There have been so many responses to and analyses of George Osborne’s budget, so I won’t pretend that I can offer much new insight. However, one thing struck me very plainly: the real ‘something for nothing’ culture is alive and well, supported by millionaires, for millionaires. The cut in Inheritance Tax means that asset rich families will become asset richer, whilst those who can never hope to own significant assets do not see any benefit. The message: if you have lots, you’ll be rewarded with more.
This is NOT the politics of community or the economics for people I want to see.
All this snow has made for an interesting couple of days, and several firsts for me. On Sunday, as I walked to Craighouse Campus (buses seemed to be having difficulty with the Edinburgh hills), I ate my first ever icicle. It was cold, and watery, but an icicle none-the-less! Yesterday, I spent most of the evening shovelling the cold, white stuff off the pavement outside my and my neighbours’ flats, something else I’d never done before. I even managed to get a few sparks off the pavement with the shovel! And today, I threw a snowball at the Scottish Parliament building, but more on that later!
I love snow, despite all the disruption it causes our busy lives. But perhaps it is good to be forced to slow down a bit, to think carefully about what the day will bring, and to consider the effects of our movements on others in ways that we don’t usually have time for.
Sitting on the bus earlier, watching the white world go passed, I also decided to get back to my blog, which has been sadly neglected for a few months. So, here goes …
For the new year, a new blog …
Bright Green Scotland launched last week, promising news and analysis for Scotland’s green and progressive movement. So far, there have been several interesting posts, discussing the Haiti earthquakes, city council cuts, and coalition politics in Ireland. Some good stuff there – I wish the editorial team all the best, and recommend you give it a read.
Well, what a day that was. A 13 hour council meeting surely has to be some sort of record. Not only did we close four schools (so sorry to all those fantastic parents who fought right to the end), but we also agreed to privatise public services, and privatise the vast majority of home care services. And the Administration just don’t seem to get that they have really upset people … again.
But, enough depressing stuff for now … today saw the first proper snow in Edinburgh, and it looked pretty impressive from the council chamber (even if it was a wee bit chilly). I love the crunch of snow underfoot. It reminds me of the crunch of newly shooting grass in a burnt field, but then we don’t get much of that in Scotland. I’m still fascinated by the different types of snow … today’s was quite like little hail stone pellets – there must be a name for that. What ever it is, it was beautiful – just a shame it won’t be around for long.
I also became a permanent resident in the UK today – finally been granted settlement after a very long application process (not to mention the pointless ‘Life in the UK’ test). I have very mixed feelings about this: there has been something quite appealing about having no ‘home’ for the last 10 years, and I’m not sure how I feel about now having another point of separation from both Zimbabwe and South Africa.
So, an eventful day all round. Now time for bed – Henry is getting dark rings round his eyes, poor cat.