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The 2016 Scottish Elections Thread

Discussion in 'TalkCeltic Pub' started by Dáibhí, Mar 2, 2016.

Discuss The 2016 Scottish Elections Thread in the TalkCeltic Pub area at TalkCeltic.net.

  1. Markybhoy

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    It's good that you feel that way but if a system was introduced where you had to pay for your prescriptions while others don't, would you not internally be asking the question 'What exactly do I pay my NI contributions for?'.
     
  2. Drakhan Nac Mac Feegle Gold Member

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    So happy to oblige. :icon_mrgreen:
     
  3. Tim-Time 1888 Always look on the bright side of Life Gold Member

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    That is why accountability needs to be built into the system. Currently any government could pump another 10 billion into the NHS and we would still be reading about shortages next month/year. It must be sustainable and accountable that does not equate to being shut down however.

    There are a great many tax/Ni calculators online, people should find one and enter in their own earnings and then see a rough calculation on what the amount of NI they pay returns them for the pension alone. Yet people moan like * about how pish the state pension is ffs some people really haven't a clue.
     
  4. Dáibhí

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    It depends on what the degree subject is really, doesn't it? It may be a minority of youngsters who have them, but you can't deny that many of these kids finish up University and end up working in a call centre or in retail.

    And how many of those advertised jobs are asking for people who have a degree in Celtic civilisation? Gaelic? Theatre culture?

    The truth is, the more people who have degrees the lesser the value in the workplace, it's that simple.

    The facts & figures that most people pull up that show the earnings and success of University leavers are usually carried for the most part by those who finish up with qualifications in subjects such as accountancy & finance, business & management, economics, chemistry & medicine, education and so forth.

    The harsh truth is that a lot of school leavers simply drift into University now because it's the easy option.

    We need to re-evaluate what subjects are providing the best return, and those which aren't should require self-funding. If it's been your lifelong dream to study theatre culture or Gaelic then fine, you pay for the course.

    Again, more corporations are looking for people with degrees simply because it's becoming the norm. And again, I'd like to see how successful those who have the fringe degree qualifications that I mentioned are in applying for jobs in corporate Britain.
     
  5. TheHolyGoalie

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    Your old school is performing much better than mine, the percentage who achieved 5 or more Highers at the Mungo is only 15% :52: There's a school which a few of my pals went to that scores under 10%. It's no right.

    I think it's a mixed bag of all the reasons you mentioned as to why independent, fee paying schools perform better. Class sizes, quality of teacher (they can probably afford to pay their staff more) and the support network they have at home. In poorer places there's just not the same emphasis on knuckling down and achieving at school for whatever reason. That attitude has got to change if anything is going to get better.

    You said it earlier, a well educated society is good for the country and the economy. I think Scotland still rates highly in international league tables but just imagine were we'd rate if we could somehow help poorer students achieve better at school. Every person counts, especially if we were to become independent, every advantage is needed if we want to compete globally.
     
  6. Peej Gold Member Gold Member

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    Im certainly not to be used as a benchmark, but for some random information that backs up your theory, I have a degree in film making and screenwriting.
    I work as a butcher - retail.

    Go figure.
    Even the job that I wanted by going to uni was unattainable with my uni degree. As with a lot of tue creative industry, it matters not a jot what education you have but rather your cv/show reel. So someone else could have spent the same time as me just writing or making films for those years and would have been at a better advantage to get a job.

    Worat yet, by the time I finished, I needed a full time job to pay the rent, so I couldn't afford to do the whole volunteer/runner work, I needed an income - an apprentice im butchery came my way and I took it with both hands.


    As for why I done the degree in the first place, a combination of two things - 'pressure' that I thought uni and education was what I was meant to do and secondly that I struggled to know what I wanted to do for awhile amd finally settled on a course that was a genuine interest to me instead of accounts and business management - a route I was close to going down simply for the sake of it.

    Hindsight, * knows what would have been better for me long term to be honest.
    I've since done other self paid courses in other fields to keep things open to me - but thats a whole other conversation.

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  7. Dáibhí

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    Just out of curiosity, if you were asked to pay for your degree to the tune of six grand or so before starting it, would you have hesitated to go down that route?
     
  8. Peej Gold Member Gold Member

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    To not sound like a * politician, ill answer that with a straight answer.

    Me personally, to the tune of 6k I would not have done the course I did.

    I would have most likely found a better use of that money, in hindsight probably buying film equipment and got myself in to thw industry that way.


    Now for the politician voice - I would also not have paid 6k for the accounting course I was close to going on either.
    At that age 6k to be honest was a lot of money - still * is - and there would honestly be no way I could have afforded that without full time work for the best part of two years.

    My family ia reasonably well off, now, bur at that time (even still) id never have asked my parents to foot that bill, no matter if they could afford that or not.
    I would have needed to go in to full time work for a couple years at low pay work to get that money myself.

    Couple issues with that, the age of people then going to uni would be over the age of 20 rather than 18 (school levers not mature students), making a gap in that part of society where students are left behind in education compared to their wealthier counterparts of the same age, while they go work for their own funding.
    Or a young person could easily get stuck in a low pay job for too long and never go back to education.

    Other alternative is to also pay tuition up over the course of the degree of course (and mostly likely, as they do now for some), but that as well would require a working long hours on top of a full time education.



    For a side point, I paid for earlier college courses to get me in to uni - which was then govt. funded. So ive benefitted and also paid in to the system in a way.

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  9. Dáibhí

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    You wouldn't be paying £6,000 up front though remember, you'd be paying £1,500 per year.

    Saying that, I don't think accountancy is something that should be charged for, as I believe it's one of the better performing qualifications available?
     
  10. Peej Gold Member Gold Member

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    Even £1,500 a year is a lot for a full time student who will be struggling for time as it is, let alone work to pay that and to try and still have some sort of social life.

    Like prescriptions though, its easy for me and you to say "right, these daft things arent free anymore" but where do we draw the line?
    I agree there should be a rethink about this, and almost all of government sending to be honest.
    But who says my course isnt as worthwhile as other courses (apart from me obv admitting it, lets play along for the sake of arguments).

    The creative industry is worth over £5billion to the economy, isn't that worth investing in?

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  11. Markybhoy

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    Takes a while to get going but a good piece.

    http://stv.tv/news/politics/1348742-dear-nicola-i-voted-yes-i-think-youre-great-but-im-novotessnp/

    Dear Nicola,
    The last day of March marked the 16th anniversary of my mother's passing. Sadly, the most notable thing about her life was that it ended 36 years after it started. In just four years I will be older than she was when she died and something about that fact really unsettles me. I am now one of five siblings who remain as proof of her meandering existence.
    She was brought up in an alcoholic home in Glasgow. Her childhood was very tough and by no means uncommon. Both her parents were drinkers and their family suffered greatly as a result.
    I've set foot in a few alcoholic homes in my time. The memories do not fade with time. They often look and smell horrific - like death het up. You can taste the wet ash in the air as a blanket of smoke lingers in the middle of the room like a vulgar guest overstaying their welcome.
    Blood in the pan. Spiders living in the litter tray. Dampness crawling up the walls an onto cold, rusted window frames as a steady stream of strangers join the cackle in a living room where the curtains are always drawn.
    When you live with an addict it's not unusual to come home and find your stuff has been sold to buy drugs or alcohol. On occasion, you may return home from school to find the furniture laying burnt to a crisp in the front garden after another house fire.
    There is not even a pretence of dignity let alone privacy. Your life is always spilling out onto the street in one way or another.
    There is nothing more surreal than walking into a * shop and seeing your possessions on display despite the fact you never put them there. Rare, timeless vinyl and cassette tapes, stereo systems, sold for pennies just to quiet someone's morning shakes. Though admittedly, this was not quite as awkward as mistakenly answering the door to an agitated debt collector or a terrified paper-boy.
    And don't get me started on the drug dealers.

    [​IMG]


    These homes are no homes at all. They are open-plan emotional torture chambers where deprivation, in the truest sense of the word, is often the absolute default positon.
    These are homes where poverty does not only corrupt people, but leaves them grotesquely deformed.
    Such households were not as rare as historical romanticists would have you believe. These communities were not the 'leave your doors open' working-class utopias regaled to us through rose-tinted glasses on easy Sunday afternoons.
    These communities were * for some. And worse for others. And they leave a hellish legacy.
    In these homes there no boundaries, no trigger warnings and no safe spaces. In this homes fear may be your only friend.
    My mother's experience shaped her and many other people in our family. Some survived and some did not. It's no wonder she didn't possess the coping skills to deal with life's challenges further down the line. My birth set in motion her own quick decent into full-blown alcoholism, which tore apart our family slowly and painfully over a span of 15 years.
    My memories of her are painfully vivid. Whether pinned helpless to a wall as she drew the cold knife to my throat for refusing to go to bed during one of her sprees, or looking around the room inquisitively as she pushed the needle deep into her vein before a warm blanket of silence descended. Or watching in utter disbelief as she drunkenly attempted to exhume our dog's carcass from the bottom of the garden with her bare hands as neighbours, well aware of her condition, stared on incapacitated by shock. I can say with certainty that our lives were chaotic and terrifying at times.


    The nightmare extended to my dear siblings, who not only lived under the tyranny of addiction themselves, to be later abandoned by her too, but then had to watch in horror as I, overwhelmed by the past, sailed close to that same morbid wind that so hypnotised my mother. Alcohol and drugs consumed my sanity and rendered me absent during my brothers and sisters hardest years.
    Gratefully, I am now active in their lives again though, admittedly, my sanity is yet to re-join us.
    I remember begging my mum to stay on the line as someone from Alcoholics Anonymous returned one of her frantic distress calls. But she just ran out the door, leaving me alone, holding the phone. Last month I celebrated one year's sobriety, followed soon after by the birth of my first child. Sadly, family dysfunction is not the only hapless cycle in Scotland doomed to repeat itself.
    You may not be the first politician to get elected on a wave of desperation for change, Nicola, but you are the first one I ever believed in. I'm one of the things the Yes movement vomited up in 2014, who not only believed in independence as a means of national moral redemption, but also in paying more than lip service to tackling the deep social inequality that creates the conditions for deprivation to thrive.
    Which is why I am disappointed in your recent policies which seem to be aimed at affluent communities who voted No in 2014. I was drawn to the SNP following the collapse of the left and I've been voting for you since 2006 because something radical needs to be done about poverty in this country.
    I must confess that I now harbour a nagging fear of what an independent Scotland, under the stewardship of an ever-pragmatic SNP, might look like given how sections of our 'critically engaged population' are willing to contort themselves to accommodate your increasingly unconscionable political flexibility. This pragmatism for which you are being applauded, by rich and poor alike, is cultivating a tolerance for low taxation coupled with moderate incremental reform, peppered with comforting social justice rhetoric that barely tweaks the status quo never mind challenges it. I fear some have, understandably, become so emotionally invested in the dream of independence that they dare not allow even a kernel of doubt in your judgement to take hold in their hearts - let alone speak out against it.
    Though I suspect the SNP's new, aspirational, target audience will seek assurances that more of the same awaits them should they throw caution to the wind and decide to vote Yes at the next referendum.
    [​IMG]


    So if this is the influence Middle Scotland is exerting now, where the most powerful First Minister ever is afraid to ask higher earners to pay more, then how exactly do we tilt the table in favour of the less privileged once we are independent? Won't Scotland's great and good just threaten to leave then too? Won't this threat always hang over our heads?
    That's the contradiction at the heart of political pragmatism. And that is the moral dilemma Yes voters, with more than just a passing interest in social justice, must fearlessly confront head on. It's not just about getting over the line, it's about the quality of the journey and the clear choice we are presented with.
    Even well intentioned pragmatism is always leading someone into a false sense of security.
    My experience so far in life places upon me a burden of urgency where poverty is concerned. To most people in public life it is a technical, almost cliché term, so much so I fall into self-parody going on about it so much. But my life has only ever been about this one thing, Nicola. There is no pragmatism where inequality is concerned. There is only action and inaction. If you can't make an argument for slightly higher taxes to a class of educated people who are fortunate enough to be doing well in a terminally unequal society then I already know what is required of me as a citizen.
    If the personal is indeed political, I need only cast my mind back 16 years to the day I was told my mother's organs had begun shutting down. The day the doctor's advised her children not come to their mother's deathbed, because she would be too delirious with pain to recognise them. She died because she happened to be born into poverty. And we grieved for her death while growing up poor.
    Now her ghost follows all of us wherever we go.
    This memory is far more tangible and real to me than an increasingly elastic notion of Scottish independence that seems hinged upon the whims of a privileged, politically rudderless, section of the electorate.
    I respect your dilemma and admire those who support you in such a bold and unwavering fashion - even the ones who'll hate me for writing these words. But I will not be passing you the conch anymore. Not this year at least, Nicola.
    I come from another part of Scotland that clearly needs to learn to speak up for itself.
    Truly yours,
    Darren 'Loki' McGarvey

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I am much the same as this guy. I voted Yes, I think Nicola Sturgeon is a polished First Minister, but I will not be voting SNP this time round.
     
  12. Intellectually Absurd Gold Member Gold Member

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    What are folk expecting though?

    I mean the SNP campaigned for higher taxation in 2003 and absolutely bombed - folk by and large do not want to pay tax.

    We are hamstrung by the fact we are in a distorted union whereby we are different countries but one country. The capital is hoovering up money, people, jobs, business, taxes, infrastructure - everything, to the detriment of the rest of the U.K. If we raise taxes, the wealthiest people will flee south, they just will it's a fact.

    We have new powers but very little control really, especially fundamental control over key economic levers that can direct our economy because if we did, it would distort the U.K. economy and put us on a different path to the United Kingdom as a whole.

    Westminster has given us enough rope to hang ourselves.

    Also to add to the article (well written btw) this idea that the referendum was split between the wealthy and the poor: the poor voting yes and the wealthy voting no is untrue. The poorest actually voted no (majority). The yes side done better in the upper working class/aspiring middle class and the lower middle classes and this is who Nicola is aiming for - not the wealthy.

    Anyway, I think most people in an independent Scotland would vote for someone else anyway.
     
  13. muffitO'tea

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    It's a well written piece but i don't really get the point. Maybe i'm missing something.

    I don't know how a different party are going to really change things. His family have an issue with alcoholism. Things like that are not going to just disappear.

    I get they were poor but that doesn't mean you drink yourself to death.
     
  14. Markybhoy

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    I think the crux of the article was the part that I highlighted ie. that the SNP are attempting to wear Socialists clothes and have hoovered up a lot of the votes in Scotland that used to go to Labour from people who believed in Socialist ideas. Meanwhile the truth is that they are nothing like a left wing or Socialist party, in some respects you'd be hard pushed to say they're even left of centre at all. I think that is what the writer of the article was driving at.

    The stuff about his family was just background noise and setting the scene I think.
     
  15. Intellectually Absurd Gold Member Gold Member

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    He doesn't actually mention anything specific though? How are they not helping? What policies are aimed at the middle class and the wealthy?

    The whole story, whilst well written is the crux of his whole argument - it's the anecdote in which he uses to criticise the SNP. He doesn't mention what they should do, what they haven't done, any policies etc etc.
     
  16. TheHolyGoalie

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    So increasing the top rate of tax by 5% will eliminate alcoholism in Scotland? :smiley-laughing002:

    Might be well written but there's just pish and wind in that article imo.
     
  17. Markybhoy

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    Many political opinion pieces are like that to be honest. Although he doesn't actually say the words, it seems apparent, to me at least, that one thing he wants to see the SNP do is use the tax raising powers it has been given.

    He could have done with providing a few more specific examples of what he'd like to see being done though, you're not wrong there.
     
  18. Gift From God

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    Lib dems or Labour not really made my mind up yet. I quite like willie rennie so I think he will probably get my vote.
     
  19. Markybhoy

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    What is it you like about him?
     
  20. Gift From God

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    His parties policies