Monday, 15 June 2009
What does Kenneth Calman have in common with my mum and dad?
When I was 12 or 13 my mum and dad suggested that instead of weekly pocket money for extras, I could start having a monthly allowance. It would give me additional money but I'd have to use it for toiletries and other incidentals. They would continue to pay for all the essentials but they wanted to give me a little bit of independence when it came to finances.
It would have been a good idea had they ever actually done it but they didn't. That's besides the point.
Today, the Calman Commission was published and it proposed that the UK give Scotland a bit of extra responsibility and the ability to make a few more decisions as to our finances.
When I was 12 I felt very grown up and I felt respected.
Today I felt (not for the first time) somewhat patronised.
There's some merit in some of the report but the fundamental point that seems to be missed on these folk is that Scotland is not a child maturing into an adult. Scotland does not need to be handed control over a bit more of the pocket money. Scotland is an ancient nation, well used (in times gone by) to running its own affairs and more than capable of doing so
And for commentators to describe the Calman Report suggestion that we get to make our own minds up about how to spend HALF of the tax raised in Scotland as RADICAL is a nonsense.
EVEN FULL INDEPENDENCE ISN'T RADICAL, IT'S JUST NORMAL!
I really do get very tired of being patronised not just by other countries but by blinkered people in my own country who, when carrying out this enquiry into Scotland's options, refused point blank to even consider the possibility of Independence. If it wasn't for the Independence movement, there would have been no Calman Commission and there would certainly have been no Scottish Parliament.
So, whilst I think it would have been a very good idea for me, as a teenager, to learn how to budget, I think I'm pretty safe in saying that we, in Scotland, don't need hand holding and the sooner we have our referendum the better.