Socialism and Capitalism are dead, they are last centuries outdated ideas. Each has failed because of growing political tribalism, left and right grew so far apart in the 80s that the political elites realised they could rule from the centre-ground. Empty slogans took over, New Labour, Caring Capitalism – they failed because populism is an empty promise. Populism couldn’t deliver results because all they were selling in elections was what the people wanted to hear and not what they needed to hear. All their solutions were soundbite sticking plasters and the problems became insurmountable.
It started in the 90s and ended with the financial crash, it’s just that people haven’t realised it yet but our political system is broken, it’s salesmen becoming more and more desperate caricatures of leaders, our economic approach is not just fit for the challenges of this century, it’s creating the challenges of this century. We need to press the reset button, to build environmental sustainability into our political model, to make our economy and our society more resilient in the face of financial, health and environmental crises.
Such a task cannot be attempted with the pitiful and reducing powers of devolution. Independence gives us the opportunity to rethink Scotland, to redesign our politics and our socioeconomic approach. If we do that then we create a compelling independence vision that all generations and political allegiances can rally to. How do we begin that task? By identifying the values we share, the problems we face and solutions rooted in our values rather than in political short term-ism, a path to a greener, fairer, wealthier, healthier and happier thriving independent Scotland begins to appear.
We don’t yet have all the answers this is just the first step.
“We have the chance to press reset, to choose a fresh, better and more ambitious approach to how we manage Scotland’s economy and society”
BELIEVE in Scotland studied several nations around the world that are adopting a wellbeing socioeconomic approach: Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, New Zealand and even Wales.
None has yet fully developed its thinking into a holistic approach but all had ideas worthy of adopting and adapting to Scotland’s needs. From those international examples we created a wellbeing policy framework, polled 1000 voters living in Scotland and found there was majority support – mostly more than 75 per cent – for each of the value positions of a wellbeing approach. You can download the full report on the poll here Public Attitudes Toward Wellbeing Economics in Scotland.
You might expect Labour, Green and SNP voters to agree with the values of wellbeing. However, there was majority support with Lib-Dem and Conservative voters, albeit to a lesser degree. Surprisingly, Conservative voters even came out top on one of the key values.
Are socialism and capitalism last century’s ideas?
Is a wellbeing economic approach the only way to build a resilient, fairer and more successful society and save the planet? A significant majority of Scots want to live in a country with a social/economic/environmental policy framework based on these shared values and ambitions of the Scottish people.
Equality, quality of life, fairness, happiness and health are all economic outcomes that should be given equal weight to economic growth.
The focus of the economy should be to serve the needs of the people and society more than the needs of big business and finance.
To be able to live with dignity while experiencing wellbeing and security should be a basic human right and not something that comes only with wealth.
You cannot have a thriving economy without a thriving society and you cannot have a thriving society without a thriving economy.
Austerity has failed, slowed economic growth, harmed people and society, and made the country more susceptible to economic and health crises.
Post coronavirus, our economic policies need to be re-engineered to generate higher levels of equality in health, wealth, wellbeing and access to opportunity.
If we build society and our economy more successfully after coronavirus, we can create a new economic approach that will allow both our economy and our society to thrive and be more resilient in economic crises.
The nature of work is changing and we need to invest more heavily in innovation, encouraging better business practices and preparing for the future of work.
Education is an investment in our children and young people and should be free and open to everyone.
Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.
Greater government investment in creativity and innovation is needed to help them grow and create better quality jobs.
Government expenditure on welfare and health is higher due to the inequalities in the current economic system and a wellbeing approach would reduce those costs.
Economic success being among society would result in better growth.
Greater access to personal development opportunities for all will increase social mobility and benefit the economy.
Ending poverty, inequality and unfairness, while increasing minimum wage and job security, will boost the economy.
People need to feel more secure in their livelihoods.
A universal basic income for every adult citizen may provide that security and end in-work and pensioner poverty.
Decision-making should be less centralised to give people a greater democratic voice in local issues.
We need to reduce our economy’s carbon outputs and waste, make transport more sustainable and make recycling and repairing far more prominent.
“Is a wellbeing economic approach the only way to build a more resilient, fairer and more successful society and save the planet?”
Independence is a normal and the many benefits of independence are within Scotland’s grasp and they would work to make life better for all who live within our borders and to forge closer links with friends and allies elsewhere in the world. Scotland’s civic nationalism defines us as a people. It’s inclusive, internationally focused and welcoming.
We simply want the chance to create a nation that reflects our political, economic, environmental and social values and thus enhances our nation’s wellbeing in ways that cannot be achieved if we remain governed by an uncaring and unfit Westminster parliament.
Wellbeing offers an inspirational vision of a future Scotland and if you decide to support independence you become one of the people helping to shape the ideas which guide it.
Let’s take advantage of this incredible opportunity, the chance to shape an emerging independent nation for the benefit of generations to come. All you have to do to change our future is believe in Scotland.