The Baw Is Burst

That’s the ba’ burst noo then folks. it’s time for us to give up. The stunning unexpected and resounding victory of the Ruth Davidson Forward for Unionist Scotia Flag waving, Province of the Privileged Party has struck the cause of self-determination for Scotland a mortal blow. We are feenished (I’d better stop writing words in our native tongue seeing as it will be banned soon). It’s no’ really a language anyway apparently, just a series of grunts, according to our detractors.

Ruth’s victory, as trumpeted by the BBC, STV and the Scottish print media, over the forces of separatism was of such a magnitude that there were rumours that First Minister Sturgeon was seen at the weekend reading a copy of Napoleon Bonaparte’s much thumbed easy read travelogue ” Things to do on Saint Helena.”

Exciting times are ahead for us now that Scotland has at last embraced Neo-liberalism in all its glory. Within ten years Glasgow and Edinburgh will surely have joined together into a wondrous city-state, filled with bullet trains and huge cigar and egg shaped skyscrapers to house the massive financial and corporate business which will be heading our way. This new Scotland will no doubt be also buoyed by that old blight of previous Scottish governments oil and gas coming out of hiding once the global price returns to normal. The privatisation of Food-Banks can only be but months away.

In this brave new Scotland full of entrepreneurs, wealth creators and trickle downers those wishing to get on the front foot will want to get in early on the health business. There is big cash to be made out of serious illness, misery and infirmity. I would suggest Ruth, in her new powerful position, may wish to consult with her colleagues down at headquarters, Mr Hunt et al about the best way to pave the way for a policy for a new pay-as-you-go healthcare system. They can surely provide her with some tips. The politicians of Ruth’s persuasion down there have had loads of contact with health professionals providing them with advice recently, usually from behind a placard in the middle of Whitehall right enough, and using language ending in the word OFF, but good advice just the same.

She can definitely start by getting rid of the free prescription charge scheme.. What a preposterous idea that was allowing Scots to not be financially disadvantaged by being ill or having long term debilitating health conditions. What Bolshie bastard thought that one up? It’s almost human and not a profit in sight, madness.

Of course culturally under Ruth we’ll be moving back to bygone days when the the fitbaw was generally in black and white, before the Corries were well known, which means for sporting events all Scottish representatives will return once again to standing to attention to the dirge about the old lady in the expensive hat rather than all of that blood and soil pish about rising and being a nation again. Hey Ho it’s just a song. it’s great that “Thingummyjig” will be making a comeback though. You can never get enough of eight-some reels and lyrics aboot Granny’s Heiland Hame. It’s going to be so comforting being back in our boxes again.

Although there will be many changes to Scotland as it has previously existed up to now nothing at all will change with regards to the media in Scotland, they are doing just fine thank you, although I don’t fancy the National’ s chances of making Christmas under the new Unionist dictat.

……..and then the alarm went off and Ruthie woke up.

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Nobody Died

There was an election for the Scottish Parliament last Thursday. The first thing to remember is naebdy deeid.

Congratulations to the Scottish National Party who were voted in for an unprecedented third term in power, narrowly missing out on an overall majority at Holyrood, done in by the eccentricities of the D’Hondt voting system, designed to ensure that no single party achieves a majority government. The SNP received around 156,000 more votes than 2011 but achieved less seats. These are the same rules which contributed to the SNP defying the odds and achieving a majority last time out.

Never mind though, all is not lost. The dream of an independent Scotland did not die in the wee small hours of Friday.

The issues that those advocating self-determination face today are the same as they were before last Thursday. This is just another step on the bumpy road. Nobody ever said it would be easy.

The emergence of the Tories as the second party of choice for Scots heralds a period of polarisation of politics in Scotland, following the evisceration of the red branch of UK neo-liberalism in the constituency vote. The divide is opening up further between those wishing to remain in the Union and those seeking the new path. It was heading that way anyway but now all political policies and decision making in Scotland will be seen through the prism of the sovereignty question.

There are debates raging all over the land amongst the various advocates of the voting strategies (SNP 1 and 2 votes and SNP 1 other Indy Party 2). There are cogent arguments for both and those that strongly promoted them are making these to back their viewpoint. However, that is done with. It is past. Get over it.The next five years are what’s important.

The newly elected third term Scottish Government have a lot on their plate. Despite early evidence to the contrary they must form some sort of alliance with Patrick Harvie and his team of Green MSP’s, informal or otherwise.

It is of paramount importance to the future prospects of Scottish independence that the wider Indy Movement, incorporating the entire range of views which made the 2014 campaign so successful, begins to form, gel and reconstruct as soon as possible. All of the in-fighting, preciousness and hurt feelings need to be overcome. There is a bigger goal to achieve and when that formidable phalanx of energised groups and individuals, hundreds of thousands of Scots buoyed by the positivity of a vision for a better Scotland work tirelessly in tandem there is no stopping it.

I would suggest that when Stewart Hosie starts his summer campaign to promote independence amongst those who voted No in 2014 he also makes building and strengthening links with other groups involved in the continuing campaign for a sovereign Scotland a priority.

The SNP now being effectively the only mainstream party of the centre left in Scotland the Scottish Government will be wise to ensure that they continue to follow and build on their commitments to social justice and equality. It is clear that the former New Labour supporting golf club set, those with a bob or two of the fictional “middle” Scotland are moving towards the Tories. Somebody has to care about everybody else. No Scot should be left behind in 2016, and as long as the SNP continue to focus fundamentally on making the lives of ordinary Scots better they will not go far wrong and confidence in self-government amongst Scotland’s people will continue to rise.

Last Thursday nobody died.We’ll still get there.

Scotland’s Day

The day of the Scottish Parliament Elections is here, although going by the underwhelming coverage in the breakfast news you wouldn’t think so.

Whatever happens today I hope the majority of Scots decide to make their choice of government for the next five years about the future of their communities and the possibilities for a better Scotland, taking another route away from the staid established order, rather than about traditional voting habits.

Westminster’s political personalities have a love for the word “powerhouse” when talking about devolved government. The election of an independence-seeking ‘powerhouse’ Scottish Parliament returned by a strong majority is crucial if real change is to occur over the next five years.

An old adage which is apt to bear in mind, not for today, but for tomorrow and the days to come, once the electioneering party political rhetoric recedes, the dust settles, and the Yes juggernaut begins to rumble again, goes something like this….

There were two wolves in the wilderness. One was darkness and despair, the other was light and hope. Which one will survive the longest?

Whichever one you feed.

Vote Scotland.

Flogging A Dead Horse

I read Neil Oliver’s piece for the Sunday Times on the question of self-determination for Scotland yesterday, and I’ve got to admit that my first thought was that it was so blinkered, vitriolic and simplistic in its content that it shouldn’t even have merited being published in the Evening Times as an article to be skimmed over whilst standing at a takeaway counter, awaiting a chicken curry-fried rice making an appearance through a hatch.

I notice however that several Indy bloggers have taken the bait. I haven’t read any of their responses as yet but giving the article a second look this morning I’m afraid I’m going to jump on to the hook as well, if only for self-therapy purposes.

The guy is entitled to his opinion, as is everyone else. His seems to centre simply on the assertion that Great Britain’s great innt it? Well actually naw it isnae. Using some of his own words here’s another view.

The British State are in the ‘flogging a dead horse’ business. I’m old enough (two years older than Mr Oliver) to remember when some of their Scottish political advocates were not a joke. They were reliable, trustworthy, passionate and committed to social justice.

Often when a returning officer read out the results, during an election, a significant number of votes would be attributed to the left-of-centre candidate, who would receive a rousing roar of applause as she or he accepted the  weight of responsibility  of taking on the democratic challenge, to go to Westminster and fight for equality,fairness and opportunities for the people who put them there, the people of Scotland.

Nobody at all found that funny.

But somewhere along the line something truly awful happened. Sell out, lack of self integrity and political and moral corruption set in like a plague across the land, and for Scotland to be able to see any sort of light at the end of the tunnel the catalyst of the SNP became the only game in town. The pervading hypocrisy and inequality of the politics of unionism was on us, it was all over us, and all over the country.

“Alex Salmond is fond of saying independence is inevitable”? Yes he is. His comments are prescient. British nationalists are obsessed with the man. His recent appearance on the establishment broadcaster’s prime political debate show Question Time and his comments in the Commons chamber at Westminster last week show he has lost none of his cutting edge.

A second referendum to determine whether Scotland becomes an independent country will not be triggered by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. This decision will be made by the people of Scotland, when they are informed and confident enough to do so.

To refer to such a referendum as a “second hate-fest” is irresponsible, blinkered, ill informed nonsense, typical of the comments made by several status-preserving Scottish celebrities who felt that they had to come out prior to the independence referendum to protect the hand that feeds them.

If Mr Oliver had attended George Square on 19th September 2014, or visited several vandalised Yes campaign offices, or spoken with one or two of the higher profile Scottish Asian members of the Yes community, then perhaps he would be informed enough to determine what constitutes a “hate-fest” and in this case, which side it was generated from. An egg is just an egg no matter how much the media wants to write about it, or dress it up.

Neil Oliver’s “way of thinking” is flawed and, for once I agree with him, definitely from the school playground. He states that “you can only have one referendum on any given topic- and we’ve already had it.”If that was the case several countries throughout the world would still be colonies of long gone European empires, and Scotland itself would not have achieved devolution. For such a credentialed individual to write such lazy simplistic nonsense is surprising.

On his negative links regarding Alex Salmond’s use of the word ” Inevitable”, again using some of his own words, all progress is inevitable, change itself is inevitable. The challenge for us as individuals, and as a civilised democracy, is to recognise injustice, inequality and, in Scotland, the failure of a union which is designed to systematically strip a sovereign nation of its assets, resources, expertise, culture and distinct character. To use words that fit with his simplistic argument, it isnae fair.

I don’t know much about Neil Oliver other than that I’ve seen a few of his shows, and find the mystic, hair sweeping, dark stare into camera stuff a wee bit over the top but  in content his programmes are entertaining enough, and worth a watch. It would be handy though if he didn’t label around half the population of Scotland as being not fit to be taken seriously.

As a celebrity, in his privileged position, why would he think there is anything wrong with the United Kingdom?

Thank God though for the likes of David Hayman, that’s all I can say.