Saturday, 30 June 2018

Cat on a hot tin roof

It is 0230; the temperature is around 16C in Kirkcudbright, I am hot and sticky, can not sleep and I am probably not alone across Scotland with my heat induced insomnia.

I just checked today's news streams which read:
  • The EU is fed up with the UK's continuing failure to come up with a concrete negotiating position whether on Gibraltar or the Irish Border
  • Airbus, Nissan, BMW, Honda confirm they are not joking about shutting down their UK operations on Brexit
  • Scotland's tax payers are expected to cover the £5 million Trump's visit to play golf at Turnberry or what ever is going to cost Police Scotland - as if we actually want him here
  • The Tories are running a 'black' slush fund that makes Rajoy's Spanish slush fund look impoverished
  • The Tories admit they have ripped off Scottish hill farmers, spending the hill farmers specified EU funding to buy votes in England
  • The UK economy is flat lining
  • May wanted to talk about anything but Brexit at the EU summit
  • Her Foreign Secretary did a runner, again, this time to avoid the Heathrow vote
  • Jeremy "I abstain" Corbyn now admits the recent bill which his party sat on their hands in Westminster is a power grab from the Scottish Parliament
  • Harley Davidson are moving production to the EU to protect their European business from Trump's EU trade sanctions, ironically designed to bring work home to the USA
  • The lunatics in the Tory Party asylum still believe Brexit is going to be good for the UK economy with all these amazing trade deals with Trump's isolationist and ever more fascist USA, never mind the quality, feel the width
  • Jim Sillar's still does not appear to able to undestand he is yesterday's man
  • The GMB Union appear to be happy to destroy jobs at the BAE Scotstoun shipyard, if it makes the SNP look bad
  • NHS Scotland is in crisis, according to Mr Corbyn; but he appears to be unable explain what the actual crisis in Scotland is, given the absolute chaos currently wrecking NHS England, a dismantling process started by his own party with its internal market lunacy, trusts and quangos and underfunding by Westminster
  • The "How now Brown Vow" has been decried by its author
These are just the headers which have caught my eye.

Now please can anyone explain as this is the state of the UK, in the throws of a Brexit which Scotland did not vote for, by a government we did not vote for, while being dragged ever further right into Trumpland and becoming a defacto state of the USA by default (as made perfectly clear by the current arse licking of May et al to Trump) why is Scotland, getting the hell out this dystopic UK Parliamentary Union, is such a bad idea?

Maybe it is the heat but it is a "no brainer" for me.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Defending the Indefensible

As a retired Naval Officer who has watched the Tories destroy the UK Armed Forces, starting with John Knott's infamous cuts in the 1980 Defence Review; a review which directly lead to the Argentinian invasion of the Falkland Isles which in turn lead to friends being killed and maimed as we brought about their return on a shoestring. A conflict where we were almost down to our last round, with boots that maimed more Marines than the Argentinians with non freezing, cold injuries such as trench foot; I find it ignorant of the current Tory Defence minister to use the Torygraph newspaper to run down the proposed EU Joint Defence Agreement being pushed by France and Germany.

The UK's Brexit coupled with Trump's fascist ramblings and US trade attacks against Europe (whether  the EU or Russia) makes it imperative the EU countries develop an effective replacement for NATO. The USA of Trump is an isolationist bully while the UK of Brexit will be reduced to the USA's lickspittle. The current UK armed forces can not meet thier NATO commitments and have to rely on Norway to fill the gap caused by the Tory Party's ending of the next uprating of the Nimrod marine patrol aircraft.

Nor is the RAF in a position to meet its commitment in Germany to provide close ground support to UK military elements posted in Germany in the case of any Russian or other incursion into EU / NATO alliance countries. The UK armoured division, which is in effect the current British Army in total, will be reliant on a handful of Apache helicopters operated by their own air corps for close ground support and this UK armoured division can only supply itself in combat for two weeks, thanks to Tory cuts.

As for the Royal Navy it does not have enough surface ships or submarines to protect its new aircraft carriers (even if they had servicable aircraft) which combined with the run down of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary severely limits the range of any cobbled together UK carrier task group and their effectiveness.

If I was a military adviser within the EU I would also be pushing hard for an EU alternative to the US dominated NATO and laugh my head off at the blustering, baloney and bruhaha coming from a Tory defence minister at Westminster speaking for the Pentagon. The proposed independent EU force reduces the Pentagon's ability to influence EU Government's to toe the USA's line over Syria, Isreal, Saudi Arabia and the Middle East in general, as just one example.

The self same Tory Minister's predecessor has instructed the MoD to create a scheme to attract back the very NCO's in all the services they recently binned because of the massive personnel holes created by theTory Treasury attempt to 'save' on military pensions by getting NCO's booted just before they reached their full pensionable entitlement. As an alternative they are offering sizable bounties to members of the reserve forces to go 'full time'. The problem for the Tories is simple, according to insider information, no one is buying it, the ex-NCOs and reserve personnel are not that stupid. The last time they tried this was when they realised post Falklands they had binned too many personnel or had seen them walk because of their treatment of returnees. The evidence is clear in the period since 1982, the Tories have singularly failed to learn their lesson that the members of the military these days are not the 'Tommy Atkins' of Kipling but due to the nature of modern combat are intelligent and have skills outside industry is happy to have. Even your average UK 'foot slogger' is more multi-skilled, able to multi-task and technologically savvy than his equivalent of even ten years ago.

The Tory Party is clearly unable to see past the idea it is the 'officer class', created on the playing fields of Eton, which count. As long as these chaps are onside all is well in the UK armed forces. Yet it is one of these very gentlemen who spoke to reporters from the UK media to tell them the UK can not afford both a conventional armed force and Trident. So where does this leave 'Man of the CND' Corbyn's claim to keep the Trident replacement program if he ever becomes UK Prime Minister.

At the same time as the UK Armed Forces spokespersons are pointing out the Tory fallacy on defense, US Bloombergs economic assessment is the UK economy is it has shrunk by 2.1% in the last year, the IMF is predicting the exodus of financial banks and companies from the City of London while Airbus and BMW have now joined Honda and Nissan in telling the Tory Government Brexit means the closure of their UK plants, the loss of jobs and further destruction of the UK economy.

Apparently the UK Foreign Secretary's response to all these warnings was, "Fuck business". This leaves the obvious comment of who is going to fund all the Tory's grandiose plans for yet another Heathrow runway, HS2 or funding Trident wide open. The Tories, after Brexit, will have to go cap in hand to either Wall Street or Frankfurt to get their funding, as the City of London will be skint and empty of the very commercial banks needed to raise the finance, after all who in their right mind is going to buy Bank of England Government Bonds? I can not envisage all those Tory Party funders reaching into their British Virgin tax avoidance accounts to cover the costs, can you?

Do we see any of the usual unionist media in Scotland asking these key questions of the Westminster Tories?

Nope, the BBC in Scotland are too busy peddling the Scotch Labour pish about NHS Scotland being in melt down. Yet I do not see any Scottish GP's clamouring to start charging patients just to see them, as is now common in parts of England where the likes of Virgin Care are running GP services.

The answer and only answer to the problem of the Tories impending fiscal difficulties versus its spending plans post Brexit will be to suck even more from its Scottish cash cow, give even less back and hike taxes to all but their bestest pals in British Virgin Islands hedge funds and the likes of the boss of INEOS or bosses of Capita; a company which is increasingly likely to go the same way as Carillion, for much the same reason. The Capita bosses are milking the company for all they can get plus there are the same big holes in the company's pension fund, just like Carillion.

So while the group that is basically a white supremacy for Scotland group, covered up in a fancy Gaelic cognomen, should be part of "Yes2" or "All under one banner" grips the independence movement in a fervent becomes very small beer in comparison to the shafting that is to come for Scotland post Brexit, from the Tories and their avaricious pals. The reality is the sentiment of the group's banner is pretty accurate with regards to what is and will happen under any future Tory Government and if Scottish Tories, who support independence, are offended by the banner maybe it is to themselves they should be looking.

Dealing with "Soiling the Gaeltach" is for afterwards, once we have gained Scottish Independence. They have little real traction within the independence movement, and need starved of the oxygen of publicity rather than the amount of airing their odious views are presently getting within the Indy Movement. They are a mere midgy bite compared to the neo-fascist, Trumpian state the Tory party intends to create in the UK and consume Scotland's resources within.

Focus on what is important; not on what annoys you or you think may annoy someone else.

All that is important is by 2020 Scotland is once again an independent nation.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Scotland does not exist

There we have it folks, according to the Tory Party's man in Scotland, Scotland does not exist in any meaningful form.

According to Andrew Ticknell, Fluffy and his pals are right, we do not exist and are at Westminsters' beck and call to be toyed with and ignored at every turn. There is no legal magic bullet to prevent this from happening, apparently all the rights of Scotland preserved for all time by the Treaty of Union including Scots Law and constitutional practices are null and void, though not English Law and constitutional practice which Mr Ticknell appears to agree remains paramount, as far as the UK Parliament and "British Constitution" are concerned.

If there is no legal redress available to Scotland, according to Mr Ticknell, to legitimately remove the English overlordship inherent in the English Legal and Constitutional domination at Westminster and thus a UK Parliament in name only, from Scotland for fundamental breaches of the Treaty of Union, then what is actually left?

I remember a professor at University bewailing the increase of people specialising in ever smaller areas of expertise, while they knew a lot about little, he said, the bigger problem was they knew little about a lot. The specialist lost the big picture view of their field whether in medicine, as in the case he was discussing, or knowledge in general.

Mr Ticknell is very knowledgeable on UK constitutional issues, that is his chosen speciality, but occasionally I ponder if it has blinded him to the legal and constitutional basis of the much abused and misbegotten Treaty of Union and the breaches of Scotland's fundamental rights, as pointed out by Lord Cooper in his seminal paper in 1953. A paper in which he made clear the UK Parliament had and has no legal or constitutional powers to alter any clause of the treaty protected for "all time". This includes Scots Law and constitutional practice which does not recognise the solely English Law and constitutional practice of the "Crown in Parliament",  the legal and constitutional basis for much of the imposition of bills and acts of the UK Parliament which are detrimental to Scottish interests; of which the current Brexit Bill is just the latest of many.

Scotland is trapped in an abusive, English dominated relationship yet simply has to take it, because?

The Scottish Parliament has made clear, by a large majority, the wishes of the sovereign people of Scotland on the issue of Brexit. The SNP Government in Scotland has sought many ways to lessen the impact on Scotland of this fundamentally destructive bill to little or no avail. The people of Scotland, by a more sizable winning margin than the independence referendum, have made clear they wish to remain within the EU and are being now removed against their sovereign will. Yet there is no legal challenge that can be mounted against a UK Government we did not vote for, in a UK Parliament which over the last 50 years has seen Scotttish representation reduced to a rump to suit the vested interests of both Labour and the Tory Party.

I challenge Mr Ticknell to use his expertise to stop telling us what we as Scots can not legally do to stop the emasculation of Scotland by the illegitimate abuse of the Treaty of Union at an ever increasing dysfunctional UK Parliament but instead use his undoubted knowledge on constitutional issues to reverse this state of play or is he so hypnotised by the snake of the non existent "British Constitution" that he is reduced to hand wringing and breast beating while crying, "Its no fair but we cannae dae anything, it's aye been!" He is a lawyer, their job is to find the loop holes and there must be many you can drive a horse and cart through in the mythical and fundamentally porous "British Constitution".

The next few months will see whether the Parliament of Scotland enacting a Universal Declaration of Independence and terminating the Treaty of Union becomes our only solution as clearly the Parliament at Westminster does not do democracy as the last few weeks treatment of Scotland has made manifestly clear.

The current UK Government and honourable opposition knows they can not allow another Scottish referendum on independence after the sequential unravelling of all the false promises of the "How Now Brown Vow" leaves them with little to defend their lop sided Union. The loss of the cash flow to the UK Treasury from Scotland's exports, according to Bloomberg's US experts will leave the rump UK unable to finance its current level of Government debt. Scotland declaring UDI leaves the rump UK holding the whole of the debt at a level which will make Greece's fiscal disarray post 2008 look like a kiddies piggy bank.

We live in interesting times, indeed.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

All Fur Coat and nae knickers.

My Gran Robertson was Victorian by birth but a 20's "Flapper" by nature, it was she who introduced me to this expression when describing some blue rinse, lady from Morningside in Edinburgh who nearly squashed me in the rush to get a table by the window in Jenner's Resturaunt . As a six year old I grasped the rhythm and intent of the statement, not the meaning. Given my Gran Robertson was one of the gentlest and politest folk around, I now realise now it was near to a four letter sweary word she would have ever reached. In the simplest terms my Gran was telling me the woman had no principles that she would not ignore if there was cash or a reward in the outcome. I sense there is also the implication the woman was just as much a whore as any other prostitute, though far less honest about it.

Last night at Westminster and at today's prime minister's questions, Ms May brought on herself the opprobrium of my old granny as she came across as being "All fur coat and nae knickers". A woman who would sell herself lock, stock and smoking barrel to the highest bidder as long as she 'gained' from the congress. What we saw going on in Westminster was political prostitution on a grand scale as the Tories and Labour aided and abetted each other via backroom deals, fillibustering and other chicanery to do down the SNP. Not one of those Tory or Labour whips and others scurrying around buying and selling votes or abstentions cared one jot about Scotland, its people or its future. No, it was all about stopping the SNP from taking their Brexit wet dream to bits by pointing out the large constitutional hole in their plans; Scotland, via its own parliament, is not playing the Brexit game.

Labour, as per bloody, sat on their hands as disinterested spectators while "Labour's" devolution was being flushed down the Westminster pan into the great sewage works of Tory and Labour party self interest. Labour's token Jock, Wee Ian, tried to justify Labour's abstentions as some "Baldrickian Cunning Plan" the SNP did not understand. Wee Ian described this master plan as a game of Parliamentary "ping-pong" whose rules the SNP just do not understand but sadly, for him, there is no one on Labour's team who can actually play the game or understands the rules either. No doubt Labour's great ditherer, Jeremy, would claim it was too capitalist a game for him, anyway he was always the last to be picked on games days, so nyah.

The future of the Scottish Parliament and devolution is just a game of "ping-pong" according to Labour, eh Ian?

That other peice of work, the Liberal's Ms Swinson, voted for the Brexit Bill because it was what the Welsh wanted. Fine; but since when has her Scottish constituency been part of Wales?

Today during Prime Minister's question time the Leader of the SNP at Westminster requested that the chamber held a private meeting. The Speaker at first agreed to the request asking whether the division should be "now or at the end of Prime Minister's questions". The SNP's Ian Blackford stated clearly "Now" and then the panic stepped in. The problem with "Now" is simply it would have left no time for Prime Minister's questions, caused the Tory Government and the Labour front bench a whole load of problems they were not prepared for and set the cat in amongst the pigeons, potentially enabling Tory and Labour rebels to put numerous spokes in the wheels of Ms May's Brexit Plans by the back door. The Speaker was brought to understand this via notes from Tory and Labour whips and, in spite of standing orders to the contrary on this issue, tried to back pedal out of the situation by shifting the blame onto Ian Blackford for being intransigent and not accepting a vote at the end of Prime Minister's Questions. Quite correctly SNP's saw this as yet another disrespectful calumny against the wishes of Scotland, the sovereign Scottish people the SNP represent and the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government and walked "en masse" from the cesspit that is Westminster.

The First Minister has fully supported the SNP MPs move, now we have the more fascinating question of what happens next?
  • The roaring to go Yes 2 folk will be now clamouring for a new independence referendum, yesterday - if at all possible.
  • Folk, like me, are thinking along the lines of the SNP bringing forward a repeal of the 1707 Treaty of Union Bill (Scotland) to the Scottish Parliament and forcing the Liberals and Labour's hand on the issue of the claw back of powers given the parliament under the 1998 Scotland Act, contained in the current Brexit Bill. The 1707 Treaty of Union (Scotland) bill is a bill of the Scottish Parliament and can only be repealed by the Scottish Parliament in accordance the the will of the sovereign people of Scotland, Scots Law and constitutional practise. The Union Parliament, English Law and constitutional practise at Westminster has no legal or constitutional authority to interfere, oppose or prevent such a repeal bill being brought forward in the Scottish Parliament. It says so in the 1707 Treaty of Union let alone current UN and Council of Europe standing orders on national self determination. We, the sovereign people of Scotland, do not need Westminster's agreement, permission or blessing to go ahead, if that is what we wish. Section 30 - Pah!
  • Continue to play the Westminster game, for now, with the SNP being as obstructive as possible at every turn on every piece of legislation and any issue, going through the Westminster Parliament, as they can. The "piss off" the British Establishment at every turn until they concede, approach.
What ever happens next by direct action or default, the UK Parliamentary Union is now on a very shoogly peg indeed. One made all the worse by the Speaker's clear U-turn on Ian Blackford's motion - a motion legitimately submitted under the Westminster Parliament's own standing orders - under pressure from Labour and Tory Whips.

The best thing, which is very clear, is the British Establishment did not see this walk out coming as even their own tame London media struggles to come to terms with just what has happened in any other terms than "chaos". The SNP MPs have let loose a weasel in the British Establishment Hen House and the hen's have no clue as to how to deal with it.

Time to go and to leave the UK Empire to its final, ignominious collapse.

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

You wait for a bus, then two come at the same time!

The SSP are throwing their toys oot thir pram, thir wee mannie Fox is in a huff cos naebody askit him to contribute to the recent, SNP sponsored economic report;  it's the end of any chance for Scottish independence, ever. (Pick a Unionist media outlet of your choice to confirm)

Aye right!

Fox and his SSP comrades on the hard left have not a single MSP, Scotland does not vote for them except in penny numbers, they and the other hard left splinter groups constantly generated can not even agree within themselves on anything and split more often than an amoeba with dysentery, as they revel in their dystopian arguments between Marxism, Leninism, Trotskyism or any other "ism' that is flavour of the momment around the left wing chattering classes. Everyone else is moving on, "All Under One Banner" and they have managed to miss both buses because both have drivers sitting on the right and they can not thole that, no way, they need a bus with the driver on the left and it better be a LGTB bus driver an aa'. The driver better be a member of a union or the SSP will not be getting on any bus nor if the driver is a member of any union they happen to think is too right wing, no siree. OK, some will get on the bus but only to harrangue the driver about how badly they are being repressed by the union, employer or the bus itself.

This sinking sand based thinking from Fox and Co is manna from heaven for the Unionist media and, as a result, Labour's Scottish Numpty of the Week comes up with an amazing master plan to finally rend Scotland back from the SNPEEE and back into the clutches of the Unionist Labour Party. Sadly it is the same plan trotted out by the previous three Scotch Labour Numpties of the Week "Federalism". An idea which has not simply been kicked into the long grass by the actual Labour Party executive but booted so hard it was last seen sling shotting its way around the moon, heading for the giant Welsh gas planet, Kinnock352, some where out by Alpha Centauri.

Yes you may, by now, have guessed dear reader I am irked at the absolute garbage which is being printed about an SNP economic report which has yet to be discussed, dissembled and generally kicked around by SNP Branches, then sent back to HQ, returned to the SNP branches with ammendments, fed to the branch secretary's dog, lost in a peat bog for two months then be motioned and counter motioned to death at SNP constituency meetings across Scotland in a manner which will make the procedural operations of the Vogon Civil Service look as if they are a fast working organisation.

Here's the real questions nobody is actually asking:
  • What is the purpose of a nation's wealth?
  • Who actually creates the wealth of a nation?
  • How, when we create that wealth, do we distribute it with equanimity?
Now hang me for an idiot but without serious thought about these key questions just how can we get around the constant polemics between the command economy of the left or the unrestricted capitalism of the right so the actual people of Scotland can be heard rather than the pontifications of this or that left / right think tank or report?

The answers are pretty obvious:
  • To ensure the country is properly funded to meet its citizens core needs and expectations
  • We all do, whether its the person who pushes the button to make the thingymybob go round at one end or the entrepreneurs who take the big risks to turn ideas into businesses and create actual workplaces at the other
  • We go back, read, fully digest and start to apply what Adam Smith's great treatise on the social, organisational and fair distribution of the wealth created by a nation actually tells us about human nature and hard cash, in both companion volumes we now know as the "Wealth of Nations". We do this in a non paternalistic but inclusive way and maybe, just maybe, we can create a modern "New Lanark" that best fits our needs, expectations and aspirations for a  modern Scotland which is an inclusive, fair, wealthy and outward looking independent nation.
While the answers to the questions I posed appear simplistic, the how we make it happen is not. There are fiscal vested interests to addressed, there are fears to be removed from the corporate and civil arenas, there's the Scottish curse of "aye been" to climb over then batter into submission and politicians of all colours and persuasions to be constantly reminded just who are their masters and who they actually serve, the Sovereign People of Scotland.

Oh, and let's leave all the media ramjamwhamfry to Unionists and the inward looking, hide bound theorists on the left or right of the independence movement whether it is a Colin Fox or a Mathew Fry, we need our energies to make positive progress with our collective aims and objectives.

We have a new nation to build and not just a rehash nation of failed and failing ideas, economic whims, fashions and dated political ideologies. We need to talk to each other in quiet words and listen properly to all the voices in the discussion with our eyes, ears and our hearts. This is the only way to start to create the "How will we make it happen?". This process is going to be hard work; after all if you put a Scot in an empty room, they will happily start an argument with themselves and end up leaving blood on the walls. We only have to engage with 5 million odd of these cantankerous buggers to make our new nation a reality.

This is my start.

Damn, just missed the second bus.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Mundells sell out Scotland

So Youngs got a £1.3 million UK Government grant (bung?)to close their plant at Annan and move production to Grimsby.

That leaves the Mundells with a big question to answer, why did they not tell the people of Annan they and their Tory party friends had already sold the good people of Annan down the river?

Fluffy is supposed to stand up for Scotland's interests in the UK Cabinet, where is his apathetic attempt at faux anger over being ignored by by the Minsters at the Department of Trade and Industry and the destruction of jobs in his constituency?

He knew, as did Fluffy junior, what was actually going on, another bit of assett stripping from Scotland, Annan does not matter to the Fluffies, the town does not vote Tory, so teach them a lesson about who is boss, who is actually in control.

Ruth, "get on with the day job", must have known as well; given her complete silence on the issue and attempts to stir up anything to keep folk away from understanding just who was behind the deliberate destruction of Annan's main source of employment by her Tory colleagues in London.

The Fluffies response to yesterday's "All Under One Banner" march was it is unrepresentative of the "Scottish Borders" must rate as the weakest attempt to justify he and his father's failure to stand up for their constituents interests, ever. Dumfries and Galloway is not part of the "Borders", we are correctly refered to, geographically, as South West Scotland.

I have not blogged for months, simply because the disaster that is Brexit and Tory mismanagement of the UK economy is clear for anyone with a couple of brain cells to rub together, to see. Yet listening to Oliver Mundell's only response to 10,000 plus folk marching in Dumfries, for independence, was they did not represent his constituents views simply took the biscuit. I suppose since neither him nor his father represent the constituents of Dumfries and Galloway views, either at Holyrood or Westminster, he would know.

The message from the Fluffies is that Annan does not matter, Langholm farmers do not matter, the inshore Scottish fishing industry does not matter - so how much money will the UK Tory Government throw at Arla to close their plant at Lockerbie and move to the South West of England. Maybe the Fluffies will let us know just how much gold the parcel of rogues that are "Team Fluffy" have been bought and sold for to stay even more quiet over the rumblings at Arla, Lockerbie than they were over the Young's closure in Annan. "See yon couf's that ca'd a Laird" comes to mind.

The message from the UK Tory party is this "Scotland does not matter". It is almost as if the Anglo-British establishment, in London and the Home Counties, is cutting their losses in Scotland before they are cut for them. Even before the next referendum on the issue of independence for Scotland is called, it appears the Anglo-British establishment have accepted they have lost the next argument on the saving graces of Anglo-British Unionism, for Scotland, before it even begins.

The neo-liberalism of Reganomics and Thatcherism is bringing about the very result Thatcher fought to prevent, the termination of the UK Union Treaty. Karl Marx predicted the unrelenting model of capitalism of the 19th Century industrial revolution would eventually consume itself as its ability to generate "growth" for the "elite" would squeeze the rest of us to a point they could squeeze no more. The last area to be attacked in the lust for profits would be health, education and social welfare provision, as is now happening across England with the privatisation of the NHS, ever increasing University fees, attempts to privatise secondary education through erstwhile "Free Schools" and the removal of welfare provision.

Here is the strange thing, the neo-liberal guru's always ignore what Adam Smith, their erstwhile hero, had to say in the first volume of what is now known as the "Wealth of Nations". Smith predicted the same problem for unrelenting capitalism, its eventual collapse if it was not leavened with equanimity, a fair day's pay for a fair day's work. The experiment at New Lanark was based on Adam Smith's overall view of a sustainable national economy and while paternalistic, did prove Adam Smith's contention that "fair" treatment of your workforce in terms of housing, social, education and health provision was just as profitable and, more importantly, more sustainable for employers.

I am certain Karl Marx read Adam Smith's great work in full and this helped influence and form his own views, as rampant  and often destructive capitalism, raced across 19th Century Europe. Smith called on governments and employers good faith to balance the potential imbalance of unrestricted capitalism, Marx thought this could only be done by complete control of national economic policy by big Government, the command economy.

The truth is somewhere in between, as always, this is the line the SNP's "Growth Commission Report" seeks to tread as is the SNP Government's encouragement to pay the Scottish living wage, rather than the UK minimum wage; a truly Adam Smith solution - a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Unsurprsingly the Scottish buinesses who have engaged in the Scottish Government "Adam Smith" fair pay project are finding they have a happier, effective and more productive staff.

This is all an anathema to the Fluffies and their ilk for whom personal wealth is all, equanimity is a dirty word, and their silence on this, as much else, is telling.