Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Al Siemer

A mind, once full and agile,
Was killed today.
It was not sudden,
The murderer took its time,
Trapping its victim in an ever smaller world
Until, the cries of anguish
Reverberated inside her own skull;
Unheard and unhearable by the world.

A mind once bright with intelligence

Which cared in its own way
For those it loved and had compassion for.
That enjoyed words and music.
Who loved and encouraged;
Was hurt, yet found solace
In a husband's love, quiet and gentle,
And children who did well.

But slowly, as age took hold,

Her body turned against her
Hardening first her heart
And then her brain.
Starving these organs of life
Through sclerotic arteries,
Ever smaller made
Until they were stoppered.

Her mind retreated basely
Shredding her memories,
Leaving them in strewn tatters,
Unjoined by sense of space or time.
Increasingly rendering her primitive
As higher functions decayed.
What fears did she feel
As her world closed in around?

She, who was once sentient,

Reduced to violence to tell the world
How she is feeling.
Language no longer speaks

Any sense of her wishes, desires,
Hopes or intelligence.
All is going or gone
Never to return.

Her mental darkness grows ever faster.

Haunted by demons
Of her past and future
Only she can see and hear.
She sits dribbling and trembling

Throwing bowls of super heated soup
At those who care

But she sees as killers.

My mother, flesh of my flesh,

Giver of my life, mind melts away,
As snow on a roof,
Leaving just a shell behind
Resembling who she once was - but is no more.
A shriveled demon of hatred
Who now blames us, her child poisoners,

For her own sad misfortune.

Our love is unconditional.

She is who she now is
But also remains who she once was.
A strange dichotomy with which

Us siblings must juggle
And resolve for our own minds' sake.
Deal with our sadness
While waiting for the end.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Just let the dust settle ...

So to many Scots disgust we have a UKIP MEP, everyone is looking for someone to blame for this calamity the truth is quite stark when you look at where UKIP picked up most of its votes; Glasgow, Edinburgh, North and South Lanarkshire.

My previous blog was about the use of sectarianism and its curse by the 'Better Together' side, a quick look at where UKIP posted its biggest votes suggests we saw the Orange Lodge in action on Thursday in the EU elections. The UKIP vote in Scotland, I propose, is the hard core unionist vote and it amounts on this occasion to 10% of those who voted (on a 30+% turnout) but only 3% of the registered electorate in Scotland.

I say this because in all the sound and fury of the MSM and BBC Scotland there is a need to take a deep breath and reflect on what the UKIP vote actually meant in Scotland. The three 'main parties' - SNP, Labour and Conservatives saw little change in their vote share either up or down. The only party which saw a big collapse in vote was the Libdems. You could argue that the increased Green vote let UKIP in at the SNP's expense but that is to miss the point. In the majority of the Scottish electorate's eyes this election was not important enough to bother about - to some extent it does not actually matter. UKIP were the best of the rest, but only just.

In England and Wales the UKIP vote is very significant with UKIP stealing vote share from all three 'main parties' and ending up with the largest vote share and the majority of EU seats.

I have read that the UKIP candidate is under investigation for being 'registered' at two addresses. According to UKIP his registered electoral address is Kensington SW1, according to the candidate his registered electoral address is in the Easter Road area of Edinburgh. A complaint has been made to Police Scotland and the Electoral Commission - I doubt it will amount to a hill of beans. In the end we will still end up with a Ukipper representing a Scotland which has left them behind and that to me and many like me, is offensive.

The best way to stop this nonsense is to ensure a Yes vote in September, this must remain our primary aim in spite of Better Together's attempts to make it about UKIP and the rest of their increasingly panicked lies.

Keep the heid, say naw tae nutters an' Aye tae Scotland.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Last throw of the dice?

As the UK Treasury's damning critique of an independent Scotland's fiscal and tax base dies a death even before it is fully promoted, are we seeing the last throw of the dice?

It is a pretty nasty throw. One which seeks to pick at the nasty foul scab that surrounds Glasgow's football 'giants' in the form of their innate, blind and senseless sectarianism. A toxic swamp which has long divided Glasgow on primeval lines where the loss of either of the big two to the other sees an escalation in domestic violence in the poorer estates in Glasgow.

A Tory MSP, who should know better, is apparently one of the ring leaders. Murdo Fraser an unrepentant 'Blue Nose' is on record as stating the Rangers fans need to vote No to 'save the Queen' and the 'Union flag' they love to wrap themselves in. Clearly a direct appeal to the sizable number of Orange Order Ranger's fans, an Orange Order whose soul aim is to protect Scotland from 'Popery'. The same Orange Order which 'Better Together' will not allow to be officially part of their campaign because of their promotion of sectarianism and their penchant for violence or its threat.

There is an equally poisonous relationship within the No Campaign (in this case Labour's Glasgow City Council) where deals have been done to relax 'marching restrictions' and the number of allowed marches in Glasgow to the benefit of the Orange Order in spite of opposition by Police Scotland on public order and disturbance grounds.

Many will now be looking at Edinburgh City Council in the wake of the Orange Order seeking to have a march in Edinburgh just 18 days before the Referendum vote. Will they grant the necessary license?

Modern Scotland by a sizable majority - over 80% in opinion polls - want an end to this corrosive, mainly, but not only, Glasgow and environs antediluvian, 'religious' cancer. A tension which has long been manipulated by Labour to meet their own political ends, a tension which also poison's the political manoeuvrings within the West of Scotland Labour fraternity as the outburst from Iain Davidson on how being on the wrong side of the divide had caused him problems in a hierarchy dominated by politicians of a Catholic, religious bent.

Labour in Scotland are riven by splits between the Darling camp, Brown camp and Murphy camp while also in a constant state of civil war with themselves and their Trade Union funders over divvying up Labour's 'safe seats at Westminster. The Battle of Falkirk being the latest public outbreak of such hostilities.

Is this just how desperate 'Better Together' have become that they are having to resort to the manky shroud waving of sectarianism in the vain hope of stopping the progress of the 'Yes Campaign'?

Friday, 23 May 2014


I'm not a daily blogger, life is too important to be stuck at a key board everyday trying to think up smart things to say or to couch yet more of the same old outrageous behaviour from UK politicians in satire and black humour. I only tend to blog when (I hope) I have something original to say about the state of the UK today and the gulf in the political position between Scotland and the failed UK Parliament at Westminster.

Having read and heard the puffing of UKIP as some political game changer or threat to UK Democracy - depending whether you side with the Torygraph or Gruniad headlines, respectively. There columnists either acclaim Farage's hutzpa, verve and daring or decry the lack of any substantial UKIP policies and the party's reliance on electoral disaffection to garner votes. UKIP is clearly a big issue for the Hampstead and Islington chattering classes but like much else that goes on beyond the M25 Orbital they have little knowledge and even less interest on why support for UKIP is on the rise in England; only when UKIP starts threatening their own cosy life will the sparks will fly; too little, too late. Much in the same way as the official and chattering classes of the Wiemar Republic thought they could manipulate and use Hitler and his National Socialists to their own end. In the same way UKIP will insidiously wend its way into English politics like the fungus which needs living flesh in which to thrive and grow until one day, 'Alien' like, it erupts out of the poor, now dead, political insect's body to spread its spores and contaminate its next set hapless victims.

The English council results, being announced today, are the first eruption of the 'Ripleyesque', alien fungal monster (which is UKIP) in English politics. This is an ever increasing, destructive, fungal infection of English liberties and freedoms which will take more than a dusting with foot powder to keep in check and certainly will now survive being blasted out of the airlock.

As for England's leading politicians their only response to UKIP is ..... just what?

For Cameron it is being described as a mid term 'blip', things will be back to normal by May's General Election in 2015. In Miliband's case the rise and rise of UKIP will be used as a stick to beat his inept stewardship of the New Blue Labour Party to a soggy pulp, a mush which will be rendered free of any trace of socialism. As for Clegg, he and his Liberal party are the first victims and now stand like mummified carapaces across English councils, their bodies eaten up by the UKIP fungus as its seeks to spread itself further across England, shedding its spores of racial hatred, scapegoating of the poor and sick and its message of ignorance ever wider and wider. Training the people of England to think in ever narrower ways, creating the conditions for UKIP to thrive on extremism and civil unrest until the 'real English' in England are reduced to believing only UKIP have the answers to their problems. The problem is the 'real English' will be racially, socially and religiously diverse reflecting the actual social fabric of England.

Here is the fundamental and ironic oxymoron for UKIP; their support comes from, in part, the very people who three or more generations were British Commonwealth immigrants, who arrived in the UK from the British colonies and dominions in the 1950's looking for their 'Britain', their England to give them the opportunity to thrive prosper. The very same Asian and African folk that Enoch Powell's 'Rivers of Blood' speech was designed to warn the white, proper English Yeomen and women about, in the late 1960's, the same groupings who are now part of today's English traditional electorate in most major cities and towns across the Midlands and SE England.

This leaves me with a burning question, just who gains from the rise and rise of UKIP?

The UKIP fungus does not discriminate between political groups, as the Conservatives and Labour are about to find out, so why has the British Establishment allowed this politically hazardous bio-contamination to be released in England?

As a Scot I can safely say the UKIP fungus is under containment in Scotland and unlikely to break out here anytime soon, if - in fact - ever. Scots, as a nation, appear to have a high level of immunity to the hubris used to compost UKIP's development and growth. UKIP in Scotland is likely to die out after the increasingly probable vote for independence in September 2014.

There are going to be inevitable political repercussions amongst the UK Main Parties who 'let this happen' from the English Electorate. The hostility from the right wing English electorate is likely to increase to fury pitch as the rUK negotiators concede on issues such as a currency union with the newly independent Scotland. Worse will happen if the Scots decide to tell the rUK negotiators to stick a Sterling currency union where the sun don't shine as they have a better plan. The loss of Trident is another blow for the English right wing, as is the need to hold a general election specifically to the new rUK Parliament - as has been pointed out by UK Constitutional expert Dr Nick Baker of Oxford University - so it can have legal and constitutional legitimacy to negotiate on behalf of the English, Welsh and Northern Irish electorate over the ending of the UK Parliamentary Union and the division of assets and liabilities. Is it likely that Cameron will be forced in to holding a 'snap election' to this new parliament in October / November 2014. Yet what does this mean with respect to the rapidly spreading UKIP fungal disease in terms of 'bums on seats' in the now rUK Houses of Parliament?

UKIP is a useful foil to deflect the English electorate from the failure of Westminster to plan for the eventuality which is a Yes vote in September 2014 and its impacts on the rUK economy. UKIP is a useful screen for the Tories to hide their increasingly failed policies on health, welfare and the UK economy - "Its UKIP what is making us Tories react this way Guv'nor, honest, we'd have protected the NHS in England like we promised but for these UKIP folk..."
UKIP are supposed to be a safety valve to allow Mr and Mrs Ordinary English Person to let off steam while maintaining the status quo for the British (aka English) Establishment.  UKIP are not meant to be taking over, just keeping the Tories 'honest' by way of UKIP's 'English xenophobic' stance and pronouncements on race and the EU.

What has actually happened, courtesy of the BBC and the London based media, is Farage and UKIP have built up too great a momentum, in England, to be checked anytime soon and are rapidly on their way to becoming the lunatics who are seeking to take over the rUK, Westminster asylum.

The British Establishment badly misjudged the situation in Scotland over independence. They are now in the process of doing the same with UKIP and losing their ability to control this political phenomenon. 

I feel for my many friends in England who detest the ever rightward drift of English politics and its destruction of the social and civic fabric they take pride in and believe in, just as much as we Scots. I also feel my English social democrat and socialist friends have much to blame themselves for in this situation through giving into a sense of despondency, apathy, powerlessness and uselessness. Waiting for Labour to be elected or even do anything to reverse the last 30 years of civic and social structural vandalism, carried out by successive Government's at Westminster on the people of this once united kingdom is akin to 'Waiting for Godot'.

Scotland has gone, the rise of UKIP in England has all but guaranteed this. Now what are the good folk on our southern border going to do about England's democratic deficit and collapsing society because UKIP is not the answer, simply part of the continuing problem?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

How many roads?

Four months to go and Better Together strategists are already resorting to the 'smear campaign', feeding their media chums with unsubstantiated stories about vicious 'cybernats' threatening poor little newby Labour MSPs and their kids or carrying on with the 'Dictator Eck' theme and the latest being there will be 'civil unrest' in Scotland on a 'Yes vote' or more bizarrely Scotland will need some sort of reconciliation commission, run by the ever more isolated and fundamentally out of touch Church of Scotland, to sooth furrowed brows after the 18th of September.

Anyone would think that the vested interests in 'Civic Scotland' and 'British Establishment Scotland' are beginning to get worried their coats of influence are on an ever greater shoogly peg. Possibly this is because they have been let in on the UK Government Poll whose figures were so good for the pro-independence camp that it was decided to make the UK Taxpayer funded £46,000 poll into a 'secret poll'. The trend they are trying to avoid mentioning is at the current rate of swing toward a Yes vote, analysis of all the opinion polls on independence going back to July 2012 is indicating a 14% lead for Yes by the 18th of September within a 95% confidence rating. The same systematic analysis predicted a 39% vote share for the SNP in 2011, the actual result was nearer a 48% vote share. If you are a Unionist sitting in some publicly funded quango or other publicly funded sinecure I suggest you too would be finding it is rapidly approaching 'squeaky bum time'.

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win." (M.K. Gandhi)

So here we are, in the region of four months out from the referendum and already the British Establishment has tried the first two principles of Gandhi's statement and found they can not ignore Scotland nor can they laugh at Scotland any longer, so are left with fighting and fighting dirty, as their sole remaining approach to save a Union which for many Scots is already so broken it is not worth repairing.

The Scots who wished for a new federal UK Union are accepting this will never happen. The choice is only between the status quo or an independent Scotland and as they look at the depressing and baleful politics of Westminster, on a daily basis, the status quo carries less and less of an attraction. The UK Parliament no longer has the ability or commitment to bring UK Ministers to book for their outrageous claims (normal folk call this lying) to said parliament nor it appears is the parliament willing to bring to heel political appointee civil servants either. The farce which is now Ian Duncan-Smith's Welfare Reform Act and the DWP's implementation of said act being the clearest case in point. What did parliament do when the National Audit Office complained about Duncan-Smith's misuse and misconstruction of their statistical analysis? Nothing; while Duncan-Smith apologised in a bare mumble to the 'Commons', promised not to do it again and then promptly carried on where he had left off.

The Dali Lama pointed out, in his experience, the narrower the views, the more extreme and angry the person.

As you look at the constant stream of 'scapegoating' by Cameron's Government  in trying to shift the ills of their own governmental and fiscal incompetence onto the shoulders of those with little or no voice whether they be sick, disabled or unemployed; it is not hard to see how these ever narrower political views are creating an ever more extreme system of  government. The need for scapegoats and the effect of this increasing political extremism is seen in England with the rise and rise of UKIP.

The pound is at an all time low against a basket of currencies, the government is printing 'funny money' in terms of QE, the UK national debt is now twice the size compared to 2010 when the Tories took over while currently 'economic growth' is based on the rather dubious rise of 8% in London and SE house prices and the associated mortgage bubble which is accompanying it. Personal debt is still at unsustainable levels in a near stagnant UK economy with devaluing wages in real terms, while the Bank of England has stated  to rely only on mortgage driven UK economic growth is fiscally irresponsible and unstructured.

Each road you turn down in this Union leads only one outcome, an impending, economic tsunami of Wiemar or Zimbabwean proportions which can only 'prevented' by some form of UK Establishment Dictatorship 'to see us through the worst'. A solution which can only work if Scotland's foreign exchange and other earnings remain within the UK Treasury's control. In the case of a Sterling crash of these proportions an independent Scotland can pull out of Sterling and shift to the dollar or establish its own free floating, energy backed Scottish Pound / Merk denying the British Establishment, via Sterling, the Scottish energy asset to offset its collapsing economy and increasing borrowing costs against.

'Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.' says the writing on the British Establishment wall in increasingly bright and flaming letters. The Scots have put them in the balance, weighed them and found them wanting. Like the Medes and the Persians all they have left is to fall on Scotland like ravening (or should that actually be raving) wolves - it is the only road they have left themselves.

By comparison the 'Yes' campaign has one clear aim but happily agrees there are many roads down which a future independent Scotland may walk to make the Scottish peoples' needs and expectations happen, none of them wrong, all of them possible but not one of them attainable until after the Scots electorate says - 'Yes' to independence.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Mysterious ways ......

After posting on Wednesday my 'Eckmiester telekinetic pen' burst into activity scribbling me a note from 'Das Eckmiester' not to post anything as the Camoron was in the country and we had better lay low as no doubt GCHQ, MI6, Interpol and the NSA would be out trying to track us all down, because we are all so evil, doing nasty things like not agreeing with Camoron and, worser, pointing out he routinely has not got a 'dokey' when he opens his mouth to speak about Scotland.

Yes folk the secret is out; to tell us Cybernats what to do, Eck uses telepathy and telekenisis to get his message and propaganda out. We understand GCHQ have tried to hire Mystic Meg but she refused to handle the amount of data they want her to sift through to try and find evidence of their claims about Cybernatery's link to Al B' Seeinu and his world domination terrorist group.

So being a good cybernat, while also not wanting a telepathic beating from Eck - it plays hell with my migraines - I did what I was told.  Cameron Veni, Vidi'd and left with his tail between his legs as he discovered Alba is not divided into many parts when it comes to listening to mince from an Eton educated fop. Alba is fairly solid about a Tory telling us what is 'bestest for us ignorant Jocks' with a pretty consistent response along the lines of, 'Awa tae Freuchie, ye bampot!'

What is there to say about a Prime Minister who does not feel safe to walk the streets of his partner country in the United Kingdom? A Prime Minister who comes to Scotland and hides behind barbed wire, high fences, security guards and the military? A Prime Minister who is so sure of himself but can not risk a debate with a subordinate legislator? A Prime Minister that can not even get his story straight when spoon fed it by Mr Naughtie of BBC Scotland?

I think Eck was cunning telling us to lay off Camoron because, by doing so, he forced us to listen what Camoron actually said rather than us leaping into the fray, bare arsed and claymores swinging. So what did Camoron say?


All that air time, all that free media 'sookin' up, all those photo ops with military who could not tell him what they actually think, all that saviour of the world, British establishment knows best backing and after two days all Cameron had to say to Scotland was, in effect, stay with the UK and you might get 'jam tomorrow' sometime in the future. As Prime Minister I can not say for definite because none of the main Westminster UK parties actually want to give Scotland 'squat diddly' in terms of greater autonomy and we can not agree to what level of sops we will, may, may not offer you 'sweaty Jocks' but vote 'No' anyway and be a good chap, what?

With that, he headed south having truly inspired 'Better Together' to new heights of endeavour and rekindled their campaign by adding another layer of unsubstantial froth to their cappuccinos but no real content, not even some chocolate sprinkles.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Osbourne at the SAC of Westminster

Let's just say Scotland votes 'Yes' in September 2014 to end the 1706 Treaty of Union which in turn then ends the current United Kingdom Parliament (as legally constituted) as it has no constitutional or legal basis to negotiate the end of itself (a legal and constitutional position already conceded by the UK Parliament at Westminster - Lord Cooper; McCormack, 1953).

It follows that the temporarily suspended parliament of England and Wales (with NI) will have to be recalled to negotiate with its fellow sovereign parliamentary co-signatory of the Treaty of Union - the already recalled Scottish Parliament - as the currently constituted UK Parliament has no such legal or constitutional power to enter into any such negotiation.

How is this recalled parliament of England and Wales (with NI) going to acquire its legal and constitutional legitimacy?

The most likely occasion is after the electorate of England, Wales and Northern Ireland take part in a general election to this recalled parliament in May 2015.

I ask because until such a point where the parliament of England and Wales (with NI) is recalled, Osbourne has no legal or constitutional competence to comment on a currency union or not, as the UK Parliament and its parliamentarians can have no role in the negotiations over their own demise which may or may not include the issue of a currency union.

It may well be, after the general election in May 2015, Mr Farage is Prime Minister of England and Wales (with NI) and his pal, Lord Monkton, is his Chancellor. Under English law and constitutional practice there can no be such condition as declaring 'there will never be a currency union' as a previous government's policies and programs are not enforceable on its successor parliament.

What is clearly obvious is Osbourne, as usual, is talking total mince and no one appears to be asking the important questions of Osbourne with regards to the actual constitutional position he may well find himself in on September the 19th after a 'Yes vote':

  • Just who will he then be speaking for?
  • What will be his legal authority to do so?
  • What will be his constitutional authority to do so?
The Edinburgh Agreement has already made clear that both successor government's will enter into negotiations to end the UK Parliament and split assets currently seen as joint assets on a 'Yes vote'.

Yet no one has yet explained to me where the legitimacy in legal and constitutional terms lies for the current UK Government to negotiate the end of the UK Union on behalf of the electorate of England, Wales and Northern Ireland as they, technically, have no parliamentary representation - except as part of the UK Parliament which, in turn, has already conceded it has no legal or constitutional role in its own demise.

Catch 22?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Labour got the right Milliband ....

Labour got the right Milliband

Sorry .... I'm just laughing fit to burst .... what?

Its not a spoof, you say, it is a real Guardian article.

That's a bit of a shocker and is up there with Labour's big plan to send Dougy Alexander north to replace Darling at the helm of the failing 'No campaign'. Remembering this is the same Dougy Alexander whose electioneering skills saw a majority of SNP MSPs in 2007, an out right SNP majority in 2011, saw the wrong Milliband getting elected and ripped up for toilet paper by Andrew Neil on Sunday's Politics Show over Labour's VAT claims.

The problem for Labour is not either of the Ed's, the real problem for Labour is it does not have a clue who it is or what it is actually stands for, apart from being 'Minime' Tories.

The Labour Party is in the thrall of self selecting and self interested 'Islington and Hampstead' focus groups and wants power for power's sake; as a quick read of Poly Tonybee's efforts in support of Labour, most days, demonstrates time and time again. Labour MP selection is a joke and has been clearly reduced to who you know and not what you know. Labour CLP's are routinely sidelined by the leadership and NEC and if they have the temerity to complain about a parachuted in candidate are in 'special measures' before their complaint or concern can be publicly aired.

Labour's hierarchy is Labour's problem because they are too busy scheming how to get their bums on Westminster ministerial chairs rather than listening to the people they claim to serve. This is how they lost control in Scotland, this is why they are losing their grip in Wales and raises the question of just how long before the North of England also slips from Labour's grasp?

The problem with the current Labour hierarchy is they know little or nothing outside of their own narrow wishes and wants while being deaf to real people's needs and expectations. Until Labour wakes up, why would anyone vote for Labservatives when they can get the 'real thing' at Westminster by abstaining from the UK electoral process or worse voting UKIP?

Then there is the problem for Westminster Labour of 'no Scotland' after September the 18th in the run up to elections in 2015 which, constitutionally, will have to be for the recalled sovereign parliament of England and Wales (with NI) on the back of a suppressed  IPSOS / MORI poll, apparently paid for by the Scottish Office using UK Tax payers money, now claimed to be indicating a 5% lead for the 'Yes Campaign'.

Maybe the Guardian needs to start warning its mainly English readership what a 'yes vote' will actually mean to rUK Labour, the impact the loss of its 'Scotch MPs' and the holes which will appear in the UK Labour hierarchy with the exit of Murphy (Milliband's puppet master), Darling, Dougy Alexander, Davidson, numerous Scotch 'Lords / Ladies' who believe in their own self importance and other current 'big team players'.

Two Ed's might not necessarily be better than one but this is the least of the moribund, decaying and uninspiring UK Labour Party's problems.

A campaign based on the idea, 'Vote Labour because we are not quite as ignorant as the Tories' hardly counts as inspiring, does it?

Sunday, 11 May 2014

The story we tell ourselves ....

Gerry Hassan's new polemic, Caledonia Dreaming (Luath Press), seeks to ask us Scots to think further than the assumption that we are 'Aa Jock Tamson's bairns' and ask ourselves - just what is the evidence?

Are we in truth the left of centre nation we consider us to be or is this just some comfortable myth which has been created and used for the last two centuries, or so, to salve the consciousness of Scotland's middle classes towards the poorest in Scottish society?

The core of Mr Hassan's thinking is that Scotland's 'establishment' is simply a mirror or an aping of the very 'British Establishment' a Yes vote, in September, is seeking to break free from. He fears the current plethora of Quango's in Scotland, of Civic Scotland's vested interests, of Scotland's self selecting elites will ensure the same people remain in control, that democracy in Scotland will be a pale imitation of what should or could be. Is Mr Hassan correct in his concerns and by voting 'Yes' are we merely jumping out of one non democratic frying pan into an equally non-democratic fire?

In terms of democratic deficit Mr Hassan points out the level of disengagement in Scotland in the electoral process at council (30% turn out) and Holyrood (50% turn out) elections. He makes the case the poorest in society are the most disengaged from the democratic process, in doing so implies the middle class concerns for those worse off are potentially patriarchal and possibly a bit condescending. While pouring a degree of scorn on Scotland's democratic pretensions there is no analysis of why the poorest are the most disenfranchised, detached and uninvolved or how this state can be addressed.

This, though, is a thought provoking work and like any polemic there is a lot you can go along with but equally parts where you stop and think, 'Hud oan Gerry, that's just total mince', no matter how well argued the point is.

I do agree with Gerry Hassan that basing our future nation on a founding myth, or series of unsubstantiated myths, is to build on shoogly foundations, yet to deny the reason we have come to assume this current mythology is to throw the baby out with the bathwater - something Gerry also alludes to.

So what parts of our 'founding myth' are sustainable?

  1. The people of Scotland are sovereign and their considered will is paramount. The legal evidence for this is traceable back to the Bruce Parliament of 1328. This right was encompassed and reaffirmed in Scots Law in the 1689 Claim of Right (Scotland), protected for all time by the Treaty of Union of 1706 and conceded as being protected for all time by the UK Parliament at Westminster in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate (1953) before Lord Cooper. The draft Scottish Constitution(s) all have this is as the start point for all other constitutional statements.
  2. Social Conscience.  After the Scottish Reformation in the 16th Century the idea of being your 'brother's keeper' was made real with legal obligations being placed on each parish to look after their poor, sick and elderly while also providing a basic education for children up to the age of 12. By the 18th Century the relatively high level of literacy and numeracy saw Scots quickly being recruited into minor 'civil service' and 'colonial positions' as secretaries and book keepers in the new UK Union. 
  3. Political activism. The rise of Labour in Scotland reflected the increasing engagement of what had previously been the disenfranchised poor, especially in the West of Scotland. The disenfranchised could mobilise themselves when they saw the need and make their voice heard. Prior to suffrage this took the form of the mobs in Scotland's towns who rioted against bad laws. By 1916 this had moved to the Govan Rent Protest where disenfranchised women took a peaceful stand against profiteering landlords and their factors. A protest so effective that Scots and English Law concerning rental provision were changed to give tenants greater security and stable, binding rental agreements. Within the Yes campaign we see groups who are actively seeking to engage the poorest in our society in the debate. Ordinary people are turning out on wet nights to fill halls to hear the arguments for and against a 'Yes vote'. A process of engagement which the record number of voters on the Scottish electoral roll suggests is having some impact.
These are tangible elements which have created the Scotland of today and brought us to the point where we are increasingly looking as if we will end the UK Union. This is the past and we, the people, will decide after a 'yes vote' just how much or little of these 'founding myths' we tell ourselves will inform Scotland's future and to what extent.

I believe the Scottish electorate have become adept at using the d'Hondt voting system to get their message across to Scottish politicians at Holyrood. Scots are inherently politically conservative and, in modern parlance, the majority tend towards social democracy as a default position. I am also certain the stated concern for fairness and even handedness is an inherent trait in most Scots, equanimity rather than equality.

In May 2016, an independent Scotland will be in an interesting place politically as we wait to see just what sort of Phoenix will rise out of the ashes of the current Labour train crash and where it will actually fit back in to the political spectrum in Scotland. Will the STUC and the Unions continue to fund the current Scottish Labour set up (distinctly right wing in character remaining in cahoots with the Liberals and Conservatives) or will they back a new Labour Party built on the Labour for Independence movement and look to squeeze the Greens and SSP on the left. To a large extent this will decide to what extent the old political guard and their baleful influence, Gerry Hassan is so concerned about, will remain in place.

I understand the importance of the past but wish to create a future Scotland not weighed down and held back by its history, a new nation not dominated by 'Its aye been!' - on this I completely agree with Gerry Hassan.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Hardworking Britain Better Off .....what?

"Hardworking Britain Better Off " - this Ed Moribund's new blue Labour's protelising slogan as the start of  'Musical chairs 2015 at Westminster' begins in earnest.

"Hardworking Britain Better Off " -  nope, I do not get it.

Geographically Greater Britain is the biggest island in the archipelago called the British Isles to differentiate it from Lesser Britain or Brittany. So does this mean Labour are including our Celtic speaking Breton cousins in their sloganising and why, as the Bretons do not have a vote in the 2015 Musical Chairs event?

What does this mean for those folk on the island of Ireland who are not British, as they are Irish. Does this mean Labour are not reaching out to Northern Ireland as a part of the United Kingdom but who are not Britons or Bretons but Irish. What about all the rest of the islands that make up the British Isles but are not of Greater Britain, even if they are hard working, will they not be better off for their travails? That seems a bit unfair to me, surely they should benefit from their hard work.

The Cornish who are Bretons (or is it Britons) would suggest that apart from areas of Wales the rest of the folk in Greater Britain are not Britons but a bastard mix of Vikings, Angles and Saxons and those, in the part Gordon Brown likes to call North Britain, are a mix of Irish and Picts but are better known as Scots. By the logic, inspired by this mind numbing, political slogan, this means the inane phrase is only applicable in North Wales, West Wales and Cornwall if we are being strictly accurate about the Britons of Britain.

Most folk who are Britons and not Bretons are hard working but a quick straw poll will tell you they are far from better off, for all their hard work, as it seems Westminster's policies are about you working harder for less in real terms. Westminster is also claiming you are hard working even though you have zero hours of hard work this week. As your are hard working, of course, you do not need support from Welfare because you have worked hard for your zero hours and that is reward enough, apparently. As for being sick or disabled you are clearly not hard working so you can just piss off and die because Labour is only interested in hard working Britons even if there is no work to go to because Westminster has just cut funding to Remploy where, as a sick or disabled individual, you used to be hard working. Now, courtesy of Westminster, you are a bona fide scrounger and just scum who does not deserve to be better, let alone better off (so we are getting rid of the NHS, even though it is hard working, so we can make a small number of people even more better off). As for that room you store your bed lift, oxygen bottles and other scrounger paraphernalia its one too many rooms so we will just evict you and give it to a hard working Briton so they can be better off.

Maybe I have misconstrued this gnomic Labour load of old cobblers and it is an open ended statement you complete;

"Hardworking Britain Better Off " not buying out of date 'jam tomorrow' from Ed Milliband.

Then again it could be just another Guardian misprint and should read:

"Hardworking Britain (funds the) Better Off "

The really sad thing is this four word phrase will have cost the Labour Party around £10,000 to be created by 'rebranding consultants' who will have researched the impact of the phrase in focus groups of Hampstead and Islington Labour lovies who were clearly out of their skulls on weed and doing lines of cocaine while sinking pale imitation lager from bottles with bits of lime blocking the top while saying 'hey' a lot and bemoaning that 'Tone' was longer the party's big boy any more. While in this blooterd state saying Yes to the rebranding consultants because it would be a good laugh to waste Ed Milliband plus it kept the drink and drugs flowing. I bet it was some out of his or her skull graphic designer, at the same Hampstead party, who came up with the peas in the pod idea for the failed Food Vat Attack promotion, that will be another £10,000, thanks very much.

This is modern politics where a hanging fragment is supposed to encompass the Labour message for the 2015 Westminster election. For me the message is the voting fodder do not matter enough to be communicated with, Labour do not have a clue what they stand for in the first place and live in a parallel universe where this sort of illiterate rubbish sounds 'cool'.

"Hardworking Britain Better Off "  ....... I think I will strap myself into the interactive Sensaround machine to heighten the artistic effect and read some Vogon poetry as a respite.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Equanimity or Equality - what are we actually seeking?

Adam Smith makes a clear and valid point in his 'Wealth of Nations' which is the importance in an effective workforce of a fair day's work for a fair day's pay based on productivity and profitability. This is an example of 'equanimity' where everyone is valued but is not necessarily equal. The ultimate experiment in Smith's equanimity was seen in play at New Lanark where all the workforce was valued, given the same opportunities, decent housing, access to education, health and other 'basic human rights' to help them thrive but were most certainly not 'equal'.

The converse of this is the ultimate aim of Marxism where differences in ability, productivity and contribution are not recognised being that the 'State' (as the people) owns everything and provides everything, all have the same wage, same housing, education, health - in other words all are 'equal' in a Marxist / Communist world. The flip side to Marxism is its unequal and equally unlovable politico-economic theory of neo-liberal capitalism which, when it comes to the crunch, is not that dissimilar in the fundamental point it retains power in the hands of a minority for the benefit of that particular minority as seen in the almost seamless shift in Russia from Marxist economics to neo-liberal capitalist economics - the same folk are still running the show in Russia - the folk at the bottom of the pile have seen little real change.

So what is it we Scots are talking about when we bandy about expressions such as 'We're aa Jock Tamson's bairns'?

Are we talking about equality or equanimity?

I would suggest the Scottish psyche has the idea and desire for equanimity fairly well hard wired into it. Further the idea of equanimity has long been a Scottish political driver which had greater voice in the Scottish reformation, was further expressed in the Great Covenant of 1643, the Claim of Rights of 1689 via the Scottish Covenant of the 1950's all the way through to the recall of the Scottish Parliament in July 1999.

The Scots, in general, are really pleased for a local man or woman who makes 'good' by their own efforts, by taking risks others in the community would not, seeing opportunities where others can not. As long as the local paragon remembers his or her roots, where they have come from and does not take on a 'fair conceit aa themsel's' they will be held as a good example whether or not they financially put anything back into their community. My own father, brought up in Edinburgh's Niddrie between the wars, made 'good', did well for himself but never turned away from his friends or his community. At his funeral folk who had gone to primary school with my Dad were introduced to me by my Aunty, all said the same thing - he never forgot where he started out, he never forgot his friends. Some had been 'posties' all their life but never resented my Dad as he rose up the old General Post Office management to a very senior position in Scotland. They were just pleased for 'Big Tam', one of us ordinary folk who did well for himself and his family.

This is what the politics and actions of equanimity are about, in my view. A society where the same opportunity is open to all with the wit, commitment and desire to seize them no matter where they come from. My father seized the opportunities, took the risk his friends might reject him, friends who by and large had no expectation of being anything more than 'posties', who had no interest in being different from their peers. Some, my Dad told me, were far brighter than him and had little problem working out bookies odds faster than a modern computer but had decided they were too stupid to go to FE or take the old civil service management examinations.

It is this innate sense of equanimity the SNP has successfully tapped into post 1999. It is this sense of equanimity that caused the Labour-Libdem coalition at Holyrood to bring forward its ground breaking Care Act (in the face of open hostility from the London based Labour Party) facilitating the sick, elderly and disabled to stay in their own homes and the refusal to bend to the multi-national insurance business over 'Pleural Plaques'. This is Scottish politics being effective when it remembers where it comes from and its traditions. It is the sense of equanimity which is seen in action in communities across Scotland on a daily basis whether it is 'Meals on wheels', Food Train or the plethora of different voluntary organisations for young folk - they are about creating and giving people an opportunity to thrive and to have self worth.

Do I want Scotland to have Marxist style 'equality'?

I trust I have made my view clear it is the last thing I would wish on Scotland, it would simply be a matter of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire and in effect leave the same folk in control as are now.

I want a future Scotland to be fair and even handed to all its people, to act with equanimity at all times - this, for me is the core message of the 18th century Scottish Enlightenment:

'That man tae man the world o'er will brothers be for aa that.'

The starting point is to accept we are not all equal in intellect, physical strength, wit or common sense but we all deserve to be given an equal chance, in our life time, to be the best we can be and respected by our society for doing just that.

Saturday, 3 May 2014

Keep the Heid

Sometimes you just have to look at the world around you and shake your head in disbelief.

Whether it is the open denial that Israel is turning into a mirror of the German Nazi state that wiped out 6 million European Jews with its ever narrower definition of who is an Israeli, its ghettoisation policy towards the dispossessed Palestinians, the building of walls to hem the Palestinians into ever smaller areas, the removal of human rights or the frankly apartheid approach of the laws coming out of the Knesset with roads reserved just for 'settlers' in the West Bank. The lack of action against said 'settlers' when they burn down and bulldoze ancient Palestinian olive groves for the 'settlers' safety, to - ironically - create more lebensraum for increasingly right wing US Jewish settlers. Yet pro-Israeli commentators appear to be blind to the hatred within Palestinian hearts this is generating or the growing disgust towards the State of Israel and its inhumane acts that is increasingly prevalent across the EU. The State of Israel's only defence is to wave the tattered vest and pants of European antisemitism while missing the real point it is also European Jewish opinion that is moving against the Israeli State and its increasingly Zionist Politic. With out over $3 billion in US Federal aid each year and the regular charitable 'donations' from US Republican Jewish organisations, you are left wondering just what would happen if Obama or a future US President pulled the plug on USA funding. How long would the current Zionist Israeli state survive a Saudi funded Jihad?

Over in the Ukraine we are seeing the result of random border drawing where chunks of Russia were shifted hither and thither in response to political favours given and earned. It is on record that Kruschev gave over a chunk of Russia to the Soviet Republic of Ukraine as a 'thank you'. This was 'fine' while the gift was still within the USSR but now it is an ulcer. The history of the Great War for the 'Rodina' is still at play and Russian memories are long with regards to the ethnic Ukranian's betrayal, their welcoming of the Wermacht as a liberating army, the speed with which an ethnic Ukranian Waffen SS division was recruited and this SS Division's bloody resistance to Soviet Armies all the way to the fall of Berlin in 1945. In the background are the Ukranian police actions against Soviet sympathisers in German 'liberated' Ukraine between 1941 and 1944, the role of Ukranians in sending and guarding Soviet P.O.Ws in the death camps - these are more important than any number of deported Soviet Jews. This deep lying fracture line is where Putin is playing his dangerous game with the aim of returning Russian borders to where they were in 1952. Gazprom gas supply reduction to the Ukraine did not work, Putin's 'best pal' in the Ukraine was kicked out, having tried to murder his people into submission, by a revolt of the Ukrainian West. To regain Crimea and the lands lost by Kruschev's signature, force was all Putin had left and he applied it in the knowledge NATO would huff and puff but keep their hands firmly behind their backs knowing the mainly ethnic Russian eastern portion of Ukraine would line up behind Russia. The question is just how far will the West looking Ukrainians attempt to 'force' the ethnic Russians Putin has stirred up to remain in the Ukraine or agree, after recovering or attempting to recover the ethnic Russian area, to a return to pre-1952 borders.

When you look around the world we see violent ethnic divisions ripping people apart while politicians and vested interests pull the strings to ensure tension and violence remain heightened.

Within the context of the Scottish Independence referendum it appears increasingly clear the attempts to stir up religious and other divisions within the Scottish electorate have so far been ignored. We have so far bucked the trend and refused to play the game of the 'old politics' as it is attempted to be worked on us in terms of propaganda and 'dirty tricks', we have not, so far, taken to the streets in violent protest or risen to more crazy claims made by Westminster and its acolytes.

The message is to avoid the mess which is now Israel or Ukraine - keep the heid in the face of what ever provocations Westminster and its media throws at us in the next 150 days or so. Lord Trimble  - who is hardly supporter of a 'Yes' result said the following on 'Good Morning Scotland', on Friday 2nd May 2014:

"Actually, a Yes vote in Scotland would reinforce the argument against violence because it’s a demonstration of how you can achieve major change through the political democratic process."