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Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WMD. Show all posts

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Polls: Newsnight index and YouGov Nowcast - and average, April 9th 2015

Here’s the latest Newsnight Index poll and the YouGov Nowcast poll.

I averaged them, perhaps invalid, but polls are a snapshot with error margin, so probably gives a good idea of state of play.

Poll Ave April 9th 2015

Net out Sinn Fein and the Speaker leaves 644 voting maximum, so 323 minimum necessary for single party overall majority or voting deal combined majority, in coalition, confidence and supply or informal vote-by-vote, issue-by-issue basis.

Neither Ed Miliband nor David Cameron are remotely likely to have an overall seat majority as single party.

Any way you slice it – since SNP won’t do any deal with or vote with the Tories – Ed Miliband can’t ignore the SNP, whether Labour is the largest or second largest party.

If he leads the largest party, his choice is either minority government – with huge risk – or deal with SNP. If he’s not the largest party, his choice is either let the Tories in or deal with the SNP.

Quite simply, the SNP – with the help of Plaid and Greens as bloc - can make him PM on either outcome.

Since coalition is firmly ruled out, his options on an SNPbloc/Labour deal are therefore confidence and supplya pre-deal delivering support on negotiated conditions – or informal issue-by-issue, vote-by-vote haggling with SNP bloc.

Nicola has made her pre-deal conditions and voting intentions abundantly clear.  Stewart Hosie expertly analysed the various options today on the Daily Politics, eventually in the face of an increasingly agitated Andrew Neil on Trident/NATO aspect.

The Referendum and the opposition to Scotland’s independence has always centred on defence, (see link below) the nuclear deterrent and Trident, as I noted some years ago. We didn’t win our freedom on September 18th 2014, but now Scotland is playing the Westminster game on their ground – but fully democratically and constitutionally on our terms with our democratic voting independence.

It’s the nukes, stupid!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Labour’s crime – the Iraq War – and my March 2003 fears on the eve of war

I wrote this letter to the Herald on 17th of March 2003. I was then, at least still nominally a supporter of the Labour Party, as I had been all my life and as my family had been.

The war against Iraq began three days later on March 20th 2003 with the U.S. launch of the bombing raid on Baghdad - Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Never in my life have I more wanted to be wrong in a prediction, but what followed unleashed unimaginable death and devastation that lasted from 2003 –2011, beyond my worst imaginings - and, in a very real sense, is not over yet.

The long slow death of Scottish Labour began in March 2003, in significant part due to their moral cowardice at that pivotal moment in history. New Labour – the creation of Blair, Brown and Mandelson seemed to die in 2010, but the rough  beast is stirring again, slouching towards Westminster.

child1child 2

My letter, published in The Herald, 17th of March 2003.

Seventeen and a half per cent of the UK population are children of 15 years of age or younger. (Source of data – CIA website)

41% of the Iraqi population are children o 15 years of age or younger. (Source - CIA website)

Therefore in any “collateral damage” to innocent civilians, 41 children will die or be maimed in every 100. (My source for these statistics - CIA website).

To add to the misery of the Iraqi children already hurt by Saddam Hussein and our sanctions will be an international crime.

Much has been made of Tony Blair’s “sincere conviction” over his stance on Iraq. If sincerity of conviction was the touchstone, the actions of any misguided politician in history could be justified. I hesitate to offer a list of those who pursued policies destructive to justice and life who were “sincere” in their conviction, but produced horrific consequences by their actions.

This coming war is profoundly misconceived and unjust, and Tony Blair is profoundly mistaken to pursue it.

He has wrecked our relationship with our European allies, damaged our international status, weakened our democratic and parliamentary traditions, has perhaps delivered a damaging blow to the Labour Party, and will undoubtedly damage our economy and our security.

As for Scotland’s MSPs supporting Blair's action by their contemptible inaction – don’t look for my vote (Labour for more than four decades) in the May elections.

I now know where the politicians of principle are – a tiny minority in the Scottish Labour group, and a majority in the SSP and the SNP. My advice to the few MSPs of principle left in the Scottish Parliament is to cross the floor now.

Iraq has become the defining political issue of our time, and the question that will be asked of politicians (and all of us) is – where were you when there was still time to stop it?

Peter Curran

Iraq

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Trident Renewal Debate – 20th Jan 2015

#Trident The moral and intellectual, not to mention the strategic and economic bankruptcy of the pro-nuclear case is staggeringly evident.

 #Trident Trident Debate 20 Jan 2015: Dame Joan Ruddock - Part 2  "Nuclear weapons have no utility..."

#Trident Trident Debate 20 Jan 2015: Dame Joan Ruddock - Part 1 “A unilateralist is a multilateralist who means it!"

#Trident #WMD God help us - look who's in the Deputy Speaker's chair - Eleanor Laing MP! -

#Trident #WMD Trident debate, 20 Jan 2015: Angus Robertson - Part Two

#Trident My least favourite Scottish MP, Rory Stewart (Jim Murphy close second) is on his feet

#Trident I take my hat off to Labour MPs attending who spoke for the motion. As for the Scottish ones who didn't attend - my utter contempt

#Trident Some of the arguments for retaining WMD sound like those that might be advanced by not very bright, morally deficient adolescents.

#Trident #indy #WMD Trident debate 20 Jan 2015: Angus Robertson - Part One. Angus Robertson on superb form ..

JOAN RUDDOCK: Nuclear weapons have no utility.They cannot be used to advance any cause or to secure any territory without devastating effects”

#Trident There's a grinning ghost missing from Labour benches - Jim Murphy, arch-Blairite, Henry Jackson nuclear hawk. Will he vote tonight?

#Trident I continue to marvel at what prats some English Tories are, e.g. Julian Fellows.

#indy George Osborne effectively confirmed today that he wants to see English Votes for English Laws (EVEL) applied to parts of the Budget

#Trident The argument for having nuclear weapons is identical to the NRA's case for every American family to keep an arsenal in their homes

#Trident Thanks God Labour has a tiny number of principled MPs left. Dame Joan Ruddock is one. Currently on her principled feet ...

#Trident Michael Fallon, in between defending WMD as a job creation scheme, attacks Labour's alleged equivalence on at sea nuclear deterrent

#Trident If ever we needed evidence that Labour and Tories are unfit to govern a civilised society, Trident debate offers it in abundance.

#indy Which is the more contemptible - Labour's loss of values and principles, or its attempt to hide the loss from the electorate by lies?

#indy Labour MPs absence from Trident debate says that they support WMD but are afraid to be seen to be doing so, afraid to debate. Feart.

#indy Survation poll this morning shows a majority of those who expressed a view are opposed to the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Tweets on Murphyism–a new New Labour sect

Peter Curran @moridura 

Murphy seems close to adopting a heretical YES creed. But NO voters wink and tap their noses: he's brought in the Witchfinder General!

Murphy says Scottish Labour is open to indy supporters. How exactly does he plan to deliver it? By referendum? By recanting? By Irn-Bru?

The Scotsman does its best to explain Murphyism with a straight face

Jim Murphy inspires me - to throw-up, then laugh. He reaches the depths of expediency other politicians cannot reach - not even Nigel!

Even non-believers in Henry Jackson may join Murphy's New Labour. Anti-NATO? We have a place for you too! George Robertson is a donor!

Murphyism - the new health food for disenchanted Labour YES supporters. It's bland, non-nutritious, cooked up by our new chef McTernan

Enough of politics - an indy crossword clue! Politician with no beliefs and forked tongue. No entries required - no prizes offered.

New Murphy Labour - open to all! We'll adjust to anybody's beliefs because our new party has only one - believe in Jim Murphy's career

Jim Murphy - why not invite unilateral WMD disarmers to join your new creed? And flat-earthers, creationists, perpetual motion fans?

To say that Murphyism is a confused, contradictory, opportunistic creed is not to do it full justice. Anyone who swallows this is nuts

SCOTSMAN on Murphyism: "referendum has resulted in the party being overwhelmingly characterised as unionist" Fancy that! 100 towns? Irn-Bru?

Murphy says Scottish Labour is open to indy supporters. How exactly does he plan to deliver it? By referendum? By recanting? By Irn-Bru?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Happy Tweeting time–votes for 16-17, nukes and Murphy on tax

Peter Curran @moridura ·  5m 5 minutes ago

#indy "Murphy to support handing full income tax powers to Holyrood" Anointed Brit.Est. candidate is all over media http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/scottish-politics/murphy-to-support-handing-full-income-tax-powers-to-holyrood.25960228 …

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  16m 16 minutes ago

@Sparraneil I agree. They won't of course. But I'd still accept the tax powers as a major move forward to ultimate independence.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  19m 19 minutes ago

TIMES RED BOX: "Labour's tax warning to independent schools" I agree - stop giving these privileged people subsidies.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  21m 21 minutes ago

@Innealadair Nuclear is the central issue for me, Martin but patently it's not for most Scots - and that includes a fair amount of YES Scots

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  29m 29 minutes ago

#indy Morning Call on about favourite smells. My least favourite smell is the smell of Jim Muphy's Blairite expedient, values-free politics.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  31m 31 minutes ago

#indy #WMD They didn't waste much time - all WMD subs to Faslane. Just in case Scotland wasn't already the prime target in a nuclear war.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  33m 33 minutes ago

@severincarrell The Labour representatives on Smith Commission are Gregg McClymont MP, Iain Gray MSP, not Jim Murphy MP, Guardian's anointed

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  36m 36 minutes ago

@severincarrell Got it in one - he's the mouthpiece of the British Establishment, which increasingly seems to include to Guardian.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  38m 38 minutes ago

#MorningCall Caller: "It's the political elite that are against votes for 16-17s" Bang on, mate. Gaun yersel - puncture the patronising NOes

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  40m 40 minutes ago

@severincarrell "The significant switch will be confirmed on Tuesday by Jim Murphy, the favourite ... " etc. Murphy is Brit.Est. candidate.

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  43m 43 minutes ago

@severincarrell Nor does Santa Claus(e) come down the chimney. The thrust of the headline and content is post Murphy, ergo propter Murphy.

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Peter Curran retweeted

Scottish CND @ScottishCND ·  58m 58 minutes ago

All UK nuke subs will be in Scotland. Subs to move from Plymouth to Faslane by 2020. http://thenational.scot

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  45m 45 minutes ago

Scotland to be offered total control over income tax after Labour U-turn http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/nov/25/scotland-offered-total-control-income-tax-labour-u-turn?CMP=twt_gu … Murphy backs it, so it's a LABOUR U-turn?

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  48m 48 minutes ago

@severincarrell You makes it sound as if its BECAUSE Murphy backs it, Severin. It's an expedient Murphy, as always.

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Peter Curran retweeted

Ron Dickinson @ron_dickinson ·  1h 1 hour ago

@JimhumeHume The arrogance of WM & MoD knows no bounds Scotland to be ONLY UK submarine port by 2020 UNLESS we kick them out via #indyref2!

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Peter Curran @moridura ·  51m 51 minutes ago

#MorningCall The anti-callers on votes for 16-17s typify all that is wrong with NO - and they ARE NOes. How do I know? Don't make me laugh!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Phoney war is over – UK in full onslaught mode against YES

A contemptible spectacle - a Scottish Labour MP, Jim Sheridan, attempting to enlist his Tory BetterTogether boss Cameron into persuading Scottish business bosses to intimidate their workers - for that's what it would be, given power relationship - into voting against the independence of their country.

Between them, in just over a minute, Sheridan and Cameron manage to cram in just about every BT canard and false assertion - about business investment, about alleged Scottish Government bullying, about borders, etc.

I am appalled that many Scots cannot see the democratic threat in employers, holding the careers and livelihood of vulnerable employees in challenging economic times in their hands, trying to influence their democratic vote in a vital, historic constitutional referendum by making negative assertions about the impact on the employers business.

And this at the urging of a failing Prime Minister fighting for his political life, enmeshed in scandal (Coulson) and allegations of incompetence of Europe and management of his shaky Coalition.

 

Gemma Doyle: "What joy do you have in moving the nuclear deterrent 100 miles or so south? I mean - I really fail to grasp that argument ..."

We know you fail to grasp it, Gemma, or you wouldn't have asked such an inane question. That's why Labour is a busted flush.

But let me help you ...

Labour has been either unwilling or incapable of doing a damn thing about either UK nuclear disarmament or world multi-lateral disarmament.

Scottish Labour is even more powerless.

The Labour Party is committed to WMDs and a number of its most senior figures have had glittering careers and amassed considerable wealth by their association with UK defence posts, the MOD, the armaments trade and NATO.

No one in an independent Scotland's politics is going to get rich that way - if they even thought of it, the electorate would show them the door.

An independent Scotland will do what it can, which is to insist on the removal of these obscenities from Scotland, from proximity to our largest population centre, making us a prime target and a prime disaster zone in a major accident.

It is then for rUK to make its own political decisions, but we believe that the Scottish unilateral action may result in rUK being forced to abandon its WMDs, and the possibility that Scotland's action may act as a catalyst for world disarmament.

Meanwhile, a major scandal seems likely to engulf Westminster, with allegations of a paedophile ring in the heart of Government in the 1980,  a cover-up, a dossier mysteriously lost, and the possibility of a police investigation and enquiry.

The minister at the centre of this at the time, Leon Brittan, has changed his story about what he knew, and what he did about allegations submitted to him

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Letter to a friend in England about Scotland’s independent future

A friend in England who takes a keen interest in Scottish affairs, and has lived and worked in Scotland, said that I should not expect too much from independence, and that it might not be Shangri La. I replied as follows -

REPLY

Whatever an independent Scotland's future is, it will have a few certainties -

1. It won't have weapons of mass destruction based in its waters, threatening the environment and the largest population centre in Scotland.

2. It won't have to bear the cost of the irrelevant weapons system.

3. It won't have a support a proportion of the corrupt, inflated and undemocratic House of Lords.

4. It will have located in Scotland a large number of a offices, functions and services with associated jobs that we currently pay for, but are located in S.E.E.

5. It will have a defence force that is truly a defence force, not an attack force, one that is proportionate to our needs and to real threats, not the "induced paranoia threats" required to justify the armaments industry and grease the lucrative revolving doors between the MOD, private industry and government.

6. It will prioritise its spending and use of resources on the needs of the people, especially the poor, sick and vulnerable, however limited its budgets and resources are.

7. It will continue to run an NHS that is free at the point of need, and not privatised by the back door to line the pockets of politicians and their partners in private healthcare.

8. It will recognise its role in protecting the environment and the planet, not pay lip service to it while despoiling it.

9. It will maintain an education system based on ability to learn, not ability to pay.

10. And lastly, whatever it does will be done to itself, by itself, with the governments it elects - every time, not the ones chosen by rUK. In a word, it will be an independent  nation.

I'll settle for that.

regards,

Peter

Friday, 11 April 2014

The media discovers the nuclear negotiating issues at last - “It’s the nukes, stupid!”

The media, as ever well behind the curve on the essence of the independence debate, has suddenly discovered that defence, the nuclear deterrent and negotiation are the big issues, and that they had it wrong all along! Flushed with their new insight, they now claim that everybody else had it wrong too, and nobody else had considered the egregious fact of WMD as  important until they did.

Having spent a couple of weeks touting the risible idea that the Scottish Government would use the nuclear deterrent and the removal of Trident from Faslane “as a bargaining chip”, they are now lost in admiration at themselves for discovering that such a proposition is nonsense.

What brought them to such Damascean conclusions? Why, Lord George Robertson’s ravings at Brookings! The Wee Laird o’ Islay at least broke in to the somnolent consciousness of the media. Thanks for that, George.

Here’s the breathtaking conclusion of Kate Devlin in the Herald, based on, God help us, David Mundell’s realisation that negotiations on Trident – as touted by his colleagues and London press – is a non-starter with the SNP -

His comments are the first insight into how talks to break up the UK could progress.”

Is that a fact, Kate? The first insight only if you ignore the blindingly obvious, and the many detailed analyses, including my own of the issue, especially during the great SNP conference debate of 2012 on NATO.

But, hey, I’m only one old Scottish voter, without the massive research resources and expertise of a national news paper …

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The formidable powers of an independent Scotland that Johann Lamont thinks are “wee things”: Scottish Labour’s nadir at FMQs

Scotland doesn't control the currency or interest rates at the moment. Neither does UK - they're controlled by Bank of England. We won't control them under a currency union either, but we'll have more influence than we have at the moment, as an independent country, a partner in a currency union.

ECONOMIC LEVERS: Excise duty, air passenger duty, VAT, capital gains tax, oil and gas taxation, national insurance, income tax, corporation tax, competition law, consumer protection, industry regulation, employment legislation, the minimum wage, energy markets and regulation, environmental regulations.

ALL THESE THINGS ARE CONTROLLED IN LONDON UNDER UK

ALL OF THEM WILL BE CONTROLLED IN SCOTLAND AFTER INDEPENDENCE.

We'll be able to set the minimum wage, abolish the Bedroom Tax (not just mitigate it). We will be able to transform childcare.

WE WILL BE ABLE TO REMOVE WEAPONS  OF MASS DESTRUCTION FROM SCOTLAND

WE WONT HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN ILLEGAL WARS

Bur all of these things - which we can only do with independence - are, to Johann Lamont, "wee things".

The prospect of this woman and her cohorts leading  even a devolved Scottish Government is not to be contemplated.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Scottish Defenders of the Union – complex and varied in motivation and belief

Over the last month, I have been exposed directly to a fair sample of the infinite variety of the Scottish (defined as resident in and committed to Scotland, regardless of country of origin) defenders of the Union and advocates of a No vote, through a more or less random series of contacts.

As our intrepid YES doorstep campaigners and politicians know far better than I, direct contact yields insights and perceptions that can seem more profound than print and media exposure to more structured arguments. But they can be dangerously misleading on occasion – so I proceed here tentatively, and with many reservations and qualifications. I make no general claims – what I have to say is subjective and reflects only one - and perhaps unduly narrow – perspective. Here are the variants I have encountered, in some cases dominant and seeming to almost define the position of the individual displaying them, in other case simply one aspect of a complex and often conflicting mix. The list of course is not, and never can be comprehensive.

SOME ANTI-INDEPENDENCE  VOTER TYPES

The Patroniser: Independence? It will never happen – it’s Salmond and the SNP’s obsession – has always been a minority sport, as shown again and again by the polls. Two-term SNP Government elected? Simply a local reaction to last days of UK Labour, incompetence of Scottish Labour, the Crash and the Coalition – slap on the wrist for UK – will return to normal UK voting at referendum and in 2015. Give it up, mate – it’s a lost cause …”

A brief discussion with Patronisers quickly reveals that they have little conception of the arguments for and against independence and are sadly deficient in facts and key dates. Overall mode – complacency and reluctance to be confused by argument or hard information.

The Cringer: “Do you think Scotland’s big enough to run its own affairs? We haven’t got the people – just look at Holyrood – they’re all mediocrities in a wee, pretendy Parliament.  It would be all kilts and heather, Braveheart and tartan dolls. And the oil’s running out, there’s no real industry. All the real talent has left long ago – anybody with any sense heads south or emigrates. We couldn’t even run the Bank of Scotland – it caused the UK crash and we had to be bailed out by England. “

As in all classic Orwellian-doublethink, the Cringers don’t see themselves as inferior - or ready to head south or emigrate - and any current examples of Scottish success in running things can be dismissed by either claiming it’s an aberration – or down to UK involvement and help. Pointing to Scottish success in the past is either put down to Braveheartism or to the benefits of the Union. Overall mode – embarrassment at Scotland and Scottishness, complacency that their personal repudiation of Scottish competence somehow explains them being exempted from the criticisms, and the belief that it ingratiates them with UK power and influence.

The I’m Alright Jocks:I’ve got no complaints about the UK – it’s done alright by me. I bet it’s done alright by you too! What have we got to complain about? Yes, there’s been a bad patch since 2008 crash, and difficult things have had to be done, but we’re on the way back up. The poor? Hungry children? Pressures on the sick and vulnerable, the NHS, unemployment? There are no poor people! Have you seen any?

Growth in food banks? All exaggerated, and what do you expect – some people will always turn out for a freebie! I don’t see any deprivation or poverty near me. Most of those in trouble are in that state because of their fecklessness – they can all afford phones and iPads and holidays abroad on benefit. Too many scroungers, too many immigrants abusing NHS and benefits. My parents didn’t have much, but they scrimped and scraped to educate me, and I’ve done all right.”

There’s an element of the I’m Alright Jock callousness and denial of reality in all unionist types, but the above summarises the core ‘arguments’ in their most basic version. Overall mode: Denial of deprivation or blaming of the poor, belief in urban myths, blame, and utter callousness about the less-fortunate.

The Fearful: “The risks of dismantling a 300-year-old union are too great. These are dangerous times – we need the security of belonging to a larger, more powerful grouping. On defence, security, international clout, trade with other nations, we need the backing of UK. Duplication of services, inevitable in a newly-independent nation add extra cost and the risks of settling-in problems.”

Often mainly rational, albeit with an element of irrational fear, the Fearful will listen to argument and can be persuaded, providing their logic-based posture isn’t simply a rationalisation for deep-rooted, emotional opposition. A simple test is whether or not they’ve at least looked at the White Paper and/or are amenable to examining its argument. If they’re totally dismissive and contemptuous of it, they are probably a lost cause in the immediate term. Overall mode: The status quo of UK may not be perfect, but it’s the devil we know. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

The Emotional Scot/Brit: “We have over three centuries of co-operation, a shared cultural and commercial heritage, we have fought and died together in wars for freedom, and justice. The links of family – kith and kin – cross all national boundaries. I don’t want my children and grandchildren to be foreigners, to have to stop at border points. We will lose a fundamental part of our identity – not to mention our shared institutions, e.g. BBC - if we rip the union apart.”

This category exists with subtle but important variations, e.g. are they Scot/Brits or Brit/Scots – which identity is regarded as more significant? The Emotional Scot/Brit mindset can also be part of other dominant modes, indeed it can represent a residual, buried emotional mindset in some marginal independence supporters! Some are actually seeking reassurance on these points. Their fears can either be factually removed by the truth - e.g. on boundaries, border posts – or are logically inconsistent – e.g. pointing out that we fought and died together with other independent nations in wars for freedom and justice, and the majority of wars were imperialist, unjust, and in some cases, illegal. (The Emotional Scot/Brit is often present in Don’t knows.) Overall mode: There are important, unquantifiable family and emotional ties that bind us, and it is a huge risk for the stability of the British Isles to sever them.

The Internationalist Multilateralists:

“Nationalism is inherently divisive – bigger is better, economically, socially and for powerful defence. Ultimately, I favour world co-operation across boundaries, and I believe all men and women are brothers and sisters, and are equal, regardless of social class, economic or ethnic background, but meanwhile I support the UK, despite its appalling imperial record of exploiting other nations and ethnic groups for centuries, and its current record of Parliamentary, police and press corruption, its gross inequality and staggering gap between rich and poor, its inherent distrust of and opposition to trades unions, its House of Lord comprising over eight hundred unelected peers, ennobled variously because of birth, being bishops on one church, large donors to political parties or being failed, but loyal politicians.

I am morally opposed to nuclear weapons of mass destruction, and would never be the first to use them – however … (and here comes the buts and the caveats) … but in a still unstable world, with unpredictable rogue regimes, I believe it is vital to hold on to our nuclear weapons and to our nuclear alliance with those countries – our allies - who got them first, resisting any attempts by other countries to get them (that’s called nuclear proliferation, by the way!) because we can be trusted with them but they can’t.  Of course, I’m committed to nuclear disarmament for the whole world, but only if every other country goes first – that’s called multilateralism.

As I said, I would advocate only using them as a deterrent and would never use them first, if at all, but I see no contradiction on being part of a nuclear alliance, NATO, that has a first-strike policy, and is dominated by the only country in history to have used nuclear weapons twice against cities in a non-nuclear country, Japan, and in a then non-nuclear world.

The various close misses of nuclear Armageddon over the last sixty years or so I dismiss as unfortunate aberrations caused by periodic gross incompetence of military or civil authorities, greedy and amoral industrialist or lunatic politicians – including at least one President of the USA

I suppose in summation, I regard it as deeply unpatriotic of Scottish independence supporters to want to be rid of weapons of mass destruction located without their consent near to their largest centre of population, posing an ever-present threat of nuclear accident, pollution, and of Scotland being a first-strike target by the lunatic foreign dictators our whole case for WMD is predicated on.

Overall mode: Utter idiocy, moral bankruptcy, venal hopes of profit, career and preferment – almost certainly a Scottish Labour politician in UK power structure. With a tiny number, a faint hope that the corrosive effect of their amoral sophistry is beginning to weaken the rotten foundations of their strategically and morally untenable position.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Tweet, tweet – Scotland’s NHS

Tweets

  1. Peter Curran@moridura

    Should Scots be scared over independence? They should on two major issues - nuclear weapons and Scotland's NHS. Two reasons we MUST vote YES

  2. Peter Curran@moridura 

    I owe my life several times over to the Scottish NHS. I'll defend them to the death, so to speak ...

      Peter Curran@moridura

  3. New blockbuster thriller out soon "What happened to Johann - the Invisible, Inaudible Woman?" Read this riveting story of a vanished leader!

     

  4. Peter Curran@moridura 

    Do you provide vital service in the public sector, want to protect the service, your job and your terms and conditions? Vote YES if you care

  5. Peter Curran@moridura

    If you're a Scottish NHS worker and plan to vote No, think again. If you don't know, make up your mind quickly - Vote YES for NHS

     

  6. Peter Curran@moridura

    The purpose of the bedroom tax is to force vulnerable people out of their homes, either by forced choice on cost or eviction on rent arrears

     

  7. Peter Curran@moridura 

    We should have a weekly independence poll from now till referendum. It can't cost too much to ask 1000 people the YES/NO/Don't know question

     

  8. Peter Curran@moridura 

    Vote YES for Scotland's NHS - keep the Tory/Labour/LibDem backroom pals - private healthcare companies - off Scotland's land, out of its NHS

    Expand

  9. Peter Curran@moridura

    #NHS Vote YES for NHS! Vote No for privatised NHS. If you're an NHS worker, YES will protect you from the horrors of creeping privatisation

    Expand

  10. Peter Curran@moridura

    English NHS moves relentlessly towards privatisation. SNP Gov. is totally committed to keeping Scotland’s NHS in public sector. Vote YES NHS

Monday, 15 July 2013

Scrap Trident before it scraps humanity!

 Scarp Trident

The only sure way to get rid of the obscenity of the Trident weapons system – a system of mass destruction on a scale the planet has never experienced – is to secure the independence of Scotland and give a moral lead to the world.

Scots – young and old, old and new! You can do it, we can do it - and will do it, by voting YES on September 18th 2014

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

The Foreign Affair Committee Report – Scotland’s nuclear disarmament, NATO and EU

The M.O.D. having been in denial over the imminence of Scotland's independence, is now panicking, as is the Westminster Establishment - they're going to lose their WMDs, their seat on the UN Security Council, and as a nukeless rUK, Britain's last claim to be a world power, a global player. The final end of Empire ..

Summarised briefly, they're scared shitless, and desperate to kick the unilateral disarmament of Scotland into the long. long grass. They'll argue, then bully and intimidate - and there's little the shadowy vested interests and dirty money behind nuclear weapons and nuclear power won't do to avoid this outcome.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Cameron, North Korea, Iran, Scotland and WMD

I have to keep this simple – at the risk of seeming simplistic – because the nuclear argument is buried alive in technical complexity and sophistry.

David Cameron is repeating  his  Telegraph argument for retention of the UK nuclear deterrent and the nuclear presence in Scotland – they are one and the same thing – in the offices of a defence contractor in Scotland today (Herald).

This piece of blatant self-serving sophistry by Cameron is delivered in the full knowledge that the UK nuclear deterrent deters nobody, is entirely irrelevant strategically to any conceivable global threat the UK might face, and whose presence in Scotland and the UK is in itself the main threat to the UK, but principally and directly to Scotland.

The importance to Cameron of nuclear weapons - and to the contemptible nuclear trio of political parties known as the Better Together campaign – rests on the fact that the UK’s pretensions as a world power, its place on the UN Security Council, its grossly inflated defence budget relative to the size of the UK ( it is the fourth largest defence budget in the world) and its ability to use the defence-as-job-creation scheme as a political bribe and threat are all dependent on nuclear weapons.

Additionally, there is an enduring and insidious technical, scientific, political  and profit linkage between nuclear power generation, the nuclear power industry and nuclear weapons of mass destruction – they are in a symbiotic relationship. Champions and apologists for one almost always champion the other.

CAMERON’S ARGUMENT

Cameron’s argument rests on the “highly unpredictable and aggressive regimes” argument, with the current villains being North Korea and Iran. This argument has been around since the early 1940s and was the driving force behind the Manhattan Project with Hitler’s Germany being the very real villain of the time.

The insanity of this line of thought – a paranoid fantasy based on a grim reality – made the United States the first country in the world to have nuclear weapons – and so far, the only country to use them (against a non-nuclear power, Japan). Since then, every country in the world that has nuclear weapons has acquired them because America had them. These countries then developed an uneasy, deeply unstable and to date, ineffective consensus called the non-proliferation agreement, i.e. “We’ve got them, but for God’s sake, let’s stop anybody else getting them!

It hasn’t stopped Iran allegedly New York Time Feb 2012 and North Korea undoubtedly trying to acquire them, using exactly the same rationale that Cameron uses, that the United States uses, that Israel uses – the other side are nutcases and might try to intimidate us - or actually use them - in a pre-emptive strike. So the lunatic closed circle of paranoid argument continues …

Let’s look at the highly aggressive and unpredictable regime argument, and start by saying that North Korea is a brutal, oppressive dictatorship, impoverishing its people by its militarism and its defence budget, run by a dynastic heir who is young and deeply immature. (I will resist the temptation to draw the current potential parallels in these attributes with UK and at times the US – they are not quite so far along the same lines, but they are getting there, especially the UK. )

Iran, undoubtedly unpredictable, is not quite so irrational, its nuclear weapons programme is embryo at best, and much of its posturing results from the grave instability caused in the Middle East by Blair, Bush and their misconceived illegal war.

The Cameron argument leaves us with this situation – we must have nuclear weapons for the foreseeable future – i.e. for ever – because one day there might be a nutcase regime in possession of them. But here we have a convenient example of one, maybe two nutcase regimes, North Korea and Iran – Q.E.D.!

CAMERON’S OPTIONS

Here are the options – the only options under the Cameron doctrine of nuclear deterrence-

1. Once a nutcase regime has been identified, nuke them instantly – a pre-emptive strike. This will regrettably kill millions of innocent civilians under the tyrant and pollute the planet, but hey, shit happens! Of course, such a course of action would mean that the UK would be instantly reclassified as a nutcase regime by other nuclear powers, and they would launch a pre-emptive strike against UK, just in case …

2. If the nutcase regime begins to sound belligerent, proceed as 1) above, etc., etc.

3. Try to reason with the nutcase regime by diplomacy, backed by economic sanctions. But, since they are nutcases, this won’t work, and delay creates risk, so proceed as 1) above – etc., etc.

4. Assume that the fact that the UK has a bigger nuclear deterrent will deter the nutcase regime. That, after all, is the ostensible rationale for the deterrent. But, since they are nutcases, by definition, it won’t, so best go back to 1) above ….

 THE RATIONAL APPROACH

Don’t wait for multilateral disarmament – if it is possible at all, the time scale is too long, since the risks of unpredictable international incident creating a global nuclear war are too great, and in all probability, multilateral nuclear disarmament will never happen – either the world remains in a terrifying and unstable nuclear standoff for generations or we blow ourselves apart in the next few years – perhaps a very few…

Unilaterally announce nuclear disarmament, UK – if you don’t, an independent Scotland will, and most likely force virtue and morality upon you.

This now brings me logically and inevitably to a point in my argument that I don’t want to confront – but must.

The next logical step is to persuade the UN - and allies - to follow suit, but also persuade them to make it clear that unstable regimes who are -

undoubtedly and verifiably in possession of nuclear weapons and delivery systems

and 

who make threats and are actively moving to a state of preparation to launch a nuclear strike

must face pre-emptive action by conventional forces acting under a UN mandate  to disable their nuclear capacity.

THE IRAQ PARALLELS?

Does this turn me into Tony Blair and George W. Bush in 2003?

Wasn’t that exactly their argument?

Wasn’t that the argument that convinced at least some good people to feel that the invasion of Iraq was justified?

My answers to the above questions are NO, YES and YES.

It was their argument, and it was the argument that convinced some good people – and some honest, ethical politicians – to vote for the war.

But my conditions (above) were not met – there was no evidence that Saddam Hussein was undoubtedly and verifiably in possession of nuclear weapons, nor that he was actively moving to a state of preparation to launch a nuclear strike, nor, crucially, was there a UN mandate.

The Iraq War was launched on a false prospectus, false intelligence and false evidence. It was driven by oil, ambition, vanity and profit. The American and British electorates and their legislatures were deceived.

The nuclear insanity has been with us for about 70 years, as have the specious arguments that underpin it. Reject them absolutely, electors of Scotland and vote YES in 2014 for independence and a nuclear-free Scotland.