Thursday, 28 June 2012

will innocent lives be sacrificed to torture to censor the referendum?

The campaign for Talha Ahsan and Babar Ahmad, 2 British citizens held at Long Lartin prison in Englandwho are under threat of extradition to America under the treaty of 2003 where America does not have to give the British courts any evidence, is in a particularly urgent crunch phase coming up to a European Court of Human Rights ruling on a referral to the court's "Grand Chamber", on Jul 10.

In that campaign's meeting and film-showing in Glasgow yesterday, at the centre for Contemporary Arts in Sauchiehall street, we were told something that unsurprisingly has never been prominent in the media: that the European Court has had meetings with folks from the American courts, experience swap and education, that type of meeting - but when it was coming up to taking the decision it originally took in April to allow the extraditions, and in visible disregard of piles of evidence to find against American Supermax solitary confinement being torture. When the decision was taken there was also a decision coming up in Europe on reform of the court itself and there is a perception that the decision was made to please the British government in exchange for the court's role and jurisdiction not getting reduced. We may remember the Tories and tabloids had gone through a long period of ranting against the court for being too liberal. Which probably got many liberals lured into becoming fans of the court, only now to see it throw away the lives and futures of these folks who not even a prima facie criminal case has ever been made against.

This humanitarian emergency is the most perfect instance you could ever need of how the court change could prevent the court getting away with politically bent humanitarian wrongs, and why we need the court change for that purpose. For what are any of the campaigns for these political prisoners doing, unless they are FAULTING what the court has done to date? and what the American system will do. too? The court change creates a power of fault finding against all court rulings, it abolishes their finality.

Yet campaign flyers have still been printed talking about July 10 as a final decision. Public exposure of the proven fact that it is not a final decisison, because of the court change, is a humanitarian emergency. What is Scotland Against Criminalising Communities' stance on this? The whole emergency campaign from them only makes any sense if they have got a stand on this.

The situation's crunch humanitarian weight now weighs heavily upon the SNP government too. Not because they have any formal power, this is a British government issue and you would write to your MP about it not MSP. But because the Scottish government knows all about the court change, see the record so here, and by deciding to accept and welcome that the court change is real and make it big time public, before July 10, they can stop the European Court or anyone else from claiming that a decision to deport is final.

The humanitarian record of whether the SNP does it will weigh over the ethics and standards of their referendum campaign. The question asked here before, will they campaign acknowledging the court change or going along with the British political class in hushing it up? Knowing now that unless they choose the right course before July 10, it may mean EXPEDIENTLY SACRIFICING REAL PEOPLE TO TORTURE CONDITIONS avertably? Would you find their new Scotland healthy as a state, if a key legal fact about its courts was publicly unknown at the time of its creation and knowingly avertably by its creators innocent folks were sitting in perpetually lit white cells in supermax jails being psychologically destroyed? with communication only through screens and not face to face?

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Diaspora back to the 90s

More Tory suffering here that Salmond will make us wade through. Salmond??? Indeed so, because he does not intend independence to actually happen with the present British government's term up to 2015, so how absurd to base his campaign on our suffering of its actions?

This is back to the 1990s, when Major said that for morality and "family values" and "back to basics", all that front of bogusness to win old bigots' votes, it was somehow morally better for young adults to live with their parents and to remain financially dependent on having to. So the benefit system should deliberately inflict that, make them do that. The new proposal from Cameron in this link, cutting off housing benefit from young adults, is exactly the same agenda brought back again. Make them live with their parents - but that means, make them live in the same country as their parents live in.

DIASPORA OPPRESSION ALERT here, how are the SNP going to respond to this? Are they going to say a word for, a word acknowldging the existence of, young adults of the Scottish diaspora stuck living in exile not in Scotland? Like I was in the early 1990s. A Yes campaign now exists. It can speak up for the diaspora, it can sell us independence as a means to stop this ethnic violation of our diaspora, this entrapment of them cut off from their own country's life, a means to bring them home" and be damn quick about it in case any of them die in exile after never having the chance to live in their own country in their lives. If the SNP won't do this, what say the other Yes parties, whose relations with the SNP are already fraying over control of the campaign, about this?

Next day's news brings us some more clarity, that Cameron can't do all this now because of the coalition and it is going to be Tory policy next time. Okay, then it is still dangerous to the diaspora if we have to wait until 2016, which could be well into his next government if he gets in, before independence. So still what says Salmond to that? The same as he says, which is nothing, to all the folks continuing to suffer the already existing Tory measures up to 2014?

Thursday, 21 June 2012

voting Labour no more?

Nicola Sturgeon in PMQs today, said independence will mean no more getting taken into illegal wars by Labour Governments.

No it won't. Unless it's a one party state, independence will have no means to mean anything of the kind. We might elect a Labour Government, that is very likely on Scotland's voting history, and it may make the same choices as Blair's did. It's this fallacy again, that is happening on both sides, of assuming independence will mean SNP policies. Why should it?

Even if it was an SNP Government, look at the SNP's manic fetishing over regiments and military traditions because of the patriot vote around them? They were close to the media tycoons, how can we know they would not be close to the pushes for Western interventionist wars?

Johann Lamont's comparison of all the SNP's recent watering down of independence with Life of Brian and its famous scene What Have the Romans Done For Us, was so accurate and apt. Spot on.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Banned demo


On Saturday a demo in Glasgow which I was on, in support of refugees who are housed there, was shut down in mid rally by the police and everyone sent home. We were not even told the reason why, but that it would involve a fascist counter-threat was fairly guessable. Speakers sent away who had not yet spoken included political ones.

The demo organisers are lodging a complaint over this. It has turned out that the police threatened use of the Public Order Act to ban a hundreds strong demo on grounds of public safety,  force its participants by law to run away, because just 25 members of the SDL were counter demonstrating.

Nicola Sturgeon had sent a support message to the demo, and the Green leader Patrick Harvie was among the speakers present. So what do both say about whether independence will reduce the prospects of this type of thing happening?

The demo was about how new business contracts for housing refugees have resulted in sudden evictions of them onto the streets, including them coming home to find their locks changed. Speakers cited that under human rights throwing anyone onto the streets is illegal. They will all be interested in taking up my case that rent and mortgages no longer constitutionally exist, then? As explained here to the housing policy consultation Firm Foundations in 2008.

There was some sentiment expressed that independence will enable us to stop being part of British policy to have refugees treated like this. The corruption and absurdity was highlighted, of a policy that allows them to refuse a person refugee status when the country the same person has come from is acknowledged as too dangerous to return them to !!!

If independence is going to make that humanitarian difference, they should be getting on with it, not waiting another 2 years. eh? But it is time to clarify what protections against racist policies will be built into the new state? and built in whoever wins its first election, not assuming it will begin with an SNP government? There is a discrepancy. the SNP has appeased the racist vote by saying we will stay in the British Isles travel area and not join Schengen. How will we stay in the British Isles travel area without staying in the British humanitarian disaster of the present ayslum system? On what basis does Sturgeon promise we will not stay in it?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Spot on question

Well done Johann Lamont, getting Salmond with the right question at PMQs yesterday.

Yes I will call it PMQs, the contrivance of "first minister" was never used for colonial Prime Ministers or the Canadian provinces or for Northern Ireland's in 1921-72, and a Prime Minster is a first minister.

Salmond needs to be more factual, in his position, than to make up speculations and claim they will happen because they sound sensible to him. Otherwise voters will start to feel he is selling them a dud. Saying that after independence, outside and separated from the UK, we could make the UK give us a seat in the bank of England's structure for issuing the UK's currency. Totally silly. Exactly as Lamont said, he was just crossing his fingers and hoping for the best: and trying to bounce it, too. Most voters, without needing to follow politics, know you can't take for granted without asking, a foreign country will provide you with a facility on demand just because you say it would be sensible. No wonder the Bank of England has said no.

Campaign questions intimately related to the question of honesty over the SNP filtering the public availability of consultation responses. Does Salmond listen to any items voters raise on the position around independence? Will voters get any position out of him on other issues than just those he has chosen for a fudged feelgood campaign for a statehood not fully explained in many of his aspects? So does he actually care where ordinary folks' state of life will be?