Monday, 27 July 2020

An open letter to the Financial Times Editor.


I read your editorial on the imminent demise of  the failed UK Parliamentary Union with a shake of my head and some bitter laughter.

Please explain the basic piece of accounting that says England subsidises Scotland?

The reason I ask is that in an average year Scotland gets back around 43% of what we put into the UK Treasury, not including the salted away “extra territorial income” from the Scottish North Sea and North Western Atlantic oil and gas fields.

For England to be “subsidising” Scotland, Scotland would need to be getting more than 100% of what we put into the UK tax pot  (+ extraterritorial income), this is clearly not the case.

Then there is the small issue of the UK Treasury’s £10 billion of borrowing on Scotland’s behalf to help out the Covid pandemic’s economic stresses of which Scotland only saw £3 billion
The "too wee, too poor, too small” argument is long gone; so far gone the stables have been redeveloped into a children’s farm.

There is no escape from the reality Mr Johnson’s recent “Scotch invasion” was an utter failure which saw him once more exiting through back gates from sealed off photo opportunities to avoid protests against his incompetence. Any other of the current UK ministers would fare no better, Mr Gove - a fair deal worse - while statements from the Secretary of State for Scotland are deafening in their silence

As for health and education, methinks the Tories and other Unionists need to remove the beam from their own eye before picking at the SNP splinters.

Support for London based parties in Scotland is melting like "snaw aff a dyke” to the point the Unionist politicians are more interested in fighting each other over the remaining unionist vote share than the SNP.

Yours sincerely,

Sunday, 26 July 2020

A conversation with Douglas Ross, MP for Moray

Mad Jock:

Dear Mr Ross,

Can you explain why you are set on running Scotland and Scottish people down at every turn? Why do you consistently vote against Scotland's best interests for narrow political and personal gain? How stupid do you think the majority of Scots are?
Douglas Ross: I don’t.

Mad Jock:

You voted to wreck the fishing industry to get a deal with the USA, you voted to sell off the NHS in Scotland to corporate America and you voted to support killing devolution. Oh and your Brexit votes even though Scotland voted to stay in the EU ... then there is the nonsense about how Mr Johnson saved Scotland from covid or how giving Scotland only £3 billion of the £10 billion your chancellor "borrowed" on Scotland's behalf then salted off the difference to a PPE Company in Mauritius? Mr Ross you are selling Scots and Scotland down the river every time you speak in the House of Commons on behalf of Mr Johnson's increasingly oligarchic and dictatorial government.

Douglas Ross: I disagree.

Mad Jock:

What do you disagree with and on what evidence? I have listened to you bad mouthing Scotland in the House of Commons every time you run down Scottish businesses by claiming they could not exist with out the largess of the UK Government. You make claims about your government's spending which turn out to be recycled cash which was already apportioned to Scotland anyway. Then there are the Conservative fibs about broadband, NHS Scotland oh and the too poor, too wee, too stupid line about Scotland's £60 billion plus economy which puts £60 a second into the UK Treasury. Here is the truth, on independence for Scotland, Scotland will be better off in all respects, but the combination of Brexit and the loss North Sea oil and gas revenues along with other foreign currency earnings from Scotland puts England in a pretty economic pickle according to Bloomberg Analysis, the FT in fact almost any economic analysis you look at agrees the UK is a failed economy courtesy of Tory policies. 1 Euro is now at 91p it used to be 1 Euro to 75p for example.
Criticising the Scottish Government is not the same as talking down Scotland. As a proud Scot born and living here my whole life I won’t take lectures about Scottishness from anyone.
Maybe you should take some lessons, maybe in telling the truth rather than spouting the latest line from your party's unelected, minime Dr Goebbels, Mr Cummings. You see Brexit is not just going to destroy the whitefish industry but my local scallop industry worth £7.5 million to my local economy.

Oh; and by the way, your Scottishness was never challenged, just the canting hypocrisy of a Conservative "Holy Willie".

Final thought; your job is to represent your constituents best interests at Westminster, Mr Carlaw's is to hold the Scottish Government to account at Holyrood. Maybe you should stick to your "day job".

Douglas Ross: (Silence)

Saturday, 18 July 2020

The Abyss

The clock is ticking, the loyal troops are starting to get restless, occasional pustules of discontent are breaking out all over the face of the Indy movement. It is teenage acne in the main but it will not take much more for some nasty looking boils to appear.

Like many in the SNP I have been sent a proforma E.mail from an ordinary member requesting me to use it to put pressure on my local MSP to get immediate action on a referendum before the 1st of January 2021 Brexit and the Tory White Paper that seeks to kill devolution stone dead by re-instating the pseudo-viceroy status of the Secretary of State for Scotland.

Given the combination of an upcoming Brexit and the ability of the Tories to railroad a a kill bill on Holyrood it is not difficult to understand why there is increasing anxiousness among the independistas as well as an increasing sense of urgency, restlessness and a bit of fear to get independence done.

As a result we are having all these theories about how best to "game" the Holyrood elections in 2021 which while interesting, all have major risks they will fail rather than succeed. If you want to vote for a second party to get independence done go for a second vote for the Greens. They may be a bit to lefty, hippy and environmental for some tastes but they are a known entity in Scottish politics and when push comes to shove they support independence for Scotland.

The problem for the "let's have a list only independence party" is simply the Scottish electorate, who are not as fixated or informed on things independence, as activists are, will either be confused or take umbrage at being thought as vote fodder.

That is not good news for the SNP as the normal electorate will see this as, the SNP trying to fix the vote, no matter what the organisers of the independence list vote party say. Just think of the millage Unionists will make out the SNP "vote fixing" or being "unsure the SNP have real support for independence". I am no spin doctor but it is not hard to understand how this talk of a "list only party" can be used by the Tory friendly media to claim, "splits in the independence movement" or "Nicola is losing the trust of the Yes movement" or any other headline you care to make up about the consensus among independence supporters breaking apart. The only winners in a situation where there will be defined splits, just when the bulk of Scots voters are coming round to vote for independence, will be the Unionists. Ordinary people do not like fractious political parties or movements, who are consumed with in fighting - just look at Labour's polling figures in Scotland for the evidence of that.

I have said before, in this very blog, that I would have preferred independence yesterday but to undermine the cohesiveness and growing belief in the SNP Government by an ever increasing majority of Scots, a belief that has brought so many into the independence fold is political madness, nay suicide.

The "list vote party" also have a problem in constituencies like Dumfries and Galloway where the elected constituency MSP is a Conservative. In this constituency to ensure any SNP representation at Holyrood we need to have both votes SNP. A "list vote only" candidate would be a disaster, as they potentially would dilute the SNP vote.

The abyss we are looking into with a "list vote only party" is losing yet another independence referendum because ordinary people do not like being taken for eedjits and can smell this sort of shit a mile away.

So, keep it simple stupid, forget about a "list only party" and if you are in a Holyrood constituency where the SNP elected MSP is a shoe in, vote Green with your second vote but remember if you are an SNP member you can not promote such a policy, as you will be in breach of your membership conditions by doing so.

In the mean time we independistas can all hope there is some cunning plan being brewed in SNP HQ, to end the UK Parliamentary Union prior to the 1st of January 2021. If not then we are all in deep shit.

Sunday, 12 July 2020

The Grand Old Duke of York

The song is about the Duke of York making a mess of a campaign in Flanders against the French in the 1790's when his dithering lost a campaign which should have been won.

The current Duke of York appears to following in his ancestors footsteps blowing hot and cold over his relationship with Mr Epstein as Ms Maxwell states she has sex tapes of some "important people" having sex with under age girls, at Mr Epstein's infamous parties; "When he was up, he was up" seems tawdry but pertinent.

How long Ms Maxwell has to live is anyone's guess, as no doubt Orange Don-Don, the current US President, probably stars in a few of these films. Anyway, we now know why Mr Epstein had such influence over the rich and famous when it came to special favours and deals for him and Ms Maxwell, no doubt the 'films' were a very nice little earner, for the pair, with out ever being shown.

It is to another Grand Old Duke of Porkies I now turn; the Humpty Dumpty of our times, Boris Johnson.

There he is sitting, Humpty Dumpty like, on his Brexit wall. All his sycophantic Cabinet Ministers and media pals trying to create a soft landing for him when he falls, as he will. The winds of dissent are building in England, his attempt at a Hancockup's half hour answering ordinary folk's on-line questions such as, "When are you going to do the decent things and resign?" or, "What is so successful in allowing 60,000 UK citizen's to die when you and your pals have been lining their own pockets with PPE scams and Covid tracing apps that were never going to work?" are now unlikely to see the light of day in Boris' question answering segway on social media, ever. The "Inews" reported that Downing Street (aka Dominic Cummings) saw the sort of questions arriving for Bawjaws and shut down the feed after just an hour.

In Grand Old Duke terms Bawjaws is at the point,"When he was only half way up, he was neither up nor down" which is not a good look on a leader at anytime. Bawjaws'' only plan is to bullshit and dither or as someone beautifully put it, "The Mac-Shrodinger's Border Conundrum" or "When does a border not exist? When the Tories say a border does not exist". Two clear examples "Mac-Shrodinger's Border Conumdrum" are seen to apply at the legislative and constitutional border between Scotland and England and Mr Johnson's non-existent EU border coming to an Irish Sea near you.

At every turn Mr Johnson has told us Scots we are wrong and should follow the "UK" lead (aka Bawjaws Botchers) on Covid only to rapidly change their minds and agree with Scotland's Covid approach by saying things like; Bawjaws has now had this great wheeze and jape, "tempus fugit" and all that, so let's all wear masks on the tube and on buses, good chaps and chapesses.

There is more dithering over defence of this "UK" nation as Dominic Cummings is looking for lots of tasty military computer apps to give his pals more millions pounds to develop or probably not as demonstrated by the "UK Covid App". To afford this Mr Cummings wants to cut the Grand Old Duke of York's putative 10,000 men from the military. The problem is from where; as due to dithering in Downing Street we have fleet carriers with no planes, a surface fleet reliant on re-fitting 30 year old frigates, an air force with inadequate numbers of fighter squadrons and having to re-purpose the Typhoon's they have as a fighter bomber, as there is no Tornado replacement. Meanwhile the Army are on the hind teat and are being asked to do too much with insufficient manpower, are seriously overstretched and increasingly reliant on the TA to meet its basic NATO commitments.

Then there is Dalek Sunak, "Exterminate, exterminate - all the poor, old and sick" the here today and gone tomorrow, UK chancellor, selling us fiscal snake oil as the cure to all the UK economy's ills with money they have already spent.

Yet Humpty-Dumpty sits there still, all reasonable folk wonder why he has not yet fallen and after Mark Francois comments to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Bawjaws can forget "All the Queen's horses and all the Queen's men" being in any rush to put Boris together again.

Bawjaws is less of a Churchill with 60,000 plus Covid deaths and million odd cases on his bill, more of a Haig, who put aside the first day casualties on the Somme (38,230 casualties and 19,240 dead) with the comment, "This level of casualties is acceptable given the length of front we are attacking."

Sounds much the same as Bawjaws Johnson's claims for "herd immunity".