Referendum 2014
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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Inequality and the 1%: What Scotland might not miss about England

Inequality and the 1%: What Scotland might not miss about England | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Danny Dorling's Edinburgh lecture has been largely avoided by the mainstream media, here's why. Dorling is one of the most respected academics in Britain on poverty, economics and social policy. He...
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Inequality, Ideology and Independence

Inequality, Ideology and Independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

 'I've never seen such a phenomenal rise in personal wealth as the growth in the fortunes of Britain's 1,000 richest people over the past year.' These are the words of Phillip Bere...

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The Numbers Game

The Numbers Game | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Ever since Boo Radley came out from the shadows there's been a steady stream of 'more powers' rhetoric. Well, maybe not a stream. Cameron fluffed his lines confusing 'can' with 'will'...

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Doubt over wealth gap ambition

Doubt over wealth gap ambition | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN independent Scotland would require fundamental changes to its economy to reduce the gulf between rich and poor to the same level as Nordic countries, claims a study published today.
Peter A Bell's insight:

Did anybody ever imagine that addressing the inequality which has become a defining characteristic of the British state would be easy? Of course, we have the dullards over at Project Fear HQ spouting their usual drivel about "the nationalist argument that leaving the UK would automatically reduce inequality.". Except that there is no such argument. And only an idiot would suggest that there was.

The pro-independence argument is that having the powers that ONLY independence offers will better enable Scotland to tackle the issue of inequality. And, for all the negative spin being put on this report by the No campaign and the mainstream media, that is precisely what the authors say.

Dr David Comerford states it in wholly unequivocal terms:

“An independent Scotland would have access to fiscal powers with which it could influence inequality more directly than it can at the moment."

Of course it will problematic! Of course it will require a radically different approach from that which the British state is wedded to - austerity and pandering to the economically powerful by stigmatising the weak, the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

Of course independent Scotland will need very different policies in a wide range of areas. Policies which actually accord with the needs, wishes and priorities of the people of Scotland. But the prerequisite to all of this is political will. We know that the British parties lack the political will to address inequality. We know this by their signal failure to do so over many decades.

Scotland is different. It is becoming increasingly apparent that Scotland is set upon a political, economic and social trajectory that is markedly different from the rest of the UK. In Scotland, the political will exists to effect change. Where there is the political will, policies will follow and, in time, the change we want to see. But first we must take to ourselves the power to give force to that political will. ONLY independence will achieve this. ONLY a Yes vote in September will bring Scotland's government home to where the political will for progress exists.

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‘Independence will fail to close inequality gap’

‘Independence will fail to close inequality gap’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN INDEPENDENT Scotland will have little scope to drive down the gap between rich and poor, a new report indicates today.
Peter A Bell's insight:

What would The Scotsman do without the single quote? A device by which to justify a headline so woefully misleading as to border on an outright lie.

As is so often the case, however, the dishonesty of the headline only becomes apparent on careful reading of the full article, or by seeking further information from a more reliable source.

But The Scotsman is not averse to contradicting it's own headlines. See, for example, what Dr David Comerford, author of the research from the Stirling Management School, is actually quoted as saying:

“An independent Scotland would have access to fiscal powers with which it could influence inequality more directly than it can at the moment."

So, the finding is NOT that independent Scotland will "fail to close inequality gap" but that independence will mean Scotland is better able to address the issue of inequality.

Despite the witless babble from anti-independence propagandists about "a land flowing with milk and honey", nobody in the Yes campaign has ever pretended that independence will solve every problem that Scotland faces. The actual claim has always been that independence would provide us with the tools to address those problems. A claim which is borne out by the research being reported here. Although you would never guess that from the way in which it is reported.

An interesting point to note is the way in which the researchers identify the rest of the UK as the problem. The report does not say, as the headline dishonestly implies, that independent Scotland will be unable to improve equality. It says only that doing so will require a significant, even radical, shift away from the policies of the British state which have created such dire inequality. Well, duh! Was this not obvious? Is the whole point of independence not that it will allow us to follow our own path? Enable us to implement policies which better accord with the needs and priorities of Scotland's people?

What is both ridiculous and offensive is the suggestion that we should be constrained in our pursuit of greater equality by the actions of an rUK government assumed to be irrevocably wedded to the austerity cult that has taken hold of the three main British parties.

Like so much of what we hear from those campaigning to deny Scotland's rightful constitutional status, this is a message of defeatism and despair. There is no hope. This is as good as it gets.

Perhaps it's the facile slogan, 'Better Together', that should be in single quotes. We are not "together". Scotland is increasingly determined to set a different course. And nothing about what the British state is offering sounds in the slightest bit "better".

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Lies, damned lies, and Tories

Lies, damned lies, and Tories | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

It was nice to get a wee plug this morning on Radio Scotland’s always-interesting “Headlines” programme. Their online round-up talked about our piece on Scandinavian taxation, and contrasted it with one written by Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser for the right-wing “ThinkScotland” blog, in which he disputed the widely-held, and oft-decried by Yes supporters, notion that the UK was one of the most unequal countries in the civilised world.


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Wealth inequality in the UK

We know the UK is unequal.  But new research for “Inequality Briefing” shows it is many times more unequal than we even imagine.


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Pomp, Circumstance And Being Unequal | National Collective

Pomp, Circumstance And Being Unequal | National Collective | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Each year the Queen takes a week of engagements in Scotland – outwith her lengthy personal stays at Balmoral – the highlight of which is the Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. This week I was afforded an insight into this major social event in the Royal calendar when I joined thousands of guests in the pouring rain on the palace lawn in Edinburgh.

Each year the Queen takes a week of engagements in Scotland – outwith her lengthy personal stays at Balmoral – the highlight of which is the Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. This week I was afforded an insight into this major social event in the Royal calendar when I joined thousands of guests in the pouring rain on the palace lawn in Edinburgh. - See more at: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/07/04/pomp-circumstance-and-being-unequal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pomp-circumstance-and-being-unequal#sthash.wu4bkyJQ.dpuf
Each year the Queen takes a week of engagements in Scotland – outwith her lengthy personal stays at Balmoral – the highlight of which is the Garden Party at Holyrood Palace. This week I was afforded an insight into this major social event in the Royal calendar when I joined thousands of guests in the pouring rain on the palace lawn in Edinburgh. - See more at: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/07/04/pomp-circumstance-and-being-unequal/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pomp-circumstance-and-being-unequal#sthash.wu4bkyJQ.dpuf
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Peter A Bell: It's OK to get angry!

Peter A Bell: It's OK to get angry! | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

On March 19 2003 as I watched the horrifying images being beamed to our TV screens from Baghdad - images which signalled the launch of the cynically brutal Bush/Blair assault on the sovereign nation and people of Iraq - I shed tears of bitter, impotent, frustrated anger at the appalling crime that was being committed in my name.

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UK inequality, the rich continue to get richer

UK inequality, the rich continue to get richer | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

New figures show the number of millionaire households in the UK has increased by almost a quarter as increasing amounts of wealth are concentrated in the south of England.

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Perspective: 'Inequality and disparity are why things need to change'

Perspective: 'Inequality and disparity are why things need to change' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Westminster mantra that "we are all in this together" is ridiculous because its implication of parity or equality within the UK is known to be false. A recent piece in the Financial Times sketches the more accurate picture:

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Better ourselves

Better ourselves | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
In the course of debunking some No-camp myths about "high taxes" and the cost of living in Scandinavian countries, we've often mentioned that in addition to average real incomes being far higher in...
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Capitalism simply isn't working and here are the reasons why

Capitalism simply isn't working and here are the reasons why | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Will Hutton: Economist Thomas Piketty's message is bleak: the gap between rich and poor threatens to destroy us
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Boom and bust

Boom and bust | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We've been documenting lately the number of "Better Together" scare stories that have been horribly sagging under the weight of scrutiny since the turn of the year. But yesterday saw perhaps the No...
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Tax alone 'cannot tackle inequality'

Tax alone 'cannot tackle inequality' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Peter A Bell's insight:

The anti-independence propaganda machine and the mainstream media are desperately trying put a negative spin on this report. But look at what Dr David Comerford actually says. He says that independent Scotland could "influence inequality more directly than it can at the moment". In other words, he confirms one of the main arguments for independence. Not that it wasn't glaringly obvious anyway.


NOTE: Unusually, the BBC is allowing comments on this article. Normally licence-payers in Scotland are denied this facility, which is almost without exception available to everybody else in the UK.

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Independence: New Chance for Women’s Representation

Independence: New Chance for Women’s Representation | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Gender politics is an area that is often neglected by the media in terms of the independence debate, and one that remains relatively untouched by either side. But the Yes campaign has much to gain by addressing gender inequality head on: an independent Scotland could offer a new approach to the issue of female representation.

Gender politics is an area that is often neglected by the media in terms of the independence debate, and one that remains relatively untouched by either side. But the Yes campaign has much to gain by addressing gender inequality head on: an independent Scotland could offer a new approach to the issue of female representation. - See more at: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/07/08/independence-new-chance-for-womens-representation/#sthash.q22CNZIo.IKAh2xpp.dpuf
Gender politics is an area that is often neglected by the media in terms of the independence debate, and one that remains relatively untouched by either side. But the Yes campaign has much to gain by addressing gender inequality head on: an independent Scotland could offer a new approach to the issue of female representation. - See more at: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/07/08/independence-new-chance-for-womens-representation/#sthash.q22CNZIo.IKAh2xpp.dpuf
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Miles D's curator insight, October 23, 2013 12:28 PM

WOMEN Fighting for EQUALITY 

Sirila Padi's curator insight, December 5, 2013 9:26 PM

This article appears on my page because it shows how women are actually fighting for equality. It shows  that women may actually for once be able to have a chance and a voice in the world. Its about time for the world to include women in politics. They say its a men topic, but no its not a mens topic , instead its a topic for those who can take their point and express their point but also be able to to understand the opponents point and view as well. Its not a debate on if men or women can handle it. Its a debate of who the characteristics and strengths to argue their point and listen to the opponents. Its refreshing to see that progress is being made.. slowly but surely. I think all people can benefit from viewing and reading this because it shows an optimistic side to world. It shows that maybe we actually can and will be able to stop sex trafficking and gender inequality all together over time. It relates specifically to our reading of Half The Sky because gender inequality is such a prominent topic in the book so seeing things and progress being made really brings hope for the future. Its great to see the world working together to turn opression into millions of oppurtunities for women world wide.





 

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Calum Crichton: The flaws and faults in the SNP's argument about equality

Calum Crichton: The flaws and faults in the SNP's argument about equality | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Scotsman this week featured an interesting article from Gerry Hassan about the role inequality is playing in the debate about Scotland's constitutional future. His analysis was framed in the traditional way: do Scots really want to be part of a country that is, according to OECD statistics, the fourth most unequal in the world? Do Scots really want to be part of the same country as London, the most unequal city in the developed world?  These are questions the SNP have been asking Scots over the past few months.


Peter A Bell's insight:

I note that while Calum Crichton demands explanations from the SNP as to how they would address inequality in an independent Scotland he assiduously avoids the matter of what the Tories, or any of the British parties, would do in this regard should Scotland remain in the UK.

Given the effort that Crichton puts into rationalising existing and growing inequality, we must assume that he doesn't see it as a priority. So long as someone, somewhere is making a profit, all's well with Mr Crichton's blinkered little world.

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Perspectives: 'How can we allow wealth inequality to continue?'

Perspectives: 'How can we allow wealth inequality to continue?' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Yesterday we published a video from the Office for National Statistics showing, among other things, the unequal nature of wealth distribution under Westminster, with Scotland sitting at the bottom of the 'wealth distribution' league (while we sit near the top for wealth generation).

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A stark choice - widening inequality or a fairer, more prosperous Scotland

A stark choice - widening inequality or a  fairer, more prosperous Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Further evidence that the Westminster Government's austerity programme is widening the gulf between rich and poor emerges today in an authoritative report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

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Ben Macpherson on Income Inequality and Scottish Independence

This is the script of a speech by Ben Macpherson which was delivered on Saturday 20 October 2012 to move the below resolution (number 24 in SNP 78th Annual Na...
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