Search topics on this blog

Google+ Badge

Showing posts with label Holyrood May 5th 2011. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holyrood May 5th 2011. Show all posts

Monday, 20 June 2011

The ludicrous farce that is the British Empire and the UK - by an American

(I first posted this on February 11th 2011, but it has a vital new relevance since the renewed historic mandate of the only party committed to freeing Scotland, and because of the impending referendum. Watch and laugh, but most of all – LEARN! We’ll need all the history and all the arguments to convince the people of Scotland to free their nation. This should make Lord Forsyth’s wee kilt birl roon his ears and his sporran go richt up his nose …)

Superb - wonderful, accurate, funny! A spot-on hilarious but hugely informative account of the long-running farce called the British Empire.

Scotland wants out - I want out - anyone with any sense wants out.

Congratulations, USA - you got out a long time ago.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Scotland on Sunday - on Easter Sunday

The haar has lifted, and our back garden on this late April day is gloriously sunny.

Whan that Aprill with his shoures sote the droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote and bathed every veynein swich licour of which vertu engendred is the flour

I quote the great English poet, because he was an Englishman, one with a great love for his country and its language, which he immeasurably enriched, and because I love the Canterbury Tales, especially its Prologue. And I love him because I am not an Englishman, nor am I British - just an unwilling, and I hope temporary citizen of a disunited kingdom that Geoffrey Chaucer would not have understood. But great art transcends all national and global boundaries in its profound humanity, which is why it is deeply distrusted by tyrants everywhere, in every age, and why the Arts are their first targets when money is tight and the rich and privileged must be protected at all costs.

But art is politicised, and artists must engage with politics, because politics is life and failure to engage is a denial of the Zeitgeist. But that engagement must arise from the artist’s vision, and must not be distorted by being pressed into a politician’s view of Art. That way lies the art of the Third Reich, and that alliance of art and politics defines fascism.

But I must return to the mundane, indeed to the quotidian. Carpe Diem, and the diem that must be carpied is Sunday the twenty fourth of April 2011.

The news today is good, and a continuation of the good news that has built like a great, unstoppable (I hope!) wave over the last week or so. The Scotland on Sunday YouGov poll graphically illustrates the Gray Nightmare - a Holyrood seat projection of 61 for the SNP (+14), with Labour at at 42 (-4). With a Green projection of 8 (+6) that gives a potential SNP/Green coalition or working arrangement of 69 seat out of 129.

No room for complacency, however, because the unionist press are offering increasingly desperate advice to Labour about how they might recover some ground, advice which can be summarised as go negative, attack Alex Salmond and talk up the independence agenda.

(I’ll bypass The Sunday Herald for once, who are also in  the ‘rehabilitate Iain Gray’ mode. But one comment, on Tom Gordon’s piece, Glad to be Gray. His opening paragraph is -

Iain Gray is a paradox. His back-story is far more vivid than that of civil servant turned bank economist Alex Salmond, and more obviously dedicated to public service, yet it’s impossible to tell.

Leaving aside the blatant bias, any journalist with such an uncertain grasp of syntax really needs to take advantage of one of Iain Gray’s ‘pledges’, as listed to the right of the piece - a zero approach to illiteracy. Tom, one question on your second sentence - ‘impossible to tell’ what?)

I choose to focus on Kenny Farquarson’s piece, What Labour needs is some six appeal. Why Kenny Farquarson? Because, based on his previous output, and significantly on his Twitter contributions (@KennyFarq), I believe him to be committed to Scotland and the Scottish people, open to civilised debate, and generally a valuable and informed member of Scottish society. But he is a unionist, and employed by Scotland on Sunday, and neither of these things come without obligations.

So how does Kenny Farquarson address the now urgent priority of giving artificial respiration to Iain Gray’s campaign?

Well, his sub-header, Scots appear to be unimpressed with the SNP record on almost every policy area, appears to signal that it is not only the Labour Party that has retreated from an uncomfortable reality, because in the light of the polls, if that risible statement was accurate, Scottish voters have taken leave of their senses. But we’ll move swiftly on to the body of his article.

Kenny offers six ways for Labour to ‘defy all predictions and ‘win back the lost ground’.

1. Talk up independence.

By this, Kenny means frighten unionists who may vote for the SNP by reiterating the tired and entirely unsuccessful argument, trotted out and regularly demolished by Alex Salmond on almost every media channel, that the SNP is somehow marginalising the independence question. If anything demonstrates how remote the Scottish Unionist parties and their media supporters are from the mood of the electorate, it is this argument. In spite of being peddled by a range of media gandy dancers and railroad men for well over a year, the voters seem unmoved - or rather, moved towards the SNP rather than being put off by it.

If I may celebrate the Auld Alliance in a phrase, Kenny, the Scottish NATIONAL Party’s raison d'être is the independence of the Scottish nation by the free democratic choice of the people of Scotland, a choice that will be offered to them during the life of the next Scottish Parliament, the electorate and May the 5th permitting.

2. Don’t let up on the message that Scotland needs Labour now that the Tories are back in power at Westminster.

Labour voters swallowed that argument briefly after the general election, until they realised that -

a) there would have been no Tories in power if John Reid, Labour power-broker par excellence, hadn’t deliberately wrecked Gordon Brown’s attempt to form a rainbow coalition with the LibDems and the nationalist parties.

b) there would have been no Cuts necessary if Labour hadn’t wrecked the UK economy.

c) that Alex Salmond and the SNP had, week after week in Holyrood, warned of the impending ‘£500 million’ cut to the Scottish settlement by Alistair Darling, a fact airily denied and dismissed by Iain Gray when his party was in power at Westminster, and hastily re-discovered when they were thrown out.

c) that none of it would have happened if Scotland had been independent and/or in control of its own finances.

and

d) the financial crash would have passed Scotland by - as it has Norway - if the UK Government hadn’t stolen its oil revenues.

Scottish voters also realised, after Ed Miliband’s Labour Party Conference speech in Glasgow, that Miliband Minor wasn’t up here to fight the Scottish election, he was here to shamelessly use the puppet Scottish Labour Party and its puppet Leader to fight the next UK general election.

The Scottish electorate didnae come up the Clyde oan a bike, Kenny …

3) Go for the SNP’s record  in government.

Well, do so, by all means, Kenny - it is precisely their record in government that has inspired the confidence of a series of major Scottish business figures and the electorate.

4) It’s the economy, stupid …

Yes, it is, Kenny, and since Labour wrecked it, the ConLibs are looting the wreck, and the only hope Scots have is the SNP and Alex Salmond, the polls show that the electorate are not stupid, even if the unionist parties believe they are …

5) Wheel out Laura Norder

Wheel out is right, Kenny - in a broken pram on its way the the steamie, after Andy Kerr, Richard Baker and Iain Gray’s nonsensical statistics have been comprehensively rubbished by a series of unimpeachable organisations, including those they were misquoting. Laura Norder, a painted fraud who has little to do with justice, is the last refuge of scoundrels.

6) Finally, for goodness sake, do something about Iain Gray …

As Mae West once said, goodness has nothing to do with it. It would take a back-to-the future time machine to do something about Iain Gray, i.e. don’t elect him as Leader in the first place.

But then, what did the sea of mediocrity that is now the Scottish Labour Party have to offer? Iain Gray was thrown up, in every sense of the word, by a party bereft of values, ideals, vision and, above all, bereft of talent.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Afghanistan–the futile killing fields

The UK has the fourth largest defence budget in the world, even after the cuts.

WHY?

For this?
                
For Iraq?

To pretend that Britain is still a world power? 
                               
For the rump of an Empire?
 
For a bloodstained flag?



To allow an old Etonian rich boy and arms dealer - David Cameron - and a glib grammar school Yorkshireman - William Hague - who made his millions by giving talks to rich businessmen, to pretend that they are international statesmen, while demonstrating their ignorance, incompetence and impotence over the Libyan crisis?

Scotland! Free yourself of these people, and this poisoned union.

Saor Alba

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Labour’s minnows in a stagnant Scots pool - Harry Reid’s devastating Herald indictment of Scottish Labour

Worth a blog just to give the link, in case you missed the newspaper - and my Tweet. You’ll have to register to read it all, but registration at The Herald online is free.

(I unaccountably missed Harry Reid as one of my journalist heroes in my piece the other day, but he is.)

 Labour's minnows ... by Harry Reid - The Herald

A quote -

Labour has taken Scotland for granted twice over. Its big hitters have pursued their careers hundreds of miles to the south, treating their own base with disdain; those left behind have become complacent, stagnating smugly and maybe not even minding too much if they are seen as inferior.

Harry Reid - The Herald 1st March 2011

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The ludicrous farce that is the British Empire and the UK - by an American

Superb - wonderful, accurate, funny! A spot-on hilarious but hugely informative account of the long-running farce called the British Empire. Scotland wants out - I want out - anyone with any sense wants out. Congratulations, USA - you got out a long time ago.

Saor Alba!



Elites in UK politics - the Public School PPE degree - Passport to the Establishment

Last year, I wrote about the UK Establishment versus Scotland’s independence and also about the insidious infiltration of UK democracy at the highest level by a privileged elite -public school (Oxbridge, Fettes, Roedean etc.) PPE degree holders, often from rich, privileged, and sometimes politically dynastic backgrounds - using their connections and their PPE degrees as a Passport to the Establishment. (Andrew Neil has now caught up with me in his recent documentary Posh and Posher on BBC television.)

The UK Establishment versus Scotland's independence

Elites at the top of the Labour Party - PPE degrees



After various indignant outbursts from PPE degree graduates and undergraduates, I made it clear that I had nothing against the degree itself - indeed, if I had gone to university it would possibly have been my degree of choice, since it offers three subjects that are essential to a functioning democracy, politics, philosophy and economics - but only to its use, especially by well-connected public school graduates as a direct entry, fast track  route to the highest jobs in politics and government, and in the process, without any direct exposure to the real life of the nation, effectively marginalising or excluding from high office people from less privileged backgrounds.

In the process, a narrow, self-sustaining elite that is profoundly undemocratic and unrepresentative of the people is created,with a shared view of life and society that totally fails to understand the needs of the people and is inimical to their interests.

This is not, as will instantly be claimed by those with a vested interest in this insidious perversion of democracy, the politics of envy.

It is a burning resentment of the way in which the democratic processes of the United Kingdom, and therefore Scotland, a nation with deep egalitarian and democratic instincts, have been high-jacked, notably and contemptibly by the upper echelons of the the thing the Labour Party has now become - a party utterly alien to the people it claims to represent and to the aspirations of the Scottish people to control their lives and their futures.

We are currently being misgoverned by an unholy coalition of wealth and privilege, a Tory Party reverting to its atavistic instincts to destroy public services, dismantle the NHS for profit and attack the living standards of ordinary people while protecting the rich, supported by a compliant, principle-free and largely impotent partner, the Liberal Democrats, now effectively a subordinate part of the Tory Party, all liberal and democratic values abandoned.

Labour - having misgoverned the UK for 13 wasted, blasted years, betraying every principle they ever espoused, mismanaging the economy in the lead-up to, and during a global recession, and leading the UK into disastrous foreign wars in support of the most right-wing government the United States has seen in generations - are now trying to induce a mood of collective amnesia about their failure, while criticising the appalling coalition that they effectively put in power.


Don’t let any of these people back into power in Scotland on May 5th.

If the Scottish National Party is returned for a second term after the Holyrood elections, they will have a difficult task ahead of them in the most challenging economic times. But the Scottish people will be governed by their ain folk, not by an alien, rich privileged elite, whether it calls itself ConLib or Labour, nor by their puppet party leaders in Holyrood, the Three UK Stooges.

If the Scottish National Party is not returned for a second term, then Scotland and Scots face a bleak future. That is the stark reality.

Make the right choice on May 5th, Scotland!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Am I negative about Labour? YES. Do I think Labour’s funny? NO

moridura Peter Curran

Scotland's future will be determined on May 5th for four years, perhaps forever. It's time for bold statements, clear leadership and vision.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@AlexSalmond4FM Everybody claims Burns as their own. Say something about the state of Scotland. That's what I want to hear from you, FM.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Try responding to obscure witticisms and cosy in-jokes if you are worried sick about your home, your job, your future and your health.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Explain to the families of the dead, the dole queues, the sick and the elderly and the poor why Labour is funny, at UK or Holyrood level.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Iraq Labour - wrecked economy Labour - flag of death Labour. Am I negative about them? You better believe it. Humour's OK but not enough ...

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

I'm a Glasgow Scot - lived in Scotland for 65 of my 75 years: Labour has lied to me, a Labour voter for 50 years. Why believe them now?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The election debate heats up: Twitter - following and unfollowing … moridura.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-… via @moridura

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Can any teacher, student, local authority worker - any victim of alcohol abuse, any sick or vulnerable person trust a word Labour says now?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Paul0Evans1 Yes, there's a spill over from trivial Twitter practices into the big boys' game. You follow me and I'll follow you nonsense

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Labour MPs and Lords in the dock for criminal fraud or drummed out for misrepresentation and racism. Do Scots want such a party in office?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The great election debate: Twitter - don't unfollow - monitor the opposition's tweets moridura.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-… via @moridura

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#snpbrokenpromise Some of the tweets on this are so heavily ironic that it's not clear who they support. Try to be more direct, please ...

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#scottishlabour Desperately spewing out promise after promise in a frantic attempt to convince voters that they believe in something. Sordid

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

LibDems: We're anybody's for a fag, a ministerial car and salary and - (What's that? Promises? Principles? Ideals? You must be having us on)

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#scottishlabour We ruined the economy, and now the Coalition are completing the job. We congratulate them! (Sorry, Ed, did I get it wrong?)

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#scottishlabour Scots - wouldn't you prefer a toom tabard, Iain Gray as FM, knee bent and forelock touched to Westminster than Alex Salmond?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#scottishlabour Promise to shine your shoes, wash your hankies - anything except give up WMDs and stop sending Scottish boys to their deaths

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

#scottishlabour A rash of promises to do anything and everything except help a vulnerable constituent, Margaret Jaconelli, victimised by GCC

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@markc1984 I respect your right, but not your judgment. Burns stood for the common man against wealth and privilege. Labour doesn't anymore.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@stevencalder Neither would Eddie Izzard, if it were up to me, Steven. moridura.blogspot.com/2011/01/appeal… via @moridura

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

An appeal from a unionist comedian - Eddie Izzard - and my reply … moridura.blogspot.com/2011/01/appeal… via @moridura

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Scotsvote2011 @scottishlabour Unionist hypocrisy and doublethink has destroyed such integrity as Labour had left. Don't let them in, Scots!

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Scottish coalition puppets - and Labour - brought down a good Transport minister over weather. Will ConLibs resign? Will ConLib pigs fly?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Economy down - Coalition in a panic - "It was the bad weather ..." says millionaire Old Etonian Osborne. Will he resign? Will he hell!

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@markc1984 Don't pervert the poetry of a great Scot to serve a Unionist puppet of Westminster, please. Respect Scotland, not the corrupt UK.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@stevencalder Iain Gray statesman-like? Are you pitching for the Golden Globe comedy awards, Steven? Or was it heavy irony? - or satire?

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@dhothersall The failings of a few! The few are the tiny minority that opposed the Iraq War, and the collective failings of the party.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The great election debate: Twitter - following and unfollowing opponents moridura.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-… via @moridura

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

"My father always voted Labour, so will I ..." Your father voted for a party that doesn't exist any more, and hasn't for decades - wake up!

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

Don't unfollow those you disgree with, so long as they are relevant to the great debate - know your opposition. Only unfollow triviality -

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The history of Labour in Glasgow and Scotland is one great, shameful, heartbreaking broken promise to the people, a monumental betrayal.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The SNP - the last best hope of the people of Glasgow and Scotland. In less than 4 years, they have done more than Labour did in 50 years.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

The Glasgow Labour Party - the main barrier to the people of Glasgow escaping from the curse of alcohol abuse, violence, poverty and crime.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

I was brought up in extreme poverty in Glasgow, and I have lived in Scotland for 65 years. Labour failed the people completely since 1945.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Irpicus The treatment of a Glaswegian family, the Jaconelli's, by Glasgow City Council epitomises Labour failure and corruption of ideals.

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Irpicus If you have to defend Labour record by harking back to the 19th century, God help Glasgow - Labour certainly hasn't -

Peter Curran

moridura Peter Curran

@Irpicus In the last 13 years of Labour Government just about everything got worse in Glasgow - alcohol abuse, poverty, health - you name it

The great election debate: Twitter - following and unfollowing …

100 days of campaigning left, and the great debate on Scotland’s future heats up considerably, especially on Twitter, home of the epigrammatic 140 character tweet. This has produced some predictable, but also many surprising manifestations of the new intensity.

I am relatively new to Twitter and the new media, and it has been a steep learning curve for me, as a I struggled to come to grips with the nature of a medium so different from my normal mode of expression, but so close to real life political debate as it exists in the 21st century world.

But I must confess to surprise that the learning curve, steep as it is, is still being climbed by some of our younger political professionals, and a few of them appear to be stuck on ledges.

The critical early decision when first exposed to the potential torrent of tweets is who to ‘follow’. Unless the neophyte sticks to going in search of specific twitterers, a decision has to be made to let all tweets originating from a specific Twitter address to come through. This is roughly equivalent to voluntarily going on someone’s mailing list - i.e. send me everything you have to say. By doing so, the door is opened to all relevant communications, but also much that is irrelevant or even unwelcome. Is the dross acceptable as the price to pay for the occasional gold dust?

In probing the fascinating depths of Twitter, it must be recognised that users engage in the medium from various motivations. I loosely categorise these as

1. A simple wish to share the minutiae of day-to-day life with others. (Some users argue that this was the real original purpose of Twitter, implicit in its very name, and resent criticism of it, ignoring the ornithological fact that bird twittering always has a purpose, usually a serious one.)

2. A wish to communicate and share an enthusiasm, or set of enthusiasms with a wider audience of like-minded twitterers.

3. A commercial purpose - the wish to publicise a product or service.

4. A celebrity PR strategy - an attempt to remain in the public consciousness by sharing often trivial thoughts. It is a variant of the commercial strategy above. (Stephen Fry is a prime exponent of this, although I suspect he is driven by deeper psychological imperative than publicity.)

5. A news agenda - partly by a commercial purpose - to publicise the media channel - but also by a simple imperative to report and comment on events.

6. A political agenda, either to promote a specific party or a set of political ideas, often both.

7. A legion of other twitterers with an incredible range of agenda, often of the nutter-to-nutter category, sometime criminal nutter-to-nutter, sometimes  exploiter to exploitee, and I suspect sometime a simple criminal agenda.

My purpose is a party political one, but also a communication of ideas, and very recently, a single issue campaign.

Initially alerted to a new idea by today’s tweets, I shortly thereafter received a private message inviting me to un-follow the Scottish Labour Party’s tweets from @scottishlabour. The rationale accompanying this request was that I should show my distaste for their ‘negative campaigning’ by refusing to follow them.

My view, expressed rather more briefly in my reply, is as follows -

Following doesn't imply support on Twitter - it is a wish to know, a selective filter. Not to know what @scottishlabour are tweeting is closing down a channel of information and an opportunity for response. Not to listen to what your political opposition is saying is like intelligence services in wartime refusing to monitor the enemy's communications.

My campaigning on Twitter is vigorous, robust, and I hope negative in the sense that it points up the failure of Labour over generations - and I span three, close to four generations - to serve the people of Scotland and the people of Glasgow. I have no objection to negativity, providing it is balanced by a positive message and clear policies and objectives.