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.


463 thoughts on “Today’s Independence Rally

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  • nevermind

    Thanks for the atmospheric, report from the march, Phil, I watched a podcast yesterday and tried to spot you, but in vain. A friend of mine from Hackney took part, he’s about to be turfed out of some ‘prestigious'(ex council flats I believe) block to be developed.

    London does not belong to anyone,afaik, maybe those who live there have a pretty good claim, not just the penthouse owning oligarchs and masses of tax avoiders, but also those who lived there for generations, its workers, the self employed, servants and civil servants, teachers, its a cosmopolitan City, just in case you have not noticed during your frequent absence from this country, anon.
    When two wage earners cannot earn enough and have to apply for benefits to live and then are told that their homes are to be developed and they have to go live in Birmingham or Manchester, then something has gone seriously wrong.
    Maybe developers over a certain size should all pay a ‘sustainable flood tax’, for when the next barrier is build to buy time from flooding large parts of the inner City of London and beyond, a sum of 30% of the expected gains they are to make on their development should be about right, that would stop some of these greed merchants in their tracks.

    You fail to appear charming in what you say,anon, the right wing platitudes and undertones are always blanketing it out. Name one time when Londonium was not inhabited by ‘furinners’.

    Did you know that the British sugar industry was started by German labour? Right in the heart of the City of London corporation, nobody else could be found to boil the sugar in such apocalyptic surrounds, Its was said that you could find an irish man to send up four ladders and clad your roof, but not one who would work in the excessive heat of a sugar factory.

    Surely your history lessons told you about the differing ages of immigration to London, as well as emigration to the colonies from its shores, anon, why do you always make out you’re dafter than you sound?

  • Anon

    Phil

    “Property is purchased by the international rich flocking to London”

    And of course they far outnumber the millions of immigrants needing housing, healthcare, education etc. I find it astounding the contortions your average lefty will go through to avoid witnessing the enormous great mammoth in the room.

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    “Comparisons are indeed odious and so I shall refrain from pointing out that in his time the Caudillo used to pull in crowds just as big…..”
    Your hero used every sort of inducement from massacres to prison sentences to ensure that people turned up for his talks.
    Podemos, true to the principles of Franco’s enemies, neither pays for attendance nor shoots or jails its opponents.

    I think the official blog troll means that anyone inspiring massive public support is inherently evil. Thanks for quoting it, btw. Sometimes its misperceptions need to be corrected, for its own good.

    Here La Gaceta tactfully avoids the F-word (some of its supporters still remembering the old tyrant with affection*), preferring to make a comparison with Mussolini – complete with scary photoshop…

    http://www.gaceta.es/noticias/pablo-iglesias-caricatura-mussolini-30012015-1140

    Well, it would, wouldn’t it?

    http://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Gaceta_%28Espa%C3%B1a%29

    *La Gaceta is part of Julio Ariza Irigoyen’s Grupo Intereconomica, the mouthpiece ofthe centre-right
    People’s Party. Which was originally founded by one of Franco’s ministers. So people in glass houses, etc…

  • Anon

    Phil and Nevermind

    Your default fallback that “foreigners have been coming here for thousands of years” hardly stands up when you consider that many millions of people have been allowed to settle here in the space of a few short decades, totally unprecedented.

  • Clark

    Robert, e-mail me on my first name dot last name at gmail dot com. I’ll send back from the address I publish and we’ll see if they’ll let you reply to that address!

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    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.

    Anon evidently hasn’t made the connection between property prices and property availability, which you so kindly highlighted for him, Phil.
    I’ll just repeat what you said, to give him another chance.

    And emphasise that expenditure on affordable housing, whether for natives or immigrants, in London, is viryua;lly nil, while Boris cannot apparently get enough of prestige Arab and Russian development.

  • Anon

    Nevermind

    “You fail to appear charming in what you say,anon”

    Ooooo soreee!! I find it a bit charmless, not to say distasteful, when a German belittles the Holocaust, but never mind.

  • Phil

    Anon

    And I find it astounding the contortions of predictable rightists to forgive the life sucking accumulation of wealth by the rich whilst attacking easy targets who pay taxes that support healthcare, education etc.

  • Anon

    Komodo

    I recall many moons ago in a debate you had with Technicolour that you weren’t entirely keen on unlimited mass-immigration yourself, precisely for some of the reasons I am advancing regarding the strain it places on infrastructure, housing and resources. Was it me making those arguments that caused you to change your mind?

  • Pete

    Anon: THanks for the link to the relevant statistics. Certainly there’s been an unprecedented surge of immigration in the past ten years or so, especially in London which BTW is another world to the rest of the UK. Note however that the 60% includes kids with one foreign and one British-born parent.

    As regards planning laws, there are certainly a big problem outside of London, especially in Cornwall where I live. Middle class nimbies moving down from up-country push of house prices beyond the reach of low paid locals, then make every effort to oppose new house building, thus prices stay high. For any other item, supply would increase in line with demand, and prices would thus stabilise.

    I think you’re correct that people on the Left ignore the problems of very rapid social/cultural change through immigration. But equally, people on the Right ignore the economic drivers behind such immigration. For example, when I started my first job as a nursing auxiliary (Health Care Assistant) in Croydon in 1975 about 90% of my colleagues at that level were non-white, likewise most of the qualified nurses. It was Enoch Powell’s idea to recruit so heavily from overseas, when he was Minister for Health, because English people would not work for the very low wages his government was prepared to offer.

  • Anon

    Phil

    I’m not “attacking” immigrants. I would do the same in their situation The blame lies with successive Labour and Conservative administrations who allowed such vast numbers to come into this country. Those who have come of course belong here but you cannot seriously argue for more housing without expressing opposition to continued mass-immigration.

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    I recall many moons ago in a debate you had with Technicolour that you weren’t entirely keen on unlimited mass-immigration yourself….snark….

    I remain not entirely keen. That wasn’t the point of my last post. Whether I’m keen or not, and given that we do have mass immigration, the failure to provide adequate housing at affordable prices is endemic to London, and absolutely shameful.

  • Pete

    Anon, furthermore those “millions of immigrants needing housing, healthcare, education” are also PROVIDING housing healthcare and education, by working in the building trade, NHS, and schools.

    What makes these discussions so tediously unfruitful is that the Right and Left are equally evasive on these issues- the room is full of various elephants, each of which can only be seen by half the people there.

  • nevermind

    Three cheers to those who braved the weather in front of Holyrod, it seems that the talk of coalition with labour has already resulted in some self inflicted foot injuries within the ranks of the SNP talking as such.

    What if Labour, given the prospect of a Faslane removal from North to south, useless costs with which I would never agree, decides to remove the fag paper between the Tory’s and themselves and run a Grand coalition, jobs for some of the boys sort of Government, snubbing all those new MP’s and their urges, in which case the SNP would fail to remove Faslane?

    Faslane should not be moved at great empty costs to us all, but abolished altogether, only such option would provide society with more opportunity and a future without being a prime target.

    Same goes for Menwith Hill and Fylingdale, already in use for cyberwar activities, I’m sure. These are all priority one targets and god help his own county.
    So the sooner we get rid of these NATO cold war relics and tell the NSA to go screw itself, the better.

  • Clark

    Anon, what if immigration is being encouraged because it creates housing scarcity thus pushing property values and rents up? Gotta hang on to that AA credit rating somehow despite having little manufacturing base.

    If this is so, the right are unlikely to change it, aren’t they? No matter what they may be saying before the election.

  • Anon

    Komodo

    There wouldn’t be a need for mass affordable housing developments if it weren’t for mass-immigration. Whole boroughs of London are now virtually entirely foreign in character and you’re pretending this is all caused by some rich Arabs and Russians. Seriously.

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    Good point, Clark. Needed making. Every aspect of existence is now monetised for the benefit of The Markets, and no measure is accepted without Their approval. Entirely credible.

  • Anon

    Sorry but I’ve now got about five people replying to me. I’m going for a walk before the sun goes down… will catch up later.

  • Phil

    Pete
    “As regards planning laws, there are certainly a big problem outside of London, especially in Cornwall where I live.”

    Fair enough. I didn’t mean to diminish housing problems outside of London.

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    There wouldn’t be a need for mass affordable housing developments if it weren’t for mass-immigration.

    I’m not disputing it. Of course supply lagging well behind demand leads to price inflation; evidence, if it were needed, that market-rigging, not classical economics, is responsible for the present, sustained, situation.

    Perhaps we might revisit Thatcher’s and her successors’ enthusiasm for converting council houses from an essential commodity into a profitable Marketised investment? I’d love to see how many former council houses are now the property of finance houses or overseas landlords, but these figures are oddly elusive. I do have the distinct impression that most of the houses bought by their tenants then have moved far above affordable prices for the low-income tenants they formerly housed, though. This was so predictable, even at the time, that it could only have been intentional.

    But let us discuss the situation as it is, not as it might have been.

  • Anon

    Sod the walk.

    “But let us discuss the situation as it is, not as it might have been.”

    Yes, of course. There is obviously a massive need for affordable housing right now, but will the left be protesting further mass-immigration into this country? Will they fuck.

    Clark

    If that is the case then why do you support it?

  • Resident Dissident

    “Great speech from Tommy Sheridan.”

    A friend from your Labour Party entrist days?

  • Phil

    Anon
    There wouldn’t be a need for mass affordable housing developments if it weren’t for mass-immigration.

    I’m disputing that. It is, what we call round our place, complete bollocks. There are plenty of “indigenous” people living in social housing. I’m one of them.

  • Anon

    And? Do you deny that mass-immigration requires a massive increase in housing? Where do you think they all live, Phil? Where do their children live?

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    A couple of unwelcome thoughts, no doubt –

    1. “Clan Alba” returns no informative hits on Google. Until it does, and is represented on the other major social-networking sites, superficial rubbish though they are, there is little point in holding rallies.

    2. I’m no PR guru, thank God, but “Clan Alba” has resonances which suggest a folkie, Hielan-only, vaguely undesirable (and see “Siol nan Gaidheal”) clique rather than the unified cause you actually support. Or should be doing.

  • Anon

    Phil, all I’m asking you to do is admit the simple fact that millions of immigrants require millions more houses. I just want you to admit that one simple fact. You can go on all you like about the rich and the Tory bastards and the cuts and the austerity and the Fatch, but just give over on that one important point will you?

  • Ba'al Zevul (no soy la casta)

    but will the left be protesting further mass-immigration into this country? Will they fuck.

    Again, not the point. Especially as it is the right – all but the far-right – which has been the practical and conscious agent of the immigration. I include Blair in the right, because that is where he manifestly is.

    Obviously, your chums in UKIP* – whoring for anyone with a grudge in order to get votes – will disagree. And so must you. In this connection, some thought-out policies which do not involve mass deportation would be welcome.

    *Who owe their very existence to mass immigration, btw

  • glenn

    Isn’t the problem of “affordable housing” something to do with the fact that rents are kept artificially high, by the vast transfer of money to private landlords from the generous taxpayer? People don’t get an affordable wage – the standard wage (i.e. the minimum that an employee can legally get away with) is insufficient to live on. So the taxpayer makes up the difference.

    Likewise, rents are too high for most families to afford, particularly in places like London. Again, the taxpayer has to make up the difference. If rents were only charged at what people could actually afford, rent would have to come down a lot. Otherwise, there would be hundreds of thousands of properties standing empty just in London alone.

    This is ideal for private landlords and corporations, who no longer have to worry about meeting what the market demands. Poor people can be underpaid and over-charged, the taxpayer will meet that gap. The very rich hardly pay tax anyway, particularly as a percentage.

    It’s a nice little scheme with which both red Tories and blue Tories (as CM rightly labels them) have been scamming us for decades, doing what they see to be their primary job, which is to transfer taxpayer money to the investor class. And then blame the poor for having done so.

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