Saturday, 17 November 2012

Politicians live on Pluto ...

I know Pluto is not a real planet in modern astronomical parlance but just maybe that can also be said of Westminster - it is not a real democracy. Yet two negatives create a positive and therefore can assumed to be real (yes; I know. Its that maths / physics thing again) so in terms of having a real existence the most logical place for the Westminster Parliament is on Pluto. The even more interesting out come of this logical train of mathematical logic is: Westminster being a plutocracy, where better for it to be than to be on Pluto (With me so far? Good ).

The problem is the word plutocracy is derived from the ancient god of underground wealth Plutus, who protected wealthy mine owners from disaster in Roman times, rather than Pluto(n), the older Greek version, who looked after those who descended into the afterlife. It is interesting to note that no one knows which 'god' the Roman slaves in the mines prayed to as they were worked to death in around eighteen months, on average; most probably their prayer was just a general 'Oh any god, get me out of here'. In turn this rather puts in place Nadinne Norris' entry in to the Australian underworld where, sadly, she will come out of there but hopefully to a P45 from her electorate - one can but dream. I digress.

We can be sure that Westminster is a plutocracy as 78% of our our 'democratically' elected Westminster MPs are in fact millionaires, according to a recent survey. Thus Westminster is in fact ruled by the wealthy and so meets the definition of being a plutocracy - quite neatly. Now if Westminster was on the most massive dwarf planet in our Solar system we could to all extents and purposes ignore it given it not being a real democracy and it being on not a real planet. A Plutonic Westminster,  given how long it takes wireless signals to reach Pluto, would have some sort of excuse for being behind the times. Unfortunately the real Westminster has no such excuse, it is just simply out of touch with reality.

This still leaves the majority of folk under the thrall of Westminster stuck in a debt underworld, leaving us digging away like Roman slaves so the plutocrats can have their wealth and eat it while we, the slaves, are ground down into insensibility and get to the point, as victims often do, of blaming ourselves for our own fate and condition. Thus we have Plutus for the parliamentarians and their banker pals - lining their pockets at our expense - whilst we plebs are stuck with Pluto - unremitting gloom, despair and no future of anything better - we are the electoral undead.

So what is the moral of this Greeko-Roman tragedy?

There can be no platonic relationship with this pusilaneous, Plutonic Parliament ... someone just get me out of here.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Neimoller's Law of Diminishing Freedoms

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a minister in the Lutheran Church in the late 1920's and 1930's. Within two days of Hitler's rise to the Chancellorship in 1933 he made a speech warning the Germans were not electing a 'fuher' but a 'verfuher' (a mis-leader). Along with Martin Neimoller he set out to oppose the Nazification of the German Church by non-violent means having been inspired by the success of Ghandi in India. He failed as the German Church did little to support his and Neimoller's campaign of civil disobedience. Eventually Bonhoeffer was implicated in an Abwher plot to rid Germany of Hitler and sent to the Flossenburg concentration camp in 1943. He was hanged just 45 days before the end of the war in Europe.

His good friend Martin Neimoller survived, having been imprisoned in 1937 for activities against the state, but unlike Bonhoeffer survived Dachau Concentration Camp. Neimoller wrote these damning lines about himself and his fellow Germans and their slavish following of or blind eye turning to the activities of the Nazis. Neimoller admitted to have, at first, trusted Hitler having been promised by Hiltler, personally, that there would be no pogroms against the Jews in Germany. His Conservative tendencies lead him towards tacit support of  the right wing policies of the Nazis against which he only slowly turned during the 1930's as the discrepancies between what Hitler said and did, became ever greater. He later said, "I am paying for that mistake now; and not me alone, but thousands of other persons like me." It is in this context his famous poem should be read:
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

In the UK we are looking at a Government and political system at Westminster whose policies and activities are increasingly, to many, equally as abhorent as those of the Nazis:

               We may not have concentration camps:
               We have 'sink estates' where the undesirables are all put. 
               We may not have selective euthanasia: 
               We are seeing the defacto 'criminalisation' of the disabled,
               sick and mentally ill.
               We may not have a police state:
               We do see cover ups of fraud and child abuse at the highest levels.
               We stay silent and shake our heads in dismay:
               We do not take action and so democracy dies.

Whether you are a Bonhoeffer who sees what is happening or a Neimoller who is slowly starting to turn against the neo-liberal policies of those running this country, may I suggest the time to pretend this is not happening has long gone. It is time for us all to find our inner Ganhdi and take on this out of control Westminster behemoth by peaceful means - stopping paying the BBC License Fee would be a start, taking our country back from those who abuse our democracy, our rights and freedoms, in our name would be even better.

Monday, 12 November 2012

The Burden of Rememberance ...

Phew, another year and another 'Rememberance' month negotiated. Not negotiated as well as I had hoped but I am still here. My problem is not the 'remembering' part - that has a daily basis - but not letting it get to me. For most of the year this is not hard to do but as soon as the 'Poppy collecting' starts then the media of all shapes becomes engrossed in the whole process, usually focussing on the First War which is now virtually historical in its context. People, like me, in their late 50's may well have had Granddad's who saw action between 1914 and 18 who had their medals stashed away in a shoe box, as a means of hiding their experiences away. It was only after their death you began to get the slightest idea of what they had done.

For them, and an extent my own father's generation from the Great War 'part two' (as he called it), there was just the day, there was no four week media fest of misrepresentation and down right ignorance to drag the month down and rub at psychological wounds. There was no politicisation of the 'Poppy' its fundamental purpose was to raise money for the Haig Fund in Scotland and Royal British Legion in England and Wales. The funding was then used to help servicemen, their families, veterans and their dependents in time of need.

For me, Rememberance Day is linked to mental breakdowns and a descent into the abyss of self harm and suicide. As the media cranks up its pathos and stories of heroics my psyche descends into recrimination, guilt and self hate - I doubt I am alone amongst those who have seen active service feeling like this. Some one out of every three who have seen 'active service' or its aftermath will have to live with the impact of Combat Stress to a greater or lesser extent. I have stood on the edge of plunging into that abyss on two occasions - both directly as the outcome of the lead up to Rememberance Day, the most recent in November 2009.

This year, as the usual misinformed rubbish about the UK Military, past and present, was bandied about, the usual sense of anger and frustration slowly came to the boil with in me. It did not matter whether it was the sanctimonious hypocrisy of a Cameron or the ill informed bleating of peacenicks the impact is the same - people please shut up because you do not know what you are talking about, you have not been there, folk who have, have and fundamentally they would prefer not to talk about it in public where their voice can be twisted to suit which ever public spin, pro or anti war, is required. Take it from me -  I doubt there is any one in the military who has seen active service would wish to be there again. Bullets only fly when politicians screw up, the politicians you all elect by default with either a cross or an abstention at the ballot.

As long as the UK electorate continues to go along with a party political system in which a minority government (in terms of vote share) is in fact a dictatorship in action, which can ignore the wishes of the House of Commons, this is not going to change.

You want to put an end to UK Military Adventures? 

First you will have to put an end to the Westminster system of Government but please stop using the deaths, wounds and disablements of the UK Military to hide behind, as represented by the Poppy Collection and the 11th of November, in your own cowardice - they were just doing the job your elected representatives told them to do on your behalf whether you are a war monger or a peacenick.

Until then "j' accuse" all sides of veteran's abuse for political ends.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

What Does Important mean?

Obama now has a further term in the Whitehouse - for good or bad dependening whether you think everyone should be able to access basic health care in the USA or you are Donald Trump railing at the fact even his billions could not buy Mittens the Presidency and calling for revolution against the undemocratic electoral college system used in the presidential election. Donald, like bullies everywhere, does not do irony.

The BBC spent a small fortune shifting Dimbleby clones across to Washington for the event because of the 'importance' of this election. The question is important to who? The pointy heads in the Tories and New Labour probably thought it 'important' and clearly the scourge of the ill health shysters, Ian Duncan Smith, thought it 'important'. So 'important' did he think this election was, he chided the UK as a country for our instinctive dislike of Mitt Romney's apparent message of: "Its OK to shaft the poor, they do not count for much." Maybe what Ian Duncan Smith really did not like is the increasing awareness that his DWP and ATOS are now out Mitt Romneying, Mitt Romney in the untrammled swathe of destruction for families across the UK which his continuation of a New Labour policy on incapacity benefit is now creating - but I digress.

I ponder at how much the BBC's coverage of the Presidential Race has cost those who still pay their license fee. For a start 6 hours of live airtime / sattelite from the US can not be that cheap, throw in the silly money the Dimbleby clones will be paid, plus travel, plus accomodation, studio time and all the rest and you come up with a program cost of in excess of £1 million - no doubt the guest 'experts' also had their palms greased with an appropriate fee, in the land of the free where everything is charged for. This from a BBC that has already decided the Scottish Referendum is not important enough to cover, neither are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. So it is important to throw money at a big jamboree in the USA but not to the potentially constitutional break up of the Union and the BBC itself. I am probably not alone in wondering what and how the BBC define 'important'.

The more we hear about Westminster's approach to the independence referendum and its potential consequences the more you are left with a sense that it is a head in the sand methodology based on the premise if Westminster ignores Scotland's pretendy referendum it will just go away. The Westminster parties' pointy heads and their politicians have fallen for their own line of Scotland being too wee, too poor, too stupid to ever to vote 'Yes' to breaking up the Union. As part of this process, just like their propaganda arm the BBC, they think by reducing their financial provision in Scotland they will show us who is boss and cow us into submission. The BBC takes financing away from BBC Scotland while Westminster does it by cutting the Scottish budget by 3% per annum in real terms and introducing further cuts via the backdoor of Barnet consequentials. The message is: This is what happens when you Scots get uppitty - we take back your pocket money. Somehow these Westminster politicians and their wonks believe this is the way to 'save the Union' by making an already disgruntled section of the UK electorate even more disgruntled. Where is the logic in a campaign that is, in effect, saying: 

Stay in the Union and get even less of your Scottish taxes, than you do at present, in return?

But we will still refer to you as 'subsidy junkies'. Yet even the New Statesman is struggling to accept the subsidy junky Scotland line, in a piece on the 6th of November James Maxwell wrote:  

"But why should Unionists let the economic facts ruin the image they have built up of Scotland as a nation of selfish, indulged welfare "mendicants"?The subsidy myth is too politically useful to be simply abandoned. Of course, if they ever do come to terms with the reality that Scotland could survive on its own - and even prosper - it will probably be too late anyway."

 This week has seen New Labour's Scottish peons in even greater straights as Lamont has been forced into accepting the London line on everything from Trident to privatising the NHS (which begs the question just what does Jim Murphy mean by 'autonomous leader with their own policies'). Every Thursday Lamont comes forth with more unsubstantial bilge prepared for her by London focussing on personal attacks on 'Wee Eck'. Gordon Brown asks his 20 questions - no where near any parliament, he is above that - all of which were answered by Professor Gavin McCrone in his 1974 secret report, including the line, ' independent Scotland will be cash rich and have a hard currency.' Clearly Gordon can not be bothered to read the economic report that has predicated the 'Scottish Subsidy Junky' cover up for all these years. Apparently Scotland was more than paying its way all through the 1960's, according to news paper reports of the era covering the Church of Scotland's concerns about the excess money being taken south, out of the Scottish economy, never to be seen in Scotland again.

In Westminster we saw the biggest Unionist gaff of the week when the 'set piece' debate on Scotland's place in the EU never happened. It appeared the Scottish Region Labour MP who was to lead the debate was late / didn't get her speech printed / was ill / hung over / pulled by New Labour at the last minute - so the great defining debate that was going to put those uppity Scots in their place on the EU never happened. It could not have been because of the circulation of a House of Commons paper, on the internet, concerning the status of Scotland and Scots in the EU that explained there was no EU process in place to expel, from the EU, people who were aleady EU citizens, as a direct result of the Maastricht Treaty which rendered the purpose of the debate, to embarrass the SNP, null and void. 

No, that would be just too cynical ..... but actually not that surprising. When looking for 'subsidy junkies' maybe ATOS should start on the MP's, as the Dennis McShane case is once again exemplifying, and I wonder just how many of the MP's would be fit for 'other work' rather than relying on hand outs from the taxpayers.. subsidised food, drink, travel ..... add your own as you think of more examples for yourself.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Conserving Independence Momentum - the physics

Energy equals half the mass multiplied by the square of the velocity of any given body - so says the universal law on momentum, with the previso the object is in a vacuum and is not hit or effected by any other object.

If the energy in this momentum equation is the energy required to achieve a 'Yes' vote in 2014 then velocity becomes political leadership and mass becomes the electorate.

What pure physics tells us is that nothing actually happens in a vacuum of the sort the Newtonian physics of momentum requires because of stuff like gravitational pull, friction and collisions are constantly impacting on momentum in the real world. What pure physics (quantum mechanics and its fellow travellers) has established, and where Newton was spot on, is that Energy is always conserved.

So what has this got to do with the independence debate?

Like Newtonian phsyics many of us would prefer the independence referendum and debate to take place in a vacuum with no other disturbances as it would make things so much easier to predict, linear with less chance of external events interfering with the momentum and taking energy out of it. One example would be the impact on the Newtonian momentum of independence the recent MSP defection over the SNP stance on NATO has caused and the energy lost through the impact on the mass by naval gazers. Some worry about the impact on velocity (leadership) this stramash has caused while working within this linear construct the Bitter Together campaign seeks to remove all the leadership velocity it can by attacking what it sees as the leadership of  the independence movement - Alex Salmond (aka Wee Eck).

The problem with the 'Bitter Together' approach is it fails to address the problems to the Newtonian  relationship on momentum caused by quantum mechanics view of velocity. This states velocity can be expressed in many different forms depending on the external forces acting on it. In effect by the 'Bitter Together' camp solely attacking the Wee Eck velocity vector (WEv) they are ignoring all the other vectors that make up the overall leadership velocity component of the Independence Momentum (IE) which we can call Vmax (Vmax) and is made up of multiple velocities for example:

Blair Jenkins(BJv),
Dennis Cavanagh (DCv),
Nicola Sturgeon, (NSv)

and the others like:

John Grogan (JGv),
STUC for Independence (STUCv),
the Greens (Gv),
the SSP (SSPv)
and non aligned others (Xv)

and still in the closet:

Libdems and Conservatives (CLCv).

It is clear that Vmax is the sum of many different velocity (leadership) vectors all adding together to drive the independence velocity vector (Vmax) in one direction.

What the mathematics of vectors also makes clear that unless the opposing vector is acting straight against WEv then its impact is dissappated by the angle of attack and the amount of opposing velocity applied. As Bitter Together's velocity (BTv) acts on fairly oblique angle with little real velocity the impact on WEv is small in any case and the impact on Vmax is negligible. It appears mathematically that: 

As Vmax >> WEv >> BTv : means Vmax - (BTv-WEv) = Vmax; 

Thus it could be argued that even when (BTv - WEv) is close to zero there is no actual impact of the Bitter Together campaign in terms of the overall leadership velocity Vmax.

So we can consider Vmax is a constant for the purposes of the independence argument.

The problem with the electoral mass for independence is it is currently a variable of between 37% and 51% of the available electoral mass depending on how it is measured, with a mean of 44.5%.

Using these outer parameters for electoral mass as the first deviation limit (+1) in the electoral Bell Curve relating to independence. We can then apply the laws of mathematical probablilty to this problem and calculate the tipping point when independence electoral mass becomes critical. This value works out at 40% of group mass in statistical work carried out on random groups and their acceptance of change that ensures change occurs.

So if the electoral mass is greater than 40% for independence and Vmax remains a constant then there will be sufficient momentum to reach independence when:

 IE =  M>40%/2.Vmax squared.

In other words folks if each of us changes one 'mibee's aye; mibees naw' to a yes or one No to a Yes then independence is inevitable because you cannae whack quantum mechanics.