Siol nan Gaidheal
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WELFARE STATES

Betrayal under trust was in many respects the greatest crime possible in Gaelic Scotland. Just as Campbells betrayed the MacDonalds at Glencoe and the clan chiefs betrayed their children with the Clearances, so the Labour government is about to betray the most loyal of their supporters...the Scottish working people!

On Mayday 1997 the most vulnerable sections of our society, the disabled, the sick and infirm, the pensioners, the elderly, the unemployed, students, lone parents with children, all put their trust in a Labour Party which promised that things could only get better. Everyone in Scotland has friends and relatives who belong to one of these disadvantaged groups. Everyone in Scotland is now aware that the Labour Party’s song on the Welfare State, the Health Service and Education is decidedly off-key.

It is ironic that the Labour Party which is about to celebrate its 100th birthday, has declared war on the very people, the aged and poor, which it was founded in Scotland to help.

After 1945 the Welfare State was set up by the Labour Party to fight a war on want, disease, squalor, ignorance and idleness. Why is it then that this very Party is now fighting an insidious and dishonourable war on those in need ?

It is often said that the pathway to hell is paved with good intentions. The Welfare State was intended to insure everyone against ill-health and destitution throughout sickness, unemployment and old age. Unfortunately when the Labour Party set up its scheme to look after everyone from the cradle to the grave, it introduced a fatal flaw.

Welfare payments and especially State pensions were never intended to be gratuitous hand-outs from the government, but rather, were meant to be a "right", purchased week by week by a stamp or contribution collected directly from all wages in the form of taxes or National Insurance.

The big mistake the Labour Party made was to include all these stamps and National Insurance contributions in general taxation to pay for the here and now rather than the dim and distant future. The sums collected were never allocated to be invested and to accumulate to look after the needs of the contributers in illness and old age. Instead it was fondly imagined that general taxation would always be able to pay the costs of each generation's demands from the Welfare State.

Unfortunately, successive Labour and Tory governments did not calculate for a generation game where the numbers of sick, disabled, disadvantaged and aged exceeded the numbers of young healthy adults who were destined to shoulder the burden.

The Labour Party faced a stark choice, either to organise a complete socialist revolutionary re-distribution of wealth from the rich to the poor, to deal with community need, or to dismantle a Welfare State that the Anglo-British State could no longer afford. The Labour Party in debt to rich backers and corporate interests decided to destroy the Welfare State.

Already, Tory Blair and the Labour Party are back-paying the business interests that bankrolled his party’s victory in the last General Election. No one should therefore be surprised by the extraordinary number of business leaders heading up Labour government-backed committees and working parties. Small wonder that Peter Davies "The man from the Pru" is in charge of the Welfare to Work Task Force, and Martin Taylor, Chief Executive at Barclay’s Bank is Chairman of the government's review of the Tax and Benefit System. In theory, the Tories are out of power, in practice, the same Tories are as much in control under New Labour as they ever were under the Conservative Party.

Siol nan Gaidheal will thus continue to highlight the betrayal under trust that characterises the modern New Labour Party. A party which once protected the poor and weak in our society, but now drools with the same acquisitive power-lust as the old totalitarian Tory hierarchies with their rich-bitch, public school, sleaze-filled fantasies.

The Labour Party in Government has quite voluntarily been corrupted by the champagne-swilling financial speculators that make up the City of London. This cancerous cosmopolitan growth, loyal only to the acultural and usury-obsessed global elite, feeds like a leech on the wealth and energy of all parts of the British Isles, oil-rich Scotland being foremost amongst these. Small wonder then that there are no resources left for social welfare in New Labour’s "Brave New England".

Scotland must cut itself free from an England riddled with the liberal capitalist sickness of so-called Third Way "realism" and do so before the Scottish people become an under-class in a country still rich in natural and human-developed resources.

Scotland, unlike over-populated England has the essential elements for prosperity with a small population and a sustainable oil-rich, agricultural and technology-based economic infrastructure. There is no need whatever in an Independent Scotland to follow the New Labour Party doctrine of dismantling the Welfare State.

Scotland under devolution is, unfortunately, likely to list badly, if not sink altogether in the ocean of unfettered economic competition, if we do not take full control over macro-economic, fiscal and social welfare matters in our country. Until we break free in the lifeboat that is Independence, we in Scotland will have to look after the welfare of the most disadvantaged sections of our society within unnecessarily limited parameters. We must take back the means to realise our full potential, including that of supporting responsibly and compassionately those among our people most vulnerable to the vagaries of a wholly self-serving and indifferent global economic system.

Siol nan Gaidheal is thus pledged to encouraging Scottish self-help and national self-reliance. We will therefore continue to campaign for the re-establishment of State responsibility relinquished by the traitorous Labour Party for the care of our elderly, our sick, our unemployed and all the helpless and forgotten sons and daughters of Scotland. Let the cynics sneer at the model of clan and filial solidarity alluded to here. Their constituency invariably goes no further than their self-obsessed selves, ours on the other hand unashamedly embraces the natural community of Nation.

No one in the potentially dark days of the coming millenium will look after anyone else save themselves. The future is increasingly likely to be an economic free-for-all without any real safety net for those unable to pay for basic health, housing and educational provision. It is therefore paramount that we in Scotlland bind together in patriotic organisations such as Siol nan Gaidheal to reassert national solidarity and obtain vindication of national rights in the face of inept government capitulation to tentacular, multinational liberal capitalism and all its ideological undermining of social solidarity. A creed which considers the most vulnerable in our country to be a mere set of "non-contributory" statistics. A state in which Siol nan Gaidheal plays a leading structural role will not tolerate such inequity towards valued members of our ethnic and cultural community. Welfare will therefore continue to be the State's prerogative and responsibility. As a society, we cannot let our own suffer poverty, illness or unfulfilled educational potential because of the insiduous dictates of faceless little accountants employed by multinational corporations which in the final analysis amount, culturally, to little more than terminally corrupt shopkeepers and sock-sellers.

Let them rest assured that we will not allow their squalid, market-stall writ run in the affairs of a fully independent, socially provident Scotland.


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