Friday, 17 February 2012

A response to 'Losing Faith' in Labour

As an ex-Labour supporter who they lost by their the sequencial , twisted, self serving and inarcticulate goings on of Labour's Scottish Region - I empathise with the author.

Some told me I should stay and fight for my beliefs but it is as this author has stated as waste of effort. Labour in Scotland first got shot of members who asked awkward questions, then the got rid of constituency officers who asked the wrong questions and now they are getting rid of councillors because either they do not ask any questions or were asking embarassing questions. Now constituency candidate selection is run by London boot boys and girls sent in by Murphy and Alexander to ensure their pet poodles are put in place. Ian Gray was a disaster for Scottish Labour hiding in Subway from three pensioners and a Labour councillor but he is now looking like a towering intellect in comparison to Johann Lamont.

A few years ago I wrote my last piece for Labour List predicting that if Labour in Scotland did not change it was heading for disaster. In 2007 in the elections for the Scottish Parliament the vote held yet the SNP still outperformed them, I think that 2010 was a stop the Tories blip that Labour stupidly thought meant business as usual in Scotland, 2011 confirmed that suspicion and Lord Robertson is now looking a shade daft with his claim in 1999 that devolution would kill the SNP stone dead.

Labour's West of Scotland area is now in open civil war in Glasgow, as is South Lanarkshire. They managed to vote down their own budget for Stirling yesterday - Lamont has not yet addressed the accusation of bullying by a Glasgow Labour Councillor threatening to sack another's disabled son from his apprenticeship if she didn't do what he wanted.

The SNP are now firmly entrenched in the centre left of Scottish politics, we have a real left wing option in the Greens and the Scottish Socialist party (if they haven't split yet again) and on the right in Scotland there are the Liberals, Labour and the Tories - all of them indistinguishable in their lemming like rush for the neo-liberal, capitalist abyss.

I would suggest that Lord Robertson was prescient about devolution killing political parties stone dead but he got it wrong about which parties. Labour in Scotland 23% in opinion polls this week and falling. If a general election was held next week, the SNP would take 43 Westminster seats.

The problem is not Dave or Ed or t'other Ed - its is the party itself which is no longer fit for purpose, as are the Unions that continue to waste their members money bankrolling the party - Labour is now a party of political pygmies.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Revolting Greeks ...

Neo-liberal capitalism: the economic theory that throws out the baby and the bath water because neither can deliver short term returns nor show rapid growth into profit ....

Given the delusion of neo-liberal capital theory got the Western world into this mess, just how will more of the same come up with a different answer or solution?

Argueing that more of the same economic theory is the answer is madness. The economic madness that said limited companies called banks operate in a different economic system to every other limited company and we, the tax payer, have to cough up to cover the total failure of UK politicians to wake up to the idiots, neo-liberal capital theory was taking them for.

Iceland told the banks their failure in Iceland was the risk of the stockholders - not the tax payers. This attempt to point out how naked the bank emperors were was howled down by all and sundry and yet Iceland has not imploded, has an economy growing at 2.3% and remains a viable independent country.

Where as neo-liberal thinking UK has £1 trillion of sovereign debt (and growing), 0.5% annual growth and about to be down rated by the 'Credit Agencies' in the mean time one of the important econnomic areas of the UK is looking to get out of dodge and re-establish itself as a social democratic country. A move which will cost the remaining Union states a minimum of £1 trillion worse off over the next decade in Oil and Gas tax reciepts alone according to UK Oil and Gas.

I'm with the people of Greece on this one, time for them to tell the neo-liberal bankrupt banks to take a run and jump.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

A Conversation with Hazel Lewery

Hazel Lewry

You know what worries me most? After independence, who is going to fill the political vacuum ... where are the really sensible and well grounded politicians going to come from? If this is the best lab/tory can offer, what hope is there?

Perhaps all these inept union lackies will bugger off to Westminster and some fine people who've been held at bay by them will come to the fore.

Peter Thomson

Labour's Scottish Region is to all intents and purposes dead - the growing rankling at the control from London is wide spread, as is the foisting of 'preferred candidates' on constituency parties. The manipulators in the background (Murphy and Alexander) failed to understand the message from the debacle in the East Lothian Constituency party over Mowat's re-selection in 2009. They have carried on with business as usual which ultimately lead them to the 2011 disaster at Holyrood.

It is clear from the rancour and settling of old scores in Glasgow over the recent deselection of councillors, no lessons have been learned as epitomised by the widespread bullying which is the norm in Glasgow City Chambers and is no longer having the lid kept on it by a sympathetic media (all except BBC Scotland).

The real question is - Is there anything worth while saving in Labour's Scottish region as at all levels it appears bankrupt of ideas, of cash, of political ambition for Scotland and in denial of its roots and the people and values it claims to represent?

Peter Thomson

‎Hazel in answer to your original question. The effective opposition to the SNP will continue to come from folk like us either as the electorate or some of us may feel the need to step up to the plate and establish a new left of centre party in Scotland, one which understands what its aims are, aims which are based on continuing the social democratic core which informs the people of Scotland who they are - the idea of 'We're aa Jock Tamson's bairns'.

This maybe in the SNP as the current cohesion breaks up in the aftermath of independence or it maybe the SNP's natural place is to take over the old fashioned liberal consensus and move right of centre but the certainty is the SNP post independence will be a very different party as the weakly attached edges spin off.

I would suggest the Scottish Socialists will continue to have a voice at Holyrood along with the Greens, yet will the Scottish Tories re-emerge phoenix like via the Scottish Democratic Alliance or will the term 'Tory / Conservative' remain so politically poisonous that it will die on independence.

This will not shake down until the end of the first four year term of an independent Scottish Parliament is my view - then we, the sovereign people, will decide how we begin to shape Scotland's new political horizon. Just as we have done cannily from 2007 up to now.

Hazel Lewry

‎Peter, the SDA bother me somewhat.

I Have read their idea of a "written constitution".
But any potential constitution that enshrines use of martial law is proposing perpetuation of the state by any means - rather than responding to the fundamental issues creating the percieved "need" for the unrest in the first place.

Any proposing a constitution advocating at any point the use of martial law would NEVER see my vote, as they are fundamentally depriving me of my sovereign and democratic rights.

Hazel Lewry

I've just rechecked the SDA website.. they've changed it. Their offensive mutterings about martial law are gone - the Justice, Law and Order part is now "article under preparation"... still, makes me feel very uneasy!

Peter Thomson

Hazel - the SDA are now being challenged to define who and what they are - currently they are the opposite of Labour in Scotland - they have not put themselves to the electorate but at least they do have policies for an independent Scotland which they are establishing and reviewing.

My take is the SDA are hoping the 'Tories', who backed Murdo in the recent leadership election, will bring their seats and financial clout in behind the SDA - that is where I see the dilemma for current 'devo-max' leaning Tories, do they give up on their 'Conservative' brand and become SDA or will a new party be created by their amalgamation

For what its worth, I see a Tory / SDA Alliance becoming the home for the Libdems and New Labour diehards but I suggest the new party will reject the more extreme variant of neo-liberal capitalism model current at Westminster and seek the return of Tory 'one nation' politics in the Scottish arena.

Ultimately the two main parties will be a right of centre Tory / SDA and a left of centre SNP. Whether the Forsythean Tories create a Scottish version of UKIP to promote their neo-liberal ideals will be interesting while as I said before on the 'old fashioned left' will be the Greens and the Scottish Socialist Party.

The reallity for me is that the three Unionist parties will be unelectable on independence, die a death and a SDA re-birth their best hope of retaining their seats.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Gavin Anderson et al: The Independence Referendum, Legality and the Contested Constitution: Widening the Debate

A response:

I understood that in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate (1953) the Lord Advocate conceded the legal and constitutional point that the people of Scotland remain sovereign and that the taking up of solely the norms of a parliamentary democracy was at odds with the purpose of the 1707 Treaty of Union and the constitutional reality that Scotland is a representative democracy.

As the 1689 Claim of Right remains law and Lord Cooper stated that the independence of Scots Law was protected for all time by the 1707 Treaty of Union, the assertion of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland is at odds with the UK constitutional view as the people of Scotland’s sovereignty has never been suceded or lent in any lawful manner to the UK Parliament at Westminster. The Scottish Grand Committee was, after all, a fudge to get round this inconvenience in law and constitutional practice – much as has Mr Blair’s back of a fag packet, Supreme Court.

In the recent judgement by the Supreme Court in the case of AXA and others vs the Scottish Government one of the reasons the case was thrown out was because the Act of the Scottish Parliament contested by Axa and others reflected the will of the people of Scotland as expressed by the Scottish Parliament. The judges avoided the use of the term ‘the sovereign people of Scotland’ explicitly but if they were not respecting the will of the sovereign people of Scotland why come to this decision?

That then brings me onto the elephant in the room – the Scottish Parliament and the 1998 Scotland Act.

In July 1999 the temporarily suspended session of the Scottish Parliament of March 1707 was resumed. This was not contested by Westminster in any shape or manner. Given the parliament of March 1707 held on behalf of the sovereign people of Scotland the right to represent their sovereignty under Scottish constitutional law and practice then in Scots Law the resumption of that parliamentary session in July 1999 must mean the people of Scotland’s sovereignty once again lies in the Scottish Parliament. A legal and constitutional reality the Supreme Court gave the nod to in AXA and Others vs the Scottish Government. In other words the Scottish Parliament represents the sovereign will of the people of Scotland. This being the reality how can either section 5 or 30 of the 1999 Scotland Act be enforcable as the UK parliament at Westminster is laying claims and powers over Scottish sovereignty they neither have claim over nor right to.

Further it could be argued that any Scottish official or politician who does agree to give over the people of Scotland’s sovereignty to Westminster is acting treasonably in the eyes of Scots Law and constitutional practice as they will be in breach of the provisions of the Declaration of Arbroath entrenched in Scots Law by the parliament of 1328, reasserted in the 1689 Claim of Right with respect to the people of Scotland being sovereign.

All this before considering the right to self determination which is core to the UN Treaty of Human Rights of which the UK is a signator, the Helsinki Accord and the Treaty of Vienna all which drive a coach and horses through the position taken by the UK Parliament at Westminster’s legal position.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Ae Muckle Yette ...

Yet another day of 'Scotland's doomed',
Yet another day of 'nasty nat' attacks,
Yet another day of Britain's glory,
Yet another day of unsupported 'facts'.

Then they whine, the Scots won't listen.
Then they whine, they're balanced views.
Then they whine, their paper's failing.
Then they whine, its just not fair.

Then they shout, we'll stop it happening.
Then they shout, we'll make you pay.
Then they shout, we'll take our ball back.
Then they shout, we'll throw our toys out.

Yet one day the Scots will have spoken.
Yet one day when Westminster's away.
Yet one day we'll wake up to freedom.
Yet one day, not far away.

(A yette is braid Scots fir a toon gate - barrit tae hud fowk courrit doun saif ba nicht. An Englis yon'll ba ca'd a pun, a play oan wurds, ken?)