Archive for May, 2011

This is not really about addiction, but about the Historic Events that took place in Scotland over the last 24hrs. As a nation , we have bucked trends yet again, and now against all odds, including a voting system designed to prevent a majority party from emerging, the SNP (Scottish National Party) has gained an unprecedented 69 seat majority.  Some people may wonder what the fuss is all about, its only a devolved government, it has often been thought of as a way to placate scots and their quest for independence. Regardless of how the government in Scotland has been viewed in the past, it is now a potent political force within the UK. Scotland and scots are a different group of people, we have a long history of political change, Kier Hardy, John Smith, all great Historical figures who have influenced politics , and now we have the SNP, and what has been dubbed the Scottish spring. I was born into a socialist family, my father has been a die hard socialist all of his life, I have lived, worked and brought my kids up in labour’s heartland in central Scotland, and now like many, I have voted SNP, as did my father, and interestingly a lot of our immediate circle, why because labour stopped being the champion of the people. For myself this change was easy, for my father, it was a major mind shift, he spent all of his life supporting and breathing labour and the trades unions, in the miners strike of the eighties, he stood firm and backed the miners’ all the way, even to the point of turning down massive fees to drive lorries through picket lines up to £150 per load, at a time when the local authority wages were a pittance less than £100 per week, and most council workers in the roads departments supplemented their meagre wages with secondary jobs. I asked him why he felt that he needed to vote SNP, he simply said because they are now the working mans party, they are Scotland. Today, I think a lot of Scotland now feel this, there are those who have voted for strategic reasons, as a protest, and because they may want independence. but the main thing is now that people in Scotland are starting to realise that we are more than just a side issue for a Westminster government, we are more than just an afterthought for Whitehall, and the mandarins who influence our economy, our jobs, and our national aspirations. I do honestly think that Scotland is starting to realise that we are a nation in our own right, with our own natural resources, our own history and a separate, law system. Scotland is also starting to realise that  government in Westminster  can govern us without a true mandate , can impose unfair ideological policies on us, tax us without fear of recourse, and ultimately take revenue from us to give back small and insignificant sums which they then cut and tax. Scotland has indeed woken up today.