Reported in Scottish Housing News today:
‘Key benefits will be future-proofed to ensure they hold their value in real terms under Scotland’s new social security system, social security minister Jeane Freeman has said. Following earlier commitments to have annual rises in Disability and Employment-Injury Assistance, Ms Freeman has ensured those are enshrined in legislation by bringing forward amendments to the Social Security (Scotland) Bill and has supported extending the guarantee to Carers Assistance when the Scottish social security agency takes over delivery of Carer’s Allowance.’
There’s actually some cross-party consensus on this but that still leaves the Tories to find fault and have it broadcast uncritically by our media.
As for being different enough to make a difference, is there enough evidence? Well, see these from only as far back as August 2017:
SNP moves to finally put an end to foxes’agony being ripped apart by hounds as the English Tories plan a return to the unspeakable business. Different again?
8% of the UK population and 28% of living wage employers. More evidence that we are different enough to want to run the whole show?
Racial hate crimes increase by 33% in England & Wales while falling by 10% in Scotland: Who says we’re not different?
Scottish social housing more accessible and cheaper than in rest of UK
BBC Scotland’s shameless attempt to scare with claim that Scottish hospital has cladding ‘similar’ to that of Grenfell revealing ignorance of Scottish building regulations.
Of 35 children and teenagers killed with knives in Britain in 2017, not one was in Scotland, yet in 2005, the UN called Scotland the most violent country in the developed world.
Reported domestic violence in Scotland falls. Is this part of wider change?
Scotland has lower poverty rates than England: JRF Excerpt 1
Could Scotland end homelessness?
Scottish Government to fight alongside UN to defend disabled against Tory cuts.
Scottish care workers to receive Living Wage for ‘sleepover’ hours while English care workers receive only the National Minimum Wage.
Scots more likely to give to charities, to volunteer or to sponsor others
Scots the least respectful of the upper classes: More evidence of a difference that makes a difference?
In Scotland, 58 000 new mothers every year to get baby box worth £160 but Labour are not completely happy
Enough? If not, there are more on the blog if you just search for ‘different’.
One way of Scotland becoming a slightly better nation pronto would be to get rid of Fluffy a.s.a.p. Interestingly the Bow Group of Tory MPs seem to agree that FLUFFERS MUST GO. I hadn’t heard of The Bow Group for years – but apparently they’re still on the go – they used to be pretty influential but I suspect Moggies European research Group are holding most of the aces these days. The Bow bunch put a piece on their website calling for the Fluffster’s head. The piece is shockingly written and very confused but I’ve tried to pull out the central theme in my edit below:
The Bow Group calls for David Mundell’s resignation
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Enough of the circus, it’s time for the ringleader to go
The Bow Group warned last July that a poison pill was being slipped into our tea by the Scottish Office whose job it is not only to represent UK Government policy in Scotland but also to work collegiately with Cabinet peers to deliver Brexit. This is no trifling matter. We are now at a point where the UK Executive is to have the Legislature vote to reverse the devolution principle that has evolved over 20 years.
It matters not what one´s opinion of devolution is.
The law is clear that powers are devolved to Holyrood unless specifically reserved to Westminster and that such powers cannot be taken back without legislative consent from Holyrood. It is a flight of fantasy quite perverse to believe the Scottish Office and the Scottish Opposition in Holyrood are unaware of this or that they would risk the Scottish Government´s proposed Continuity Bill to lock Brexit in the courts unless they in fact were keen for this to happen and for the Scottish Government to take the blame.
The UK, guided by the Secretary of State and Scottish Opposition Leader has crafted the Brexit Bill to rewrite aspects of the Scotland Act in that it takes power from Brussels to Westminster and then decides (unilaterally in practice) when these powers are devolved.
That cannot be by fate or by accident, for those themselves are resigning matters.
The Secretary of State should resign for having led his boss to a point where she could face a leadership challenge herself. She certainly will if Brexit stalls. There are plenty of MPs in Scotland now who could do a far better job. Some with a lot more integrity on Brexit.
(They actually include Col. Davidson in their analysis – but rate her so lowly that she wasn’t even included in the ‘resignation’ call!)
One cannot help but think that this curious article was posted by the Bow Group on this date specifically to ’embarrass’ Fluffy and Col. Davidson at their ‘scotch’ conference – but the Bow Group clearly didn’t have sufficient ear to the ground (in Scotland) to know that the ‘scotch’ tories had already had to (very conveniently) surrender their scotch conference to the Scottish weather.
One wonders which of the Col’s dozen is their ‘stand in’ candidate to replace Fluffs?
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Surely keeping Mundell in place hastens the coming of Indy.
Irrespective of what anyone’s opinion is on the competence of Mr Mundell, what really seems significant about this piece is that the Bow Group appears to be unambiguously in favour of devolution and to the fact that ALL 111 powers at Westminster should return directly to Edinburgh (and Cardiff and, Belfast, were the DUP not venally preventing to Assembly from reconvening). Indeed, the Bow Group are contemptuous about Westminster’s attempt to cherry-pick powers, such as fishing.
Who replaces Mr Mundell is of no great importance. Indeed, since devolution, there have been growing questions about whether cabinet posts of Secretaries of State for Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales are really needed. pragmatically, I think there was a case in the early years. But, as the Bow Group might be implying, as Holyrood has gained in confidence and competence, what exactly is the role of the Secretary of State, other than to provide unionist propaganda? Again, given that the UK constitution is made up as it goes along, there are pragmatic reasons, to facilitate and smooth relationships between Edinburgh and London to make the bureaucracy (no pejorative sense) and the diplomacy operate in the common interest. However, since 2010, the SoS has really just been a foreign agent causing problems.
If Brexit produces further empowered devolved legislatures and, eventually, should Labour’s fluffy talk about ‘federalism’ be enacted then the SoS position should be clarified and, probably ended.
I still prefer independence, but, we must explore possible evolving situations.
I hope what I think about the Bow Group’s position represents a wider view amongst Tory MPs and, perhaps, with Labour edging towards a more assertive position, perhaps a break is coming. I still think the critical place is Ireland, but, I hope we and the Welsh can help destabilise things.
Independence Warrior helps advertise The British Labour Party in Scotland’s new Web Shite.
They like talking about independence more than fighting to get it.