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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  • Flaming June

    Reference Iraq and the Chilcot Inquiry, now very much in the long grass.

    The Chilcot Inquiry. The British Government’s Role in the War on Iraq. Margaret Aldred and the Judicial Coverup
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-chilcot-inquiry-margaret-aldred-and-the-judicial-coverup/5338291

    Note the Westminster Hall debate here. 25.1.11
    Elfyn Llwyd MP outlines in a Westminster Hall debate why Margaret Aldred should not be running the Chilcot Inquiry:

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/whall/?gid=2011-01-25b.52.1

    Elfyn Llwyd (Dwyfor Meirionnydd, Plaid Cymru)

  • Frederika

    Ben- you wondered why Snowden chose Hong Kong…

    The US has extradition agreements with Hong Kong with an exception for political offences. According to the US-Hong Kong Extradition Treaty signed in 1997, Hong Kong has the “right of refusal when surrender implicates the ‘defense, foreign affairs or essential public interest or policy'” of the People’s Republic of China…

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/476605/20130610/prism-nsa-edward-snowden-whistleblower-extradition-hongkong.htm

    I think the Chinese will have a lot of fun at the US’s expense with the “essential public interest” bit of that. In fact Assange would do well to consider HK should he ever find an outlet from his current quarters.

  • Giles

    Manning described as a “disturbed disco bunny” and Assange as “sleazy opportunist” by Telegraph Blogs Editor and author of Counterknowledge, Damian Thompson:

    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson/100220938/edward-snowden-has-blown-the-whistle-on-this-presidency-you-have-to-wonder-will-obama-see-out-his-full-term/

    But for reasons not properly explained, Snowden is deemed ok, apparently because he is “highly articulate” and left behind a well-paid job and a girlfriend in Hawaii. Presumably being held naked in solitary confinement and subjected to sleep deprivation and harrassment in a max security prison isn’t good enough for the Dame.

    Comments box beneath the article.

  • guano

    Mark. Semantic fog. Sir M Rifkind. Chairman of the UK National Security Committee: I am not a member of the government.”

  • nevermind

    The significance of the NSA/Prism snooping story becomes relevant with the increasing amounts of bodies wheeled out, commenting on it.
    Someone mentioned ECHELON earlier on. Although designed to spy on issues such as defence contracts and commercial rivalry here in Europe, there is nothing to say that it could not have been diverted to other issues.

    Another point of interest. And advert for Lloyds bank caught my eye, offering £500,- to anyone switching their mortgage to them, now forgive, this is a bank who throws all sorts of hoops in peoples way before agreeing loans.
    Whilst its okay to lure those already paying heavily, no obligation seems to exist forcing our banks to lend to businesses.

    BTW the great share give away of said bank, once again trying to sell us what we already own, is the latest eyewash offered, just before the next election, one assumes, no doubt with all the party political rhetoric and gestures that so marked the Thatcher era.

  • Fred

    “Do you need evidence of birth, growth, maturity, decline, decay and death, as well?”

    Iceland wasn’t in the Euro, they were in a bigger mess than most.

    That doesn’t prove you are wrong, it just proves you are not self-evidently right. Which is why I asked if you had any evidence.

  • guano

    In a discussion on Radio 4’s Today programme about lack of male presence for children in families, a lady called Fiona said that father substitutes could be brothers, friends. She obviously did not mention the problem of a separated mother’s multiple and mutually jealous boyfriends.

    In my experience the boyfriend who ousted me was offering an open relationship, and no financial commitments, which in effect allowed my ex-wife who was living in my house with my children to expose my children to very inappropriate influences.

    But no, says Fiona, the only bad thing that can happen to children is parental conflict. You wish. It took 60 years for the lid to be blown off Jimmy Savile’s crimes. It may take 60 years for the family crimes of the present generation of “cunt-power” feminist mums to be exposed.

    If parental conflict is so bad, why are the instigaters of such conflict so difficult to expose? Answer, because the state used to control the masses by lack of education and when it was forced to deliver education in order to be competitive it decided to control the next generation by breaking their early family homes.

  • Sofia Zabalotna-Habbercake

    @Flaming June
    ” His animus towards me has been and is very evident.”

    Dad’s obsession with yous a badge of honour. Please don’t let him distract your attention.

    I realised a while back that he was too boring and predictable to parody and that I was becoming a troll like him. Now he thinks Frederika is me (even though she can spell and do grammar), just because she poked fun at him, once.

    Really, his frequent deposits on these threads strike me as simply one of those unpleasant facts of life, like large dog turds on the pavement. Best avoided.

  • guano

    For the record, for those who wonder why I continue to attack Habbabkuk for stalking Mary/Flaming June, it is not because I always approve of the nuance she puts on current affairs. In fact it was her statement that she brought up three children from her unexpectedly early deceased husband that drew my attention and admiration. In Islam the upbringing of orphans earns an ultra special reward. Villager, you are indeed from village.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Guano :

    “For the record, for those who wonder why I continue to attack Habbabkuk…”
    ——–

    I must say that I hadn’t realised you were attacking me. I had thought – wrongly, it seems – that your comments were in fact expressions of admiration and praise, cloaked in sometimes vigorous language and colourful phrasing because you were too shy and retiring, perhaps even too embarassed, to express those feelings plainly.

  • Ben Franklin -Machine Gun Preacher (unleaded version)

    Frederika;

    Hey thanks. I looked at extradition treaties but missed that salient point.

    cheers

  • Herbie

    No, Fred.

    The PIGS went bust because it was written into the script of monetary union. It was inevitable.

    It wasn’t inevitable that Iceland went bust.

    In terms of the discussion here though, it is precisely because Iceland had its own currency that they emerge afterwards in a much better position than the PIGS.

    And it’s precisely because they weren’t members of the EU that they could tell bond holders to go get fucked, whilst the PIGS are paying them off.

    So, the respective fates of Iceland and the PIGS show quite conclusively that in these circumstances, nation and your own currency is better than union and someone else’s currency.

  • BrianFujisan

    FFs..i go away to the islands… to find perpetual bickering and fighting… All the crap..Habby n co must be sensing blood

    Tired but just like to say the mexican story ( beheading and worse ) sorry forget at the moment who put that post up – with warning not to watch…Thats what stuck with me all weekend.

    Ben.. they are on a role for sure…Bring back the music escapes

  • Fred

    “No, Fred.

    The PIGS went bust because it was written into the script of monetary union. It was inevitable.”

    I thought Greece suffered more because the global recession hit their industries hardest and because they had been spending a lot more than they were earning for years then fiddling the books to hide it. Greece didn’t go bust, Europe bailed them out.

    “It wasn’t inevitable that Iceland went bust.”

    Iceland did go bust though, they defaulted on their debts.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Fred (10h37)

    That is exactly correct.

    Herbie, although he keeps repeating that “since the euro Greece had access to too much cheap credit”, forgets to mention several things – perhaps because they don’t fit his anti-EU, anti-single currency narrative.

    Here are just two of them :

    1/. Did you know that Greek entry into the EC as was in 1981 (not into the euro) was accompanied by a 1,5 billion ecu loan (or perhaps it was even a grant) from the EC? 1,5 billion ecu at 1981 money values!

    So they had a balance of payments and national problem even then, at a time when the single currency was no more than a vague vision.

    2/. Herbie seems to imply – although he seems coy about stating it – that having your own currency is the solution because you can devalue. I have already tried to point out to him that devaluation, if it ‘works’ at all, only works for a short period and is no substitute for financial responsibility and economis re-ordering(not to mention stopping clientelism, corruption and an absurdly bloated civil dervice). The Greek drachma was the case in point I advanced. Here is the situation BEFORE Greece entered the single currency : in 1980, the Greek drachma stood at rough parity with the Belgian franc; by 2001, when Greece entered the single currency, there were 8 drachmas to the Belgian franc. Same picture vis à vis the British pound : approx 60 drachmas to the pound, which by 2001 had fallen to over 400 drachmas to the pound (and the pound was itself a depreciating currency over that). Did all that devaluation help the Greeks and their economy? Of course not – all it did was to stoke up inflation, raise salary expectations and persuade the govt that it could merrily borrow away knowing that government debt would be eroded by that same inflation.

    So please don’t try and argue that Greece’s financial and economic woes were either started or made worse by joining the single currency!

  • Herbie

    Fred

    What you’re being asked to do is compare the relative fortunes of Iceland and the PIGS, and what difference it makes having your own currency.

    Habby’s a bit further ahead, so….

    Habby

    Having your own currency doesn’t in and of itself save you from poor economic choices. It does mean however that you can make adjustments. Making those adjustments doesn’t mean you become super rich. It means you become what you are. It’s a self regulating mechanism.

    That’s the difference between Iceland and Greece, and it’s fundamentally a difference between having your own currency or someone elses.

    The PIGS were forced into actions which are not in their economic interest. Iceland did its own thing and will recover much better as a result.

    It really is quite weird at this stage to see the pair of you argue in favour of something that even as we speak is collapsing around its arse. Proof if it were needed of your doctrinaire approach and refusal to look at the reality or amend a view in light if the reality.

    That’s if you even understand that reality. Amusingly, Habby seems to have made an argument that Greece shouldn’t have been in the euro without it appears even realising it.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    @ Herbie :

    “Amusingly, Habby seems to have made an argument that Greece shouldn’t have been in the euro without it appears even realising it.”

    That’s correct, given the lack of real economic convergence. But how does that demonstrate the truth of your assertion that Greece’s problems have been made greater by being in the euro (or even caused by it)? The fact is that Greece was going done the tubes and would have imploded sooner or later anyway, euro or no euro.

    “Having your own currency doesn’t in and of itself save you from poor economic choices. It does mean however that you can make adjustments. Making those adjustments doesn’t mean you become super rich. It means you become what you are”

    1st sentence : correct. And boy, did they fuck up (as from the beginning of the 1980s. 2nd sentence : this is what I said and I gave figures for the depreciation of the drachma 1980 – 2001 to show the amplitude of the ‘adjustments’. Didn’t do much for them, did it? 3rd sentence : making those adjustments did’t make them any more competitive and economically efficient either, did they? 4th sentence : this sentence is meaningless tosh. What does it mean? We are supposed to be ”discussing’ economic facts but that sentence smacks of new age, macrobiotic, tree-hugging…..(words fail me for once!)

  • Herbie

    Habby

    “how does that demonstrate the truth of your assertion that Greece’s problems have been made greater by being in the euro”

    There’s more than just Greece, obviously.

    So, were you on top of your material you’d be asking yourself what have the PIGS in common that caused them such difficulty.

    On your second para:

    What do you think a currency is? Doesn’t it have any connection to what you are and how much others want what you produce, or are words still failing you?

  • Fred

    “Having your own currency doesn’t in and of itself save you from poor economic choices. It does mean however that you can make adjustments. Making those adjustments doesn’t mean you become super rich. It means you become what you are. It’s a self regulating mechanism.”

    The Zimbabwe option, that’s why people in Iceland were effectively getting half the wages after the crisis than before, rampant inflation.

    Did you know Iceland has applied for EU membership? It’s a condition for new members to join the euro.

  • Herbie

    Fred

    It must be your argument then, all other things being equal, that the PIGS are better off than Iceland when quite obviously they’re not.

    Iceland is getting better whilst Greece is getting worse, which is precisely what you’d expect.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-01/iceland-vs-greece-pick-winner

    “Iceland has applied for EU membership? It’s a condition for new members to join the euro.”

    Iceland has witdrawn its application to the EU, subject to a referendum.

    The numbers against joining are now much greater, since the people have seen how the game is played.

    So, thankfully not everyone is fooled.

  • Fred

    “It must be your argument then, all other things being equal, that the PIGS are better off than Iceland when quite obviously they’re not.”

    Are you claiming that the krona didn’t drop in value against the euro?

  • Herbie

    Fred

    “Are you claiming that the krona didn’t drop in value against the euro?”

    No.

    I’m claiming that Iceland is now better off than the PIGS, through having its own currency.

    Iceland’s cure is much less nasty and they’re sooner to mend.

    In many ways, Iceland just had to swallow some nasty medicine for a while, and now they’re up and running about again, but if you look at the PIGS, the treatment prescribed by Doktor seems to involve amputation, with little hope of anything approaching full health on the horizon, if ever.

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