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There’s an incredible process of unification and merger going on before our eyes.

George Osbourne today announced cuts of £11.5b more from public services coming down the line using the same language as Johann Lamont of destroying a  something for nothing culture’.

Ed Miliband has spent the last fortnight pledging to scrap universal benefits, backing a coalition cap on benefits and now matching Tory spending levels for 2015/16. This is now the clearly unified voice of Better Together, one nation, one economic plan: UKOK.

Caroline Lucas put it very well today saying:

News that Ed Miliband will accept the government’s spending cuts, as a starting point for 2015-16, as well as supporting a cap on welfare spending, confirms fears that we now have three parties of austerity at Westminster (Miliband summons up spirit of 45, 22 June). Instead of trying to outcompete the government in some kind of masochistic virility test to see who can threaten the greatest austerity, an opposition party worthy of the name would be making a far stronger case that austerity isn’t working, and offering a genuine alternative.

This very day without a trace of irony something called One Nation Labour tweeted today saying:

“British people should not be paying the price for this Government’s economic failure” yet this was broadcast only days after their leader, made a statement declaring effectively: “Vote for me, I will make no difference.”

The introduction of Labour’s own welfare spending cap and the wholesale acceptance of the Tories austerity paradigm completely undermine Scottish Labour’s efforts to outline a different future in Britain. It isn’t there. Even if Labour could get elected, it simply isn’t there.

As Tim Jackson lays out really clearly we don’t need to ‘get growth moving‘  (see picture-quote) we need some new economic models based on people’s actual values and not a return to the disastrous endless obsession with stuff we don’t need.

But the secondary position of many who remain unconvinced by the arguments for independence is that we can huddle, constitutionally, behind the shield of devolution. One set of speakers at last weeks Solas Festival described themselves as Radical Devo – in contrast to the Radical Indy forum.

But such ideas, vague, incoherent and unformed as they remain also lie within a powers-framework that we need to keep reminding ourselves. Today, when Scotland enacted its first new tax for 300 years it may seem to some that we are a functioning democratic body. As we look to explore how we could create the sort of genuine alternative Caroline Lucas suggests, let’s remind ourselves what powers are currently reserved under devolution that we ‘d be gaining control of from independence:

Income Tax

Corporation tax

Oil Revenues

National Security

Immigration

Welfare

VAT

Defence

Foreign Policy

Trade & Industry

Transport

Energy Regulation

Constitution

Crown Estates

Broadcasting

Civil Service

Whilst it’s repeated over and over that without our own currency and the head of state removed this isn’t ‘true’ independence, you have to look at this list of powers and think, couldn’t we do better than the now One Nation One Policy One Party Britain we live in?

It’s time to end Austerity Unionism.

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