Wednesday, April 23, 2008

S&I Elsewhere - destiNATION

I'd like to tap the side of my glass and bring you all to order for a brief moment, for I have a couple of announcements to make.

First of all, a happy St George's day to one and all. With any luck, there'll be roast beef in the canteen, and I may even sink away a pint or two of Boddingtons, or London Pride if I can't find any of that, after work as I watch Manchester Utd take on Barcelona in the Nou Camp.

Now, the main business. My good friend and former colleague, Julie Hepburn, she of the 'Bid for Freeedom' blog; SNP Westminster Candidate for Cumbernauld & Kilsyth; wife of Jamie Hepburn MSP and all round good egg, has embarked on a new project. As if she didn't have enough to do already...

It's a website called destiNATION Scotland, which in her words is intended to be "an online forum for progressive political debate from a pro-independence perspective". The idea being to pull together articles, and prompt an online policy debate in Scotland, without having to pay over much heed to the restriction of the present powers of Holyrood.

If you have time, go take a look. If you can bear it, I've contributed an article on local taxation - some of my arguments you may be familiar with from previous posts, but don't hold that against it :-)

I've also been busy writing for the 'Scots Independent' newspaper, this time on the 10p tax rate fiasco. I'll post it here once the paper comes out, but in the meantime, do please go and read what Labour blogger Kezia Dugdale has to say on the subject. I admire her for regularly sticking her head above the parapet, but would it be uncharitable to suggest that for all the spit and fire, there's maybe just the hint of an element of her trying to persuade herself here that it isn't as bad as it seems?

Anyway, here's a quote from the 1997 Labour manifesto, which is worth dwelling on for a moment:

"Our long-term objective is a lower starting rate of income tax of ten pence in the pound. Reducing the high marginal rates at the bottom end of the earning scale - often 70 or 80 per cent - is not only fair but desirable to encourage employment. This goal will benefit the many, not the few".

Couldn't have put it better myself...


Ricky Simpson said...

I wonder if the state helped with the funding? :)

Honestly though some of those articles are just silly. Comparing "british jobs for british" workers to nationalist imperialism is a wee bit off the mark.

Richard Thomson said...

Hi Ricky,

All I know is if the state did fund it in any way, I didn't see a penny for my efforts!

Jennifer Dunn said...

SI readers will be well-versed in the 10p tax rate by the time they've finished May's issue; I did my piece on it too!

Richard Thomson said...

Oh well... I blame the editor. After you and I both missed the deadline, I asked him what he hadn't had an article on yet, and that was what he came up with for me :-)