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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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…

 

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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“New brooms sweep clean” or so they say. On the other hand, what do “they” know anyway?

Labour’s Relationship with Scotland – It’s Complicated

Johann Lamont

Johann Lamont

The “Scottish” Labour Party will certainly be hoping to make a clean sweep of the 2015 General Election in Scotland, anyway, so perhaps that’s why it’s no coincidence that the “leader” and “deputy leader” of “Scottish” Labour have both stepped down this week, giving a full six months for whoever is elected to the roles to shake hands and kiss babies. Six months is, of course, long enough to do a lot of smiling, and get a lot of column inches written about you, but unless you’re completely incompetent, it’s too short a time to really stuff anything up too badly, especially if you’re not in government… isn’t it?    Read More →

If you live in Scotland it’s pretty much your duty to email the Smith Commission and have your say on what you think increased devolution for Scotland should look like.The deadline for you to send your thoughts in is 5pm on 31 October so do it now, and don’t be late.

I just did, and here’s what i said (below). I didn’t mention every single thing, for example i didn’t mention fracking or borrowing powers, i didn’t go into detail about Education, Health or oil, for three reasons, firstly i know plenty of people will mention those issues, certainly there are plenty of petitions specifically asking the Smith Commission to consider each of these issues, and secondly issues such as fracking, which are very relevant at the moment, are certain to come up during the Smith Commission’s deliberations. While the SNP’s submission to the Smith Commission does not contain any mention of fracking specifically, it is a hot topic for the Green Party, and the news has been full of people’s concerns and more specifically the Scottish Government calling for a halt on fracking activities within Scotland until the outcomes of the Smith Commission are known. Thirdly, my position is pretty much that more or less everything should be devolved, and i spell that out quite a lot in my letter, so it seemed a little pontless to go into every specific area individually. Read More →

I’ve heard it said a lot recently that Labour are “finished” in Scotland, but what does that really mean? Are they really finished in Scotland? Should they be?

The History

It can’t be denied that for generations now the Labour Party has commanded a huge share of the votes, and parliamentary seats, in Scotland. Recent years have seen the Labour Party’s popularity decrease sharply, however. The Labour Party has turned its back on its own values as well as the needs of the people it claims to represent. Times have changed, since the Thatcher years. We all in Scotland breathed a sigh of relief when Tony Blair’s government won in 1997, but by the time he was illegally invading Iraq, despite the vast majority of the whole UK being against it, it was clear to most that Labour may have changed with the times, but not necessarily in the way we wanted.

Vote For Keir Hardie - Labour Party Values

Vote For Keir Hardie – Labour Party Values

It is often said that Scotland is predominantly left wing. I’m not sure. Even if that is true, i think it’s more accurate to say Scotland is predominantly social, politically speaking. We favour values which allow the whole community to thrive, because we know this is best for all of us. Throughout the 20th century, it was easy to see that Labour epitomised that, with their pro-working-class ethic and power-to-the-people attitude, not to mention their stranglehold on the trade unions. But with the working class being at least conceptually replaced by the middle class(es), so to speak, the class based structure of politics had broken down by the beginning of the 21st century, at least in the minds of many voters. Read More →