This is an article I BEG Scottish people read. It is a letter from an older Scottish guy who lived through 2 (TWO) failed tries at Scottish Independence. We had the devolution referendum in May 1979, we had the devolution referendum in May 1979 under the Callaghan Labour government and all the Westminster parties promised new powers for Scotland if we voted No, SCOTLAND WE WERE LIED TO TWICE. This letter is from a man who lost EVERYTHING. If you are voting no because you have a nice life, then STOP and READ! Because the LIES TOLD TO SCOTLAND TWICE FROM WESTMINSTER WILL MAKE YOU THINK AGAIN, IT HAS TO!
This is the letter, it’s long, but PLEASE, educate yourself on the past, educate yourself on the past lies from Westminster. Difference this time is the SNP are behind us. Be you like the SNP or not they got us here. We can’t be fooled 3 times Scotland. We would be called the stupidest people on EARTH if we fell for this again. WESTMINSTER LIES. EDUCATE, DEBATE, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. SCOTLAND READ THIS DAMN LETTER AND DO NOT LET THE REST OF US DOWN. THIS IS A TRUTH YOU CAN READ THEN GO GOOGLE! SCOTLAND WE MUST BE BRAVE !
A SCOTSMAN’S DREAM.
I love Scotland, because I was born there, went to school there, worked there, my children were born there, and I met the love of my life there. Someday, my ashes will be scattered there too. However, I had no easy start in life being born in 1947 in the East End of Glasgow in a Bridgeton slum with an outside toilet shared by the neighbours. I shared that one roomed flat (single end) with my brother and parents for four years. Like so many poor working class people who endured bad conditions in the Glasgow slums, my family succumbed to the dreaded Glasgow disease TB. My father, brother and me were shipped to sanatoriums, only my mother escaped. I spent a year in hospital from the age of four. The reason I share this with my F.B. friends is to highlight the fact that many Scottish people have suffered hardships in the past because this Union we are locked into has maintained an iron grip on Scotland and limited our ability to change our lives.
Hardship and poverty is therefore not a new thing for Scottish families, it has been going on for years and years, and it is still going on today. When I was a child there was no food banks for the poor, everyone had to make the best of it, difficult as it was. At School I was made to stand in a line at school meal times with the other children who had free meal passes until the paying kids were served and then we were allowed to be fed. I remember the humiliation I felt then as though it was yesterday. Consequently, I can empathise with those Scots who now rely on food banks to feed their family. A small child knows nothing of its surroundings and adapts better than adults do, but that is no excuse to allow child poverty to continue and escalate in Scotland today. Neither is it pertinent to point out that there are poorer people elsewhere in the world as if that makes the level of poverty we have in Scotland acceptable.
Back then when I was a boy there was no established SNP, no vision of escape from the system that kept us locked into the situation we found ourselves in. Nevertheless, there burned a resentment for change in the breasts of many and I was one of them, young as I was. I had a great teacher at school whose eloquence and pertinacity to teach Scottish history introduced me to my country’s past. I learned then that my people had been suffering long before my own humble beginnings and had suffered much greater hardships, even death at the hands of our supposed partner in this unholy Union of Unequals. The seed was sown then in my young mind and has grown steadily ever since for Scottish independence.
I left school at fifteen, and got a job in engineering, but throughout my working life I saw one great manufacturing company in Scotland close, one after the other.
We had the devolution referendum in May 1979 under the Callaghan Labour government and all the Westminster parties promised new powers for Scotland if we voted No. I remember how excited I was as a young man of 32 with a young family that at last Scotland would have a political wedge between us and London. Despite winning 52% of the vote we were denied devolution by Westminster when a Labour MP George Cunningham, a Scot from an English constituency proposed the unprecedented 40% rule that the Labour government eagerly accepted. This stipulation had never been employed in British government elections before, but they used it on Scotland. They moved the goalposts on us because they could, such is the power of Westminster.
The Tories under Lord Hume had promised to address the concerns of Scots if they voted No and devolve more powers to the Scottish Secretary, the de-facto Governor General of Scotland. But his pledge wasn’t honoured when Thatcher came to power months later after she deposed Ted Heath. The lesson learned from 1979, was that we Scots cannot trust Westminster promises to Scotland, and we must never forget it.
Scotland then endured 18 years of hell when Thatcher systematically destroyed the industrial heart of our country. I remember when Rootes of Linwood closed in 1981; people thought it would never happen because it was so big. But it did. 13,000 lost their jobs as a direct and indirect consequences of the closure because Westminster wanted to cease car manufacturing in Scotland, and offered no help. There was no Scottish devolved government then to save the plant like Alex Salmond did with the Grangemouth refinery in 2013.
After Linwood, many more institutions that were bastions of employment in Scotland were destined to follow suit. Thatcher demonised the miners as the “Enemy Within” because they had the audacity to challenge her authority in trying to save their industry. The coal industry was destroyed in an act of vengeance against the miners for what they inflicted on the Tory government in 1972 &1974. But Thatcher was only getting started. When Scott Lithgow closed in Greenock, it paralysed that town and the neighbouring Port Glasgow, because it employed so many of their citizens; the place was like a ghost town for years afterwards. But, the yards of the Lower Clyde were not to be alone. The Upper Clyde shipyards soon followed, and one after another the shipyards that had made Glasgow and created so many iconic ships closed. Thousands of our skilled men and women were thrown on the ever rising scrap heap of unemployment.
Lots of other areas of Scotland followed Glasgow’s fate at the hands of the English Tories who continued to rule over us. Irvine, Bathgate, and Methyl all suffered, as did Uddingston in 1987 when the giant Caterpillar tractor plant closed, with the loss of 1200 jobs. Thatcher didn’t raise a finger to save any of them. I was around to see them all turned into rubble. Our fishing community was also decimated when Thatcher traded the Scottish waters to the EU in exchange for her rebate. The fisherman might hate the EU these days, but it was the Westminster Tories that sold their industry down the river and removed their birthright.
But Westminster was not finished with destroying what was left of our engineering heartland. They turned their eyes to the profitable Ravenscraig Steelworks, the only steel producer in Scotland. Despite having a world reputation for quality and the longest strip mill in Europe, Westminster decided on a whim to shut it down and concentrate steel production in Wales. Ravenscraig had a buyer, but Westminster didn’t want competition for British Steel, so the offer was declined. The jewel in the crown of Scottish engineering was closed courtesy of Westminster, and like all the rest, turned into rubble. It was then Lanarkshire’s turn to suffer the blight of mass unemployment. Once again we Scots were expendable in Westminster’s eyes, something that will never change.
I was made redundant like all my friends and every member of my family in Thatcher’s purges and with all the closures it was hard to find a job. Like many men I had to leave my home to find work at a cost of a normal family life. My kids were still in primary school and I had a mortgage to pay, so I had no choice. This is a scenario still familiar to many Scottish families today with the bread winners quest to find a job becoming harder, and harder.
We had to wait another 20 years before we gained devolution and only the rise in support for the SNP delivered it, but the Labour Party in government gave it the dismissive title, “The Scottish Executive,” as though it was no more than a quango. They didn’t want the Scots to get above themselves with delusions of government. Since the SNP took control of Holyrood and showed the Scots how they could govern well even with their limited resources, the seeds of independence were sown in the minds of a new generation of Scots the length and breadth of Scotland.
The de-industrialisation of Scotland has left an open wound that will never fully heal, making long term unemployment a way of life for many. Our people have been forced to take zero hours contracts with no guaranteed wage or lose their benefits, something that wasn’t around in my day. Many working people still cannot make ends meet which is an irrelevance to the Tory led Westminster government. Because Westminster still favours Thatcher’s monetarism policy over manufacturing we have seen London grow into a city state to the detriment of every other region of the UK, and to the steady decline of industry. To finance London’s rise, Westminster used North Sea oil revenues, which also provided tax breaks for the rich. In parallel to London’s rise a new generation of poor grew up with little likelihood of escape or change of attitude from Westminster. The ghost of the past was returning to haunt us.
The Tories now call the poor and disadvantaged on welfare, scroungers, such is their empathy and lack of humanity. The fact that Westminster policies have created the feeling of hopelessness and lack of opportunities for many Scots escapes them and is something that never ceases to anger me. It is why I hate the Tory Party and everything they stand for, and I make no apologies for that. The best cure for unemployment is not welfare but jobs and government investment in industry. But, the Tories would rather swell the ranks of the unemployed than invest in our national industries. To emphasise the point only last year Westminster allowed a shipyard in Portsmouth to close making 1200 skilled workers redundant, and forced the redundancy of another 800 Scottish shipyard workers in Glasgow. Cameron’s government then went on to place a multi-million pound order for Royal Navy auxiliary ships in South Korea using taxpayer’s money that those same men made redundant contributed to. Pounds before people is always the Tory way. Never forget that, because it will never change.
Westminster have systematically lied to Scots about the value of our oil for the past forty years and they are still doing it today. They don’t want us to realise its true worth and potential. That is why only government sponsored quangos predict a negative viewpoint on oil values and longevity than those of the industry and academic experts. It is so obvious why they are doing it, because they need the revenue for their own grandiose plans down South. We must not be fooled by it. Oil will make Scotland very rich; just look at the other oil producing nations in the world if you doubt it. Better Together is the greatest lie in a long list of lies perpetrated on the Scottish people. We must stop believing these Westminster’s lies, and believe in what we can do, not what they try to convince us we cannot do.
The Labour Party has been complicit in this duplicity as much as the Tories, and these days it is hard to tell them apart. The Scottish people have been conned by the Scottish Labour Party for years as they continue to masquerade as the party of the underprivileged. In reality they are only the voice piece of the London Labour Party and do what they are told by their London leader. When we had a Scottish Labour Prime Minister, and a Scottish Labour chancellor who did nothing to redress the London-centric policies of Thatcherism to the detriment of Scotland, it is madness for Scots to continue to support them. Success in England is more important than fighting for the Scottish people, that is why they do what they do. When Scots wake up to the fact that voting Labour won’t help them, like it didn’t help the men and women of my generation we might get somewhere. Only the SNP fights for Scotland and only Scotland, and all Scots should recognise that by now.
The present Labour MP’s and MSP’s are a sorry bunch, as they collude with the Tories and their Lib. Dem. lap dogs to talk Scotland down. When the odious Scottish Labour leader Lamont, admits on national TV that we Scots are not genetically programmed to make political decisions, everyone with half a brain must realise what voting Labour really means for Scotland; a wasted vote. They and their Tory friends are this generations parcel of rogues selling out Scotland.
For someone who has endured hard times in my life it pains me greatly to read that so many young Scots are suffering poverty when I know we should be a rich country. We have the resources, the brains and leaders with political acumen to match anyone in Westminster. The litany of Scottish achievements would fill volumes of books, and we are recognised the world over as an inventive, industrious, and caring people. But, what we don’t have in abundance is courage and the belief in ourselves. Countless years of being told what to do by our political masters in London has left an indelible inferiority complex in the minds of many Scots. They believe the negativity and lies perpetrated from London by Westminster’s friends in the media and the national mouthpiece known as the BBC.
Like many others, I believe the only way to reverse the problems that face Scotland is if we take control of our own country. Westminster is no friend to the Scottish people and the past has proven that beyond doubt. Sadly, throughout our long history there has always been Scots who favour London’s rule in Scotland regardless of what they do, and these days are no different. The reason these CEO’s, and London based politicians support a No vote is because they have a vested interest in maintaining the London system of control in Scotland. The same can be said for foreign politicians that have answered Cameron’s call to denounce Scotland’s independence. None of them care about the welfare of our people, all they care about is their own selfish interest.
Those ordinary Scots who intend to vote No, have just given up on Scotland. They think it is acceptable to continue letting the people of England choose who governs Scotland whether it be Tory or UKIP, and that we should just submit to London’s rule regardless. If they are successful they will have to watch when Westminster turns the screw on Scotland after the 2015 election and cuts our budget by billions. The Tories will then set out to finish what Thatcher had started, and the No voters will be responsible for that. Their supine subservience to Westminster rule makes them the saddest people of all.
I won’t apologise for rambling on about the past, because I lived through it and don’t want to see our young folk being made to suffer at the hands of English Tories like I did. They don’t care about the Scottish people, they only want to suck us dry for their own benefit. A No vote is a sure fire way to turn the clock back instead of going forward and it will be the biggest mistake in our country’s history if we don’t vote for our independence. With UKIP on the rise in England the situation is becoming critical for Scotland. 307 years ago the Scottish people had no vote regarding joining this Union, but now we have, and we must not waste it. A No vote is a Tory vote, and we should all be clear about that, because it is the only way the sneering Tories will get their dirty, greedy hands on Scotland again.
I am retired now and a pensioner, so my days of struggling to get a job are over. However, I never lost sight of my dream. I still want to see Scotland flourish. I don’t want to see anymore English Tory governments riding roughshod over my country, treating my fellow Scots with indifference. I want to see Westminster humbled by removing their nuclear weapons from Scotland for ever. I want to see the unelected House of Lords never again legislating on Scotland. I want to see Scotland gaining benefits from our oil and gas revenues for the first time in forty years, and see the gravy train to London stopped for good. I want to see jobs created not destroyed to give our young folk a better start in life. I want to see poverty eradicated with decent housing for all our citizens. I consider child poverty in our country in this day and age an obscenity. I want to see a stop to unfettered military spending when our people endure the lowest pensions in Europe. I want Scotland to have a properly funded NHS and welfare system that will be the envy of Europe. If we are in control of all our finances and resources and stop paying for Westminster excesses, we can afford to do it all. I want Scotland to be a land of opportunity not of despair, and if the English government wants to be our enemy after independence we should rise to that challenge like our ancestors did. Scotland will prevail.
But most of all my friends, I want to see Scotland become a free and independent country for all time, and for all its citizens to have a better life than those who went before them.
Alan N McPhail