Lift Your Head Up

 

Lift your head up. Look up. Look up above the tree-line.

Focus your eyes. Set your mind to work. See the distant horizon.

Further out in time. Further out, well beyond the bitterness and the coming tipping point.

See……..

 

See clean energy, harnessing wind, wave and water, the rays of the summer sun.

Communities renewed, ‘Clearance’ sites reborn, growing infrastructure.

Fair and equitable land reform. Safe and warm homes, dignified. Solid.

Available, affordable, sustainable for all.

 

See fear and worry replaced by world-class timely health care.

The focus on you, and yours, from nursery to senior citizenship.

Constitutional rights enshrined in law and public policy.

Scottish by birth, or Scottish by choice, no difference.

 

See encouragement for those who innovate.

The return to being known, throughout the world, as a place where useful things are made.

Enabled and supported by public investment and local banking policies.

Management & workers co-operatives, a focus on long-term growth and common benefit.

 

See an emphasis on education as a core building block for your children’s future.

Tertiary and technical programmes available by choice, and aptitude, for all Scots, no financial barrier to opportunity.

Enhanced by re-investment generated by overseas students, eager to study within a system of academic excellence.

Some of whom will stay, and become new Scots, contributors to a country’s success.

 

See a place where democracy isn’t just an empty word, involving people in suits far away.

A place where decisions about issues where you live are made where you live.

The dwellers of cities, toon’s and villages handed, and taking, structured responsibility for their communities.

Confidence, self-reliance and positivity considered the natural state.

Just lift your head up.

See……..

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Unreconstructed Nationalism?

I had intended putting together some appropriate words today on the fact that the self-appointed Special Envoy to Scotland with absatootley no portfolio, Gordon Brown, seems to have driven his Vow-mobile back into town to offer succour to the disaffected, solutions to big problems, and in terms of the future of Scotland, a third way.

He’s coming over all fevered and Federal again, and he reckons around 80% of Scots would agree with him. This is what happens when someone with an ego the size of the Forth Bridge,with more brass than the Pontypridd Colliery Band, but no power, and limited influence, gets put in front of a microphone.

I was giving his comments due consideration until half-way through the article I was reading he was quoted as saying new circumstances (presumably post-Brexit) require a “constitutional breakthrough that transcends the sterile stand-off between a non-change conservative unionism and an unreconstructed nationalism.”

“Unreconstructed nationalism”? If after all of these years as a scotsman, and as a politician who represented constituents from Scotland, he seriously thinks independence for Scotland is about unreconstructed nationalism he is living in a 1970’s time warp. The only unreconstructed nationalism involved in the constitutional question for Scotland has a red,white and blue flag accompanying it.

Needless to say I didn’t finish reading the article, and his words require no further comment. Mr Brown’s look at me, look at me act has become more than a bit stale.

Who Do You Trust?

The much mentioned SNP initiative to raise awareness and challenge attitudes about what independence would mean for Scotland is due to commence later this week.

It would be great to see, as part of this campaign, some effort expended to encourage Scots who previously voted No in 2014 to consider the bigger picture and look beyond the continuous negative media campaign which berates them with tales of woe and disaster.

It is crucial to the success of any second independence campaign that more Scots than before become better informed about the facts, rather than the spin, and the short-term viewpoint.

If folk do their own research, they will discover, quite quickly that more often than not the financial disasters or fiscal mismanagement which the UK establishment and their media pals accuse Scotland of have actually come about, or been constructed, as a consequence of incompetence or greed, or the result of restrictions imposed, by those who actually hold the power, the British State.

You’d think, for example, that the whole of Scotland was about to drop down a massive sink-hole following the publication of the GERS report last week. However the media weren’t too keen to add any context in their reporting that would perhaps have informed viewers or readers of news reports that for 34 of the previous 36 years Scotland has subsidised the rest of the UK.

The GERS results are a prime example of the very reason Scotland should become independent. If generations of being governed from London results in a deficit and financial mismanagement for a country with the abundance of resources which Scotland has there is something seriously wrong.

The British State use transient scare stories of temporary disaster masterfully to keep control. This is expertise acquired over many years, the same tactics having been deployed to manipulate and exploit about a quarter of the planet in times past.

At the end of the day when a second referendum comes about the people of Scotland will have to decide who they trust. Do they feel that their country, utilising the skills and knowledge of its academics, its engineers, its innovators, its people, those who have a commitment to a nation they love, whether the were born there, or whether as new Scots they have come from elsewhere to seek a better life, and to contribute, is best served making decisions about its own future?

We keep hearing that to win a campaign we must always concentrate on the positives, and I understand the reasons why this is the case, but there surely must be room for us to also heighten awareness of the reality of the ‘partnership’ Scotland is supposed to be in too.

Would you trust a remote ‘partner’ who in the last two years has completely ignored the will of the people of Scotland, when 58 of its 59 MP’s voted to stop the renewal of nuclear weapons in Scotland’s water?

Would you trust a ‘partner’ who, during financial negotiations over the limited tax powers it deems to devolve to the Scottish Government, attempted to pockle Scotland out of potentially 7 billion pounds, essential revenue to pay for public services?

Would you trust a ‘partner’ who will, and won’t think twice about it, take the whole of the UK out of the European Community despite the people of Scotland voting overwhelmingly to remain?

Going back further would you really trust a ‘partner’ who freely admits that they hid a significant report that they commissioned in the 1970’s about Scotland’s potential from its people for 30 years, in case Scots found out that their natural resources would make them “as rich as Switzerland” should they decide to become independent, a ‘partner’ fearful that the people of Scotland would learn that “the Scottish pound would be the hardest currency in Europe”?

Or would you trust a ‘partner’ who in the hours leading up to the Scottish Parliament historically being re-convened, changed the maritime boundaries of Scotland so that they gained control over larger areas of Scotland’s waters to exploit for resources?

None of this is fiction or conspiracy, it all happened. No matter what you read in the unionist press Scotland is not the disaster they make it out to be. They’ve had their massive slice of cake, and exploited it to the extreme for a long time. They’ve kicked the arse out of it.

There is so much for Scotland to be positive about in the future. Think of the huge advances an independent Scotland could make in healthcare, housing, standards of living, education, employment, child and aged care, renewable energy. The only limits to this are still in the minds of some of the people of a country who have been told for many years that they are “too wee, too poor and too stupid” to ever govern themselves. That mindset needs to change.

It is time for Scotland to flourish.

Scotland Is A Basket Case?

Scotland, what a basket-case you are. An economic disaster, vulnerable, naive, incapable of looking after yourself. You couldn’t possibly exist without the warm beneficence of the United Kingdom, which subsidises your comfortable existence.

Surely that must be right, because GERS says so, the unionist media says so, the Scottish news says so. It must be right.

In reality the United Kingdom could not exist without you. Despite what you are told, and the fluctuations in oil prices, which funnily enough go up as well as down, they need your oil, because of it you have subsidised them for 34 of the last 36 years. They need it badly.

They need your whisky, exports of which generates an enormous amount of tax revenue for the U.K’s benefit, not yours. They need your waters to park the nuclear missiles they spend a fortune of your tax money renting from America in, far away from them in case of an accident. They need your fishing industry, more so soon after Brexit. They need your land,to maintain centuries old feudal spoils, and if you are not careful they’ll also have what’s under it, and, they really need you to stay with them so that they can keep a seat with the big boys on the UN Security Council.

Yup, Scotland, you running your own country would be a disaster, for them.

Democratia

There is going to be a lot of hot air flying around over the next few days as pundits, politicians, activists and social media followers get torn in about each other over the variations, implications and ramifications of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s pre-emptive pronouncements yesterday on the impact that Brexit will have on the Scottish economy, the possibilities of legislation being just about ready to take forward on a second independence referendum, awaiting the ‘ Article 50 ‘ button being pushed, and the figures from the GERS financial statement, which are just about to be spun, again, to try and prove beyond any possible doubt, again, that Scotland is less able to look after itself than the Independent Principality of Craggy Island. Ah, that pesky oil price again.

GERS, designed by unionist politicians as a means to perpetuate an argument to keep the union together, will once again be used to try and serve that purpose for tea-time watchers of the mainstream Scottish news services, and glancing readers of unionist newspaper headlines on their way to work. Hopefully though for not too much longer.

Pushing all of that politicking and scrabbling about on detail out of the way, and looking at the whole picture, there is still a very simple and compelling argument to be made for Independence for Scotland. This is an argument based on a principle which is supposed to be the foundation block on which the mature society of the current United Kingdom has been built, democracy.

In September 2014 45% of the voters who cast a vote in the Scottish Independence Referendum voted in favour of Scotland becoming a self-governing country. For several and varied reasons, and to be respected as such, 55% of the voters who cast a vote in the same referendum voted to remain as part of the United Kingdom.

Some of this second group of voters, and there are varying opinions on this, as there is with most issues around this subject, were influenced in their decision-making by promises made by unionist politicians that if they voted no Scotland would be given additional powers anyway and would become “ As near to a Federal State as possible” , or by the benevolence of Westminster be granted access to something called “Devo-Max” ,which is nothing to do with the 80’s American punk group, but is everything to do with Scotland being handed the devolved power to govern itself, apart from Westminster retaining control over defence and foreign affairs.

Also, in the run up to the 2014 Independence Referendum, as part of the massive campaign to discredit self-government for Scots, all sorts of wild and spurious suggestions were made, almost of biblical proportions, invoking swarms of locusts, about the fate of Scotland should it decide to vote Yes. There would be major businesses crashing and burning, or heading for London, pensioners being tossed out of the post office as the pensions ran out, pandas being removed from Edinburgh Zoo to safety over the border, one cracker about a possible ‘Great Depression’ of 1930’s proportions re-occurring, and that ‘cursed’ oil running dry by Christmas.

All that aside though one of the main assertions consistently made by all of the unionist parties involved was that if Scotland voted Yes it would be banished from the economic and cultural benefits it receives from being a member of the European Community. The people of Scotland were promised that the only way to ensure that Scotland remained in the EU was to vote No. Again, there are various opinions around regarding to what extent Scots were influenced in their decision-making by this powerful commitment by unionist politicians.

Once the referendum result was known however all of these promises strangely seemed to evaporate, as some thought they might, and somehow got caught up in a political tangle, almost immediately, in fact the next day, surrounding a new political idea from Westminster “English Votes For English Laws”. Scotland could be ignored again, and the promises made could easily be reneged upon , or lost, and were, in the maze that was created around the hastily arranged half-soaked “Smith Commission” looking into new powers for Scotland. Whoopee, the government of Scotland can now pick which colours it wishes it’s road signs to be.

Here’s the thing that sometimes seems to be forgotten. In May 2015, there was a General Election in the UK. In Scotland the people of 56 constituencies out of 59 voted to elect a representative from a political party who only field candidates in Scotland, a party whose prime and fundamental purpose is to facilitate independence for Scotland. Whether this was as a result of increased popularity for that party, disillusionment with traditional unionist politics, or awareness building amongst significant numbers of Scots who had voted No that they, in a sense, may have been duped by empty promises, or a combination of all three, it’s hard to quantify, but it’s fact.

Setting aside all the hot air, bluff and posturing we are still experiencing to this day this unprecedented  electoral event was a ‘ material change’ to the terms of the binding referendum result right there, a mandate for change then, a mandate which is still there now. The people of Scotland democratically voted overwhelmingly to go a different way.

To further cement this ‘material change’ In June 2016, in contrast to the voters of England and Wales, 62% of voters in Scotland voted to remain in the European Union, to protect the economic and cultural benefits Scotland receives as a member of this community, a community Scots were told in 2014 they could only remain in if they voted to stay with the United Kingdom.

If moves are formally made to remove Scotland from the EU, against its democratic will, the limited powers government of Scotland must once again ask its citizens a question about the future governance of their country. It is clear that Scotland is not in a democracy, or is a partner in any great sense in any union. It is subject to the will of another state, unless, that is, you consider, as a citizen of Scotland that you live in a region rather than a country.

 

The Hunt For Greggs Is Over

The sight of Sean Connery in a Russian naval uniform, looking stern and commanding in the dim light of a submarine, “shaling into shishtory” whilst wearing a silver rug that wouldn’t look out of place on the napper of one Donald John Trumpet, is eminently more believable than the ‘reds under the bed’ story doing the rounds in the media, most recently covered by the Hootsmon, about the Russian news agency ‘Sputnik’ opening up an office in Edinburgh.

It is indeed a slow news week, but, never fear, this will undoubtedly change on Wednesday when we get skelped around the head from several directions with some scary stats and figures from the GERS report-card.

However, we’ll humour them. Apparently, say our unionist media writers, and a wheeled in on a skateboard ex-high-heid-yin of the military variety, plugging a work of fiction he’s quilled about the right scary possibilities of legions of stern faced,high cheek boned, grey uniformed vladimirs,waving massive red banners, marching down Princes Street, on their way to Greggs, this is the thin end of the wedge.

According to various trusty protectors of Britannic values these pesky Russians are here to distort facts and present biased viewpoints. According to one report, the news agency’s UK Director was quoted as saying ” In my three years at Sputnik no one ever called me from Moscow telling me what to say”…Eureka! Where have we heard that one before?

I’m pretty sure those of us who are committed to self-determination for Scotland are already fairly familiar with distortion of facts and bias in news reporting, that is, unless you’ve been living in a cave for several years, so I can’t see a Russian news agency moving into Edinburgh being too much of a problem. On a positive note it seems they’ve given a few Scottish journalists a job.

Anyway, watch out for the unionist media, and their trolling division, shortly telling us all on a regular basis that we only believe in independence for Scotland because the Russian state media are manipulating us, in a dastardly plot to break up the great and wondrous all-embracing Union.

Oh, by the way, I believe I may have read somewhere that the BBC has had a Moscow bureau in place since 1963.

Pusillanimity

Please, please, can a celestial being of some sort save us from the rantings of the increasingly bewildering, and just plain nasty, Scottish Daily Depress, or as it perhaps should be re-named, the Daily ‘Furious’?

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, according to their weekend headline,has been branded  a “coward”, a powerful accusation indeed.

The First Minister has attracted this significant ire as a result of an alleged hideous plot she has hatched to hide the forthcoming earth-shattering GERS financial report-card (which will undoubtedly prove beyond any shadow of a doubt,for once and for all, that Scotland is indeed the only country in the world entirely incapable of governing itself) so that it gets reported during the summer recess of the Scottish Parliament.

This heinous act, according to the protector of the Union, will save her from close scrutiny, public accountability and a huge verbal ‘doing’ from opposition leaders in parliament. Yup, I’m sure the prospect of that last one will really have her worried.

This whilst the leader of the main British unionist party’s local branch office, who, whilst campaigning in the run-up to various elections or referenda doesn’t like to visually advertise the party she represents because it puts off voters in Scotland, seems to have changed her tune on the Brexit result.

We’ve gone from  a concerned ” Scotland must be part of Brexit talks and cannot be a bolt-on” in July, to yesterday, it’s now all about “17 million people can’t be ignored” and “everyone must work to make the best of the opportunity (Brexit)”.

Now that the dust has settled a wee bit, the Tories have finished with their night of the long knives, and career paths are visible again it would appear, surprise surprise, that she has no interest in the fact that 62% of the voters of her country, the country where it is theoretically possible that she could be First Minister, voted to remain in the EU.

At the other mob’s branch office, their titular head is planning on a period of hiding under the bed this week, having sauntered back from a leisurely sojourn in the USA, where she was learning how to be a leader, lest she come across her boss, Jeremy Corbyn, whilst he’s up on a visit to Scotland during his party’s leadership hustings.

It would surely be an absolute disaster for her future career prospects to be photographed with such a notorious character. Heaven forbid they should meet. If he was to shake hands with her he may pass on a horrible contagion, actual Labour values.

… And Nicola Sturgeon is a “coward” ? Aye, right.

Odium

As reasonable people, as human beings, where do you even begin to start to rationalise when you read, after an article about the First Minister of Scotland on a Scottish newspaper’s website, hate-filled comments from one of their plethora of lovely anonymous readers saying of Nicola Sturgeon that “incapable of raising offspring herself, she now seeks the empowerment to interfere in the upbringing of everyone else’s children”?

How do you formulate a response to comments on the same news website, this time after an article about the First Minister’s mother, describing Mrs Sturgeon as having ‘ A face like Jackie Baillies dog”?

How are you supposed to react to comments on that news site, earlier this year, following an article about Humza Yousaf and the future of the monarchy, stating “This guy is a hardcore Islamist. Scots pride themselves being against fascism and racism , but this guy has slipped under the radar.” or “How long will it be before leading members of the SNP such as Humza Yousaf and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh advocate the replacement of Scots law by Sharia law”? These last two examples are mild by the way in comparison to some of the disgusting racist hatred that these two Scottish politicians have to put up with. Most are unrepeatable.

Politicians are up there to be questioned about their policies, it goes with the territory, sure, but slaughtering them about their colour, race, religion, sexual orientation, biology or perceived looks? Na.

How too do we handle continually being referred to as “anti-English”,whether repeatedly in the media or by individuals planted in audiences with the aim of trying to prove the SNP must ‘hate’ somebody, particularly when for many of us our spouses, families and best friends are English, or perhaps we are English born ourselves?

They just don’t get it, do they?

There are a multitude of such examples of this hateful divisive bilge around, all easily viewable on the news pages of the unionist media’s usual suspects. The fact that they are there, and are added to every day can surely only suggest that the moderators of such sites consider these types of comments reasonable in their content.

Meanwhile unionist celebrities and reporters toddle off on a regular basis in the huff from social media, usually with huge media coverage, and very little evidence, crying foul, citing raging bullying ”Cybernats.’

Does that seem fair or rational? Certainly not.

Yes, most definitely there are idiots who do the cause of independence in Scotland no good, and are manna from heaven for the opposition, giving them something to point at. How do we minimise the negative impact of this fringe minority? Answers on a postcard please, but, seriously if there is real evidence that sinister individuals are making threats to celebrities and news reporters who vocally support unionism the police should be called in pronto. However, many times in the past such purported evidence is scant.

I’m stating the bloody obvious when I say this but the media’s red, white and blue blinkers never ever come off when it comes to anyone putting forward alternative views to the established unionism of Scotland or the rest of the current UK.

British nationalism is so ingrained that it isn’t recognised as a characteristic of the United Kingdom’s culture by it’s media, unless, on occasion, it is too extreme to ignore.

An Aspiration

A beautifully clear vision, recorded from space by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, of a distinctive dramatic rugged land, in all of its splendour, gleaming in uncommon cloudless skies, in a cold northern sea.

With its breathtaking scenery, its history, the stuff of legends, its distinctive and age-old education and legal systems, its tendency to produce natives minded towards invention and a questioning curiosity, those who discover nature’s miracles, or generate innovation which has markedly changed the world.

With its profusion of natural resources. With its potential to create energy in abundance to support itself with the assistance of the power of its harsh weather and the turns of the tide. With its greatest resource, its people, warm and hospitable to strangers, pragmatic, with a burning sense of fairness, justice and equality, ingrained through their experiences, and knowledge of the toil and experiences of their forebears. All of us Bairns of Tamson.

With its determination, by majority, to remain a part of a common community, to trade and to move without impediment, to share cultures. With the trust and responsibility to execute their sovereign will handed by its citizens to its democratically selected representatives, those who serve in a distant remote seat of government, it demands only one outcome.

To be treated without bias or favour, or considered as lesser than others, but to be seen as an equal partner, a mature self-governing country, welcome in the community of world nations, and a friend to all who value human rights.

‘Trust The BBC To Do What’s Best’

it is very clear to see that pretty soon former First Minister Alex Salmond is going to have to either stop looking at the mainstream media altogether or visit his GP for a serious discussion about his blood pressure. The poor guy is stuck in a fit of apoplexy, and no wonder. That guardian of the truth, and key reinforcing institution of the British State, the BBC, would try the patience of anyone who has a memory span longer than Bob the Goldfish.

They deserve an award for dredging up, and misreporting (again), the RBS scare story of doom. A tale of long lines of removal vans filled with safe-loads of cash, piles of IOU’s, calculators, marble countertops, and bank-clerk, financial services and IT jobs, heading south at the first hint of the word referendum. All of which, (again) is a complete load of fallacious nonsense designed simply to remind us non-politically minded masses of how baaaaad Independence would be for Scotland.

For those that are their contented audience, just you keep looking at pictures of Kate’s new dress, the Red Arrows scraping union flags out of contrails across the skies, Nicholas Witchell’s sycophancy, the great British dance-on-ice-whilst-cooking-nouvelle-cuisine final, and carry on cheering that nice chap Murray that’s been adopted (because he’s a winner) as English, according to the Mail.

That is absolutely no criticism at all of Andy Murray, a fine lad, or for that matter is it any criticism of the overwhelming majority of the people of England either, who to some extent have to put up with the same media pap and nonsense that the people of Scotland do. The only difference in their case is that when Scotland is mentioned in their news media what they hear is nothing but blatantly false propaganda that is divisive and suggests we’re all nasty hard-line separatists who don’t like them.

Thankfully at least in Scotland we have some means, we could be doing with more, to try and address this reporting imbalance, new media and ‘The National’ being the most prominent examples.

Going back to Andy Murray he deserves great credit for the public stand he took in 2014 in support of Independence for Scotland. A stance for which he has been pilloried by British nationalists, whom I note, reading comments leading up to the Olympic final, still bear him ill will, all because he expressed the opinion that his country should govern itself.

Indeed in the hours leading up to the referendum reading Murray’s tweet, him a then we’ll established favourite of British society, I actually thought we were going to do it. My thinking was that if someone like him was saying publicly that independence is a good thing we may have gotten over the line.

In other BBC news, but still on Murray, the State broadcaster’s commentary team referring to a bunch of guys in “C U Jimmy’ wigs in the crowd during the tennis Olympic Final as English, was just another in a long line of such faux pas, so what. On the other hand if you go out wearing one of those comedy Scotchman tartan tammies and ginger wigs you should take what you get. That kind of ‘Russ Abbott Show’ Scottish kitsch is to a lesser extent (obviously) heading along the road of being as cringeworthy as another long running BBC Saturday night entertainment series of a bygone era ‘The Black and White Minstrel Show.’

It’s almost an intrinsic part of being a modern day Scot that at some point, or at many points, you’ve had to correct someone who refers to you as being English, or from England, and when you do they usually just look at you as if to say ” Is it not the same thing? You are just being trivial”, and dismiss your view. This generally makes most Scots feel a wee bit awkward, either resulting in you questioning your own view  or ignoring and letting go similar references when they are made in future.

Deeply embedded long-term cultural suppression takes many forms, both consciously and unconsciously, reinforced and maintained by the likes of Scots’ born John Reith’s public service broadcasting creation.

It was once said,during the 1926 General Strike, by the then Home Secretary, that he had been authorised by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin to say, in reference to how the strike was being reported, that the government ‘Trust the BBC to do what’s best’.

For whom? It certainly isn’t doing what’s best for Scotland.