Keen-witted viewers may have spotted a couple of additions to the central links column, which will help to support the site without costing you anything. If you want to buy anything through Amazon, visiting their site via the button on the right will divert a few pennies from your purchase to Wings Over Scotland, which isn’t quite as good as them paying proper amounts of tax but at least it’s something.
GiffGaff, meanwhile, is a top-notch pay-as-you-go mobile-phone network we’ve been using for a couple of years now and highly recommend for its excellent-value packages (especially if you use the internet on your phone) and terrific customer service.
Commercial message ends. As you were.
The prime raison d’etre of a government is to provide for its citizens defence, security and services that either an individual would be unable to provide for themselves, or where such services are in the public interest but cannot be adequately served by market forces. Government is there to act on our behalf and in the common interest of our society, and in order to do so is funded by the people through taxation.
It’s the responsibility of any government to ensure that the services that the public pay for are maintained and that the money that is paid in taxation is spent as effectively as possible in delivering those services. These are not “giveaways”, but the reallocation of public funds to meet the needs of the populace, a transaction in which the recipient of the service has already provided payment – in many cases far more than they would ever recoup themselves.
Historically this was the most basic founding principle of the Labour Party, which advocated socialist policies such as public ownership of key industries, government intervention in the economy, redistribution of wealth, increased rights for workers, the welfare state, publicly funded healthcare and education. These principles were enshrined in “Clause IV” of the Labour constitution.
In 1995, however, “Clause IV” was abolished by Tony Blair, heralding the birth of “New Labour” and the adoption of market based solutions and neo-liberalisation. Labour in Scotland was less keen to accept this new creed than its compatriots south of the border, but when Johann Lamont recently signalled Scottish Labour’s final submission to the triangulated centre-right doctrine, many whose traditional sympathies lay with the party rounded bitterly on her policy shift.
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The records have been tumbling like skittles at Wings Over Scotland – we’ve just notched up our biggest day of page views ever (last Friday), our biggest week, and our biggest month. Especially heartening was the fact that no single post provided more than 18% of the traffic for any one week, or more than 6% of views for the month – we were already comfortably through the 200,000 barrier even before Friday’s popular and widely-linked piece on the SFL’s farcical “reconstruction” proposals.
We also smashed the 1000-Twitter-followers barrier (despite a furious Twitstorm from No campaigners last Tuesday), set a new high of almost 23,000 unique users, and exceeded 50,000 visits for the first time. Thanks so much to everyone who’s come to the site, and particularly to those who’ve tweeted links, posted Facebook likes and all the other stuff that’s helped our readership grow by 1,675% since the turn of the year.
Now for the (slightly) bad news.
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