Isobel Lindsay on behalf of the Scottish Independence Convention comments on UK Labour leader Ed Milliband’s speech today (Thursday) defending the union:
“Ed Milliband’s candy floss message managed to avoid any real political and socio-economic content. When Scots, after decades of campaigning, won the right to make some of our own decisions with the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, we made choices that were very different from those of Westminster irrespective of whether the government there was Labour or Tory-LibDem. The political gulf over the past twelve years has grown ever greater.
Let’s remember that it was Milliband’s Government that introduced university tuition fees opening the way for the Tories and Liberals to increase them. Scotland chose differently.
His Labour Government started the marketisation of the NHS which the Coalition has now accelerated. Scotland chose differently.
His Government started the fragmentation of school education which the Tories-LibDems have taken several stages further. Scotland chose differently.
His Government did nothing about the cost of elderly personal care. Scotland made a different choice.
His Government kept pushing up prescription charges. Scotland (and Wales) made a different choice.
His Government took us into the Iraq and Afghan wars. Scotland did not have the right to choose.
His Government not only supported the existing nuclear weapons system (all based on the Clyde) but initiated a new generation of Trident weapons at vast cost. Scotland did not have the right to choose.
His Government pushed the costly and ill-judged PFI programme for public projects for which we will pay dearly over the next thirty years. The Scottish Government had no borrowing powers to make substantially different choices.
The present Coalition Government is initiating real benefit cuts for some of the most vulnerable in our society. Scotland has no power to choose differently.
When Scotland has had a choice, it has shown that its political values are different. Unfortunately its powers are limited which is why we need independence. Yes it is about identity but identity comes with values and one of the central arguments in the Referendum will be about our right to shape our society according to our values.”