Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The power of self interest

The word "equality" is being hurled around as folk try to deal with gropers, tax avoiders, democratic deficits, Brexit and Donald Trump.

We have read and heard all sorts of individuals talking about the need for "equality" with reference to bias and unfairness in the societal realm yet I am left confused as to what exactly these strident seekers of equality actually seek to achieve.

Equal means, the same as. Now, outside of the realms of fiction, do we really believe all people should be the same or even could be the same given the large number of variables in any single human life where the sum of life A is the same as the life of life B:

A = (n+n+n+n+n to death) = B =(z+z+z+z to point of death)

In any shape or form, no matter the criteria considered no two people, whatever the political system or social construct will ever be equal. The reality of any system or construct is some will always be more equal than the many. This is the observed reality whether you are in a totalitarian state run by Pol Pot or Stalin, the most open of democracies or an unknown tribal society deep in the Amazonian rain forest.

The argument is turned to say not totally equal, of course that can never happen, but equal in opportunities.

So here we have two children, 12 years old, C and D, both faced with the same opportunity with regards to their future education but it means leaving their current friends behind and going to a different school. Their current friends pressure them not to go to this school as it is for smarty pants and snobs and not folk "like them". Emotional blackmail comes into play, these current friends threaten never to speak to them ever again if they leave the herd, as they would be betraying the ones left behind.

The parent's of child C are indifferent to the educational opportunity, their families have always been workers and artisans, the assumption being child C is destined to follow his Dad into the brewery as an apprentice cooper. The parents of child D come from the same background but they see the opportunity for child D to gain an educational opportunity they never had. Child C gives into pressure from friends and parental indifference and stays put. Child D, with encouragement from his parents, takes this educational opportunity and "risk" of alienating the friends they have played with since they could walk. Child C gets three highers and ends up working for Scottish Widows in an office processing claims, as by the time they are 16 the brewery has shut down so no chance of following the family work tradition. Child D gets six highers, a first class degree and enters the professions.

The classic case of you can take a horse to water but can not make it drink, that is the problem with equal opportunities, they are never really equal when you look at it.

I would argue what any society needs to function effectively is to seek equanimity, fairness. I think this is the real issue at the heart of gender equality or educational equality campaigns, for example. Why should two people doing the same job be paid differently on the basis of gender? Why should your postcode define the quality of education your child receives?

To me, waving the 'equality card' does little to alter the reality that change only happens when those with power and / or wealth see some benefit to either their prestige or their bottom line. Take educational attainment. You can potentially put the most successful head in Scotland into a failing school whether they are successful or not is down to the perceived benefit the local community actually place on educational attainment. Where the local community raise their educational  expectations, take on power and support the head by encouraging their children to get on board, massive improvements occur, recruiting teachers becomes easier and standards rise. Where the local community remain indifferent, the failing school remains a failing school no matter how much money is thrown at it.

So it does not matter how "fair" you try to be, unless the self interest of individuals or local communities is engaged, the "fairness" project is destined to fail, no matter how great the intentions, because success requires a cultural change in the way individuals or communities think, the problem being the "Aye been thon wey" way of doing or being is a difficult mountain to climb.

It is the same with any future independence referendum the "not certain one way or the other" group who plumped for 'No' in 2014 will be best engaged by engaging their self interest, after all that was why, supposedly, workers at BAE Scotstoun or certain groups of OAPs followed the Labour and Unionist carrot to vote "No".

No matter how fine the future political arguments are for independence, next time around, the variations of cry of we are all 'Jock Tamson's bairns' will fall once again on deaf ears if individuals and communities' self interest is not engaged. Maybe it will be less hard shifting opinion given how badly let down by "Better Together" and the subsequent farce of Brexit is now impacting on Scotland's farmers, fishermen, pensioners and shipbuilders. Only time will tell.

In the meantime we "Yessers" need to start engaging the switherers self interest at every turn.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

How was your week?

I will come straight to the point for me it was just depressing, to the point of becoming clinical.

Who can have watched any Tory response this week to the disaster they are wreaking on the UK whether via Universal Credit or Brexit and not feel distinctly doon in the mooth. Who can have heard the outright lies peddled by ertswhile ministers of the crown and Tory politicians in general and not be left feeling powerless in the face of their inhumane ignorance, double dealing and gross incompetence.

How can Labour continue to bleat 'SNP baad' when their best buddies from the days of 'Better th' gither' have stitched them up good and proper with the BAE Govan frigate build sell out. Labour has let down the very workforce they got their trade union apparatchiks in the GBMU and other shipyard unions to convince to vote 'No'.

Talking about doing the day job, how bad are the SNP Government when they can build a longer stayed bridge, toll free, on time which faces worse weather conditions, over the Firth of Forth, for a smaller capital cost than the toll charging one just opened in Liverpool which will cost the average commuter using it daily, over £700 a year?

Yet it was clear during the Universal Credit debate the SNP and Labour MPs have far more in common, in terms of their politics, than divides them. Why does the Labour Party at large continue to allow its dysfunctional and self destructive Labour branch in Scotland any further say over the issue of "blacking the SNP", apart from Labour's cynical putting their own power grab above the needs of the UK as a whole.

One hopeful sign is the stirring realisation amongst the English person in the street, the BBC (and the London media) is lying to them on a daily basis, it will be interesting to see the numbers protesting BBC political bias on the 5th of November across England. Sadly we will need to go to AL Jeezera or RT to discover any coverage of these protests.

Most depressing of all is the substantial number of Scots, in the face of growing factual evidence to contrary, who still think we are "Better Together".

A pity we are not a mammal designed for hibernation ... I would, if I could.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

The UK Government is killing its citizens

I was watching a documentary on the Vietnam War which sent me right back to the 1970's and student Anti-War demonstrations, I remember watching live television of the student demonstration in London's Grosvner Square, outside the USA Embassy which went from peaceful to a battle as the US Government of Nixon put pressure on the UK Government to stop the demonstration and an ill prepared Met Police Riot Squad lost the battle, only making the situation far worse. The protest was not simply against the Vietnam War but the series of killings of US students on their campus at Kent University Ohio and in Jacksonville, while peacefully protesting, by the US National Guard. It was the beginning of the end for Nixon, soon to be swallowed whole by the Watergate Scandal and impeached.

This brings me to today and what is happening across the UK on a daily basis, the deliberate action and policy of the current UK Government which is killing UK citizens just as definitively as the US National Guard's bullets did in 1970.

Where is the sense of disgust at the inhumanity of the current government, the outcry in the media, the weak and feeble Labour opposition to this modern day form of eugenics which denies the poor, sick and disabled support they need to simply to live on a day to day basis?

We know the change from the old disablement benefit to the ESA system has killed over 6,000 UK citizens according to the DWP's own fudged figures, a statement which leaves you pondering by what factor do you actually have to multiply the DWP figures to get near the real figure.

We are becoming aware of the disaster to families of the change from the previous benefit system to Universal Credit is having in terms of homelessness, starvation and keeping warm. This government is denying UK citizens the basic survival need of a roof over their heads, food and warmth and has been roundly condemned by the UN Human Rights Commission for this failure. The evidence is mounting, this policy is driving people to take their own lives, as they can not face the humiliation of the detrimental effects of UK Government policy - back door eugenics.

I look in vain for condemnatory motions being raised by the main party of opposition, Labour. SNP MPs are loud and vociferous in their condemnation of the destruction of the UK's formerly world renowned welfare and health care. Yet from the opposition benches around them there is silence, possibly embarrassed, as Labour's hand sitting, during vital votes over the last ten years, has enabled the dismemberment of the health and welfare state, especially in England, they claim to believe in and promote as Labour's big contribution to the UK State.

What I can not understand, is why are there so few ordinary people who are angry that their government is killing its own citizens?

Disabled and mentally impaired special interest groups are trying to get people to listen to the disaster which is ESA and Universal credit yet their appeals to stir their fellow citizens to action fall upon deaf ears or responding mouths that employ meaningless platitudes which achieve nothing.

I have a simple appeal and it is this, write to your MP, MSP or Assembly Member and ask them:

What are you doing to stop the killing and unnecessary deaths of UK Citizens caused by the UK government welfare and health policy?

Or are you happy for the UK Government to continue with its back door eugenics policy and take out their next target, your elderly parents who cost the state "too much"?

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Minging Main Stream Media - talking mince at every turn

The UK, as a political and economic entity, is on the brink of a self-destructive, mass suicide and yet the only political party which is seeking a solution to the current EU \ UK impasse and presenting alternative suggestions to reduce the impact of the Tories stupidity is the much decried, separatist SNP.

You have to think just how screwed up the UK media is when it seeks to claim Scotland's biggest members funded party, by a long chalk, has 'peaked', is 'running out of steam', is 'failing the people of Scotland' or 'giving up on independence'.

They seemed to have been watching or reading about a very different SNP Conference to the one I have seen and heard. Labour's 'Scotch' branch struggled to fill the front few rows of the Caird Hall yet did the self same press comment on the end of 'Scotch Labour'?

Ruth's Tories are back in third place in Westminster voting intentions where are the Herald's column inches regarding the wheels coming off the Tory waggon in Scotland?

As for the Libdems in Scotland, well, they are still exploring uncharted political depth's of crass stupidity that deny any realistic comment beyond sympathy at their passing. A party I was once active in, a party which once believed in the need to decentralise power, subsidiarity, and a fair balance between the needs of the economy and the people. A party who, in the past, introduced the basic state pension and whose greatest thinker of the first half of the 20th Century, Beveridge, came up with the 1944 White Paper which Labour based their welfare, health and social reforms of 1945 wholly upon. A far cry, indeed, from the current witterings of Willie Rennie and his ilk. An example of just how far the Libdems have lost the place and their balance between Corporate greed and the people.

Mahri Black called out the BBC bias over Marr's show at the weekend, the STV suggestion that the SNP no longer had the stomach for independence fell at the First Minister's hands. For a party that has apparently run out of steam there was a stream of key policy announcements including the setting up of a national energy company and changes to future Scotrail contract bids to allow Scottish publicly owned bodies to bid for the contract. Just two of many policies being pursued that reflect the needs and expectations of the SNP membership and the Scottish people.

On the issue of paid regional organisers the same mininging media tried to make it out as a defeat for the SNP leadership, forgetting that the SNP operates from the bottom up, the folk who pound the streets on behalf of the SNP see the need for paid organisers and it is a logical step given the work load volunteers have had to field over the last four years. A logical and necessary change in the party structure, one which will improve campaigning organisation is deemed as a 'defeat' because it came from the floor rather than the high heid yins. Leaves you wondering if the reality the SNP remains a members party where the members still have a final say, where it is still OK to have a 'divisive' debate in public, to be seen to exercise democratic principles is what really scares the UK media commentariat.

Anyone see or hear of the Tory Home Secretary being taken to bits in public over their handling of England's police forces, the mess that is their immigration policy, the failings of Border Control? Yet this happened at the SNP Conference when the Justice Minister faced a heart felt statement, at a fringe meeting, from an SNP member, about the impact of the current work over load on Scotland's Police Officers. Anyone ask Jackson Carlaw or any other 'Scotch' Tory if they are campaigning to have Police Scotland's VAT bill not just zeroed but the billions paid, over the last ten years, paid back? A simple change which would see Ruth's Tories helping reduce the current overload and financial restraints on Police Scotland, at a stroke, and demonstrate they do stand up for Scotland's best interests. Where are the minging media ijournalists pointing this out to Ruth the Mooth?

What we are actually seeing is the minging media turning on the social media beyond their or their master's control which asks all the questions they should be asking, if they were actually doing their job properly and discussing what is, rather than what they have been told to write. Looking at what the facts are actually saying rather than spinning them to say the complete opposite.

So to Nick Robinson at the BBC, Tom Harris of the Telegraph, David Torrance and the others who infest the minging media plying the Westminster Establishment line I suggest blogs such as Wings or the Canary are not the real problem, they simply highlight your failings as bought reporters, they point up how far too frequently you are the story and, worse, how you seek to distort what is actually happening to fit your master's bidding. It is not just in Scotland you have been found wanting in reporting what is actually happening but in Catalonia, Northern Ireland, Manchester in fact across Europe and the world where you peddle your falsehoods at the British Establishment's behest.

As the peadophile cover up on behalf of 'highly placed' individuals undertaken by the British Establishment, from the early 1970's rapidly begins to unravel. As the reality that Ted Heath, Cyril Smith and other's would now be facing serious charges with regard to sexual abuse of children, that Theresa May somehow 'lost' the detailed file on politicians and others involved in an international peadophile ring based at Dolphin Square (a favoured abode of the British Establishment) in London, maybe it is time for the minging media to decide just how much longer they have left, if they do not rediscover some sort of spine and integrity and start doing their real job of holding those in power to account.

I will not be holding my breath.

Tuesday, 3 October 2017


The air was still, a misty rain surround the lifeless hulk of the, Manchester registered, Mayceleste. As we approached, our oars dipping uneasily in the swell, the creak of rowlocks in their seats, the dull plunk of our oars, the hard breaths of the oarsmen, the quiet voice of the coxswain  and the splash, splash, splash of the waves against the Mayceleste's hull was all there was to be heard in the deepening gloom.

"Port side oars give way and in board", called the coxswain in his muted voice as he brought us alongside the silent vessel. In the bows a seaman caught the chains and we bumped against the hull to leewards. There was no challenge from anyone aboard, only an oppressive silence, so dark, so evil, a silence foretelling doom, a silence that bares no breaking nor challenge.

We crept onto the main deck and in the dim light of our lantern saw scenes no sane man or woman should suffer. At first we believed we had stumbled on a ship of zombies but those before us were beyond any ability to act on their own volition or move without any call of authority. They appeared to be living in a world far torn from this dimension of earthly experience, signalling to each other by the waving of champagne flutes and calling gull like to one another "I'm OK, yah." It was not they did not see us but looked through us as if we were not there, as if we were some creature which had crawled from the ocean's depth.

Occasionally one would stoop to speaking in English to us but little of what they said made much sense.  Take, as an instance, one obese sandy haired individual telling us just how they had beaten the European Union at every turn and how the collapsing UK economy was good for Britain.

Another was speaking to himself, apparently unsurprised no one wanted to listened to him, declaiming into his beard how much better Britain would be if only everyone was English and voted Tory rather than being Scottish, Welsh or Irish.

We searched high and low for the captain or first mate of the Mayceleste but of them there was no sign. Some of the crew said they had already jumped overboard, others said they were hiding on the orlop deck as they feared a mutiny, a few were certain they did not exist in anything but their own imagination.

The goats in the pen below the quarter deck seemed to be bleating "SNP Baad" at anyone who came near them.

Yet as we searched we found not one who could understand just how dangerously the Mayceleste was bearing onto the rocks of ignorance, bigotry and arrogance bringing with it the ship's inevitable destruction. Nor was there any concern for any of the ordinary people their stupidity and lack of concern would drag beneath the waves to their inevitable death and destruction of their families. They would be alright with their Cayman Island tax exempt life rafts, so hard luck for the 'little people" it was their own fault the little people were poor, was it not?

We returned to our row boat and cast off, relieved to get off the tawdry and lifeless decks of the Mayceleste. We left feeling unclean, our humanity stripped from us - just a little, the stench of unearned privilege in our nostrils and the fear if we also held on such a course as the Mayceleste, we too were doomed.

Our hearts lifted only once we tucked under the stern of the Scotia and being safe home. We had tales to tell of what we had seen and heard but who would believe any of our tales of our experience aboard the Mayceleste, they were to far fetched; surely?