All of us committed advocates of an independent Scotland encounter on a regular basis the grey dreary ‘ProudScotbut’.
On social media they usually start a conversation, comment or post by telling you they are proud to be Scottish, followed by where in Scotland they were born, to further establish their bona fides,as if they have to (it doesn’t matter to us where you were born) before launching into a series of worn out platitudes explaining exactly how they are actually not very proud to be Scottish after all.
Usually, not always, their position tends to centre around the phrases too wee, too poor, too divisive, two world wars, two broad shoulders and the dreaded two words ‘strength and security.’
Therefore usually the words proud Scot really don’t mean anything at all, and in fact have a habit of inducing the scratching or shaking of one’s head, irritable frustration or even the dry boak in the very many of us who see flags, division, dislike of English people, painted faced Bravehearts, and Frrrreedooom as having absolutely nothing to do with what it is we are all about.
However sometimes, just sometimes, events occur which entirely justify the use of such a phrase.
When Minister for Social Security Jeane Freeman took to her feet in the Holyrood Chamber this week and announced that, under the new citizen centred social security system being developed for Scotland, private contractors who currently carry out assessments of the eligibility of the sick and disabled for benefits, using Lazarus as a benchmark, like Atos, Capita and Maximus, will no longer be welcome or make profits out of the misery of Scots i felt a bursting pride in being Scottish.
Jean Freeman said…
‘One of our fundamental principles is that profit should never be a motive nor play any part in assessing or making decisions on people’s health and eligibility for benefits.
We are building a system based on dignity and respect – this means an assessment process which isn’t demeaning or deliberately difficult.
I am very clear that assessments should not be carried out by the private sector and I want to give people in Scotland this assurance as we take forward our new social security agency.’
In a time when Scotland is being bombarded in the media with dubious poll after poll (you can manipulate a poll to say anything you want) all booming out the message of an alleged rise in right wing opinions north of Carlisle, ( a deliberate propaganda technique designed to demoralise and inject doubt amongst Scottish voters about the outcome of June’s General Election) the content of Jeane Freeman’s statement is the type of information we need to get out and talk to our fellow Scottish voters about.
We may want to mention during such conversations that during an internal study by the DWP in 2011 it was identified that during an 11 month period, 10,600 people died within or during a six-week period of undergoing an assessment of their eligibility for disability benefits by these private companies, hundreds by suicide. There having been no significant change in the way these assessments are carried out in the six years since then how many other souls have been lost as a result?
Let that sink in. Let that, and the two child ‘rape clause’ sink in. Let the parting of the disabled from any sense of independent living sink in. Let xenophobia and isolationism and self-inflicted economic chaos based on lies about the powers of the European Union, which is Brexit, sink in. Let the real reason why, when it’s the wrong time for a referendum on independence, it is the right time for a sudden snap General Election, covering up the electoral fraud of a number of Tory MPs,sink in.
An increase in Scots voting Tory?
We’ll see, come the 8th June.
A proud Scot.