Scotland is a country which in 2014 was described by an OECD report as being the 14th richest country in the world, ahead of the UK as a whole, which ranked 18th, if it were to become once again an independent state. (Yes,I know,oil prices do fluctuate, up as well as down).
Yet in 2015/16 more than a quarter of Scotland’s children were living in poverty, a rise of 4% on the previous year. 70% of these children live in homes where somebody is in employment.
In the same period in total 1.05 million Scots were living in relative poverty, after housing costs, up 2% on the previous year.
In 2016/17 the numbers of emergency Foodbank supplies provided in Scotland hit a record high at more than 145,000, marking a 9% increase on the previous year. The Trussell Trust has 52 Foodbanks in Scotland, 52! Around 48,000 of the three day emergency food supplies were to feed hungry Scottish children.
The cumulative supply of emergency food provided to Scots for that period is the equivalent of enough to feed the residents of the city of Dundee for three days, according to the charity’s spokesperson in Scotland.
In Glasgow, our biggest population centre, it is estimated that around 34% of children live in poverty. Life expectancy in some areas of the city is around the lowest in the whole of the current United Kingdom. Almost half of Glasgow’s residents,47.3%, reside in 20% of the most deprived areas in Scotland.
In 2015 706 people died in Scotland as a result of drug abuse. The highest recorded level at that time, 68% more than ten years previously.
Folks, the rifts, disputes and squabbling need to be put behind us, differences of opinion respected and put to one side. Scotland is in a period of ever increasing planned decline brought about by a distant government whose only interests in Scots and Scotland are financial and self serving. We are a convenient resource-rich province to be looted systematically to maintain power and influence for a wealthy minority.
If we are ever to grow a movement capable of doing something about all of this we broadly need to stand together, not in factions. Let’s focus on those that really are doing us harm.