Saturday, 30 August 2014

Salmond must go, says NO!

After Trump's tantrum over not getting his own way over his grandiose plans at Aberdeen and claiming he would never invest in Scotland ever, ever, ever again: his business has just bought Turnberry Golf Course and Hotel - one of the most famous of British Open links courses. The Brit Nats now have to decide whether this is a disaster for Wee Eck (Trump ignores Wee Eck and invests in Scotland anyway) or very grudgingly report another success for the Scottish Government's program for encouraging overseas investment in Scotland?

The 'People of Britain' have not a clue how Salmond behaves, the people of Scotland do. This is why Labour heavily lost the election to Holyrood in 2011. The Gruniad and other knowledgeable London papers, who claim to know what the 'People of Britain' are 'thinking', stated Labour were a shoe in for Holyrood in 2011 which, in turn, only goes to show what the 'People of Britain' know about Scottish politics.

Where were Cameron or Miliband during Labour's internal, party political, feud between Murphy and Unite which triggered the problems at INEOS in Grangemouth (while the Scottish Government stepped in, banged heads together and saved the day)?

Ferguson's is another example: while Murphy was getting headlines in the London media over 'this being a disaster for Scotland, caused by the referendum!' the Scottish Government only went and helped find a buyer with a plan to save the threatened 120 jobs and who is seeking to re-expand Clyde Ship building operations in the medium to long term.

It is a pity this 'bad behaviour' is not repeated by Mr Cameron and his Government, then just maybe the UK would not be in such a mess, wedded to a failed economic model of printing money and calling it austerity which is reducing the UK to a wasteland.

Murphy has gone into hiding because Scots by and large are not eggstatic with his message we are stupid to vote Yes. Cameron's 'We love you Scotland but we love your oil and gas revenues even more.' speech disappeared  under a telling off by the CBI and a Tory desertion to UKIP. Darling was humped on the BBC Big Debate in most of Scotland's eyes (though not the People of Britain's), left - tellingly - slumped over his lectern at the end;
as he realised his slip on the BBC Big Debate had conceded rUK can not stop Scotland using Sterling and, in turn, taken out the last rotten prop of their propaganda efforts. The EU has made clear Scotland will negotiate as part of an existing member - just as rUK will have to.

In a week where William Hill's announced, in Scotland, 79% of the bets they are taking are for a Yes vote in their shops and online.

Where even YouGov can no longer hide the tide is with the Yes Campaign and more and more polls are now showing it is too close to call while door to door canvasing is showing a big swing to Yes by double digits.

The two big props of the No Campaign have been knocked away and now the Tory's tame Scot at the Scottish Office is hinting he is doing a runner on a Yes vote, leaving NO with those
two inspiring champions of the UK, those 'Scotch' big hitters, Margaret Curran and Dougie Alexander, banging the drum for their own self preservation.

All that is left for the No Campaign is to be in denial.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Egging the Pudding

In some Asian countries the assassination of political candidates during election periods is the norm.

In many South American countries violent riots which burn down chunks of cities are derigeur.

In Africa candidates get bits lopped off by machete when they annoy the 'wrong folk' or disappeared and fed to crocodiles in one party state 'democracies' like Zimbabwe.

Poor Little Jim has merely had to stand up to folk heckling him (some rather repetitively and unoriginally to be honest) or calling him names (poor lambikins) and it appears the violent ova attack on the High Street of the Lang Toun was what finally egged the pudding - so to speak - and made him run home to the bosom of John Smith House.

If folk in Labour strongholds like Kirkcaldy are reduced to throwing eggs to get their message across to Labour politicians, what does that actually say about the Labour Party?

It is the sort of question grown up journalists would ask rather than the current rush to sooth Little Jim's heated brow and protect little diddums from the nasty general public who, with a certain amount of probity, call him a black affronted liar and a political parasite.

What is not to like about Little Jim?

When 120 of his constituents at Ferguson's are getting laid off and the yard closed, rather than rush to enter into discussions to save their jobs, Little Jim slags off Alex Salmond and the SNP. The same Alex Salmond and SNP Government who then helps Clyde Blowers to buy the yard as preferred bidders and are looking to work alongside to begin a rival in Clyde shipbuilding - not only to save the 120 jobs but to create more in the medium to long term. This left Little Jim with egg on his face - but of course the MSM did not follow up on this story either.

Little Jim is blind to Newtonian Physics and has never understood for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction - push the people and they push back, hector the people and they hector back, shout abuse at them and guess what?

Yes - they abuse you back, they call you names but, wee boy, you started it.

Little Jim is like all bullies, a total pudding when confronted with real, organised opposition and always looking for a chance to do a runner, call it a tactical retreat while blaming everyone else for them running away, as they do so. Currently he is hiding under the equivalent of his Mummy's petticoats (the UK MSM) saying he will not come out until he gets his own way, the political variant of 'It's ma ba', we're playing by ma rules'.

Sorry Little Jim, the other kids in the close have had enough of your hectoring and bullying - time to play our game, our way or stay sucking your thumb in yer Mammy's hoose, ye great, big, bubbly bairn.

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Comment is free; but, in the Guardian, the facts are maleable

Comment is free?

Except when you point up the British Establishment's cover up of paedophillia within its own ranks - then the Guardian does a runner.

Maybe it is time the journalists at the Guardian started digging deeper into the spate of paedophillia claims across England and Wales involving members of the British Establishment who are still alive rather than only reporting on those that are dead.

It is clearly some sort of misfortune that the paedophile ring claims involve a line of towns in South Yorkshire from Rochdale via Rotherham / Doncaster to Scarborough. Clearly there is no link here, no link at all - except possibly in Saville, Cyril Smith and the rest of their sordid little group .....

Honest Guardian readers Rotherham is a 'one off'  ..... (shush up about the peadophile rings in Wiltshire, North Wales, London and elsewhere we know about ...... don't you go bothering your little heads) - it is just Rotherham, all on its own, that's the problem.

It is a pity it is now left to citizens to do the work, journalists in the old Manchester Guardian would not have baulked at - the Guardian is now part of the paedophile problem with its cover up attempts to shield Ed Miliband in his Doncaster Constituency from the potential fall out similar to the outrage John Smith suffered from his Monkland's CLP back room deals scandal.

Falling sales at the Guardian?  That will be due to your deliberate misinformation policy on the British Establishment's behalf - everything from Labour's Welfare Reform plans (doing the same as the Tories), NHS England (doing the same as the Tories) Public Service cuts of £25 billion (same as the Tories) and Scottish Independence (we are all as one Tories on that one).

I know you will not publish this post on 'Comment is Free' because you do not want to ask the question about why this ring in Rotherham and Doncaster operated with the full knowledge of Child Protection officials in Rotherham and Doncaster and the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner, for so long, and the inevitable implication that someone in the two Labour Councils or even the police was getting a kick back to keep it off the radar - especially when the elected South Yorkshire Police Commissioner had been made aware of what was going on as far back as 1999 when working as a Child Protection Officer for Rotherham Council and did nothing.

By seeking to protect potentially bent council officials, police and politicians in Rotherham and Doncaster you are colluding and abetting the cover up of a crime as bad as that of the actual procurers. The paedophile ring work force may have been put in jail but the real people behind this sordid ring are walking about knowing they are untouchable, the people who paid for their 'pleasure'. So a few Asians are in jail  for 12 years or so - plenty more to do our dirty work where they came from.

Surely that makes your skin crawl Mr Guardian Editor, 1400 abused children in Rochdale and Doncaster alone, or do we get more 'Mock Turtle' tears when the next child abuse / paedophile ring story hits your front page?

Remember the rest of the statement, Mr Guardian Editor, which comes after 'Comment is free?'

'The facts are sacred'.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A New Hope ....

Between golf and my new granddaughter fresh over from Japan, blogging has taken a back seat.

It is nice to see my son and his wife for the first time in over a year but centre stage has to be little Rinka, our granddaughter, our new hope for the future.

Golf is about winners and losers - yes, thanks, I did win my first ever open seniors championship, in a field of 85, on Friday with a six under par net score - as you did not ask.

Grandchildren are about a new hope, a hope that maybe her generation will see a more peaceful world in a Japan and world that does not feel squeezed by the USA or threatened by China or Russia like the nut in the jaws of a nut cracker. A Japan which finds balance between its creative traditions, Buddhism and the modern world. Finding time to venerate the sheer beauty of its countryside even as modern pressures weigh heavy on it. She is lucky her dad started trudging the hills of Scotland first with me and then with friends, he and his wife regularly hike in the mountains around Fukui, while his sister in law, Mayumi, is the Japanese equivalent of a 'Munro Bagger' when not snow boarding or half marathon running.

Of course every one in the swim is talking about what, for Yes supporters, seems to have been a bit of a car crash last night for Alisdair Darling as his big stick - the poond - was debunked by his own mouth and his pointed approach to Wee Eck turned the selected BBC audience against him to the extent there was open laughter at some of his statements. The BBC minders clearly had not done such a good job for Mr Darling as had the STV ones, demonstrated by the angry lady who ripped into him about his 'only the Union can save the NHS in Scotland' line.

Darling appeared flummoxed that 'ordinary people' had him sussed, they were not having his 'sound bite politics' on the pound, NHS, Oil and the rest, they were not willing to give him a new hope that the Union could be saved. In fact as Darling blustered and prevaricated it was clear, with out Eck saying a thing, the Yes Campaign was gaining traction at Darling's every word and gesture, he was ever more becoming the man in the Stevie Smith poem - Not waving but drowning.

As the months have become weeks and the weeks rapidly turn to days I have gone from wishing the people of Scotland would wake up to being made fools of by a London centric government and turned into yet another neo-liberal clone, through realising the people of Scotland were waking up in serious numbers to what Westminster's intentions were for Scotland, via amazement at the support and personal involvement the 'Yes campaign' has generated amongst folk who felt disenfranchised but are now engaged and now to the point it increasingly looks like Yes will win the day.

Only after a Yes vote is secured can I and the rest of my fellow Scots start to consider; Scotland - A New Hope, and what it will look like.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Feel the fear .....

It must be Wednesday .... I can never get the hang of Wednesdays; what with all this love / hate bombing of us Scots - it is really messing with my head.

On one side you have the Dan Snow's of this world pleading for us not to go, stay with the Union, you are appreciated, honest. On the other side you have the threats of impending doom from the London briefed media about how Scots will be made to suffer whether we vote 'Yes' or 'No' by the all English 'public' on the basis of a 1100 people survey sample carried out by Cardiff University.

I can not be arsed to calculate what proportion of England's 68 million inhabitants this 1100 person sample reflects but I suggest it is very small, nay teenie-tiny to the point of an insignificant percentage. Yet the Torygraph and Mr Kettle in the Gruniad are busily waving this shroud of vengeance as if it had some basis in fact rather than the wilder edges of their own insanity and febrile hatred.

Outside of the Westminster Disnae (or is that Dinnae) dae thit theme park of London we are lead to believe that most folk outside of the lunatic right are actually that bothered. Get away from the scratched record or damaged DVD of 'The Scots are subsidised by us English' and the view seems to be between 'So what?' and 'Good luck to them I wish we could go with them.' forms of extreme English view point hardly the same as the threats of retribution and destruction being thrown around in the UK media.

It seems the 'Scots are going to rip lumps out of each other after a Yes vote' tack has gone the same way as most Better Together spin - into the same black hole within which Joanne Lamont now is trapped on the edge of the event horizon and from the observer's view point going nowhere very fast but looking very blue while she thinks she is still shifting into the red. Thus after Dan Snow was laughed off the stage, quickly followed by the civil war in Scotland tack we now have the same scare of incipient violence recast as, 'The English are going to rip lumps out of the Scots in a fit of jealous rage if they dare vote, full stop, we English do not care what the result is, you Scots are getting it.' instead.

Excuse me if I suggest, just maybe, the mixed messages via the London media are not working as on the one hand you have the good Old Keystone Cops while on the other side you have the nasty Gestapo from the fantasy movie Iron Fist. A Gestapo so evil and right wing they would have to kill off  all the good old Keystone Cop Liberals before even considering thinking about taking on the Scots and invading on the excuse they needed lebenstraum.

This is up there with Labour's spin this week seeking to convince us Scots that Goggsie Brown and Alistair 'Crystal Tips' Darling are the best of chums, honest, bygones are bye, bye gone, they love each other to bits, no really they do, always have, the last ten plus years of knifing each other in the back was all just a bit of fun, a joke ..... aye - like mixing nitro and glycerine but with even lower levels of stability on the slightest friction.

The only way I can explain this current approach from the Better Together Campaign is to suggest they want us to feel their fear and are trying to get us Scots to understand just how shit scared they are, empathise with them and show them a little compassion.

Labour and the Better Together Campaign are now past the point of compassion. Trying the Goggsie Broon and 'Crystal Tips' are the best of pals pushed them past the pale. I'm thinking of grassing the pair to the Better Together Tory Gestapo (Leader: Boris Notguidinov Verwestminster), in the hopes the pair of them will be put up against the wall for desertion and cowardice in the face of the Scottish electorate - you can but dream ...... maybe Boris could try out his water canon on them - a bit of brainwashing, if you will.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

NO and the NHS

At first look the tile looks a bit Buddhist and philosophical but I hope you will find what I am about to relate interesting, if a bit long. I have worked for or with the NHS in the UK from 1984 to 2008 initially as a clinician and latterly as a quality assurance auditor and consultant specialising in health care and related sectors for a Norwegian based company.

I have put clinical governance / quality assurance systems into a range of NHS sectors as well as overseas in South East Asia. I have used my quality system audit skills to trouble shoot problems within the NHS in England and on a couple of occasions in Scotland. One of my professional articles published in Quality World on the problems in the NHS was used in the training and examining of ISO / Quality System auditors across all scopes by IRCA for many years. I mention this to reassure you I am not going on a rant about the No campaign (the NHS is too important for that) but I am going to highlight the operational problems the current Labour and Tory NHS reforms have caused in NHS England, how this impacts on the service provided and inevitably has knock on impacts for NHS funding in England and therefore the rest of the UK's NHS provision.

The problems in NHS England date back to 1990 and the first round of market reforms introduced by the then Thatcher Government. The Health Minister of the day, William Waldegrave, made clear he was going to tighten the valve down on NHS funding in England until something broke.

The first part which 'broke' was NHS dental provision with dentists across England terminating their NHS contracts and 'going private' on the grounds they could no longer justify or afford providing a second rate service for a third rate fee. The Tories mounted their standard attack in papers like the Telegraph and Daily Mail to embarrass dentists into staying but this failed and across England there was a sudden crisis in NHS dental provision as Health Authorities had thousands of patients they were responsible for providing NHS treatment to and no dentists. In England in 1990 97% of all courses of dental treatment were NHS by 2013 the figure was barely above 40%; reducing the funding required for NHS dentistry in England by 50% and therefore impacting on the funding share awarded for NHS Dentistry to NHS Scotland. My friends in South West England are telling me NHS dentistry in England is on the verge of collapse as the current generation of NHS dentists are now also saying enough is enough and dumping their NHS dental contracts after the latest round of Tory real time NHS dental contract cuts.

The 'marketisation' project in the NHS in England carried on apace during the Tory years with 'Foundation Hospitals', private public funding partnerships (PFI), GP commissioning trials and much else all causing declining morale amongst the front line in health care who did not know whether the budget or the patient was more important. these professionals were often lead by management promoted from the medical ranks on the basis 'can not do' so make them a 'care manager' to reduce the danger to patients, Since the mid 90's the NHS in England has been cursed by a management system which is all about do not rock the boat, we need to hit DoH targets to keep our funding and little to do with patient care delivery. Many in the health care profession hoped the arrival of a 'Labour' Government would see change, a more patient focused NHS England, less political micromanagement from Whitehall, yet all that changed was the name of the Tory marketisation systems to make them seem less like privatisation by stealth but carry on the process. 

By 1999 it was clear, even to the DoH, something had to happen in the light of the Bristol Royal Infirmary infant cardiology scandal and the unnecessary deaths of so many new born infants at the hands of incompetent surgeons, in the future. It was on the basis of the judicial review of Bristol RI that Liam Donaldson, as he was then, was appointed CMO (England) to sharpen the NHS up. Sir Liam called in Quality Assurance specialists to a meeting at Harrogate in 2000 and explained what he was seeking to achieve and how he would require us specialists to help him put it in place. The meeting was informative, as was the brainstorming session held afterwards, and with the support of the QA world he felt he could now take his plan to the DoH for ministerial approval. The plan was based on best QA practice which revolved around the simple idea that clinical decisions had to be made at the patient level and the NHS system's responsibility was to ensure the resources were in place to meet the patient's clinical and care needs - a patient centred process, bottom up, with interlinked responsibilities between care staff, NHS management and politicians all the way to the Minister of Health themselves.

This proposal immediately threatened the status quo between the vested interests at the top level as they would be responsible for resources going down but responsibility for failure to meet patient's needs would be coming up the chain. This could not be allowed, NHS empires were threatened, vested interests were at risk, politicians of all stripes would become where the buck stopped - NEVER!

Sir Liam Donaldson's plans were watered down by the vested interests to the point they were unworkable. Instead the politicians and vested interests in Westminster, medical academia, BDA and the BMA put in place a plethora of layers via quango's, new levels of management and non-patient focused 'targets' which would make the politicians look good even as NHS England fell about their ears. Patients? - Pah! - This was all about avoiding responsibility and accountability.

The QA World predicted the systems invented for this new NHS clinical governance system were destined to fail because they only paid lip services to the quality delivery of any services and were not patient focused in their measurement of service delivery. We predicted that the systems put in place would not prevent a re-run of the Bristol Royal Infirmary debacle as has been proven to be the case in Mid-Staffs (twice) Tonbridgewells Trust, Luton General and most recently at Musgrove Park in Taunton (the list of disasters is much longer than this with out adding in the failure of outsourced elderly care and other private contracts - ambulance, NHS 24, GP out of hour services - by NHS Trusts across England).

As the clinical governance systems failed then the DoH, Trusts and Health Authorities started buying in the specialist help they should have had from the start to try and turn things round as patient dissatisfaction turned to legal dispute and an ever growing cost of settling compensation cases for poor or inadequate treatment. Identifying what was wrong with the system, for people like myself, was not a problem, it screamed out at you:  lack of resource (people and kit), lack of direction from management, incompetent or no leadership and constantly changing political goal posts which ignored patient's actual needs, expectations and concerns with regards the NHS care being provided.

Up until 2007, the NHS in Scotland was suffering increasingly from these failed reforms as Jack McConnell aped his bosses' in London's line on the NHS. Amongst the worst Trusts in Scotland during this period was Tayside who seemed to be in the news on a weekly basis as yet another failure at Ninewells or else where in their system added another half a million or more to the their compensation pay outs. There was the attempt to close down Monklands Hospital to save North Lanarkshire Health Trust running out of money as a plethora of PFI schemes they had embarked on began to empty their coffers and impinge on their ability to meet care needs.

The election of an SNP Government at Holyrood has not prevented the ill thought through health policies inherited from New Labour from having a serious impact on NHS Scotland and its ability to meet patients needs. PFI contracts still have to be paid out on, they still hit Scottish Trusts who engaged on PFI contracts hard, even though the SNP Government has sought to ameliorate the impact to some extent. NHS Scotland still suffers from vested interest groups protecting their academic and NHS empires and fiefdoms so we can not pretend all is rosy in the NHS Scotland garden but things are improving as the changes instigated by Nicola Sturgeon and her team take effect. NHS Scotland is becoming more patient focused but still has a long way to go and a lot of thinking amongst the medical and political hierarchies and vested interests has to change before we can have an NHS Scotland comparable to our Scandinavian neighbours.

A 'No vote' can only have negative impacts on NHS Scotland and sow the seeds of its destruction, this is the observable message coming across the border from England where things are now so bad the GPs and DGPs are walking away from their NHS England contracts. Young, UK trained doctors and dentists are emigrating to Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada for a more equable career rather than seek an NHS career in England. This is the side of the Tory and Labour 'reforms' you will never read about in the London media - medical emigration - no, it is only coverage of greedy doctors, dentists and other health care professionals betraying the NHS.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

To me: To you ...

I made an error today.

I switched my TV on to watch MotoGP and caught a snap of Jim Murphy blaming John Swinney for the closure of Fergussons on the British Biased Communications, Sunday morning program. The thirty seconds I accidentally caught left me with a clear picture why old fashioned politics has failed us. It might be funny when the Chuckle Brothers do their 'to me: to you' gag but watching a politician doing this left me less than overwhelmed. Murphy made his claim that, basically, it was the SNP's fault Fergussons were closing, the BBC bloke made clear in the tone of the question to Mr Swinney he agreed with Murphy instead of asking the real question: 

Just what did you do, Mr Murphy, when a Minister in UK Government to secure Lower Clyde Shipbuilding capacity?

This line of question simply does not fit in the BBC interviewer's abilities - all he is interested in is Chuckle Brother politics, causing a stramash, talking over any answer which does not fit the BBC slapstick politics programming, forefend the idea the public need and deserve a serious answer as to why Scottish Shipbuilding has been reduced to this state. No, this will never do on the BBC; it has to be a Punch and Judy show.

The truth is that Fergussons had been reliant on building modules for BAE systems at Scotstoun to keep the doors open. The Scottish Government via McBrains Ferries ordered two new ferries to tide the yard over until the start of the Type 26 build. This needed to happen because the MoD had not taken up the option to build an extra four Type 45's because they were on their uppers. The Type 26 program is now coming on line a year later than originally intended because the MoD could not afford to start the build until the carriers were completed as the RN capital funds were being eaten up in preparatory work for the Trident replacement submarine which has already cost the RN budget in the region of £4 billion over the last three years. Add in the overrun cost on the two new carriers - courtesy of more to me; to you carry on - first between Gordon Brown and the MoD, then Cameron and the MoD unable to decide whether the carriers would have catapults and arrester wires or not. This political to me ; to you added £7 billion (and still growing) onto the capital cost of the two carriers; taken, of course, from the RN budget.

Fergussons are going down the tubes courtesy of a level of financial and political incompetence at Westminster which beggars belief. The Scottish Government did all it could to tide Fergussons over with the ferry order and mitigate the total mess the UK Parliament had made of defence procurement for the RN.

In the meantime Murphy seeks to make political capital about a Scottish company going down the tubes caused in part by decisions made while he was a UK Government Minister. He has nothing more substantial to offer but more patronising 'pap'.

Let us do our best to end the 'Punch and Judy Show' politics in Scotland, the start point is the rejection of the current political status quo.

The only way we can do this is to vote Yes on the 18th of September 2014 and use the d'Hondt system of election which brought us the referendum, to reshape Scottish politics in May 2016. It is time to bend our politicians to the considered will of the people of Scotland, ensure our political process best represents this paramount Scottish constitutional position and is embedded deep in the new constitution's core.

Thursday, 14 August 2014

"I'm just lovin' it ..."

No Camp; Ronald McDonald .... Economics of the Hamburger .. right? ....

Funny Carrel turns up with this in the Gruniad just when more and more folk in academia and major economists in Scotland are deciding for themselves 'Yes' is the best option for Scotland's future as another major economist, Sir Donald McKay, previous supporter of Devo-max, plants his flag on the Yes side.

Let's read what Dr Carney of the Bank of England - noting, just as on the UK debt announcement the last time Osbourne scared the Bejesus out of the world financial markets back in February, there are no histrionics, no 'emergency', no doom and gloom - actually said:

"Uncertainty about the currency arrangements could raise financial stability issues. We will, as you would expect us to have contingency plans for various possibilities.

It’s never a good idea to talk about contingency plans in public other than to assure people that we have contingency plans. And I’d just underscore that in terms of our responsibilities for financial stability, we do have a wide range of tools and plans.

Now some one less one eyed than Mr Carrell might take this to mean:

"Westminster politicians please shut up about no apparent option 'B' because you are scaring the financial markets, putting Sterling, as an internationally trade-able currency on a shoogly peg. I have talked with Mr Salmond (and undoubtedly the Gidiot Osbourne) and there are already contingency plans in place to ensure Sterling does not take a caning. Mr Salmond for the same reason is correct not to talk about a plan 'B' as this too would cause greater uncertainty for Sterling in the world financial markets"

Further in his statement Dr Carney says:

We are not the only authority that has responsibility for financial stability, and some of the things that we – some of the powers that we have are held jointly with Her Majesty’s Treasury, so we’re not the sole decision maker in these areas.”

Again this could be a veiled warning to Osbourne as in:

"If the shit hits the fan and Sterling goes down the tubes because of you playing politics with Sterling, Mr Osbourne, you will be on your own because I have now warned you what your frenetic claims are doing to short and long term confidence in Sterling."

After all UBS along with Deutsches Bank, the City of London, other international banks and financial players are already on record saying they want a Sterling currency union in the short to medium term to ensure Sterling stability. This has been made clear on many occasions in the Investors Chronicle, Forbes Magazine, Adam Smith Institute reports (other than the clown Ronald MacDonald) and many other journals the real financial folk use to make decisions. All of which makes clear that Scotland can use Sterling without any currency union - the disadvantage for Scotland is, in effect, becoming a net lender to Sterling, due to its current account, annual cash surplus under present trading conditions, a surplus only likely to increase as Clair West's current estimated production of 75 billion barrels (a reserve likely to be pushed upwards as surveying continues) comes on flow and the fields off the Hebrides and Clyde come into production.

That brings us to Glasgow Uni's Adam Smith Professor Ronald McDonald's worst case scenario and raises the question of just what happens if on independence Scotland says 'Stuff Sterling where the sun don't shine Osbourne, the currency has become far too unstable courtesy of all you and your Westminster pals scare stories, we have decided on plan B after all' and there is suddenly a 25%+ hole in Sterling's foreign exchange earnings as the Scottish economy, finance houses and banks dump Sterling for gold, or the dollar or even the triangular intergalactic Giganticphu?

It is at this point all Professor Ronald McDonald's nightmares about Sterling come home to roost but they will have no impact on Scotland as we will no longer have any holdings in Sterling except the effect on our economy of our main trading partner going down the tubes and needing an IMF bail out. Being nice folk, us Scots we could offer to lend Sterling - at a competitive rate like the UK Treasury did with Ireland - on a rate of say £5 buys one Giganticphu at 27% per anum, compounded, mortgaged against the Houses of Parliament and Whitehall in case of default.

The problem with attempts to twist people's words to fit what you want them to say is there are as equally different interpretations. The same goes with using OBR figures on oil and gas production which are routinely inaccurate as the Ronald MacDonald should understand and an article in today's Press and Journal makes very clear.

Where does this leave us with regards Sterling?

Well it looks like Dr Carney has politely warned Darling and his cohorts to wind down their 'no currency union campaign' before it does extreme and prejudicial damage to Sterling in the days after a 'Yes vote' in September 2014.

As for the majority of Scots -  we do not give a hoot, if there is no Sterling there is always plan B etcetera already set out and identified in Scotland's Future - our pounds are going no where.

Monday, 11 August 2014

ISIS - the Islamic Ebola?

ISIS (the Islamic State of the Levant and Syria) was initially funded by Saudi Arabia as a way of destabilizing Iran and Syria by placing fundamentalist Wahhabi / Sunni Islam on Syria and Iran's borders with the aim of driving thousands of Shia refugees from Iraq into Iran. ISIS was also supposed to be a message to Russia of the fundamentalist Islamic mayhem heading their way if they tried to prevent the collapse of Assad's Syria by direct intervention. 

The idea must have been that Riyadh would become the capital, with Mecca as the religious centre of this new, unified, Sunni Islamic state. An Islamic State of a size and scope not seen since the days of Salahudin in the 13th Century. A state which would bring religious settlement to the Middle East and allow the State of Israel to remain. Clearly Saudi Arabia would not have done any of this with out the nod from the White House, Pentagon and support from the CIA.

The indications are that Egypt and Saudi Arabia agreed some sort of quid pro quo with Israel to allow them to 'cleanse' greater Israel of Hammas. This includes the removal of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza by forced Jewish settlement expansion, funded by by US Zionist Organisations. There is evidence from the USA of young Jews being offered sizable financial incentives to settle in Israel on the newly reclaimed West Bank. 

Economically the removal of Palestinian Gaza simplifies the carving up of the oil and gas fields in the Levantine Basin between Egypt and Israel and opens the way to a joint USA / Egyptian / Israeli development of the field. The election of a fundamentalist president in Egypt threatened this plan so he was removed by the Egyptian military which also goes some way towards explaining the silence across the Sunni Islamic world about the current genocide happening in Gaza. To intervene in Gaza is not in Saudi or Egyptian interests and therefore not in Sunni Islam's best interests.

All this was going along fine until ISIS decided it did not wish nor need Saudi backing anymore, partly triggered by the Saudi's failure to get active military intervention in Syria by Saudi's USA and UK allies. As a result ISIS stopped activity in Syria, made some sort of cease fire deal with Assad and went for the softer target - Iraq. ISIS is also now on the Saudi Borders and is a direct threat to the Saudi Royal Family as it sucks in Saudi dissenters to the current regime, prior to beginning its insurgency.

This is why this creation of Israel, Egypt and Saudi (with the nod from the White House via the Pentagon and CIA) has suddenly become the the enemy, ISIS is out of control and on its way, if not stopped, to consuming the very states that set it to work.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Dear 200 Lovies ....

Dear 200 'Lovies',

Thanks for your heartfelt, if poorly thought through, concerns for poor, wee, stupid Scotland.

The Scots will vote for what they believe is best for Scotland in September's referendum as an expression of their considered will.

The high level of grass roots activism being seen makes what Darling, Wee Eck or even Patrick Stewart thinks or says irrelevant to most Scots outside of the UK media circus, as they are by and large superficial to the core argument and the question not one person has given an objective answer to:

Just why is the outdated and democratically ineffectual 1707 Treaty of Union of any real benefit to anyone outside of the Westminster political / media bubble?

As a historian Dan Snow should know that the Treaty of Union and the UK it created can only exist with the continuing assent of the two signatory sovereign nations, as the Treaty is an international treaty bound by the Vienna Convention. As such either or both partners can decide to end the Treaty at any time they wish (see Czeck and Slovakia velvet divorce).

If the electorate of England and Wales wished to end the Treaty or 'have a say' they would need to elect a party into Government with that as part of its manifesto. The problem being under English law and constitutional practice no party can be bound by its manifesto once in Government at Westminster. Under Scots Law and constitutional practice a majority government at Holyrood is bound by its manifesto given its is the expression of the people of Scotland's considered will, a considered will which is always paramount given the people of Scotland are sovereign (see Claim of Right 1689 / McCormack vs the Lord Advocate 1953 / AXA et al vs the Scottish Parliament et al 2012).

The 'considered will being paramount' explains why Cameron went from "Referendum! Over my dead body!" to signing the Edinburgh Agreement in under nine months. The UK Parliament has no legal or constitutional basis to prevent the referendum happening because it can have no role in negotiations which will involve changes or alterations to the Treaty of Union - only the two original signatory sovereign parliaments can do this.

This is not what has been sold to the people of England since 1707, what was sold was the idea that Scotland had been subsumed by England and, in effect, had become a region of England ruled by an 'English' Parliament at Westminster run with its laisse faire unwritten constitution which is interpreted much like Humpty-Dumpty in 'Through the Looking Glass' - "... words say just exactly what I say they mean".

Folk in England may not like the idea they are powerless to stop this referendum nor the increasing likelihood it will end the UK Union but you do like to vote for ever more right wing, control freak, neo-liberal, capitalist governments (whether Lablibtory or Toryliblab) and foist them on your partners in the Union.

You have made your bed - lie in it; we are off to Slumberland to have a look for a better one.

Friday, 8 August 2014

A reminder of just who is boss in Scotland .....

A core document neither the Yes nor the No side appears to take heed of is the Claim of Right (Scotland) 1689 by which Elizabeth, Queen of Scots holds her throne in Scotland and gave her oath to uphold the night prior to her English Coronation at Westminster in 1953.

The legal and constitutional principle of 'The people of Scotland are sovereign', first arises in the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320. The concept was written in to Scots Law by the Scottish Parliament of 1328, reasserted in the Great Covenant of Scotland which triggered the erroneously named 'English Civil War' and was made formal legal statute in the 1689 Claim of Right (Scotland) - a statute which remains in 'law' to this day.

It is to this 1689 Statute which Lord Cooper referred in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate which forced the Lord Advocate to concede on the UK Parliament's behalf:

  1. The people of Scotland are sovereign
  2. The UK Parliament has no role to play in any changes or alterations to the Treaty of Union - including its dissolution under the conditions of the 1707 Treaty of Union
  3. The considered will of the sovereign people of Scotland is always paramount
What this means is if it is the considered will of the sovereign people of Scotland, on the 18th of September 2014, to end the Treaty of Union then as of the announcement of the result the two Acts of Union of the sovereign parliaments in existence prior to to 1707 become null and void, the UK Parliament ceases to have any legitimacy in any legal or constitutional sense and the British mainland returns to being made up of two successor states, the two states which existed prior to the 1707 Treaty of Union - Scotland on one hand with England and Wales (plus Northern Ireland), now referred to as rUK, as a shorthand, on the other.

This view had been confirmed by Dr Barker, a world expert on the UK constitution at Oxford, who has stated that for a rUK Parliament to have any legal or constitutional legitimacy it will require to be elected by the the people it now serves. In other words Cameron and the rest can not enter into negotiations with a sovereign Scotland until they have a mandate from their new electorate to do so. This means a snap rUK General Election in late October early November 2014 on a Yes vote which in itself brings some serious political problems for both Labour and the Tories at Westminster with the rise and rise of UKIP. To what extent will both Labour and the Tories of the rUK have to shape their policies in an attempt to negate this xenophobic UKIP politic from wrecking their 'nice earner' and hegemony over England and Wales. A UKIP balance of power post the first rUK election in October / November 2014 can be nothing but an ill wind for any sensible negotiations to end the Union as they will play their 'Little Englander' card to the full, especially against 'sweaty jocks'.

As the potential economic, financial, social and political consequences of a Yes vote begin to raise their ugly head for those at the heart of the 'London centric' UK Union and the future rUK, the more outrageous the claims made to 'save Scotland from herself' become.

In the back ground a secret visit to Shetland by Cameron, personally, to get the new 1.75 billion barrel (current estimate but likely to get bigger) Claire Field find to the west of Shetland announcement embargoed until after the 18th of September 2014 - is just one example of how Westminster treats its 'Jocks'; as if we zip up the back. A quick check of the oil and gas trade papers quickly exposed this new scam as Westminster tries to cling on with increasing desperation and hysteria.  

Forget the polls, forget the propaganda around the 'Big Debate', Westminster is circling its wagons for a last stand which says far more about the state of play, a state of play reflected in canvassing returns across Scotland which continue to run towards a Yes vote and away from No, as the months have become weeks and the weeks are becoming days.

It is not Eck or Nicola or Dennis or Blair or any other talking head who will get Yes across the line, it is each one of us, committed to a Yes vote, who will make this happen, by speaking openly and honestly about why we believe a Yes vote is the just beginning to finding solutions to many of Scotland's current problems, problems which the UK Parliament is not interested in addressing as they are useful to facilitate their control of Scotland of which poverty and unemployment are just two such levers.

Sovereign power lies with each and every member of the Scottish electorate to make clear our considered will. We need to be very clear who is boss in Scotland;

We; the people.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

How was it for you?

Well the big debate came and went, the two sides claimed their man won and yet what was actually achieved beyond the kettle calling the pot black?


Nope, not a dicky.

I have a very simple view on the whole subject which is this debate is far too important to be left to the media and 'here today gone tomorrow politicians'.

If we are going to succeed in getting our nation back it must be achieved in spite of politicians. The result will reflect our, as the people of Scotland's considered will and not the' gift' of any politician no matter how well meaning they may appear to be.

Just saying!

Sorry about the light pink - my desk top was U/S and I blogged using a mini-tablet.