Let’s target the real scroungers

Originally posted on Scottish Socialist Voice:

100_2631by Sandra Webster,
SSP national co-spokesperson

In the lead up to the referendum vote, the future of the welfare state was one of the issues referred to by the Scottish Government. Nicola Sturgeon talked of a fairer welfare state with little detail but the hope rested there in the ether. Unfortunately, the No vote will impact on many peoples lives of all ages, gender and abilities and lead to the further dismantling of the welfare state. As the SSP meets for our first post-referendum conference, it is important to be aware of some of the benefit cuts which are coming our way and will affect those both in and out of work.

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What would she think of us?

Originally posted on Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain:

What would she think of us, I often wonder, as we meander through our daily routine. Get up; shower; breakfast; boys get dressed as I make the sandwiches and pack the school bags. A rota in the kitchen keeps me straight on what gym kit is needed. Then brush teeth, climb on the bikes and off we pedal, warmed by the morning sun. I like to think Magteld would be pleasantly surprised at how, since the summer holidays, these rituals have become almost automatic. She worried openly about how I would tackle the task of bringing up the boys, especially when it came to their schooling, a job she approached with the firm resolve of a farmer preparing to wring his chickens’ necks. And I could hardly complain or feign indignation, because I worried about it even more.

Sorting out the boys’ schools took up much of the last months…

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Listening to and empowering women – post-referendum


Hope you all approve.

Originally posted on Scottish Socialist Voice:

CM-indy women-yes

Change and recognition: thousands of women have been energised by the Yes movement

by Sandra Webster, SSP co-spokesperson

Like many of my sisters, I have come on a long journey during the referendum. We have spoken at public meetings small and large throughout the campaign and have forced ourselves to be central to the debate. Women for Independence provided media training for women who had never voted before, never mind engaged in political issues.

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Britain: How they control the classes.

Originally posted on Scottish Pokemon - What do you believe in?:


DISCLAIMER: I’ve been struggling for the past few days trying to unravel the class structure of the British state. What follows is my draft attempt at unravelling this knot. This is not a perfect analysis, it is not academic, it is not thorough. I generalise, I stereotype and I do make assumptions. That being said, I also feel I’ve hit some nails on some heads.  While not perfect, I believe this piece provides some interesting points of view that can be of value in moving forward. I aim to refine this reasoning and afterwards I shall try to apply it to the referendum campaign and to whatever comes next for the post-indyref movement.

The British state and the media have created a hierarchic society where your position, goals and opportunities are based on you or your parents financial income. The state enforces this hierarchy through policies aimed at keeping the working-class…

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The settled will of yesterday

The settled will of yesterday.

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The morning after the nights before.

So here I am again. I didn’t cry much yesterday I was numb I hoped I had dreamed it all and Scotland had voted YES but no I am proud to be one of the 45. It is funny how that number cascades into our history. The toughest thing was telling my son who lives with autism the news. He believed in Team Scotland. I told him we would have the opportunity to vote again and we would have Independence.

I spent all day Thursday outside polling places. At my first in Johnstone some-one had flown a union jack to a mobile mast right next to the school. Hugh Henry MSP visited whispering with his labour party friends while the majority of voters were over 65. The ex local councillor told me he used to be the councillor of a small electoral role because folk were hiding from debt agencies. I reminded him that there were two versions and not all of us on the edited version were hiding we were escaping. That is what I wanted to escape from a bankrupt Westminster system where jobs are for the boys.

At my second stint in Glenburn where I live I was joined by a member of the labour party who said he agreed with most tory policies and had a toe in their camp. Wee Dougie Alexander visited and I told him well done for being on the same side as tories. He looked at me as if I was something horrid on his shoe. That is why I shall never vote Labour ever again. Never. full stop.

The last two years have been wonderful. The people I have met have been amazing and it has been a voyage of discovery for me like many other folk in Scotland. We have all grown together into a nation who has found our voice. I fear that the last minute promises will never happen and I fear for my family. After all mental ill health and autism? They are not real illnesses are they? Soon they will come chapping at our door to take away all that we have to exist on. I know when that happens I will have friends to help and that is a blessing.

Things are going to get tough for folk like us. We have voted NO to austerity and all the trains of glory that surround it. Further cuts to service, and the road to the further Americanization of the welfare state where foodbanks and food stamps will be accepted. I dread it. Meanwhile in George Square last night a few NO voters had a party burning flags and celebrating the reign of Rule Britannia. At least the queen doesn’t have to worry her wee butt and ben is in safe hands for the moment at least.

So my future? Still dreaming about Independence which I truly believe will happen in my lifetime. I have cried now over this missed opportunity but am now ready to get prepared for the cuts which will follow. I am proud to be part of the 45 but now it is time to roll up my sleeves and fight for all those I hold dear even those who I don’t that is why I am a socialist. Rant over. Time to get busy. Thank you for reading this Sandra’s rant companeros. Be kind to each other. #indyref.

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Another amazing blog from Gordon Darroch who always reminds me what it is to be human. Thinling of you, your boys and Magteld. X

Originally posted on Gordon Darroch's Unreal Domain:

My doctor asks if I’m coping. I say yes but I don’t really know. I get up in the morning, take the kids to school on time, keep myself fed and watered, drink in moderation and go running a couple of times a week. None of it feels arduous or overbearing. But Magteld’s absence envelops me like a cocoon and puts the wider world at a distance.

To begin with I was surprised by how easy it was to keep going. Just before the World Cup I went to interview a former Dutch footballer. We sat and chatted pleasantly for an hour, and just before the end I mentioned that my wife had recently died. Quite casually, the way you’d comment on the changing of the seasons or a new one-way traffic system. This was two weeks after Magteld had died, which might, in hindsight, explain his slightly startled reaction…

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