The SNP is the greatest barrier at present to poor working class Scots, the Champagne Nationalists have embraced the idea of middle class welfare-ism to buy the vote, the poor are thrown to the dogs.
Nicola Sturgeon's poverty advisor is a joke, why Naomi Eisenstadt wishes to stay in the job is beyond me, she was hired by Sturgeon to scrutinise Scottish Government policies and come up with new ways of reducing inequality.
Inequality is growing between the rich and poor, not just from a financial point of view but right across the board.
Education seen as a route out of poverty has been drastically cut by the SNP especially the college sector, a traditional route for young working class people. As to getting into Universities, people from the lowest financial backgrounds struggle to get in the door.
You could do a joke here, what do you call a working class person at University…… a cleaner.
University in the main is for the rich, run by the rich, staffed by the rich to help the rich, don’t think because you read a story about a working class young person making it into the Herald saying that they want to do medicine; that change is going on.
Please don’t delude yourself.
Naomi Eisenstadt wants fuel poverty programmes to be targeted at helping the poor but the SNP don’t, the Scottish Government has ‘no plans’ to strip the £300 a year handed out to wealthy pensioners. Is it wrong that wealthy pensioners get £300 a year when they are better off?
But what this actually shows is that the SNP do not embrace what has been described as the ‘new politics’, they are sticking with the old failed policies that seen the collapse of other political parties fortunes in Scotland.
Nicola Sturgeon doesn’t want to rock the boat and lose votes, in the main neither do most parties which is why nothing gets done for the poor.
If you ask an SNP punter for a progressive policy voluntarily put in place, they can’t tell you one, instead they cite free prescriptions, and the council tax freeze as stock answers. The poor get nothing unless it is also given to the rich.
Do you think the SNP is a centre left party?
It isn’t, the SNP is a centre right party with a warped viewed because everything is centred round their independence fights.
Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, said the rejection of Ms Eisenstadt's position showed that the SNP "talk big but act small" on poverty.
This is actually a fair comment, isn’t surprising that in opposition a political party can come up with the right solutions which one they enter power they then ignore.
"Days after receiving a report from an independent expert on alleviating poverty in Scotland, the SNP are set to reject her recommendations out of hand. The SNP told us they needed power over welfare and benefits to make Scotland fairer but yet again it seems they have no plans to use the powers coming to Holyrood”.
Independence by stealth, the SNP have no plans to make things better for poor people in Scotland, if they did, people would have no reason to want to change their circumstances, so the SNP’s interest isn’t in helping people, it is to keep people poor and fuel grievance and lay the blame at Westminster.
Rennie also said:
"For those at the bottom, the winter fuel allowance is the difference between being able to heat their homes or not but for many wealthier pensioners it is simply a nice little bonus to be spent on other things. There is a genuine debate to be had over whether this cash could be better spent elsewhere but the SNP don’t want to hear it."
Many people at the bottom of society know about fuel poverty, it means staying in a freezing cold flat, unable to turn the heating on because you are worried that you will not be able to find the money to pay the bills.
Years ago, I wrote on the blog, the benefits of going to prison compared to being unemployed.
It costs society about £42k a year to lock you up but just look what you can access, the downside, no swimming pool, no female companionship and the social class may not be to your taste.
The Lib Dems say they will campaign in May for taking away the £300 from wealthy people, they lib Dems have suffered electorally due to Nick Clegg being a liar; he sunk the entire party in 2010. 2015, the Lib Dems paid the price for it, 8 seats at Westminster with one in Scotland.
If you make a promise then keep your promise!
The Scottish Labour Party’s position needs to be the same as the Lib Dems, but it appears they haven’t proposed changes to the eligibility criteria.
Scottish Labour had the worse result in 2015 in about 100 years, whose fault was that, it was their fault, the Labour Party needs new vision; the questions are; who is going to give it and what that vision will be.
If the party wishes to stick to ‘carping on the side lines’ thinking this will help them, they will get a re-run of the bitter defeat of 2015, in politics you have to choose a side.
Trying to be all things to all people usually means being relevant to none.
A spokesman for Scottish Labour said:
"First they admitted they were considering cuts; then they denied it when the public got wind of it. Now their own poverty advisor has recommended it be cut and yet again the government has had to deny it. It's an absolute mess."
Here is a policy, ‘vote for me because I complain about how crap the other side is…… but I don’t want to change things’.
A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said:
"Scottish Ministers have made it clear that they do not plan to cut or means-test winter fuel payments when the relevant powers are devolved. We are currently looking at how we can best use the limited devolved powers we are getting and to see if there are any areas where benefits can be used more effectively. The Scottish and UK Governments need to reach agreement on the fiscal framework and the extent of devolved powers in the Scotland Bill before we can make any decisions."
What does this mean?
Short version is ‘fuck the poor’.
So, come May 2016, who will you vote for?
Will your vote go to the least objectionable, will it be tribal, will you try tactical voting, will you just sit at home and not bother?
Decisions, decisions, decisions!
One thing is certain; no one is winning any political arguments because no one is willing to change their policies to help the poorest in society.
Quite simply this country deserves better.
George LairdThe Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University