Better together? Only when we’re silent, apparently

better together

Written by Luna Webster

Did anyone else watch Question Time on Thursday? For those of you who didn’t, I’ll summarise. The panel featured Caroline Flint (Labour), Lord Heseltine (Conservative) Norman Lamb (Lib Dem), Duncan Bannantyne and Nicola Sturgeon (SNP). I could talk for hours about any of the topics and the way they were responded to but I’m going to focus on the last question which was “in the event of a Labour minority government, will Scotland be ruling Westminster?”

This suggestion was met with laughter and absolute disgust by most of the panel. But why? Scotland has been ruled by Westminster for hundreds of years. Why is the concept of us having power there so horrific?

In the episode Lord Heseltine actually compared the SNP to UKIP and implied that the party’s growing popularity is down to nothing more than protest voters. However this is obviously untrue. SNP have had nearly eight reasonably successful years in the scottish parliament. It’s rare that when parties near the end of their terms they are more popular then when they first took office, but the SNP are. Whether you agreed or disagreed with their policies it’s undeniable that they kept their promises. I think the reason the SNP are doing so well in polls is because people see them as trustworthy and regardless of what individuals voted in the referendum, many feel disheartened by the way Westminster has treated Scotland post September.

And this attitude held against Scotland was particularly visible on the show. Lord Heseltine stated that we are only voting SNP because we want “even more” money from the English and this comment was met with nods of agreement. Excuse me? For an intelligent man who has had a long political career, he appears to have little understanding of how Scotland is actually funded. Remember that union we’re a part of? Well the people in those four nations in the union pay their taxes and Scotland receives a block grant. We’re not the thieving, greedy scroungers that you’d like to make us out to be. Its a fair system – and one that we were begged to stay a part of, if you remember.

The SNP have been very honest in why they’re campaigning for a lot of MPs to go down to London. They generally say they believe we need better Scottish representation in the institution that makes all those decisions that affect us. So WHY is this dressed up as toxicity? Why is it disguised by politicians as such a disastrous possibility?

It seems that we were literally begged by Westminster to stay in the union and then as soon as we did that, we are ignored. They started talking about English votes for English laws immediately, which, by the way, seems to be another pedantic way to limit and silence scots. These issues they claim will only affect England actually often affect the whole of the UK – go research the Barnett formula.

It makes absolutely no sense to me that the desire for fair representation between our four nations is so out of the question. Why can’t we have the voice we were promised? It’s not greedy, it’s the fair and right thing to have. If Scotland is going to continue to be governed by a party that it didn’t vote for why can’t we at least have a few spokespeople in parliament, ensuring we are treated fairly and not put on the back burner as we have been in previous years.

We are better together, apparently. We are stronger as part of a union. A union that loathes the idea of letting its smaller nations have their say. A union that wants to paint us as this rich, thriving country that simply wants MORE, when we suffer mass unemployment and poverty in our biggest towns and cities. Our silence is convenient for Westminster. Reject that silence and speak out.

(Oh and additionally when will English politicians actually learn the name of the SNP? Scottish National Party lads. We aren’t all these filthy “nationalists” you want us to be.)

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