The British Nationalist threat to Scotland’s health service is not new. It predates Boris Johnson’s undeserved elevation by several years. All that has changed is that we now have a British Prime Minister who is so contemptuous of Scotland and its people as to speak openly of the British state’s malign intent.
You’d have to be terminally naive to suppose the British political elite weren’t itching to get their greedy paws on NHS Scotland. Absorbing Scotland’s public health service into one of those “UK-wide common frameworks” that David Mundell wasn’t considered capable of managing serves the purposes of the ‘One Nation’ project very well. For a start, it would be an important step in neutralising the Scottish Parliament. Stripping Holyrood of its most significant powers has to be a priority for British Nationalists as they seek to eradicate Scotland’s distinctive political culture.
Few things better symbolise Scotland’s distinctive political culture than NHS Scotland. For that reason alone, it must be considered a prime target for seizure by the British state.
All the preparations are in place. There is a new unelected and unaccountable shadow administration called ‘The UK Government in Scotland’ waiting to take over all the powers added to the reserved list appended to the Scotland Act (1998). Curiously, the legislation which allows the British Prime Minister to do this is Nicola Sturgeon’s favourite, Section 30. Here’s what it says.
Her Majesty may by Order in Council make any modifications of Schedule 4 or 5 which She considers necessary or expedient.
For “Her Majesty” read the British Prime Minister. Schedules 4 and 5 are basically the choke-chain and muzzle put on Holyrood to stop the Sweaties getting ideas above their subordinate station. Section 30, as should now be clear, is an additional safety mechanism in case the choke-chain and muzzle don’t hold. It means the British executive can rewrite the Scotland Act to add anything to the list of reserved powers or protected provisions.
These powers are reserved and provisions protected for a reason. The British ruling elite would only accept devolution on condition there was no possibility that the Union could be compromised. The Union has to be protected at all costs because it is crucial to the British state’s conceit of itself as a global power. Without the Union – without Scotland – the rump of what had been the UK would not be able to strut the world stage with the big boys. The Jocks could have their pretendy Parliament. But it must always be under Westminster’s heel.
Needless to say, money comes into it as well. Particularly with the whole Brexit shambles. It is hardly a secret that the avaricious hyenas of corporate America are sniffing and slobbering around England’s NHS. The health service down south has been weakened to the point where it is easy prey for those who regard health-care solely as a source of profit.
But those US corporations want the lot. They won’t do a deal while part of the ‘English’ NHS is under the control of those ‘pinko liberals’ in Edinburrow. The British government needs those deals with the US. So they have to seize NHS Scotland. Simple as that.
If we don’t restore Scotland’s independence very soon, you can forget healthcare free at the point of need. You can forget a lot of other things as well. You can forget a fracking-free Scotland. You can forget universal benefits. In fact, you can forget the Scotland we know and the Scotland to which we aspire.
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