Welcome to Tartania

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‘Now’s the day, and now’s the hour. Welcome to Tartania, an experience of a lifetime!’……..


It was an Eton old boy in the cabinet office who first referred to it jokingly at a meeting as ‘Tartania’, and it had stuck. 

The Secretary for the Region of Scotland and Cumbria, a position created following the Great Parliamentary Rationalisation Programme of 2027 finally dissolved the last vestiges of the ill-conceived, impractical and outdated devolved system of faux democracy government. The former Scottish Parliament building now part of a huge hotel and casino complex, the Secretary had twice included the word, affectionately, as she’d described it, during GBBC net-news broadcasts, in reference to what had been Scotland, and before anyone realised it hadn’t been there before the word was in common usage.

Tartania, a word to symbolise what much of Scotland had become, a living, breathing theme park to kitsch. A place where now in 2031 Xtra Large Americans visited in unprecedented numbers to experience soulful insights and snippets of the life their great-great-granddaddies lived before crossing the stormy sea to salvation, and liberty.

Many towns and villages criss-crossing the glens, bens and lowlands had been included, immersed in the vast leisure regeneration project, funded by the huge transatlantic Freedom Corporation, a financial partnership of US companies, a central holding body registered in the Grand Cayman Islands, and the now officially rebranded ‘Greater’ Britain government. There was of course a system of opt-out exemptions from leasing land to the project, a scheme available to the 430 or so individual private citizens who owned around half of the land of Scotland, many of whom who had their own very lucrative streams of tourism revenue in place anyway.

Several main streets of towns included in the scheme had been officially ‘restored’, often to look like Hollywood film set versions of what Malibu-dwelling designers and architects conceived Scotland should look like. As had happened in the distant past when the romantic novels of Walter Scott had so impressed royalty that the writer was commissioned to stage-manage George IV’s visit to Scotland, creating a fake festival of tartan tack, fabricated Caledonian pomp and ceremony, the clearly contrived was once again being portrayed falsely as the reality of Scottish life.

Set designs from every major movie depicting Scotland over the previous century had been meticulously mapped and recreated on appropriate sites serviced by a network of high speed transport links, authorities having managed in at least two instances to bypass laws forbidding the disturbance of ancient battle sites, the last resting places of the Jacobites.

Visitors could literally experience the thrill of being involved in a charge of a long-maned William Wallace’s legion of rebels against the English army in the morning, wandering amongst the mayhem of hundreds of locally hired zero hours contracted extras battering against each other in cohorts of fifty at a time, dancing with tartan clad beauties on the set of the musical Brigadoon after lunch, and being accosted by skinny unwashed Edinburgh heroin addicts in a fake Leith pub before their evening Caledonian Banquet. 

A must see tick-off for all visitors from across the pond involved a pilgrimage to the Island of Lewis to the birthplace of the mother of the leader who had redefined their place in the world. A sacred journey to the matriarch of the dynasty’s (pronounced with a dye) birthplace was seen as an act of true patriotism, a pilgrimage of gratitude, a central element to the Tartania visitor experience. The Treasury in London was also grateful for the revenue. 

The land mass of Scotland however was clearly too big to simply service the growing needs of the Tartania leisure experience. Following the six year process it had taken for Greater Britain to extract itself, in the end with very little dignity, from its former trading relationships with the European mainland, and the resultant disastrous financial crash which had taken place, the London government had managed to persuade the people of Scotland, via the well-worn path of media propaganda that this misfortune was their fault.

Strong and persistent inferences were made that this would never have happened if only the Scots had supported the views of various Prime Ministers during those turbulent times, now ten years or so in the past. Resisting ‘the will of the people of the UK’ was a sin too far. They must pay.

Therefore where there were not 18th century style villages, lochs filled with robotic movie set dinosaurs, and hands-on battlefield sites, there were fracking wells and tainted watercourses, funded by the same corporate behemoths as the leisure project.

‪Around 2024 a report had been quietly commissioned and then prepared by a leading government economist at the time, which, in this new age of post-Europe austerity had examined the potential for sustainable innovative renewable energy technology generated around the shores, coastline and hills of what was left of Scotland, prior to the proposed mass introduction of fracking. ‬

‪There was a school of thought that a network of links could be engineered to channel and extensively sell clean power into the European network, creating huge profits for the Treasury in London. However the paper had stated that the tenuous relationship Greater Britain now had with the European Union limited any prospects of a successfully negotiated trade agreement on this basis.  ‬

‪Curiously though, an addendum to the report concluded that if Scotland had become an independent country in the early second decade of the 21st century, and had remained a member of the European Union, with control of its own resources and the ability to develop its available natural clean technology it would have potentially have had the sixth best economy in the developed world in all but one of the leading economic indicators over that ten year period.‬

The Westminster government, once again the self-proclaimed party of the working people, in consultation with the official opposition, also strangely, claiming to represent the working people, decided that wide-spread dissemination of this information was not in the best interests of the country as a whole, therefore the economist’s report was stamped ‘Top Secret/ Eyes Only’ and very quietly secured away.

This deception would have had a familiar ring to it to those Scots in Tartania of an older generation, those with memories which extended beyond the previous evening’s propaganda news netcasts, if only, like in 1974, they had known that it was happening.

‘We hope you enjoyed your visit. Yer no’ awa’ tae bide awa’. Come and visit us here at Tartania again soon…….This message brought to you by the Freedom Corporation.’

The Springboard

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The divergence of the political paths of Scotland and England cannot be more precisely shown than in the graphic accompanying this post. The gap is widening by the day.

Following the erse collapsing out of both the Tories (running a campaign on their single issue obsession in Scotland) and particularly New, Auld, Newish, Auld Again, Sitting on the Fence, Sitting behind a Fence Pretending to be a Startled One Eyed Rabbit with a nervous tick, Labour vote in the EU elections surely we are now at the springboard time for a concerted final push towards the rightful return of Scotland’s self-determination.

Surely now it can’t be anything other than crystal clear to anyone who is in the slightest bit interested that London is not going ever going to give us our country back, our country is not theirs in the first place to give. They will never agree to another referendum. To do so places their British state in terminal danger.

The forthcoming Tory leadership contest will quickly degenerate into a circus side-show, it has started already. Brass necks, spurious one-liners and bluff and bluster are the order of the day as a stream of increasingly right-wing entitled numpties and accent-changers try to persuade their peers and the electorate, through the media, that they individually have a plan to save Britain from Europe, Farage’s hordes, the Normans and those nasty Scots who keep trying to take their baw home with them when their maw shouts them in from the street for a bath on a ‪Sunday night‬.
 
A few weeks of that chaotic nonsense playing out and a General Election might not be too far away.

This will be an election in which the SNP must seek a mandate from the people of Scotland to express and pursue the inalienable right to self–government, the real deal, a step further than a right to a further referendum on sovereignty.

Political pressure needs to be applied to the crumbling walls of Westminster. They are more vulnerable now than before, engaged and entangled with dark sinister politics of another era. This is the time for us. A refusal to accept such a powerful democratic decision by at least granting a section 30 order would be their downfall.

In spearheading this goal the SNP must communicate better with the Scottish people in a smarter, more efficient way than they have done previously, killing Project Fear stone dead.

Amongst other topics, they need to give voters clear straightforward information about changing currency and how that will work, they’ll need to give pensioners details of what they can expect with regards to an improvement in their pensions (bearing in mind the UK’s terrible record on pension payment levels in comparison to other European states) and they need to paint a plausible picture of the benefits independence will bring to Scotland, convincingly planting the message that the process of doing so (not just to us who absolutely are already committed to that outcome) is thoroughly worthwhile.

The Scottish Government are in the process of enacting legislation to hold a second independence referendum, on a date sometime soon, next year maybe. Maybe not.

Events are rapidly making this an irrelevance. Stronger steps are needed, and they are needed soon.

Tears is it? Aye right.

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So she’s away.

In she swept, the Daily Hate Mail’s new ‘Iron Lady’. Early on taking the road north tae Bute Hoose tae tell the Scots how high a priority they were to her, letting them know how much she really respected their democratically expressed views, eager to co-operate, to compromise (a word she’s just used whilst standing at a podium in London), before completely ignoring, entirely disrespecting, and holding the representatives of, the people of Scotland, in bitter contempt for the entirety of her premiership.

“ Oh yes Nicola” she explained that day, “I understand you people, I remember watching Brigadoon once on the television in the vicarage when I was 16”. “That’s very interesting Prime Minister” was the response from Scotland’s First Minister. “ Here, hold this blue and white flag a minute for me will you whilst I just pop this other one behind your seat for the nice men with the cameras.”

The wildly dancing diva of Downing Street, she was a study in incompetent inertia. Unable to form cogent responses, convincing arguments, to questions she hadn’t had workshopped for a week by a bank of Tory HQ media staff who use phrases like ‘ let’s unpack that hypothesis’ like throwaway lines, her lack of communication skills resulted in her often appearing to be as spontaneous and dynamic as a small tired out cactus plant left unwatered too long situated at the wrong end of the bathroom from the shower.

The world watched her, grinding our teeth to dental rubble, as she initially kicked the arse right out of the phrase, at any point possible with “Brexit is Brexit” before becoming almost fit for the jacket with the lockable arms over how she purported her leadership to be “Strong and stable” entirely the opposite to the reality of her time as Prime Minister.

Others can write about the serious stuff ups of her governance of the UK, the Grenfell Tower tragedy and debacle afterwards, the treatment of people who came to live in the UK over 50 years ago from Commonwealth countries, the battering of the vulnerable in society due to continued withering Tory policies, the cosying up and bribing of extreme political parties in exchange for votes, the absolute disaster of Brexit, which at times has seen EU Commissioners look at each other in astonishment when she leaves their presence, wondering what it is she actually came to speak to them about, the danger of meddling with the Good Friday Agreement, and much much more. To put it mildly she’s been a shite Prime Minister.

Now that she’s going what comes next, in her place, can only hasten the day when Scotland returns to its rightful independent self-governing state.

Vote SNP

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It’s all going a bit turbo-Monty Python with a sprinkle or two of Michael Bentine’s Potty Time on crack down the Palace of Westminster way.

The Prime Minister can’t find her way out the front door of ‪10 Downing Street‬ to resign (she’s stepped into a broom cupboard twice, and is now pretending she is a standard lamp), senior Tories are sending her resignation letters, again, and wee Davey the Viceroy of Joy, London’s man in Scotland, is telling everybody who will listen that he wants an urgent meeting with the PM (one of the reasons she’s currently standing in a corner with her eyes closed holding a 40 watt light-bulb up above her head) a meeting that he really doesn’t want, because he really has nothing to say, other than I’ll support you until you are out the door, and then I’ll backstab you like an extra at a Game of Thrones wedding, before sidling up, fluttering my eyelashes and shaking my snack-filled beard, at the next self entitled clown who breaks the surface of the cesspit to take charge of the omnishambles that the construct which the United Kingdom is, to see if they’ll notice me, and keep me in my job until the ermine cloak has been confirmed.
 
There’s an election on apparently, and it’s an important one. This entity called Great Britain, you know the one which was supposed to be about a union of equal partners, mutual benefit, trust, precious togetherness (boak), “Don’t leave us Scotland, lead us”, yes that one, is careering headlong towards a dangerous crossroads today.
 
The mass manipulation of opinion by the media, the powerful in control of that media, the privileged, financially secure individuals put up on rostrums as representing the ordinary people, the “silent majority”, and social media, have pushed politics in the largest of the countries involved in the ‘precious union’ too far away from the middle ground, too far away from social democracy.

That country is now teetering dangerously at the edge of a chasm. The evocation of overly simplistic solutions to complex multi-layered and nuanced societal problems is feeding a right-wing agenda and pushing voters along a road akin to Mosley’s 1930’s black-shirt rallies of tens of thousands at Earls Court. Farage is not a fluffy bunny man of the people, looking out for the interests of the common folk, Farage is a dangerous far right wing extremist, entrenched as part of the elite whom he spends so much time decrying.
 
Systematic reinforcement and media validation of extreme views on immigration and the proliferation of completely false information about the role of, and the powers available to the European Union are at some point, if Brexit ever actually takes place, going to cause a financial catastrophe for every nation involved in the UK’s union.

It’s happening already as businesses large and small, in these times of huge uncertainty, go to the wall. Yet the mass manipulation of about half of the electorate is such that citizens of towns and cities greatly impacted by closures and fresh unemployment in their area still believe, many without any understanding of what it involves, that Brexit is a good thing. These really are gravely troubling times.
 
In Scotland we can do so much better than this. We really can. Scotland voted overwhelmingly in the EU referendum to stay as an inclusive, outgoing, contributing member of a large union of independent self-governing nations, a union able to work together on all of the huge problems that individual countries cannot influence alone, like fighting the climate change crisis and replacing energy sources of the past with clean renewable energy. You did that.

It is your decision again. Please get out and vote, because sure as day follows night, the extremists will be voting. They must be overcome. Don’t take the media telling you that the party of Scottish government are set to win big in Scotland for granted.  

If the results coming in ‪on Sunday night‬ are as significant as some are predicting the increasingly divergent paths that the countries north and south of the Tweed have been taking for some time now are heading towards the inevitable final day of reckoning.

Please vote for an SNP candidate in the European election.
 

Pushing the gate open

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Folks, it is dreadful confession time. I don’t know how to tell you this, as my disclosure is so appalling, but after what now, incredibly, is a seven year long campaign, I am what the mainstream and right-wing UK media, certain well known Scottish entrepreneurs, writers of children’s fiction, and most recently Scottish politicians and an ex-politician, whom I thought I was supporting (I’m a bit confused on that at the moment, particularly when another of their ilk, instead of focusing on the continuing cause of independence, seems to be putting forward his CV to settle in as the Head Butler at Westminster) describe as a “Vile Cybernat”.

There are many many thousands of us about, and we continue to flourish and grow in number, in Scotland and, like myself in support of an Independent Scotland, further afield.
 
The media will have you believe that we agitators are snarling salivating saltire waving, blue painted faced nationalists in kilts, who have a strong distrust and suspicion of English people. We ‘hate’ them apparently (even though some of us are English and most of the rest of us have English-born loved ones and friends) and we’re obsessed in an all-consuming Braveheart fetish. We are portrayed as bully boys, and girls, who can’t accept that anyone else is entitled to another point of view, and we are a Problem with a capital P.
 
In reality of course all of this is completely over-exaggerated spin. With regards to opposing opinions on the question of sovereignty everybody who is Scottish is entitled to their own view, one way or the other, and is capable of making their own mind up. I, and the many thousands like me, fully respect the opposite view to ours.

However when you read some of the threads on social media or in the comments sections of the likes of the Not the Scotsman, debating the various aspects of either side of the self-determination question, it’s quite depressing to see the level of anger and bile that is generated from fringe wallopers in both camps.
 
Some of these individuals cannot take part in a debate on the issues without the discussion becoming ad hominem in nature. But, that is who they are, fringe wallopers. Those that would start a row in an empty house, trolls looking for a buzz who will disagree with any opinion just for the sake of it.

Fringe wallopers exist in every corner, dark or otherwise, of social media, on any subject from Abstract Art French Toast Appreciators to Xylophone Collectors For the Freedom of Goldfish. It isnae an Indy Scotland problem, it’s a wacky zoomers for the 21st century society problem!
 
For the rest of us, adults in the real world, a difference of opinion, particularly in the sterile non-palpable space of social media, does not constitute a reason to fall out with someone or lose a friendship. At the end of the day, there are many different ways of looking at any issue, but generally I take the view, as I expect most of us do when it comes to Scotland’s future, that although we may disagree with an opinion, the person holding that opinion is trying to do what they think is best for their Scotland, for their particular and honest view of Scotland.  I think there can be little disagreement about that.

All we can hope for is that an opinion is informed and based on factual knowledge, which is the area I think is key to the success of the independence journey. Where we need to do our work.
 
As to the obsessional blood and soil Scot nonsense, personally, although I freely admit to the odd snottery sniffle at the New Year listening to a haunting lament of the Pipes, whilst much the better for drink, I am by no manner of means a jingoistic flag waver of any great distinction, being firmly a citizen of the world. I absolutely love being Scottish, with our marvellous self-deprecating humour, our sense of community, our heritage, our culture and our survival instinct. It’s part of me, of my identity, but like almost all of us I am no ranting fanatic.
 
As for being a nationalist, well, in the negative dictionary sense I’m not one of those either. There is a distinct difference between the civic socially responsible nationalism with a small “n” being applied in Scotland and the sinister ethnic version the media try sare to portray of the Scottish National Party, and by very tenuous association, the non-party aligned eclectic mix of mostly left-wing Yes groups who are advocates of self-determination for Scots.

The “Ye cannae eat a flag” defence put up to suggest that the agenda of Scots in favour of independence is all about kilts, bagpipes and the Jacobite Rebellion is beyond puerile and almost as far away from reality as it is possible to be.
 
To be crystal clear, during the course of the 2014 Scottish Referendum, the 2015 and 2017 UK General Election campaigns, and during the many fantastic subsequent demonstrations of support for independence, the latest of which being last Saturday when many thousands of ordinary women, men and children expressed their views and celebrated their positivity, their hopes for the future together, in Glasgow, the only nationalism demonstrated and on display has been of the sinister hate filled bigoted British kind, from ‘fringe wallopers’ in counter demonstrations desperately trying to cling on to one of the last elements of a long gone empire.
 
We all know that all of the 2014 Better Together nonsense about loving Scotland “lead us Scotland, don’t leave us”, which was firmly knocked on the head the next day in David Cameron’s first speech after the successful no vote, has simply been about retaining power, and continuing to use Scotland’s resources and strategic position with regards to defence to try to retain relevance as a world power in the 21st century. Without Scotland the remaining United Kingdom is severely weakened, it’s that simple.
 
I think that more and more Scots are starting to see that it is time to change a society which overtly since 1979, has been based on greed, selfishness and the ability to get ahead of everybody else, to the detriment, of others, the “ME” society. They see that it is time to work to create a mature nation committed to looking after everybody in it, using the wealth, resources and ingenuity that Scotland undoubtedly has, towards that aim. They see that this goal is what a civilised country should be striving for, not obscene wealth for the few, glory, the subjugation of others, and the perpetuation of a once global power which is now irrelevant.
 
I would say the following to unionist politicians and the media moguls in London. Enough with the marginalisation and belittling of a nation’s aspirations to govern itself, enough with the stirring up of division between neighbours, enough with the horrible false comparisons to fascist dictatorships, enough with the xenophobia, enough with the promotion of the views of Farage and his cronies.

If you want to debate the pros and cons of the possible future impacts of Scotland governing itself, or having full control of its financial destiny, do so honestly. Don’t dwell in falsehood. Challenge the Scottish social democratic viewpoint on social policy, membership of the EU, renewable energy, commerce, strategies for economic growth, constitutional issues and more, if you think you can, but do so pragmatically, not with the off-the-wall scary Project Fear tactics.

Defend your austerity measures, your proposed isolation from the European trading bloc. Let us hear why it is okay in a resource rich first world country in 2019 that mothers must queue for handouts to feed their children, that people in last stages of terminal illness are found fit for work, that the homeless die of exposure on our city streets.
 
Let there be a frank and open discussion. But before doing so you’d better make sure that you have some policies worth arguing for first, or don’t even bother, unlike the latest Ruth Davidson Party of Scotland leaflet which is being stuffed through the letterboxes of Scotland this week. Now there is someone obsessed with independence if ever I saw one.
 
Following this week’s surprise developments I would say to the leadership of the party of Scottish independence be careful that you don’t alienate the folk that put you there. Don’t be getting too comfy at Westminster, and don’t take what you’ve currently got in terms of support for granted.

I, and I’m sure almost all supporters and advocates of self-government, once they’ve considered it, will continue to back the SNP to the hilt in terms of pushing that gate open towards the day when ultimately Scotland will return to its rightful Independent state, but to maintain that trust they need to continue to play their part. Procrastination and unwarranted self-destructive alienating comments aren’t clever. Don’t fall into the unionist trap, don’t do their job for them, don’t give them a stick to hit us over the head with.
 
Meanwhile we can all still marvel at the fantastic celebration of positivity and hope for Scotland’s future that the likes of last Saturday’s event in Glasgow firmly and undeniably demonstrates. It is coming.

(Photo screenshot from the great Independence Live)

There is no appetite for it

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There is no appetite for it. No one wants it, no one wants the division it causes, no one cares about it, the huge disparity in living standards it promotes is iniquitous, the separation and isolation it generates is toxic, the hatred, xenophobia, bigotry and bile that those on its margins demonstrate is vile and insidious.

Nobody wants it, nobody wants Union. It’s ‘the day job’ of us all to see it off.

Given birth through treachery and deception, maintained by the exercising of power, institutionalised propagandising and the promulgation of strategies to conquer by division over and over again.

Its time is ending.  

(Original phoatie with this post has been changed to the dodgy weird angry man in the manky Union jaiket and his cronies, as opposed to the nasty spittle drenching Union nats in George Square in 2014, of which there were more).

Can we have a blether?

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Hi folks. Please, if you are someone who strongly believes that Scotland can only ever exist and thrive as a lesser member of a political union with its immediate neighbouring country to the south, read no further. The following is not for you. I respect your view. It is yours, and you are perfectly entitled to it. You trust that what the powerful elite of the British state decide to do at any time is in your interests, and in your country’s interests, that country being the construct which is Great Britain.

Otherwise, ladies and gentlemen of Scotland who may have voted No in the referendum of September 2014, please, I beg your indulgence for just a few minutes, and if you do take the time to read on all I would wish that you do is have a think about finding out more about the facts surrounding the constitutional question for Scotland, in a balanced way, and make your own mind up about how you see the future of the country you live in.

First up, a wee bit of context, an example or two, of which there are many, of the conduct of those who have control over all of the major decisions made for, and about, your country, decisions which impact you and your family’s future. Decisions made by the elected government of a system where your country has only 59 representatives in a chamber of 650 representatives. This in a political union where Scotland, which prior to agreeing to union had its own parliament for more than 400 years, is supposed to be a partner, an accommodation which more often than not results in the people of Scotland being governed by a political party, like now, which they democratically did not vote for.

40 odd years ago vast reserves of a precious natural resource were discovered in the waters around your country. Similarly reserves of this natural resource were found in the waters around one of your neighbouring northern countries, Norway.

Norway, taking the sensible and pragmatic approach to such good fortune falling into their lap, decided to benefit their citizens, to enrich their communities, by creating an ‘oil fund” from the tax receipts generated by the extraction of this resource, a pool of revenue which they used to create an extensive welfare and health system, creating a standard of living envied by other countries. Essentially Norway uses that money to improve the lives of its people and kept some of it aside for a rainy day, so that when things are tight, when the world has an economic slump, they have a bit put by to protect themselves from the ravages of the common blights on society like unemployment, poverty and homelessness. A buffer.

So what happened in Scotland’s case? Well, initially when surveys and testing had established how much oil potentially was actually in Scotland’s waters the government at Westminster rubbed their hands. Britain, a former imperial power in decline was going to have a financial windfall. Happy days. But then after much behind-closed-doors discussion those in power in London began to panic that the discovery of such vast wealth off the shores of Scotland would unsettle the people of Scotland, who if they were to find out that they were sitting on a lottery win may wish to return the governance of their own country to themselves as a consequence.

The cabinet of the British government then made a conscious decision in what they considered the ‘national interest’ to hide the extent of the oil reserves in Scotland’s water from the people of Scotland, a deception which continued for 30 odd years.

If you at all think the statement I have just made is fabricated please google the words ‘The McCrone Report” and read a few articles that appear on your screen. Professor Gavin McCrone was a highly respected UK government economist who wrote a paper about the consequences of Scotland’s extensive reserves of oil at the time. He deduced in his paper that if the people of Scotland had access to the financial benefits of their own natural resource Scotland would become one of the richest countries in the world. His paper was buried in official secrecy as confidential for many years.

Look it up. Please do. Also, if you have a few minutes, look up the comments on the discovery of oil in Scotland’s waters by former Westminster Chancellor of the Exchequer Denis Healey, who came clean on the subject of the deception of the people of Scotland, in his later years before his passing in 2015.

So what did the government of the UK do with all of the money from the tax receipts from the oil found in Scotland’s waters? The vast amount of revenue gained from tax receipts from oil found in Scotland’s waters was spent financing Margaret Thatcher, and her successors, golden age of Britain. It built the M25, Canary Wharf, the Channel Tunnel, it financed weapons of mass destruction, it provided the financing that bailed out high risk failures in the City, the banking industry, it financed the huge additional burdens on the welfare state, the mass unemployment that Britain’s governments increasingly over the last forty years would rather just went away, resulting from de-industrialisation, the rapid decline in manufacturing, and the subsequent devastation of Britain’s workforce.

In terms of deception the British State union backed media, (I’d ask you to keep an open mind here) is demonstrably not impartial, and does not provide you with a fair reflection of events where those events threaten the stability of the current constitutional arrangement.

The BBC is telling you what you need to hear from the perspective of protecting its patron. If you don’t believe that that are many factual examples which support that statement. For example go and look up how the BBC World Service is funded. It was originally funded directly by the Foreign Office up until four or five years ago, now it is still funded by the government although the funding is spun as some sort of grant aid to muddy the waters a bit.

The BBC will tell you that according to reports, like the annually produced GERS Report of public spending, Scotland is poor and couldn’t possibly survive financially on its own. They cite, as evidence of Scotland’s inability to manage its own affairs, the spending and financial management of the Scottish devolved limited powers government, who have control of less than 20% of the financial levers needed to have some semblance of control of Scotland’s economy, limited powers with which they do a pretty good job by anybody’s standards within those tight constraints, balancing budgets.

However what rarely gets a mention, if at all, is the spending allocated on Scotland’s behalf, outwith Scotland’s control, included in the calculations in these reports, by the Westminster government who apportion their spending and their  accrued debts accrued to Scotland’s finances, for example money spent on nuclear weapons stored in Scotland, safely away from English population centres, which they then divide up and allocate as Scotland’s debt. Money spent in your name, for their benefit, not yours.

Effectively a government in Scotland doesn’t make the financial decisions, or have input or influence on the financial decisions which result in an allocated millstone around your neck. In reality the language used in the GERS Report should more accurately describe this annually calculated sum as the UK Government’s debt in Scotland.

Then we have the unionist media’s treatment of that natural resource that I covered earlier, which generally takes two particular forms.

When the world price of oil price drops, completely out-with the control of Scotland, out comes the ghost of John Laurie of Dad’s Army fame “We’re Doomed!”

For weeks and months on end the editors who dictate what eventually will come out of the next Jackie Bird’s mouth each evening at teatime and the political editorial staff of the Herald, Scotsman, Record, et al would have us believe that there is a second ice age about to hit Scotland.

We’re spoon fed a diet of the ‘separatists’ the ‘nationalists’ are obsessed with oil (we aren’t).

Essentially the propaganda message they are trying to leave in your head is that self-government for Scotland is about oil and about oil only. The idea that the people of a sovereign country wishing to have the ordinary natural and normal right to be governed by their peers in their own country doesn’t even come into the equation. It’s all about oil you’ve to believe. Oil is worthless, it’s a burden best left in the hands of those in London who know better.

Then we have the flip side, when the price of oil goes up, or we are in sight of any kind of election time. Suddenly like snow off a dyke the oil disappears. It’s as if the vast amount of this rich resource around Scotland’s shores, that we still hear about being discovered through new exploration sites in different areas of the Scotland’s waters on a regular basis, somehow consciously knows that the price has gone up so for some reason it decides to hide in a big deep cavern under the ocean.

The media headlines are awash with ‘It’s running out, experts give it five years, twenty years at the most, oil industry slump, Sir Ian Establishment-Billionaire who owns half of Scotland, and the fishing, predicts oil scarcity disaster.” It doesn’t add up, or make any sense, but as a nation we seem to fall for it.

Oil is not the be-all-and-end-all of Scotland’s right to self-determination,(and in today’s era of the gathering climate change crisis more and more Scots are seeing that the development and construction of renewable energy projects on a major scale is not just an aspiration, it is essential) In fact it’s a red herring. Oil has nothing to do with independence. Scotland’s people have the right, like any other country in the world, to expect the perfectly normal proposition that their country is governed by people who live there. Union, as it exists in the UK is not normal. It is a contrived relationship which allows one larger country England to legally subsume its neighbours. That is not right. 

British state propaganda is fond of inferring that your country is too wee and too poor to govern itself. Contrary to that it is a fact worth noting that until the last major world oil price slump the tax revenue from the oil in Scotland’s waters contributed per-head-of-Scottish population each year for several decades to the Exchequer in London a net gain far in excess of the money returned to Scotland to pay for essential public services by way of the block grants which Westminster decides we should have. Living in Scotland you helped keep the rest of the UK’s finances afloat for decades.

Yet as long as many of us continue to believe what the newspapers, and the tv channels (who are all owned and influenced by establishment backing figures or individuals or organisations who stand to lose out if Scotland becomes independent) tell you, propaganda that makes the ridiculous assertion that Scotland is the only country in the world who couldn’t possibly govern itself, we are unlikely to flourish.

Please, take a deep breath, step back, have a think about all of that. Do your own research. It’s not conspiracy, it’s not fake news from the internet. Be informed. There is plenty of corroborative information out there.

Coming on to the current predicament facing Scotland. You, as a country, voted overwhelmingly to remain in the European Union by 62% to 38% , England and Wales voted to leave. Therefore it would be reasonable to assume that democratically the people of Scotland should have a say in whether they should remain as part of a trading bloc of 500 million potential customers for Scotland’s goods and services, yes?

No. As is clear as it can possibly be Theresa May’s UK government has ignored any and all attempts for this to happen. The Scottish First Minister, after much consultation with European partners and experts in the field, produced a document way back outlining ways in which firstly the UK itself could escape the ravages of a “hard” Brexit, and secondly, if the UK didn’t want to do that, proposals to protect Scotland’s place in Europe, which, after all, Scotland’s people have voted resoundingly for. Copies of that document have probably been servicing the Downing Street lavvies for the last year or so.

Scotland stands to lose up to 80,000 jobs as a direct consequence of a ‘hard’ Brexit. It’s been delayed, but it’ll be coming back up again soon. Major corporation are changing headquarters from the UK to Europe. Foreign car manufacturing companies being just the latest to announce they are shutting their doors in the UK and relocating. Every day there is another story of a closure, a relocation out of the UK, a change in suppliers elsewhere. It’s only going to get worse.

Perhaps when you voted No in 2014 one of your considerations was the unionist statement that unless you voted No Scotland would be flung out of the EU into an economic wilderness, a financial disaster. Unfortunately, and tragically ironically we may be about to find out that exactly the opposite is the case, but with the same disastrous outcome. Think about it.

Brexit is all about the Tory Party, and the gutless Labour Party unwilling to challenge preconceptions about immigration. The British government, stuck in a longstanding internal squabble between right wing factions, would rather sacrifice the economy of all parties to the union than agree to EU citizens continuing to move and work freely in the UK. Scotland, with an increasingly ageing population, relies heavily on EU citizens coming to live, work and pay taxes in Scotland to help pay for its public services. It has been estimated that Scotland needs at least 25,000 immigrants a year to settle and work just to remain economically stable.

No matter what the Daily Mail and others tell you, the net financial gain to Scotland’s future wellbeing from the taxation and spending of immigrants who live and work in Scotland, as well as the cultural benefits we receive to our communities, far exceed any of the xenophobic simplistic nonsense that the haters continually feed us. Just yesterday the latest slap in the face to Scotland’s economy and chances of attracting a high quality workforce in the future came when Theresa May and her dodgy parliamentary crew refused to amend a visa policy to allow for EU students coming to study in Scotland, where university courses are generally for for a four year period, instead of the three in England. What a disgrace. How disrespectful can they get?

Oh, and they’ll also continue to try and convince you that self-government for Scotland is about hating English people. What an absolute insult to the many thousands of English born Scots who are committed to seeing their home, their country, Scotland returned to its rightful independent state, as well as many of the rest of us who have close family members we love who happen to be English.

Folks, if all of this stuff doesn’t bother you, if you are somebody who says “ I don’t do politics” please try to think a bit deeper, and a bit longer term. It is that important. All of this is actually about you, to benefit you and your standard of living, to protect and improve your family’s health and wellbeing, to create opportunities for your children, and their children for a better life.

Alternatively if you are somebody who says “ Why bother, they are all just the same, they are only in it for themselves” I’d urge you to try to keep an open mind. We can, with hard work and an honest heart, make Scotland what we want it to be.  

You could be living in a country right now where an independent Labour Party with real Labour values, not the current plastic Tories of Westminster and Holyrood , are vying with the Greens, the Scottish Socialists, the SNP, any other brand new political party which might develop and whatever the Tories would become in an independent Scotland, for your vote. These political parties would essentially be answerable to you, putting forward policies that benefit you, your families, and future generations of Scots. They wouldn’t be answerable to London and the home counties, or be working towards building a cushy career at Westminster. They would be there to serve you.

If you’ve read this far sincere thanks for doing so. If it doesn’t encourage you to find out the facts for yourself, that’s fine. Thanks for your time anyway.

If you have been encouraged to do a bit of research please take your time. Read various reliable sources, get both sides of the story. Be informed enough to make a decision about your future without relying on the BBC or the newspaper’s.

As a country we’ve just got to do something about this. It can’t go on the way it is. Future generations of Scots will suffer, and suffer badly if we don’t. My view is that Scotland will only prosper and fully reach its potential as an independent country, an outward looking mature nation, a great neighbour to our friends, a nation where those you place in charge of government via the ballot box are answerable to you, and you only.

If you find yourself agreeing with that view please come and join us. The sky really is the limit.

Tick tock

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And so it came to pass. Lo, in fact lower than a snake’s belly button, that in the weeks following the ascension of the blessed Brexit can being kicked firmly further down the road to Bedlam, the regional governor appointed by the well past its barter-by-date and in decline former empire to the northern renamed province of Cashcow, once again spoke to his adoring public.  

Apparently a native of the province, some were heard to mention in whispers on stormy nights, he was not to be trusted, a kind of Herod for the second millennium tribute act, in his pointy hat with its shimmering symbolic letter ‘D’ emblazoned in glory sitting proudscotly upon his big coo-like heid,  a wee angry unblinking sweaty man picking yesterday’s lunch of slaughtered sacrificial bullock out of his beard and chewing on the pieces.
 
Clearing his throat he pronounced in a weak quivery voice. “Listen here all ye all ye. Henceforth by order of the mighty red, white and blue Trident temple of patriotic  precious Union it has been proclaimed that there will never ever ever again be the slightest possibility that you will be allowed the possibility of having any possibility of a possible say about anything at all to do with your own future. Countenance that, we, as your leaders and betters, will not! Now or ever is not the time.”
 
There was a low murmur amongst the gathered crowd of perhaps twenty thousand people. The odd angry shout rose above the murmur, frightening the camels.

Another figure strode forward onto the podium, a dignitary in the full dress armour and sandals of a Legion Commander in the notorious Army Signals Corp (very occasional weekends and cosy photo shoots for the media only). At this a sense of foreboding spread around the packed square of the city.
 
The figure, carrying the bloody shield of old Union, removed her helmet (with some difficulty leaving a big red rim mark around her forehead) and addressed the now silent assembly.

“You all know me. I have returned to become your leader, to win your love. You know that my word is my bond. Next week’s word will be my bond too. I have strong principles and if you don’t like them I’ve got many more. Trust me. We do not need to consider a future other than the one our benevolent leaders of Union graciously have in mind for us. Let me be your friend, your counsel. There is no need for division, no need for you to think for yourselves. We can have a great future together.  But first you must do something for me, hand over the agitators known as Sturgeon and Russell,  point them out to us, then let us move on in the loving embrace of our glorious precious Union.”
 
The people were silent at first, then an old man in a wheelchair in the middle of the crowd , a tube providing oxygen through his nasal passages, spoke up, “I am Russell”.

A younger man, a student from another country stepped forward, shouting over the old man, “No, I’m Russell”.

A young mother on the edge of the crowd, cradling her baby as she queued for the Foodbank in the corner of the square to open exclaimed “ I am she, I am Sturgeon”.

“No” called out a grandmother robbed of her pension “I am most definitely Sturgeon”.

A man in his fifties unemployed since the factory he worked in had closed fifteen years before cried out “I am Russell, take me!”

A teenage girl who had been too young  to help her brother who had committed suicide rather than go on living on the streets of the city wailed out the words “ I am Sturgeon”……
 
…. It went on. Within moments the town square was filled with sound as thousands of voices called out, getting louder as they did so. Those on the podium, almost deafened by the noise, knew then that their days in power were indeed numbered.