know the risks are too high.

    Why should we, once again, be subjected to an elitist Tory government we did not vote for . Scottish Labour insulted our intelligence by stating in the General election ‘ Vote SNP get a Tory government’ as if we were imbeciles unable to work out that it would not be us deciding the next government but the English. They think because they won the ‘No’ vote with their partners in crime ……The Tory and Lib Dumbs… through ‘fear’ they could play the same game in the run up to the Gen election . Fool me once shame on you – Fool me twice shame on me was the scots response in the General Election.

    Labour and their unionist supporters have no justification to gripe about Tory cuts as both the Scottish and National Labour party failed to recognise SNP as a legitimate opposition in the Gen election and demonised the SNP to ensure the Tory ploy of instilling fear in the English people of being held to ransom by SNP would secure the Tory vote in the General Election .

    I for one do not care if Labour swing to the Left, right or centre as they are a spent force and unless Scottish Labour choose autonomy from their masters in the south they are doomed in Scotland. I suspect this is also probably the same for them in England as an English Labour party could probably have more success with English voters.

    Who, of right mind, could be surprised that Welfare cuts would be the number one target by this elitist party who exist to ensure the rich get richer and the poor know their place in society. I say both Tory and Labour can stick their Gen. election talk of aspiration where the sun does not shine. The only aspiration I have is to live in a independent country that benefits all people in society and is free from the dictatorship of another oppressive nation and toxic political parties.

  14. Stuart says:

    We are all outraged but are any no voters? Do they know what’s been happening? Do they care?
    The yes2 campaign must start now. There is enough ammunition to knock back all the scare stories they used last time and then some.
    Sort out the currency question and put the pensioners minds at ease with pensions and savings. Have a definitive answer on EU membership. Have economic projections using worst case scenario oil prices.
    They can’t pull any last minute vows this time but on the flip side, this time we MUST win.

  15. Passionate and articulate. Thankyou. But…what next?

  16. Thepnr says:

    Brilliant article that I hope any remaining Labour support may stubble upon so as they rue the day they .voted No.

    As for the “wiping out” of Labour in 2016, will only happen if we are wise with the use of our list vote else there can be no wiping out while Labour still stand on 20% or so of the vote.

    Personally, I want to wipe out as many Unionist party MSP’s as is possible. To do that requires the support of SNP voters, bearing in mind that SNP support has grown by 50% in just a couple of years all those additional supporters came from mainly Labour and Lib Dem. Very few from the Tories. This new SNP support such as I will definately give my list vote to another Indy supporting party. More bang for your buck.

    Go for a wipe out in 2016 and 2017, take control totally in Scottish Politics, to achieve this you may have to put party politics aside and vote purely for the greater good.

    We will know better as the day draws closer, but it is worthwhile to be considering it from now.

    • Juteman says:

      Sorry Thepnr, but your strategy risks the SNP losing their majority, and the ability to call a second referendum.
      If independence is your aim, then you really need to vote SNP twice for Holyrood.

    • Luigi says:

      They don’t have to be wiped out completely, Thepnr.

      Just a bit of surgical neutering, to ensure they no longer have any power and influence whatsoever in Scotland. Remove enough red tory MSPs and councillors in 2016 and 2017, and even their remaining diehard supporters will begin to ask “why bother”.

  17. Deedee says:

    Stuart at 5pm. You are exactly right, no use preaching to the already converted. But we do need definitive answers on currency, the economy and EU membership, the three things that most No voters I know were on about.We know it would have been ok come the 19th but they were not convinced. I actually think too much is being made of voters who voted No because of “the vow”. I don’t believe there were that many,most people had made their minds up by that time, thousands maybe but not tens of thousands. It and Smith are now a useful tool for us to beat them with but to me the three subjects above must be 100% set in concrete before Indy2. As someone above said, all this crap and Yes are not yet at 50%? I am presuming someone, somewhere at SNP HQ is working on these matters as we speak so it’s all sorted out beforehand.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      There is only one thing which people worry about. It is the core of Paul’s latest, and wonderful, blog.

      It is money. Purely and simply, it is money. The SNP must be absolutely unambiguous about currency and the economy.

    • barpe4 says:

      Unfortunately we cannot hope to ‘solve’ the EU question, beforehand, as we can only deal through our membership as the UK – and as we found before the UK (ie Westmonster) will never allow such negotiations – bit of a Catch 22 it appears!

  18. Justin Fayre says:

    I really must stop trying to post using a clapped out mobile phone.
    Unfinished posts that I thought had hust disappeared have suddenly appeared as posts.
    Apologies to all especially macart

  19. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  20. Well said, “The Dug”! This is a fine piece – probably your best to date – and every word rings like a clarion call to UDI! Haste the day!

  21. Wonderful evisceration Paul. We all warned what the consequences would be and, lo, it has come to pass.

    I don’t blame the No voters. But I do blame those that lied to them – the false prophets who promised them the Better Together utopia.

    So to anyone out there who still remains deluded enough to vote (Not) Labour in Scotland – as ye sow so shall ye reap.

  22. Reviresco says:

    Fine words, sir.

  23. George Osbourne’s budget will leave many people in the UK better off. As someone who lives in a household with well over double the national average income, I am one of them. The problem is that the £250 gain my wife and I will receive has been taken from the very poorest people in our society. Whilst our gain will have a negligible impact on our household finances, every pound of its loss will be felt acutely by someone in the UK. Perhaps Less fruit on the table or no new shoes for school.

    There has been commentary from nationalists about the impact of the budget on Scottish families specifically. Some have went as far to say “I told you so” and claim that this hurt could have been avoided if Scotland had voted Yes in 2014 to the SNP’s low tax and high public spending nirvana.

    This position is rather disingenuous when one remembers that the SNP then and now go to great lengths to avoid saying  how they would deal with Scotland deficit – it is almost double that of the rest of the UK. Indeed, no independent analysis has shown that Scotland would be better off under either independence or Full Fiscal Autonomy.

    The challenge for Scotland’s SNP government must be to explain how it will use Holyrood’s existing and new tax and welfare powers to mitigate the impact of Mr Osbourne’s budget.  The challenge should not simply be to reverse welfare cuts, but to put in place a package of measures to help unemployed Scots back into work or education. Only by doing this can we tackle inequality and low productivity in Scotland.





    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Hi drscottthinks – good to see differing views here but I have to disagree with some of your observations.

      Firstly the Yes campaign and the SNP were not and are not synonymous. I spoke at and attended many Yes meetings but I am not and never have been a member of any political party.

      At all these meetings no-one ever suggested a “low tax, high spend nirvana” – SNP or otherwise.

      Instead the model consistently aspired to was the Scandinavian high skill, high wage, high tax model of social democracy.

      Scotland does not have a separate deficit – remember all that “pooling and sharing” stuff? As an independent country our share of the UK defecit would have been zero as we would no longer be part of the UK – the country to which the defecit applies.

      Of course that wouldn’t have happened and as part of the separation negotiations we would have accepted a share of that defecit.

      To see FFA about being better off or otherwise misses the point. The call for FFA is to gain full control of all the economic leavers to allow the Scottish Government to do the most for the most rather than see a Westminster budget leaving 13 million of the poorest households worse off.

      As for tax raising powers for the Scottish Parliament as they stand my understanding (and happy to be corrected if I am wrong) is that if more money is raised by SG through these powers that has a negative effect on their block grant from Westminster.

      Even if that’s not the case you have to ask yourself the age old question – if some powers are good for Scotland why not all powers?

      Finally I don’t think it’s fair to say to ordinary No voters “told you so”. But I do think it’s perfectly right to say it to those in positions of power and influence who tried to persuade people to vote No – politicians, celebrities and journalists should not be allowed to abdicate responsibility for the views they espoused.

      Afterall if UK PLC (the hedge fund nation) had solved inequality and made us all socially and materially richer they would have been the first to say “told you so”.

      • YesScotland was almost wholly funded by the SNP and its supporters.

        “model consistently aspired to was the Scandinavian high skill, high wage, high tax model of social democracy. ” No. Read the White Paper. It only talks about cutting tax.

        The block grant is linked to spending in rUK, not tax raised in Scotland. The tax powers will replace a portion of the block grant.

        Who is trying to “abdicate responsibility for the views they espoused”?

        You can find details of Scotland’s deficit, as estimated by the SNP, here:

      • I think that the comment about ‘less fruit on the table’ says such a lot. The poorer familiies cannot afford fruit – their struggle is to obtain basic bread to fill their stomachs before bed-time. Ever tried to sleep on an empty grumbling, nauseous-with-hunger stomach, DrScott?

    • David Agnew says:

      nice idea in theory. Use Scotland’s new powers to mitigate or reverse conservative policy – but at the end of the day meaningless. Hard coded into every “power” being granted us is a Westminster veto. We even have to approach Mundell and ask permission first, before we can do anything. This wretched Smith commission has placed Scotland firmly back under the thumb of Westminster. With the Tories now effectively able to legislate on devolved Scottish matters once again. Something they have not been able to do since 1999. As for powers to help people into work? None of these powers were given to Scotland. Of the unionist parties the ones who were not prepared to offer anything of value to Scotland, was labour and the conservatives. Of those two labour wasn’t prepared to offer anything significant at all. The Tories of course tied their paltry contribution to EVEL. The mischief that is going to cause to the fabric of the UK has not even begun to be felt.

      Now as for the deficit – Its a deficit that’s been incurred by simple virtue of being a part of the union. The pooling of resources, the sharing of risks I think labour like to call it. Only now the unionist parties are using this Scottish share of a UK deficit, to infer that that we cannot afford either FFA or independence. Scotland cannot afford to be independent or have control of its finances because its in the union? Its a bizarre argument to make. Its certainly not an argument for the status quo to continue. You either have serious reform and put Scottish finances back on a sound footing – which would require Scotland having more control than it does now. Or you let Scotland go, as it clearly cannot continue like this and be in the union. Literally being in the UK is doing great harm to Scotland’s finances. But its not going to happen is it? The UK is not going to implement anything of the sort and will vote down any remedy that the SNP propose. And did so in point of fact, to braying cheers from the Tory back benches.

      In the end it comes down to this realisation. You voted no because you clearly believed that Westminster was better placed to handle Scotland’s economy, not the Scottish government. You know that this will not happen now. You then assert that the challenge for Scotland with this massive deficit hanging around its neck like a dead albatross, is to do the thing you believe it couldn’t do…Govern Scotland. And you now expect it to do so without many of the levers of power it desperately needs? Thats a bit rich.

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