Picture: Better together leaflet which argued that staying in the union would in fact protect our pensions.
A horrifying story jumps out of the Sunday papers, ‘Tories Plan to Raise the State Pension Age to 75 Over the Next 16 Years.’This stems from a report by the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) which proposes raising the pension age to 70 by 2028, and further raising it to 75 by 2035. That would mean life-changing and likely negative implications for us all only 16 years from now. CSJ is indeed a strange name for a think tank which, aims to tackle poverty and uphold social justice. We might be quick to dismiss this report considering it’s a think tank that can propose ideas that might not be acted on however, The CSJ is a highly influential think tank that PM Boris consults with.
Continue reading “Our Pensions Are At Risk. How Can We Stop It?”
By Gregg Brain
Let me say at the outset that I think that the Australian public health system is the second-best in the world – certainly in my experience. You can be kept from dying, without having to put your hand in your pocket, and that’s a whole lot more than can be said in most other countries I’ve experienced.
But – and it’s a big but – Australia has a two-tier health system. Public, as described above, and private. Private gets you what you want, when you want – but you have to pay, and pay big. For the purposes of this article, I went online to an Australian private health insurer, and got a quote for cover such as Kathryn and I had when we were living there. The annual premium is over $4,700 – that’s almost £2,700.00, to get on a shorter queue.
And that’s what it’s all about – shortening that queue, and I’ll explain why.
Continue reading “Scottish NHS. Fight For It!”
*Article submitted by Councillor Richard Thompson as featured in the Scots Independent Magazine. To subscribe to the magazine, please click here.
This may not, given his subsequent track record, prove to be a very popular opinion. Nevertheless, when it comes to the Scottish Parliament, Scotland and the wider Scottish self-government movement has much for which it should be grateful to Tony Blair.
We have many others to also be grateful to of course, not least the multitude of activists who marched, leafleted, debated and engaged down the years to persuade their fellow Scots to back home rule. The sacrifice to get there was not — thankfully — a bloody one, but can be measured instead in forgone opportunities. We should never forget the sheer amount of time and energy committed to that task over many decades.
But back to Blair. Given one of devolution’s oft-cited achievements was the rejection of ‘Blairism’, giving him too much credit for what followed might seem like a strange stance. Yet wittingly or otherwise, he helped give the infant Scottish Parliament the one thing it needed most in its early years.
Continue reading “Devolution at 20 — The Power For Change in Scotland*”
“In 2014 I campaigned for an independent Scotland. In this campaign for independence, I am driven by the threat to the NHS, the memory of my unborn child and my own experience.”
I would like to tell you my story. A reality of life without an NHS. This story is not easy to tell but I feel compelled to tell it.
Shortly after the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014 I left Scotland and I was unsure whether or not I would return. The decision to leave was fueled by my desire to fulfill a bucket list that included backpacking around Asia and Australia. However, I was in poor health, so I went for luxury backing as an option. I chose Sattahip in Thailand as a great location to base myself because it was near an airport and it meant easy travel. I travelled all over Thailand, did some charity work in Cambodia, visited Vietnam, Hong Kong, Singapore and Perth in Australia. The things I saw and experienced during my travels truly showed me that a service such as the NHS cannot be taken for granted, must be protected, and certainly should not be used as a bargaining tool in any trade deal.
Continue reading “Protect the NHS: We Simply Do Not Know How Lucky We Are*”
I wrote this the day after the EU election results were announced. If you look at the map of the UK showing the breakdown of results across the regions and countries, it really shows such a stark contrast in opinion where Scotland and England are concerned. The contrast has spelled out how we are basically an independent nation already. We are independent in outlook, socially and politically. It’s now just about taking the last inevitable step. I won’t underplay the fact that the fight for independence will not be easy, but I will argue the case that it’s ours to lose, and the power to win this struggle rests entirely in our hands.
Continue reading “An Independent Country in All but Name”