Monday, 14 January 2013

Scotland's Aid Budget Will Make Scotland 'A World Leader"

To say I shook my head in disbelief when I read this article in the Herald would be an understatement.

A couple of quotes from Humza Yousaf, the first Scottish minister to hold a foreign portfolio:

"The aim should be, when independence comes, hopefully if it does come in 2014 - we would essentially go from having a budget as we have now of £9 million, modest, to a budget of hundreds of millions."
If there is a Yes vote in 2014, he says, a future SNP government would aim not only to hit the UN target of dedicating 0.7% of gross national income to aid, but go beyond that, possibly to 1%.

According to the article, the SNP is also 'actively considering' cancellation of third world debt.

The SNP, at its last parliamentary conference, passed a motion not only to ensure they met the 0.7% UN spending target, but that they will look to go to 1%.

It's all well and good to want to help the poorest in the world but the best way to do that is by education - not by throwing money at governments which use it for their own purposes.

Many days I see a level of deprivation in this country which makes me wonder about our care of the elderly.  Too many are living on pensions which are utterly inadequate for a reasonable standard of living in today's Scotland, yet 'out of sight out of mind' suffices in political circles. Many of these people are too proud to ask for help and don't claim the benefits to which they're entitled and who can blame them when the process is degrading.

Mr Yousaf speaks about building hospitals and schools when my 'local' hospital, Perth Royal Infirmary, is cutting services and will not even provide an A & E service at weekends very shortly.  Some people will be required, in an emergency, to travel for a couple of hours to Dundee for treatment.  We can't fund our own hospitals well enough to provide a 24 service.

Indeed, he speaks about other European countries which do hit 0.9% and 0.95% but I very much doubt if these countries' hospitals are unable to do a simple scan outside the hours of 9am to 4pm Monday to Friday.  So much equipment lies dormant in our hospitals because the mindset is for a 9-5 Monday to Friday service.

Of course Mr Yousaf is speaking hypothetically because his ideas are for an independent Scotland, but I doubt if many voters will be pleased to hear the overseas aid policy is organised, yet we know little or nothing about other policies - security to mention just one.

Another quote from the article:

"Climate justice" – political-speak for wealthy nations taking responsibility for some of the effects of climate change in poorer countries – is something in which Scotland has already taken a global lead, Yousaf says.

Don't get me started on the Scottish Government's 'climate justice fund'. when it's now being realised by so many that global warming is a scam.

I'm beginning to wonder what an independent Scotland would look like and fear that such enthusiasm to be seen as a 'global player' could be detrimental to Scotland's domestic needs.


Anonymous said...

Where are they going to get the money from?
If they are independent, doesn't that mean no more money from the English?

pa_broon74 said...

Actually, the money will come from the vast sums we're sending down for Westminster to waste on our behalf. (FYI, not even the tories accept Scotland is subsidised by English money any more.)

Although, I'd rather we spent it a wee bit closer to home. One of the reason to vote yes is to wind our necks in a little bit on the international stage, as said, its not just about money, there are other far more beneficial forms of aid that we could be specialising with.

Michele said...

Vast monies heading south? Well maybe sometimes, but for a very long time Scotland was a net receiver of monies from the much richer south. That was fine, it is what unions are supposed to be about, richer parts subsidising the less affluent.

Let's hope the oil holds out; but when the Falklands oil comes on line in 2017 you will have a less attractive asset for your southern neighbours to purchase; and as global warming is proving to be more like the biggest scam in history your green energy exports may not be as cost effective as some seem to believe.

Plus, shhhh - I hear an English distillery has taken out the first prize for whisky in the US!!

This is not a doom and gloom post, merely a dose of coming reality when the likes of your Humza Yousaf, has to find the cash to become the world's leader in giving it away - without bankrupting the nation he was elected to govern responsibly.

PS -The likes of Pa broon [I take 74 to be his IQ] is one of the main reasons I just hope that you take the challenge and go for Independence. He has one argument and reiterates ad nauseum. It is also wrong which defeats the objective.

Woman on a Raft said...

I suppose someone will shout "Raaaaycist" if I point out that a minister called Humza Yousaf might be less interested in Scotland than other places, especially if that's the job he's given to do.

A whacking big bureaucracy and a lush budged to hand out as he swans around the world is such an easy job compared to generating wealth or protecting people at home.

There's really only one way to deal with this: "starve the beast". Don't have that job or portfolio at all, and never appoint anyone to do it.

Anyone who stands up and opines that public money should be given outside the borders of the country is to be politely invited to give away all of their own money to that purpose first.

You are absolutely right about education being the only way to help. As we saw in Iraq, the hospitals are just corrupt money pits for the developers. That turned out to be the biggest schonky builder story in the world, with sanitary ware not connected to the pipes, just jammed in to the wall.

Joe Public said...

I agree entirely with the objective of massively increasing the Scottish Aid Budget upon independence.

Perhaps some of it will then be sprinkled south of the border.

pa_broon74 said...

I was responding to the point being made in the comment above, I have a great many more arguments I could deploy. Your petty dig highlights a lack of argument on your part, not my own. (If you require a rough guide on BTL debating principles, I'd be happy to put one together for you.)

In terms of the ebb and flo of resources, you assert for the longest time money was drifting from the South to the North? Can you back that up with any figures?

Westminster has a very poor track record regarding how it disseminates the wealth created from its colonies and so called dependencies. As an example, it gave more money to Kew Gardens than it did to alleviate suffering during the potato famine in Ireland between 1845 and 1852, 1 million dead and another million emigrated.

I could go on and on.

On oil, the notion only England buys North sea oil is daft and simplistic. And while I also don't believe in the climate change nonsense, I'm not so stupid as to imagine we can continue to consume our natural resources without any plan for the future which seems to be the UK's plan.

The '74' in my user name refers to the year I was born, the same year the McCrone report was authored and subsequently stifled.

As for the dose of reality you claim to provide, its not a reality I recognise.

JRB said...

Ah Subrosa – so you read of this lunacy as well.

For lunacy is what it is.
If such outlandish aspirations are being presented as policy by an independent Scotland’s would be foreign secretary - then God save us from such madness if that is what independence would bring.

(sadly, I never thought I would ever have see a day when I would put such a criticism in print)

Last week my mind was focused on another piece of news which, much to the Scottish Government’s delight, slipped passed without much public comment.
Namely- it was that the health gap between the richest and poorest in Scotland has now reached worrying levels.

To give but one statistic - ‘the poorest in this country of ours die 20 years before the richest.’

The health gap in Scotland has now sunk to the level of a third world country.

If ever there was an argument for that age old adage then these figures are surely it – ‘charity begins at home’

pa_broon74 said...

I would also say, this story is being hijacked in the usual way by independence nay-sayers.

Humza Yousaf is an SNP minister, voting yes in 2014 does not mean you'll be getting him as a Foreign secretary or even the SNP in government in 2016. You might for example get a minority SNP government.

Independence is not inextricably linked with the SNP.

As a reason to vote no, this is a bit like deciding not to have a bacon sandwich because you don't like or have no HP sauce, the two things are not mutually exclusive.

subrosa said...

In the same way as the UK get the money now Rightwinggit. Taxation.

subrosa said...

I'd rather spend it AT home pa_broon - at least before we start giving it away.

subrosa said...

I don't think pa_broon is wrong Michele and I've always thought he created a good argument.

Being rude about other readers doesn't do you any favours.

subrosa said...

I'm not going to shout that WoaR.

Agree with you his 'outburst' is somewhat immature (a word I used in the original draft) so just plain stupid.

What on earth are the SNP thinking of allowing him to say this publicly - I don't know.

The SNP has a large share of left-wing voters and I doubt if many of them will be impressed by this, especially if they or a relative are struggling to keep warm and fed.

subrosa said...

Joe, take your tongue out of your cheek. :)

subrosa said...

Aye JRB, I had to read it twice because I thought it was an 'in' joke at first.

Thanks for the information about the health statistics, missed that myself.

It's shocking our health hasn't improved even though more and more money is ploughed into the service.

subrosa said...

Naw pa_broon it isn't being hijacked - JRB and myself will keep the independence flag flying.

However, this is a really silly move from Yousaf and it will concern lots of SNP supporters. They won't want to hear 'hundreds of millions' are going elsewhere while they or their loved ones are deprived of quality education and healthcare.

Bucko The Moose said...

I don't get this need for poloticians to be 'world leaders', to 'lead the way' and 'take a global lead'.

Are they all power hungry crazies?

What's wrong with, "We are happy just looking after our own for the time being. We don't want to over burden our taxpayers".

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

First -This was reported in the Herald in its daily drip of desperate Unionism.

Read between the lines and Yousaf's position is aspirational and,in essence, much along the lines that I would like to see applied by an Independent Scotland.

Of course the measures of real-finance must be factored in to the Realpolitik. But I read his comment as a positive indication of the economic viability Scotland will enjoy in order to consider such largesse.

Secondly -independence does not equate to isolationism. Nor does the practice of good neighbourliness stop at the next door,next street or the next town when the aim is to minimise misery. And provided it can be afforded and has good effect, why not deploy it where its most needed? Surely nobody is advocating its a ploy designed to start the march towards Scotland's ambitions towards Empire?

Third - The "Health Gap" in Scotland is one of the reasons among many as to why independence is not only needed but crucial.

Finally - I'm a bit peeved that independence is considered to have only two flag waivers on this blog.

Anon said...

Humza Yousaf of UK military intelligence?

Has the SNP been infiltrated by the spooks?

Most 'foreign aid' is controlled by the security services.

- Aangirfan

Sheila said...

Sadly we seem to be torch-bearers for the new global agenda in so many ways...

Apogee said...

Can I suggest that IF, and its a big IF after a statement like that from a would-be Foreign Minister,Scotland achieves Independence, I would hope that the incoming Governments, of whatever colour, would spend the first twenty years NOT wasting the peoples money on vanity projects outside of Scotland, but would concentrate on the REAL repair work that needs done INSIDE Scotland.

And can I further suggest that when we can afford to hand out aid,do as Bob Geldof and bandaid did, tell the would-be recipient country that
the aid would go direct to the people needing it, not to be wasted on BMW's and Merc's as all to often happens today. If they don't want it on those terms, well some-one else will. But let us Get Scotland
sorted out first.

subrosa said...

Nothing wrong with that at all Bucko. However many politicians let power go to their heads or some other appendage.

subrosa said...

I wouldn't describe it as aspirational Crinkly but somewhat foolhardy at this time in the debate.

Oops, of course there are many independence supporters who read this, but as JBR and myself more or less agree on this, I only mentioned us. Apologies.

subrosa said...

Aye excellent point Anon.

subrosa said...

That is sad Sheila. Thanks so much for the link.

subrosa said...

You can suggest Apogee and they're excellent suggestions if I may say so.

Highland Cooncil said...

Dave Allison,
Sui juris,
Enemy of the State,
Sovereign Freeman in Lawful Rebellion,
who Declared War on Highland Council.

INCIDENT 3 a.m. Monday 14th. January 2013
I was surrounded by 3 female Traffic Wardens then 1 male and 1 female uniformed constables of Northern CON stabulary.

The Northern CONstabulary Police Constable informed me that they had been called by a female hospital doctor who had allegidly;
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury.
That we can have the threat of Arrest for just saying something to someone, PROVES THAT WE LIVE IN AN ORWELLIAN New World Order POLICE STATE.
I informed the officers that I bacame a DIABETIC Type 2
recently, and the my Records be updated for Health & Safety Laws
I case of TAZERING and that when I am put in the Gulag I will recieve appropriate medical care before the ZyKlon B is administered.


I have eMailed an official report of the 3 incidents and the harrasements and the fact that I am afraid to leave my home in case of immediate interrigation, arrest, Tasering, and/or shipping to the Gulag, to:
Professional Standards and Conduct Unit
which is on the page

Someone claiming to be an Officer of Northern CONstabulary phoned later that day and we spoke for some conciderable time.

Clarinda said...

I couldn't agree more with Mr Crinkly and Pa .... the alert is immediate being from just one of the failing (credibility and circulation) unionist newspapers in Scotland. Of course Mr Yousaf's reported and edited piece is aspirational - just look at how he has couched his hopes of an eventually financially stable Scotland making its own decisions over 'foreign aid'.
"possibly 1%" does not exactly fill me with horror when the alleged decision will be ours and not subject to a UK government that we in Scotland never voted for. Our health inequalities are glaring indeed Subrosa, and perhaps one of the biggest priorities as to why we must have Independence to give us control over our finances.
Read unionist journalism at your peril!

Clarinda said...

On the subject of unionist alarmism on anything they can manipulate - may I recommend the most recent article published this evening on Wings over Scotland written by Scott Minto who has investigated and rebutted some of the rather arch 'foreign aid' scary stories.

subrosa said...

Interesting HC.

subrosa said...

If this wasn't said then the SG should immediately demand an apology from the Herald Clarinda and also print one.

Otherwise, I see it as too much of a loose tongue.

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