The readers of the regular UK column may remember how I described modern, but still bonny Scotland as the place where indoctrination never stops. In support of that observation I presented some of the more bizarre posters, e.g. where the government addresses its “subjects” as “Dear bigot” if they did not tow the party line.
Well, only a week later the bizarre woke regime of the Scottish (fake) Nationalist Party (SNP) has once more outdone itself in ignoring reality and addressing non-existing problems rather than facing Scotland’s many, many actual problems. It has instead declared war on “Period Poverty” and has made products for menstrual hygiene “free” of charge. It has even appointed a Period Czar, a man I may add, a former personal trainer who should be supremely qualified for that job.
As expected, main stream outlets worldwide are heaping praise on Scotland ‚providing a blue print to „end the scourge of period poverty“ (The Guardian). These outlets are also citing survey data about a) how many women are missing days of work because of the postulated period poverty (allegedly 25% – really?) and how many would feel better about free period products (apparently 87%, no surprise, how would you feel about getting something for free).
It fits the narrative that some of the women reported that they received such products for „free“in university and therefore were glad to see to see this in society at large.
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So what is the problem that I have with such comparably cheap “largesse” (5.4 Million per year) you may ask?
Well, for starters there would be the slippery slope argument of “what’s next?” Will we soon discover “vegan product poverty”, as only the upper middle classes and their scions can afford almond milk? Wouldn’t it therefore be nice if that was for free? What about organic fruit poverty? Wouldn’t it be nice if every kid / adult had access to healthy organic fruits? Toilet paper poverty? Salad poverty?
What if we gradually moved from these still somewhat defendable essentials to other areas such as “vacation in the sun” poverty? Shouldn’t the state start providing holidays for the poorer segments of society free of charge as well? Doesn’t this reflect a dangerous path (that SNP clearly regards as desirable) to the kind of society where the state regards itself as the super mommy / sugar daddy and its “subjects” as a bunch of feeble supplicants without agency and ability to take care of themselves?
The image of bread and crocuses of the failing late Roman era looms large, where an oligarchy / kleptocracy showers a needy population with all kinds of freebies in return for voting loyalty. And where did / does the money come from? An ever shrinking middle-class.
The second main issue that I have with such freebies, is that they fix a probably a small / non-existent problem (if indeed the £1 price for. Month supply at Aldi constituted a problem, private charity / the food banks in Glasgow and Dundee would have addressed that far more competently) whilst distracting from much larger problems. The problems of Scotland are legion.
They have by far the highest drug death rate in Europe, Scotland’s educational scores having plummeted since SNP came into power in 2007 and a budget deficit that even before Covid rivaled that of much larger countries such as Germany (in absolute numbers). Then there is the issue of actual food and energy poverty – something that SNP helped to create by ruling out new oil exploration. So, no shortage of actual problems, of actual poverty, but “period poverty” is the cause célèbre that SNP wants to get celebrated for.
Once more, the divorce of the left from reality is becoming clear in ways that in the 1970s would have been part of the Monty Python parody. The next cause I want to champion in Scotland in that spirit is “silly walking poverty”. A Ministry of Silly Walking is no longer the prerogative of the ingenious humorist John Cleese, but is probably drawn up in a policy paper somewhere in the Scottish government.