14 Months On….Where are we now?

It’s been 14 months since that horrible morning we woke up, or went to bed realising Scotland was still a part of the United Kingdom. Where are we now?

For me we are now fighting a class war in so many ways. I have watched parliament more in the last 14 months than I have ever done and I am convinced we are involved in a battle between us and them. We are fighting for the very fabric of our society and we had better sit up and take notice, we had better get informed and involved where possible, we better start voting.

The gains that were made since the 1920’s are slowly being eroded or at worst taken away. Workers rights, funding for the NHS and for Education, Public Services, Social Security and our individual rights are being lost every day under what can only be considered a class war being raged on us by the Conservatives and meekly accepted by the Labour Party and sadly the Liberal Democrats.

This class War started again with the elections of both Ronald Reagan in the USA and Margaret Thatcher in the UK. It’s not about Lords or Lady’s per say, it’s about money and power. Who has the money and who controls the power.

Low wages and debt ensure fear and compliance in the work place, the erosion of the unions or no unions at all means you have no protection in the work place. Welfare Sanctions ensure that you are too afraid to fight back and are one step away from the food bank, you know where the foodbank is because every supermarket has a box collecting food for those in need and the address and phone number is in plain sight. No legal aid means you are not represented in the legal system and the right to re-call a lying MP puts your very future and financial well-being at risk and the chances of winning the euro millions is more likely than winning the court case against the establishment we have now.

Student loans mean that you are paying for the education that you have already paid tax for while the wealthy send their kids to the best schools which have charitable status to keep the prices down for the very people you will vote for and allow to have power over you and who will fight tooth and nail to keep themselves and their children at the top, we have created a new entitled class. If you are unemployed and have to go to the job centre you are one button away from having your very basic starvation social security removed for having the gall to be one minute late or to question the person who is in fear of their job and their ability to put food on the table.

You sit down and watch parliament and what you see are the 56 representatives voted for by the electorate in Scotland being called robots from the party that used to stand up for the poor, the Labour Party, the new Tories in Scotland. You see your representatives being ignored, being sneered at, being abused. If you are an MP from Scotland and not part of the established law of Westminster you do not matter, we do not matter.

I became a Lib Dem after the election and while I have met some wonderful, honest and decent party members the party continues to disappoint and is part of the problem in Scotland in so many ways rather than the solution with it’s acceptance of the status quo, a status quo that for me is all about class, power and privilege.

14 months on I am watching my country being ridiculed and every promise made, from jobs, to ship building, to pensions, to fairness, to partnership in the union, to decency and to honesty being washed away at 7am the day after the referendum when David Cameron came out and declared English Votes for English Laws. Cameron started this new kind of class war against Scotland. Some of you reading this will disagree, some will think this is some kind of class envy, of jealousy for the limits to my life or life chances but it’s not. This is about the fight that is taking place every day for the very fabric of our society and our being.

The poor, the vulnerable, the old, and the unemployed are taking punches and kicks left right and centre. We better start lifting up our arms and defending ourselves or we lose it all, everything that we hold that is decent, everything that we value will be lost and we will all be relying on the foodbank, the homeless charity, the local church or voluntary organisation. The new shop will be the charity shop. We better sit up and take notice before it’s too late.

14 months on and I have never been more saddened and afraid at what I see everyday around me, the people who I meet who don’t have enough food to eat or have to go bed cold if they have a bed at all. 14 months on we are worse off than we have ever been, 14 months on we are sending representatives to Westminster who are not welcomed, not listened to and not wanted. 14 months on I regret the no vote that so many made and my Yes vote provides no comfort to me that I did the right thing. Where will we be in another 14 months, I dread to think. We are at war.

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16 comments

  1. hektorsmum

    I used to comment on the Independent way back when they still used Disqus. When as normal Labour made their usual mistakes which in turn allowed the Tories in I watched and saw that they wanted to reverse all the gains that working people had made over the last century. I commented then that I could see people being put back into the way things were before the Black Death reduced the population so that the serfs had to be paid to work, before that they just about managed to feed themselves and their masters. Obviously it was considered to be a gross exaggeration, but looking at things, was it?
    Certainly if you look at the lives of the working poor in the States, their lot is much worse than ours. I have a friend who only works part time, but she has less than a weeks holiday a year and I do not think she is paid for it.
    I expect that the Tories will chip away at the health service in England and so ruin ours. Way back in the thirties my Gran threw her awful husband out and was forced to go to the Parish. this illustrious groupl were a law unto themselves. No money or help was to be forthcoming unless she divorced him, and my Gran was a bit of a vindictive woman who cut her own nose off in spite of her face, refused. She was then forced to go and take her four kids and move in with her parents, where she managed to obtain work as a train cleaner, as well as dogs body for her parents.
    Changed days now, but for how much longer.
    We did manage to buy our house, we have no mortgage, but this was more by luck than design. Had an endowment mortgage for years, had to spend our declining years paying it off in double quick time and have now got a small two bedroom bungalow. Many of my family never bought, they rented, that is what people did, debt was frowned on and we still do. Certainly nowadays I would be hesitant to take debt on having seen the interest.
    I feel very aggrieved with the 55% who have left us in this state, I am sorry for those who did nothing wrong but find themselves in a hole, I am not sorry for the complacent who knew exactly why they voted that way.
    I will never understand the working class English who regularly vote Tory, what on earth do they get out of it, are they stupid?

    • Jim Morris

      Stupid or malicious? Self-centred or altruistic? Monday I heard a well educated person say they voted no because they were worried about their pension! Educated by the establishment and their lies, of course. Independence, IMO, will never be granted because we are too stupid and too rich.

      • Anonymous

        Jim

        I don’t know, they used to always say things change when people get hungry and I know some people who are getting hungry. Next year will be even worse with the changes to pensions, esp for women. Increased contributions and changes to NI are effectively another pay cut to the public sector and taking them out of tax at the lowest end is more than wiped out by these changes. Osbourne grabs the headlines while slipping your wallet out your back pocket, surely people have to see that at some point.

        Thanks for commenting.

        Bruce

    • Anonymous

      hektorsmum

      I know what you mean about the USA. I worked in Rhode Island for a while and my salary was ok but terms and conditions very poor. I just feel now that everything to Tories do is to protect other people, it’s certainly not the people I work with or the people who live around me, we all seem to be looking a bit rougher , a bit more wear n tear. I fear for the longer term, I really do.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  2. tris

    Good post.

    I despair of what they did to us.

    All these promises and people believed them… believed Gordon Brown… believed David Cameron…believed Nick Clegg…. and believed Ed Miliband. WTF. The very people I wouldn’t believe if they told me water was wet.

    One by one the promises have melted into nothing, been watered down or have become the victims of circumstances. Jobs have gone, NHS being sold off, and more money for MPs and the royal scroungers.

    It’s quite clear that what they meant was, vote yes, then we will spit (or worse) in your face, once we have you well and truly under the Brit jackboot.

    I loathe the UK. I loathe the way it treats its poor, sick, young and old.

    I loathe the fact it idolises royalty, titles, wealth and power and Z list celebrities. I detest the way that it can fly billionaires across the world to vote to take money away form working people forced to depend on tax credits to pay the rent..

    I hate that we are going to renew trident because they get off on playing with the big boys despite millions of our people not having enough to eat, waiting for months for cancer diagnosis, or dying of the cold for the want of heat.

    I abhor the way that Cameron and his band of warmongers, and that includes half of Labour can’t wait to get into another war, and watch coffins come home draped in their warmongering butcher’s apron, so that they can be teary eyed and patriotic in public, while they get ready to sacrifice the next bunch of lads.

    I’m ashamed that my country is a part of the UK.

    I’m not British.

    • Anonymous

      Tris

      Nothing I can add to that other than agree. I expressed much the same things at the Lib Dem meeting last night but added Carmichael and Rennie to the list. They must be sick of me by now, in fairness the members are a good bunch and they actually encourage different views and opinions, it gives me hope for the party that it is so diverse.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  3. hektorsmum

    Can I just add that as I look around my neck of the wood I have this feeling that we lost the war. I have been in Germany over the past three years, Former East Germany, former West Germany, Austria and none of them look the way this country does. Right in the middle of Dunfermline stands the burnt out Factory, whilst around there are building which should never have been allowed to be built in an Historic Town, sorry City. Even the new buildings look like they have been bombed.
    When you go anywhere in Germany it feels like it is thriving. I will say that yes there were beggars in the street in Cologne, but other than that I did not count one empty shop.
    We more and more resemble the US, watch some of the programmes set in their cities and tell me otherwise.
    I wanted to see my country thriving. I chose not to have children as in the days when it was possible there was no sign of change, well it is too late now but I am glad I did not. I do not have to worry about any I leave in this benighted country though they might not have been so Nationalistic as their Mum who could have gone to Australia, and turned in down.

    • Anonymous

      hektorsmum

      I totally agree, everything looks broken here now, even in Dundee, walk away from the new waterfront and the cracks are appearing. Go out to the schemes and in some areas it’s even worse. What is this country, is it rich or is poor, I don’t know. I suspect it’s rich and the rich are keeping it all for themselves.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Bruce

  4. I Clark

    I was trying to work out why I liked reading your stuff. I think it’s because of your openness, compassion for others, anger at injustice and – perhaps – frustration that too many of us seem willing to sell our ‘souls’ for so little? These are admirable qualities and responses, (though they can be a source of pain at times).

    What is there to admire about those – amongst the comfortably off – whose main preoccupation was calculating how much better or worse off they personally would have been under independence? What a soulless existence. But when their choices materially affect the very existence of others, then moral judgements come into play.

    We live a wealthy state and no one need starve or freeze to death. Yet they do. And many people in Scotland were content to vote to continue to be governed by a system which causes that suffering.

    When the intensive part of the next referendum campaign comes round, I’m still going to have the same problem I had during the last one. Namely, part of me strongly objects – even for the sake of the greater good that an independent Scotland could be – to trying to persuade selfish people to vote for Independence.

    If I had to choose, I’d rather share an economically poorer society with people who care, than a wealthier society with too many selfish calculators.

    Keep expressing your humanity in the way you do. It helps others.

    • Anonymous

      Clark
      I am flattered when anyone reads this blog to be honest. I started it for lots of reasons but mainly so I can express my opinion and the fact that even though there are many wonderful, well researched, lovely written blogs I just wanted one that sounded like the way I spoke, I also hate bullshit.

      But I also like the nice things if I have the money, I don’t blame people for liking nice things either I have just decided that while I would love a new iPhone say I don’t need a new iPhone cause the media tell me everyone should have an iPhone. I do little things like give to the food bank when I can, I give to the Church when I go , I try to be nice to people and I really try not to get too frustrated with no voters, I actually walk away from the argument now as the ones who want to still argue the no case are so brainwashed with the British thing I just can’t be bothered with them to be honest.

      This country is shitty, no other way to put it, any country that puts bombs before children is a shitty place, governed by shitty people, voted in by misguided and conditioned people to some extents and by others as selfish as the ones in power. I suppose if I can not compromise too much then at least I hold my head up high. There is also the older I get (46) the less patience I have for things, even my mangers at work get it from me now. If something is rubbish I just say it, I’m polite and professional and if they don’t like it the problems theirs, life.

      Thanks for commenting, always good to hear other opinions and more importantly, learn from them.

      Bruce

      • I Clark

        Bruce

        Thanks for the reply. I’m older than you and I find that my intolerance at bullshit and anger at injustice remain at a high level. Thank goodness.

        I had (and still have) a comfortable, liberal, middle class life, but I seemed to get much more politically militant in my late 50s. Partly this was caused by coming to the belief that we have only one, short, precious life. Partly it has been caused by a sense of guilt that I – as a baby boomer – have benefited massively at the expense of others. But mostly it was caused by coming to the realisation that – through an arrogant belief in my own political ‘sophistication’ – I had allowed myself to be deceived by the ‘quality’ press and the BBC as to the true nature of the UK state. Now, I even find myself saying things like “I hate the Tories” – and meaning it!

        Talking of ‘hate’, your previous post – Conditioning – encouraged me to write a reply, but I was too embarrassed to post it because I got carried away and wrote over 800 words.

        One final point, my first name is Ian. Clark is my surname!

        Ian

        • grumpyscottishman

          Ian

          I wouldn’t feel guilty about being a baby boomer I would blame Thatcher mainly for taking an Oil boom and using it to make millions unemployed rather than invest and save like Norway and invest and modernise like Germany. Without Oil she would not have been able to fight the Falklands War or build up the Finance Industry with huge eye watering tax breaks and cuts. I very rarely watch the BBC and never the news or Scotland 2015, it’s just propoganda. I stopped buying Newspapers during the referendum due to what I felt was just an all attack on Scotland and Scottish people, I don’t even watch STV Scotland Tonight anymore it has gotten so bad. We don’t have a media anymore. The only news I see is ITV because the wife watches it, and even saying that half the time I go and do something else. I mainly get my news from good blogs and twitter to be honest and then when something annoys me I blog myself, not very well, but I get to express my thoughts. I know what you mean about the Tories, the word hate is an awful word but I think I hate the Tories and institutions like the Lords and the Monarchy for all that they stand for.

          Thanks for commenting.

          Bruce

  5. hektorsmum

    Reply to I Clark, I so agree with you, I would rather share this world with people than want to snatch the crumbs from other’s mouths. I had a hard job with those I know voted no, I wanted to punish.

  6. Jock Campbell

    Where are we? we are on the cusp of independence! that you are blind to it is irrelevant. that it is coming… MUCH sooner than you might like to believe… IS relevant!

    • grumpyscottishman

      Jock

      Hello again, I don’t see where I am blind to independence. I am a YES voting Liberal Democrat who has never thought that we would not become independent at some point in the future, sooner rather than later would be my hope. This blog was about trying to highlight to NO voters about where we are now and what they voted for, it’s the irony of the fact that what they said they were voting no to avoid is what has actually made things worse. However, I can accept that I am maybe irrelevant and this blog is irrelevant, as I have said previously, this blog is my way to express my opinion. I appreciate any comments that people leave as the discussion is what I hope to encourage so thank you for commenting again.

      Bruce

      • Jock Campbell

        The referendum vote was irrelevant to independence, at least, as far as gaining it directly from that vote is concerned! A referendum yes result could not guarantee independence, regardless of the Edinburgh Agreement, because whilst David Cameron might well have agreed to recognise the result, he was leading at that time a minority government, and so could not force the bill through parliament. He would have needed to persuade parliament to back the move in a Commons vote… which was highly unlikely to succeed… and even if he did win that vote, the Lords were under no obligation to comply, as they hadn’t signed the Agreement either!

        However, what the referendum DID achieve was a political revolution in Scotland… i.e. by motivating the Scottish electorate to vote for the SNP on May 7th. That vote delivered them a 95% majority share of Scotland’s sovereign power… and the mandate to declare independence at any time!

        However, while upon that fact I may assert the SNP could make such an assertion soon, they are most likely not going to get the chance!

        It is my belief that Westminster will trigger its own demise…

        https://jockscot.wordpress.com/2015/05/04/how-the-uk-will-end/

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