Archive | October, 2019

The death of One Nation Conservatism

31 Oct

Wee Ginger Dug

Most of us in Scotland who support independence have no sympathies with the Tories. Getting away from them and building a politics in which they’re permanently a minority party instead of the usual party of government is in fact the prime reason why so many of us support independence in the first place. We’ve had our fill of their austerity, their greed and selfishness, their lack of compassion and humanity. We’ve had enough of the way in which they blame the poor for the sins of the rich. We’ve reached the end of our tether with they way in which they have normalised foodbanks and the demonisation of migrants. Having sympathy with the political travails of a Conservative is too much like empathising with the mosquito which is killed by the malaria fluke it passes on to a child.

The sorrows of Conservatives still makes those of us with a…

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The arsonists

31 Oct

Wee Ginger Dug

It’s Halloween, the day that the UK was supposed to be leaving the EU, but isn’t, again. Scary clowns are very fashionable this Halloween, you cannae turn on the telly without seeing Boris Johnson, failing to die in a ditch. The idiot can’t even succeed at failing. This is the man who said, “I want everyone to know there are no circumstances in which I will ask Brussels for a delay.” And then asked for a delay. Boris Johnson’s word is worth as much as the pound will be following a no deal Brexit. He’s been forced into a General Election with the leering Nigel Farage breathing down his neck and contesting the Tories for leaver votes. He’s facing a wipe out in Scotland and there’s no certainty that he can make up the shortfall with gains in leave voting Labour seats.

Now the Prime Minister is trying to blame…

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Forget Scotland!

31 Oct

Peter A Bell

The British Nationalist threat to Scotland’s health service is not new. It predates Boris Johnson’s undeserved elevation by several years. All that has changed is that we now have a British Prime Minister who is so contemptuous of Scotland and its people as to speak openly of the British state’s malign intent.

You’d have to be terminally naive to suppose the British political elite weren’t itching to get their greedy paws on NHS Scotland. Absorbing Scotland’s public health service into one of those “UK-wide common frameworks” that David Mundell wasn’t considered capable of managing serves the purposes of the ‘One Nation’ project very well. For a start, it would be an important step in neutralising the Scottish Parliament. Stripping Holyrood of its most significant powers has to be a priority for British Nationalists as they seek to eradicate Scotland’s distinctive political culture.

Few things better symbolise Scotland’s distinctive political culture…

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30 Oct

I have a feeling that Jo Swinson will get the title of Queen.

Peter A Bell

I wholeheartedly agree with the editorial in The National which insists that the coming UK general election must be about independence rather than Brexit or the Tories or Boris Johnson. Across the UK, the British media will undoubtedly seek to ensure that Brexit is the main issue. Here in Scotland, we must combat that narrative in every way that we can. It will not be easy. The fact that I have already mentioned the very things I urge people to avoid talking about shows how tricky it can be. But the effort must be made. And it is an effort that must be led by the SNP.

The National sensibly states that “we would never argue that an election should be a single-issue plebiscite”. It really isn’t possible to make an election serve as a referendum. The two are fundamentally different democratic exercises. But it is certainly possible to make…

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The panda election

30 Oct

Wee Ginger Dug

Back from my trip away now, and has anything much happened in my absence? You stop paying attention to British politics for a couple of days, and suddenly everything has changed. In 2014 Scotland was told that it needed the stability and security of the UK in order to ensure our democracy, now what counts as long term in British politics is the length of time it takes you to go and make a cup of tea whenever Stirling Tory MP Stephen Kerr oils up a TV studio and is interviewed on the telly. Because it’s either a cup of tea or you’ll throw your shoe at the screen and imported TV sets will be a lot more expensive after Brexit. Ruth Davidson might have resigned as leaderene of the Tory party in Scotland, but Scottish Conservative MPs still very much take their cue from her. They prove that it’s…

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Mhairi’s voice

30 Oct

Peter A Bell

If, as Mhairi Black states, the purpose of this Saturday’s rally is to “send a message to the Westminster establishment” then it will be a wasted effort. The Westminster establishment isn’t listening. The Westminster establishment doesn’t care.

Why should they care what Scotland says? The Union ensures that the Westminster establishment will always have the power to slap Scotland down. The No vote in 2014 gave the Westminster establishment a licence to do as it pleased with Scotland. The Nicola Sturgeon’s commitment to the Section 30 process allays any fears the Westminster establishment might have had that the Scottish Government intended to challenge its authority. The Westminster establishment has every reason to be confident that England-as-Britain’s grip on Scotland is secure.

Sending a message to the Westminster establishment will have no effect at all. If Mhairi Black and others want to shake things up, they should be addressing their…

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You have one job!

28 Oct

Peter A Bell

If the only purpose of a December UK general election is for the SNP to take seats from the Tories, or other British parties, then it is likely to be a triumph. But if you have more ambitious aims, then it achieves nothing. In terms of Scotland’s cause, the practical difference between the SNP having 35 seats and 59 is zero.

A 2015-style landslide for the SNP may be claimed to prove support for a new constitutional referendum and/or for independence, but Westminster doesn’t care. If there was a 100% turnout and every single voter in Scotland voted SNP, it would make not the slightest difference to the British state’s position. And the British political elite has all the power it needs to defend that position. They get that power from the Union, augmented by the No vote in 2014.

The British state can prevent Scotland’s independence being restored. And…

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Being used

28 Oct

Peter A Bell

Nicola Sturgeon is being somewhat disingenuous when she speaks of the “SNP plan”. Ian Blackford has been roped in by Jo Swinson; apparently without consulting his colleagues. The “plan” to which the First Minister refers is a Liberal Democrat plan. If it’s their plan, then we have to assume that they intend it to work to their advantage. Quite why Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford suppose that the SNP and/or Scotland stand to gain from serving as Jo Swinson’s side-kick remains to be explained.

When any politician – Nicola Sturgeon most emphatically not excluded – says ‘there’s no other way’ then we may assume two things. Firstly, that there almost certainly is another way. Secondly, that they don’t want anybody scrutinising the way they are saying is the only way. They say ‘there’s no alternative’ when they’ve made a bad choice. Or when they’ve made a choice for bad…

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Then what?

27 Oct

Peter A Bell

I have, in recent years, developed something of a passion for artfully crafted detective fiction. I relish Val McDermid’s convoluted and intertwining plots and the way in which they are resolved without resort to anything more than human ingenuity working within the constraints of reality. By contrast, I thoroughly despise fantasy fiction in which absolutely anything can happen because the writer can always call on magic to work things out.

Political speculation should be like a good detective story. It has to be rooted in the possible. If the course of speculation comes to rely on magical interventions then it has gone seriously astray at some point. For political speculation to be valid and illuminating there must always be a logical next step. Or, on occasion, no next step. As with fictional criminal investigations, dead-ends are allowable. Magic solutions are not.

It is only in fantasy fiction that there can…

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#2020 rally George Square November 2nd 1.30pm

27 Oct


News broke last week that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon would speak at a rally to be held in George Square Glasgow on 2nd November. In the First Minister’s own words she writes:

 “Now more than ever, it’s clear that the best future for Scotland is as an independent nation.”

 It certainly is and always has been, everyone who actively campaigned knows that Scotland would flourish as an independent nation. However, there are still some who are yet to be convinced of this and yes; there are those who still get their news from the State Broadcasting BBC. Therefore, there is still a lot of work to do but we are all up to the challenge and raring to go.

 The First Minister went on:

 “Scotland has been completely ignored by Westminster throughout the Brexit process. But Scotland has had enough of being told what to…

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