The Caring Conservatives…

KLAXON – Only 24 days left of campaigning and actual policies have been discovered from the Tory party!

Of course how much do you believe the election promises of a woman who said she wasn’t going to call an election in the first place?

We start with the promise to build social housing in England – it appears that it will be funded by selling off  “fixed term” council houses after 10 to 15 years, I was under the impression the longest tenancy secure tenancy is now 5 years, so…

  1. how many tenants will become eligible, and
  2. ISN’T THIS WHAT STARTED THE BLOODY HOUSING BUBBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE?

And rather than me copy & pasting the whole article I would suggest you read this by LeftFootForward.

Then under a line of “improving employee’s rights” people will be able to take a year off work to care for a sick relative.  Hmm.

So that’s a year unpaid to cover for the appalling state the Care Sector is in.

A year unpaid – now I don’t know anyone that can afford to do that. Will people get carer’s allowance while they are doing it? Because at £62.70 per week it is a pitiful amount when you think of how much carers are saving the country by not handing over their loved ones.

And what happens at the end of the year if the family member still requires care?

Also in this gig economy how many employers will actually support this? Because if they don’t it’s not exactly easy or cheap to take them to a tribunal = costs in England are between £390 and £1,200.

Then there will be statutory bereavement leave for parents who lose a child – How is this not a thing already? Honestly, they produce something which I would already expect to be part of our system and we are supposed to be grateful. I suppose it’s better than a letter informing you that the Bedroom Tax is kicking in

In Scotland, branch manager Ruth “No Referendum” Davidson has dropped her previously vehement opposition to universal free prescriptions. The woman who once declared that free prescriptions were causing deaths has not so much U-turned as handbrake turned, smoke pouring from her tank tracks.

And if you think the “death by free prescription” is bad, be aware that some are using that argument against Corbyn’s policy to scrap parking charges at hospitals in England. We seem to be doing okay in Scotland with free prescriptions and free parking. I say free – it comes out of our taxation and it what our government sees as a priority.

VOTE TORY and keep something you already have…..

Actually I suppose that’s quite groundbreaking for them.

More to the point – it is a devolved issue and has nothing to do with a General Election. In normal situations I would expect this to be leaped upon by a press eager to inform their readers however *sighs* we have ScotPol who come out with this:

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Oh well….

 

Picture: Pexels

You can follow Simone Charlesworth on twitter @cee4cat and at Mewsing Out Loud

 

 

Point of View – Election Schadenfraude – Fox or Faux

Point of View

There are three ways to do things; the right way, the wrong way, and the Max Power Way. FT 😄

Election Schadenfraude

Nigel Pompadour took a sick day after reading this story and refusing to report on it. FT 😛

Fox Or Faux?

Gene and I started a project called “Ask Gene Hackman” years ago solving real problems for real people. We were inundated with letters to the point where a hiatus was in order; however, since this is such a heinous issue that needed to be addressed, I asked Gene to bring his remarkable powers of common sense to bear and settle it…..once and for all. Thank you, Gene. FT

You can follow The History Twins at @thehistorytwins and at the webpage thehistorytwins.wordpress.com

 

 

Damned Lies and Statistics

Scotland’s local council elections went just as we had all expected. Unionism never increased while support for the pro-independence parties did, but the shift in the unionist vote to the Tories is all the BBC can talk about.


According to the spin from BBC Scotland Nicola Sturgeon should now be reflecting on the lesson her Scottish National Party has been taught from a “Tory surge” in Scotland. We have been told that the SNP have lost 7 councillors and that the dubiously victorious Conservatives have swept the board, picking up a staggering 164 extra seats as Labour collapsed across the country. Certainly, when the ever biased unionist state broadcaster puts it like this, we have to concede that the SNP were utterly and humiliatingly trounced in the Scottish local elections. There is, however, a fly in the ointment of the British propaganda.

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Kezia Dugdale apparently delighted with her party’s humiliating defeat. Picture by @carrolce

Yes, the Tories did gain those 164 extra seats – giving the Conservative and Unionist Party 276 Scottish council seats, but when we factor in the loses sustained by the other unionist parties and ‘independents,’ and the changes to the electoral boundaries since 2012, it becomes clear that on the whole the unionists have lost rather than gained ground. In 2012 the SNP won a total of 425 seats and today won 431 – a difference between then and now the BBC count as a loss of 7 seats. I’m no genius, but we can be pretty sure that is a gain of 6 seats. Much the same can be said of the SNP share of first preference votes. In 2012 it won a 32.3 per cent share, and has now increased that to 35.4 percent – compared to the measly 22 per cent won by the Tories. Add to this the pro-independence support of the Greens and things for the independence movement are looking rather rosy.

So where did this “surge” for the Conservatives come from? Well, to begin with – as this blog said yesterday – this was not a vote for the Tories. This was the consolidation of unionism, and the numbers bear this out. Labour, now in actual freefall over the whole of the United Kingdom – lost a whopping 133 Scottish council seats, the Liberal Democrats lost 3, and independents are down 26 – bringing the total loses across the other unionist factions to 162 seats. The Tories gained 164 seats. Uncanny, isn’t it? What we see is a total unionist gain of 2 seats, an anomaly that has to be explained by the shifting of electoral boundaries – as the total pro-independence vote increased.

It turns out that there has indeed been a Tory surge in Scotland, with traditional Labour voters the length and breadth of Scotland more than delighted to trade in their socialist values to support the party of austerity and the rape clause in their vain hope of saving the Union. None of this is any skin off the National Party’s nose, and everyone in Scotland hoping for independence can take courage in this result. It was a win. With the general election next – in a first past the post voting system – things are looking set for another astounding victory for the SNP. Once we have that out of the way we can turn our attention to securing another independence referendum.

 


Local Elections 2017 Nicola on BBC News


You can follow Jason Michael at his twitter page @Jeggit or at his webpage The Random Public Journal
Jason Michael is a  Scottish journalist and blogger based in Dublin. Writing on politics and society. Columnist for iScot Magazine and author of the Random Public Journal.

Ruth “the Mooth” Davidson’s – Belief in Democracy means simply the bludgeoning of the Scots by the Tories for the Tories – The Job Centre Debacle Provides Example

January 2017: Glasgow Job Centres to be Cut by Half

The Tory party are well versed in the practice of buying the votes of the electorate, usually within 3-6 months of an election. Conversely they are also expert in dealing negative voters out of any initiative which would improve their well-being and when the occasion requires it they have been known for trialling new systems of taxation or potential revenue savings in these same areas. The “Poll Tax” is one such example.

So it was no great surprise to long suffering Scots when, with no prior briefing of the Scottish government, the Tory government in Westminster announced an immediate cull in the number of Job Centre’s in the UK by 20%.

Adding insult to injury the “try before you buy” city singled out for the pilot scheme was Glasgow. The DWP announcement further stated that the Job Centre real estate would be reduced by 50% (from 16 centre’s to 8) well in excess of the 20% target for the UK.

The Scottish press were quick to expose the matter to the attention of the public believing the decision to be “wrong headed” in light of many thousands of distressing stories of sick and disabled people having their benefits sanctioned due to being late or unable to attend Job Centre appointments (from a choice of the existing 16 job Centre’s). A system change requiring the same group of people to travel much greater distances vastly increases the risk of benefit sanctions well beyond that acceptable to a decent caring society

Questioned, in Westminster about the change Mundell, the Scottish Secretary said it was the Tory government’s intention that the level of service provision to Scot’s in receipt of welfare benefits should not be adversely affected. But until the trial scheme is complete and data is available there might be some inconvenience.

So there we have it. The Tories are dead set on introducing major change without any idea of the impact on the electorate. Shades of the Poll Tax debacle.

It was suggested to the DWP that benefit claimants or applicants were invariably low paid or skint and getting to a more widely dispersed job centre provision might make it impossible for people to to get to them. In reply the DWP suggested that applicants could contact them by telephone or through the internet instead. A laughable proposal since establishing a 0345 response with the DWP takes a very long time, which in turn renders the cost of a call extortionately high and way beyond the means of most.

The SNP response to Mundell made clear their anger and strong opposition to the closure plans. And the SNP led debates at Westminster and at Holyrood detailing the many flaws in the proposals.

In addition, SNP politicians in Glasgow spearheaded a cross party campaign to keep the job centres open. To facilitate the campaign a letter was circulated seeking the support and signatures of all Glasgow MP’s, MSP’s, the Glasgow City Council leader and the Scottish Secretary, Mundell,

The letter was signed promptly by all SNP MP’s and MSP’s, Four labour MSP’s, Patrick Harvie of the green party, Frank McAveety and the Council’s SNP opposition leader Susan Aitken.

Adam Tomkins and Annie Wells Tory Party (List) MSP’s refused to sign the letter or support the campaign. Mundell didn’t even respond.

There is also the issue about the selection of Glasgow as a guinea pig by the Westminster government. To date there have been no other closure announcements in the UK. There is also the DWP statement that planning is for a 20% closure programme and Glasgow is to lose 50% of it’s job centre’s.

 

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February 2017: Job Centre Cuts in Scotland Increased to at least Twenty Three

Scotland will see 23 job centre branches close in the latest DWP proposals including the eight closures in Glasgow announced last month. Staff jobs are under threat as the department of Work and Pensions has refused to reassure staff about their future.

The announcement has been widely criticised by political parties in Scotland, and the Minister for Employability and Training Jamie Hepburn said: “I am deeply concerned about the closure of yet more Job centre Plus offices in Scotland and the potential impact these will have on people looking for support to find a job, and how people in communities across Scotland will be able to access their local Job centre Plus. This announcement has been shambolically handled today by the UK Government who are yet again ignoring the needs of people in Scotland. Not only have they announced these closures without any advance consultation with the communities who will be affected, they also bypassed the Scottish Government, going against the principles of the Smith Agreement.”

 

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Comment: The very last sentence of the final paragraph carries the message for all Scots. Westminster governments will continue to treat Scotland with contempt for as long as we allow it. A yes vote in any future independence referendum will allow Scotland’s return to the world as a free nation from which it should have never been removed.

 

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You can follow Calton Jock at his webpage CaltonJock

 

 

Missing The Point

Talk about missing the target and hitting the wall, Ruth Davidsons remarks have rebounded and hit her in the face.  This outrage is not just about the money it’s a moral issue on so many levels.

Yes women will get help if they can prove rape but the ordeal they will go through in doing so will live with them for ever.  There will be stigma attached to them and the child.

Ruth says the DWP will be sensitive, well let me tell you the DWP don’t do sensitive or compassionate.  History tells us that.

Even if it did, just imagine for a moment how you would feel being asked such intrusive questions about your marital relationships.

What would it do to your relationship psychologically?  What would your husband/ partner think.  It is wholly immoral and cruel to make anyone answer such sensitive and personal questions.

This policy will break relationships and cost millions to run.

Anyone who thinks a woman should have to go through such an ordeal not only lacks compassion but also approves of what I term as Mental abuse.

How can any woman think this is okay?

You can follow Joan McDowall on twitter at @JoanFlitcroft and at her webpage Joan Flitcroft

Featured image by Red Raiph

Why Another Independence Referendum? The English Laws Thing Shattered the Unionist Alliance in Scotland Against the Breakup of the United Kingdom – Lord Michael Forsyth (Tory)

Scottish Unionist leader Ruth Davidson has hired a spin doctor from a controversial private healthcare firm to work for her at Holyrood.

Gordon Hector will head up her press and research team, from offices based at Holyrood. He was previously head of communications for Circle Healthcare, the first private company to run an NHS hospital in England in an experiment that went badly awry.

Circle took over struggling Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Cambridge, which had 250 beds, 1,500 staff and a Pounds 111 million budget, in a 10-year contract in 2012. Three years later the Care Quality Commission branded the hospital “inadequate”, it was put into special measures. Circle then pulled out of the deal early admitting it could not find the savings needed to make the hospital financially sustainable.

He was previously a senior speech-writer at the Department for Education, writing for Conservative junior ministers and Michael Gove, the then Secretary of State. He also worked for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, where he was its public affairs manager. He began his career at Fishburn Hedges (Media Management), working on public affairs and media accounts.

 

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Ruth Davidson and Profiling

Davidson’s profile has risen in recent months, in recognition of her parties improved performance at the last Scottish parliamentary elections. She has also moved the party to the “right” of Scottish politics and now claims, with some pride that she leads the only Unionist party in Scotland.

Labour and the Lib-Dem’s have been sidelined in preference to their support of a “Federalist” UK within Europe. The result in Scottish political terms is a return to the two party system.

Ruth Davidson now has a media Svengali (Gordon Hector) who provides advice, direction and guidance, in the presentation of her policies in Holyrood, the media and in public. Under his mentoring she has distanced herself from the images of, “Buffalo Bill from Maryhill” and “Tommy the Tank Engine” to stateswoman.

Evidenced from her recent bellicose performances in parliament she is basing her character on Margaret Thatcher and in this venture she could have no better mentor than Gordon Hector who wrote his thesis at University on his favourite politician. (https://conservativehistory.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/chj-winter-2009-10.pdf)

Other aspects of promoting the new image include referring to the party as “Unionist” since the word “Conservative” still rankles Scots of all political persuasion.

Another tactic favoured by Hector is the use of the “Content Seeding” strategy through the extensive broadcasting of good news items (using internet social media sites Facebook and twitter are two examples) greatly favouring Ruth Davidson whilst attacking Nicola Sturgeon.

In Nicola Sturgeon’s case this entails allocating a group of staff to search Facebook and Twitter creating a database of any any person that may have posted a negative comment about Nicola. The database is the driver for negative “Content Seeding”. Time consuming but effective.

 

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Public Relations Strategy – Content Seeding

The internet and the accompanying fast growth of Social media provides opportunity for the rapid spread of information targetted at specific individuals and groups and is being increasingly used by marketing and journalist professionals to get their messages across to a widespread community numbered in the millions. The title of the innovation is “Contract Seeding”.

Content Seeding aims to ensure widespread awareness for a politician by planting positive “seeds” across the web. These “seeds” consist of little content pieces, aiming to trigger the interest of a pre-determined target group. To ensure control all seeds are linked back to the main platform of corporate communication (this can be an article, a landing page or even the website itself).

Content Seeding triggers the interest of target groups reaching well beyond press releases and written content to promote the politician. Strategic planting of content on targetted platforms ensures fast forward sharing of the information through its target audience.

Balance is imperative and Content Seeding uses multimedia content across channels. The primary focus is to create content which target groups will be keen to receive, and consume, for information and strategic purposes but also for sharing with its peers. The result can be an instantaneous sharing of seeded content well beyond that which the information was designed to reach.

Seeding campaigns can be time consuming and staff intensive, ranging from the use of free sites to costly ventures.It is imperative that a cost benefit analysis is completed and presented to the client for approval before the event.

 

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Contract Seeding in Action

Forsyth challenged the way in which Cameron played the English card in the immediate aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum by offering English MPs a greater say over English only laws. Later toughened up to a “veto” in the Conservative 2015 election manifesto.

He said: “David Cameron, instead of going up to Scotland the next day [after the referendum] and saying ‘look we’ve got to look at this now from the point of view of the whole United Kingdom’, started the English votes for English laws thing which was not a unionist position and that shattered the unionist alliance in Scotland against the breakup of the United Kingdom.

I personally don’t support English votes for English laws. It doesn’t seem to me to be a very good policy to try and deal with the rise of Scottish nationalism by stirring up English nationalism. We need to find ways of binding the United Kingdom together, of binding that partnership together.”

He added: “questioning the legitimacy of SNP MPs is unwise and runs counter to the assurances offered during the referendum about guaranteeing an inclusive UK. And I have limited sympathy for Labour, which is paying the price for adopting the language of nationalism in the 1980s then claiming that the Tories had no mandate to govern in Scotland. They now find themselves being devoured by the nationalist tiger.” Forsyth’s remarks add resonance because he is an ardent Thatcherite and unionist who played a leading role in fighting Labour’s plans for a Scottish parliament in the 1997 election campaign.

 

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Thank you Michael Forsyth! This is pretty much exactly what I thought the morning after the Scottish referendum – that Cameron was playing a partisan game that was certain to inflame Scottish nationalism with an English betrayal only hours after the vote, and damaging the Union he claimed to champion in the interests of a short-term electoral gain. The only question I’ve never quite been able to settle in my head is whether when he made his little play to English nationalism he was stupid enough not to see what this would do in Scotland, arrogant enough to assume that it didn’t matter now the referendum was done, or insincere enough in his professed concern for the Union (which is part of his party’s name) that he didn’t actually care as long as it boosted his chances of re-election this time round. So, David Cameron, fool or knave? It’s a hard choice (though there is an obvious answer).
Cameron blundered hugely: having actually signed a vow promising Scotland substantially extended devolution, the very day after the result, he turned around and retrospectively slapped conditions on it. Forsyth’s point is — Cameron took a giant public dump on a signed pledge just days old. A huge kick in the teeth to the “no”voters in Scotland. Not wise.
The British Nationalists of the Tory, Labour, Lib-Dem parties are determined to continue with their unparalleled economic incompetence holding the union together regardless of the adverse impact of their policies, promoting austerity, inequality and privatisation.

 

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Nicola Sturgeon said that it would be up to the people of Scotland, at some future date to decide if there would be another independence referendum. But even provided with an explicit statement of intent Unionist politicians continue with their ridiculous claims that those that Scots choose to send to Westminster to represent them are akin to fifth columnists infiltrating parliament. This is offensive, beyond understanding and will bring forward the date when the Scottish parliament will be petitioning for another referendum.
Scots are only a part of the Union just as long as they do not have the temerity to attempt to participate in its governance.

 

 

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The Conservative position on Nicola Sturgeon is starting to sound a bit like: Tory HQ: She’s a witch! Burn her! Electorate: Did you dress her up like this? Tory HQ: No, no, no! Yes, yes. A bit. But she’s got a wart.
Independence is not all about the SNP. The Scottish Greens also support independence and they now have more members than the Scottish branch of the Labour party.And there are one or two smaller parties that are also pro-independence.

 

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The Tories burned their legitimacy in Scotland, promising devolution that they had no intention of delivering then, when their votes in Scotland plummeted, they indulged in petty acts of revenge, using Scotland as testing site for their most bloody minded policies. ……Tories making dishonest promises to Scotland and then indulging in petty acts of spite…sounds familiar.
It is ironic that during the 2014 referendum the “yes” side was persistently accused by better together and other Yes supporting entities of paranoia and seeing conspiracy’s everywhere against them. In some cases, their fears were entirely justified, in others the right wing press, covering the outcome of the referendum in the months before Xmas 2014 confirmed their fears. So it is amusing in 2017 to witness the Unionists seeing secret plots, pacts and alliances everywhere…..”The SNP have been negotiating secret deals with Labour” say the Tories,……”No, the SNP are actually in unholy alliance with the Tories” say Labour……….”Actually it’s both of them !!” claim the Lib-Dem’s…….Any wonder that people in Scotland see and hear this and then decide to support the SNP

 

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Cameron has started “Operation Totally Terrified”, demonising Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. Entire pages of daily newspapers are devoted to the “evolution” of Nicola, complete with “comments” such as “jimmy crankie” “mary doll” to the “vile” “nasty” and wishing she has an accident or car crash. Over the top.

 

The one thing that’s increasingly obvious is that the only way the UK can survive is as some form of federal system….But nevertheless the article nails the fact that Cameron is playing a dangerous and stupid game. His idiocy on the steps of Downing street the morning after the referendum showed how the Tories planned to put partisan considerations before the national interest and bridge building, but the rhetoric used in the last few days has reached a new low even for the Tories.The SNP have every right to send elected MPs to Westminster and to vote how they see fit…them’s the rules. However I don’t believe Cameron actually give two hoots about the Union based on his deliberate machinations and incendiary comments (or if he does he’s even more of an idiot than I thought) … But I’ll bet he does care about keeping the neo-liberal gravy train rolling for a few more years and is evidently prepared to risk breaking up the Union to achieve this…Can anyone remind me what you call someone who deliberately betrays their nation for ideological and personal gain?

 

Which highlights the point I have been consistently making for well over 4 years, that David Cameron is dangerously impulsive, and has appallingly poor judgement. He really is a dangerous politician who just makes it up as he goes along, simply to look good, and then just flippantly ditches his previous position, when it no longer suits his temporary purpose.

 

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Not only is David Cameron the cause of Scottish resentment, highlighted by his stupid boastful claim that the Queen purred down the the phone, after he grabbed the referendum with a mixture of blackmail, dire threats and deceit, but he swings in opposite directions on almost everything. So he claims to be a “compassionate, moderate Conservative, whilst simultaneously boasting about going further than Thatcher. He claimed to be green, and claimed to want the “greenest ever government” from the “bottom of his heart”, and then was reported to be going around saying, “let’s get rid of the green crap”. His hugging a hoodie posturing saw him claiming that young people shouldn’t be demonized, before his lock’em up hysteria after the looting, and stopping housing benefit for the young.

 

 

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How can you trust a politician who is so flippantly contradictory about so much. David Cameron in his impulsive attempt to keep Scotland in the UK, has so upset and angered the Scottish people, that he’s given the SNP a landslide. David Cameron is the SNP’s best recruiting agent.

 

David Cameron is a reckless and dangerous politician who has done massive damage to the social fabric of this country, with his reckless and flippant make it up as he goes along with it policy. The only thing you can be certain of with Cameron, is that what he’s saying now, is going to be entirely different than what he will be saying next year, or the year after that. If David Cameron didn’t have such massive support from the media, or rather their Tory leaning proprietors and executives, he would be electoral toast.

 

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Scotland voted against Labour because they felt that Labour, Tory and Lib-Dem Parties had done next to bugger all for Scotland. When they voted Tory they got shafted when industry got shut down down and when they voted Labour they got punished yet again when the Labour government failed to produce policies replacing the disaster left by the last lot. Instead they got empty promises, zero-hours contracts and ATOS. Nothing got any better. Rather than vent against the Scottish electorate, it would be far better if the parties actually listened and tried to deliver something that the Scottish voters want – rather than offer them the same old same old.
Cameron stands accused of having “shattered” the pro-UK alliance in Scotland and stirring up English nationalism after the Scottish independence referendum last year. It was obvious what he was trying to achieve: a “Permanent Tory Supremacy” in England. None of the arguments against that premise are convincing, and Cameron is just the type of big-headed slime-ball who would prance around wearing a crown, while the rest of the nation disintegrates around him. He couldn’t give an airborne copulation about the United Kingdom – it’s all about him.

 

 

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You can follow the CaltonJock on his webpage Caltonjock

Post Brexit – Another Independence Referendum – Another No Vote – Scotland Gets the Government of Ruth the “Mooth” Davidson and Her Unionist Tories – But it Can Be Avoided

Shocks in Store for Scotland if Ruth Davidson and her Tory Yes Ma’am politicians ever gain power in Scotland

Ruth Davidson and her Westminster Unionist Tory are not seen as an immediate threat to Scots, who through their SNP devolved government at Holyrood provide health care and some social services without reference to Westminster. But another referendum is in the offing and there is need to give consideration to the impact of another “no” vote.

The fallout in Scotland would be catastrophic. It is very likely the SNP government would resign and ask the electorate to decide its future within the UK. The electoral campaigns to follow would be greatly disappointing since the SNP would most likely split into factions leaving the Tories as the only united party.

A Tory victory would allow Davidson and her Unionist party to take up the reins of government in Scotland releasing the full might of Westminster on our country. In government she would be quick off the mark passing back to Westminster any devolved power that they required and then some.

 

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She is no supporter of the Scottish parliament. Reverting to type Davidson’s government would implement the Tory philosophy bringing in prescription charges, hospital car parking fees, University graduate charges, elderly care-home charges, tax cuts for the richest 10% and increases for the remainder of the population.

In short Scotland would be changed from a social caring society to a right wing “dog eat dog” country where the strong survive and the weak perish. Not much of an outlook for a once proud nation that has given so much to the world.

Next is an example of the Tories at work. They look after only those that vote for them. Lanarkshire, Glasgow, the West of Scotland, Fife and Dundee beware:

Residential care of the elderly in England is a privatised entity worth around £16billion to the private sector annually. There are regularity standards in place designed to provide protection to elderly residents. The Quality Care Commission routinely inspects homes in England with the purpose of monitoring the standard of care and welfare provision.

Their most recent report makes for startling reading. Homes in the South of England are doing well being adequately funded, staffed and equipped. Conversely home in the North are performing very badly due to inadequate funding, staff shortages etc. The Tory government provide more finance to the richest constituency’s in England at the expense of the poorest. That is the policy Ruth Davidson will bring to Scotland if she ever gains power. Scotland’s day of reckoning is not that far off. Hopefully Scots will see the Tories for what they are. A bunch of carpetbaggers intent on asset stripping Scotland.

You can follow the Calton Jock at his Web page just click HERE

Won’t somebody stop me

That’s pretty much what Ruth Davidson has come out with today.

She has finally made a statement on the latest abomination from the Tory Party (rather than hiding behind a spokesman yesterday)

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HER party has introduced this and she expects the Scottish Government to mitigate it. How much more can they do? They are defending people against the bedroom tax and cuts to Housing Benefit through Discretionary Housing Payments. The Scottish Welfare Fund also provides grants for people in crisis – e.g. if sanctioned. They’ve continued the Independent Living Fund supporting disabled people.

Holyrood has control of 15% of the benefit system – and by the way it is Social Security – a safety net for those who need it, not just something given away – it’s the sign of a civilised nation, a caring one. Which is probably why those bastards in Cabinet are doing their best to remove it.

We have Tax Credits because employers pay shite wages. A week’s wage should be enough to support a family but it doesn’t and rather than improve the minimum wage tax credits were introduced to make up the gap – another subsidy to business.

Then there was the benefit cap, which almost seem sensible until you realise how much some people are paying in rent. Housing benefit isn’t just for the unemployed, working families are struggling too.

We are supposed to be the 5, 6 or 7th richest nation in the world (I can’t keep track since Brexit fucked things up – and it hasn’t even started yet) why do we have anyone in poverty, let alone the thousands relying on foodbanks and the total horror of homelessness. The only trickle down is them pissing on us.

This two child policy has put us in a very select group with China, Hong Kong, Iran, Singapore and Vietnam. Do politicians not look at demographic data? Yes the world as a whole is overpopulated, but we have a baby boom blip. And let’s face it going by the way they treat the WASPI women no one under 50 is ever likely to see retirement.

These type of policy doesn’t make people think about how big a family they can support. No child would be born into a working class family if they waited to be financially secure. There are no jobs for life. Circumstances change. Contraception fails. When the child is here it needs feeding and clothing.

I am so ashamed that this could have even been discussed, let alone implemented.

As for the rape clause, it’s abhorrent. 8 pages to be filled in to outline that your child was conceived through rape. Having to go through the trauma again, for another bunch of bureaucrats to decide. And imagine how any child would feel if they found out.

Of course, people will say they could terminate the pregnancy. Aye right, because there’s no sigma involved with that. Yet again, it’s all on the woman.

And Ruth “I’m a cuddly Tory” Davidson has the gall to say the SNP are being hypocrites! It’s taken a week for her finally say something. She’s shed her “compassionate” facade like the snake she is.

If you vote Tory THIS is what you are voting for.

A “society” without compassion, without heart. A bureaucratic, penny-pinching,   privatising, everyone out for themselves rat-race.

I don’t intend to squeak. I’m going to roar against this.

It could be my friend, my family, my daughter having to face this.

Life is hard enough without us standing together, supporting one another

Featured image from @raiphsays

You can follow Simone Charlesworth on twitter @cee4cat and at Mewsing Out Loud

Ruth Davidson: Sensitively Humiliating Victims

According to Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the “rape clause” is the most sensitive way of navigating Westminster’s two child policy for victims of sexual violence. She is refusing to find common ground with the SNP no matter the issue.

It is bad enough that George Osborne’s 2015 plan to cap Child Benefit to two children per family ever made it into law – forcing rape survivors to prove their third or subsequent child was “conceived without their consent,” but that it is now being supported by Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader, quite beggars belief. The removal of government support from families, considering 25 per cent of Scottish children are living in poverty, is an obvious attack on ordinary working people – especially the most vulnerable. Asking a woman or a girl to prove they have been raped in order to gain financial support for their child is reprehensible. It is indefensible.

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Taking this “disregard for human dignity a step further.”

Across Scotland support groups and charities, calling the so-called rape clause “cruel and inhumane,” have withdrawn their support; stating that they refuse to act as third parties to this obnoxious government policy. In a joint statement with the Baptist and Methodist churches, the Church of Scotland condemned the welfare reconfiguration, saying it “deliberately ignores” people’s rights and the needs of the United Kingdom’s poorest children and families. There are no rational or moral grounds on which this policy can be defended. It is a blatant attack on struggling, lower income families, on women and girls, and on children. It is a disgrace.

When pressed on the rape clause, however, Ruth Davidson described it as the “most sensitive way” to get around the two child cap on benefits in cases of conception by rape or in the context of abusive relationships. What Ruth fails entirely to see in all of this is that there is no sensitive way to degrade and humiliate a human being. There is nothing kind or humane about asking a survivor to relive their harrowing experience. Reason dictates that no one in such a position can be so “blinkered,” as the Daily Record suggests, and so we must assume that something else is going on in Ruth Davidson’s clearly distorted mind.

Ms Davidson returns over and again to her theme of the politics of independence being “divisive,” and yet demonstrates in her support of the welfare reform and the rape clause her inability to find common cause with any position of the Scottish National Party. That the crusade against the rape clause was led by SNPs Alison Thewliss has forced Davidson to position herself on the side of the British government, effectively ensuring that Scottish politics are polarised in every respect and on every issue. Davidson and the Scottish Tories have shown here that they are prepared to wage trench warfare in the Scottish parliament no matter how many people they hurt by their irrational policy of opposition at all costs.

 


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You can follow Jason Michael at his twitter page @Jeggit or at his webpage The Random Public Journal
Jason Michael is a  Scottish journalist and blogger based in Dublin. Writing on politics and society. Columnist for iScot Magazine and author of the Random Public Journal.