What price the Union?

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Kenneth Joseph Murray
Easterhouse

With the latest news that Scotland’s unemployment figures have risen by 25,000 to 239,000 we have to ask ourselves, is poverty linked into retaining our ties with the union?

It has long been said that the “United Kingdom” is simply an Economic Union past its sell by date and that it provides nothing more than a propping board for the rest of Britain’s economy.

Kenneth Joseph Murray
Easterhouse

With the latest news that Scotland’s unemployment figures have risen by 25,000 to 239,000 we have to ask ourselves, is poverty linked into retaining our ties with the union?

It has long been said that the “United Kingdom” is simply an Economic Union past its sell by date and that it provides nothing more than a propping board for the rest of Britain’s economy.

Michael Moore the Scottish Secretary said, “These figures show the heavy human price that Scotland is paying for the last government’s economic incompetence”.

However we need to consider to what extent the last Westminster administration and the new current administration will affect Scotland’s poverty rate.

Now when I talk about poverty I do not simply mean the rate at which the economy is growing or the unemployment figures are rising. I write of the human element. The education system in Scotland has long been renowned for its excellence, however with cuts being made, schools being closed all due to Labour’s incompetence and the harsh Con-Dem cuts still to come can we really be sure that our children’s education is safeguarded ?

In an article for BBC News Scotland it has been revealed that children from wealthier families – those above average income – will do far better than those from a lower income family, 60% better.  Is this the fair Scotland which we want to build ? Isn’t this merely a ghost of the class system currently being imposed upon those at the Southern half of this Island ?

Scotland has long had the means with which to support itself, yet due to the Unionist media scapegoating nationalists, undermining the Scottish peoples confidence in themselves and twisting figures and quotes the vast majority of our people have no idea of the benefits of independence.

It is indeed reminiscent of post war Germany or Soviet Russia – if not George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”.

All animals are equal but some are more equal than others; is this the type of Scotland we want to push forward and show to the public or do we need to grasp their attention by exposing the human element and the links between poverty and our ties to the Union?

How many children tonight will go to bed without dinner just to satisfy the Westminster puppeteers hunger for nuclear power.  How many pensioners will die this winter due to fuel poverty all because of an illegal war ?  How many of our children will leave school without any formal qualifications and poor reading and writing skills because we had no control over our finances to adequately fund our education system?

The human factor of this Unionist imposed poverty is staggering.  I could go on and list countless other examples.

Single mothers without adequate support, hospitals being left to stall because of lack of funding and shipyards once again left derelict because Westminster continues to views us as the guinea pig for their morbid desire to cut, cut and cut.

We need to tell the Scottish people that they have the right to give us, as a nation, more power. 

Fiscal autonomy, defence powers and powers to resurrect our dignity as a nation.  Not only would fiscal autonomy allow us to ride out this recession and indeed any second recession created by the Con-Dem government, it would allow us to spur ahead and innovate.

We have 25% of Europe’s wind and tidal power.  We can innovate the green energy industry and put on the gloves of the inventive nation Scotland has long been.

Our sons and daughters would not be sent to illegal wars and branded in the same manner as the rest of Britain by impoverished nations across the world because of a UK smash and grab attitude and foreign affairs.  We do not need to put up with these cuts to our already dwindling finances because Labour screwed up and now the Con-Dem government want us to feel the economic burn of their pokers.

The ‘good neighbour looking after our money’ is a definition of devolution that has long been spun.  It is time that we tell the people that the status quo can be changed, that this story is not set in stone and that they have the power to create their own history.   To further ourselves as a nation and to create a Scotland which our descendants can be proud of and not a ghost country which again feels the harsh realities of being tied to the Union.

[This article has been slightly edited for publication]