So much for the new caring sharing Tory Government and their ‘commitment to make society fairer.’ Across Britain from next week the poorest in society will get it jammed right into them yet again when the Tories introduce a withering lower benefit cap into the benefits system. A reduction which will see families already struggling to make ends get within six feet of each other lose up to £115 a week. In Scotland it is estimated that more than 20,000 children will be severely impacted, with poverty stricken families unable to meet even basic housing costs.
Then we have a group of economists reporting to Hollyrood’s Economy Committee, passing on the news that the Brexiteers are indeed blowing smoke up the arses of their adoring jingoistic followers in suggesting that they will be negotiating any form of favourable deal with the EU upon their departure.
Leading European Policy Centre advisor Dr Fabian Zuleeg, who reckons the UK is heading for a severe pumping from Brussels, when he stopped laughing, said “The UK faces a Herculean task to negotiate a new trade deal with other countries when it leaves the EU. It would take decades, require concessions and would most likely mean that the UK would be worse off. This is because the UK is not the country that most other nations are lining up to trade with.”
The bad news is that he also thinks that any chance of a special deal for Scotland to remain, as part of the UK, in the single market is ‘highly unlikely.’ So there you go. We didn’t vote for it, but we’re humped too.
Dr Matius Margulis, an economist from the University of Stirling (if the good Dr M is an EU citizen I bet he’s relieved he’e employed in Scotland) concurs. He reckons it’ll take several decades worth of bureaucratic babbling to just get back to where we currently are in terms of trading arrangements, and suggests that since the 1970’s, the last time the UK had to be involved in trade discussions, the UK economy has shrunk that much that Westminster has nowhere near the same leverage it had then. Consequently any new deals are unlikely to be anywhere near as beneficial as the trade arrangements Britain currently has.
For Scotland that puts initially at least an estimated 80,000 jobs in danger, and threatens Scottish exports to the tune of around £5.3 billion once the single market becomes a memory (service sector exports falling by 60% and goods exported plummeting 44%.) Happy days eh?
Meanwhile the Tories continue to flash their knickers at the City of London and Japanese car manufacturers. They’ll see them alright with a nod and a wink. Seems a bit unfair that, don’t you think? Nicola Sturgeon or Mike Russell can sit at the end of Brexit Hotline from now until Burns Night.Nobody is going to pick up the phone.
Then we hear that the renewable energy sector in Scotland, a sector in which Scottish innovation has excelled, a sector which given enough investment would make Scotland a world leader in that technology, self sufficient in energy, a clean energy example for others, and a major net exporter of power to the European grid, is likely to fail unless the UK government replace the subsidy system they’ve cancelled with some practical support.
Na, that’s not going to happen. Something innovative and successful in Scotland? We can’t have that. They’ve walked away from renewable energy, turning their noses up as if it smells like an Alsatian’s recycled breakfast from yesterday. It’s much easier to keep your corporate promises to the nuclear industry and your friends from the club. There’s a seat in the Lords and future corporate boardroom memberships to protect.
You’d think with all of this stuff going on, if you were the leadership of a political party in Scotland which was not of the Westminster governing party (Ruth’s getting her dancing shoes and sequinned dress ready for the Great British Dance Off) that you’d be starting to think that ‘your country’ was under some sort of attack, wouldn’t you?
You’d think you’d be saying no, enough’s enough, we need to stand up to this, we need to stand together with the SNP and the Greens to get the best deal out of this disaster we can for Scotland, and make sure we don’t get shafted even further. You’d think that, wouldn’t you?
No, instead the ‘independent’ branch office leader of new/old/ back stabbing Labour is apparently quite happy swanning off ‘stateside’ for a one woman intercession into the circus which is the US presidential election. Her favouring one side almost guaranteeing that the megalomaniac on the other with the worst of the two wigs involved in the race will win.
The other fella in Scottish politics? He’s no’ even worth writing about.
Some day, some day soon these people will see beyond their own careers. They’ll have to, or get out of the way. Scotland can do so much better.