Election View

Monday July 3rd 2017

Christine Grahame MSP in Parliament Main

Christine Grahame MSP, Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale.

Christine Grahame MSP writes her monthly Midlothian View column.

Well, of course I’m sorry we’ve lost Owen Thompson as our MP but I must congratulate Danielle Rowley (I ken her dad) on her victory, marginal though it was.

Jeremy Corbyn had the luck of the Irish what with Teresa May’s campaign being a dog’s dinner and of course JC could promise absolutely anything because I suspect he knew he would not have to deliver on any of it, unless he has a money tree in his allotment.

Where he did get it right was pinching policies of the SNP: no tuition fees and so on, opposition to austerity. But let’s row back a wee bit. The bank crash (remember that) happened in 2008. That was where all our austerity troubles began. Which party was in power then? Why labour.

In my lifetime which encompasses a few labour governments: Harold Wilson, Jim ( Winter of Discontent) Callaghan, Tony (illegal war) Blair and Gordon ( The Vow) Brown, the economy has always been a shambles. Of course the Tories claim the high economic ground but what has happened to the UK economy since they took power? The UK National Debt (Google in UK Debt Clock) is in trillions and rises second by second as we outspend our income.

Who pays the price? The pensioners, the struggling family, the young burdened with debt almost before they are earning. Add to that mix the Brexit Bill, in millions, the projected loss of 80,000 Scottish jobs and bourach doesn’t begin to describe it.

So ask yourself this. Are we really better off in Scotland with a series of incompetents running our lives? We must be the only Western nation to have discovered oil off our shores to be in hock.

How can I claim this? Well let’s just cast a glance over the North Sea to Norway which discovered oil about the same time as UK PLC. Is Norway up to its neck in debt? Eh, no. Quite the opposite in fact. The Norwegian Government in the first place kept majority ownership of its oil fields called Stat Oil . It didn’t spend the revenue hand over fist but instead set up an oil fund wholly owned by the Norwegian Government with a current tidy bank balance in excess of £700 billion and investments worldwide just to keep that pot of money growing.

Does the UK have an oil fund? Not a penny. Just a big overdraft which you and I will be servicing for decades to come.

So why this recent history lesson? Because that’s what UK politicians don’t want you to think about, the wastefulness and the incompetence of successive Westminster governments. Don’t ever believe that we in Scotland are not able to look after ourselves and our economy which is the provider of all funds for our social commitments.

Think what a different path if we had been like independent Norway and by the way, it is never too late to change course because our greatest asset is always with us: our people.

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