Monthly Archives: April 2014

Frank Roy and Farage, kindred spirits


Frank Roy Labour MP for Motherwell and Wishaw is being wheeled into the Better Together campaign to provide political co-ordination to activists. This is along with a national campaign by Better Together promoting “the positive case for why the brightest future for our young people is part of the UK”

I welcome a bright future for our young people, however there are caveats attached to this vision if you are Frank Roy.

Because if you happen to be a young person who is in a same-sex relationship and want to get married, then you will clash with the beliefs of Mr Roy. If you are a young person in a same-sex relationship, who wants to cement their love for one another with marriage then you must understand that Frank Roy voted against same-sex marriage in the Westminster Parliament.

Frank Roy, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw doesn’t believe in equality.

Why Frank Roy doesn’t resign from the Labour Party and just join UKIP is beyond me. He shares the same political vision.

Roy voted against same-sex marriage while UKIP supports civil partnerships but opposes legalisation of same-sex marriage because of concerns that a law change could mean faith groups and places of worship would be forced to perform same-sex marriages.

I would remind all Labour activists that will be taking part in the Better Together campaign of several important facts;

Your campaign is bankrolled by a Tory Party donor.

Your campaign is being provided political co-ordination by an MP who shares the same views as UKIP.

I would also ask a question of Labour activists campaigning for Better Together.

“Would you campaign for UKIP?”

If the answer to this question is “No” then what on earth are you doing following political co-ordination from Frank Roy?

frankroy   Nigel-Farage

Frank Roy and Nigel Farage; kindred spirits.

The Selfish Few holding Scotland back


It occurred to me that for the Unionist politicians striving to keep Scotland shackled to the corrupting corpse that is the UK, the Independence debate really boils down to a single issue.

It’s all about jobs.

“Well of course it is,” I hear you say. This is nothing new, the debate having touched on jobs in the Finance sector, the Oil and Gas sector, the Renewables sector and Shipbuilding.

The Unionist side has raised fears that an Independent Scotland would shed jobs across all sorts of industries. In fact, generating fears among Scotland’s diverse workforce has been one of the key attacks in the No side’s armoury. It is, of course, a quite legitimate area for debate. Even as a Yes supporter, I want to know what the future holds for employment. Thankfully, this has been answered by the Yes side, for instance the White Paper published in November, satisfied me that the future of Scotland has been well thought through. I have no fears regarding employment.

But still the No side are terrified about jobs, but let me be more specific. When I say the No side, I mean a small sub set of the Unionist family. Because there are Unionists who are generally terrified about job prospects in an Independent Scotland.

First of all, let me state what this concern for jobs is Not about.

It is not about the Finance sector, the Oil and Gas sector, the Renewables sector and Shipbuilding. In fact the concern that has certain Unionist tummy’s doing flips is absolutely nothing to do with jobs in Scotland’s economy. Your average Thinking Unionist politician knows and understands perfectly well that the fears raised by them are complete nonsense.

Jobs in an Independent Scotland are safe.

In fact we can state with considerable confidence that Independence will boost Scotland’s job sector. Employment will thrive.

The real fear is about the jobs of the current Unionist MPs and Peers, because common sense dictates that the current MPs and Peers representing Scottish constituencies and, for want of a better name, Baronages or Lordships, will be surplus to requirements. They are going to be out of a job!

Now I don’t want anyone to lose their jobs, but in the greater scheme of things I am perfectly relaxed about the Unionist MPs and Peers losing theirs.

So how many are we talking about?

These are the numbers of Unionist MPs Scotland sends to Westminster;

41 Labour MPs

11 LibDem MPs

1 Tory MP

Total – 53 Unionist MPs

There are 63 Peers in the House of Lords, representing Scottish Lordships (or whatever the term is).

So what is the loss to the Scottish economy? What do these MPs and Peers earn?

It’s a complex package, including salary and expenses to run offices etc. but the basic salary for an MP is £67060. So the Total wage bill for the 53 Unionist MPs is £3554180.

Trying to put a cost to the Peers is quite tricky, because they are not paid a salary. They are paid a daily expenses rate for turning up at the House of Lords. It’s £300 per day. I’ve absolutely no idea who turns up and how often but I can make a guesstimate for illustration purposes.

So a Peer who puts in an average of 100 appearances per year at £300 expenses per day will earn £30000 per annum. In all probability there are Peers who rarely turn up and then there will be others who practically live in the place.

A speculative amount then paid out to all Scottish peers will then look like this; Total £1890000.

These figures are a small price to pay for a successful Independent Scotland but if you are an MP or Peer pulling in a descent salary, then factor in the London lifestyle, the foreign travel and the other expenses, you won’t want to wave goodbye to this. You are going to do everything you possibly can to hold onto it.

In addition, there are the business connections that Unionist politicians appear to be very able at forming. It’s all very profitable for these individuals. Some Unionist politicians are very wealthy individuals indeed! Westminster looks after and rewards her own.

Westminster is also extremely forgiving of Unionist politicians who fall foul of the law.

The obvious example is Lord Watson, former Labour MP Mike Watson.

Jailed in 2005 for fire raising at an Edinburgh hotel he was released and retook his seat in the House of Lords in July 2006. He’s still there, pulling in the expenses. Not a bad little earner.

Now it is perfectly acceptable to hold a view that all this is value for money and a price worth paying for the Union. I don’t share that view.

So here is my tuppence worth on this system of political and well paid patronage.

I’m not going to mince words.

It stinks!

In Scotland we have food banks, poverty, run down housing stock, our old people struggling to keep a roof over their heads. We are constantly trying to justify a set of beliefs that I deem to be basic to human requirements, for instance a free Health Service, access to housing, good education. We aspire to a better society, we aspire to fairness and ethical foreign policy. We want rid of weapons of mass destruction and then we are disparagingly referred to and dismissed as separatists.

Yet 53 individuals, unbelievably selfish, greedy individuals, together with a handful of faceless Peers, have decided to stand in the way of the advancement of millions. These 116 politicians, whose self centred concerns for their cosy, taxpayer funded, lifestyles have exercised their energy to support a Union that does little for the constituents they purport to represent.

The next time you hear or see the next Project Fear story about jobs being under threat in an Independent Scotland just remember that there is, ironically a sliver of truth in it. The real Fear is from the 116 MPs and Peers who see their own personal Westminster Gravy Train coming to the end of the line.

Let us see an end to these 116 Unionist positions so that Scotland can prosper.

 

 

The voices of ordinary people #2


In a small series of posts this week, which feature the work of ordinary people who are contributing to the debate, I’m going to recommend the writing of Dan Mackay, a feature writer for the John O’Groat Journal.

Below is the link to a highly creative piece, which is full of lively imagery.

It’s witty writing from Caithness.

http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/Features/Dan-Mackay/In-the-pink-with-high-hopes-26112013.htm

 

 

The voices of ordinary people


I follow the online debate via Facebook, bloggers and Twitter. New media can be a real heart warming experience when you come across someone who has posted meaningful content that resonates with you.
Over the next week, I’m going to post content from other Yes supporters that I have found inspirational. There are serious posts, there are songs, witty comments and poetry. All is welcome and every word is important. Lest we forget, this is a grass roots campaign and it has engaged people at a deeply personal level like no other.
I make no apologies for focussing on Yes material because it is, in the main, and by miles, positive. When you see the negativity from the No side, it’s a no brainer.
I believe in the power of the written word and although I consider myself a hopeless amateur I think I can recognise a good sentence when I see one. When this debate is over and the counting has finished, the online revolution that has witnessed ordinary people share their hopes and positive aspirations for a Future Scotland will be remembered for generations, regardless of the outcome.

I’m going to start with Eddi Reader. In November last year she appeared on Question Time and then followed it up with a serious of posts on her Facebook pages where she invited others to join in the debate. It was great stuff. Eddi is a passionate contributor. The following is from Eddi’s Facebook debate, dated 8th December, where she highlighted words from one of her Facebook followers, I’m sure she won’t mind me posting it.

Eddi, you’ll be waiting a long time for a positive case for the Union to be offered up by politicians. My personal opinion is that Independence is a compassionate response to the injustice that is the morally bankrupt Westminster system. Independence will be a catalyst for change throughout these islands and will help to deliver social change while rebalancing economic wealth. Independence will also create a different market dynamic which will enrich the poorer parts of England that are close in geographical terms to Scotland. An Independent Scotland can be an example for all by embracing positive change. What left of centre politician wouldn’t grasp the opportunity to make a difference? I’ll leave others to answer that question. Thanks for the inspiration you showed on QT and the music.

Lord George Robertson’s Rivers of Blood


The following is an extract from the speech of Lord George Robertson delivered in the USA. He has over stepped a mark in behaviour that conforms to accepted standards of morality or respectability.

“…but if [those] who make this facile comparison (between Scottish and US independence) understood the history of this country they might look more relevantly at the Civil War where hundreds of thousands of Americans perished in a war to keep the new Union together. To Lincoln and his compatriots the Union was so precious, so important, and its integrity so valuable that rivers of blood would be spilt to keep it together.”

For comparison, here is an extract from Enoch Powell;

“For these dangerous and divisive elements the legislation proposed in the Race Relations Bill is the very pabulum they need to flourish. Here is the means of showing that the immigrant communities can organise to consolidate their members, to agitate and campaign against their fellow citizens, and to overawe and dominate the rest with the legal weapons which the ignorant and the ill-informed have provided. As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see “the River Tiber foaming with much blood.”

And here is Adolf Hitler from 1934;

“When in March of last year our young revolution stormed through Germany, my highest endeavor was to shed as little blood as possible. To millions of my former opponents, on behalf of the new state and in the name of the National Socialist party, I offered a general amnesty; millions of them have since joined us and are loyally cooperating in the rebuilding of the Reich.
I hoped that it might not be necessary any longer to be forced to defend this state yet again with arms in our hands. But since fate has now none the less put us to this test, all of us wish to pledge ourselves with only the greater fanaticism to hold fast to that which was formerly won at the price of the blood of so many of our best men and which today had to be maintained once more through the blood of German fellow countrymen. Just as one and a half years ago I offered reconciliation to our former opponents, so would I from henceforth also promise forgetfulness to all those who shared in the guilt of this act of madness. Let them bethink themselves, and remembering this melancholy calamity in our new German history let them devote themselves to the task of reparation. May they now recognize with surer insight than before the great task that fate sets us, which civil war and chaos cannot perform.”

George Robertson should be confronted and made to answer for these disgusting words. If we truly live in a democratic and tolerant state, then David Cameron, The Prime Minister should be stepping forward and condemning this Peer of the Realm. These Inflammatory words insult all right thinking people. If the UK Government and the British Establishment can accept Maria Miller resigning as Culture Secretary following a row over her expenses then Lord George Robertson can be stripped of his Peerage and thrown out of the House of Lords.

 

Unleash the Beasts


It started with Johann Lamont’s speech to the Labour conference unsubtly having a go at Alex Salmond’s marriage and has quite quickly escalated (or degenerated) to complaints about Yes stickers, vandalism and threats. We’ve had Alistair Darling on the Andrew Marr show complaining about the actions of Yes supporters and videos of crazy loons harassing Yes campaigners.

You know when these tactics are now becoming highly visible, indeed audible that No are on the back foot. They are extremely nervous. I’m of the opinion that there has always been a very secret Plan B locked away in some drawer in Better Together HQ which would have contained – let’s us be diplomatic with our language – a list of spoiling tactics, not to be shown the light of day unless things started to go badly.

They are going badly for No and someone has decided to break out the folder marked “Secret. Only to be opened in case of emergencies.”

So which of our merry men and woman of the No campaign is going to be first out of the blocks with the first of probably many incendiary accusations or comments? It will most certainly be a senior Labour type. Lib Dems don’t do menace. Tory lackeys they most certainly are but to quote a former Labour Minister, “it would be like being savaged by a dead sheep.”

I’m going to go for one of these charmers and guaranteed, it won’t be pretty.

bwilson  dmurphy

gfoulkes hliddell

idavidson  grobertsonjhood  stairheed

Of course, I could be completely wrong but when you stand to lose a substantial career, a peerage, hefty salary, business contacts and when your head is so far up the British Establishment’s arse that you can see Danny Alexander’s legs, I’m confident that I’ve called this right.

Update; 8th April 0610. Radio 4 reports that George Islay MacNeill Robertson, Baron Robertson of Port Ellen, predicts an apocalypse for the west if Scotland is Independent (or words to that effect). Of course, the fact that Robertson may no longer be worth his £300 a day expenses at the House of Lords and will probably no longer be worth his seat on the various boards of businesses that he represents has no bearing on his intervention. Of course not!

A better Scotland or a fat bank account for Baron Robertson of Port Ellen? It is your choice.

Here is the link to his speech;

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brookings-now/posts/2014/04/lord-george-robertson-forces-of-darkness-love-scottish-split-from-united-kingdom

And this is where Lord Robertson gives the game away, with a quote from his speech;

“Scots are prominent, some would say dominant, at every level of British life….”

So there we have, in his own words, laid bare the fear that permeates Robertson’s mind. He and his kind will be surplus to requirements. He will no longer be prominent nor dominant in British life. He is so transparent and empty an individual.

 

 

Douglas Alexander, a Fraud


James Keir Hardie was born on 15 August 1856 in North Lankarkshire. He moved to Govan with his family soon after. From a young age he worked in the shipyards and then in the mines until at the age of 23 he started to become more involved with Union activities. This continued until August 1886 when Hardie was named Organising Secretary of the Ayrshire Miners Union.

Initially supporting the Liberal Party, Hardie became increasingly disillusioned by their economic policies and began to feel that the Liberals neither desired to, nor were in a position to represent ordinary working people. Hardie came to the conclusion that the Liberal Party would accept the votes of working people but that the party would never provide the radical reform believed by Hardie to be required. Hardie then decided to run for Parliament.

After an initial disappointment at being elected to Parliament he was finally elected as MP for the constituency of West Ham South in 1892 and his political journey continued until in 1900, Hardie organised a meeting of various trade unions and socialist groups and they agreed to form a Labour Representation Committee and so the Labour Party was born.

In 1900, Hardie, representing Labour, was elected as the junior MP for the dual-member constituency of Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare in South Wales, which he would represent for the remainder of his life. He continued to campaigned on many social issues until his death in 1915.
He is remembered within the Labour movement as a founder and inspiration.

Which makes it all the more bizarre that a Neo Liberal following career politician should attempt to inherit the mantle of the great man. I’m talking, of course, about Douglas Alexander MP.
You see, when it comes to name dropping and comparisons, Douglas Alexander is greatly fond of quoting the life and times of Keir Hardie in his speeches. It would appear that Alexander either sees himself as the inheritor, or wants to convince the weak minded that he is cut from the same cloth.

dalexander1

This is complete nonsense.

A brief potted history of some of his career highlights will suffice to convey the point.

He didn’t turn up for the vote to scrap the Bedroom Tax.
He supported Tony Blair’s motion for war with Iraq and then voted against an investigation into the war.
Very close to Gordon Brown and therefore an architect of the disasterous economic policies that saw the UK’s economy ruined. This saw the austerity measures adopted by the successor administration, austerity measures that Alexander’s party continues to rally around.
He supports the overblown and mind numbing expense of the replacing of Trident.
Alexander has voted against measures to reduce tax avoidance.

And what of his thoughts on the Independence debate?

To quote from Douglas Alexander’s speech on Scottish independence at the beginning of March 2014:
“As Scottish Labour, to be that voice of hope in the Scottish conversation means talking honestly about what kind of nation we are, and what kind of nation we want to become.
It means being open both on the identity that shapes us and the ideals that drive us.”
I would welcome some honesty, we all would, but it hasn’t exactly been forthcoming from Labour and their Tory bosses of Better Together. Alexander appears to be able to throw words around without much thought for a polished end product.

And what of the legacy of Keir Hardie that Alexander is fond of talking about?

I find it ironic that by looking at Alexander you can again witness the experience of Hardie, who, during his time, came to the conclusion that the then Liberal Party would accept the votes of working people but that the party would never provide the radical reform believed by Hardie to be required. I see parallels with the modern day Labour Party of Alexander. It can’t deliver, won’t deliver and patently doesn’t want to deliver. The answer to that riddle is simple; Alexander and his Labour colleagues have embraced a Right Wing ideology. So much for Alexander’s “talking honesty.”

It is clearly obvious to those who would open their eyes that Douglas is a career politician that grasps the moment of opportunity and hangs on the coat tails of others. A Right Wing neo Thatcherite who has abandoned all socialist principles. A fraud, who would sell his own sister down the river for self gain. Alexander is one of the breed of New Labour professional politician that effectively hijacked the hopes and aspirations of millions of voters throughout the UK and continues to deceive Scotland.

His words are empty, meaningless and designed to buy time to save his precious Union, a Union which provides him with a career and all the personal benefits that it brings him as an individual. A man who actively participates in politics designed to target the vulnerable in society does not have the best interests of Scotland at heart. Listen to him at your peril.