Meeting Livestream 376

The Fringe Meeting at which I am speaking will be livestreamed on Saturday from 12.30 on IndependenceLive.

Meanwhile, Emily has started her own blog.

I had a busy day today moving a lot of stuff to move into my new home in Edinburgh tomorrow. But I must briefly comment on a fascinating opinion poll by IPSOS/Mori tonight, which puts the Tories on 32 and Labour on 29 UK wide – and astonishingly the Lib Dems UK score of 9% only just ahead of the SNP’s UK wide score of 8%, even though the latter is concentrated entirely in Scotland. One reason that SNP figure is so high is that IPSOS MORI weight by certainty to vote, and are predicting a much higher turnout in Scotland than England at the next election.

The scenario leading straight to independence – a Tory/UKIP coalition at Westminster and a crushing SNP victory in Scotland – is looking increasingly probable. One thing I do not rule out at all is a unionist Con/Lab coalition in Westminster after the next general election. There are almost no real policy differences between them, and if coalition becomes the swiftest way to satisfy personal ambition for power and money on both sides (the only thing that drives both parties), I so not think it is in the least improbable. We have seen Lab/Con coalitions against the SNP in Dundee and Stirling Councils, and they were extremely happy together during the referendum campaign. I do not yet see a Lab/Con coalition as the most probable outcome of the next Westminster election. But it is entirely possible.

Speech at 13 mins 30 secs in

Interview at 9 mins 30 secs in.

376 thoughts on “Meeting Livestream

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  • MJ

    “Are they yours?”

    Nope. The English flag is rarely seen except when the World Cup is on. Street and building names are eclectic. English culture is global, so much so that its Englishness is mostly irrelevant.

  • MJ

    “Emily has started her own blog”

    Emily needs to sort out the text and background colours. It’s almost unreadable.

  • Robert Crawford


    Human intelligence is here in abundance, however, it is being used to have power over others, and money the ultimate power that enough is never enough. More always wants more.

    Every human could have enough to eat and a house to live in with all the basics we take for granted. Those with the power don’t see it that way.

    I could take you to a country where conditions are still bad for the working poor, thirty odd years on from my time there.

    I sometimes think of Rabbie Burns words ” man’s inhumanity to man”, and ask myself, “when will they ever learn”.

    There is much truth in the saying, ” a hungry man is an angry man”. A hungry man will lash out at the perceived cause of his condition.

  • jake

    “One thing I do not rule out at all is a unionist Con/Lab coalition in Westminster after the next general election.”
    Aaah….a government of national unity. But wait, that would only happen under cover of some existential threat or crisis surely?

  • OldMark

    Traditionally Polish supporters have a reputation for being a little rough, however, they certainly appreciated the efforts of their Scottish counterparts on Tuesday night and made sure to thank them after the match.

    I hope the Tartan Army retains its good natured sobriety in the upcoming friendly against England (crossing fingers whilst inspecting the lawn for four leaf clovers). They certainly showed neither after the 1977 victory at Wembley; I was living in student accommodation close to Euston at the time, and the stench of the vomit and piss in the station concourse that the departing Tartan Army deposited there lingered for several days.

  • Mary

    O/T Please sign Ben Griffin’s petition on depleted uranium.

    Sign the United Nations Resolution on Depleted Uranium Weapons

    This petition will be delivered to:
    Philip Hammond MP
    Secretary of State

    John Kerry (Secretary of State)

    Sign the United Nations Resolution on Depleted Uranium Weapons

    I served in the Parachute Regiment and the Special Air Service for eight years. I have spoken out about the reality of the war in Iraq on numerous occasions since I left the army but only recently have I learned about another of its cruel legacies; chemically toxic and radioactive depleted uranium (DU).

    I was not surprised last week when I heard the UK and US had voted against a United Nations General Assembly Resolution that asked states to provide help to Iraq in dealing with DU contamination and for UN agencies to carry out more research into its potential negative effects on public health and the environment.

    The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has long argued that DU weapons are effective and necessary to save soldiers’ lives, but they refuse to take into account the effect on civilian populations that especially as they can continue long after a war has ended. When it is fired it creates a DU dust which, if breathed in, has the potential to mutate DNA and cause cancers and birth defects. In Iraq, the battles took place in towns and cities full of people. The Iraqi government knows of 300 contaminated sites today – hundreds more are unidentified. This contamination poses a threat to the Iraqi people, particularly pregnant women and children who are especially susceptible to exposure from toxic materials.

    The MoD claims that there is no evidence that DU has caused health problems in Iraq. However, there is no evidence because there have been no health studies carried out specifically on civilians living in contaminated areas.

    Last year, the former director of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Iraq programme, Dr Neel Mani, said that the organisation knew of abnormal rates of health problems as far back as 2001. However, cynicism from ‘certain member states’ and a politicised funding structure had left them unable to do anything about it. He is not the first person to speak out but the denial and the political power of the offending states means that this public health crisis continues.

    Within Iraq, many people continue to speak out about this. The International Committee of the Red Cross have reports of being approached by tribal leaders who say that clean-up of DU ‘exceeded any other humanitarian concerns’. As the father to three beautiful, healthy children I found it so distressing when I heard Dr Samira Alaani, an Iraqi paediatrician report: ‘The first question I am asked when a child is born is not ‘is it a boy or a girl?’ but ‘is my child healthy?’ It makes me so angry that, for all of our promises of freeing Iraq, what we have left them is a toxic legacy that will last for generations to come.

    As a former soldier who fought in Iraq, I can safely say that this is not why I joined the British Army. Nor do I believe that many other soldiers are happy with the fact that they are being made complicit with these acts. Doctors across Iraq have been reporting much higher than normal incidences of cancer and birth defects for years now.

    It has been estimated that cleaning up the 300 known contamination sites would cost between US$30-45 million. To people like me and you that is a lot of money but to governments that have spent billions on war, it is a drop in the ocean. If they cannot afford to clean it up, they should not have made us use it in the first place.

    In December the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) will take a second vote on a draft resolution on DU weapons. It will be the fifth one of its kind and will no doubt, once more, see a majority of the states vote in favour of it – 155 did last time.

    The UNGA draft resolution asks states that have fired DU to provide firing locations. It asks international organisations to carry out further research. It asks any states with the means to do so to provide assistance to countries affected by DU. It is not a lot to ask, so why do the UK and US persistently vote against these resolutions?

    Just last month the Iraqi government joined the doctors and people of Iraq in asking for help to clean up this mess and to conduct research into the problems their country is facing. They know they cannot do it alone; this will take an international effort and it needs to be done sooner rather than later.

    We must support the people of Iraq, which is why I am demanding that the UK and US support the current UN resolution. Please add your voice to this campaign and demand that the US and UK take responsibility for their actions.

  • Mary

    Do we need comments such as those @ 5.11am and 5.43am containing personal details of marital intimacy?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    OldMark 13 Nov, 2014 – 12:31 pm “I hope the Tartan Army retains its good natured sobriety in the upcoming friendly against England”

    (1) First things first – Euro qualifier against Ireland tomorrow.
    (2) Sobriety?

  • MJ

    “I sometimes think of Rabbie Burns words”

    Ah, Burns, now you’re talking. A poet of real stature whose work transcended his national origins.

    “Or like the snow falls in the river,
    A moment white – then melts for ever”

    In my view one of the most beautiful lines of poetry ever. It speaks to us all, not just Scots.

  • Robert Crawford


    If you have ever worked abroad and speak English as your first language, eventually you will be asked “are you English?”
    After the explantion of the difference, then you get it. The animosity towards the English is quite staggering. It seems in my own experience, that a lot of people have had a bad experience at the hands of the English Government or someone English.

    I was almost killed once because of the actions of an English colleague who took the equivalent of 70 pence out of an employee’s pay packet. Not a wise thing to do in front of 400 employees, plus all the others who come to sell their goods on Company pay day.

    Then he told me to take the gun out of the safe as I was the only one licenced to carry a gun. Six (6) bullets against 600, stupid!!! I asked him if he wanted me to shoot him first if they come through the office door.

    When 600 people are shouting “kill him, kill him” it makes you think, what is the mindset that makes one take 70p out a guy’s pay packet? Especially as the poor soul is only earning 20 70pence a fortnight. life is tough for many.

    When he said he had a chance of a job back in England, I told him ” i will give you the best reference every”. He never asked for it. It was an inside job, friend of a friend strings being pulled! It transpired it was a plum job. I often wonder if he managed to hold on to it.

    The bad egg always seem to land on their feet.

  • MJ

    “The animosity towards the English is quite staggering”

    Personally I’ve never experienced it, except perhaps once in India when queueing for a bus and someone pushed in.

    Still, personal animosity aside, the chances are they still got taught Shakespeare and Dickens at school and like the Beatles.

  • nevermind

    wise words Robert, have to dash and do some dirty business,i.e. get some more muck for the garden before it rains, enjoyed our little cup of tea chat this morning.

    agreed Mary, what do we need a report on someone’s hippy pleasures for, there’s enough soft porn out there, its all rock n roll and I’m pleased for everyone who likes sex, its normal, get over it. why here?

    no thanks

    Like Emily’s blog, second Brian Fujisans choice, also agree with MJ, very hard to read due to colours.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “The nationalism on this blog gets ever more idiotic.”


    I’ve never really understood this kind of pride. It’s like when your football club wins. As a fan/spectator you had nothing to do with it, but there it is.

    Pride should be reserved for personal accomplishment. Nationalism/patriotism must be a substitute for personal accomplishment.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Do we need comments such as those @ 5.11am and 5.43am containing personal details of marital intimacy?”

    I’m entirely with Mary on this one.

    And also wonder if I’m the only one on here to find Tony Opmoc’s repeated ramblings about wives, ex-wives and girlfriends (and their girlfriends), interspaced with bits on pop concerts, distinctly unhealthy.

    He probably isn’t doing it to divert because most of his posts are sent during the night. One must therefore conclude that his offerings on here are simply the virtual equivalent of flashing his dick in a public space.

    Grow up and keep it zipped up, Tony.

  • Republicofscotland

    “Or, for that matter, the more or less permanent Swiss and Belgian coalitions.”

    Not forgetting the most obvious coalition, Habb, ResDis and Kempe.

    Meanwhile Ed Miliband gave a run of mill speech today stopping just short of promising the world, as long as you vote him in as PM.

    With Labour and the Tories, virtually singing from the same hymn sheet policy wise, Miliband’s oration, is not worth the paper, his spin doctors wrote it on.

  • Republicofscotland

    Scotland Yard is carrying out a search of the Barbara Castle archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library to try and locate a copy of the ‘Dickens Dossier’, the missing file containing allegations of organised child abuse by politicians and other prominent figures.

    The Met is working in conjunction with archivists at the library to sift through more than 850 boxes of documents relating to the life and career of the former Labour cabinet minister and MP for Blackburn, ranging from the 1930s, when she was first elected as a London councillor, until her death in 2002.

    A source close to the investigation told the Independent that “preliminary searches” had already been carried out but that it would take several weeks to complete the search of the archives. Among the material are the former Employment Secretary’s dairies, political correspondence and ministerial papers from her time both in Westminster and Brussels, where she represented Greater Manchester as MEP from 1979 until 1989.

    It would appear someone is taking the possibility of the Dickens Dossier at Oxford University library serious. If its a ruse the Andrew Parker may have to keep the dossier under lock and key in his top drawer until this blows over.


  • Republicofscotland

    “Or independence for Scotland (you could have the Union Party and the Freedom Party..)”

    Hmm! Yes I agree you, and your cohorts, they know who they are, have been party to quite a few, malicious comments, on this blog, party indeed.

  • Republicofscotland

    On July 23, two days after the Russian Ministry of Defense presented a radar track of a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter climbing to within three kilometers of MH17, the BBC’s Russian service aired a report by correspondent Olga Ivshina.

    The report originated when Ivshina and her cameraman went in search of the field outside the town of Torez, where the US government claims an SA-11 BUK surface to air missile was launched at the Boeing 777 on July 17.

    Instead of finding witnesses who saw or filmed with camera phones a SAM launch plume that would look like this test firing of an SA-11 in Russia, what Ivshina found instead were people who heard two loud explosions in the sky and described Ukrainian fighter jets near the MH17 crash scene. As Ivshina described in the opening of her report, these Donbas locals were certain the Boeing airliner was shot down by the Ukrainian Air Force.

    Could this be true? or is Putin’s propaganda machine, as finely tuned as Obama’s. My own opinion is although Putin is no angel, I feel he’s been made a scapegoat for this one.

  • Republicofscotland

    More UK military forces will have to be deployed in conflicts overseas as a result of climate change, a former Government envoy has warned.

    Rear Admiral Neil Morisetti, who served as the UK’s special representative for climate change last year after 37 years in the Royal Navy, said global warming would act as a “threat multiplier”, increasing the risks of conflicts.

    “Ultimately there may be occasions where the impacts are so severe that there’s conflict… and we may have to deploy British forces,” he said.

    “Increased climate change is only going to increase the risks of instability and conflict.”
    He said instability might result from populations being displaced by changing weather patterns.

    I suppose any excuse to invade a country is better than none at all. Now lest see what other excuses we could use to asset strip other less fortunate nations.

  • Kempe

    ” Ukraine’s Su-25s are more than capable of firing R-60 and possibly other air to air missiles at an easy target like an airliner. ”

    So what happened to the “incontrovertible evidence” quoted elsewhere on this blog that it was brought down by cannon fire?

    Su 25 slower than a B777; especially in a climb.

  • Republicofscotland

    t is a list that includes the founder of Betfair, the former chairman of Newcastle United, the son-in-law of Bernie Ecclestone and a host of bankers and oil tycoons, but what do they all have in common – aside from their wealth?

    Ahead of a new report into political party donations from the Electoral Commission today, the Conservative Party has revealed the names of those belonging to its most exclusive dinner party guestlist.

    In a page on its website that boasts of how the Tories “unlike Labour… are not funded by trade unions”, the party has listed the 32 people who pay a minimum of £50,000 a year for access to the Prime Minister himself, along with a host of other senior Conservative ministers.

    Ah yes access to the PM, but wait I need at least £50 Grand to get his attention, and I thought, we were all in this together, silly me.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    @ “Robert Crawford” and “Republicofscotland”

    Change of shifts at 15h23 today?

    Or just a change of moniker? 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    “Pride should be reserved for personal accomplishment. Nationalism/patriotism must be a substitute for personal accomplishment.”

    1st sentence : so you rule out pride in your nation’s accomplishments? On what grounds?

    2nd sentence : could you expand on that thought or must we remain with what might just be considered a rather facile aphorism?

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “In a page on its website that boasts of how the Tories “unlike Labour… are not funded by trade unions”, the party has listed the 32 people who pay a minimum of £50,000 a year for access to the Prime Minister himself, along with a host of other senior Conservative ministers.”

    Just as a matter of interest, does the individual trade union member have any say on whether his trade union makes political donations?

  • Republicofscotland

    Prince Andrew is flying out today for face-to-face talks with the billionaire leader of Azerbaijan, The Independent can reveal – raising fresh concerns about the royal’s willingness to associate with oppressive regimes.

    The Duke of York will hold a private meeting with President Ilham Aliyev during a four-day stay in Baku, despite a growing international outcry about the treatment of human rights activists in the oil- and gas-rich former Soviet state.

    It was not clear last night in what capacity the Prince is visiting Azerbaijan, given that he was forced to step down as the UK’s trade envoy in 2011 when his friendship with Mr Aliyev and other controversial leaders attracted criticism.

    Buckingham Palace said it did not comment on the “private travel” of the Royal Family. The private travel of British royals is not funded by the taxpayer, but it is not known who is covering the cost of the prince’s trip. The Queen’s second son has previously earned the nickname “Air Miles Andy” for his penchant for luxury travel.

    Here you go Craig this one’s right up your street, despots and all.

    A self serving cosseted inbred, womaniser, “Air Miles Andy” has taken the piss for decades now, and will continue to do so, because HRH old droopy chops Queen Lizzie is his mother, (A begging your pardon mam) and you suckers admire them from afar.

  • Mary

    I would like to see Blair suited up against Ebola.

    Here he is in 2001 when there was the outbreak of FMD.

    Foot & Mouth disease – the 2001 outbreak saw £8 billion disappear down the drain

    PM in bio-warfare gear

    The government’s approach to the outbreak was a total shambles and nothing effective was done until the army was called in to provide organizational skills. Sir David King, Blair’s ‘expert’ recommended a cull of 8 million healthy animals instead of vaccination. So the government went along with an illegal cull even though it had no legal power to kill healthy animals.
    Even worse, the government paid out too much compensation for the slaughtered animals and when it finally put in a claim to the European Union for ‘insurance’, the EU’s payout left the British taxpayer having to fund a shortfall of £600 million.
    Even worse, the sight of Blair strutting around farms in his yellow isolation suit made foreigners think the country was unsafe to visit and cost the tourist industry a further £5.4 billion.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Scotland Yard is carrying out a search of the Barbara Castle archives at the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library to try and locate a copy of the ‘Dickens Dossier’……etc, etc, etc….”

    Wasn’t the author of the above claiming only a few days ago that the Dickens dossier was hidden in a “secret file” in the Bodleian?

    We now seem to have moved from a “secret file” to the Barbara Castle archives, which are, of course, open to all genuine researchers…..

    Beta double plus for progress!

  • DoNNyDarKo

    No Habba,your Union member does not.Labour used to get the donations by default.Not sure how it works now. Bob Crowe stopped donations from his union,and then he died mysteriously.
    Am sure it was nothing to do with Red Ed,or magenta as their new colour is.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “…because HRH old droopy chops Queen Lizzie is his mother..”

    You’re probably no oil-painting yourself even now, Republicofscotland, but I should love to see your face when you’re over 80.

    What does “Robert Crawford” think?

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