Monday, 30 June 2014

Drowning, not waving ...

There has been no case made for why the Union should stay except, "Jist dinnae goan dae that, jist dinnae.", in all its shapes and forms.

The option most Scots wished was for a new Union Treaty of autonomous British states under some form of confederal arrangement, it is the option we have been saying we want in poll after poll since 2006, at least. The 2007 vote for the SNP at Holyrood was a warning shot to which the response was Westminster throwing its toys out the pram (cutting the Peterhead CO2 capture project and the Scottish pocket money) and the start of the 'Subsidy Jock' assault in the press by the North Briton, Voldebroon. In 2011 Cameron had the opportunity to once more listen but once again Westminster's answer was to stamp its foot and say 'No' to political reform of the Union.

Now we are at this pass with the choice of ever more right wing welfare and health policies (which are an anathema to most Scots) and a Westminster politic getting ever more M25 orbital centric, further away from Scotland's wishes in this ever more unequal union or to walk away and have the opportunity for the first time in 300 years to do things our own way, make our own mistakes but at least have the opportunity to turn away from an ever more insular, introverted and isolationist political structure at Westminster and create a Scotland in our own image - open and welcoming, willing to be outward looking to the world rather than turning ourselves into the latest state of the USA in all but name, as the increasingly toxic brand of Republican Party neo-conservative politic, poisons the land.

The risk of staying is seeing all the social measures Scots think important to its civic life destroyed, more poverty, more division a more dictatorial parliamentary system of self selecting elites or the risk of what? 

Being no worse off than we are now but at least with a democratic system of government which puts the people of Scotland at its centre. The reality, I believe is we have the wit, skills and intelligence to do far better than the status quo as an independent nation the first step is to vote Yes on September the 18th because without a 'Yes vote' we will always ask .... 

'What if?' 

While we watch the NHS and Welfare state my father's generation fought and died for the promise of, is sold off on the cheap to the Westminster Parliament's business pals (as is already happening in England) and the growing riots amongst the poorest rip our society apart in a cycle of violence as grinding poverty increases the divisions between have and have nots.


Ask yourself why Boris has been so keen to purchase water canon for the London Met? Will there be riots in London this summer? What will trigger them this time? Over reaction by the London Police Forces and how quickly will it spread to other English cities as it has before or will it be as England's electorate wake up to the real impact of Yes vote.

Clearly the English establishment are concerned the tipping point in England is not far off and will resort to any dirty trick to prevent a Yes vote. MI5 running a cybernat attack on Rowling is not as far fetched as it may seem, they have previous on this - read about what happened during the infamous Scottish ER2 Post Box bombings in 1952 .... guess what ... there was a MI5 plant and agent provocateur called  'Callum Watson'... the police had to escort Watson to safety when a mob of around 20 Edinburgh citizens tried to give him a beating as he exited the court building, after he gave evidence on behalf of the prosecution in one of the most serious of cases where the accused were charged with trying to blow up St Andrew's House.  The judge threw out most of the evidence and the charge ended up with being for 'possession of 1lb of gelignite' rather than treason and sedition the prosecution were after.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Dr Findlay's Headcase Book

The NHS in England is heading down the Swanney ...... meanwhile in Tannoch Brae:

I see one of Dr Cameron's best pals has sucked o'er £2.6 million out of NHS England in the last year alone, Janet ..... 

Oh no Dr Findlay! ..... 

Aye, and that's no countin' the billions his pals at Crapita an Virgin have also taken oot fir no patient benefit - then thirs PFI - unco billions have been pished up agin the wa' on that scam tae the banker's sole benefit ...... 

You'd think the English would complain, Dr Findlay, or at least vote for someone different ..... 

Aye ye would, Janet, but it appears they believe aa the pish they are told by the BBC and thon London media about the NHS bein naw affordable in England ... 

I didn't think the English were that stupid, Dr Findlay ..... 

Aye well, Janet, it appears they are: sheeple and numpties tae a man ..... 

And there's them telling us Scots we are too wee, too poor and too stupid, Dr Findlay, for wanting out from this failed Union of unequals which is destroying all that our father's were promised as a land fit for heroes when they risked their lives against Hitler .....

Aye Janet - and that is an anal thermometer in ma top pocket afore ye ask ....

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Westminster loses the plot.

The tearing sound you are hearing from Scotland is the last of Labour's ordinary membership ripping their membership cards in half in disgust at Moribund's 'Jam tomorrow / big stick effort' yesterday ..... trumpeted as a great success in the Gruniad by the muppet Carrell.

Moribund would not know a social democratic policy if it rose up and bit him on the backside. Miliband's Whigs and Cameron's Tories at Westminster just can not believe they are losing Scotland, this was not supposed to happen, the Local London media was supposed to scare the Scots into submission with the BBC in the lead - keeping the people ignorant and angry was supposed to be the big idea (well it has worked well in England with immigration, benefit scroungers and subsidy jocks stories - the Scots will be a push over) .... the Scots were supposed to have been reduced to indifference, demoralised, at Labour's Scotch region's beck and call .... a shoe in for 'No' ..... and here we are seeing Westminster still not understanding the Scots do not zip up the back (as evidenced by the tosh and nonsense Miliband touted yesterday), can tell the difference between SNP Policies and the independence referendum's key issues.

The biggest problem for Westminster is this referendum - no matter how hard they try to persuade the English electorate otherwise, is not about the SNP and they have neither the wit nor the ability to deal with a widespread, genuine grassroots campaign with growing popular approval. My Yes group has Socialists, Libdems, SNP, Labour, Tories and many who have never been involved in politics canvasing and manning stalls to promote Yes in what used to be one of the Tories border strongholds.

Westminster wheels in the Voldebroon, Moribund, Cameron and Ed Balls in for a set piece to TV and media lecture to the stupid Scots who do not know their place in the great scheme of things, of which the morass of gutless pap from Carrell in the Gruniad is just another example.

Meanwhile Lord Forsyth and Lord Young are saying it as it is: vote NO and we will reduce Scotland to a political wilderness, Labour MP's are saying openly there is no appetite at Westminster for any further devolution of powers to Holyrood on a No vote and all sides are looking to wreck Barnett to ensure Scotland does not get a fair share of its contribution to the UK Treasury.

The hatred and pure spite now coming from Westminster towards the Scots is palpable - from the politicking over a currency union (Yep - they are going to add £660 million to English business costs with Scotland, sure that's going to help the rUK economy) and now Miliband's threat of an Israeli / West Bank style wall across the border - the reality is the Westminster crew are reduced to spitting their dummies out and throwing the toys out the pram crying and screaming, 'Its just not fair'.

This is Miliband and Westminster's positive campaign for the Union? 


Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Gordon is a Moron ....

"Who's this bloke I asked her
Goooooordon, she replied
Not THAT puff, I said dismayed"

Brown said: "All you need to do is look at the policies of the SNP to be clear that there is no redistributive impulse. There is no suggestion income inequality would be less. They've got this great proposal for reducing business taxation, the biggest beneficiaries of which would be the privatised utilities, whose prices we want to freeze. Don't look to the SNP for some kind of social democratic easy way out for people who believe in progressive politics and don't think that's happening in the rest of the UK at the moment."

"Unless we have a clear idea of what interdependence means, not just within Britain, but Europe and the rest of the world, then nationalist movements, protectionism and xenophobia will be very powerful … We must have a view of how we can manage globalisation, which is what the biggest issue is facing the UK, about he we can expose the fact nation states alone cannot solve these problems, whether it's climate change or financial stability or growth," said the former Labour leader.

This from the man that has robbed folks' pensions funds to cover his own failures as chancellor and called it 'success'.

The Yes Campaign is all about an outward looking Scotland, involved in the EU, taking its place as a modern nation state in a global world economy the antithesis of that which is on offer in a UK Union, with its introverted anti EU policies, undemocratic parliamentary system which maintains England's underlying feudal system of elites, its unelected House of Lords - second only to the Chinese People's Congress in size and unaccountability and this is what Gordon is trying to protect?

In psychology terms what Gordon is indulging in is projection - just because Gordon is describing the current UK Union does not mean an independent Scotland will follow the UK Union's inward looking and self important image of itself with nuclear weapons it can not afford, a UK Government debt it can not afford, its sad idea it is still a 'World Power' which is 'punching above its weight' while the response from the rest of the EU countries clearly indicates the opposite and Cameron's UK is now increasingly an isolated and despised satrap of the USA. If you wish to see xenophobia in action on a daily basis look no further than UKIP or the right wing of the current Tory party and the associated headlines in the Sun, the Mail and the Mirror. Labour also have their moments of immigrant bashing xenophobia .... Gordon is well known for his bigoted attacks on members of his own support who don't buy his tosh.

This is Mr Brown's plaintive cry to support the Union; stay with an introverted, undemocratic, isolationist, anti-European, plutocracy and oligarchy or Scotland could end up just like the current UK Union ..... independence is a chance I am willing to take because when you look at the alternative, there is not one.

Move over Darling ...

What a few days since my last post: Cameron's ex-press chief about to be banged up for criminal activities, Blair's call to send the UK military back into to Iraq ignored as his 'legacy' collapses left right and centre and Darling's Better Together minders taking the huff when their man is offered the chance to debate with Eck, live on STV with a made up 'We cannae risk yon, we'll git gubbed (agin) so let's feed Cochrane an his pals, yons aa the SNP's fault, an', an the STV anaw, fir nae daen as we telt them.' story.

That there is any surprise Better Together did a runner when caught in the headlights is a 'no brainer' to those of us watching the default behaviour of the motley crew in Blytheswood Square. This rush to say 'yes' when they actually mean 'no thanks', then back peddle like mad when the media are chasing the next 'Look a squirrel' story about 'cybernats', has been seen across Scotland for months when communities have tried to create a balanced debate by inviting Better Together input, only to find Better Together only sends speakers to events it organises.

All the while what is left of Labour Party support in Scotland continues to melt away in the face of re-hashed scare stories, long debunked, from their big beasts like the Voldebroon and squeaky wee ones like the Lamontable - few are buying their plaintive growls and squeaks anymore, even fewer still listen and, worst of all for any political beast, the majority of folk now simply ignore them.

Many of us this week will have had the UK Government's response to Scotland's Future are left wondering just how it cost the UK taxpayer £720,000 to produce and distribute. Strong in hubris this febrile pamphlet is. Devoid of answers, truly it is become - you don't have to be Yoda to work that one out. Luckily I had the Better Together Freepost address, so was able to return my copy to them at no further cost to the UK taxpayer. It is rumoured some folk are returning their copy to Better Together wrapped around a brick to prevent damage to its precious pages by the recently privatised postal service.

As a result of J K Rowling's recent £1 million donation, apparently, Labour are going owl crazy and want everyone in the UK to have an owl, according to their Disasterous Alley HQ. Clearly no one told Darling as his Better Together minders made a twit of himself over the Wee Eck debate when his job was, surely, to woo.

Given Cameron's personal choice of retainers you are left thinking just how good was his judgement when he signed up Alisdair Darling to 'Save the Union', a man with less persona than Mr Hodgson the England manager and less bite than Louis Suarez. In any other business than football or politics the demand would be 'Move over Darling', luckily for the Yes Campaign this is not going to happen.

"That gleam in your eyes is no big surprise anymore, Cos you fooled me before."

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Darling's dichotomy

I have been absent playing golf in this brilliant weather we are enjoying in SW Scotland. Today I am having a break before a busy week of competitive golf next week so was sculling over the usual rabid and howling headlines which adorn the Westminster press propaganda on the usual too, wee, too stupid, too poor genre when I came across Alisdair Darling's recent load of old cobblers which has created the 'No campaign's' equivalent of Tam Dayell's West Lothian question which I would like to call Darling's Dichotomy.

For the last umpteen months Darling and his chums at Better Together have been telling us how after a 'Yes vote', on the 19th September, Scotland will become an unemployment wasteland as all these multi-nationals spend millions of pounds in costs, disruption to their businesses, administration and dislocation to their staff by leaving Scotland at the rush. Lets us not forget the Gerald Ratner moment many of these multi-national's will enjoy in the process - ask the folk at Barrhead Travel who have lots of unsold holidays to sell mid-June at knock down prices, how that works. The ignorance of this stance is mind blowing, what is more mind blowing is there are still sheeple in Scotland who believe this nonsense.

So to today in the Scotsman. Darling is trying to create problems by saying an independent Scottish Government will struggle to be able to recruit all the employees it will need to create an independent civil service and executive.

So all these folk with white collar skills and experience, left job less by the flit of Standard Life HQ or the RBS Gyle operations to pastures new, will not be looking for employment?

How does that work?

That is Darling's Dichotomy writ large and why the wheels continue to fall off Better Together's wagon ....

One wheel on my waggon
And 'No' keeps rolling along.
Yes are here,
I'm bricking it with fear
But I'm singing my plaintive song.

Project Fear, we're nearly there,
Just a couple of months
And those pesky SNP
Will go galloping by!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Brutishness ...

I was responding in a Guardian thread highlighting Cameron's ignorance of the true place of the Magna Carta in English politics and law when spell checker sought to replace Britishness with Brutishness. At first I was amused by spell checker's idiosyncrasy then I thought a bit and realised, what an excellent antonym this was and how accurately it describes the force fed phenomenon of 'Britishness' which has been pummeled down our throats since this whole independence malarkey started back in 2012.

Wings over Scotland has listed the BBC and ITV programs produced for UK viewing with the word British or Britishness in them and it is a long list, a very long list indeed. Charlie Booker in the Gruniad expresses this Animal Farm / 1984 brainwashing very intuitively,

"We've been celebrating Britishness with the strained determination of a man desperately trying to shit a cricket ball for the past five years. There's a Union Flag on every cushion, bedspread and Rimmel commercial. Twee cartoons of the London skyline adorn packets of biscuits. TV can't shut up about Britain. The Great British Menu. The Great British Summer. The Great British Sewing Bee. The Great British Bake Off. The Great British Bayou. The Great British Bull Run. The Great British France."

In Scotland as the scare stories of 'Project Fear' run their routinely farcical and self defeating course we see clearly that Britishness means Brutishness with every Reporting Scotland, Cochrane rant in the Torygraph and the self evident anger and hatred which comes from the average New Labour 'Scotch' MPs and those New Labour MSPs who still put their hatred of the SNP ahead of what is best for Scotland.

Read any comment by a Davidson or a Kelly or a McTernan on Scotland and see British brutishness shining through with laser like precision. Listen to Clare Lally's ignorant response to an apology for relating her to Pat Lally and you once again see British brutishness in its full hateful and small minded glory.

We have had Brown spouting more mince about how Scottish education should be run by Gove at Westminster - clearly in Brown's eyes we Scots are too stupid to run our own education system, having done so more successfully than Westminster for the best part of 500 years. Brown's British brutishness leaps out at you in everything he says and does in running down Scotland. The 'Clunking fist' has little effect and even less power amongst his own folk while in their desperation the local London media tries to tell us otherwise, this is a great Scot, we should heed and act on his very word, bow down Scotland heed and listen to the Mighty Brown. I and many like me, have had enough of Gordon Brown's form of 'Brutishness'.

Cameron has lost the plot and is now claiming Magna Carta as the defining point of 'Britishness', the fount of our law, the beginning of our Brutish Parliamentary traditions. Just how can the man running the UK be so ignorant?

Magna Carta was an attempt by a bunch of rich French blokes with English titles to stop the King of the day emptying their coffers to fill his own. This document was law for only six weeks before the King had enough backing from other French rich blokes to tell the first bunch of French rich blokes where they could park the Magna Carta. This apart it has next to squat diddly to do with the current UK Parliamentary Union which is defined and established by one international treaty, the 1706 Treaty of Union, what ever impact this document had it is only effecting English Law. Scots Law has long been based on the concept of all are equal before law, including the King, a legal position first formally established in 1328 with the Declaration of Arbroath being adopted into Scots law and constitutional practice and the legal case established that the people of Scotland and not the crown are sovereign. An example of more British brutishness which fails to accept there is any other interpretation of events except for the English Establishment's own spin where they and only they are the 'good guys'.

Sadly Westminster and its media propaganda machine has conflated the idea of Britishness with Englishness for so long they can not see what a load of old nonsense their claims are or just how their ignorance shines through along with their British brutishness.

If there was such a thing as Britishness, it flowered just after the Second World War and came from a sense of common purpose, shared experience, all held together by the glue of the NHS and Welfare State. Within 40 years of its flowering this sense of Britishness was already in decline with the march of Thatcherism. Devolution was an attempt to prevent the inevitable end by the Thatcherite Blair and Cameron's blatant rush to copy the USA neo-liberals, down to creating poverty where none existed before, has ended any remaining 'British' sentiment amongst an increasing section of the Scottish electorate.

Ironically, Brutishness has killed off Britishness.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Making sense of the UK Media line.

To get the smallest sniff of change in England feudal establishment which has remained entrenched since 1215 and the threat it posed to the English crown with the Magna Carta, a document that was only 'Law' for around six weeks, first Scotland has to vote 'Yes' in September - something the UK media is doing everything it can to prevent with its spurious, aggressive and inaccurate articles. The problem for anyone in Scotland who engages their brain is this: 

"Just why does the English Establishment appear to wish to hold onto 'skint, subsidy jock' Scotland?"

I would propose it is something even more important to the English establishment than just money and personal wealth, this about retaining political power for power's sake, the potential threat a Yes vote can bring to the 1,000 years of control of England it has so far exerted for its own benefit.

On a Yes vote the legal and constitutional position of the UK Parliament is undermined simply because it does not have the legal or constitutional right to negotiate for England, Wales and NI alone. It is either the UK's Parliament or it is nothing according to Dr Baker of Oxford University, one of the UK's constitutional law experts.

His view is the only way the negotiations can have legitimacy is for an rUK Parliament to be elected to negotiate with Scotland as only an elected  rUK Parliament will have the legal and constitutional authority under English Law to do so.

My suggestion is that fairly soon after a Yes vote on the 18th of September the UK Parliament will be prorogued and elections called to elect an rUK Parliament. A deal will be agreed to support key UK Government key functions ( treasury, defence, foreign affairs ... ) prior to March 2016 and the formal end of the Union.

The reason the English establishment will act in this manner is to preserve the feudal control it has, in reality, held over England since 1215. UKIP is not a problem to them but a new, truly centre left party arising in England will be. In this scenario a rapid election while folk in England remain indifferent, angry or bemused over Scotland's exit makes a lot of sense.

I am left with a sense that all the negative spin against a Yes vote in the London based media has more to do with keeping the current political status quo, faux democracy in England, than to put the Scots off voting 'Yes'.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

A short guide to why politics in Scotland is different.

The d'Hondt PR system has given the Scots electorate the ability to control the parties at Holyrood by use of their constituency / list voting preferences to the extent we have overturned a system which was designed to ensure the SNP could never garner enough seats to form a majority Scottish Government in 2011.

If I want something done I can go first to my constituency MSP who knows if they try the Westminster pass the buck method of MP letter I can contact one of the list MSP's instead. I can, in effect, use their own political party positions and persuations against them. My constituency MSP is one of the few Conservative MSPs directly elected. They have, as his list MSP colleagues for my region, three SNP and one Labour. In 2011 he only just scraped in by less than 2% from the SNP candidate.

This all tends to ensure, no matter your voting preference, the constituency MSP remains highly sensitive to their constituents concerns. The list MSPs also know, on local matters, if they do not work together they are just as likely to be toast as the decline in Labour list MSP's in my region has demonstrated.

This is unlike my Westminster MP who will do everything and anything to avoid upsetting the status quo as they shin up the Labour Party's Westminster greasy pole. They could not be bothered to turn out to support Labour's anti-bedroom tax maneuver at Westminster even though the majority of Scots want an end to this crass piece of legislation.

So there you have it; direct MSP accountability under PR in Scotland, no MP accountability in the failed Parliamentary oligarchy at Westminster.

Labour tried the Westminster style ' Jist dae as yer telt' at Holyrood - and look where that has left them, trailing a SNP second term government by miles. The SNP are cannily following the fundamental premise of Scots Law and constitutional practice - The considered will of the people of Scotland is paramount - and are acting accordingly. Hence the independence referendum which they promised in the second half of the current Scottish Parliament and with their clear majority state they had the Scottish electorate's approval for and not simply a bill at Holyrood announcing a unilateral declaration of independence which they would have had the majority required to pass on Westminster style terms of 'parliamentary democracy' or as Enoch Powell once defined democracy at Westminster - an elected dictatorship.

This is why so many English political commentators do not understand or are able to comprehend the actual political dynamic which is currently in action in Scotland, in the run up to the September referendum, because they are trapped in their Whig / Tory, binary politics way of thinking.

Scots are not thinking on party political lines on independence, they are thinking about what will be best for Scotland's future. Party politics and the PR system will then decide how that better Scotland is to be created and which vision is the template to deliver after a 'Yes' vote.

Today's Daily Record's editorial is suggesting 'Yes' will win as it increasingly looks like a Tory victory in 2015 - even without that claim, their monthly poll shows the gap between No and Yes has closed to under 8% with No trending downwards (-3%) and Yes upwards (+4%). This rising trend of Yes voters can be seen across the Poll of Polls and one statistician is projecting a 14% majority for Yes, on the 19th of September, with a 95% certainty, they were the only political polling statistician who predicted the SNP majority in 2011.

Scotland is a different country. Better Together are losing because they have failed to recognise this at every turn with their mud slinging, scare stories and focus on old political party scores. A methodology of demonising Scots and the SNP which is only going to get worse over the last 100 days as yesterday's media attempts to make Ms Rowling some sort of martyr to their cause clearly demonstrates, sadly the media did not note Ms Rowling is a good pal of Gordon Brown's and a longstanding Labour Party supporter and funder. Just as they failed to pick on Ms Lally's deep, personal links with the Labour hierarchy in Scotland, her active participation in Labour politics in Scotland and the UK in their defence of her as an 'ordinary housewife'.

The Better Together message can be precised as:

"Jist dinnae dae that, jist dinnae ... 'cos, 'cos ..... am tellin youse, jist dinnae dae that!"

Hardly an inspiring reason to save the UK Union - is it?

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Potter, Pooter, Poorer ....

So Ms Rowlings has given Slavering (Head of House - Didimus Darling) a million points.

This some how is a disaster for the Yes Campaign according to the local London media. Some Yesser's are so insecure they are pestering the poor lady's Facebook page and blog, why? I do not know but it seems they are upset that a women who was once on the verge of homeless and is now a squintomillionaire thinks Scotland will be at the mercy of the corporate world 'Gogsmentals' if we opt to let go Westminster's hind teat. Apparently Scotland will not have a strong enough 'animus' to resist their awesome power with out Westminster holding our hand.

Suck it up 'Yessers', she has made her choice for her own particular reasons. This is not a disaster, it is an adult choice, no matter how flawed you think Ms Rowling's thinking is on the matter. If it turns out she becomes Lady Rowling of Merchiston Gardens, in the 2014 New Year Honour's list, I might be tempted to look awry, but the real point of this and the Andy Murray misquote is to get folk on the Yes side annoyed so they start posting stuff that can be headlined in the Daily Mail under 'mental cybernats'. A nice story on how squeaky clean Ms Rowling is being abused on line by Alex Salmond's cybernats will not go amiss - so let us not give them a story.

Back in the real world  'Better United Together with Gordon' are unhappy bunnies. It  appears they are giving up on trying to generate swing against Yes in the Central Belt of Scotland and have a cunning plan to focus on the North East of Scotland. Along with this bizarre idea of attacking Wee Eck in his own backyard they are also seeking to try and drive women away from Yes, they think Scottish women are easier to persuade of their cause. You can see they way they are going, can't you? 

Yep, they will splash all the horrible nasty comments made about the nice, wholesome, extremely 'nice' Ms Rowling, giving Better Together a million squid, all over the place with the plea to say, 'No thanks to cybernat misogyny!' This they hope will make the Mary Doll's, Janet's and Ma Broon's of Scotland turn against the idea of independence as they chatter over their high teas in 'Crawfords', 'Harvey Nick's' or the 'Rennie MacKintosh' tea rooms about how they could never vote 'Yes to independence' just to create a country that was nasty about that nice Ms Rowlings.

In the meantime while we are deflected by 'Look, a Harry Potter shaped squirrel' by the local London media, the Better Together campaign lurches from disaster to disaster as Voldebroon returns from his exile in Aberdoureven with new wrecking ball powers and seeking his vengeance on the Dank Lords he believes betrayed him, with his 'Gobbet of Ire' filled to the brim.

Didimus Darling and his previously sworn enemy Murphy the Dankmark are now joining forces to prevent Voldebroon's full destructive powers returning by seeking to destroy all the icons which contain Voldebroon's vestigial respect as saviour of the world's Gobbin Banks from the Gogsmentals, the very same Gogsmentals Voldebroon let loose in the first place.

Meanwhile in Diagonal Street the magic wind maker, The McCameron, has been disappeared so his talents can not be assimilated by the Voldebroon. Speculation is rife that The McCameron is in deep hiding protected Dungansmith , the Diagonal Street Schools's Welfare's for Cissies teacher
at Cheques-r-us and being kept warm by a bonfire of 10 billion house points as it is believed Voldebroon has managed to cast an 'Arsefaelbow' spell on The McCameron, making him a total liability and run away coward when the magic word 'Weecksnp' is said out loud, in his presence.

That, folks, is how you deal with today's  'Look there's a Harry Potter squirrel' story. Put it in perspective and have a good laugh at it.

Monday, 9 June 2014

Unionist Lemmings head for the cliffs ...

We have had a series of relaunches, of relaunches, of previously launched Unionist campaigns this last week. Better Together's 'Honest, you'll get more powers, if you vote NO' Alex Douglas-Home's 1979 retread. United with Labour (aka we hate Alisdair Darling more than Wee Eck campaign) and their 'We agree with Better Together (sort of, maybe, aye mostly, when you come to mention it) but hate agreeing with the Tories (and Alisdair Darling).' line. Somewhere near the cliff edge there is the tiniest squeak from the few Libdem lemmings left, so dispersed by the cliff top wind of Scottish public opinion you almost can not hear them but if you are very quiet you can hear, 'We agree with what ever the other two have said.'

Yes, last week's revamping and 'up gaming' of the No Campaign in all its diversity and mutual hatred came up with, 'Youse jist cannae dae that, jist dinnae, 'cos we're telling youse tae naw goan dae that.'

Inspiring, is it not?

As these Unionist lemming factions head for the cliff edge, not just content to split the Better Together campaign, they are also continually squabbling between themselves within their own tribes. It appears the species Lemmus Westminsterii have a problem with leadership issues. The problem appears to be they all want to be leader, all at the same time. Unlike other species in the Lemmus genus this drive is not gender specific as females of the Lemmus Westminsterii species are just as likely to drive other males and females from leadership as their male counterparts. For the observer this is a delightful behaviour to watch as the Westminsterii species clamber over each other to be first off the cliff but for Lemmus Westminsterii there are serious draw backs in this internecine behaviour, not the least that none of them knows where the cliff edge is. This is clearly seen in the Scottish sub-species (Lemmus Westminsterii Scotiae) who have driven their larger English cousins (Lemmus Westminsterii Anglicae) to the same cliff edge with out the English species apparently knowing it, firm as the Anglicae species are in their stated belief there is no such thing as a cliff edge because they have banned all cliff edges, so there is clearly not a problem.

The real problem is in an attempt to stop the Anglicae species own suicidal rush these lemmings have come up with a cunning plan to outsource their own suicides to a different species in an attempt to balance the books - Hominus Paupertas.

According to observers of this phenomenon they managed to get 60,000 Hominus Paupertas to take their place in the first year alone (2011-12) and even more in successive years. The problem for Lemmus Westminsterii Anglicae is the Hominus Paupertas are no longer keen to take their place and have pointed out this is in fact illegal and contrary to the Anglicae's own laws on suicide written in 1961:

Procurement of a suicide is an offence under the Suicide Act of 1961, and the Act states that such an offence shall carry a penalty of up to fourteen years in prison.' (Iain Duncan Smith has, in spite of being given this information on camera (and a copy of the broadcast will be held in the BBC's archives) continued to enforce the Welfare policies which are causing the suicides.)

This is, of course a bit of a bummer as it now seems the Lemmus Westminsterii Anglicae can not now avoid going over the cliff they currently claim does not exist by getting Hominus Paupertas to go over (the non existent cliff edge) in their place.

In summary, the independent observer's choice is simply this;

Lemmus Westminsterii are heading for the cliff edge with an inevitability and momentum which is hard to see being reversed, no matter whether they believe there is really such a thing as a cliff edge or not. Whether we should feel sorry for these little furry rodents, with their venal, self interested and self destructive habits as they hurtle towards their doom, to seek to deflect them from their impending death wish as they squabble amongst each other, is one which always troubles any natural wild life observer. Yet in the end we must allow nature to pursue its evolutionary track and leave them be. It is, after all, their own fatalistic decision, choice and nature's way of ensuring the stupid and weak do not survive in order to maximise the benefit for the rest of the world's flora and fauna.

Friday, 6 June 2014

" God Wills It!"

I was recently asked, in the pejorative way that Christians who clearly have never read their 'Bible' because their faith is strong do, have I read the Bible because if I did I would see the 'wrong' in my atheism and come back to the Christian light and flock (or maybe it was the Christian right - my hearing is not what it used to be).

I told this protelising and self righteous berk the truth. I have indeed read the testaments, studied them, intellectually dissected, philosophised over them with the help of  learned commentaries and theologian tutors while preparing to be a Methodist Lay Preacher. The problem is the more I learned, the more I understood the New Testament is made up from a number of preceding belief structures, including Buddhism and Zoroastrianism, under pinned by Jewish uni-theism with a wee bit of fertility goddess worship (Maryism) thrown in.

Christianity was a religion designed over a number of conferences in the 5th Century, rendered down to fit in with Roman Law and social norms in order to become the 'State' religion by creating a  stronger 'social glue' to hold the increasingly disparate elements of the Roman Empire together - as the cult of 'Emperor God' no longer cut the mustard. It was probably at this time of fixing Christianity to one single story, the line, 'Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and unto God what is God's.' surreptitiously found its way in to the agreed spin amongst other accommodations to keep the Emperor on side.

The ironic thing is it is the ultimate schism between Orthodox and Roman Christianity which was key to splitting the Roman Empire between Byzantium and Rome. Leading quickly to the Western Empire's collapse.

The Old Testament reads like a 'Ripping Yarn' with its tales of  genocide, adultery, rape, violence, begetting, conquest, destruction and exile. In fact the Old Testament reads like a Better Together campaign leaflet with its underlying threats of doom, eternal exile and isolation in the wilderness.

So, yes, I have read the bible, both testaments, from cover to cover and it was this study which made clear in my mind 'God' does not exist except as a tool used by the powerful, rich and privileged (and sometimes barking mad) to get their own way by controlling and manipulating the masses through fear and ignorance.

Interestingly this realisation of how 'God' was used to manipulate poor, uneducated and weak humans by rich and power hungry humans was part of the Buddha's process of enlightenment. This is why Buddhism's central philosophical context is the need for raised self awareness and accepting personal responsibility for your own action or inaction and the impact on others known and unknown. 'God wills it' does not cut the mustard within Buddhist philosophy. People do things and then credit / blame their 'God' with the idea or as the source of inspiration, after the fact, in self justification.

Liz is head of the Church of England not because 'God Wills it' but because a distantly related ancestor wanted out of a 'failed' marriage. The only way he could make it happen was to invent his own church of which he was boss and then could decide what this church now 'believed in', how it was going to work and what 'God' was going to will. The 'sanctity of marriage' was the first thing Henry's 'God' changed his mind about, then there was all this nonsense to do with monks Henry's 'God 'now had no truck with as for the monastic riches which were no longer 'God's' ... 'Render unto Caesar!'

Liz is not Queen of England because 'she is God's anointed' but because politicians and the rest of the British Establishment find her useful when they can not find a squirrel with which to deflect the public's attention from impending disasters (such as the latest boom and bust mortgage bubble Mk2) created by the self same British Establishment - as in, 'Look - Liz has a new coach to ride to Parliament in, isn't it pretty'.

As for September the 18th?

The result of the referendum will be what the people of Scotland choose either by voting or choosing not to exercise their vote. The choice is between whether to be manipulated like 'sheeple' into keeping the status quo through the traditional threats of God's /  British Establishment's judgement, emotional blackmail and unthinking, forelock tugging obedience to our 'Betters Together' or take personal responsibility for our own future as a nation, re-write our own future narrative by our own hand and not just taking what we are given, creating a civic nation which best meets all our needs
in and aspirations for Scotland; not simply the needs of the rich and privileged in London and the SE.

The difference will be made by giving enough people access to all the information, both good and bad, on the potential impact of independence, let them decide for themselves from an informed position rather than relying, as Better Together do, on the old politics of "God Wills it!"

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Bad war / Good war

I watched Max Hasting's the 'Necessary War' and his attempt to explain why the First World War had not been avoidable, why the Treaty of Versailles was the best fix possible, what went wrong with the 'peace' and why the Second World War (which starts for much the same reasons for the UK; the defence of a country's neutrality and the need to stand up to Germany to prevent political imbalance in Europe) is thought of as a just war by the people of these islands.

The program left me with this viewpoint. The First World War became identified as being useless, a waste of people and the bankrupting of the UK Exchequer because the UK politicians failed, post 1919, to deliver on the promises made to keep the UK in the war. This, as the 1920's unwound, came down to the failure to support the troops on their return to 'Civvy Street' as many, including the officer corps, returned to poverty and unemployment; worse than they had suffered before the war. Housing was appalling, public health care rudimentary and the long term sick and disabled soldiery left to fend for themselves with little financial help from Government, as the Earl Haig Fund / British Legion found itself overstretched to meet the demand on its resources. The resentment of the people of the UK for their politicians at Westminster sank to an all time low. Ireland separated and in the aftermath of that debacle
Scotland was denied the Home Rule promised in 1911, as the Home Rule Bill (Scotland) of 1914 was kicked into the long grass much to Maxton and other Red Clydesider MP's, at Westminster, disgust. The spirit which had driven the 1919 protests in Glasgow for Scottish autonomy was betrayed by Ramsay McDonald in 1923 - the first of many Labour betrayals of Scotland as they started climbing the Westminster greasy pole to outright power. The people of the UK gained very little of what had been promised for their effort at home and on the Western Front, leaving only growing disillusionment with the war and parliament. The events and impact of the financial crash in 1928 simply accelerated the whole process. The First War became a 'bad' war.

At the end of the Second War the politicians took heed of the mess their predecessors had created post 1919 and with a Labour Government elected in 1945 began to ensure the promises were met this time around as Labour implemented most of the progressive welfare, social housing and health ideas from the 1942 Beveridge Report and the 1944 White Paper which came out of Beveridge's Report. The sense in those who suffered and contributed to the 1939-45 war effort was far more optimistic and satisfied of the real changes made in the UK's stultified and ossifying political system. The service personnel felt it had been worthwhile to end Hitler's regime, especially when they learned of the atrocities played out against German civilians and others based on religious prejudice and the need for a scapegoat by the Nazi Regime. Unlike in 1918, in 1945 the world saw Hitler's leadership and Generals held to account for their barbaric activities and war mongering at Nuremburg, giving the Second World War a definitive full stop the Treaty of Versailles failed to achieve. This made the second bash at 'Gerry', a 'good' war which at last managed to get 'Gerry' to see sense and toe the line.

Interesting, you may say, but what has this to do with my Scottish Independence fixation?

Well it is this. Westminster has failed to learn from its own experience. The current political set up at Westminster has more in common with the fading Edwardian grandeur of 1918 with its grudging acquiescence to give the minimum of what was promised to the masses while retaining all the power it can for itself. The EU, as currently portrayed by the Ukipper's and their Tory bum chums, is increasingly becoming sold as 'Versailles mark 2' - unworkable. The poor and disabled remain just as down trodden and ignored as they did for most of the 1920's as health care and welfare delivery is reduced to a level not seen since before 1945. The disillusionment lies once more with the politicians who promised if the UK electorate would put up with austerity then the magic fairy would wave her wand and make things all better when in fact all we have seen is taxpayer's money heading into the richest 10%, in the UK's, back pocket. All the while the politicians massage the Westminster system to screw as much cash out of the increasingly hard pressed taxpayer as they can, for their own benefit.

UK society is now as unequal as it was in the 1920's but this time there is no 'Hitler' on the horizon to fob folk off with. For all Putin's moves on Crimea and the part of Eastern Ukraine - which was Russia up until 1952  - in spite of Charlie's Aunt's best wishes, Putin is no Hitler and certainly no Stalin.

Scotland has a simple choice in September vote Yes and take control of our country so we can deliver a competent and effective level of Welfare and Healthcare, take responsibility for our own country and its future direction or vote No and leave ourselves under the thrall of a political system which will have no need to heed our voice and will enjoy rubbing our noses in the shit.

In summary: 

  • vote NO for a rerun of the 1920's, as my Grandad suffered, in 'Groundhog Day' style in the 2020's
  • vote YES and look forward with optimism to a better Scotland, as my father's generation did on their return from war in 1945.
The choice is really that binary.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Trains, planes and automobiles ....

So the usual media suspects - Carrell in the Gurniad, Cochrane in the Torygaff - have had a rant about Edinburgh's quarter of a tram system and it being over budget by £300 million. Of course this over run is Alex Salmond's personal fault and a disaster for the SNP.

Sadly for Carrell and Cochrane there are a few Scots who can remember back beyond what they had for breakfast and do things like recite the Twa Corbies learnt in P7 in 1967 or the distribution of the Trigeminal nerve from its origin in the 5th branchial arch passing upwards, alongside the spinal column, into the skull to emerge from Foramen Ovale and pass forward, providing sensation to the face and neck ....

So to the trams. Back in 2001 Edinburgh University's transport guru and adviser to Edinburgh's Labour run council, having reduced car travel in the centre of Edinburgh to a nightmare of terrifying twists, bends and irrational jumps in space and time, suddenly did some sums and said Edinburgh should have trams to reduce the number of car journeys into the city even further. This in a city which already has one of the most effective public bus services in Europe and an airport bus service linking central Edinburgh with the airport which remains faster than the trams. To be a real European city, the pundits told us, Edinburgh had to have a Tram set. The Labour, Libdem and Tory politicians all went along with the 'Trams bill' at Holyrood, not because it was right or necessary but on the basis it would be someone else's problem by the time the bill trundled its way through Holyrood. The SNP opposed the bill but then found themselves, as the minority government, with the responsibility for a transport project they did not want and capital deflected from the Aberdeen Bypass and the 'dualling' of the A9 which they had 'promised' to make a priority.

It was pretty obvious to anyone with knowledge of Transport Initiatives Edinburgh that it neither had the management capability nor the experience required to run and manage such a major project - packed as it was with ex-council bureaucrats and Labour 'hingers oan'. Further it was clear the proposed budget for what was originally to be three lines, turned out to be the classic Labour Party back of a fag packet guestimate, a cost which was expected, by Labour and their new found pals, to have over runs of the level of the Holyrood build they were responsible for and in turn this would allow them to berate the SNP for poor use of Scotland's finances and help ensure a return of Labour's fiefdom of Scotland in 2011 for them and their Libdem chums to play 'top of the dung heap' with.

Except it did not work out like that. The new SNP Government took the back of the fag packet sum worked out by Labour and their pals at TIE and only guaranteed two thirds of that total (£475 million); the difference and any over runs would have to be found by TIE and the Edinburgh City Council from their transport 'budget'. Further the Scottish Government, via Transport Scotland, would only release tranches of the government funding to TIE when defined markers in the progress of the project were passed and signed off as complete. As the fiscal reality hit TIE and Edinburgh City Council, the three routes became two and rapidly ended up as one - Newhaven to Edinburgh Airport via Leith Walk and Princes Street.

As engineering work commenced on Leith Walk the number of services (electricity, gas, water, sewers, phones) which had to be upgraded so trams could run over them expanded exponentially. TIE blamed their surveyors. Their surveyors pointed out they had not asked them to do exhaustive checks and their report had been merely advisory for initial estimate purposes only.  The main tram contractor then pointed out until a couple of rather major sewers were shifted they could forget the tram set and so the Leith Walk disaster snowballed on, un-costed groundwork eating up tram set finance for no visible outcome while sending a number of businesses on Leith Walk to the wall.

Scottish government money was about to be used up, TIE and Edinburgh City Council's attempts to raise their share of the capital was less than impressive - TIE was looking down both barrels of a classic Edinburgh White Elephant (remember the hole in the ground behind the Usher Hall anyone?) to end all Edinburgh White Elephants. A mess in Leith Walk, a similar mess at Haymarket and the major contractor threatening to walk off the project because of the amateurness of TIE and the weak, near non-existent oversight of TIE by Edinburgh Council who in turn never questioned what TIE told them  - the shit was now hitting the fan big style.

It was at this point that John Swinney and Transport Scotland started knocking heads together, forcing fixed price contracts on the main contractor, setting deadlines, targets, contractor responsibility for overuns and decided it was only feasible to complete one half of the tram line for the money available. At the same time Swinney kicked TIE off the project and left that particular baby with Edinburgh City Council to sort out, it being their ALEO corporate body.

On 0500 on Sunday 1st of June 2014 the first tram made a fare paying journey from the airport to St Andrews Square. The project which, in part, was designed to create the maximum political embarrassment and trouble for Alex Salmond and the SNP had at least some measurable outcome. The irony is not lost that a SNP Government, who never wanted  the Tram Project, ended up plucking a partial success, from a Labour created farce, by managing in two years what four previous years of TIE's failures and farce had not - to at least get some trams running.

Today Edinburgh City Council announced, having taken QA's advice, they are seeking to commence a court action against TIE and its directors. This being the case, Labour's Edinburgh councillor's past and present are about to further embarrass a Scottish Labour region which many believed beyond embarrassment as the allegations fly and old internal Labour wounds are re-opened. As for TIE's defence - there is going to be a lot of finger pointing back at the same Labour councillor's and possibly some Labour MSPs. If they are going down they will take as many as they can with them.

I believe this is what politicians call the 'Coriolanus Effect' where they seek to eat their own, in revenge.