While The Rich Get Richer . . .

Millionaires………………. I have nothing against them, so long as they acquired it legally. There are certainly more of them these days, but they are still in the minority. So why do they think they are best placed to tell the people how they should be living their lives.

Certainly we are all guilty (millionaires as well) of wasting money. Some of us are actually tricked into wasting money by people who con us in order to try and become millionaires. Why though is it the right of the better off to assume that the less well off are better at wasting money?

I first became aware of food banks through social media around 18 months ago. I had assumed it was only in the really poor areas. When emptying my in-laws food cupboards and finding tins and packets still in date that I couldn’t use I remembered the food banks. I went online to find the nearest one. I was shocked how many were in our capital city. Since then the number of food banks has soared. Not just for the people lounging on benefits (the tories words, not mine) but for those who, thanks to austere measures, have had hours cut at work, a family member becoming out of work or simply just no wage rises to keep up with inflation.

While there are more than 23,000 Scots – including 7000 children ­– receiving emergency aid from the Trussell Trust, our Lords in Westminster complain about inferior standards. They get £300 just for turning up and registering at the House of Lords, they can do as they wish for the rest of the day. According to a press release from SNP media :-  Members of the House of Lords have lodged a series of extravagant complaints about their restaurants, expressing their anger about the size of menus, “chaotic” table layouts and “inferior cappuccinos”. One peer complained that he was “scarred” after his dinner booking was cancelled suddenly and he was “unable to lunch elsewhere” because his wife was wearing a tiara.  Well, really! Could she not have taken the tiara off!!

Today the Scottish government is asking us to reduce food waste and save money as well as the environment http://news.scotland.gov.uk/News/Cut-food-waste-save-more-money-and-help-the-environment-8f4.aspx I don’t know about you, but for some time now, I have been recycling by making leftovers into other meals, freezing leftovers I can’t use right away for using at a later date and weighing foods into portion sizes, all to make things go further. I am lucky in that I was taught these skills and can make a pot of soup out of next to nothing left in the fridge at the end of the week. While I appreciate this may help both people and the environment, what can be done if you just don’t have enough money to ensure you have the right equipment?

Today (Tuesday 4th February) in the press we have a report on another group of people forced into debt and poverty through no fault of their own. The Carer.  A person who does what is natural to most of us. When someone in their family becomes unwell they take time out to help them with their daily tasks. That is if they have a spare bedroom left to have a family member stay over when required. The system gets used to the family member, or friend, doing the caring. As the person needing care deteriorates the amount of time required to care increases. This can result in the carer having to give up their employment.  Due to tougher rules a total of 24,000 fewer carers are getting care allowance. This allowance is equivalent to £1.67 and hour. You couldn’t get an inferior cappuccino for that never mind an hour’s care from an agency (remember most care facilities have been privatised to make rich people richer).

People who are carers are saving the governments a fortune in care fees. The least we can be doing is making sure they have a comfortable living standard. That’s “comfortable”,  Mr. Cameron, Mr. Milliband and friends. According to my wee dictionary that means “giving comfort; free from pain”. Doesn’t take much, just a fairer society.

We have been fighting a local by election here and the canvass returns make interesting reading. People who are so turned off by politics that they usually don’t vote were replying that they will be voting on 18th September. They will be voting yes. I am heartened to see through social media that this seems to be happening throughout our country. I pray that it does and that we can have a properly fair and socially accountable country where everyone is treated like millionaires in regards to the basics of life.

Jimmy Halliday’s contributions to the Cause

Jimmy Halliday – lifetime Nationalist

To put matters into context, in 1955 the SNP contested only two Parliamentary seats in Scotland. Dr Robert McIntyre fought Perth and East Perthshire and Jimmy Halliday fought Stirling and Falkirk Burghs. Jimmy then became the youngest ever SNP Chairman and served 1956-70; in 1956 the entire SNP Conference delegates were photographed on the steps of the Allan Water Hotel, Bridge of Allan.

There will be a Referendum for Scottish Independence this year, which was unthinkable in the dark days of 1955. Jimmy died on 3rd January 2013 at the age of 85, and we will be publishing all his articles in the Scots Independent, all those we have electronic input for. It is anticipated we will publish a book with all his contributions over many years but this will have to wait until after the Referendum.


Scotland is not independent yet – James Halliday

Embarrassing English Nationalist vanity costs money – and lives.


People might be excused for thinking that the march of events has made the SI redundant, its 80-year-long campaign for independence now surely the responsibility of our many elected representatives. Why not just leave everything to our professionals?


Well, for one thing, many important levers of power are still beyond the grasp of even the Scottish Government. We cannot take our own decisions on taxation and the funding of state policies. We may believe that we might raise revenue more fairly and distribute funds more wisely, but we will have to wait a while before our current rulers agree with us.


A ridiculous and crippling proportion of the taxation which we do contribute is squandered in the deluded and foolish pursuit of Imperial greatness. This embarrassing English Nationalist vanity costs money and, more tragically, costs lives. A still more serious problem is that many Scots feel some misguided duty to support this recurring folly. British defence policies compel us to share a widespread criticism from the international community, but we do not have the authority to form our own diplomatic friendships. Public opinion on all these matters is moulded by those who control all reporting, foreign Press barons or malevolent British media functionaries.


The Scottish Government has a full programme of Parliamentary business to cope with, and only once administrative duties have been carried out can they direct their thoughts towards these ongoing problems. It is asking a lot of them to attend to every passing preoccupation of public opinion. The rest of us can help by keeping our ears very close to the ground. What we hear may be all too familiar though none the less surprising.


For instance here, in my own city of Dundee, we enjoy the presence of a Euro -member, one MP, two MSPs, and our fellow Party members form the largest group in the City Council. Yet, when the local evening paper, with photos and quotes, reports nightly the opinions of our citizens, these citizens reveal how desperately uninformed they remain about out political objectives, our Party and its policies. Their opinions remain largely unchanged from those of fifty years ago. We are too poor. We are too wee. We need England’s money. We can’t defend ourselves. We shouldn’t break up. Everybody is joining bigger unions.


We know that these are all just pathetic parrot-squawks, but the parrot has been making the same noises for as long as we have been trying to inform and educate it, and we have still come nowhere near improving its capacity for intelligent thought.


Our leaders over many years have always tried to be positive, and as a result much shocking villainy on the part of Britain’s rulers has remained insufficiently exposed and condemned. The various swindling and cheatings, especially about Scotland’s Oil and Scotland’s territorial waters, merit sustained angry comment, as also does the smiling, bland, insolent contempt with which British politicians have treated our protests.


And now, while all these strength-sapping and time-demanding irritants persist, let us be alerted to a new threat from one Professor Hazell, Director of the Constitutional Unit. You may, like me, have no knowledge as to how, when, and by whom this body was established. But perhaps it sprang from the same obscure source as the Electoral Commission. Anyhow, Professor Hazell advises us that we face four stepping-stones which may prove to be road blocks. First, any referendum must be authorised by the Westminster Parliament. Yes, Professor, we know that; Second, a “yes” vote merely allows negotiations to begin. Which is exactly what the SNP’s motion proposes, Professor. Pay attention. Thirdly, the London Government may refuse to transfer tax powers and the European Union may deny entry to Scotland. These are the very issues to be dealt with by negotiation, and if negotiations break down on an English refusal then the whole nature of our approach will require serious consideration. Fourthly, Scots voters must, after negotiation, have a further referendum to prove that they really understand the dreadful risk they are about to take


What a struggle faces us, and the SI will usefully combine mission with duty. Our Government can’t be everywhere and needs all the help it can get. We hope we can encourage you too to become fully, personally and loudly involved.