Friday, 31 October 2014

Murphy - Labour's Knight in Shining Armour

Please, stop, Gruniad, please .... my sides are killing me -

Murphy as saviour of the Union is up there with Brown's claims of saving the world from his own inept meddling over HBOS in 2008 which triggered the banking crash in the first place.

Murphy's Irnbru crate tour was only noticeable for the indifference with which it was mainly met by the Scottish electorate dusted with the anger of ex-Labour supporters who felt betrayed, after all it was an ex-Labour Constituency Officer who egged Murphy in Kirkcaldy.

'<i>There's something about him people like..</i>'  that had tears rolling down my cheeks all on its own. Murphy is roundly detested by a large section of the Scotch Region's MPs, MSPs, Councillors and constituency members; loath does not begin to cover what those outside the Scotch Region Murphy clique think of him. Darling and Brown actively avoid being in the same room as Murphy for a start.

There is something exceedingly desperate in the Gruniad's attempt to make Murphy palatable to the Scotch electorate, missing that to Scots outside of Labour he is known as 'Skeletor' and much ruder names.

We know all about his disastrous time as NUS leader and look at the size of his Westminster expense claims with incredibility, his political back stabbing is widely renowned with amongst his better known victims Wendy Alexander, Dennis Cavanan, Henry McLeish and the latest being Ms Lamont.

Then there is his disastrous involvement in the West Falkirk constituency vote rigging scandal which was less about which candidate was best and more about chasing Unite and McCluskey's tanks off of what he sees as 'his' lawn. The fact the West Falkirk candidacy mess nearly closed Grangemouth refinery and the loss of 10,000 jobs does little to enhance Murphy's political credence in Scotland.

To those inside the M25 orbital Murphy may seem a good bet to revive Labour's Scotch region's fortunes to the SNP he looks like an early Christmas gift for their election hopes in May 2015.

This article is redolent of April the 1st rather than Samamhain.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Scotched Earth Labour ...

In Scotland, just who has Miliband to take charge?


Not at all popular outside his own Blairite Labour circle in Scotland - Brown, Darling and Unite supporters will make his life hell as they see him as a back stabber, Falkirk remains an open sore while Lamont is just the latest of a long line of his victims in Scotland. Murphy will struggle to carry the STUC electoral college vote and has made enough enemies amongst MPs and MSPs to make even their support iffy.

Murphy's choice is Sarah Boyak, one of his proteges - who has taken a beating in most exchanges with her SNP counterparts at Holyrood and will struggle against Nicola Sturgeon if supplied with more of the wooden FMQ scripts Lamont was doled out with.

Neil Findlay is the other side of the Scotch Labour's divide stalking horse who makes Lamont's recent activities in Scotland look hyperactive in comparison. How far into the ' Scotch Leadership Campaign' before a 'senior Labour source' starts briefing against him or his previously pristine character is assassinated by his personal problems being aired in the Record.

So where does that leave Miliband in Scotland - reliant on Murphy as he is?

Boyak will not be able to lead a Scotch Region where it is known she will be Murphy's stool pigeon with Anas Sawar as Murphy's chief puppeteer. Findlay's life will be made hell by Murphy and his Blairite Scotch MPs and Lords as McCluskey of Unite will be seen as his patron. The problem at the heart of Labor's Scotch Region remains - a McLeish or a Chisholm could mend some fences but that would require Murphy to give up control. Murphy is not going to give up as Miliband's 'fixer' in Scotland, the leverage that gives him over Miliband and anyway Murphy hates McLeish and Chisholm (you can add in Brown and Darling to Murphy's hate list as well).

Labour's Scotch problem is not just increased disillusionment across the rest of Scotland's electorate with Labour but the increasing vote leakage of 40%+ in the heartland's of its West of Scotland Mafia, a grouping Murphy is reliant on to do his bidding and control of his Scotch region.

Short of shutting down the Scotch Region - Labour is in trouble with any of the fixes it is currently seeking to use to shore up its Scotch Region.

The Scots electorate have a good idea what they want and London Labour is just not it.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Open Letter to Labour List

Dear Labour List,

Having damned Ms Lamont with faint praise may be it is time to wake the Labour Party up to just exactly how close to the end Scotch Labour now is.

I read Mr Russell havering ignorantly about the SNP on Labour List this week, then John McTernan having a hissy fit about the SNP in the Scotsman, this says only one thing to me - Labour are stuck in the past and can not deal with the increasing pace of change in Scottish Politics. Labour are still stuck fighting Blairite Jim Murphy vs McCluskey's Unite battles in Scotland. The axing of Ian Price stinks of Jim Murphy backstabbing to get rid of Lamont who is in the Unite Camp.

Labour wonks in London have to wake up to the fact - Scots do not zip up the back. A message the Scottish electorate have been trying to get through to them since 2007 when Brown's response to an SNP minority government at Holyrood was to have a hissy fit, cancel the Peterhead CO2 capture project and hack £22 million out of the Scottish Budget.

Labour's continuing response to the growth of SNP support in Scotland has not changed since 2007; Brown, Darling, Murphy, Hood, Davidson, Alexander et al are still throwing their toys out of the pram and in denial about what is happening in Scotland. Not even hanging on to their jobs in Westminster by their finger nails in a 11:9 vote has focused their minds. To anyone who has watched Jim Murphy in action in what he sees as his 'Scottish Fiefdom' the only word to describe his behaviour with respect to Scotland is - ignorant.

Here's why Brown will not turn up in Holyrood - Jim Murphy will block it with Darling's support. Darling is not an option as he would cement Labour's Scotch region's terminal decline - the talk in Scotland is just how at risk Darling is to an SNP swing in May 2015.

So who does that leave?

Jackie (I can not keep to my brief) Baillie, Iain (The Grey) Gray, Keiza (I'll go native) Dugdale, McCliesh (that would be a clear sign of desperation), Wendy 'Planet Brain' Alexander, Lord 'Gorgeous' George Foulkes, Jack (I'm off to Malawi, honest) McConnell ... just who in Labour's Scotch Region can cope with Nicola Sturgeon and a cohesive and confident SNP Party at Holyrood?
YouGov recently had Labour in Scotland 1% point lower than the Conservatives in Scottish GE voting share.

In 2006 I wrote an article in Labour List warning of the disaster which was coming for its Scotch Region if the rise in SNP support was not countered by moves to meet the declared wish of Scots in poll after poll for fiscal autonomy.

Labour is now where it is because it took its eyes off Scotland on the presumption their Scottish electorate would continue to vote for monkeys wearing red rosettes to keep the Tories out.
Murphy and McCluskey's power struggle over the Falkirk selection process and the
risk it caused to 10,000+ jobs in and related to the Grangemouth refinery opened a lot of ordinary 'Labour' peoples' eyes to just what the 'Party' actually thought of Scotland. The Better Together Campaign was the final breaking point, for many, as Labour's Scotch MPs lied and fought for their seats of privilege on a Tory ticket: not in the best interests of the Scottish people. Lamont's sense of being stabbed in the back by London is a reflection of how many ex-Labour supporters in Scotland now feel.

Time for Labour List readers to face up to reality with respect to Scotland. Labour is in decline, possibly terminal, as the distinctly socialist Scottish Green Party grows in strength and membership - now over 6,000 members. The conservative Scots in the middle are happy with the SNP (social democrat / left of centre policy base) in Government in Scotland - they play a steady hand and are seen putting Scotland first and foremost in a way none of the Lab-Lib coalitions at Holyrood ever did.

The problems for Labour in Scotland are deep seated, the party is split along Jim Murphy / McCluskey lines, there are further cracks between the West Coast and East coast wings of the party, with out funds from London the Scottish Region is on its fiscal uppers, the active membership is in decline as seen in the need to bus in Labour supporters from England during the recent Tory paid for referendum campaign. Labour is up against a level of continuing political activism I have never seen in Scotland in my 60 years on the planet - little of it Labour friendly.

Labour can not paper over these cracks because they are now ever widening fault lines in Scotland which will only increase to gap as Mr Miliband chases the Tory's and UKIP ever rightwards. In 2006, in an article to Labour List, I asked the Labour party to take a long hard look at itself before it lost out to the SNP in Scotland; in 2014 I am now telling the Labour Party it is about be terminally damaged in Scotland if it does not embrace full fiscal autonomy for Holyrood and end Jim Murphy's malign hegemony over its the Scotch region.

Friday, 24 October 2014

A Northern Ireland Holiday ...

Holiday ....... well 'holiday' if you call repairing fences, wallpapering the hall, stair, landing and sorting the daughter and her man's garden in return for a serious dose of cuddles from my one month old grandson, a holiday.

So here I am having a few minutes to myself catching up on E-mails, a quick skim through face book and a cup of tea and I caught myself thinking that's over seventy two hours and I never thought of Scotland and what is going on once.

To that extent I consider myself as having a 'holiday'.

So what did I find out on my 'catch up'?

  • That Wee Eck is still the shrewdest and most able politician around in the UK as he lead the Dimblebum round and round his radical rock until he was exactly where Wee Eck wanted him.
  • That the UK Political scene and media clearly has not a 'Scoobie Doo' about what is actually going on in Scotland.
  • That more and more Yes supporters are understanding we lost the battle but are still winning the war and letting go their sense of anger and loss
  • That even if all the unionist parties' electorate had voted together in the Oban Council bye-election the SNP candidate would still have won
  • That Westminster is now running very scared as the English centre left are starting to get vocal and not leaving the protesting to the usual 'mad socialists' in England
  • That every time Ed Moribund or Dave Camamoron or the blood sucking Clegg open their mouths they are just one voice, saying the same thing; differently
  • That by 2020 (at the latest) Scotland will be independent as Westminster continues to implode at an ever increasing rate of knots
To that extent, if nothing else, this holiday is doing me the power of good and I am going to go back to not to thinking about Scotland until next Wednesday after I have heard Nicola on Tuesday night in Dumfries.

Then I will be back to thinking and analysing about the lies were are being fed and how best to reach the common purpose of ending this perfidious Union of un-equals.

PS: Novel writing going well but it is on holiday as well ....

Monday, 20 October 2014

Labour's Clockwork Orange

Labour's Scotch region turn to the 'Clockwork' Orange Order to shore up their shooglely Westminster pegs in Scotland while Magrat Curran announces she is taking advice from political guru's who 'stopped the BNP' to take on the SNP.

Jack (The Joke) McConnell spins his usual pap about Wee Eck being a 'right wing populist' politician and damn's Ms Sturgeon with faint praise as being a 'social democrat'.

I can not be the only Scot who can work out Labour has a major problem with denial and political dissonance with in its Scotch Region.

How can you claim the SNP is a BNP like threat then get into bed with the BNP's best pals in Scotland - The Orange Order?

The BNP, whose membership regularly attends Orange Order marches in Scotland to 'show their support'.

The clear message in the rapid increase of Scots joining non-Unionist political parties is simply this, "If Westminster fails to deliver Devo-max, the Union will face yet another referendum and this time Yes will win.

The problem for Westminster is they are facing a leader of the SNP in Scotland who has genuine widespread support. Not the least for her work as NHS Scotland minister which saw real change and improvements in NHS Scotland (reduced cross infection rates being one) coupled with the removal of Labour's expensive to administer 'internal market' and excessive use of private hospital provision to hide Labour's failed internal market and PFI scam (NHS Scotland spent 0.8% of its budget on private provision in 2012-13). 

Coupled with the end of prescription charges, this undoing of failed politicised policies has freed up more money to treat patients within a Scottish NHS budget (under Barnett) which has decreased in real terms year on year since 2010. The Scottish Government also found money from its general budget to help alleviate the worst impacts of Gordon Brown's PFI scam on NHS Scotland's hard pressed Trusts and Health Authorities - again relieving some of the pressure on a constrained NHS Scotland budget.

Compare this with the UK (aka English) Government's impact on the NHS in England where 14% of the total NHS England budget is now spent just administering the politicised 'internal market' and 'private procurement contracts' while only 8% is spent on GP services.

Labour are not for changing NHS England, in any constructive way, and are offering the English electorate more throw away NHS promises that fail to stand the slightest scrutiny and will continue the Americanisation process of health care in England where the poorest 20% will end up with no cover. Clearly this is also Labour's policy for Scotland, if they win the 2015 election.

Now Mr McConnell just which party is the right wing party; Magrat just how hypocritical are you?

Another busted 'Vow'.

The nightmares are coming back, an article on PTSD in the Gruniad was the trigger; coupled with the clear ignorance presented by the 'Government Research Team' trying to claim violence associated with PTSD was already present as a character flaw or psychological trait before military training even commenced. Trying to avoid the obvious reality once a human being has been in combat they are changed, permanently, whether in the front line or dealing with the casualties when they return to 'normal life' after being in combat.

The MoD is still trying to say it is not their fault or responsibility that so many ex-combatants from Northern Ireland, Falklands, Bosnia, Gulf War or Afghanistan end up in prison for violent assaults or murder, routinely of people they know; far too often their wives or girl friends. The researchers on the Government 'Team' are working like mad to prove it is all the service personnel's, the Armed Services have trained to be violent, fault. Yet the numbers of ex-service personnel in jail for violence is around five times the norm for their age groups as is their likelihood to commit suicide or be homeless.

Here is my take on the causative link and it is pretty personal:

I was trained as a health care professional, I went to Dartmouth to complete my RN officer training, I was never trained to be violent. I had basic weapon training so, if I had to, I could use a weapon to protect the patients in my care. I was taught to fire, strip down and maintain a 9mm Browning pistol and a NATO Standard FM SLR.

My specific service related training was as a Triage and Resuscitation Officer and a Nuclear, Bacteriological and Chemical Defence Officer. The latter dealing with, for example, the known problems of nuclear weapon exposure in serving personnel and what to do.

In 1982 I saw active service in the Falklands, skip the details, but I came back angry at what I had seen and experienced plus the conduct of the politicians whose stupidity had put myself, friends and men on both sides into danger, maiming many, killing quite a few - six of my friends were in the latter group. On our return to the UK we faced the same problem my father's generation had in 1945 - just how do you explain what you saw and did. So you say nothing, you internalise the hurt and anger, you pretend to be 'normal' because that is what is expected of you by the service, especially as an officer of Her Majesty's Royal Navy and three weeks after you return, you are starting at your next posting where good folk, who have no clue what you did and saw, expect you to act as an officer.

You say nothing to them about your girlfriend in Plymouth who is now very worried who you are becoming because you pushed them into the entrance of Debenhams then threw yourself down on top of them when a car back fired in the street. Who by Christmas 1982 tries to let you down gently as the person you were before May 1982 has gone and she can no longer cope with who you are now. You nod and admit you have not been the best company, tend to get angry for no real reason, you understand; then stuff that anger into the pressure cooker with the rest, screw the top down and tighten the safety valve down another turn.

Then in January 1983 a friend who was with you in the Falklands is killed in a training accident in Norway, completely avoidable, a senior warrant officer made the wrong call, a stupid call. You had been part of the honour guard, three weeks before, at his wedding. You put that anger into the pressure vessel with all the rest.

Then you decide 'I am not making any new friends', because when they die it hurts and you are already hurting too much to take much more. You increasingly isolate yourself off or drink to excess when in company - it is easier if you can not remember the faces just in case they die as well.

PTSD whose origin is in combat is about internalised anger and the dissonance between what you know, saw, felt, smelled and experienced and what you have been taught 'society' expects of you or simply does not want to know - you are an officer deal with it!

You get married and try to have a normal life when four years in, while having a flash back nightmare you nearly strangle your wife, you lose the head with your two and half year old child for no other reason than you are angry with the world. Your Dad, who was your mentor and guide, dies - you stick that in the pressure vessel along with the rest because you do not have the time to deal with that, your practice, the increasing sense of failure as a husband and a father and your second kid. In your mid 30's you have your first breakdown, you assault your wife but still you can not say what you are actually angry about because it is now behind so many walls you can no longer see it - even if you wanted to (which you do not). So you lie to the Psychiatrist and play the counseling game because you are smart, educated and you know how to fake 'carrying on as normal'. Folk with depression spend a lot of time lying to themselves, so it is dead easy to fool others. The air bags in the car go off in an accident and you are back in the Falklands with the smell of cordite.

Eventually even you can no longer lie to yourself, something happens, an incident becomes a wrecking ball, the walls you built up so high come tumbling down and all you are left with is the raw anger you have been burying for twenty seven years. Your marriage has failed and your behaviour towards your ex-wife has driven a wedge between you and your daughter.

In between most of your surviving RN and RM friends from the time have failed marriages, too many have drink problems or have committed suicide - that is just amongst officers you knew.

Then you read in the Gruniad the current UK Government is trying to claim your violence and all the violence of others suffering from combat related PTSD is because you were a violent person before you signed on.

The nation's claimed 'covenant' with its Armed Forces is just another UK Government vow that is not fit to wipe your arse with, along with 'the NHS is safe in our hands' and 'Scotland will get full powers of devolution if you vote No in the referendum'.

I am not going to apologise for being angry because not telling people you are angry, causes your health and life serious problems. This is one lesson I have learned since October 1982 when my personal nightmare began and one have no intention of repeating.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Is the dust settling or is more being stirred up?

So we did not win the referendum.

According to the London media and the Westminster Unionists we 'Yes Supporters' should now just shut up, give up and get back in our collective box because, "Cos we won, youse didnae, take that youse bastirds! Sae dae whit we're goan tae tell youse tae dae ir ye'll be for it!"

Except the resounding success for the Union in the referendum does not withstand much analysis beyond the Westminster cat-calling of the Unionist parties combine with the fudging of visuals and graphics in the media.

The Union survived by a ratio of 11:9. In most political contests this is a marginal success as it only takes a 6% swing in a future poll to change this result. Realistically it is equivalent to hanging on by your finger nails. So not really as conclusive a result as Westminster and its tame media is spinning or would like to claim.

The Yes Campaign moved support for independence from 21% in 2012 to 44.5% in 2014 (in political terms that registers as a seismic shift in voting intentions) while the No vote stayed around the same poll share in the mid fifties. More importantly the tipping point amongst the electorate has been reached where independence is not as much of a scary idea as it was in 2012.

The reality is we did not win over sufficient of the declared 18% undecided voters, for what ever reason, to win. The reason is much less likely to do with 'We hate Wee Eck' claims and more to do with voter inertia which always makes the status quo look safer. In Scotland this could be called the 'Aye Been' factor, a factor which is always hard to overcome given the set of assumptions and presumptions this group of voters bring with them as baggage. Anyone who is or has been involved in implementing new processes, systems or ideas in the work place or a charitable organisation knows this group all too well. They are the 'tooth suckers' whose reasons for opposing change always sound reasonable until they are faced with the hard data of what 'Aye Been' has actually achieved and how much behind the competition they now are. Sadly, in life, this group of 'Aye Beeners' routinely have quite a pull in any social or work group because they are 'respected' or 'highly thought of' (read 'highly opinionated'), who most folk can not be bothered arguing with, they have better things to do. The 'Aye Beener's' are at the heart of the Scottish cringe and opposition to any change, in any form, whenever it is proposed.

So we lost and yet the numbers of ordinary Scots who have joined non-Unionist political parties as members now number over 1% of Scotland's adult population, since the 19th of September. The 'failed' SNP Party has seen a membership growth which makes the SNP the third largest party, by membership, in the UK. The SNP's new leader has seen her 'Talk to the membership' roadshow sold out at all venues within a few days of tickets being available and folk are putting themselves on waiting lists for cancelled tickets. The Scottish Greens had to change their annual conference venue to deal with their expanding membership - now bigger than the core membership of Labour's Scotch region.

Meanwhile in Westminster the English dominated parliament has returned to its incestuous best, high jacking the debate on Scottish Devolution for an argument about English Votes for English Laws, threats to disenfranchise MP's to the UK Parliament from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, calls to make Scotland worse off by cutting its pocket money even further, telling Scots the 'Three Stooges' had no legitimate power to make their 'solemn vow' as the UK Parliament had never been consulted or had agreed to the content of the 'solemn vow' or the Gogzilla's time table for devolution.

Television carried the insulting and degrading behaviour of Tory MP's toward the SNP MPs when they tried to address the 'house' on the actual issue of the debate without comment or condemnation. For those who bought the 'greater powers' guff, who thought 'Aye Been' was better, have a careful consideration about how Westminster actually views your misplaced loyalty - with contempt and disregard. The 'Aye Beens' can watch it all on BBC iPlayer, if they dare, maybe they can explain to us cynics on the Yes side just how this farrago of bullying and catcalls demonstrates Westminster's 'respect' of the Scottish electorate's majority wish for full fiscal autonomy in poll after poll.

In the meantime polls in Scotland are showing a slump in Labour voting intention for the May 2015 General Election, the polls now find Labour lagging the Conservatives in Scotland (who are on 20% in the YouGov poll) while the SNP are currently on 41% vote share.

The dust does not appear to be settling and this week's crass behaviour in Westminster towards the Scottish electorate is set to stir even more up. The reality of "Scottish independence - how soon?" still lies heavy in the Scottish political air buoyed by Westminster's broken vows, promises and general indifference.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Saudi Arabia is getting scared of ISIS

"The Saudis have manipulated the fall in oil prices to undercut IS and deprive it of funds. They are even offering to sell cheap oil two years in advance. Personally, I doubt if this strategy will work. IS will just cut its price. after all, IS wants cash (ie US dollars) rather than profit.

The second reason the Saudis are prepared to sell oil at cost is to undercut US shale oil. The biggest threat to the Saudi regime is if America becomes self-sufficient in energy. So the regime wants to sell oil BELOW the cost of producing shale oil and gas. How long before they notice in Congress?"

The Saudi Royal Family have a heap of enemies waiting in Saudi Arabia, the Yemen and other Gulf States but you do not hear about them, especially in Saudi Arabia, because they stay silent or end up 'dying in prison' before they get to trial or are 'extradited' to Saudi and beheaded when they do. ISIS would probably have to do little to shift the Saudi Royal Family from Saudi - a loud "BOO!" would probably do it - and the Saudi Royals know it as they can not be sure of the loyalty of the rank and file in the Saudi Forces.

The option George is not considering is this threat of plunging oil prices, is the Saudi Royal Family's way of telling the US to get boots on the ground in Iraq and fast because if the Saudi Royal Family is going down, so is the US economy because cheap oil to China, Japan and India will hit US manufacturing hard and USA's home oil and gas reserves even harder.

Given the problems George Osborne is having already in the North Sea because of his random tax regime, the UK Treasury could also be about to catch a very big cold as its foreign exchange earnings crash, even further, on reducing North Sea oil output and investment.

The smart money, to stave off the loss of foreign exchange, would be on boosting alternate power development in wind and tidal, as it has a relatively short lead time and could boost UK manufacturing if the UK Government was in the slightest bit smart. Further prevention, as this potential oil energy induced, economic storm approaches, includes getting the HVDC connector from John O' Groats to Norway put in place as a UK priority infra-structure project to facilitate energy exports to Europe.

This would require a massive U-Turn by the Tory's in energy strategy. A strategy which is currently predicated on Hinkley Point new nuclear coming on stream by 2020 (unlikely as nuclear builds routinely over run) and has no other fall back except to use fracked gas. This will be in spite of UK popular opposition to the whole concept of fracking on shore as the pollution of water sources, increased geological activity, release of toxic gases and an increased radiation hazard in the recovered water to go with the known toxic chemicals is now scientifically proven across the USA experience.

The obvious plan for Osborne, because he does not have the sense he was born with, is to use the collapse of oil prices as the excuse to frack the buggery out of the UK. Cameron and Miliband will sell hard, to a pliant London media, the idea fracking is the only way the UK 'economy' will survive.

Now if the UK Government had been as smart as the Norwegian Government and created an Oil Fund,  George Osborne would not be cacking in his pants as Saudi Arabia floods the markets with cheap oil and Sterling is pushed to edge of a Wiemar devaluation style collapse which will take the Euro and Dollar with it.

The 'Black Swan' thinkers are clear, Sterling is just one economic disaster from collapse, this oil pricing war could well be it. Watch out for serious investors increasingly shifting their cash out of Sterling and related currencies to hard assets and sitting tight. In the meantime us little people are about to start thinking Tory austerity was easy street, as the arse end of the City of London comes out through the seat of its pants.

It is the USA's call. They either get Turkish Army boots on the ground, their own boots on the ground and get the Kurds armed, what ever the Turkish say, or the Saudi Royal Family is going to pull the plug and we will all go with it.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

The Evil of EVEL for the UK Parliament

Gogs ''Am an ex-politician, so a am!" Brown: 

“The Conservatives have got it wrong. I think they are 100% wrong on this 100% devolution of income tax. They have got to understand their measures are a gift to the separatists and will play into the hands of the nationalist party. They would drive a wedge between Scotland and England and make the constitution unstable.”

Brown helpfully ignores the fact the majority of Scots (70%), in poll after poll, wish full fiscal autonomy and believe the 'Vow' published in the Daily Record is a commitment to deliver just that. The London media are also (deliberately?) failing to pick up on the increasing misgivings amongst a section of No voters as they increasingly consider they were duped, once again, by Westminster.

The real constitutional elephant in the room remains the only way you can deliver EVEL is by recalling the English Parliament and giving it the same powers as the Scots at Holyrood.

MP's are elected to the UK Parliament from their constituencies to represent their constituents - not their national identity in the UK Parliament at Westminster. To exclude MP's from the UK Westminster Parliament on the basis of nationality ends the Union, just as surely as a Yes vote would have.

Brown admits this is the reality:

“If Scottish MPs were prevented from voting on big issues the unity of the UK would be under question,”

A recalled English Parliament ends the Union because the question then arises - just what will be the point of a UK Parliament at Westminster. Further what happens to the 'House of Lords' and who is going to pay for it as it is a peculiarity of English constitutional practice?

The Tories have upped the pressure on Labour to support their EVEL plans for the UK Parliament or be blamed for the fallout when the Tories kick the erroneous 'Vow' to the people of Scotland into the long grass (the Scots will walk).

"....the leader of the house, William Hague, insisting he will press ahead with only English MPs voting on English laws, (EVEL)"

The irony is EVEL will end up with the Scots electing to walk whether there is a recalled English Parliament or not. The political plan of a binary 'Yes' / 'No' vote on independence putting the whole problem of Scottish devolution to bed has not worked and has simply highlighted the need for some form of English devolution settlement on the lines of Holyrood - the very thing the red and blue Tories are seeking to avoid.

In the back ground is the growing sense amongst a section of Scots that Westminster 'rigged the vote' as Police Scotland investigations into voting irregularities now involve senior Unionist politicians and fixers being interviewed under caution while a story which was considered to be a conspiracy theory has actually some grounding in objective evidence causing Police Scotland to take the claim seriously.

Time will tell just how big the inroads UKIP will continue to make, forcing the Tories into even deeper 'Little Englander' mode creating a greater division between the Scots and the English. Meanwhile Labour are facing a 'Unified Left' campaign in their West of Scotland heartlands as the Radical Independence Movement morphs into a new coalition of the Scottish left looking to work with the SNP to oust as many Labour MP's in they West of Scotland they can in May 2015 and looking to do the same to Labour MSPs in May 2016.

6,000 of their supporters pitched up in George Square Glasgow this afternoon for a rally - it is increasingly clear it does not matter what the London media try to spin 'Politics in Scotland went back to normal on a No vote' they are fooling no one but themselves and large sections of the English Electorate who they continue to seek to keep in ignorance.

The Yes Campaign may yet fulfill their dream courtesy of the incestuous nature of politics at Westminster, totally focused on points scoring amongst themselves rather than the needs and expectations of the electorate

Those Westminster Blues ...

Oh one fifty - still not able to sleep
A twelve bar blue riff
Is drivin' in deep
Your thoughts are so sad

Your brain's all het up
You've got the Westminster blues jist drivin' you mad.

Its just those Westminster blues,
Man, those Westminster blues,
They come in red, purple and yellow.
I said red, purple and yellow,

Just red, purple and yellow,
But they're really all just Westminster blues.

You hear them folk a comin',
With their bullshit as news,
They'll sell you their Granny
If they'd think you would move
To their way of thinking
Then they'll take you for fools.

Its just those Westminster blues,
Man, those Westminster blues,
They come in red, purple and yellow.
I said red, purple and yellow,

Just red, purple and yellow,
But they're really all just Westminster blues.

So please hear what am sayin' before you go to the vote.

They'll tell you they love you 'till they give you the boak
But remember this honey, they are all lyin' cunts.
Who'll be happy to shaft you to your back and your front

Its just those Westminster blues,
Man, those Westminster blues,
They come in red, purple and yellow.
I said red, purple and yellow,

Just red, purple and yellow,
But they're really all just Westminster blues.

Oh one fifty - still not able to sleep
A twelve bar blue riff
Is drivin' in deep
Your thoughts are so sad

Your brain's all het up
You've got the Westminster blues jist drivin' you mad.

Its just those Westminster blues,
Man, those Westminster blues,
They come in red, purple and yellow.
I said red, purple and yellow,

Just red, purple and yellow,
But they're really all just Westminster blues.

(Musicians out there, please feel free to develop a blues riff to go along)

Friday, 10 October 2014

Jim Murphy says ...

 How Labour can prevent core voters defecting to UKIP

Runs a comment piece in today's Gruniad without ever, actually explaining how Labour can achieve this aim after a UKIP near miss in Labour's 6th safest UK seat in North West England. I have a few ideas to share which Dianne Abbot did not consider or address.

First Labour have to define what they are actually to the left of because what ever they are to the left of, is well to the right of the centre ground of politics.

Tony Blair's big idea was to do the same as the Tories would have done, just give it trendy, leftish sounding titles to confuse and bamboozle the punters into thinking everything had actually changed.

Cameron has a similar problem renaming Labour policies to make them sound as if they were the Tory's ideas as seen in the 2012 Welfare Reform Act which simply took previous Labour policy to the next logical level and damn the impact on the poor, the sick and the vulnerable. Bedroom Tax - introduced by Labour, the ludicrously complex tax credit scheme which basically subsidises the corporates to pay minimum wages, rather than forcing corporates to pay a living wage - introduced by Labour, outsourcing NHS England to private contractors - Labour.

Is it any wonder that Labour stays very quiet about the estimated 600,000 UK citizens that the Welfare Reform Act will reduce to poverty this year or the withdrawal of NHS England contracts with Virgin Health Care, Capita and others, Labour put in place, as their failure to maintain basic standards or ability to deliver the service became public.

The big problem for Labour is an increasing number of their old red rosette on a monkey vote just are not buying the pseudo, left wing nonsense Miliband, Balls and the rest are seeking to flog.

The rise of UKIP is, at present, an English electorate wake up call to Westminster to sort its act out, the English electorate are not as daft as the political wonks try to paint them as according to Labour planners, Labour voters in England
had nowhere else to go”.

The public increase in support for the SNP in Scotland, as the party now nears 90,000 signed up members, is no longer just a threat to Labour and Westminster but a clear statement of purpose to Westminster - if you do not cough up on Fiscal Autonomy and quickly, we will be gone - as you will have refused two thirds of Scots the solution they have always wanted. The Evening Times (Glasgow) ran an article asking if No voters had been duped by the three party leaders 'vow' prior to the referendum while even the North Britain (aka the Scotsman) is expressing concerns about the short term survivability of the Union, if Westminster tries to kick Scottish Fiscal Autonomy into the long grass.

Labour in Scotland does not have a position on Fiscal Autonomy because London has yet to tell them what to think, so when asked a direct question about Labour Scottish region's submission to the Smith Committee, all Lamont and her chums can do is waffle and seek to change the subject as Lamont is not the leader in Scotland she has to be told what to do by the actual leader in Scotland Jim Murphy.

For if Lamont's gang say anything in support of Fiscal Autonomy, Murphy will summon the walking dead out of their Westminster crypts and dungeons, howling and moaning, "We are the true heart and soul of Labour in Scotland," while generally seeking to terrify and slap down Lamont and her Holyrood gang into silence and subservience to the greater cause, as the Holyrood gang are reminded of their place in the scheme of things and the only Labour game in Scotland is 'Jim Murphy says' and if you do not do what 'Jim Murphy says' your ticket is punched and you are off the Labour gravy train without your feet touching the ground.

"Jim Murphy says; make yourself look an 'eejit' at First Minister's Question Time" and Labour's Holyrood gang are only too happy to oblige, as is seen most Thursday's at Holyrood - rain, hail or shine. Maybe, as in the children's game the "Jim Murphy says" was left out and Lamont and her pals never noticed, only hearing Jim saying,
"Make yourself look an 'eejit' at First Minister's Question Time". In which case no wonder Jim Murphy is in despair over Labour's performances at Holyrood but in that, as much else to do with Labour in Scotland, Jim only has himself to blame.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Liberal Democrats - who do they think they are fooling?

Please check: the last time I looked Scotland is predominately voting for a left of centre social democrat party in the SNP but sadly the blinkered folk in England are so angry, discombulated and certain they are always 'right', they simply do not and can not understand this political reality, as the Libdems try to tag the SNP in the same breath as UKIP.

The Behr in the Gruniad makes the same error and if Westminster does not shake itself up and wake up, Scotland will be gone in short time. The message from the sudden rise in the membership of the SNP (75,000+) now bigger in Scotland than the Libdems are across the whole UK, the Greens (now larger that Labour's Scottish region's actual membership) and the SSP suggests this level of ignorance by the Libdems will see their terminal decline in Scotland, accelerate.

If the RMT put their money and membership behind a new centre left party in England, as they are threatening to do, then Labour and the Libdems could have major problems as they will now begin to be squeezed between a proto-social democratic party and UKIP.

There is a lot of bilge being talked about how the Libdems are just going to go on as usual playing Labour off against the Tories in a political gap which has now virtually ceased to exist - this article is a classic example which has no consideration of what actually is.

Here's a thought if the Libdems moved back to the centre left they could clean up but they will not because they are trapped in a world of wreck the state and sell it off to the private sector at knock down prices with massive subsidies. Like Labour are no longer the party of Hardie, McLean and Maxton (if, except in their wet dreams, they ever were) then the Libdems are no longer the party of Beveridge and social reform, as they undo all the good work their historical party put in place in the first half of the 20th Century.

Sadly for Libdem apologists, like Behr, there are still Liberals who, unlike Paddy Ashdown, can remember the party's history and place in creating a real social democracy. Instead of chasing Labour or the Tories as Minime Tories maybe they should look to the SNP, rather than the pathetic attempts to look down on the SNP - a political party now bigger them in all major respects.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Cameron Vows to defeat ISIS

Wow - David Cameron!  The hard man! Silvester Stalone's 'Rocky' incarnate, the 'Little Finger' of British politics, the military genius of Lord Cardigan of Crimea, re-born.

I am looking forward to Mr Cameron volunteering to join the Royal Marines or the Para's to see his vow through. I can imagine him mud marching on the mudflats off Lympstone, doing the 28 mile rapid march with full kit in the Brecon's with the Paras, the timed 8 miler with 28 pound pack, full webbing and SA 80 plus platoon weapons over Woodbury common above Lympstone, through Peter's pool, the under water pipe and the rest. 15 minutes as an officer cadet to get out of your manky wet kit, clean, put your combats in the washing machine to ensure they are ready for the next day, clean and oil your personal weapons, into Lovats, to have a full kit and weapon inspection by 'Coulors' then be ripped to shit for a small piece of fluff you missed on the back of your collar, before your platoon forms up on parade. The lads get an extra five minutes, lucky bastards and have instructors to harry and push them, officers are expected to do it with no 'encouragement'.

"You're an F'in officer, sir, you hold the Queen's commission, you have to be perfect - not shiny, not excellent, not being able to spin a good line in bullshit. F'in perfect or how can you expect your men to think you are anything less than F'in useless!"

Cameron will have to shift a few pounds, mind you, and I would willingly play £500 to watch Cameron fall in the slimy green pool while practicing 'regains' on a cold, wet and very rough hemp rope - preferably early on a mid- February morning when the wind comes in from the South East, straight off the snow packed Alps and an ice bound Central Europe.

Of course Cameron neither has neither the spine nor the guts to do any of this, he expects others to die so he can spin how is vow is being made successful, how he is defeating a Sunni, Saudi funded, terrorist organisation which he sent UK Special Forces to help train and arm in the first instance. ISIS was supposed to be about Assad, getting him out of Syria then ISIS was going onto cause instability in Russia's Muslim minority and majority regions. That has worked out well Mr Cameron, has it not?

Instead we have a geo-political nightmare in which Russia can sit on its hands as the actual outcome of ISIS has been unspeakable violence against the people of Syria -  especially their non-Sunni Muslim and Christian minorities turns world opinion against ISIS and their backers. Assad is not moving anywhere very fast, ISIS then had the excuse to turn on Iraq to liberate the oppressed Sunni's because of the political failure of Iran to get the Shi'ite dominated Iraq Parliament to stop looking after its own first and foremost, lining their pockets and generally keeping the Iraq Sunni / Shi'ite civil war on the boil. Suddenly the Iraqi Sunni's discover their liberators are just as bad or even worse as their Shi'ite Government oppressors, bringing, as they do, their extreme and hard line Saudi 'Wahhabist' Sunni line and a penchant for be-headings. The real crisis for the region is the only group, with any intergrity and cohesion, who are actually holding and even pushing ISIS back are the Kurds but neither Turkey nor Iran want the Kurds armed because of the longstanding civil war for a liberated Kurdistan both continue to face. A war both Iran and Turkey can not allow to be re-invigorated by arming the Kurds because of the economic consequences of the Kurds gaining control of around 15% of the local oil and gas reserves. The power shift this would create in the region with Iran, Iraq and Turkey losing territory to a comparatively wealthy new state of Kurdistan will give Russia a number of new headaches in the Caucuses, they can well do with out, and will seek to prevent.

Given what is actually at stake in this torn and war benighted region, just what are the serious deliverable outcomes does Cameron's cowardly lion actually have beyond hot air and the further unnecessary deaths of UK service personnel and civilians in the region?

Russia and the US could lean on their proxies in the Sunni and Shi'ite camps and sort this out fairly quickly but they will not act because Russia does not want peace as that would mean increased Muslim terrorism along its southern borders nor does the US as that would mean the full glare of the world would be focused on Israel and its recent genocide in Gaza which is being happily being shuffled under the carpet with tales of ISIS beheading of Westerners.

Cameron your vow on this, is as empty and vacuous as the vow you and the other two stooges made to Scotland when you thought you were losing.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Have your say ....

Dear Smith Commission,

The problem you face is to meet the expectations of the Scottish people for full fiscal autonomy and the UK Parliament at Westminster is, it can not work without a massive legal and constitutional fudge which will be wide open to legal challenge in both Scotland and England.

Let us say Mr Cameron pushes through a bill for the UK Parliament to have English votes for English Bills.

The first constitutional hurdle is by doing so he will end the 1707 Treaty of Union because all bills which come before the UK Parliament can be voted on by any constituency MP, elected to the UK Parliament. We do not elect MP’s to represent ‘Scotland’- as such, we elect MP’s to represent our constituency within the UK Parliament. Given the UK Parliament conceded in McCormack vs the Lord Advocate in 1953 it has no powers to alter the 1707 Treaty of Union (any such change can only occur within negotiations between the original sovereign signatory parliaments) it appears for Cameron to deliver his stated position will require the recall from its temporary suspension of the English Parliament, elections to this recalled parliament - to give it legal and constitutional legitimacy - and for both sovereign parliaments of Scotland and England to agree these new conditions, repeal the Acts of Union of each parliament of 1707 and then enact new Acts of Union pertinent to the revised Treaty of Union.

I think you would agree a situation which would be unlikely to maintain the UK Parliamentary Union.

Option two is to simultaneously bring forward a bill to set up a devolved English Assembly in line with the rights and privileges given Scotland under the Scotland Act 1998 and the further amendments to this bill. This would deliver English votes for English bills and keep the UK Parliamentary Union intact (in theory) but as an article in the Financial Times makes clear this would create massive tensions between the UK Parliament, the devolved English Assembly and Scotland’s Parliament over fiscal matters. The basic argument will become: why should Scotland or England’s parliament and assembly (respectively) send their taxes to the UK Treasury to be doled back out to them by an Ed Balls or a Gideon Osborne type figure?

The answer is surely clear, given the UK Parliament will only be left with control of Defence and Foreign affairs – in real terms. The two supposed ‘subservient’  houses will quickly decide to contribute to both these areas via a proportional sum to the UK Treasury to cover their running costs, retaining most of their respective tax income ‘in house’ and deal directly with the already autonomous Bank of England in deciding their relevant fiscal policy, deficit, borrowing requirements and repayment provisions in the best interests of maintaining Sterling as an internationally trade-able currency.

In effect, the full fiscal autonomy sought by 70% of the Scottish electorate, as indicated in opinion poll after opinion poll on the issue, ends the UK Parliamentary Union by default. Any failure to deliver on full fiscal autonomy for Scotland will quickly see a referendum on independence in Scotland which will end the UK Parliamentary Union by right. While an English Assembly to deliver English votes for English Bills ends the union by default.

Any attempts to try a constitutional fudge will bring about legal challenge based on the real constitutional issue that any fudge is actually beyond the legitimate constitutional and legal powers of the UK Parliament under the terms of the 1707 Treaty of Union
This raises the questions – just what is the point of your commission and why are the taxpayers of Scotland paying for this charade of consultation, as you will not be able to deliver what 70% of the Scottish Electorate wish – full fiscal autonomy – simply because the vested interests in the UK Parliament and the City of London (which opposed the Yes vote in the recent referendum) can not allow this to happen, as which ever route is taken to deliver full fiscal autonomy to Scotland, ends the UK Parliamentary Union by direct or indirect means.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Breaking Purdha ..

Anyone else think the staging of the Tory Party Conference had chilling similarities to the 1934 Nuremberg Rally?

Compare the list of policies the Tories are proposing with the 1934 Nuremberg Laws.

Be scared; be very scared, as this bunch of nutters with their UKIP lunatic fringe could well be foisted on Scotland by an English electorate so scared of their own shadows they can only see the need for the smack of firm (read: extreme, right wing) Government as the solution to all their ills and only have a choice between the four Tory Parties - red, yellow, blue and purple.

'English votes for English Bills' is just the thin end of the English right wing 'Ubermensch' wedge, turning their view of everyone who is not 'English' (white, rich and one of us) are second class citizens of the UK, into fact.

I would like to thank all those who voted No out of ignorance, short term self interest or fear for putting Scotland in this position, you could well be on track to get exactly what you did not wish for, far quicker than you would ever wish for it.