Thursday, 30 August 2012

Westminster's Little Big Horn moment ...

(For Custer, read Scottish Secretary Moore; for Seventh Cavalry read Bitter Together Campaign) 

The story so far - Custer and the Seventh Cavalry have been patrolling through Scotland and have become increasingly worried about the rising level of hostility and rebellion pointed at their civilising power influence coupled with the growing desire of the natives for their land back.

Custer has informed his superiors in head quarters of the state of affairs and has been told, in no uncertain terms, to get the Scottish Reservation back under control, so far Custer and the Seventh Cavalry's attempts have been met with a withering fire of contempt from the natives (Get tae 'F' ye big jessy, yer aw Tory bampots, why don't you get a proper job sonny ...). Today Custer is making a last stand, along with the Seventh Cavalry, on the legal equivalent of the Little Big Horn (sections 5 & 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act) here's why it will end up with a massacre for Custer and his men as history repeats itself .....

Lord Cooper (1953) - There is no such entity as the 'unlimited sovereignty' claimed by Westminster in Scots Law and constitutional practice, it is a purely English legal and constitutional construct.

Lord Cooper (1953) - The independence of Scots Law is protected by the Treaty of Union for all time.

Lord Cooper (1953) - For 'all time' means exactly that

Lord Cooper (1953) - Westminster has no powers to alter, ammend or adjust the conditions of the Treaty of Union; only the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England have such powers - the legal point was conceded on behalf of Westminster by the Lord Advocate.

Lord Cooper (1953)
- Scottish sovereignty is limited by the considered will of the Scottish people.

UK Supreme Court (2010) - The UK Supreme Court has no right to alter any Act, Bill or Statue of the Scottish Parliament which reflects the considered will of the Scottish people.

The SNP Government were elected to Holyrood in part to reflect the considered will of the Scottish people for a referendum to either withdraw from the Treaty of Union and return to independent nationhood or to seek a radically new Union settlement (Devo-max).

If Holyrood passes the Scottish Referendum Bill (2014) then Westminster can not challenge the 'legality', under section 5 or 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act, as the UK Supreme Court have already stated they have no rights to set aside any Bill, Act or Statute of the Scottish Parliament which reflects the considered will of the Scottish people.

Westminster has no 'rights' to enforce its will on Scotland as that assumes it has 'unlimited sovereignty' a concept not recognised in Scots Law or constitutional practice as sovereignty in Scotland is limited by the will of the people. (Lord Cooper/ UK Supreme Court)

What is true is that Westminster can not negotiate Devo-max with out gaining the approval of the sovereign English Parliament as Westminster has no powers to change, ammend or alter the Treaty of Union which is what Devo-max requires (Lord Cooper 1953). Westminster does not want to be bound by a referendum on Devo-max by the English electorate or, even worse, a recalled English Parliament both of whom are most likely to reject the Devo-max proposition which means Scottish independence by default.

All that is now left to Westminster is to have a screaming hissy fit, throw all their toys out of the pram and go off in a huff .... which is exactly what Moore, Davidson et al are doing. On the other hand Micheal Forsyth will be shouting out - I told you so, I knew this would all end in tears ... and the massacre is well under way at Little Big Horn the sequel.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Bitter Together: 10. Selective Hearing

"Ms Cakes, we would first like to thank you for your attendance today at this in camera National Security Select Committee investigation", Lord Connell of Ae (ex Labour First Minister of Scotland) intoned, "Our first interest is; just why did you so peremptorily leave your position as Deputy at Internal Affairs - was it a career move or simply prudence?"

"My Lord, honourable members, it was, as you have so sanguinely identified, a bit of both. I was invited to put myself forward for the assistant commissioner post over six months ago and was informed after the final interview the post was mine should I wish to take it up. I then explained that until the Olympics in London was complete I felt I could not take up their offer until the start of the Olympics at the earliest. Given my CV they EU Commission kindly decided to hold the job vacant pending this date and the agreement of a start date."

"Is it right to suggest the authorisation of 'Operation Cockleshell' was the impetus to jump?" broke in George McCutcheon (SNP Moray).

" Again, honourable members, you have cut to the chase. I can only say I was always on the fringe of the planning of 'Cockleshell' as the organisation of the operation was on a need to know basis between Sir Nigel and the Prime Minister. If I had been asked for an opinion, I would have suggested if the operation had to be initiated then the political battle to stop Scotland seceding has already been lost. When I heard of the authorisation I initiated steps to take up my EU Assistant Commissioner role to protect my professional reputation and to distance myself from what I considered a piece of political suicide."

"Ms Cakes, I find your line disengenious. Surely, as Sir Nigel was indisposed, it was you who sought Prime Ministerial approval and initiated this operation you claim to have disavowed!” bellowed Sir Crispin Knightley (Con Grantham).

“Honourable members, on the subject of ’Cockleshell’ authorisation, may I present to your committee a copy of the E-mail sent to me by Mr Grindstone on this subject seeking clarification which I suggest shows ‘Cockleshell’ had already been activated with Sir Nigel‘s agreement, so had no need of any further steps by me.”

The chief clerk handed copies out to all members, there was a clear intake of breath at almost the same time by all the committee members followed by the deathly silence of an unavoidable truth. It was clear that both Sir Nigel and the Prime Minister had authorised ‘Cockleshell’ if this E-mail was corroborated from any other independent source.

“Ms Cakes, surely an operation of this importance and impact would not be run by a level five civil servant, such as Grindstone, you can not expect me to believe that!”, Sir Crispin Knightley was an old school Tory who always spoke in exclamation marks but it was clear this time he his heart was not in it. He was starting to understand there was little likelihood of saving the prime minister but being a loyal, old school, Tory MP and Etonian a chap had to try, for form’s sake.

“It appears on the day Sir Nigel decided the situation required the operation to go ahead, Mr Grindstone was the only staff member not already engaged on departmental tasks, so the task would fall to him - by default.”
“So”, came back Mr McCutcheon, “You are basically saying that any of the Internal Affairs department civil servants who had an eye to their future would have ensured they had a crowded desk when this particular operation’s folder landed on their desk?”

“Not even the departmental Tea Lady would have touched this particular task unless under severe duress or torture.”

“Why then would Mr Grindstone have carried out the task?” queried Lord Ae.

“He is an old school civil servant, my Lord, steeped in the perverse idea that what ever is done in the Government’s name can never be wrong and is always for the greater good.”

Sir Crispin tried one last exclamation mark, “ We have been assured he was acting alone, a rogue terrorist infiltrated into your department by the Scottish National Liberation Army, according to the Prime Minister’s Office - young lady, what do you say to that!”

The reply to Sir Crispin’s question was unrestrained, eyes filling with tears, deep, sobbing laughter from Ms Cakes.

The Select Committee failed in all respects to come up with a solution to cover Cambourne's backside. Not one witness would tell them what they wanted to hear. The Head of the SIS pointed out they had officially shut down their operational role in 'Cockleshell' on the Prime Minister's request and the SAS general officer simply said 'Cockleshell' never heard of it nor has anyone in the SAS. The political spin that it was all Grindstone's doing had no evidence to support it. The reality: Cambourne was toast.

In Scotland the online article exposing the possible links between members of Glasgow Labour and organised crime caused a major stramash. O'Halloran's first response was to try and bully his way out of trouble by shouting and screaming on the television channels and radio programs of Scotland. His legal attempt to get an interim interdict against the online 'newspaper' to withdraw the offending articles failed in the Court of Session. The Lord President gave the opinion that a politician who lived his life by using the spot light could hardly complain when the spotlight also lighted up areas of his life he would rather keep n the dark. If the Lord President gave this interim interdict it would clearly be prejudging the police investigation currently underway in Scotland. Let the process take its course, the time for Mr O'Hallorhan to take any personal legal action was after the police had determined the truth or otherwise of the articles in question. There would be no leave to appeal.

O'Hallorhan's demise came not from the police's examination of his links to Murphy but his wife and secretary making a formal complaint about O'Hallorhan's violence against themselves both verbal and physical with a sizeable sheaf of documented and other evidence to the desk officer at Shettlestone Police station. O'Hallorhan did himself no favours in the Sheriff Court when asked to plead, he lost the head completely and threatened his wife with a 'doin' for her lack of loyalty. He then fought with his defence counsel who tried to get him to shut up and restrain him. The Sheriff refused bail on the likelihood of O'Hallorhan committing further offences on this charge, then recalled him to his court and gave him 28 days in Saughton Prison for contempt of court.

The recovery office of HM Taxes and Revenue took an interest in the information with regards the links between Glasgow Labour politicians and organised crime and were at last successful in getting a warrant to carry out an in depth investigation into the business dealings and tax affairs of Mr 'Spud' Murphy. Surprisingly there was none of the usual obfuscation on the matter from the Glasgow Fiscal's Office that had so benighted previous attempts.

The first Murphy knew about his assets being frozen was when he was released from police custody or as it is known 'helping Strathclyde Police with their inquiries'. His wife told him all their bank accounts had been frozen and their passports had been impounded. The writing was clearly on the wall but luckily for Murphy, he and his wife had an emergency set of Irish Passports and £50k in cash in the house safe. A ferry trip from Stranrear to Larne, pop over the border and a flight from Dublin saw them beyond the law, in South America, with enough in their Cayman Islands account to keep them happy for the rest of their lives which, depending on how the McGovern Clan reacted to the massive hole being punched into their criminal organisation, might not be that long.

The document of Murphy's that most intrigued Nigel Sturgeon of HM Taxes and Revenue was the list of 'political donations'  Mr Murphy had meticulously kept which clearly detailed the local politicians being run by Murphy and, by inference, the McGovern's. There were a number of high profile members of Glasgow Labour amongst the foot sloggers, on the list, chief among them O'Hallorhan. A quick phone call to his boss, an application to the Sheriff and O'Hallorhan's banking accounts were frozen as well. Sturgeon took great interest in the size of the cash donations from Murphy to O'Hallorhan, how the donations were handled and the lack of any mention of these donations in O'Hallorhan's returns or declarations to the Electoral Commission and more importantly, in his view, to HM Tax Officers.

Louis Rodin went round and tidied up a few loose ends that might squeal if squeezed by the police. This, in turn, lead to a couple of council bye-elections in the east end of Glasgow. The McGovern's then put in place 'plan B' and to all intents and purposes their business carried on as before.

The Scottish Labour leader, Daphne McLung, was now facing an internal revolt as more and more Scottish Labour members stopped toeing the New Labour party line on North Briton, started saying maybe independence for Scotland was not a bad idea after all and was it not about time the supposed 'independent' leader of New Labour in Scotland started putting Scotland, rather than Westminster, first. Daphne's voice in London was silent on this for now and advised a low profile until the mess had blown over.

The First Minister kept a diplomatic silence. It was the best way to act when your political enemies were doing such a good job of ripping themselves to bits.  2014 and the referendum was still a long way off, any crowing could well cause the thrawn and canny Scottish electorate to think again about the SNP's suitability as the party of Scottish Government. With the SNP's core political aim so close, this was a risk not worth taking.

The MET's anti-terrorist commissioner was coming under ever increasing pressure from 'political sources' to stop the steady drip of corrosive information leaking out Grindstone's solicitors in Woking. He approached Chief Justice Corncrake to seek a warrant under the Official Secrets Act. Lord Chief Justice Corncrake was from a 'High Tory' family littered with grand fathers, uncles and cousins who had held high office in the English legal profession and in parliament. The MET's counsel was certain it would be a rubber stamp application, after all his Lordship's brother was the current Lord Chancellor of England and cousin the Solicitor General.

Lord Corncrake's opinion was otherwise. He ruled the application as being not on the grounds of 'National Security' as the information was already in the public domain and clearly of a political nature, rather than a danger to the state. Simply printing of the words 'Top Secret' on a Document of State did not automatically confer on the document the rights and privileges of a document of national importance, it was the content in the context of the external or internal threat to the nation that determined this. These documents clearly raised no threat to the 'state' and if proved true could well be seen in a contrary wise manner as to where the threat to the State actually lay. The warrant was refused, as was any right of appeal.

Stanhope left Pembrokeshire at four in the morning leaving a warm sleepy Marie whom he would rather have not. He switched his mobile on for the first time since Thursday and even before he placed in the hands free unit it was lighting up like a Christmas Tree as the real world sought to get a hold of him. As he passed Bristol Stanhope turned on the radio to listen to the Today program. What he heard made his heart sing.  The program lead with Corncrake's refusal late on Sunday night to allow the information on 'Cockleshell' leaked by Grindstone to be covered by a 'D' notice or subject to any other legal restriction under the Official Secrets Act. Stanhope listened as it was suggested that any chance of a 'Cockleshell' cover up by the Government was at an end. The BBC's political editor went further by stating it put the future of Cambourne as Prime Minister in serious doubt given the established links between the Prime Minister and Internal Affairs on this specific matter. The Prime Minister's fate now lay in the hands of the National Security Select Committee's findings who had been interviewing key members of Internal Affairs over the weekend and were preparing an interim report for this afternoon's emergency Privy Council meeting. As he was passing Uxbridge Stanhope listened to the Met anti-terrorist commissioner, who he was on his way to meet, stating there were three men who the police would like to interview. One was seriously ill after a major stroke, one had fled the country and the other was protected by Parliamentary privilege, at present. Mr Grindstone was no longer the key suspect in the 'Cockleshell' attacks. The Interpol warrant seeking his arrest and detention had been withdrawn at the request of the Crown Office. Mr Grindstone was free to return to the UK without fear of arrest or imprisonment and the police hoped he would agree to help them as a key witness in building any future prosecution case.

Grindstone smiled to himself as he watched the tale unwind on BBC World News. He popped into Victoria and left a letter with the British Embassy Staff informing them where he was currently staying, if they wanted to get in contact. He also sent Ms Price a postcard  of the Seychelles' Giant Tortoises and told her he hoped to be home in another week or two. On his return to the Reef Hotel he had a session of golf coaching and then plated nine holes with the professional. It was fun, golf was the first sport he had ever tried that rewarded people for being precise, accurate and analytical.

The journalistic vultures were soon up and circling over Downing Street prior to landing on prime viewing spots. They chattered as senior Tory Party grandees came and went all morning. The fell into a stupor over lunch perking up early afternoon when the Libdem Deputy prime minister arrived. They bickered to camera about what it all could mean and flapped listlessly as nothing continued to happen. At four thirty excitement as the prime ministerial Jaguar drew up out side number10. At five pm Cambourne scuttled criminally into the car, almost as if he had a blanket over his head and was handcuffed. At five thirty Mr Beige, leader of the Libdems and deputy prime minister came out to the microphones in front of number 10 and simply stated the obvious Cambourne was gone, he would be acting prime minister until the coalition agreed what to do next and no he would not take any questions which left the journalistic vultures to make up any story they liked for their newsrooms with ever spiralling hubris about the sensational outcome of the day's political activities - sensational; only to them.

It would be nice to think Cambourne faced criminal charges but he apologised to the House of Commons which everyone thought was 'good form', 'damn decent of him' so he avoid the 25 years minimum prison sentence anyone else would have faced for his act of terrorism and retired on a big fat parliamentary pension with his only punishment being no ennoblement, banned from joining the vermin in ermine. Then again, when his old man popped his clogs Cambourne would pick up the hereditary one.

Grindstone came home to his fifteen minutes of fame as the ultimate whistle blower, out Wiki leaking Wicket Leeks. He returned to his terrace house in Woking, went round and picked his cat up from Ms Price. The cat made her feelings known by turning her back to him, raising her tail vertically with the occasional twitch and giving Grindstone the solo, pink, evil eye as she strode out of the front door. Having said thank you to Ms Price, once more, Grindstone followed his cat out. Thereafter Grindstone often invited Ms Price to share holidays with him ... separate rooms, mind.

The End:

Labour's CND Scam - a conversation.

Me: This is a stupid idea and completely in error that NATO membership means Scotland will have to keep nuclear weapons on its soil. It does not. It is like their out of date argument with regards MAD. There is no tactical or strategic point in nuclear weapons as they are unusable, first use by any state is a suicide ticket for their own people. They are simply political willies.

Here is what is true, an independent, nuclear weapon free Scotland means an end to the current and future UK sea bourne ballistic missile system whether Scotland is in NATO or not. France will remain the only NATO state, except for the US, with a ballistic missile capcity.

No matter what the official status of NATO and Scotland, the Scottish Defence Force will be operating and exercising alongside NATO as our sea boundaries and one land boundary are shared with NATO countries and our mutual defence needs are the same.
SNP/CND:  Yes, with "friends" like Angus Robertson and Jim Sillars, who needs enemies? Like I said, it was so OBVIOUS to everybody that their pro-NATO move would deeply divide the Yes Campaign, you have to wonder if that was in fact the intention. The parliaments of Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands all voted to get nuclear weapons out of their countries. But it turned out that, because these countries were members of NATO, getting rid of the nukes was easier said than done. They're still there. So, why do you want to do something which, from experience, seems to make getting rid of nuclear weapons far more difficult, AND why do you want to do something which is certain to deeply divide the Yes Campaign?

Me:  "The USA keeps non-strategic (tactical) nuclear weapons in Europe because a few eastern European NATO allies are nervous about Russia, and as a card to play to get Russia to reduce its larger inventory of such weapons. Russia, for its part, maintains a large inventory of mainly outdated non-strategic weapons partly to compensate for what it sees as NATO's superiority in conventional weapons."(Federation of American Scientists report May 2012).

"The United States does not disclose the number of its non-strategic nuclear weapons. The secrecy is partly precipitated by the fact that a significant portion of U.S. weapons is deployed in Western European countries where the public sentiments are overwhelmingly against nuclear weapons.... This included the complete withdrawal of U.S. non strategic nuclear weapons from Britain by 2006...... Most of the weapons are in Italy and Turkey on NATO’s southern flank, reflecting a shift from a decade ago when the majority of the stockpile was based in northern Europe." (Ibid May 2012)

These weapons are held or can be held on US sovereign bases which have been leased by the US from the UK (Mildenhall) Germany, Holland and Belgium. The point is they are US sovereign bases - the same as Deigo Garcia is and Woodham Common that was. That is US territory for the terms of their lease.

Now can you point me to one US sovereign base in Scotland?
SNP/CND:  You attempted to answer ONE of my questions, (and I will get around to responding to what you said re that). HOWEVER , I notice you didn't even attemot to answer my other question: why do you want to do something which is certain to deeply divide the Yes Campaign?

Me: The majority of folk who will vote Yes do not give two hoots whether Scotland is in NATO or not. You are conflating SNP policy, yet to be decided at conference in Perth, with the message of the 'Yes campaign' which is about our future. Your scare tactics over the internal SNP NATO issue are reminiscent of the Unionists too poor, too wee, too stupid line. It is not SNP policy, it is a resolution for SNP conference or do you think you have already lost that vote?

If there is no 'Yes' there will not be a nuclear free Scotland as the next version of Trident and the submarines to carry them will remain parked in Scotland. The SNP CND faction have to ask themselves is that what they really want before taking the huff and threatening the Yes vote.

Your argument about having to store NATO nuclear weapons on independent Scottish soil has no credence in fact or in NATO's own strategic plans. The increasing incursion by Belgian activists onto the air base in Belgium has the US worried. The paper I quoted from states the tactical nuclear weapons stored in Belgium under US lock and key may already have been removed from Belgium due to this activity.

SNP/CND:  ................... (for the last twelve hours).


Monday, 20 August 2012

Cameron - unconditional surrender?

Cameron has conceded that Westminster can have no say in the conduct of the Scottish referendum on withdrawal from the Treaty of Union. Not allowed, not graciously gifted or what ever other gloss Westminster and its media minions try to put on it - conceded; lock stock and barrel.

The legal and constitutional reality is that Westminster has never had an legal or quasi legal role to play in the referendum as the Treaty of Union makes clear: any alteration of the Treaty of Union can only be carried out by the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England and not Westminster. Further Cameron is conceding the referendum reflects the considered will of the people of Scotland (UK Supreme Court - AXA et al), in doing so Cameron is tacitally admitting a coach and horses has just been driven through sections 5 & 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act as well as Westminster's illegitimate claim to 'unlimited sovereignty' over Scotland. (Lord Cooper: McCormack 1953).

Westminster having dug a dirty great big hole for itself over both these unsustainable claims and has now fallen to the bottom. The question remains - will they keep digging or try and find a way to scrabble out?

Let us consider Westminster's next potential volte face; full fiscal autonomy - many Scots declared preference. After the likes of Ian Davidson and other Scottish New Labour MPs have swallowed large slices of humble pie and through gritted teeth found some faux enthusiasm for a project they deeply hate; could it happen?

The fly in the ointment then becomes the English electorate whom Westminster have spent the last eight years feeding the negative 'England subsidises Scotland' spin. Remember, I stated above the Treaty of Union can only be altered by the sovereign parliaments of England and Scotland and not Westminster. The problem for Westminster is while it could propose Full Fiscal Autonomy and pass a bill on the same, this bill will fundamentally alter the original basis of the 1707 Treaty of Union which it has no powers to do. Catch 22 in most respects. Westminster could only get around this by holding a binding referendum of the English electorate to agree Westminster, on their behalf as the sovereign English Parliament, can undertake alteration of the 1707 Treaty of Union to a new Confederal Union which is what FFA creates.

For Scotland agreement of a new Confederal Union could be passed by a simple majority in the Scottish Parliament as long as the Scottish Parliament Act reflected the considered will of the Scottish people by doing so.

Here is the problem. After all these years of Westminster banging on about how much the English subsidise the Scots what English elector would wish this to keep on going in any form. UKIP will have a field day or be left looking very stupid. How can UKIP oppose the EU while supporting an equally, in English eyes, lopside settlement within the new Union? There is a general sense, ignoring the rabid unionist posters, the English Electorate does not see the same levels of toxicity and harm in the concept of Scotland and England returning to being independent nations sharing the same island - letting Scotland go and good luck appears to be the norm.

To win a FFA referendum to give Westminster authority to act as the 'English Parliament' has two major groups to win round; let me call them the Union extremists (Federal UK -over our dead bodies) and the fundamental apatheticists (Oh, just let the Jocks go and good luck to them). I would suggest these two groups reflect the majority view in England, as far as it can be discerned.

This leaves the Scottish wings of the Westminster parties with only two options: to support the 'No' campaign or agree that withdrawal from the Treaty of Union and a return to Scottish independence is inevitable. In realistic terms Westminster bringing forward an FFA bill is a non-starter as by doing so they create a clear win / win situation for the 'Yes' camp. Even if the Scots vote for FFA the current best guess is the English Electorate will oppose FFA as there is nothing in it for them they could not gain by independence.

This is why Cameron's concession is tantamount to the end of a Union that neither the people of Scotland nor England ever agreed to. The people will now have their say after 300 years of being silenced, a say that increasingly is indicating an end of the 1707 Treaty of Union.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Grist to the mill...

What sort of Scotland would you like to live in post 2014?

The status quo is a given: a Scotland dominated by the neo-liberal politics of an ever rightward drifting Westminster - unreformed and unreformable. A Scotland whose social norms will be driven by the ever increasing cut backs in funding to the support of the most disadvantaged in our society, the dismantling of the Scottish NHS by the back door of Barnet consequentials, the ever increasing disparity between high levels of UK Government  subsidy to London and the SE and the rest of the UK - currently London and the SE gets £2,000 per head more, on average, than Scotland, Wales or the English regions according to the UK Government's National Audit Office. The squeeze on investment in Scottish electrical generation potential will continue while National Grid charging gives the same already heavily subsidised London and the SE further energy subsidies at the cost to the rest of the UK's bottom line bills. All to prop up a financial services model in London that is now costing the UK taxpayer more in bailouts and quantative easing than we will ever get back - because Westminster failed to regulate the UK based Bank's gambling, failed to let the 'market' it worships take its course and let the hault and lame go down the tubes; because the political fall out for Westminster would have ripped their cushy world apart and forced reform of their gravy train. This is the Union benefit that some Scots clamour to hold on to, a Scotland run as a colonial fiefdom by Westminster to be used and abused as their need dictates and manipulated to their will by the giving and taking of carrots - "No, you can't build warships ... Oh, OK then; build us a carrier or two because you have been good, Gordon wants re-elected and we do not want BAE Systems to move even more of its HQ functions to the US."

Yet is the Scotland that will be wished on us by a Millicameron and an out of control Westminster politic which deems itself above the law, even the laws it makes for itself, how we see ourselves in the future? Breach PPER 2000 ....  £50,000 of undeclared donations Mr Hain .... we know it should be a criminal conviction .... but apologise to the 'House' and we will dust it under the carpet. For Hain read Wendy Alexander, Jack Straw, Jack McConnell, Gordon Brown and umpteen Tory and Libdem Party MPs all who avoided criminal convictions under PPER 2000 by 'paying back' what they had 'stolen' from the taxpayer. What is worse is they are still at it. This is not a Scotland I would wish to live in nor leave as a legacy for future generations of Scots.

Let us be unequivocable, there is no independent Scottish 'Narnia' on the horizon. What ever political system man devises there will be folk, as there are in all walks of life, who will seek out and abuse it for their own advantage and yet the Scottish people start with a distinct advantage. Our political system does not derive its power from the crown in parliament but a very different concept of the considered will of the people. Modern research into the Scottish Parliament since it started annual sessions from 1328 has revealed the 'Thrie Estaits' were no rubber stamp for the Scottish crown. On many occasions the Scottish Parliament used its power to limit the actions of the crown and with James IVth, Mary, Queen of Scots and James VIIth flexed this power in no uncertain terms deposing the latter two and threatening James IVth with his removal if he continued to follow political policy against the interests of his realm. This is, in general form, the contractual agreement which holds between the Scottish crown and the people to this day. Act contrary to the best interests of the Scottish people your 'kingyness' and you are 'outski'.

Here is the next telling point about our future independent political system and that is the politicians, like the crown, are also at the beck and call of the considered will of the Scottish people. In general terms this means Scotland is a representative democracy, the people are sovereign and the politicians are directly responsible to all the people they represent. As it is true the crown's sovereignty is limited, it follows the Scottish Parliament is also limited by the will of the people (a legal point made by Lord Cooper in 1953 - McCormack - and reafirmed by the UK Supreme Court in AXA et al). This being the case there is clearly a legal precedent for the removal of politicians from the Scottish Parliament for failing the best interests of the people of Scotland as this already applies to the crown's limited sovereignty.

Even without a 'written constitution' in which claimants of this state do not recognise either the 1689 Claim of Rights or the 1707 Treaty of Union - which in turn makes very clear what the people of Scotland's rights are - there are already a series of checks and balances to prevent 'Wee Eck' morphing into 'Joe Stalin or Hitler' as some fear mongers seek to peddle. The Scottish Courts and Scots Law may be fallible in many areas but in protecting the rights of the sovereign Scottish people they have been unerring for over 700 years.

The Scots are a shrewd and thrawn folk; as any politician or party who forgets this or takes the people for granted quickly discovers. The Scots are clear in what the need from their government, as the moulding of the Scottish Parliament by the electorate clearly demonstrates. After independence this public oversight will become even sharper. This is my considered view; the small minority clamouring for a 'Scottish Constitution' to protect us on independence is at best a distraction and at worst Unionist mischief making. The SNP's independence manifesto already has a draft constitution to be put to the independent parliament, if they are the main party, for deliberation and the approval of the Scottish people. It is time to stop looking at the Scottish political process now and after indepndence through the warped prism of Westminster and its "aye been, so it'll naw be diffr'nt" projection. Scots Law and constitutional law gives us a very different beast.

So far I have described what is, where I am coming from and not the sort of Scotland I need to live in or wish to leave for future generations, nor have I indicated how any of this can be achieved. Yet to have flown into this phase without establishing a foundation would have left me open to accusations of pangerics, flightyness and unrealistic expectations.

My aims for my future Scotland are:
  1. To create a modern nation based on equity of opportunity
  2. To maintain a representative democracy with a proportionally elected Parliament
  3. To ensure Scotland's historic practice of welfare and care for those in real need is maintained
  4. To ensure all are subject to the same rule of law for their protection, liberties and rights as a sovereign people
My objectives to achieve these aims are:
  1. Secede from the 1707 Treaty of Union immediately after the 2014 brings a 'Yes' result in the referendum
  2. Hold a Scottish Parliamentary election under the current mix of Constituency and List to establish the first independent parliament in Autumn 2016 since 1707
  3. Negotiate a quick exit from Westminster based on an equable division of assetts and liabilities - if this fails simply declare UDI, if an agreement is not completed by the time of the 2016 Scottish Parliamentary elections.
So how do I do this? Do I go out as a one man band harranging and cajoling others to my colours? No, I do what is in the scope and ability of every member of the Scottish electorate I listen to what the politicians are saying, I read what they are writing and take note of their policies towards Scotland.

On this basis I make my choice of which party is closest to meeting my personal needs for Scotland and are most aligned with my aims and objectives along with surpa-political organisations such as the 'Yes' campaign. The SNP were given my vote in 2011 on this basis, not because I was angry with Westminster but because I believe the SNP's current policies are the best for Scotland. I trust the SNP to do what they say and be tempered from extreme views by the fact they are reliant on financing by their members and not as the Westminster parties are, on big ticket donors. This is in part why the likes of a Trump or a Scoular has found their subsequent lack of leverage frustrating. It is not how 'politics works' in the USA or Westminster money buys favours - so far this has not been the recorded case in a SNP Government. It is also clear when an SNP MSP has acted in a manner that is offensive or corrupt the party has quickly removed said person's membership and set them adrift. The indicators are, for now, the SNP are doing what it says on the tin, putting Scotland first - primarily because doing so makes perfect political sense to them and hence they are in a 'win/win' situation. A position apparently liked by not just died in the wool SNP voters but voters from Labour and the Libdems whose support brought about the 2011 watershed result and in opinion polls continue to indicate their support.

As for 2016? 

Unless you have a crystal ball there is no certainty but the Scottish Parties of the Westminster three have to come up with something amazing, incisive, pertinent and fresh. I suggest the SNP, as a left of centre social democratic party, will keep my vote for the first term. The Conservative and Liberal Scottish politicians will quickly create a new right of centre alliance around the concept of old fashioned 'One Nation Toryism' politics and probably attract support from the right wing element of the SNP in doing so. Given I have never been partial to the patronising style of One Nation Toryism -  I would doubt they would gain my vote.

This leaves Scottish Labour in a quandry as New Labour has dragged them ever rightwards and ever closer to the Tory and Libdems, in doing so has isolated them from their socialist roots. Will they manage a rising of Lazarrian proportions to threaten the SNP's left of centre polity or will they find it hard to squeeze back in on the Scottish left between the Greens and the Scottish Socialists. Can the neo-liberal Labour MSPs and Scottish MP's change their spots fast enough to be relevant in 2016 no matter how the folk on the ground in the real Scottish Labour membership will wish? Lamont will still be Lamont, Davidson - Davidson, Baker a self inflicting, bipedal sharp shooter with the chip on these Scottish Labour politicians' shoulders against the SNP, so big as to be unrepairable. The reality is the majority of the current batch of Labour MSP's will be happier with their Tory and Libdem pals on the right of the political spectrum than with any concept of socialism. I just can not see Margaret Curran going 'Green' or Gordon Brown sharing a platform with Tommy Sheridan. Apart from irrationally opposing the SNP on every issue, just what is the point of the current Scottish Labour MSPs?

The focus for me to meet my needs for the Scotland I want to live in starts with winning the referendum in 2014 - until that happens my aims and objectives are just pie in the sky. Without withdrawal from the Treaty of Union there will be no constitutional change in Scotland and my aims for the sort of Scotland I want to live in are just dreams.

My aims and objectives only become real when the people of Scotland vote 'Yes'. This has to be my focus, to persuade the undecided to join us, vote 'Yes' and create a new way ahead for Scotland - it is bleeding obvious but folk tend to get bogged down in unimportant minutae so keep your aims and objectives simple - so people can understand, agree and buy into them.

Slan Leat ...

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Bleeding Obvious, well its bleeding obvious ... isn't it?

the problem for most human's is it is not 'bleeding obvious'.

Because we take in so much information each day our brains have developed a very sophisticated filtering system which tends to look for things we did not know and want to know or things that interest us. The vast amount of information we absorb each day finds itself in the brian's equivalent of the big round filing basket.

A simple example of this process is when the majority of us are walking in the park or woods we enjoy the bird song where as a keen ornithologist will be able to tell you which birds are singing. We may well be impressed by our ornithologists ability and knowledge but remain in the same state of ignorance - it just does not interest us that much to make the effort to 'learn'.. So what is 'bleeding obvious' to the ornithologist is not to the rest of us.

The point I am making is in follow up to an open letter in Bella Caledonia by Kevin Williamson who makes the clear point that we must seperate the Independence Referendum from the political posturing leading up to an election in 2016. He makes a clear and important point that no matter how or why politicians try to conflate the two they are two very different processes in terms of democratic process. The referendum is about how the Scots wish to be ruled in the future the election in 2016 is the about the policies the future Scottish Government will follow in the event of a 'yes' vote. 

The importance of this to those seeking a 'Yes' vote in 2014 is to ensure that every time Westminster politicians or even Holyrood politicians conflate this point is we must state the 'bleeding obvious' they are two different democratic processes leading to two different outcomes.

This is a simple fact I ask all 'Yes' supporters have raised to a high level of awareness in their brains over the next two years of debate. This will be the difference between a successful campaign or failure.

Monday, 13 August 2012

Bitter Together: 9. The 'Little Porridge Pot' goes into overdrive.

Dinwoodie looked at the growing dossier of information and the white board mapping of the links and cross links between all the players so far identified by his personal team. He was now certain Cambourne did not mean this to happen, had realised at the last gasp the danger he had unleashed and sought to stop 'Cockleshell'. It was equally clear that Sir Nigel, in his attempts to prevent the end result coming back to Cambourne and himself had so effectively created autonomous cells with no feedback loops that any attempt to stop any one leg of the operation was doomed from the start.

The SIS had been blind sided having wound up their operation only to see it going off anyway. The SAS leg was predicated on the Olympic Aquatic Centre attack and the 'Your a Tube' video being released. Of course if the SIS had successfully wound up their operation then the attack on the pylons would not have gone ahead - no aquatic bomb, no video, no pylon attack. This left Murphy as the originator of the attack on the Olympic Aquatic Centre. Murphy would certainly not have known about the pylon attack or the trigger for it. Murphy was only intending to cause a bit of embarrassment and send a warning, but to who?

Dinwoodie had been a very good investigative journalist in his day and having researched the links between the Home Office, SIS and the non existent SNLA could see the pattern and how it was originally designed to physically crush the life out of the SNP and 'Yes to Independence' campaigns. Dinwoodie now started thinking with his head, rather than his testicles, looking to see how he could turn this whole affair to his political advantage. He saw if he played his cards right he would not end up as the last Secretary of State for Scotland, a Tory stool pigeon, but as the only Westminster politician that sought to address the stated wish of the Scots for autonomy within a new UK Union. The problem for Dinwoodie was how long could he keep all this within his own team before someone in Scottish Office decided it needed to be leaked. On the other hand the civil service whispers game could be used to his benefit and let it be known that Dinwoodie now had information that would be damaging to all three party leaders on the 'Cockleshell' balls up and see which worms came out from under which stones.

The Independent's chief political editor turned the CD, in front of him, over and over as if he was trying to see what was on the disc with out actually putting it in his computer. The Independent's IT security people said it was virus free. Security had checked with the originating addressee to be sure they were actual solicitors and had been told there would be more discs if the political response to the initial disc required it. Still the political editor incessantly turned the disc over and over in his hands. With all the fuss and furore going around with regards to the complete disaster of the Olympic opening ceremony his water was telling him that looking at the content of this CD on screen would cast him head first into the maelstrom and make him a potential target. Yet the old journalist sniffed a big story, the disc caused his news antennae to twitch convulsively. In for a penny, he thought to himself as he put the disc into the reader and waited to see what sort of a Pandora's Box he had fallen in with.

Stanhope reported directly to the Met's Anti-terrorism Commissioner, he watched as the chief read and re-read the transcripts, shaking his head and muttering 'Oh Fuck' repeatedly to himself like a mantra as if it would drive away the horror story that was present in front of him. He looked at Stanhope and stuffed the file with the originals into his desk bottom drawer then said, "Not a fucking word to anyone, not a fucking whisper -  who else knows apart from me, you and the professor? No one? Well let's just keep it that fucking way until I have had time to consult with colleagues. Now get the fuck out and close the door behind you!"

The commissioner was now in a quandary whether to uphold the law or protect his backside; with this evidence there was no middle way. He moved the file from the drawer, where it was burning a hole, to his personal safe; locked it tight shut and wished he could forget the combination. If more information of this sort came to light he was going to have to arrest the prime minister on an 'aiding and abetting' terrorism charge along with the head of the SIS and which ever SAS brain had masterminded their end of the whole 'Cockleshell' debacle. For now there would be no consultation he would sit on it until Stanhope brought the next lot back on Friday afternoon. Thank God Stanhope had the sense to hand courier the information, he thought, otherwise, with the IT leaks at Scotland Yard, this would be in the Evening Standard by now. The commissioner did not realise was that Stanhope had taken a copy of the documents and was hiding them securely in his safe at home. Stanhope knew a shit storm when he saw one and this storm had the potential to grow to hurricane force.

The Independent's political editor read the file before him with growing disbelief. This was a scanned copy of an original Internal Affairs document, of that there could be no doubt. It was clearly marked for the prime minister's eyes only, authored by Sir Nigel de Woodehead, secret. What it was, was the original operation order for an Operation called 'Cockleshell' the nature and aims of which were crisply defined:

  1. To entrap the SNP in terrorism charges
  2. To arrest the SNP leadership for aiding and abetting terrorism
  3. To stop the Scottish Independence movement dead in its track

  1. Re ignite the spectre of the Scottish National Liberation Army
  2. Cause sufficient damage to shared assets in a manner which brings Britain behind Westminster full square to stop the independence movement
  3. Rip the heart out of the SNP political machine once and for all
  4. Shut down Holyrood and the Scottish Parliament

As the political editor's eyes travelled down the screen page, the details of the Government Agencies to be used, their orders, funding requirements, potential targets became ever more complex. It appeared that the trigger for Cockleshell was to be if for three months in a row support for Scottish Independence grew to over 55% using highly sensitive, statistical analysis of secret polling undertaken by a specialist polling agency - who also happened to have the prime minister listed as a major shareholder according to the whistle blower CD.

He called the chief editor, "Andrew, I need you to come down to my office now, we need to talk and quickly as you may well wish to change the front page for the London edition. I have something which is potentially explosive." The chief editor looked at the screen with a mixture of delight and dismay there was potential to bring down the current Tory Government but the knock on effect would be Scotland leaving the Union. His owners and friends in the New Labour Party would not thank him for that - giving the SNP they congenitally loathe a coup that would leave New Labour in the political wilderness in England. On the other hand some one had to run the story. In a flash he said the information should be handed over to their sister Sunday, the Observer, as it would be better as an in depth political expose type of piece.

When the information arrived on the chief editor of the 'Observers' desk he instantly decided that to run the story was the end of the New Labour Party, not because of the political fall out but on the loss of all those New Labour MP's from Scotland who could well be the difference in the inevitable general election that it would be forced to be held on the brink of the Scottish Independence referendum. This story would hand the SNP and Yes campaign an easy referendum victory. This would knock for ever his chance to run the headline "Three Ed's are better than one Cambourne." The Union had to be preserved because as he understood the figures without the Scots there would be a 40% hole in the positive foreign exchange balance. A hole that for all its hubris the City of London would never fill. Especially as they were preparing a piece for the next edition on how the 'City' had been clearing funny money for the Iranians, in spite of the internationally agreed freeze on Iran's overseas assets. Another greedy banker story to add to all the other stories since 2008 and the Gordon Brown induced fiscal tsunami.

Up in Glasgow the owners of the Herald had taken cold feet at the increased number of their journalists going native and writing pro-independence pieces. To counteract this they ditched their previous political editor and brought in the Chief Political editor of the Retard to right these disabused journalists thinking on the importance of the Union. Mr Sentry had been famed at the Retard for his unthinking nonsensical rants about the SNP in his attempt to be an even more rabid Unionist than his counterpart writing on Scottish Matters in the Torygraph, the 'Abominable Cockburn'. As far as Mr Sentry was concerned, forget accuracy, just fling dirt as hard and fast as you can at the SNP as some was bound to stick. It was this brilliant sense of fair reporting on Scottish political issues he was now applying to the wishy-washy Herald Journo's. It came to a point where the Herald was left as the only Scottish broadsheet to agree with New Labour's Scottish shadow's complaint about BBC Scotland's bias in favour of the SNP. Even the deeper Tory blue Hootsmon could not swallow this, nor the O'Halloran's misogynistic attack on the female BBC presenter who was interviewing him. To Scottish main stream media watchers it was clear the Union side was in ever increasing meltdown and as sure as 'eggs are eggs' it was directly related to 'Cockleshell'. This growing stench of fear in the Unionist camp was not helped by one of their own suggesting that only offering the Scots a 'Yes / NO' option on the referendum was tantamount to political suicide and the sudden appearance of a grouping called 'Scottish Labour for Independence'. The counterattack from New Labour that it was a site set up by the SNP 'cybernats' fell to bits when the owner of the Farctbrick page and 'Labour for Independence' web site was pictured with his current Labour and Unison membership cards on the BBC Scotland item which tried to kill the story on him and his views. New Labour's next move was to try to get the author kicked out of Unison when they realised they had no means of kicking him out of Scottish Labour as he was representing the views of his local CA who had taken a legitimate and open vote on the issue. John Smith House was less than impressed when their main Union funder told them, on the matter of independence, the Scottish branch was taking a neutral position. Daphne McLung, as New Labour's Scottish 'leader', was coming under pressure from Scottish feminists groups to disown O'Halloran. In the mean time O'Hallorhan was coming under pressure from Murphy and Murphy's patrons to give them early notice of the remaining Commonwealth games contracts that were still to be bid for, or maybe a wee bird might twitter in someone's shell like, "' it widnae be a cockleshell either, pal." as the phone went down on the singularly, one sided conversation.

The First Minister sat in her cabinet listening with half an ear to the current discussion while thinking over what next to do with the information so far discovered about 'Cockleshell'. Seonidh was all for a trickle down approach of steady leaks, a 'much soft rain wears the marble' approach but something was causing Grayling 's political antennae to twitch and saying 'just hud yer wheesht' and stick with the, 'We are waiting for Downing Street and Westminster to hold their investigations and tell us what went wrong'. There was enough information in the public domain to ensure any mention of 'Cockleshell' was enough to raise another stushy in the online blogs across the political spectrum which was far more effective in keeping the profile high than the main stream media. We have a good idea, now, what happened in the 'Cockleshell' disaster so let us just sit back and watch how deep Westminster can dig its own hole over this. They are doing such a good job, they do not need any help.

"Do you agree, First Minister?"
"Sorry miles away for a moment ...  are we still on about wind farms?"

Grindstone monitored the Independent's on line edition and noted the lack of any article on 'Cockleshell'. He E-mailed his solicitors to send the second package to Independent Radio News. The establishment was already, clearly, hard at work covering each other's backsides but somewhere the dam would crack under the pressure of one of Grindstone's political bouncing bombs and the leaks would begin quickly followed by the information dam's total collapse. Tired out from this morning's work he walked to St Mark's Square for a well earned glass of Prosseco and a pastry.

Dinwoodie made a call to his journalist friend on the Herald only to be asked to call him back on his mobile in five minutes. Dinwoodie asked why the need for secrecy only to be told about Sentry's appointment and the new political editorial line that anything other than SNP bashing would not see the light of day in the Herald. That's a pity Dinwoodie said to his friend because I have a rather interesting tale to tell about New Labour in Scotland, organised crime and potentially illegal land dealing. Really his friend said can you give me a steer as I know the Herald will not take the article but there are a couple of excellent on line 'newspapers' that will. The one I am thinking about has over 60,000 original ID hits a day. Dinwoodie asked what that meant in old fashioned circulation terms. His friend replied that it was as near as dam it a daily circulation of 60,000 copies. Dinwoodie quickly worked out this was the same circulation as the Hootsmon and Herald combined. Can you give me your personal E-mail address as I do not think this should go anywhere near your Herald desk? His friend replied he would text it to him, on this number? Yes, replied Dinwoodie, its as good as any. Within ten minutes all the information Dinwoodie had on New Labour in Scotland, Cockleshell and the rest was on his way to his friend, anonymously, of course. Time for Dinwoodie to sit back and see who or what this would bring knocking on his door, he had touched light to the blue paper and now it was time to enjoy the fireworks.

Stanhope was wondering just what the Met Commissioner had done with the transcripts. He was certain it was nothing, as the Commissioner's hope of being the next head of the Met was reliant on not upsetting his political bosses in the Home Office or Downing Street. A position that was not possible if the Commissioner acted as a policeman rather than a politician. Helen, the SOCCO, had somehow guessed there was a bit more to do with Stanhope heading Pembrokeshire-wards early, than just picking up the information. Her woman's intuition detected the signs as he left, cleanly showered and shaved wearing a freshly ironed shirt, a pressed pair of jeans and polished brown shoes. There was also a slight hint of aftershave, a product she knew he rarely, if ever used. Well, she thought to herself, if he and the Prof are hitting it off good luck to them, it was about time he had a hobby other than the police.

"Marie, I'm on the Southern Severn Crossing as long as there are no hold up around Newport or Cardiff should be with you in a couple of hours."
"I trust your are using 'handsfree', constable, because that is what you will need to use when you get here." Marie laughed delightedly at his stuttering response as she put the phone down. I just hope the excitement doesn't cause him to crash she thought.

The news editor of Independent Radio News listened to the discs for a third time, in conjunction with the sworn and notarised affidavit that had come with them. To him it was dynamite and his public duty to ensure this got airtime. He spent an hour editing and copying the sound bites across and in the end had a five minute piece including his own voice over. He arranged for the piece to be networked across the UK's Independent news feeds at 6pm, during the main news, but insisted that the sound file was not to be touched by any of the subs and was embargoed until it went out. He had waited a long time to get the chance to put out an un spun political piece, there was no chance a leak was going to get it 'D' listed. He then set to, to write the web site news page to go along with the radio report. This was not going to be a white wash like the banks, this was going to be Westminster's 'Watergate' moment.

Stanhope was only a couple of miles from Marie's when the story broke on Pembroke Radio. He listened with amazement to the original recordings which Marie had painstakingly translated. The news reporter was very clear in his assertion that the phone sound tapes proved with out doubt Whitehall's complicity in 'Cockleshell' including clear evidence the plot was originated by Sir Nigel de Woodehead. There was a sworn and notarised affidavit which had arrived with the sound files that claimed approval had been given by the Prime Minister himself. For an instance he wondered if Marie had leaked the files but realised they would have been in Klingon and not plain speech. he pondered for a moment if he should contact Independent News channel to tell them the Met had a copy but as quickly rejected that as it would be self incriminating. What would be far more interesting is to see just how the Met Commissioner played the game. If it was as a policeman Stanhope would stay 'schtuum' but if it was political then a whole cart load would hit the commissioner's fan. He turned into Marie's drive with a clear head and conscience, switched off his mobile phone and decided the police force owed him some, well - in reality - a lot of, downtime. Marie was at the door smiling as he presented her with flowers, chocolates and a bottle of Piper Hiesdeck champagne ...... Oh you shouldn't have squealed Marie .... I hope this is just a down payment. With that they entered the house and closed the rest of the world outside for some quality time on their own, well once Stanhope had been slobbered to death by Marie's dogs.

Grayling heard a recording of the same news clip and simply said to Seonidh, time to take the gloves off.

In Whitehall and Downing Street 'Operation Denial' went into full swing while Dinwoodie felt a bit despondent at first but then thought, some time tomorrow a few hundred gallons of petrol would be poured on this particular fire via an internet news site to create a decent sized conflagration.

In the Observer's Chief Editor's officer there was a sudden re-think about containment of the story. They now needed to pull the story together from their source material before they lost the chance. A quick call to the Chief editor of the Independent ensured there would be front page column inches to run a taster that night prior to the full expose in the Observer on Sunday.

Grindstone turned on the BBC 24 Hour News as he came out of the shower to see a ticker tape breaking news story that top Whitehall Civil Servants other than the junior originally accused were involved in 'Cockleshell' according to an independent news report. Downing Street was denying any involvement and maintaining it was a single renegade civil servant. Grindstone waited with interest until the news reader stated what was known and the additional 'titbit' that Reuter's understood the Independent Newspaper was about to release further details about 'Cockleshell' in their next edition. Grindstone smiled, went down to dinner and had a bottle of the excellent Montepulchiano 2007 with a hint of sea salt in the finish. Later he booked himself a flight from Venice Airport to Doha, onwards to the Seychelles and a room in the Reef Hotel on the quiet side of the main island of Mahe. He had always fancied learning to play golf and it appeared the hotel did a golf coaching package. He settled his bill and organised transport direct to the airport by boat and car for early on Friday. By midday on Friday he would be beyond Whitehall's grasp. By evening, sitting on a hotel veranda over looking the Indian Ocean. For devilment he used his Natwest debit card to buy chocolates, for the room maid, in a small shop in the side streets off Venice's main tourist thorough fare in the Arsenale district. A local had told him how to find the shop and how the chocolates were hand made, using only natural flavourings.

On Thursday afternoon Hampshire Police's investigating team final got a hold of Grindstone's bank transactions it was clear that he had not withdrawn a penny since the Monday on the Natwest debit card. As far as his debit card and Natwest credit card were concerned he had fiscally disappeared in Basle. In old fashioned terms, the police were now, clearly, puzzled.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

This idiot's guide to the Scottish Constitution .. part 2

The Scottish Affairs Committee have yet again climbed to the top of their dung heap and cried a referendum on Scottish Independence its illegal. The Telegraph quickly raises the hue and cry that the referendum can be blocked by Westminster as it is not legal, in Westminster's eyes, under section 5 & 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act. In part 1 of 'This Idiot's Guide ' I argued why, under Scots Law and the considerations of the UK Supreme Court, these sections have no basis in Scots law. I argued not from a long nebbed legal view but by simply returning to the first and founding principle of Scots Law: we, the people of Scotland, are sovereign. In a representative democracy such as Scotland we, the people, are all those registered on the current electoral roles of Scotland.

The Telegraph's author clearly does not understand the law of Scotland nor that Westminster's claims of 'unlimited sovereignty' have no equivalent in Scots Law, as sovereignty is limited by the will of the people of Scotland. the UK Supreme Court agreed this in AXA vs the Scottish Parliament, confirming Lord Cooper's opinion in the Court of Session on the matter in 1953.

What is actually illegal are the attempts by the Westminster Parliament to oppose the will of the sovereign people of Scotland on this issue as Westminster is in breach both the Treaty and Acts of Union by usurping the people of Scotland's sovereignty without authority, as the people of Scotland's sovereignty was protected for all time by the Acts and Treaty of Union. In Scots Law 'all time' was defined by the Court of Session in 1953 to mean exactly that: all time. Further the Lord Advocate conceded on the Westminster Government's behalf that Westminster has no powers to alter, repeal or remove any aspect of the Treaty or Acts.

If we look at the make up the Scottish Affairs Committee one of the first things that strikes me is the number of non Scottish constituency MP's which sit on this committee due to the fact the Tories only have one MP in Scotland and Mundell just can not be everywhere - if he is, in fact, anywhere at all. I invite you to look for yourself at the members of this committee who are suposed to be giving over sight to the Scottish Office to ensure it is carrying out its fundamental task of ensuring there is no conflict between Westminster legislation, the constraints of the Treaty of Union and its Acts and the independence of Scots Law. A function they clearly failed to do when rubber stamping sections 5 and 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act. Of course a direct legal challenge was never supposed to happen courtesy of Donald Dewar's PR fix but it has and as I argued in part 1, not with the outcome Dewar, Blair et al expected.

Under Scots Law and constitutional practice the SAC's assumption of Westminster's unlimited sovereignty over Scotland immediately puts the SAC in the position of assuming the people of Scotland's sovereignty and in breach of the current Treaty of Union which states the people of Scotland are sovereign. Given the SAC is not representative of the sovereign Scottish people, as it contains MP's representing English Constituencies, it is exceeding its remit in making claims such as the above as clearly the issues of the people's sovereignty have been incorrectly disregarded by SAC. I would argue under the current laws that it is the SAC who are acting illegally and undemocratically by trying to deny the people of Scotland their rights as a sovereign people to end the Treaty of Union - which is after all what the referendum is actually about.

It may well be that we can seek to recall all Scottish MP's involved in the SAC report, under Scots Law and constitutional practice (with respect to their usurption of sovereignty) as they have breached the fundamental right of the people of Scotland's sovereignty by assuming it for themself and Westminster. I propose that the Scottish constituency MP's who signed and agreed this report are in breach of the conditions of the 1689 Claim of Right because they are misrepresenting the Crown's limited sovereignty in Scotland by their actions, putting the Scottish Crown at direct risk of impeachment under the 1689 statute for exceeding its powers and suggest the MP's could be indicted for treason on this issue under Scots Law, a code of law that does not recognise MP's immunity and in Scots Law there is no such concept as unlimited sovereignty..

This is clearly a recipe for constitutional and political mayhem but no worse than the mess the current SAC incumbents are trying to make of the Scottish people's sovereign right to decide whether to withdraw from the Treaty of Union or not.

What I hope I have demonstrated in these two 'This Idiot's Guide' essays is that constitutional issues are simple, not complex and are all based on the fundamental right that we, the people of Scotland, are sovereign. As such any body making claim to use the sovereignty of the people of Scotland is limited in Scots Law and practice by the will of the people of Scotland, as a representative democracy, by their vote to their sovereign parliament at Holyrood in the first instance - the very important legal point Micheal Forsyth made in his out right opposition to any devolution bill for Scotland at Westminster in 1997 and upheld by the UK Supreme Court in AXA et al vs The Scottish Parliament when the court, in effect, set aside the provisions of section 5 & 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act as unenforceable.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Bitter Together - 8. McCavity's not there ....

Dinwoodie found Grindstone's house with little or no trouble at around four am. He was not expecting lights and a fanfare when he arrived but five minutes of door bell ringing, banging on the door and shouting through the letter box left him exhausted and frustrated. He was about to leave when the lights went on next door and Ms Price twitched her nets to see what was going on. At that point Dinwoodie gestured for Angela to come out of the car as he popped next door and rang Ms Price's doorbell. Ms Price was standing in full view in the window with the sort of winceyette dressing gown and fluffy, pinkish, flannelette, teddy bear covered pyjamas he thought had died with ’Are you being Served’ in the 70's. The pussycat in her arms completed his mental image of Mrs Slocum going on about her ’poor pussy’ in a series of running gags in the sitcom. This lady should have simply had 'spinster' tattooed on her forehead and made it simpler for all. Angela managed to get her to come to the door where, with a lot of assurance and a little cajoling, they discovered Mr Grindstone was away taking a trip down the Rhine, from Basle, starting Monday. Angela left her card with Ms Price and asked her to call Angela if she heard from Mr Grindstone, as it was important they got in touch with him.

At ten to seven Ms Price was eating her bowl of muesli, prior to her morning shower, looking out on her backyard when a person in a black military style uniform, carrying an armed weapon and festooned - in a Tom Hank’s, Private Ryan manner - with what she supposed were hand grenades, jumped her wall, landed in her precious Lupins, startled Mr Grindstone’s cat then took up position behind her wheelie bin with their weapon pointing up at Mr Grindstone’s bathroom window. Twitching her front bay window curtains revealed another six similarly accoutred people rushing up Mr Grindstone’s front path where they proceeded to break the door down and rush inside shouting, ‘Armed Police do not move‘ at the top of their voices. One of the ‘secret policemen’, as she now assumed them to be, standing on the path covering the upper windows saw her and waved her back from the window. Ms Price pondered for a bit and wondered why they had not simply knocked on her door, like that nice couple earlier this morning, she could have told them he was away on his holidays down the Rhine and saved a lot of energy and down right, unnecessary vandalism. It was at this point Ms Price decided she would not tell these nasty secret police people anything about Mr Grindstone’s whereabouts, even if they asked politely. There were limits and by crushing her Lupins and scaring the cat, the police had just crossed hers.

Constable Stanhope looked around Grindstone's front room with a level of awe. He thought of himself as a 'Trekkie' but compared to Grindstone he was a rank amateur as signed photographs of, he presumed, Grindstone with George Takei, Leonard Nimmoy and the rest of the first series stars were in pride of place above the fire. The bookshelves contained the first video releases (VCR and Betamax) and box sets of Star Trek DVD’s along with the complete set of all the spin offs plus the movies. There was the memorabilia collected from 'Trekkie' conventions from all over the world and here in a drawer some original scripts signed by Gene Rodenberry himself. There was, to Stanhope's mind, something incompatible between being such a clear 'Trekkie' nut and the 'terrorist' who was supposed to live here. If Grindstone had been in deep cover he must have been waiting a long time for his chance. Stanhope completed his careful and thorough search and moved out into the hall just in time to see the 'techie' coming down stairs with a computer tower in her hands. Stanhope nodded at the SOCCO 'techie' (the petite and adorable but married Helen) to have a look and watched as the woman's eyes went wide with amazement and mouthed ‘I'll be back for a better look’ to Stanhope. Stanhope remembered seeing a lady next door twitching her ‘nets’ so crossed the fence and knocked on the door. Ms Price came to the door in her slacks and cardigan with that shiny just showered look that said 'fluffy pink'. He explained what had happened, asked her name and if she knew anything about Mr Grindstone and his current whereabouts? Ms Price was quite short with him and asked was it necessary for the UK's security that secret policemen could jump into her garden, destroy her Lupins and scare her cat. If that was the case then neither Ms Price nor her cat thought much about the secret police. Stanhope apologised again for any inconvenience to Ms Price, no he was not a secret policeman, his usual beat was as a community police officer around Alton and this role as a Hampshire Armed Response officer was, if she liked, a side line; about Mr Grindstone? About Mr Grindstone Stanhope found out very little other than he worked in London and, pointedly, he liked Ms Price's Lupins and her pussy, otherwise he kept himself to himself and had been no trouble in the ten years since she had moved in next door to him. Stanhope was left with a sense of unrequited love and a longing from Ms Price that Mr Grindstone could have been just a little more demonstrative, from time to time, in her general direction.

Back in the forensic lab the 'techie' took Grindstones tower to bits. It was clearly designed for running HD video and digital sound, with top of the range cards for both functions. There was a large amount of ram which suggested downloading big files and moving them rapidly but no hard drive and the mother board had been removed. It was clear, what ever else Mr Grindstone might be, he was computer literate to a high degree. There would be little information to be had except for a few ghosts in the machine. Her next move was to check who provided the fibre optic internet connection which turned out to be BT. BT were about as helpful to the police as they were to any of their customers and would not divulge any information they held on Mr Grindstone's account with out the production of the correct judge's warrant under the Data Protection and Control Act, in person at BT House in Basingstoke - terrorist emergency or not it was more than their job was worth. Oh, and there would not be anyone there until it opened to the public at nine am on Monday.

Next up was to check with the Border Agency to see, if by chance, they had logged Grindstone's passport outward bound over the last twenty four hours. Heathrow was nearest, so it made sense to start there. It was now midday on Sunday and they were still no further forward in tracing Grindstone's current whereabouts. So Stanhope and the rest of the team headed for Terminal one in the hope they would strike lucky.

The situation report from the Metropolitan Police Anti Terrorist Commissioner mid Sunday afternoon was less than helpful or reassuring to Cambourne. The 'Gritstone oik' had flown the coop and had taken his computer mother board and hard-drive with him. The Police Commissioner agreed with Cambourne this was indeed a suspicious action but not a fit basis for an Interpol terrorist warrant, just yet. All the forensic tests had come back negative for any explosives in the house and a thorough search had failed to find any fire arms. BT were being less than helpful but that was just par for the course. Currently officers were going through passport details at Heathrow to see if Grindstone had gone abroad, This search could take sometime because of the shortage of Border Agency Staff no official passport checks had been carried out on any EU or EFTA out bound flights to ensure they had enough people to handle the incoming Olympic Traffic through Terminals Four and Five. So his officers were having to trail through all out going flight, passenger lists for the last three days.

Stanhope arrived at the Swiss Air desk at 8pm by 1030 pm he found what they were looking for, Grindstone had flown to Zurich on the Saturday. Now all they had to do was watch for withdrawals from his Natwest bank account in Woking to get an idea where he was.

At lunchtime on Sunday Grindstone had used his Natwest debit card to pay for a trip down the Rhine, he then paid for his Zurich to Basle rail ticket (standard single) and withdrew £50 in Swiss francs in Basle all using the same Natwest card. Using his new Swiss bank card he returned to Zurich first class with a ’Gold Account’ discount. He had laid his trail of crumbs, it was now a question whether Hans and Gretel of the Swiss Police would follow it with their Interpol warrant in hand.

Monday morning, on the stroke of nine, Stanhope and Helen, the SOCCO, arrived at BT House in Basingstoke. At nine thirty the door was finally unlocked so they could get in and by eleven, after multiple ‘jobs worth’ phone calls between BT Basingstoke, BT HQ and the Data Protection Quango, Helen, finally, was allowed to down load all the data from Grindstone’s BT vault. By midday they were back in Helen’s lab looking at what appeared to be heavily encrypted document files which were in a folder entitled insurance and pension - everything else was in readable formats. It was clearly going to be a long afternoon, so they went for lunch before getting down to work. While Helen was working on breaking the encryption Stanhope contacted Grindstone’s Natwest bank branch - there was no chance of getting any details on the use of Grindstone’s debit or credit card, in effect anything to do with his account at all as the Natwest Tower server had fried in the power surge on Saturday and the Natwest folk were currently migrating the personal account ‘backed up’ data to a new server from the RBS mainframe in Edinburgh but in terms of overall importance it was down at the bottom of the Natwest IT department’s ‘things to do’ list. Current best guess is it would be Wednesday before all the personal accounts were back online and up to date.

At five pm the Metropolitan Commissioner responsible for anti-terrorism reported the lack of progress on breaking into Grindstone’s computer files to the Prime Minister but suggested they could put out a ‘missing person’ request to locate Grindstone to the Swiss Police as Grindstone was needed back in England for personal reasons. Cambourne made a ‘make it happen’ gesture and walked out. At noon (BST) on Tuesday Frau Schmitt of the Basle Police Force confirmed a Mr Grindstone did join a Rhine River Cruise at Monday Lunch time. The Chief Steward on the ‘Tannenbaum’ would pass on the message to contact the UK urgently, on Mr Grindstone’s return, as he was on a wine tasting trip to a local Riesling winery - according to the schedule.

It was the same time when Helen and Stanhope made the break through. Stanhope had decided to listen more carefully to the wmp voice files. As he listened, his brain joined up the dots. It was a sort of ‘eureka’ moment when he realised he was listening to a recording in pretty good Klingon. He handed over the headset to Helen and replayed the section. Helen agreed with Stanhope, Grindstone had clearly encrypted all his important document and sound files into Klingon. They spent the afternoon trying out all the proprietary Klingon to English translators on the web but only generated snatches of readable English. As for the sound files, there was no facility. Helen and Stanhope agreed, Grindstone had clearly developed his own translator for document and sound files - no doubt because the popularly available ones were not accurate enough for a deep ‘Trekkie’ of Grindstone’s standing. They were going to have to get authorisation to allow an equally deep ‘Trekkie’ who was fluent in Klingon to listen and translate the sound files. Stanhope picked up the phone to the big boss in London. This was going to be an interesting, if slightly bizarre, telephone call.

Grindstone took an early train from Zurich to Milan on the Monday arriving just after lunch. Having seen inside the famous Milan Duomo and walked in the Milanese fashionista’s Victorian shopping mall, just off the main square, he decided to give Milan a miss. Grindstone took the next train to Venice having booked a room, half board, at the five star San Clemente Palace sitting on its own private island, with a courtesy boat which would pick him up from the station and, according to the travel agent, a shuttle which runs from the hotel to St Mark’s Square twenty four hours a day - Serrenissima.

On Tuesday afternoon Stanhope found himself knocking on the door of an eco-house in Pembrokeshire where, apparently the Home Office UK expert on Klingon lived. The lady had even done her PhD on created languages focussed around Klingon, how the language had been developed by ‘users’ until it was now very sophisticated and postulated the whole construct as a potential way all human language had developed. The Cambridge University linguistic professors who had carried out Ms Hartnell’s viva voce had little or no clue about Star Trek but clearly recognised academic brilliance when they read it. There were multiple deep barks from inside what looked to Stanhope like an Iron Age round house but with a turf roof rather than thatch. Then again he did not think Iron Age house builders went to two floors including a massive solar on the south facing side with triple layer glazing. There was a woman’s voice telling the dogs to get into the scullery, a door closed and the sound of dogs diminished slightly. There was a rustle of a door chain being removed and this very elegantly dressed woman opened the door. Somehow Stanhope had been expecting dungarees, frizzy hair, crocs and bottle glass thick John Lennon spectacles; not Chanel - he was caught in a visual dissonance. Luckily Professor Marie Hartnell had no such difficulty,

“You’ll be Police Constable Stanhope with an interesting challenge for me, please call me ‘Marie’. Do Police Constable’s have a first name when on duty?”, she smiled, Stanhope tried not to let his mouth gape too much or dribble to run down his chin.

“George - Ms Hartnell, I mean Marie”, Stanhope was blurting words out like a love sick cow.

“Do come in George, I think this is going to be fun - don’t you? Coffee or tea?”

“Coffee please, Marie”

“Chocolate Digestive Biscuit? - only plain, I’m afraid”

With that George was ushered into the living room with the massive solar window looking south over the Pembroke Peninsula - there was a hint of Ysatis lingering in the air. Stanhope felt he had died and gone to heaven as he sat down on the sofa and looked around at the minimalist yet beautiful interior of the room, dominated by a huge polished steel, 360 degree, Jotel wood burner and dashed with a few exquisite abstract water colours on the flowing, corner less walls and not a single piece of Star Trek memorabilia in sight - in a weird way this lack of memorabilia disappointed Stanhope.

Sue Barker was ensconced in the BBC's Olympic control 'Argos' gazebo speaking inanely to the experienced GB hockey international, Tricia Cullen, about her own experiences of hockey as a 'gal' (blue knickers, tucked in blouse, chapped hands, red knees and tartan thighs) when she quickly put her serious face on, switched cameras and announced they were going across to New Scotland Yard for breaking news from the Metropolitan Commissioner in charge of anti-terrorism for the games.

" Ladies and gentlemen, I have a short statement to make on our ongoing investigation into Saturday night's terrorist attack on the Aquatic Centre and power lines from Scotland. Further to information received we are looking for two young Scotsmen aged between 19 and 25 in connection with the bombing. They failed to return for their shift as security guards on Sunday night. They are described as being of scrawny build, around six foot tall with mousy coloured hair. Both speak with a strong Glasgow accent and are believed to have been living in the Peckham area of South London for some months. They were last seen wearing their McWeiner Security Tabards, caps and armbands as they left, with T shirts, blue jeans and trainers. We believe they would have returned to their Peckham base before returning to Scotland. From the sophistication of the attack we suspect they were not acting alone and would have had accomplices. If anyone in the Peckham area has seen two young white men fitting this description and associating with others in a suspicious manner could the please contact the Metropolitan Police hotline. Later today I hope to announce a further breakthrough in the case. There will be no question session at this time due to the nature of ongoing operations."

A number of local journalists started laughing as they chatted about the announcement, after all 'acting suspiciously' was the norm for most young folk in Peckham. Chuck in a white van and you could go ahead and arrest most white youths in Peckham 'on suspicion'. One wag went as far as to suggest given the Met's usual modus operandi that it was amazing they were not blaming some 'whited up' and disguised Afro-Caribbean youths.

At the time of the Metropolitan Police statement a German Police Puma helicopter established the hover over the Tannebaum's upper sun deck. A dozen members of its elite anti-terrorist squad rappelled down ropes to the deck and, guided by ship's officers, quickly descended to Grindstone's suite on deck two, port side. When they were in position their boss gave the order and they simultaneously burst in through from the external balcony and cabin door, locating Grindstone lying on his bed dressed only in a pair of boxers, socks that were more hole than anything else watching a German soft porn channel on the 72 inch plasma screen. Before Grindstone could utter a squeak he was face down on the deck, gagged, with his arms and legs secured by plastic binders. Half an hour later after digital images were exchanged with London and passport details confirmed, it became clear to the German Police this was not the man they were looking for.

They embarrassingly cut the plastic binders, apologised over the mistaken identity and got the shaken young man a very large Schnapps while he explained how this nice man had starting talking to him when he was working out how to blag a barge trip down the Rhine from the pier head at Basle - preferably paid. The two of them went for a coffee, pastry and the man explained that he had a ticket for full board and all excursions on a Rhine trip to Rotterdam but had been contacted by his secretary and had to return to England in a hurry. Would the young man like his ticket for the fourteen day cruise? To a skint student from Wolverhampton, touring Europe on a pittance, it was manna from heaven - all his Christmases had come at once when he discovered the ticket also included a free mini-bar in his cabin.

The Metropolitan Police did not bother with their further announcement. BBC News 24, Fox, CNN Europe, Al Jezeera and Sky's coverage of the German Police's abortive raid from eye witness accounts and mobile phone videos had rendered it superfluous. Grindstone was clearly not the pathetic, stupid, little man his Civil Service bosses had pegged him for. The Metropolitan Police were now over 48 hours behind Grindstone's game but he would have to draw down more money or use his Natwest Mastercard at some point, £50 in Swiss francs would not get him very far. Then they would be back on the trail, once the Natwest had got its IT game together on Wednesday, that is.

Stanhope left Pembrokeshire with a transcript of very interesting calls between Grindstone and both his bosses which Marie had translated for him from the Klingon originals. She hoped to have all the documents transcribed by Friday if he would like to come back for them - otherwise she would E-mail them to his office. Stanhope had reacted like a typical man wondering why ask him to come back if she could E-mail them? The penny dropped when she gently touched the back of his hand with her fingers. She recognised the confusion in his eyes and his male thinking process as the penny dropped - being a professor of psychology had clear advantages in these situations. Stanhope stuttered one of those most stupid of male sentences, "But... we've only just met ..."

"I know," carried on Marie gently, "I would like to meet you some more ... why not come on Thursday night so we can have the full day on Friday to discuss the files and what they mean. Is there anything you don't like to eat?"

"No. I 'll give you a call when I am on the Severn Crossing."

"See you Thursday, then." Marie gently brushed her lips across his cheek and watched with wry amusement as he coloured. At times she could be very naughty but it had been a long time since her husband, who had been a professor of marine biology, had died in a diving accident. There was something very 'John like' in George's manner, an innate kindness and generosity even his ingrained police cynicism could not hide. She felt warm inside for the first time in five years and felt no need to analyse herself or her motives any further. There were times to switch off being a psychologist and just go with the flow.

In a solicitor's office in Woking a secretary was handed a brown envelope, by the senior partner, to post to the political editor of the Independent newspaper - registered, same day delivery.