Author Topic: Scotland - safer?  (Read 755 times)

Sunny Clouds

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Scotland - safer?
« on: May 28, 2017, 10:38:23 PM »
I know that where any UK-wide benefits are concerned, people in Scotland are being hurt like everyone else, so this isn't actually about the money as such.

I'm considering whether I'd feel safer in Scotland for a number of reasons:-

1. Independence - I'd feel safer in an independent Scotland than in an England under Theresa May and her cronies;
2. I have a vague hope that the attitude towards disabled people is a bit different up there.

But am I just kidding myself? 

Having said that, if I did move, I don't know where, but people on another site (Peet's ML for those that know it) have made some suggestions.  I anticipate receiving an inheritance in the not too distant future so could probably afford to  buy a small place; and I have a works pension I can start drawing down on if I want.

Having said that, I'm still very tempted to  move to Scandinavia or Switzerland.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

neurochick

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 12:44:38 AM »
Unless you are extremely wealthy or have a very well paid job you are likely to find it impossible to get permission to more to Switzerland. You have to apply for permission (a residence permit) and need to be able to prove that you have sufficient resources to live there or they will refuse you. You will be chucked out if you need to apply for welfare in Switzerland and there are all manner of mandatory private health insurance provisions you have to comply with (and pay for). Since the Swiss unpegged the franc from the Euro, it has become even more excruciatingly expensive to live there. You need to re-apply for the residence permit every 5 years.

Sweden is much the same as Switzerland although you don't need a visa. Norway is a bit different but there are really complex healthcare provisions there for Uk nationals and when you have to pay for healthcare that isn't covered by your EHIC its eye waveringly expensive. A visit to a GP can cost between 130-230 NOK. You aren't covered for things like visits to specialists and the like. Finland is different again but again, healthcare is an issue. Its not free in Finland.  If you register your proof of domicile, you can be covered by the NHI scheme but it only reimburses a share of certain healthcare costs incurred. Generally the cost of living in Scandinavian countries is very high.  Unless you will have a good job or have significant independent wealth then I don't see that any of the foreign countries you are considering are viable. Its going to be especially difficult as a person with disabilities and additional health needs because of the high costs of private treatment and/or health insurance.   

As for Scotland, I think you may be seeing the life for disabled people through somewhat rose tinted spectacles.  We are subject to the same rules and processes for benefits and entitlements with the odd minor difference (for example around grandfathering rules for Blue Badges held by lifetime DLA HRM award holders). We get screwed over by ATOS, Capita and the DWP just like in England and Wales. We have the same issues around the astronomical costs of social and personal care (which is not all free in Scotland as the press is so fond of continually saying).  Our NHS is structured very differently from England and Wales and is possibly better in some ways but there are also downsides. We have to go to England for various specialties and specialist treatments because they are not available here.  This requires a GP to apply for special permission to get funding to make such a referral. 

I'm not convinced that attitudes are all that different towards people with disabilities here. There is still plenty of discrimination and hate.  The same rhetoric and attitudes about scroungers and strivers applies up here.  There are endless physically inaccessible places, a massive part of the geography of Scotland is very rural (on a scale you can't imagine even if you think you live in a 'remote' part of England) with crap/no public transport so if you don't drive and own a car, it prevents you living an active life (or any kind of life) in massive swathes of the country.  If you need social housing, then there are waiting lists and eligibility criteria for that stuff just like anywhere else (appreciate that might not apply to you but for others who may be interested).  It is significantly colder and wetter in Scotland than in many parts of England so expect larger fuel bills.  Outside of the central belt you can also expect a much higher cost of living too.  Food bills are noticeably much higher the further you go from the central belt.  Even within the central belt the cost of things like cars is appreciably higher then it is in large English urban centres. Online businesses simply refuse to deliver to huge parts of Scotland or will charge a hefty premium for delivering - this includes areas that are on mainland Scotland and not off the beaten track like you might assume!!  Our income tax rates are currently higher than in England and that's only likely to get worse for us.

I do think that the Scots perhaps have a better attitude towards community and towards inclusion of those with differences but I've never lived in England so I can't be sure.  In practical terms or attitudinal terms I'm not sure it would be any better.  Depending on where you settle you might experience anti-English sentiment so don't assume the welcome will be universally warm.  There are whole swathes of Scotland where people from England with only have come and bought up what to them are 'cheap' properties (often retirees or holiday home owners) thus pricing locals out of homes and contributing to localised anti-English feeling.     

There is no reason to think that Scotland will become independent.  Don't base any decision to relocate on that possibility.  All the evidence at the moment is that if a referendum were to be held now, the vote to remain part of the Union would be even higher then it was in 2014.  Scotland is saddled with a massive public sector which we would seriously struggle to pay for if we were to become independent.  Its highly unlikely that independence will be happening any time soon. Remember the Tories are the opposition party in Scotland at the moment and the SNP seem to sit somewhere between them and labour (if we could ever work out what anyones' policies actually were!!).

So, I'm not convinced that you'd actually be safer or even feel safer in Scotland and I don't think that the other countries you mentioned are realistic options for someone who is unable to work and is likely to need access to healthcare unless your future inheritance is massive and you can live off it for the rest of your days.  Maybe others will have different thoughts or opinions but as a disabled person living in Scotland, I can't see it being any better here than in England.               

JLR2

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2017, 08:45:18 AM »
Awe Neurochick, your reply there was absolutely spot on, right up till you said, ''There is no reason to think that Scotland will become independent''  I strongly disagree, I believe Scotland will become Independent either as result of the outcome of the next referendum or through UDI being declared following the Westminster government (Tory or Labour)  trying to block the will of the people. For me personally, were it in my power, I would declare Unilateral Independence today from the UK.

Having said awe that Neurochick, ah wid move to Berlin at the drop of a hat. Whether Berlin would want me is another story >lol<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 11:15:12 AM »
Thank you for your very helpful info.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

neurochick

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 09:08:05 PM »
Absolutely all of the evidence currently available is clear that were an independence referendum to be held at the present time, the result would emphatically be to for Scotland remain in the Union. 

Whether another one ever happens and what the outcome might be if one is ever held is neither here nor there. The key point I'm making is that nobody should make any kind of decision to move to Scotland on the assumption that Scotland WILL become independent.  There are far too many variables to proceed on that basis.  It may or may not ever happen.  If it did, there is absolutely no way to predict what effect any independence negotiation would have on Scotland, its economy, its share of the current UK debt and its public sector. It may well not be a positive economic settlement and may result in cuts to what Scotland could afford to spend on benefits for disabled people.  It would be foolish to proceed on the basis that things will stay the same or be better then in England. Absolutely nobody can assume that is what will happen.

Anyone considering moving to Scotland would need to base their decision on the current position with the knowledge that the future is uncertain - that is the only certainty!!
   

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 12:25:48 AM »
In which case, when deciding where to move, I need to consider other factors.

I suppose I could simply go back to France, but I certainly couldn't afford to live where I did when young. 

I suppose when buying a new house I could simply move down the road or something but I see no particular advantage to it, and the rate of disability hate crime round here, including physical and verbal abuse of strangers, is mind-boggling.

I could stay here, but I don't need a house and grounds this big.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

JLR2

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 06:56:02 AM »
Absolutely all of the evidence currently available from the pro-union media is clear.

To be exact.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 12:41:43 PM »
Neurochick, I have mentally paraphrased what you said as:

"Anyone considering moving anywhere would need to base their decision on the knowledge that the future is uncertain - that is the only certainty!!"

I hate uncertainty.  I always have.

I am 99% sure I know why - my father always moved the goalposts as to what was expected of me when I'm growing up.  In a work context, I need very specific tasks to complete with autonomy, within defined boundaries, as to how I achieve those tasks, with changes only where overall circumstances change, not on anyone's whim.  As an adult, I'm one of those people who've had dreams shattered again and again in ways that, realistically, I could not have predicted.  I am fortunate in relative terms that that has not meant getting bombed  or severely mutilated or whatever, but it has meant everything from a partner walking out, saying he'd been called away to work, and just disappearing, through to being hounded out of my home by nasty criminals with no witness protection by the police except a leaflet from a police officer full of bible tracts (seriously).

Like everyone here, I've had obstacles in the way of achieving what I hoped in life, and like so many of you, what I call 'lost years'.  Years of being abused, years of looking after elders, years of repeated sudden homelessness.  Property boom landlord who turfed me out of my digs with no warning, digs where the landlady was happy to let (wild) mice infest the house,  flat where the boiler was unsafe and the roof rained in,  a house and two flats both sold over my head, house (that I owned) I was chased out of (see above),  and the current place with some rather toxic, asthma-triggering smoke from neighbours' chimneys, and some sort of fungus that has invaded my respiratory system (I thought the doctor would think me potty when I said I thought that but he didn't, he confirmed it). 

So I'm doing the rabbit in the headlights bit.  All I feel able to do at the moment is to do paperwork, keep weeding out possessions so that I need a smaller place (you should see how much I've thrown out so far), and try not to panic.

Please forgive me if I seem alarmist.  Hearing what a government minister said in a television report about the UN report on disabled human rights in this country scared me even more.  Scapegoating people and attacking them socially and financially is bad, lying about doing it is frightening.  (I think it's of a different order from IDS lying, which I believe was mostly trying to cover his back for being so incompetent.)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

huhn

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 02:46:47 PM »
sunny, your post make me smile, first thing you are like me and other people on the board a steh auf maennchen, nothing  can bring you out of the balance . the other thing is when your life is  not standard, people judge you, and that is most of the time wrong. be strong and continue  your life, you are right what you do.

NeuralgicNeurotic

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 05:24:22 PM »
Sunny >bighugs<

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2017, 11:23:27 PM »
Thank you Huhn and NN.

Huhn - you reminded me of an advertising slogan when I was a child for a brand of Stehaufmännchen called 'Weebles'.  They used to sing "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."  I have a sense that when things knock me over, I fall flat and hit my head, but thank you for reminding me that I right myself. 

Today I have been thinking how much I've spent my life nearly achieving things, so much I aimed for that fell apart, and now you've reminded me of the other side of it, that I got back up again and tried to achieve something else.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

lankou

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2017, 09:38:24 AM »

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Scotland - safer?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2017, 10:15:33 AM »
 :-)
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)