Yes it makes sense, a perceived more equal society can help reduce crime and improve mental health – I would maybe add that a fairer society improves feelings of hope – another vague one! – hope for the future. Even if your life is shit, if you know your children are going to get a fair chance at life, you can have hope (etc). I’ve just read a historical novel set in the peasant rebellion of 1548, in Norwich (I’m sure you all know it well). Then, it was believed that the societal structure was as God wanted it – or rather the church (going through many rapid transitions at the time, post-Henry VIII) had sold that one for centuries – so the commons had their place, the gentlemen theirs (and all the levels of gentlemen) and never could you, or your children, ever escape from that place. Ah the feudal life, how romantic (obviously, women were closer to a family pet than a person). I propose that it is the 1500s the Tories would like to return us to, not just Victorian times. Desperate times when it was decided sheep were more valuable than common men, but you were not allowed to ever change your station above peasant (or I think feodary was the top level you could reach). I need to read some Scottish history to see how society here differed at that time, I think we were going down the feudal path then too.
I just spotted the new Scottish social services dept has Twitter, and was struck by their name (just a wee bit different from Department of Work and Pensions, 1984 style), so your article has complemented my ‘more equal’ contemplations, it’s good to see what they are doing:
Communities, social security and equalities (CSSE) Twitter
I noticed that Clive Ponting was to be giving a talk or debate at an SNP group,,, sometime! I lost the reference to it as I got distracted by watching his no to yes phantom power video:
Clive Ponting journey to yes
It was way back in 1982-84 (about then) that Ponting decided he’d had enough of the lies and machinations of Whitehall and revealed the truth about what ministers knew about the Belgrano being illegally blown up at the Falklands. Because I’ve been watching discussions about the security and intelligence services from the late 80s, it was interesting hearing his case only mentioned a few times, but I guess it was still too fresh (though he’d been acquitted – of the made-up allegations – by then). Jock Kane’s shocking revelations about gchq being riddled with corruption and leaky and open to blackmail, ignored by successive governments (of ‘either’ side) not wanting to reform it – why wouldn’t you want to reform your intelligence services?? The amount of information that there is in the public domain, like the McCrone report, like the integrity initiative leaked documents – there is so much non-secret information that is out there, bypassed by the media, but so few know about it. It’s weird how we rely so much on media outlets.
I know you get fed up of my secret services chat, it’s not that I think the whole thing in the uk is wholly corrupt, and all of them are going to act viciously against any ‘threat’ to the union, there are factions and just as many corrupt actors as there is in public life – but I believe there are also plenty of people working in the secret services that have integrity and really do believe in the cause of protecting the uk – but if the people at the top don’t have integrity,,, . Anyway, a future independent Scotland is going to have to have security services and intelligence services – how should they be structured to ensure the core principles remain the priority, how do we stop rogue illegal corrupt practices from becoming the norm? I think the answer is similar to the new CSSE – one of the tweets or videos mentioned they had to start building the service up from scratch, because none of the practices used by the DWP could be used or copied (it’s that bad!) – I think it’ll be the same for the intelligence etc services, we’ll need things to be brand new, built from the ground up. And I find myself being far more trusting of the SNP being the driving force behind that than I would any of the other political parties. We need some brand new political parties too maybe.
I found this article quite good, the producer and director of a documentary, looking at one incident during the Troubles, were arrested and questioned for possession of secret document – the main question is, why is so much still being covered up? (Archived by Nana over on Wings)
Truth of the Troubles still suppressed