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.

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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