Thursday, 28 February 2019

Whom shall slay Grendell?

In an epic poem of the English language, "Beowulf", the monster Grendell stalked the land:

" Thus Grendell ruled, resisted justice,
One against all until the best of halls stood deserted."

" .... Strong men often sat
in consultation, trying in vain to devise
a good plan as to how best valiant men
could safeguard themselves against sudden attack."

It is not difficult to substitute "Grendell" with "Brexit" without distorting the context or meaning of the epic Anglish tale of sorrow, disaster and heroism. The parallels of men sitting on their hands doing nothing sing loud in the ear as we watch the posturing and mealy mouthed ramblings of Tory and Labour politicians at Westminster, yet still, our latter day "Grendell - This cursed creature." rules over the land bringing poverty, death and destruction to those who stand in its way.

In the tale, a great king, Beowulf, hears of the disaster and goes to the Danes' aid with men and purpose to slay "Grendell". The story then tells of what great leaders are made of, their generosity to their men, their consideration for their families, the safe guarding of livelihoods, honest justice and the willingness to face and put down what ever threatens this harmony.

Just where is our modern day Beowulf?

Sadly the SNP contingent at Westminster are now the equivalent of the "strong men", quoted above, and like them are getting nowhere in their efforts to protect Scotland from "Grendell" but continue to prevaricate over the only answer to Scotland's forced Brexit - independence. Who will weild "naegling", Beowulf's sword, to remove Grendell's head?

Just where is the latter day warrior who will slay "Grendell" and his equally evil mother, the Tory party?

Or will the silence in the deserted halls of the Westminster Parliament continue to deafen all, as the cowardly Ecglaf (Corbyn) taunts from the edges while hiding and hoping Grendell will not come for him.

The Danes, in Beowulf, knew they had to take action or be cowed by Grendell yet sat on their hands, Scotland knows it is now in the same position.

Yet, where is the leadership and why the continuing silence?

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Doon far the Grim's keep stans alane

Doon far the Grim's keep stans alane,
I heard the corbies makin a main
Wi caw an chuckle they bantered awa
Whilst theekin thir nests fir Spring's new gain.

A Merganser spied hisel' on the Dee
Then douped his heid and swam awa
Tae fin a perch ir roach tae hansel
Fir his denner ir his tea

Ower on the moss a mute swan sat
Imperious tae aw thon stramash
Aa sandpipers sad lament aa exile,
Ir whig-maleries birlin ower tap.

The goudfinch gleamed aa tap a tree
As wi winching ee, lookit fir a quine
Tae hae his way, tae spread
His fine looks tae anither year

Twa riedbreests rauchled awa
In sang, tae haud their land
Frae each an ithers
Wha wid seek tae trespass.

Sae hushed passes by the Dee,
Wae nae tinckle ir chuckle
Nature's sang only brekit
By lorries trummlin by anent the road.

Ma ee keeked a wabster's net
Glistenin' in the winter sun
Ae shout oot fir any insects aboot
Tae gang anither way ir be et.

Aroon ma feet ma wee dug sniffs
A moudie's mountain, richt fresh,
An digs awa tae seek an fin
Thon moudie's naw hame at aa.

Doon far the Grim's keep stans alane,
I heard the corbies makin a main
Wi caw an chuckle they bantered awa
Whilst theekin thir nests fir Spring's new gain.

Monday, 25 February 2019

Open Letter to Dumfries and Galloway MP - Mr Jack (Conservative)

I can not be alone in Galloway in wondering just when our Brexit loving MP is going to explain how well his “no deal’ Brexit is coming along to the people of Galloway.

I await with bated breath when he tells us how he is going to replace West Coast Sea Products markets in Spain and France, worth around £7 million to the Kirkcudbright local economy, to prevent job losses a rural area where employment is hard to find.

Maybe Mr Jack can explain where the Kirkcudbright scallop fleet is going to get replacements for its EU and non EU crew members on the end of freedom of movement.

How about what happens if the Swedish owners of Castle MacClenan Foods decide to shut up shop as its EU export markets are cut off?

Where are the local farmers going to sell the lambs and beef that are currently being born with their main market, the EU cut off to them?

Then there is the Ferry port at Loch Ryan which will see a reduction in services as Eire road hauliers avoid Brexit Scotland like the plague.

Just why is Mr Jack so silent on the real problems his “Brexit” is bringing to Galloway?

Oh, I see, the Tories prefer to whine on about the A75, council funding cuts (as a direct result of Tory Policy at Westminster towards Scotland) or anything else but the impact of Brexit on Galloway.

It is all the SNP’s fault, talking about independence, is not going to work this time, Mr Jack.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Please Don't Upset anyone

There is a small but vociferous faction writing in the National about how important it is not to upset the 23% of folk who did not vote for Scotland to stay in the EU ..... because .... well just because. We better not upset all the hard core Unionist voters .... because .... well just because.

The point all these folk wishing not to upset other people are missing, is simple. These people by and large want to be upset and write letters about how terrible it is their minority views are being largely ignored and how it threatens the future of Scottish Independence in some way or another.

The fundamental problem of any human society is you will never get all the people to agree on anything at any point in time. There will always be a minority who feel the rest of us are doing things the wrong way whether on the EU or independence. Pandering to their minority objections as if they were in the majority has no future in it.

Accepting they hold these views against the majority view or decision is right and proper but it does not allow for these views to become the raison d'etre for the entire political process of independence.

Independence is the core requirement for the future of Scotland now and for future generations as we are dragged ever closer to the Brexit abyss. We can not allow side shows or upset avoidance to allow us to deviate from what is the most important political decision we have to make.

Do we stay in an English Establishment run oligarchy, drifting towards fascist, UK Union or not?

Do we stay outside the biggest potential market for Scottish goods and services, the EU, or not is a question for after Independence but currently the majority of Scottish voters wish to be part of the EU .. so the anti-EU faction for all their noise are in a minority.

As for those who think there is milage in being nice to hard core Scottish Unionists, in your dreams. To even meet pro-independence voters half way they would have to begin to accept they have been lied to for all their Unionist voting lives about poor, too wee, too stupid Scotland. Their only negotiating position is "They hate Nicola Sturgeon". If you ask why? They come up with all sorts of rhetorical answers and unpalatable ignorance which only hides one fear, what if they have been duped and an independent Scotland ends up highly successful and a beacon for fairness across the world. It is easier to hate Nicola Sturgeon than face their real fear.

People are entitled to their views on the EU but for all its faults it has brought about a lengthy peace in Europe unkown for centuries. The EU has brought disperate countries together to agree one thing, peace across Europe is worth giving up 10% of national sovereignty for and, no matter the size of the country their vote matters in the council of ministers whether they are Germany or little Luxembourg. The Luxembourg MEPs can work with MEPs from other countries to get their ideas for the betterment of Europe heard, debated and voted on. Compare this with the situation currently at Westminster where Scotland is unable to sway any argument compared to England's MPs over whelming majority.

So let us be very clear no matter how well the independence referendum is run, campaigned for and conducted people along the line will allow themselves to be "upset " because they or their veiws have been "ignored", that is the way of the minority of people who always wish to rain on someone else's parade.

They will just have to be upset because compared to what is really important, Scottish Independence, their moaning and upsetness is irrelevant.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

LABOUR : too late to the table?

In my last post I sought to argue the time was nigh to release the independence parachute, nothing that happened, this week, in the English Parliament has given any suggestion that holding on for much longer is at all sensible.

When a Tory politician seeks to compare the "British" Imperial history of concentration camps in South Africa with comparisons of death rates from disease in Glasgow of the same period you really get to know just how ignorant, appallingly ignorant the Tory Right is, for all its "Oxbridge" education.

The question arises:

"Why were the death rates in the Empire's second city, in the richest Empire of its time, so high?"

As Scots, we know the answer the self same "Tory" folk (whose descendants are currently whining about the disaster of Scottish Independence) made a mint out of sub-standard accommodation and working practises that skinned pay to the bone. The same world Mogg and his cohorts want to re-introduce across the UK, for the same "Tory" folk's benefit. The only problem for Mogg and his ERG pals is the UK economy has already been cut to the bone, there is no meat left having sold off all the public services over the last three decades (they call it outsourcing, opening internal markets to competition but it has been a sell off of publicly paid for and resourced assets) as the plunging pound, collapsing GDP and any other UK economic marker, you wish to use, clearly indicates.

In all this disaster fest where are Labour?

Sadly, when a real difference could have been made they continued fence sitting, for their own political advantage. Even at the last minute they could not force themselves to set aside their antipathy for the SNP and vote through an extension to Article 50. Once more Scotland watched as Labour sat on their hands then listened and watched with joy as Mahri Black gave the Labour front bench "a guid auld Timsoning".

Today we have the sad sight of Ian Murray (Labour Edinburgh South) waking up to reality either via a UK General Election or positive independence vote, "his jeckits oan a richt shoogly peg." Rather than saying Labour were wrong not to support the SNP Article 50 amendment, he is currently spouting on about how hard its is to get the SNP to agree to his Article 50 extension amendment, its "naw fair" - he cries - the SNP do not like my version because it locks out a Scottish independence vote by default. Why is he surprised the SNP political operators at Westminster are "gien him the bum's rush?" on his retread Article 50 amendment, at what point will it occur to Mr Murray he has missed the bus with 50 odd days to go?

Anyone with a wee bit sense can see this is Labour seeking to do a Guiness bottle job to let all the blame of Brexit fall from their own shoulders. It is up there with Corbyn's, on the last faltering foot steps to Brexit, Damascean conversion to the idea of membership of the EU Custom's Union two weeks ago. I mean the stupid, narrow, insular, independence seeking SNP have only been saying this ever since the Engish voters lost the plot in 2016. To the London media this was a big, bold move by Corbyn, to those who understand; it was Corbyn seeking to save his own arse as his own party comes apart at the seams and opposition from ordinary rank and file Labour members builds to his abstention policy on Brexit.

I understand why Ms Sturgeon continues to seek away out of the Brexit bourach, for the current UK, on the grounds we do not want an English economic basket case / nigh on fascist state on our southern border. I give her her due, she has tried hard since 2016 to bring some common sense to the whole Brexit debate, a sense of reality sorely missing from either Unionist party yet I now appeal to her, along with many Scots, it is time to leave England "tae sort oot its ain biggin" and get on with the job of using the mandate for a new independence referendum. No better time to strike than when your presumed "Imperial" master is on its knees with both Unionist Parties in disarray, fighting among themselves over Brexit scraps.

In my last post I asked a decision to be made by the end of February to hold the referendum, now I am up there with Peter Bell and other longstanding foot soldiers for independence, Why wait any longer?

There is no saviour on an EU white horse, for Scotland, on the horizon.

Time to be gone from this corrupt, increasingly fascist and failed parliamentary union.

As for Labour: they never made it to the table.

PS: I note I have failed to mention some other party, hanging onto the Unionist coat tails. Their name and policies are simply a dark void to me as they probably are to the party itself.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

He Fell with out a Parachute from 20,000 feet

The final line to the ditty the title is taken from is; "and he ain't going to jump no more!"

I heard a UK political journalist, on a US TV program, describe Brexit as the same as an Englishman jumping out of an aircraft without a parachute from 20,000 feet.

Alongside the Englishman in this freefall escapade are an Irishman and a Scotsman who both have parachutes.

As they descend the Englishman continually claims they do not need their parachutes, they will land safely. "See you Celtic wimps, free fall is not at all dangerous", he shouts at them, "Just do as I do and you will be safe."

Technically the Englishman is correct; free fall at around 100 feet per second is not, in itself, inherently dangerous. The problem comes when terra firma arrests your descent, when you reach zero feet above the ground and all that potential energy from the fall, contained within the Englishman's body, turns into kinetic energy. I will leave you to imagine the picture at the end of the Englishman's free fall descent without a parachute and how far he is now spread across the countryside.

In the meantime the Scot and his Irish companion are falling at the same rate, during free fall. They are free to deploy the parachute whenever they wish to within certain safety margins. First it takes 3 seconds for the chute to deploy fully and begin to slow the descent. I would be pulling the rip chord at 1000 feet and complete the rest of the descent under the canopy from around 700 feet. A skilled parachutist might well wait until 700 feet and a Special Forces' nutter to 500 feet. The problem they then have is what if they need to deploy their emergency chute. For the 700 foot release you deploy your emergency chute at 400 feet and you are probably safe, at 500 feet initial deployment, you will probably break one or both legs.

The big question with in the current time line for Brexit is: What height above ground level are our trio of parachutists now at?

For me, we are now reaching the 1000 foot mark, the safest point to deploy our independence parachute.

We now know that Labour will abstain its way to backing May's Brexit whether deal or no deal. Corbyn has indicated this position clearly and will seek to obtain a three line whip on the issue. The Customs Union he wrote about to May is just a wet blanket to quiet his party's remainer wing. He will then hope to reap the electoral rewards when the UK economy is spread as thin as our putative English parachutist, on Brexit impact.

We know the EU is not for turning and it is the agreed Brexit deal in full or no deal. There is no room for any further negotiations on this issue. Yet the UK meedja are still trying to sell the idea that Ms May is negotiating hard behind the scenes at the EU and she will get her deal on the Northern Ireland border. This is just nonsense, as anyone who watches any EU news reports on Brexit full well knows. The EU 27 are completely agreed on one point, they are sick fed up with Ms May and her wheedling and whining.

The British Road Haulier Association is telling anyone who will listen, they have so far only obtained 1000 of the required transit permits from the EU, for the post Brexit period, they will require to move goods to the EU, out of the 11,000 their members actually require.

We have UK farmers who have no clue as to whether the calves and lambs, they are bringing into the world over the next few months, are worth the work as there is likely to be no market for them.

The pound is now 18% lower in value than at the worst point during the 2008 financial crash, the UK economy is rapidly plunging into stagflation. Foreign investors are shifting their assets out of London at an ever faster rate as are the banks for whom the City of London supposedly exists. Over 80,000 jobs in the UK financial sector have already been shifted out of the City of London to Dublin, Frankfurt and elsewhere.

NIssan is starting the process of buggering off from Sunderland, Honda is well down the road of flitting operations from Swindon to its EU plants while Jaguar / Landrover are already heading for Croatia.

In the meantime at Westminster a Defence Minister, Williamson, makes outrageous claims about the future of the UK's armed services in spite of the reality they are currently short of personnel, material and supplies. In an off the record briefing, a MoD insider claims the UK armed forces are 20 years out of date and not fit for purpose.

Williamson's response is a typical Brexiteer response to seek to sort out this governmental department's failing with equipment he does not have - drones - and by painting a couple of past their sell by date ferries, Naval grey. Of course there are no details as to how these ferries are to be converted, what armament they are to be given, what modern fire and control systems will they be fitted with, how they will be manned, in a RN now struggling to man the ships they can afford to send to sea, or the actual cost to the naval budget of these white elephants that will be Williamson's saviours of Britain.

I have held my wheesht, supported Nicola's cautious approach but the reality is we do not have much time left to pull the ripcord on the Scottish parachute to land safely as an independent country within the EU. A course of action 60% of Scots who have been asked to state their views, wish to happen. We still might land safely if we deploy later but is it a risk we wish to take?

Nicola, we need you to act by the end of February and unleash the potential of Scotland to become an independent nation state once more. We do not need Westminster's approval to end this perfidious union. The UK Supreme Court would be ineffective in any attempts by Westminster to challenge a decision to repeal the 1707 Act of Union of the Scottish Parliament under Scots Law and constitutional practise at the current parliament at Holyrood. This we know is true under the UN Convention of Human Rights and the Kosovo Declaration. A simple majority at Holyrood to repeal the act is all that is required even without any second referendum on the issue of independence for Scotland.

The UK Parliamentary Union is now the Norwegian Blue Parrot of our time. It would not go voom even if you put a few thousand volts through it. It is an ex-Parliamentary Union bereft of life, hope or breath, it is dead; deceased, gone to its maker.

So please Nicola can we put it out of our misery, once and for all?

Monday, 4 February 2019

The Power of Words

A couple of weeks ago I discussed the SNP seeking to persuade its membership that having a rammy with died in the wool Unionists was not going to help in re-framing the context within which far too many Scots still believe Scotland is too small, weak and poor to be an independent nation.

Recently there have been letters in the National by independence supporters talking about the averred "Union of the Crowns". In giving credence to an event that has never happened in any constitutional shape or form, they are using the words of the British Establishment, giving power to the idea that any split of Scotland from the "Union" will be next to impossible.

The basic case is there has never been a "Union of the Crowns". The reality is two separate crowns, presented in two separate legal and constitutional ways, sit on the one head.

This is where the power of words is vital. Under Scots Law and constitutional practise a head of state is made head of state by the will of the sovereign people of Scotland. This was traditionally the role of the Scots Parliament of the "Thrie Estaites". This power, which had long been the case in Scotland, was put into law by an act of the Scottish Parliament in 1689 called the "Claim of Rights" in the aftermath of James 7th attempts to force English constitutional practises on the Scots, an attempt which saw him being kicked off the Scottish throne and eventually bought off the English Throne when his "High Catholic" tastes and presumptions could no longer be stomached in England. The "Claim of Rights" Act remains "in Law" to this day and the night before her English coronation she was "made" Queen of Scots, under the powers given in the Act, in the presence of "representatives of the Thrie Estaites"; the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, the Lord Lyon and the Lord Provosts of Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The following day, in Westminster Cathedral she was "anointed" Queen of England, her commonwealth and colonies. By the use of blessed oil, she was given God's commission to be Queen of England, by the Archbishop of Canterbury. This was sold to the nation by, that arch manipulator, Winston Churchill as her being crowned Queen of all Britain at Westminster. A lie that far too many Scottish folk still believe is true.

Note the clear difference between being made Queen of Scots and anointed Queen of England, her commonwealth and colonies. The first is a pragmatic relationship with the crown and is reversible while the second is a mystical, pseudo religious relationship with the crown. In truth, the anointing is meant to demonstrate it is by "God's will" that she is Queen of England and is therefore irreversible.

The point, I have made over the implications of these two words, may be esoteric too some or history to others, yet it is vital to understand how the British Establishment have long used words and statements such as "The Queen of all Britain" to control the context of how Scotland sees herself.

Scotland is only subject to its crown for as long as the sovereign people agrees to be. The Claim of Rights of 1689 makes clear to those holding the Crown of Scotland, they do so under the sufferance of the people of Scotland and can be unmade if they do not follow the constraints placed on them by this act.

If this is true for the crown then it is also true for the UK Parliament which holds our access to our sovereignty only through our consent which has been, up until now, represented by Scotland's MPs at Westminster.

In the current situation where the sovereign will of the people of Scotland is being ignored and denigrated by the UK Parliament on a daily basis, there is an increasing need to remove that sovereignty and place it wholly at Holyrood, a parliament which is better suited to represent the people of Scotland's sovereignty within these islands and to the world at large.

The only effective way to do this is to declare Scotland's independence.

If England wishes to get nasty at the point of Scottish independence we simply switch off the energy (electricity, gas, oil) they require on a daily basis from Scotland, currently fed in at heavily subsidised rates. Maybe the other EU states interconnecters which supply electricity and gas to England, could also be switched off in empathy with Scotland.

Where will little England be then?

The last time Scotland was unable to meet a sudden rise in electricity demand in England the voltage surge which resulted caused nuclear power plants to trip out, electric trains around the SE of England to stop, power transformers to catch fire and computers across the City of London and in Canary Wharf to crash - paralysing finance and banking companies. Imagine that happening in a much bigger way and its impact on England's finance and services based economic model. All on top of the £200+ billion hit on England's GDP without Scotland and a further £200+ billion hit from Brexit.

See how the context of poor wee Scotland, on independence, turns around and becomes the context of poor wee England, simply by reframing the argument.

That, folks, is the power of words.