Archive for May, 2014
As I wrote in my last post, I consider myself to be Scottish rather than British, and have done so for as long as I can remember. I do not really know why this should be the case, given that I grew up at a time when Scotland had no Parliament, and independence seemed like a distant dream of a few people. Yet even then Scotland retained enough of its own identity to be a nation, not merely a region of the United Kingdom, and I must have accepted this from quite an early age. England has always seemed a bit foreign to me, albeit less so than other countries where I have lived and worked; it was always Scotland that was my true home.
There are two reasons why my reluctance to identify myself as being British (except reluctantly for official purposes) has increased. The first might be considered…
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Derek Bateman has been having a wee bit of a moan today about the general crappiness of Scottish public transport. He makes some very good points, public transport in the United Kingdom still suffers from the Thatcher effect. Maggie reputedly considered that if you were still taking the bus by the time you were 30, you were a failure in life. Maggie’s policies condemned generations to sit at the back of the UK bus. The UK has been following her failure for over 30 years.
Although the quote didn’t actually originate with Thatcher, it’s a fair assessment of the attitude of successive UK governments towards public transport – which whether Tory or Labour only consider investment in public transport to be desirable if it benefits business travellers. They’re not interested in the needs of a single parent who only wants to get to Asda. Our transport policy is decided by…
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I was speaking briefly to a friend yesterday who said he was a reluctant yes voter but feels very reluctant to leave the North of England to the ravages of Conservatives, I have actually heard this a few times and I totally understand the sentiment.
You won’t be surprised however to see that I don’t accept it as a reason to vote no. In my lifetime Scotland has always voted Labour in Westminster elections in the main, yeah there is normally around nine Liberal Democrat MPs and six or seven SNP MPs but in the main Scotland elects Labour for UK elections. In all that time, 45 years, I have seen three recessions, no real improvement in life expectancy, high unemployment masked by fiddles to the way it is measured, high child, adult and elderly poverty, diminishing public services to name a few. In around 30 of those 45 years…
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