The Three Amigos Ride to Scotland 120


Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. Just typing the names is depressing. As part of their long matured and carefully prepared campaign plan (founded 9 September 2014) they are coming together to Scotland tomorrow to campaign. In a brilliant twist, they will all come on the same day but not appear together. This will prevent the public from noticing that they all represent precisely the same interests.

Nobody in Scotland feels the slightest warmth towards these people, except for those paid hacks whose income depends upon their feeling such warmth (and there are too many of those, but still only a few hundred). One thing I can guarantee is that this rush of “superstars” will not meet my challenge of seeing 300 Better Together supporters in the same place.

The truth is of course, that if the range of potential political policy alignments lay on a two dimensional scale from 1 to 100, then Cameron, Clegg and Miliband occupy the range from 82 to 84. They offer no actual policy choice to voters.

They all support austerity budgets
They all support benefit cuts
They all support tuition fees
They all support Trident missiles
They all support continued NHS privatisation
They all support bank bail-outs
They all support detention without trial for “terrorist suspects”
They all support more bombings in Iraq (and are planning to launch British raids there before 18 September to ramp up jingoism – you read it here first)
They all oppose rail nationalisation
They all oppose free prescriptions
They all oppose free personal care
They all oppose rent controls
They all oppose bankers bonus cuts
They all oppose legalisation of cannabis

The areas on which the three amigos differ are infinitesimal and contrived. They actually represent the same paymasters and vested interests.

It is hilarious that after a campaign of hammering away at the fact that nobody can guarantee every last detail of what will happen in a an independent Scotland, the Three Amigos are now trying to convince us we should vote No in exchange for some powers, which nobody has the slightest idea what they will be, except they will not include Scotland being allocated any of its oil revenue.

Meantime Gordon Brown, the man whose banking liberalisation almost crashed the world, and who then gave 60,000 pounds from every family in Britain straight to the bankers as a gift, is undertaking another invited audience only tour of Scotland. He has secured a commitment to debate new powers after a No vote; a debate in which Brown has opposed powers for Scotland his entire political career. The Brown suggestions consist of an increased right to vary income tax, but only upwards, and with extra revenue balanced by cuts in the amount of Scotland’s own revenue which London hands back to Edinburgh. Scotland might also be able to vary slightly the rate of housing benefit and attendance allowance (only).

The idea that the popular exuberance at taking sovereignty back into the people, can be swept away by the three amigos and Brown’s “offer”, is ludicrous. Nevertheless the BBC, Guardian and other paid unionist hacks are pushing this unpalatable mess down the throats of voters in the hope something might work. It won’t.


120 thoughts on “The Three Amigos Ride to Scotland

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  • Ben

    Abbas seems terribly naive….

    “Yet curiously Palestinian officials have held back on filing the paperwork without explanation. President Mahmoud Abbas has now said the delay in sending the letters to the United Nations (UN) was at the request of American officials who are still attempting to broker a “framework” for negotiations with Israel aimed at creating a Palestinian state.

    In a leaked transcript of a conversation between Abbas, and senior Fatah and Hamas officials, mediated by the Emir of Qatar, Abbas said he was pressured not to send the letters by the United States during Secretary of State John Kerry’s bid for parties to return to talks. While the meeting is an illumination on the inner workings of Palestinian political strategy as it’s being hashed, the transcript is also useful if not just for the behind the scenes look at the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.

    The conversation took place on August 21, 2014 in Doha. A copy of the meeting minutes was published in Arabic by the Lebanese outlet Al Akhbar earlier this week.

    “We agreed to the United States’s request to not go to the United Nations in return for the release of [Palestinian] prisoners,” Abbas said to the emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. “After the failure of the experience of 20 years of negotiations, Israel and America have not given us anything,” Abbas later complained to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The U.S. was “dragging their heels” during the negotiations process.

    After the failure of the experience of 20 years of negotiations, Israel and America have not given us anything,” Abbas later complained to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The U.S. was “dragging their heels” during the negotiations process, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/?p=134540&preview=true#sthash.IlKp8abM.dpufAfter the failure of the experience of 20 years of negotiations, Israel and America have not given us anything,” Abbas later complained to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The U.S. was “dragging their heels” during the negotiations process, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/?p=134540&preview=true#sthash.IlKp8abM.dpufAfter the failure of the experience of 20 years of negotiations, Israel and America have not given us anything,” Abbas later complained to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The U.S. was “dragging their heels” during the negotiations process, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/?p=134540&preview=true#sthash.IlKp8abM.dpufBut the Israelis have refused to release fourth installment to stop settlement activity, and we failed. So we decided to reconcile with Hamas […] and the formation of a national unity government. Israel refused to deal with it, – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/?p=134540&preview=true#sthash.IlKp8abM.dpuf“After the failure of the experience of 20 years of negotiations, Israel and America have not given us anything,” Abbas later complained to Hamas leader Khaled Mashal. The U.S. was “dragging their heels” during the negotiations process.
    Moreover, the rendezvous concluded with the Beirut-based head of Hamas’s political bureau Mousa Abu Marzouk confidentially signing the letter for Palestine to join the ICC.

    – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2014/09/israels-occupation-birthday#sthash.jTXj6WtZ.dpuf

  • TonyF12

    Great piece.
    If I were living in Scotland I would vote “YES”. Unfortunately I am stuck with the Westminster Amigos with little choice.
    Is Cameron’s response text-book crisis management or what?
    When did he grant Scotland the referendum?
    How many days till the vote?

    It is ridiculous. If this is the equivalent of a marriage which means so much to him, how comes he does nothing for years then turns up on the doorstep of his ‘beloved’ a week before the divorce hearing saying he wants to stay married.

    The 3 Amigos are the best emetic Westminster could deliver to Scotland, and I wonder what good it can possibly do.

  • TonyF12

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/05/referendum-consultation11052012

    11/05/2012

    I can answer my own question of the date when David Cameron should have started in earnest to formulate a strategy to manage the 2014 Independence Referendum if the Union meant so much to him and to Westminster.

    Extraordinary.

    These are the people we entrust to make considered mature decisions about war in the Middle East, and whether we should restart the Cold War with Russia.

  • Ba'al Zevul (For Scotland)

    Salmond, today:

    ‘If I thought they’d be coming by bus, I’d pay their fare.’

    Charlie Brooker (Guardian G2) today:

    ‘In Scotland, David Cameron is less popular than Windows 8…the only way Cameron’s going to win a single no vote is if he…vows to slam his balls in a car door if Scotland decides to stay.’

    And:

    ‘Sitting through speeches by Brown and Miliband is a challenge comparable to eating 15 sheets of cardboard with a heavy cold.’

  • lysias

    Tony, buck up! Scottish independence may be just the sort of thing that will also shake things up in many other places than Scotland.

  • TheCE

    I wish I had your strength of conviction Craig. I fear some DK’s will be swayed by this nonsense.

    Don’t know if you caught it but Darling gave an utterly horrendous performance on Scotland Tonight this evening.

  • CanSpeccy

    The areas on which the three amigos differ are infinitesimal and contrived.

    Of course. If they were all intent on something different, Britain would be back in the kind of mess it experienced after WW2, lurching from democratic communism to paternalistic capitalism and back again every few years.

    Now all the parties are bought and blackmailed by the same financial interests, which means that you can safely throw the rascals out without upsetting the ship of state. It’ll be the same in an independent Scotland.

    As for the policies, well of course they’re crap as far as the average person is concerned. But so what? What’s the average person got to do with it? Does the average person pay Tony Blair a hundred million quid as soon as he leaves office. No? Then obviously the average person should shut up and leave matters in the hands of those who actually own the place.

    As for the feebleness of the “No” campaign, that makes perfectly good sense if you assume the intention is for the “Yes” to succeed, which is surely the case: break up the powerful nation states the better to subordinate the pieces to the control of the undemocratic international institutions with which you are so enamored.

    Long live Scotland, independently shafted by the EU, NATO and the WTO.

  • gordon

    Cameron thought he was calling Salmond’s bluff by removing Devo Max. Now Westminster finally realises the Scots are serious about this. I’m waiting to see what comes in the next week. There are still sufficient doubters to derail this. Hopefully the Scots weather it through to a clear Yes vote. It is incredibly exciting.

  • Nick Turner

    I posted the following at the end of the When the push polling has to stop thread, then realised that everyone had left. It is stil relevant:

    Having read all submissions to this piece, it would appear that CanSpeccy (8th September, 6:12pm) is the only one to have looked behind the curtain and seen the brick wall. This is no more than a classic application of divide and rule, based on the view of Lenin that ‘In order to control opposition, you must lead it’. The Leader has appeared and painted an irresistible picture of a system that has been promised many times elsewhere and has always failed to materialise for all except a fortunate few. It seems that Scotland is being led towards a one party system and I am beginning to wonder if the lot of the Scots will be much the same as the people of Zimbabwe, who have seen all that was promised at the outset turn out to be a complete illusion.

    The momentum of the Yes campaign could be destroyed almost instantly if the ‘Hollie Greig’ card were to be played. That is unlikely to happen because the retaliation would probably trash the system on the southern side of the Border.

    Other, perhaps more subtle methods could be used to destroy the Yes campaign – if that is what the PTB want. However, I have concerns that such a head of expectation has been built up in those craving for ‘independence’ that the dissipation of that energy and disappointment might lead to other unintended (or intended?) social consequences.

  • OldMark

    ‘HMtQ isn’t getting drawn in, and one understands one would wish to retain one’s holiday hame at Balmoral.’

    We are told that, as a constitutional monarch, Lizzie Windsor must stay above the fray, even to the extent of remaining silent on the dissolution of the state of which she is Head.

    Across the NordZee a recent Belgian monarch was less reticent, and when faced with resurgent Flemish nationalists was quite happy to land a muffled, low blow in their direction-

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_II_of_Belgium

  • D Grierson

    A very compliant media is making up Devo-max policy on the hoof. I was particularly disappointed to see Paul Mason on Channel 4 do exactly that tonight.

    Safe to say the Londonistas have never cared before about Scotland so it’s no surprise they’re a few scoobies short of a snack.

    The Yes campaign is very unlikely to spend much more time on this Devo-what nonsense other than to say: vote No get nothing.

  • Hetty

    The lack of respect from these three stooges, toward the people of Scotland is palpable. A disgraceful performance from westminster all told, they have tried the fear factor and scaremongering, then the insincere ‘we want you to stay’ crap, now they think that flying our Saltire in London, and then imposing themselves onto the people will help their lies to sink in.
    The media en masse are complicit in the whole uncivilised, undemocratic, patronising and bullying tactics.
    The ukokbtnota pretence and lies are exposed now, we need a YES to ensure a positive, forward looking, modern, civilised and life affirming system in our country, that has everyone’s welfare at heart. Get lost, you are not welcome here due to your scheming and no one likes being lied to,

  • Philip

    The Union: begun with a shrewd survivor; formalised under a sanctimonious mare; flourished in robbery and murder; declined under the military rule of the Pentagon and the economic rule of Belize and the Cayman Islands; died (possibly) amid the panicky scrabblings of two empty suits and a purple dewlap.

  • International Development Assistance

    For all the peoples of the world who would give anything for the chance you’ve got, to get away from a state that’s failed you, perhaps you could foreshadow Scottish foreign policy with some humanitarian assistance. We can’t be free like you next week, but we can at least be shitfaced on that night. Please, if you would, suggest which variety of malt whisky would be most historically and culturally evocative on this epochal occasion and I shall guzzle it in envious solidarity and boot and rally until you’re safely away from perfidious Albion. Thanks in advance.

  • CanSpeccy

    I am not sure to what extent I have managed, as Nick Turner suggests, to see “behind the curtain”, but if it is corruption and plutocratic domination that the people of Scotland wish to combat, I suggest that they would be better advised to work with all those in the UK who share that goal, rather than putting their faith in the supposed advantage of being a smaller fish in a shark-filled ocean.

    Here are some reforms I’d suggest might help and are no more unlikely to be implement in the UK than in Scotland.

    (1) Raise the voting age from 18 or 15 or 12 or whatever it is now to 31. This would disenfranchise no one (other than the sadly short-lived) but insure that every voter has at least a modicum of experience before casting their vote on questions of state.

    (2) Replace the house of Lords with either (a) a house of plutocrats, membership based on last year’s tax contribution, thereby honoring those who had made the greatest contribution to the Treasury, while ensuring that plutocratic interests are expressed publicly, rather than behind the scenes; or (b) a house of, say, 500 randomly selected people who would actually represent the interests of the masses (an end to mass immigration being among the first consequences.)

    (3) An end to all welfare for the able-bodied, the abolition of minimum wage laws and the institution of a negative tax regime for those with incomes below a living wage (Thus saving the huge bureaucratic overhead of the welfare state, while freeing hundreds of thousands of bureaucrats to enter the real work force, thereby contributing something useful to the GDP).

    (4) Laws against media mendacity, enforced by stiff prison terms for lying editors and reporters, i.e., just about everyone on the Gruniard and at the BBC.

    And, so on.

  • glenn_uk

    Other items they all agree on, unmentioned in the post list, include:

    – They all support “free” trade
    – They all support TTIP

    – They all oppose import tariffs
    – They all oppose taxes on outsourcing jobs
    – They all oppose a transaction tax on stock trading
    – They all oppose improved worker rights

    These are the economic agreements among our great leaders, that ensure our slide into ever greater class division. The concentration of wealth at the top, and dependence on the largess of the State for the working poor on downwards.

    (During conversation – for the sake of full disclosure – I found that CM does not approve of import tariffs either. On that subject, we strongly disagree.)

    Those are the agreements on the economy. But let’s not forget how they will deal with malcontents:

    – They all support the Security State
    – They all support the surveillance of citizens

    And let us not forget what got us into our “security” problems in the first place:

    – They all support America, no matter what they tell us to do
    – They all support Israel, no matter what it does

  • glenn_uk

    Hello CanSpeccy: I’d agree on (1), raising the age of voting – the entire “age of majority”, if you like, to 31. Iff (if and only if), you are also willing to accept that nobody could enlist in an armed forces below that age. That shouldn’t be too hard in an open democracy.

    On (2), I wouldn’t suggest meritocracy. That always leads to a handful of self-congratulatory winners in the lottery of life, deciding things coloured by their account of their notion of personal greatness. Not the best prescription for the greater good.

    500 people with genuine life experience might be good. That would be, 500 people drawn from a pool of regular income-tax paying citizens.

    (3) if you end all welfare for the able bodied, together with minimum wage laws, you would create an army of able-bodied, desperate people. If even a small minority then found employment in prostitution and/or drug-dealing, burglary and robbery, that would not improve the state of the nation.

    We’ve been around the minimum wage long enough to know it works, and works well, the higher it is. Come on.

    (4) – really?

    Good talking to you again.

  • CanSpeccy

    Hey Glenn,

    Good to meet someone here that I know.

    My thoughts on a House of Plutocrats was really driven by the fact that the plutocrats rule anyway, but secretly, so best to put them on public view and have them justify themselves. Also good to encourage those who might otherwise move everything offshore to pay a bit of tax, to be rewarded by a public honor. But, sure, we could not expect too much from them other than reaction.

    The House of Random Plebs, though, might really be a way forward, an alternative to the existing bought elections House of Commons. I suppose membership would require some sort of literacy test but with competent guidance from the bureaucracy, I think a bunch of ordinary folks would make pretty sensible and socially responsible decisions.

    The thing about the minimum wage is it denies work to those whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage, thereby forcing them into the degrading welfare mode of existence. By having no minimum wage, virtually everyone would be employable at some wage, which would then be supplemented by the tax department to provide a living wage. Competition for the available cheap labor should prevent employers exploiting the system by paying below market value for labor. Meantime, the work experience gained by the formerly unemployed should eventually raise the value of their labor to the point that they no longer need a tax subsidy.

    But in any case, it is disappointing to find that the debate on Scottish independence goes on virtually without mention of how government of an independent Scotland will in any way differ from, or be better than, that of the UK. If the Scots have such good ideas about how to improve the world, why not spill them now for all to hear.

  • Peeacewisher

    Can Scotland keep them… as souvenirs? We might have a choice o party again in England. I guess with Green v Respect v UKIP the 99% would have a party that might fit their aspirations.

  • Just saying

    SI, SI, SI !!! THE THREE AMIGOS WILL BE MET BY A SEA of SI’S !

    And when they raise the carrot of more devolution, I hope they are met with a simple SO ?!!!

  • Just saying

    BTW-its a famous Bob Hope joke, where three Mexican Amigos wearing ponchos and doritos hats reply with a pleasing “SI” in unison to three questions by Bob, only to reply up with a dismissive “SO?” to the fourth !

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