Mike Vickers' Blog

February 20, 2012

Scottish Independence – an opportunity for a New Jerusalem?

Filed under: History in the making, Scottish Independence — derryvickers @ 6:45 pm

Straight from Wiki so reasonably unbiased – the New Jerusalem:  ‘Clement Attlee’s government proved to be one of the most radical British governments of the 20th century. It presided over a policy of selective nationalisation of major industries and utilities, including the Bank of England, coal mining, the steel industry, electricity, gas, telephones, and inland transport (including the railways, road haulage and canals). It developed the “cradle to grave” welfare state conceived by the Liberal economist William Beveridge. To this day, the party still considers the creation in 1948 of Britain’s publicly funded National Health Service under health minister Aneurin Bevan its proudest achievement’.  OK the UK had to be bailed out with Marshall Aid but it got Britain on the right road.  Worth a read http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~semp/conflict.htm.  I take pride that Beveridge was a Liberal.

 But where is the SNP’s New Jerusalem: nowhere to be seen – bogged down in the rules of the Independence game – will there be a new Monopoly game for new Christmas.  Far better to have something that will give Scots something to get their teeth into.   Let’s have a go:

Nationalize what’s left from Bank of Scotland and RBS into a proper Bank of Scotland; take over Network Rail in Scotland and nationalize ScotRail (First Bus et al); create a new SNOC; create a new national company for Energy (Scottish Grid, Scottish Power, Scottish and Southern Electricity, Scottish Gas); bring back Scottish Water under direct government control; set up a new European ferry service.  Socialize the Health Service; rethink educations – cradle to grave; take over the big estates.  Rebuild local democracy, devolve the Police force.  Join the Nordic Council.  Oh and by the way nationalize the Old Firm – Rangers.

It could be said that I am inconsistent – nationalization and local democracy don’t go together.  I think they do; local democracy requires a good infrastructure to support it – let it get on with the scale of things it can does well.  Transport, for instance,  is a necessary requirement for  getting  the common goods to and the specialist goods away – creating the specialist goods is what increasingly local is about: Harris Tweed, Aran cheese.  Likewise I see no conflict in the energy distribution network providing access to the background requirement and the local wind farm or wave power topping up when the wind is blowing or the waves flowing.

It could just be that Salmond is an Attlee.  If he, like Attlee only get five years and put only half of these measures in place, bring it on and be remembered for something far greater than just Independence.  Yes you do need full Independence; Devo Max would be a non-starter .

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