Fund Your Utopia Without Me.™

09 September 2014

Alex Salmond, The Hugo Chavez of the North

By Janet Daley, The Telegraph

Forget Scottish nationalism. This isn't about historic national identity anymore (if it ever was): it's about historic Labour ideology. The "Save Our NHS" placards were the real giveaway. As many commentators have noted, the "Yes" campaign's threat that Westminister will privatise Scotland's NHS is beyond absurd: it is an outrageous political lie. The Scottish Parliament already controls the country's health service, as it does its education and legal systems.

It will not require separate statehood to "protect" the Scottish health system from being denationalised by Whitehall, because Whitehall has no such power. The "Save Our NHS" slogan has nothing to do with Scottish independence. It is a trade union mantra. What the "Yes" project is really about now is creating Public Sector Union Heaven north of the border: a socialist utopian fantasy which has not been broached as an electoral possibility since the Eighties when Labour boroughs declared themselves nuclear-free zones and Militant Tendency ran Liverpool as a people's republic (and went bankrupt).

Alex Salmond isn't Braveheart. He is the Hugo Chavez of the North, proposing a society in which every service will be munificently funded and nobody will have to pay for anything because, just as in Chavez's Venezuela, the oil income will provide. Never mind that this bountiful, everlasting fount of wealth is entirely dependent on the world price of oil (which is about to be undercut by the supply of shale oil), and that it is a diminishing resource anyway. The SNP knows this, of course. Its leaders may be brazen liars but they are not in total economic denial. What they are counting on is that England will bail them out in a fit of sentimentality or political self-interest. But the sentimental tie is being exhausted by the foaming idiocy of the "Yes" campaign's more irresponsible activists, and there will be very little political leverage when Scotland has no seats at Westminster.

What Scotland would become is a kind of East Germany, sitting smack up against its prosperous English neighbour. There would be another flood of migrants heading South to escape the dead-end last redoubt of Old Labour, draining the Scottish economy of youthful talent and ambition. How long before they build a wall along the border?

SoRo:  Bearing in mind that Scotland controls its own NHS, I’ve always loved this little factoid from Mark Steyn…

According to the World Health Organisation, a boy born in one deprived part of Glasgow (Shettleston, Springburn, Maryhill and Baillieston) is likely to die 28 years earlier than one born in a village just a few miles away, and will have a life expectancy shorter than that of people living in India or the Philippines. 

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