Eastenders Threat to Scots

by craig on June 13, 2014 12:02 am in Uncategorized

I am sitting now in Andalucia watching Andrew Neill on the Daily Politics. To do this will apparently be impossible in an independent Scotland.

The Guardian has just published its eighth article in three days pushing Gordon Brown’s views on independence. This one warns Scots they would not be able to watch the BBC after independence. Just as presumably I can’t be watching it in Andalucia, but am suffering some delusion. Apparently we won’t be allowed to read Harry Potter either.

This nonsense gives me the excuse I craved to link to this absolutely superb article from my friend Robin McAlpine of the Reid Foundation. I republish the start but do read it all through here.

Gordon Brown exists only in an intensive care unit manufactured for him by certain sections of the Scottish media. They keep him politically alive through regular injections of myth.

For example, a myth such as that he had a firm grip of the UK economy and knew what he was doing. Can we once and for all put this idea to bed? The UK economy was substantially weaker after Brown was finished than when he began. The decline in manufacturing (as a proportion of the overall economy) was actually three times faster under Brown than under Thatcher. It was this shift from skilled labour to a low-skill ‘post industrial’ labour market which caused the UK to end up as the second lowest paid economy among advanced economies. Brown was not a visionary but someone who adopted the opinions of whomever was the most powerful lobby (in his case the financial and equity industries – which did most to strip away the manufacturing economy). When there was a global economic shock (the US sub-prime mortgage fiasco) it affected countries in proportion to how robust their economy was. In Europe, Britain was in a gang with Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Ireland (though none of those came out of the crisis anything like as heavily indebted as did the UK). We should have been in the gang of Nordic and Germanic economies which were only mildly affected – or even in a middle category with France and Holland that suffered a bit but not catastrophically.

The profile of the UK economy was less balanced, less productive, lower-paid and much less resilient when Brown was finished than when he began. That is on him


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    13 Jun, 2014 - 12:15 am

    Jesus Christ on rubber crutches.

  2. I have always enjoyed my stay in Andalucía.

    “For almost eight hundred years (under Muslim rule), human energy in Spain had produced such an abundance of food, comforts and luxuries as the world had never before imagined. After Granada fell, human energy continued to operate in Spain and through Spain upon the New World and Europe, for two more generations. The third generation no longer knew that men are free, and energy weakened in Spain. The fifth generation could not get support the government, and their children died of starvation. Spain had practically ceased to exist,” Wrote American journalist and author Laura Lane.


  3. Scratching beneath the surface of a Muslim “Golden Age” in Spain, we find these amongst other examinations of unchallenged derivatives of dubiously benign historical accounts.


    And this ..


    Which version of history you prefer often depends on which kind of babarity you personally find most agreeable.

  4. Andrew Nichols

    13 Jun, 2014 - 4:41 am

    My favourite G Brown anecdote is of a G8 meeting breakfast where GB asked Angela Merkel how Germany had come through the GFC so well. Ms Merkel replied “Mr Brown – Germany still makes things”

  5. Personnally I find no babarity (sic) ‘agreeable’. What a sick comment.

    The second link there emanates from an outfit whose trustees are mainly Reaganite relics, some of them members of the Council for Foreign Relations.

    I especially liked Ms Holland Coors. Almost mummified.

    and old Mr Allen http://www.isi.org/bios/bio.aspx?id=f85fff32-2837-478a-bf39-13618afa7720&source=Books&select=true&detail


  6. Personally…. !

    Mods Is there any chance of providing an edit facility?

  7. ….and they won’t have to pay for a TV licence!

  8. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 8:04 am

    Yes, of course the Scots will still be able to watch the BBC – and for free!

    One more example (yes, I know it’s petty of me, but you brought it up..) of a future independent Scotland hanging on the UK’s coattails (£ sterling, the Monarchy, defence…..) LOL

  9. I hope when Scotland gets independence it gets a better news channel than the BBC. Poroshenko’s forces have been bombarding Slavyansk with white phosphorus incendiary devices it would appear. But then there has been a civil war going on for weeks without any mention from Auntie.


  10. If we get free telly then I’m voting for the scotch.

  11. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 9:26 am

    John Goss

    John, is there any thread or comment you are unable to twist round so as to get in a quick reference to Eastern Ukraine?

    This “white phosphorus” trope is getting a little wearisome, and repeating it over and over again will not hide the fact that the Kiev govt is slowly but surely gaining the upper hand over the dubious mix of Russian-leaning fascists and local oligarchs fomenting the current unrest on Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine is now on the pro-European (=modernity, democracy and futre prosperity) trajectory it was on before Big Vlad threw a hissy fit.

    PS – and no, an independent Scotland won’t get a “better channel” than the BBC; you are again making the mistake of idealizing what life would be like there.

  12. Habbabkuk

    I think you are wrong, and that a free Scotland will almost certainly have a better news channel than the BBC – and hopefully some very good homemade drama etc. While we will still be able to watch the BBC’s horrible output if we wish.

  13. Mary aka Habbabkuk's Bitch

    13 Jun, 2014 - 9:31 am

    This might interest you or Nadira Craig. Tamara Rojo, the Spanish ballerina from the ENB has been on Radio 4 in Desert Island Discs. An interesting choice of music and some interesting observations about Spain.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045xz2k 2 mins in

    45 minutes
    First broadcast:Sunday 08 June 2014

    ‘Kirsty Young’s castaway this week is the ballerina Tamara Rojo.

    On stage she is a principal dancer for the English National Ballet and when the curtain comes down she performs the role of the company’s artistic director. World-renowned as a stunning, emotional and dramatic performer, it must surely be a very different set of characteristics she employs off stage, marshalling her company of dancers and propelling the organisation’s creative journey.

    She was just five years old when, sheltering from the rain she found herself in the school gym, instantly beguiled by the peace and order of a dance class. Despite her father’s attempts to widen her horizons with music, sport and art lessons – her path in life was set.

    She says, “Life on stage is like nothing else. I’ve never done heroin but I’m sure that’s what it’s like. Every feeling and sense exploding. Every nerve in your body complete awake”.’

  14. John Macadam

    13 Jun, 2014 - 9:39 am

    Craig, if you’re in Granada go to Calle Navas, just off Plaza Carmen, for the best street of tapas bars in Spain

  15. Plundering pension funds and selling off the country’s gold reserves for a song. Indeed, such things must not be forgotten.

  16. Though I’ve never been to Andalucia when I was younger I was inspired by Laurie Lee’s travels there in “As I walked out one Midsummer Morning” and a “Rose for Winter”. It was the poetry of the writing that moved me as much as anything.

    I’ve seen Spain, having cycled from Madrid to Central France via Biarritz and seen the eagles over the mountains. I must get to Southern Spain before I pop my clogs. But then there are a lot of other places too.

  17. I’d happily pay not too watch the BBC.

    Propaganda fails at the first hurdle when its done so badly its laughably obvious.

    The BBC,and partiicularly the woeful BBC Scotland,are absolute masters of 9th rate propaganda.

  18. Now Hillary has piped up about voting No in the referendum.

    Would be more persuasive if she ever talked honestly about something she was really informed about, like why Vince Foster died, and she led the cover up.

  19. “This “white phosphorus” trope is getting a little wearisome, and repeating it over and over again will not hide the fact that the Kiev govt is slowly but surely gaining the upper hand over the dubious mix of Russian-leaning fascists and local oligarchs fomenting the current unrest on Eastern Ukraine. Ukraine is now on the pro-European (=modernity, democracy and futre prosperity) trajectory it was on before Big Vlad threw a hissy fit.”

    Funny that. First mention I’ve seen of this in Ukraine unless I missed something. Certainly no mention on BBC. Is it wearisome because your heroes are breaking international law perhaps? I notice there has been a lot of condemnation of Israel for using it. Is that where you got confused Habbabkuk?

    My own view, and perhaps that of many people living in Ukraine, is how much better it was under Yakunovich. And you seem also to be confused as to who the Fascists are, Svoboda and Right Sector. Happy to oblige with the history lesson my friend.

  20. Silly Habbabkuk. Didn’t you know that EVERYTHING will be better in a “free” Scotland, even the weather!

    Seeing the close proximity of Wee Eck’s face and Murdoch’s bum these days it seems most likely that any post-independence state news service will be an offshoot of Sky. I’m not sure many people would call that better, anyway Scotland already has it’s own independent TV news service.


  21. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 2:06 pm


    I note that you have now narrowed things down to a better “news channel”.

    Well, we shall see in the fullness of time(or not, if the outcome is NO).

  22. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 2:15 pm

    Mr Goss

    “My own view, and perhaps that of many people living in Ukraine, is how much better it was under Yakunovich. And you seem also to be confused as to who the Fascists are, Svoboda and Right Sector. Happy to oblige with the history lesson my friend.”

    You might consider the possibility that your view is wrong, but I know that’s a big ask with people of your political persuasion.

    For once I can quote hero Uncle Joe with a straight face:

    “Life has become better, life has becoime merrier!”,

    adding only that as Ukraine draws nearer to Europe in the future, thing sill get better still.

    I feel happy for the Ukrainians and you should feel the same.

    Finally, no confusion about the fascists, mon cher ami : they’re Russian-inspired, perhaps even of Russian nationality (possibly some of the 11% who voted for fascist parties in the last elections in Russia).


    and, on a happier note, happy to agree with you about Laurie Lee.

    Forget southern Spain, though, and do the walk to Santiago de Compostela instead: you will be purified physically and, more important, spiritually!

  23. Shills proselytising about purity and spirituality!


    Next they’ll be telling us all about truth and honesty.

    Did your line manager really allow you to write such drivel Habba?

    You really are an eejit.

  24. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 4:43 pm


    “Next they’ll be telling us all about truth and honesty.”

    Alas, that would be like talking to a blind man about colours.

    And now Jives, you Creature of the Night, now I’ve paid some attention to you, get some sleep before you implode :)

  25. Habbabkuk,

    You wouldnt know truth if it hit you on the head with a week old large but floppy kreplach.

    You are a fake,a shill for other people because of money they give you to serve their agenda.

    I dunno why you call me Jonathan,its not my name but hey,fill yer boots troll.

    Now go and change that malodorous string vest sunshine will ya?

    You are the Kevin Turvey of this blog.

  26. doug scorgie

    13 Jun, 2014 - 5:14 pm

    13 Jun, 2014 – 4:28 am

    Jemand (the resident racist) Links to two websites:



    The first is a Zionist hasbara publication and the second a far-right US Conservative publication

    I’m getting a better picture now of your mind-set Jemand.

  27. anne hilditch

    13 Jun, 2014 - 6:02 pm

    As a lifetime Labour supporter, until the Iraq war, I’ll never forget the landslide majority in the 1997 general election. I was euphoric, not just with the result, but with the scale of the victory. After the disaster that was the Thatcher years, Labour could have introduced any policies it wanted, the opportunity was huge. I remember thinking, I wish my mother and father could have seen this’.
    There followed the biggest betrayal of working class voters that has occurred in my lifetime. I agree with every word Robin McAlpine says. His analysis is spot on.

    As for the BBC, I understand that The Republic of Ireland pays the BBC something in the region of £20 million per year for their programmes. I believe Scotland is currently contributing £300 million in licence fees. Bargain or what?

  28. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 6:03 pm


    “I dunno why you call me Jonathan,….”

    Possibly because some time ago you claimed your name was Jonathan Ives and you even appeared to give your address (in Glasgow, I believe) – and then you immediately went on to castigate others for not revealing THEIR names and addresses.

    However, if you now wish to tell us that you were just lying/bluffing/bull-shitting/biustering at the time, then that’s fine by me. Although I can’t say I’d be too surprised, Jonathan.


    Are you going to be Of the Night tonite?

  29. Habbabkuk-Turvey,

    Jonathan was my name until i changed it by deed poll 2 weeks ago

    It is no longer my name.

    Call me,sweetie…i’ll immediately refer to your string vest so youll know its me.

  30. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 6:13 pm

    Mr Scorgie

    “Jemand (the resident racist)…”

    I don’t like to say this, Doug, but I do feel that you – as a Jew-hater and Israel denier – are singularly ill placed to call anyone a racist

    You call the New English Review a “Zionist hasbara publication”.

    Do you have any links and sources to back up that assertion of yours, Doug?


    “I’m getting a better picture now of your mind-set Jemand.”

    I’m sure Jemand’s trembling.


    Dump reals, rubles, rupees and remnimbis , buy pounds, dollars, euros and shekels!
    You know it makes sense.

  31. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    13 Jun, 2014 - 6:19 pm

    Anne Hilditch (IF that’s your real name..)

    “As a lifetime Labour supporter, until the Iraq war, I’ll never forget the landslide majority in the 1997 general election. I was euphoric, not just with the result, but with the scale of the victory.”

    More fool you, then – you must have been very politically unsophisticated.

    I bet you were one of the saps who rushed out and bought Brian Cathcart’s “Were you still up for Portillo?” (Penguin Books, London, 1997). LOL.


    La vita è bella, life is good!


    13 Jun, 2014 - 6:24 pm

    “fill yer boots troll.”

    What’s the difference between cowboy boots and troll boots?

    Cowboy boots have shit on the outside.

  33. I’ve read Robin MacAlpine’s article on Bellacaledonia, and it’s to his usual very high standards.

    What got me about Brown was he relied on The City of London to provide the Tax take. Whilst letting manufacturing right across the UK dwindle away. He was supposed to have been steeped in socialism all his political life. The Labour party provided the ladder to power, and at the end of the day he made life worse for the working man.

    Robin’s spot on “Gordon Brown exists only in an intensive care unit manufactured for him by certain sections of the Scottish media.”
    When Brown got into No. 10 most Scots (my self included) felt some pride. Generally we believed the hype, that he was a brilliant man. Maybe the special attention reserved for Brown in the Scottish media didn’t extend to England.

    Brown’s Failure and Blairs lies have been an education for the general public and have inpart led to the coming vote for Scotland in September.

  34. “I think you are wrong, and that a free Scotland will almost certainly have a better news channel than the BBC – and hopefully some very good homemade drama etc. While we will still be able to watch the BBC’s horrible output if we wish.”

    Why hasn’t anyone set up some Scottish TV channels then? I’m not aware you need to be an independent country to set up television stations.

  35. anne hilditch

    13 Jun, 2014 - 11:15 pm

    I remember when Gordon Brown introduced the Child Tax Credit.My son qualified and I received an envelope which sounded like the Yellow Pages being dropped through the letter box. The application form was huge, complicated and repetitive. It needed an army of civil servants to administer and it. The whole system was dogged by overpayments, errors and fraud, and of course the ones least able to cope with this was the poorest in society, the very ones that Gordon was trying to help. Hardly a brilliant mind!

  36. Miss Castello

    14 Jun, 2014 - 8:29 am

  37. No more boom and bust!!!
    Just boom,boom,boom….financed by government and private debt.
    Every sleight of hand imaginable to fiddle the figures.
    He encouraged the bankers to lend irresponsibly. Reduced regulation etc….
    In fact he did all the things that a Tory freemarket,bucanneering,gogetter,devil take the hindmost, could only have dreamed about.
    Then left somebody else po clear up the mess.

  38. Thought folks would be interested in this here: a Yes campaigner has alleged MI5 are mounting a dirty tricks campaign to discredit the independence movement.

    I wonder if Craig might be able to post more on this – anything that can discourage the spooks from monkeying around with a referendum can only be a good thing, regardless of what side you’re on.

  39. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    14 Jun, 2014 - 2:34 pm

    “Thought folks would be interested in this here: a Yes campaigner has alleged MI5 are mounting a dirty tricks campaign to discredit the independence movement.”

    Yes, MI5 – I was expecting this one to pop up sooner or latter.

    Alibi N° 5 for when the NOES carry the day.

  40. Oh dear.

    Now the pope’s on the case:

    The pope says: “NO”.


    That should cause a few Unionists to switch sides. LOL.

  41. Hi Jon. Good to see you here. Hope you are well and not missing the modding one bit. As you see little here has changed.

  42. The cyber-nat hype is of course a mirror image of the true situation. The latest one is a media-contrived non-story, a stage-managed stitch up with one or another faction of the Westminster Forever Front, with a Labour Party functionary, posing as a (wo)man in the street, an ordinary voter, who’d absent-mindedly overlooked their long association and involvement with NuLab’s PR posturing, or was unwittingly duped herself by Labour’s exploitative machinations, though her subsequent protestations indicate quite the contrary.

    Certainly online cyber attacks on Independence supporters and on the SNP have reached a crescendo, as they crave an audience for their bile, even Gaydar has been swamped with offensive pro-Union trolls with escorts of sock-puppets in attendance encouraging them in disrupting chatroom channels with divisive pro-Union drivel.

    After initial bemused curiosity at these patent fakes, then a shrug of indifference, there has been a counter-productive effect (for the Unionists) at the resented intrusion and the malevolent tone of the unstoppable co-ordinated influx, despite repeated whack-a-mole banning of the more foul-mouthed and combative Unionist misery merchants, to whom banning predictably is a badge of honour, as they taunt the unseen light touch moderators on their return, again and again, degrading what were usually light-hearted channels, by typically amplifying the mainstream media scares or smears of the week, thematically attuned to the BBC, and with ceaseless repetitive infantile character assassinations of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon, their goal is for people to disengage and abstain.

    Strangely there is constant denigration of the people of Wales from the same operatives, so I expect there is some establishment stratagem at play there, though how that fits in and will pan out is anybodies’ guess, be prepared, boys and girls for the coming Welsh angle from the nasty NOsies, if they’re slated to have US-controlled Trident nuclear missiles, decaying duds, leaky nuclear subs or steaming piles of waste dumped on them, it’ll be Westminster’s doing entirely and not Scotland’s desire or fault, nuclear cleanup and decommisioning, not continued imponderably high stakes risk taking is the only way ahead, for all the world’s people.

    In their lust for control of oil Westminster colluded with the US and Israel to murder two million Iraqis and displaced six million fleeing the strife, and the final toll there is still mounting. An invigorating high turnout, six million determined Scots, four million voters, democracy revived, apathy banished and a strong majority for Yes, might not stay the slavering Downing Street and City plutocrats from their insatiable greed.

    Few recall now, it went down the memory hole, that two million Scots, almost three-quarters of the entire eligible electorate out of a then population of five million signed Scotland’s National Convention of 1949, they dare not dismiss us again this time, as then.

  43. Interesting that Google Maps show a boundary for Scotland and Northern Ireland but not Wales.


  44. Miss Castello

    15 Jun, 2014 - 10:09 am

  45. Hi Mary, I’m doing well thanks. Good to see the blog and the comments sections carrying on in earnest!

    On topic: there’s plenty of expressions of cynicism about security services involvement, but since independence affects the viability of the austerity project in England and the location of American nuclear weapons (to name just two issues) I suspect it would be naive to believe the spooks are sitting on their hands. Of course, there’s plenty of (fairly illiterate) expressions of faux outrage and mirth from unionists on that article, absolutely determined to dismiss it as a silly conspiracy theory (whether they are grass-roots unionists or sock puppets from London is another matter).

    I wonder though: after high profile secret state involvement in the miners’ strikes, Hillsborough, Iraq and the Lockerbie case (etc ad nauseum) I suspect the majority won’t be so blase about the possibility.

    Herbie, I don’t think the Pope has come out as a no. This pro-indy article by a Spanish speaker contains an accurate translation and analysis.

  46. @Anne

    Your comments on 1997 were exactly how I feel. It now looks like a monumental missed opportunity to create a better society in the UK.

  47. Great article over at Bella Caledonia.


    The deep and historic local paradox of the “Independence Question” is that the ruling class in Scotland have always actually been in favour of independence from UK control- from 1707 to the present day. They think they’ve already got it. This, it may seem strange to say, is why they’re so overwhelmingly against our voting for it now. […]

    Thus evolved a succession of unelected and anti-nationalist national hegemonies within an unsupervised outpost of a British state that granted functional independence to this succession of Scottish elites, who remained aloof from democratic oversight both from Westminster, which didn’t care that much, and, more importantly, from an electorate in Scotland which didn’t count for anything.

    As a matter of the exercise of practical power, then, the Scottish Ruling Class are already “independent.” They are independent of an indifferent London, but also, crucially, they are independent of us. This is why, for them, political Independence is unnecessary. They already have “independence.”

    That’s how they know so well it is far too good for the rest of us.

    Scotland has been governed since the Union in 1707 by a series of locally unaccountable local elites each with their power derived from subservience to the bigger, wider, British elite of which they form the cadet branch, deriving satisfaction from being effective servants of that wider unaccountable interest. […]

    It is also why the anti-nationalist Scottish National Establishment is so steadfastly and paradoxically running away from power and responsibility. They are used to power without responsibility, is the explanation. They’ve come to prefer it that way. It is not power they fear, or even nationalism they oppose, ultimately. It is effective democratic oversight. It is democracy itself they’re afraid of. […]

    This is why from the Scottish Law Society to the BBC and CBI as well as Labour dominated local government, the powers that be in Scotland are in the No camp. Devolution has already exposed them and made them vulnerable and scrutinized in way they’re not used to, and they fear that independence might finish them.

    Yes. Indeed.

    Anything I could add would be superfluous.

  48. What name for the UK without Scotland? Are the BBC wallahs entertaining that Scottish independence is a possibility/probability?

    What would the UK be called without Scotland?

  49. Andrew Neil is a riddle wrapped in an enigma, with a proprietary scouring product on top.

    His on-screen persona is that of a cloying ultra-establishment lackey, a tickling-stick operated by Rupert Murdoch behind the curtain, making the ridiculous cases for wrong-headed, knee-jerk bumbling destructive Tory policies better than they ever could themselves, and seems as keen to do the same job, as the policies only vary minimally for any of the Tory-Labour-Lib-Dem triangle. Reportedly though he made an astonishing and honest speech at a charity dinner in 2013 at the Accord Hospice in Paisley (Hawkhead Rd, not far from where a stray bomb landed during the war on a Seedhill Road tenement, and just a wee bit away from Neil’s old high school Paisley Grammar, on Glasgow Rd.) he reportedly told the audience:

    “Devolution, the Calman Commission, the Scotland Bill, the Edinburgh Agreement, all of this and more you have, is because Westminster parties are scared of the SNP. If you vote NO you massively change the balance of power and they will not only give you nothing, but will probably take powers away from the Scottish Parliament”.

    I expect he has since been suitably chastised and hastily re-programmed.

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