What! The Conservatives Respect the Act of Union? Do They Really? By Sarinder Joshua Duroch

The Tories drove Scotland away from Socialism to Scottish Nationalism

It is a well-known fact that in Scotland there is antipathy towards the Tories, it is virtually a tradition to be anti-Tory in Scotland. Some may disagree based on election results that this is changing, or is it the case that Scots are just desperate to see an opposition to the Scottish Nationalists be it Labour or Tory?

Who can ever forget the anti-Thatcher chants at the Scottish Cup Final in 1988, Celtic won on the day and Thatcher presented the trophy to the winning captain, Roy Aitken.

Anyone who is old enough can clearly remember the audible memories of the moment she appeared to present the cup. From the joy of winning the cup she managed to create a cauldron of hate filled chants from the crowd, clearly displaying how much she was disliked north of the border.

For a party that is adamant to ‘protect’ the Union at all costs and oppose the Scottish National Party, one needs to examine their track record in Scotland.

The Abolition of Rates Act 1987 brought an end to what we know as the traditional rates system to pay for local government services, and what we got in its place was the Poll Tax or officially known as the Community Charge.

What was George Younger, the then Secretary of State for Scotland, thinking of when he lobbied Thatcher into introducing the Poll Tax in Scotland in 1989, one year before it was introduced in England?

He was the Secretary of State for Scotland between 1979 to1986 and he lobbied Thatcher to introduce the Poll Tax in Scotland first to avoid an expensive review of the old Rates system.

What the Tories didn’t realise, through their total ignorance towards Scotland and the Tory traditional view that Scotland is an ‘addendum’ to the nation, was that the Act of Union of 1707 was clearly being broken under Article 18.

It was abhorrent to watch any government imposing its totalitarian authority on a minority of the population.

This was the beginning of Thatcher’s demise, agreed, it was the beginning of her departure and what was to develop later was so much anger towards the Tories that it developed into Scottish Nationalism.

Mr. Randolph Murray, a solicitor, failed to submit his details to the Poll Tax office based on the reason that a constitutional inequality had taken place. He was fined £50 for failing to register, he contested this and lost his appeal at the time.

However, he held the government to account at the time and probably had the Gandhi mindset of Satyagarh, a nonviolent, non-cooperation, insistence on truth approach and opposition to colonial masters.

Did the people of Scotland feel that they were being subjected to the same level of injustice through this historic tax that was always met with anger that had the ability to create divisions on a colossal scale?

It is evident through all the protests and people going to prison that the question is answered in full evidence; yes they were faced with an injustice that they had to rebel against.

We must accept that Gandhi went to prison over the salt protests and encouraged Indians to collect and sell salt. The British government at the time prohibited all Indians from making and selling salt so that they had the monopoly over it and could charge a heavy tax on it.

Citizens in those days were forced to buy from the government and were given no choice. The people found this to be very unfair and protested over it, at least 60,000 were arrested over the protests.

Similarly in 1989 the unfairness of the government’s actions in breaking a Parliamentary Act had to be met with protest.

The Tories totally neglected their position and responsibility, they were the custodians of the law and governance and they still gave no regard for such an important Act of Parliament.

An Act of immense importance was completely disrespected to push through the Poll Tax agenda in Scotland even if it meant breaking the Act of Union.

The Tory agenda, for them, was the most important act to adhere to, not the Act of Union.

Mr. Murray had to be right in taking a stance where the Act of Union had clearly been violated and broken!

Surely the Tories and their historic past behavioural pattern of non-cooperation with the working classes was the driving factor in delivering the policy of the Poll Tax.

An example of this autocratic behavioural pattern takes us back to 1984 when the strikers at Cammell Laird shipyards were imprisoned for their occupation of the shipyard; they were on an official strike and found themselves in prison for thirty days for not vacating the site.

The ship yard was in Birkenhead, we are all aware of how the Tories treated socialist Liverpool back in the ‘80s. The Iron fist seemed to strike a lot faster in the northern parts of the nation where there was a socialist will to fight for equality and rights.

Political expediency was clearly at the top of their agenda, engaging and listening was not and never will be an asset the Tories possess when engaging with the working classes. They only know how to oppress when engaging in dialogue, their historical behavioural pattern confirms this.

Given the fact that the Tories and their ilk have been so privileged to have the ‘best of education’, one would have thought that someone within their ranks would have reminded them King Richard II brought in a Poll Tax in 1381 that lead to the peasant revolt and almost brought him down.

Arrogance and education do not mix; like electricity and water and one needs to speak with variety and the other listen with an open mind. The Tories obviously had already proven with the miners’ strike they were not willing to listen to anyone, so why would the Scots be any different?

One could argue that at the time of Richard II the public were just recovering from the Black Death, we on the other hand were enduring the slaughter of the unions by Thatcher over 600 years later!

At the time of 1380 the Poll Tax did not consider the wealth factor or ability to pay regardless if one was rich or poor. In May 1381, the poor revolted and sacked the City of London.

The same happened with the Poll Tax riots in Trafalgar Square in 1990, didn’t any of the well-educated Tories and their advisers realise that the historical name of ‘Poll Tax’ was a bad omen?

It was the Tories that created the nationalistic temperament in Scotland by not playing fair in the first place, the bully in the playground does not know what to do when his victims stand up to him and fight back.

The Tory desire to punish the Scots for being historically socialist has in effect turned on them; they were and are the instigators and creators of what we see and hear in Scotland today.

It is their fault in its entirety when the people of Scotland ask the question, “What has Westminster ever done for us?”

The answer is the historic behavioural pattern of the Tories in the first place!

Because if we examine the Act of Union of 1707 and Article 18 it clearly defines that taxation/excises should be implemented equally on both sides of the border. This policy and its implementation clearly broke the Act of the Union and resulted in people willing to go to prison and face fines.

There was uproar at the time; sadly, the injustices are still happening today.

If we look at the gulf between the rich and the poor today, it has increased immensely and it is obvious that inequality in its implementation is visible through zero-hour contracts and exploitation of immigrant workers.

This in turn makes it a culture for employers and agencies to behave in such a manner towards the wider population making it an acceptable culture of ‘take it or leave it’.

The Tory injustices have continued not only in the ‘Tory experimental laboratory’ known as Scotland but nationwide too.

The Chartered Institute of Housing and the University of Sheffield have managed to provide statistics relating to the suffering of those on benefits.

84% of the 106 local authorities and 70% of the housing associations revealed that welfare policies are a major contributing factor to homelessness.

The lower benefit cap is leaving a huge gap and rents are not being met, it clearly shows that the gulf between rich and poor is result of policy provision and implementation.

The Tories have turned our nation into a sorry state, it is traditional for them to take such actions given their history and behavioural pattern towards the working classes and anyone who wishes to challenge them.

If we look at out of work benefits in Scotland and compare it to the UK level it is presently at 2.9% whilst the UK level is 2.3%.

In comparison, the South East of England reflects very different figures at 1.3%.

The North West of England has 3.1% claimants for out of work benefits, even concerningly higher is North East of England where the level is 4.4%.

The inequalities are evident in the figures and it is obvious that northern parts of the nation with a strong Labour voting tradition are victims of the growing divide between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.

The economics of the Union cannot just be repaired with a High-Speed Rail Line from London to the North.

The GDP of our Union has a huge gulf between London and the rest of the nation, it is presently 22% of the total GDP and that comes from 12.5% of the UK population.

No wonder the Union was nearly compromised because of the Independence Referendum in Scotland back in 2014.

Anyone examining the figures can see that the gulf will only increase over the years and the suffering will continue not just in Scotland but in the North West & East of England as well.

The Union isn’t getting any equality from Tory policies and the Tories are clearly creating greater divisions and apathy towards the Union rather than unifying the nation.

We only need to look at these figures to ascertain that Theresa May’s mantra of a ‘fairer society’ throughout the Union of our nation is not going to work.

False words and false promises are being delivered whilst the rich are clearly getting richer and the poverty gap is increasing.

The historic antics do not need to be searched and sought for in history books, it’s all happening in front of our eyes daily in virtually every part of the nation.

Tory antics will not strengthen our Union but cause greater division both socially and economically; we need a socialist government that unites the Union and gives it the economic and social prosperity it needs.

Sources – Chartered Institute of Housing and University of Sheffield.

Parliament Acts UK Parliament & Nomisweb.

Author: The Avenger

Independent writers from a very varied background with a shared vision of empowering stories , news and reviews not always highlighted by the mainstream media

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