By Alex Robertson
Tuesday’s London reshuffle shows up in vivid colour just how unfair and undemocratic a place the UK is. The Tory government, aided and abetted by its poodle LibDems, has lurched to the right. The nature of the relationship between the two coalition partners has changed fundamentally in the last two days.
First, on Monday, Mr Clegg of the LibDems announced a trial separation, saying that he would be ordering his party to vote against greater and fairer democracy because he was miffed over his rotten and rickety House of Lords reform bill had been hobbled by the Tories earlier. So now there is clear water between the parties in government and predictions that we will have a simple minority Tory government within 18 months. Scots are left on the sidelines wondering what the hell is going on.
Second, we now have the Tory part of the coalition gearing itself up to change its mind over a third runway at Heathrow. Voters in Scotland voted in one single Tory MP. Yet we are increasingly facing the prospect of having a government nobody in this country actually voted for or wants. What kind of cynical commentator can call that fair and democratic?
And the biggest argument in Westminster is whether to spend tens of billions of pounds on building another runway at Heathrow. That is the final nail in the coffin. Never mind building a high speed rail network to help the whole country, just let’s lay down masses of concrete in green spaces and shove up another massive shed and call it a terminal. Very good for London and the South East of England, the Tory heartlands, but a waste of money for the people north of the border.
This Government and Parliament are almost irrelevant to the needs of Scots in the demanding times in which we live. We didn’t vote for them and their policies are largely inimical to Scottish interests.
We Scots are struggling through the worst economic crisis since the Second World War, made in Westminster. Save the Children charity claim one in six children go to bed hungry, and one in eight don’t get one square meal a day. Welfare benefits, set by London, are reduced and penalise the old and the vulnerable.
If ever the unfairness needed demonstrating of the profound undemocratic regime Scotland currently suffers in the broken, bust and bullying Westminster gang then we have just had it in spades this week. We have found the smoking gun. Westminster thinks of Scotland as a region of greater England, whereas we Scots know we are a country. And a country with different values and aspirations than those not even dimly conceived in the minds of Westminster man.
And yet if we look to the people who did get the most seats in the last Westminster election, we find no hope there. The troubled times through which we are living are the work of Labour. They spent and borrowed like some 18th century rake, they let the bankers glut themselves in unrestrained greed and bury us all in a mountain of debt. They are no alternative to the Cameron resurrected Nasty Party. But Scots have so little influence, and so little ability to govern for themselves in the present setup.
If you doubt this simple proposition that Scotland is in a state of permanent helotry to Westminster, then ask yourself where in the plans of this government are the plans to invest in carbon capture as a new industry, with all the jobs and wealth associated with it?
Where too is the plan to remove the nuclear weapons and their means of delivery from Scottish soil in response to a widespread wish of the people, which is easily demonstrable in Scotland?
And why on earth is the Scottish pocket-money government not allowed to borrow within responsible limits to stimulate the economy and make work for our own people?
Westminster has a government Scots don’t want, and policies which hinder and hobble things to make Scotland a better place for its people. Westminster has failed the most basic test of democratic legitimacy. Does anyone really believe in their heart of hearts that Scots couldn’t do better themselves in running their own affairs?
It is time for Westminster to be removed and its agents dismissed in Scotland’s interest. Roll on 2014! Let’s “mak siccer”.