Tuesday, 30 September 2014

The Daily Record

You'll be familiar with the phrase: 'With friends like these, who needs enemies...' I think we can apply it to The Daily Record. Its not a paper I read on account of it being a total rag and a Labour supporting rag at that.

But just suppose (for a moment) that collectively, the paper thought it was doing Scotland a favour by punting this out:

Its safe to say, confirmed Yes voters saw that on the news stands (I doubt they bought a copy) and did a mass collective snort, I dare say many No voters looked at it with jaded eyes. On the day after the referendum when it became apparent the No's had it, it soon became apparent the vow - literally - wasn't worth the paper it was written on.

Today in The Record, an article (using the term very loosely) by the incredibly annoying Torcuil Crichton has this image at its head:

I'm definitely not going to link to it on account of Crichton being the anus of Scottish political journalism. Basically, since the record successfully saved Scotland from itself, its now taken it upon itself to hold David Cameron and the Tories to the vow they made. The question I'd ask is where was this trailer - suitable appended with Miliband's name - at last week's Labour Conference?

The Daily Record is Scottish Labour in print form. They're the prim, self-appointed protectors of Scotland - they have a brain cell each but if they rubbed them together they wouldn't find a third to catch fire. In the run up to the referendum, Scotland was the brave group of explorers boldly hacking its way through vines & creepers of misinformation in a jungle of Unionist lies. Just as the intrepid team cited its goal - a tribe of incredibly attractive and shamelessly promiscuous people (lets say) - The Daily Record pursed its lips, tutted, smacked us over the head and dragged us away for our own protection.

Put simply; The Daily Record and Labour are a liability in Scotland. They're attempting to re-align themselves with all of the Scottish electorate against David Cameron & Tory stupidity - ignoring entirely that it was never about party politics or left & right - it was and remains an intrinsic problem with UK governance. Meanwhile; we're expected to forget that it was Labour who championed 'The Vow' via the political shipwreck that is Gordon Brown.

There is no such thing as Scottish Labour - there is only British Labour; it is a fully paid up member of the British Establishment and the most important condition of membership is that affiliates never do anything to harm the Current State of Affairs - even if it means harming themselves.

Scotland needs rid of the current crop of London-led Labour politicians in Scotland - if we tried to list the many ways in which they are truly terrible for us, the rocks will have melted with the sun. As for the Daily Record, I'm happy for it to continue - as the internal magazine for the Orange Order - I mean, it probably isn't even good enough for that but on the off-chance it keeps Torcuil Crichton away from Things That Really Matter, we should probably compromise.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Its just as well Scotland voted No...

Guardian 18th November 2013
... or we might have had to cut services.

The Times, less than a week after Scotland voted No.

Oh right...

In the run up to the referendum many of us online used the image of Danny Alexander gurning next to a representation of the Lib Dem's pledge about tuition fees to demonstrate the folly of believing any promises made by unionist politicians.

The notion that we'll be getting used to doing something similar with this...

... is a wee bit depressing.

I've decided Scotland is a strange place - for example - is there any other country that has dotted around its territory so many immovable reminders about the perfidy of its ruling establishment over the decades?

Yet, given the opportunity to come out from under that pernicious narcissistic control - we decide not to bother.

Newspapers and blogs are easier to miss than bridges spanning sometimes perilous watercourses or statues of bastards set upon plinths reaching one hundred feet into the Scottish sky. There are those who say last Thursday's vote was democratic - insofar as people put a cross on a ballot paper and stuffed it in a black box - those people might have a point. However - and I'm no expert - in order for democracy to function properly, it needs to have an effective - by which I mean - objective media to scrutinise claims and debunk lies.

Our media is part of the establishment and the establishment always trumps the political and/or constitutional will of the people.

Even in my short political memory... [Insert harp arpeggios here...] The Tories shafted Scotland in the 80's and 90's, then the mid 90's/early 00's saw New Labour coming in on the rebound - stultifying the UK with spin, participating in illegal wars and giving us political morons like Darling & Brown. The Lib Dems fielded Nick Clegg in a couple of TV debates who swooned and fell in to bed with Cameron's Tories. At which point, on account of the mainstream parties all being so enormously pish at running the country - UKIP got its feet under the table and are now driving Coalition policy.

Add in to that, the notion that two of recent history's worst politicians (already mentioned) came back to the fore and managed to terrify quite a lot of old folk into voting No thus saving this benighted union...

With the exception of The Herald On Sunday - every other newspaper published in Scotland supported a No vote while the BBC failed completely at pretending to be objective. 
That isn't democracy, its a stitch up.

Scotland's problem isn't the Tory party, its all the unionist parties. Scotland in my life time has been shafted by every single Westminster-based unionist-supporting party. Why? Because our votes don't count there, how many more times are people going to vote for a Westminster party thinking 'they'll listen this time'.

Since UKIP seems to be next in the lets-hump-Scotland queue (and they're probably going to go in dry) - it seems important to return in 2015 as few Unionist MP's as is humanly possibly. Labour are a Westminster party concerned only with power at Westminster - and to get power at Westminster - you need votes in the South of England. Since the South of England are so pissed off with their usual choice of party; they're turning to UKIP. Labour - via weasel words and vacuous soundbites - might say they abhor UKIP; be in no doubt though, scratch the surface and you'll see yellow & purple.

Since UKIP policy in Scotland is only slightly less popular than Norovirus, it seems to me we need to rid Scotland not just of Tories but of Westminster completely. The only way to do that is to return as many independence supporting MP's as possible to Westminster in 2015 - we can then have an entirely new and intrinsically different form of mandate for Scottish independence.

Some No voters already regret their choice. For others who aren't quite there yet; as more of the so-called vows that secured their vote evaporate, I sincerely hope they'll come over. We had a mandate for a referendum in Holyrood, but the result was corrupted by an unscrupulous British Establishment. Creating a fresh mandate - not just on the Union's doorstep - but within its walls at Westminster, would sweep away all false promises made to date. It will cause a constitutional earthquake that'll put sovereign power back in the hands of people living in Scotland - which is exactly where it should always be.

A tactical vote for the SNP at the Westminster GE in 2015 is a means to an end. Your Labour MP might be good for purely local issues but be in no doubt, when it comes to national or international policies that affect at a local level - they don't give a shit about you.

Perhaps with Salmond now gone, it'll be an easier decision to make. Although you can expect the press to start a special character assassination of who ever replaces him as soon as he or she accepts the job.

Remember though, eyes on the prize. The means might chafe but the ends are the people of Scotland getting the government they vote for every time - not just when the wishes of the good people of England happen to match ours.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Well, this is embarrassing...

So there it is, 54.3% of voters fell for the No Campaign while Yes Scotland managed a respectable but insufficient 44.7%.

It is a disappointment, I thought it would be closer. As I've said elsewhere, I'm not sure what it means to be a proud or patriotic Scot. We have nice scenery, decent pubs and many attributes, but I've never been asked to do anything for my country and certainly, just being born in a place doesn't qualify any one to feel proud about it.

What I am at the moment is mildly ashamed to be Scottish.

I don't like to think we bottled it although there will be many who did just that - add in the hundreds of thousands of comfortable middle class voters who only saw the debate in terms of some perceived narrow nationalism so had no clue about the real issues. I think many thought the Yes Campaign was driven by some misty-eyed tourist-tea-towel-inspired whim - they didn't explore each side of the debate properly because they never took it seriously in the first place.

So now, we're in the ignoble position of seeing what was one of the most negative, misleading and pinch-faced campaigns in recent history meet its goal. Johann Lamont, Ruth Davidson, Jim Murphy and (dear God) The Oily Jackie Baillie are all claiming victory in Scotland. Led by politicians who weren't any good to begin with and who in the past have displayed eye watering contempt for normal standards of morality - are a majority of the Scottish electorate really just timorous suckers?

Paradoxically - because I don't blame them one bit - I hope the voters who felt bullied into voting No are regarding themselves with a gentle frisson of regret. And to the cynics who voted No because they whine - "nothing ever changes..." - I hope your next shite is a hedgehog because the cynicism that drove your No vote was created by the same people who wanted you to vote that way all along. I dare say - in between being so accustomed to being right you've forgotten what its like to be wrong - you'll still get the chance to feel superior.

It'll still be interesting, people who bought into the last-gasp more-powers arguments will be first to start doubting their choice - did they not think paying tax for services then paying tax again for the same services seemed suspicious? Can we coin a phrase and call that Pyramid Taxation? Then there are those who voted No but decided they can continue to complain about Westminster cross-party fuckwittey, (I call these people UK Labour Faithful.) They'll never understand it doesn't matter who they vote for at Westminster; unless their hopes happen to gel with the English electorate and London business interests, they'll never get the government they vote for.

I don't really know what to say about the demographic that never thought we'd manage in the first place - knowledge tends to build confidence, is there any excuse for being willfully ignorant yet still know your actions will affect others so detrimentally? The referendum is being redrawn as a victory for democracy and in terms of turn out it certainly was that - unfortunately it was also a victory for rank ignorance & self-inflicted naivety.

And finally, those that voted No because you thought it would be a No anyway... 

I suppose, in the final analysis Scotland has always had to lie in a bed made by others. We had a limited time during which we could have changed that but instead; we chose to revert to type.

There are some things I am glad to take away from the debate; the people I've met, 
if not in person then certainly in hope & aspiration (there are too many to link to in this sentence - you know who you all are.) The satire & great humour of the No campaign for which the No side had no parallel and a much greater understanding of politics in the UK and Scotland's place in it.

I'm leaving the Yes stickers on my car to show I still and always will believe a Yes vote was righteous. While I'm slightly ashamed to be Scottish today, I'll always feel good about being part of the Yes Campaign.