Resistance and resolve

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From the day and hour that the Brexit result became known publicly the strategy of the British State’s political organ, Westminster’s government, in its dealing with the devolved limited powers government’s of England’s partner nations in the U.K (apart from Northern Ireland perhaps who it has had to treat with more respect through necessity) has been clear.

The will of the state must be imposed. Without compromise, without co-operative consensus, without conscience, those charged with putting this in place have uniformly acted with contempt and arrogance in their dismissiveness of dissent.

Those of us of an independence mind for Scotland who have followed events since that day in June 2016 have shaken our heads, furrowed our brows, occasionally manically laughed at the absurdities unfolding in front of us, and hoped that somehow either the whole Brexit farce will collapse in on itself or that sane minds will prevail in the end.

We’ve seen several meetings attended by the leaders of the UK nations, and negotiating teams on their behalf, in various cities, all with virtually the same outcome, deadlock.

We’ve heard things that worry us, for instance, early on from the First Minister of Scotland that farcically during a meeting with the British Prime Minister on Brexit she was astonished to see the leader of the British government reading out loud from a prepared statement, an act which resulted in the Scottish Government leader stating that she didn’t understand afterwards what the Prime Minister’s position actually was, and she reckoned the Prime Minister didn’t know either.

We’ve seen Scotland’s government plead their case for special consideration, with an ever increasing ageing population, regarding the treatment of our vital workers from EU countries. This was rubber-lugged.

We’ve seen sensible documents put forward from recognised experts in their field, from Scotland, strategies and recommendations which would dull the economic hammer blow and buffer a number of sectors from the financial vandalism of leaving the world’s largest tariff free trading bloc.

We’ve seen the Scottish government request several times to be included in negotiations with EU commissioners to discuss the elements of Brexit which might be unique specifically to Scotland.

All of this, and much more, has resulted in refusals of requests, or, with no repercussion likely,have been simply ignored. The will of the British state is paramount.

Even as recently as the last week the Cabinet of the British Government met at the Prime Minister’s grace and favour country residence to discuss Britain’s preferred outcomes of negotiations with Europe and strategies to get there. No member of any of the devolved governments of the other nations which make up the UK were invited, in fact even their own government minister assigned to represent Westminster in Scotland was not invited to attend.

The British State does not concede in its dealings with the countries it rules under the now paper-thin guise of an ‘enduring partnership’, ‘a Union’. In this relationship they take maximum advantage and everybody else does the enduring.

David Lidlington, the latest representative of the glorious overseers of our natural resources, assets and wealth sent to put us in our place, is greatly concerned about Scotland’s unruly dissent, and mistrust of London’s plans. He wants to protect the ‘common market’ of the UK from disruption. So we should stop disrupting immediately and fall into line behind the brass band.

An interesting term that ‘ Common Market’ in this context, a term which I’ve only ever heard as referring to the trading bloc we are about to leave.

Surely too, in the minds of those aligned to British nationalism, there is no such thing as a UK common market. In their minds we are all really just one nation,their nation, Greater Britain and its provinces.

No, I think what Mr Lidlington really means when he mentions protecting UK common markets is that he, and his government, do not want Scotland under any circumstances to maintain control of all of the powers delivered during the devolution settlement just in case we negotiate better trading arrangements with our neighbours, for Scotland, We wouldn’t want the people of Scotland to be in a better bargaining position than our much endured partner in Union now would we. That wouldnae be fair.

They massively miscalculated the effect devolution would have on Scotland, the ruling New Labourites at the time hoping it’s introduction would kill off any possibility of Scottish independence. Otherwise it would never have happened. What powers that were not specifically reserved to London are devolved, and that is how they will remain unless the will of the people of Scotland says otherwise.

Like all bullies the British State do not compromise with those that it feels are weaker than itself. However their little empire is shrinking day by day,year on year.

In terms of resistance to compromise they are about to find out that on this occasion the Scots can be resistant too.

One more step towards the return of a sovereign independent Scotland. It can’t come quick enough.

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He’s having visions now

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As recent polls consistently confirm, we are thankfully now able to put behind us the fleeting electoral rise of the Scottish cell of the Conservative and Unionist Party, styled as some sort of re-emerged tweed jacket 1950’s version of themselves.

Their nanosecond of fame was cut short as a result of voters concluding that no, they don’t have actual backbones which allow them to stand up for the people they represent, and yes, they are a bunch of numpties, hardline right-wing Brexit flunkeys, and cheerleaders for their London masters, anxious to get on that gravy train to self service.

Their local leader? Full of bombast, bluster and wide as the Clyde, she publicly tells anyone who will listen, and the next day’s headline writers, that see me, see me, I am ready to form a Scottish Government, when in reality, as her self-promotion campaign demonstrates, she sees herself in a much bigger pond. Herself and several others around the edges of the Brexit farce lurk like vultures waiting to move in on the carcasses when the dust eventually settles on the coming disaster.

Who knows, perhaps quiet deals have already been done, a cosy seat in the shires identified, a cabinet spot promised in exchange for support, at the right time, in the time honoured tradition of patronage.

Now recovering from being left outside in a draught beside the gun dogs and the brolly stand in the hallway at Chequers, whilst the adults talked inside the room, the hapless individual who laughably was once described by his strong and stable and clear leader in parliament (I paraphrase) as ”having done more for the people of Scotland than all of the SNP members put together” continues to serve his country, Greater England, with distinction.

We’re not far off the Tory Scottish spring conference (two ex-BT telephone boxes knocked together and the doors removed should see them comfily accommodated, mind you there may not be room for the tartan rugs and union flagged hats) .

The Fluffmeister himself, Lord Ermine of Nae-Use to be, the Viceroy of all Scotland, has caught the headlines once again.

This time he’s had a wee go at the Mystic Meg routine with added subtle highlights of blind ancient roman street beggars hurling warnings like cauld sausage rolls at passing senators and gentry.

“Beware the ideas of Sturgeon, Beware!”

“She’s up to her old tricks” reckons pearly king Davie, writing in the handbook that accompanies the conference event in a section right above the handy hint for senior age Tory delegates to keep warm during what may be a typical Scottish spring, put someone else’s fire on.

Mundell reckons we’ll be off and running in the Indy Ref 2 sweepstake, going good to soft, any month now.

Does he really think that or does he think he can frighten a few of the runners and riders again, as his colleagues and, despicably, their unionist pals in infamy across the floor did together as partners at the last General Election, by saying so?

He’s ready though. He’ll fight with all his might. He’s determined to save the people of Scotland from us horrible weirdos who prefer our government to be made up of people whose first priority is us, and whom we’ve actually democratically chosen.

What a guy. He never fails to find ways to drop further in the estimations of many of the inhabitants of the land of his birth.

Can we swap him for a hundred vital workers from the EU on the understanding that he stays south of Carlisle from now on please? Aw go on?

Independence cannot come quick enough to shake free from those that hold us down.

Lifting the lid on the Union

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Well nobody can say we never saw it coming, surely.

The mountain-range of faecal deposits associated with everything to do with Brexit is getting ever so much closer to hitting the big whirly thing.

The good ship Brexitannia edges forward in ever increasingly choppy seas towards the perfect storm. It’s crew, It’s supporters, buoyant and tempted further out into the wall of waves by right-wing harpies lullabying them with strange high pitched renditions of ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ and ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the noonday sun’, their vessel soon, inevitably, to capsize in the whirlpool of complete economic suicide.

Disaster beckons, chaos, disorder, dissension in government ranks, an internal putsch surely not far away, and guess whose fault it is….?

Yes, you’ve got it. Of course, it’s the Scottish government’s fault, as it inevitably is always going to be.

David Lidlington, the next cab off the trusted rank of Theresa May right-hand-men (too early?) maybe he is left handed, is portending doom all over the place if us evil separatist unpatriotic nationalists are no’ roped in pretty pronto. We are apparently going to spoil their glorious brave new future.

How dare we do this. How dare we look to retain control of powers returned to those that represent us as part of the original devolution settlement.

How dare we express dissatisfaction that our larger neighbours, who govern us, meet to discuss our economic future without inviting those who we have democratically chosen to speak for us, or even their own hapless propaganda-spreading representative in Scotland, whose clownish babble represents their usual means of proclaiming sham consultation or mock consideration of the views of the people of Scotland. How dare we.

Lidlington, ably assisted by the media, over the weekend suggested that negotiations with the EU are suffering because we aren’t showing a united front, (nothing to do with the government he is a member of being the biggest bunch of zoomers assembled in the one place at the one time since the orange pub scene in Trainspotting 2), the economy will become ‘disjointed’ Theresa’s stable able assistant tells us, and any favourable future trade deals, (with whom he didn’t specify, Moldova perhaps) will be in jeopardy because we are not conforming to the Great British bulldog spirit

He is further set today to make a speech about the Scottish thorn in the brexiteering side and ‘our demands’. I don’t think him or his government have noticed that we are not actually making demands. We just want to keep what we already have. I think we’ve shared, and are sharing, enough, don’t you?

The emotional blackmail of the black-bagged spouse, caught by a late night phone call from an unfamiliar voice, comes to mind from this well worn path of accusation and pleading.

The returned powers in dispute between our own limited government and those who rule us are to be described as vital to the very existence of the Union.

Apparently we are at a crossroads in our history, “leaving the EU presents many challenges for our centuries-old Union story.”

I detest the way those of a British nationalist bent always associate the Union’s longevity with being somehow a major positive factor in its retention. A wife, and mother, might spend fifteen years married to a guy that smacks her around every time he gets too much alcohol on a Saturday night but it doesn’t stop her deciding of her own free will to leave the bastard behind.

A coercive, abusive relationship, where one party takes absolute advantage of the other does not merit its longevity celebrated. The Union only still exists because we haven’t decided, as a nation, to end it yet.

The sooner Scotland escapes from this manipulative unhealthy relationship and returns to its rightful state as an independent sovereign nation the better. There can be no doubt of that.

Is that clear?

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The Secretary of State Against Scotland has surfaced at last. After much ducking and diving behind office furniture packing boxes, and hiding in Business Class with the curtain shut in highly important visits to potential markets for smoked haddies, macaroon bars and white pudding he’s finally been fully exposed to the light of day once more, and our loveable propaganda press have caught up with him……….

(Tame British state TV news journalist…)

“Secretary of State, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today, here on the highest cliff top of a remote mountain in the middle of the Amazon jungle only accessible by a torturous and dangerous climb up a sheer cliff face after wading shoulder-deep in a raging torrent of a river occupied by piranhas, three eyed crocodiles and infested by tiny wee bacteria that give you wildly explosive diarrhoea. You’ve obviously been doing some great work out here promoting Scottish goods and services, and Scotland itself as a place to visit and study.”

(Viceroy David Mundell, with a smug expression….)

“Thank you tame British State TV news journalist. Yes, I’m always working hard, working hard for the Scottish people.”

(Tame British state TV news journalist…)

” So, let me ask you this. You are on the record as saying that during your government’s comprehensive and thorough preparations for Brexit there has been no specific analysis carried out of the likely economic impact of the UK’s break away from the European Union on Scotland. Yet in the few weeks it has become clear that is in fact incorrect.

Do you regret that, and are you prepared to apologise to the people of Scotland?”

(Viceroy David Mundell, becoming flushed…)

” Let me say this first. The Prime Minister is very clear in a very clear way about the clarity of the relationship she sees us having with the EU in the future. She has made that very clear. I have always answered any specific questions on this with factual facts. There have been leeks, in fact there have been many leeks, sometimes there have been carrots too. Some of these have been wildly different in accuracy from the clear robust plan for the outcome of Brexit of the Prime Minister. I am confident in her vision. Bear in mind too that none of these leeks bear even the remotest comparison or resemblance to the highly structured strategy put forward by our clear and assertive Prime Minister, whom, I reiterate, I fully support in this.

(Tame British state TV news journalist…)

” But Secretary of State, I ask you once again, are you prepared to apologise to the people of Scotland?”

(Viceroy David Mundell, looking like he is about to follow through…)

“I am entirely convinced that the documents you have alluded to weren’t actually documents at all. Everybody knows that there have been many documents that are not documents, and this is one of them. I have been clear, and the Prime Minister has been clear about this.

I never said there wouldn’t be challenges with Brexit. In fact you are challenging me right now but I prefer to concentrate on opportunities. That’s what the people of Scotland want me to do. After all, it is them I serve.”

(Tame British TV news journalist, starting to think about his own professional credibility…)

” But Mr Mundell, are you prepared to accept that Brexit will seriously damage the economy of Scotland?”

(Viceroy David Mundell, now uncomfortably unsure about the current status of his tartan trews…)

“Look, my focus is on the opportunities that will come out of this process. There are many sectors which will find their circumstances are significantly different once we leave the EU. Fishing, for example, will find itself in significantly different circumstances once our enduring UK has parted from the Common Fisheries Policy. ”

(Tame British state TV news journalist, now not so tame…)

” But isn’t that just stating the blooming obvious Secretary of State? That’s like a football commentator saying if the ball crosses the line between the posts and under the crossbar it’s a goal.

Of course fishing will find itself in significantly different circumstances by the very fact that the UK will have left the EU, surely?”

(Viceroy David Mundell, gazing from side to side, anywhere but at the journalist…)

“Ah, you are misrepresenting me now. What I am saying is that I am clear that I am confident in the clarity and leadership that the Prime Minister is providing on this matter.

Her strength and stability make me confident that we will end up with the best possible outcome, which is what Scottish business leaders tell me they want.”

(Actual TV news journalist, bit between his teeth…)

“Secretary of State, would you agree that this tomato I am showing you, that I am holding in my hand, is in fact red?”

(Viceroy David Mundell, wishing that piranhas could fly as well as swim..)

” On this point I want to make myself crystal clear. I don’t believe that it is inevitable that there will be a negative economic impact on Scotland as a result of Brexit at all. The Prime Minister’s preferred outcome of the negotiations with the European Union is very clear on that.”

(TV news journalist ready to take a self-inflicted heeder off the cliff top…)

” Ok, so you are not willing to apologise or answer that last question. We just have time for one final answer.

David Mundell, are you prepared to accept that if Theresa May fails to convince commissioners at the European Union that the UK deserves to have access to the same, or preferential access, to the benefits of being a member of the EU without the responsibilities of membership, Scotland’s economy will suffer badly as a result?”

(Viceroy David Mundell coming over all indignant…)

” Goodness, now you are just being ridiculous.” That could never happen.”

(TV news journalist… shaking head from side to side…)

” Back to you in the studio Jackie…..”

Polishing the image

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Talk about blowing your own trumpet.

There can be no doubt that Ruth Davidson, Leader of the Scottish Conservative & Unionists, Tank Commander, Colonel of Signals, Bomb Disposal Expert or tawtie howker, depending on your view of her recent staged Princess Diana-like phoaties, and bullsitter (no that’s not a spelling mistake) is currently involved in a self-promotion campaign with the intent of moving on to pastures new, and better things.

Her opinion piece in that bastion of all things British, the Hootsmon, entitled ” Ruth Davidson: The Scots restoring our faith in charity” regarding the enduring consistency of the benevolence, charity and fellowship of well off self-made Scots towards their ain folk and further afield firmly attests to that self-promotion.

Accompanying a phoatie of herself, and her flag, down on her hunkers getting ready to defuse a land mine, perhaps with a hard stare, like a representative of state or international envoy, on the scale of minor royalty or an ex-US President perhaps in a few short paragraphs Ruth of the Big Future in London manages to place herself in that bracket, one who moves among the mighty.

This she does firstly, as per the photo, linking herself to the very worthy Halo Trust, who have done some great work in land mine clearance in Afghanistan.

She swiftly moves on to talk about her and Bill and Melinda Gates, who were visiting Edinburgh University recently, before giving us a rundown of some of the charitable deeds of current entrepreneurs of Scotland who are doing great works to help those less fortunate than themselves, including Sir Ian ‘the oil’s running out, no it’s not’ Wood.

The contribution these wealthy individuals make to their fellow Scots, and to charitable projects abroad is commendable, of course.

However the final sentence of the piece, leads us to where Ruth sees her future. A future at Westminster, a rising star in the post-Brexit new conservative age, eventually moving from one chamber to the other over time.

In closing, having described the good works of the likes of Jim McColl, Ann Gloag and Tom Hunter, Ruth, who moves in those circles her inference suggests, firmly makes it clear that ” We are making a difference, every day.”

“We” Ruth? Is she in all seriousness linking herself to such worthies, to selfless acts, to charity on a significant scale, really? The only thing evident from her writing that is on a significant scale is hypocrisy. In fact having observed the policies of the political party she represents for over forty years I would say it is staggering.

Keep polishing that image though Ruth, there must be camp full of near-starving refugees from the horrors of war, and British sold munitions, waiting somewhere for your visit with a BBC camera crew and some cliquey photojournalists.

Westminster awaits. Don’t trip on the lobby step on the way out.

Empty chairs, empty promises

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So there you are. How would you feel after an initial astonishing, horrifying, and quite possibly catastrophic decision being made about the future of your town, village, estate or scheme, many months of disagreement, interwoven with rhetoric and hot flatulence from the political powers-that-be about how important it is to find out how those who will be impacted ‘really feel’, then, after much consideration, a grudged agreement has been reached to hold a series of meetings to listen to the locals and resolve the issues, you’ve turned up at the local community centre on behalf of yourself, your sister and brother and law, yer granny and granda, who have lived in their house for 55 years, and Mr and Mrs Samal, the local GP and her husband, who live next door, to meet with the Cooncil, the firm of property developers that are gonnae knock seven bells out of the community you live in, ruining its economy, and their PR company, who are gonnae sweet talk you with stories about how you are going to move away to more suitable accommodation in a nice area, perhaps near a farm with lots of space where you can run free, and then…………… those you are there to meet don’t show up. No apologies, no pretence, no feigned interest, the middle of a doughnut, nothing.

That’s how Deidre Brock, Pete Wishart and Tommy Sheppard must have felt when they turned up yesterday at the Scottish Affairs Committee in Kirkcaldy, a committee which is designed to represent Scotland’s interests at Westminster, yet none of Britain’s government’s party representatives, or anyone from Newish Labour or the Liberal Obsoletes attended. The purpose of the meeting was to explore how the Post-Brexit UK immigration policy should address the needs of current migrants in Scotland, and how leaving the EU would impact the agricultural sector and Scottish rural communities. The members of parliament, who turned up, took evidence and submissions from the Fife Migrant Forum regarding their experiences of living and working in Scotland, and how Brexit has impacted their planning for the future, the National Farmers Union Scotland, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and COSLA.

A pretty important event you would think, hearing the views of groups who stand to be directly impacted by the British government’s decision to implement the results of a narrowly won non-binding referendum on a country which voted overwhelmingly against their decision?

No. The bunch of fairly recently elected lobby fodder, Treeeza and her appointed colonial Viceroy’s cheerleaders and fitbaw referees (remember them, they were the ones who promised that they would stand up for Scotland even if it meant going against their party’s wishes) and if you ever believed that I’ve got a new bridge to Fife I’d like to sell you, their dance cairds were full, their diaries choked up with photo opportunities of them wearing Union flagged sleeved jaikets, or looking cerebral whilst pointing out in to the distance with a union flag in the background, or they were too busy to attend because they were spending hours on the phone pleading with the Hootsmon to take phoaties of them dressed up in the full blast resistant and helmet gear whilst strolling through a park in Bearsden beside a wee robotic arm waving a wee red, white and blue flag stuck on the top of a remote controlled Tonka truck, to be like their pin-up idol, who is lining herself up for better (Together) things.

Like a Boxing Day sale they’ve no interest. Their political leaders have already taken a stance. Consultation was really only ever about ticking a box, and giving those staunch Unionists in Scotland, who want to believe the propaganda they spout, something to point at and say look, we are important, and we have had input in important decisions which will drastically impact us. The London government has already made their decisions about how returned EU powers will work for them, although they have not the first clue what they are going to do afterwards, once they have deliberately made the goods and services the countries of the UK produce non-competitive in comparison to our neighbours, and the Pretendy Jesus mob, equally as driven about party politics rather than what is actually the best thing for the people of the UK, who suicidally think if they play along with Brexit, it’ll lead to a Tory collapse and they can punt the geeky bloke out of the leadership chair and get back to the serious business of running the country in a Blairite for the 21st century style, troughing it up again. They have no interest in what anybody has to say about Brexit. It’s all a done deal.

When publicly pulled up by Messrs Sheppard, Wishart and Ms Brock about their non-attendance the party spokespeople asked to comment on behalf of those missing had the cheek tae try and swing the whole thing around to be about the SNP trying to cry grievance again. You simply could not paint a red neck on these people with a Dulux brush set. The Newish Labour wag had the cheek to say “ It is disappointing that once again the SNP has taken such a partisan approach by seeking to score political points, when the spirit of the committee is to work in partnership for the interests of the people of Scotland.”

I would suggest that in order to be able to promote a spirit of partnership these people would have to actually turn up in the first place, or perhaps just apologise to the groups and organisations they have disrespected who took the time to show up to state their views.

Scotland will be so much better off in every possible way once it returns to its rightful state as an independent sovereign country.

Anti-English? No. Pro-Scottish

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

They are usually coming from the contradictory let’s make Britain “global’ again viewpoint, with chips on both shoulders, choked up with prejudices, xenophobia and red white and blue underwear. They are often the kind that describe us as divisive nationalists whilst describing themselves as ‘British patriots’, and cannot see the irony.

As we all know, the assertion that those who believe firmly that Scotland is better governed by the people in it, and not by the British state, are anti-English, is fallacious, outrageous and couldnae be further from the truth. Pro-Scottish yes, anti-English most definitely no.

How could a yearning to live in a country which governs itself ever be construed to be 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 an affectionate smacker on the foreheads of our grannies fae Liverpool or papa’s from Newcastle ever again? Are we no more to 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, and once we have our own front door key I’m sure they’ll find us the best of neighbours, voluntarily.

Anti-English we are not. However we are anti some things, things like anti-inequality, anti-unfairness, anti-exploitation, anti-poor health and anti-poverty.

The continuing steady momentum towards the inevitable independence of Scotland comes as a direct consequence of long-term mismanagement, exploitation, incompetence and duplicity by the remote government of another country controlling its resource and asset rich neighbour, a neighbour it sees that it has been able to comprehensively manipulate, or as they like to call it down Whitehall way or on the Tory and Labour benches at Holyrood “pooling and sharing.”

Times are most definitely a-changing. The people of Scotland’s eyes are opening, forelock tugging to our ‘betters’ is in the past. Downton Abbey is just a tv programme.

A research report by the Scottish Government published a year ago 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, 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, not fake news, the real deal).

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 2016 were up, 867, the highest ever recorded figure, and up 23% on the previous year.

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. Between April 2016 and March 2017 this increased to 145,865 three-day emergency food supplies, of which 47,955 involved children.

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

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?

Not the norm

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I have nothing at all against the hereditary privileged very rich auld couple who occupy the big hoose, that needs thirty six odd million quid worth of your money to unblock the cludgie, doon the bottom end of the Mall in London, or their offspring, or their offspring’s offspring.

As human beings these people are the same as you and me, flesh and blood. They are no’ ordained as Gods, they are not super-beings, they don’t fart emeralds or rubies, I am not their subject, or their possession, they are not better than me, I am not better than them. We are equals.

Like the rest of humanity I’m sure some of them are pleasant, kind-hearted folk, and others not so, that is the nature of our species.

What I do object to is the symbol that they represent, the ingrained system and network built up over centuries to protect the wealth and privilege of a very small percentage of society, a system that uses their celebrity, ceremony and the mythology which had grown up around them, to prop itself up, to reinforce itself, to reinvigorate and manufacture a rebirth or slightly adapted makeover of its institutions (as each new generation of them comes along) maintaining its power base, its control, by manipulating and mesmerising the many, some of whom who are bizarrely utterly bedazzled that a royal) deems to look them in the eye and make small talk with them for half a minute on the way past. Think about that for a second.

Years ago the likes of Willie Hamilton used to get mocked or laughed at on TV and in the papers for having the then considered outlandish opinion that these hereditary uber-privileged people were not in fact King or Queen Emperors but were in fact human beings like the rest of us. It never crossed the minds of the vast majority of the people of the countries that make up the UK then that they were anything other that subjects of these people. It never occurred that they themselves as a group were sovereign. These ancestors of ruthless medieval warlords, those able to draw the biggest advantage from exploiting the lands and people of that time, had, and still has, in their minds, a right to rule them.

Whilst many of the sorrows that blight 21st century life in the UK could be ended or minimised with targeted public sector financial investment, money that apparently doesn’t exist, state occasions and jingoistic ceremonies involving expenditure of fortunes in public money, and magic priceless hats (sometimes the magic hat even gets its own Daimler journey) pass without the bat of the public eyelid.

I don’t get it. Just like I don’t get how many Scots believe that a constitutional arrangement which involves another country governing and holding all the key powers over your own country is normal. It most certainly isn’t.

Scotland’s future is yours

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Oh for those heady vibrant days. The R-word (Referendum) hadn’t yet become the R-word, September 2014 was getting closer, and daily, sometimes hourly, inspiration arrived in the form of humour, art, music, visionary prose, film clips, oration, debates, the discussions of happy determined small gatherings, large demonstrations, impromptu song, dance,poetry, podcasts, a cross section of Scottish society engaged in the celebration of hope, of seeing their future in a different light, of something different, something better.

The likes of the National Collective, Women for Independence, the Radical Independence Campaign, the Common Weal, Lesley Riddoch, Derek Bateman, the late Ian Bell, Iain MacWhirter, Robin McAlpine, Gerry Hassan, Alan Bissett, Elaine C Smith, the speeches and stage oratory of David Hayman, words that made the hair on the back of your neck stand up and gave you a lump In your throat, and much much more.

The film’Scotland Yet’, Bissett’s. ‘Vote Britain, Riddoch’s Nordic Horizons and her book ‘ Blossom’, Business For Scotland and Wings debunking the propaganda guff, the insights into innovative Scottish renewable energy technology, the consideration of Co-operative investment banks designed to promote new businesses and economic growth, not short term profit, conversations on the development of a written constitution for Scotland, enshrining the rights of citizens, the prospects of designing and supporting first class cradle to grave public services, the idea of real local democracy, activists and advocates for a progressive independent Scotland criss-crossing the country meeting people in Scout Halls, Church halls, the back rooms of pubs, the queue in the butchers, and any damn place where more than two people could get the gither.

A common shared vision, very wide in its interpretation, but shared nevertheless, of a better Scotland, a confident Scotland, a Scotland which makes its own decisions about its future direction.

Like a light switch suddenly being turned on, the bulb burning brighter every day. Why didn’t we see it this way before said some?

That is where we need to go, this is what we need to build, this and clear, easily communicated responses to the practical questions, on issues like currency and oil, and debunking the red herrings, without getting bogged down and diverted into the how much will a first class stamp cost in an independent Scotland negativity.

We must present the contrast between the vision of what an independent Scotland can undoubtedly be against the reality of what a post-Brexit UK most probably will be as a credible and compelling case for self-determination.

We, as members of a renewed diverse grassroots Yes Campaign, including the political party and the non politically affiliated have the wit, the abilities,the skills, the determination and the motivation to do this together.

Independence in the rest of the world is the norm. In the unnatural situation Scotland finds itself in as a subservient ‘partner’ governed by a larger neighbour self-government needs to become the norm in the consciousness of the majority.

No one will do this work for us, but it is an imperative that we do it, and get started now. We need to be ready when the date is announced for the ballot which will open the door to a prosperous future for our children and theirs.

This lot at Westminster and those they serve, the British state, currently have no clue where they are ultimately going, no real idea why they are doing so, no concept of a requirement to consult or seek advice from anyone who may suffer as a consequence of their actions, and an intention to just arrogantly breenge in to a brick wall at one hundred miles an hour, but they’ll have done so whilst showing the bulldog spirit, and that is all that matters. Madness.

It’s time to get organised again. It’s time to make Scotland’s future yours, not Westminster’s.

He’s off again

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Events are not boding well this week for Scotland.

Following the announcement that David Mundell, who has been standing in the corner of a room, somewhere in the borders, with a bucket on his head channeling a standard lamp for the last week whilst the media has been pretending to search everywhere for him to ask him about the very clear inconsistencies that have come to light in his comments about Brexit, and specifically the existence of any government produced analytical reports about Brexit, is off on yet another foreign jolly, the planets are lining up all wrong.

The Secretary of State Against Scotland, London’s representative in one of the last remaining colonies (for it is becoming more apparent that this is what we are) is off for a five day outing to eastern climes, Japan and Hong Kong.

Like Scotsmen Jardine and Matheson before him, but without the extensive drug-dealing network filling the Empire’s coffers, Mundell will extoll the virtues of such goods as the Great British Tea Cake, Old Britannia whisky, tartans of the Home Counties, and Irn Red, White and Blue to conference rooms full of bewildered Chinese and Japanese government officials and business people, all wondering who this fading gingery haired soor-pickle-faced geezer is, and why he’s making a speech about Scotland and Brexit powers being retained in London, or at the growing by the day Scotland Office, from several thousand miles away from Scotland or London.

That’s his form, we’ve seen it before in Myanmar and South America. He’s not there just for the canapés. If there’s controversial news to deliver do it from as far away as you can get away with, and in a week when it’s been made clear in the media that we are about to be subjected to a very hard sell campaign on the ‘benefits and opportunities’ of Brexit from the robotic leader (in name only) of the British government and her hardline right-wing cabal of Johnson, Gove, Davis, the ever creepy Redwood and Lord Snooty, the heat is about to be turned up on the divorcing Johnny Foreigner plan.

Watch that space.