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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, December 05, 2011

Europe - our future(?)

Just a few years back, the Celtic Tiger of Ireland was apparently the target that we should seek to attain.

This week, the basically announced their further, deeper, insolvency and their to cut, cut, cut and cut further into social spending and public services.

Then it was the Arc of Prosperity; until Iceland went 'behind over chest'.

Last month it was the Isle of Man.

Next year it is Scandinavia, apparently.

Perhaps at some point we might not need role models to aspire to, and actually become the leaders not the followers.

One could almost suggest that the Scottish Government were talking down Scotland.

There is no doubt that many of these countries have better levels of social services and more intensive public services, and we could properly consider these as valid aspirations.  So how are they paid for?

Well £8/pint is a start.  Higher taxes at lower income levels is another (and lower taxes at higher income levels!).  A fat bureaucracy is another.  No, make that a grossly obese bureaucracy.

I'm sure there are many good points and I look forward to hearing these.

(I remember having a 1/2 litre with a Norwegian in Denmark.  I paid £5.50 a pint some 10 years ago, and the Norwegian thought this was dirt cheap.  Our tax practice has lots of other numbers that will boggle your mind.)


Anonymous said...

More than anything else, this is what alarms me about the SNP.

It's the Pic'n'mix approach to politics. One minute it's 'Scotland In Europe' stamped across the ballot paper. The next it's comparing Scotland to Norway - which is clearly 'Scotland Out Of Europe'.

Other nations blur in and out of view. AB MacNeil for years had a ridiculous infatuation with Ireland, even though anyone who knew it realised that there was much - like that country's health and education service - which Scots wouldn't tolerate here. The other month, he was even envying Rwanda for its mobile phone system, which must be the most crass and stupid insight anyone has ever brought back from that country. (Very hard to get a landline there, I suppose, in countries where many live in corrugated iron huts!) It's also been Malta, Iceland, Outer Mongolia. (OK - I made that last one up but I'm waiting for it ...)

The truth is if you don't look at a country's entire system, including its taxes as Angus points out, it's a silly and childish way of arguing. The situation of no two countries are alike. It's time that the SNP stopped this ridiculous game of theirs and stopped pretending these comparisions could be made.

They might carry a great deal more conviction if they abandoned their world tour and took a long, hard look at what this country is capable of being outside their fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

I note in the Scotsman today it's suddenly Alaska.

All around the world in eighty political statements!

Angus said...

I keep suggesting emulating the Canaries for the absence of VAT and fuel duty; and of course for the sunshine.

No-one's taken me up yet, even it was just for the VAT and fuel duty....

Anonymous said...

not too bothered about VAT and fuel duty. "bring me sunshine..."

Odin said...

A bit googling and I found out that Norway's average wage is not far off twice the UK average and their taxes do not seem to be much higher than UK.
A pint in Stornoway is not far off £4 so if it is twice that in Norway then it seems to be fairly balanced and when you look at GDP with Norwegian growth around 3times better than UK maybe the newly independent Scotland SHOULD be looking to the east rather than our former masters in the south!

Nogin said...


Look again at your Google. Norway has a raging illegal problems with illict booze manufacture, soaring alcohol related illnesses and after Sweden the highest suicide rate in Europe. Growth industries? The raping of fish from the sea and the continued slaughter of rare whales along with their only friend in this barbaric industry Japan.

Odinagain said...

Nogin (D. Nog?)

Illicit alcohol making? That, of course, has never happened in Scotland!

Google again shows that Norway lies about 36th in the world for suicide rate (11.4 per 100000) with 20 other European countries above them and the UK not far behind with 11.4 per 100000.
Still why would you want to let the truth get in the way of an anti SNP rant?

Noginagain said...

Odin or is it Odium?

You assume an anti SNP rant on the basis of a dig at Norway? LOL :-)

or is it the ancient lineage to the Norse and vikings and I have hurt your feelings?

My comment re Suicide rates was with regard to alcoholics rather than general population and perhaps I should have been more specific. Home made booze is a real problem and for that reason alcohol should be tackled by a restriction of easy availability rather than simply price.

Your comments on fish stock deprevation and whales I missed or do you support that as well?

I personally suspect a dose of a prevalent ailment of the SNP support - paranoia. Independance is coming stop worrying, Brother Alex is spending much of his time on English television convincing them to get rid of us.

What I will add to alliviate any further concerns as to an anti SNP rant is that I am personally looking foward to 16 SNP Councillors in the Chambers next year.

Chill out.

Anonymous said...

Think we've meandered - rather drunkenly - up a bye-road in this discussion.

Let's get back to the main point.

Surely the least we can expect from a political party is some consistency in its comparisons. Not a form of argument which would be best summed up as;

'If it's Tuesday, it must be Belguim.'

Anonymous said...

I think the point is that if you make alcohol expensive it doesn't stop people drinking, and it also encourages a vital homebrewing movement.