On the subject of small British territories…

(and while one nation celebrates its independence)

Ken MacLeod published this speech that he made at a debate on Scottish independence organised by the Scottish Artists Union recently.

The bit I’ve quoted below is the most salient in my view

Let’s look at the claim that the SNP government is more progressive than Labour. In some respects, notably opposition to the war in Iraq and to nuclear weapons, it is. But even these are partial – it has no objection to the war in Afghanistan, and no objection to nuclear weapons as long as they’re not in Scottish waters. The claimed universal benefits are paid for out of taxes that Holyrood doesn’t have to raise, and by cuts to services. Free university tuition is paid for by cuts to Further Education colleges. The council tax freeze is paid for by cutting local services. Free prescriptions are paid for by pressure on other parts of the health service. Free personal care is paid for by running the carers off their feet. Does the pro-indy left expose these as middle class tax breaks at the expense of the less well off? Do they heck. Instead they seize on and amplify every shameless SNP distortion of what Johann Lamont says. Everything is subordinated to getting out a Yes vote, and that means subordinated to the SNP.

Amen, a great riposte to those who claim the Scottish government is a fantastic Nordic Model social democracy, or that it would be after independence. You can’t have genuine social democracy without challenging the very tenets of austerity, and a government that promises things such as council tax freezes and lower corporation tax rates is unlikely to achieve that.

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