People of Scotland, ignore the spam and spin of the Record, the Sun, the Scotsman, Mail and Express. Pay no heed to the propagandising British state media voices of those, like Ri Chun Hee Burd,”Tonight, on Reporting Scotland….”.
Focus. Really focus. See with your own eyes, listen with your own ears, raise your consciousness above bank holiday visits to DIY stores, two weeks away in July in Costa Teguise, the PPI adverts, the X Factor, the Great British ice bake and ballroom dancing-whilst-eating-a-wriggling Witchetty Grub minor celebrity tranquillisers, and Jeremy Kyle.
Lift your head above the pap reportage of royal babies, of mournful anniversaries of the sad passing of an Earl’s daughter, once a nanny, dragged in to provide service to the Firm, harvested for her youthful innocent public appeal and womb,and discarded later when found to be unable to comply with the rules.
Switch off at the first sounds of a Witchell sycophancy or a stock video shot of a giant golden hat travelling in style, alone, resting on a cushion in the back of a black Daimler. Try it, It’s refreshing.
Yes, my granny could have lived to a ripe old age too, if she hadn’t had to work for most of her first sixty years whilst bringing up a large family on her income and her husband’s wage as a mine and mill worker, and instead was worth several hundred million pounds of everybody else’s money and had the eminent apothecaries of Harley Street examining her every sniffle and change in blood pressure.
(Gran would have found it highly improper to see every new hospital, public building, waterway, bridge, train station, or stadium that they can get away with being named after her. That would have been a step too far, and she wasn’t fond of loud noises, so fast jet trainers cutting up the sky, spewing out a tricolour of vaporised brainwash into the air, wouldn’t have been her thing either).
No, instead good people please tap in to the vibrations, feel the movement under the soles of your feet, hear the rumbling, because change is coming.
The decades long fork in the road between our increasingly right-wing remote ruling power, our large neighbour, who see Scotland as a resource rich province to be milked, exploited and asset stripped when needed, and our progressive and positive increasingly self aware independent government-in-waiting focussed on social justice is widening to a chasm.
The limited powers devolved government of Scotland is getting on with the day job, and the results of that day job are going to lead Scotland away from the basket case which is the last days of the disunited Kingdom.
Fresh on the heels of the opening of the magnificent saltire bridge, a symbol of confidence, of capability, of self reliance, Nicola Sturgeon’s ambitious plan to create a National Investment Bank for Scotland has the potential to transform Scotland’s economy, to slow down, and then start to turn around, many decades of industrial and manufacturing underinvestment, decline and neglect.
A financial institution whose purpose is first and foremost for the common good, for the benefit of Scotland’s people, rather than to simply make profit, by whatever means financial institutions can, is indeed a powerful tool.
“We’re too wee to survive on our own, there’s nothing here, we’ve no industry, we ‘d be broke” cry the not yet convinced.
You think? Give Scottish entrepreneurs, innovators in engineering, in renewable energy, in bio technology, in electronics, in pharmaceuticals, in computer games, in any damn thing they can turn their minds too, from small start ups to ambitious manufacturing projects, the chance to access investment that requires no fast buck return, no instant success or the prospects of facing a sell off, asset strip or liquidation, investment that focuses on the longer term, the growth of a stable successful and sustainable business, and watch what happens.
Put simply, if this is done right, Scotland will make things again. No more will we be heavily reliant on the low wage, low pay, low job satisfaction, insecure employment, retail park economy that the industrial and manufacturing decimation of the last decades of the 20th brought forth. There will increasingly be real jobs, there will be value placed on skills and expertise, there will be higher wages, there will be more tax generated from these higher wages to fund public services.
Nicola Sturgeon has set the bar high on this one. I applaud her ambition. Scotland is a country, not a region, it’s time for more of us to appreciate that, and have the confidence to get on with making it what it can be, shaking off the weight of the neoliberal former empire deadwood that holds us down.
A successfully managed National Investment Bank is one of the many transformative levers which will help make that happen.