Tuesday, 31 December 2013

2013 .........

The best thing about the end 2013 it brings Scots within nine months of being able to end this dysfunctional political Union which no longer meets the needs of any of its constituent parts with the possible exception of the Greater London area.

For me it has been a year of thinking seriously about the sort of Scotland I wish to leave future generations of Scots. I am for a Scotland which embraces our middle of the road conservative socialism. A Scotland where government addresses the electorates needs and expectations rather than enforcing a narrow political ideology at all costs which is increasingly the norm from the UK Parliament. A politic growing ever further away from the Scottish sense of a common weal with its rush to put a cost on everything while ignoring the real value inherent in the public function, whether it is the NHS or Welfare, and then as quickly as the UK Government can get away with it, selling the public body paid for by UK taxpayers onto their chums in the banks and corporates. This in itself is not the worst, what is the worst is they can not even value the public business as in the case of Royal Mail at its market value and put it on the market for 60% of its true value. Not only is Westminster selling of publicly owned assets off, it is doing it on the cheap.

My dislike of Ian Duncan-Smith's Welfare Reform Bill has been expressed previously on this blog this year so to keep my sanity I will be brief. Just how can a system be claimed as successful when it turns out that the IT system has failed at a cost of £4.2 million odd, the cornerstone of the reform has been delayed yet again as in its current form it is unworkable, ATOS have stopped providing ESA85a 'medical reports' to the DWP as they have run out of money and will only carry out home assessments (and having hoovered up all the taxpayers' money are whining their contract with the DWP is running at a loss). I have now gone through the appeals tribunal process and I was left with the view you were guilty until proved innocent (luckily I won my appeal four days before Christmas). This is another good reason to vote 'Yes' in September 2014.

Where ever you look in 2013 it is clear the politicians in the UK Parliament have little or no clue as to what is happening in Scotland. They are basing the idea that the rUK parliament will hold the whip hand in any negotiation to end the Union while failing to understand the only constitutional legitimacy a rUK Parliament will have is as the English sovereign parliament, all based on an error made by Bagshotte in the mid 1800's on the nature of the Treaty of Union and Scotland's place within it.

As for Better Together their campaign is now being recognised as failing by their own leadership - Project Fear is turning into Project Farce. The polls are showing a leakage from 'No' to 'Don't know' and even to 'Yes'. The alarms are beginning to ring in Tory Central that chucking money at the problem is not working and maybe their safe pair of hands in Alistair Darling are not that safe after all. Things must be looking bad if even Boris Johnson has started to notice and state his concerns.

I bet even Elizabeth, Queen of Scots is looking on in disbelief at the total and utter mess her government at Westminster is making in their attempts to keep the Treaty of Union in place. No wonder she is currently throwing a sicky.

To all my readership and friends: I wish you prosperous New Year and look forward by this time next year talking about the way forward which a once more, sovereign Scotland is taking.

Labour, their pals in Better Together and the Glesgagrad pocket will fall.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Less Power to the People?

Living in rural Scotland we often lose power for up to 48hours - once we get over the indignation of just how dependent our lives now are on electricity, get the wood burner ticking over and cook on the old fashioned oil fired Aga (rather than it being a 'status symbol') - there is indeed an area of calm in the silence; away from our modern, chatter, mobile phone, filled lives.

The last power cut saw my ex-wife write free poetry for the first time in her life - she has always stalled before, having been brought up on the curse that poetry must 'rhyme' and she was no good at 'rhyming'. The dog and cats all lie together in front of the wood burner - recent conflicts ignored (for the time being), as I read with the sharp, grey light from the south facing window window. Later, after walking the dog - frequently accompanied by two out our three cats - the candle and oil lamps will be lighted and instead of living our separate lives, at opposite ends of our Victorian house, me and my ex-wife will sit, sometimes in congenial silence, sometimes talking - still good friends, though no longer lovers.

Maybe power cuts are not such a bad idea, after all.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Out of Control ..... Out of Control ....

Anyone else think we have a Westminster Government which has lost control, lost the plot and lost any common decency as it increasingly requires the use of English Police Forces to impose its policies by criminalising peaceful protesters, denying them the right of free speech and the right to freely congregate in protest?

The irony is the 'Libories' are trying to do this in the NW of England where the folk memory of the 'Peterloo Massacre' remains a powerful icon.

If the rush to 'frack' England stupid does not happen just how much of an energy 'black hole' will this bunch of dullards leave England with?  Given it is importing more and more electricity into England each year.

How much longer will the likes of Ian Taylor from Vitol continue to bankroll the Tories when his 'personal' £0.5 million contribution to the 'Better Together' campaign has failed to get the commercial extension to the Airth Field, near Falkirk, by Dart Energy any further forward than it was this time last year, even with supposedly tame Labour lead councils in Falkirk and Stirling?

The SNP Government has made very clear it will oppose any commercial fracking license in Scotland as long as it remains the majority party at Holyrood.  As a result Ian Taylor very publicly announced 'Better Together' would not get another penny from him. There is also silence from Mr Osbourne's father in law's company Caudrilla about their plans to expand 'fracking' on the 'Solway' field near Gretna which is contracted to supply gas to the National Gas Grid by mid 2014. The extension to the original license was refused by SEPA in mid 2013 and currently Five Quarter Energy based in Newcastle (part of Dart Energy PLC) are seeking to re-apply.

According to a SPICe briefing the price of North Sea gas could fall if the EU states agreed to decouple gas pricing from the price of North Sea Oil. Clearly Wee Eck found a way around this 'EU fix' in the deal he negotiated between BP and Ineos for North Sea gas at a reduced cost, while resolving the Grangemouth Refinery crisis.  Yet Bloomberg New Energy Finance state in their opinion that, even under the most favourable case for shale gas production,[coupled with] low demand, the UK will not be self sufficient in gas. The reliance on continued imports will ensure that UK gas prices remain tied to European and world markets and so the direct impact of shale on the cost of electricity in the UK will be limited.”

This all brings us back to the out of control government at Westminster and raises the question just who is benefiting from artificially keeping the price of North Sea Gas high and why is the UK Government not seeking the decoupling of North Sea gas prices from North Sea oil as a way of reducing gas turbine generating costs rather than pursuing either shale or coal bed methane, using a technique on shore which is causing environmental problems in the vastness of the USA, let alone in the high density population reality which is the UK. The British Geographic Survey may consider the damage caused seismic slippage due to 'fracking' is no worse than a lorry going by; but that is not how it felt to this dweller of the North Solway coast on the two tremors felt here when the Solway Field was actively being worked.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

An Alternate Queen's Speech

I have decided that 2014 will see my abdication from my realms of Scotland and England in protest at the harm my Government and those who attend my palace at Westminster are doing to this nation, returning it to levels of poverty unseen since the 1860's, putting young children out on the streets, criminalising ordinary people because there is no work available for the vast majority of the unemployed.

The wholesale removal of the system of welfare support and the NHS in England on the unsubstantiated grounds of 'cost' is beyond the pale and fails to consider the real value of these innovations, introduced under my father's reign, have brought to my realms of Scotland and England.

If my realm of Scotland decides to end the longstanding Treaty of Union in September 2014, I may consider abdicating only in my realm of England and retire to my estate at Balmoral as Elizabeth, Queen of Scots - where I will be left in peace to see out my days. I will then leave it to the English establishment to decide whether to allow my son his place on the English throne or by-pass him for my grandson (and to be honest I would not blame the English Lords and Parliament if they did).

I truly despise the Amercanisation of my Parliament at Westminster and its rush to the bottom, alas under the current 'unwritten constitution' I have no say in the matter and simply remind my realm of England you get what you vote for.

I wish you all some hope in the New Year but advise not holding your breath.

Goodwill to all.

Christmas Day, 
Touches of blue sky.
The clouds appear to have their breath back
After the last two days of rushing, manically North West,
Thrashing rain and sleet at the windows.
The countryside is at peace with itself once more.

Yet the people?
Still they rush manically around in their houses, on the roads,
Fighting each other to be 'happy' at Christmas
While turkeys get burnt, gravy boats clatter to the floor and,
'That pink scarf?' What possessed you to buy that!:
As tempers fray and alcohol bites acidly at the stomach.

Christmas Day -
A time of goodwill to all men (and women too).
Just when has that ever happened?

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Tiny Tim has died...

The whole point of Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' is to raise social awareness within his middle class audience (at both ends) of their responsibility for the welfare of those less fortunate of themselves. Dickens approaches this task with a mix of dark humour and satire. I am fairly certain Dicken's audience would have known who Mr Scrooge was in real life as with the Ghosts and Marlowe. Bob Cratchit would also be a recognisable figure who served in the shops they were beginning to frequent or offices where they did business, a man who would be honest if slightly obsequious towards them. They would know what the housing was like in the parts of their town where the Cratchits and other families trying to 'improve themselves by their own efforts and hard work' would live.

The Cratchit's were poor but the right sort of poor, the deserving poor, the sort you would not mind helping out. The real poor, those deemed poor in 'spirit', who seemed to wish to stay stuck or are permanently stuck where they are in their squalour and filth, these were the undeserving poor as far as Dickens' audience were concerned. 160 years later and nothing has changed. The politicians today continue to play the same game of the 'deserving poor' versus 'undeserving poor' while doing little or nothing to help either group in real life.

We see this in the way Westminster politicians appear to be pleased to open 'Food Banks'. They congratulate the staff of these concerns without any thought to the cause of the need, with as much aplomb as an unreformed Scrooge. Platitudes cost Westminster MPs nothing, any donations they make are put down to expenses and like Dicken's Work House Board in Oliver Twist return to trough their fill of food and drink in the Palace of Westminster while both sets of 'poor' are left with spaghetti hoops and a dented tin of pineapple.

Here's the problem with this clinical split of 'deserving' and 'undeserving poor' they are one and the same. Too skint to purchase food after paying for rent and energy, increasingly ill with preventable diseases caused by poor nutrition, appearing in NHS Surgeries across the UK presenting with symptoms of malnutrition which modern doctors are ignorant of, because at no point in their training did the UK medical colleges think they would see nutritional poverty raise its ugly head across the UK. Nutritional disease was supposed to have ended in 1948 with the Welfare State and its associated health service. Rickets was to be a disease of a past age, along with TB, diptheria, typhoid and other diseases mass inoculations would bring to a near end as is ever humanly possible.

Yet since 2010 diseases of a nutritional nature are once more on the rise in a country ranking in the top 20 in the world economically. We do not live in Nepal or Haiti; we live in the United Kingdom, the rise of nutritional related illness can only be happening because of politics and political decisions.

What evidence do I have for my claim?

Look at the papers, 85,000 people are homeless since the Welfare Reform Bill became law. In Scotland alone it is estimated 80,000 disabled people are negatively affected by the new regulations which have replaced Disability Living Allowance along with the 'extra room sanction'. The DWP's own figures show that 1,000 people die within six weeks of being sanctioned. Figures from the Trussel Trust this week showed that over 23,000 people in Scotland – including nearly 7,000 children – are being forced to rely on foodbanks, an increase of 19,000 people on the same period last year. We have heard from a UN Rapporteur that the 'extra room sanction' introduced by Labour is contrary to human rights and should be suspended and rethought through given the damage it is causing to families. To hide these UK Government failings, they have the cheek to refuse funding that would help the food banks meet the need of the people the food banks help, from the EU. When Mr Duncan-Smith was questioned by a committee of his peers in the House of Commons, it was clear he had no clue as to the actual impact of his ideologically driven Welfare Reforms. Even the Office for National Statistics have censured Duncan-Smith for misusing their statistics in an attempt to justify his failed ideology on welfare. When there was a debate on the need for Food Banks he sneaked away just as soon as he could. Yet in the face of all this evidence and the man's duplicity, Cameron remains in full support of his Minster of State at the DWP, Mr Duncan-Smith.

There has been only one group of politicians I have heard who have openly and routinely condemned the need for food banks in the 21st Century UK - the hated separatist Mr Salmond and his SNP party spokesmen and women. For Labour in Scotland these people are the undeserving poor, the 'something for nothing' brigade. For the Libdems these people are sadly 'collateral damage' as the UK Government they are part of tries to balance its books (ignoring Osbourne's fiscal incompetence as Chancellor has seen an exponential increase in UK Government borrowing since 2010). While for the Tories this is all a great success while they sell off what is left of the UK public estate at knock down prices to their friends in global corporations. Most recently the Royal Mail and after 2015 it will be the NHS in England. Will some nightmare figure take Cameron to task this Christmas, so he understands what he is actually doing as Prime Minister Scrooge?

I will not be waiting another Christmas to find out, this September Scrooge will be getting his marching orders from me, hopefully the majority of Scots and he can become the people of England's problem, after all; they elected him.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Thank you for coming .....

Today I appeared at my DWP Tribunal, in spite of taking the time to write the following, I was basically asked how I was feeling today and they would take note of my written submission. Then they wonder why normal folk get annoyed and angry - at least they had the decency to ask me why I was annoyed;

Appeal against ESA ruling

In October 2013 I attended my appointment with my ‘case supervisor’ in the course of the interview I was advised to appeal as it was the DWP staff member’s opinion I was in the wrong group and it was on their advice I have lodged the appeal.

In the course of researching a response to the DWP’s claims made via their ATOS sub-contractor a number of issues have come to my notice which have a direct bearing not just on my case but potentially all appeals against the DWP in Scotland.

Breaches of Human Rights:
1.    In a landmark ruling at the Court of Session, Lord Cooper stated the concept of the ‘Crown in Parliament’ was not recognised by Scots Law or constitutional practice as the longstanding constitutional precept of the ‘considered will of the Scottish people being paramount’ had been preserved for all time by the Treaty of Union. Lord Cooper further stated that the words ‘for all time’ in the Treaty of Union meant exactly that. (McCormack vs the Lord Advocate, 1953) This ruling was recently upheld by the UK Supreme Court in AXA vs the Scottish Parliament where the ruling stated, as part of the reason for refusing the plaintiff’s case, the UK Supreme Court had no power to overturn decisions of the Scottish Parliament which reflected the considered will of the people of Scotland. I have since reviewed the Westminster and Holyrood votes on the introduction of the current DWP policies and note that at both Westminster and Holyrood the majority of Scottish MP’s and MSPs voted against the new policies introduced by Iain Duncan-Smith. In this they were expressing the considered will of the people of Scotland and yet these regulations are being enforced in Scotland – on whose authority and with what constitutional legitimacy?
2.    The UN Special rapporteur indicated that on the balance of evidence the current DWP policy towards claimants was in breach of their Human Rights under the UN Charter of which the UK is a signatory. The Minister of Justice at Westminster – Mr Grayling was unable to tell MPs whether the UK is bound by the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. A short check on the EU web site reveals the only country with an opt out is Poland, the UK requested no opt out – contrary to Mr Blair’s claims at the time – and the protocol which applies to the UK is merely that the ECHR cannot directly investigate English or Scots Law to ensure compliance with the charter; a charter which became EU law and enforceable in March 2009 on the full implementation of the Lisbon Treaty.

EU Charter of Fundamental Rights - Dignity:
Article 3 (i) Everyone has the right to respect for his or her physical and mental integrity
Article 5:(ii) No one will be required to perform forced or compulsory labour
1.    The methodology of testing and assessment used by ATOS in their health assessment is based round an ipsative format. All such formats are recognised to be, at best 70% accurate for each and every test undertaken, not as a percentage of all tests. Standard operating rules for such a test in the UK requires a face to face interview to discuss the individual test’s findings and review the accuracy of the assessment. This does not happen within the ATOS assessment system as is clear when my first sight of the ATOS Medical Assessment, on behalf of the DWP, was after I had commenced the appeal process. At no point during my initial interview did the DWP case worker discuss this medical assessment; in doing so the DWP and their ATOS agent have failed to respect my physical or mental integrity contrary to the EU Charter on fundamental rights. Let alone failing to follow standard procedure for the use of ipsative testing in the UK. An ipsative testing license also requires that members of staff who make use of data from this source must be properly trained in its use and assessed as being a competent person.
2.    It is also appears that DWP policy is also in breach of Dignity Article 3(i) and Article 5(ii) in attempts to force those with health problems to attend compulsory working groups.
3.    There are chilling comparisons which can be made between current DWP policies, their impact on the vulnerable in society and the Nuremburg Laws of 1934: “Under the "Law against Dangerous Habitual Criminals" of November 1933, the police arrested many Gypsies along with others the Nazis viewed as "asocials", and "work shy", including prostitutes, beggars, chronic alcoholics, and homeless vagrants, and imprisoned them in concentration camps.” Mr Duncan-Smith has already suggested in the Westminster Parliament the possibility of setting up ‘work camps’ for the homeless, the feckless and the unemployed. He talks of ‘forced labour’ which leads to speculation these camps will have a snappy slogan such as ‘Work Makes You Free’ over the gates as the people enter
4.    In a written answer to Michael Meacher MP under a freedom of information request the DWP revealed that around 1000 UK citizens die within six week of being sanctioned by the DPW. Shelter estimate 80,000 people in the UK are now homeless due to DWP extra bedroom sanctions and expect the total to rise by 5,000 more in the period up to Christmas 2013.
5.    What, morally, is the difference between the impact of DWP sanctions and their related death rate of 600 people a month and the Nazi’s gassing or shooting 600 people a month?
6.    Are the courts and tribunals of the UK, blind to what is going on?
7.    Lord’s Denning and Cooper made clear it is the role of courts and tribunals over time immemorial to reign in the excesses of the UK’s political executive when they are in breach of the law and of the constitutional rights of the people in Scotland and England.
8.    I request this tribunal should seek guidance from the Lord President of the Court of Session in the matter of potential and actual breaches of the people of Scotland’s longstanding legal, constitutional and human rights, protected by the Treaty of Union for all time, by the DWP and its agents.
9.    The Court of Appeal has upheld a ruling that the Government's controversial fitness to work test does disadvantage people with mental health problems which casts doubts on any part of the ATOS Testing regime’s competance. (5/12/13) 

The Medical Assessment by ATOS
1.    It is in the public domain that the authors of ATOS medical reports are reliant on internet resources such as ‘Google’ in the creation of their reports. It is also suggested the authors of the ESA85A are not qualified to make decisions on the impact of health conditions on individuals due to their lack of expert knowledge of occupational health, geriatric health, mental health and other issues. There is also evidence in the public domain which makes clear these medical reports are written to achieve UK Government targets (therefore triggering contract bonuses for ATOS) rather than assessing the individuals actual health state and the real impact on the individual’s ability to conduct themselves on a daily basis in clear breach of Dignity: Article 3 (ii) of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights.
2.    In my case it is clear the DWP have taken no cognisance of previous health assessments by their predecessors in the Benefits Agency which in 1996 stated I would never be fit enough to undertake any employed work due to the medical conditions I have. My own medical advisors sought an agreement to allow me to carry out part time work on health grounds without it affecting my benefit. This I did up until 2005 when I suffered a suspected TIA and, as there is a family history of cerebral aneurism on my father’s side; I ceased part time working to protect my long term health, seeing this TIA event as a warning sign. Now, apparently, according to ATOS I have been cured of all those pre-existing conditions which impact daily on my life which previously had been agreed left me unfit for employment.
3.    I must congratulate ATOS in their amazing power of implementing a health care miracle which would leave Lazarus slack jawed but I am now 17 years older than when a Benefits Agencies full medical board came to their decision. My chronic medical conditions are more chronic and more debilitating simply because I am nearly 60.
4.    Yesterday (28/11/13), for example, when sitting on the toilet I turned my head quickly to the right to see something and then sat there with a severe pain running down my right arm which then turned to numbness of my fourth and fifth digits and related dermatome which lasted over five minutes. Then there is the impact of the days when my fibromyalgia is active which, even with pain control, is marked by sporadic muscle cramps, pain in joints, tender muscles, painful breathing and the sense that someone has kicked me in the testicles with a big pair of tackety boots. These attacks are so debilitating I will routinely sleep for over 12 hours as part of my recovery, be awake for six hours then easily sleep another 12 hours and still feel exhausted. The run up to Armistice Sunday triggered another PTSD/manic depressive cycle which in turn saw me hiding under my duvet for three days and from which I only returned to being a functioning human on the 22nd of November.
5.    How can Dr Hogg make any sensible assessment of my mental state using the information on the ATOS designed form or make any credible judgement under sections 29 or 35 of the DWP regulations? Clearly Dr Hogg in the ESA 85A does not think any of this is sufficiently debilitating or any impairment to employment in a limited capacity. Yet he also says that work is unlikely in the longer term which leaves me confused and stranded in some Franz Kafka style limbo of DWP bureaucratic double speak. I can be put in group ‘A’ because it makes the statistics look good yet actually I should be in group ‘B’. The DWP’s problem is they have put too many folk in group ‘B’ this month so group ‘A’ it is for me and the ATOS manager’s bonus is safe. This is the only way I can make sense of the medical and general assessment.
6.    Just what specialist qualifications does Dr Hogg hold to be deemed an ‘approved disability specialist’?
7.    For example; is he a member of the Royal College of Physicians or the Royal College of General Practitioners – just who has accredited him as a ‘disability specialist’?
8.    ‘Specialist’ has a clear and specific meaning in the health care world and always requires some form of certification of competence in the ‘specialty’ from a recognised academic or professional body. To claim to be a specialist when you are not is in breach of the Medical Registration Act and brings about sanctions for misrepresentation from the General Medical Council, for making false claims with regards to professional qualifications which are not properly attested.
9.    We have a local man who fits stair lifts and who also claims to be an ‘approved disability specialist’‘- he is, at least, ISO 9001 certificated.

1.    All in all, as you may now realise, this process has left me angry, upset and very stressed as a direct result of a DWP Through the Looking Glass World where, like Humpty-Dumpty, words are twisted, bent and warped in time and space to mean just whatever the DWP and Mr Duncan-Smith wants them to mean.
2.    If in the process the ‘clients’ get even more ill, are made homeless or commit suicide, it does not really matter because ATOS get their contract bonuses and Mr Duncan-Smith gets his political statistic to wave at Westminster claiming more success for his program of welfare reforms.
3.    Justice will keep its blindfold on and keep its head down while claiming its powerlessness in the face of Government regulations. Justice empathises with the Mr Thomson’s of this world but our hands are tied while, in true Pontius Pilate style, washing her hands of the grime.

In response?

Thank you for coming, Mr Thomson - was all I got out of them - you will hear in due course what our decision is. My decision is to petition the Court of Session in the New Year seeking to have the UK DWP, Welfare Reform Act 2012, deemed incompetent under Scots Law and constitutional practice.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

The Three, nearly Four, Decade Old Lie ...

Figures explode subsidy myth: Scotland gave £27bn more than was received (Robbie Dinwoodie, Glasgow Herald, 27 March 1997)

Exclusive CLINCHING evidence that there has been a huge net flow of funds from Scotland to the Treasury since 1979, came in an answer from the Government in the final hours of the old Parliament last Friday, the SNP will reveal today.

Not only do the latest figures destroy the last main argument against the suggestion that Scotland paid £27bn more than was received in public spending, they suggest that the actual figure was nearer to £31bn.
Mr William Waldegrave, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, has been forced to concede figures in Commons questioning in recent months, which show that if Scotland’s share of North Sea revenues had been allocated since 1979, then the net flow in favour of the Treasury from north of the Border ran to £27bn – a figure which the SNP used to refute previous claims that Scotland was subsidised.

As soon as Mr Waldegrave saw the implications of the figures he had released in January, he attempted to backtrack, and Tories in Scotland fell back on trying to question one key figure – Scotland’s share of the UK deficit. This was 17.9% in 1994-95, almost double the per capita share, and disputed by the SNP.
But Scottish Secretary Michael Forsyth called the assumption that this figure of 17.9% was constant over the 18 years a ‘‘ludicrous assumption” which ”hugely distorts calculations”, and his objection was picked up by right-wing commentators, and even by Labour campaign co-ordinator Henry McLeish, who described it as a ”heroic assumption, a fundamental flaw”.

But last Friday, as MPs were leaving Westminster – some for the last time – a final written answer to a question from Mr Andrew Welsh, SNP MP for Angus East, emerged. Mr Waldegrave gave the figure for Scotland’s deficit share for every year since 1979, and the average turned out to be almost exactly the 17.9% first identified.

A jubilant Alex Salmond said last night: "The Treasury answer – wrung out of it on the very last day of Parliament, and after a month’s delay – has blown the last shreds of the Tory subsidy myth out of the water. For the second time, William Waldegrave has been caught out telling the truth. This new Waldegrave admission proves beyond doubt that it is Scotland which subsidised the rest of the UK – not the other way round."

He claimed the Scottish subsidy to London now worked out at £6,200 for every man, woman, and child in Scotland. The same Treasury analysis, showing an upturn in oil and gas revenues, shows a projected surplus over the next five years of a further £12.5bn.

Now that that key figure disputed by the Conservatives has been shown to be accurate, the only other line of attack for critics of the SNP analysis will be to dispute Scotland’s share of oil and gas revenues, and only last week, the Government suggested that the North Sea belonged to a ”region” of its own, the Continental Shelf, rather than to Scotland or England.

However, Aberdeen University oil economist Professor Alex Kemp, a member of the Scottish Secretary’s panel of economic experts, said last night: "This is clearly not very sensible or logical."

I have not previously lifted pieces to such a large extent from other blogs but this is so vital to be disseminated and is too important not to raise as much awareness of as possible - so a big recommendation and huge credit to 'Wings' for yet another excellent piece of investigative journalism.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Roger Waters - did he hit a sore point?

The Gruniad ran a piece by Roger Water's in which he set out to demonstrate that the Israeli State had ended up no better in terms of how it deals with the 'Palestinian Problem' than the National Socialist State which gave rise to Israel's re-birth in 1948, dealt with the 'Jewish Problem' in the 1930's. At no point did Water's infer that the Israeli State was indulging in state authorised concentration or murder camps.

The argument now rages over in Gruniad land over whether Waters is an anti-Semite or is he simply using history to reflect on some unpalatable decisions made and which continue to be made by the Israeli State, under the guise of 'security'.

If posters stopped and found out what the Israeli Government via its armed forces are up to on the Gaza strip you would begin to ask just what is the difference between the forced 1930's Jewish Ghettos in Germany and the current Palestinian Ghetto of Gaza.

A month ago the Israeli Government as a 'punishment' stopped all fuel supplies entering the Gaza Strip. The inability to generate power for public amenities left raw sewage running through the streets, not just from Gaza but from the surrounding Jewish settlements which use the Gaza treatment plant. When ever the Israeli Government takes the hump with Gaza or the Palestinian Authorities in general, the Gaza Ghetto is sealed off.

The Israeli Government is guilty of ethnic cleansing on the West Bank, as well as in the period immediately post 1948 which is recognised in the numerous resolutions in the UN with respect to Israeli Government land grabs. Land grab resolutions which the US routinely vetoes. The current Israeli Government is guilty of authorising such land grabs within the last six months on the West Bank. To anyone with a knowledge of history of the 1930's and 40's the similarity with the National Socialist concept of 'lebenstraum' and forced removal of native populations does not pass unnoticed. The Palestinians would argue that the Israeli Government has indulged in the equivalent of 'Christal Nachts' on numerous occasions since 1948. Most recently in the release phosphour weapons over civilian areas and the shelling of the UN Compound in Gaza.

The weakness of apologising for the Israeli Government's behaviour against the Palestinians on the basis the other side are just as bad is, it misses the point, as a Western sponsored and funded state Israel should be demonstrating a better example, rather than indulging in the same religious pettiness and division.  More, as a people who suffered such indignities and destruction at the hands of an evil oppressor; they should, surely, be seeking to avoid dealing in the same evil currency.

The idea the State of Israel is cohesive in its religious attitude and committed to a right wing form of Zionism is a myth generated, in the main, by the ex-patriot US Jewish community who are far more extreme than the Jewish people I have met, when in Israel, on the subject of Gaza and the Palestinians, and much else to do with the Arab problem. This extremism is reinforced by the billions of dollars each year pumped into Israel by ex-patriots into West Bank settlements (many who have never been to Israel) alongside a US Federal aid budget to Israel of in excess of $3 billion which further skews the argument in the Knesset.

The average Israeli is no more or less an extremist 'nutter' than the average EU citizen - we all have our illogical hatreds and equally illogical likes - but what most citizens in the EU and Israel wish, is to be allowed to live their lives in security and at peace with their neighbours. I bet if you ask the average Palestinian, Syrian, Iraqi or Iranian that is what they would wish as well. 

The Middle East will remain the mess it is for as long as Russia and the USA continue to use it as their proxy battlefield in an attempt to safeguard their own oil and gas supplies. Saudi Arabia is the USA's balancing counter to Russian influence in Iran and so it goes on across this sad and conflicted region.This continuing ulcerating sore is about Exxon and Gazprom and on which, Israel's continuing existence is presently reliant. This knowledge, in some part, explains the Israeli State's paranoia over its long term future - what happens when USA world policy and strategy no longer needs Israel?

The problem lies not with people but with Governments and power blocks who continue to fight imperial and political battles of the 18th Century in the 21st Century, in a real time game of 'Risk'.

If this all makes me an 'anti-Semite' (with all its pejorative accusations) then I stand guilty, as charged.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

A Snowball starts rolling?

Thanks to all the readers of the Scottish Breakaway article, you have made it one of my best read articles yet.

On the request of one reader I have forwarded the article to Tom Rymer at the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights in Poland. I will let you know in due course if my argument gets this organisation to rethink its current approach that the 2014 Referendum is an internal matter for the United Kingdom and is not within their compass unless invited to observe by the 'sovereign government' which they consider is the UK Parliament at Westminster.

I hope the research I have undertaken and presented in brief in the article will trigger the OSCE to reconsider its current stance and seek to take an active role in monitoring the UK Parliament and media's current denial of a platform to the Yes side of the argument. I will blog on any response I get.

The considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount, this alone makes Scotland a different political space as a representative democracy, where the people are sovereign. It behooves each and everyone of us to remember to make our considered will known and ensure the politics of Scotland dance to our will and not those who pretend to be our betters - whether together or not.

Silence in this matter can not be an option, we have to state our considered will accurately and consistently and not let the UK rogue media silence our voice or our right to express our considered will.

I hope I have started a small constitutional snowball rolling, it is up to others to make it bigger and roll faster until it is unstoppable and in September 2014 hits its target square on.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Nay, Nay and Thrice Nay!

Why I am fighting hard to end the failed and lopsided UK Union Parliament by returning to the Scottish realm its sovereign parliament?

I have a vague hope that by doing so folk in England will get off their collective backside and force the reformation of the current dictatorial and out moded Westminster political system, a change required to make it fit for purpose in the 21st Century as the English Parliament. I will not be holding my breath as the ever rightward drift of English politics carry's on unabated. This could be a side effect of a 'Yes' vote in September 2014 but is not why I am voting 'yes'.

I have spent the last year being attacked in person and in print for seeking the end of the UK Union, often by politicians of Better Together and their supporters. I have watched and read in horror at the gyroscopic spinning of Scottish Labour MP's in a rush to do their own country down. These MP's inability to see past their hate for the SNP and their fear of the SNP's continuing electoral threat to their failing hegemony in Scotland. The scare stories become ever more frantic, ever more quickly debunked because these Labour and other Unionist MPs fail to address the concerns of the people of Scotland or the stated needs and expectations of the people of Scotland for a less centralised UK in the 21st Century, for full fiscal autonomy, for a very different Scotland to the one currently envisaged by Westminster, in a very different UK.

The UK Parliament at Westminster's fear of fiscal autonomy for Scotland and its implications for the current UK Treasury may well be seen as the political error which endes the Union, by refusing the people of Scotland their considered will for their country and a new Union.

This campaign for a 'Yes' vote to end the Union and return the people of Scotland's full sovereign powers to Holyrood, is outside of 'normal' UK politics, it is outside of the frame used to view 'normal' UK politics by the UK media. 'Yes' is a campaign which is being made to happen by tens of thousands of ordinary people, across Scotland, of all and no party allegiance who share a simple, yet powerful idea; Scotland will be a better and fairer country outside of the UK Union.

This is such a simple idea that a Westminster politic focused on personal advantage, a London centric financial system focused on personal advantage and a media in the thrall of the politics and financial greed of neo-liberal capitalism focused on personal advantage, simply can not comprehend. It is not complicated or Machiavellian enough an idea for their normal mode of political operations and actions to handle. So they spin scare stories in an attempt to make this simple, concise, political aim appear more complicated than it in fact is. While in the process make horribly clear they have no clear intentions to present to the considered will of the people of Scotland which addresses this political expectation.

In the end I am saying 'Yes' to the political idea of creating a better and fairer Scotland rather than saying 'Nay, Nay and Thrice Nay' to Better Together and the uninspiring status quo.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013


I note the UK Government are going to double their budget for dementia care according to the Gruniad and other media.

As usual, hidden away in the detail, we are talking about the doubling of the NHS England budget for dementia care masquerading as 'UK spend'. As anyone with any grasp of basic arithmetic knows multiplying any number which is near to zero as makes no difference does not create as impressive a result as the idea of 'doubling the amount' actually sounds. Further it is not clear in any report if this is 'new money' or just another 'Rob Peter, to pay Paul' scenario so common in this and the previous UK Government's dealings with the NHS in England. The question comes down to just how far can you trust a man and a party which is selling off the NHS in England, by the back door, to Capita, Serco and US Healthcare companies?

Meanwhile, back in Scotland, I and my sister are dealing with the raw face of dementia and have been for the last three years while Fife NHS and Social Services played pass the parcel with our mother. The signs have been there. Four years ago my mother  was already having all her conversations with me in the context I was my father. The occasional slip could be mistaken as 'old age' but for two hours at a stretch being called 'Tom' became very trying. My sister was getting it far worse as she was being accused of only visiting to steal my mother's money and not being her daughter. I am a retired dentist, my sister was the Head OT for Psychiatric Geriatrics and Dementia in the Highlands so we talked about the signs and symptoms we were seeing that clearly our presence was triggering. For the two years prior to our mother excluding us from her life by giving her solicitor 'power of attorney' we attempted on numerous occasions after our mother being hospitalised to hold a proper case conference and assessment prior to her release in concert with the GP, Fife Social Services and Fife NHS. Somehow NHS Fife always managed to discharge our mother before this conference could take place. On two occasions NHS Fife sent our mother home with out informing Fife Social Services or my sister and it was only due to the care and diligence of my mother's longstanding neighbours, her return home was notified to us, so in turn we could ensure Fife Social Services re-commenced my mother's care package and ensured 'basics' were in our mother's fridge - we had already ensured there were a supply of 'chilled meals' in my mother's freezer. The company supplying my mother also had to be informed of her return to ensure there was no over stocking of the chilled meals.

It was one of our mother's best friend's who warned us about our Mum's 'Mr Kipling' dietary regime which was all she would eat for a two month period. Yet this, apparently, did not raise any concern amongst her 'carers' nor did the bouts of frank melena and diaorrhea which left my mother's bathroom carpet sticky under foot after being 'cleaned'. Even when my mother began to abuse her emergency call system, no one on the NHS Fife or Social Work side took any notice, in fact Fife Social Services threatened they would remove the emergency call facility if my mother did not stop abusing it. The steady drip, drip, drip of signs of our mother's failing mental state continued to be ignored by the system which was supposed to care for and monitor her. The saddest thing is we are not alone with this experience of NHS Fife and Fife Social Services concerning parents with slow onset dementia.

After a year of handling my mother's affairs and experiencing her mood swings, changes of mind and the frustration of banging the solicitor's head against the brick wall of NHS Fife and Fife Social services with power of attorney, my mother's solicitor contacted my sister as he had come to the understanding, we had set out to him two years previously when our mother shut us out of her life. Contact was basically 'keeping us in touch' with our mother's affairs but clearly identified the solicitor's concerns. In a nutshell the 'nice, old, smart, sharp client' the solicitor had been dealing with on and off since 1988 was no longer present. A year ago in an attempt to persuade my mother it was maybe time to voluntarily enter a care home as her neighbour's and friend's health was failing and their ability to look out for her less reliant (they are, after all, in their late 70's and early 80's as well), I wrote to her. As a result the solicitor was subject to an interview laced with hatred and bile - me and my sister were just after her money and 'wanted the house' any idea we cared about her was a 'front' to get at her money. The tirade clearly left the solicitor concerned about her actual mental state, as was reflected in the next official 'contact' with us.

This is all happening within the frame work of a system in Scotland which is better resourced than the equivalent system in England. Yet it is a system which still struggles to cope to meet the actual needs of people with dementia. The system struggles within a budget constrained by the linking of NHS Scotland budget to the English NHS budget coupled with the removal of some £20 million plus per year from the Scottish Social Work's budget share by Westminster (after Gordon Brown's huff that the SNP won most seats in 2007 at Holyrood) for putting this 'free' home care package together in the first place - ironically one of the best things the Labour / Libdem coalition at Holyrood achieved in its tenure.

The point becomes, just how meaningless is the UK Government's claims for doubling a budget for a service in England which is in an even worse state than Scotland's better resourced but struggling system?

The good news, in someways, for the solicitor, my sister and myself is the latest hospitalisation of my mother forced the case conference which has been avoided for the last four years. It is now agreed she is not safe to be returned home on her own. By Christmas our mother will be in a care home which specialises in dementia care, near my sister, which the trust fund to be set up on selling my mother's home and into which her pensions are to be paid, will cover her contribution to her care, with ease. In that my sister and I are lucky that our father left my mother well looked after financially when he died, other siblings - I realise - are not so fortunate.

As for my mother - I just have to deal with the reality the 'person' is no longer there in the most part, it sounds harsh but it is as if you are dealing with a 'look-a-like' who you know is not the real person. This does not make the experience any less painful at times but without this rationalisation, I could not handle what has happened.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

The Scottish Break Away

Oh, Scotland has nae got a King
And she dis’nae hae a Queen.
Hoo kin thir be a Second Liz
Whin the first yins niver been?

So went a song popular in the folk clubs of Scotland in the early 60’s. Behind this song was a constitutional problem, a problem got round by a 1952 Bill in the UK Parliament which changed the way the United Kingdom numbers its monarchs. The change had little to do with constitutional niceties and everything to do with PR, a new Elizabethan age and of course to see off those pesky Scots who had just dumped a petition of over a million signatures at the door of 10 Downing Street requesting the Scottish home rule, as per the suspended bill of 1914, as promised in 1922 – I think you get the picture.

The constitutional points raised in the attempts to get Liz 2, Liz 1 in Scotland failed in their primary purpose. Yet the judgement set out by Lord Cooper in 1953 (McCormack vs the Lord Advocate) highlighted a core and potentially more intrinsic problem for a UK constitution which was fundamentally the English constitution in all but name and it was this: Scottish Law and constitutional practice does not recognise the English constitutional concept of the ‘crown in parliament’. Lord Cooper went on to make some key constitutional statements that UK constitutional experts have been arguing the impact of, ever since:
  • The Treaty of Union preserved the independence of Scots Law and constitutional practice for ‘all time’
  • ‘All time’ meant exactly that
  • The UK Parliament could have no say in any negotiations on any revisions to the Treaty of Union, this could only be negotiated between the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England
  • The considered will of the people of Scotland was always paramount
All these points were conceded on Westminster’s behalf by the then Lord Advocate.

The constitutional concept of the considered will of the people of Scotland, just where does this come from?

We have to go back to the Declaration of Arbroath to discover the written roots of this concept. Some historians would claim the concept had long been part of Pictish tradition in the way their kings were acclaimed rather than it being a family business. Kenneth McAlpin changed it to familial succession in the early 10thCentury much to my forebear’s, the MacGregors’, chagrin (the suggestion is it was their Buggins Turn on the throne) and something we MacGregors are still whinging about today. Public acclamation - a version of the expression of the considered will of the people.

The Declaration of Arbroath was a multi-purpose document as it was:
  • A PR stunt to get crowned heads across Europe on Scotland’s side
  • A political document to persuade the Pope our King was the real deal  
  • A rejection of Edward the First’s putative claim to the throne of Scotland via an old treaty of the 10th century when a newly united Scotland and the newly emerging England combined forces against the Vikings
Yet within this high flown document, with its outrageous claims, was the key statement regarding the ‘freedom’ for which Scots strive and most importantly the declaration that any King who looked as if they were giving in and endangering this ‘freedom’ would get their jotters. This is the first written declaration about the power of the considered will of the people of Scotland, it was a power which could set aside a ‘God anointed’ king or queen. Of course this power was to be wielded by the Lords and the Church; well you just cannot trust the people – can you.

Robert the Bruce blind-sided the Church and the Lords by inviting the Burghs to send representatives to the 1328 Parliament and by creating the Scottish Parliament of the Thrie Estaites allowed a clever Scottish monarch to manipulate two out of the three factions to ensure his will was what happened. Not so clever Scottish monarchs found themselves dancing to the Thrie Estaites tune and on at least two notable occasions found themselves out of a job – the most famous of these being Mary, Queen of Scots.

This is the historic context of the constitutional ideas of the ‘sovereign people of Scotland’ and the ‘considered will of the people of Scotland’ arose which in turn defined and set Scots Law from the 14th Century onwards, establishing in Scots Law the concept of all are equal under law.

In the late 1600’s the problems with James the Seventh came to head as his attempts to bring a French style of monarchy, where he held sole and ultimate power over everything, began to founder. The Thrie Estaites in agreement with the Parliament of England put pressure on James the Seventh to leave and give up the Scottish throne or be kicked out on the basis he was threatening the freedoms of the people of Scotland and it was the considered will of the people of Scotland, James should go.

To this end the Thrie Estaites brought forward a bill, The Claim of Right (1689) which stated the reasons why James the Seventh was out and the contract, with the sovereign Scottish people, any future monarch of the Scots would be signing up to, clearly defined. This Claim of Right was sworn to by Elizabeth, Queen of Scots the night before her English coronation in 1952 before ‘representatives’ of the Thrie Estaites. The 1952 Coronation was set up to look like the Scottish and English crowns are unified yet the reality in the UK is the crowns are not unified and never have been. This in turn brings us to the point Lord Cooper made in his 1953 judgement Scots Law and constitutional practice does not recognise the purely English concept of the ‘crown in parliament’. Lord Cooper did not see the constitutional point of where Scottish sovereignty lies ever becoming contested within the Union and accepted the established constitutional fudges of a Scottish Parliamentary Committee and a Scottish Secretary carrying on indefinitely, as it was the only way the Union Parliament could effectively function. Lord Cooper never considered the impact of devolution and the transfer of power to a Scottish Parliament in his judgement.

In 1999 this particular fudge began to unravel as the Scottish Parliament officially resumed from its suspended sitting of March 1707. The 1998 Scotland Act was supposedly designed to ensure sovereignty remained in Westminster even though the legitimacy of this claim was now open to question as it is solely based on the constitutional concept of the English crown in Parliament. In turn the return of the Scottish Parliament raised the other Union claim as where did the ‘considered will of the people of Scotland’ now lie, Edinburgh or Westminster, and just how ‘sovereign’ are the sovereign Scottish people of the 1689 Claim of Right. This was supposedly sorted in clauses 5 and 30 of the 1998 Scotland Act but, at that point, there was nowhere with the legal authority in the UK which could rule on these two clauses legitimacy. As the penny dropped that some smart Scottish Nationalist could seek to challenge these clauses in the European Courts, Blair cooked up the UK Supreme Court as a way of preventing any such challenge in European Courts and thought he could pack it with English judges to ensure the Scotland Act was read the way the Government wanted. The self same English judges pointed out the UK Supreme Court could not operate as desired by the politicians as they had no jurisdiction over Scots Law. The Megrahi debacle merely emphasised Westminster’s inherent ignorance of the legal and constitutional fudge that is the UK when Jack Straw rail-roaded a bill through the UK Parliament on prisoner exchange, to speed Megrahi on his way back to Libya, only to find Scottish judges did not recognise the bill as competent and anyway Scots Law already had prisoner transfer legislation in place, in line with EU requirements, thanks very much. It was the Scottish Government who decided Megrahi’s fate, allowing a man with a terminal illness to return home on compassionate grounds and little thanks did it bring them from a UK Government that only months before had been trying to secure the same end. Megrahi raises an interesting constitutional question; was the Scottish Government’s decision to release Megrahi one of a sovereign state reflecting the considered will of the people of Scotland?

The big test of Clauses 5 and 30 of the Scotland Act was played out in the UK Supreme Court in AXA and others vs the Scottish Parliament over the bill of the Scottish Parliament not to allow insurance companies to wiggle out of their liability for people suffering from pre asbestosis or silicosis lung plaques. AXA’s basic case was; as the UK Parliament had passed a bill excluding plaques from insurance liability, a junior, devolved parliament had ignored this ‘master bill’ and the UK Parliament Bill should take precedence over ‘subsidiary legislation’ by the Scottish Parliament. The argument was for the bill of the Scottish Parliament to be struck down. In the weeks and days leading up to the UK Supreme Court ruling the national media was full of the embarrassment about to be dealt to the Scottish Parliament and to Mr Salmond in particular, by AXA’s submission to the UK Supreme Court, according to various ‘legal experts’ who were routinely paraded across the UK’s television screens. The UK Supreme Court did not play ball with the ‘experts’ and instead made clear they had no power to set aside a bill of the Scottish Parliament. One of the reasons for not setting aside this bill, hidden away in the judgement, was the bill on lung plaques reflected the considered will of the Scottish people as expressed by their parliament. In this the UK Supreme Court were clearly taking their lead from Lord Cooper’s 1953 judgement on the importance of the considered will of the people of Scotland.

When we look at the Referendum Bill we see a UK Parliament, who would have done anything to prevent a Scottish referendum on ending the Union from ever happening, apparently caving in fairly rapidly. What happened to Cameron’s first assertion the UK Parliament would never allow such a bill? Why were clauses 5 and 30 in the Scotland Act not immediately brought to bear, to put down the devolved parliament in Edinburgh on this issue?  Could it just be the UK Government’s legal advice was they could not prevent the considered will of the people of Scotland being expressed in the light of AXA’s defeat in the UK Supreme Court? In the end, the referendum is happening much as the SNP Government always said it would, yet the option of Full Fiscal Autonomy which would have most likely kept the Union intact is the very option the UK Parliament chose to block and ignore. We know the reason why this is so, Lord Cooper made it clear in 1953. Full fiscal autonomy would require the renegotiation of the Union Treaty and this can only happen in negotiations between the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England. A deal an English Parliament and its electorate would be unlikely to agree to.

What, I hope, is increasingly evident, in this brief overview, is the power wielded by the considered will of the people of Scotland, in Scotland when we have politicians who are not willing to play Westminster’s ‘Move along, nothing to see, don’t you Scots bother your pretty heads’, game.  The question of where sovereignty lies is clear, it remains with and in us the Scots electorate and we decide who we allow to wield it, not Westminster nor Holyrood nor Elizabeth, Queen of Scots – they should just do as they are ‘telt to’ by us, the Scottish people – Scotland is a representative democracy.

It has taken me two years of research on the Scottish constitution to reach my current view point. I have deliberately gone back to primary sources because the problem with being an expert  in any field or reading what experts say, is you are lead to justify the status quo, mainly because that is what ‘experts’ are ‘taught’ to do and not to think sideways. “What if my elders and betters are wrong?” is not a question ‘experts’ often ask.

In the remaining months, leading up to September 2014, it is time to remind Scots who actually owns and runs Scotland – us, the Scots electorate. We have no need to be subservient to any politician whether in the Union Parliament or at Holyrood.  Scotland is its people first and foremost and our considered will remain paramount, this the whole point of Scotland, constitutionally, being a representative democracy, no matter how Westminster tries to spin it or tell us otherwise. Westminster lost any remaining control over of Scotland with the Edinburgh Agreement. This loss of control is seen in the ever more outrageous scare stories Westminster politicians and their tame media seek to spin on their ‘here one minute, gone the next’ forays into Scotland. Scare stories which do not stand any detailed examination and are often contradicted by the very next scare story as Grangemouth and now BAE systems on the Clyde clearly establish.

If I am on the right track with my research and thinking is it any surprise Westminster is keeping its legal advice, on the Scottish Referendum, close to its chest.

(Prepared for an on line journal; as yet unused)

14:27 Appendix:

Given the considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount and  in votes in both Westminster and Holyrood the majority of  Scottish Constituency MPs and MSPs, respectively voted against Ian Duncan-Smith's Welfare Reform Bill, and thus expressing the considered will of the people of Scotland, just where lies the legal and constitutional authority to impose this bill on Scotland? 

I would argue there is no legal and constitutional authority to enforce this bill in Scotland as the only authority the UK Parliament has on this issue is from the English Crown in Parliament and therefore this bill can only be competent under English Law and constitutional practice and not in Scotland under its separate law and constitutional practice protected for all time by the 1706 Treaty of Union.


I can not sleep, my mind is whirring like a Dervish, not fueled by Khat but simply with disbelief at the absolute rubbish politicians get away with saying on the UK media.

There was the absolute travesty of the Mandela show at Westminster where it was more important to knock lumps out of each other, as usual, rather than saying anything cogent about Nelson Mandela. It was pure political sophistry masquerading as a tribute, a pathetic bun fight - but then I had warned myself it would be thus.

Then there was the Ian Duncan-Smith show where he sought to justify the horror show that is the DWP and his misbegotten and inhumane policies. In any other business but politics he would be drummed out of his job, desk cleared within 10 minutes of leaving the committee room. The man is a blustering incompetent who thinks we will buy his fallacious statistics and his Humpty-Dumpty bending of words to make them mean just what he thinks they should mean. When some one starts to believe their own lies there is clearly no hope of any sense or change of policy.

Tonight in Scotland we had the real spokesman for Labour in Scotland, Anas Sawar MP, slithering his bilious way across our television screens, leaving a trail of foul smears and other fecal matter as he tried to avoid  answering a single question put to him. His coiling and uncoiling was an attempt to hypnotise the viewer to ensure we never got an answer to why the Falkirk PPC for Westminster is a failed Labour MSP who not even the voters of a Labour stronghold, Airdrie and Shotts, could stomach. It has nothing to do with the fact she is a Blairite, a member of the Jim Murphy clique and a faux Trade Unionist who knows how to work the political gravy train. This 'safe pair of hands' was the fourth choice official candidate as PPC which demonstrates the paucity in Labour's Scottish Region.

Tomorrow we are in line for another Mandela fest of the great and good(?). More of the media's purulent, projective vomit as insincere, for their own public, statements from politicians not fit to lick Mandela's boots. In the meanwhile, Zuma's ANC are doing everything they can to prevent one of Mandela's real friends, the Dalai Lama, from entering South Africa in order to stop the Chinese, who back Zuma and the ANC, from taking the hump.

Cry Freedom, for that is all that is left for you to do - freedom does not exist, except in the tears of missed opportunity, stolen by politicians at every turn, in every country.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Considered Will - how do we exercise it?

Small constitutional error oft repeated as gospel is the Union of the Crowns.

This 'union' never happened. James VIth and Ists big idea never got off the ground and was rejected out right by the sovereign parliaments in both Scotland and England. The present Queen is correctly Elizabeth, Queen of Scots as per the Claim of Right 1689 (Scotland) and separately Elizabeth Second of England. The fudge introduced by Churchill in 1952 to was to bring forward a bill on the future numbering of monarchs within the UK Union to preserve the Elizabethan PR spin he was already generating. It does not effect how the crown is constitutionally seen in either of its realms within the UK.

Same head - two different crowns with two different constitutional realities of the role of the respective crown's, on one head. In England the monarch is technically sovereign (and lends their sovereignty to the English Parliament), in Scotland the people are sovereign, by the action of their considered will, and have been since the 1328 Parliament of the Thrie Estaites.

Lord Cooper in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate (1953) debunks the false constitutional premise started by Baggshotte in the mid 1800's which gave rise to the idea that English constitutional practice had subsumed Scottish constitutional practice in the UK Union Parliament at the time of Union, based on the idea of the mythical 'Union of the Crowns' which meant the concept of the 'crown in parliament' was paramount. Lord Cooper makes clear this is not and has never been the case, there was no 'Union of the Crowns'.

The only Union effective in Great Britain is the political union under the Treaty of Union between the sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England. A treaty either sovereign parliament can decide to with draw from and the UK Union Parliament is powerless to prevent (a legal and constitutional point conceded on UK Parliament at Westminster's behalf by the Lord Advocate).

The current unwritten UK constitution and practice is based on a conflation, whether deliberate or not, and is fundamentally flawed. It is flawed as it fails to recognise that the considered will of the people of Scotland remains paramount ( Lord Cooper 1953 / UK Supreme Court AXA vs the Scottish Parliament). This considered will both at Westminster and at Holyrood rejected the current DWP changes enforced by Ian Duncan-Smith. 

This gives rise to speculation of on what authority can the Tory Party enforce this heinous Welfare Bill on Scotland given the considered will of the people of Scotland has rejected said Bill, unanimously, via its representatives both at Westminster and at Holyrood? 

The considered will of the people of Scotland remains paramount and Scots Law and constitutional practice does not recognise the concept of the 'Crown in Parliament' so where does Tory authority and legitimacy lie?