Nurse! Hurry!

If we lost the referendum, I was going to change the name of this blog to I Told You So…

Well, we did lose but I’ve decided just to be smug instead. Sadly there isn’t even fun in being right after the vote since it’s all too late and I’m left feeling helpless as our future is kicked around by uncaring Unionists.


Still, somebody’s got to point out that the emerging narrative of the TTIP deal is that it seriously threatens the viability of the National Health Service…Unite is now campaigning on this point with widespread support. Yet, if you can muster the effort, drag yourself back to September.

Better Together released a press statement signed by 200 No-voting health professionals accusing Yes experts of breaking up the NHS and of ‘ constantly peddling lies.’ They were thanked by Jackie Baillie, no doubt for revealing ‘the truth’. Bruce Keogh, the medical director of the NHS England popped up to warn that there was no threat to the Scottish service as it was entirely devolved.

Even after the referendum, the Labour strategist John McTernan was writing that one of the lessons learned from the campaign was that if you tell a big enough lie you can change opinion – ironically he meant the Yes case on the NHS, not the multitude of Unionist myth and smear.

Yet it does seem the transatlantic deal is designed to open up the NHS to American corporations. TTIP does not allow them to bid for contracts in any fully-public sphere – for example the protected Scottish NHS, particularly if we voted Yes. Yet the law affecting health services in England has been radically re-ordered by the Health and Social Care Act 2012 which allows doctors’ consortia to control about £60bn of the NHS budget and commission local services –which take place through competitive tendering. Contracts are open to the voluntary and private sectors, a process that is currently outsourcing hundreds of millions of pounds of services.


The Act actually ended a key aspect of the NHS by ending the Secretary of State’s duty to secure or provide health services throughout the country, a duty that has been in force since 1948 and is the key underpinning of a free at point-of-use, comprehensive and democratically accountable health service. That means it is no longer the job of the elected minister for health to take responsibility for health services. Remember that appearing in a manifesto?

The government will no longer be responsible for providing for all your health care needs free of charge. Instead, a range of bodies not accountable to parliament, including for-profit companies, will decide which services will be freely available and to whom.

This plays into TTIP because it is a deal signed by both the US and the EU – to which the UK, not a separate Scotland, is signatory. There is no Scotland opt-out and arguing that a region of the country (UK) has a different administrative system is hardly grounds for exclusion. A TTIP lawyer can simply argue that the UK Parliament is sovereign and has total jurisdiction over all Scottish affairs. As Scotland is not an independent country, TTIP encompasses the entire member state.

The UK has refused to apply for exemption of health services and would be doomed to fail in any case because the 2012 Act which paves the way for private provision, surrenders the case for a publicly-run service.

Scotland’s only serious hope of rescue from a system that privatizes health and allows companies to sue the government for loss of earnings, is that our services is too small in scale to be worth a multi-national competing for…a forlorn hope.


Here is Caroline Molloy of OurNHS… ‘privatisation of the English NHS accelerates towards the tipping point where it will be judged to be a fully-fledged market, no longer allowed to exclude the private sector even if it wanted to. Will it drag a non-independent Scotland with it, with or without the TTIP Trade Treaty? We won’t know until a court challenge comes along – and by then it could be too late.’

And Labour, she says, has been far too quiet on the issue – Andy Burnham apart – as Ed Balls looks desperately for ways to save money. Balls is advised free of charge by the accountancy firm PWC which helps companies seeking contracts.

Perhaps this is where Margaret Curran’s new Socialist Labour Party will take its first stand, standing up for the rights of all Scots to a fully public NHS whatever decisions are made by Labour in England? But surely it was Margaret and Labour who told us there was no danger – no threat – and there was nothing to worry about. Tricky reversion for Labour there. Still I told you so.

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96 thoughts on “Nurse! Hurry!

  1. “I’m left feeling helpless as our future is kicked around by uncaring Unionists.”

    The above statement is exactly how I feel.
    With all the pro-independence blogs telling us how things will deteriorate, how the “vow” will not be kept and how we are doomed, what do we do?

    Everyone is describing the water I am in whilst I slowly drown.
    The pressure of it all around me makes me think I should open my mouth and either swallow hard or scream for help.

    • time and again i have been placing warnings for over 6 month of this forthcoming deal on the yes campaign website and heard very little in return which is sad it should have been spelt out big-time by the campaign. These companies can also ( to the best of my knowledge) sue the government if it whishes to re- enter the publc domain within a 10 year period. It is coming to a place near you soon.

  2. Where is the SNP Scottish Government on this?? Where is the TUC?? Where is the BMA??
    They should all be acting in concert? Most peole don’t have the faintest idea what TTIP is!!

    • Since Scotland voted NO just exactly what to you expect the Scottish Government (SNP or otherwise) to do about it?

      It means we have to write to our MEPs telling them to put a stop to TTIP. Also take your own boycott actions as much as you can – avoid patronizing any and all large companies.

      Buy local and patronize larger companies that buy local too.

      • Well, if most people don’t have a clue about TTIP it’s because they weren’t listening, or too busy listening to the No side. Dr Philippa Whitford’s videos, in which she talked about TTIP at length, went viral and she received publicity in the media. But guess what? What she said was rubbished by the usual suspects. The Scottish Government demanded that Westminster apply for exemption for the NHS, but they refused. The SG is powerless in matters concerning the EU. The SG has been vociferous about the damage TTIP could cause to our NHS, but the media gives no coverage to any but the naysayers and their lies.

      • Q, what to you expect the Scottish Government (SNP or otherwise) to do about it? A, THEIR JOB! Are you actually suggesting that the SG knew nothing about the TTIP? If so what use are they? If not then why did they not tell us, the electorate. What is the point in having a government who sits on the fence like some old fashioned liberal? The SG could have swung the ivote by being honest about the TTIP. How many Scots do you know would have voted differently armed with this knowledge? The only thing this government has done in recent times is arm the police. (I have watched and read the reports that suggest SG did not make this decision, behind closed doors, but they did!) The SNP are in danger of being sucked in by the rewards of position, and we are right behind them??!! just like we were behind the great big banking swindle which we are still paying dearly for?

        My dearest Scotland we really need to move away from wasteminster politics and realise they do not have any power over us that has not been already agreed by the SG. The sham of a vote was playing right into the hands of the wasteminster crew. If we want to seize our Scotland back from the clutches of huge corporations promoted by all tiers of gov, we must take action! We must take action against all who would promote wasteminster politics here in Scotland. Let’s start at home and clear our own backyard of the new age scroungers – POLITICIANS! Lets call for resignation of the whole parliament and clear the ground for a truly bottom up peoples council. We cannot be ignored then even by Europe. As I have prattled on about since before the vote, Scotland out of Europe because we cannot trust any of them to look after the electorate, the TTIP proves this point.
        Please see for clarity.

        • Are you seriously trying to blame the SNP government for this?

          This cropped up during the indy ref campaign when the SNP repeatedly said that the NHS was in danger due to TTIP.

          When you’ve got the likes of Eleanor Bradford on the BBC and Jackie Baillie constantly rubbishing the NHS and blaming the SNP for everything, how are they supposed to counteract that?

          You I think are a trouble maker

    • And even many nurses have never heard of this AYE

  3. The extent of the privatisation of the English NHS is graphically described by Allyson Pollock. This is a must read for everyone concerned about the NHS throughout the UK.


  4. I understand Alex Neil the SNP health minister wrote to the European Commissioner requesting an opt-out for NHS Scotland – not sure what the reply was.

    • He also wrote to Cameron requesting that the NHS in Scotland obtained an opt out but never received a reply.

    • I went to my local MSP surgery and saw John Swinney to talk about a terrible oversight within our NHS.
      My son is in the 0.5% group of the worst type of schizophrenic illness. He has been in hospital for the past ten years. He was first diagnosed when he was sixteen, ‘sectioned’ and ‘kept’ under very heavy sedation for the first eighteen months of being diagnosed.(I mean so sedated he could not lift his head) In my research into his illness I discovered that drugs like the ones my son was forced to take by law, (largactil) was indeed against the law for under eighteens. The doctor ignored the fact that he was acting against the law. I saw John Swinney, asked him to ask why these doctors were above the law. The answer I received was to contact ‘the Mental Welfare Commission’ which I did to no avail. (they waited till he was eighteen before answering)Thirteen years have passed and my son has in that time, been prescribed every single anti-psychotic available including the ones for sufferers that don’t respond to anti-psychotics where they must take blood weekly to check your internal organs are holding up! I went last month to see my local MSP, again John Swinney who thanked me for ‘the update on my son’. He also forwarded a letter he had sent to Alex Neil in which my issue of giving drugs that have been proved to damage the brain was lost and by the time I received a reply from one of the many minions all my issues had disappeared completely. The reply told me to see the Mental Welfare Commission! In thirteen years and the evidence to prove that their work is ineffectual still nothing. I discovered a SG organisation called the Scottish Medicine Consortium, and thought at last the gov has done something right. How wrong I was, the SMC is a gov organisation set up to monitor drugs that are to become available to the public through your GP. Anxious to share my research I asked to be put through to their research dept. Imagine my disgust to find that it is an organisation paid for out of taxpayers money, don’t actually do any research into any drugs whatsoever. They rubber stamp drugs based entirely on the drug company’s research. The SMC another Scottish disgrace that we don’t hear about because the SG has failed to keep the electorate informed. So the European and US drugs companies are producing drugs that are only about control and nothing to do with cure and the SG is promoting these drugs to their electorate by rubber stamping them as fit for use without empirical research.
      My son is now in his early thirties and is showing symptoms of tardive diskensia and parkinsonians all due to the damaging drugs he is administered without choice for years. My son is not the only one and he is one of the luckier sufferers because he has me fighting his corner and an understanding doctor. Any gov that will not help the poorest people in society over a thirteen year period deserves nothing less than a call for their resignation. Nurse, sorry, but you’re thirteen years too late!!
      Scotland, look below the surface – I would never known about this if it wasn’t for my beautiful son. Just because they tell you they’re right doesn’t mean they are! One small voice shouting to raise awareness of the atrocities being committed in our own back yard. Sorry this post is so long thought I should explain my bad feeling towards the SG and the wasteminster politics.

      • Jack
        If your son is in his early 30s and was first diagnosed when he was 16 then that was at least 15 years ago when Labour and Lib Dem were in charge at Holyrood. The SNP first came to power in 2007 but in a minority government. They have been fully in charge since 2011, 3 years ago.
        Chlorpromazine (Largactil) was first synthesized on December 11, 1950. “The introduction of chlorpromazine during the 1950s into clinical use has been described as the single greatest advance in the history of psychiatric care, dramatically improving as it did the prognosis of patients in psychiatric hospitals worldwide.”
        You will be aware of this if you have done your research. I can’t see what John Swinney can reasonably do about your son’s medication. That is for his medical practitioner to advise on and there would be an enormous outcry if politicians were to dictate to doctors what medicines they can or can’t use.

        • The above quote was from Wikipedia. I put in the link but it hasn’t appeared. will try again

          BTW I’m not endorsing the use of these drugs. Just pointing out that this has been the standard treatment for a very long time notwithstanding attempts by anti-psychiatry advocates such as R D Laing in the 60s and 70s. to use less intrusive therapies.

      • Jack I’m sorry to hear of all this but the sad truth is that there is no cure for schizophrenia and many forms of severe mental illness. Drugs do nothing but sedate and control symptoms. But that’s still better than the alternatives. I have a close friend who is bipolar after a brain injury and he was on largactol too and has developed parkinson symptoms. His problems are complex but all they have been able to do for him is give him a chemical cosh. There just isn’t a lot can be done by medical science for some types of patient. At least he is alive and not in too much pain. And he has you. I hear your pain. I’ve been there too, and still am.

        • The mental health services in Scotland are by no means acceptable in many ways, not least with regard to medication. However, I really do dread to think what it will be like if these services are privatised. The Scottish government need many more resources and much more time to change things for the better in our health service. Sadly the no vote has driven us further away from that, people were warned. The msm and westminster as well as the liebours, have a heck of a lot to answer for, lets hope they do not need good healthcare services themselves one day. They are a disgrace.

        • Having lived with this illness over many years and researched for many years, I can say with some confidence that you are wrong about the drugs. Anti-psychotics as all drugs are produced by huge corporate drug companies for profit. The older ones were developed in the 1950’s in US, Largactil (chlopromazine) was originally developed as a metal dye for weapons and is the original anti-psychotic all other older types were based on.(who first thought it would be good to give sufferers a metal dye?!) It is the cheapest to buy, which is the reason I’m sure it is still used. The ‘atypical’ anti-psychotics were developed in the 1990’s because of the damaging effects of the older drugs, yet they are still used, as both my son and your friend knows. Everyone keeps saying that little can be done which helps me understand that nothing is being done. You are correct in that they do not have a cure for schizophrenia. However this is only because we do not research, there is no money available to research. The SG set up the SMC as a ‘rubber stamping’ administration for these and all drugs. It worries me that we, as tax payers and supporters of family and friends who suffer these drugs, cannot get answers to my questions on this issue. Yes there’s pain, but in order to effect change we need to make sure we are doing everything we can to research the drugs that are developed for profit, do not have lasting, irreversible damage to the people using them. Especially for those who are not allowed or who are unable to make the choice themselves. Why can ‘nothing be done’? Your truth may be sad but my truth is far more optimistic in the sense that I don’t want my son to be at the mercy of some drugs corporation, rubber stamped by the SMC without research. The really sad thing about all of it is I have been to see and spoken with or e-mailed the SG making my research proving damage from these drugs available to them. Still no movement, still no change. Silence in this case may be quite literally golden to them and the drugs corporations, but it is also very damming.

  5. Derek, there are very few issues which will almost totally unite Scots – YES and NO. The loss of the NHS is one such cause.

    Means must be found to fight off this threat, now or later,c’est une cause celebre.

  6. Shout it from the rooftops…..again! Only an independent Scotland can save our NHS. Surely this time, Derek, the Yes Alliance will be believed by the vast majority.

  7. Katrine Paterson

    The Westminster govenment seems to be marching on blindly with no regard for any of the people in the UK.
    As for mandates? They gave us none when they came to power except for cuts, and more cuts. At least that’s all I remember. Nothing about handing over the NHS to all comers. The Post office? The Channel Tunnel? Lower taxes for the rich? Bedroom tax for the poor and sick? Fracking everywhere from the Forth estuary to the west coast. Wherever there are coal fields. We have a massive fight on our hands.
    Here is just one
    Algy Cluff,of Cluff Natural Resources, has been granted licences for eight sites around Britain but said its first project would probably be in the Firth of Forth.
    The company has licences for areas off Largo Bay and Kincardine and is actively looking at sites on which to build the initial complex.

    You just need to check out Ineos at Grangemouth to see the plans for the area between Falkirk and Stirling. The controversial MP for Falkirk, Eric Joyce, thinks fracking is just fine. Meanwhile people everywhere are planning huge demonstrations.

  8. I passed the house of one of the two or three showing No posters on their windows this morning, and said to my Husband as I watched the Auld Fat man . I can be disparaging if I choose being a slightly slimmer auld woman, that I have never been so angry with anyone as I am at these people. So angry that I have to remind myself constantly that I am a law abiding person and I will not take a bottle of paint stripper to their cars.
    I could actually weep when I see the many opportunities we have lost. The chance of being a much fairer society of using our resources to make a modern country, instead back to the Dark Ages and that is where we are destined. As my Husband said to a lady from Florida we met on holiday who was watching Dowton Abbey that it will be a training manual for the Plebs here soon.
    Well I do hope that many of the NO’s have to use the NHS and find it not to their liking, blood is on their hands.

    • Yes, like you, I pass these houses which still have large Union Jacks flying above them and want to do something criminal. But I know I won’t.
      My neighbours, who made our life very difficult, were all No’ers. I can’t go out into the garden anymore as I absolutely will tell them what I think of them. I’m beelin’.

      • Well bamstick you could put a Saltire of your own up. I used a telescopic clothes pole as a flag pole and tied it to my hut. Alternatively, if you know any fit climbing types you might be able to get them to shin up, remove said union flags and replace them with pairs of union jack bloomers – £6.99 or thereby at Amazon. I recall being at a well known watering hole up in the heilands when the new owners were reminded of their location in such a manner. Only it was a pair of old combinations that replaced the offending item (always leave the owners property safe and undamaged – we’re not thieves or vandals). I’ve recently thought that there are a few weel kent properties in central Edinburgh that lend themselves to such japes. Not that I’m advocating anyone attempting it you understand – simply reflecting.

        • I’ve a Saltire on order and it will go up as soon as it arrives. Took down the YES ones after the 18th.
          I like the thought of replacing UJ with bloomers but I would be too feirt to do it.
          I did consider a flame thrower!!!

    • Not opportunities lost forever, just delayed and hopefully only for a short period.

      We’ll get another shot and this time we’ll finish the job. 🙂

      • Don’t bank on getting another shot at an indy ref. I’m not trying to be negative, but you have to be realistic. There are probably plenty in Westminster who want legislation to make this a compulsory ‘union’, as if we ever have a choice.

        • Oh we can have one any time we want one. The consultative referendum is well within the competence of a Scottish Government and requires no Section thirty. The significance of the section thirty was negotiation and legal status. Had we voted yes, both parties would be bound by the conditions set down within the Edinburgh agreement, the transition would be smooth both nationally and internationally and both parties would be bound to support one another’s cases.

          The consultative is no less binding in the main respect however in that if a party gains overall manifestoed mandate to hold one then there isn’t a damn thing Westminster can do to stop it and if the answer to the question is YES, then international law will support Scotland’s decision. Westminster may wail and gnash their teeth, but essentially they’d be stuck with the decision too.

          The original form of the referendum we’ve just had was a consultative and Westminster seeing the danger jumped in with the Section thirty knowing they’d have an active role in the outcome. With the consultative however they have no say it is purely run by the SG for the Scottish electorate.

          What will be required however is cast in stone reasons for holding one within the agreed generation period. Now WM defaulting on their pledges, dragging us out of the EU, having major campaign statements proven false and misleading all add grist to the mill there.

          No doubt they’ll try and remove that competence loophole, but then its up to the Scottish electorate to see that doesn’t happen. We make sure whoever we send down in May isn’t in favour of removing powers from Holyrood.

        • Has it not occurred to you that Nicola Sturgeon is a different generation to Alex Salmond? Did his stepping down in her favour for this reason not tickle the back of your mind? Nicola has refused to rule out another referendum and she is right to do so, she made no such pledges and is not bound by Alex’s words.

          I would also think that a TTIP challenge to our NHS and Westminster refusal to intervene or allow a snap referendum would be a prime causus belli for UDI.

          But for that to be credible we need to send as many Yes Candidates to Westminster as MPs as we can and increase the Yes majority at Holyrood in 2016 so they have a mandate to continue to seek independence, one way or another.

  9. Just the beginning and more to come, but in terms of an indyref two coming sooner rather than later, all unfortunate grist for the mill.

    During the campaign WM and BT made many claims, many statements on just why our governance was safe in their hands rather than our own. The EU membership doesn’t look quite so safe now with UKIP on the rise and the likelihood of another five years of Tory government. Those diminishing and volatile oil reserves don’t appear to be as diminished as the electorate were led to believe either. Who knew?

    Labour’s vow as touted by our own press and with the cast iron guaranteed assurances of Mr Broon appears to have gone the way of the dodo and has been replaced with the Tory governments ‘responsibilities’ agenda coupled with Evel. Oh, and that to be on a now delayed and over written scheduling which differs somewhat from the original. A pledge to slash budgets, extend welfare reforms, continue overseas military interventions, go ahead with Trident 2.0… oh the list has been endless in the past four weeks. What it all adds up to is greatly increased hardship and that ever widening rich/poor gap. The ‘better together’ part didn’t really happen at all, did it? What 55% of our electorate got for their vote was kicked in the groin regardless. It needn’t however continue and they may just get a second chance to make a better, more informed and hopeful choice sooner, rather then later.

    2015 decimate the ranks of unionist MPs being sent to Westminster. If we wish to delay what WM plans in the short term, then we’ll need MPs that are willing to fight for the Scottish electorate. A buffer between their intentions and actions as it were.

    2016 return a rainbow alliance of pro indy parties to Holyrood on a mandate of a second referendum dependent on the outcome of both the devolution question and the 2017 EU referendum.

    2017 If either of those two prove to have unsatisfactory outcomes for the Scottish electorate, call for an immediate emergency consultative referendum and this time keep WMs nose out of the bloody thing. No more think tank reports, endless white papers from unasked for Commons committees, Treasury releases, mock stitched up and one sided debates in the house to be slavishly over publicised by their pet media, none of it. We hold our own referendum (as we always should have) and let them know the outcome…

    … eventually. 😉

    • It may come even sooner than that. Farage has stated that his
      price for propping up a coalition if he holds the balance of
      power would be a July 2015 in/out referendum.

      I suspect he has seen what happened in Scotland, and has realised
      that he can not allow the msm/bbc time to get their propaganda
      machine into “alter the result” mode.

      I may be clutching at straws here, but my hope is that Scotland votes
      in a large, possibly even a majority SNP at the GE2015. After the GE,
      with the “vow” in tatters, Scotland votes to stay in the EU and England
      votes to leave.

      Every right to call a snap referendum in my view, but then again I am
      a bit biased.

      • Its one or both of those issues going west which will cause the tilt Neil. EU or fudged devo settlement and as I’ve been saying for some time, all you have to do is let Westminster be Westminster. They won’t be able to help themselves.

        The EU has become a runaway train because of a narrative they first created and the devo fudge is in the bag thanks to their own entrenched self interest and arrogance. The first rule of Westminster ‘power devolved is power retained’. A tory win in May, a rising Eurosceptic movement and rise of opinion in key voting constituencies, plus continued austerity. All should help focus the minds of our own electorate over the next eighteen months. There’s every chance that indyref two won’t be that far off as some would think. 😉

    • We can do it online like the Icelandic people, a petition signed by the majority of Scots demanding iScotland and the resignation of the parliament to pave the way. That can happen tomorrow.. if we want. Can’t do it alone though!

      • Scotland voted No, Jack.

        • Oh well then Juteman we’el just leave it at that then eh?
          We need to move forward Juteman we’re not talking yesterday we’re talking right now! The fight for a fair, just and equal Scotland must carry on. My post was in answer to this comment above; ‘2016 return a rainbow alliance of pro indy parties to Holyrood on a mandate of a second referendum dependent on the outcome of both the devolution question and the 2017 EU referendum.’
          Stop lamenting over the spilt referendum we need closure and a way ahead. Your comment is not useful towards that goal! and you fae DD as weel! Help ma boab Juteman eh’ll need tae shove yir naem in the windee fir yir wee indiscreshon!

          • It has to be another referendum, though not necessarily an S30 endorsed one, a popularly mandated consultative would do the trick. Just dragging people into independence via UDI or an internet vote won’t work. They need to want to go there.

            Without the help of the media we came within an ace of pulling it off. With a new media and the unassailable proof of Westminster actions post September 18th, people will be faced with the consequences of their vote. Many will be looking for a second chance. All we have to do is let WM be WM and they’ll provide us with that opportunity. IMO pro indy support needs to give them that opportunity.

            As Juteman says, we lost that vote and it has to be a popular vote that carries the day. We can’t build better governance without democracy and those who now regret their choice on the day will want that chance to put things right.

            We’ll do it right enough and a whole lot sooner than twenty years. Like I say just let WM be WM and they’ll provide the chance soon enough. People will be kicking in the doors of Holyrood demanding indyref two.

  10. I believe the SNP position is opposed to TTIP, as is Labour. In Europe there is a Social Democratic group of MEPs which is trying to get the Investor State Dispute Settlement clause removed. (ISDS). This is the worst part of the deal, as it means that an investor can sue an elected government for any actions or legislation a government might pass which it deems is injurious to the investor’s interests. For instance, if a government attempted to introduce a living wage for the lowest paid categories of health workers. Or attempted to impose environmental controls on fracking.

    • I believed we were going to be iScotland…

      • Me too Jack. It’s exasperating dealing with the ignorant and the dunderheids. Our politicisation just didn’t reach far enough.

        I got one 96 year old whom I know to sign the 38 degrees petition against TTIP. She has all her marbles about her, but has been retired for at least 36 years and not remotely politically aware or active. She commented (on hearing about TTIP) ‘It’s amazing everything that is going on these days and you just never get to hear about it’. She was shocked to hear of it. She grasped immediately the significance of it for the NHS and for low paid workers like cleaners within the NHS whom it could affect (amongst other things) and how low pay could affect health outcomes. The elderly are not beyond hope. The problem is we don’t reach them, they are isolated, and they form a large part of the demographic.

        I know this lady probably voted No because she is part of the generation that fought WW2. She was in the Land Army ‘serving my country’. It can be very hard to get people to change the habits of a lifetime, but they do change. I just found out from my aunt that my grandfather who died in 1975 had voted Labour all his life, but in the last election he voted in, 1974, he changed his vote to SNP.

  11. Sometimes I despair, people just don’t want to know the truth, it’s too unconfortable for them, they’d rather just doddle along in their own world then look for someone to blame when things go wrong.

    • I couldn’t agree more, the 55% will muddle on muttering that it was all too risky, whilst being blind and uninformed until it is all too late!

      • I think that some of the 55% knew exactly what they were voting for.
        This is just my experience of neighbours and some folks I came across before the referendum. There attitude was “we are ok, why should we pay for the poor and the infirm?” They actually do not have a social conscience. I don’t think they would disagree with private health care or even the re-introduction of poor houses. Some of them even said that voting rights should be restricted by income and intellect. Some of them said if people made certain life style choices they should have to get on with it.
        Don’t underestimate the 55% a lot of them are very happy with all of this.

        • Snap. Exactly the reaction I encountered in the wealthy areas of Edinburgh I was deployed in. Oh and throw in a good measure of racism too including Poles, other eastern European and people with Brown faces.

          I can only assume that all this work place Equality and Diversity stuff is passing most people by.

          UKIP appear a shoe in around here.

          • Yes I think these feelings are widespread. Even, I hate to say, in some sectors of my extended family. The number of folk I’m now prepared to talk to is becoming smaller and smaller. Christmas cards lists are much shorter too.

        • Unfortunately Bamstick I agree with you,
          the right wing attitudes prevalent in England the (I alright jack ) brigade is more common here in Scotland than we would like to think,

          The pull of the media in Scotland is so strong that even those of us who know they will say anything to further the cause of the Labour party that people find themselves (in spite of knowing better) falling back under the spell of the lies spouted every day by the BBC,

          anyone calling them out on their lies is met with knowing looks between the no supporters suggesting they are listening to a conspiracy nut.

          • Don’t give up talking and socialising with Nawbags, that’s the worst thing we can do. We need to keep working on them, keep reminding them that we are decent and purposeful fellow citizens. And that we’re not going away. If we go away, by retreating from them, they will only conclude they have won. They won a battle. They did not win the war. And they have certainly not won the peace. I know it’s hard, but believe in yourself, and our cause. Keep eyeballing them, and engaging with them.

          • jdman; “falling back under the spell of the lies spouted every day” Let’s hope the surge in the Alliance against SLab keeps the heid; maybe they are truly seeing that wisdom in voting Laybirr over decades has produced nothing & of course unlikely to do anything NOW.

            At my first post Ref SNP meeting 2/52 ago it was sounded out that a free Indy alternatively press would never conceivably get off the ground & would not fare well in a cost/benefit analysis. Politicians MUST ACT FAST and equip themselves with a learned, concise & credible analysis of the Scottish economic picture to promulgate. MSM will always try and deflate us on the Oil issue, as it will remain the central issue, not some temporary shipyard employment scheme.

            The affluent are the same all over.

      • Katrine Paterson

        The ostrich with it’s head in a bucket!

  12. Scotland is just a colony to be exploited
    just like all the others.

    But we thought of ourselves as part of the UK family
    so adjusting to the status of owned servant
    is very painful, as we all know.

    Once oil was discovered in Scottish waters around 1970,
    our fate was sealed. It has only taken us 44 years to ‘get it’.
    And the more oil that is found, now well over 100 years worth,
    the tighter England’s grip on its bounteous colony.

    Tragically, far too many who live here,
    think it is less risky to live under our English colonial masters
    than to be free.

    It is both sickening and soul destroying.

    But there is hope! We now have 1.6 million who are Independence voters
    and an amazing grassroots Independence movement .

    In England, political upheaval is on the way
    ànd with a General Election, a Holyrood Election
    and possibly an EU referendum in 2017
    another opportunity for Independence for Scotland
    looks more than likely.

    Once we all engage with the GE ,
    we might find a way to escape the doldrums.

    • Agree again. It is all about oil and virtually nothing else. Devo anything means SFA without access to oil revenues. One of my potential consolatory scenarios post ref would have been even a proportion of oil revs with which Scotland may have had the chance to garner fiscal prudence, even creativity but naaaah they could’nt even envisage holding that together.

  13. Bring it on, this is what they voted for , we will all suffer, but we will not all feel the same way, about the suffering we are going through, I for one will still hold my head high, I’am a 45.

  14. Wow, this is truly desperate stuff.

    TTIP has been welcomed by Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and John Swinney (see, for example:

    And TTIP will not in any way force public services to be opened up to the private sector.

    Get a grip and stop scaremongering…

    • Wow. this is desperate stuff. you didn’t even read your own link. ‘the cabinet secretary will be writing to the Secy of State for Health requiring cast iron guarantees that…TTIP will not affect Scotland’s ability to drermine how health is provided and there will be no obligation to open the NHS to private providers’. Duh! And as for no impact, catch up. Only fully publicly operated services can be excluded. As I write, the new Act rules that out. The NHS is well on the way into private hands. ignorance AND complacency – the No campaign in microcosm. Thanks for reminding us.

    • Well Ross, thanks for stating how covert the SNP have become in their attempt at wasteminster politics. (useless bunch!) However, can you explain the statement;
      ‘And TTIP will not in any way force public services to be opened up to the private sector.’
      and can you point me to a non SG source of your research so I can check it out myself? Please see my posting above about my son and the position we find ourselves in at the mercy of huge multinational drugs corporations whose products are rubber stamped for use in Scotland, by the SMC. Thing are not always what they seem in politics and it is unfair to be telling people to get a grip until you know the’ve had a chance to find all relevant info. This is already occurring in Scotland, these huge corporations don’t have to force their way in they are already present and are an intrinsic part of our Scottish NHS, supported by the SG.

  15. If Holyrood refuse to implement TTIP on the devolved NHS they control
    Which government will get sued?
    Any legal eagle’s out there have an opinion?

    • We don’t have the power to do that. Wasteminster are dealing with TTIP, but they could be asking questions of the wasteminster crew… not holding my breath waiting.

  16. When I was at the polling station as a Yes agent – since I belonged to no party at the time I was assigned to the greens – my opposite number was a middle class lady member of the labour party.

    Being polite etc, we chatted away about our reasons for Yes and No.

    I said are you not worried about TTIP – what’s that she said.

    She then told me she was Jewish and another reason for voting no was the Palestinian flag flying over GCC. I then pointed out to her that GCC was labour controlled.

    These are the folk we are dealing with.

    • Yes, some politicians are saying we are now the most politically educated country. But if that’s the case, then I hate to think how ignorant of the world around them others must be. Many people are even unaware how government is funded, and of the powers actually devolved to the Scottish parliament. There’s a lot of education still needed.

      • cynical lowlander

        Let’s hope the SNP are geared up to politically educate their 66,000 new members out with the branch meetings structure.

        gerry p

      • Couldn’t agree more. We must continue to educate and politicise. People aren’t beyond hope. TTIP is the perfect storm to educate and politicise people about.

  17. Steve Asaneilean

    I told lots of people so. I spoke about it at meetings for several months in the run up to September 18th and I have continued to howl about it to anyone who will listen since. I have lobbied my own MSP and also the Scottish health Minister about it as well as BMA Scotland and the RCGP Scotland.

    I remain extremely concerned about this piece of potential legislation and I hope it will become a top priority to be address at both a Scottish and UK level.

    This is because it not only affects healthcare but a whole host of public services and the consequence, in my view, will be a further worsening of the gross levels of inequality which blight our society and have a direct impact on our workloads.

    I always fought for a Yes vote on an equality agenda because inequality has a direct effect on our health and well-being – physical, mental and social – and that agenda has not changed for me simply because 55% of us voted the other way.

    I have been trying to get a broader picture of the potential impact of TTIP and with this in mind I want to share with you the essence of an email I received from a contact who has done work looking into TTIP in a more general sense. It is quite long but I do hope you will take time to read it for a full flavour of what might be at stake here.

    can I please ask all of you to contact your MSPs and MPs and any professional organisations or trade unions you belong to and ask them to lobby against TTIP before it is too late.

    With best wishes


    Hello Steve,

    Thank you for your message. Yes I absolutely concur that TTIP poses a very real threat to our public services. NHS spending in Scotland represents a major portion of our devolved services budget, running at some £12bn for 2014/15. Subject to market economics it presents an obvious and primary target for private corporations with designs on maximizing the potential for profits within public sector services. Only activities that do not promise a return, in terms of profit, will be “allowed” to operate outside the ‘for profit’ model. Despite its promotional material, TTIP is not a globalists dream – a global village, living and trading in harmony (with or without the New Seekers sound track), or a step in the evolution of Internationalism, esperanto ‘on tap’, etc. The talk of harmonisation is a euphemism for the lowest common standard of service and protections for both people and the planet.

    Yes, existing laws, rules and standards will remain – but only if these represent the lowest standard within the trade zone. In short we will pare away our protections in order ‘harmonise’ with the lowest standard of our partners. This of course includes those standards applied to things like GM foods; food additives; that family staples – sugar, grain and animal husbandry; working conditions; and the BIG one, moving towards a sustainable energy nation. To be blunt this ‘the here and now’ may well be as good as it gets. Under the TTIP agreement, moves towards a greener economy can not be entertained by a country, without the risk of substantial financial penalties, by way of compensation – if such actions disadvantage multinational corporations, interfere with their ability to trade and/or impact their profits.

    This proposition is unfortunately not defensible by the Scottish Government, within the terms of our current devolved powers position. To return to the NHS, irrespective of the Barnett formula, all services and all areas of potential commerce within the NHS – its provision of staff, drugs, food, medical supplies and services etc etc – are subject to free market conditions, under TTIP. There is a misconception that ‘Barnett’ which is a UK arrangement between Westminster and Holyrood can or will have any bearing on or protections from, trade liberalisation laws. The Barnett formula is basically a budgetary allocation equation. The fact that Scotland has potentially slightly more to spend per person on health just makes us more attractive to corporations, with the potential for greater opportunities for trade (i.e. greater levels of trade, greater profits, or profit margins). However, Scotlands budgetary allocation for public services is derived primarily from a ‘block grant’ and NHS spending is decided by the Scottish Government as a portion of that ‘grant’.

    The trade agreement is being marketed as a mechanism for streamlining, and harmonising ‘trade’. However, its facilitation while having few or no benefits for the UK means the undermining of regulatory protections, which have made the UK a world leader in public and environmental health and safety standards; its produce synonymous with quality assurance; and a first world nation. What must be fully appreciated is the nature and purpose of capitalism – at a fundamental level it represents the “commodification” of everything, with the express purpose of trading these in the interests of profit. It is a simple and well established exploitation paradigm – trade, industry and production owned and operated for profit. TTIP is the wholesale removal of any protections against corporations “pathological” pursuit of profit (this is not a colourful attack or value judgement, it is a critical assessment of a corporations legal standing and directive). What masquerades as competition, cost saving exercises, best value, and tendering practices, all purporting to be in the public interest, are simply rhetoric and spin for access into markets with the express purpose of maximizing profits for companies and their shareholders.

    The particular conditions of TTIP make free market trade mandatory. A government, unless granted exclusion, are compelled to ensure that no market is closed, under penalty. The NHS is just the tip of the iceberg. No public service is exempt and this will include education. Furthermore any introduction of a law, policy or process which disadvantages the trading position of a company, will be subject to ISDSs – closed to public international trade ‘courts‘ which look to compensate companies for loss of profits from such legislation.

    TTIP presents an end to a nations sovereignty, its ability to enact the will of the people, and to act in the best interest of its people through the introduction of public and environmental protections. It overrules the ‘precautionary principle’ which is in force through out the EU as a default position. Rather than erring on the side of caution when there is the ‘suggestion’ of plausible risk, laissez faire rules supreme. Under TTIP a product or service must be proven categorically to cause harm. However, even then it is not certain what the premise of recall would be. In a fully liberalised market, demand guides the market and drives trade, irrespective of benefit or other, to society, as with tobacco, sugar, etc. Damage to individuals or groups, where this could be established, is likely to be decided purely in financial terms, irrespective of and without reference to the categorical imperative.

    It is essential that citizens comprehend the full extent of repercussions across all sectors. In the areas of food and wages, respectively – food safety regulations and minimum wage rates are barriers to profits and therefore not conducive to fulfilling our obligation to the liberalisation of barriers to trade arrangements, under TTIP, as agreed by the UK Government on behalf of the people of Scotland.

    As bleak as this may appear, please bear in mind that power resides with people, governments are elected as our representatives, their power actually resides with us, they are public servants. Corporations exist to exploit demand, in the interests of profit – they are one dimensional entities, which cease to exist without patronage.

    You may well be only too aware of all of the above, and I would hope much more besides, I have only really touched on the ramifications – the affront to democracy; the threat to our environment; the risks to ‘public health’ in its broadest terms; and the impacts for social equality. All of these are theoretical propositions at present – thankfully democracy is not imposed it is demanded. We just have to use our voices to demand the society, laws and protections we want. The principle of democratic entitlement is not negotiable and it is enshrined in international law and treaties.

    Postscript : The TTIP negotiations are not open to public scrutiny and are far from finalised, therefore it is problematic to try and predict with any certainty the outcome for Scotland’s public services, or indeed the full impact on our society.

    • Thank-you for reminding the people that they hold the power. The role reversal of this relationship is intolerable because people actually do believe what politicians tell them as we have seen. When poor countries like Ecuador are fined billions for daring to raise their basic minimum wage from approx £37 per month to £58 per month. The world has gone mad and the corporate masters are laughing all the way to their banks. They don’t even need an agreement and are already a big part of our NHS.

  18. Katrine Paterson

    The system Stinks!

    • The system might stink but we had the power in our hands to prevent it and 55% decided otherwise.

      With Jack above trying to blame the SNP for this, you have to wonder at how folk think.

  19. The vision seems to be to reduce medical costs by replicating the US model which has the most expensive medical care in the world.

    I personally don’t understand this vision, but there again I am not smart enough to be in the position of voting to allow myself a 10% pay rise.

  20. Derek, I heard several Doctors in the run up to the referendum comparing Scotland’s NHS to England’s and all saying that ours was at risk by voting No. All had experience of it south of the border and were in panic mode.
    The thing that I find unacceptable about tendering NHS services out to private companies is that it’s Tax Payer’s money being given to these private companies. If we lived in the US we would have to have private health insurance, ie you pay the company your own cash, not your taxes. This is just another method of the capitalists pocketing tax payer’s money, like the housing benefit and the tax credits that subsidise employers allowing them to pay lower wages. I think some of them think that, when they see Tax, it’s actually their money they’re seeing.
    Seriously, I can’t understand why any political party would support the EU considering what it is doing in this and other matters. An unelected quango gets to sell off Europe’s Health Services, services that were hard won and paid for by my parents’ generation after they fought the worst war in history. The EU is a blood sucker.

    • Scotland out of Europe!

      • Would you, by any chance, be a UKIP supporter?

        • Are you having a laugh? I want what is best for Scotland and being part of Europe is increasingly dangerous for us and our most prized public services. Do you really want to be waiting in the queue and some richer people walk in straight past you and everyone else waiting, and they are seen immediately by a top doctor? Scotland out of Europe! to avoid this. Take action go to your local MP’s next surgery, tell them your issue and demand they effect change. It’s not helpful to be asking people what political party they support. Most of us that comment on Derek’s marvelous blog are iScotland supporters and we are united in that, looking for a way forward to realise our goal. This question is not helpful towards that goal

          • Nice cat though!

          • I have no intention or desire to hurt you (or anyone else).
            I say this up front in case I have got your comments all wrong. If I have, sorry.
            From your comments I think that you are concerned about every politician, including our current Scottish Government. To that extent I agree with you. You ask why replace an unhelpful WM government with a SG that you think is no better?
            I am politically naive, but I don’t trust any of them. But it seems to me that the SNP are closer to my thinking for Scotland and her people than any other party out there.
            They are not perfect, they have to work within a grotty sleazy system and I’m sure that some of them will succumb to the trappings.

  21. We will gain independence when folk take to the streets.
    We have been polite for too long.

  22. Keep a cool head folks. Sure, if we’d had a fair fight, the odds are that we’d have won, but probably by only a few percentage points. Would that have been a sustainable position? You’d have had a substantial minority feeling pretty sore and a number of people who voted Yes but not committed to it. You could see a situation where difficult negotiations forced many to rethink, with possible calls for a second referendum.

    We’re actually in the position we were in post 1979, feeling robbed following an unfair campaign full of threats and empty promises. But in the long run, events proved to the people that devolution was a good solution to Scotland’s problems and the second vote in 1997 was a crushing victory for Yes. The SNP and the 45% who voted Yes have to approach the upcoming negotiations in a positive spirit, committed to make the best of the outcome. That is the only way to persuade many of those who voted No that, in the long run, independence is the best way forward. Of course, the die hard Tory and Orange Order types are probably unpersuadable but they probably don’t represent more than 20% of the electorate.

  23. Have been in and out of hospital all this year and was due to go back in the week following the vote
    Due to a infection I was advised not too
    I have got to know staff really well
    The nursing sister told me on phone when I phoned to say I wasn’t comming in.

    The staff were in tears at the result
    They know
    Better together knew
    If you dont control the funds you control nothing

  24. You must be having a laugh now ‘proved to the people that devolution was a good solution to Scotland’s problems’ So why are we in this position now again if we had a ‘good solution’. The wasteminster crew will do it alone the Scots are a democratic people caring for those less fortunate, comments like this will never put out the fire. The ‘die hard tory and the orange order types’ are our kin and need to be educated. To dismiss a whole section of our Scotland is unthinkable for a democracy, especially when it is done on figures. Who next I’m wondering, will it be the aged or maybe the mentally ill, I mean they don’t even have a vote so why should we care about them? Our job is to persuade people like you that we are, all of us, one Scotland warts and all! What upcoming negotiations are you talking about that we must remain positive in spirit for?We knew there would be repercussions and here they are not just for Scotland but for the whole of Europe with the TTIP negotiations that are held in private. So please enlighten me about this ‘commitment to the best possible outcome, because nobody consults me so I don’t understand.

    • Please don’t tell me what my job is. I’ve just spent 3 years trying to persuade people to vote for Independence so we could THEN choose a Government which would do what the Majority of ALL the People wished it to do.

  25. Derek, its also ISDS component that is just as frightening. Bayer is suing the ED on the ban on pesticides. ISDS opens the door for this kind of litigation whenever a government decides (even with a democratic mandate) to renationalised, change economic priorities on tendering, anything that threatens the profitability of a corporation. I touch on that here:

  26. John Swinney on TTIP:

    “Question S4O-03450: Margaret McCulloch, Central Scotland, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/07/2014

    To ask the Scottish Government what assessment it has made of the implications of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership for workers, public services and small businesses in Scotland.

    Answered by John Swinney (07/08/2014):

    The Scottish Government believes that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could deliver economic benefits for Scotland and has been engaging with the UK Government to maximise the benefits of TTIP for Scotland and to ensure that concerns about TTIP are addressed.

    At the Joint Ministerial Committee on 26 March 2014 the Deputy First Minister highlighted the need for the UK Government to engage with the Scottish Government and the other devolved administrations on TTIP. Following that, my officials have been in regular dialogue with officials in the UK Government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills about the progress of the negotiations and the potential implications for Scotland. Officials in the Scottish Government’s EU team have also been keeping a watching brief on the European Commission’s approach to TTIP.

    More specifically, given the vital importance of the NHS to the people of Scotland and concerns about the impact of TTIP on the NHS, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing has written to the Secretary of State for Health requiring cast-iron assurances that, whatever the approach to the provision of health services in the rest of the UK, TTIP will not affect the Scottish Government’s ability to determine how NHS services are provided; that there will be no obligation to open the NHS in Scotland to private providers as is happening in England; and that decisions of the Scottish Government in respect of the NHS would not be open to potential challenge through investor-state dispute settlement.

    Current Status: Answered by John Swinney on 07/08/2014”

    What I’d like to know from the Scottish Government is what – the NHS aside – they think will be the benefits of TTIP. Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are both on record too, extolling these. But what are they? As far as I can see the Investor State Dispute Settlement clause in the arrangement amounts to handing over sovereign power to the corporations with no comeback except expensive and probably futile fights through the courts.So issues of social justice, public health, human rights, environmental concerns etc etc could be out of the hands of the government of the day. Look what’s happened in Australia in relation to plain packaging of cigarettes.

    Despite Scotland having no seat of its own at the negotiating table in Brussels over TTIP and ISDS, I would want a more detailed and robust critique of TTIP and ISDS. We may have little chance of influencing it in the union as things stand. But we’ve got NO chance if the Scottish Govt are – NHS excepting – welcoming it.

    I voted YES in the hope we could do things differently in Scotland. I need to see differences in the Scottish Govt’s approach to issues like this.

  27. Steve Asaneilean

    Spot on Alison – I need to see a Scottish Government opposed to all aspects – no just the potential impact on the NHS Scotland – of the proposed unreformed TTIP and ISDS legislation.

  28. There’s not a lot the SG can do though, is there? But I do wish they would make more public their limitations of power. It might have the effect of making more Nawbags aware of the case for independence, because as long as the SG shields Scotland from the ill effects of not having control of our own affairs, the more complacent the Nawbags become. I often think the SG is complicit in UK’s control over Scotland.

    I have a question though. ISDS supposedly operates between investors and ‘states’. Are devolved regions ‘states’? Are local authorities ‘states’? If a devolved region or local authority becomes entangled over an investor dispute contract involving a US corporation, is the UK government culpable? (Thinking about the fraught contract Edinburgh Council had with German firm Bilfinger Berger over the trams). If the clause says ‘states’ then surely it means what it says on the tin? Therefore the SG could not be made liable for any ISDS?

  29. I’ve a second question. TTIP is a treaty between the EU and USA. If the UK were to leave the EU, surely TTIP and ISDS would no longer apply anywhere in the UK?

    But if there were US investments in the UK at that point, could they not sue UK for breach of contract for breaking away from TTIP? (I’m guessing this would have to be more than theoretical… surely they would have to prove actual hurt…)

    • Even if the UK were to withdraw from the EU (and that’s still a pretty long way off happening), I suspect the UK government would sign a TTIP deal (or something worryingly similar) with the US government, regardless of what Brussels does.

      • I think that’s a distinct possibility. Cameron wants TTIP, and he wants TTIP in EU, because the Americans want it. And Cameron is America’s special friend. ACameron also wants to complete the Thatcher revolution by ditching the NHS as a publicly owned service. Apparently Carswell defected to UKIP because he got wind of the fact that Cameron wasn’t sincere about the EU referendum. He intended to hold one (to see off UKIP) but ensure that leaving the EU was not going to be the result. They’d fix it, the Sir Humphreys would do focus groups, work on the soft Noes, allay their fears. Promise them anything. Sound familiar? Apparently Carswell and UKIP are worried about TTIP from the point of view of the erosion of national sovereignty. TTIP is going to play and play. But we must be careful that it is not hi-jacked by the right – UKIP could conceivably pick up votes from disenchanted Labour voters in May 2015 waving the TTIP-EU card.

  30. Thank-you Alison for this info and bringing the attention to the failings of our government to protect us from any of the hardships we will face in the event of a deal over TTIP. I think we have to ask ourselves why would the SNP promote the TTIP and only exclude NHS? How would they be able to exclude the NHS when the NHS is the only government organisation already in the clutches of multi national drugs corporations? This is a serious problem Scotland, and we must take any action that will stop TTIP and ISDS.
    The other issue mentioned on this thread by MBC – the complicity of SNP to the UK control. I wholeheartedly agree. There are too many questions left unanswered and I have listened to the speeches of AS telling us that we need more clarity and honesty from UK gov. Where’s the honesty and clarity of our SG, why are they holding onto the truth? Why are they not sitting in a glass house? Why do we follow this particular political party, when there are many other Scottish organisations promoting iScotland? Why must we always have a carbon copy of wasteminsters politics that in our experience, time and time again, we know it doesn’t work for us? The re-structuring of our political system is a must, why have the SNP not started this. They are our public servants, we pay them to look after our interests. We must go to your next surgery held by your local MSP (all of them) go with your family and friends and let your MSP know that you are unhappy and demand they do something. If nothing happens then your MSP is not doing their job and you need to vote accordingly at the next vote. If I did not do my job, fulfilling my re-mit, I would be sacked or at least pulled into some disciplinary for my wrong-doing. So lets all take action in this non-violent way, so that our public servants know their position and the fact that we will stand for nothing less than honesty.

    • My guess is that the SNP or SG/SE (I include the early Lib-Lab administrations) don’t think it is a vote winner to threip on about how little they can actually do under the limited powers actually established by devolution. They want to build confidence in the Scottish Parliament as an institution as a first step. And I think the SNP have done that. But it was an uphill struggle. To begin with the press were really down on the whole Scottish Parliament project, and the fiasco over the soaring costs of building Holyrood didn’t help.

      Now that Holyrood is built and established and has made a difference, they are in a better position to flex their muscles – and rattle the cage.

      Which is why I think it is now timely to say: ‘Well, why can’t you actually do that?’ And obtain the honest answer, ‘Because Westminster/EU won’t let us’. I think the electorate are now grown up enough to accept that answer, and not blame the SNP or SG for that.

      I think they feel caught between a rock and a hard place with devolution. Public expectations are high, but I think they are in a position of impotent power a lot of the time without possessing the full range of fiscal and legislative levers.

      But I disagree with them being coy about it. If it’s because they don’t have enough powers, or fear the consequences of a bolder move, I think they should just level with us and say so.

      But they still have a huge numbers of enemies, and I think they are afraid to push things too far. In that context the referendum was a hugely bold step, and though we did not achieve our aim, we have achieved a huge step forward in building the consenus towards independence.

      I’m not in the SG. This is just my sense of what I think is going on. Clearly they are not meeting your expectations. But I repeat, they are only a partially devolved administration. There is a limit to what they can do under present powers.

      As regards TTIP, it carries opportunities as well as risks. Otherwise why would the EU even consider it? The upside is that it promises inward investment, improvements in service, and jobs. The downside, is that it could be a devil’s bargain. The sting is in the ISDS. If you read Swinney’s letter to Catherine McKelvie (to the very end, including the last paragraph – people often put in what they really mean at the end by way of conclusion) you’ll see that Swinney is on the case. He is fully aware that the ISDS clause is the one that needs changing.

      But as I’ve said, they don’t have direct input. Even MPs don’t have direct input, or MEPs. It is all being negotiated on our behalf by the European Commission – which is separate and different from the EU parliament.

      I think we have to keep asking these close questions though – ‘Why can’t this be done? Why not?’. And put pressure on them to do more – even with their limited power and influence.

      • TTIP – may come to nothing if the dollar collapses as many US pundits are forecasting

      • I believe if you go and speak personally to your MSP with a valid issue that their ‘partially devolved administration’ can effect change over, then surely as my public servant they should respond positively. This has not happened in my experience of the SG over a thirteen year period! I am aware that not everyone has my issue or is even aware of such an issue, despite my thirteen years of knocking on their doors asking questions, trying to raise awareness. I am sure mine is not the only issue that requires action by SG sooner rather than later. I am also sure that I am getting nowhere because the groups within our communities I am trying to raise awareness about are not allowed to vote. In SG this means no action over this issue because it does not benefit SG! I am sick of hearing how little the SG can do and believe it’s time they were held accountable for the mistakes they’ve made and the issues they’ve absolutely, actively ignored. Whilst paying lip service to my issue by writing me useless letters that contain no real solution or even a platform for discussion! The SG CAN DO BUT DON’T over this particular far reaching issue that affects a growing number of people and negatively impacts on all of us in terms of Scottish humanitarianism. I would like to find out how many Scots have been to their local MSP with an issue and been all but totally ignored? I am a yesser to iScotland but we need to rid ourselves of Goverments who have forgotten their remit, including our own.
        I think the opportunities of the TTIP are in fact only for the corporations that will have the power. The risks are all for us, the people of Europe, that is why the EU are considering it. Put it like this, if the UK government has 42% of MP’s hailing from the best public schools in Britain and some of these old school tie boys are now MEP’s then you can see the elite pattern extending throughout Brussels. With European politicians being ‘lobbied’ by those sent with enough money to ‘persuade’ indirectly by those at the top of the corporation tree. This is the way modern politics works and furthermore it is not a good idea to believe that it must be good for us because ‘why else would the EU consider it’. John Swinney is certainly not on the ball over this one, The TTIP IS BAD and should not be considered at all. On the ‘promises’ well I think every yesser in Scotland can see promises made by politicians are not to be trusted and hardly ever are kept. The point is we don’t want the TTIP so why does SG manage to have a different opinion?

  31. Everybody was told about this but most people chose not to read about it or think about it and just assumed that it was a ploy by the Yes campaign. I feel like the first person to reply. I feel helpless.

  32. Don’t blame me, I voted Yes. Get used to hearing that.

  33. Having problems with the internet or my PC and may not have seen all the previous replies on the thread. I did however read John Swinney’s reply to Christina McKelvie – (highlight & right click to get the link) – and in it he does seem to be saying that the SG are trying to ‘address concerns’.

    But I still don’t get it. As far as I can see, TTIP hands even more power over to corporations and ties Governments up in legal knots and litigation.
    Why would the Scottish Government want independence from the UK and Westminster, just to hand over sovereignty to huge corporations?

    I don’t pretend to know all about TTIP, but everything I’ve read scares the bejasus out of me. It would fit my sense of the YES campaign better if the Scottish Government were in there shouting that TTIP is bad for Scotland and the whole of the UK. The only positive I’ve seen reported is half a percent growth in GDP. I mean, EH? I would like to see them informing and educating the Scottish populace about it and trying to win support for wholesale resistance to it from ordinary citizens and all the business folk that supported independence.Otherwise, what’s the difference? In what way is Scotland trying to do things differently, more ethically, with more care for human rights and the environment?

    I admired the way the SG stood up to Donald Trump over the wind farm (though better if they hadn’t cosied up to him in the first place) and I expect nothing less of them in relation to trade agreements that potentially tie the hands of govts.

    Anyone know what the Scandinavian countries are saying about TTIP?

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