England and Scotland's flags.

Okay, over the past few days i’ve been the recipient of a lot of comments from UK unionists, or if you like call them British Nationalists, on the subject of why Scotland can’t stay in the EU despite recently voting 62% to remain in the European Union.
The main talking points have circulated around:

1) The idea that it was a “UK wide vote” so therefore the Scottish result is irrelevant
2) The fact that in 2014, there was 55% support for Scotland not becoming independent, as shown by an official referendum
3) The idea that there is no possibility of Scotland staying in the EU if the rest of the UK leaves the EU.
4) The claim that Scotland can’t have another independence referendum because the last one was only two years ago, and the outcome was “No”.

All of these ideas are at least partially false, so here is a little bit of informal exploration of these ideas.
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You’ve heard me moaning about the electoral turnout before. One thing I find particularly telling is the way news reports often ignore this hugely important factor when reporting election results, just like they usually ignore the percentage of “don’t knows” when reporting opinion polls.
 
Please do read and share the following article by James with other supporters of Scottish independence, I honestly believe this is crucial to the Scottish independence cause, and we’re overlooking it, for the most part. 
 
“If there is to be a second independence referendum – and if there is to be any expectation of victory for the Yes campaign – then the votes of low-income Scots will be vital.”
 
“The incredible wave of engagement which swept Scotland two years ago has broken. We are, in terms of electoral participation, pretty much back where we started.”
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Kezia Dugdale MSP stands with a dozen or so campaigners on Leith Walk, near the Green Tardis (out of shot)

Labouring under false premises

The Green Tardis at Shrubhill really seems to be a hotspot for politicians to pose for photos. I suppose a good photo is better than nothing when you haven’t got any innovative policy ideas.

It also helps to have a good photographer who can make ten people look like an enormous crowd. You know the Leith Walk SNP team (which covers the area pictured) can muster up at least this many people on any day of the week just to do door to door canvassing in the tipping rain!

Incidentally I don’t suppose I need to point out that the only reason we have these tory cuts in Scotland is because

A) Labour abstained in parliament, effectively waving through the tory cuts by looking the other way

B) Labour campaigned for Scotland to remain in the UK at the mercy of successive tory governments that we have categorically rejected at the polls for forty years.

Until Labour face these facts, they will fail to engage the electorate.

Now, while I believe we must back the SNP to get independence I also think there is no chance of getting there without including any and all other parties and groups in Scotland, including the Greens and even the (nominal, in some cases) socialists.

I will vote Green this time (and SNP of course) because I’m in an area where many intend to vote SNP/SNP and also the polls show a good chance of an SNP clean sweep in the constituency ballot in this region. NOT ALL regions fall into that category, I hasten to add.

And of course though they make a lot of noise, polls still indicate that Solidarity,  RISE and other marginal socialist parties will none of them get enough votes to win a seat.  Ironically a “second” vote for Solidarity etc will probably be wasted.

Anyway, it’s polling day tomorrow and on Friday the papers will all be wringing their hands about how wrong the Scottish voters were to elect that dangerous SNP again, except The National, and I’m sure life in Scotland will quickly go back to “normal”, whatever that means these days!

Remember that time the queen, who is politically neutral,  casually muttered after church that she hoped Scottish voters would think very carefully before voting on the independence question?

And remember how it was shouted from every rooftop that this was NOT a deliberate attempt to influence the outcome, because that would be illegal?

Well surprise surprise it turns out the whole thing was carefully stage managed and scripted by the tory/lib dem Cabinet Office (click accompanying photo for the article on this subject).

Queen and Prime Minister

“And here’s our new secret weapon against those filthy Scots…”

I wonder how many other total lies the No voters still believe to be true, I wonder how long they can stick their heads in the sand and pretend the tory cuts won’t affect them. Read More →

All that is nevessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing.

Last night the Tories got their Welfare Bill passed in the UK parliament. Here are a few interesting facts about it:

1) This bill will undoubtedly cause many people, including children and the disabled, to be worse off, putting them at higher risk of starvation, ill health and even death. This isn’t about workshy jobless, and it isn’t even about welfare. The social security system isn’t a hand out, we all pay our national insurance, and many many people requiring help are in work but on very low pay or hours.

2) Virtually all of the Tory MPs voted for the bill, and under a quarter of Labour MPs voted against it, preferring not to oppose this bill, but to allow it to pass effectively unopposed.

3) All the SNP MPs voted against the bill.

4) IF ALL OPPOSITION MPS HAD VOTED AGAINST IT, it would not have been passed.

We must oppose, not abstain. People need a voice, prople need help. Lets give it to them.

 

5) Of the four prospective Labour party leaders, the only one to vote against the Welfare Bill was Jeremy Corbyn​​. I’m still not convinced, however, that even this wasn’t some sort of game playing manoeuvre on the part of the Labour party. Don’t they know people’s lives are at stake?

This vote wasn’t about party politics or political gameplay, and yet Labour treated it as such, just like they have been doing for a long time. As a result it passed through parliament.

I just hope the general public are paying attention to all this…

 

So much has happened. I often think I should be posting here more frequently but so much happens so fast it’s difficult to stay current!

Also here are a couple of other blogs you might like, so check them out too:

www.commentisntfree.com

www.strengthtodoallthings.wordpress.com

www.misssymartin.blogspot.co.uk

www.burdzeyeview.wordpress.com

I’ll be back soon no doubt talking about the job the new Scottish MPs are doing or the ongoing constitutional issue, including David Cameron’s “Scotland problem”.

Persevere...  By Stewart Bremner

Persevere…
By Stewart Bremner

 

Anyway, I will be back posting and blogging shortly, so stay tuned. In the meantime feel free to follow me on Facebook where I share relevant things daily, usually. I also try to share interesting links regularly on this site’s sidebar, so have a look.

 

Stay tuned!

Well i started this blog after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, but i haven’t been posting much recently. I’m quite busy in real life, and so many other more well known bloggers, and genuine journalists, have been very active, it’s difficult to think of something unique to say. Also, so much appears to be happening in politics at the moment, it’s hard to comment on something without it becoming irrelevant within hours, sometimes.

That said, it’s now just over three weeks till the 2015 UK general election, as i write this, and i felt the need to write about something i see time and again in the papers, broadcast media, and crucially, amongst the various politically active users of Facebook and Twitter. I say “crucially” because these people are the voters. They support a party, usually, and stick up for that party, but they are not in the pay of these parties, they support them, presumably, out of a sense of ideological alignment, because of the changes they themselves as individuals want to see across the UK.

What’s Wrong With Labour Supporters

Labour Party supporters

Labour Party supporters

And what i have noticed specifically about supporters of Labour, and UKIP, is an amazing degree of tribalism. Before i carry on, please understand if you are a supporter of one of those parties, i’m not trying to criticise you personally, and i also intend to make a few comments about the SNP supporters and the Yes movement too, which might not be the most comfortable for supporters. Read More →

Following Scotland’s independence referendum in 2014, there were a large group of people still determined to campaign for Scottish independence, and rightly so. A smaller group of people were determined that in the aftermath of the strong, but not majority, Yes vote, that Scotland should itself declare its own independence unilaterally, as many countries had done before it.

I understand this, and i join them in wishing Scotland could and would declare itself independent. A central tenet of the UDI advocates is the following six minute speech, made in the Scottish parliament by SNP MSP Christine Grahame. She is a very precise and thorough person, and an upstanding representative, and this speech is fascinating and very informative, and it includes reference to the legal document by which Scotland could apparently declare itself independent without showing majority support through a democratic referendum:

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On 18th of December 2014 at Area C Coffeehouse (occasionally known as “The Common”, Lesley Riddoch and Eberhard “Paddy” Bort talked about the way things are done in the rest of Northern Europe, and how we’re not doing them that way in Scotland.

It was a very engaging and fascinating evening. The evening was hosted by Jamie Szymkowiak and Sarah Beattie-Smith on behalf of The Common Weal.

Here you can hear each of the speakers, as well as the Q&A session that followed:

Lesley Riddoch talks about how the potential of Scotland compared with Nordic countries such as Norway.

Eberhard “Paddy” Bort talks about Local Government Structures and how they affect people’s real lives in countries such as Scotland and Germany.

A very interesting Q&A discussion about local democracy, and what the heck can be done about it in Scotland.

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On Sunday 23 November, Lesley Riddoch, famed broadcaster and journalist, came to South Leith Parish Church and addressed us on the subject of “Another Media”, discussing Scotland’s changing media in the aftermath of the recent independence referendum. I recorded the audio, with the permission of the organisers, Leith Walk SNP Branch.

You can listen to the talk here:

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