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Tag Archives: Scottish Independence

Bits and pieces…

Stuff happens and sometimes it’s worth a comment. On that basis I shall rant and ramble along on this fine December day.

I’ve been particularly recalcitrant with regards to Judith Ralston, the Scottish weather presenter who has been referred to as “Miss Whiplash” by others but certainly not by me. On the run up to the Scottish Independence Referendum BBC presenters of all shapes and sizes of a Scottish nature were usurped by an influx of people from south of the border as was the BBCs want.

This seems to have led to JR presenting the weather on BBC radio and since then she has made a few fleeting weather appearances and a singing gig on BBC Scotland Children in Need. Not solo obviously, but as a backing singer with Jackie Bird.

We need more of JR on our screens. As I may have mentioned in the past, her weather forecasting is probably pretty fine but many a chap in Scotland may have no recollections of what she was saying at all. We may have to start a campaign? Bring back JR!

Wait a minute that may have been used before?

Were you heading southeast down the A1 last weekend? Well obviously you weren’t but you may well have wanted to be since it was closed. A large bang was heard at or near the Catterick Army Base not far from Scotch Corner, which is a significant misnomer since it’s not in Scotland, Scotch is a drink only and there is no corner.

The loud bang was heard by locals and by people in Glasgow and other places. I, myself didn’t hear a thing. The Polis shut the road for a short time of some 16 hours. Well you can’t be too careful now can you?

Anyway, it’s a mystery and we’ll never know. Probably, it was down to the military since there is the Army base and an RAF base also close by. Since loud bangs were heard all over the place some say it might have been meteors whilst others think it must have been a secret aircraft creating a sonic boom or three.

Maybe it flew in from the USA with a flight time of 45 minutes? Pity BA, Virgin etc. can’t buy the technology so we could get longer holidays on the beach rather than spending hours on slow drones? 15 minutes to Ibiza anyone?

The new Drink Drive limits in Scotland come onto force on the 5th I believe. This is a good thing, well almost a good thing, Firstly, the limit is now so low that it may catch people who have not actually been drinking. Secondly, should they not have gone for a no limit (see first point) and does that mean the Polis will stop breathalysing anyone stopped for any reason in a car?

Interestingly, it seems that the makers of Harris Tweed have recently produced a tweed jacket, which has an aroma of whisky. You can just see it now. Old guy gets pulled over and winds his window down. Polis stick their head in his window and get a wiff of whisky. Polis ask man to get out of the car as they suspect he has been drinking alcohol. Old man says he has not been drinking and it’s his jackets fault…

 
 

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Gordy Broon is gone…

My wife used to work beside a woman who knew Gordy Broon. She said he was a very, very clever man. He may well have been or still is for that matter. He managed to hoodwink quite a lot of people during his intervention in the final stages of the Scottish Referendum.

But that is history. He’s going to work with the UN on education with a salary that reflects his experience and stuff. Lets hope he keeps his political thoughts to himself though from now on. Not because he has anything meaningful to say of course since the Smith Commission reported with the Tories and Lab sticking together just like the ending of 1984. Talking about which, the Tories and Labour stopped the living wage proposals in the Smith Report.

There are things that could be done without recourse to Smith and of course Dave and his purring Queen. How about Nippy Sturgeon making a start on developing a Scottish Declaration of Rights. I chose this as a starting point because such a document would determine how our representatives would behave towards us.

Given, that the Better Together people or the NO side as they were, told enormous amounts of lies, exaggerated issues and generally misled to win. There was no VOW. It was a construct by Gordy and the Daily Record, which vowed nothing tangible and the three Stooges, Messrs’ Cameron, Miliband and Clegg went along with it. Various other “stars” such as Jim Murphy were complicit in it also.

A short aside. The question, which has still not been answered, is of course “Why would England want to keep Scotland if the Scots were a millstone?” We all know the answer. 95% of the oil within current UK waters is in Scottish waters, Scotland can be used for storing nuclear bombs and waste and Scotland can be used as a guinea pig for new legislation. There’s also the growing awareness that Scotland does not need Labour but Labour desperately needs Scotland.

The development of a Scottish Declaration of Rights, probably based on Scots Law and the USA version to a degree could work well for us all. It would have to be voted on and it would have to be legally adopted. If it was worded strongly enough we could cut out the lies and smoke and mirrors of politicians, and dare I say, bring some honesty into the debate and our own going governance.

Come on Nippy. Give it a go. It will keep the momentum going if nothing else for short term.

 

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Has the world gone mad?

Either I’ve lost the plot or I’ve been deposited in a different far away universe.

I’m still not over the shock of agreeing, if only in part, with the Scottish Greens. That sounds like something your Scottish Granny would say. Scottish Greens are good for you she’d say… better leave it that perhaps.

Now I find myself agreeing with a columnist in the Guardian. Good grief! What next? Will Santa be joining me for Christmas lunch along with the three wise men and Queenie herself? My, how the conversation would just whistle along, then again perhaps not.

It would appear that some people who work at the Guardian think it’s a great idea for Scotland to be independent. Scotland could become a sparkling world-class example of social justice, wind and wave power and everything green.

That’s not my view I have to say. However, winning independence is the goal and if it means that we have to… what’s the words for it? Get into bed with people that have the same aims but perhaps seek different longer-term goals? That’ll have to do.

They also said that keeping the pound was good because if we do our own currency the English will “get gubbed.” Okay fair enough. Perhaps the new Scottish currency should be based on Jimmies. Jimmies would be worth twenty Grannies. The overall currency name would the Scottish Stoater or words to that effect. However I digress.

Now what about that nice Mr Monbiot? He’s works for the Guardian. He may have to do another of those columns where he says – “You know how I said that X was a very bad thing, a very bad thing indeed?” He’ll then go on to say that “he now thinks it’s a spanking thing and he won’t even blush when he says it”. He’s well practiced at it. I wonder if he’s let out any of his four spare bedrooms yet to people who need a roof over their heads?

Another suggestion from the tome that is the Guardian was that the landed gentry should start packing and following the next YES vote they can leave the keys at the front door. Estates will be put back into the hands of the people or the people that the Guardianistas like anyway. I can see the appeal of that.

Queenie won’t be needing to travel to Scotland and may desist from taking her summer hols at Balmoral which I’m sure will make a really nice hotel. Nice thought. Lets reclaim the rampant lion and make that our flag. We’re hard you see. Even our flag is aggressive!!!!!! Snarl!

Time will tell.

I’m a bit apprehensive about what is going to happen next. Who else is going to stand up and support Scottish independence from a group which I do not associate with or generally share their views? Not to worry. You know I’ll keep you informed. Jim Murphy? I can’t ever see that happening.

The cost of the Guardian in Scotland will be 2 jimmies 8 grannies. It just rolls of the tongue doesn’t it? Hold that thought.

 

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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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The three stooges

The three stooges were out yesterday. They all were saying the same thing. It should be against the law for three main political parties in Westminster to agree. Not only agree but be saying the same things. How could that be?

The Tory Chancellor, the Labour Shadow Chancellor and the LibDems Finance spokesperson all said that Scotland won’t be allowed to form a currency alliance with the rest of the UK. The Bank of England and the government has spoken. End off. Just like that.

That they all agree and are happy to do so tells you something. Either they think they have got one over on someone or they are desperate. The No campaign, who prefer to be called the “Better together” campaign, have shot themselves in the foot yet again.  There isn’t a lot of the “foot” left to shoot. Soon it will be shot themselves in the ankles, then the lower legs followed by the knees and then the upper legs. They’ll stop there because they won’t want to risk shooting themselves in the gentlemen’s parts although, given their inability to say or do anything meaningful at all, it’s odds on that that they’ll keep on shooting until they are shooting blanks!

Do they think that we, in Scotland, are all stupid? Probably they do. They must know that the last thing we’d want to do is to stay with the pound. We want independence and having the pound wouldn’t be independence. I should qualify that by saying that we may well keep using the pound for a wee while or we may end up with a Scottish pound.

It is important and we’ll come up with the best solution,n after all the words have been spoken, votes counted, independence achieved and the rest of the UK going on their merry way. Until Northern Ireland decide they want to do their own thing or want to join the rest of Ireland or maybe Ireland will want to join the UK. No matter.

We won’t be doing the Euro or the EU either. We won’t be having the Queen which will save us from having Prince Charles. We won’t be having any nonsense from Spanish fishing boats or any other nationalities either. We won’t be having huge areas of our country used for military target practice. We won’t be doing large areas of our country in the hands of very few people. We’ll have lower taxes of all kinds, we’ll have a complete railway system which meets our needs, ditto roads and airline routes.

We may well have problems, due to large numbers, with Scottish people returning to Scotland to work and settle. We may trade with lots of countries around the world. We will also get shot of the nuclear subs. We will be building ships again.

All pie in the sky? Over time, not at all.

I like England and the English. Great people, great country. It’s just a pity about their politicians and their establishment.

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2014 in Scottish Independence, SNP

 

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You should read this book, you should.

“The Scottish Enlightenment” – The Scots Invention of the Modern World – Arthur Herman ISBN 1-84115-276-5

The Westminster Government, ably supported by the BBC, has been pretty clever in the way it has portrayed Scotland and the people of Scotland. We are alcoholics, suffer from poor health, smoke too much, don’t do exercise, obese, etc. and worst of all monetary speaking we take more from the rest of the UK than we put in.

Given that quite a few of the politicians saying or implying these things are in fact Scottish themselves, you’d think they’d have the decency to put the facts on the table rather than just agree or in the worst case scenarios continue to tell fibs. I think there is some merit in the first paragraph above but I am also sure that the same things could be said of the rest of the UK and pretty much most countries in the world.

The one, which sticks in the craw for many people in Scotland, is the notion that Scotland doesn’t pay her way. The truth is that Scotland does pay more than it should and anyone with half a brain can see that for themselves.  Just think for a moment. Think of any country in the world which has oil within its borders and waters? Now also consider how much of a contribution the taxation and wealth creation, which has taken place in these countries. It’s huge. It makes the country far more stable and it also allows for much improved living standards for the population.

There are exceptions of course. It may be that a dictator rules the country and/or there is a dreadful level of corruption. This damages the country and it damages the potential living standards when just a few steal the greatest proportion of the wealth. It happens.

However, a country with oil and a government, which is reasonable, would get many benefits in all sorts of ways. Just look at Norway. It’s similar to Scotland although it does differ in one or two really important areas. It has it’s own government. It is not ruled by a much larger country and it is not part of the EU.

Norway has a big fund set aside from oil money to support the country in many ways not least of which will be to make life easier should the oil stop flowing although that’s certainly a very long way away.

Scotland has had very little benefit from the oil removed to date. It may have enjoyed the employment created but there has been no monies set aside. The money from the North Sea has gone to Westminster. FULL STOP!

Anyway the narrative is the important part at the moment. Remember the NO Campaign? Yes them. All they can say is that the Scottish people are too stupid, the country is too wee to amount to anything.

I recommend you read the following book. It clearly records the contribution made to the rest of the world owes to Scotland and the clever Scottish people from a small country, which punches hugely above its weight.

Don’t be taken in by Westminster and the establishment they will say whatever they think will damage Scotland most and the BBC will broadcast it.

“The Scottish Enlightenment” – The Scots Invention of the Modern World – Arthur Herman ISBN 1-84115-276-5

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2014 in BBC, Politics, Scottish Independence, SNP

 

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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 3

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 and Part 2 is here.

So carrying on our tale.

The A9 was made dual carriage way in record time also and potholes were attacked and dealt with all over the country. Road Tax no longer carried any sort of VAT or “environmental tax” and the duty on petrol was slashed by 60% with no VAT. There was a general drive to adopt a taxation system, which only taxed people once and at source of their salary or drawing etc. Again this was a great benefit to localism since most of the tax collected stayed in the area with a small amount sent on to the central government departments.

Obviously , Scotland needed a Navy/Army and Air Force albeit based on the stuff, which was deemed necessary by Westminster at the time of independence. Since then Scottish Governmenr has worked with other smaller countries to put together the ships, planes and equipment needed whilst also ensuring shipbuilding capability to sell and refit both naval and merchant ships etc.

Honesty was also brought to the tobacco and health debates. We now have a lot more pubs and hotels than we did during the attempt on smoking prohibition. Pubs, clubs, hotels etc. can now decide if they want to be smoking establishments. People are so more tolerant of others since they took more responsibility for themselves and are far more aware of the phoney science which was being pushed in the past.

The lies, which had been used by the stop smoking campaigners, were shown for what they were very soon after independence. The fact that there was not one single scientific study or paper, which could conclusively prove a link between lung cancer and smoking, surprised many.

The health system also jettisoned all the preaching, nannying and hectoring when it came to nutrition and alcohol.  Whilst there are still a ways to go things have also greatly improved and the much hyped obesity issue is being researched with a hope that gene therapy should be a significant positive solution. The fact that people have better jobs and have more money in their pockets automatically helps their health and again gene therapy is being considered for heart and cancer issues also. There is hope too that housing all over Scotland will be brought up to a much higher standard than ever before.

It all seems to good to be true does it not?

Well some things didn’t go quite as well. The nuclear base at Faslane is still there and negotiations have been stalled for a number of months now. There has been a change however, since there are so many good quality jobs on offer the base is beginning to suffer from manpower loss. The USA and England have been bringing in workers but they don’t have Scottish work permits and the base itself sits on Scottish soil and of course sea. The UN have been looking at the issue and it’s likely that the base will be closed although perhaps not as quickly as we would like.

The fishing fleet is growing rapidly because surprise, surprise the fishing grounds now belong to Scotland once again. A pretty good treaty has been sorted out with the Norwegians, Icelanders and Faroese so that fish stocks are preserved for the longer term.

 
 

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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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