A real disappointment

imageOn the subject of the recent conference in Perth of the Scottish field office of New/Old/What’s a socialist?/ I don’t know/ Me neither/I can’t remember/ Labour Party, which was totally dominated by the Mayor of London placing his foot somewhere down the back of his own tonsils, I’ve just had a chance to get a better look at Jeremy Corbyn’s leader’s speech to the less than stowed oot conference.

Having come across, several times on social media, the cringe-worthy section where he got himself intae a right fankle about who it is he’s trying to acknowledge, mistakenly cheerleading the SNP, and then nearly doing it again, much to the chagrin of the pained expression-ed, crystal clear as mud ‘Kez”, I thought I’d give it a look.

Now that I’ve done so it really has to be said, what a huge disappointment this guy is. He’s like a 21st century Michael Foot without the unkempt hair, but I suspect Michael Foot, having done a bit of research and established some knowledge of the great civic nationalism campaign which is the Scottish independence movement would not have been talking the staid formulaic union-at-all-costs bilge that Mr Corbyn decided to treat the room full of tumbleweed and the last remaining members of a once noble organisation born out of a great need for social justice and equality, sadly gone rogue under the control of neo-liberal ‘modernisers’ to.

I’m sure he is a principled guy, but backbone he does not display. Heavily criticised for following the Tories lead on Brexit like a collie dug, citing respect for democracy as a reason to let the right-wing cabal of jokers determined to fire the UK off the nearest economic cliff do whatever they want at Westminster regarding divorce from the EU, he has been rightly mocked after pulling in the whips to ensure that his troops voted with the government on Article 50 (some revolted, including the whips) and then saying, somewhat inappropriately, with a touch of confusing defiance that “ the fight begins now” in terms of opposing the Tories. Confused? Make yer mind up Jezza, your either with them or agin them. It’s too late now.

Obviously for Jeremy respecting democracy only works one way, 62% of Scottish voters voting to remain in the European Union doesn’t count, therefore the pesky nats should just shut up, and (wait for it) “there is no appetite for yet another referendum”. Whoever wrote Jezza’s speech obviously didn’t go to the trouble of updating Ed the Frightened’s ( of two wee Glesga lassies wae a wean in a pram and a camera-phone) old speeches from 2014. If Scotland wants independence we’d need to join the euro, we’d be heading for ‘turbo- charged austerity” (he’s used that one afore) we’re too wee and too poor, and we suffer from the curse of the black black oil, (yawn) .

Predictably we’ll never see granny again because we’ll never be able to get over the hard border that’ll be put up to keep the horrible Euro Scots out of Britannia. The leader of the Labour Party? Pathetic.

He had the brass-neck tae start rabbiting on about Keir Hardie and Clement Atlee too. He couldn’t lace their boots. His party is not the party of these heroes of social justice of a bygone age, or anywhere remotely near it, which explains his speech in Scotland playing to a half empty hall.

He likes to warn, about Scottish nationalism, that “you can’t eat flags” a statement which starkly and clearly demonstrates that he has not the first clue what it is that drives the independence movement in Scotland.

The only folks who unfortunately may have to chew on a bit of coloured material will be our neighbours to the south when their government of the British nationalist right-wing red, white and blue variety, turn the screw, and find themselves isolated from lucrative trading partnerships over the head of racism and paranoia about immigrants. You know Jeremy, the not so nice kind of nationalism that you have just helped to get further along the road by sanctioning the Tories plans.

No wonder Labour are dead in Scotland.

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Thank you Mayor Khan

imageHow does it feel? How do you feel about yourself, as a Scot, now that we know what we are, now that we have been categorised? Now that we are labelled?

How do you feel as a Scot born elsewhere who has chosen to live, work and nurture your children in Scotland, as many of us are, finding out this dire news about yourself, about your character?

How do you feel as an English-born Scot, again of which we are many, knowing now, deep down, what we really are?

The party conference of the Scottish branch of what once was the Labour Party would, under other circumstances, have been pretty good for comedy value (they are simply becoming farcical) if it hadn’t been for a bombshell, that dire statement, casting a huge shadow, a comparison made against all that is conflicting about the human condition, a link tenuously established to the horrors of a previous century, labelling the movement for Scottish independence with a blunt connection to the present day worrying rise of extremist right-wing nationalism in advanced western countries.

We must be naive indeed. Who would have thought that striving for as good a future as you can for your children and grandchildren was a bad thing?

Who would have thought, after examining the economic, cultural and social history, and the facts about the past and current governance of your country, that believing that our people, the people of our own small corner of the planet, whatever colour, creed, gender, orientation they are, or place of origin they came from, prior to making their home in Scotland, could do a far better job of ensuring that future than a government who doesn’t see us as a priority, but as a resource, was such a dire evil ambition?

Who knew that the frustration we feel when we consider that more than one in five children in Scotland live in poverty in a resource rich first world country is ‘negative and divisive’?

Who would have twigged that the tears we shed, when we see on the television news our fellow human beings, escaping from the burnt out rubble of what used to be their homes, floating precariously in rubber dinghy’s on wild seas, many to lose their lives, are actually crocodile tears?

Who would have ever fathomed that wishing to be hospitable and welcoming in the spirit of fellowship to those who need us, to our neighbours, and to maintain the long held esprit de corps we have established in trading and cultural relationships with our European friends, and other nations of the world, is in fact ‘narrow nationalism?’

We never knew this, all of us. We never knew that all of this time, being committed to what we feel is truly right from a moral, humanitarian, democratic and social justice perspective, was totally wrong. According to those who should know better we are the opposite of what we think we are.

Back in the actual real world (not in the one where politicians make wildly false and inaccurate allegations about the views of at least 50% of voters of a country he obviously knows very little about, or he does know about but chooses to make false allegations about anyway, which is even worse, in the hope of striking some sort of chord with what’s left of the support for his political party in Scotland) I am not going to mention the word that we are accused of being. It is despicable. It is wrong. It is grossly insulting.

Back pedal, back track, re-spin, clarify. Have Kezia Dugdale go on telly and say you never actually said what you did say, or mean what you did mean, in her usual crystal clear rabbit-caught-in-the-headlights vagueness. Have a completely off the pace Jeremy Corbyn ramble on about eating flags, getting his acronyms all wrong, and being as cringe-worthy as Neil Kinnock of yesteryear acting like he was geeing up the faithful at a civil rights gathering addressed by Martin Luther King,  have Anas Sarwar try to take the heat off you by despicably trying to make an argument about race and colour.

It’s too late, but thank you for your kind words anyway Mayor Khan. We get the message. We get what you were trying to convey, and you are wrong. We are not perfect, nobody is, but up with this we will not put.

Thank you too for ensuring, without any doubt, that more of our fellow Scots, some perhaps up until now still swithering over their choice in the as yet un-announced campaign to come, will be with us. This time the outcome will ensure that Scotland takes its place in the world as an inclusive, respectful, progressive, internationalist, thriving independent nation. We are the Bairns of Tamson, all of us.

Union at all costs Kez

Pure stowed oot it was on its first day, in a hall in Perth, for the opening exchanges of the Scottish Branch New/Old/ Not Really Sure/I like Corbyn/ No I don’t/ Bring back Clem/ We love Tony/ Labour Party.

it is clear that organisers have hugely under-estimated the popularity of this great formerly progressive movement for inertia, and there are no’ enough seats tae accommodate the massed ranks of former socialist foot soldiers desperate tae hear their only member of Westminster’s parliament from a Scottish constituency tell them that half the voters of Scotland are wrong, and that his party is the party of devolution, therefore let’s create a new contract with the entity we are devolved from, that has pumped us dry for centuries, to ensure that we can’t get devolved any further.

Joy of joys. Tune in on Saturday tae catch the most perfectly clear politician of perfect clarity, the beloved leader of this hapless band, again making it clear, crystal clear, that she is from the party of devolution, but will pledge to work tirelessly in support of the Union ‘if’, (‘when’ Kez) the second, and decisive, campaign for an independent Scotland commences.

The party she leads will never support independence says Kez. If she has a close look around about her she might notice that this is the reason that there are a lot of empty seats in most of the venues she makes her crystal clear clarity speeches in. Tumbleweed time Kezia, tumbleweed.

The redux reheated Gordy Broon bawbag without portfolio federalism Vow isnae going to fool anybody, not even the remaining poor sowels who cannae bring themselves to rip up their membership cards.

The theme of this weekend’s conference is ‘Together we’re stronger’. I would suggest it would have been better described as Together we completely lost our way.

The wonderful thing about Tiggers….

imageThe hits just keep on rolling when it comes to His Highness Viceroy Lord Mundell of Smugcoupon, Tigger, the loneliest Tory in the country.

Following on from the Conservative Central Office leak to the media the other day detailing some of what he was going to say in his evidence yesterday before a Holyrood committee on Brexit (basically that we’re all DOOMED Captain Mainwaring if we think there is even the slightest possibility, in any circumstances, that Scotland could be part of the European Union once the bunch of xenophobic right-wing millionaires and billionaires who run his party, and the UK, blunder their way out of the long established trading bloc) we hear further that he as much as told the assembled MSP’s, during questions, that the Scottish government shouldn’t hold their breath waiting for Theresa May to provide a response to the alternative proposals put forth in the paper “Scotland’s Place in Europe”. Who would have though it eh? All of us.

The suggestion by the Scottish Secretary is that Ms May, who’s awful busy making handmade stars n stripes napkin holders and giving the Queen tips on how to avoid getting drawn in to a ten minute handshake and a cuddle, is likely to hang off from making a formal response to the Scottish government until after she has triggered Article 50 setting the stopwatch in motion to herald in the self-inflicted chaos of isolating the UK from 500 million potential customers for British goods and services.

So much for her early statement as Prime Minister about not approaching the EU to commence exit negotiations without a whole of the UK approach being agreed with all parties of the Union first. Who would have thought she’d deceive us all like that? All of us.

The time of reckoning on that is coming soon Theresa, just as soon as we can figure out what we’re going to call the second and decisive campaign for self-government for Scotland. The stalling time is over.

On to the subject of news of the clear, fair, factual, well researched and unbiased variety. We’ll give it a fair crack of the whip, the benefit of the doubt, the entitlement to be considered innocent until proven guilty. Yes we will. Won’t we?

News on the news that the news will apparently soon be news from a Scottish perspective (admittedly it’ll be news during reruns on its mother channel of “The Real Marigold Hotel” and “Britain on the Fiddle” instead of news at tea time) is on the surface and taken at face value, good news. A dedicated British Broadcasting Corporation TV channel specifically for Scots running for five hours, yes, that’s right, a whole five hours, a night from 7pm until midnight, is a start, but not an enterprise likely to enlighten too many inhabitants of the land north of the Tweed about what’s going on around them. The long established tea time news on BBC 1 will still be the news watched by most, and will still lead with stories of the English NHS, banking skulduggery in the ‘City’ and fly fishing by JR Hartley.

Lord Tony Hall, the Director General of the BBC has set his cards out on the table saying that the new channel will be “ bold, creative and ambitious, with a brand-new Scotland –edited international news programme (at 9pm) at its heart”. Many a cup of tea will be spluttered at his assertion that “ we know that viewers in Scotland love BBC television, but we also know that they want us to better reflect their lives and better reflect modern Scotland. It is vital that we get this right.”

Indeed Lord Tony, it is. I can think of several hundred thousand people who will be tuning in to see whether you do. Like the Scottish government though, waiting for a formal response from London, we won’t be holding our breath.

Is that right, aye?

imageFresh from a bout of plastic surgery to reset his fizzer, he’s back on the scene to enthral us all with his Solomon-like wisdom once again.

Following the traumatic and painful reflex change of facial expression experienced during the State broadcaster’s showpiece debating programme Question Time last week, when a wee wummin in the audience recounted a story of big hairy Langholm fermers at the rugby in Paris, a story which initially generated a superior smug expression on the Secretary of State for Scotland’s coupon, as an image flashed through his mind of happy days sipping Pimms-over-ice on long summer evenings at the Scottish Borders Young Conservatives and Hairy Fermers Association, only to rapidly turn into a twisted visage of horror, like he’d swallyed a particularly radge wasp on crack, when the wee wummin went on to tell him that the big hairy fermers, who had all voted a resounding NO in 2014, had declared that henceforth It will be independence all the way for them, and the Union can get tae………… places where big hairy fermers will no longer go, he’s back.

Whilst his Lordess and Mastress is hanging about the other chamber of the Palace of Westminster like a bad smell, sitting in on the House of Lords debate on triggering Article 50, pointing at infirm Tory peers, doing the intimidating two fingered hand movement towards her eyes thing to suggest ‘ I’m watching you”, throwing chewed up scrunched and sticky pages from “Scotland’s Place in Europe” at doddering champage socialist cloak wearers, the ones in wakefulness, and trying not to awaken the rest by speaking too loudly, Lord Mundell to be is doing Theresa May’s bidding once more.

In a well leaked leak of the leaky variety of an address to Scottish politicians coming up this week at Holyrood the Fluffmeister has made it clear that we should all just call it a day on this separatist lark because as far as he sees it there is absolutely no chance, no chance at all, that Scotland, either still in his beloved Union, or as a Third World disaster of a separate tin pot one party dictatorship, will be part of the European Union. In his view things are as they were before the 2014 referendum for Indy folks. If we get what we want, an independent Scotland, we won’t be in Europe, and will have to wait years to get in if we seek to join, according to yet another “think-tank” report he’s going to hang his hat on. This after the entire Unionist mainstream media decided to semi-quote Jacqueline Minor, the European Commission’s retiring UK representative, a couple of weeks ago, to suggest that Scotland would need to join a ‘list’ of countries trying to get into the EU, but didn’t report that she also said “unlike other countries Scotland would already meet much of the criteria for membership.”

Now, as far as I’m aware, during this long range Cat and tartan-suited Praying Mantis game that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa the Appeaser have been playing now since the then newly minted UK Prime Minister made Bute House one of her first ports of call, nothing official has come out of Downing Street, or as a result of these Joint Ministerial Committee meetings that the leaders of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland roll up to on a regular basis to sit and twiddle their thumbs at for a couple of hours whilst Theresa May shows them presentations of plans for the New Tower-Bridge Trump Casino, Chicken Ranch and Immigration Detention Center Complex (I hate that spelling) to suggest that the alternative proposals worked up and put forward by the Scottish government for a differentiated approach to protect Scotland’s democratic wishes to remain as part of the European single market have officially been rejected, which, as we all know, will result in the canvassing walking shoes coming out of the cupboard.

Is that right, or have I missed something? Are we to learn, in this unofficial way, and from HIM, that yes, our opinion means nothing, the middle of a doughnut? Is this how much Scotland is really valued? Is this all we are getting?

For one thing neither him, nor his government, have any idea what is going to happen with regards to Europe. Negotiations have not started. It won’t be them who will be calling the shots on anything to do with their mad-eyed Little Englander approach to removing themselves from the European Union. The European’s want them gone now, and as the latest quote from EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker suggests, the European Union is gonnae hold them to financial commitments they have made, whether they bolt or not, so watch that space closely. For Mundell to suggest that he knows in advance what the outcome of negotiations between an independent Scotland and the European Union would be is crass headline-craving nonsense. The arrogance of these people has no bounds. The ermine cloak is surely in the post.

Scotland is going to be so much better as an Independent country.

See You Jimmy

A controversial comparison perhaps? I suppose it depends on your point of view. The case can be argued both ways.

One, the much overused image of the stereotype independence supporting Braveheart Scotsman as portrayed in the mainstream unionist media (this one is from the Economist in 2014) to marginalise and dismiss the movement for self-government in Scotland, and the other, the stark child’s toy symbol of how we used to live, in the “good old days” of Empire, when world maps came partly in red, and it didn’t matter that people of colour and many languages, with their own cultures, didn’t run their own countries, have the vote, or for the most part the respect of their peers in the mother country of the Great Emperor or Empress.

You could take the too easily offended line. Many Scots, at sporting events, like the international rugby at Murrayfield for example, like to dress up in tartan Russ Abbott comedy Scotsman bunnets and ginger wigs, painting saltires across their faces, as part of the fun of the event, a symbol of their identity. Fair enough, that’s their view-point, nothing wrong with that. If they want to indulge in a wee bit of gentle self-deprecation that’s fine. It’s their call, they are entitled, they are Scottish. They’ve earned it.

I suppose the problem lies in the eye of the beholder, and the purpose the purveyor of this type of image of Scotland has in mind when displaying it.

It’s not about the image itself. It is about how the image makes those it’s meant to represent feel, to a certain extent like the out-dated child’s toy in the comparison which symbolises many years of racial struggle for equality (and I’m not suggesting in any way that we are entitled to compare ourselves to that struggle, only to the concept of how the image marginalises those it portrays).

Westminster politicians, the elite, and those in control of mainstream unionist print and broadcast media output, based mainly far away from Scotland, and with very limited understanding of Scotland or Scots, or what September 2014 was actually about, are quite happy to categorise around 50% of the electorate of Scotland as just cultist nationalists. We’re simplistic, we’re obsessed with flags, kilts, oil, historically inaccurate Hollywood movies about ancient “Skawlin”, and most of all, and most dangerously, divisively, and falsely, they want to portray us as being tribal, not able to abide the English.

They think that as long as they can convince our good neighbours and friends to the south, and a majority of soft No voters in Scotland, that to be someone who seeks independence for Scotland you must be a blood and soil nationalist, on the margins of the political spectrum, they can keep us down. They think they can get away with portraying us as racist, which couldn’t be further from the truth, or comedy Och Aye the Noo figures, and that way they’ll keep control.

I was reading in The National that, in response to another article in the Economist predicting that independence as a gamble, portraying yet another joke Scottish Nationalist Braveheart figure, an online protest under the twitter hashtag’ #OrdinaryScots4Indy’ is trending on social media. Everyday people, Scots by birth, and by choice, who feel that independence for Scotland is best for their future, and the future of their children, are sharing their stories online, totally belying the fallacy of the unionist view of what we are about.

The independence grassroots movement over the last few years always seems to come up with great responses to nonsense put about by the media and unionist politicians, the online campaign supporting Nicola Sturgeon by wearing a colander hat and kitchen utensils social media photos in response to a New/ Old/ Who Knows Labour dinosaur, in the week of International Woman’s Day, suggesting that she was just a wee lassie wearing a tin helmet, and the hugely funny and successful creative memes around the Better Together patronising woman, a unionist campaign which backfired spectacularly by insulting women, being two other good examples of positive reinforcement of fact rather than allowing deliberately designed misconception to be promulgated unchecked.

One day we’ll look back on all of this nonsense, shake our heads and think, did this stuff actually happen, was that how it was, before Scotland took it’s natural place as a nation in charge of its own destiny?

Scotland will do so much better as an independent country.

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Glasgow Didn’t Let Us Down

I stand corrected. Question Time from Glasgow turned out to be not what I expected at all, mostly. I got it completely wrong when it came to the guy from the Institute of Economic Affairs, who was, admittedly, awfully sure of himself, and fond of the sound of his own voice. However I thought he was there to tell us how really bad an idea independence was for Scotland, but when he opened his mouth early on to let us know that there is absolutely no reason why Scotland couldn’t make a right good go of being a proud independent member of the EU I nearly cheered. Why is it though, when folk try to list important figures who represent what’s best about Scotland, and Scots who have influenced society and the world, do they seem to always include Jakey Rollin? I don’t get that one. We’ll let him off this time.

Moving on, I love the way politicians and public figures from England who experienced the 2014 referendum via the distorted looking glass of the mainstream state broadcast media and the unionist press take for granted the complete falsehood that there were “families split, toxicity on both sides, and the whole thing was very divisive.” You could see that the good Baroness, who pulled the Dimble up for a supposed slight, knew she was on a sticky wicket when Val McDermid put her straight on that score, rightly saying, having been in Scotland throughout that time, that she didn’t recognise that description of the independence referendum campaign as being at all accurate, and instead pointing the finger at the “media storm whipping up a frenzy of anger”. We all know how that ended up, on 19th September 2014 in a square in Glasgow.

When met with this convincing response I thought it was a wee bit below the belt of Ms Chakrabarti to then somehow try to loosely link behaviours in Scotland in 2014 to the Brexit Referendum, and the tragic death of Jo Cox. Not a fair comparison by any manner of means that one Baroness. A low blow, a very low blow.

I could have jumped into the telly and hugged the guy that then put the Dimble straight when he tried to say that London London London ( yes he did say it three times) was also let down in the Brexit vote as they had also voted remain, like Scotland. ( I paraphrase badly) “ Aye said the fella, with respect, Scotland is a country in a Union, London is a city, totally different dynamic ya choob.”

Does the Fluffmeister no’ get on your nerves? Man, that guy could bore for Scotland, in fact he does. He’s like a nagging broken record. He firmly sticks by this line that his government is working closely with devolved governments for the best outcomes for the whole of the UK ( Aye, for the bit of the UK that the Treasury Building is situated in). What a load of absolute nonsense, a clear and blatant falsehood, and then he goes into his usual droning “ the majority of people in Scotland don’t want a referendum (cheered loudly by the masonic tattoo brigade, and met with sidewards head movements indicating that he’s off his nut by Indy supporters in the audience). Telling John Swinney not to lecture him too. John Swinney is too nice a fella tae draw the mitt out n tug that wee ginger beard but I bet it was a close thing.

He’s desperate to protect his lords and masters at every turn. When the question was asked (him being somebody who personally voted remain but then voted with his government as the only Scottish MP to vote through the Brexit Bill) Is it not your obligation as an MP to represent the wishes of your constituents rather than the party you are a member of, the Dumble jumped in quickly to save him, going to another question. It did give me a warm and fuzzy feeling though, as I’m sure it must have for many of us who have had to listen to the endless negativity about our views on self-government for Scotland for so long, to hear the lady, just back from Paris, telling the anecdote about the big hairy border Fermers at the rugby, who in 2014 were all staunch Unionists, but now are all going to vote a resounding Yes next time.

By contrast the lady that then said that as a ‘region” of the UK we voted No in 2014 and as part of the whole county Leave in 2016 so we just have to accept that I suppose sums up much of the ‘hard’ Unionist viewpoint, whether they consciously are aware of it or not. Scotland is a region of their country, Britain. I’m afraid we’ll never convince the Proud Scot But’s otherwise. That’s their view, fair enough, there’s not enough Scots with that hard-line viewpoint to make a difference. Let’s bypass them and get on with convincing everybody else.

Following on from the jabbing of the knife into the Scottish government on education, which I think we could all have predicted was going to happen, John Swinney acknowledging that much work was still to be done, came the statement of the night for me, during a discussion about the megalomaniacs running two of the world major powers.

It came from the Scottish Tory MP, the only one in Scotland, the one who consistently votes against the other 58 Scottish MP’s (56 of them on almost all occasions) who does what his leader tells him, who believes that the country he was born in isn’t actually now a country as it was absorbed by another one 300 odd years ago, a man who doesn’t think the people of Scotland are entitled to have their views respected.

David Mundell proudly announced, in all seriousness and with much sincerity, as bold as they come ,that “ we’re lucky, we live in a thriving democracy!” I think I’ll just leave that there.

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Glasgow Does Question Time

The BBC’s flagship political debate programme Question Time is sure to be entertaining this evening as it is beamed out to the viewing masses from this week’s chosen location, Glasgow.

Like the show a while back from Dundee it is likely to be highly representative of the community of the locale. The programmes researchers will no doubt have worked tirelessly and painstakingly to ensure the right balance is achieved in the studio audience.

There will be strange serious faced jaggy suited Highlanders ranting about God and empire. There’ll be authentic locals scooped up from the mean streets with names like Tarquin, Calista, Cressida and  Toby, with their harsh guttural Home Counties accents, telling us all that they “are from the Glesgow,” and they don’t think immigrants should steal their jobs because they haven’t got one anyway as daddy sends an allowance, and didn’t they read in the Express that a refugee once ate someone’s hamster? There’ll be wee soorfaced mean looking orange-jacketed (and socks) types with bad fringes who’ll ask why is it that the Queen doesn’t get allocated more money from the Civil List seeing as Brexit will now mean she’ll be a “global” monarch. There’ll be faces in the audience that by this time tomorrow will have been identified widely on social media as serial crowd scene attenders for the Bitter Together Campaign, the Egg Man’s milk crate tour and the Gordy Broon Live in Honolulu As near to Federalism as is Federalismistically possible Comeback Show, but…………..Will there be any actual Glaswegians there?

As for the panel we’ll no doubt be treated to loads of hot air, a beetroot face and much repetition of the phrase “the majority of the people of Scotland do not want another referendum” to just about every question posed In his direction by our lovable cuddly duddly Viceroy. With a bit of luck Westminster’s man in Scotland might get flustered and let slip that his boss has lost the only copy she had left of “Scotland’s Place in Europe”, having left it in one of President Bawbag’s golf carts.

John Swinney will be subject to an onslaught of hostility and perhaps the odd boo at much of what he has to say, as you would expect from an audience in a city that convincingly voted for Independence! I’m pretty sure Val McDermid came out for Indy in 2014,so unless she’s had a change of heart she’ll get dismissed too.

It’s interesting that the local branch of the champagne socialists are not represented. New/ Old/ Who Knows Labour instead putting up Baroness Chakrabarti, the Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales. Kez is obviously too busy working on her Federalism Plan (rehash of above-mentioned Gordy Broon live in Honolulu Comeback Show).

The other participant, a chap from the Institute of Economic Affairs , a London think-tank, will be there no doubt to re-inforce at every possible opportunity, and add some credence, to the view that independence for Scotland would be economically really really really bad, and yes, it’s true, honest, Scotland is the only country in the world entirely incapable of governing itself.

Just another week on Question Time? ….. Lets’ hope for better than that.

Anti-English? Not A Chance.

imageThere are always a ready bunch of nutters out there in the mainstream and social media claiming that the movement for independence in Scotland is just a cunning ‘cover’ for anti-Englishness.

They are usually coming from the let’s make Britain “global’ again viewpoint, with chips on both shoulders and choked up with prejudices, xenophobia and red white and blue underwear. As we all know, that assertion is fallacious, outrageous and couldnae be further from the truth.

How could a yearning to live in a country which governs itself ever be construed to about anti-Englishness? Most of us have close family and friends who are English. Many of us are English by birth. Are we planning on never ever planting a kiss on the foreheads of our grannies fae Liverpool or papa’s from Newcastle ever again? Are we to never again look forward to sharing Christmas with our sister’s kids from Exeter? Will we shun our lifelong friend from the East End of London because he sounds like he drinks in the Queen Vic?

No, this is such a childish, foolish and divisive spin to put on a movement which only wants Scotland to be like the rest of the world, where it is the normal natural state of affairs for a country to govern itself. We are not better than anyone else, we don’t see ourselves as superior, but we certainly aren’t inferior either.

Anti-English we are not. However we are anti some things, anti-inequality, anti-unfairness, anti-exploitation, anti-poor health and anti-poverty. The continuing steady momentum towards the inevitable independence of Scotland is a direct consequence of long-term mismanagement, exploitation, incompetence and duplicity by a remote government controlling a resource and asset rich country it sees as a distant region to be exploited, or as they like to call it “pooling and sharing.”

Times are changing, the people of Scotland’s eyes are opening, forelock tugging to our ‘betters’ is in the past.

A research report by the Scottish Government published today highlights that the richest 1% in Scotland own more wealth than the bottom 50%. Just think about that for a minute. You live in a country which has been blessed with an abundance of natural resources, innovation in technology and science, and world renowned export food and drink industries for several decades, the envy of many other countries in the developed world.

How can that statistic be true? How can it be? Other countries who discovered that they had a vast natural resource around their coastline at the same time as Scotland now have some of the highest living standards in the world, the best health care, citizens who live consistently to a ripe old age, with excellent standards of housing and first class public services, yet in Scotland 1% of the population is better off than the lowest 50% of the population?

Here’s a few other facts (Not the alternative kind, real ones).

In 2016, in one of the top 20 richest countries in the world, 1 in 5 Scots were living in poverty of some kind. The number of Scots in severe or extreme poverty in 2016 had increased over the previous decade to around 710,000 (After housing costs). More than 1 in 5 (220,00 ) Scottish children live in severe poverty, a comparative figure significantly higher than most other European countries. 43% of people in Scotland of working age who are in severe poverty live in households where at least 1 adult is working, in low pay. Drug deaths in Scotland in 2015 were up, 706, the highest ever recorded figure. The average life expectancy of Scots in 2016 in comparison to the South East of England was 3.3 years less. Looking closer at areas where high poverty exists in Scotland statistics show that men from affluent areas are likely to live around 12.5 years longer than those from the poorest areas. The numbers of Scots who required the use of Food banks increased by 398% in the period 2012 to 2014. In 2015 the Trussell Trust recorded 133, 726 referrals for three-day emergency supplies in Scotland, around 44,000 of which involved children and in 2015-16 34,622 homeless applications were made in Scotland.

By contrast around 432 families or corporations own 50% of Scotland’s private land, which is very different to most other European countries, and as mentioned above, 1% of the richest in Scotland own more than the poorest 50% put together. Think about it.

See the next time somebody tries to tell you that you must hate English people because you want your country to govern itself put them straight, will you?

Scotland Put The Great in Britain

The writing is on the wall folks. Brace yersel’s, get a hold of something solid and hang on tight, for I fear there is a unionist love-fest coming.

All of the classic signs are there. Despite a concerted campaign by the forces of Union, both UK wide, and via their branch acolytes, to disavow independence for Scotland (a No campaign which really has never went away) the polls are starting to shift in the right direction.

This is remarkable in itself as there has been no official campaign for Yes since the original campaign dissolved in 2014 other than the continuing determined efforts of activists and the widespread grassroots movement. The Scottish Independence Convention have only just, in January, started dangling their feet in the waters of getting organised again, discussing strategies for how Yes 2 should look, yet the polling results are saying that more and more Scots are opening their eyes to self-determination.

Although we won’t see it on the triumphalist mask of Theresa May’s face, the Tories must be worried about what’s going to happen once official Yes campaigning for Indy 2 gets underway.

The papers were full of speculation, true or false, last week about Nicola Sturgeon putting civil servants on notice that an announcement on a second referendum is imminent, and the appeaser of right-wing extremists apparently ‘war gaming’ and role playing strategies with her ministers and Scottish representatives for handling negotiations with the Scottish government should we reach the stage soon, we will, where formally Scotland requests a section 30 order from Westminster to get the banners out of the wardrobe. (I’m sure many of us would have liked to have been a fly on the wall at that conference call between Theresa, Ruth Davidson and David Mundell on that subject).

May’s predecessor, and her own government, have extracted the absolute urine out of the people of Scotland, to the nth degree, using the result of the 2014 referendum as a signal to blatantly lie, be deceitful, vague, obstructive and for the most part, just plain disrespectful of the democratic decisions made by Scots. She clearly hasn’t seen a threat coming from that direction, choosing as Cameron did on the 19th September 2014 to verbally wave a digit in Scotland’s direction. We are a region to her, and we voted to stay a region.

However with the continuing delusional aspects of her government’s little Englander approach to Brexit, and her burgeoning relationship with the loathsome SCROTUS, she must surely be starting to suspect that the shite is soon to hit the fan north of the border in a big way. I would imagine any discussion she has had with Ruthie Tank Commander and the Viceroy to Edinburgh must include a warm and fuzzy strategy to make Scotland feel wanted.

Look back. This is what they always do when they feel that their grip on Scotland’s assets, resources, products and services is in danger. Remember this timeless classic, ‘I speak for millions of people across England, Wales and Northern Ireland who would be utterly heart-broken by the break-up of the United Kingdom.’ Or this one ‘It’s only became Great Britain because of the greatness of Scotland.’

Be prepared for it. There’ll be celebrities endorsing good old blighty, there’ll be public figures imploring us to stick around and see what happens after Brexit, things are going to be great, they’ll tell us. There’ll be huge shows of militaristic pomp disgracefully using the war dead of Scotland’s military past as political pawns. There will be some sort of assumed concession to Scotland to show us what nice chaps they are (they might not officially tell us that the hardcopies of Scotland’s alternative Brexit plans have been torn up and used to wipe the broad arses of the millionaire hoorays who taunt, and on one occasion, woofed like a dog, at Scotland’s representatives opposite them). By all accounts the official dissing of these proposals may be the start gun for Indy 2. May might just try and string that one along for a good bit further and see where it takes her.

But I suspect that she is going to start to love Scotland, and suddenly become very interested in its people, and issues. History tells us that this usually buys them time and gives them a few more years. It feeds those of a unionist bent, the ‘I’m a proud Scot buts’ providing them with something to point at, and for our fellow Scots who may not be politically minded, preferring to get on with the business of everyday life, and there’s nothing wrong with that, headlines on the television news have a big impact on voting preference if you are someone not particularly comfortable with change.

Heaven forbid that the saltire has to struggle to avoid going back up that bloody Downing Street flagpole again.

Will it work this time? Will it buggery.