In an astonishing but, I think, revealing contrast, we see the Scottish and UK International Development strategies revealed.
‘Expanding healthcare in Zambia. International Development Minister Ben Macpherson has announced a package of support to assist Zambia in developing their Emergency Medical Service (EMS) and improving patient care. £50,000 is being invested in supporting the Scottish Ambulance Service to work with the Zambian health authorities. They will carry out an in-depth assessment of the current Emergency Medical Service in Central Province, and work with the authorities in Zambia to develop a plan for improving outcomes and saving lives by improving areas such as emergency response, patient transfer, and the identification of required medical supplies and equipment.’
‘Taxpayers’ money earmarked to support overseas development has been spent on supporting China’s fracking industry, The Independent can reveal. The government is required to spend 0.7 per cent of its national income each year on foreign aid. But even with climate change threatening the developing world with droughts, flooding and heatwaves, millions have been spent on fossil fuel investment abroad over the past two years.’
There’s no trace of such cynicism or dishonesty in the track record of the Scottish Government. See, for example:
Scottish researchers work to help poor across globe
From reducing cattle-fart to saving a dog’s leg, Scottish researchers lead the way
Scottish Veterinary researchers working to improve the health and productivity of farmed animals in sub-Saharan Africa.
On Sunday, in a Broadcasting Scotland show, my argument that Scotland is consistently ‘different’ was challenged. I didn’t get the opportunity to back the claim up with evidence. However, I’d argue that the above adds fuel to my argument, already laid out with evidence below:
Becoming a better kinder country? ‘Quantifying kindness public engagement and place: Experiences of people in the UK and Ireland’
As religious hate crime soars by 40% in one year in England and Wales, Reporting Scotland struggles to keep up
As Brits think empathy on the wane is SNP government helping to preserve it?
Against the odds: Evidence of how SNP policies have defended Scotland against a least some of Tory austerity
More evidence of a difference that makes a difference as ‘Half of Scots pledge to donate organs after their death’?
Are Scotland’s employers also different – more willing to pay a decent wage?
90% of Scottish business people seem to have enlightened values. Another wee difference that would justify being a different country? Don’t we have Phillip Green types north of the border?
More evidence of a difference as 73% of Scots back increase in taxes for higher public spending
What did Broadcasting Scotland say? Did they directly reference you and your promotion of the differences, then deny it exists without asking you?
Of course we are different. Scotland and its people are distinct from England, Wales and NI, why should that be a discussion? We aren’t some homogenised robotic mass in the uk. Scotland has a different history, origin, cultural identity and government. One difference is that we don’t fear differences, or shouldn’t.