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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A strangely familiar ring

A strangely familiar ring | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
This is Andy Burnham, Labour's shadow health secretary, earlier this week: "'Commissioners have been ordered to put all services out to the market, NHS spending on private and other providers has g...

Peter A Bell's insight:

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Nats left to count the cost of the cheap gesture - Telegraph

John Swinney's caution over Royal Mail was undone in a moment after his boss promised to renationalise it without giving any indication how it would be done
Peter A Bell's insight:

It seems perfectly natural that a British nationalist reactionary like Poor Old Cochers would be totally bemused and befuddled by the concept of political principle. That a politician should commit to a policy because it is right rather than politically or economically expedient is, quite simply, inconceivable and incomprehensible to someone so totally mired in the politics of the British state.


There is no question that a commitment to renationalise mail services in Scotland is bold. Good! It is time somebody reaffirmed that political will has a place in our democracy. If it doesn't, if all is determined by the vagaries of the market and/or the self-serving machinations of ruling elites, then surely this is not democracy at all.


While dinosaurs such as Cochrane scoff and sneer, the less blinkered and hidebound amongst us will applaud a politician who is prepared to say that we will do something, not because it is profitable or politically advantageous, but because it is what is best for the country. And, far from incidentally, it is what the people want.


I long to live in a nation where this matters. And that's why I'll be voting Yes.

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Royal Mail would remain under public ownership if Scotland votes Yes says Alex Salmond

Royal Mail would remain under public ownership if Scotland votes Yes says Alex Salmond | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
FIRST Minister Alex Salmond says if Scots vote to become independent then the Royal Mail would not be sold off as the UK Government is currently planning.
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77% of Scots oppose Royal Mail privatisation | Scottish National Party

77% of Scots oppose Royal Mail privatisation | Scottish National Party | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Business secretary Vince Cable’s announcement that the government will sell Royal Mail through a flotation on the London Stock Exchange, SNP MP and spokesperson for postal services Mike Weir said:

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Are these the men who would be king?

Are these the men who would be king? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
There is a certain kind of person who takes great delight in commenting on political blogs with a variant of the following: "It's no use voting! They're all the same! It doesn't matter what you vot...
Peter A Bell's insight:

This is scary stuff. Having read it, I would make a few observations from a Scottish perspective.


I share the author's annoyance at the intellectual indolence of asserting of politicians that "they're all the same". It is a dangerous attitude for a number of reasons. Not least that it discourages political engagement and when the masses abandon the democratic process it is inevitably taken over by extremists and exploiters.


From what the article tells us, we might actually be better off with the extremists. At least they would, by their overt extremism, be likely to provoke a reaction which might restore some democratic balance. The exploiters are more insidious and likely to be able to have their way without the general public even being aware.


The point about these exploiters getting their tentacles into every aspect of government until they are all but impossible to remove is well made. Perhaps the most troubling thing about the way they operate is that eventually they leave governments with no alternatives. People should keep this in mind when they demand that the Scottish Government disengage from firms like Atos. It may not be so simple. Which doesn't mean we shouldn't keep pressuring them. Only that we should be realistic about possible limits to what might be done by a devolved administration within the British state.


There is obviously a lesson here for people voting in the referendum on Scottish independence. This article gives a clear and deeply troubling picture of the way the British sate is going. People really need to think very seriously about whether they want to continue to be part of that state. because, as part of the UK, there is no way Scotland can possibly avoid being affected by the machinations of these companies and their agents in the British political parties.


It may be difficult for Scotland to stand against the power of these global corporations even as an independent nation. But at least we'd have a chance. Notwithstanding the rather naive hopes of the article's author (born, I'm sure of desperation rather than blindness to the realities), there seems little hope that writing to politicians and newspapers or "bitching like hell" will stem the tide. The British state has made its accommodation with these forces. To break that accommodation we must first break the British state.


Or break away from it. Which may amount to the same thing. In Scotland we have an option that is distinctly ours. We can vote to take our government out of the hands of the British state. We can vote to bring our government home. We can vote for the hope of something better than the dire fate described in Mike Sivier's blog post.


We can affirm the sovereignty of the people of Scotland so that they might be empowered to stand as a bastion against the predations of the exploiters.


We can take back the democracy that is being stolen from us.


We can vote to restore Scotland's rightful constitutional status.


We can go to the polls on Thursday 18 September 2014 and we can vote Yes.

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Jim Arnott's curator insight, September 25, 2013 8:17 AM

Scots must vote Yes next year to avoid any possibility of this type of privatisation in the NHS in Scotland

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Scottish Lib Dems: Rennie: Alex Salmond should explain reckless move on UK-wide postal service

Scottish Lib Dems: Rennie: Alex Salmond should explain reckless move on UK-wide postal service | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today hit out at the
SNP government after First Minister Alex Salmond said that he would break up the UK-wide Royal Mail should Scotland become independent.

Peter A Bell's insight:

It was to be expected that some dullard from the British parties would try to blame Salmond for Royal Mail privatisation. Step up, Willie Rennie!

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The silenced socialists

The silenced socialists | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Alert readers will doubtless have spotted the news that the UK government is to press ahead with the sell-off of the Royal Mail. After all, with brutal job cuts under both Labour and Tory/Lib Dem governments having put over 50,000 people out of work in recent years the post is now not just viable but profitable, and we couldn’t possibly have hundreds of millions of pounds in annual profits flowing back into the Treasury’s hands to provide public services for taxpayers when they could be flogged to private companies to enrich the wealthy.


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UK Government announces plans to privatise the Royal Mail

UK Government announces plans to privatise the Royal Mail | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Today the UK Government has announced plans to privatise the Royal Mail, in a move that has been widely condemned in Scotland.

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