Yesterday, the SNP Government revealed their 670-page document; I was invited by the BBC to travel to Edinburgh to give my views as part of a radio broadcast.
So, let’s get down to brass tacks.
The blue print isn’t great, it doesn’t take the debate very far forward and it isn’t a game changer for the SNP and the Yes Camp.
Also Alex Salmond refuses to accept there would be any downsides if the country votes Yes next September.
That is a major misjudgment, in any scenario there will be winners and losers, the blue print by not addressing this issue flags up what I said on the BBC, there is a major issue of trust regarding Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon with the people of Scotland.
One of the other points I made that the SNP are saying that every Scot will be £600 better off if they vote Yes, and I made the point, can people in Scotland be really bought off for £600?
Have they so little respect for their integrity?
Have they so little respect for their integrity?
I don’t think the majority of my fellow countrymen and women are like that, although I acknowledge that short term greed may appeal to some people.
The blue print is a hash of SNP manifestos for Holyrood and Westminster, the blue print doesn’t come with a price tag and is therefore just a wish list.
In a carefully stage-managed press conference broadcast around the world the SNP has presented very little as very much.
The 670-page document was branded a “wishlist as unionist politicians had a field day laughing at it.
Headline pledges contained in the paper include:
* A revolution in childcare with the aim of getting a generation of women back into the workplace
* The bedroom tax abolished
* Minimum wage to “rise alongside the cost of living”
* State pensions protected
* The Trident nuclear system removed from the Clyde by 2020
* All BBC programmes available in Scotland - including Strictly Come Dancing - in addition to the output of a new Scottish broadcaster
* Scotland to keep the pound, with no proposals for a much anticipated Plan B on the currency set out
* Membership of the European Union and Nato to continue, although critics point out that this cannot be guaranteed
It is the old gripe, grievance and malcontent of Salmond and Sturgeon, poison presented as fresh fruit.
Alex Salmond says the White Paper, entitled Scotland’s Future: Your Guide, is the most comprehensive blueprint for an independent country ever published.
I would to him what is this tripe and that is what it is tripe, even the press I spoke to outside Holyrood said to me that independence isn’t on.
“But more than that, it is a mission statement and a prospectus for the kind of country we should be and which this Government believes we can be. Our vision is of an independent Scotland regaining its place as an equal member of the family of nations. However, we do not seek independence as an end in itself, but rather as a means to change Scotland for the better. We know we have the people, the skills and resources to make Scotland a more successful country. What we need now are the economic tools and powers to build a more competitive, dynamic economy and create more jobs. This guide contains policies which offer nothing less than a revolution in employment and social policy for Scotland, with a transformational change in childcare at the heart of those plans. Our proposals will make it far easier for parents to balance work and family life, and will allow many more people, especially women, to move into the workforce, fostering economic growth and helping to boost revenues – which will in itself help pay for the policy. With these policies, we can begin the job of undoing the damage caused by the vast social disparities which have seen the UK become one of the most unequal societies in the developed world. We believe it is only with the powers of independence – by completing the powers of our national Parliament – that we will gain the tools we need to create a more prosperous and fairer society.”
You’re done Salmond, it is time to clear your desk in preparation for the defeat that is coming.
Obviously Salmond has rejected independent analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies which said an independent Scotland would have to hike taxes or cut spending.
Because he doesn't like it!
Salmond’s claims don’t stack up with the Treasury figures which say independence would cost the average Scot £1000 in tax.
Symbolism, is the hallmark of this rubbish, under his bizarre misguided and botched campaign if Scotland voted for independence, then Independence Day would be March 24, 2016, that would be 309 years to the day after the 1707 Act of Union.
It literally reeks of anti English.
Unpopular Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We want as many people as possible across Scotland to read the guide and make up their minds about Scotland’s future. This is an incredibly thorough and detailed guide, which includes 650 questions about an independent Scotland – and delivers on the answers. When it comes to social equality, health, quality of life and economic performance, Scotland has too often lagged behind the performance of our near neighbours across northern Europe – many of them a similar size to Scotland. We know Scotland has huge natural resources and enormous talent among our communities and our workforce – but only independence will give us the ability to make the most of our potential. This is an unprecedented chance to transform our country for the better.”
This is a woman who left Scottish women to die from cancer, who left health just as the problems started to come out to be the face of independence, and she hasn’t done a good job.
Blair Jenkins, of the Yes Scotland campaign, said of the White Paper:
“It addresses the questions and concerns that matter to the people. It will open a new dimension in the choice we face next September over the opportunity to make our own decisions according to our own needs, priorities and aspirations or sticking with a Westminster system that is simply not working for Scotland.”
You just can’t take him seriously can you! He probably thinks that he might be in line to head the Scottish Broadcasting Service, he won’t be, Salmond fired his last bullet yesterday and it spectacularly missed its target.
White Paper key points:
* Keep the pound and the Royal family = SNP U turn
* Scrap the bedroom tax but not until 2016 = SNP populism for votes
* Our own tax service not original, not a game changer
* 1140 hours of care for children between three and four can already be done by councils
* Separate Scottish armed force with 15,000 regulars and 5000 volunteers = nothing new
* Three per cent tax breaks to attract big business = SNP stupidity
* More women in work, creating 35,000 jobs = SNP fantasy
* Scots will be £600 a year better off = SNP appealing to greed
* Trident will be scrapped by 2020 = SNP bonkers on defence and incapable
* More women on company boards = SNP state control, North Korea?
* Scottish Broadcasting Service set up = SNP hate the BBC
* Renationalise Royal Mail = that won’t work, SNP fail
* Scots will be able to take part in Rio Olympics = SNP scrapping bottom of barrel
* Separate oil fund to stabilise the economy = SNP cuts to services and budgets
* Own foreign embassies and passports = who gives a shit, better protection under UK
So, there you have it, many trees were ‘murdered’ to produce Alex Salmond’s pulp fiction and he is getting his blue print well and truly torn apart, expect much laughing all over the country at this most detailed document.
Yesterday was Tuesday in Scotland, today is Wednesday; nothing historic happened yesterday, nothing at all.
Isn’t 18th September 2014 getting really close now?
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University