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Showing posts with label Scotland's indpendence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scotland's indpendence. Show all posts

Friday, 12 October 2012

I am an admirer of Gerry Hassan. I don’t agree with some of his analyses, but I have never read anything he has written that is not cogently argued and doesn't contains key insights that matter fundamentally for Scotland’s future, whatever it may be. He is, and will continue to be a serious voice in the critical years ahead of us. His commitment to Scotland’s independence is beyond question.

In a number of telling phrases, he captures what is wrong with Scottish Labour, but also sees another dimension to Scottish society, one that is little recognised, but vital.

For example – “Scotland is a social democracy for its middle-class professional interest groups. The system of government and public spending work best for those most entrenched in the system.”

By God, I recognise that reality, and fulminated against it as the Glasgow professional classes, blinded – and bought – by the glitz and glamour of Big Sport and the Commonwealth Games - and the Scottish Government - ignored and betrayed the vulnerable people and small business of old Dalmarnock, and the mothers of the disabled children of the Accord Centre, .

He refers to the “profound absence of responsibility” among Labour politicians as they “closed their eyes to the mediocre services the party offered” and to the “pronounced Scottish Labour entitlement culture” in Labour for the last half century.

But he also inveighs against a straw man, “the romanticising of our history” among a sector of nationalist support that denies the reality of the problems Scotland faces. Gerry is above making the tired old Braveheart taunt, but that’s what he means, and he must know that although this exists – and will continue to exist – among a minority of less informed nats (and a few well enough informed to know better), it has not been a defining characteristic of the party for many years now.

Like many intellectuals of the Left, Gerry is sometimes unaware of his own romanticisation of the potential of a new Scotland - a kind of Left-wing, cloth-capped Mel Gibson fantasy of a Scotland that will fearlessly condemn oppression across the globe, will turn away in disdain from the grubby business of trying to persuade amoral capitalists - and sometimes questionable regimes - to invest in or trade with Scotland, and will bring about the long-awaited collapse of capitalism and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

As one of my Barras soapbox orators of the 1940s used to say, fixing his admiring audience with a glittering, roving eye – “Aye, that day will come comrades, but it’ll no' come the morra, or even the day efter …”

Gerry, of course, can cloak all this when he chooses in dense prose and arcane economic theory, but the essence of the auld socialist cry is there – the Great Left Rapture, will assuredly come, when Scotland will be lifted to an ineffable state of social and economic morality. Unfortunately, for a century now, this has produced the Great Left Rupture, and the dream has turned to dust again and again, as economic reality, blatant careerism, money grubbing and realpolitik intruded, not to mention event, dear boy, events …

Gerry distrusts the pragmatism of Alex Salmond, and doesn’t like his economic vision. At this time of international economic and social turbulence, with the beast of neo-fascism, unbridled corporate power and religious intolerance slouching towards Bethlehem again, I think our only salvation is exactly Alex Salmond’s ebullient pragmatism, to secure jobs, futures and a life worth living for Scots young and old. But we need voices such as Gerry Hassan’s to balance that pragmatism with core values that still matter and are always, always under threat.

But we do not need the voice of Douglas Alexander, a career politician in the thing that the Labour Party has become, profoundly irrelevant to the future of Scotland – unless he and the Scottish Labour Party can shake off their obsession with the Union, abandon their fake internationalism, and embrace the independence of their truly internationalist country, where, in the immortal words of James Connolly - Séamas Ó Conghaile – that internationalism begins with nationalism.


Sunday, 10 June 2012

Scotland ranks 5th on EU GDP per capita

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT WRITTEN ANSWER
8 June 2012  Index Heading: Strategy and External Affairs
Kenneth Gibson (Cunninghame North) (Scottish National Party): To ask the Scottish Executive  where Scotland would rank on the table, Regional GDP per capita in the EU27 in 2009, published by Eurostat on 13 March 2012, had account been taken of Scotland's economic share of the UK's national air-space, territorial waters and the continental shelf lying in international waters over which the UK enjoys exclusive rights, territorial exclaves including deposits of oil and natural gas.
(S4W-07532)
 
Mr John Swinney: An illustrative estimate of Scottish GDP with a geographic share of Extra Regio output (GDP), suggests that Scotland would have been ranked 5th in terms of GDP per capita against the 27 EU countries in 2009.
 
This estimate has been produced using data from Eurostat, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the National Records of Scotland (NRS), and the Scottish National Accounts Project (SNAP). The methodology used to produce these estimates is the same as set out in the note Scotland’s International GDP Per Capita Ranking, which was published on the Scottish Government website in March 2012 and can be found at - http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0039/00390896.pdf

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Gun boats and Royals to an outpost of empire again – history repeating itself?

Since I first posted this, we’ve had an election, and Westminster and the unionist coalition of Tories/Labour/LibDems under their Great Leader, David Cameron, have decide that we can have a referendum after all – but with very bad grace. But imperialists always revert to type – like the scorpion that stung the ox carrying it across a turbulent river – it’s in their nature …

Repost of  Wednesday, 15 December 2010 blog

The Falklands Islanders can leave the UK whenever they want to–but what about the Scots?

The Daily Politics, Wednesday  the 15th of December.

THERESA VILLIERS, TORY MP

"Our legal rights to the sovereignty of the Falklands is clear, and we've always said we will never give the Falklands back, unless the people in the Falkland Islands wish to make a change to the current arrangement ... The Falkland Islands stay British unless the Falkland islanders want to change that."

ED BALLS, LABOUR MP

"These are British people, who have a right to self-determination ---"

So say the two largest parties in the UK.

But what of Scotland, a country that voluntarily entered into a union with England as the UK - a country with its own ancient, proud, independent history, traditions and culture, its own church, its own legal system, its own Parliament.

What if a substantial proportion of the population of Scotland - a majority in the last opinion poll - want a referendum to determine their wishes?

The answer is a flat, unequivocal NO from all three of the largest UK parties. They are afraid even to ask the question. So billions can be squandered on maintaining a remote, tiny relic of the faded British Empire, but Scotland cannot even seek the opinion of its citizens.

The question must be asked again and again - why does the UK want to hold Scotland? The answers are clear - defence, i.e. nuclear, policy, revenue from oil and Scotch whisky, and finally the fact that if Scotland goes, the pretence of Empire can no longer be sustained.

And of course there is the secret terror that Scotland might well prove to be more economically successful than England, and might continue to display a concern for its poor, its vulnerable, its aged, and for the education of its young people that is increasingly absent in England.

Let Scotland go! You must be nuts - the Union Jack would rot on the flagpole! There would be riots in the streets of London! Members of the Royal Family would be assaulted in public! (aside from Sir Humphrey – Ahem, that has already happened, Minister ...”)

And what would happen to the post of colonial governor,  the Scottish Secretary?

Why that would pass, unmourned, into the sordid pages of the history of that benighted position.


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

The YouTube debate - TAofMoridura

I have a YouTube channel, TAofMoridura. Since starting my new blog and channel after my medical problems (I took down the old blog and channel 2008-2009) I posted 460 video clips. All of them were live, and all of them attracted regular comments. I pre-moderate, so I have to make a decision on every comment post - to approve or delete, and whether or not to respond.

Roughly one third of all comments are so obscene, abusive, or obsessionally repetitive that I have to delete them and sometimes block the poster. I never delete comments or block them based on posters disagreeing with me in rational arguement, and I have deleted and blocked independence supporters for the same reasons as unionists. 

This involves so much work in addition to my blogging and capture and posting of videos that I could not sustain it. I was also having some minor hassle from YouTube over protected content. So I decided to take them all down and start afresh.

To give an idea of the work load involved - and the nature of comments (you can see them all on TAofMoridura) here is one video clip posted on 12th January 2012, with so far 2500 hits - high for my kind of clip. I have left a couple of nasties in (apologies, Nicola!) to give a flavour of the abusive nature of some who claim to be British and unionist, and sometimes Scots.


Douglas Alexander and Dimbleby gang up on Nicola Sturgeon

They dont like it up em Mr Mainwaring. The nasty SNP on the back foot what a turn up.
JohnnyNorfolk

I wish she knew about Tom Harris MP at this time!
Next time!
FranklyLate

RIP - SNP
SNP maybe biggest party but Scotland we Scots (majority) don't want to be Independent. We have our own government, we have the best of both worlds we make our own decisions but are part of the UK getting billions extra each year.
Scotland could survive on its own but we would have to pay more tax, no British army, likely have to join the Euro in long-term. No more Royal family, no more free education, Scotland would take debt burden and we wouldn't control all the oil in North sea!
51wins

HA HA HA it was great to see the little mongrel get her yap SHUT
CHANNELOMD

What's with the griping - she didnt answer a simple question
Nats r very well trained in the art of badgering. Ms Sturgeon was as evasive and as slippery as a Salmond. It really wasnt a hard time. Ok she didnt get protected by the tv people we have up here. Who r cowered by belligerent nats who smear people as anti scottish.
I am Scottish with no political affilations. The twin threats to a proper open informative debate is the wee scots gerrymandering and daft english comments
random2862

I agree that Nicola Sturgeon was treated badly and I felt uncomfortable watching it. She comes across as a very nice genuine person. (Don't trust Salmond!)
I also thought Kelvin Makenzie was a little "Londoner" arsehole.
I'm English and I support the Uk but this is no way to debate such an important issue.
If this type of discourse continues for another 2 years then the SNP will have independence in the bag!
The Unionists have to make a far more mature case and accept Devo-Max FTW.
garysgreat

Shes like a chattering rat.
CarolineRaRaRa

Douglas Alexander, weak, spineless, glass jawed. abour R.I.P
bhoywunder

What an odious little wanker Douglas Alexander is, let the woman bloody talk instead of being so childish and badgering her.
This is appalling behaviour from an MP supposedly an adult during a live televised discussion.
McDuff73

Douglas Alexander is disgraceful
turkeylad

get used to it folks. there's worse to come. bear in mind Alexander and the rest are fighting for their political careers. independence means no membership of westminster club.
pokerkid99

I watched this live and was amazed at the lack of respect to Scotlands Deputy First Minister. This will probably be the same on all debates from now until the Independence Referendum in 2014. 5 against 1 is hardly fair.
Let us have a grown up Debate with fairness and equal air space.
FireiskLtd

I thought nats liked being oppressed - it gives them a sense of purpose. Maybe they just don't like being oppressed by fellow scots, of questionable patriotism
KMcPsentia

This is a mugging by dimblebore and douglas alexander. BBC has been swamped with complaints.
sionnyn

  Yep how awful to question the commitment of those Labour members of the * Scottish * parliament who take their instructions - verbatim! - from the Westminster Tories.
jistaface

Classic! Typically editing a quote and taking it out of context. It was the democratic point that the Unionists never wanted a referendum and therefore Westminster should not impose conditions on the referendum that should be coordinated by the Scottish Parliament.
ramboice

This kind of thing is all the unionists are good for - being as those who actually watched the full 2 and a half hour long debate from holyrood (and therefore are aware of the context) will be few and far between. To deny the Scottish electorate the right to have their voice according to the timescale of their own democratically elected government IS anti-Scottish, but the phrase is too easily taken out of context, and Joan McAlpine should have known better.
  jack834834

Out of context. Sentence was clipped! Original quote was longer.
Here is the abridged quote confidently delivered by Alexander: "I absolutely make no apology for saying that the liberals, the labour party and the Tories are anti-Scottish."

The full quote:
"I absolutely make no apology for saying that the liberals, the labour party and the Tories are anti-Scottish in coming together to defy the will of the Scottish people, the democratic mandate."
Bit different.
Hirunite

I guess we're going to seean awful lot more of these types of tactics in the coming couple of years, and it's only going to get worse. It's going to be down to those who support independence yet have know real or tangible link to political parties and the SNP in particular to rebuke such underhand political tactics.
weejimmykranky

Lord Ashdown made a considered contribution but I found him comparing his painting of independence elsewhere in the world, which had been brought about through war, conflict and genocide, to be an unfair comparison with the likely aftermath of Scottish independence.
Don't know what happened to Kelvin MacKenzie last night. The Levinson jab must be starting to work :-).
grumblingtummy

I thought Wee Duggie was actually being quite rude in his continued barracking of the Deputy First Minister as she tried to make her point. David Dimbleby really should have intervened as Chairman to stop this rude behaviour and then ensure Nicola responded to the "question" from DA.... and we wonder why common courtesy is disappearing from society!
grumblingtummy
 
Apologize for what?! You fools are not patriotic, you do not love your country as Scotland, because your country is the United Kingdom and there's where your allegiance lies. You belittle it all the time, your policies do no good for Scotland, you gang up on, and ignore the significant (and growing daily) population of Scots that favor independence, but yet, you present no positive points for Scotland to stay in the Union, only negativity about us leaving. You are indeed a disgrace to Scotland.
MSfeller