There’s something worrying me about the way the Great Britain is heading. Scotland is on a different political trajectory from England and the gap is widening. Northern Ireland is going to be in a the most difficult of all places as/when the Brexit actually happens. If hard borders are needed on the emerald Isle I’ve not read anything which predicts how this will end up.
It seems that there’s a percentage of the people who are happy to be seen as being “Brengland”. What’s good for Britain has to be good for England as England is Britain. Right? Well no, it seems that many parts of Great Britain don’t think this way. Scotland’s a confusing place for politics. The SNP win almost everything, yet the majority still still seem to be not in favour of independence, the core raison d’etre of the party they vote for most. Wierd. There’s a dichotomy there, how can this party be so successful in Holyrood, Westminster, local authority elections and not yet have an overwhelming mandate for Independence?
Despite pointless stories in the media Scotland isn’t anything like a one party state though It’s just that the alternatives to the SNP are so dire as to be unvotable (is that a word?) Wee Ruthie is keeping a low profile as the Tory party gets away with an internal coup d’etat by it’s right wing. Omnishambles isn’t strong enough to describe the performance of the Tories over the Brexit vote.
And we’re still £1.7 Trillion pound in debt. That’s a number with 12 zeros in it. £1,700,000,000,000.00. It’s an incomprehensible amount of money. Here’s what One billion looks like as a stack of dollar bills (we don’t have £1 notes anymore and I couldn’t find a picture of £1 coins). And we’re at almost double that amount.
Think of the debt this way – a single pound coin weighs 0.095Kg. So we can get about £10,500 per tonne of £1 coins. So a Million £££s will weigh about 95 tonnes. That’s about 12 double decker buses. So a £Billion will be 12,000 buses. If these buses were all end to end they’d line up for 100 kilometers. And that’s only a £Billion pounds. A £Trillion is £1Million x £1Million. Oh this is getting unimaginable…… But these are the numbers our politicians blithely throw around these days.
Or another way – A million seconds is 12 days. A billion seconds is 31 years. A trillion seconds is 31,688 years. A million minutes ago was – 1 year, 329 days, 10 hours and 40 minutes ago. A billion minutes ago was just after the time of Christ. A trillion seconds ago…. we were neanderthals.
And the thing is, regardless of how you measure that debt, it’s still going up. Every single day our Goverment is spending more money than it takes in. Oh but we’re using Austerity to reduce the deficit they say. (deficit = how big the gap is between what the Government gets in and what it spends. Debt = the sum of all the ongoing deficts) Yes, credit perhaps that the Tories are using Austerity to do something. But it’s not to reduce the countries debts. It’s to channel money from those who pay tax to those who pay to avoid tax. More on this in another post I think.
Down in England though, the transition to being a one party state is well on track. The Labour party has disintegrated. It doesn’t matter whether Jeremy Corbyn is voted as leader again, the disintegration has happened. Resorting to the courts to decide who is eligible to vote in internal elections is really just the last rites being administered. There’s no way back for them to being a party of Government. Which is a desperate shame because what both Westminster and Holyrood are crying out for is effective opposition. In Scotland the main opposition is provided by the media who relentlessly follow an “SNPBad” storyline. But in Westminster it is different. The same media give the Tory party a feather bed ride in comparison to the treatment they give to Labour.
So where is this leading us to? Even though we’re living through the most incompetent Tory Government in living memory 38% of the population voted for them. And they’re about to change the electoral wards. Advantage Tories. In fact, it looks like Game, Set and Match to the Tories for a very long time to come. The Electoral Calculus site has this (grim) prediction for the 2020 elections following the boundary reviews.
So stop and think where we’re all heading as the most invasive, right wing Government I’ve ever lived under looks set to consolidate its grip on Westminster. As their high priestess said “There is no alternative”. For Brengland this looks like the truth. But there is an alternative for Scotland. We’ve just got to be brave.