The Scottish Council Elections Are a Huge Test – Subsequent Attempted Backroom Deals Will Reveal the Black Soul of Scottish Labour 188


Theresa May herself set out to portray the Scottish Council Elections as a test of opinion on a second Independence referendum, and followed that up by an attack on the very principle of devolution and a stark re-assertion of the power of Westminster control. She did so in the – not unreasonable – expectation that the Tories will make gains in Scottish councils from an extremely low base. If the Tories get anything over 22% of votes cast the media will tell us that is a stunning rejection of Independence.

Local councils are important in themselves, but this year’s Council elections will have a much wider significance in giving the SNP momentum to go into the Independence referendum. The SNP will make much greater gains which will at least give the BBC some headache in preparing their “Unionist Triumph” narrative. The Tories will look to advance in Edinburgh. Sadly Ruth Davidson is my constituency MSP, but fortunately my councillor is Alasdair Rankin, Edinburgh City Council’s Finance Convener. This year is the fortieth anniversary of my meeting Alasdair who very quickly became and remains one of my, and my family’s, closest friends. So it will be an unusual pleasure for me to get out and knock on some doors for him.

Scottish elections are conducted under the excellent STV system, which I advocate for all elections. I want to make an extremely important point to all Independence supporters. Unlike the De Hondt system used for Holyrood, under STV it is impossible to damage the chances of the SNP – or your other Independence supporting party of choice – by using all your lower preference numbers for other Independence supporting candidates, and it is essential that you do. James Kelly explains it here.

The Holyrood De Hondt system is so terrible that it is perfectly possible for intelligent people of goodwill to disagree severely over whether voting just for one party or for two will help the Independence cause, and the answer is far from plain even after the vote. I respectfully differ from James Kelly and Stuart Campbell on the question. But none of these problems arise with STV. This is so important I am going to say it again, in super-shouty

IN THE SCOTTISH COUNCIL ELECTIONS IT IS MATHEMATICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO HURT YOUR FIRST CHOICE PARTY BY USING ALL YOUR LOWER PREFERENCES FOR OTHER PRO-INDY CANDIDATES.

So if you have three SNP candidates on your list make them preferences 1, 2, 3, but then be certain to carry on 4, 5, 6 each for other pro-Indy candidates. Or the same principle with your other preferred pro-indy party first.

I have now meandered to the point of this post. In council by-elections every week, we are seeing the unionist party voters transfer their lower preferences to each other. Tory voters are perfectly happy to transfer and support Labour, and Labour voters are perfectly happy to transfer to Tory. This is the most important fact in modern Scottish politics. It is not just the Blairite leadership, it is the dwindling rump of Labour voters who are Red Tories – or probably more accurately Orange Lodgers. Peeling off the remaining decent left wing Labour voters from their Neanderthal colleagues is probably the simpler of the SNP’s electoral challenges.

There is another factor which I do not expect to come into play in time for the Council elections. The Tory triumphalism masks a deep split. Scottish Conservatives have a Fox/Forsyth/Fallon hardline nutter tendency. But they also have a core of traditionalist supporters who are urbane, liberal and strongly pro-EU. May is still in her honeymoon period – if you remember even Gordon Brown had one of those for quite a while – but quite a few of the Tory inhabitants of the leafier parts of Edinburgh feel disquiet at her harsh Brexiteer nationalism and dismissal of devolution.

We only have to check the Tory bandwagon slightly to encourage dissent among those pulling it.

But the key test for Scottish politics will come after the votes have been cast, when the new councillors start meeting in the backrooms of council chambers up and down the country. In effect, the SNP is likely to be the largest group very widely indeed. If SNP supporters have used their lower preferences well, it is very possible that they will be able in many places to form local coalitions with the Greens and other pro-Indy groups and individuals.

But it is also very likely that we will see on a much wider and larger scale, something which has been already seen from time to time in places like Dundee and Stirling. Labour and the Tories will form coalitions together to keep the SNP out.

The truth is that Scotland already has a two party system – the SNP and the Unionists. In Holyrood, in Council Chambers and in council by-election vote transfers, the Unionists act as one party. The backroom deals of Scottish councils after the May elections will define Scottish politics. For a classic example of a failure to stop digging when you are in a massive hole, and a brazen declaration of pro-Tory sentiment, I give you Scottish Labour’s Doug Hothersall on their Labour Hame website:

Labour is not a unionist party. But in stark constitutional times, our commitment to solidarity and wealth redistribution means we are right to be firmly a pro-UK party. We should be proud of that stance and those principles. We should not indulge in back-slapping and posturing about never working alongside others who are firmly pro the UK.
If there is a second independence referendum, I will share a platform with any mainstream party which is prepared to work together to fight against nationalism. Our party should grow up and make the same pledge.

In Hothersall’s case, it is not a failure to realise that he is supporting a deeply unpleasant British nationalism. it is that he knowingly supports that British nationalism. That makes him a typical example of the rump Scottish Labour supporter. The evidence from local election transfers if that the remaining Labour voters mostly agree with him. But they are thankfully a small and shrinking group of dull bigots. Also do not forget the corruption, graft and jobs network that Scottish Labour has been. Prising them out of council chambers will be a death blow to that already shrivelled demon of Labour patronage.

I know I should tell you that local elections are important because of schools, pavements and all that important everyday stuff. That is a truism. But I am not into politics because of a deep interest in having sewerage systems and traffic lights properly managed. I want to see a free Scotland that can no longer be forced against its will to participate in illegal wars. I am hugely looking forward to campaigning in the impending Independence Referendum, but do not overlook the importance of the council elections. They are a vital step along the way.


188 thoughts on “The Scottish Council Elections Are a Huge Test – Subsequent Attempted Backroom Deals Will Reveal the Black Soul of Scottish Labour

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  • RobG

    You want Scottish independence (which I as an Englishman support) but you want it to be under the banner of the EU, which is a Washington controlled project.

    You seem to want a Scottish ‘independent state’ that is still a vassal of Washington?

    It’s all very confusing, unless… (but I won’t go there)

    • Douglas

      The European project is our best hope of avoiding being a vassal of Washington.

      I think there is a good chance of the EU rediscovering it’s principles of solidarity and regaining it’s ‘Mojo’ once it stops having to do backflips to accommodate the sulky toddler -the UK.

      Even better chance if there is an enthusiastic Indy Scotland joining in.

      • RobG

        You don’t seem to have noticed the Biblical waves of refugees that flooded into Europe in 2015.

        This came about as a direct result of the American bombing of Syria, which started in September 2014.

        Isn’t it fun, such is the disconnect.

        Welcome to the lunatic asylum.

        • lysias

          I increasingly suspect those refugee flows were one of the things Washington intended in supporting rebels in Syria. It would destabilize and weaken Europe.

          • bevin

            …destabilise, weaken and lead to calls for a quick and violent intervention to end the crisis. It was a case of ‘if you want to end the flow of refugees, get off the fence and help us get rid of Assad. Until you do, look out for your borders.”
            It really is hard to muster up any sympathy for the closing of Hillary’s blood soaked career-even though she is a woman and would have been the first…etc etc

          • J

            Bevin, I agree.

            Only pseudo feminists made it a feminist argument in favour of Clinton. It was a class divide pure and simple “poor women over there be fucked, rich women over here unite.”

            The cost to women of the Obama years has been extraordinary, but only to those women with absolutely no voice. If you’re a columnist for the Huffpo, your voice matters. If you’re in a Yemeni village or you were a university lecturer in Libya, tough. Or for that matter If you’re an Indian woman near Standing Rock, tough. Those pipelines and their routes were authorised under Obama and will be finished under Agent Orange. Make no mistake, it’s business as usual.

          • Bhante

            In November 2015 I was talking to an acquaintance in Brussels whose wife is Syrian and regularly follows Syrian and Turkish news media. What was interesting was that the events in Europe with respect to ISIS terrorist attacks and vast refugee flows were predicted fully a year in advance by the media in Turkey, which were reporting on ISIS plans. That is, ISIS were explicitly threatening to unleash a flood of refugees as a weapon to disrupt Europe. Turkey/ISIS have the means to turn the flood on or off like a tap.

            When you consider that ISIS is a US construct, this is it complete agreement with Lysias’ post.

    • Zed

      “You want Scottish independence (which I as an Englishman support) but you want it to be under the banner of the EU, which is a Washington controlled project.

      You seem to want a Scottish ‘independent state’ that is still a vassal of Washington?

      It’s all very confusing, unless”

      Now let me guess…unless a certain Scot goes running to Trump begging him for a job….

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4282190/Tony-Blair-s-secret-White-House-summit-work-Trump.html

    • Rodric Selbie

      This whole idea of swapping rule by Westminster for rule by Brussels is bizarre. Scotland is already in the EU by virtue of being part of the UK. It’s not as if it would be a new experience.

      There is a major difference between Brussels and Westminster.

      Apart from the FACT the EU doesn’t drag Scotland into illegal wars, the EU doesn’t impose deep austerity on Scotland, the EU doesn’t sanction the most vulnerable in our society, the EU doesn’t pay our pensioners the second-lowest social security amount in the developed world, the EU doesn’t use Scotland as a lab-rat for new taxes, the EU doesn’t dump nuclear waste in Scotland’s waters, the EU didn’t annex Scottish waters to undermine the strength of the Scottish economy, the EU didn’t negotiate Scotland to the very bottom of the fisheries and farming table, the EU doesn’t control the pocket money earmarked for Scotland? (CAP), the EU doesn’t regulate our broadcasters leaving Scotland the only Country in the world without a broadcasting service, the EU doesn’t say “you are not allowed a referendum” Westminster causes those problems.

      Apart from the FACT the EU doesn’t control “Income tax”, VAT, National Insurance Contributions, North Sea oil and gas revenue (geographical share), Corporation tax, Fuel duties, Capital gains tax, Inheritance tax, Tobacco duties, Interest and dividends, Alcohol duties, Other taxes and royalties, Vehicle excise duty, Rent and other current transfers, Export Duties, Other taxes on income and wealth, Insurance premium tax, Betting and gaming duties, Climate change levy, Aggregates levy and “Air passenger duty”. Westminster controls them.

      The EU can’t close our Parliament Westminster can.

      It wasn’t the EU that privatised British Gas, British Telecom, British Rail, Royal Mail, Water Industry, England’s NHS or Police Force.

      It wasn’t the EU that sold off the Power Stations, British Steel or the Gold Reserves.

      It wasn’t the EU that shut down the Coal Industry or smashed the Trade Unions.

      It wasn’t the EU that depleted Social Housing Stocks or introduced Tuition Fees for England.

      Here’s the BIGGIE if it wasn’t for the European Union Scotland wouldn’t have a Parliament. Westminster was dead against and the government (Tony Blair) was forced to offer us a vote, even though they fiddled the first vote eventually we got our wish and because we have a Parliament we get Free NHS, the best in the UK, Free Elderly Health Care, Free Further Education, Free Concessionary Bus Travel, Free Bridge Tolls, Frozen Council Tax, Historic Poll Tax debts written off, Free Prescriptions, Free children’s school meals until they are eight, and Free Child Care. Don’t forget no BEDROOM TAX either. Independence would be a distant dream also.

      If Scotland wants to leave the EU that needs to be a decision taken by the sovereign Scottish people on the basis of a referendum organised and run by their own parliament. Scotland’s exit from the EU needs to be negotiated by the Scottish government of the day, not by a bunch of right-wing Tories for whom we are little more than a troublesome northern province, and certainly not by a man who once quipped that a pound spent in Croydon was worth much more than a pound spent in Scotland.

    • Alan Gordon

      I would agree as it was originally (EU) setup it was a Washington project. Most of that came to an end when Nixon was aided in making a financial removal from the EU by the actions of the Brits and the French. I think this was 1973. Further separation has happened since, Gorbachev perestroika, German unification, French and UN resolution, Iraq and just lately US security sees the EU as a separate block.
      So what you say only holds for the past, not now.

    • Iain Halder

      For &@?#! sake at least try and grow a pair. Do some research on the differences between the UK and the EU or even the EFTA before posting gutless pish.

    • Ian Foulds

      Mr RobG May I suggest we take one step at a time?

      1 Remove Westminster

      2 Assess benefits and disadvantages of EU during our re-establishment as an Independent state, whilst in the EU.

      3 Determine if there is a need to withdraw from Europe and align, possibly, with similar sized states in the region.

      Needless to say that due to my advancing years, I may not see step 3 being realised if it is ever deemed required by the Scottish people.

  • nevermind

    anything unsustainable is just that, more of the same old same same……yawn

  • MBC

    In my constituency of Edinburgh South/Southern, the Remain vote was 78%. I’m told that in parts of Morningside it was 90%. Theresa May is in for a shock. If Edinburgh No voters voted Tory in 2015 it was to get back at the SNP for being ‘separatists’. But now the Tories are the ‘separatists’. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Unionist Remain vote flocks to the Lib Dems in many parts of middle class Unionist Scotland including Edinburgh South as Tim Farron is about the only UK force standing up for Remainers. Ian Murray wisely defied the Labour Party whip over Brexit.

    We have just seen the Unionist vote be challenged in Northern Ireland. Gerry Adams claims it on on account of Brexit.

    • craig Post author

      I agree essentially. Except I fear the pathetic Farron can hardly be described as a “force”, If a Charlie Kennedy were today leading the Lib Dems as the only substantial pro-EU party in England and Wales, they would have massive support.

      • J

        Absent their recent history even a scary clown leading the Lib Dems would have massive support. As it is, if the Lib Downs were clowns, they’re so inept the wheels would probably stay on the car.

      • Zed

        the pathetic Farron can hardly be described as a “force”,

        Hardly more of a “force” than the SNP, eh? A brain-dead idiot leading the brain-dead party kinda thing, eh?

      • giyane

        So get out your yellow waistcoat and put a blue cross on it. Mrs May has put a blue cross on her blue waistcoat but the Thing that was Liberal is well and truly dead, as dead as a sporren with 1p and an old bus ticket inside it. It’s a brand that’s totally up for grabs. I have to come to Scotland soon to visit family and I’m really looking forward to it.

      • nevermind

        Agreed with proviso, would Charles Kennedy have supported the referendum on Europe by abstaining from the decision their coalition partner took, or would he have rather fought another GE to prevent it and left the coalition?

        The Lib Dems today claim that they were against a referendum, but this does not detract from their feeble response, but memories are short in this country and politics moves on cheats or no cheats.

  • Conrad Hughes

    If I may suggest a minor adjustment to your recommendation: even though it’s distasteful, voters should vote for unionists too (at the end of the ballot of course).

    Put a number beside everyone.

    The point of STV is that it tries to guarantee that your vote gets used, and used *completely*. Even after the candidate you most wanted to get in gets in, if there were more people voting for that candidate than were needed to get them over the line, STV will push the “spare” votes on to try to elect somebody else. And the more candidates that you give a preference to on your ballot, the longer your vote will be in play: look at Belfast South — 14 candidates and it went on for 9 rounds. If you didn’t express all your preferences, some of your vote would have been wasted. So put a number beside *everyone*. Including the people you like least — put them at the bottom. That expression of dislike will be accommodated by this system, and it may mean you stop a Tory from getting elected (if that’s your inclination, of course!).

  • Dave

    The No and Remain votes were both rejections of independence, even if independence had been on offer, because neither devolution in UK or EU is independence. And arguing for another referendum on the basis of the Remain vote is ambitious considering the No vote was higher than the Remain vote.

    • Davy

      Dave – you’ve got this wrong. The Remain vote was over 60% however the No vote was reported as 55% (though many regard it as rigged). The Remain vote was higher than the No vote. Basic arithmetic.

      • Dave

        Often using percentages rather than figures is misleading. I read that actual votes cast for No were higher than for Remain. I.e. actual voters rather than percentages in different elections.

        • fred

          People voting No 2,001,966
          Voting Remain 1,661,191
          Constituency votes for SNP at Holyrood elections 1,059,897

        • SF

          Even the figures are misleading because the franchise was different. EU nationals and 16-17 year olds voted in the 2014 referendum, which probably made more difference than the change in personnel on the electoral roll which inevitably occurred by 2016.

  • michael norton

    REVEALED: SCOTTISH VOTERS say NO to a second independence referendum in shocking poll
    NICOLA STURGEON has suffered a MASSIVE blow as a new poll reveals an overwhelming two to one majority of Scots do not want another independence referendum before 2019.

  • fred

    I do care about sewage and pavements, roads free from potholes gritted in winter, dustbins emptied on a regular basis I care about education and social activities for our children and care for our elderly and infirm.

    If you care about these things too then vote anyone but SNP, they only care about one thing their Indiref2 and after they lose that all they will care about is their Indiref3 and then Indiref4.

    We had the referendum, time to move on.

    • Harry Vimes

      The problem with making these claims about caring for and about these issues is they, the claims, lack any credibility whatsoever without at the very least some concrete, practical and credible outline for how they are going to be maintained and protected in the circumstances -ie the actual reality – which exists.

      The contextual background for Scotland has been provided by the Supreme Court which has ruled that the Sewell Commission does not in any practical sense have any legal effect and this situation can be summed up in the single sentence of A power devolved is a power retained. A further reminder of that reality can be found in the fact that every single amendment to the Scottish Act proposed by Scottish MP’S was voted (vetoed) by the Westminster Parliament. – something which cannot happen with EU membership. Westminster can do exactly whatever it wants with social security; with tax powers; the age the state pension is paid and the level of payment. It controls the purse strings and finances which ultimately determine how often the bins get emptied, or nor, and whether any elected body below it at any level anywhere can afford to deal with the pot holes in the road. It can bargain Scottish fishing and other rights away in Brexit negotiations at its own fancy. It can unilaterally drag the other sovereign nation to the treaty of Union into a war and station weapons of mass destruction on the territory of that nation without a by your leave to the wishes of the people of that nation.

      To all practical intents and purposes the people of Scotland have no power whatsoever to prevent the destruction of everything you, Fred, claim to be concerned about.

      Consequently, until you can offer a realistic practical alternative to protect and maintain those things you claim to care about your post is merely empty meaningless words and rhetoric with absolutely zero substance.

  • fred

    “I want to see a free Scotland that can no longer be forced against its will to participate in illegal wars.”

    Ah yes, those nasty Englishmen Tony Blair, George Brown and Ian Duncan Smith forcing Scotland to invade Iraq against their will.

    • Harry Vimes

      Once again, Fred, meaningless rhetoric with no substance.

      Where is the beef? If you are going to take a position on something at least have the gumption to get off your arse and come up with a credible and practical alternative. Any village idiot can come up with a half baked one liner and least with a village idiot nine times out of ten they don’t s rew up the one liner like you just did.

  • Velofello

    Ah, the DeHondt system, hopelessly flawed democratically, useful for also-rans. BBC Scotland’s current favourite pundit, Adam Tomkins soared into Holyrood as the third placed candidate, and with just 13,500 votes behind the first-placed candidate. Similarly Murdo Fraser. And then there is the football referee, forgotten his name, who often cannot attend his committee duties ‘cos he is on football duties.

    Regards whether the 2014 Indyref result was rigged. I simply believe that the Westminster Establishment are incapable of not cheating. What is the latest count, 59 Tory MPs “under investigation” over expenses during the election? And similarly we have a light MSP sprinkling of same here in Scotland.

  • Richard Gadsden

    In Northern Ireland, under the same system of STV, the progressive forces adopted the slogan “Vote Till You Boke” to remind people to use as many preferences as possible.

    Their Assembly went down by 18 members. Unionists has 16 of the 18 losses.

  • Seanair

    What a horrible person you are. Your attack on the FM’s appearance confirms your nastiness.

    • Seanair

      My criticism, which has disappeared, was targeted at Michael Norton. Hope he has disappeared from this blog permanently. Nasty man.

        • glenn_uk

          What do you expect from someone who reads The Express all the time, and actually believes it to be a “good newspaper” ?

          • michael norton

            Glennuk
            I do not read The Express all the time, yesterday I was out cycling and today I’ve been out walking

            Sometimes I go in the library and read scientific magazines.
            Sometimes I go to the theatre.
            Sometimes i visit friends or family.
            Smoetimes I listen to the wireless.
            Sometimes I help people, like mending fences.
            So most of my time is not reading The Express.
            However I do sometimes read The Express.

          • glenn_uk

            You forget to mention that sometimes you berate anyone you suspect of being a foreigner, sometimes you write nasty little hate-pieces online, sometimes you repost mindless drivel you found on a right-wing sewer-site, sometimes you flirt with white supremacist notions, sometimes you deny science as being a “scam”, sometimes you’re racist, sometimes you’re sexist, most often times you’re disgustingly bigoted…

          • Anon1

            Do calm down, Glenn. Or at least learn to recognise your own intolerance of different opinions before you go about calling people “disgustingly bigoted”. Michael has never had a go at you, has he?

            The Express does sometimes get things right, just as the Mail does, and I’m sure your chap who says the world will end in 2026 is occasionally right as well.

          • glenn_uk

            White supremacists have never had a go at me, personally either, Anon1. Does that mean I should cut them some slack? (On the other hand, don’t answer that.)

            I’m quite happy to be intolerant of hate-speech, whereas you will apparently come to the defence of those making it – odd that!

            Incidentally, it would behoove you to explain what, exactly, you find wrong with someone’s work, instead of jeering at and sliming them. That’s if you’re capable of doing so, of course. If not, carry on – the “poisoning the well” logical fallacy is there exactly for people like you – incapable of rational criticism, but dishonest enough to impugn someone or their work anyway with empty, cheap, snide disparagement.

          • michael norton

            glennuk
            be careful of your blood pressure,
            we do not want you blowing a gasket

          • glenn_uk

            Don’t worry about me “blowing a gasket” Michael (and Anon1 for that matter) – I keep myself very fit and train regularly, besides being a strict vegetarian.

            It’s out of shape old racists, those who get that vein throbbing at their temple whenever they see (or think of!) foreigners, dark-skinned types, gays, women, Muslims, liberals, intellectuals – anyone not like them basically – who need to worry about that sort of thing.

  • Sharp Ears

    Attention all racists. Maajid Nawaz is about to have Hannah Stuart of the HJS on his LBC radio show. He is dramatizing their new report which was launched by ACC Mark Rowley of the Metropolitan Police i/c special operations, ie anti-terrorism, and linking into Theresa May’s Prevent strategy.

    ‘A tenth of all Britain’s Islamist terrorists come from just five council wards in Birmingham, according to the most comprehensive study of terror convictions in the UK.

    The disclosure that such highly segregated, heavily Muslim and deprived neighbourhoods have such high numbers of convictions will raise new concerns about integration and cohesion.

    The 1,000-page study, obtained by The Sunday Times, says terror convictions have doubled in the past five years. The proportion of offenders who are “clean skins” — previously’ …paywall

    http://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/revealed-terror-map-of-uk-rdzmm8523

    https://twitter.com/HJS_Org/status/838355757582155777

    Whipping it up Maajid!

  • lysias

    This weekend’s Financial Times has an editorial on how May’s intransigent treatment of Scotland may end up provoking secession.

  • Republicofscotland

    It will not come as surprise to many, that Labour and the Tories, will unite again as they did under one banner to thwart the indy vote in 2014.

    However this time it will be Labour and Tory councillors uniting to try and keep the SNP from controlling councils. Where a Labour or Tory candidate appears to be doing well, both parties will throw their weight behind that person by voting for them.

    It has become inherent now of Labour not to oppose the Tories, but rather to help them, such is their hatred of the SNP, and a independent Scotland.

    The jewel in the crown for the SNP, regarding the council elections is the city of Glasgow, which Labour have held for decades. One of the things I find exciting (if the SNP take Glasgow) is the promise to reinstate a city architect.

    A forward thinking plans muted by the SNP, with Glasgow in mind, would be to introduce Copenhagen styled streets.

  • Velofello

    “forward thinking plans mooted(?) by the SNP”…

    Muted, wishful thinking about Fred?

    • Republicofscotland

      Thank you Velofello for that correction, I think I should add something in the defence of the Tories now for my mistake.

      Margaret Thatcher, was part of a team, that developed Mr Whippy ice-cream, of which I’m rather partial to. ?

        • Alcyone

          All it says is that RoS has a pretty unsophisticated taste for ice-cream, and you could do well to find a better laugh.

          PS Still credit goes to you for the Camuendo video in an earlier thread.

          Wish you a humourous week.

  • wallofcontroversy

    So in December you opined: “Personally I dislike referenda in the extreme, those of us who genuinely are of the common clay know better than to romantically ennoble our peers. I strongly suggest you spend a couple of hours talking with ordinary punters on Ramsgate High Street before you decide they should determine the detail of high policy. I am decidedly with Edmund Burke on this issue.”

    Yet a mere three months on, you are tub-thumping for an indyref rerun, writing: “I am hugely looking forward to campaigning in the impending Independence Referendum, but do not overlook the importance of the council elections.”

    Why the change of heart, I wonder…?

  • Brianfujisan

    It Was a Pleasure, A Few Months ago To Listen to, and Buy some Books from – ‘ the Wee Ginger Dug ‘ …in Gourock.

    ” It’s remarkable that this still needs to be pointed out, but in terms of the control that they can exert over Scotland, the EU is both small and far away whereas the UK is both big and close by. The UK is the cow in the Scottish caravan. It’s on top of us, it takes up most of our space, it dominates everything, it can’t be ignored and the stench of its crap fills the room ” –

    -” https://futurism.com/videos/detailed-map-date-place-universe/

    • fred

      So if Nationalists understand about things far away looking small and things close looking big why do they make such a big fuss about the weather map?

      • Brianfujisan

        I might Make a Fuss.. About being told we are Too Wee, Too Stupid.. Fuck the Weather.

      • Harry Vimes

        Now that really is just being plain bone idle.

        Which Nationalists are we talking about here Fred? The civic and cooperative solidarity type nationalism which has currently coalesced around the SNP or the narrow minded bigoted xenophobic blood and soil British Nationalism which is fronting up for the colonial English Establishment?

        As usual from you, shallow, lazy,cannot be arsed half baked eye candy with no substance. Sad really.

        • fred

          Oh dear, I asked an awkward question so a Nat retard answered it with a barrage of personal abuse.

          Scum.

          • Harry Vimes

            Aw diddums!

            Would that little spitting the dummy out tantrum represent an attempt to provide some coherent and practical substance to protect and maintain the things you pretend to care about fred?

            We cannot be far away from another sub – intelligent “Fuck and die retard” gem which is always your default response to anything your psyche cannot handle. It must be tough to be your age and still at kindergarten level.

          • fred

            Did you have anything constructive to say relevant to the council elections?

            If not fuck off.

          • Harry Vimes

            There’s certainly been a raw nerve touched here when you are projecting your own abject and pathetic failure to provide any constructive and positive substance on this issue onto others.

            Come on then, Fred, where is the beef? Out with it. When Chancellor Hammond of Westminster withdraws a further £60 billion from the economy to make your little prescious (the UK) ‘match fit’ for a Hard Brexit what’s your plan, your alternative for protecting the things you pretend to care about. Like social care, kids education, properly looking after the old, the infirm and disabled? What positive and constructive options can you offer up that will protect the NHS, continue bin collections, ensure the pot holes in the road are dealt with, and all the other things will go belly up when Madam Mayhem follows through on the negotiating threat turn all the nation’s of these islands into low cost version of a tax haven and dismantle every civilised and social provision made in over a hundred years or more?

            Because all you have offered up so far can be summed up in a single sentence which reads ‘we will survive on eating bunting and our own bile.’ You offer nothing. No alternative. No options. No hope. You just sit there in the corner stewing in your own incompetence spewing meaningless bile at any suggestion that things can or should be different.

            You want to see a total lack of anything constructive and positive on this or any other issue? Go look in a mirror.

          • fred

            My plan is to vote for the candidate I think will fight for things like health and education not one which only cares about independence and will let themselves be ruled by Edinburgh.

            I know things like health and education don’t matter much to you now but when you grow up you will realise I was right.

          • Harry Vimes

            That’s an even sadder response given that even if the candidate you vote for gets elected that candidate and those who voted for them will have absolutely zero clout or power to stop cuts being forced on Scotland, the same way they have been forced here in England, which will continue the privatisation of health care which began with the 2012 Health and Social Care Act in England throughout Scotland when a Hard Brexit is forced onto you. A privatisation which has seen group GP practices in whole areas starved of the necessary funds, assessed as not performing (quelle suprise) and handed over wholesale to private corporate entities like Virgin who end up in embarrassing cases in which a practice fails to open its doors to patients queuing up for appointments and, treatment and referrals one morning because someone has saved money by neglecting to pay the utility bills and there is no power or comms.

            Or patient records constantly getting lost because responsibility has been handed to a private company which loses everything in a black hole in Preston.

            And let’s not frighten the natives with real life tales of failing academy schools and their competitors, Urban Technology Colleges for 13-19 year olds, which end up swallowing vast amounts of public money without pupils passing exams and then having to shut down whilst head teachers elsewhere have to enter sponsored runs to raise school funds to cope with the cuts from Westminster just so some corporate egotists employing lobbyists in the self appointed ‘mother of parliaments’ can teach creationism and other nonsense.

            Right now, because you live in Scotland under a devolved Parliament on all the important metrics your health service, your police service, your education services etc are afforded a relatively reasonable level of protection compared to down here in England. As a result, if you bother to read beyond the bullshit headlines of rags like the Mail, Express and the Guardian etc, those services are performing better than down here in England. Our local Constabulary has recently been given a really poor rating – on top of all the other crap it has been bereted for in recent times.

            Right now you don’t know you are born because you don’t have a clue what’s going on with those services and issues you claim matter to you down here in England as a result of a another round of cuts and austerity to cope with a Hard Brexit. Cuts which are coming your way if people like you don’t get your fingers out and start to protect yourselves from what’s coming by ‘taking back control’ of your own decisions etc from a colonial Westminster Establishment still stuck in a feudal mindset.

            Certainly, it won’t help us, not immediately anyway. What it will do is provide a working example of what an alternative represents right next door to us and you can bet what’s left of your pension whilst we’ve still got the triple lock on it ( but not for long) that there will certainly be many skilled, valuable and sensible grown ups down here wanting to contribute to that alternative by taking the advice we are constantly given by the neanderthals here to ‘shut the fuck up and get out of “their” country.’ Because as far as they are concerned there is only room in Greater England for the 17 million who voted for the nonsense that’s coming our way – and that includes your way as well Fred if Scotland does not take the rational and sensible decision to save itself.

            But if that’s what you want for everyone as well as yourself we can do a swap. You come and live down here in this nirvana of a failing Kingdom that’s about to sink faster than the Titanic with the film credits rolling and see how you get on and cope with it. I’ll come with my family and live in an Independent Scotland. If you are so cock sure that what’s on offer from the Westminster feudalism is the better option put your money where your mouth is. But don’t presume to lecture others on matters you clearly don’t have a clue about and don’t give us this guff that you care about the issues you claim to be concerned about when you are clearly not prepared to do what it takes to defend, maintain and protect them from what’s coming because maintaining a failed Union is way more important to you then these issues.

      • Davy

        Fred – a quote just for you and Michael Norton –

        “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt” – Abraham Lincoln

        Advice you’d do well to take to heart.

        • fred

          Oh fuck off. It was a fair question regarding Nationalists in general not being personal about anyone here.

          Don’t Nats know how to debate issues without being insulting?

          You are not going to bully and intimidate me into silence I’ll keep on asking the awkward questions whether you like it or not.

          • Davy

            Fred – most people dislike embarrassing or making a fool of themselves – but you seem to thrive on it. You are always on here making superficial and insulting, or otherwise stupid or offensive remarks. This is supposed to be a forum for considered debate, but your contributions are mostly knee-jerk and offer nothing worthwhile to the discussion. Even the long-suffering Craig has become exasperated with your comments. You just called Harry Vimes a “retard” – very insulting. There’s no need to resort to swearing in your posts. Take a good look in the mirror Fred – before you criticise anyone else for being “insulting”. Are you becoming angry or something? Do you lack maturity? Or is it some sort of personality disorder? Whatever it is, Craig already advised you to seek help – might be good advice.

          • fred

            I don’t insult anyone who doesn’t insult me first.

            Did you have anything constructive to say about the points raised? If not then fuck off.

          • Harry Vimes

            The key question is, fred, do you have anything constructive to say or add?

            You claim to care and be concerned about the protection and maintenance of certain basic civilised requirements and services yet you stand there with your thumb up your bum and your brain in neutral with not a single practical and coherent idea to offer of how to ensure those things you claim to care about can continue against the onslaught of those in Westminster you seem eager to tug your forelock and doff your cap to like a good little Uriah Heep. All you seem capable of is pouring bile on any idea or approach that attempts to tackle what you are either too bloody bone idle or totally incapable of tackling. There is no substance to your posts. No beef. Zilch.

            If you want to die miserably in a ditch to protect those forces who are trampling over what you claim to care and be concerned about that is your problem. Just don’t expect others to be dragged down with you.

          • Harry Vimes

            That was almost funny Fred.

            As Billy Connolly used to say, get yourself an agent rather than sitting there in the dark handling yourself.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I know I should tell you that local elections are important because of schools, pavements and all that important everyday stuff. That is a truism. But I am not into politics because of a deep interest in having sewerage systems and traffic lights properly managed.

    Your best hope of obtaining a flood of SNP councillors is to ensure that the candidates – before and after election – take a deep, DEEP interest in schools, pavements, sewage systems and traffic. I don’t think prioritising a rerun of the referendum is going to play too well with the average council tax payer, somehow.

    Worth a look at this, btw. Interesting 2012 pre-election poll vs actual results, illustrating something wrong with WoS’s methodology?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_local_elections,_2017

    Personally I’d stay clear of predictions, but yes, 22% for the Tories probably would signal some SNP false assumptions.

    • Brianfujisan

      Fred

      Why don’t you just Enjoy Where you live.. Myself and many Scots would Die for a Wee bit of

      • fred

        I do enjoy where I live that’s why I want to see the children have decent schools and a good education, that’s why I want to see the elderly and infirm cared for, that’s why I want councillors who will make that their top priority, that’s why I don’t want to see a Baader-Meinhof reject elected just because people think it will help them get another referendum.

        • Rob Royston

          You want councillors who are anything but SNP, preferably Tories, so that their election can be used by the PM as a lever against a second referendum, just like Craig warns of in his post.
          You post a Daily Mail hate-piece against an SNP candidate based on her past association with groups like Settler Watch. I don’t know much about Settler Watch but I have read recently that it was the Settler vote that swung the 2014 referendum against the vote of Scottish born voters, so this lady may be more insightful than most.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Perhaps if the, er, natives of much of the Highlands had not been in such a hurry to flog the properties their parents left them and push off to make money down south, there wouldn’t be quite so many white settlers*. Who occupy the same place in some patriotic Scots’ esteem as Poles do down here, I see.

            *That’s what they used to be called, but PC now rules!

        • nevermind

          your knowledge of Baader Meinhof is about as much as that of a cows grass chewing habits.
          Are you accusing the SNP of se/electing terror suspects, Fred?

        • Harry Vimes

          Until you come up with a credible and practical alternative which will protect and maintain those things you claim to care about readers have every right to view that statement as pure bullshit designed merely to make a rhetorical debating point.

          Fact is those issues you claim to be close to your heart will be deteriorating further for all parts and people’s of this disunited Kingdom under current arrangements. If you are going to cry tears over this at least provide some substance to demonstrate how this can be achieved under existing circumstances. At present they just come across as crocodile tears.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Well, let’s go back to my point. Do you appoint councillors on the basis of what they can do to improve things locally, now, or because they are offering an emotionally appealing, rather than credible, uncosted, scheme, not worked out in any detail, for a massive upheaval which may or may not provide improvement at some stage in the future? (Please note, I voted for Leave, so I am as irresponsible as anyone on this score. But I wasn’t voting for district councillors.)

            Consider the persistent rump of 8 or 9 Liberal MP’s. Other Liberal seats come and go with the electoral tides, but some always hang on. Not because they are Liberals, often in spite of that. Not because of Liberal’s compromise policies, not because the Liberals are effective in Parliament, and not because of the occasional initiatives the Liberals can sell to the public. No. It is because they are above-average constituency MP’s and are positively engaged with local and everyday problems. This is the key, especially nowadays, to building support for any political philosophy in the long term: if the Liberal Party truly understood this it could start looking at the possibility of power in the country…happily it doesn’t.

            If the SNP wants to effect major change, it needs to build a longterm support base, and it needs to do it at grassroots level. This doesn’t mean marching down Sauchiehall Street waving saltires. It means bloody hard work by its elected representatives, and in the case of district councillors it means a conspicuous, even dedicated focus on such trivia (in your view) as garbage collection, traffic control, schools and the rest.

          • fred

            No Harry, those people who know that after the last local elections the SNP had control of the Highlands but their loyalties were to their leaders in Edinburgh not the people. Those who know the SNP sold us out and wouldn’t fight for heath and education. Those who know that the Liberals and Independents had to form a coalition to get rid of them. Those people will know exactly who is talking bullshit.

            http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/a-very-scottish-coup-as-snp-lose-highland-council-1-3787861

  • Simiain

    Mundell got skewered on BBCQT the other week. Underlying it and not expressed on telly that night, is the May flagship Free Trade deal with New Zealand, which will likely wipe out small independent farmers across Scotland and Wales, especially marginal hill farmers, hence Mundell losing his core base in Langholm.

    We need to keep that trade deal and its implications talked up in the media.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      It may be news to you that we already import a lot of sheep meat from New Zealand:

      http://beefandlambmatters.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/why-uk-imports-lamb-from-new-zealand.html

      As marginal hill farmers minus their subsidies would not be viable, with prices static and costs rising, it’s probably time to look again at that part of the economy anyway. I’d be interested to see figures from the late 60’s, when we were importing even larger quantities of chilled sheep meat from New Zealand: somehow ‘Scotch’ lamb still found a market as a superior product (rightly). And the market for halal meat is buoyant….

      The destruction of small farmers is not restricted to the Celtic heartlands, btw. It’s general in the UK, some are struggling even with subsidy, and due to the same factors: economies of scale, a refusal by retailers -and the public- to pay anything like a fair return, massive profit margins for the retail and logistics corporations, and their murky financiers…looks like globalisation to me.

      • michael norton

        A pair of lamb chops £5
        yet it is reported farmers only “make” £10 per lamb, if they are lucky.
        Who gets the other £100 / lamb?

      • Rob Royston

        Maybe the subsidy is the problem. Large flocks selling cheap and subsidies rolling in no matter what. The middleman knows what the farmer gets in subsidy so he can press the price down.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          There’s certainly something in that. I guess if you presented moorland sheep farming to a business studies 101 class, it would fall about laughing. And simply replacing the subsidy with a fair profit of the same value wouldn’t be enough: the industry would still be marginal. It might be fairer on the consumer, though – if he/she wants lamb, he/she can pay for it him/herself, rather than sharing in the cost of something he/she doesn’t eat via the EU. I admit that’s dangerously close to free-market thinking.

          However, it can’t in reality be cheaper to ship frozen carcases halfway round the world from another high-wage economy – itself contentiously importing palm kernel as an animal feed – than it is to produce and transport UK sheep to market here. And aggressive marketing of better-flavoured, unfrozen, possibly speciality breeds is yet to happen.

          Black cattle would be a better bet, though…

  • Sharp Ears

    Conservatives have created more debt than all Labour governments combined, Corbyn tells the world
    1 Mar 2017

    Of course, here on the social media – where the facts are supreme – some of us have been trying hard to raise awareness that the Tories have nearly tripled the national debt.

    One Conservative MP – Daniel Kawczynski – managed to shoot himself – and his party – in the foot last month when he tried to claim Labour were responsible for creating huge debt – but instead tweeted evidence that damned his own party.

    And now Theresa May has hobbled her own party by giving Jeremy Corbyn the opportunity to make the same point in Prime Minister’s Questions – the most widely-reported part of the UK’s political week.

    Of course the mass media will have buried this – so it’s up to us to share it with everyone we know. Please do.

    “At Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 1 March, the Labour leader exposed the con that the Conservatives borrow less than Labour. Theresa May was repeating her usual irrelevant platitudes: “If you are going to be able to provide treatment for people with mental health conditions, you need to have the strong economy that enables us to pay for it. The one thing we know about Labour is that they would bankrupt Britain.””

    “But in response, Corbyn put that myth to bed: “Coming from a government that, by 2020, will have borrowed more and increased the national debt by the total borrowing of all Labour governments, that comes rich.””

    [Source: At long last Jeremy Corbyn buries the myth that swept the Conservatives to power [VIDEO] | The Canary. http://www.thecanary.co/2017/03/01/long-last-jeremy-corbyn-buries-myth-swept-conservatives-power-video/ ]

    http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2017/03/01/conservatives-have-created-more-debt-than-all-labour-governments-combined-corbyn-tells-the-world/

    • Laguerre

      A Daily Express reader writes: “It is getting down and dirty and bitter in FRANCE”

      I note that he didn’t get to see the original Guardian article. Wouldn’t be on his reading list.

    • michael norton

      “My ultimate duty is to make sure that FRANCE is not won over by such a program, and that France does not bear such a heavy responsibility,” Hollande emphasized.

      Hollande added that the “threat” of a Le Pen victory “exists,” because “the far right haven’t had such HIGH level of support for the past 30 years,”

      The vote on April 23, as well as on May 7, will “determine not only the path of our country, but also the future of Europe and the way that it’s built.”

      “For if the candidate of the National Front wins, she will immediately start a process of exit from the eurozone and even from the European Union,” Hollande warned, noting that this is a key element in populist rhetoric.

      “It is the goal of all the populists, wherever they are: To leave Europe, to close the world and to imagine a future surrounded by barriers of all kinds and borders defended by watchtowers,” he said.

      Hollande also said that the “euphoria” of financial markets following Donald Trump’s presidential victory is “very premature.”
      https://www.rt.com/news/379545-hollande-le-pen-france/

      Looks like Socialist France / European Union is slipping into oblivion.

  • Dave

    New Labour were responsible for the financial crash and it was due to their mickey-mouse accounting, supported by the conservatives, to join the Euro-currency facilitated by the their de-regulation of the banks and their borrowing that created the huge deficit, the bank bailout, was in response to rather than the cause of the crash.

    So when the crash happened Labour could only dispute borrowing was the cause by blaming the banks, but the banks reckless and criminal behaviour was only possible due to Labour’s de-regulation of the banks, which conservatives supported, so either way Labour are guilty.

    Which means Corbyn can only set the record straight about the role of borrowing and be believed if he explains the truth that New Labour’s de-regulation of the banks was to blame, which problematically involves debunking the New Labour record when they are meant to be uniting against the conservatives!

    PS. According to Private Eye the American malpractice was managed from their offices in London.

    • Laguerre

      What a weird conspiracy theory. An American crash was the responsibility of New Labour.

      • Simiain

        Not really, London has been the centre of exotic derivatives since the mid-eighties, US and UK were deregulated in tandem and because US public life is much more ‘On the Record’ than it is in the UK – that Private Eye allegation certainly doesn’t run into and logical objection. A Goldman Sachs trader can make a trade from the New York desk in a toilet in a jet over the North Pole, or just as easily place it using an algorithmic electronic trading program from a desk in London.

        The Bankers couldn’t play casino, I mean really play casino with everybody’s money until Glass-Steagall was repealed in 1999 and Gordon Brown did the favour to London 2 years before. Some would argue Glass-Steagall had to be repealed, so New York could keep pace with London. In short I have no problem sticking it to Gordon “Hear my Vow” Brown when it comes to doling out blame for the crippling disaster that is now Greece. Brown might not be one of the London Werewolves but he sure as shit let them off the leash.

        • J

          Good points Simian & Dave. Party allegiance (the team sports theory of politics) is why (Nu)Labour, Lib Dems and Tories had such a long and easy run, all with the same ideology. They cooperated to focus the attention of the others supporters.

          “Wot, are you a trotskyist?”
          “Wot, are you a toff?”

          As the manufacturing of consent breaks down it’ll be handy if we can widen their divisions for a change by maintaining attention on those areas they do not wish to focus.

      • Dave

        In 1997 New Labour was elected without a manifesto promise to make the Bank of England ‘independent’. The BoE wasn’t really made ‘independent’ and nor should it be, because “who controls the money, controls the country”. What happened was the BoE was given a policy to pursue and when problems arose the Chancellor/government said “nothing to do with us, its the independent bank to blame”.

        Also it was stripped of its regulatory powers and these were handed to a new Financial Services Authority with a ‘light touch’ remit, that led to the collapse of Northern Rock and public confidence that led to the ‘run on the banks’ and the bubble burst. Gordon Brown finally nationalised Northern Rock to restore confidence, but his worrying delay was because taking on that public debt would break his joining the Euro-currency “Golden Rule”, so the “Golden Rule” was abolished the day before Northern Rock was nationalised.

        So borrowing wasn’t to blame and a fear of borrowing is nonsense because that is the way the system (there are other systems) works. We/Government borrow for many things and we are mostly borrowing from ourselves, but as long as its spent on productive things and we can meet the repayments it’s a good thing and unavoidable if you want to buy a house!

        • bevin

          It should also not be forgotten that Brown also sold off the gold reserves at about $250 per pounce.

    • Harry Vimes

      Sorry to have to break this news to you but there is no love lost between the New Labour/Blair Cult, their values and record, and the traditional sections of the Labour Party coalescing around any alternative to that cult.

      Very understanding of you to absolve the Tories of any influence in this process. Was it not the Blessed Saint Roberts of Grantham who instigated the big bang in the City in the late eighties against a backdrop of TINA and decrying any criticism from anywhere, including the Labour Party as it existed at that time, as left wing moaning?

      Nice try though, trying to pin this on the political left. I understand the Tories have need of such skills.

      • J

        Labour needs to re-learn how to make headlines and worry less about how to manage them.

        Most of the Labour supporters I know in a certain income bracket are seeing Corbyn as ineffective and Blair the opposite. For them, they’ve already resolved the dilemma of the Blair years by simply choosing to believe the Alastair Campbell version of history. It’s the only avenue for them to reconcile the realities they had to ignore in order to see themselves in good conscience and continue to receive the coin.

        The sort of people who disagreed with privatisation but bought the shares.

        There is no monumental ‘Old Labour’ as such, never was. (I’m with Heraclitus) What Labour currently is in all it’s contradictions defies easy category then and now, I wouldn’t spend much effort in creating new ones either. The universals which unite us aren’t that mysterious, it’s how we lie to ourselves to maintain our illusions that make everything clouded.

        Recognising, addressing and making visible the NuLabour machinery is to destroy it. Pretending you’re the same team as NuLabour isn’t going to convince anyone confused enough to vote against their interests, their short termism can’t be satisfied by Corbyn anyway. Failing to define the territory between NuLabour and what Labour is now will continue to alienate those who were attracted to Labour last year in their hundreds of thousands.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          BlairLabour remembers what happened to the SDP, and doesn’t want to do that again. Much safer to be inside the tent pissing in. Not even the courage of their market-friendly convictions.

      • Dave

        When New Labour made the BoE ‘independent’ it was initially opposed by conservative shadow chancellor Kenneth Clarke, but then supported by new shadow chancellor Michael Portillo. And the Cameroons said the ‘light touch’ needed to be lighter. So although Labour and Conservative to blame for the general policy, Labour initiated it, as part of the mickey-mouse accounting needed to deliver on their manifesto promise to improve public services and join the Euro-currency.

  • Alexis Crowther

    There’s a saying ‘Keep your friends close- but keep your enemies closer!’ May is about to get a new take on that. The First Minister is a canny political animal – May is a self serving politician who is no intellectual match for her Scottish counterpart.
    I look forward to seeing what happens next!!

    • Republicofscotland

      Alexis.

      It would appear on the surface anyway that, Theresa May intends to repatriate powers from the EU back to Westminster, and not to Holyrood.

      In essence May is offereing Hobson’s Choice, Hobson who set up the forerunner to the car rental era, by hiring out horses to clients who needed to get about. Would not let his clientele choose their own mount, indeed, Hobson would choose which horse they could ride, and which they could not.

      I fear Theresa May, will have a similar approach when devolving EU powers back to Scotland.

  • Velofello

    Oh Fred, oh dear:

    “Better to remain silent and be thought a foo, than disclose that you read the Scottish Daily Mail and prove it”.

    • fred

      Did you have anything constructive to say on the subject?

      Like any evidence that what it said in the Mail isn’t true?

      Thought not.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        Perhaps a little light relief re. your. link to the. Daily. Mail article. to. be fair,despite generally loathing the. DM, the story was. ok. I think. it. was. pretty. factual. I won’t get embroiled in the argument about whether the person concerned. is a. fit. candidate. for the. SNP apart. from saying that youthful lunacy. is. not exactly. unknown. but also that. it seems. unwise to expose ones politics with such a person as we all know the kind of scrutiny that now accompanies any kind of political role no matter how junior.
        Now for the light relief. I have lived in the very area concerned(Deeside)since 1978.
        A one time neighbour whose son had toddled next door, and with whose family we had a very good friendship with, had. by the time. of the incident. grown. up into a strapping loon. No longer neighbours, (they had moved a few miles away) we still. had a close. family. connection and I, at the time did some. ‘higher’ tutoring for the. loon.
        One. day, word. was received that said loon and one or two others, also notably ‘loonish’ had been arrested. on terrorism related matters. They. had. been. out ‘adventuring’ as. loons so. often do, somewhere around Glendye, where there happened to be some kind of small reservoir or some kind. of water treatment facility.(not sure. what exactly). Somehow they had. broken into it and. broken a chain (or something) on a gate and had been arrested. At the time it had seemed completely bonkers.i remember. being completely dumbfounded. by. developments.Turnbs. out the. lads. had. been. looking for a quiet place to explore the smoke related potential. of herbal aromatics . But now it all falls into place. I suspect that the police were reacting to the events around the individuals in the story. They. seemed to be threatening to adulterate. water supplies as. one of their MO’s and obvs. the police had been keeping water plants. etc. under watch. I remember. wondering. how the hell they had been caught as the. place was actually well out of the way.
        Funny. how these things click into place so long afterwards. Poor A was much chastened by the. occurence and i think his mum was much distressed by the whole incident.
        Anyway maybe we should not be too quick to cast stones around. we all. have glazed and fragile parts. to our pasts. I know. i do.

  • Republicofscotland

    So what do we make of the “anti-terrorist hotline set up by the Metropolitan police force? What is your view on the radio broadcasts that will be listened into our homes, asking us to be very vigilant, and look out for terrorist activities.

    Firstly I’d like to add that I abhor extremism, in all its forms.

    This terror hotline will in my opinion only divide society, in reality the hotline is aimed squarely at the Muslim community in Britain.

    We must also take into account, that Muslim culture is in part different to our own, and that begs the question as to how anyone umfamilair with the culture might mistakenly think that the are in the process of committing a terrorist act, when they’re not.

    We’ve been groomed by the press, and politicians to a certain extent, to be suspicious of Muslims and their activities in general. That in itself is divisive, and can often lead to animosity in the community.

    This hotline and the leaflets, will only throw more suspicion on a section of society, who are already viewed in a unfavourable light.

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