Scotland’s Constitution 131

I spoke at the SNP conference fringe on Scotland’s constitution. I don’t claim this was profound but I hope it was interesting.

Independence Live caught me on the way out for the most informal of interviews

Sitting at home in Edinburgh this morning, for the first time for weeks I actually have a few hours when I don’t have to dash off and do something. Hopefully I can de-stress and come up with an interesting blog post.

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131 thoughts on “Scotland’s Constitution

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  • Steve Gibson

    Mr Murray. If you’re a Human Rights activist , what’s you’re opinion on the Named person policy put forward by the SNP ?

    It’s been claimed by Law experts that this not only breaches the Data Protection Act but also the ECHR (Article 8 – Right to Respect for Family Life and Home)

    Being an activist do you support this policy ?

  • craig Post author

    Steve Gibson,

    I can understand both the motivation behind the scheme and the potential it has for extending unnecessary state interference. I understand that it has already been in operation in some areas for some time now, so presumably evidence is beginning to accumulate on how it works out in practice.

    I don’t think anybody would disagree that some children do need additional assistance to protect and promote their welfare where their family cannot do that, or are a potential danger. The idea of avoiding stigmatisation by having people of all backgrounds having a nominated single point of welfare contact is well-intentioned. If it does lead to over-activism or unjust interference it would need to be curtailed. We will see. They system seems at first sight to be reasonably open, which is important.

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Craig; How do you feel about EU sanctions against Russia? Just as in Saddam’s Iraq, sanctions will hurt the innocent more than Putin or oligarchs. Scot Constitution addresses this issue in some indirect way no doubt.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Just as in Saddam’s Iraq, sanctions will hurt the innocent more than Putin or oligarchs.”

    That may well be true but needs to be set against the fact (or, rather, the assertion which is frequently peddled on here, sources à l’appui) that Putin enjoys “overwhelming public approval”.

    If that is the case, are the “innocent” really innocent?

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “If that is the case, are the “innocent” really innocent?”

    So you would apply that same yardstick wrt Israhell?

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Recipients of casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s largesse are dodging questions about his latest salvo against Israeli democracy.
    Adelson, a leading Republican donor, has long stood out among American Jews for his conservative views. He may have stepped farther outside of the American Jewish mainstream than ever before, however, in statements at a conference in Washington on November 9 in which he seemed to write off Israel as a democratic state.
    “I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy,” Adelson said. “[God] didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state… Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”

    Read more:

    Why does Habb flee when Israhell comes up?

  • Republicofscotland

    “That may well be true but needs to be set against the fact (or, rather, the assertion which is frequently peddled on here, sources à l’appui) that Putin enjoys “overwhelming public support”

    “If that is the case, are the “innocent” really innocent?”

    Oh dear what a faux pas, from a supporter of a country whose denizens give overwhelming support, to slaughter mindlessly

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    “Oh dear what a faux pas…”

    Yeah. Not much thinking going on, just push ‘submit’ and think later.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Well, of course, that’s par for the course.

    Respond to a post about Russia/Putin and you immediately have two or more oafs* talking about Israel! LOL


    * the California holocaust-denier and the man with the Scottish handle who is neither Scottish nor lives in Scotland (weird, that)

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Is it true that despite your moniker you are neither a Scot nor do you live in Scotland?

    Are you the Sean McStiofain (=John Stephens) of this blog? 🙂

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    California Ben

    “Just as in Saddam’s Iraq, sanctions will hurt the innocent more than Putin or oligarchs.”

    Ben, I suspect you’re more worried about Putin and his oligarchs than you are about the man on the Moscow Omnibus.

    It’s been noted over the ages, Ben, that people who are ill at ease in their own country, or have a grudge against it or against the life they have themselves had often indulge in what Orwell called “transferred nationalism”; that of course includes sucking up to the leaders of the country to which the affected person has “transferred” his nationalism.

    Tell us what ails you, Ben and where your life went wrong, you know you can count on a sympathetic ear on this blog because we’re all wonderfully warm, lovely people. Really!

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Probably all good reasons for Putin’s popularity.

    “Of course, the respectable western media celebrated the pillage of Russia as the transition to “free elections and a free market economy”. They wrote glowing articles describing the political power and dominance of gangster oligarchs as the reflection of a rising “liberal democracy”. The Russian state was thus converted from a global superpower into an abject client regime penetrated by western intelligence agencies and unable to govern and enforce its treaties and agreements with Western powers. The US and EU rapidly displaced Russian influence in Eastern Europe and quickly snapped up former state-owned industries, the mass media and financial institutions. Communist and leftist and even nationalist officials were ousted and replaced by pliant and subservient ‘free market’ pro-NATO politicians. The US and EU violated every single agreement signed by Gorbachev and the West: Eastern European regimes became NATO members; West Germany annexed the East and military bases were expanded right up to Russia’s borders. Pro-NATO “think tanks” were established and supplied intelligence and anti-Russian propaganda. Hundreds of NGOs, funded by the US, operated within Russia as propaganda and organizing instruments for “subservient” neo-liberal politicians. In the former Soviet Caucuses and Far East, the West fomented separatist sectarian movements and armed uprisings, especially in Chechnya; the US sponsored dictators in the Caucuses and corrupt neo-liberal puppets in Georgia. The Russian state was colonized and its putative ruler, Boris Yeltsin, often in a drunken stupor, was propped up and manipulated to scratch out executive fiats . . . further disintegrating the state and society.

  • Republicofscotland

    Lord Kelvin who heads the Kelvin Commission for more powers for Scotland (don’t hold your breath) is also Chairman of the Weir group, which has 30% of the fracking market in the USA.

    lord Kelvin has said he’d like Scotland to become the fracking centre of Europe. Don’t expect fracking to be devolved anytime soon.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    “Probably all good reasons for Putin’s popularity.

    etc, etc, etc (long screed, cut-and-pasted)”

    Oh Heavens, voltairenet again! Ben’s favourite source.

    The web-site which figures more articles by the egregious Thierry Meyssan than all the other contributers put together.

    Check out Monsieur Meyssan on wikepedia and have a merry laugh.

    (Taster : 9/11 was a conspiracy and the planes were mere holograms)

  • Republicofscotland

    Israel, not Russia, was behind the downing of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July, an American political commentator says.

    In a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday, Professor James Henry Fetzer said, “While the United States is claiming that the newly released photographs by Russia — claiming that the Ukrainian military jets targeted the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 — are preposterous, [but] that does not mean they are not authentic, or that the plane having been shot down by Ukrainian jets is not true.”

    On Friday, Russian state media released satellite images purportedly showing a Mikoyan MiG-29 fighter jet firing a missile at the MH17.

    On July 17, the Boeing 777-200 passenger plane crashed in Ukraine’s conflict zone, killing all 298 people aboard. According to US intelligence and military officials, the plane was hit by a Russian SA-series missile launched from eastern Ukraine.

    “Indeed, in the past I have seen the pieces of fuselage of MH17 showing bullet holes, both going in and going out of the same piece of fuselage, which implies that the plane was actually being shot down by jets from two different locations,” Fetzer said.

    “Not only there’s nothing preposterous about this, but it’s the only account that makes any sense of what was taking place. Neither of the Russians nor supporters of Russia in the eastern Ukraine appeared to have had anything to do with it.

    HABBitual Liar’s not going to like this one.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    You’re posting about Scotland again.

    Sometimes you sound more committed that Mr Salmond himself!

    Will you tell us whether you are a Scot and whether you live in Scotland?

    Simple questions, the answers to which pose no risk of you being identified, surely?

  • Ben-9260th dojo katana

    Opus Dei Founder Franco’s main man……

    “Officially, the Opus Dei is only an international Catholic organization. Its work would be limited to the spiritual activities of its 79,303 members (1,506 priests, 352 seminarians, and 77,445 laypersons). The members that the Opus Dei chooses are the cream of European and Latin American society. They include owners of big multinational companies, press and finance magnates, as well as heads of state and government. The Opus Dei demands discipline and complete obedience from them. Also, while it pretends to ignore their “personal” political activities, it can use them to impose its values to the peoples.

    This sect was founded on October 2, 1928, by a young Spanish Catholic priest of modest origin, José María Escriva de Balaguer. It was an effort of these followers to achieve saintliness by participating in establishing a theocratic regime, in which Escriva would be the prophet. The civil war was for them the ideal and unexpected opportunity to establish the Catholic state of their dreams. Escriva became the spiritual advisor of General Franco. Together, they would restore the old principle: “Cujus region, ejus religio” (such government in a state, such religion in this state).

    The objective of the Opus Dei was to choose and to train the elite members of the Spanish dictatorship to control the essence of power. Thus, in the 1960s, the pro-Franco government of Admiral Carero Blanco was described as “one-colored”: out of its 19 ministers, 12 belonged to the Opus Dei. Although Escriva de Balaguer had no direct responsibility in the government, “Father” Balaguer never stopped giving his advice to the Generalissimo. It was him who recommended the re-establishment of the divine right monarchy and Franco was proclaimed president for life.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Thierry Meyssan – the luminary of “voltairenet” – makes David Icke sound immensely sane.

    Check him out for yourselves…..

  • Republicofscotland

    Caught red handed the west reports a hoax vide as true, exposed by the man who made it. No surprise there then.

    Indeed, the video was a complete hoax – a literal production filmed in Malta, not Syria, and consisting of actors, actresses, and special effects.

    The UK Mirror in its article, “Footage of Syrian ‘hero boy’ dodging sniper’s bullets to save girl revealed as FAKE,” would finally admit:

    Lars Klevberg, 34, from Oslo, devised the hoax after watching news coverage of the troubles in Syria.

    He told BBC Trending: “If I could make a film and pretend it was real, people would share it and react with hope.

    “We shot it in Malta in May this year on a set that was used for other famous movies like Troy and Gladiator.

    “The little boy and girl are professional actors from Malta. The voices in the background are Syrian refugees living in Malta.”
    Not the First Time

    Klevberg admits that “Syrian refugees living in Malta” participated in his propaganda stunt. This is far from the first time the West and its proxies have been caught blatantly producing false reports, footage, and claims regarding the Syrian conflict.

    In fact, the Western media’s coverage of the Syrian conflict is nothing more than a series of deceptions crutching their way along on their audience’s perceived ignorance, from one exposed sham to another.


    **Website Alert** the above site does not meet, the resident Hasbara Troll’s criteria.

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    Here, with kind permission of Wikipedia, is a little about Thierry Meyssanb, the founder and leading (perhaps only?) luminary of “voltairenet”, Ben’s preferred source.

    All comlaints to Monsieur Meyssan himself, please, not to me (it’s not my fault he’s a hayseed):


    In 1994, Meyssan became a staff member of the Parti Radical de Gauche, a center-left political organization, and he participates in the campaign of Bernard Tapie (1994 European elections) and Christiane Taubira (2002 presidential elections).

    In 1994, he founded the Voltaire Network and also created Project Ornicar, associations promoting freedom of expression and thinking, of which he is currently president.

    From 1996 to 1999, he worked as substitute coordinator of the National Committee of Surveillance against the extreme right, which held weekly meetings with the 45 major political parties, unions and associations belonging to the French left-wing in order to draw up a common response to escalating intolerance.

    Between 1999 and 2002, Meyssan replaced Emma Bonino in the leading post of the Anti-prohibitionist Radical Coordination, an international organization aiming to decriminalize drug use as a means to cut organized crime’s main source of income.
    Publication of The Big Lie

    In 2002, he published a book on the September 11 terrorist attacks—9/11: The Big Lie—in which Meyssan argues that such attacks were organized by a faction of the US military industrial complex in order to impose a military regime. The book was translated into 28 languages.[1]

    His following book was Le Pentagate, a book arguing that the attack against the Pentagon was not carried out by a commercial airliner but a missile. The central thesis of the book is that a Boeing 757 did not hit The Pentagon. This was heavily criticised by other prominent 9/11 conspiracists such as Jim Hoffman.[2][3][4]

    He started a campaign at the United Nations to initiate an international investigation commission to revisit the general consensus regarding the 9/11 attacks, but he was not able to reach his objective. There was little support, except from the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
    Later activities

    In November 2005, Thierry Meyssan presided over the Axis for Peace 2005 Colloquium, which gathered over 130 participants from 37 nations in order to discuss the international situation and call a people’s mobilization in favour of international law and world peace and against the neoconservative trend.[citation needed]

    Meyssan is currently living in Damascus, Syria. He is a journalist for the Russian weekly magazine Odnako (Однако).[5]
    Other areas of research

    Meyssan also believes the Beslan massacre was thought out and perpetrated by the CIA, through the terrorist leader Shamil Basayev, who Meyssan insists was a CIA strawman. The purpose of the massacre in Beslan had been, claims Meyssan, an attempt by the USA to gain control of the resources of the Caspian Sea.[6]”

  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Just take a couple of seconds and just tell us whether you’re a Scot and whether you live in Scotland?


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)


    Oh sorry, I forgot – you think 9/11 was an inside job as well, don’t you.


  • Habbabkuk (la vita è bella)

    re “voltairenet” and Thierry Meyssan.

    Working on the principle that it’s always good to know as much as possible about sources, here’s a little more about Monsieur Meyssan, this time from the French Wikipedia (which has more on him than the English one).

    Apologies for those who don’t read French – get a friend (of you have any) to help.

    ~”Thierry Meyssan est le petit-fils du colonel Pierre Gaïsset, observateur militaire de l’ONU et président de la Commission d’armistice Israël-Liban1. Il est le fils de Michel Meyssan, ancien conseiller municipal de Bordeaux et proche de Jacques Chaban-Delmas. Élevé dans un milieu catholique, il rejoint le Renouveau charismatique2. Il s’affirme tardivement comme homosexuel et libre-penseur. Son mariage religieux a été reconnu nul par l’Église catholique3,4. Il centre alors une partie de ses activités autour d’un militantisme laïc tout en manifestant un vif intérêt pour les questions religieuses au point de suivre des études de théologie.

    Selon Fiammetta Venner, dans un livre à charge contre Meyssan, il aurait été exclu de Sciences-po pour « des raisons qui restent non élucidées », puis de l’association Gais pour les libertés et de l’International Lesbian and Gay Association4.

    En avril 2002, le Conseil supérieur de l’audiovisuel (CSA) a écrit à France Télévisions après le passage de Thierry Meyssan dans une émission de Thierry Ardisson pour reprocher l’absence de recul critique5. Copie de cette lettre a été adressée à tous les médias audio-visuels sous convention. Depuis, Meyssan n’est plus invité sur les chaînes françaises, y compris lorsque Arte a consacré une soirée Théma aux théories du complot, où il tient le premier rôle6,7.

    Au cours de l’année 2007, il s’est en revanche exprimé sur les chaînes de télévision d’autres pays : Addounia TV (Syrie), Al-Alam (Iran), Al Jazeera (Qatar), Al-Manar (Liban), Dubai TV (Émirats), GTRK (Kazakhstan), IRIB (Iran), KTR (Kirghizistan), News TV (Liban), NBN (Liban), PMR (Transnistrie), Russia Today (Russie), Sahar (Iran), SSC (Syrie), Telesur (Amérique latine), TSV (Transnistrie), Venezolana de TV (Venezuela).

    Dans un entretien au site internet paru en septembre 20088, Thierry Meyssan indique travailler pour le magazine russe Profile et collaborer à la chaîne de télévision libanaise al-Manar (chaîne du Hezbollah) et à des chaînes de radio et de télévision iraniennes.

    Dans un livre paru en Italie en 20079 et dans un entretien paru en octobre 200810, il affirme que le département de la Défense des États-Unis aurait lancé un contrat contre lui et qu’il aurait été protégé par les autorités françaises durant la présidence de Jacques Chirac.

    Lors d’une soirée spéciale consacrée aux attentats du 11 septembre, la première chaîne de télévision russe le présente comme « le principal dissident occidental » et insiste sur son exil11.

    Il travaille actuellement à un livre d’analyse sur l’administration Obama12.”


    More extracts may (or may not) follow.

  • Republicofscotland

    Scores of Jewish settlers on Sunday stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in occupied East Jerusalem, a Palestinian official said.

    “As many as 59 settlers stormed the holy compound through Al-Magharbeh Gate under the protection of Israeli police,” Sheikh Azzam al-Khatib, director-general of the Organization for Muslim Endowments and Al-Aqsa Affairs, told Anadolu Agency.

    The settlers wandered through the compound’s courtyards, passing through the Qibali and Marawani mosques inside the holy complex before departing through Al-Silsileh Gate, he added.

    Meanwhile, Israeli police allowed Palestinian men to enter the compound while denying women’s entry.

    “We performed the noon prayers outside the gates of the compound after we were denied access by Israeli police,” one of the women who had been barred from entering the complex told Anadolu Agency.

    “At least 70 women were barred from entering the complex since the early morning,” the woman, who asked to remain anonymous.


    Oh how I loathe hesitation, if they’re going to take the mosque then just take it. But wait, that lot are canny enough to know, if they do, blood will be spilt, and they would be seen as the aggressors around the world.

    I think a new plan is the order of the day.

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