Positively Independent 112


I am speaking at a conference in Glasgow on Sunday to promote Scottish Independence.

http://www.scottishindependenceconvention.com/PDF%20Files/Posivitly%20Independent.pdf

There are many reasons I support Scottish independence (and Welsh independence and Irish reunification). But among those reasons, and the one which I shall be expounding on Sunday, is that the United Kingdom as an entity is fundamentally tied to US military and neo-imperial interests. Neither Robin Cook nor Lib Dems in government have been able to separate the UK from aggressive foreign occupations, ruinous military expenditure, addiction to weapons of mass destruction and a contempt for international law.

The UK must be broken up. I want to see a Scotland that accepts it is a proud and equal nation among other nations, but has no desire to be more than equal, that plays an active part in the UN and in strengthening the framework of international law, does not possess WMDs and which will never attack another country unless it or an ally is physically attacked,

A Scotland like that is acheivable. A UK like that is not. Part of the reason may be that the UK was in truth in itself an imperial construct, with Scotland, Wales and Ireland the first conquered people. Their later absorption into the imperial culture (which still infects unionists) does not alter that truth.


112 thoughts on “Positively Independent

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  • MJ

    “You’re talking about the euro?”

    Yup.

    “I don’t think that’s terribly relevant to Albert’s proposal”.

    Sorry, didn’t read it, have now. If the proposal to which you refer is:

    “Anyway, you’re not independent. You’re a part of the EeYoo, the largest European political agglomeration there has ever been. They tax you, they make laws for your and they have a President in the choice of whom you have no right to a direct vote”;

    then I think Alfred is perfectly correct and that membership of the euro is indeed terribly relevant here.

  • dreoilin

    “If the proposal to which you refer is …” — MJ

    No.

    Originally it was:

    “Internally, the British Isles should be reorganized as a federation of 12 provinces: Scotland, Wales and Ireland comprising two each (upper and lower), England comprising six provinces (left and right, top, middle and bottom) plus London.”

    Now it’s:

    “We will found a new multi-national pan-British Archipelago movement called the Independence Party, which will be like UKIP but without either the UK or the EU or the silly pink UKIP Web site. Here, I donate 50 cents Canadian right now, you can be the Treasurer.”

  • MJ

    Ah, no, that passed me by altogether I’m afraid. Sorry, please disregard my comments, they were out of context I think.

  • dreoilin

    “Are you really all males under the age of 45?”

    That’s hilarious. Someone told me that alexa.com was rubbish, but I’ve forgotten why. I suppose we know now. Maybe Clark could expand!

  • sean

    @Vronsky – I know it’s a long way back,

    “And logically, if there is nothing special in the Scottish psyche one wonders why opposition to separation is so intense. If the Scots have nothing to gain, surely the English have nothing to lose? Craig is a member of the Lib Dems (a temporary aberration, I’m sure) who are in favour of more referendums than a lazy man would care to count on a summer day (Barnaby Rudge, Suhayl, since you put Dickens into my head) – but not a referendum on Scottish independence. Why not, if it doesn’t matter? This passionate altruism from the Unionists, reluctant to let the poor, deluded Scots get themselves into bother, is what is truly laughable.”

    Actually, you deliberately misinterpret me and reply accordingly. I was putting forth only the notion that there is nothing in the Scottish Psyche any different in it’s ability to mount a resistance to inequality than in any other part of the country. A reliance on the concept of independence as a buffer to the excesses of Conservative austerity merely leads to the inevitability of having to deal with the same thing imposed by corporate lackeys who share a nationality and nothing else.

    Independence, like a lot of other vague lofty terms when used in a similiar way, has only ideological value in the context of the current debate. It is treated by it’s proponents like the proverbial magic wand. There is nothing about Independence for Scotland that, in it’s own right, can act as a pragmatic vehicle for social, economic, and political change.

  • glenn

    “Are you really all males under the age of 45?”

    Well, they’ve got my number – definitely male, and under the age of 45! Did they mention a tendency towards staggeringly good looks, charm and physical fitness too?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    “The true horror and futility of war is forgotten and ignored.”

    I propose a trefoil badge with the word ‘Iraq’ that warns of the radioactive hazard that exists mostly in Southern Iraq from the use of about 350 tons of depleted uranium (Dr. Souad N. Al-Azzawi Associate Professor in environmental Engineering Engineering).

    America admits Iraq is better off now –

    better now? with 3.2 million refugees, less electricity than they had 10 years ago, better now with 1.7 million Iraqis dead, better now with their country to be barbarously occupied for another 20 to 50 years, better now with the most important museum in the world ravaged and its artifacts taken, better now with most of its university professors and its scientists gone to other countries, an enormous brain drain, better now with cluster bombs all over which will take another 50 years to explode and the depleted uranium causing multiple child malignances, child leukemia, congenital malformations, and more.

    I say to you America, get down on your knees in shame – history will not forgive you.

    My thanks to PressTV for their recent report on depleted uranium in Iraq.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Scotland against Criminalising Communities

    http://www.sacc.org.uk/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=90&catid=29

    Babar Ahmad is a British citizen who was born and brought up in South London.

    In December 2003 he was arrested by Anti-Terrorist Police who broke into his house in a pre-dawn raid. He was then brutally assaulted in front of his wife.

    He sustained over 50 injuries to his body, two of which were life-threatening. During this attack Babar was placed in the prayer position and asked, “Where is your God now?”

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Roderick,

    Re: ” When a country no longer respects rule of law, civil liberties and human rights, I think it is time to recognize that its shelf life is over. Forming new political entities, united within the EU, is probably the easiest way to achieve change.”

    The forming of new political entities raises a number of issues:-

    1. In economic terms the world seems to be dividing into the Americas, European, Asiatic and the Africans somewhere setting out to be blocs of shared interests with a degree of shared historical and culturally similar heritages.

    Issue: given this factor, how does any nation state stand on its own and survive, at least in an economic sense?

    2. The idea of sovereignty is giving way to collective and regional group concerns that serve to make the idea of the nation state an adjunct to the newly emerging global political regionalist architecture.

    Issue: How does a single state swim against this global political tide?

    3. “Security” is a buzz word that justifies huge global sales of armaments. Most recently, the Americans are selling billions of armaments to the Saudis. No doubt, all the fighter jets and military hardware is somehow going to make the Middle East a more peaceful place ?” surely?

    Issue: The “Forming new political entities, united within the EU,…” will not be able to evade or avoid the regional pressure to keep the global arms sales alive and well in the name of “security” – now – will it?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ MJ,

    Re: ” I maintain that a strong sovereign nation is the best way for a population to retain some control over its own destiny and that a sovereign UK is a much better proposition for us all than is four separate entities.”

    Same observations and issues that I just posted above, but with a UK internal element superimposed on the issue – as regards Scottish, Welsh etc. nationalism.

    Over to you MJ.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ All,

    Militarism now – what independence?

    “On the eastern end of the Arabian Sea, on October 23 Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced a $2 billion, five-year military aid package for Pakistan, and President Obama’s scheduled visit to India next month is reported to include massive arms deals that will effect the U.S. supplanting Russia as India’s main weapons supplier.

    The monumental expansion of arms sales and the buildup of naval and air power in the Arabian Sea region are unprecedented. They are also alarming to the highest degree.”

    See:http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=21612

    Well ?” more wars? And who are set and configured to fight? In whose interest and on which side of what divide?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Craig,

    Murray – you are correct:-

    “Neither Robin Cook nor Lib Dems in government have been able to separate the UK from aggressive foreign occupations, ruinous military expenditure, addiction to weapons of mass destruction and a contempt for international law.”

  • Vronsky

    @Alfred

    “just as a matter of curiosity, will someone explain the Scottish Nationalist position on the EU? ”

    If by “Scottish Nationalist position” you mean the policy of the Scottish National Party, then it is for continued membership of the EU. Of course there are other nationalist groupings in Scotland who may hold other views.

    The SNP policy originated way back with a chap called Jim Sillars, who coined the phrase ‘Independence in Europe’ as a retaliatory soundbite for those who criticised the SNP for ‘isolationism’. The policy has stayed with us, though over the intervening years ‘Europe’ has morphed into something considerably different (and in the view of many on the left like me) much less desirable.

    The SNP position on the monarchy is that, post independence, the people should decide in a referendum as it is a constitutional matter: I think the same logic should be applied to membership of the EU. There is another, tactical, consideration: thet SNP wants the question on any referendum ballot to be as simple as possible. Any concatenation of proposals (‘independence + republic’ rather than just ‘independence’) reduces the ‘yes’ vote. Again I’d argue that ‘independence + EU’ is just another such concatenation. If a referendum comes about, one Unionist tactic will be to argue for the most complicated question they can imagine. At the last referendun in Quebec, the question (trans. from French) was:

    “Do you agree that Quebec should become sovereign after having made a formal offer to Canada for a new economic and political partnership within the scope of the bill respecting the future of Quebec and of the agreement signed on June 12, 1995?”

    It’s a lulu.

    There’s occasionally some useful discussion of the EU over at Spectrezine (some from an Irish viewpoint, dreoilin).

    @sean

    “There is nothing about Independence for Scotland that, in it’s own right, can act as a pragmatic vehicle for social, economic, and political change.”

    I agree, so indeed I must have misinterpreted you – apologies. My argument is not that independence solves the problem, but that it makes it more tractable – on both sides of the border, I hope.

  • somebody

    Are there any Westminster MPs like the Scottish MSP Dr Bill Wilson who is taking up the matter of the use of depleted uranium and its effects? I do not know but I bet not.

    Sorry I do not have a link to this press release.

    04 November 2010

    PRESS RELEASE

    MSP pushes for data on health impact of depleted uranium on service personnel and families.

    Following reports of massive increases in the incidence of cancers, stillbirth and birth deformities in Iraq, which circumstantial evidence suggests may be linked to the use of depleted uranium (DU) weaponry, Dr Bill Wilson MSP (SNP) has asked the Scottish Government to look into the incidence of such problems in armed forces personnel and their families. This follows his Scottish Parliament Motion calling for the UK Government not to veto a UN resolution calling for resolution calling on countries using DU weapons to release quantitative and geographical data relating to the use of these weapons to the governments of affected states.

    Dr Wilson said, “I used today’s Health and Wellbeing Question Time to ask whether the Scottish Government holds statistics relating to the incidence of cancer, stillbirth and birth deformities in Scottish armed forces personnel and their families. The Minister for Public Health and Sport said that the Scottish Government did not hold such statistics and that the Ministry of Defence did not break down military statistics by geographical area of birth or recruitment. However, she expressed herself willing to follow up the issue with the MoD.

    “I look forward to hearing what the MoD has to say, because apart from considerable circumstantial evidence that DU has had a massive impact on civilians in Iraq, there is at least one case on record of a UK serviceman dying of cancer resulting from DU exposure. A coroner’s inquest on 10 September last year into the death of Mr Stuart Dyson found that his death from colon cancer was caused by the DU he was exposed to in the Gulf War 1990/91. These findings are reported on the UK-based National Gulf Veterans and Families Association website.

    “The American Gulf War Veterans Association is equally concerned about this nasty substance. Their website says: ‘Most Americans have no idea that depleted uranium munitions used by the U.S. military are causing one of the greatest environmental nightmares in the history of the world. In Iraq and Afghanistan today, there are some areas that have been so polluted by depleted uranium that they have literally become uninhabitable hellholes.'”

    Dr Wilson continued, “Extrapolating from this, and what many others also believe is the horrific impact of DU on civilians in Iraq, I would be surprised if there were not many victims amongst armed services personnel and their families. If we do not ask the right questions, and insist on answers, however, I am afraid we shall never know the truth, and these hideous weapons will continue to be deployed.”

    E-mail Bill.Wilson.msp AT scottish.parliament.uk

  • Clark

    Dreoilin,

    sorry for the delay. I remember from ages ago that the “Alexa Related” tool on Internet Explorer and the Alexa Toolbar were described as spyware:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexa_Internet#Criticism_of_the_Alexa_toolbar

    The good side with Alexa is that their web indexing software refers web pages to the Internet Archive Wayback Machine:

    http://www.archive.org/about/faqs.php

    I reckon that most of this profiling stuff that happens on the Internet is rather inaccurate. So much data is collected that it cannot be analysed by people, so it’s done by software. The software is based on various untestable assumptions, and with so much data to crunch errors get amplified out of all proportion.

    I’ve read of a similar problem with intercepted communications in the US; can’t find a link, though.

  • Vronsky

    @somebody

    If you met Bill, you would like him. But you might be unaware that you had met him – he is very quiet and unassuming and usually sits in a corner drinking tea, not speaking unless spoken to.

  • D Grierson

    There’s too many ‘Canny Scots on the make’ at the UK level for it to ever happen. It’s not just the LibLabCon element. The SNP delegates are part of the same corrupt system and are not really that interested in removing their fingers from the pies ( I invoke Angus ‘first outta the taxi, last into the pub’ Robertson )

    Politics is a career scam. There are too few who work at the sharp end. We’re bloated, we’re cozy, we are the decadent West.

    Keep on, Mr Murray! More power to your blog!!

    DG

  • David McEwan Hill

    What is so very depressing about a lot of the comments here is that it is obvious that many believe the lie that England subsidises Scotland. This was a lie spread by unionists in Scotland to frighten timid Scots away from the SNP and it has now escaped to a large uninformed section of the English population. In fact the Government’s own statistics (the annual GERS report) show there is in fact a very small subsidy running the other way but this actually has little to do with the vaibility of a independent Scotland which most cwertainly would not be governed or run in economic terms as it is now.

    What surprises me is that so many people do not wonder why, if Scotland costs England money, why such an effort is being made to hang onto Scotland. Thwe actual fact is that lightly populated, resource rich Scotland which produces more food and energy than it uses is a much better economic unit than overpopulated, underproductive and energy starved England and Scottish Oil is providing the collateral that is keeping UK afloat at the moment.

    I could go an all night correcting a lot of other nonsense I have just read on this thread.

  • Andy L

    There should be a vote on Scottish independence in England, and if the result is “yes” then Scotland should be given independence whether it wants it or not – and it should take its bankrupt banks with it.

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