Most Scots voted for austerity parties so let them feel it!
A common theme on this blog in recent weeks is the double standard being shown by the media and politicians as to how democracy should work in Scotland.
The argument goes that the SNP having a majority of Scottish seats in Westminster does not empower them to make decisions for Scotland. The argument goes that the Scottish Parliament voting to hold a referendum is not justification enough to have one.
It’s complete bonkers.
I have asked hundreds of union supporters who make this argument to provide me with just one example of a democracy in which the biggest party passing a bill through a proportionally elected parliament would be considered an outrage.
Not once have I heard a half sensible response.
The best they can muster is that 60 percent of Scottish people voted for parties that are against holding a referendum.
Ok, so let’s ignore the obvious lunacy in this argument.
Let’s ignore that in every multi party democracy most people vote against most things that the government do. Let’s ignore that elections are not fought on single issues so even people that vote for certain parties probably don’t agree with every policy they pass.
Let’s pretend that democracies work the way that our right wing media and politicians seem to think.
Well, 60 percent of Scots also voted for parties that either actively introduced or turned a blind eye to austerity. The Conservatives and the Lib Dems were masters of austerity and Labour either voted for austerity budgets or abstained to vote against austerity measures. Even the much lauded Corbyn manifesto only reverses austerity by a small proportion. Corbyn was committed to 7 billion of further Tory benefit cuts.
In Scotland, the SNP have protected the Scottish people from lots of Tory, Lib Dem and Labour enabled austerity measures.
- Made university tuition fees free for everyone.
- Effectively ended the Bedroom Tax in Scotland.
- Protected and expanded the Education Maintenance Allowance – scrapped by the Tories in England – to support school pupils and college students.
- Scrapped tuition fees, saving students in Scotland up to £27,000 compared to the cost of studying in England.
- Abolished prescription charges helping low income households stay healthy and out of hospital.
- Established the Scottish Independent Living Fund to safeguard the rights of disabled people, after the UK fund was scrapped.
- Kept nursing bursaries and free tuition for nurses
- Locked out ATOS-style private profiteering in the Scottish social security system
- Enabled free personal Care for over 65s.
In the next parliamentary term there are going to be even more failed austerity measures introduced.
Why don’t we now go with the flawed unionist logic? Let’s cancel indyref2 even though by any standard of democracy it is valid to give people a choice at the end of the Brexit process.
However, using the same logic, let people feel the pain of the austerity the parties they voted for gave us.
Let the next round of austerity measures pass without mitigating them. In fact, why not just reverse all the measures above and let people actually feel the pain of their votes?
Of course I don’t actually want to see this happen.
Unlike the mass media organisations and politicians propagating the double standard, I know how democracy works.
Besides it would also be morally wrong. The poorest in society are suffering enough and don’t need more cruelty inflicted upon them. It would be against the ethos of most in the independence movement.
Independence is all about making a fairer and more prosperous society for all.
It’s hard to do that under the devolution settlement so a lot of the time we are just left plugging holes in the side of a sinking ship. While the SNP could be more radical it is hard to argue that they don’t do more than the UK parties to prevent the worst of austerity hitting people.
Still, a perverse part of me just wants the SNP to reverse all their mitigation measures.
At the moment too many think they can have their cake and eat it. They can vote for policies that hurt those down south, safe in the knowledge the Scottish Government will protect them.
Part of me thinks that maybe we should let those who argue that indyref2 is invalid have it their way. If we are to use their strained logic to cancel indyref2 let those people also pay for their tuition fees, their medication and have to sell their house to cover their personal care when they become elderly.
I think we would see them reconsider their logic if it hit them in the pocket.
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