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...
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.