Dear Margaret Curran

This is copy of an email sent to Margaret Curran MP.

Margaret Curran MP
Academy House
1346 Shettleston Road
Glasgow
G32 9AT

Dear Margaret Curran,

Here at Autonomy Scotland, we really worry about the plight of the less well off, especially in periods of rising living costs and austerity. So, we were heartened to read the following quotation from you, in the Guardian newspaper on 15/05/2012:

“I don’t want to deny there’s a problem but we need to have a much deeper and profound solution. It’s too simple just to attack recipients of welfare. We need to help people get back on their feet.”

As the Member of Parliament for East Glasgow you will be aware that the benefit claimant rate in your constituency is significantly above average, running at 6.7% compared to the UK average of 3.8 percent.  It will probably not have escaped your attention that the much vaunted average life expectancy of a man in East Glasgow is 68.1 years. The average UK male can expect to live a full 10 years longer.

We were sure after reading the Guardian quotation that these statistics would start to move in the right direction once you implemented your deep and profound solutions.

We were a little perplexed then, given your previous statement, that on 26.03.2014 you voted to cap welfare.

The cap will include spending on the vast majority of benefits, including pension credits, severe disablement allowance, incapacity benefits, child benefit, both maternity and paternity pay, universal credit and housing benefit. The type of help that many in your community rely on.

This action may be part of a solution so deep and profound that we can’t even begin to understand, but from the point of view of a normal citizen it looks like you have failed the people you are meant to represent. We are writing to you to ask you for an explanation of your decision.

Could you please inform us, in what respect was your vote cast in the interest of the people who elected you?

In a recent speech at the Scottish Labour Party Conference, which was mostly an Ad Hominem attack on Alex Salmond describing him as, ‘like the  man coming home with a broken pay packet’, you said:

If we want a better, fairer Scotland, the way to achieve it is by changing the government – in Edinburgh as much as in Westminster – not by changing the constitution.

Your actions suggest to us that this is not the case. Your behaviour highlights the fact that the true problem is with the current system and those like you who are corrupted by it.  You voted not with your conscience, nor in the interests of your constituents, but because that is what Ed Milliband told you to do.

In the current system we have a choice of a few almost identical Oxbridge educated, privileged white male career politicians as potential leaders. Under them we have an army of kowtowers like you who, within a First Past The Post system, should be able to act in the interest of their constituents but choose not to for their own personal career advancement.

The reason that people will be voting Yes on 18/09/14 will not be the narrow minded nationalism you try to spin in your anti Salmond rhetoric. Most people voting Yes have no affinity with the SNP. We will be voting Yes in order to ensure that in the future, we live in a country that has a leadership that reflects the broad make up of the population and leaders who are held accountable if they fail to serve that population. Just one glimpse at the leaders in Edinburgh shows that our system is already more representative.

We want to live in a country that implements the Nordic Model, a system that has a liberal economy as well as a strong welfare state. In Scandinavia they understand that welfare can benefit all of society:

Firms in countries such as Finland and Sweden can introduce new technologies faster than their US competitors because, knowing that unemployment need not mean penury and long-term joblessness, their workers do not resist these changes strongly.

  • We want to live in a country where our leaders make strong moral choices.
  • We want to live in a place in which the billions saved from not renewing Trident can be spent on pension credits.
  • We want to live in a place that has politicians who, like the general public, can spot a dirty dossier when they see one. The war that you supported, the war that the guy with the broken pay packet was against, cost £5.5 billion that we could have spent on severe disablement allowance. Instead we killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of foreigners who were no threat to us. Not to mention the £37 billion spent in Afghanistan.
  • We want to live in a country where we can make our biggest companies pay taxes. We could have used the £35 billion worth of taxes avoided by institutions like Amazon to pay for child benefit.
  • We want to live in a country where, in a time of austerity the cost of MP expenses does not exceed pre scandal levels, a country where our politicians point blank refuse an inflation busting 11 percent pay-rise.  We could better spend the money we save on housing benefit.

Most of us would be happy to achieve these things, and more, within the UK, but sadly for the majority of us we have little hope left that this can ever happen.

We believe that these things are more achievable in an Independent Scotland, because after a Yes vote we will be able to enshrine fairness into a written constitution. We will be living in a small country where the majority of the population is close to the seat of power. There is a will to make this work within the broad spectrum of Yes voters.

Primarily, we want to live in a country where a representative of one of the worst off constituencies automatically votes against a cruel policy. A country where such a policy cannot be concocted by a cabinet full of millionaires and inflicted on the poor.

When people like you fail to vote in favour of your constituents, it is not the Division Bell that one hears ringing in the House Of Commons, it is the death knell of the UK.

Yours Sincerely,

 

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Nick Brand
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I’d venture to suggest you’ll wait in vain for a response…

alan cox
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alan cox

Well said.

jim
Guest
jim

i dislike this woman ,she is labours maggie thatcher ,her hectoring style for one ,disgusts me

stuart findlay
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stuart findlay

Labour,every bit as bad for a vulnerable Scots health as Tories ever were

jamie jones
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jamie jones

She sld hang her head in shame as sld the other 29 scottish labour mps that voted for the welfare cap….their coats are already on a shakey peg….come sept i expect to see their coats crashing to the floor

Geraldine Merrigan
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Geraldine Merrigan

Brilliant letter! Says everything I feel about Independence, we want a fairer and equal society for ALL!

George Bowie
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George Bowie

Don’t hold your breath for a reply.

Joyce Cunningham
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Joyce Cunningham

I agree with ever word and well said!

david mcgill
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david mcgill

A fine letter!- You should open it up to the press, more particularly the Herald and Sunday Herald.

Muzz
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Muzz

Well spoken indeed.

Hen Broon
Guest

Curran. The patron saint of melted wellies.

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