Tuesday, 8 December 2015

abridged

It was the SNP government who chose in 2010 not to go ahead with maintenance work on stressed joints on the Forth road bridge. They had engineering reports that it was needed to avert the present closure crisis. It has been uncovered here.

Some nats on Facebook are arguing that other parties who were reluctant to support building the new bridge (arguments should it be bridge or tunnel, etc) should be blamed. Regardless of what views on the new bridge were right or wrong, they are not causes of the present situation - because the new bridge is not yet completed so it has not yet taken any traffic off the old bridge. It's entirely the choices made about the old bridge that lead to the old bridge's situation. Including, to the engineer of the Skye bridge, who lives in Queensferry, telling the Daily Record it may never be reopenable to heavy lorries.

When they were consulting the public on starting the new bridge, some of us pointed out that the known overstress wear on the old bridge, from the heavy freight beyond what it was designed to take, was continuing all the time and they could stop it by diverting the heavy freight onto a ferry. Did they? They may now have to do that, but it will take them time to arrange it and obtain appropriate vessels, and meanwhile the lorries can't cross or have to clog up the Clackmannanshire bridge. If they had arranged a freight ferry back c2010, as an outcome of studying the situation towards needing the new bridge,they would have had time to plan and work it out properly.

You notice we are getting help from the union with extra train rolling stock sent from England, because Scotrail is not already have it, either for emergencies or for relieving the overcrowded too short commuter trains in the Central Belt that have been suffered for years.

Monday, 9 November 2015

Nats not wanting budgetary home rule!

No there should not be a devolving of the power to call a repeat of a ref you've already had recently, away from the British polity having any say in it. It would be a dumb thing for them to vote for that ib the Scotland Bill, vote away any power to stop the fanatics from keeping us voting and never accepting any result until it's their way. It is totally constitutionally right to dismiss Salmond's nerve in proposing this. His own predecessor Gordon Wilson has already told him, talk of a second ref annoys No voters and gives false hope to Yes voters, earning the votes of neither.

No it is not a unionist trick to devolve lots of strong income tax powers, as some tricky jerk was just arguing on Radio Scotland. The argument was that income tax is a power no government electorally likes to exercise, so that it's not real home rule to give us a power we won't want to use. AND IT'S NOT REAL BELIEF IN SELF-GOVERNMENT TO BE UNWILLING TO USE IT! It's a total contradiction of nationalism, it's what you would have to do in your own state. What happened to saying we have a more left wing culture more eager to vote for tax and redistribution? What price every moan the SNP government makes about supposed budget cuts, when it has never chosen to use the devolved tax power of 3p that has existed ever since the 1997 referendum? Was it worth devolving that power? To sustain the claim of a left wing culture you have to say it was.SO WHY HAVE YOU NEVER USED IT, innit?

Friday, 30 October 2015

Stop England's health service axeing a cancer medicine

www.change.org/p/don-t-stop-funding-only-drug-for-pancreatic-cancer/u/13957786?tk=ipmzOUAMrMpWKhe2T_Escn4IpgywbqdXjdjiwWKrh1Q&utm_source=petition_update&utm_medium=email

Ordinary folks of neighbouring countries should care for each other, should use each other's facilities as precedents for the otger country to have parity of important facilities like this. It's solidarity.

Friday, 23 October 2015

still fighting fantasies

Ordinary nats are still fighting as they were during the ref, to get unverified fantasies taken as fact, and still calling it lies and scares to point out the truth that a fantasy has no basis.

That is still the level where a nat writing in the Metro this week is at. he called it a unionist scare and lie that there would be any border control with rUK, because there isn't any with the Irish Republic. He slags unionist readers and confidently calls all this unionist lying. And exactly the same facts still stand now as stood during the ref, that makes it the nats who are lying about this and unionists are simply citing facts sensibly:

* It is not Scotland's sole say for there not to be border control. Either state on either side of a border has the power to put control on. Relations with Ireland for no constitutional precedent at all.
* Yes there are identity checks in entering and leaving Ireland, and at present regular travellers to the Republic find it sensible to take their passports to avoid difficulties over whether whatever other form of identity they are carrying is accepted. Not only that, because the Republic has at present has a milder line on immigration than Britain has and Britain does not want to impact Irish politics by being too heavy on the border with the north, there are actually immigration checks when you cross from Northern Ireland to the mainland on the Belfast-Cairnryan ferry! I experienced this in April. The ferry tells you to carry identity, for that reason.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

We are getting welfare devolved

In Tory conference week, the Scotsman has learned from UK civil service that yes we will get welfare powers devolved. To introduce new measures and to top up UK benefits, including disability.

It's from 2018, so there is the frustration of the foot dragging process of these things coming into effect, waiting through 3 years more of Tory measures (unless their tiny majority government falls before then). But the SNP have been insisting that we were not going to get this. Though such a detail as this was never in the vow, they have been using it to claim the vow is not being delivered. You can see it is being delivered. This is in the spirit of the Smith Commission.

The announcement's timing is to get around any economically diehard Tories wishing to be difficult about it. That shows their leaders wanting to get around them and secure the Union.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

James VI 4th longest reign

I voted No and saw nationalist emotion develop into a completely irrational form like a religion, with devotees keen to shout everyone down and win by peer pressure. They did not want to care or lusten to anything that might collide with the dream, not even when racist horrors came out of their side, the genocidal step of betraying our diaspora by not making citizenship by descent unrefusable, against European human rights article 8, the threat to take residence away from EU citizens already here, and the deportations of deemed rUK citizens luridly threatened by Wings Over England in Wee Blue Book p60-61.

So since the ref it has not been a good move for rational Scots to promote anything with national emotion in it. But we all have to agree that the Times has been an utter numpty today. It should be more careful in these turbulent times to avoid giving the emotional nats accidental gifts. It is rationally insulting to print a claimed list of the longevities of "British" monarchs and list only the English ones! Woefully careless and parochial by old habit.

In a proper British list, of both thrones combined, James VI would be in fourth place, for his 58 year Scottish reign, not shown as James I and 22 years.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

nat racists drove their own councillor out of their party

A Scotsman story on a councillor in the south who has left the SNP because she is Chinese and has suffered racism in the party for it: www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/chinese-snp-councillor-quits-amid-racism-claims-1-3852813

For "not being Scottish and organising a Scottish event"! Read the story, you will see it's about a bigoted nat culture of being anti-outsider and spitefully keen to call folks not Scottish.

Matching exactly the way I heard Pat Kane spin the meaning of their "Civic Nationalism" idea, and Hebrides MSP Angus Macneil's hate stirring against Scots who had not lived there, which I wrote to the islands' local paper about, during the ref. That they saw the whole Yes project as only for the benefit of the folks already living here, as an insular community looking into itself, and viewing everyone else, including the Scottish diaspora!! with paranoia as outsiders only to be given as much of a place as would serve the emplaced community's self interest.

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Once in a generation

Eck: Nah nah nah, it's only once in a generation, guv, innit? That's how historic the decision is, folks. Just once, like. There won't be another.

He no longer has any credence to accuse Britain of breaking the vow, as the nats are wilfully contriving to accuse over hastily when there hasn't yet been time to take extra powers through parliament since the election. Everyone knows, and will know, that he and the SNP have broken their word, clear and stark, and have always planned to.

Saturday, 9 May 2015

no caviar thanks to Sturgeon

On Ed Miliband's Facebook page, a nat has written, about this devastating election:

- "
You sealed your fate when you joined forces with Cameron and sent an army of MPs up to Scotland to bully,coerce and scare the Scots into voting no in the Indy Ref, that fate was further sealed when you treated the SNP as the enemy in the election. You are an idiot that has let the whole nation down."

My reply does not come from a voice who was always unionist, it comes from a voice who went into the ref open minded to see which side would be more liberal on keeping Scotland open to its diaspora, and suspected the nats might pander to racist voters by not being generous towards the broader diaspora gut never imagined they would actually taint our history with the fascism of betraying citizenship of their own country for the first generation diaspora. here is what I said on the economic issue, to the Tory near future we have all been slammed with, and remembering that the propsect of "no more Tory gvoernments we didn't vote fro" was the best sounding line in Yes's campaign:

- "The SNP made themselves an enemy and forced Ed's hand to do that, because they bragged so hubristically that they were going to dictate all his govt's actions. It's their fault. They cheated Ed of the win he was heading for, destroyed the govt they wanted to get, took away from us at the brink of reality the most progressive govt since before Thatcher and gave us another 80s-like trauma. They knew they were frightening voters in England and that the Tories were seizing on it.

Sturgeon said they were going to force CND disarmament. Any surprise at an 80s-like result to saying that? They were going to force a highly austere and absurd fiscal independence for Scotland, and force what Labour's economic policy would be - and talking so dictatorially made it credible for the Tories also to stick on them that they would force another referendum. In fact they were on a carried away ego trip, campaign publicity was their only means of leverage on Ed's govt towards even the more meritorious of their ideas - their anti-austerity line which only stood up if they did not get fiscal indy! - the SNP would not have had any means to force Ed's govt to do fiscal indy or CND, for their only threat was to put him out and Tories back in, electorally impossible for them to do hence already pledged not to. But only the minority of voters who take enough serious interest in politics to understand the system's workings realised this. The tragedy of this election is it has been swung on irrational feeling, that could not have happened if more humans were disposed to think.

We would still be worse off if Yes had won the ref, and if this election still had the same outcome in rUK despite no nationalist scare to cause it. As a so-called independent state avoiding the austerity burden of creating currency reserves by instead choosing to keep our spending and economic policy dictated to us by the Bank of England, we would now be under this Tory govt which would have a stable big majority instead of a precariously tiny one. We would have no future prospect either of voting it out or of having a leftward leverage in parlt if they lose their majority mid term. That's the difference if you take Scotland out of the election, last time we made the difference of the Tories not getting a majority, this time we made the difference of keeping it tiny enough to be unstable. "

Friday, 8 May 2015

Sturgeon's campaign hubris blew it

HOW ARE THE NATS NOW GOING TO COPE WITH THE SPECTACLE THAT THEIR OWN ACTIONS EXTINGUISHED THE GOVERNMENT THEY WERE HOPING TO CREATE AND GOT THE TORIES BACK IN?

THE HUBRIS OF BOASTING THAT YOU WERE GOING TO DICTATE TO A LABOUR GOVERNMENT AND FORCE IT TO DO A LIST OF GOODIES? WHEN YOU FORCED THE ISSUE OF THOSE CLAIMS, IN THE CAMPAIGN AND THE DEBATES, YOU FRIGHTENED VOTERS IN ENGLAND AWAY. YOU ENABLED THE TORIES TO SCARE THEM THAT YOU COULD FORCE THE UNION FURTHER APART IF LABOUR GOT IN. THOUGH YOU COULDN'T DO THAT, VOTERS BELIEVED IT AND FELT SAFER BY NOT ALLOWING THERE TO BE A GOVERNMENT INFLUENCED BY YOU AT ALL, AND RAN HOME TO THE TORIES AT THE LIKELY BLOODSTAINED COST WE ALL KNOW.

AFTER THIS DAY OF ELECTORAL SPASM WENT FOR YOU, THIS HISTORY WILL HANG OVER YOU THROUGH THE NEAR FUTURE. YOUR ACTIONS TOOK AWAY THE GOVERNMENT YOU DREAMED OF, FROM ALL OF BRITAIN: TOOK AWAY AT THE BRINK OF HAPPENING THE TANGIBLE CHANCE OF THE MOST EGALITARIAN GOVERNMENT SINCE BEFORE THATCHER, SINCE THE ONE YOU PUT OUT IN 1979, AND SUBSTITUTED THE WORST CASE INSTEAD.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

Not listening makes us blue.

How fair will it be for an election to be swung by the psychology of "don't understand"?

Today's Tory press are trying to muddle with the situation around a Labour government's relation to the SNP. Following Miliband's renunciation 2 days ago of any deal with other parties, now several front pages saying: oh look, we've caught them out, they will do a deal. This is based on some of the Shadow Cabinet explaining that a minority government would go from vote to vote talking to other parties to get as much as it can of its own business through. That is not a deal. That is what Miliband already explicitly explained that that is not a deal. It is exactly what happens when there is not a deal, it is the way any minority government has to function, the other parties can jostle with it on passing or not passing each item of its business. It's the way the SNP minority government of 2007-11 worked, getting business through with Tory support so often that to be logically consistent these papers should accuse it of having a deal with the Tories, exactly what is terrible for the SNP ever to be seen by its voters to have. But logically consistent is what these headlines have an interest in not being. To understand what it or is not a deal takes willingness to listen to explanations and understand the system. For the real human minds of many voters, knee jerk prejudice is easier and saves mental effort. Oh look, this headline has made it sound like this means a deal, so it probably does, so it does. Conclusion reached, end of story, mind closed to further listening.

.Because the story is written to fit prejudice that what the politician says is likely to be lies, the voter leaps to the simple conclusion that it is indeed lies in this case. To make any effort to understand the system would be an unwelcome mental effort. It could threaten 2 things for the voter, (i) a prejudice, (ii) their self-esteem of being right in leaping to the hasty conclusion. because these things are threatening, they must be shut out of mind, by insisting: no no no, I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Even if they would understand perfectly well if they chose to listen. So now, anyone trying to explain the technicality of why a minority government's work to pass each vote is not a deal, and why these shadow ministers have not confessed there will be a deal, will just get "I don't understand", and based on it an impatient refusal to listen. And that psychology in enough voters could change the election's outcome.

The voting reform referendum in 2011, already, appeared swung by a "don't understand" prejudice. The argument that the proposed new system took more effort to understand, succeeded in appealing to voters to reject it. That worked better as an argument than the case that it was a fairer system. So this is irrational psychological process is totally capable of swinging election outcomes.

The atmosphere towards Labour is now frighteningly like 1992. SHOULD AN ELECTION BE GIVEN TO THE TORIES BY A KNEE JERK PEER PRESSURE AND A PSYCHOLOGY OF REFUSAL TO LISTEN TO SIMPLE EXPLANATIONS?!! That is the present danger.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Shout down all other parties.

A selection of the words of SNP supporters at present.

Labour's Kezia Dugdale in yesterday's daily record thought voters need to contemplate that this is who the present SNP are, on this wave of emotion:
  • Candidate known on Twitter as "Paco McSheepie" calls No voters quislings, thinks pensioners should not have the vote, and says an SNP majority in this election would be grounds to declare independence unilaterally.
  • Candidate in Paisley says an SNP win of over 30 seats would be grounds to call a second referendum. Called that "the rope that a hung parliament hangs on."
  • Candidate in Inverness: "Never mind the referendum, just declare independence."
  • Candidate in Midlothian: "It wasn't a No vote, just a not yet."

There was more talk of UDI in the latest Scots Independent pamphlet, not one you see on the newsstands, I saw it on the reference shelf of a library in Edinburgh. Gordon Wilson, former SNP leader, whose anti-gay religious views hardly make him seem the SNP's radical wing, is another one writing of a UDI without a referendum. So radical it's treasonable, he wrote for the nats to prepare to do that if a British referendum on the EU goes for leaving it.

Then there's this I found through Facebook. A vision of democracy tweeted by one "Mulder1981":
"The SNP winning another landslide victory shows that Scotland wants change. The SNP should shout down all other political parties in Scotland and self-govern the nation towards independence. It's the will of the people who are politically engaged and care about the country's future and potential. Alba gu braith."

This line is familiar from some well known nationalist histories just across both the Irish and North Seas from us. Not good ones.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Common travel binned already: try visiting Ireland.

Britain has been breaking the British Isles common travel area with Ireland, affecting both parts of it, without admitting so in any prominent political outlet.

Since 2010, shows this paper from when they started it, www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/257182/cta.pdf, they have done immigration checks on the crossings from Northern Ireland to the mainland. It is shocking to see it, as I did on the Belfast to Cairnryan crossing, with "immigration enforcement" on their uniforms, checking identity and asking exactly immigration type questions about where you were travelling to - on a domestic travel route that is wholly inside the UK. It is not caused by NI's history, any extra security because of that would be security rather than open explicit immigration checking. Dangerously it does not make NI feel treated like part of the union, does it? The idea behind it is supposed to be, that the Republic is more liberal on immigration, and the Irish peace requires there to be easy crossing into NI by road an appearance of open border between the 2 parts of Ireland, so Britain will let the Republic's policy govern who can reach NI but it will still put a trap in an unexpected place to catch folks trying to reach the British mainland. This is why it is only being done in one direction, coming from Ireland, not going to it.

A friend who has visited family in the Republic reported that he was asked for his passport when crossing into NI on public transport! This is exactly what is not supposed to happen under the common travel area, and all our media debate on the EU and during the referendum took as common knowledge that it does not happen, that we have a happy little passport-free travel area with the Irish Republic. Googling, you can find stories since 2011 of this happening. It's not being publicised in media and politics, it's only folks who travle to Ireland and experience it who are getting to know this is happening.

As a No voter who is migration liberal and has no love at all for Britain's present border culture, I'm writing against Britain's practices here and accusing that they weaken the union. But this revelation is more of a problem for nats than unionists, because during the referendum the Yessers relied heavily on claiming they could predict that rUK would keep the common travel area with us because it would be rational. They insisted cavalierly that we could dismiss as bluff all contrary talk. Some Yessers actually relied on this, to argue that my anger at Yes's citizenship plan betraying the Scottish diaspora was unnecessary, because the common travel area resolved it. Predicting common travel's certainty to remain in place would mean, all the Scots born in the rest of Britain to emigrant parents and still living there at the date of indy, who Yes intended to betray without unrefusable citizenship of their own country, would still always be free to move home as part of common travel. So it would not matter how deficient and full of loopholes Yes's rules for Scottish citizenship were. This is clearly disproved by what is happening to Ireland. If intrusive migration checks are now capable of being intruded sinisterly upon civil liberties even inside the UK, between its nations, and if we are illicitly and dishonestly breaking the travel area with the Irish Republic too, both of these shocks show how easy and casual it would have been for rUK to put them onto a new Scottish state's border.

It's obviously another reason not to vote Conservative if you care for the union.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

which scare wins?

In this campaign, opponents of each of the 2 British major parties are bound to seek to portray the other as a threat to the Union. After all, the Union is popular, as we know: it was chosen in a referendum quite recently.

None of the right wing newspapers accusing Labour of risking the Union simply by being willing to cooperate with the SNP on economic issues in a hung parliament, have itemised exactly what risking effect this is supposed to have upon the Union? But when a Tory sympathetic paper, the Sunday Times, runs in a front page column that the Conservatives would give Scotland financial home rule, fiscal independence, separation from the security and mutual support of the shared British budget, that is the one to be scared of.

It makes the Conservatives a worse threat to the Union. Fiscal independence fits with Tory attitudes on self-reliance and anti-welfare, make Scotland pay for itself jolly good eh what? No, and not what we voted No for. They are the ones who have been disturbingly leaning to this idea ever since the Smith process, when you will remember it was Labour who stepped in to say no that's too far in separation. It's Labour who are holding the line against fiscal separation.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Labour has it right

None of you riding on the nationalist fire stoked by the Tory press are going to get any goodies from it, when you find you have let the Tories back in. It's in their clear electoral interest to feed all this poll frenzy against Labour.

What could be better than the version of the Vow including benefits devolution which Jim Murphy and Gordon Brown have arrived at for Labour? It has something for everyone. It addresses any conern there was with Smith about whether enough of welfare was being devolved. It deserves to be popular.

It's not a contradiction of Labour's previous line at all, the way the already hostile letter writers are painting. Labour was against separating the welfare budget from the union, it was against budgetary separation, fiscal independence, which would carry all the same economic vulnerabilities for Scotland as actually indy. It still is. Labour's policy is still keeping the British welfare budget united. So it remains backed up by the union. At the same time as doing that, they have found a way to save us from it meaning that welfare rates and terms will all be in British Tory governments' power to determine. We will get a Scottish power to top them up. To do our own thing, not from a position of budgetary separation, but as a top-up. Extra measures of our own that we can do on top of still having most of it delivered by the union.

This is a clever piece of common sense. Vote for it. You have no sensible reason not to. You won't have to choose between keeping the welfare system's united economic security or about having a Scottish power to be more generous with it than the Tories. Whichever of those you care most about, whichever side you are on of the debate between them, does not matter, because you will get them both!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU WILL GET THEM BOTH!!! IT'S BRILLIANT.

There was nothing in the cross-party Vow that vowed this, but it was in Gordon Brown's Labour picture of what the Vow should be, in the final phase of the referendum. And yes Labour is delivering his picture. The best of all worlds for folks on both sides!! So vote for it. Stop being part of this irrational poll flip against Labour that should have happened in the New Labour period in the noughties, not now.