Scotland once offered the UK and the world economic, political and spiritual liberty:
Economic – Adam Smith, an intellectual defender of capitalism
Political – Lex, Rex (the Law is King) by Rev. Samuel Rutherford, (although Rutherford could have done better on religious tolerance) and
Spiritual Liberty – the teachings of Rev. John Knox (not to mention the bold stand Eric Liddell made for religious freedom in 1924)(although I think Wesley’s position on soul liberty is better than the Calvin/Knox formulation but on Jesus being the only Saviour of the world Knox was right!)
But today Scotland seems to be in the thrall of bigger government. Now let’s be clear: I am for Scottish independence. But the SNP is a domestic disaster.
Enter UKIP Scotland and their manifesto for the Scottish parliament (at Holyrood in Edinburgh); and liberty may be on the march again in the land of Robert Burns and curling.
Here is the UKIP Scotland manifesto. It’s great (here’s the bullet points):
x Oppose any suggestions which would result in taxes being higher in Scotland than the rest of the UK.
x Lower business rates and cut red tape.
x Open Grammar and Technical Schools in Scotland.
x Oppose the ‘Bedroom Tax’.
x Protect the NHS from TTIP.
x Cut Stamp Duty and regulation for brown field sites to increase housing.
x Ensure all Armed Forces Veterans receive fast track NHS care for both mental and physical needs.
x Repeal the Named Persons scheme.
x Protect property rights and the Laws of Inheritance.
First Brexit will help Scotland to be truly independent of the EU superempire:
The tentacles of the EU stretch into almost every area of our national life. The EU has complete control over Scottish fishing, farming, energy, environment and social policy. It dictates UK business and employment legislation and immigration rules. It seeks greater control over our law enforcement services, our foreign affairs and tax policy. There is significant momentum behind plans for an EU-wide army and police force.
On these and many other issues, our elected Holyrood and Westminster politicians are impotent. They pretend to have the power to influence these matters but actually they have none.
Amen! There’s more:
Lower income taxes (still too high but you have to start somewhere):
We believe that the current higher rate of income tax is now out of date and should not be levied on middle-income earners such as school teachers and senior nurses. As soon as the budgetary implications of devolving income tax become apparent we will propose the introduction of a new intermediate tax rate of 30 per cent on income tax ranging between £45,300 and £55,000. The higher rate of 40 per cent will begin at the threshold of £55,000. (A pound sterling is about $1.50)
A balanced budget with strict controls on government debt and this to try to return power to elected officials, who will not receive fabulous salaries (we need this reform for the administration at VCU for example!):
x UKIP would review the number of Quangos and the amounts paid to them to ensure value for money. Too many produce little or no discernible benefit to the Scottish taxpayer and this must be stopped.
x We would review all wages and expenses paid to both senior bureaucrats and politicians to ensure the public are getting value for money from those that represent them.
Lower business taxes and freedom from EU regulations:
UKIP will repeal EU regulation and directives that stifle business growth. Only by leaving the EU will the Scottish and UK parliaments have the power to repeal laws introduced by the EU.
And YES we must save the PUB and rein in the nanny state:
SAVING THE SCOTTISH PUB
The local pub has been a long standing tradition in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK. However changes in the law have pushed people away from their local and into the supermarkets to buy cheap alcohol. UKIP believes that the local pub is a cultural tradition which moderates drinking in a social environment. UKIP will make changes to the law to allow people to head down to their local for a pint.
x The drink driving limit should go back to 80mg per 100ml of blood – the same as the rest of the UK. Having a varied limit makes no sense and 80mg is low enough to deter reckless behaviour.
x The smoking ban has had a disastrous effect of sections of the Scottish economy and society. It has led to an increase in smoking at home in front of children and a reduction in people meeting face to face adversely affecting society in a negative manner. UKIP understands the concerns surrounding smoking in public places but several systems are used abroad which do away with the negative impact on non-smokers, while at the same time allowing smokers to enjoy their pint. UKIP proposes to allow pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms if they so wish. These rooms must be physically separate from non-smoking rooms and must be properly ventilated. Workers must not be required to enter a smoking room except for cleaning and other essential purposes and only when the room is not in use.
While UKIP is firmly opposed to independence, only UKIP and a Scotland part of the UK that is OUT of the EU and have true local autonomy:
UKIP believe in Evolution not Devolution for the Scottish Parliament. We see the future as one of repatriating powers directly from Brussels to Holyrood so that the Scottish Parliament is no longer the puppet of the EU. Currently 75% of all Scottish Parliament business is taken with rubber stamping EU rules and diktats rather than dealing with real Scottish concerns. Under UKIP the Scottish Parliament would no longer be a Puppet Parliament of the EU but work in partnership with Westminster for the benefit of all.
Support for the Scottish NHS (well, you can’t have everything) and also this – I must quote it in full it is so wonderful:
THE TRANSATLANTIC TRADE AND INVESTMENT PARTNERSHIP (TTIP)
TTIP is a proposed EU/USA free trade agreement that is being negotiated in secret by the EU trade Commission and other EU bureaucrats.
There is growing concern that TTIP may compel us to put many of our public services up for sale to US corporations thereby privatising significant parts of our NHS.
x UKIP is committed to securing the exclusion of the NHS, by name, from TTIP
The level of public concern around TTIP makes it a good example of what can potentially go wrong while we remain in the EU and allow EU Commissioners to negotiate every single trade agreement on behalf of twenty-eight member states, including the UK en bloc.
Fears of what TTIP might contain precisely illustrate why UKIP believes the UK should leave the EU and negotiate our own free trade agreements again.
STRIPPING OUT UNNECESSARY EU REGULATION
Numerous EU directives prevent medical institutions from operating in the best interests of patients. We will scrap at least two of them: the EU Clinical Trial Directive which has led to a substantial drop in clinical research and threatened Scotland’s position as a world-class leader in this field. The second is the Working Time Directive which by limiting working and training time to 48 hours in any week, prevents medics learning essential new skills, putting patient care at risk.
There’s more than I can describe in a blog post BUT this last quote is important and must be cited in full:
UKIP is committed to upholding the rights of the individual and protecting them from an ever encroaching state.
One encroachment that we have seen in recent years is the Named Person scheme. The Named Person Scheme intends to put a state guardian in charge of every child in Scotland regardless whether or not the parents want to have one and regardless whether there is need for state intervention or not. This scheme aims to give every child in Scotland the equivalent of a social worker and will treat each child as if they were at risk regardless of the child’s actual situation. This will result in government resources becoming stretched and being directed away from children that actually need help. The Named Person Scheme also undermines the roles of the parents/guardians by making the ‘Named Person’ legally responsible for the wellbeing of a child. Therefore, the scheme assumes that all children need state supervision and gives the ‘Named Person’ intrusive powers to interfere with family life. UKIP believes that the best people to bring up children are their parents and that the state should only intervene using current laws when a child is at risk of harm.
x UKIP will repeal the Named Persons Act and protect parent’s rights and family privacy and focus social services on children that need support.
UKIP also opposes any plans to create a super ID database. Recent plans to give 120 public bodies access to the ‘NHS central register’ has raised concerns that a national identity scheme could be introduced through the back door. A ‘super ID database’ would give government a huge amount of power over people and could lead to micromanagement by the state of people’s lives.
x As it is uncertain what the information in such a database will be used for in the future, UKIP will oppose the creation of a ‘super ID database’, whether it is created directly or through the back door.
Parental rights and no Real ID system for Scotland!
Now if it were left up to me, Thursday May 5 would be a day for liberty in Scotland – a stunning upset: UKIP wins! My realistic guess that UKIP will win a seat or two maybe but also this is a great springboard to lower the pro-EU margin in Scotland for the Brexit referendum in June. Now it is in the hands of the people of Scotland. Help is on the way.