Friday, 26 October 2012

Why there can be no 'Reasoned' debate on the referendum

 If you read the London based print or listened to the broadcast media and replaced the word Scots with Afro-Carribean  you could watch the 'usual' PC police coming out in a rash complaining of racism. Have a look at the racist comments about Scots prevelant in the Guardian - the blatant ignorance and racism of posters of London and the SE is an eye opener.

Just because Scots have been viewed by the SE of England like this since Samuel Johnson's day does not make it right - "A Scotchman on the make", the Punch cartoons of Victorian Times about Scottish meanness and slyness, the miserable Scot, the drunken Scot - the memes in the English thought on who Scots are continue on to this day. It is seen in the London media's descriptions of  Alex Salmond, whose party secured an out right mandate in a system that is supposed to make this impossible, who had 45% of the active vote in 2011 - yet still many English journalists and posters have shown little respect for the wishes of the people of Scotland.

By voting for the SNP majority at Holyrood we are deemed stupid, silly, vengeful, niave, destructive, selfish by posters in any SE media blog on the subject of independence. We, the Scots electorate, are treated as if we are little children. Yet it is the English electorate who should be worrying, who fail to recognise the City of London economy will either fly apart in an economic supernova or consume the English economy like a red dwarf when the debt bubble it relies on runs out of steam, once and for all. 2008 should be seen as a warning to the English economy of the risk of putting everything in one economic basket and a need to rebalance but the mistakes made then are just being repeated all over again.

The people of Scotland see a very different economic model based on a balanced economy which will sustain our historical sense of social kinship, embedded in the Scottish way for over 1,000 years, reflected in our 20th century socialism and seeing a rebirth in our 21st century social democracy. Ignorance on either side is generating the inate anger but the refusal of the media, especially in the SE of England, to respect Scotland needs to do things differently, is a major driver of the growing anger in Scotland.

By the way which Scottish police force has been asked to investigate Eck for a racist comment and do you think they will give much thought to it as it is clearly a vexatious claim?

Have you never read 'Lord Snooty' in the Beano / Dandy?

So that will be DC Thomson's in the prosecution box in Scotland as well ..... donors to the Tory party in Scotland ... nice one the Tory who thought this one up. There are a number of UK cartoonists that will have to be prosecuted as well who portray Cameron as Little Lord Fauntelroy ....

What this really shows is just how pathetic the anti-Scotland brigade are getting, how fearful they are and how empty their arguments for their SE England dominated Union are.

Panicing already with nearly two years to go .... I ask you.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Integrity - what's it useful for - nothing! Think again...

There is something bothering me over the politics concerning the Scottish withdrawal from the Union Treaty and it is the perceived and actual lack of any reasoned debate. What passes for debate is more related to gangs in the primary school playground and the 'My Dad's bigger than your Dad' megaphone ranting.  This is routinely followed by the 'Oh yes he is: Oh no he's not.' political pantomime performance on 'prestigious' media programs which are deemed 'prestigious' by the makers of the programs and the political pantomime performers themselves. Yet according to other self appointed judges in the media circus which follows the political pantomime around it is true, these programs are 'prestigious'. Here, in a nutshell, is the fundamental problem with any debate and its follow up coverage; the lunatics are running the asylum. The result is a total disregard for the integrity of the information being placed in the public purview as the 'message' or 'being on message' is the yardstick by which political performance is measured by both the pantomime players and the media circus which follows it around. All political media and presentational output is heavily censored so we only hear what it is agreed we should hear - a situation which lacks any integrity at which ever level you care to look at it.

Is integrity important as it is so roundly abused?

To answer this question we need to remind ourselves just what the term 'integrity' is defined as meaning: 


  • the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles:  
    a gentleman of complete integrity
  • the state of being whole and undivided: 
    upholding territorial integrity and national sovereignty
  • the condition of being unified or sound in construction: 
    the structural integrity of the novel
  • internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data: 
      [as modifier]: integrity checking


late Middle English (in integrity (sense 2)): from French intégrité or Latin integritas, from integer 'intact' (see integer). Compare with entirety, integral, and integrate
Link to Oxford On Line Dictionary.

In terms of the political argument I am using integrity to exemplify the condition of being sound in construction. Yet as we are used to being forced fed a diet of half truths, distorions and misrepresentations from our politicians why should I get all upset about what I see as a lack of integrity surrounding the argument about withdrawal from the Treaty of Union and a return of a Scottish independent state and nation?

Surely the Scottish people deserve more than playground cat calling and hair pulling which is manifest at present because it is unrelated to how Scots view themselves as being fundamentally honest and moral people. The Scots as a people see themselves as having 'integrity, an integrity that is based on our inherent social democratic leanings, the idea and practice that we care for those around us in the community directly through voluntary work or indirectly through taxes and the widespread benefits they deliver from the NHS via care for our elderly, education all the way to the safety net that restricts the level of poverty amongst the worst off in our society.

This sense of 'integrity' with in the Scottish community of the realm is not a modern phenomenon. It has its base in Scottish social history and the operation of kinship / Clan that preceded the introduction of a more feudal society in the 12th Century which had little impact on the loyalty of kinship or Clan and the obligations associated with it. This sense of kinship only died in rural areas of Scotland as the land owners (the clan chiefs, the titled nobles and landed gentry of Scotland) became absentee landlords and left the running of the estates to factors who were expected to turn a profit. In Scotland's burghs the system of quasi 'kinship' of belonging to the burgh still operated with poor relief run by the guilds in concert with burgh councils and the church. benefactors would endow the creation and running of 'Hospital Schools' for the orphans of guild members or the children of members down on their luck. In Edinburgh two of the better known were George Heriot's Hospital and George Watson's Hospital.

This communal sense of  Scottish integrity was also powerful in the early days of the Scottish Trade Union movement and the Independent Labour Party it spawned, integrity was important to those taking part in the Govan rent strikes as it was sixty years later during the Upperclyde Shipbuilder's work in. Integrity is not a class issue in Scotland, it is not about the stiff upper lip (though Calvanism certainly helped promote the concept) and the creation of a leadership class, Scottish integrity is a state of being whole and undivided, a deep rooted sense of kinship - Here's tae us, wha's like us? Guy few an' thir aa deid! Integrity is important to Scots - it has a deep hold on our psyche and a sense of who we are. It is maybe why immigrants find Scotland welcoming; they like and are made to feel part of the Scottish 'kin'. A recent survey carried out on behalf of the Racial Discrimination Board highlighted that while in England most of immigrant stock defined themselves as British Indian, British Pakistani or British Afro-Carribean the same groups north of the border simply defined themsleves as being 'Scottish'. Things are still not completely rosy in the world of Scottish kinship, there remains the curse of the sectarian divide, based less on religion than we might think and more on the need to control others thought inferior or blacklegs and put them in their place. It was about the influx of Irish immigrants and their negative impact on wages that fueled this divide: a divide made worse by the Trade Unions demonisation of the immigrant Irish - their religious difference was by mere happen chance.

Integrity still matters. It has a big say in why the SNP have such sizable support at present. It is why Scottish people invest greater trust in Holyrood than Westminster it is increasingly why more and more Scots are turning against Westminster rule to seek autonomy at least and independence if there is no other option and it is at this point I return to the political playground cat calling which passes as reasoned debate and the associated media circus. The Scots are recognising the lack of integrity in both the political classes and the media. Newspapers that used to be the voice of the Scottish nation are in circulation freefall which has little to do with the internet and a lot to do with a product that is playing an old fashioned political game, still popular at Westminster, which Scots have grown tired of. The BBC, once a bastion for informed, balanced news and current affairs, has become a parody of itself in Scotland with a satirical spoof website often being confused for the real thing. They have lost the trust of the Scottish people, these media organisation in Scotland are not seen to have much, if any, integrity.

This lack of integrity is increasingly why the 'No' campaign is failing. There is little or no integrity in a campaign that tells Scots of all shapes and sizes we are 'scroungers' and 'benefit junkies' who are too poor, too wee and too stupid to run our own country when in the current economic conditions with one hand tied behind its back by Westminster the Scottish Government are performing better in sustaining Scotland's economy than Westminster is doing for the UK as a whole. Where is the integrity in a campaign that stays quiet about the £11,200 per head of UK Government subsidy to London and the SE and whines about the £9,400 per head Scotland gets of which only around 45% makes it across the Scottish border the rest is deducted at source to pay for Union benefits like Defence, Borders Agency or the Scottish Office (Wales is £9,300 and the English regions outside London and the SE is £9,200, Northern Ireland is a whopping £11,400 according to recent National Audit Office figures). Over the last 14 days we have seen these same messages of Scottish incompetence broadcast by both New Labour and the Conservative's Scottish regions with the cheery underpinning message of 'If you do not vote 'No', Scotland's doomed' (though less noise has been made of the other 'No' Campaign 'truth' - even if you vote 'No', Scotland's doomed).

The SNP are no plaster saints either. They are keeping quiet about the legal and constitutional fact that Westminster has neither the legal nor consitutional powers to offer Scotland Devo-max or Full Fiscal Autonomy as to do so fundamentally alters the Treaty of Union. Such a fundamental alteration to the Treaty of Union can only be made by the original signatories - the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England. The SNP have floated a devo-max carrot to fence sitting Scots to keep them happy, knowing it was a non-starter as a sovereign English Parliament would not see any advantage in creating a new confederal UK constitution as it would, at a stroke, end all the current constitutional shenanigan's hidden behind the claims of Westminster's 'unlimited sovereignty'. Why would the English wish to associate themselves with a bunch of 'Scottish subsidy junkies' in a clear case of Westminster propaganda, friendly fire. Even worse, an English neo-liberal government (either red or blue) that would be faced in a confederal union with a bunch of 'Scottish subsidy junkies' who, under FFA, could easily afford the welfare and healthcare system the current Westminster government claims is unaffordable for Scotland and England.

Yet where the SNP are strongest is when they are speaking with integrity whether on Scotland's reusable power or on the key contributions to the UK Treasury Scotland makes with around 40% of positive foreign exchange reliant on Scottish exports worldwide or the future of the Scottish Sector Oil and Gas fields and the potential development of untapped reserves.

To Scots, integrity still matters

Sunday, 7 October 2012

SNP-CND; What point are they making?

The SNP Policy on nuclear power and weapons has seen no change and as a result of the outcome of the debate on NATO will not be changed. SNP Policy, whether inside or outside NATO, is the removal of both nuclear weapons and nuclear power from Scotland. The SNP's policy is simple; Scotland is to be nuclear free just as quickly as possible. Wee Eck restated this as an unmoveable point of policy and principle for the SNP now and after independence when he spoke at Princes Street Gardens. The anti-nuclear stance is also a fundamental stance of individuals and parties signed up to the 'Yes' campaign.

The move to change the SNP Policy on NATO is whether a Scotland (free of nuclear weapons) should take its place in NATO on this singular and unmoveable condition - which is the same nuclear weapon free conditions as Norway and other Scandinavian NATO members hold currently and the Belgians, Dutch and Germans are pushing for.

The reality is that whether Scotland is inside or outside NATO its defence forces will still have to work and operate alongside NATO forces, as much of NATO's core defence purpose is in parallel to the needs of our nation. The future SDF will be NATO compatible in all major respects as it is in our best interests to be so - whether the SNP-CND group like this or not.

As the United Services Institute (a military think tank) have already pointed out; a nuclear free, independent Scotland means the end of any UK based strategic nuclear weapon system, as without access to Faslane and Coulport, Trident, its warheads and the related submarines have nowhere to go. This surely meets meets CND's primary aim for a nuclear weapon free Britain whether an independent Scotland joins NATO or not?

Membership of NATO is up there with membership of the EU as a tent pissing competition - is it better to be outside or inside the tent? 

This should be decided on the objectively evidenced benefit to the people of Scotland and not on the current emotional hagiography and misinformation by both sides inside the SNP which passes as informed  debate.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

One Angry Man

There are occasions in life when your best intentions get swept away and you give in and do something down right stupid. Yesterday my good intentions to ignore the Neo-Labour Conference from Manchester collapsed. I had promised myself I would give it a miss. I knew, as a member of a generation brought up on tales of Hardy, Maxton and McLean by both Grandfathers, it would probably just cause me huge upset and annoyance at a party they saw as a great hope for the underclass, the unseen and the unheard being revealed as a self serving, back patting bunch of 'me too' Tories.

The Manchester Conference took me back to the days of hiding behind the sofa when the Daleks came on. Here were a bunch of mechanical androids standing there, smiling, while spouting the political equivalent of 'We will exterminate' from a script written weeks before which faled in all respects to address any voter concerns. The rest of the Daleks in the audience woodenly returned the same cry - We will exterminate - which was all fine and dandy until you realised just what it was they were exterminating: the NHS, benefits, in fact the very welfare state they claim to champion.

Clearly the Neo-Labour Daleks had so frightened the media with threats of 'extermination' that the media could do little else than applaud the bravery of the Daleks for going against their founding principles or maybe the Daleks had put something in their tea, as clearly not one was able to raise the serious question - what the hell are you on about?

Yet, if you believe the media (noting my caveat they may have been intimidated or drugged), the Daleks are a benign power for good, we should vote for them to keep us safe from ... and that is where I lost it. The core message from the Neo-Labour Daleks appears to be; they do mass extermination better and in a kinder way than the real Daleks. My brain, jammed full of socialist ideas and idealism by my grandfather's just could not take anymore. A crushing anger came over me, the violence of my soul which I had long controlled with Buddhist style pacification could take no more, I wanted to wipe out every last Dalek before they wiped the last humans from Britain. My angry mind asked just where were the Brighton Hotel Bombers, the Guy Faukes, the Luddites or the Edinburgh rioters of yore when you really needed them.

This is what being part of the Union is about, being ruled by Daleks with no chance of rescue by Dr Who, Why or Whatever as they suck the Union dry for their own benefit. It made me so angry that it appears my fellow humans, by and large, think this is fair - so brainwashed have they become to Dalek excesses.

The only answer I could come up with, at first, was to wipe out their command centres in London but lacking a ten megatonne nuclear weapon to hand rather made that a bit pointless - then it came to me. Daleks do not thrive that well in Scotland, there are fewer here and maybe, just maybe humans in Scotland are not so brainwashed as those in England ..... and that remains my big hope ..... there is a way to rid Scotland of the Daleks once and for all.