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‘Do first, and say sorry later’

The prime minister’s efforts to bring the Scots back into the fold feel like ‘do first, and say sorry later’!

Tories have not really recovered from the damage done by Margaret Thatcher's dismissive attitude to Scottish self-determination. Added to this has been the scaremongering that Scotland could rule England which to some extent has paid off in keeping the Downing Street residence in tact though at the cost of a distinct socio-political division across the country, fuelled by the 2015 election campaign strategies for the political gains.

Now Osborne assures that the devolution to Scotland and Wales would go ahead, knowing that 56 SNP MPs, if unhappy, would stand firmly against the government in opposition.

Despite all this, the Scottish independence is inevitable, and the government is rather illusive in thinking that they could govern a united Britain. The socio-political division across the country is much deeper now - London is a telling example.

The chancellor confirms the divide as in talking about his plans for devolution across the English cities, he has said that decisions taken in London have "made people feel remote from the decisions that affect their lives…it’s not good for our prosperity or our democracy." For example, many people in the north of England have not forgiven the Tories for the policies inflicted upon them during the Margaret Thatcher era, and believe that Thatcherite policies brought about the swift end of communities and industrial jobs.

Is the devolution across the English cities enough or should we be thinking about an independent England, given that the nine regions of England have an average population of about 5 million, similar in size to Scotland and sufficient to provide a tax base big enough to fund the kind of strategic spending that is difficult to sustain at a county level?

The prime minister wishes to govern a united Britain but could this be achieved without a fair distribution of resources and good provision of equal opportunities amongst the communities and across the country?

Socio-economic deprivation in itself is a significant dividing factor with huge differential impact on the communities. This divide line would become more pronounced in the face of Mr Osborn’s agenda of continued cuts in public spending (an extra £25 billion from public spending by the end of 2017-18) and by cutting the central grant to the local authorities in order to achieve tax cuts and budget surpluses.

A simple Internet research informs:

  • Deprived areas across England and Scotland are seeing larger cuts to local authority budgets – of around £100 per head – than in more affluent ones
  • Cuts to social security benefits amount to a breach of the UK's obligations under international agreements on human rights – but then this government will scrap the Human Rights Act
  • More than one in three households in social housing in the north of England have no money at all left at the end of each week after they have met their financial commitments
  • Changes to the benefits system made so far have hit women disproportionately hard
  • The government's austerity programme is mainly hitting those people who depend on vital support from public services and social security
  • Some of the poorest families in England are at risk from changes to the Social Fund for people in financial crisis

Hope that this government would understand that the financial recovery is comparatively easy for a nation to achieve than the recovery from a social decline!  15/5/2015



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The HCJ is not under the influence of any political party nor it is in the business of promoting councillors or other elected representatives but it shares its analysis of socio-political and economic situations with voters to help them to make well informed democratic choices.

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