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Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

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  • Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

    As a result of the discussion in the newsletter at

    I have moved the discussion into this new thread. This is simply because many have subscribed to that conference and so might not be interested in following the discussion.

    It was suggested that the only way forward was to change the SNP from within and I am ok on that point.

    What I see however is lack of vision on how Scotland could be better than it is and how to earn more money for the Scottish economy.

    For example it seems to me that most Scots want a good social system which means that we have a good NHS, Education, and welfare system. There is nothing wrong with that but we simply can't afford it. So we need to start looking outside the box to generate more income or reduce our costs so that it can happen or a combination of both.

    Now in Finland they have started to look at paying a basic wage to all adults and are seeking parliamentary approval to try a test scheme and so far it looks like the Fins will go along with this trial.

    Let us work on the principal that we pay a living wage to everyone. It would be the government that would supply that. The living wage would be sufficient for everyone to have a roof over their heads, a decent but basic standard of living so that good food could be purchased, utilities paid for, basic transport provided, a TV and computer in every home and a wee surplus for discretionary spending. How how much that would cost I don't know but it would be a start.

    Now having done that on anything extra earned we would pay let's say 70% tax. What we now have is the total elimination of welfare benefits because they wouldn't be needed. The culture would also have to change in that jobs for cash would be eliminated so that people can't dodge paying tax on their extra income.

    Start thinking what this might do to our costs and benefits. Someone needs to work out if this is possible but if the Fins are interested in this then where might this take us?

    Then we need to look at energy. There is a woman in America who I read about that claims she can build a nuclear plant that would not cause huge amounts of emissions and virtually no waste. Now if she was given the chance to trial this we could produce huge amounts of cheap green energy. Should we not consider this?

    Then look at tourism. In my view Scotland has never made use of all the Scots Diaspora to attract people to come for a holiday to Scotland. In my view their lack of common sense has cost Scotland billions every year. Instead they think the Scots Diaspora should do everything for nothing.. it's somehow unpatriotic to want something in return. That attitude needs to stop.

    The same few hundred people are being employed by the Government to serve on the hundreds of committee's that usually produce little benefit to Scots. It's time the Government trusted the people of Scotland to be able to analyse a situation and come up with better solutions.

    The marketing industry in Scotland is inept in that it simply does what it has always done by doing nothing new and communicating little. Like who are the key players in export terms in Scotland? Where is it easy for people to find this information? Why do we have to provide grants to encourage private enterprise to export? Surely any ambitious exporter will find their own way to do that and surely by working in partnership with other exporters they can do it better and cheaper.

    Why is it our exporters aren't identified as being a positive force for the Scottish economy? That's because most MSP's have never been in industry or tried to run a business.

    Then why are we in the EU? It costs us money to be in the EU and we are a net contributor to them.

    We could instead be in the EEA, EFTA and the Nordic Council at less than half the cost of EU membership and also have better control of our independent country instead of ceding rights to the EU of our North Sea right up to our beeches with the devastation this has already cost Scotland. Were it not for the EU we would have a great Steel industry in Scotland.

    Then if we can do so well at cheap green energy then why can't we look at producing an electric car to make use of all that industry? This would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs never mind the export potential.

    We are already doing good work in the Bio sciences and that should be continued but we need to talk about it as the vast majority of people know little about this work.

    Why can't we produce more hi-tech ship and bring back our once world beating shipbuilding industry?

    Then yes we need more homes and so why can't we look at building then outside the normal centers as with basic transport people can travel to get work so the cost of land would be greatly reduced. Why should we focus on Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen when many other areas of Scotland would be great places to live? Why can't we make far better use of our Islands? Orkney & Shetland and the Western Isles are ripe for the right kind of development.

    Why aren't Scots willing to embrace new ways of communicating. I've often emailed people in all walks of life in Scotland but these emails are usually ignored and I never get a reply. We need a new sense of community if are to turn Scotland around to be a world beating nation.

    We also need honesty from the people that govern us in Parliament, in local councils. If we have a problem then let's talk about it and fix it. In my view the media has placed us in this situation as they haven't been honest with us. They often don't report bad things they know about and often don't promote the good stories either. Instead of condemning an MP for changing their mind on something surely they should congratulate them for having that courage. BUT that's not how our press works any more as they look for sensational headlines to sell their newspapers or promote their brands on TV.

    But where so we get people that can think like this. Where do we start?

    We need young people to take a lead as the older generation has done little for them. But our educational system is flawed right now and we are not developing the minds of those that will come after us. It's the schools, colleges and universities that need to change to encourage new thinking. We need to get our universities working in International affairs so we learn how the world is really run and how world governance is changing. We need diplomats for the future of Scotland.

    We have been fighting in the Middle East for far too long and yet we have yet to find a solution. We need radical new thinking on this. Basic human rights should be there for all people. We should be teaching tolerance and compromise as a way forward.

    I will be frank and say that the 10 commandments are a good way to live your life but we are steadily taking religion out of our lives and don't want to discuss it. I feel we are becoming very greedy and wanting material things that we really don't need. Like how can you justify charging 28% interest for credit card debt when the banks only pay some 2% interest? Perhaps it's time we moved to a better system of banking and a better system of getting credit. Let's remember that our parents didn't have such easy access to credit as we do today... they actually had to save up for what they wanted.

    And so I believe that for Scotland to be a successful independent country we need a total change to just about everything but if we do that then the Scots could lead the world.

    But how do embark on all this? Any ideas? Do we need a new political party or can the existing ones change enough to embrace this?


  • #3
    Re: Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

    On the Finland case I also wondered if we needed to provide a pension as they are already way underfunded right now and if the proposed system was paying a living wage while you are alive would we need them?



    • #4
      Re: Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

      Alistair, "food for thought", enough to satisfy a multitude of gluttons. Change, no doubt needed, overwhelming change far too difficult to accept. 70% tax and the sound of a slamming door comes to mind, 80% of your audience might have departed. Finland is a great comparison and a fine example of what can be done with decent management, COD and OIL. Way back, perhaps as far back as the late fifties, Newfoundland fishermen implored the Canadian government to implement a quota on cod and this was refused. Finland, sixties I believe, put a stop to cod fishing, lasted for many years and Canada now imports cod from Finland, and of course China, the last was a real shock to me. And just a couple of years back the Brits were negotiating to buy electrical power from Finland and I read that the deal fell apart when the Brits insisted that Finland built the delivery system. Not sure if this will happen but a Brit, retired to Finland, says there are plans to supply all residents with free electricity.....and, an article read says their social programs are guaranteed for the next 125 years.....has a lot to do with oil revenues.


      • #5
        Re: Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

        Well the UK spent their oil revenue so we all got the benefit of lower taxes. Now it's on such a low price we're benefiting with lower energy costs.

        Thing is we can't make progress unless we discuss how we might do that and it seems we're not prepared to do that. I don't have the skill sets to work out figures but I can see many ways in which we can improve.

        Like who do we have in Scotland that might work out what it would cost to produce a living wage to everyone? We need someone to then figure out what that would save us when it comes to doing away with our welfare system. The Finland case is trying to find out how people would react to seeking work when they can live of the state basic wage.... would they actually look for work? Then how many people would be made unemployed due to not having to police the welfare state? There are many ramifications that need to be investigated.

        Those are genuine concerns and hence this trial the Fins are embarking on.

        And I know about Cod stocks... that was one of the stories I mention when I say you rarely here about Canada in the world as being one of the few times Canada got a lot of publicity by fishing out their stocks.

        Scotland lost some 100,000 jobs in the fishing industry through total mismanagement by the EU Fisheries Policy. That meant several billion a year in lost income and the destruction of many rural communities.



        • #6
          Re: Newsletter discussion 11th December 2015

          This is an interesting view of the future of Nuclear power...