"On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament last Wednesday July 1st Gordon Brown published an article in the Scottish Daily Record," stated Philippa Cullen of Lower Froyle in Hampshire in her end-of-month message to CEP members in the county.
"It reeked with Scottish nationalism. Coming from a British Prime Minister who should put Britain first and speak equally of each nation of Britain it was outrageous. Yet it was totally consistent with his written pledge of March 31st 1989 when as 'one of the leaders of Labour's campaign for devolution' he signed the Scottish Claim of Right vowing 'to make the interests of the Scottish people paramount in everything he said and did'. His government, he says, 'has never stopped focusing on delivering for the Scottish people'.
"In the article he celebrates 'Scotland’s rich and vibrant political history'. He talks of 'the bravery and brilliance of Scots in uniform', no mention of the English who make up the vast bulk of the British Army, Navy and Air Force. He describes how he 'had campaigned for a fairer future for Scotland' and how he had made policy that 'pays off for the Scots. Our decision to build two state-of-the-art aircraft carriers at shipyards including Govan, Scotstoun and Rosyth has secured thousands of jobs in Scotland and protected Scots' hard-earned savings'. He omits to mention that the preservation of shipbuilding jobs in Scotland had been at the deliberate expense of England's shipyards, particularly Devonport and Tyneside.
"He exhibits breathtaking effrontery by saying that 'the Scottish people rightly felt frustrated in recent decades as unpopular decisions were made on health, education and policing', while knowing full well that his fellow Scottish Labour MPs in the UK Parliament have taken away English MPs' choice on foundation hospitals and university tuition fees by voting against them and imposing these against English wishes.
"Unashamedly he boasts that the Scots can enjoy 'influencing decisions in Westminster' while making no mention of the West Lothian Question. He trumpets on about 'Scottish solutions to Scottish issues on things such as free personal care for the elderly, tuition fees, free travel for the elderly and prescription charges', as if England doesn't have exactly the same issues; and as if he is unaware, which he most definitely is not, that in terms of tax revenue it is the English taxpayer who pays for the extra benefits the Scots now enjoy. In terms of tax revenue Scotland is unable to pay its own way. 'The Union Government invests billions of pounds in Scotland beyond the Scottish Parliament’s £35 billion annual budget' he writes. What he does not write is that 90% of the Union Government's revenue comes the English taxpayer.
Because of devolution, Brown writes, 'Scots could finally start taking more control of our daily lives'. Note his use of the word 'our'. He smugly says "For the first time in 300 years, Scotland once again had its own parliament’. There is no fiercer opponent of England having its own parliament and the English having 'control of their daily lives'. than him; and he is using all the instruments of the British state to try to make sure it never happens. He boasts of 'hosting a working dinner in my home in Fife for leaders from all the Holyrood parties'. Would he ever as much as think of getting representatives of the people of England together 'to focus on delivering for the English people'?
As Brown so rightly says in the article, more truthfully than he realizes: 'In short, devolution gives Scotland the best of both worlds'