Again been a weekend of polls of young people, or one not very scientific poll of young people, the Herald economy report, the Scotsman misleading headlines today. As I was considering these, as I am interested in keeping an eye on the people who say they represent us, I started to think about questions that I might ask the don’t knows.
Pocket money is money you can spend, an allowance that you can spend on miscellaneous things. Commonly this is what you give the kids if you have any to spare. The kids then decide what to spend it on but the amount they receive is based on how much you have to give them based on your disposable income or if they have been naughty and you are in a bad mood you might give a little or a lot less. Now the kids might do a lot of chores, visit elderly family, look after the wee siblings but you don’t base the amount they receive on their contribution but on what you decide to give them, they have no control over this amount.
Now think about this in a Westminster context. Scotland contributes a lot to the Westminster pot, if you believe some people more than it gets back. Sound familiar. Scotland’s pocket money is about to get cut by the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds because our betters at Westminster have made an arse of the finances. Now you have a choice, you can vote to take control of all the money you earn and make your own choices or as your parents Labour and the Tories tell you , you will get what they decide and you will like it no matter how much you contribute.
Question= Would you prefer to continue to receive pocket money based on what someone else decides to give you or would you rather have all the money you earn and decide what to do with it yourself?
Now here is a wee dilemma. You have worked hard, saved up when you can and bought your first hoose. The garden is lovely, you have had the neighbours around for the summer BBQ, yes that day in June we call summer, they are your friends and have kids the same age as your kids. Now the kids have grown up and moved away and the Tory/Liberal Government in another country you didn’t vote for have decided that they want to look at Council Tax as services are being cut due the mis-management of your money in London. They decide that as you live in a hoose that has spare rooms you are not using your space properly, in fact you are living in luxury as you have all that space to yourself and don’t pay rent because you own it. So they decide that you are not allowed this luxury anymore and are going to put up your council tax by 20% unless you become a foster parent. You complain to your local Labour Councillor but she says, her name is Johann, but she says that it’s wrong, she is on your side but won’t commit to removing this horrible policy because well, your wealthy and you have a spare room in the hoose you bought so you should pay more and her boss in London hasn’t told her what to think yet. Is it right to penalize you just because you have worked hard, earned your money honestly. No it’s not and you think this policy should be changed, of course you do, you want to change it because it’s making you poorer and you don’t want to foster at your age but there is nothing you can do.
Question = If the above scenario was to happen you would go mental, so why should you accept and believe that attacking the poor, the disabled or weakest in our society is ok, is it right that your neighbour has to go to a food bank or would you rather that your own representatives decided this policy based on fairness or do you think it’s ok for the people in London to decide this for you even though you didn’t vote for them?
2014 and 2015
Autumn 2014, Scotland by a very slim majority has just voted no. Of course there are people on both sides with strong views but the decision is made. It’s over with and your glad. There is an election next year and Labour will win and everything will go back to normal. That’s a relief.
Now the general election has just taken place, you voted Labour cause Big Gord, Alistair the Darling and Johann said it was the way to keep the nasty Tories out of power and Scotland will bloom again. Oh shit, the Tories have formed a coalition with UKip and have a majority in Westminster. The new government announces that the pocket money Scotland receives is to be cut so they chop off billions of pounds to pay for the new nuclear weapons that they need to kill people with. The NHS in England is privatised, phew that’s ok it’s England but wait a minute there are no Barnett consequentials any more and Scotland is told, told, that it will get what Westminster decides and well might just have to privatize it’s NHS whether it likes it or not. Benefits it has been decided are not affordable any more so child benefit, council tax benefit, winter fuel allowance, bus passes, working tax credit are all down graded to pay for a tax freeze for millionaires. But it’s ok labour will stop this, oopps Labour can’t but they tell you it’s horrible and that they will sort it when they get in power if you will only continue to vote for them. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland vote overwhelmingly to remain a part of Europe in the referendum on membership, but wait England decides it not longer wants to be a member so everyone out. But wait that’s not what we wanted, ah tough it’s what you are getting no matter what you think. Your angry, your frustrated, you feel helpless…..
Question= Would you really prefer to be ruled by a government decided by voters in another country and by parties that you did not vote for making decisions you do not agree with or would you rather these important decisions are made in your own country, by people you elected based on what your country wants? Mmmmmm interesting.
If you can answer any of these questions I would love to hear it.