BLAME THE POOR! - Time to go our own way
So, the latest is that Osborne's policies aren't working, admitted by the chancellor himself in his autumn statement, but instead of looking at the situation again and seeing if any alternatives are possible, like a policy for creating jobs across the country, giving people wages to spend to boost the economy, he's decided that the UK can stand another four years of austerity, more cuts for the unemployed, more cuts for the working poor, and more cuts for the disabled and elderly. Meanwhile, millionaires will still be over a hundred grand better off annually, and big multi-nationals will still pay little, if any, corporation tax that could help the country out in these dire times.
Thatcher's policies were bad for Scotland, Wales, and the northern regions of England - she only wanted to see us back to Victorian times, Cameron and the modern Tory party, complete with glove puppets the Lib-Dems, would prefer to see the working poor set back as far as Dickensians times in the earlier reign of Victoria in the UK.
In modern Britain, it seems the only sector that is seeing an expansion, is the rise of the Food Bank, the modern day equivalent of the soup-kitchen. Staggeringly, one new Food Bank opens every week in the UK to assist the growing tide of families unable to feed their children.
The Trussell Trust, one of the major food bank charities, expects to have to feed over 200,000 people in 2012-13 as both food and fuel bills rise this winter.
Every day people in the UK go hungry for reasons ranging from redundancy to receiving an unexpected bill on a low income. Today, in the shameful remnant empire that is modern Britain, 13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK.
While this decimation of society is going on, where are the opposition parties in the Westminster parliament that can put a halt to at least some of the worst excesses of the Tory agenda. They are either complicit, or incompetent, or, it appears, just plain indifferent. Why bother having a brain-storming session to get together some viable alternatives to financially raping the poor, when you can spout a few condescending platitudes when a camera and mic is near, then go and fill out your latest expenses form, fingers-crossed, you get away with it.
Thatcher's modus operandi was to blame single parents for all the ills of society when she was in power, Cameron's mantra is of the curtain twitching benefit cheats living in plasma tv luxury while their neighbours struggle out the door each morning to work. He is basically slandering all of those people he made redundant through slashing the budgets of the departments they used to work for, or the businesses that had to cease trading because of the greed and mismanagement of the banks. They are unemployed through no fault of their own, and this Government, instead of helping to mould an economy ripe for the creation of employment, prefers to kick them while they are down, and with a sleight of hand, and a good sound-bite slogan, park the blame for the diabolical state of the country their way, instead of owning up to the incompetence they reign over. From their dire NHS reforms, to their train operator franchising debacle, to their infighting over the EU, and their welfare to work failure, which did more to line the pockets of tory party donors than get people back to work, this coalition government shows as much direction as a needle-less compass.
The rest of the UK, the north regions of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland, can do little but keep their fingers crossed and hope things will get better. In Scotland, we have a choice to escape Westminster control in 2014. What happens if next year, in his 2013 autumn statement, Osborne decides that till 2018 isn't long enough either, that austerity has to go on another four or five years beyond. Can the UK population withstand this kind of pommeling into the 2020's?
In Scotland we have a choice in 2014, it would seem madness to continue along this road. In Scotland we have twice as many pandas as we do Tory MPs, the Tories have no mandate in Scotland, the mandate that dictates the right of the Tories to power came from the south-east of England.
Already, some Tories are mumbling about how much easier it will be to slash any money heading north to Scotland, post the referendum, if the people of Scotland decide to vote no! This is money that Scotland has raised, is taken by the UK treasury, and some of it is reluctantly given back as pocket-money.
In a recent speech, Tory MP Priti Patel said: “Scots are basically getting a better deal than the rest of the country... These are considerable sums of money which should be reduced as part of the deficit reduction plans.”
In her speech Ms Patel then went on to suggest that devolution should be used as a vehicle for the Tories to inflict brutal spending cuts.
SNP MSP Jamie Hepburn, stated the truth: "Scotland more than pays its way in the UK – generating 9.6% of the UK tax revenue in return for just 9.3% of expenditure - but who can doubt that the Tories would cut Scotland's budget even further if the referendum result was No.
“These people are making all of the key decisions about how much money can be spent in Scotland – yet they have been overwhelmingly rejected by the Scottish electorate time and time again."
Don't expect any respite should a Labour party be returned in the next UK election, Johann Lamont, leader of the Scottish Labour party has already stated she will be removing any positive beneficial measures put in place by the Scottish government. She attacked the council tax freeze, bus passes for the elderly, free personal care for the old and infirm, dropping charges for medicine and university education – all the Scottish Parliament’s most popular policies. So should a Labour party gain control of Westminster after the next UK general election, expect more misery, poverty, and an even deeper disintegration of society to be piled on top of all the Tory claw-backs from the poor, the working poor, the disabled, and the unemployed.
At least in Scotland, come the independence referendum in 2014, we will have a choice, and as Fleetwood Mac so eloquently sing, we should 'Go Our Own Way'.