Scottish Independence Podcast 171 – Dr Philippa Whitford

800px-Official_portrait_of_Dr_Philippa_Whitford_crop_2The 171st episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast is mostly a speech by Dr Philippa Whitford (a previous guest on the show). I’m sure you do, but just in case you didn’t know, Dr Whitford MP is an SNP MP but before her time in politics she was a consultant breast surgeon, one who also worked as part of UN mission in Gaza and even a couple of years ago went to the West Bank to operare on four women suffering from Breast Cancer.

The speech, principally about the Scottish Health service, was at Clermiston and is reproduced here courtesy of Independence Live.

At the end of the speech I left the Q & A section in because most of the questions from the floor were, I imagine, exactly the ones the majority of listeners to this podcast would have asked, and she also gave some good responses.

Finally, before that main course of the podcast begins, I put in a little starter when it seemed, just for a second, that the BBC was going to go somewhere it never ever goes.

Hope you enjoy.

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The Scottish Independence Podcast 94 – Philippa Whitford

PhillipaWhiteford720For the 94th episode of the Scottish Independence Podcast I spoke to Philippa Whitford.

Philippa is an NHS doctor and has been making some of the best speeches of the entire Independence Campaign.

Specifically she has been outlining why the Scottish NHS is more than just under threat if there is a No vote, it is in fact in serious trouble.

In the podcast we talked about why that is the case but we also talked about the broader independence campaign and what we thought Yes activists can do to push us over the line.

Finally, as ever, I asked my guest their personal reasons for supporting Scottish Independence.

Hope you enjoy…

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You can listen to the show online at its web page

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Union Dividends – 6

Of course the Scottish NHS is fortunately a separate thing and has been spared the worst ravages of what has happened down south.

But bear in mind some well-known politicians have been making noises about bringing Scotland more into line with UK in the event of a No vote.

Some people are doing quite well out of what’s going on down south though. And us usual, it isn’t the public.

There must be a better way.


If You Keep Voting For Neoliberals, This Is What Happens – Part 2

I was recently in a town in Eng-er-land and saw this poster on the window of the local council building…

The question I have is about who is actually making a mistake here?

Are/were the Tories plans to destroy the NHS a mistake? For the public they certainly were. For the Conservative Party and its leaders friends, I’m not so sure.

I think the mistake being made might well be to assume that the Conservative Party (or at least those at the top driving these things) genuinely want ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’.

They may want the best for their friends in high places and genuinely believe they are helping people, but that is not the same thing.

Also, they may want the best for the lobbyists that wine and dine them, and with whom they spend much more of their time than they do with members of the public.

I once spent half an evening with former MSP Rosie Kane in a pub in the south side of Glasgow and she told me that once she got in people like Coca-Cola were all over her. She said she was thinking “Don’t you even bother to read what party people come from?”.

Lesser-known is that those same lobbyists also spend a lot of time lobbying top civil servants directly and in this way can influence even the advice that ministers and MPs get from their officials.

Returning to the poster, I am sure that Tory plans have made the NHS worse and will make it worse yet. However, the mistake might be to think that they were ever designed to do anything else, or that they have any inclination to seriously listen to the objections of the public.