Watering The Grass

Just in case you haven’t heard, there is a Scottish Independence March in Glasgow tomorrow, Saturday 30th July. If you can make it, the event starts at the Botanic Gardens (gathering at 10am) and makes its way, accompanied by the spirited skirl of the pipes,to George Square.

The organisers are hoping for a good turn out. I think they may get their wish. What a great opportunity tomorrow is to get out there and relieve a bit of that pent-up frustration that has built up now that we know that whilst we remain under Westminster control undemocratically Scotland will continue to have the Trident Sword of Damacles hanging over it, we’ll continue to endure the political whimsy of the newly spawned Tory government, which is righter in its content than Valgoth the tree-licker’s torture squad, and we are clear that ‘Brexit means Brexit’ for all of us cereal eaters.

Why is it important to get out and support such events?

Simples. The movement for self-determination in Scotland is not party political. It is far far bigger, and widely more diverse than that, and events like Saturday’s march helps to demonstrate that this is the case.

Nicola Sturgeon will continue to do what she does, and what she does well, she’s a smart cookie, getting on with playing the game of political etiquette and negotiating around the chaos which the keystone cops of Brexutopia cursed the rest of us with. Inevitably though, unless Theresa May can somehow set the clock back and change the referendum result, the day will come when a communique will wend its way from an email address in London to one in Brussels starting the ball rolling, and when that happens the hundreds of thousands of grassroots supporters of Scottish Independence need to be refreshed, invigorated, energised and ready to take the message out door by door, landing by landing, block by block, street by street, and town by town.

Have no doubts, the British State knows it’s on a loser as things currently stand when it comes to a second referendum on Scotland’s future following their trail of demonstrable broken promises, their attempts to pockle us out of around 7 billion pounds from Scotland’s future revenues during the negotiations on the new tax raising powers (that was after they let us choose the colour of our road signs) and now their pledge to become a backward thinking, inward looking, land where they imagine they can relive Victoria’s finest years and try and revive the class system to a level similar to the 1950’s. As my gran used to say “There’s an arrogance there wae nothing to be arrogant about.”

Therefore if you thought the original Project Fear was bad you ain’t seen nothing yet. Backed in to a corner who knows what they are capable of, and we need to be ready.

So if you can, get to Glasgow tomorrow, take the kids, wheel yer granda, ask your neighbours to come. The grassroots are the key to Scotland’s future.

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The Most Dangerous Woman In Britain

If ever there was a clear example of how the news and current affairs media, as it applies in Scotland, sieves all of its political news items through a finely strained red, white and blue colander it was the reporting of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s speech in Edinburgh the other day on Brexit and the future options for Scotland’s ongoing relationship with Europe.

I watched this speech, in fact I watched it twice, and having seen the headlines associated with it since I can only conclude that I must have blacked out (twice) and missed the crucial bit where she donned a red See-You-Jimmy wig, a tartan bunnet, some tight tartan leggings, draped a St Andrews Cross over her shooders and strutted about the stage like Mick Jagger, shouting at the top of her voice “Easy Easy, it’s on triumphantly tae Indy we go, the Union is fecked by the way, Easy Easy!” Yup I definitely missed that.

According to the usual suspects, the state broadcaster et al, the speech from the capital was all about those pesky separatists making sinister threats to go all yon blue painted faced independent way again. Just about every single article I’ve come across on it has focused totally on the last few paragraphs of quite a comprehensive speech, ignoring just about all of the content other than a perceived ultimatum from the Scottish Government threatening the future of the glorious Union.

Na, it’s not important to report that the First Minister highlighted her worries for the whole of the UK, as well as Scotland, of the impact of Brexit in terms of employment, living standards, the economy, social justice and the severe potential consequences for citizens of other EU member states currently living in the UK. It really wasn’t worth mentioning she considers that David Cameron must have had play-dough between his lugs to think it was a good idea to have a referendum on leaving a market for British goods of 500 million potential customers, or that the chaps in the big shoes with the lighting up noses and squirty flowers in their lapels involved in engineering the Leave vote victory had absolutely no clue or plan of what to do should they actually succeed, before they all ran away to join monasteries or become Foreign Secretaries. Not even was it greatly worth registering the First Minister’s expressed opinions on the devastating impact that the austerity policies of the UK Government had on the extreme degree of the decision.

Notably too the reporting of the speech showed a clear lack of commentary on the worrying rise of far right influences and xenophobia, which had some impact on the result, or the very good point that was made by her that in no way could the majority of the citizens of the UK be described as being racist therefore other factors must be involved (leading on to her point about austerity and government policy). Nope, none of that is worth making much of at all. These points are not worth covering because to do so would make her look like the reasonable, caring human being that she actually is, and we can’t have that.

She must be sick to the back teeth of continually saying to audiences, and journalists, that she is exploring all possible avenues to protect Scotland’s interests, that independence is not a starting point in this process, but is an option if it works out to be the best choice to secure Scotland’s future. As expected the British nationalist media simply don’t hear this, it does not compute, and respond in their usual Union at all costs manner. Oh, and what about the guard dogs and border controls? What will be the currency, the Bawbee? Guffaw! Yawn.

However, at the moment much time is being bided, and the shoe is most definitely now on the other foot in the era of Better Together (in the EU). Such well worn Darlingesque and Smurphy phrases like “strength and security”can become our key campaign phrases this time, and as time moves on, and the impact of the disastrous Brexit decision starts to sink in, the tartan stiletto heel will begin to weigh just that bit heavier on the throat of the crumbling Union.

And when it does we will be ready.

Don’t Haud Your Breath

When I see the words ‘Think Tank’, my mind being what it is, I picture Robin McAlpine, of the Common Weal, floating about in a huge cylinder of highly charged liquid with electrodes stuck to his cranium and connected to a large display screen flashing up, to the sound of a horn and clapping every few seconds, phrases like “Here’s how we reduce poverty”….” This is how to create real jobs”….”It’s time for a co-operative bank in Scotland”………all that sort of good and practical stuff.

Not quite as dynamic perhaps, but worth a mention all the same, is the head of another Think Tank ,the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), who was quoted in one of the Sunday’s this weekend as saying the Scottish Government lacked a “genuine commitment to the UK so it’s up to Unionists to present options for Scotland’s EU future if they want to protect the UK.”

Ok then, let’s hear them………. No, didn’t think so.

This suggestion does seem implausible bearing in mind that one month after getting the Disunited Kingdom into the biggest fankle it’s been in since Tony and George Dubya went hiking in the desert, the forces of unionism at the moment still haven’t the first of the first clues about where they are going and how they are going to get there, but as far as they are concerned, we’re going with them, no two ways about it.

That being the case there is a certain inevitability about what is going to happen sooner rather than later, despite the First Minister making valiant efforts to be seen to be doing all she can to protect Scotland’s place in Europe (the new UK Government will undoubtedly work hard to stymie her efforts). We will be hitting the trail again as the grassroots juggernaut of Indy 2 yawns, stretches, flexes it’s knuckles and gets its game face back on.

As part of the preparation for this, if it’s not already happening, the leadership of the now 120,000 strong party of government in Scotland (very many of whom who are strongly committed grassroots activists) needs to be reaching out to the likes of Women for Independence, the Radical Independence Convention, the aforementioned Mr McAlpine and his people in floaty tanks, Patrick Harvie’s Scottish Greens, and several other interested and enthusiastic advocates of self-determination.

One won’t succeed without the other, and we know that the tactics deployed as part of the next surge of Project Feart in response will undoubtedly be to revert to simply substituting Nicola Sturgeon for Alex Salmond in the ‘Independence is nothing but an SNP pet project’ campaign in the media. They are doing it already, they’ve never stopped doing it, so the sooner the grassroots campaign gets re-mobilised the better.

Is it time now too, in terms of organisation, to start thinking about a head of a Working Towards Yes 2 Campaign, crowdfunded, even just temporarily for a 12 month contract? Someone to pull all of the strands together and provide a bit of direction? I’m sure if the call went out to fund such a position monies could be found to employ a suitably capable, and adaptable, individual. I suppose, at this stage, the difficulty with that would be who would propose and arrange the appointment.

Anyway, we can try waiting with baited breath for the unionists to come up with options to ensure Scotland doesn’t lose its place in Europe, or we can take steps ourselves to ensure that we don’t. I know which option I have faith in.

They Say We’re A Region

They say we’re a region, not a country,
we’re a backwater, not a ‘happening’ place.
We’re dependent, not independent,
we’re shrinking on the map, a disgrace.

Too wee, and too stupid,
that oil that we have is such a waste.
We’ll drink the vodka, let them sell the whisky,
they say we don’t need the tax money anyway.

But we’d lose our aunties, and our grannies,
the border guards wouldn’t let us cross the Tweed.
We’d have no protection from invaders,
apart from the radiation around our seas.

Oh wait a minute, not part of Europe?
Isolated, ostracised and grim.
Our votes dismissed, our views discounted,
Old Empire’s fear of immigrants a sin.

Can we do it? Will we do it?
Will they fool us a second time, put us in our place?
Yes, we can do it, Aye we’ll do it,
It’s more than once they’ve conned us, over many years.

Play it canny, with a straight back,
this time let Project Feart wither and dee.
Then Independence will be upon us,
real democracy, social justice and free.

 

 

Ally Farquhar 2016

Subjugated

“Better Together” they said. “My heart would be broken if Scotland left us” said the now redundant member of the landed gentry, Dave, as watered down snake oil ran down his cheeks onto his handwritten draft speech for the 19th September, obscuring for a moment the words “English Votes for English Laws”.

The only way Scotland was ever going to stay a member of the European Union was by voting No and remaining part of the “most extraordinary, buccaneering, brilliant country in history” said Dave again, urging voters in the south to “pick up the phone to friends and family in Scotland to urge them to vote against independence” seven months before the independence Referendum, as he launched a series of love-bombs in a northerly direction.

This week we see yet again another example of how bluff and bluster style Unionism at all costs, involving deception and propaganda, impacts Scotland in a negative manner, an example by its very blatancy and brass-neckedness that demonstrates the utter distain and contempt the British State holds for the people of Scotland.

On Monday the Westminster Government required the consent of parliament to take forward their plans to spend extortionate amounts of public money on already outdated, but next generation apparently, weapons of mass murder. Achieving this consent serves the purpose, in their minds, of proving to the world that collectively ‘Great’ Britain does not have a small appendage, is not a washed up former coloniser and exploiter of half the planet, and importantly keeps their pals in corporate arms manufacturing, and the banking sector who finance corporate arms manufacturing, happy, as well as the Good Ole Boys across the pond, who own the launch codes.

Despite 58 of 59 of the members of parliament who represent Scotland voting against renewing Trident, clearly reflecting the fact that the majority of the people of Scotland want nuclear weapons banished from our country, the Tory government, ably assisted by their acolytes on the red Neo-liberal benches, overwhelmingly won the day, effectively telling Scotland to shut up, you are a region, not a country, and we’ll continue to park weapons of mass destruction in your back yard because they are too dangerous to store anywhere else, and you are less valuable than the rest of us.

Part of the scaremongering argument they always use when they want to not spend billions of pounds on people, but do want to spend billions of pounds on potentially vaporising people, is the loss of Scottish jobs in maritime engineering and defence. The new Prime Minister was heard during the debate prior to the vote on Trident re-in forcing this old chestnut again, telling the members from Scotland that by their actions they were putting livelihoods at severe risk.

Then we discover only two days later, in a complete turnaround of Jim Hacker proportions, that perhaps them there engineering and defence jobs, that they are so mad keen on protecting when it suits their agenda, aren’t quite as important to them after all.

As yet another Better Together promise gets busted we discover that 8 new Royal Navy Frigates, commissions promised to the Clyde in 2014 as long as Scotland voted No, have due to budget cutbacks, austerity measures, Brexit, and just because they can, been temporarily shelved and are currently subject to “indefinite delay”. Funny that, how you can spend vast sums of money on one thing, potentially 200billion pounds over the course of Trident’s lifespan and have no money for anything else. A solid boot in the stones again for what remains of a once world-renowned industry that led the way in maritime engineering.

As if to just rub salt in the wounds of a country, not a region, which already had a target sight drawn around it on the maps of several former enemies, (even if they use the British media weather version which takes account of the earth’s curve and makes Scotland look smaller in proportion to the southern half of the UK, and therefore insignificant) also we learn this week that one of the current fleet of subsea conveyors of mass death has had a bit of a prang.

Yes, you couldn’t make it up. HMS Ambush, one of the newer submarines in Faslane’s fleet,was accidentally ambushed by a passing merchant vessel in a ‘glancing collision’ and had to limp into Gibraltar for repairs. Apparently the merchant vessel is still in fine trim and unharmed but the sub suffered some external damage. No member of the ship’s company was injured, which in all seriousness is good to hear, and happily there is absolutely no damage to her nuclear plant…. Oh well that’s alright then,

“Snake oil, snake oil…. Get your snake oil here! ” Better Together? Aye right.

Letter Of Last Resort

The Right Honourable Theresa May, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the rest of the tory government, all of your wee pixie pals from across the chamber in red, that other lot, what’s left of them, and the unelected freeloading, expenses hoovering, mob in ermine cloaks,
The Palace of Westminster,
Westminster, SW1A,
London (innit)

Dear yooz

Sometime soon the piss that you have been ripping out of the people of Scotland is going to stop.

You’ve had our oil and gas, you’ve destroyed just about all of our industries (apart from the limited remaining maritime sector you keep going so you can use it to threaten us every time you need to spend obscene amounts of public money to retain an image that you are a world power) you are hoovering up massive tax revenues from our whisky, you and some of your foreign pals (the ones you like) around 525 of you, make sure that you retain ownership of half the private land in Scotland, you and your red act-a-likes half-inched some of our maritime waters, you’ve pulled the rug out from under our renewable energy projects, you’ve taken us out of the biggest market for our remaining traders, you’ve made the rest of Europe think we are all a bunch of racists, you’ve ridiculed,and for the most part ignored, just about the entire membership of your elected chamber who hail from Scottish constituencies, you’ve decimated our armed forces, you’ve lied to the people of the rest of the United Kingdom about Johnny Foreigner and straight bananas, and now you have ensured that a country which does not want anything to do with weapons of mass destruction, and who overwhelmingly voted against them, will continue to have a target on it’s back and no choice in the decision to park these monstrous instruments of mass murder within shouting distance of half the population of Scotland, but miles and miles, and miles away from you.

Well, enough is enough. All bets are off. See you at the independence referendum soon.

Best wishes and watch and no’ trip on the front step on the way oot.

The people of Scotland.

The Land Of Make Believe

Joy of joys, the United Kingdom is saved. In as shrewd a states-person-like move as is ever likely to be witnessed it appears that the brand spanking new wipe away the past Prime Minister of Britain,Theresa May, has appointed Aaron Sorkin’s TV characters Sam Seaborn and Toby Zeigler to write her speeches for her. She’s gone all inclusive.

No more will young black men walking along the streets late at night be stopped and searched by the polis just because they are young black men walking along the streets late at night.

By this time next year white working class (I thought Tories didn’t believe the class system exists anymore?) boys and girls reaching the age of 18 will be eagerly filling in the entrance forms for Oxford and Cambridge by the score, presumably unencumbered by having to pay for the privilege because in their case Daddy doesn’t manage a Hedge Fund. Also previously state educated professionals will receive preferential treatment when it comes to promotion by their employers and women in work will be beneficiaries of the May Doctrine Dividend, equal pay with their male colleagues, or higher.

In addition UK citizens with mental health issues will soon be crying out for a return to the halcyon days of their previous ignored anxious solitude, scunnered by the constant knocks at the door or shakes of their shoulder, as they lie under old blankets in shop doorways, by legions of health professionals trained to provide specialist care and assistance for them.

Remarkably too, previously profitable funeral companies in post-industrial, formerly underinvested in communities will have staff sitting around twiddling their embalming fluid coated fingers waiting for the locals to reach the age of 90 (certain sections of society seem to be able to hit that age as a matter of course) before they become customers.

The future Westminster government is going to be about the people. Mrs May is going put more control in the hands of the electorate because “For an ordinary working family life is much harder than many people in Westminster realise”. No shite Sherlock! Is she seriously suggesting that this fact has just dawned on them?

No longer will the views and requirements of the one percent be a high priority. They’d better start hiding more of their money in better places then. Does she also mean that we are to lose the trickle down economy that never trickled, or even dripped occasionally? Oh look, there’s a pink elephant flying over Big Ben.

It’s all going to be amazing! What about squirrels though? What is she going to do for the squirrels?

Having just presented a damning indictment of the government that went before her curiously Mrs May plans to lead in the same spirit as her predecessor, whose true legacy she says ( and I nearly lost consciousness as a bit of sausage roll went down the wrong way when she said it) “is not about the economy, but social justice”. Eh?

I seen a statistic yesterday which suggests that when Humming Dave ( One love, one heart, let’s get together and feel alright) came to power 61.5k people in the UK relied on Food Banks. That figure now apparently is 1.1 million people. Social justice? Pull the other one.

The “Hootsman” has a classic headline on one of it’s articles this morning about the rise of the new Prime Minister. Alongside a photo of said lady and her husband waving to the press pack at the door to number 10 Downing Street are the words ” PM May vows to defend Union and fight social injustice”. That must be the best oxymoron seen around for a while, oh and good luck with that one.

Scotland please get the hell out of this circus. The Mad Hatter doesn’t have a look in.

Normal Service Resumed

Amid the turmoil of British politics, where currently Tory politicians of all persuasions are falling over themselves to make sure that Theresa May becomes Prime Minister, after David Cameron finishes his you can’t win them all chat with the old lady of London on Wednesday, and trots off to a future of continued extreme wealth, cloaks made from the skin of dead animals and funny hats whistling ” Always look on the bright side of life”, it’s almost comforting to see that the BBC are reverting to a bit of normal service being resumed.

Ruth Davidson is to make a speech, grabbing the attention of any passing journalists, denouncing attempts by the Scottish Government to take advantage of the Brexit vote to seek a second referendum into self-determination for Scotland.

Ruthie, back atop her armoured assault vehicle it seems, despite suggesting the other day that Westminster should not impede any second referendum if the people of Scotland demand one, suggests, as reported by the State broadcaster, that such a move would be “Irresponsible,” Them pesky dreaded “Nationalists” get a mention two or three times (as much as they can get away with in a short article) and the 2014 Referendum is described as being a period remarkable for its “divisiveness and toxicity. The language of unionism at all costs returns. It surely can’t be too long before the word “separatist” starts to seep back in.

Apparently calls for Scotland to seek Independence as a means of ensuring that the democratic will of the people who live there is upheld would just heap “uncertainty on uncertainty.”

Ruth then goes on to mention that in 2014 more Scots voted No to self-determination than voted to remain in the EU a couple of weeks ago. Yes Ruth but that was based on the party you represent, in their role as the Westminster government, along with their wee forty-faced pals across the chamber, making it part of their scary project of negativity that independence would bring a plague of economic woes and Scotland being banished like a fart in a convent from the European Union, unlike the remaining UK, where they considered themselves to be a paragon of contented partnership with our European cousins.

At that point in time Scots were subjected to a media and political bombardment suggesting that good old Blighty would never abandon Fritz, Manuel or Pierre the onion seller, despite being xenophobic to the point of paranoia about Johnny Foreigner, straight bananas, the European Court of Human Rights and the free movement of citizens of EU countries, although strangely not the free movement of Horace and Doris and several hundred thousand other retirees wandering from one British style breakfast to another (you can’t get the proper sausages, innit) in the south of Spain.

The BBC article does however mention that the SNP spokesperson they contacted in defending Scotland’s right to maintain it’s place in the European community made the point that ” Scotland needs the stability and security of remaining in the world’s biggest single market – for jobs, investment and prosperity.” Nice one.

“Stability and security,” now where have we heard that before?

The shoe is now firmly on the other foot, Scotland, Better Together in Europe, as an Independent member of the family of nations. Sounds good to me.

A Democratic Deficit

Scotland continues to suffer badly from a democratic deficit.

In the 2015 General Election a government of the disunited Kingdom was returned to power on the basis of the votes of just 36.9% of the electorate.

In that same election the party who currently forms the devolved limited power Scottish Government, a party which advocates self-determination for Scotland, received the votes of 50% of Scottish voters, and in terms of constituency votes almost wiped the other parties involved in the election off the map.

Is Scotland therefore currently involved in a process to achieve self-government? No, Scotland is still substantively governed from Westminster.

In the recent Brexit Referendum the voters of England voted by a clear majority 53.4% to 46.6% to leave the EU, The voters in Scotland voted decisively to remain by 62% to 38%.

Therefore will Scotland retain European Union membership once England takes steps to remove itself? No, Scotland would need to become an independent nation to achieve this, but as mentioned earlier is still, currently, substantively governed from Westminster.

Currently there is a crisis in Westminster politics where both of the major ruling parties (the way far right, the far right, the right and the middle right, apart from the leader of the opposition) are in transition, ostensibly as a consequence of Brexit.

The governing party has a leadership contest on foot which has presently been narrowed down to two candidates, both of whom have demonstrated that they have dubious views regarding social justice and equality in the past, key priorities promoted by the limited power Scottish Government.

Just 0.3% of voters, 150,000 Conservative members (the readers of the Daily Mail) will get to decide who will be the Prime Minister of a government which will take major decisions about the future of Scotland.

This government will decide whether to renew weapons of mass destruction, at staggering costs. It will decide whether to continue to store these horrific weapons within a short distance of Scotland’s most heavily populated area. It will decide how funding which maintains Scotland’s public services is calculated. It will decide how Scotland ‘s abundant natural resources are utilised, and it will decide, unless current circumstances change, to take the people of Scotland out of Europe against their will.

Comments from the much vaunted polling expert Professor John Curtice suggest that this privileged 0.3% of voters are likely to be mainly. “Over 50, disproportionately male, and overwhelmingly middle class.”

Oh well, that’s alright then!

The democratic deficit continues, and that deficit is getting bigger.

Brexit Broke

05 July 2016

The corridors of Westminster are awash with warm blood from stab wounds in the backs of high profile Tories (apparently the latest cabinet meeting should have been renamed “The Blue Wedding”) and Blairites are still desperately trying to do away with the only socialist in the village (he’d better watch out that he doesn’t skite in all of that blood and hurt himself before Chilcot makes his report).

Whilst this chaos ensues it seems only fair that Nigel Farage should feel he has to jump into the limelight once again for yet another farewell from public life speech. As if his appearance in the European Parliament last week wasn’t embarrassing enough. Go, go quickly, and don’t come back.

Dave the has-been is interviewing gamekeepers for his new estate in Scotland. That’s fine, we accept immigrants with open arms, even him if he promises to play nice, Boris is out of the way and now professes to be backing “the new Thatcher,” heaven forbid, in the 3.30 at Brexitchaos, and Gove, who has shown himself to be as reliable and trustworthy as a Robert Maxwell pension fund, is all but finished. He is still standing in the leadership race although he insists he doesn’t have the charisma for the job. He is right, he doesn’t.

Career politicians of both the main establishment parties, many of them in it only for self-gain and access to privilege, are lining up to either sook up to or condemn whichever headliner they think they can gain from or help remove to get themselves higher up the career ladder, sickening really, like a pack of hyenas snarling at each other over a carcass.

During all of this chaos, bloodletting and ego massaging the business of remaining calm, providing leadership and projecting an air of quiet gravitas amidst the maelstrom of the last ten days has fallen to the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon.

One thing is entirely clear about this whole Brexit mess, and it’s a point that should be rammed home on every possible occasion, Scotland voted to remain a European country, taking an entirely different democratic view from England. This simple fact will lead to Scotland becoming an independent state.

The First Minister is making sure that she and her government explore, and importantly, are seen to explore, all possible remedies other than an Independence Referendum to ensure that the democratic will of the people of Scotland is fulfilled. If following negotiations these avenues are closed down a second referendum in Scotland becomes inevitable, and a positive vibrant grassroots campaign this time in even higher numbers, as disgruntled remain voters join the fray, will see success.

Project Fear will batter away at all things European, which will just further alienate Scots. We’ll hear of further oil crises to come, we’ll learn about how Scotland going it alone potentially would create a great world depression, we’ll find out that every financial institution will be moving headquarters south as a result if Scotland decides to stay with Europe (oh wait….. they’ll struggle to argue that one this time), yet again we’ll be too wee, too poor, too stupid, but I’ll tell you what we won’t be, the people of Scotland have already told them this, we won’t be isolated.