My bid for global domination of the media continues as I post the latest from batemanbroadcasting.com which is a round of conversations with two very different yet knowledgeable and committed Yes voters– Dr Phillipa Whitford and Jim Mather, the former enterprise minister.
Phillipa wields a scalpel in her day job and is equally forensic on the chances of the NHS continuing in its current form after a No vote – if health policy in London continues to be driven by outsourcing services to the private sector. This is a layered debate. As things stand, a privatised service in England does not lead directly to cuts in Scotland’s NHS budget because if the money is spent down south, there are Barnett consequentials here and we would still get our 10 per cent of their outlay. (Barnett Consequentials sounds like an uncomfortable medical condition!)
However Phillipa explains how the erosion of a public service would in time impact in Scotland and make it difficult to maintain current standards of spending as the free-to-use model is steadily dismantled because the objective is to save money. Within a devolved set-up maintaining a distinctive, no-fee public service will be tricky in Scotland. It’s also worth remembering that there may be no Barnett Formula soon if there’s a No vote and even if it remains it is up to London, not us, to decide if health should remain part of the deal. They could decide, since they are trying to cut the budget (but so far failing) that consequential spending in Scotland should just stop. They have the power. All the power.
Jim gives us his assessment of the campaign and the ways in which a more cooperative approach to the workplace can lead to a better work experience and higher productivity. He views independence as a management buy-out exercise and explains the logic.
Tune in at http://batemanbroadcasting.com
You can find me on one of Iain McWhirter’s IKEA sofas on Sunday on Referendum Television from Edinburgh at 1pm. http://www.referendumtv.net I just hope it’s not the same one as George Foulkes sits on today…
Thanks to everyone at Clydebank for last night’s impassioned meeting with Julie Webster, Murray Pittock and Kenny Macaskill where the stories of the grim reality of welfare Scotland were revealed along with the inhumane consequences of Tory sanctions which have led to suicides. Where is Labour these days? Have they given up on social justice? Too busy playing games with giant chocolate coins to fight poverty and injustice? And sorry to the wee lady who tried to thrust £10 into my hand for the blog…I can’t take your money. Just give us your vote.