If it’s a no the pressure is really on the Labour Party

If, God forgive, it’s a no vote in September; the pressure will really be on the unionist parties, but in particular the Labour Party, to deliver positive change in Scotland, change that makes people’s lives in Scotland better. So far what we have seen is a promise of more minor devolution if we vote no, but you can be rest assured that any changes will not be changes for the better if they take any real power away from Westminster. As has been noted many times ‘power devolved is power retained ‘.

We are being told that we will have additional powers over taxation in which the Scotland Act (2012) will also hand powers over for air guns, drink-driving and speeding limits, while bringing in the so-called additional rate of income tax and borrowing powers worth £5bn.

It will also devolve stamp duty, land tax and landfill tax, and give the Scottish Parliament a role in appointments in broadcasting and the Crown Estate.

In addition, there will be new procedures for Scottish criminal cases that go to the UK Supreme Court. None of these so-called powers do anything to enhance either the Scottish Parliament or our day-to-day lives, and that is where the pressure is on. The additional powers coming our way in 2017 or thereabouts, long enough for them to be removed in the event of a no vote, only add additional costs to the Scottish Government and Scottish people while ensuring that ‘power devolved is power retained’ is so very true.

The pressure in the event of a no vote though will be on the Labour Party in Scotland. I just don’t think that they really understand that, they haven’t really thought through their partnership, or should I say subservient role in campaigning on behalf of the Tories in Scotland. Labour, I believe, think that if it’s a no vote in September then the issue goes away forever, that the wee useless powers that only add to our administrative costs will be enough to bury nationalism and the democratic drive for change at the ground level. They believe that things go back to normal, Labour regain Holyrood, get to tweak systems, more likely making them worse and all of us worse off given their record to date, but that the natural order of their right to rule over Scots is returned and the madness since 2007 comes to an end.

They are wrong.

If Scots vote to remain a part of the United Kingdom they are going to expect real change, change that improves their lives on a daily basis. There will be an expectation on the Labour Party to end the unfairness of the changes to benefits which punish the poorest and most vulnerable, and to end the power of big business and the banks over our country and our daily lives. People will expect more meaningful decision-making to be made in Scotland that they can see the tangible results of in their communities, for their families, and in the country as a whole. There lies the problem for the Labour Party in Scotland; they can’t deliver any of it unless a) they are in power in Westminster which is looking more unlikely by the day and b) they can convince their colleagues within Labour nationally to back the proposals, again unlikely and why would they.

I believe the General Election next year is looking more and more likely to result in a coalition of the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats again. Austerity will continue to bite, it will actually be worse than it has been so far and Scotland will not be able to continue to fight against this, we will suffer cuts and they will hurt every single person outside the top 20%. Scotland I suspect will return a large majority of Labour MPs to Westminster and that is where the Labour Party in Scotland start to suffer big time in Scotland.

The failure to deliver real change will fall on Labour in Scotland, they will suffer at the Holyrood elections in 2016 and they will suffer in local elections, maybe even in Glasgow. The result they wish for might just be the worse result they ever face because when positive change does not happen there will be demands for another referendum, Westminster will resist and we will have to really fight for it, but there will be another referendum and it will result in YES vote.

I really believe that Scotland is on a path to independence that cannot be stopped anymore, it is not about if but when now for me, it’s just about the timing. The Labour Party, and to a lesser degree the Liberal Democrats, in Scotland, in signing up to the right-wing policies of the Tory right have signed, I believe, their own death certificates as parties in Scotland. Whatever you think of the SNP Government, or Alex Salmond, they have been the best Government we have had since the Scottish Parliament returned.

If I were a member of the Labour Party in Scotland I would be fearing a no vote, a no vote puts Lamont, Miliband, Curran and Murphy under the spotlight. They will be expected to deliver, they will be found out by the last remaining deniers in Scotland for what they really are, they are cowards and they are vacuous. The change that Scotland requires cannot and will not be delivered by a no vote, but real change might just come in the longer term when the failure of Labour in Scotland is laid to bare and no matter what the media do to hide their failure, and their shame, no one in Scotland will be able to deny the fact that we are and will never be better together, we can only be better apart.

A Response from Better Together

It would appear that for some reason someone using the name Better Together(if it’s really them) have decided to respond to one of my blogs, I’m flattered, here’s me thinking that no one bothered to read them. But anyway this might be a long blog as I have responded to some of their points raised. You decide for yourself what they have had to say.

ME – YES vote will mean you will decide the future government and first minister of Scotland in 2016.
BT -Comment – We have had a government in Scotland under Alex Salmond for some what exactly has he achieved the yes vote is just another way for him to get publicity because he has been losing ground in Scotland

ME – Well we can talk about prescriptions, free travel, mitigation of the bedroom tax, no redundancy policies, water remaining in public hands, no creeping privatization of the Scottish NHS to name a few and given the SNP vote share has gone up in all holyrood polls I just don’t see where you are coming from, maybe you don’t actually live here.

ME – A NO vote means that the south east of england/london will decide who will be prime minister in 2015, David Cameron or Ed Miliband anyone.
BT – Comment – If Scotland cannot be bothered to vote effectively for a UK election what makes you think Scotland will be any more effective in voting Yes.

ME – In what way does Scottish voters not vote effectively? Given that Scottish voters could vote for a monkey for Westminster and it would do nothing to decrease or increase Scottish influence in London. The simple fact is that Scottish votes in general elections just don’t count in any way. A YES will mean that we actually get the Government we vote for and not voted in for us. You need to learn a wee bit more about how it works.

ME – A YES vote will mean that the Scottish government, elected by you, will decide social security policy for Scotland.
BT – Comment – Even if Scotland votes yes there will be no separate Social Security, Inland Revenue, VAT, Pensions, Child Support Agency, Work and Pensions Agency to do what you say. If these systems are to be separated from the UK this will take years and cost the Scottish tax payers £1.2billion to have them set up in Scotland all data transferred and operated. So your comments of socialist policy making will in effect make Scotland poor.

ME – First things first prove it will cost £1.2 billion. Secondly a lot of benefits are administered here anyway so no cost there really, whatever else we need to we will provide. The data is already there and the systems are already there and based on location so again no problem there. I also think so what, a price well worth paying whatever the cost to have a socially just and democratic Scotland. Stop the fear.

ME – A NO vote means the bedroom tax, the end of tax credits, the end of the winter allowance, tax breaks for millionaires all decided in Westminster by MPs you did not elect.
BT – Comment- every government has and will make decisions that have significant upside or regret costs Scotland will be no different, and as for your point on “you did not elect” perhaps the key here is to get people in Scotland to vote in the first place

ME – There are always winners and losers if you like but under the current system the losers are those at the coal face and certainly not your funders at the top or the vested interest of MPs who don’t want change as it affects their bank balance. Again our votes don’t count; you really need to get that one right.

ME – A YES vote will bring an end to nuclear weapons being based in Scotland against your will.
BT – Comment – Sure if Scotland actually goes ahead with making itself weak in the eyes of the world
ME – Weakness is the very fact you feel you need to have those disgusting weapons, strength comes in not feeling you have to threaten the world. Yeah I feel so much safer knowing the UK can kill billions when in reality America would never give permission for you to use them, waste of money and stupid argument.

ME – A NO vote will mean nuclear weapons and the renewal of trident at a cost of £150 BILLION POUNDS approx. being based in Scotland against your will.
BT – Comment – isn’t is strange that we know how much things cost under the common wealth of the UK but have no idea under the Yes vote, could it be because Alex is avoiding telling Scotland the real bad news until after he has basked in his own glory
ME – What? That doesn’t make sense.

ME – A YES vote will mean that the Scottish government controls the levers of the economy where possible, deciding what is best for Scotland in Scotland.
BT – Comment – “where possible” this is all innuendo. We will have no economy out economy is co-existent within the UK we would have to create an economy create a unit of currency create a credit rating in the market place de-risk buying and selling our products and who will pay for all this change and unrest and general fear in the global markets. The answer is small and medium sized businesses. The big businesses will not take that risk they don’t have to they will leave – they can afford

ME – What a lot of rubbish. No big business will leave blah blah, what is Scotland the only country in the whole world that business won’t operate in. Are you mad, markets adapt as we all know, you really need to learn a lot and stop the fear.

There is a lot more but I can’t be bothered I’m on holiday just to say that the arguments are poor and weak to be honest. If this is the best that BT have then I am even more confident of a YES vote than I was yesterday. You can read their response in full on the blog titled THAT EMAIL, IT’S ALL BOLLOCKS IN MY OPINION

The Tories will WIN the General Election in 2015

I am in no doubt that the Conservatives will win the general election next year, possibly in coalition, but they will win. I have a few reasons for believing this, some of it is the polls and there are others.

It would be fair to say that this Conservative/Liberal Government have attacked the poorest and most vulnerable like no other since the Victorian age. In Iain Duncan Smith they have a man who appears to take great delight in making life unbearable for the poorest, while using these attacks on those very poor and vulnerable people to protect the wealthiest. A lot of people can see this, many people understand what is going on but not enough are doing anything about it. In the past you would have expected the Liberal movement to be a movement that truly sought the middle ground, but they would never have allowed their name to be associated with this attack on the poor and vulnerable. Labour, when they were Labour, would never for one minute have accepted these attacks. How far we have come in such a short space of time, Thatcher’s greatest achievement was not that she modernised Britain as some would claim, her greatest achievement was that she turned the Labour Party into the Conservative Party of the North and the Liberal Party into another branch of the Tories.

However my opinion is based on what the current polls indicate and that is that the Conservatives have climbed 5 points to 33% in today’s Ashcroft National Poll, giving them a 2-point lead over Labour, who are down 2 points on 31%. The Liberal Democrats are unchanged on 9%, UKIP down 2 points at 15%, and the Greens down 1 point at 6%. This means that as things stand, with the worst Government in recent memory, Labour under Ed Miliband will not win. The Liberals are basically finished as a major player so we are looking at a Conservative/UKip or Conservative/Liberal coalition government in 2015; I think UKip might just get enough seats for the first time to matter. I also suspect that the Liberals will have some say as first past the post means they still might come away with 10 to 20 seats.

So, given that most of the country north of London is living in poverty, hundreds of thousands of people have had to use foodbanks over the last few years, most unemployed people in Scotland are sanctioned by Iain Duncan Smiths department, even the terminally ill, over 80% of the so-called new jobs created have been created in London and Ed Miliband still can’t get a lead. This says it all really, Labour cannot and will not win as long as they persist with a Leader who people just don’t like, a shadow cabinet of Balls, Murphy, Alexander etc who people don’t trust as well as not like. In Scotland we have something for nothing Lamont and hate filled Labour members attacking the campaign for independence with some of the most hate filled rubbish you will ever read but protected by a media who’s own shift to the right makes them complicit in the state of the UK right now.

The feeling I get when I watch the news or look at things online is that many people are angry, many many people are suffering in most of the country but they don’t know what to do. In many ways we have become powerless, the Tories are running everything into the ground to appease the wealthy, like the landowners of old, very few voters in England (where governments are actually decided) trust Labour so many will shift their vote to UKIp and many will stay with the Tories as they can see no alternative. The politicians, in the main, don’t care what the ordinary members think anymore. They only care what the minority think, in Labours case they know they will get their millions from Unite no matter what the ordinary members think, the Tories also know that they will never ever run out of money because when push comes to shove the elite will support them.

So, the polls may be correct, given the total lack of any real opposition, given that Labour are bereft of any real alternative narrative or talent, the fact that Nick Clegg and his ilk have virtually killed off the Liberal movement from within and the rise of UKIp down south we are looking at a Conservative led government in 2015. If that does not give people pause for thought regarding how they vote in September nothing will, most of the cuts are still to come, what kind of Scotland will we have in 5 years time, it certainly will be a hell of a lot worse than the one we have now if we allow voters in the South East to continue to make our decisions for us, think before you mark your X.