The debate over Scottish Independence from the rest of the Union is turning into a bit of a political hot potato since the British Prime Minister opened it up fully on the Andrew Mar Show on Sunday last.
Now my feelings have already been made known on this subject through my previous post last October in Scottish Independence when I nailed my colours to the mast in favour of maintaining the three hundred year old Union.
Everyone is laying into the debate and apparently the British Parliament through the current government are letting it be known that if Alex Salmond, the Scottish First Minister and the SNP, the ruling party in the devolved Scottish Parliament, ignores the law and tries to hold a referendum without the consent and agreement of the UK Parliament, they, the UK Parliament will go to court over the matter.
Something happened today to make me think about this again, something close to home that is. You may recall that I have mentioned that Ishbel suffers from something called Laryngeal Dystonia This is a condition that affects the vocal chords of sufferers and makes it difficult for them to speak. There is no cure but it can be moderated through continued visits to the hospital for specialist treatment every three or four months, resulting in a painful injection into the vocal chords.
Now a few years ago Ishbel told me that she met people when attending the clinic in London who were also waiting for their injections, and she told me that they came from all over the country as there is only one consultant in the country who specialises in this. Well, today she came home from her treatment and told me that she met a very nice man who had come all the way from Scotland, with the NHS picking up his travel costs and hotel for an overnight stay......
Now there are a couple of points that this raises, one being why the hell is there only one clinic seemingly in the whole of the UNITED KINGDOM, that offers this treatment or which has the expertise for it, I am sure that there are probably reasonable answers to that question? But, the far more important question for Scots, is this.
If the SNP get their way and become the architects of the breakup of the Union, what happens to all the UK wide services that are currently offered, even under Devolved countries, such as sharing NHS facilities. yes, I know that NHS services are currently different in the UK with free prescriptions, and care homes for the elderly in some parts, but not in others. But, Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland are funded by the UK exchequer from revenue raised, mainly through taxation. Now taxation as we all know takes many forms from income tax to corporation tax to VAT, to fuel tax and energy surcharges and so on and on and on.
But I keep coming back to that same point, will there be enough people and jobs for an estranged Scotland to raise the taxes for the country to be self sufficient? And, will people in Scotland, and eventually Wales and Northern Ireland, if they see Scotland achieving Independence, will they go the same way, and will those who suffer from these obscure illnesses suffer, because the English NHS will not fund treatment for them and will the NHS of those countries be able to provide the treatment that they need to maintain a decent and comfortable lifestyle that is provided through the treatment they receive at the moment?
BBC News article