Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Beware of Greeks ...

According to people who claim not to be taking sides over next Sunday's rushed Greek referendum on exiting from the Eurozone, there will be only one outcome of a 'No' vote, rejecting umpteen more years of austerity, a return to Greece's default state for much of the period from 1945 to 1981 - civil war.  

For us in Scotland there is a sense of deja vu in the EU Establishment's cry of imminent disaster, doom and gloom, Greeks will be reduced to using beads as currency, barbed wire on their borders, the collapse of civilised society and the all rest of the pap being peddled in the EU media at Brussels behest. We have heard the same rubbish for the last two and half years from the UK Establishment, their media puppets and look where our voting for the status quo, with even more austerity, has now left Scotland.

To vote 'Yes' to the demands is to continue to strangle the Greek economy as the 'bail out money' continues to find its way into the back pockets of international financiers (at usurious rates agreed by past bent Greek politicians whose priorities appear to have been to keep the Greek Generals quiet) and the richest 1% in Greece.

To vote 'No' - nobody knows; but Iceland said 'No' to the great bank bail out of 2008 and has imprisoned its bent politicians and bankers instead. Iceland's economy is one of the best performing in Northern Europe, is outside the Eurozone and has not seen the same levels of disastrous collapse of health and welfare for the poorest in its society the rest of austerity driven Europe is suffering.

The growing reality is the Eurozone needs to contract back to a core of countries which can afford to be in the Eurozone - Benelux plus Germany, France and Austria - or can survive the fiscal conditions of the Eurozone - Poland and Ireland. The likes of Spain, Italy, Portugal and Greece would be better able to recover economically outside the Eurozone until such times as their economies are strong enough to resist the incessant pressure of Federal Germany's economy using an artificially undervalued Euro at their expense.

This means a load of technocrats in Brussels and politicians of many stripes would have to eat humble pie but it will not be long before neither Spain nor Portugal's governments will be able to resist the growing popular clamour in their country's electorates to end austerity and head down the same track as Greece. Greece may be being rushed into this decision but it is the EU and ECB technocrats who are doing the rushing before the 'proles' in Italy, Portugal and Spain start thinking the same way and say 'enough is enough' in ever louder voices.

Maybe the reality is there is no solution which will keep everyone in Greece happy but I would suggest the rich in Greece amongst the old guard politicians, Greek Generals and their business pals, many of whom have done very well top skimming European grants and projects, can afford a return to the Drachma more easily than the vast majority of Greeks whose backside will be out their trousers if they stay in the Eurozone.

The truth is 'austerity' has run out of steam, is not the solution for the West's major economies, which are pursing this economic stupidity blindly, economies which are in serious difficulties as this failed neo-liberal principle of ever diminishing returns pushes their electorates into even more vociferous and angry protests. Protests which will inevitably turn violent if the peoples' needs continue to be ignored in such a cavalier fashion by the political class in defence of the corporate world. All this simply to protect a small cadre of the world's richest and powerful, personal interests.

In a similar way Cameron's Tories and their Labour allies at Westminster will have to think long and hard about their absolute failure to meet Scotland's needs now being proposed by the pair of them in their punish the rebellious Scots at every turn bill. If the Scotland Bill is not massively upgraded to meet the promises made in the scabrous pre-referendum 'Vow' I do not see the UK Union lasting past 2020.

Ordinary people across Europe are increasingly deciding the old way of governing them by unelected, faceless bureaucrats, spads, corporate lobbyists and the rest of the modern political world's hangers on, is revolting. While I would hate to see the fundamental founding principle of the EU, to keep the peace between European nations through negotiation, collective bargaining and an economic open market, being lost with the bath water of the increasing revolt against austerity. The European political classes in Brussels and the key European capitals will have brought this down on themselves and Greece, whether it decides to exit the Eurozone or not, could well be the tipping point which brings the EU 'House of Cards' crashing around their ears.

A piece of leadership advice I was given by a wise First Lieutenant and later First Sea Lord, as a shiny new RN officer in the 70's, comes to mind:

"The more you seek to control events, the less control you inevitably have."

Maybe it is time for Europe's political and financial micro-managers to wise up to what is rather than what they think it should be. The same goes for the Tories and Labour at Westminster.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Meaningful Silence

Fluffy Mundell is telling us as he is now Viceroy of Scotland we will just have to do what he says and we are lucky to have the almost disemboweled Smith Report for him to pick and mix from, you'll get what I say and that's it.

In the meantime Labour's fast disintegrating Scotch Branch latest, of a long line of daft ideas, was to run a dossier of SNP supporters who have used 'bad words' about Labour's Scotch fiefdom and especially about that lump of lard known as Blair MacDougal. The problem for Labour and MacDougal was many were not SNP members when they made these comments.

Cameron and the rest of his austerity loving pals are now having multiple kittens as Greece is increasingly telling the IMF and the ECB to take a hike as Greece decides its only option is to default and to hell with the consequences.

UK fracking shares saw 10% wiped off their value today after Lancashire County Council voted to refuse planning permission to frack, permission Caudrilla thought was in the bag, after hearing from experts the potential dangers of allowing fracking while pointing out the similarities to a similar geological strata in Pennsylvania which has lead to massive pollution of local aquifers with gas, oil and poisonous fracking chemicals. The council, no doubt, pondered their liability to class actions from local voters if they permitted the project to go ahead and local aquifers became polluted, having been explicitly shown the peer reviewed, scientific evidence of the scale of the environmental disaster in Pennsylvania.

So with all this Unionist lunacy on the go, all this hyperbole, all this self satire just what is a cynical writer like myself left to write about. The Unionists have become a self parody, sending themselves up at every turn with a seriousness that it beyond Pythonesque mockery.

The imminent Lord Darling could only be a character from Blackadder, completely lacking any self awareness. Murphy is now masquerading as the 'Witch of the West' angry the Sturgeon has stolen his shoes of power, as he plaintively screams, "I'm melting!". The only response Murphy's 'Odd Couple' bag carriers appear to have is as any form of help is a 'parp on the Tuba' or whining about their pay off being too small.

Until such times as I can find some form of humour in the current goings on, I think I will hold a meaningful silence as it is impossible satirise, such dire satire.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Rebellious Scots to Crush ....

The Londonshire Media Establishment is all a fluster, the Jacobites are once more at Derby and about to throw the latest generation of Hanoverians out onto the streets, left short of the odd £2 million, poor lambykins that they are.

Apparently this is all the fault of those nasty Nats who are being beastly to her Madgeship about the money she gets from parts of Scotland's Crown Estates. Of course we can not expect those peons of the media in London to do any fact checking when getting themselves all het up in the full flush of a hate the SNP story and the headline they really wanted to run in the Daily Mule:

"Nasty Nats throw 82 year old OAP out of state subsidised home"

Well, for a start, the £2 million they claim Madge will not be getting because the SNP are being so beastly, already comes off our pocket money before we ever see it, along with our contributions to the FO, MoD and funding the UK national debt, according to the UK Treasury.

The problem is not of the SNP's making either. It is all a result of the rather piecemeal way Cameron's Tories are pick and mixing from the original Smith Commission recommendations. Under the current plans all income from Madge's crown holdings in Scotland will go into the Scottish piggy bank with a deduction of this sum from the total pocket money we would have got. In other words it is a zero sum calculation and not extra money in Scotland's back pocket. 

Further you then have a situation where the Crown Estates (England and Wales) can, in the future, invest in and make a profit from Scotland but this money does not stay in Scotland as we are only entitled to the money from Crown Estates (Scotland). In other words, as presently construed by Westminster this whole affair is a bit of a dog's breakfast as the nitty-gritty of unpicking the Crown Estates Act (UK) 1961 reveals itself and dichotomy piles in on top of dichotomy.

Is it any wonder then that Tory Central has sent forth this load of old cobblers to be spun by the Londonshire media into those perfidious Scots being on the verge of rebelling against the Crown, as the one of the few bits they have agreed from the Smith Commission's recommendations to put in place, unravels around their feet.

I suggest that Cameron's wonks are just starting to assimilate the real problems facing the Tory Government with respect to Scotland of which the primary one is the lack of Labour MPs from Scotland doing their Janus act of saying one thing while doing the opposite and hoping the 'Jocks' will not notice. They no longer have the cop-out of pointing out to the 'Jocks' their own MPs voted for the cuts, Trident or the Iraq War because 56 out of 59 MPs from Scotland are not playing the Westminster game which leaves the Unionist's three 'Jockanese' stooges looking like - stooges.

The British Establishment now knows it can no longer pretend the Scot's wishes can be ignored and the Union retained. The Scottish  polls since Cameron's outburst in September 2014 in the aftermath of scraping a No vote in the referendum are only going one direction, increasing support for the SNP across the board, an increasing rate of decline for the Unionist Parties in Scotland and Labour's Scottish Branch's last bastion in Scotland's Councils on an increasingly shoogly peg. Now as Dungcan-Smith's plans to destroy the UK's welfare system accelerate combined with the defacto privatisation of NHS England there is, in Scotland, a growing pressure on the SNP to include a new referendum on independence in their 2016 Holyrood manifesto, a referendum which the Tory's 'bitch' in Scotland says the Unionists will not win.

It is in this increasingly febrile state of the British Establishment the editorial in today's Times and front pages of the Torygraph, Daily Mail and Daily Record should be read. The claim we Scots are getting rebellious is the only way the British Establishment can deal with the reality they have lost the conflict of ideas in Scotland.

They are also having to deal with an increasingly angry public in England. 250,000 protesters against the Tory's headline policy - austerity - last Saturday, are not going away and as today's protests within the Palace of Westminster by disabled people reveal, the English anti-austerity protests are only going to get closer and closer to the seat of power.

The Scots are, for now, just useful scapegoats for the British Establishment's failings, the headlines may be about Scotland but their main purpose is to deflect attention from the dire straights the British Establishment now finds itself in, as its English peasants are revolting. They are simply reverting to the only methodology they know - divide and rule; the problem being the Scots are quite happy to divide and so are playing into our hands.

Why interfere or get upset when your opposition is doing your own job for you?

Rebellious Scots - you bet: our only crush, for many, is our first minister.

Friday, 19 June 2015

That was the week that was ...

What have we learned?
  • J K Rowling is small minded, ignorant and anal to a high degree when it comes to her claims about the SNP hating the English, the SNP are baad!
  • Cameron is sleep walking into a series of political and economic accidents just waiting to happen which will destroy what is left of the UK's economy outside London and end the Union he claims to 'love'
  • Osborne is seeking to wreck Scotland's economy while promoting 'fracking' and poisoning water supplies at the expense of re-useable energy while taxing the North Sea Oil & Gas sector to death
  • Labour still do not know which way is 'up' in the aftermath of May's electoral disaster and are about as much use as an opposition party as is using a chocolate teaspoon to stir your tea.
  • Labour's leadership candidates are running with Jim Murphy's failed Scottish campaign strategy of Labour in London knows what is best for Scotland
  • The BBC still thinks the Libdems are the third biggest party at Westminster
  • Both Labour and the Tories are still trying very hard to pretend there are not 56 SNP MPs in Westminster speaking for Scotland
  • According to the London media the SNP are really, really baad people, proto-Nazis out to declare England as Scotland's lebenstraum where the poor English peasantry are about to be over run by kilted sturmentroopers who will bayonet peoples' cats and dogs and pee in their letter boxes (Honest, when ever has anyone caught the Telegraph lying about what politicians actually said or actually happened and that nice Dr Starkey in the Daily Heil says it is all true, so it must be)
  • Scotland has a financial black hole which is just over 4% the volume of the rUK's fiscal black hole but is far, far more dangerous than Osborne's austerity created deficit and massive UK Government borrowing according to Mr Osborne
  • The Tory Government thinks poor people should be made even poorer and disabled folk can be healed in the same way as latter day Lazarus' by that Welfare Messiah, Dungcan-Smith, telling them to pick up their beds and walk or lose what ever disabled benefit they may have left which they will anyway because if they can walk they can not be disabled, as for the mentally ill - just leave them to wallow as they will reduce their own numbers via murder or suicide
  • According to Mr Cameron the Tories are a one nation caring party though which nation and who they care about is unclear
  • SNP baad (you can not mention this enough, apparently)
  • The SNP are such baad people that their vote share in Scotland is up to 60% for the constituency vote, according to an opinion poll on Holyrood voting intentions for May 2016, and over 110,000 folk are now members of this horrid Jockanese, Nazi like party
  • The Daily Heil says Mr Salmond eats babies and Ms Sturgeon is the supplier because she hates babies which is why she has not got any, is not a real woman and suffers from a 'hysterical womb' which makes her a dangerous woman and her husband should take her firmly in hand (Daily Heil for giving her a good spanking and some rough sex)
  • Nuclear contamination from Trident missiles going on fire is good for you, as long as you are Scottish and not from Plymouth where nuclear contamination is far too dangerous for the folk of Devon to put up with.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

How now Brown's Vow - update...

My local Tory MSP, the one who was pushing moves to a more federal UK Union in my local newspaper last week, has announced he will not be standing for re-election in May 2016.

I wonder if this is just co-incidence or maybe one weel kent and highly regarded Scottish Conservative and Unionist (he was presiding officer for a while), an old fashioned one nation Tory to boot, has had enough of the stupidity of his bosses in the party's London HQ with regards Holyrood, the Vow and the Smith Report. 

I understand he does not have much time for Ms Davidson who he is rumoured to consider a political 'light weight' run from London. In essence the suggestion is the Scottish Tories are in the same boat as 'Scotch' Labour - merely a branch office who have to do what they are telt.

Wonder how many other Conservative MSPs will be leaving Holyrood to spend more time with their families ...

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

How now Brown's Vow?

Fluffy Mundell says 'No' to FFA so that is it according to Westminster and its tame UK media machine, 'No means, No! You stupid sweaty jocks because I say so.' This being from a politician who held onto his seat by less than 800 votes and is Scotland's only elected Tory. Labour's sole Scottish representative abstains and the amendment to ensure Brown's Vow is met is thrown into the long grass with barely a mention from a UK media more interested in Kay Burley's latest load of old bollocks than a vote which will end the Union far sooner than most of us can predict.

You know this is a disaster for the Union when even Jim Murphy calls Tory policy on Scotland suicidal, leading to the end of the Union with increasing certainty. In my local paper the Tory constituency MSP is talking about the need for a federal solution to keep the UK intact. I wonder how he is feeling a week later, now he knows Mundell has probably written his death warrant for May 2016's Holyrood elections by rejecting the fundamental basis for Scotland to control its taxation and spending as part of a federal system.

A quick survey of my Facebook feed on this issue demonstrates a lot of Scottish anger and calls for Scotland to declare UDI, walk away from this benighted Union and take the consequences, what ever they might be, because they can be no worse than the continuing siphoning of Scotland's wealth into London and the SE of England's ever greedier maw.

The irony is not lost on me that all the Daily Heil and Torygraph writers whining on Scotland becoming a one party state, the Nazi jibes and all the rest of their ignorant and bigoted diatribes are failing to comprehend the self same jibes are exactly what is driving the SNP vote share ever upwards in Scotland. Mone the moan does not represent the thinking in Scotland over the future of the Union anymore than Fluffy Mundell's attempts at being Scotland's Viceroy and stopping the SNP do. The Bain principle is Westminster's Achilles heel, yet still they thole to it at every turn - SNP bad ... must stop the SNP!

I wonder how the 15% of Scots who say they want a new federal arrangement in the Union but voted 'No' last September are justifying their vote to themselves, as Westminster rejects their core desire for a new Union of federated nation states, a desire which has been unceremoniously binned by a party with one MP and 14% of the vote in Scotland. In any analysis of political power this truly represents a democratic deficit of staggering proportions.

In the meantime Labour should hang their heads in shame, too scared to admit they are as good as a rump party in Scotland with no new ideas, policies or stomach to meet the Scottish electorates' wish for a different UK settlement, as their abstention on the SNP amendment demonstrates.

How much longer can the STUC justify spending their members money supporting Labour's 'Scotch' branch which no longer represents the self same membership's wishes for Scotland?

How long can the big UK Unions prevent their Scottish branches breaking away to become autonomous Scottish Unions, in the light of Labour's failure in Scotland and the growth of the SNP's Trade Union Branch?

By May 2016 the SNP may well have a popular mandate to take Scotland out of the Union, without the need of a second referendum and Ms Sturgeon's wish to have such a referendum to give the SNP legitimacy will have been by-passed by history as the people of Scotland's, paramount, considered will on this issue is made very clear.

Mundell's arrogant 'No' has set rolling a political snowball which will inevitably grow in size, mass, speed and have more than enough political energy to remove Scotland from the Union, it is just he and Cameron have not realised this yet.

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Chronic Pain

I have run out of my pretty powerful pain killers and now have to wait until tomorrow to get a prescription from the doctor for enough to tide me over to my next bulk supply in three weeks time. What not having pain control does do is remind you, just how painful life is for you on a day to day basis as a muscle cramps here or a nerve ganglion there runs the whole gamut from pins and needles to suggesting you have just trapped your hand in a door and kept trying to slam the door closed, even though your hand is still there. All the while the base beat line of chronic pain belts away, not really heard but you can feel it all the same.

I have never been in poverty, the real living in B&B's, food parcel level of poverty. The poverty which reduces the next generation of a family to the 'Why give a fuck, just take what you can whether it is yours or not' levels of thinking which inhabit the subterranean levels of the triangle of human needs below where heat, food and shelter lie. Not exactly criminal in intent but an anti-social hinterland where choice and opportunity never reach. 

I do not understand 'poverty' because I have no experience of it but I do understand chronic pain and I perceive a similarity in how it drags people down to levels they never thought they could descend to as they seek to escape the sense of being trapped and not in control of your life. The sense of powerlessness, the useless aggression and the meaningless platitudes people who think they are helping and being supportive offer. In the case of poverty these platitudes are thrown around by politicians and their tame newspaper editors whose hard luck story comes down to having to live on beans on toast for a couple of weeks when their grant money ran out or had pissed it up against the wall in the Students Union, more like.

Tomorrow I will get my prescription. Thanks to the SNP I will go to the chemist and not have to find £8.90p to retrieve it. Within an hour or so of taking my prescribed maximum dose my acute pains will subside and the volume of the driving chronic pain base beat will be turned back down to something more neighbourly. Over the following 24 hours I will climb back out of my current pool of despond and be able to function as a reasonable human being impersonator once more.

Tomorrow, those without food, heat or a roof over their own heads, those who each dwell in their own pool of poverty, who feel powerless as they rely on food banks to feed them and their children will have no such turn around. There is no prescription available from the UK Government to alleviate the crushing sense of lack of worth, respect and the desperation they feel because the failed treatment of the austerity prescription imposed on them gives them no hope of relief of their symptoms, their sense of failure and the dead, Tory base beat of you have brought this on yourselves, so ya boo sucks.

In this I sense no difference between me with my chronic pain and those at the bottom of the social poverty pile except I will get help to improve my situation and they will not. I think it was one of the great 19th Century Quaker philanthropists, possibly Joseph Rowantree, who stated poverty is a condition which must be alleviated for the good of all in society because poverty damages and blights all of society. I would usually look that up and check but today I just do not have the energy - I just imagine what everyday being like today was for me, will do to a person.

We Scots asked the British Establishment nicely in 1998, we scared them witless in 2015 and I do not think it will be long before Cameron get's all his worst nightmares at once - the UK out of Europe and the UK Union cintered into lots of pieces as a result. 2016 could well become the year the Tories killed the UK Parliamentary Union with their EU squabbling, greed and self interest, leaving them with an England split between the London city state and the rest of its people.

There is a stirring in England which the BBC and other London media are trying to pretend is not happening by ignoring the protests unless they can be shown to be violent and aggressive. The more Cameron and his Tories pretend it is not happening, the more likely English cities are going to explode in violence, this has happened on numerous occasions before but this time the divisions are far larger and the anger deeper. The police in England may well struggle to keep this explosion of anti-Tory hate under control and more likely not put their men and women in harms way for a government which is treating them as just another 'commodity' to be bought and sold to their capitalist pals with no real thought to the impact on the police or the population they claim to serve.

This is why a Westminster Parliament, held in the thrall of neo-liberal austerity, needs to be challenged at every turn and why, I for one, will hope to see this insidious and evil austerity thrall broken or Scotland leaves the UK Parliamentary Union before 2020 and the worst of the violence across England comes home to roost.

Maybe it is just the pain speaking in my dystopian prediction, time will tell.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Plenty of Nothing

So Cameron thinks the Tory's 'Scotch Bill' is the bees knees or at least that is what he has told Fluffy Mundell to tell us. It is going to be the most amazingest and super duper devolution settlement in the whole wide world that will leave even the most devolutionist country in the whole wide world green with envy - it is going to be that amazing with sprinkles on top.

We Scots should be salivating at the thought of all these new powers that kind Mr Cameron's Tories are about to bless us sweaty, should all be sold into slavery, ungrateful, Jockanese twerps but there is a wee problem these super duper, lovely jubby powers and that is they come with out the fiscal control to do squat diddly with them.

Having read the much watered down Smith Commission proposals which Alistair 'pants on fire' Carmichael tried to flog us as fulfilling the infamous 'Broon Vow' (which should be the title a boring opera by Wagner) and compared them with the actual Smith recommendations which were similar to another tendentious musical overture 'Also sprach Smith's truths, sah', you could sense some similarity of theme, in the way of comparing Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with anything by Lady Gaga, in that they both contain musical notes though not necessarily played in the same order or key or time.

What the Tories have done is take Alistair 'Pants on Fire' Carmichael's Eurovision tune to vow us, turned the score upside down and then had it transcribed by Alton Berg into an atonal, twelve note fugue for nose flute. As an encore they then have had Fluffy Mundell play it 'au Petomaine' and unsurprisingly it has ended up as a complete load of old arse.

It is sad to disillusion 'Wee Eck' but it does appear Cameron's Tories do think us Jockanese, subsidy junkies zip up the back of our heads as they try to re-run Cromwell's Battle of Dunbar by aiming to reduce the Scots to abject destruction, desolation and a return to what is in effect a form of slavery to the benighted UK Union. A sort of reverse 'Braveheart' moment, 'We will take all your tax income and you can live in poverty'.

Cameron is relying on Labour's hatred of the SNP, their current leaderless and rudderless ship to ensure the Tories can simply do what they want and call it a 'good settlement' for the Scotch, as they expect  Labour to either vote with them or abstain. Given Labour's track record up to now it looks a pretty safe bet this is exactly what they will do. 

There is clearly little thought being given by either of the Unionist Parties of the impact of the failure to meet even the minimum Smith recommended on the Scottish electorate and it comes to something when even the Daily Record has now come down off the Labourtory fence and, in effect, said, "Hud oan a wee minute, pal, this is no e'en close tae whit you telt us tae print anent yon Vow, ye scunners, an' here ir we ta'en a richt guid kickin' tae oor circulation an' oor pey envelope, forbye, an ir noo left lookin lik richt skelly eedjits. Oor papir is headin doon the kundy alang we aa the rest o' the shite an youse hae pu'd the flush."

Cameron may be offering us Scotch 'Plenty of Nothing' but unlike the song from 'Porgy and Bess - nothing ain't plenty for me'.

Friday, 5 June 2015

Quhit ae guddle?

Dinnae git me wrang, am no decryin thit a high heid screiver o' Scottis a clamjamwhamfrey o an idea, ken, bit quhit speil o Scottis is tae be the wan oor Estaites tak up tae tell o their thochts an doins?

Nae matter quhit dialec thon Estaites tak up as 'proper Scottis' maist fowk'll tak tae girnin' abit wha's wrang  an hoo it shud hae been Glasgae an na Lallands ir Doric. Thon' ll be a sair fecht wi aabodies snebs oot o kilter lik a quine left behint at thon altar. Sae quhits tae be done?

I had a thocht about thon an eftair delvin in the auld scrievins o the Estaites maybees we wid hae to tak the Latin fir the wurks o the fowk thir. Sae a pit tae min an hae'd a squint at quhit thon id look lik. Tak a sec an ponder quhit and hoo ye wid pit the thochts o' those fowk speirin tae tak wurds doon wi yer keelyvine as ane o the Estaites recorders. Noo am frae Fife sae ye'll be forgivin me for screivin Lallands ma wey.

Sae in ma Scottis a jottin doon o the Estaites business cud be:

"Thon member frae Pitbauchlie taks the flair tae gie a shoogle tae the Government an thon Estaites anent Cameron's plans tae send Alba doon the big syver intae thon Thames alang wi aa thon ither shite, wi his likspittle plans tae hud oan tae mair o Alba's goud fir hisel an Lunnon."

In the oudest wheen o days that wid be precised an scrieved in Latin by the priests is:

"Ecce Alba! Camermoronus Scotorum clocoa maxima con excrementorum ab Thamius
expediamus ." ir sic lik. 

Noo takin thon Latin dis hae its advantages fir sure bit the screivers at oor gallus Estaites hav nae the Latin these days an it wid nae be much use tae us plebs wha cannae read oor ane tongue, lit alan Latin, cus it has'nae been screived fir years as we've aa been telt tae speil an speir the 'Quines Englis', is the Gaelic ir Scottis has bin lang helt the language o thon skelly fowk wi nae brains an short a few slices aff a fu loaf an aa.

Wi fowk fu aa the Bruse an his ilk jist noo we cud tak a lead frae his Estatites o 1328 bit thin we hae tae still tak a common speil tae scrieve quiht wis gangin oan as the Church Estaite wis intae Latin, thon belted lairds wid be posh speilin in French whilst the guid burghers wid be talkin ten tae the douzen in Scottis ir Gaelic. Noo thon Bruse wis a cannyman and cud speil in aa these toungues, wi ilka o the Greek an aa, bit they aa decided wan tounge fir aa the scrievin o the Estaites doins and blethers.

Sae help ma boab, aa am hopin sense will gree an, tho it maks me siccar tae tell, maks a choice tae use the 'Quines Englis' is thit'll stop a load of bickers and stramash abit quhit wey o Scottis shud the Estaites mak the use o. Am no sayin na tae hae a Gaelic ir a Scottis translation bit wi hae tae tak a burthen o common sense an sic lik afore it aa gangs a gley an aa coups intae tears.

Ah ken Scottis wis the wey aa ancient bards sic as Dunbar speilled tae tell tae us oor past. Thit Burns has ta'en tae the Wurld as Alba's voice an Muir wurked tae stap frae dein oot in the saxties. It is a fine tounge tae thirl tae, fu o onomatopoeia (wurds which mak the sound o quiht they ir) an reeking rich in aa the colours aa a rainbow, there's nae wurd in 'Quines Englis' that maks ye ken the weather better thin 'dreich' ir describes a wee path lik 'snicket' ir soaks ye tae chill tae yer bains lik 'Haar'. Lallands is an affy braw toungue an deservin o a place in oor skuils, aifter aa e'en the posh fowk o Morningside or Mulingavie mak use o' it tho they dinnae ken they dae ir pretend they dinnae.

Sae dinnae git me wrang, am aa fir Scottis as it is aa aboot me aa day, jist maybees na whin it comes tae screivin the doins aa the Estaites.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

A good man...

So bye bye Charles Kennedy, much loved by those who knew him well, much respected by those whose only connection with him was his media exploits and his close alignment with social democratic politics.

To those, like myself, who met him and listened to him hold forth at Libdem conferences in the late 1980's and early 90's he was a breath of fresh air, funny and self effacing unlike some of the more 'serious' politicians who he often sent up over a beer or two.  The usual kill joy chunterers that trammel their way across any organisation 'hurrumphed' about his appearances on 'Have I got News for You' and similar television and radio programs as not being how 'proper politicians' should conduct themselves by 'making light' of important issues and, the ultimate sin, 'laughing at themselves and their party'.

I note that Alex Salmond is under attack for suggesting Mr Kennedy was less than happy with the 'Better Together' campaign's approach but to a man whom was a committed UK federalist, Mr Kennedy's less than ringing endorsement of the campaign for the status quo is unsurprising. At some point in the future we may discover Charles Kennedy was badgering Clegg to get a 'devo-max' option on the ballot for September 2014. I would be very surprised if he did not.

According to Alistair Campbell, Mr Kennedy was talking half seriously about creating a new left of centre party to counter act Westminster's continuing right wing drift by looking to have informal discussions with members of the social democrat wing of Labour to create a way forward for this 'proto' party over the next year. Not, I would suggest, the actions of a man who had given up on life after losing his seat to the SNP in the General Election but just the sort of action of a man thoroughly disillusioned with what the Parliament at Westminster has become, holding true to his social democratic beliefs as, like Jimmy Reid before him discovered, his party had left him in its rush for ministerial limousines, red boxes and the associated 'perks'.

The mark of the man is he did not back stab the Libdem Party with 'off the record' briefings or 'insider leaks', so beloved of Labour's apparatchiks, but held his 'wheesht', no matter how much he disagreed with being Conservative lobby fodder or Clegg's ineffectual coalition with Cameron. How sad must he have been to see the party he lead to its best results in half a century in 2005 reduced by Clegg's mishandling to a state not seen since the barren days of Jeremy Thorpe, able to get all its MPs and MSPs in two taxis. Not much of a reward for staying loyal to a party he believed in and must have hoped would find its heart and soul once released from Cameron's clammy grip on its throat. Clegg 'triangulated' - Kennedy must have been distraught at the failure to create a clear difference between the Libdems and the other two parties offerings, wondering if his personal vote would carry him through because Clegg's Libdem manifesto offering had left him with little other hope.

A sad end for a singular man and a loss for all of us interested in Scottish politics, whether we agreed with him or not.