The State We’re In

Given that I made the choice to leave Scotland and the UK a few years ago, it could be argued that I gave up my right to complain about anything that happens there. However, I was born in Scotland and I am still a citizen of the UK, so I retain the right to hold an opinion.
I have been following the recent local council and European parliament elections with interest. I am, quite honestly, a little taken aback by the number of councillors and MEP’s the UKIP managed to gain across both sets of elections. In terms of the results, I am convinced it is a flash in the pan, but the truly frightening thing is that it will result in a coalition between the Tories and UKIP at the next UK general election in 2015. It does not bode well for England or Wales.
In Scotland, I believe it will ensure a substantial majority in the Independence referendum this September 18th, but I have a major worry about that. It is complex and convoluted for a ‘simple’ worry, but it is this:
The Tory party have royally buggered up everything they have touched and pissed off all but their very best friends in the electorate. Their coalition ‘partners’ – the LibDems – have buggered up even more royally, and have now been crushed in both the council and European elections. The labour party has voted with the Tories on a number of issues fundamental to many voters and members within their ranks – the primary source of dissatisfaction being the issues to do with the welfare state and the NHS. Add to that the abject hopelessness of Ed Milliband in his role as leader and you have a quandary for Labour voters who want to see change.
The fact that UKIP have been relentlessly promoted by the mainstream UK media and in particular, the BBC, has helped them no end with hundreds of hours and column inches over the last couple of years, on top of the perennial anti-immigration, islamophobic crap that makes the UK media so utterly reprehensible. So, inevitably, these nazi chancers had a decent showing in the elections. The dumbing down of the issues to the point where no actual details are available to decipher what UKIP actually stand for has not helped at all.
The UK now stands on the edge of a political precipice:
The Tories need a coalition with one party or another, they also desperately need Scotland to vote “No” to independence.
The Tories will team up with UKIP, forming an alliance that will, if we take these last two sets of elections as an accurate poll of voting intentions, garner around 60% of UK votes at the next general election.
This leads to a conclusion that will see any referendum in Scotland irrelevant: A Tory-UKIP alliance will, for the benefit of themselves alone, abolish the Scottish Parliament whatever the referendum result in September.
Are you afraid, yet ? I am.
The prospect of UKIP and the Tories together in government terrifies me!
The idea that Nigel Farage will be in a position similar to that in which Nick Clegg abjectly failed should concern everyone for the simple reason that a majority of Tory voters actually support more of what UKIP wants than they do of their own party’s policies. You’ll note, I do not accuse UKIP of having policies. This is because they change their ideas from day to day to suit the headlines. It’s a trait the leader picked up in his stockbroker days. If the deal is not to your liking, spread lies loudly and often until the lies become accepted and Nigel’s your uncle!

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Inaudible Mumbles

Living in Australia gives me a quite useful perspective on the Scottish Independence debate. I get both sides of it because Australians, in general, don’t give a fuck about it – they have their own battles to fight.

The latest furore created by the No camp seems to be perched among an inaudible mumble that arose out of an interview with Alistair Darling in New Statesman magazine. If the reports are correct, almost in the same sentence, he accused Alex Salmond of sounding like Kim Jong Il and promoting Blut und Boden (Blood and Soil) nationalism. For the uninitiated, Blud Und Boden was a brand of nationalist opinion which began appearing in the 1890’s in Germany and was commandeered by the Nazi Party in a more sloganised form – blaming foreigners, Jews and generally, non-German stock of seeking to pummel Germany into submission to the power of global and personal finance. There is some irony in there to be extracted.

The fact that Alistair Darling has compared Alex Salmond to a recently deceased dictator and compared the Yes campaign to a less recent fascist regime is not only laughable, but oozes a desperate and defamatory resentment of the success of the pro-independence campaign and the First Minister of Scotland in persuading enough Scottish residents to scare the living daylights out of Westminster. What the No campaign (and Alistair Darling, in particular) don’t see is that the majority of pro-Indy folk had made their minds up long before this referendum campaign got under way.

For me, personally, the realization that I am in favour of independence came about 7 or 8 years ago. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for me) I met and married a wonderful woman who brought me to Australia, and I chose to live here. Funnily enough, I now have a similar fight against neo-liberalist elitist politicians here in Australia that I had gotten so tired of while living in Britain. You couldn’t get a fag paper between the Tories here and the Tory-LibDem-Labour elite in Britain.

Spot the similarities: They favour privatisation of the NHS, we already pay a medicare tax to fund it, but they want to charge us more every time we have a blood test, an xray, see a doctor or any other medical therapist; They want to cut pensions by $80 a week for some, which will push a lot of older folk from abject poverty into starvation and homelessness. They want to abolish the carbon tax and taxes on the major mining corporations rather than make it work to furnish the nation with a fund for future development and care of the nation. They also want to make those earning more than $200000 per annum about $400 worse off while making those on benefits and under 30 years old $2469 a year worse off. They are in favour of fracking, too – despite the proven damage to water tables, soil, and flora and fauna. I have seen running water from a tap literally set on fire after fracking took place below the property.

In the great scheme of things, my opinion matters little to anyone, but me. I don’t have a vote in the referendum, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a say! I have made it my mission to try to persuade all the waverers among my family and friends in Scotland to vote Yes to an independent Scotland. As a people, we are quite clearly different in attitude to the rest of the British isles when it comes to Social welfare, politics and outlook. It is time to withdraw the power from Westminster to rule over us without our voice being heard and listened to. Time to bring our government home.

When that happens, I am likely to follow close behind!

On Nuclear Disarmament Affecting Independent Scotland

The better Together campaign is getting desperate these days. Apart from the minister for Defence’s assertion that Scotland will be at risk from attacks from space as an independent nation, apparently getting rid of Trident would stop an independent iScotland’s chances of joining NATO, cast a “dark shadow” over the newly independent Scottish nation, that “Many, if not most” of the 7,000 staff employed at the bases that service and support Trident “would lose their jobs”, and quite a lot of other lies and pish made up by a dozen or so senile old soldiers.

The real story is that an independent Scotland ‘s policy to rid our country of nuclear weapons is actually in keeping with the majority of NATO member states: Only three Nato members are nuclear-weapon states, and 20 of the 28 member states neither own nor host nuclear weapons.

An independent Scotland will spend on “conventional” defences to provide security as well as increasing economic benefits and employment on which we currently miss out. An annual defence and security budget of £2.5 billion would provide for significant investment in the defence sector and support major Scottish industries including shipbuilding and ordnance manufacturing and maintenance.

The £170 million or so that Scottish taxpayers contribute every year to the maintenance and running of Trident alone could be far better spent by supporting our conventional defence needs.

On job losses, Faslane has a strong future as a conventional naval base and as the joint headquarters for the defence forces of an independent Scotland and the number of personnel employed there post-independence will be about the same as are employed there now.

Lets be clear about the real reasons Westminster “needs” trident. Firstly, in terms of NATO, trident is all they’ve got for bargaining power. The UK armed forces are dwindling in terms of manpower, hardware and capability compared with the post-war military heydey of the 50’s and 60’s. Without trident the UK is no more a military big hitter than Belgium, Denmark or Holland.

Secondly, moving the primary first strike nuclear target to England would be difficult for them. Where are they going to put it ? Portsmouth ? Too near London. Plymouth, maybe ? Still too near London for their liking. Barrow in Furness ? Erm, might work for them. Most of the fallout would hit the north of England and Scotland – yes: that might work!

Thirdly, where do they get the expertise for support ? Scotland ? They couldn’t have that, now, could they ? A foreign country providing the expertise and manpower to sevice their nuclear “dterrent’? Many of the folk working at Faslane and Coulport might not want to move to England. What then ? Train people ? Think of the additional expense! Who will Train them ?

On top of all this trident nonsense, the UK credit rating will be downgraded without Scotland, because the contributions to the exchequer from Scotland have carried the rest of the UK for decades. Westminster will lose the AAA rating while Scotland on its own will flourish. We will have a comparatively huge supportable defence budget and the civilian industries and expertise to support a homegrown defence industry.

The desperation of Westminster can be heard in the strangled cries of Lord Robertson and Hammond and the old soldiers they woke from slumber. This intervention from the military establishment is, however, ominous and, frankly, darker than just a bunch of old soldiers worried about the defence of the realm. It signals the fact that Westminster has already engaged them in strategic discussions. What are they planning when Scotland votes “Yes” on September 18th ?

It would not be the first time Westminster has used the military and/or martial law imposed by an elite intent on keeping power for themselves at any cost on the pretext of defence of the realm. nor the first time an elitist military establishment educated in the same schools and corridors as these old Etonians and Horrovians.

You may laugh, but this government and their allies in the Labour party have not shown any desire to take responsibility for their performance. Nor have any of them shown any desire to accede to the will of the people in any state or region they ever ruled.

Ever since the days of Edward Longshanks, London, in one form or another has used usury, bribery and blackmail – not to mention military power – to dominate and oppress the people of the world through the halcyon days of the empire and the Raj. They have never listened to what the various peoples wanted. Their brutality and consummate public school elitist ignorance visited on the aspirations and desires of every citizen of every country it has ever coveted over the centuries is now coming home to roost and being pressed home by the oldest and probably most oppressed and exploited of those nations and they don’t like it.

In the same way that the Romans, the Persians, the Mongols and the Ottomans lost their empires, Little England has lost theirs. Yet they still refuse to wake up to that fact. They still use threats, lies, and the risk of attacks from space (FFS!) to try to keep hold of what is already lost to them. Trident is their last trick and they don’t want to reveal it’s secrets.

Trident is, in terms of stature, power and political influence, their only trick.

Without Scotland there is no Trident, because the English don’t want it in their back yard, and it certainly could not go to the Thames.

Without Trident, there is no Military power.

Without military power, their is no international political influence or economic sway.

Without international influence, there is no say in world affairs.

The biggest secret, though, is this:

Trident will never prevent nuclear war. It will in fact increase the likelihood of nuclear war falling on the British Isles, because the real nuclear powers – Russia, China, USA and France will not fight a nuclear war in their own territory willingly and the UK is just isolated enough and small enough, and to the major nuclear powers, not quite big enough or close enough to matter.