.. and I’ve spent the first week or two of the year watching it all unfold, trying to pick out moments that need to addressed. Then we get to the stage we’re there’s been too many; information overload, especially from our friends within Labour in Scotland.
They’ve voted against free school meals – no, I’m sure Keir Hardie wouldn’t believe it either – and we’re now seeing former party grandees crossing the divide. More will follow, of that I’m certain. I’ll be watching with interest the forthcoming conference from LFI, where many of these ‘renegades’ will be speaking.
Suddenly there’s too much to summarise, but Derek Bateman’s done it, so I’ll leave it to him to keep you in the picture.
And the blue tories have come out with some crackers too. The latest one shouted from the headlines was the request for help from Comrade Putin; but it’s not really new for we know that all British Embassies were asked to rally the foreigners to the cause at least six months ago. But then we’ve known all along who the embassies are working for, with their differing charging structure for functions for the Scottish Government, and ignoring of St Andrew’s Day.
The NHS didn’t lose out either. No new drugs for those who’ve nothing left to contribute to society, who can’t benefit from the investment. The British Pharmaceutical Institute read the signs that elderly cancer patients, for instance, in England, may not get new drugs as the investment is better made getting someone back to work. And there’s a threat to benefit entitlement where the DWP decide you may have contributed to your own need. On top of all that these signs of dangerous stuff we find selective quotes from der Fuhrer creeping into speeches. Dangerous, dangerous path.
And Labour are just as bad with their plans for the NHS, suggesting that they’d bring to an end the independence that the NHS in Scotland has had since Nye Bevan’s days, bringing it into line with the chaotic shambles that exists elsewhere.
Then there’s UKIP, an irrelevance here if ever there was one. Just last week capturing over 54% of the vote in an English council election, hugely at the expense of the blue tories, but also shredding the red and orange ones too. North of the Tweed UKIP have never so much as retained a deposit, at any election, anywhere.
Now we have to mention UKIP for it’s EU election year, which is why there’s a promise of an EU referendum should Cameron survive the Westminster election next year. But Scotland’s attitude to the EU, to immigration, is markedly different, and rightly so. The only way for Scotland to be sure of remaining in the EU is to get out of the BU, otherwise we risk being dragged out against our will. There’s an excellent article on immigration, population, and attitudes over at Wings; it’s a real eye-opener, a cracking article.
So has it been a quiet start to the year where you are? Oh it’s only just beginning, and it’s all ramping up. Fasten your seat belts. And I haven’t even mentioned the BBC, yet.
And the polls? Well the lowest number – despite what you read in the press – is for the status quo. Two in three demand more powers, and there’s only one answer to the question will get that outcome. And there’s no status quo on the ballot paper either, for with proposals like those above on the NHS, threats to the Barnett Formula, and whatever else, nothing will ever be the same again. Vote No, Get Shafted.
It’s no wonder that lifelong labour members are seeing the light; no surprise that wealthy tory donors have told their party boss the only way is the ‘I’ way; and only to be expected that the business community knows the right path to follow. The links to these bodies are all on your left, along with others including regular fine writing at Bella. Keep up everyone.
PS And on the latest stushie, government debt, here’s Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp at Business for Scotland. It’s a Must Read. And if you missed it, here’s Gordon, in top form, on Scotland Tonight: