Only One Choice and Only for Scotland 517


Would you like to be shot with a red gun or blue gun, sir? That is the limit of the choice being offered the UK electorate as New Labour announces it will keep the Coalition public spending plans and the Coalition benefit cuts. Given it will also throw away £100 billion on Trident, and New Labour initiated the rampant privatisation of the Health Service, PFI, Tuition Fees etc., my point could not have been more eloquently proven that the UK electorate is no longer offered any meaningful choice by the neo-con parties.

It also of course demolishes completely the Gordon Brown argument that Scots need to stay in the Union to put New Labour in to power. Who carries out Tory policies is not the question; and why a nation should surrender its freedom just to make sure Ed Balls has a ministerial car and salary while he implements Tory policies, is not a question which to me has an obvious answer.

The only meaningful political choice any part of the UK population will have in the foreseeable future is the Scottish Independence Referendum. If Scots do not take their chance, all they have ahead is economic decline and the collapse of public services. The choice could not be more stark.


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517 thoughts on “Only One Choice and Only for Scotland

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  • Indigo

    Just saw the report on this in that excuse for a left-wing newspaper – the Guardian – felt sick and came on here to read something that would comfort …

    The answer in Scotland has to lie with getting the media on board and somehow getting the message across. How that is achieved with BBC Scotland dominating the airwaves I just don’t know … wish I did.

    It’s just so depressing …

  • Abe Rene

    If you put it that way, I’ll take the blue gun 🙂

    But then again, the Lib Dems will probably part company at the general election and have their own policies.

  • marktheguitar

    I am not entirely sure that independence for Scotland is the answer to anything. However I do entirely accept that if the majority want it, then so be it.

    Its taken the electorate a long long time to grasp the fact that the LIBLABCON have quietly
    stitched us up. Personally I am voting Ukip as they are the only real alternative at this time and Farage at least tells it like it is. The chance of real change at the top of each of the Liblabcon parties is at this time a non starter. It may happen, but only if they are squeezed out for a number of years.

  • Roddy Macdonald

    I Love the red or blue gun analogy. Left or Right have long been an unsuitable description of the 2 variations of the bought-and-paid-for Neoliberal concensus offered to the British people.

    Of course the Eds are demonising the poor. That’s the only way to keep the Bollinger flowing in Wasteminster and Canary Wharf.

    My take on it: Blue Labour – Because Bollinger Doesn’t Buy Itself and the Nanny Doesn’t Pay Herself

    http://logicsrock.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/blue-labour-because-bollinger-doesnt.html

  • mike cobley

    Oh Mark – Farage is just another extension of the rightwing hydra, a different face for the same dollop of poison.

    As for independence – why does noone talk about the consequences of Scottish independence for the rest of the people of Britain? Without the counterbalance of Scotland, the right and the financial elite will consolidate their grip on power and life outside the southeast will get much worse than it is now. Does anyone doubt this?

  • Fred

    “So, how’s southern Ireland doing these days?”

    They’re coming to Britain because their health service sucks.

  • TFS

    People can talk all they want about this vote, but until both sidse place documents in the public domain with supporting evidence on the pros and cons, this will end up being another discussion based on verbal PR.

    Where is THE WEBSITE, where people are presented with the EVIDENCE that will allow them to make an informed choice?

    Oh, and I’m all for Scotland being able to decide its own fate, I just wish evidence was presented in one place for all to see.

  • Fred

    “I am not entirely sure that independence for Scotland is the answer to anything. However I do entirely accept that if the majority want it, then so be it.”

    That’s the point, they don’t, they are getting it foisted on them by a bunch of flag waving fanatics asking us to believe the wankers at Holirood are somehow different to the wankers at Westminster. Well they aren’t, Scottish politics is rotten to the core, so is the legal profession.and the two work together.

    There still hasn’t been one single prosecution in the Edinburgh property repair scandal where there was a conspiracy, yes a proven conspiracy between the council officials, builders and the lawyers to steal from the people, rob them of their homes. The law firms involved still work for Edinburgh City Council.

    That is the sort of injustice metered out by that parcel of rogues down in Edinburgh and that is the sort of injustice the people of Scotland can expect a lot more of should they vote for independence.

    They can waste a billion pounds on tramways nobody want while they close our libraries.

  • Helen

    Mike Cobley,

    It’s a tad obvious is it not? No one talks about the consequences of Scotland leaving the Union south of the border because people see Scotland as an “that bit up there, full of lazy drunks, spongers, violent criminals and idiots”. Why would losing Scotland make a shred of difference to what will remain of the UK?

    I foresee chaos and another large dose of Shock Doctrine inflicted on what remains of the UK should Scotland vote Yes. It’s up to those in rUK to prepare themselves. If they don’t want to, they don’t want to. That’s their free choice.

  • Helen

    TFS

    Evidence for what? The simple question is.. Should the Scots take control of Scottish governance?

    What evidence was demanded for all the other countries who freed themselves from Empire? What evidence did Americans need to put on the table to argue they should make their own decisions? India? All the others? To whom or what would this evidence you want be presented? The electorate? Westminster? The UN? The EU?

  • Ed Davies

    TFS, I think it’s rather naive to expect a single source of evidence. Everybody will have their own.

    What I’d like to see, though, would be a definitive statement on what will actually be being voted on: i.e., what the consequences of a yes vote would be. What would Scotland’s relationship with England and Wales be? Like Canada’s with Britain? Like Denmark’s with Germany? In or out of the Commonwealth? Most importantly, which, if any, parts of the “former United Kingdom” would continue to be members of the EU? NATO?

    There are some practical matters like the currency used in an independent Scotland and the way in which the border and travel across it is managed but I’d imagine that after some transition period that would be a matter for negotiation between the two governments rather than part of the terms of the vote.

    I think the suggestion that an independent Scotland would not finish up as an EU member even if it had to join separately (rather than just continue its existing membership) is rather unlikely. However, some clarity is needed – knowing Scotland would not be in the EU is about the only thing that would make me think twice about voting yes.

  • Jon

    Fred, I think your regularly suggesting Scottish nationalism is the equivalent to British fascism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, no matter how many times you say it. Scots naturally tend towards egalitarianism these days much more than do the English – I think the English were the same during the immediate post-war period, but were tempted away from the welfare state consensus by Thatcherism/Reaganism propaganda in the eighties.

    Mike, what you’re saying is that since England will suffer under neoliberalism, Scotland ought to as well? Isn’t that a version of race-to-the-bottom competition that we are generally all opposed to here?

    It seems to me that Scotland escaping London’s orbit is a very good thing. However, my great worry is that it will go the same way as voting reform – state propaganda will be significantly better reflected in the MSM, and the people will vote ‘no’ directly against their own interests.

  • Indigo

    TFS

    “Where is THE WEBSITE, where people are presented with the EVIDENCE that will allow them to make an informed choice”?

    Like you, I wish there were such a thing but each broadcaster, newspaper and blog chooses its side and cherry picks that information which supports its point of view; ’twas always the way.

    The most significant article I’ve seen recently – which is informative and appears to be balanced – is the following:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/london-calling-the-shots.21228380?utm_source=headlines&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email%2Balert

    Unfortunately a Google search to look for other news outlets giving its findings indicated that the majority reporting on it only concentrated on the one negative aspect; the author’s conclusion that monetary union would be undesirable.

    They even cherry pick from articles/papers that are pro-indepence!

  • Fred

    “Your fellow Scotsman(?) George Galloway is very anti-Independence. I disagree with him. I think it’s time Scotland stop being raped by England.”

    Scotland never has been raped by England, both the people of Scotland and the people of England have been raped by the wealthy elite. While the Highland Clearances were taking place to make wealthy Scottish land owners even wealthier the average man in England was working 16 hours a day six days a week and dying before he was forty to make wealthy mill owners even wealthier their land having already been cleared.

    The Scots made a fortune from tobacco and slavery after the union and the rich Scottish land owners were given estates in Ireland, yes the Scots raped the Irish.

    As the wealthy Scots raped and plundered the Scottish people they just blamed the English for their fate.

    Nothing much has changed.

  • Flaming June

    O/T

    Agent Cameron, nicely tanned, was taking PMQs just now. Quite a rarity to see him at his box.

    A question was asked about sentencing of paedophiles. It referred to a West Country judge giving a 2 year suspended sentence to the artist Ovenden. Cameron fielded it.

    1222: Moving on through questions about carbon capture and storage and sex offences against children and prison sentences for paedophiles……..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-22779587

    Graham Ovenden sex crimes: Artist gets suspended jail term
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22763701#

    Judge Graham Cottle – Exeter CC
    http://ukpaedos-exposed.com/lenient-judges/judge-graham-cottle-exeter-cc/

    ~~~

    Yesterday we also heard that two members of HM Forces have been given anonymity for a sexual offence against an Afghan child and racial abuse of an Afghan adult. Why? There is previous history of anonymity being granted by Judge Advocates to the military as this article relates.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/two-british-soldiers-admit-sexual-and-racial-abuse-of-afghan-citizens-8643913.html

    Justice? What justice?

  • MajorBloodnok

    The way Labour is going there could be the interesting scenario of the Tories and Labour getting together after the next GE to keep UKIP out – and also because there won’t be any Lib-Dems left for Cameron to rely on. Sure the Tories will lose a few of their nutters to UKIP but then they won’t be in power – but PM Cameron and Deputy PM Miliband will. I know it sounds far fetched but there is incredible convergence there.

    The problem for us in Scotland is that it creates so much uncertainty for us. Which flavour of right wing government that we didn’t want will be in power at Westminster? Will the RUK remain in the EU? Will it retain Trident? Will it suffer a catestrophic currency crash when Scottish oil no longer underpins the UK economy? Will it retain any A level ratings at all? Will Scotland even want to retain Sterling as it continues to devalue (nothing wrong with the Euro at all)? Will the possibility of David MacAlistair becoming the next Chancellor of Germany be a good thing for Scotland? Will the UK still be able to ‘punch above its weight’ seeing as they are so keen on punching people? Will the US and others want to invest in the RUK when it’s not in the EU and Scotland is?

    So much uncertainty pertains to staying in the Union. But then that’s the future for you – it is uncertain whatever happens. By the way, there is plenty of reliable information out there on the consequences of Scottish independence (such as can be known) if you get off your arse and look for it. Any adult complaining that there are ‘no answers’ is clearly a fool or a knave.

  • Fred

    “Fred, I think your regularly suggesting Scottish nationalism is the equivalent to British fascism doesn’t stand up to scrutiny, no matter how many times you say it. Scots naturally tend towards egalitarianism these days much more than do the English”

    Then why won’t Salmond amend the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to make it illegal for Scottish councils to evict for bedroom tax arrears?

  • Helen

    Ed Davies
    “What I’d like to see, though, would be a definitive statement on what will actually be being voted on: i.e., what the consequences of a yes vote would be. What would Scotland’s relationship with England and Wales be? Like Canada’s with Britain? Like Denmark’s with Germany? In or out of the Commonwealth? Most importantly, which, if any, parts of the “former United Kingdom” would continue to be members of the EU? NATO?”

    Scots are voting on this: Should we, the Scots make our own democratic choices ourselves?

    What would our relationship be with England/Wales? Ask the English and Welsh. Would you like a guarantee that the answer will hold true for eternity or perhaps would you prefer it to be determined by the will of the people for the rest of time?
    In or out of the Commonwealth? Would that too be binding or perhaps change according to the will of the Scots and other Nations within the Commonwealth.

    What year did Rwanda cease to exist as a colony? Were they required carve in stone their view of the Commonwealth? Strange that. Rwanda was not part of the British Empire. Go take a look at Rwanda’s status with the Commonwealth. Oh look! Rwanda decided to apply for membership. Isn’t that weird! A democratic nation making decisions. All by itself. Over time.

    The old boring boring EU issue. Have you noticed that Scots have EU citizenship like the rest of the British people? What legal mechanism would be employed to remove that? We’d need another distinct referendum to ask if we want to leave the EU wouldn’t we? Ohh… Scotland by leaving the UK would be leaving the EU? Why? Cos maybe the UK wouldn’t exist? Fine. If the UK dissolution means no more EU membership or any of the nations? Maybe this EU referendum being waved about down in Westminster is a wee bit of a reeking fish? Do keep up. This has been gone over a hundred millions times for the past 18 months. It’s not difficult. The media in Scotland rarely discusses anything else.

    NATO? What nation on this earth has in their Constitution that they will always be a member of NATO? Maybe, just maybe that might be a decision made by people. You know… in that thing called parliamentary elections. Most countries have those.

  • Indigo

    @Fred

    12.23pm

    Your use of pronouns is interesting …

    “they” … “them” as in …

    “I am not entirely sure that independence for Scotland is the answer to anything. However I do entirely accept that if the majority want it, then so be it.”

    “That’s the point, they don’t, they are getting it foisted on them by a bunch of flag waving fanatics asking us to believe the wankers at Holirood are somehow different to the wankers at Westminster”.

    and “our” as in

    “They can waste a billion pounds on tramways nobody want while they close our libraries”.

    Are you a non-Scot living north of Edinburgh or have your pronouns just got mixed up?

  • MajorBloodnok

    Fred – here’s a quesiton for you.

    Why should Holyrood have to legislate to counter laws made in Westminster pertaining to UK reserved matters such as welfare and benefits?

    Surely an independent parliament with responsibilty for all income, outgoings and legislation without intereference from Westminster would be far better placed to respond to the needs of the Scottish people than the current arrangement?

    Oh and the trams were the brainchild of Labour – and an attempt to pass the parcel-bomb to the SNP administration when it came in, not to mention the legancy of PFI and other stupidities. Finally, the jingoist flag-wavers constantly referring to past imperial glories and the scourge of foreigners and other ‘undesirables’ aren’t in Holyrood – those are the Westminster guys and their acolytes you are thinking of.

  • Komodo

    Indigo @ Fred:
    Are you a non-Scot living north of Edinburgh or have your pronouns just got mixed up?

    My guess is that he once met an overweight Glaswegian drunk who was visiting Basildon and took this as the type for the nation. Said OGD may have hit him, adding to the rancour. If so, way to go, OGD.

  • Richard

    Leaving aside the fact that I’m a natural Unionist (that is I think that peoples living under a severe geographical constraint – Sri Lanka, the Balkans, the British Isles, etc. – should accept what is inevitable and live with each other in peace and decency) I’m afraid that I see Craig’s argument as a non sequitur.

    Certainly we have little or no choice come election time and the candidates we are asked to vote for are all ‘yes’-men preselected by their respective party machines. But how is separatism going to help that? I was rather impressed by George Galloway on R.T. the other day when he predicted a “race to the bottom” following separation. That sounds like a plausible scenario to me and it is also an incredibly depressing one. Just when you thought things couldn’t get worse …

    I don’t want to be too pessimistic, but there are no bright, sunlit uplands waiting for us whatever we do. Easily available, highly concentrated energy in the form of fossil fuel is running out, our model of economic “success” is totally bonkers and unsustainable and we spend our time clutching at straws: The E.U. will save us … leaving the E.U. will save us … separatism will do the trick … anything to divert us from cold, dispassionate analysis of strengths, weaknesses and options.

    There is also something ironic in Craig’s title for an article which bemoans the electorate’s lack of choice.

  • Jon

    Fred, thanks:

    Then why won’t Salmond amend the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 to make it illegal for Scottish councils to evict for bedroom tax arrears?

    Well, what I said was, “Scots naturally tend towards egalitarianism these days much more than do the English”, and I stand by it. I didn’t say “every single Scot is a socialist”. As to why Salmond does what he does on every issue, I don’t know, since I am not him. It’s worth bearing in mind that, when considering how to introduce progressive legislation in the current political environment — where the centre point is quite right-wing — one is not going to get a win on everything. Equally, one should not oppose Scottish Independence just because one does not like Salmond – if you are of the view that he has been captured by the neoliberals on certain issues, it does not make Independence wrong in itself.

    The purpose of my above phrase was, essentially, to say that the centre of Scottish politics has the capacity to be left of the English centre. I think Scotland, for example, would not have invaded Iraq. Independence would permit them the ability to reflect what people in Scotland think (though, I should make it clear, I don’t think it is a magic democratic wand, and there would be still many hurdles to jump before Scotland may call itself a democracy in the genuine meaning of the word).

  • Komodo

    I don’t want to be too pessimistic, but there are no bright, sunlit uplands waiting for us whatever we do. Easily available, highly concentrated energy in the form of fossil fuel is running out, our model of economic “success” is totally bonkers and unsustainable and we spend our time clutching at straws: The E.U. will save us … leaving the E.U. will save us … separatism will do the trick … anything to divert us from cold, dispassionate analysis of strengths, weaknesses and options.

    But all that applies -in spades- to the UK as a whole. If UK plc can’t escape bankruptcy, and I see no sign that it can, ‘let’s take to the lifeboats’ becomes the logical course of action.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Mark @ 2:38

    Did you see they’ve set up a ‘no fly’ zone around the Conference? They tried their best to keep under cover, but word travels.

  • Craig Evans

    An excellent piece Craig; if Scotland Votes NO in 2014, the Westminster Gov. and unionist parties will strip hollyrood bare of powers and we will live to regret it.

    It’s not about oil or other economic issues; it’s about self-determination with a government elected by Scots for Scots and answerable to the Scots

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