I was over the moon (maybe that should be Mars these days) when Scotland voted for devolution. Finally, now we have a chance to change Scottish politics for the better I thought. There was no question that the SNP were honorable and had the best interests of Scotland at heart. Maybe now the two party system of Labour and Tories would move off in a new Scottish orientated direction within Scotland I thought. Alas, too much to hope for.
Both Labour and Tories remain simple mouth pieces for their London masters. Whether its the Tory member for Stirling jumping up at every opportunity in the House of Commons to declare, no matter what the debate is about, that it is all the fault of the SNP ( it was them what done it gov) or the hapless Labour party employing political manoeuvres during the Scottish budget that everyone could see coming. Obviously nothing has changed.
When considering Scottish budgets I am inclined to think back to when I first entered the workplace. In those days it was fairly common practice to hand your wages over to your parents. They would deduct their costs (dig money) and hand you back some pocket money. As your wages increased so did your dig money. This worked fine until you got ambitious and set your sights on something that you simply could not afford with your pocket money. You then had to ‘turn on the patter’ and try to convince your parents that they would be doing humanity a great service if they would just let you have more pocket money or something. This got more and more tiresome for both parties and the ambition for both parties became that, the sooner you were old enough and earning enough to move out and look after yourself the better. Well, that’s Scotland that is.
Scotland runs on a block grant. Money that is used to pay our bills. By necessity therefore the budget has to balance. We know we will have X amount to spend. There is very little if any room for manoeuvre. Changing spending priorities becomes an exercise in robbing Peter to pay Paul. You can’t grow your economy (fulfil your ambitions) with a balanced budget. I know there are Scottish initiatives to set up an investment bank and so on but you have to wonder, how much of any income these initiatives manage to generate we will be allowed to keep. As long as the UK is pulling the purse strings will our digs keep going up?
When I look around the UK and the rest of the planet I see that It’s the stupid economy which keeps Scotland living in digs way past our leave by date. It’s the stupid economy that puts profit before people. It’s the stupid economy which allows banks to pray on honest hard-working people. It’s the stupid economy which allows individuals to accumulate obscene amounts of personal wealth and yet produce nothing. It’s the stupid economy which leads to military interference in other countries and causes so much suffering. It’s the stupid economy which is destroying the planet.
The Tory mantra that ” a rising tide floats all boats” (Margaret Thatcher) is true. The problem is that a rowing boat is still a rowing boat and a luxury yacht is still a luxury yacht. Do yourself a favour and read, J is for Junk Economics by Michael Hudson. Visit his website.