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He looked me in the eye…

Who would have thunk it? Dave loves us. That’s a collective of everyone in Scotland I’m talking about. Yes all of us. He even gave an impassioned speech about it. He encouraged friends and relatives of ours who don’t live in Scotland to call us or contact us in some way and then tell us how important it is for us not to leave the UK.

It kind of threw me a bit. There we were secure in the thought that we were being carried financially by the rest of the UK (look it up and you’ll find it’s the opposite but let’s not allow the facts to get in the way of a bit of propaganda). Why would Dave want to hold onto to Scotland if we were costing his government and the other three countries of the UK real money?

I’d have thought if we were costing them money they would be very glad to get shot of us? Oh well. Who knows how politicians and the establishment on both sides of the border work? Certainly not me.

I like the bit near the end when Call me Dave looked right at the camera and looked into our eyes. It was sincere. It wasn’t a practiced cynical attempt to try to win our favour. Oh no, Call me Dave would never do that.

The “Subrosa Blog” has a post entitled “Ian Bell’s letter to David Cameron”. Ian points out that there is a fairly similar vein running though Call me Dave’s speech. Similar to what I hear you ask?

Well, it’s very similar to a speech and sentiment from the “1995 Unity scheme” which was used by the Canadian government successfully when French Canadians were also trying to pursue independence. Whilst we are also on that particular theme please bear in mind that the Prime Minister of Spain has been going on about Scotland not being able to join the EU (hurrah! and yes please) because he doesn’t want the Catalans to do the same as Scotland.

Has your phone been ringing off the hook? Have lots of complete strangers from the rest of the UK been calling you to remind you that Scotland is full of wonderful people and it would be unfair of us to vote to leave the union? No? Of course not.

Call me Dave’s speech was “sincere” and would’ve brought tears to a glass eye. No really…

It wouldn’t be so bad if the English really thought about what was happening. Billy Bragg, of all people hit the nail on the head. He suggested that Scottish Independence would be a good thing since it would force the English to think about who they actually are. What is their place in the world? What are their ambitions? What is their culture? How do they bring some sort of equality over the whole nation rather than the unbalance of London and the east and the rest?

Come on all you Englanders… Wake up!

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2014 in BBC, Politics, Scottish Independence

 

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A new shiny Scotland – Part 4

As the title would suggest this is a utopian view of how a new Scotland following a successful YES vote in the independence referendum “could” develop. If you haven’t read Part 1 it’s here, Part 2 is here and part 3 is here.

So carrying on our tale.

An odd things also happened with the Scottish economy. Before independence we were told that 40% of our exports went to EU countries. The actual truth was a bit lower but since independence it’s increased to the equivalent of 45%. But trading with the rest of the world has been incredible. The number of trading agreements and the opening up of new partnerships with countries overseas has been significant. Lots of foreign countries have been opening up bases and building manufacturing plants. The port at Greenock is beginning to strain significantly and Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Grangemouth are booming. It’s so good to see the rivers back in use.

There have also been lots of ferries and hovercraft services introduced on the Clyde, the Tay and the Forth. Glasgow airport now has a proper train station and both Edinburgh and Glasgow airports are having additional runways built. Tourism is booming as never before.

Scottish football hasn’t done so well. There is plenty of investment happening and promising youngsters have been spotted and are going to special schools, which allows them to learn football and hone their skills. Similar things are happening in other sports and the arts.

The huge reduction of laws and regulations has made a lot easier for everyone. Loads of laws were scrapped and people’s rights have really escalated again. For example people can sing what they want at football matches and they can have a drink while they are there. SFA stewards now provide security at matches although there is always a small police presence for those who either can’t behave or have a “moment”.

Localism has been a great benefit and it’s sorted out a lot of issues. Very few towns and just a few areas in cities have parking regulations. People try to shop locally which has supported a huge leap in small individual specialty shops opening. High streets are becoming different again, not the same old no matter wherever you go.

The move towards local democracy continues and will do so until each local area council has reduced to a size, which supports the area in a very efficient manner. The same is happening with the police, fire services, NHS, etc. and the costs of councils is dropping also. In times gone by the mantra was to get bigger to achieve economies of scale but this was never realised. Small is better and the costs have fallen. There are some larger procurement groups that buy in bulk but in the main costs are kept down by the local councils themselves.

 
 

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A new shiny Scotland – Part 2

As the title would suggest this is a utopian view of how a new Scotland following a successful YES vote in the independence referendum “could” develop. If you haven’t read Part 1 it’s here.

Localism had been one the most stunning successes. In a Doctor Who like manner the clock had been re-set to before 1975, before councils were re-organised. Now people could once again have a vested interest in their community and things were done which suited the townspeople rather than some distant regional council government. At the same time and also stemming from leaving the EU the amount of regulations was cut to the bone and then some. The cost savings helped enormously and reduced the burden on families and made it once again possible to have light touch governance.

Okay there were a fair amount of problems when people woke up to the fact that they would have to take more responsibility for themselves and their families but they got the hang of it pretty quickly. The setting up of a common good fund for every town/community was done and was used to support local organisations and people who may have had a problem or several and also ensured that there was always a pot of money to fritter a wee bit just for the local populations benefit.

The NHS in Scotland had to be completely re-structured also. Local GPs were required to go back to providing medical care 24/7. No more waiting weeks for an appointment to see a Doctor, no more having to carry stuff out that a distant government thought was a good idea, no more prescribing drugs because they could although they addressed symptoms rather than providing a cure. No more drug company reps trying to sell drugs to practices, no more lecturing to patients and no more spouting stuff with little or no scientific basis.

What a difference. The GPs lived in the towns and communities they served so they knew their patients. The potential patient group dramatically reduced the number of visits they made to the surgeries; they just got on with it unless it was something concerning.

The supermarkets that had hinted that they might have to increase prices if Scotland won independence were made subject to one of the earliest bills that was voted using direct democracy. The bill required all retailers, suppliers, providers etc. who operated within Scottish borders had to use the same price for goods and services for all of Scotland. The main mechanism to achieve this was for the supermarkets to use an open book system, which allowed anyone to see how much the supermarkets etc. paid for their goods and services. Lead balloon time for a wee while but all for the best.

A group of smaller Scottish supermarkets then formed a larger chain and bought the Wm Low name.  Suddenly, they started to get lots more customers through their doors since they had an open book policy in place they also bought food locally and employed lots of local people on good rates of pay. Someone buying any sort of goods in Orkney paid the same price as someone living in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

This system might have been a wee bit more expensive for people in the central belt but it wasn’t that much and made things much fairer al round.

 

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A new shiny Scotland – Part 1

This blog post will be run and expanded over the next few Sundays. It may well run to six different posts. I hope you may well want to comment. I warn you firstly though it is utopian. Part 2 is

A couple of years ago at this time of year I did a wee blog about an old guy who liked a drink, a fag and to be able to heat his home. He couldn’t though because the alarmists had made energy far too expensive and the Food and Tobacco Nazis were stopping him from doing what he enjoyed. I’d actually added a bit about him wanting to smoke in bed but he wasn’t allowed because the smoke was supposed to be able to permeate through the party wall. Some science guy put that in a science paper recently. Loony.

Anyway 24 months in the climate change, food and tobacco sphere is a long time, especially since the tide is turning on them all. It’s quite refreshing to see the amount of rolling back that has gone on but of course the zealots are still there. Nonetheless it might be fun to fast-forward a couple of more years.  So here we go…

It had been a good party. It was just after 6:00 AM and the last of the, by now, weary band of New Year revellers had left. Old Tom thought he’d maybe leave the tidying up until later so he set the thermostat to 20 and headed upstairs. 20 degrees centigrade! Who would have thunk it he thought to himself. A few years ago he couldn’t afford to keep the whole house heated meaning he was cold a lot of the time. Now the price of energy had dropped by so much he could easily pay the bills and all thinks to fracking and the copious and still growing amounts of oil and gas coming out of the Scottish sector of the North Sea.

Cheap energy and reasonable taxation on it’s retrieval had helped to make Scotland one of the most affluent countries in the world. Real quality jobs had been created in engineering, shipbuilding, technology, bio-engineering, banking and finance, the list just went on and on. Only two years since independence and no more Westminster, no more EU and no more Mrs Queen. The turnaround was incredible. From being supposedly feeble and being supported by Westminster to being held up as a model for the future and helping Catalonia and Quebec get their independence.

The EU had fragmented quiet quickly following Scotland’s decision not to join. The euro died a spectacular death and now the economies of Spain Greece and Ireland were well on the mend. Germany and France had a few residual problems but the movement towards the same type of direct democracy used in Scotland was slowly being adopted in many countries. Good news. Good news all around.

Of course having direct democracy meant that MSPs were no longer needed. Political parties had gone by the board. Anyone could register a policy, which they considered to be of value and then people voted on them. There were a few silly ones to start with but things soon settled down and the “sillies” were dropped and people settled down to make the most of the new system.

Part 2 next Sunday.

 
 

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The protection racket…

Since when did we need to be protected from cinnamon buns? Since when did we need someone decide that vacuum cleaners should be significantly detuned?

Well now actually. The EU is doing both, the cinnamon is happening in Denmark and the reduction of the power of vacuum cleaners is being readied to be carried out soon across the whole of the EU.

No doubt you’ll be able to think of lots of things which have been regulated, controlled or had the price increased on goods or services which you want to purchase but someone else thinks it’s a good idea to make them very expensive so you’ll stop purchasing them?

The EU is a culprit but so is the Westminster government and of course your local council to name but three. They also have two tools in their tool kit. They can regulate you and threaten you with the law if you don’t comply or they can whack the prices up and keep the increase in taxes for their own good reasons.

Of course we’ve let them away with it. The government is supposed to protect us, not protect us from ourselves. There is also the tiny matter of democracy and how we’ve lost it. In the last Scottish Government local elections in the ward here the MSP returned was a Labour guy, I should explain that we have a lot of lefties in the area. Artists, musicians, writers and the like, a growing gang of cyclists etc…

In the local council elections a labour guy, an SNP guy and a Green guy all represent our ward. I mean how can that work? They all claim the same victories, they all jump on every small issue that comes along and if you write to one you write to them all and they all go scurrying around to sort it out first.

Can’t we get politicians that we want rather than politicians that we get?

We don’t need all these rules and regulations. The more rules and regulations the more people who are required to administer them. The more people the higher the cost. The higher the cost the more our spending power is reduced.

 

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New rules for post independent Scotland – Part 1

Part One.

In a newly independent Scotland there are a few rules I’d like to see adopted. Here are the first 5.

Windmills, solar panels and their like can stay but only if there are no subsidies and a band is in place for every last one to be used to demolition them. If you want one then buy it with no subsidies although you can make money from selling your surplus, which would be priced at an average price.

Politicians next up. In our new shiny Scotland we will need new and shiny politicians. They will be very different than now though. They will have to follow the instructions of the voters they represent. They won’t be subject to the “whip” and they will get paid a reasonable amount but not a huge amount. They won’t be able to take on any other employment all they will do is represent their constituents. They will also be required to behave correctly in the Scottish parliament. It is really essential that the debating chamber is just that, so no banging on desks, shouting and behaving like small children. Listening to what other politicians are saying and always be looking for common ground and agreement.

All prices for all products sold throughout the whole of our new Scotland will be the same. That means that someone on Orkney will pay the same for petrol as someone in the central belt. Same with all goods and services no more paying extra to cover delivery charges because people don’t live in the central belt. The supermarkets can set their own prices but they have to sell their goods at the same price all over Scotland.  They can charge what they want for what they sell but it’s at the same price nation wide. If they try to abuse their position they will have to answer to the Office of Trading in Scotland, which will have real teeth.

The police, NHS, fire brigade etc. will all be split up and made local once again. Probably similar to pre-regionalisation days, all the ridiculous legislation will be binned and again the power will lie with the local community through the local council with local councillors. People are far more accountable when they live and work within the same small area. If they make a decision they have to live with the repercussions and being accosted in the street by people who might not agree with them. The cost savings made by ditching all the silly regulations will result in a much cheaper local administration etc. and we won’t have any situations where someone dies because a bit of paper hasn’t been completed or no one has been trained on how to use a ladder.

Scots Law will also have to be re-instated. That means that we will retain corroboration and not proven etc. All the PC stuff, which we have had to put up with, will go instantly and we’ll revert back to the rule of the majority. Oh but you say that makes minorities vulnerable. That won’t be the case. Apart from the fact that we all find ourselves in the majority for some things we also find ourselves in the minority. The system will be much better than the present equality rules which are anything but.

That was part one then….

 

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Bitter the gither…

The “bitter the gither” camp is getting pretty desperate. It doesn’t matter what good news comes along for stuff happening in Scotland they always find a negative spin aided and abetted by their great friend and ally the BBC.

Oil is a problem for Scotland apparently. It will run out. Really? That’s a shock. In the meantime though, loads of oil companies are making multi-billion pound investments. Now, if they are investing it is because they know they will bring more oil out and it will be worth a lot more than their investment. The more they bring out the more money will pour into an independent Scotland’s coffers.

Countries with oil assets all over the world are busily extracting it and I haven’t heard of many who are facing significant problems because they have oil. It’s a great asset to have and it will continue to be so especially if fracking is also included. Remember that Youngs Paraffin and Mineral Oil has been recovering oil from shale since 1866 and it’s very likely that there is a lot more to come as fracking moves the game forward.

Oil is only part of the story. The inventiveness of the Scots has been amazing and we’ve punched well above our weight. When I was young I went to the local library, which was built by Andrew Carnegies money, the Scotsman who created a huge steel business in the USA. People leave Scotland but they almost always remain Scottish. How many will return to Scotland post a successful YES vote for independence? How many will stay where they are but wish to help and trade with Scotland? Lots I’d say.

The Spanish Prime Minister said he’d veto Scotland joining the EU. That’s very good of him since common sense recognises that the EU has very, very little to offer Scotland whilst Scotland has much to offer the EU. No matter that the Spanish chap is very worried that a yes vote for Scottish independence will cause him all sorts of problems with Catalans.

Rompuy also had a go. Scotland will have to apply for membership to the EU. Great! No need to send us the application forms thanks. The EU is moribund. Non-EU countries are streaking ahead with growth figures around 8% per year whilst the EU zone can’t manage 1%. Who would want to be a part of that?

There is a long list of people willing to stand up and say how bad things will be and many from the press who are happy to give them a platform. And then there is the Labour party in Scotland…

The Labour Party in the Scotland have a dilemma to face. Every day in the Scottish parliament they are doing Scotland down; it’s all they can do, they can’t offer anything else. They are willing to stand on the same platform as the Tories and accept money from them in order to try to keep Scotland in the UK.

I hope that people wake up and consider the record that the Labour party in Scotland have. They have been the largest political party in Scotland and the west of Scotland has been theirs. But if people in the west were prepared to look at Labours policies in Scotland have addressed poor health, poor housing, quality and skilled jobs, alcohol issues, heart disease they might change their mind to remain as supporters. They failed to address these and other hugely important issues and they still retained the support of the voters who suffered and continue to suffer.

There is no doubt that there is much work to be done for those in the Yes camp. The great machine of state, parliament and the establishment of England are lined up ready to do everything they can to ensure Scotland doesn’t escape. The loss of Scotland would be a significant blow to Westminster. I read that 8% of their UK population and 30,414 square miles of UK and would be lost.

Perhaps England, Wales and Northern Ireland might want to invite Ireland to join a new UK? The BBC seems to think that Ireland is already part of the UK, they seem to employ many from Ireland.

Independence for Scotland isn’t going to be easy but are the Scottish people somehow less able, less determined and less resourceful then many peoples from other small countries?

I think not.

Even if this attempt fails, the same proposal will come back. It’s obvious that this will be the case because Westminster won’t deliver the improvements needed and a share of the oil revenues due to allow Scotland to get out of the post-industrial gloom and doom, significantly and methodically address health issues and increase the wealth of every member of the population.

 

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What a gay day.

Call me Dave is the man. He’s succeeded in ways that no Conservative ever has. He’s managed to be further left than Labour, allowed the tail (libdems) to wag the dog and increasingly pandering to more and more minority groups.

If you listen carefully for a moment you will be able to hear a large number of Conservatives spinning in their graves. Dave has gone and done it. He’s managed to get his Gay Marriage Bill over the first hurdle.

It looked like there would be a revolt but the revolting party whips soon sorted out those who were following a dangerous path voting against the gay marriage bill. If the rebels hadn’t they might have been out on their ear before the next election. Some brave souls did rebel, but it was too little too late.

The BBC has made much of it being the Tories who voted “no” in larger numbers than the other parties. Really? And this is a surprise to the BBC?

Dave says there are safeguards in the Bill, which will mean that any religious group can decline from providing gay marriage ceremonies.  I wonder how that will go over the years? Who will be the first to challenge this in a court?

Wee Eck and Nippy will be smarting this morning. They said they’d do it and Dave beat them to it. Oh dear. Never mind they can always push harder for the 50P minimum pricing for alcohol. Or they could get on doing real stuff that will actually help our country.

I don’t know about you but I’m a fairly tolerant person. I can’t say I’m interested at all in how gay people live their lives etc. As long as they do what they do and they don’t impinge into anyone else’s life that’s fine by me. I feel the same about all minority groups.

Whether pandering to minorities is a good thing or not, it doesn’t seem very democratic. Here’s a bill put forward which wasn’t in ANY of the parties manifestos but has been given priority to be implemented.

Of course if this bill or any bill based on minority wants was to affect me then things would be different. If this bill means that “Husband” and “Wife” are no longer used in the marriage ceremonies or on the paperwork, I’d be a bit ticked.

What are the gay community going to push for now?

I bet they come up with something and it will be soon.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2013 in BBC, Politics

 

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Statists and statistics.

It’s a fact that the number of smokers are falling but lung cancer is increasing.

It’s a fact that there has been no discernible warming of the climate for at least 15 years.

It’s a fact that obesity rates in the UK haven’t increased since 2007.

It’s a fact that Australia spent $500 million taking firearms from their population.

It’s a fact that in the first year (2012) when only the Australian police and the crims had guns gun related deaths, injury and armed robberies have risen with the latter rising an incredible 44%.

The number of people who died in car accidents in 2012 was way higher than 2011.

Edinburgh Council got their bin collection wrong again this Christmas, which saw mounds of full black rubbish bags along the roads of the affected areas in the city. They than had to bring in contractors at short notice and substantial cost to resolve the situation AGAIN!

I could go on. You get the picture.

What is government for? What is government good at?

Government is for protecting the people they represent in the most basic ways. Protecting us from aggressive attacks by foreign countries, dealing with foreign countries be they friend or foe, supporting a reasonable system of law which is impervious to wealth and emptying the bins etc.

What is government good at? Increasing the controls on our lives and taking more and more money from us in taxes. None of which is useful. None of which could ever be claimed as democratic.

Government actions do not work. Government don’t create jobs they just destroy them. Bailing out the banks destroyed hundreds of thousands of jobs. Increasing fuel duty and VAT increased costs to us all on all purchases and the raised the costs of suppliers we buy from who then cut back on staff when we cut back our spending.

Would it not have made mores sense, even although there isn’t any sense in doing this in the first place, to give the money from the quantative easing programme to us? That’s you an me. That is everyone getting a share? Every one would have gone out and spend and/or save it? It would have filtered back to the banks and also to the government via VAT, duty etc.

How small could we make government?

Which country in the world has the smallest government?

One thing is for sure, there isn’t a level of UK government which is working as it should.

Yawn.

 
 

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BBC propaganda

According to the BBC news someone, who knows about such stuff has said that Scotland would need to apply to join the EU. This is, as the newsreader claimed a bad thing, which will have a negative effect on the SNP and their referendum.

Obviously no mention of the voters and what they might actually want.

No mention of the growing grumbling within Englandshire to get out of the EU using the same language we Scots are using to support independence.

It is up to the Scottish people to vote on whether Scotland should join the EU and I’d imagine that the EU would want any new members to also join the EURO too.

Now just say Scotland achieves a yes majority for Independence. We’d be independent although there would be much discussion, posturing’s and arguing with Westminster about who gets what but ultimately Scotland would be Independent.

And then we would be asked to vote on whether or not we wanted to join the EU, which stop us being independent. Makes no sense.

Now the doomsayers will rave on about how 40% of our exports go to the EU. And the EU would stop buying our stuff? The EU would go in the huff and not want to know? We would still trade with the EU, and although we’d have to meet their regulations we would be free to expand the other 60% of our trade with other countries all over the world, countries which would be happy to deal with us and countries who have large communities with Scottish roots.

The BBC seems to have added a daily item to their news bulletins which provides an anti-independence view or as the grownups like to call it propaganda.

Obviously the BBC has a lot to lose following a yes majority. Wee Eck may well have proclaimed that Eastenders etc. would still be available for Scottish viewers to watch following a yes majority. But the BBC would be split like all other shared assets with the UK.

I would hope that the license fee would be dropped immediately. Refunds all round chaps. Next? The Scottish share of the BBC could then be subject to a management buy out and then sell their products in the Scottish market place. That way we could pay for what we wanted rather than what the BBC think we want to watch or listen to.

Is their nothing, nothing at all that the Unionists can come up with which isn’t negative doom and gloom crap? They have nothing positive to say at all? I haven’t heard one single positive.

Lastly, how about the partly decommissioned nuclear subs at Rosyth are moved down to the Thames? They could tie at least one up beside HMS Belfast, one beside the MI6 building and one beside Westminster and hold a competition for other Cities in England to bid to get the rest. Absurd? No more absurd then keeping them where they are right in the centre of a very populated area.

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2012 in BBC, Scottish Independence, SNP

 

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