Thursday, 27 February 2014

My land, is your land, is our land.

In wind swept silence my pup and I
Walked an ancient path of rocks sett still
Towards the headland's salt sea air.

I ponder long on my land's fate

And as the vista clear and bright

Shone out to me, my dog enrapt
In sights his nose could see
And sounds his ears could smell.

We came upon an ancient cist

Made by hands of millenia past
And by this saw the pluke like points

Of Tumulli standing guard, all in a row.

What great old men and women

Of peoples who once lived here
Above the Eden Valley fair
Were cold interred in ancient days.

Their spirits kept to vouch safe

The lands their hands had worked to clear
For all time that the tribe would fare
In health and wealth and prosperity

Yet frost and snow and glaciers great

Curtailed this hope and made their fate,
Ground down their land with glacial might
Flooding all that was left with sea.

The sea which carved its own delight

Among the ancient planes of rock
Which Grecian Titans tore and tortured, 
Twisting continents on their side.

And Galloway now is shaped and bent

Not by the hands of politician's might
But by Earth's own force of will - 
We do well to note - on Brighouse Bay.

Having heard the ever rising crescendo of fear and hatred  pouring out across my ears and eyes from folk whose terror of Scottish Independence rises by the day. I took time out to walk in the late winter sun, with Dillon the Dug and clear my head of the dull orisons of repeated statements of hypocrisy, ignorance and empty threat that belabour me daily from all sides.

This not about politics, it is about my land, your land, our land and how we can best hold it for future generations, as generations past have sought to hold it safe for us in ways we may not now agree but they thought for the best.

Monday, 24 February 2014

An ancient survival tactic - but can it really save the UK?.

I was watching a fascinating Horizon program on how we human's make decisions and further how this programing occurred far back in the evolutionary tree of the primates some 35 million years ago.

In simple terms we humans have two decision making systems - an instantaneous one which is virtually automatic and a slow decision making process where we seek to think logically like Mr Spock.

The tendency of most humans is to use the quick decision making system, the problem is this system is riddled with bias and relies on what we think or wish to be true. This system makes a decision and then whether right or wrong seeks to justify or prove this decision is 'right' via the slow decision making process. Of course the slow decision process will only identify information or knowledge which agrees with the decision. It is why the 'status quo' or 'Aye been' position is so comfortable for the majority of humans because it saves us from really looking at the decisions we have made or have failed to make. locked into all this is a deep seated, hard wired decision making process to be loss averse. So hard wired that behavioural scientists estimate it goes back down the primate evolutionary tree some 35 million years after a study undertaken on Rhesus Monkeys.

This brings me to the point: I have never seen such a dislocation between the politics of the UK Government, its opposition and the majority of rest of the UK Electorate - even considering how distant UK Government policies are from Scottish aspirations. This is seen on threads discussing a Yes vote in September 2014. There are a hard core of Britnats lurking around on the Gruniad threads but I am seeing more posts saying Scotland go for it, get out from under this incompetent UK Government of fools, good luck.

I believe it is because Westminster is now making fast decisions on the bias of loss aversion. There is no rational basis to their clinging on to the failed theory of austerity and yet both the main parties keep trying to prove austerity is working when all the hard evidence (rising Government debt / reduced UK Treasury tax surplus compared to previous years) demonstrates otherwise. The same with the failed benefit reforms - the actual figures are no where near as good as Mr Duncan-Smith had tried to claim in self justification for his socially destructive reforms, to the extent the National Audit Office has censured both the Minister at the DWP and his department for their misuse of data. Yet the Labour party are peddling the same 'truths' as fact.

We see this loss averse decision making in the sudden rejection of UK Treasury advice (July 2013) to Osbourne that a currency union was of mutual benefit to both sides on a Yes vote. This new 'plan' to exclude an independent Scotland from Sterling (even if they could) is not a rational fiscal or economic plan for a post 'Yes vote' world; it is a decision to try and prevent loss, to keep their present world intact and, as we see in the daft, biased and increasingly bizarre threats, to justify their position. Even in the face of a number of slow decision studies which prove the opposite, the sovereign parliament of England and Wales will incur severe fiscal damage. Clearly Westminster is not frightened about the disaster they claim they are 'saving' an independent Scotland by keeping the Union intact rather they are acting from fear for themselves and themselves alone and are driven to protect what they hold.

What does this all mean?

Simply this: to expect Westminster to be able to change its set path against an independent Scotland is not realistic. Westminster is locked into this 35 million year old, hard wired, 'risk averse' thinking where slow decision making or logic has no place except to self justify. This is the inherent weakness in the Better Together negative campaign; when other humans begin to apply slow decision making thinking to Westminster fast decisions the holes appear in Westminster's logic. The 'I hate Salmond' defence for the 'status quo' no voters also comes under threat in the face of ever more irrational and antagonistic political posturing from Westminster.

Psychologists call what is happening to the shifting ' Don't know / No vote', cognitive dissonance; this is where the objective evidence no longer supports what you believe be true but you do not want to believe it. The tension created by cognitive dissonance builds up and you either accept you are wrong, change you mind or plunge into deep and painful denial. Most human's do not like inflicting pain on themselves, even those in denial - they may vote 'No' but it will be full of irrational self justification and blame for the leaders of the side they claimed was right for getting it so very wrong.

Amongst died in the wool 'No voters' you can already begin hear the blame game winding into action - Cameron's a liability, he needs to stop annoying Scots, he's wrecking the Union, Darling's not much better.

The Independence Debate - Time for Brutalism or more Vapidity?

Edmund Burke disagreed with his elder and mentor, David Hume, over the interchangeability of the concept of what was beautiful and what was sublime. For Burke there was a big difference. Burke argued that most of human experience which was brutal could also be sublime but never beautiful. He gave the example of warfare which he contended was clearly brutal and yet for many of the participants their involvement was considered sublime; as in exciting, enervating, fearful, scary, sense of intimacy with others beyond any normal boundaries or previous experience. Burke considered that beauty was transient, dictated by fashion and short term mores, it did not have the cohesiveness, the deep entrenchment of the experience of the sublime.

What has this to do with the independence debate?

I want to think about Scotland, the geology, geography and how it shapes our activities to this day. I am going to try and explore this impact and how it shapes who 'Scots' really are and 'Why'.

Scotland is a brutal land. We have mountain ranges that will kill the unwary or careless, we have rivers which will take away those not up to their challenge and seas all round our coasts which our fore bearers have challenged and taken on for thousands of years knowing the risk - when they set sail they might not return. Even in seas protected from the worst of the Atlantic, behind the break water of Western Isles, there are tidal falls and whirlpools waiting to trap and destroy those stupid enough not to understand their dangers and their moods. We have a history of being involved in brutal trades such as mining and ship building where maiming and death were daily threat. Brutal industries whose very nature reduced the life span of men who did not have that long on earth in the first place. Yet when you listen to the tales and stories of miners, shipbuilders, fishermen and farmers there is little sense of beauty in their stories but a deep, unbreakable core of the sublime in their tales of hardship. Beauty remains in the eyes of the beholder.

Over the years of de-industrialisation in Scotland many have lost contact with the sublime which is the origin of Scotland and replaced it with a vapid, cossetted, shortbread tin, picture post card beauty, in effect a denial of Scotland is and by doing so we have increasingly lost our knowledge or acceptance - Scotland: brutal, yet sublime.

Now if someone dies on the mountains through their own error or misjudgement the Herald and Scotsman letters pages are bombarded with self righteous indignation, screaming how could this be allowed to happen in our beautiful Scotland, the 'Government', the 'Authorities' should stop this from ever happening again, damaging our self imposed image created by shortbread tin Scotland, Scotland is under threat!

To which my answer is simply Scotland is brutal yet sublime - it is just we have forgotten.

I once nearly came a cropper on Ben Nevis because of my own carelessness while climbing. Ben Nevis is not a killer mountain, it has no sense or feelings, no requirement for vengeance or hatred, it is just there. Ben Nevis does not 'brood'; at best it just sits there - yet its inherent brutality does engage the sublime. I do not 'hate the mountain' for 'trying to kill me' because it had no part in my 80 foot fall, that was all my own fault. I understand Scotland is brutal and this understanding has shaped the person I am. I am a Scot who has travel widely, lived outside Scotland for over 27 years and yet only feels at home when he sees the brutal, yet sublime landscapes of Scotland's hills and mountains. The first evening I moved back to Galloway and looked out onto the Southern Uplands and the nearby crags, I was in tears, as I understood just how much I had missed Scotland and how much I had denied missing Scotland.

The point has arrived in the debate on independence where trying to assuage peoples fears over the premature death of shortbread tin Scotland, has to stop. The time for vapidity and timidity has ended. The time of protecting 'beautiful' Scotland  is at an end, it is time to address the brutal Scotland of the sublime, the real Scotland, the one which we only now engage with at international sporting events - football, rugby and the rest. It is time to say to those who can not tell the difference between beautiful Scotland and sublime Scotland exactly what those differences are. Independence has nothing to do with antipathy towards the English or any other nation it is about the 'brutal' tearing up of a 307 year old Treaty.

This brutality implies it can not be done painlessly nor kindly nor gently and involves trauma, upset and failure to achieve all we hope for. The process will not be seamless, there will be jagged rips, sadness and open wounds but in comparison with the brutality Scotland has already dished out to the people who have lived and loved here, over the millenia, it will be very small beer indeed.

If the Scottish electorate can not face up to this truth, then we do not deserve to become an independent nation and the ' Unionist - aye beens' (itself a myth of denial up sides with shortbread tin Scotland) will gain victory by default.
It is time for the 'Yes side' to be honest.

The negotiations will not be without pain, anger or disappointment, stop pretending they will be.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Dumb or Dumber?

I usually try to blog on a comment by the anti-independence brigade in a manner which counters their argument yet also seeks to inform.

Today I simply have to say 'give me patience'; as the verbal misinformation diarrhea of the No side continues to dribble down the inside leg of sanity and onto the BBC and London based media's top stories as 'headline stories'.

In the last few days we Scots have been told we will not be able to:
  1. Enter the Eurovision song contest
  2. Keep our half of the 'Titians' we helped pay for
  3. We can't keep our railways
  4. Join NATO (yet again)
  5. Drive on the left anymore
 David Bowie, a tax exile in the USA, has asked by a proxy (Kate Moss) at an awards event he could not be arsed to attend, not to split the UK Union - Scotland. This lead to even more 'cack' than usual as top stories across the London based press and media.

This weekend we currently are being bombarded by a whole load of 'we do not really want to say 'but' .... Scotland, just look at what is happening in the Ukraine - that could be you! ; lurking around as comment.

The New Statesman breaks this mass trend of dumb and dumber stories spreading a nasty smell about an independent Scotland by asking what happens to Scotland's MP's on a 'Yes' vote.

Sadly the author clearly has no clue what will actually happen and never bothered to do any serious research on the matter of law and constitution, even though Ed Balls let slip in a meeting with Scottish Business men and women in January 2014 he expects to be rUK Chancellor in May 2015 on a Yes vote. The question the New Statesman needed to ask was how can the UK Parliament remain sovereign in the presence of the two original, sovereign, signatory parliaments of the Treaty of Union at Westminster and Holyrood? The only two parliaments which can negotiate the UK Parliament's demise under the terms of the 1706 Treaty of Union.

All this and its only Saturday - tomorrow will no doubt bring another 'Blast from the Monstrous Regiment of Press Strumpets and Media Whores' in London about what Scotland will be and will not be allowed to do by a UK Westminster Parliament which has lost the plot and senses its end is approaching rapidly.

Dumb and Dumber - London's press and media.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Dear Mr Kettle of the Guardian:

Dear Mr Kettle, -

Having read your article, do you understand the psychological phenomenon called 'projection'?

From where I am sitting the 'Yes Campaign' in combination with the SNP's White Paper Scotland's Future have clearly established the case for independence as opposed to the status quo. There is a lot of independently authored articles and by Nobel Laureates, looking at the pros and cons of finance and other issues as well as the Yes Scotland web site.

For folk who have bothered to read and digest what has been objectively evidenced and written against what has been said by Osbourne in his Thursday morning temper tantrum - this is simply another piece of hate mail to Scotland from a journalist seeking to jump on the 'Scotland is stupid to believe Salmond' band wagon.

In July 2013 the UK Treasury in answer to a written question produced a report on the impact of a potential currency union on Scottish independence and uses word such as advisable, mutual benefit, sensible - much as did the McCrone report in 1974 when a UK Government was last worried Scotland was going to skip it from the Union.

Lets look at one of the major financial traders in the City of London - Deutches Bank whose CEO is on record on saying a currency union is sensible and will help to keep Sterling stable, "..we would prefer that a currency union is put in place". The funny thing is the international markets also want a currency union and told Osbourne, after he threw his toys out of the pram, exactly that by dropping the London Market 51 points in a Thursday afternoon. Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post both explained to US readers just why Osbourne was talking 'mince' as did the Irish Times, le Monde ... you get the drift.

In January when speaking to a group of Scottish business men and women, Ed Balls made clear he would be negotiating a currency union if Chancellor of the rUK in May 2015.

This leaves the question: since all the published economic research shows that a Sterling currency union will be to the mutual benefit of both countries post a Union break up and the international markets are advising they would prefer a currency union to happen to ensure Sterling's stability; just why is Osbourne acting the daft laddie?

All the objective evidence from economists and the international markets suggests, Mr Kettle, you are being taken for an idiot by Mr Osbourne on the currency union issue, just like the majority of raving Unionists on your article's thread.

The problem is that your claims are based on a series of constitutional errors to do with the UK Parliament:
  1. No - the Treaty of Union does not mean that Scotland was subsumed by England and only English law applies in Parliament (ask Tony Blair and Jack Straw about the Megrahi prisoner transfer disaster where they were told to take a hike by Scots Law instead of whisking Megrahi back to Libya as was their intention)
  2. Only the two original sovereign parliaments who were signatories can negotiate the end of the Union - this means on a Yes vote the sovereign parliament of England and Wales will have to be recalled from its current, temporary suspension - there is no role for the UK Parliament in its own demise
  3. In effect, on a yes vote, Osbourne becomes the Chancellor for England and Wales (with NI) or he or any other claiming to be a member of the UK Parliament can not be involved in the negotiations
  4. The recalled sovereign parliament of England and Wales is a very different constitutional and legal construct to the current UK Parliament and puts the whole issue of rUK in a legal and constitutional quandary; claimed, as it is, to be a remnant of the current UK Parliament which with the resumption of the two separate sovereign parliaments ceases to be sovereign
  5. Not forgetting that an rUK parliament can not conduct negotiations under the articles of the Treaty of Union because as part or remnant of the UK Parliament it has no place or role in the negotiation to end the UK Parliamentary Union (The issue of the role of the UK Parliament not having any role in any negotiation to change or alter the Treaty of Union was conceded in law in 1953 by the Lord Advocate on behalf of the UK Parliament - before Lord Cooper in the Court of Sessions).
Mr Kettle your diatribe has no basis in fact, no basis in law or constitutional practice. As for his libeling of Wee Eck ... Wee Eck has demonstrated to the media and press, time and time again, he is more than a match for you and your hysterical and ignorant ranting, so I can safely leave him to defend himself.

Time to start dealing with what is and not the table thumping hubris of a light weight like Osbourne, as the increasing likelihood of a 'Yes vote' on the 18th of September looms ever larger.

If you are real journalist maybe from now on you will indulge in some fact checking before you post such complete and utter bilge as 'Unionist Troll' bait.

Yours sincerely,

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

You nasty, naughty Jocks - YOU WILL SUFFER!

The Scots sent Westminster a message in 2007 by electing a minority SNP Government that a new Union settlement was required. We were ignored by Brown and Darling who used their Labour proxies at Holyrood to make things as hard as possible, simultaneously heavily cut Scotland's Westminster budget and removed a further £20 million from the annual welfare budget of Scotland for our temerity of putting in place a home care package for the ill and the elderly (the only truly great achievement of the Libdem/Labour coalition in their eight years of control of Scotland). In 2011 we sent a final warning negotiate fiscal autonomy or the Union could well be finished - this time the Tories tried to ignore us, cut the budget further but by a quirk of Scots law and constitutional practice discovered they could not ignore the referendum - it was all down to the considered will of the people of Scotland being paramount

This 'considered will' said we Scots wanted a referendum on a new Union settlement, Scots Law and constitutional practice said we had to have a referendum, the UK Parliament could not obstruct this wish with out major embarrassment before the UK Supreme Court who made clear in AXA and others vs the Scottish Parliament and others in 2012, the UK Supreme Court had no power or jurisdiction to overturn any act, bill or statute of the Scottish Parliament which reflected the 'considered will of the people of Scotland which remains paramount'.

The 'considered will' is also the reason the referendum is only being held in Scotland as the 'considered will' is not recognised in English law or constitutional practice. Scotland is constitutionally a Representative democracy where the people are, in effect sovereign, which means a Scottish Parliament is always checked by the 'considered will' and is bound to a large extent by the majority manifesto. England is a Parliamentary democracy where the parliament is sovereign and can, to a large extent, ignore its electorate once it is elected and can not be bound by its manifesto.*

Westminster had one last chance to put up an effective new Union solution, they turned it down - instead we have had the gun boat propaganda of Tory ministers sneaking into Scotland, talking down to Scotland, then sneaking away under a barrage of press and media bilge.

Is it any surprise the Westminster politicians and English public sense increasing antagonism towards them from the Scots while denying is in fact what they claim to want a community of Union - the Scots are increasingly deciding to preserve what we hold dear - community, welfare, health care - the only way is to get out from under Westminster. Maybe the increasing bile seen on the London based media threads on Scottish stories (I was tempted to write 'Fairy Stories') is the simple realisation, by the people of England, they are stuck with the mess they have elected.

So folk in England do not blame the Scots for Westminster's deaf ears, the Westminster austerity program, the destruction of the glue (NHS / Welfare) which held the Union together and do not blame us for getting out of it. This is a right wing, neo-liberal, touching almost Fascist, Westminster Government, England elected. If you are worried about your communities time to get off your butt and make change happen. You can not expect us to wait as all the 'Left' in England is apparently good at is hand wringing and the wild hope that 'Labour' will not be as bad as the Tories and Libdems - given their track record is naive in the extreme. 'Sitting on your hands' - hardly an activity which will create much change in an English political landscape. A landscape being dragged ever more rightwards and authoritarian by the toxic presence of UKIP threatening Tory hegemony in the South of England.

People of England - remember, when you point the finger at Scotland for 'abandoning you to your self elected neo-liberal state' there are four fingers are pointing back at yourself. Shouting Scotland down, howling at us that we Scots are inadequate and doomed to fail, we Scots are naive in thinking we will create a land of milk and honey, whining its our ball and we are taking it home is neither endearing nor does it convince many Scots the UK Union, in any shape or form, is now worth preserving. 
The campaign in Scotland is at the 'Then they come to fight you' stage with Tory, Labour and Libdem MP's and their intimates in the CBI, IoD and other London based organisations scuttling north to lecture us about how naughty we Scots are being for not listening to our elders and betters' tales of impending doom and disaster if we leave Westminster's hind teat while the London based and biased press and media turn up the volume on their loud-hailers and become ever more frenetic and ludicrous in their claims of 'cybernatery' and self promoting hatred of the First Minister of Scotland, comparing him to 'Auld Nick, an aa his airts'.

The more this happens, the more crazy the stories from London get, the more certain we Scots, in the Yes Campaign know we are now heading for the ' And then you win**' stage of the process.

Notes: *'UK Law' does not exist, as the two sovereign realms which make up the UK Parliament each have their own, unique code of law and constitutional practice, preserved for all time by the articles of the 1706 Treaty of Union. A point conceded in law by the UK Parliament in 1953.
**"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they come to fight you, and then you win." (M.K. Gandhi)

Sunday, 16 February 2014

The cucumber of history is repeating on itself.

In 1705-6 the debate and decision was determined by which two sides of the triangle which was the 'Thrie Estaites' would agree. In 1706 the Landowners ( Scottish 'Tory' Party) persuaded the Church of Scotland to vote for the Union as a way of preventing the Catholic Stuarts ever returning to the Scottish Crown. Given the wounds and damage inflicted on the Church of Scotland a little over 40 years before by James the 7th and his Grandfather Charles the 1st, this was not a hard sell. The Burghs (the people of Scotland) opposed the Union because they could see the economic damage the Union would do to them as it was clear their markets across the Baltic and in the Low Countries would be closed to them by Russia and France, economic damage the supposed benefits of Union would do little to close as trade with the English colonies would still be heavily restricted.

The Burghs  were correct and Scotland saw such a disastrous economic collapse that by 1714 the Earl of Selkirk (one of the Union Treaty's original promoters) sought to have the Union ended. The Scottish economy saw no growth between 1708 and 1784, an economy which had been growing at 2.8% per anum in the decade prior to the Union (Micheal Lynch - A New History of Scotland - EUP).

What is the relationship between 1706 and 2014?

In 2014 we still have a Scottish 'Tory' Party in the shape of Better Together, representing the same shallow, vested interest group they did in 1706 in terms of a modern 'ruling class' (the Scottish MPs and Lords), we still have a Burgh party (the people of Scotland at Holyrood) but the Church is no longer the Third Estate, the voice of the Church of Scotland has lost its power and control and been reduced to another SVO, along with Combat Stress, Maggies and any other Scottish based charity you care to mention. This time round the third estate which was going to help the Scottish Tories crush the Burghs was the modern press and media.

This strategy is based on the myth that the press and media 'won' the case against an autonomous Scottish Parliament in 1979. The truth is far more sanguine. The vote for an autonomous Scottish Parliament was actually won, it was only an undemocratic fudge perpetrated by the then Scottish Secretaryof State, allowing the counting of the dead and non voters as 'No' which saved the UK Parliament's skin. The other problem for this strategy is the press and media no longer has anywhere near the regard Scots had for it in 1979. The obverse is now true, Scots are more likely to disbelieve political comment or attempts at misdirection as just more cynical spin from politicians seeking to save their own skin and a media used to getting their own way.

The biggest weakness is the centralisation of the UK press and media in London, trapped in its own self serving Westminster and London bubble, hardly representing the views of England, let alone Scotland or Wales. Even Scottish press and media titles take direction on their editorial line from their HQ's in London, HQ's who now decide on the content of their 'Scotch' editions and just how much 'Scotch' stuff is to be allowed. HQ's far divorced from what is happening on the ground in Scotland and Scottish opinion rather than what they think should be happening on the ground in Scotland and exactly what Scottish public opinion should be.

The modern Scottish Tories are in a mess, their message is not bending Scottish opinion to their will and the London focused, modern third estate is becoming an increasingly sick and offensive joke to the Scottish people. The have their own media, open, informative and responsive - social media. The Burghs are not being bought, cowed or isolated and the people are getting increasingly behind the Burghs. The Burghs have the same message as they did in 1706 - the Union will economically wreck Scotland on its current path of austerity. Scotland will be better off taking the small risk and walking its own path in the modern world, better economically, better socially, better for their health and personal wealth. In this nothing much has changed since 1706 - the Burghs were right then, their best interests were and are also Scotland's.

The difference is in 2015 we are unlikely to see the same months of rioting on both sides of the border against the Union. The people of England and Wales will start rioting when the impact of no currency union, Sterling devaluation, capital flight and even more public service cuts are delivered by which ever of the three English Tory Parties are elected, in May 2015, to the sovereign parliament of England and Wales (with NI).

A historically repeating 'burp', if ever there was one.

Friday, 14 February 2014

Dear Mr Darling - I need 'Better Together' to answer .....

Dear Mr Darling, 

As leader of Better Together there are many questions about staying in the UK I need Better Together to answer, maybe you could do me the service?


  1. Just how is Mr Osbourne is going to stop the UK from going tits up as his economic policy continues to crash and burn?
  2. What are the polices Mr Cameron has for a subjugated Scotland? 
  3. How many Scots is the UK going to reduce to poverty in 2015?
  4. How many more UK folk are to be killed by Mr Duncan-Smith's Welfare Reforms?
  5. Why do you agree with privatising  NHS England to pay for a nuclear weapon system nobody (including the UK's bestest friend the USA) says we can afford?
  6. How much longer will the UK continue to fail to meet its NATO defence commitments with Standing Naval Force Atlantic, its lack of maritime surveillance capability, its military overstretch while still cutting the services back heavily?
  7. Why are UK citizens still at risk working for BP in highly unstable Libya or Nigeria?
  8. How much longer will the real unemployment figures be fudged to pretend there are fewer folk unemployed when the real number is far bigger? 
  9. Why would Scotland want to be stuck with Sterling which is devaluing as we speak if we didn't have some fiscal controls 
  10. Do you actually trust the Gideot? 
  11. What part of Mr Osbourne's Dinae dae it Scotland or I'll gie ye a right doin' speech which saw the London Stock exchange lose 51 points between Mr Osbourne shutting up on Thursday and the end of trading got the international money markets so upset?
These are just some of the 'what ifs' surrounding staying in the UK I need answered. Currently the answers Better Together are giving seem hugely, hugely negative to me Mr Darling, perhaps you can reassure me the UK Parliament is not simply so inept it is going to continue to compound this economic and social stupidity and end up wrecking Scotland?

  • As for NATO; the current Secretary General is on record as saying NATO would accept an independent Scotland with open arms.
  • The EU sees little problem with membership as Scotland already conforms with all membership criteria and Scots are already EU citizens - is that why the UK Parliament will not ask.
  • Did you know Mr Osbourne is lying about Sterling - according to Nobel Laureate economists Mr Osbourne is tell ruddy big fibs about Scotland not being allowed to use the Scottish pound which is backed by £4 billion in Sterling bonds at the Bank of England?
Can you understand why I am very worried about continuing in a UK Parliamentary Union which seems to be set up to shaft and rob Scotland at every turn?

Yours sincerely,

A member of the Scottish electorate.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

No more banging my head against a brick wall

The London media and the BBC are trailing Osbourne's speech tomorrow as the end of any chance of a Sterling currency union on Scottish independence.

Over on the Guardian thread this story is collecting sequential sneering posts about how the 'Sweaty Jocks' are being put in their place and any attempts to suggest maybe it is Osbourne who is the one in trouble because without a currency union Sterling is in the thick and steaming, losing over 25% of its foreign currency earnings, falls on arrogantly deaf ears. Pointing out the many tens of billions of pounds in different taxes Sterling will no longer see hide nor hair of, falls into a black hole, so convinced are Guardian's punters that Sterling can not fail. It is not so much they do not want to see, it is simply they can not see; so wrapped up in their self certain arrogance and ignorance.

The English of London and the SE do not wish to comprehend just what a tightrope they are walking, just how close to another City of London financial crash the UK is currently running and how the lack of a currency union will rapidly tip the rUK into collapse and with it Sterling. The talk is how England will not miss Scotland and that the loss of over 10% of GDP along with 25% of foreign exchange earnings will have no impact on London. No one has told them about the UK Treasury analysis on the impact of the ending of the currency union:
  • A rapidly devaluing pound Sterling
  • Increase in interest charges on rUK debt
  • Run on Sterling as a reserve currency
  • A support or bail out package being required from the IMF to deal with core and unsustainable rUK government debt
The City of London knows the high risk the failure to agree a currency union brings, they made it clear in the FT article reviewing the IFS report of an independent Scotland's economy which in most major findings reflects the McCrone Report of 1974. Nothing has changed. Scotland can afford its welfare and health spend with ease, a free Scottish currency will rise in value against Sterling, the Scottish current account will quickly have a surplus, even taking on the 10% of the UK's debt burden, the Scottish economy will have amongst the lowest GDP to debt ratios in Europe. The figures in the IFS report roll on and on demonstrating just how strong an independent Scotland's economy is and how affordable current, fiscal, public service drawings down will be.

The City of London is saying to the world markets:
  • There are few sizable risks in an independent Scotland's economy
  • We believe a currency union is in the best interests of Sterling
Yet we are being lead to believe an Oxford History Graduate, a man who has never done a day's hard work in his life, knows better than the world of finance, his career as a politician is highly dependent on, and will categorically paint himself and rUK into a corner by stating a categorical 'No' to a currency union. Even the Gideot must know that such a categorical statement will begin a major shift away from Sterling as folk with massive Sterling holdings get out while the going's good leaving a hollowed out and almost valueless currency behind them. Osbourne's stance of 'No to a currency union' will turn the rUK after a 'yes vote on the 18th of September into a Sterling currency train crash of Wiemar or Mugabwe size proportions with hyper-inflation to go along with a rapidly devaluing currency. In this situation the only salvation for Sterling will be an IMF take over of the Bank of England and a move to meet Euro entry requirements for a battered and weakened Sterling.

The Tories must have a death wish if they really think this is not the most likely outcome. Cameron the man who killed the UK Union and Osbourne the Chancellor who killed Sterling all because they thought themselves superior to the 'Sweaty Jocks' and could teach us a lesson. Ultimately this line of action could end the Tory Party itself as it rips itself to bits in the aftermath of a loss in May 2015 and the humiliations heaped on it by Cameron and Osbourne.

If you hear a low rumble, that will be the sound of 400 years of Tory Grandees beginning to spin in their graves. Time to give up banging my head against a brick wall of Better Together ignorance and indifference masquerading as London media comment and just relax and watch this particular foundation-less wall collapse of its own accord, pushed over by its own over eager support, on top of themselves.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Down Days ...

The problem with writing a 'commentary' style blog is there are days where there is nothing much worth commentating on.

Today has seen big headlines about how Ed Milliband sees himself as one of Thatcher's children who will impose Thatcher like discipline on the UK - austerity is here to stay, benefits will be hacked further, NHS England's privatisation will go ahead. Excuse me if I ask - so what's new?

Cameron and his mob have been shown to be a total wash out, as Tory heartlands in the 'Home Counties' are washed away due to serial incompetence by UK Government dictat after three decades of neo-liberal fiscal policies and the rush to build on flood plains in the SE.

Then there is the silence of the Cleggs.

English Journalists are starting to write about London sucking the rest of the UK dry of finance for the benefit of a few. Some slowly starting to say the unsay-able - independence could well be good for Scotland.

Barclays paying out even bigger City of London bonuses for a worse profit performance in their investment division, compared to last year.

In the meantime we will end up paying more for our home buildings insurance as the companies adjust their rates to soften their heavy losses this Thames Valley flooding will bring.

The sad thing is there will still be Scots who will think being part of all this is far better than running our own country, in spite of the clear objective evidence they are a total bunch of Wallies at Westminster, who can not find their own arses with both hands and a GPS.

In the meantime we have our government at Holyrood looking forward, creating the basis for forward looking high value engineering needed in the 21st Century, planning how to meet its obligations to reduce CO2 emissions further by promoting the development of one of the biggest pump storage schemes in Europe and helping fund Europe's biggest tidal energy test and development centres. All in spite of Westminster inspired National Grid transmission charges and policies designed to undermine the commercial development of wind and tidal reusables.

Down Days .... indeed.

Monday, 10 February 2014

EU: To be or not to be ...

I have long bounced between sitting outside the EU like Norway or inside like Denmark. If you stack up the positive and negatives:
  • Input to EU policy development / fiscal policy vs still paying a large chunk to Brussels to be part of EFTA.
  • The potential of a strong 'Merk' vs the Euro or pound Sterling (reduced competiveness in our main English / EU markets).
  • The reality of being in the EFTA - you still have to meet and conform to all the EU's directives
  • The Euro is all but the Old German Mark now (except in name) vs the EU's rabbit in the head lights stance over the failure of neo-liberalism
  • Within the EU we will be a member of a Northern European block of nations who seek to balance wealth creation and stability with decent, fundamental human rights vs Scotland on our ownsome ...
  • A future EU European Defence force vs a nuclear NATO dominated by the US
The EU just has it for me: 
  • Yes, it is over bureaucratic and less than accountable to our eyes.
  • Yes, some member Government's have not been exactly straight over drawing down EU funding and suffer from having sticky fingers or buying off the Mafia.
  • Yes, there are member states who make David Cameron look completely sane and almost a socialist
But .... and it is an important but.

The EU has been largely successful in its main aim and purpose - to ensure the wars that had blighted Europe since the mid 1700's, killed millions of Europeans, destroyed countries, cities and infrastructure came to a halt by creating agreement over inter-dependency, mutual understanding and a way of resolving differences with out resorting to invading Belgium. The EU even brought the Serbs and Bosnians to agreement (eventually - but not necessarily amicably) and prevented the situation in Macedonia from getting out too far out of hand.

The EU is not perfect - no human organisation is ever thus - but it is far better than the Europe which went before and maybe an independent Scotland, renowned for its innovation, social thinking and internationalist view point can do its bit to make the future EU just that bit better, bit fairer, bit more just; rather than carping from the sideline as the UK does at present.

I think there are far more benefits, worth far more to Scotland and Europe, to be gained being a member of the EU, greater than the loss of a couple of million Euro into the wrong back pocket.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

STOP PRESS: Ed Balls - I hope to be rUK Chancelor in May 2015

For those who think that the UK Parliament will remains supreme until March 2016 it is worth reading this excerpt from a Business for Scotland article on the inevitability of a currency union:

"This week the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls continued the move towards a mature, reasonable and common sense approach to the continuing currency union despite still campaigning against independence.

In a press interview he proposed meeting with the Scottish Government to discuss currency and stated that he would honour the principles of the Edinburgh Agreement to work together sensibly after the referendum, if he is elected Chancellor for the rest of the UK at the 2015 Westminster General Election."

Now go back and read what he said all over again.

So Ed Balls knows what the constitutional position is on a 'Yes' vote, two sovereign parliaments negotiating the end of the UK Parliament, with the UK Parliament having no say, and the 2015 May election will be for the new sovereign Parliament of England and Wales (with NI) as I stated in my piece 'Wee Things that matter'.

Funny what politicians say when they go off message or think folk are not listening.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Charles - a future King or a Cnut case?

Anyone know what Charlie actually said to the wet and drowning of the Somerset levels or even understand it as I presume he was speaking in Saxon English to complete this West Saxon rural idyll, trundling by tracker* and punt from island to island, following in the foot steps of King Alfred or maybe King Arthur. Most of the news clips are 'Mumble, mumble, mumble how unpleasant for you.'

I pondered if his PR team set up a 'cake burning opportunity' near Sheppy and are the anvils and furnaces of Athelney once more ringing and singing to the sound of Saxon blade making while the monks in Glastonbury raise voice in the Benedictus?

Maybe he simply said:

"I'm sorry you have all got very wet ... but you lot did vote for Cameron's Tories - so what did you expect? Miracles?

Between you and me I think the Cameron is over promoted and just a bit loopy; as for his friends, the Gideot or that foul Golom like IDS creature with his 'Yeeeessss, my precious' as he steals more money from children and old folk, well let's say they are not my sort of people.

Please do not tell the press or the local Tory MP in Wells I said that.

Look, the bottom line is; as potential King I can do Sweet Fanny Adams because if I do it will be interfering with the Government you supposedly elected, not my fault - see, you 'elected them' but I am really sorry if you are all that extremely wet......" hence the mumble, mumble stuff.

More like King Cnut unable to stop the tide flooding on the levels rather than an Alfred leaping in defence of his people against the raping and ravaging Tory politicians. We can forget any King Arthur comparisons; dashing and heroic is something, our Charlie is not. I certainly do not think Anne in the Ygraine role would be interested in incest with her brother, no matter how powerful it might let her become.

(I wish I hadn't written that, that is an unpleasant image that is going to stick with me for a while - I apologise to readers, this may be an ironic image too many for you as well).

* 'Tracker' as in the Somerset ditty - "I can not read an' I cannot write but that don' really matter wen I'se drivin' my tracker." In the process normally creating a tail back from Wells to Glastonbury.**
** I lived in North Dorset for 17 years where they had girt biggle trackers.***

*** girt biggle tracker = great big old tractors

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

The Ascent of Man ... we never learn.

This is from a program made before Facebook or the Internet, as we now know it, was born. 

Please watch it, it lasts only 4 minutes, but the video clip contains a bitter warning and a  reminder to all humanity what happens when politicians think they are right and have all the 'right' simplistic answers. Politicians like Ian Duncan-Smith, the Gideot, Farage or call me Dave with their; make the poorest pay the most, austerity is working, leave the EU and the UK will be great again, the policies of my government are the 'right' policies, respectively.

It is also a reminder to all of us canvassing for a Yes vote in September for the need for humility and integrity in all we say and do. A failure of both we will all indulge in from time to time, because we are human; yet we need to be aware all the same we are never 'right' we just think from our observations, the growing evidence and exchanging of ideas; independence for Scotland makes the most sense. We also must remember nothing beyond 'now' is certain, everything is always open to change, we need to stay awake to this scary but also powerful idea at all times. Especially as the weight of objective evidence and international acceptance of a 'Yes vote' for independence is moving our way.

This is a hard ethical road to plough when faced with the weight of the British Establishment in denial and its control by default of all the UK main stream media. Yet it will be through honest  directness (not certainty) we will win this vital cause and in so doing create the opportunity for a country fit for all 'Jock Tamson's bairns'. We need to conduct ourselves with humility because all those Scots on the 'No' side will have to be made welcome in the new Scotland, crowing over our success, no matter how valid, will only confirm their prejudices.

My appeal to myself and all those I know and do not know in the 'Yes' campaign is not to get taken up in the hubris and excitement of the increasing likelihood of a 'Yes vote' in September 2014, let us leave the hubris, hue and cry from the roof tops to the Unionists and remind ourselves anything which is any good, enduring or beneficial in human society always grows from the (grass)roots up, it is the grass roots we need to continue to nourish.

As Dr Bronowski puts it so eloquently, "We are always on the point of 'knowing' but the more we 'know' the further away 'knowing everything' seems."

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Wee things that matter ...

In December I sought to distill down into around 2,000 words what my research into the actual constitutional position of Scotland within the current Union is, along with the legal and constitutional evidence to support my contention. As well as my contention the UK Parliament consistently ignores the Treaty of Union's requirements on the matter of 'considered will' So far it has attracted nearly 1,000 unique page hits from Japan to Alaska and south to Brazil.

This time I am looking to explore just what a 'Yes vote means in terms of Scottish sovereignty and why the idea there will be a constitutional body called rUK which will be the same as now is both a legal and constitutional misnomer.

Jim Sillars, the political side shifter of Churchillian standing, said something very important, so important that most of the Unionist media ignored it and it was this; " On the 18th of September 2014, the people of Scotland will be sovereign for that day."

A strange statement at first glance. Yet what Jim was saying is on the 18th of September the people of Scotland will be expressing their considered will without any interference from Westminster or any other external body. At first glance this appears a 'wee thing' but re read what Jim Sillar's said and my explanation and you suddenly understand where sovereign power really lies in Scotland - in the people - because 'the considered will is paramount' which can only mean the people are sovereign. This is a very different situation to the UK Parliament claims of 'parliamentary sovereignty' which basically means you can vote for an MP to be elected but the MP can do what they want once elected because parliament and not the people, is sovereign because of the solely English constitutional concept of the English Crown in parliament.

A quick aside: too many folk have been taken in with the absolute blethers of a 'Union of the Crowns'. This never happened. James the 6th and 1st asked his parliaments in Scotland and England to consider a joint Act to allow this to happen and both parliaments told him where he could stuff it. The UK consists of two sovereign realms, the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England and Wales. If there had been a 'Union of the Crowns' then why did the parliaments of Scotland and England seperately  address the issue of removing James 7th and 2nd by the 'Claim of Right 1689' in Scotland giving him the boot (with no redress) and the English Parliament buying his abdication signature?

The more interesting questions are:
  1. What happens to the people of Scotland's sovereignty exercised on the 18th of September on a Yes vote being announced on the 19th of September 2014?  
  2. Does it simply melt away until March 2016 when the UK is officially dissolved?
 Here we need to have a quick recap of what Lord Cooper stated in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate in 1953:
  1. The Treaty of Union preserved the independence of Scots Law and constitutional practice for ‘all time’
  2. ‘All time’ meant exactly that
  3. 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
  4. The considered will of the people of Scotland was always paramount 
So we have said 'Yes', expressed our considered will and as a sovereign people lend our sovereignty in the first instance to the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. In legal and constitutional terms the Scottish Parliament is then sovereign as of the 19th of September 2014. To undertake negotiations to divide the now ex-UK Union's assets and liabilities the sovereign parliament of England and Wales will have to be re-called from its temporary suspension because the UK Parliament has no legal or constitutional place in negotiations concerning its own demise - only the two original signature parliaments have this power.

It follows pretty quickly after a 'yes' on the 19th of September you will have two sovereign parliaments ( Scotland / England and Wales) representing their people and their individual realms affairs of state and interests, so just what role can the UK Parliament have left as it is no longer sovereign?

The UK Treasury has as good as said it ceases to have any power on a 'Yes vote' if you stop and really think about the UK Treasury announcement, "The UK Treasury can only guarantee UK Government bonds and loans issued prior to a Yes vote on the 18th of September 2014." Again it is unsurprising the Unionist media did not look more carefully at this statement because of its implicit indication that the UK Union ends on a 'yes' vote in Scotland and the last thing the Better Together Campaign wants are clear lines in the sand they are unable to deny.

The reality is the UK Parliament will remain but merely as an administrative structure undertaking day to day running of the UK while powers are repatriated back to the two sovereign parliaments. The UK Parliament in the period from September 2014 to March 2016 will only be able to act on the authority of the two original sovereign parliaments. I would suggest amongst the first powers to be repatriated will be those of taxation and government finance - something the UK Treasury Statement, above, clearly indicates. For the international money market's sake that was why
the Bank of England Governor's (Mr Carney) visit on behalf of  to Scotland was important for Sterling and his assurance that if a sterling currency union was agreed during the negotiations, the Bank of England would facilitate the process. A BBC journalist attempt to get Mr Carney to explain the 'difficulties' he was supposed to have ascribed to a Sterling currency union in his speech, to which Mr Carney replied, "No, No I didn't (state there would be 'difficulties')."

What we do not know is the nature of the private meeting between Mr Carney, Mr Salmond and Mr Swinney on Scotland staying in Sterling and its outcome but one might guess from the screams of uncontrolled hatred and hysteria from the Unionist media - potentially, it must have been very positive.

In answer to the two questions I posed in the begining:

  1. What happens to the people of Scotland's sovereignty exercised on the 18th of September on a Yes vote being announced on the 19th of September 2014?  
  2. Does it simply melt away until March 2016 when the UK is officially dissolved?
The answers would be:
  1. On a 'Yes vote' sovereignty remains with the people of Scotland and is lent to the Parliament at Holyrood and the Scottish Crown for the period of the current parliament (May 2016) and until the current crowned head dies (as agreed with the current monarch under the terms of the Claim of Right 1689)
  2. It is the UK Parliament which will lose its sovereignty, legal and constitutional powers which revert to the two original parliaments (Scotland / England and Wales) who were  signatories of the 1706 Treaty of Union
  3. By May 2015 a UK Parliament, as currently sitting, will have no further role to play in any 'governance' within the two realms and the remit of the two separate sovereign parliaments on remaining UK business will be undertaken by civil servants by mutual agreement. Hence the UK Parliament will be in effect prorogued - sine die.
From this you may begin to see the 'wee thing' Mr Sillar's stated on sovereignty has massive repercussions for the UK Parliament at Westminster, repercussions which will come faster than many current Unionist media commentators would wish or care to admit.

I predict the Westminster gravy train for Scots Lords and MP's hits the buffers in May 2015 when the first parliament for England and Wales since 1707 is elected.

8/02/14 - Ammendment: Ed Balls has stated he hopes to be rUK Chancellor in May 2015

Saturday, 1 February 2014

The Last Big Push

Major General Cameron and his Army HQ staff in Whitehall had their backs to the wall trying to defend in depth on a number of fronts, simultaneously. His Brigadier Duncan-Smith of the Welfare Cuts Brigade had just taken a pummeling from those pesky folk on his Central European front who had make some serious breeches in his Welfare plans which in turn could threaten a break through for his opponents. Cameron's medical brigade were also in distress, unable to deal with the casualties coming their way from the current Austerity Offensive and talk of unnecessary deaths were starting to spook the troops. What was even worse was one of his key HQ support divisions were threatening mutiny against his current European strategy and refusing to follow orders.

The Cameron's Paymaster General had taken on excessive borrowing which he had largely committed into the lost
Passchendaele of the Banks which was seeing men, materials and money sucked into an ever worsening quagmire and ever more disastrous stalemate for all sides.

For Major General Cameron there was no sign of the break through on any front, a breakthrough he needed badly as the news was his bosses were considering replacing him with his arch military nemesis, Major General 'Red' Milliband. A man who Cameron feared would not stick with the battle plan for the continuing Austerity Offensive. He turned, as many General's had before, to his Labour Division, his Jocks in skirts, to turn the tide for him. Murphy's Labour division schemed and planned, planned and schemed until they came up with a plan which could not fail. Not even Baldrick could fail with this plan. They would launch their most powerful weapon yet on a narrow front. This was their moment, this would be the big break through, the enemy would not be able to resist the Sterling denial barrage they were going to put up.

The barrage of Sterling denial grew slowly in intensity up to 'D' day, by the Wednesday all calibers were hard at it, blasting away at the opposition, nothing surely could survive such a pummeling from the huge bores of the BBC to the chittering response of Johnstone Press's many light mortars and famed Scotsman mortar. Then on Thursday lunch time the barrage lifted and Murphy's Labour Division, Lamont Regiment went into the attack.

No sooner had they started and their own Lords Siege Artillery started falling short, causing immediate casualties, especially, on Lamont's right wing. As the Lamont regiment moved into the withering fire of their opposition the leader lost heart, panicked and stalled the attack. As the opposition's fire carried on in the same intensity Lamont looked back and saw the Liber - Dem company had never got out of the trench and her own people were scuttling back in ever greater numbers.

The great break through had failed. Lamont looked around at the corpsing her actions had caused in both spectators and her opposition. Time to get back out of the line of fire to her command bunker on George Square and await the inevitable beasting from the divisional commander General 'Jumping Jim' Murphy when he came to ask what went wrong this time. Amongst her troops and junior officers the talk was of replacement, and soon, before one of them was forced into shooting her because morale which had been at the bottom of a barrel was now rock bottom. Recruits were harder to attract and an recent attempt recruiting at railway stations around Scotland had been met with derision and contempt, even in their usual recruiting heartlands.

The Von Sawar Plan had failed, the last big push, what was now left?