20 years ago today, Scotland voted to have a Parliament for the first time in almost three centuries
Since then the Scottish Parliament, under the SNP majority for the last 10 years, has:
Provided free university tuition since 2007.
Refurbished/re-built over 600 schools.
Built over 30,000 affordable/social houses with new target for 50,000
Crime at a 42 year low.
Toll free bridges.
Frozen Council Tax for 9 years, now capped at 3% rise.
Free bus travel for over 60s.
Free personal care for the elderly.
Financed completely and delivered Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
50/50 gender split cabinet.
Protecting the Gaelic language and contributing to BBC Caesar!
Highest employment rates in the UK.
Police numbers up 1000 plus (while England and Wales they are over 10,000 down).
Nurse and Midwives numbers up 5%.
Despite UK austerity funding NHS Scotland outperforming every other NHS in the UK
Scandinavian style Baby Box initiative.
Mitigated the Bedroom Tax.
Carbon Emissions down 40%, ahead of 2020 target.
More than 50% of electricity generated by renewables, ahead of target.
A9 Perth-Inverness being dualled.
New Forth Crossing. (No PFI and under budget)
Biggest new hospital in Europe (No PFI and under budget)
Built Borders Rail Link.
Highest level of inward investment outside of London.
Onshore GDP growth every year.
Unemployment now at pre-2008 levels,.
Highest female employment rates in the EU.
Highest youth employment rates in the UK.
Equal marriage passed into law.
2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.
World’s first Tidal Energy Scheme.
Lowest ever class sizes in schools (1 teacher to 14 pupils here – England 1 to 27)
Highest ever Higher passes from our schools
Record number of students in full time college courses
Record number of students at university
Record number of new apprentices
Special thanks to Dave McEwan Hill for this info
Compare and contrast with what Stormont Assembly, under a Unionist/DUP majority has NOT achieved in more or less the same time-frame:
No Irish Language Act
No Equal marriage
No updating of its mid-19th century Abortion Act
No Bill of Rights
No Agreement on the Long Kesh/Maze re-development
No agreement on legacy issues
No inquests even though some are outstanding for more than 40 years
No agreement on parades, flags and emblems
Little or no agreement on removing “peace walls”
I could go on but the message is
On the other hand we can rejoice in DUP corruption:
RED SKY OVER BELFAST
Former DUP social development minister Nelson McCausland and his special adviser Stephen Brimstone were accused of political interference and bringing pressure to bear on Lisburn DUP councillor and housing Executive board member to extend Red Sky’s contract with the Housing Executive.
The East, East, East Belfast firm had overcharged for housing Executive work.
Red Sky has admitted it mistakenly (?) charged the Executive for work on two apartment blocks that no longer exist.
The Stormont Executive bankrolls Loyalism
Stormont’s continued political and financial support for loyalism consolidates and legitimatises paramilitary organisations within Protestant communities.
SIF funding indicates the level of institutional support for loyalism. It reveals a system of pay offs and patronage that continues to underpin the political settlement in the north.
The DUP/UDA alliance utterly negates the Fresh Start Agreement – and all the claims that the peace settlement would lead to a democratic and non-sectarian society.
DUP and “Dark Money” for Brexit campaign
The DUP received £435,000 for the party’s Brexit campaign. The cash – which was spent on newspaper adverts and campaigning, all outside Northern Ireland – came from a shadowy pro-union group called the Constitutional Research Council. Richard Cook of the Scottish Conservatives, who lives outside Glasgow, has since emerged as the only individual linked to the £435,000 DUP donation
Jeffrey Donaldson MP, DUP Treasurer, admitted to that he didn’t know that Richard Cook, chair of the Constitutional Research Council, had founded a company in 2013 with prince Nawwaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Prince Nawwaf is a former director general of the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency and father of the Saudi ambassador to the UK.
Minister Arlene Foster promoted the Renewable Heating Initiative, otherwise known as “the more wood you burn, the more you earn” or “Cash for Ash” It’s predicted to cost taxpayers nearly 500-million pounds sterling over the next 20 years. Most of the beneficiaries are allegedly DUP “fellow-travellers” It triggered the collapse of the Stormont Assembly.
Holidays in Exotic Spot
Ian Paisley Jr, one of the DUP MPs propping up PM May is facing a parliamentary inquiry after a Telegraph investigation revealed how he accepted holidays worth £100,000 from a state he is now helping to secure a post-Brexit trade deal.
Comments. the mills of God and the Law grind slow but they do eventually grind.
He has been suspended for taking a holiday with the Sri Lankan government’s money.
DUP MP Ian Paisley has been suspended from the House of Commons for 30 days.
He later lobbied the then prime minister David Cameron on Sri Lanka’s behal, despite breaches rightsf.
He has been suspended by the huse of commons for going on two separate holidays to Sri Lanka, that were paid for by their government.
And from the DUP ‘pending further investigation into his conduct’.
DUP accepted £1 billion to support the Conservative Government. This support appears to involve “rigging” Westminster parliamentary committees to ensure Conservative/DUP majorities as May’s government pushes through its Brexit plans. The DUP say they will back the government’s proposal and has been given eight seats on Westminster select committees. Despite this generosity the DUP abandoned PM May on the public sector pay cap. They voted to increase NHS workers’ pay and the scrap tuition fee rise, thus upping the ante.
Comment: Looks like the price of Loyalty will rise whenever the going gets hard. The DUP is thoroughly versed in the art of extortion. Is the PM putty in Arlene’s hands?
Carwyn Jones, then the first minister of Wales, described the cash as a “straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and a faltering government in office”.
The Scottish first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, characterised it as a “grubby, shameless” deal.
But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Law is the sun.
Arise, fair Law, and kill the corrupt DUP
1) May’s deal with DUP faces legal challenge from crowdfunding campaign
Green party politician Ciaran McClean from Northern Ireland says pact breaches impartiality obligation in Good Friday agreement, and the Bribery Act.His father, Paddy Joe McClean, was one of the founders of Northern Ireland’s civil rights movement in the 1960s and one of the “hooded men”, a group of 14 activists interned in 1971 in the early years of the Troubles and subjected by special branch officers to what the European court of human rights subsequently ruled was “inhuman and degrading treatment” but stopped short of torture.
Recently declassified files detailing the brutality has led to their case being reopened. Paddy Joe McClean is 84 and approves of his son’s legal challenge.
The hearing is scheduled for 26th October this year
2) Tory-DUP £1bn payment needs parliament’s approval after Gina Miller challenge
Release of cash promised by Theresa May in deal to prop up her minority government will have ‘appropriate parliamentary authorisation’
“No timetable has been set for the making of such payments.”
What does the DUP say?
Nigel Dodds MP, DUP deal-maker, stated that the DUP would not tolerate a situation where there is stalemate and the government cannot get through business related to Brexit, national security or finance.
Comment: I’m not sure if that’s a dagger Mr Dodds and the DUP see before them or a false creation proceeding from their power, money and ideology oppressed brains
REFS and PICS