Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Lady with the Gioconda Smile

The only real significance of these opinion polls, as I pointed out in yesterday's 'Reaching for a tin foil hat', is if you look at the best case Labour result versus worst case SNP result - this shows the SNP polling over 40% and holding a gap to Labour of 10 to 12%.

The indications are the SNP will be the majority party from Scotland and thus under article 19 of the Treaty of Union will represent the 'considered will of the people of Scotland' at Westminster, a will which on two occasions since 2010 has been tested in the UK Supreme Court and been found to be 'paramount'.

All the constitutional 'fudges' used in the last 300 odd years to suppress Scottish representation in the British Establishment Parliament will be up in the air. This was never meant to happen, just like an SNP majority at Holyrood was never meant to happen, and brings us to Lord Cooper's point of Law in 1953 that Scots Law and constitutional practice does not recognise the concept of the 'crown in parliament' being sovereign as this is a singularly English legal and constitutional concept, a legal point conceded on the UK Parliament's behalf by the Lord Advocate. 

Further this legal and constitutional point made by Lord Cooper puts paid to any concept of the Scots being subsumed by England Parliamentary practice as has been long claimed and presumed. The UK Parliamentary constitution is (and always has been) a fudge which seeks to run two very different legal and constitutional systems in parallel for the mutual benefit of both parties. (McCormack vs Lord Advocate 1953)

Who actually exercises control of the 'considered will of the people of Scotland' in the UK Parliament,  Lord Cooper suggested, was purely theoretical and unlikely to be tested within the UK wide party system then in place (1953) across the UK, as any Scottish representation was beholden to their main UK party's manifesto.

When you get your head around this key legal and constitutional point, you understand why Ms Sturgeon's Gioconda smile is un-shifting in the face of all the hostility from the opposition politicians, media, commentators and their attempts to claim the SNP will be beyond the pale and isolated. This is because any Bills, Acts or Statutes effecting Scotland can not pass the UK Parliament without the agreement of the 'considered will of the people of Scotland' which will, with 29+ SNP MPs, be in the SNP's hands - even if the Tories and Labour do form a grand coalition at Westminster.

In short 29+ SNP MPs is the equivalent of putting a SNP fox into the unwritten UK Constitutional hen coop.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Reaching for tin foil hat .....

There comes a point in everybody's life where you read or hear something  and your brain just comes up with an 'error; unable to compute' message. You re-read or hear the same statement again and your brain then simply shuts down and no matter how many times you try to re-boot it it tells you it can no longer deal with the total mince you are asking it to deal with so tells you to 'git tae Freuchie, ye wee bauchle afore ye dae ma heid in.'

Currently I am talking to friends in Nepal about how I can help in the re-building programs of basic infrastructure (fresh water and sanitation) in the remote and rural areas effected by the earthquake (6.8 after shocks today in the Kathmandu Valley after heavy rain and thunder storms over night). You know, things that really matter; the mundane supply of picks, shovels, concrete, plastic piping of different bores, taps and loo porcelain - stuff which will make a real difference.

Part of this process has required me to keep Facebook open, as that is currently the best channel for communication. Sadly this involves me in seeing posts of the latest Murphyism and the unsustainable Labour claim which goes with it. I have long since filtered out any posts which are Tory or Libdem related as they have nothing left to say to Scotland, only about Scotland's drift to what they see as support for Fascism / Nazism both of which define the 'shouters' politics rather than the SNP's.

For argument's sake let us give today's over the top TNS poll an error margin of 10% and apply the worst case scenario of the state of play in Scotland indicated by the TNS survey which gives us Labour on 32% and the SNP on 44%.  So even if you give Labour the best possible case and the SNP the worst possible case the SNP lead is a healthy 12% points. If you do the same on the other polls, applying the more likely statistical error of 5% either way, in favour of Labour the results comes up with a 10 to 12 % lead for the SNP. The basis of FPTP means that once you are polling over 40% you will win the majority of the seats. In Scotland this means you expect to win 30 seats which remains the SNP's expectation for the number of seats it will hold at Westminster after the 7th of May. Any more seats than this is just jam on top.

The problem for Murphy's Scotch Labour is this 10% gap with the SNP polling over 40% vote share for this election has been pretty stable for months now. Most recorded swings are in favour of the SNP widening the average 'worst case' 10% polling gap not narrowing it. Thus it is tin foil hat stuff for Lord 'Joke' McConnell to call the SNP's current advantage a 'protest vote' as he did at the weekend in the Courier's bedfellow, the Sunday Post.

Today's papers are full of Murphy's claim the voters will come back to Labour at the last minute and they will not loose a seat, just as he predicted when he became Labour's stool pigeon in Scotland. The only way they can do this is if Labour are fiddling the postal vote - sadly an idea many Scots would not put past Labour's 'Scotch' Branch, gerrymandering a postal voting system more than one judge in the UK, over the last five years, has described as worthy of a 'Banana Republic'.

Other bloggers have noted the latest brain wave from Murphy which is to claim the SNP are still seeking Scottish Independence. Just over a week from polling and Jim has only just read the founding principles of the SNP.

What next? Claiming the SNP is only interested in putting Scotland's best interests first at Westminster?

Just how badly has the Unionist campaign gone wrong in Scotland if all the campaign has left as its main argument is to state the bleeding obvious about a party which has made its aims at Westminster crystal clear to the whole of the UK and its long term aim for Scotland, as something terrifying to behold?

I must be out of kilter somewhere, there is something I am not just getting, maybe it is me who should be reaching for the tin foil hat.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Nepal Quakes

I have a lot of friends in Nepal after spending six to eight weeks a year, over eight years, project managing a hospital project in Kathmandu. So far all my friends in Kathmandu and Patan are safe and accounted for. In the Kathmandu Valley there are a number of District Earthquake emergency teams who are co-ordinating rescue, health and accommodation. Mostly it is the traditional brick built buildings which have taken the brunt of the damage. The worst damage is in the city of Bahktapur 10 kilometers outside of Kathmandu to the north east on the road to Dhulikeil, Jiri and the Khumbu (which is the area around Everest). The Valley hospitals have been designed to be up to Richter 8 resistant, as have many of the tourist hotels but it is between Kathmandu and Pokhara in the villages which perch on the tops of spurs and the edges of hanging valleys where most of the real problems lie.

These villages are often hard enough to get to from the main Kathmandu / Pokhara road when it is dry, they are are difficult to get to during the Monsoon when there are landslides due to deforestation (to create arable terraces and paddies) but in Nepal, this April, the monsoon has not yet dispersed, there are heavy thunderstorms forecast for the next week in the region between Kathmandu and Pokhara and on nights when the clouds clear, heavy frosts are forecast. Until the integrity of the runways at Kathmandu and Pokhara are checked, no relief flights can get into the two main airports serving the area. The integrity can not be assured until the after shocks cease which could be another 24 hours at least.

Unless you have walked in the Himalayan foothills you will struggle to imagine how hard it is to get from spur top to spur top village, just a few miles as the crow flies but eight hours on foot as you descend into the deep valley floor and climb back out again, the total descent and climb can be in the region of 20,000 feet as you descend from 9,000 metres to 6,000 metres and back up again - this is on a good day. The nearest road access is at the bottom of these valleys which is often over two days and a 6,000 metre climb to the villages. 

Search and support teams working between villages will not just have the usual monsoon land slips to deal with but the additional and far worse slips which have been caused by the earthquake - all before you start dealing with the needs in villages where homes will have collapsed and the injured stuck there because there is no way to evacuate them. Nepal's Military has a few ancient Puma helicopters but relief agencies will be reliant on the rather long in the tooth Mil charter helicopters, originally flown to Nepal by Russian pilots at the end of the Afghan War in 1982.

I am sitting here wondering how local people I have met and made friends with in both the Khumbu and Annapurna areas are doing. Some of these villages are over a two day trek from the nearest road or airstrip by the Sherpa themselves or three to four days by a European who is fully acclimatised to altitude. It takes a European four days on average to get down from Everest base camp to Namche which is still a day or more away from the airfield at Lukla, depending on the weather. If Lukla airfield is closed it is five to seven days further trek down to the road head at Jiri. Now imagine this descent if you are carrying or supporting an injured climber who is not critical enough for helicopter Casevac, given the excessive demands on the small helicopter resource normally available in Nepal.

So when you watch the news coverage of the earthquake damaged buildings in the Kathmandu Valley, take a minute and consider how much worse it will be for those in the isolated villages and towns in the Himalayan foothills, near the epicentre, where the heavy rain and thunderstorms forecast for the Kathmandu Valley with freezing nights, combined with day time temperatures over 12 C lower than they should be for this time of year, this incoming week, at a height 1400 metres. Then ponder what the same weather will be like at 9,000 metres in the remote villages where up to 80% of the buildings will have been destroyed.

This in a country which is among the 10 poorest in the world and in villages where the average, daily income is less than 2$ a day.


If you wish to donate to help may I suggest donation to Shelter Box.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Na sir 's na eachainn an cath.

The title is an old Gaelic saying;  Neither seek nor shun the fight.

It is a saying which reflects most normal folk in their daily life. You do no go out seeking trouble but when trouble comes you need to take a stand and deal with it or run away, as the Gaels would say; Is beo duine an deigh a sharachadh ach cha bheo e idir an deigh a narachadh - A man overwhelmed still lives, a man disgraced does not.

Trouble is coming to those of us who want a new politic in the UK and seek to achieve this change in the dead hand of Westminster by using our vote to support the SNP. Many of us do not believe there will be real change in Scotland this side of independence but currently we have accepted the majority of the Scots electorate wish to give the UK Union one more chance to get its act together, the chance comes in the form of a large number of SNP MPs at Westminster arguing not just Scotland's case but the case for a shift of UK politics back to the centre ground at least, if not a left of centre core politic.

As the days count down towards the election on the 7th of May we Scots are facing a barrage of anti- Scottish hyperbole and ignorance generated by the British Establishment press and media machine trying to seek a fight where none actually exists. The UK may be, in effect, an elected dictatorship as defined by Enoch Powell in the 1970's but under its 'How long is a piece of string?' constitution we Scots retain the right to vote for who so ever we wish to be our representatives at the UK Parliament. Further under the current 'constitution', protected by article 19 of the Treaty of Union for 'all time' these duly elected MPs represent 'the considered will of the people of Scotland' at Westminster. A considered will the UK Supreme Court has stated is 'paramount' in two judgements when finding for the Scottish people since 2012. The constitutional genie of a non 'main' Westminster party having control of this 'considered will' may well pop its self out of the bottle on the 8th of May, a situation Lord Cooper discussed in his 1953 judgement in McCormack vs The Lord Advocate but could not foresee ever happening.

I will admit to being overwhelmed by the orchestrated hatred of the London media are pouring out over all things to do with Scotland but I am not willing to disgrace myself by replying in kind - which was my first instinct at the beginning of this week. I will stand my ground and, instead, repeat time after time my understanding of just why the British Establishment are so scared of an SNP majority representing Scotland which is it blows up the current self propagating 'After you Cyril - no, after you' carve up of power, privilege and favour, in the faces of the British Establishment and their plutocratic hangers on. The power of the considered will of the people of Scotland being exercised in the UK Parliament by a Scots based and focused party was never in the plans of the British Establishment when the Treaty of Union was agreed in 1707. No, this 'will' was always going to be subservient to the needs of the English MPs at Westminster via the party system, as Lord Selkirk discovered when he moved a bill in the UK Parliament to end the Union in 1714.

This leaves the interesting situation if a majority of Scots MPs are SNP just how will Cameron, Clegg or Miliband row back from their current position when they will have to recognise, under the UK Parliament's rules that UK Bills of  the UK Parliament can not pass into law or statute in Scotland without the agreement of the considered will of the people of Scotland

The SNP's position is powerful if they are the majority of MPs from Scotland and why they do not need a coalition to flex a lot of influence on budgetary and other bills before the UK Parliament. Who ever wishes to be the next Prime Minister will need the support of the SNP in this constitutional situation. The SNP have said clearly it will not be Cameron and is why the Tories are trying to create an image of the SNP as the Devil's spawn via their press and media outlets.

The old way of doing UK politics is in its death throws, Cameron is not waving he is drowning, his (and his plutocrat pals) worst nightmare is rearing its ugly head - a Labour Party no longer in the thrall of Blair's version of 'Thatcherism' which will move back to the political centre under the influence of the SNP and a system where capitalism is chained once more for the benefit of society and not blatant self-interest.

It is time to decouple the City of London from its influence and control of the offices of state. Labour have until 2016 to prove they are up for this task, otherwise I suggest the SNP will get the go ahead for another independence referendum in 2018, from the people of Scotland. This time 'Yes' will win by a country mile.

Cameron, Clegg nor Miliband appear to realise how short the time scale is going to be before the Union is no more. In the meantime they are repeating all the same mistakes the British Establishment made over Irish Home Rule in the early part of the 20th Century; in this the British Establishment is a disgrace.

Na sir 's na eachainn an cath.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Here we are, here we are, here we are again ...

The Westminster Music Hall's comedians have been working matinee's and two shows a night for the last few weeks. The orchestra is becoming ever more discordant with more bum notes than an elephant. The media dancing girls are clearly getting frayed at the edges as their jowls over hang their chests and they struggle to keep in time - just how much more foot stamping can they manage?

The contralto has a cold, the tenor is a drunk, the coloratura is only fit to cut glass and the bass is tone deaf and yet the current chairman; the esteemed Mr Cameron with his bow tie askew, the backside out of his tail suit and his hand up the back of a second rate ventriloquist's dummy he calls Clegg, claims this is the greatest show and the only show in town - come and see it in all its glory at the Palace of Westminster. At the same time our illustrious chairman wants the electorate of the UK, the chief investors in the Palace of Westminster, to write him a blank cheque because the Palace needs new drapes, the seats have lost their horse hair, there is a bit of a bar bill been run up to keep the comedians happy and a couple of creditors chapping on his door for payment. Honest, says Mr Cameron, if we give him another blank cheque, this time he will not piss it up against the wall, lose it in the casino banks of the City of London or spend what is left on parties where young boys are abused at Dolphin Square and other hang outs of the comedians.

Mr Miliband is trying to buy out Mr Cameron using the electorates' own money offering much the same deal as Mr Cameron except promising not to piss quite so much against the wall, play the London bank casino a little bit less and a definite no, no on the comedians' kiddy fiddling parties. Other wise it will be basically the same show playing as Mr Cameron is already putting on. Unsurprisingly he is not getting quite the enthusiastic support he thought he would and is now very worried his top 'Jockanese' comedian went down like a lead balloon in his Glasgow Empire and was booed off the stage, taking pelters and cat calls from the no longer friendly mob.

Both Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron are very upset that some diminutive Scots woman has been pointing they are both talking utter rubbish, are running the Palace into the ground, are useless with the investors money while each is claiming she is the others accomplice and not fit to take their place as chairman or have a say in how the place is run. They are more worried she may end up having the controlling vote with the backing of a section of the chief investors. The media dancing girls can not make their mind up about her either as the right hand end of the line are getting out of step with the left hand end and soon it will all end in tears.

That folks, is a summary of what happened in the election this week, which was basically the same has happened the week before and will no doubt happen next week as well ..... Here we are, here we are, here we are again.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Quality of Politics

In a previous existence I was healthcare scope lead for an international Quality Assurance company, working mainly in Europe and SE Asia. As you may guess I take an interest in the claims made by politicians and other spokespersons (for the associated NHS vested interests) to do with how well they would like to claim their part of the NHS is meeting its quality commitment to patients. The 'argy-bargy' about A&E in Scotland is a fascinating case in point where the argument about a whether a politically set target is being met or not, fails to reflect the real measure of quality delivered - is the service provided meeting patients' needs and expectations is the only true measure. Targets (and especially NHS targets) can be manipulated to say what ever anyone wishes them to say by setting different statistical analysis parameters; a case of you say TOmato and I say toMAto but this still does not tell us if the tomato is rotten or not.

Folk will try to tell you defining needs and expectations in health care is next to impossible but this is because folk mix up wishes with needs and dreams with expectations. For example, when I go to see a doctor it is because 'I need to find out what is wrong with me'. My expectation is if the doctor can not diagnose my problem they will carry out tests and other investigations to determine what the problem is and refer me to a specialist if it is required. I might wish the doctor would just give me some pills but my expectation 'to be made better' may require an operation to meet my need to be 'healthy'. In this way every time you see a doctor this cascade of need and expectation will be played out to a greater or lesser extent as required by 'what is wrong with you' while your 'wishes' will be managed by ensuring you are properly informed of progress. The reason the health carer / patient relationship gets such high satisfaction scores in patient surveys, even in a NHS system at breaking point, is because patient's needs and expectations are met or surpassed on a regular basis. This is the only real measure of the quality of care being provided, patient satisfaction.

If we compare the state of play in the health carer / patient relationship with the politician / electorate relationship we see a stark difference. Electorate satisfaction with politicians is low simply because the politicians are not addressing our needs and expectations, worse they are trying to impose their own dreams and wishes on the electorate - they are not listening, they are telling us what to believe.

We need our politicians to be engaged in their constituency and we expect them to have a degree of honesty and integrity. Yet we see, far too often, politicians more interested in chasing preference within their party at the expense of their constituents and happily pocketing our tax payer money in expenses scam after expenses scam. Is it any wonder that Westminster politicians, across the UK, are seen a venal and corrupt and the UK Parliament diminished as it seeks to excuse the inexcusable and protect those of its membership past and present who have carried out peadophile attacks on young men and women by misusing 'Offices of State' as part of the cover up. The product called 'Westminster Politics' is seen by an ever increasing number of its electorate as past its sell by date and unsaleable, even if heavily discounted. Yet its snake oil salesmen and women in the media still try to sell Westminster to us as as a 'quality product', the only one which can do the 'job' where as the public perception is Westminster is not up to its 'job' and no longer fit for purpose. This is the real tension in UK politics at present which is playing out in the calls for evermore decentralised, autonomous and powerful regional government in England and Full Fiscal Autonomy for Scotland.

To this highly stressed mix you now throw in a political party which has sought, as far as is ever possible, to ensure the electorate's views and the views of its party membership are heard and acted upon. A political party which is winning the trust of the electorate while every other party is losing trust. A party which seeks to address the electorates' needs and expectations and is perceived by the electorate (rightly or wrongly) as doing so to a high degree. Just how surprising is it in the current state of affairs at Westminster that such a party would be very popular and see its vote share increasing, at the expense of the other parties?

You do not have to be an expert in quality assurance and quality control to understand why such a political party would stand out, be popular and see lots of people buying into their 'product' - some 105,000 people paid up, last I looked.

This is what those in the Westminster main parties and their London media bubble do not comprehend. The projected SNP vote share, heading towards May 2015, is not a 'protest' vote, an 'anti-Labour' nor is it a 'separatist' vote, it is the voice of a large proportion of the electorate of Scotland who believe they have, at last, a party they can trust to represent their needs and expectations at Westminster.

The SNP do what it says on their tin, sadly an unusual quality in modern UK politics, and are a product folk in Scotland choose to trust. This is, in part, why the increasingly hyperbolic attacks by Labour and the Conservatives on the SNP are having little or no effect on the opinion polls in Scotland. In fact the 'Ugly Sisters' unthinking attacks have routinely boosted vote share for the SNP.

Why should any sane Scot believe the words of a Cameron or Miliband, well known for their dissembling and prevaricating, over Ms Sturgeon and the SNP in who they trust?

The quality of politics on offer is more important than Cameron and Miliband can ever comprehend in their wonk world of SPADS, media spin and Hampstead and Islington focus groups.

Friday, 10 April 2015

The Uncle Tom Wobblies

I don't know about you but now when I hear the words, "This is the BBC News", on whatever medium my brain automatically goes onto standby and thinks about whether I need the loo, to put the kettle on or teach the hamster Hebrew. It is the same system I have long used during adverts such as those telling me to pay for my own funeral, you old scrounger, so as not to burden your kids or anything to do with Screwfix who I wish would do as their name suggests. To get me to engage my brain with BBC News would require a statement from one of those impartial, honest and holistic BBC news persons such as, "HM The Queen just got her tits out on the Buckingham House veranda and waved them at on lookers." So I was surprised when some BBC apparatchik mentioned Balls and Milliband along with the word 'Scotland' that the lights went on and my brain went 'quhit!'

Those who take the trouble to read what I write know I avoid exclamation marks like the plague but this is an exception. My brain rewound what I thought I had just heard and played it back to me, I still could not comprehend why I had been rudely awakened from my day dream of the Jambos lifting the European Champions Cup. No my conscious brain uttered, they could not have just said that: they most certainly did, said the subconscious bit that had done the listening, go and check on line if you still do not believe what you actually heard. So I did.

So let me get this straight, Miliband and Balls big idea was to come to Scotland, speak to an invited audience, basically themselves, and say they agreed with David Cameron; Scotland would not pass go, would not collect Full Fiscal Autonomy nor be 'allowed' to have another vote to see if we had had enough of the UK Union ever, ever again - PS; you are also going to be stuck with 'Son of Trident' as well because we do not want it in England. This was their big idea to stop and reverse the heamorrhaging 'Scotch Labour' vote by offering more proof to a large chunk of Scots they are in fact 'Red Tories'.They may well be Red Tories but we Scots must vote for them anyway because the SNP are really baad people; cross Ed Balls Heart and I promise to hammer a stake through it, that is how serious I, Ed Miliband, am about how baad the SNP are. After which they contrived to disappear up Jim Murphy's fundament to the echo of 'Gordon will save us' and teleported back to the safety of the London wonk bubble, having run up another ten thousand or so in expenses.

I may not be the sharpest tack in the box but I would suggest that coming to Scotland, where calling someone a Tory is the highest form of insult, and stating publicly you, Labour, agree with the official Tory Policy for Scotland; is not the best way to endear yourself to Scottish voters who are just about willing to handle you at arms length with a pair of coal tongs but only after donning rubber gloves and putting a peg on their nose.  It leaves you wondering what sort of world McDougal and McTernan live in, just where do their planes of existence actually cross those of the Scottish public. Jim is not cutting the mustard, the fix to make him the chief gargoyle in Scotland has not worked, the Scots are just so stubborn when they find out they have been sold yet another pup, so Labour's Scotch flour graders have a long hard think and advise Labour Flour Grader HQ that a cunning idea would be to send Miliband and Balls north to put those uppity Jocks back in their box by saying they will be as hard on the Scots as the proper Tory Party when it comes to the naughty Jocks being sent to bed early with no supper. You have been warned, do not come greeting to us because you voted SNP and we decide to let the Tory Party continue on in Government because we hate the SNP for being the left of centre social democrats we wish we could be.

I sense a dose of the "Uncle Tom wobblies an' all" this weekend as the usual media operators seek to make this a last and final warning to Scotland to do as they are telt:

"Jist dinae goan dae that, jist dinnae - youse dinae ken whit yer doin by votin' SNP."

They just can not comprehend we know exactly what we are doing and why.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

What I have learned from the TV debates

Nothing, nada, cha n-eil, plus pas .....

If I was clever enough I would insert a short video clip of the 'Potters Wheel' as an intermission, now; but I am not that clever and can not be bothered to find out how to or do the search to find the video, that's how the 'debates' and the surrounding hubris have left me feeling; empty, devoid of interest and more interested in watching a Brie, just out of the fridge, go runny.

If I wanted to watch a shouting match about immigration I can watch re-runs of 'Till Death us do Part'.

If I wanted to listen to the three main parties policy and tactics I would have been better employed watching episodes of the 'Thick of It'.

If I wanted to watch a more competent debate on what the future, on offer from the main Westminster parties, holds there is 'Futurama'.

My Facebook feed now looks like it has a  'Who can throw the most custard pies at Jim Murphy' competition going on at one extreme and a 'The SNP's next opinion poll is going to be a disaster' at the other. There is a distinct lack of common sense to be seen among posters as the Piranha of popular opinion shoals from snacking on one bleeding corpse to another, even before the bones have been picked clean.

If I see one more 'Jim Murphy is a *unt' post I will give long hard consideration to slitting my wrists. The man is many things but, seriously, there must be better ways to express his failure as a double dealing, expenses fiddling politician than this. I know there are a lot of ex-Labour voters who are angry they have let themselves be duped by the likes of Jim and his Scotch Labour pals for so long but that is your problem, not Jim's. You bought the crap Labour have been spouting since 1997; fine, you have to go through the bereavement process but how about getting past the anger stage instead of getting stuck there, time to move on get behind the positive message of the SNP.

I did not learn anything from the TV debates but the Facebook aftermath shows me there are a lot of angry folk out there, baying at the moon, looking for the next victim they think has strayed from the straight and narrow of a SNP vote or allegiance to a Scotland of sovereign Scots, to then call the Facebook wolf pack down on them with slavering jaws, and it is not a pretty sight, not in the slightest, nor does it help the cause, we of the SNP pursuation, are seeking.

Am fear nach seall roimhe seallaidh e 'na dheigh. Slan leat.

Sunday, 5 April 2015


I spend a day away playing golf and come back to Facebook screaming about 'dirty tricks' as the British Establishment machine tries to do down our own, poor, defenceless Ms Sturgeon. My first response was why are folk surprised, after two and a bit years of muck throwing we should have seen this coming - I suggested something was afoot in the British Establishment's Witch Finder's General Office in my post on Friday - Its a Stramash.

Fine, I did not think it would be this crass or so far into the bottom of the barrel that Carmichael would be left with splinters under his nails nor would I have suspected such an unsophisticated attack but short of accusing Nicola of being a witch this was right down there in the depths of the septic tank of really stinky Westminster spin merchant ideas. It is so bad I bet even the infamous Malcolm Tucker would have disowned it as an 'omnishambles'. In terms of ideas and ways to change peoples minds' or win hearts and minds, this was up there with the Monty Python's Norwegian Blue, where not even 40,000 volts would make it fly from its perch.

What does this say about the state of the British Establishment as we hurtle towards the 8th of May?

It is clear they are truly scared, frightened enough to spin a story so easily refuted and, as Peter Bell points out, an obvious set up by the Telegraph's Scotch department in cahoots with their pals in the Scotch Libdems and Labour, with backing from BBC 'Scotchland' who unquestioningly promoted the 'story' and continue to back pedal now its is clear the 'bear trap' has been busted wide open. As usual with BBC Scotchland it is not their fault and aren't all those 'cybernats' being absolutely beastly to their poor wee lamb of a BBC Scotchland correspondent.

Relations with the Cameron and the French are hardly cordial and basically the Telegraph team behind this are seeking to call both the French Ambassador and French Consul general in Edinburgh 'liars', by default. Clearly there has been no thought as to the fall out beyond the Westminster bubble. Le Figaro is less than impressed with the affair and the attempt to draw their London Ambassador into a local political dog fight.

In Scotland this attack appears, from social media, to have simply put another nail in the Unionists' coffins with long standing Labour Party Branch Officials openly dumping their party and joining the SNP. An attack which will have contributed to SNP ordinary membership's rise to 105,000 at the last check. When Labour campaigners, in Scotland, are flaunting Daily Mail headlines in support of their campaign, you have got to ask just how out of touch are they with their local electorate in their weird world of planet Labour.

Having sunk this low, just how much lower will the British Establishment go?

A lot further with out doubt Their ship of state will be sunk if Scotland sends 30+ SNP MPs, Dr Faustus does not have a patch on this venal and increasingly criminal bunch whose gravy train is heading towards the buffers; and when it comes to dealing with the Devil, I bet 'Auld Nic' counts his fingers after shaking hands with them.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Its a 'Stramash'

It's the day efter the nicht afore and ma heid's still mince.

Am a goin' daft's ae Millandman wi a breid board short a fu' loaf?

Yon Telegraph pittin' oor Nicola oot afore a'body, wha wid 've thocht thon yon wid eever happenstance?

Ye ken, 'Michty me' disnae cut thon mustard nor 'help ma boab' neither whin yon wee lassie wis sent intae thon Lion's den, lik aa feminist Samuel, an lik the man cam oot unscathed, na ane hair oan her heid oot o place, wi thon Westmeenstir bogles frothin' at the mou, grinding thir gums wi fury as they kent the cat wis oot thon bag. Yon SNP wernae thon Diel incarnate, skirlin the pipes tae mak the carlins birl an' screamin tae bring curses on a'body in England, bit fowk wi a bit aa sense, Scottis canniness an a care for aa the fowk; na jist them wi fat purses, jingling wi goud and siller lik thon Westmeenster bogles' pals.

Quhit dae thon Lun'on bradsheets mak o this breengin' affair? 

Weel thir aa riddy talkin' it doon an' tryin to mak oot quhit happen'd didnae happen, it wis aa somthin' deeferent, ye ken, an na quhit a'body saw wi' thir ane een. Bit thon quine wha hud a stairheid rammy wi Cameron wis gie'n her chance tae say her piece, efter she wis given the boot frae the ha', on Sky an ither news speak. Quhit she hud tae say wis tae the point an' pointed up aa thon tosh an' nonsense the lik aa Cameron hud bin spoutin forth oan. Her speel wis the nummer o' sudger's an ithers aa their ilk left oan thon streets wi nae roof o'er thir heids efter facing shot an shell on the cuntrie's behest. Fowk wi thir brains turned tae mince by quhit the saw an did fir yon government, fowk wha efter battle couldnae face quhit we ithers lik tae ca' normal life cos they fund it repellent an' dishonest. Wha's brains wir richt skelly efter bein dumped by the fowk they thocht wid look efter them. Cameron an' his military covenant, says she, jist mair pish an wind, na fit tae wipe yer erse oan; lik a wheen o' ither promises thit pass thon man's lips an bla awa tae be heard o' nae mair.

Thin there's the fowk aroont England wha heard wi thir ane lugs quhit oor Nicola hud tae speel an' frae her ane lip's an aa. Mony Englis fowk hud the scales ta'en fram thir een an' saw quhit we Scottis hud seen fir mony a year, lang syne; the heid o a political party talkin' sense, pittin' fowk an' na greed front an' centre. Forbye mony Englis tak'd tae Twitter tae say hoo they wantit tae vote SNP bit couldnae cos they wirnae in Scotland, thirs na SNP stannin' in England an hoo sad thit wis fir them, fir they didnae hae a chance tae vote fir a proper social democratic party.

Thon BBC's still poorin oot thir poison aboot oor Nicola, tryin's tae tell us aa thit black is the new white. They cannae thole thit fowk across the UK sa' quhit the SNP wis actually aboot an' oan a different channel an aa. Thir fair seek tae thir ane stomach an tryin thir sleekit ways tae mak oot it wis jist ae load aa ould blether's frae Nicola an' thir man Murphy is still goan tae tak aa afore him. Its enough tae mak ye greet, sae it is, as thon BBC maks a richt muckle clamjamwhamphrey whilst as giud as hingin' thirsels frae ae lampost a'nent Pacific Quay.

Thirs a richt stramash doon in Lun'on, thon Britis Establisment is fair bowkin whilst wunnerin' quhit tae dae next an' hoo thir goan tae exorcise Nicola frae the minds a aw thon thole Englis fowk wha heard an' saw her speel. I heard said thir ha'en a lookit James Saxth's book oan witchcraft tae see iffen thit could gie them a guide tae find some Deil's mark oan Nicola sae they can pit her and her familiar, Salmond, tae the fire. Thits hoo much thir noo shitten thir breeks.

Guid Friday? .... aye it micht jist be fir aince.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The swing of an undamped pendulum.

I have a problem with capitalists when they claim to be the children of Adam Smith because they only picked out the bits they like, just like nutty Christians or Muslim or Jews or any religion you care to mention always seeks to do to defend their self interested position and vested interest.

Robert Owen's management of New Lanark sought to work within the principles of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations seeking to balance reward for the workers with an adequate profit for the owners. Some would claim that the 'experiment' at New Lanark was patriarchal and controlling but given the period, it was undoubtedly one of the most socially aware approaches of its time, creating opportunity for the many, and their children, who would have had no equivalent opportunity in any other work place of the day.

New Lanark was an example of capitalism, an example which understood Adam Smith's requirement that such a system could only work, develop, grow and be successful long term, if a fair day's work received a fair day's pay. Adam Smith's view was, without a financial balance and sense of fairness between employers and employees, no business created on his concept of capitalism would survive for long because any imbalance between the workforce and employer would ultimately lead to failure of the business.

The problem is men are greedy bast'rds and the few will always look to screw any system to maximise their own benefit whether Marxist / Leninism of the old Soviet Union or the current downward spiral of neo-liberal capitalism, a form of capitalism which is truly the most inhuman, degrading and self defeating form experienced since the Victorian era.

As a social democrat I see it is the role of the people and their Government to ensure that balance and fairness is maintained, a role that successive UK Governments, since the early 1970's, have singularly failed to achieve as the pendulum has swung from the extremes of Trade Unionism in the mid 1970's to the extremes of capitalism in the 2010's. Neither has been good for the actual people of the UK who seek to put bread on the table. Neither has done anything to redress the massive inequality in society either by the public ownership of manufacturing or by the untrammeled free market. It does not take much wit to understand the premise of the Wealth of Nations core idea:

Capital and people working in harmony for the good of all the people not the few.
Currently this is not the case - maybe it is time for a bit of social realism. An argument can be made for key areas to be under the ownership and control of the people; water, utilities, health, welfare and public transport. This leaves the entrepreneurs and financiers with a whole load of other ways to create wealth for all the nation while gaining the advantages of a workforce more at peace with itself by putting employees needs and business development ahead of the shareholders 'quick buck'. This is the role of Government, to seek the best balance between the needs of capital and people; not simply to support one side or the other, as has long been the case in the UK.

It is time for the pendulum to swing back towards the people but it is also time the extent of the swing back towards the self interest of the people is dampened and the inevitable rebound lessened. In this way the UK's violent 'boom and burst' swings also may be reduced to the mutual interest of all parties.

Will the SNP deliver the better, fairer balance they seek to create between the people and capital?

The only way to find out is to send as many SNP MPs to Westminster as is possible and put our trust they will not end up as yet another 'feeble 50' standing at the foot of the British Establishment table accepting what ever scraps they are thrown with over blown gratitude and the reward of ending up as members of the 'vermin in ermine', as Labour's Scotch apparatchiks so routinely have done over the last 50 years.

How long before we hear of the raising of Lord Broon of Kartoon, Baron of Dysart Bings?