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-   -   Labour acknowledges Scotland could survive as a nation (http://www.lucasforums.com/showthread.php?t=183455)

Pavlos 11-03-2007 07:23 AM

Labour acknowledges Scotland could survive as a nation
 
A rather stunning shift

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBC News
Scotland could survive as an independent country, a senior Labour politician is set to acknowledge.

Scotland Office Minister David Cairns will say he does not believe the country would "wither and die" if it was to break from the UK.

The speech, to be delivered later on Saturday, will mark a shift in tone from Labour's approach to the Holyrood election campaign.

The campaign was widely criticised by opponents for being too negative.

Mr Cairns will warn that the party has to find a way of articulating "an innate pride in Scotland" without the "reactionary nationalism" of the SNP.

He will tell a Labour youth conference in Glasgow: "Scottish Labour does not believe that Scotland would wither and die as an independent country."

He will go on to argue that Labour believes in "common endeavour", saying: "Just as this is true of communities and society, so it is true of our country."

Mr Cairns will tell his audience that the party must reform its policies and renew its "bond of trust with the people" in readiness for a public disenchantment with the SNP's "broken promises."

The party must articulate policies in tune with people's "hopes and ambitions" - but must also find a way of inspiring voters by appealing to their hearts as well as their heads.

Recalling an advert during the election campaign which featured prominent footballers, he will say: "Legends from across the Old Firm divide, including such greats as Sir Alex Ferguson, Walter Smith and Billy McNeill, wrote of their tremendous pride in being both Scottish and British.

"It was simple, almost understated. But its quiet emotional appeal demonstrated that it is not only the Nationalists who have a passion for Scotland, it's just that they wear it on their sleeves and lapels."

Rather shocking to see Labour engaged in positive campaigning rather than scare-tactics; I thought they and the Tories just talked about doing that and then continued onwards with their smear campaigns.

Thoughts?

SilentScope001 11-03-2007 12:08 PM

*facepalms*

Any nation can surivie (as in, it won't get retaken and recolonized). But how will it surivie? And can it thrive?

Pavlos 11-03-2007 01:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentScope001
*facepalms*

Any nation can surivie (as in, it won't get retaken and recolonized). But how will it surivie? And can it thrive?

Given that - if Scotland achieved and wanted independence - the North Sea oil reserves would fall under their jurisdiction... I'd imagine they'd do quite nicely with a population of only around five or seven million and 1 billion a month in tax revenue from just one reserve.

But I think, currently at least, Scottish popular opinion stands with "We want to be Scottish and British". I, personally, don't see any reason why you can't have dual nationality. I would describe myself as both English and British but I have no idea what 'Englishness' is, aside from a breast obsession and football hooliganism.

Alex Salmond (Scotland's First Minister) has been exceptionally clever with how he deals with the whole independence issue. He's taken the SNP from being a minority bunch of eccentrics and made them a professional party - as we saw, quite clearly, at their last party conference. Rather than kicking and screaming about independence (which he does quite a lot) he's getting down to work, making Scotland seem viable on the international stage while still having it operate as a part of the union. He gives the Scots a taste of independence's honey without actually scaring them with independence. Salmond is fighting a war of conversion; a smooth operator with populist policies that can be put into action due to the lack of an equivalent of the reactionary, Daily Mail (no offence intended) reading, Middle England who insist that everything should be driven by market forces and that things were better in the Nineteenth Century.

Free prescriptions, free higher education, and the abolition of tolls on roads that you pay Road Tax for... I just want to know why the, supposedly socialist, party sitting in Westminster hasn't been doing these things rather than spending billions of sterling on wars and taking our civil liberties away.

Darth InSidious 11-04-2007 08:14 AM

If they want independence, they can have it. But if Scotland has independence, there should be resolution of the West Lothian Question, and we should no longer have to subsidise them or their parliament - although I wonder why we do now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pavlos
Free prescriptions,

Means higher taxes elsewhere, which means BBC News getting up in arms....
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pavlos
free higher education,

Impossible or near-impossible with a population of 60 million, a "prizes for all and all must have prizes" approach to secondary education and trying to shove the entire population through an increasingly devalued university system.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Pavlos
and the abolition of tolls on roads that you pay Road Tax for

Are you suggesting that the government give up a source of revenue?!

What is the First Rule of Acquisition?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pavlos
... I just want to know why the, supposedly socialist, party sitting in Westminster hasn't been doing these things rather than spending billions of sterling on wars and taking our civil liberties away.

An excellent question. To which I pose another - what makes you think they give a damn about our civil liberties, or other countries, or even this country when they can fatten their wallets with backhanders, etc, and then when they become too embarrassing, jump on the Brussels gravy-train?

"I've got 90,000 in my pyjamas..."

Pavlos 11-04-2007 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Means higher taxes elsewhere, which means BBC News getting up in arms....

Well it's odd that the government doesn't increase a 50% income tax band for high-earners because, for once, it seems to be a populist policy (something like 60% of people want to "hammer the rich")

They wouldn't even need to reassess spending but simply shift more burden to that 50% band and abolish all these stealth taxes (taxes that target the classes who cannot afford to pay them - that is, the working classes and the lower middle classes), reimplement the 10% band and they'd be back on the track to egalitarianism. A revenue neutral tax change would increase social mobility and equality. Revenue Neutral! Without even spending a penny extra on public services... I would have thought this was a basic idea to grasp for the 'socialists' but it seems not.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darth InSidious
Impossible or near-impossible with a population of 60 million, a "prizes for all and all must have prizes" approach to secondary education and trying to shove the entire population through an increasingly devalued university system.

I agree that if you have to fund Higher education privately then our current system is the fairest. In fact, we have the best benefits for students in Europe. However, as with the NHS, I feel we have duty to provide education which is free at the point of use to everyone and to hell if it means raising taxes and incurring the wrath of the Daily Mail.

Mr. Blair was ever so kind to burn the ladder of free education after he scuttled up it to Oxford University.

I don't think you're correct about devaluing the degree, though, yes there are many more degrees about - and some of them in less than academic subjects - but a degree from Cambridge, Durham, or LSE is still a degree from Cambridge, Durham, or LSE.

SilentScope001 11-04-2007 02:07 PM

Quote:

Well it's odd that the government doesn't increase a 50% income tax band for high-earners because, for once, it seems to be a populist policy (something like 60% of people want to "hammer the rich")
But that defeats the entire purpose of being rich!

You are not supposed to be looted by the poor and the middle-class. That's just reeks too much class warfare, and besides, the rich people would come up with a brilliant plan: "Place their money somewhere else!" :)

Darth Insidious: Think of it this way. Scotland is not declaring indepedence from England. England is declaring indepedence from Scotland, after all, King James I was originally the King of Scotland before he took over the Kingdom of England. :D

Pavlos 11-04-2007 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentScope001
But that defeats the entire purpose of being rich!

You are not supposed to be looted by the poor and the middle-class. That's just reeks too much class warfare, and besides, the rich people would come up with a brilliant plan: "Place their money somewhere else!" :)

I'm not sure how the American income tax system works but the person in question wouldn't be paying 50% on everything they earn - only on the portion that is above the ceiling of the band. They don't lose half their money to the state, they keep most of it. It's not as big as it seems and anyway, it doesn't have to be 50%, just 42% would be nice.

I've no idea what a new band should be - 50% just happens to be a figure that popped into my head - but there should be one for earnings over 100 000. That's 0.9% of the population - you wouldn't lose an election on that increase and I doubt many people earning that much would notice an extra, say, 2p leaving their pocket for every pound sterling they earn over 100 000.

Wealth redistribution is desperately needed in the UK, the gap of wealth is wider than it has been since the 19th Century; both the left and right recognise that there's something horribly wrong with that. To the right, it harms social mobility and equality of opportunity. To the left, it completely flies in the face of a quest for egalitarianism. Blair's, and now Brown's, reluctance to tax super-earners is, frankly, disgusting. Our capital city has forty billionaires - it's a tax haven. It is not because they're moving their money around that they pay less tax than the bottom 1/5 of the population do. It is due to government policy.

I believe it was Poly Toynbee who used the metaphor of crossing the desert. Everyone's moving across it... but some people are driving in BMWs and flying in private jets while the others walk.

Quote:

Originally Posted by SilentScope001
Darth Insidious: Think of it this way. Scotland is not declaring indepedence from England. England is declaring indepedence from Scotland, after all, King James VI was originally the King of Scotland before he took over the Kingdom of England. :D

Best to refer to him by his proper title when talking about him being King of Scotland. And no, it's not. The Act of Union (1707) was actually opposed by most Scots, their leaders signed it anyway. Which is the basis of the argument that "the Act of Union was a joke."


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