Today’s Independence Rally 463

You can see me speaking 24 minutes in here. Can’t work out how to embed this one. It was literally freezing and the very small crowd was understandable. I think four hour rallies outdoors in Scotland in midwinter are somewhat optimistic. I think we also need to face that the high excitement of the referendum campaign, where you could just put something out on Facebook and 10,000 people would show up, is behind us. What we have now is a period of hard graft towards the general election.

I think what I say in this short speech will give comfort to those in the SNP who blocked me as a candidate, because as usual I am joyfully off message. Shortly after me there is an amazing speech from Tommy Sheridan; his physical voice projection alone is astonishing! It was bouncing back off Salisbury Crags and Holyrood Palace.

This really is under 100 yards from where we live. That view of Salisbury Crags is what I see every time I look out the window. The balcony will be great once it gets a bit warmer.

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463 thoughts on “Today’s Independence Rally

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  • Robert Crawford


    Thanks for the explanation. I obviously need to learn more.

    What about encryption?
    I heard Cameron and Obama saying they would need to stop/break encryption.

    The system you describe will still be subject to monitoring by the State. Is it not?

    My life is an open book. Anyone can read it as long as my permission is asked for first. I have nothing to hide. My mail is opened before it reaches me. I jest you not.

    I am not afraid to say what I have to say to anyone, whether it is face to face, or by letter, or e-mail.

    I like the computer to shop. I don’t like shopping. I love next day delivery. On the 9th. January I bought goods from America, England (Craig’s book) and goods from a Scottish company. Yes, you’ve got it in one. The stuff from America arrived first, from Scotland next, and Murder in Samarkand last. (postage on the book was free). From America $10.00=£6.30. From Scotland £4.95, rip off!

    I really need to find somewhere more democratic to life out my twilight years.

  • Peacewisher

    @Robert. It was Cameron who made that remark about encryption, sadly showing his ignorance of the modern world. Obama was polite not to tell him not to be so f***ing stupid. E-commerce couldn’t happen without encryption and the global system he is so fond of would come grinding to a halt. I guess Cameron means people should only use GCHQ approved encryption. They don’t trust us. Nice isn’t it! Why should we vote for them?

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    Clark : ” similar tactics have been used in the “browser wars” and to enforce proprietary “user lock-in””

    I tried to install LibreOffice onto a friend’s Win7 computer. Internet Explorer renamed the file extension of the installer from .msi to .man, then complained it couldn’t open it because it didn’t recognise the extension! I installed Firefox – problem solved.

    . . . er . . . and Firefox can also be used to watch Scottish Independence videos so this is OT.

  • Clark

    Robert, the development and distribution of strong encryption is one of the stories central to software freedom. Phil Zimmermann had to legally fight for his right to distribute such software using his US constitutional freedom to distribute written works:

    This battle is still ongoing, and one of the reasons the Free Software Foundation want our money! In short, you can’t ensure privacy unless you have control of your own system, and proprietary software denies such control as a matter of principle.

    All the tools known to effectively protect privacy have to be libre. You can’t tell what a program does unless everyone is free to examine the source code.

  • Robert Crawford


    There was no one more disappointed than me on Friday morning 19th.

    I have never ever seen my Polling Station heaving with people with a smile on their faces, and 3 booths in operation, never seen that before.

    All to vote NO? I don’t believe it.

    The majority was nearly 5,000 in favour of NO. And yet we had a sitting SNP MSP. I smell a rat!.

    Some may have been purring. I am still growling.

    Fuck their VOW!!!.

  • Robert Crawford


    Thanks for that.

    I do not vote for them. And if Nicola Sturgeon does not get her act together I will not be voting for the SNP candidate either.

    A BARBER!!!.

  • Clark

    Peacewisher, 12:50 pm; exactly. Mass surveillance proves that governments, even those of the so-called free world, now regard their own populations as the enemy. Therefore they now represent interests other than ours.

  • Robert Crawford


    I have been looking at Phil Zimmerman stuff.

    At the moment I do not know who to trust.

    I just do not have enough savvy to make a decision that I am happy with. I am prepared to right off the £50.00 all told that Avast has got out of me.

    When I have the right goods.

  • Clark

    Node, have you tried booting a Win7 machine with “SecureBoot” with anything other than the pre-installed Win7? You have to jump through about six hoops pained in scary, radioactive colours. It’s utter scare tactics and a total pain in the arse.

  • Robert Crawford


    I am getting a request from Microsoft to add a “plug in” that I can’t block. Later on Firefox puts up a warning to say that it is a danger to Firefox and click here to get rid of it. I do that and to-morrow it is back again.

    I don’t know how to get rid of it permanently.

    A bit like trying to get the English Government off my back.

  • Clark

    Robert, just use the Avira or AVG gratis versions; tests show them to be just as good as the paid versions. They have to be, or an epidemic of viruses would submerge the Internet, so a consortium of “security” organisations undertake to always supply gratis anti-virus. But if you need a “business” licence, er, sorry, no go, pay up mate.

    Better: install Firefox and add the extensions Adblock (plus or edge) and NoScript. NoScript takes a while to get used to, but your browsing will run smother and you learn a lot (like which companies are watching your browsing habits) in the process.

    Adblock cuts down your exposure to malware, which often gets in via advertisement servers. NoScript gives you the choice over which companies’ JavaScript you run, again vastly decreasing exposure, and incidentally taking some huge unnecessary loads off your browser.

  • Phil

    Good speech Craig.

    Meantime in London…March For Homes (reposted from squonk)

    It’s always hard to judge but I will eat my hat if it wasn’t way more than a thousand.

    Housing has become THE issue in London this past yaer. Grass roots campaigns, from e15 to new era to poor doors, taking direct action, beyond the confines of ‘acceptable’ protest, and achieving something.

    I went with the march from the east. The cops had apparently refused permission for the march to block the roads but that lasted about 15 seconds. The city streets on the route were bought to a stand still. Tower bridge blocked. Developments abused. The cops were pretty hands off. There were speeches made by people who don’t normally do this stuff. Angry mums, rapping pensioners, singing kids. All politicised by the social cleansing that is housing in London. There was near unanimity to not vote labour. The few speakers who supported labour were greeted with silence. Home made placards dominated. Samba and jazz bands. Open mic pa systems. Hollering, smoke bombs, breakaways. All very refreshing.

    Of note is the talk, and possibly reality, of disparate groups – greens, statists, anarchists, those who don’t know – determined to face the common enemy. Obviously inspired by Greece and Spain. Clealry we are not in the depths of austerity that these people are experiencing but the consensus seemed to appreciate it’s only a matter of time. I don’t want to over egg this because it was only small but it felt a bit different. All very refreshing.

    The best thing we can do for the oppressed of the world is challenge the establishment here. The best, if not only, way we can challenge the ruling class is on the streets. Even in that friggin awful weather it was a beautiful day.

  • nevermind

    Thanks for the excellent rally speeches from all involved. Tommy’s speech indeed sounded conciliatory and powerful.

    Thanks also to Bevin for the dispensing of a short history lesson, Caudillo was a ruthless bully.
    New surveillance powers will be used to perpetuate the powers to be and status quo, but now the have’s are demanding our taxes, not just our Kowtowing, diminished rights, diminished liberties and diminished environments, to feed their unsustainable greed for more control and power over the resources of this planet.

    Unless we stop paying for this gargantuan shower of self serving careerists nothing will stop them trying to get one over on us.

  • Clark

    Mary 1:34 pm; what we feared has started, then. All “of Muslim character”, I should guess.

    Anon 1:49 pm; no laughing matter. Hardening of attitudes on any “side” is exactly what we don’t want.

    Phil 1:58 pm; excellent report; thanks.

    Robert, sorry, I was eating…

  • Anon


    Might the lack of affordable housing in London have something to do with the massive and unprecedented influx of immigrants to the city, so much so that an incredible 60% of children born there now are to foreign parents? Did this theme come up at the protest march?

  • Anon


    The incident itself wasn’t so funny as the fact it was Cathy Newman who was shown the door. Cathy Newman who never fails to extol the virtues of multiculturalism.

  • craig Post author

    Dreoilin and Mary are both commenters here for many years, and are both very welcome indeed. I regret the dislike that seems to have grown up between them; I cant remember how it started.

    There is no hierarchy among commenters; nor is agreeing with me a particular proof of virtue. I do wish comments would address the topic of the thread and not impute the motives of others.

  • Clark

    Robert, you’ve only just encountered the world of free software, so relax and take your time; you don’t need to know it all at once. I can’t really advise about specific plugins; I’d have to see what was going on. We descend into messy specifics here, but I will continue to help via e-mail, if you wish.

    I can’t advise much about Windows either; I gave up on it years ago and haven’t really looked back – there’s little need to. My main interest in Windows these days is how to prevent it booting so I can boot a free, GPL-licensed system instead – and even that becomes more difficult with each new wave of machines, which are increasingly locked by the companies against the users.

    To get an overview of the importance of this matter, a short story – fictional, but check the factual notes at the end. This is by Richard Stallman, “the last true hacker”, author of the GPL and founder of the Free Software Foundation:

  • Pete

    Anon: Have you a source for that very implausible statistic? I have studied the precise number of primary school kids in each London borough, by ethnic origin, and it’s not at all compatible with your figure of 60% born to foereign parents. Most non-white Londoners are British born, so if your 60% figure were true there’d be scarcely any white English kids being born there at all. Did you just make that figure up?

    As regards house prices, I doubt that immigrants on minimum wage are the reason why a modest flat in many parts of London costs 1 or 2 million quid. Real reasons are

    a) The grotesque imbalance of the British economy, where prosperity is massively concentrated in the “financial sector” which is based in London.

    b) Planning laws stymie housing development in many areas, I dunno if that applies in London

    c) Vast amounts of affordable rented property (council houses) were sold off and are now largely in the hands of private landlords and speculators.

  • Anon

    “The balcony will be great once it gets a bit warmer.”

    You’ll be lucky, Craig. You get about two days of sunshine up there and then it’s back to winter. You’ll rue the day you left the Kent Riviera.

  • Clark

    Robert, thanks for informing me; I’ve never encountered that problem before. The address definitely works; I receive at it all the time. I’ll make another one and publish it, but I’ll be a while doing that.

  • Anon

    “c) Vast amounts of affordable rented property (council houses) were sold off and are now largely in the hands of private landlords and speculators.”

    Nothing wrong with that. The market would ensure the property was affordable were it not for housing benefit distorting it.

  • Phil

    “Might the lack of affordable housing in London have something to do with the massive and unprecedented influx of immigrants to the city”

    No. Development in London is prestige high end stuff way, way beyond even those workers on half decent wages. Let alone your average immigrant. Property is purchased by the international rich flocking to London because of the tax breaks afforded them and the effort from the government to inflate prices up and up. These investments remain largely unoccupied as workers are made homeless.

    “Did this theme come up at the protest march?”
    I didn’t see, and I can’t imagine there was, a murmur of such opinion from anyone there yesterday. It was made up of all sorts. People who are actually experiencing the unprecedented social segregation. I know everyone, everywhere is struggling but I don’t think people outside of London quite appreciate what is going on here. The skyline is dominated by the building of glass towers for the rich.

    BTW immigration is far from unprecedented. We’ve been welcoming people for yonks.

  • Anon

    “b) Planning laws stymie housing development in many areas, I dunno if that applies in London”

    So just build all over Southern England to house the incomers, while the native population remains almost stagnant? That sounds like ‘Green’ Party policy!

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