Americans, Irish, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Pakistanis – They All Have More Balls Than We Scots 687

The fascist violence in Charlottesville was in defence of prominent public statues to those who fought to uphold slavery. History should not be destroyed, and there is a place for such statues in appropriate explained context in museums. But public celebration of advocates of slavery ought to end. People always throw off the monuments of their oppressors, and so they should. The statues should be removed from their prestigious positions.

Hardly anybody remembers now that O’Connell Street in Dublin was Sackville Street. You will scour Ireland with little success for surviving statues of British Imperial rulers and commanders – there were once hundreds. I found that Burnes Road in Karachi is no more. Uzbekistan and Ukraine are no longer dotted with great statues of Lenin.

Yet I live here in a city which still has a Cumberland Street, named after a disgusting war criminal who perpetrated long term and systematic atrocities on this very people whose capital city is desecrated by his name. Cumberland was a worse racist and an infinitely greater war criminal than Robert E Lee. Yet I hear not a whisper to echo the brave roar of Charlottesville. The imposed regime which crushed Scotland, outlawed its major language and much of its culture and tried to expunge even the memory of its history and native culture, is celebrated in the heart of the nation. Hanover Street, George Street, Rose Street, Princes Street. These vicious, arrogant, Scot-hating people really did crush Scotland’s spirit, to the extent we still cringe before them now they are long dead.

It staggers me that, after we have decades of an element of home rule by alleged Scottish Nationalists and an alleged Labour Party, when even the pathetic colonial status of the devolution settlement gives the power to rename a few streets, Labour and the SNP, as the minimum gesture of self-awareness and a tiny, tiny glimmer of self-respect, have not renamed Cumberland Street after Keir Hardie.

Yes, we have always suffered from a parcel of rogues in a nation. Yet we remain a parcel of cowards as a nation. The brave left wing demonstrators of Charlottesville, supporting the removal of Robert E Lee against the violence of the fascists, put us to deep shame.

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687 thoughts on “Americans, Irish, Uzbeks, Ukrainians, Pakistanis – They All Have More Balls Than We Scots

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  • Republicofscotland

    Back to Corbyn, and a pointer in my opinion that he’s just another arm of the status quo.

    Corbyn has dashed Scottish hopes of the possibility of a distinct Brexit deal for Scotland, claiming it would be virtually impossible.

    Corbyn’s branch manageress, in Scotland Kezia Dugdale, claimed in a Radio 4 interview, that Corbyn was very open to the idea.

    However on Sunday at the Edinburgh Fringe Corbyn dismissed the idea. I suppose no one should be surprised at Corbyn, like any politician on the hunt for support, he kept the bad news under his hat till the last day.

    • reel guid

      Yes. Corbyn says that Scotland can’t have a different EU deal because there are companies that have activities in Scotland, England and Wales. That it would be too confusing to have different relationships with the EU.

      That ignores the very obvious fact that many large companies have operations in both EU and non-EU European countries. Jeez. Corbyn speaks to Scots as if he’s presenting Playschool.

      And Corbyn was supposed to be in favour, in principle, of a second indyref to give Scotland a chance to decide between the UK and the EU. He said he was in favour. Then he wasn’t. Then maybe. Now he’s pretending he never said anything about it and is helping his Westminster frenemies, the Tories, to railroad Scotland out the EU.

      • giyane

        Politicians in democracies have glass balls, i.e. algorithms that inform them about popular opinion.
        Like glass balls and oracles the message doesn’t always make sense. ” Don’t unstop the wine bottle
        before you reach home “. A fine product from the laurel-chewing Delphic oracle.
        Does that mean don’t undo your flies, beware of poison, your wife needs a drink more than you do.
        How is poor Corbyn supposed to know what to say in order to win an election?

        • reel guid

          There are things Corbyn has to say in order to be supportive of being in favour of democracy in Scotland. And he’s not saying them.

          To Corbyn Scotland isn’t a nation in a multi-nation state with democratic rights. To him we’re just a bit of land tacked on the North of England that he hopes can become useful again to his party by sending Labour MPs south.

          Scotland is a nation in the politically mature continent of Europe that is being taken out of the European Union against our democratically chosen wish. Corbyn has made himself complicit in that crime against democracy.

          I’m not interested in the electoral chances of a chancer.

          • giyane

            Reel guid:
            “To Corbyn Scotland isn’t a nation in a multi-nation state with democratic rights. To him we’re just a bit of land tacked on the North of England that he hopes can become useful again to his party by sending Labour MPs south. ”

            Whoops, I hope you’re not suggesting he regards Islington as the North and Scotland as Camden. These Londoners can be so provincial.

  • reel guid

    Let us see. Corbyn’s offerings to Scotland are Brexit and it’s attendant job losses, lack of democracy and Trident. Potentially burnt offerings in the case of Trident, given the safety record that has leaked out on the internet. Leaked out being the appropriate phrase. So given all that, when Jeremy comes north – and Caledonifies himself by being pictured in front of the Callanish Standing Stones – he’s not so much the Grammar School Gramsci as the ultimate Tartan Tory.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      OK I see your points, and sympathise with your vitriolic take on it all, but the visit of Corbyn and his tour of Scotland is ‘interesting’ because I suspect it represents an acknowledgement that the current set up is deeply unsatisfactory, with Dugdale and her crew of mediocre snivelers really very exposed.
      What’s to be done? Dugdale has to go but the sad reality is that there is no alternative available.
      But that is the least of the problems. The Labour party needs to be seen as an alternative to the SNP, not the Tories, and the only way I can see anything happening is for Corbyn to acknowledge the political scene in Scotland as quite distinct from much of England. It simply won’t do to maintain the traditional unionist position.
      It seems to me that the phase of ‘denial’ in Labour re the Scotland debacle is coming to an end. After denial is anger, bargaining, and depression. I sense that the Labour party is emerging from ‘depression’ (This is Coirbyn’s visit) adn with acceptance we will see some policy initiatives from Corbyn which finally genuinely recognises the desire in Scotland for a greater degree of independence, and a greater degree of autonomy. I cannot now see some second referendum yes vote occurring in the near to mid future but I can see some kind of internal political process or adjustment that moves towards autonomy in certain major areas. Somehow or other, Corbyn has to find a way to bring his support inScotland back to some kind of respectable level. To do this he will have to take on the SNP, and to take on the SNP he will need some way of getting distance between Labour and Tories re unionism, and also some means of accommodating the absence of enthusiasm for Brexit in Scotland . Corbyn’s instinct is also to do away with Trident, but he is held tight by the grip of his party and its strong position re nuclear deterrence and the economic benefits of the war industry.
      Much is going on in terms of the international role of the UK, and as Brexit proceeds, with all its attendant pressures and difficulties, and I suspect, a sharp decline in British influence and significance, I wonder how realistic it will be to maintain Trident.
      I have a hunch there will some movement soon.

  • Sharp Ears

    Are there any statues of Princess Diana?

    ‘Yesterday there was further anguish for the couple when lawyer Michael Mansfield said in an American documentary that there should be a new investigation into the death of Diana in a crash in the Alma tunnel in Paris on August 31 1997.

    Mr Mansfield, QC, who represented Dodi Fayed’s father Mohammed AlFayed at the inquest into their deaths, suggests the crash was no accident and wants evidence re-examined.

    He told the show: “If you find a body at the bottom of the cliffs in Dover and the person has left a note saying, ‘I’m going to end up at the bottom of the cliffs, dead and, in the note, she’d indicated who she thought would be responsible for her death, I think the first port of calls is to say, hmm, well there may be something in this.”

    Conspiracy theories were demolished during the inquest where it was decided Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed by Frenchman Mr Paul, who was speeding and had been drinking.’

    In the BBC documentary last night, Diana’s older sister, Lady Sarah McCorquodale made a point that Diana was ‘religious about wearing a seat belt’ and she found it hard to understand why she was not wearing one on that occasion.

  • JOML

    Perhaps some Scots have balls after all! Visit the Lismore Bar on Dumbarton Road in Glasgow – where the urinals invite you to pay your ‘respects’ to

    • JOML

      (Apologies)… three gentlemen who played a significant role in the Highland Clearances. An excellent facility! This must have been an addition since my last visit there, so I’ll be back there soon for a pint – and to pay my ‘respects’! ?

  • Courtenay Barnett


    Arguing as you have in this way:-

    ( What you said before – coupled with this)

    ” Confusion can run both deep and broad, and it can have consequences. Look at the British. Most of them think that Britain defeated Nazi Germany. Few British are aware that more people from Tbilisi died in the war than all UK deaths combined. No doubt very few British could actually find Tbilisi on a map. This confusion now encourages the current UK government to make facile threats against Russia, and no-one cares. It is this same confusion that encourages a number of African Americans to assume that the Confederacy hated them and the Union loved them. Neither is true.”

    presents a reasonable and tenable pitch based on historical fact.

    However viewed, the climate of racism in the South informed, propelled and sustained in certain quarters venomous hatred with a life all of its own. That, psychologically, is what I believe many African-Americans respond to.

    • Loony


      Your analysis is probably correct. My point is that there are likely material errors in peoples core understanding of history – and this arises as a consequence of the politicization of history. It is the case that overtly racist attitudes persist(ed) in the south – and that such attitudes were and are deeply repugnant. However they were/are overt – and it is difficult to see how a person on the receiving end would not understand what was/is happening to them.

      The North (which had no interest in the plight of slaves) by and large did not treat African Americans so badly – this is because many northern states passed laws to make sure that they could not lawfully settle in these states. Hence there were no/few African Americans to treat either well or badly. See this for a more detailed explanation.

      Today there is no more slavery and a number of positive discrimination programs aimed at African Americans. Overt racism is no longer acceptable and there are no “good” racists or racist arguments. Few people would argue with the contention that racial discrimination is at an historic low.

      …And yet. Check out places like Chicago and Detroit and see how people live in these places. Look at the at the all pervasive drugs epidemic and the staggering levels of violence. Check out almost any measure of human well being and see how things stack up for the people in these kind of places.

      How can it be that progressives and “anti racists” can obsess over a factually incorrect view of history, and find offence in all manner of statues and historic symbolism and yet be completely unconcerned about present day living conditions for literally millions of African Americans. No-one can change the actuality of the past – the best that can be done is to seek to understand it. There is plenty that can be done to change the actuality of the present.

      Maybe, just maybe, those that divert from present injustices order to obsess over historical injustices have an agenda of their own – and that agenda is unlikely to be favorable to African Americans.

      • Courtenay Barnett


        When you say:-

        ” How can it be that progressives and “anti racists” can obsess over a factually incorrect view of history, and find offence in all manner of statues and historic symbolism and yet be completely unconcerned about present day living conditions for literally millions of African Americans.”

        I agree. Yet to understand the present we start with the past. So, an Obama, it is said, dropped more bombs than his predecessor. Which brings things to the point of facing, focusing on and seeking change in the here and now.

        In this way – I agree with you.

        • Loony

          It seems that we agree with each other.

          Progress can only be made to the extent that people have a shared understanding of history or failing that that there is a recognition that varying interpretations are reasonable and, except in extreme cases, are not motivated by hatred of the “other” At one point slavery was clearly socially acceptable and I doubt that slave owners were maniacal figures wallowing in their own sense of evil. Sadly the assault on history is all pervasive and many examples serve to prove the point.

          Take Scottish Nationalism – a favorite theme of this blog. Very few contemporary Scottish Nationalists are keen to discuss Arthur Donaldson. Probably because he saw the route to Scottish independence as encouraging a Nazi invasion of the UK and post invasion forming a Quisling style administration in Scotland. Indeed I wonder how many Scottish Nationalist voters have ever heard of Arthur Donaldson. Ask why the current leadership do not inform their prospective voters about Mr. Donaldson.

          Moving forward in time to 1975 we find that Scottish Nationalists were vehemently opposed to the EU. Today we find that Scottish Nationalists are slavishly devoted to the EU. No Scottish nationalist ever seeks to explain what, in their view, was so bad about the EU in 1975 and so good about the EU today. Where are the objective metrics against which this volte face can be analysed.

          When compared to slavery Scottish Nationalism would appear a fairly trivial matter. Manifestly Scottish Nationalists are not prepared to tell the truth about the history of their movement and so it is reasonable to expect that the same, or a more extreme, aversion to the truth will be evident in matters connected to the history of slavery.

    • giyane

      ” Hart insisted that sexual abuse was “a spiritual encounter with God through the priest” and was “of a higher order” than criminal law. ”

      I assume that was deliberate falsification by the journalist. The whole drift of his argument is that confession to a priest is “a spiritual encounter with God through the priest” and was “of a higher order” than criminal law.

      Confidentiality is moot point. For example does a criminal jihadist who goes to Hajj get forgiven unless he/she repents? Nobody can walk out of a confession box or a bargain trip to Mecca and say they’ve been purified without the intention not to repeat and to make amends for what they did.

      I personally regard some forms of discipline, such as boarding schools and other rigours, as emotional abuse and emotional abuse can also be greatly worsened by sexual or physical abuse.. Being tortured by the state and brainwashed, as 100,000 kidnapped victims of torture by USUKIS, would be some sort of mitigation for subsequent abuse of others. So maybe these things sometimes have to remain secret, because who are we to judge?

      Abusers pick on the weak. Muslims have picked on the Yazidis to abuse , but they don’t pick on the Chinese for their ignorance of religion. They’re first in the queue to profit from import export business. Picking on the weak and defending the abuse through religion is utter hypocrisy. You didn’t pick on them because of religion. You picked on them because they were weak.

    • nevermind

      Brian, this vermin in a cassock merely reflects the day to day responses of the catholic church to the atrocities committed in their midst, top to bottom. The church has condemned itself.
      Can we be sure that this was the last time this man abused children? watch and listen to the reaction of the Vatican to this.

    • nevermind

      Another damning story to back up what many of us suspected, Mark, why else is Israel allowing terrorists to use their best medical facilities, can’t be just the money, there is interests involved, makes one wonder were the money for all that Iraqwi oil has ended up, surely not in Saudi coffers.

      • Anon1

        Another made up story from the Farce news agency that backs up nothing more than what you want to believe, Nevermind.

        • Node

          Nevermind’s statement is accurate. This story DOES support speculation that Israel sponsors ISIS terrorism.

          Yours is an unsupported assertion. You don’t know that the story is made up.

          • Anon1

            There is no evidence at all for the allegation made.

            This is the “news agency” that told us the US is secretly run by a shadow government of space aliens.

          • Node

            It is the news agency’s opinion that the US is secretly run by a shadow government of space aliens.
            It is your opinion that the story is made up.
            It is a fact that the story supports speculation that Israel sponsors ISIS terrorism.

          • Anon1

            So now we’re onto speculation supported by speculative non-facts. There is no evidence at all for the allegation made. The onus is on you and Farcenews to prove the allegation.

            I really can’t believe I have to explain this to you.

        • nevermind

          Netanyahu is accusing Iran of using Syria to store and assemble missile in order to ‘eradicate Israel’.

          There is none doing a better job at long term eradication from within than Bibi himself.
          His inhumane treatment of Arab Israeli citizens and Palestinians, the insecurity caused by his security state of order 101 vandals, his illegal annexation and pilfering of oil in the Golan, as well as his crooked financial transactions past the exchequer are all pointing to failure.

          Iran has not attacked anyone for a very long time, but Israel and its insecure Zionist ideologists on the other hand, have attacked other neighbouring states, more than once.

          Israels rogue dealings with the UN and its past history of projecting international superiority above all other countries, are the actions of a failed state, it needs sanctioning for all I care, no difference between their shenanigans and that of Kim Yon un.

    • giyane

      MI5 subcontracts some of its intelligence work to Muslims because their own team would be so choked with rage at the true beliefs of Islam they would not see the individuals who threaten society with violence. It’s like a kaleidoscope. MI6 seeks British citizens born abroad who can help them to colonise, while MI5 seeks British citizens born here from the immigrant community to control the spread of Islam. MI6’s agents would be deeply opposed to the aims and objectives of MI5.

      The purpose of an MI6 agent is to assist state terror abroad while the purpose of an MI5 agent is to prevent terror in the UK. Ne’er the twain shall meet. An MI6 agent would be conversant with poetry as an expression of human freedom. An MI5 agent would be incapable of understanding metaphorical thought. If you wrote in a poem that you arrived in a place of safety like a bird nesting in a long ventilation duct, an MI6 agent would know you were talking about safety, while an MI5 agent would think you were talking about sex.

      If you are a Muslim revert you have to live in the Muslim community because they understand your faith, but they will never understand your culture. Nor will I ever be able to understand why they are taken in by Islamic State.

  • Abulhaq

    Exactly….the result of indyref#1 was greeted by an Algerian newspaper with a cartoon of a bekilted Salmond standing on a high plinth marked Scotland with people looking up at him.
    The text read ‘As we expected nothing there..’
    It made me cringe…not the usual pathetic ‘Scotch cringe’ but the feeling of shame that we rejected freedom. Explaining to Algerians the reason for our collective ‘cowardice’ and the true neo-colonialist nature of the British state apparatus only confused the issue….and yet ‘you’ still voted no?
    The national movement needs renewal. The party political dominance of the SNP and its rather petit bourgeois mindset has resulted in political stasis at a time when maximum capital ought to made of the situation BritState has confected for itself over Brexit.
    The noise from Sturgeon re the term ‘nationalist’ was a manifestation of the authentic ‘Scotch cringe’ and the Unionist press loved it. What next, I’m North British actually.
    The ball-less Salmond is not the real picture of our nation but the feeling we get the leaders we deserve haunts. We can and must do decidedly better.

    • reel guid

      I agree Abulhaq. In the spring the SNP were in fine fettle and planning indyref2. Now they’re just reacting to events. Playing off the back foot, to use a cricketing term. If the SNP doesn’t take the initiative then other groups in the independence movement – and the SNP rank and file – will have to do so and bring about indyref2.

      • Abulhaq

        I do wonder if there really is a psychological problem here. As a people the Scots may have been so deaten down by the systematic disparaging of their authentic culture, languages, history and general identity and its appropriation and ‘refashioning’ by Unionism in the service of that system that only a profound shock even ‘trauma’ to the body politic will do. In dealing effectively with the British state we may need a thorough ‘reprogramming’. We may need to tear down the old familiar, comforting edifice.
        The number of Scots I meet who have what seems a mental block to our national independence and who appear impervious to rational argument on the topic is symptomatic. Unionism is a worn comfort blanket that must be discarded if we wish to be considered a ‘mature’ people.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          The number of Scots I meet who have what seems a mental block to our national independence and who appear impervious to rational argument on the topic is symptomatic of caution when jumping from the frying pan* into the fire.


          * Or skillet.

          • Abulhaq

            Mo Dhia! here we go, that protestant anal retentive, where’s yer business plan, risk averse take on indy….sorry but real independence movements, unfortunately Scotland’s isn’t one yet, don’t bother with insurance they just get on with the task. Check them out in the history of decolonisation. Scots have a lot to learn.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Protestant anal retention is a longstanding tradition in Scotland, whose dominant flavour of Christianity is Presbyterianism rather than the relatively liberal Anglicanism. Think Knox….just trying to conform with your culture, Ab(d)ul. (your god? really? Mashallah!))

            So what you are advocating is violent revolution, I take it. Learning from history, what you will end up with is either a dictator, an oligarchy or a redefinition of citizenship from serving the financiers, with elements of personal freedom, to serving the state, with as little freedom as possible. Maybe all of those, successively. In the process, people will get killed, not always – indeed rarely – the right people. And given who has more and better weapons, you’ll lose.

            OTOH if you had the wit to concentrate on what is really grinding the UK down to the point where this kind of thinking is possible, you wouldn’t be after independence from England, but independence from globalisation And you’d join us in that.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well hear you have straight from the horses mouth, the mouth being that of the ex-head of the Treasury Sir Nicholas MacPherson, telling economist Michael Fry, that Scotland look to have its own currency on independence.

    Of course during the 2014 indyref, MacPherson, leaked information to the press, to the detriment of the independence movement, even though the Treasury was meant to be impartial.

    Going back to the preposterous GERS figures for a moment, it was Ian Lang Govenor General to Scotland who created the guesstimate GERS report, Lang wrote to John Major, confiding in him that the figures were intended to “do down” the economy of Scotland.

    This is pretty obvious in the fact that the GERS figures have never shown Scotland in a surplus.

  • reel guid

    Labour MSP Neil Findlay is publishing his diaries a la Tony Benn. In extracts in the Sunday Herald Findlay accuses Jim Murphy of wanting to provoke Yes crowds in the indyref campaign to turn them into an angry mob.

    Findlay says that Murphy wanted Yes voters “to behave like a rowdy mob, so undecided voters will be turned off by it.”

    • Republicofscotland

      reel guid.

      Yes I read a wee bit about that, Murphy is a real piece of work. No doubt the worm will crawl out from under a stone for the next indyref.

      Meanwhile a Stirlingshire councillor is trying to find out who exactly the Tory, bigots and racists apologised to. No one knows who Colonel Rape Clause Ruth-less Davidson’s Britnat bigots received the I’m sorry routine, if indeed they did apologise.

      Nil by Mouth, which deals with claims of sectarian and racial hatred, has rejected Colonel Davidson’s claim that her bigoted racist Britnat councillors have attended diversity training, whatever that may entail is anyones guess.

        • Republicofscotland

          I see that Kezia Dugdale the Britnat manageress of the Labour branch office is having a go at the Scottish government, for not adding £5 pounds to child benefit.

          Dugdale added that thousands of Scottish children are living in poverty. If memory serves me didn’t her party abstain on the Welfare bill, when they shouldve blocked the cutting and freezing of benefits.

          Nor do I recall hearing a peep from Dugdale as the Scottish block grant is cut year upon year, it’s down at least £3 billion.

          But up billions if you wear a sash and are in the loyal O/O, otherwise known as the DUP.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            The SNP could probably have screwed a good deal more out of the UK’s uncontrollably-growing debt than the DUP did if it had promised to vote with the Tories on alternate Wednesdays.

            Seems to be some disagreement about the block grant, and the resulting mass recruitment of Edinburgh’s pauper children to the chimney sweeping business…


            And let us by all means completely forget that in 2012-13, public spending per head in England was £8,529, but in Scotland it was £10,152.
            Later figures welcome.

          • Republicofscotland

            When £2 billion of cuts that were planned before the Brexit vote are taken into account, the think tank said Scotland’s budget will cut by a total of between £2.33 billion and £3.34 billion by 2019/20 compared to 2015/16.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Bear in mind that the figures in your third link assume Scotland is part of the UK. Currently, it is, and consequently it contributes to the general good – disproportionally, for sure, but it is far from unique in that. I could make a similar economic “case” for Norfolk becoming independent, or Somerset. The assertion that Scotland will lose billions as a result of Brexit (first link)…if true, so will everyone else.

            But the question is, how much will Scotland lose by independence? I repeat my plea for some costing here. The EU is no longer in welcoming mode towards small countries with shambolic economies. Even if you wriggle back in, don’t expect the money tree to be showering its bounty over Caledonia. It’s got moneytree dieback disease. What is your manufacturing sector going to make? And earn? How do you propose to cure the blatant inequalities directly arising from dependence on the financial sector – your bad example being the City – and, if you can’t, how is your financial sector going to work, absent an established major stock exchange, without being dependent on foreign centres, whether the City or Frankfurt?

            You may still be taking Norway as your exemplar (correct me if necessary -I don’t know what (vaguely stated) model is being touted just now) but the price of that lands directly on the citizen: anything imported costs an arm and a leg in Norway, and has done so for the last half-century at least. All very well moaning about the billions of subsidy money you can’t keep, but that will look entirely different once the effect of the voters of yet another drop in their standard of living kicks in.

            You may console yourself with the knowledge that I voted for Brexit in the hope that the leavers could come up with similar, costed proposals which could be adopted if necessary unilaterally, asap. That hasn’t happened. We are now fated to muddle through the situation somehow with the least qualified, most venal and downright lost bunch of politicians we have seen in my lifetime making it up as they go along, and prioritising interests of the fat cats who paid for their election campaigns.

            Is Scotland so radically different?

      • Republicofscotland

        I should add Greg Moodie’s wonderful comic strip in the National, parodied the Tory bigots and racist, and hinted that “Diversity training” was really code for don’t get caught.

  • reel guid

    Labour’s Kezia Dugdale in the Daily Record praising the engineering wonder that is the Queensferry Crossing. That it is. But no thanks whatsoever to her Labour Party.

    In 1999 the new New Labour Government scrapped plans for a new bridge.

    The Labour Governments in Holyrood and Westminster then spend years ignoring warnings from experts that the old road bridge needs replacing.

    When the SNP gets into office in 2007 and immediately gets on with the day job by commissioning a new bridge, Labour start sniping about an “SNP vanity project”.

    Labour try to cause a row about Chinese steel and not Scottish steel being used. Even though the only Ravenscraig could have provided the right kind of steel. And it had already been closed down by the Westminster Labour government.

    In 2009 the Westminster Labour government then refuses the SNP government permission to use advance capital funding to speed up the project. Then Labour starts carping about how long the project is taking.

    Nevertheless the bridge is completed on time and well within budget. Despite Labour harping on about the SNP not getting on with the day job.

    And now Sky News are reporting it as a great piece of British engineering. Scottish and other nations’ engineering, Chinese steel and Scottish determination against Westminster nastiness is what built it. It’s not British. Although British people are welcome to admire it certainly.

    • reel guid

      Tories of course closed down Ravenscraig, and not Labour. Musn’t forget the negative contribution from the other main unionist bunch of no users.

      • Republicofscotland

        reel guid.

        The Ministry of Truth aka, BBC Scotlandshire news, were falling over themselves bigging up the new bridge.

        However they couldn’t help themselves with sly digs at the late opening, and mentioning the Edinburgh tram fiasco.

        They also interviewed some guy from Napier Uni, who proceeded to say the money for the bridge shouldve been spent on other things.

        Even though ten years ago, the chief engineer in Scotland told the Scottish government, that the old bridge was badly corroded.

        • Republicofscotland

          I shouldve added M8 upgrading M74 upgrading, and the Borders railway, all under budget on time and no PFI in sight.

          Currently the A9 is being duelled, it’s amazing what can be achieved, when Westminster is out of the picture.

          Imagine what we could achieve with independence?

  • Ray Visino

    With Kezia Dugdale forced out, the Scottish Labour Party can turn left behind Corbyn and outflank the SNP. Much support for the SNP has been down to the prospect of endless Tory rule at a time of weak right wing Labour. Things have changed and the SNP have not shown themselves very progressive in what domestic power they have. It might be worth giving a left Labour a chance before cutting the ropes.

    • Republicofscotland

      You obviously don’t follow Scottish politics, if your above comment is anything to go by.

  • CameronB Brodie

    The man’s got a point. As I think I might have mentioned elsewhere, it all boils down to semiotics (biological ‘forces’ that shape our conception of our surroundings and who we are). Urban architecture or place names that glorify colonialist figureheads, project ideological force that is chauvinistic and oppressive to some. Others celebrate the underlying ideology. Such is the condition of a nation which fails to deal with it’s on history of (internal) colonisation.

    New Semiotics
    Between Tradition and Innovation
    Semiotics of the City

  • Republicofscotland

    So as some commentors have already pointed out, the manageress of the Labour branch office in Scotland has quit, or was she secretly shoved?

    Kezia Dugdale, was renowned for her factless rants and inaudible gish gallops. She dragged Labour into third place in Scotland, probably a first in its existence in Scotland.

    She was infact an asset to the Scottish independence movement, her gaff prone remarks at FMQ’s and indeed, outside the chamber are a testament to that.

    I can only hope that some secret indy MSP, in the ranks of Labour decides to run for leader, and in the process steers Labour in the direction of independence.

    However, with London Labour calling the shots at its branch office in Scotland, that scenario seems unlikely. I suppose the best the indy movement can hope for, is that the bumbling inept fool James Kelly takes over as branch manager, his name has already been touted in some quarters.

    Dugdale was no shining star in Scottish political circles, I’m confident the majority of folk in Scotland, will see it that way, she won’t be missed.

    • jake

      Kezia was elected by Scottish Labour. I would have thought that her formal resignation letter should therefore have been sent to Scottish Labour, but no, she chose to sent it to London. I’m wondering now who dictated it.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well SLAB are just a branch office, a dismissal letter from head office in London seems the most likely explanation in my opinion.

  • CameronB Brodie

    Yes, semiotics is the study of signs but, what sort of signs are we talking about? Sorry, I forgot that it helps if you have an appreciation of the concept of Umwelt.

    In the semiotic theories of Jakob von Uexküll and Thomas A. Sebeok, umwelt (plural: umwelten; from the German Umwelt meaning “environment” or “surroundings”) is the “biological foundations that lie at the very epicenter of the study of both communication and signification in the human [and non-human] animal”.[1]

    The sentence you were stuck on suggests the appreciation of semiotics can not be separated from our appreciation of space and place. The supplied text was challenging but gave a pretty full explanation as to why this is.

  • Sharp Ears

    Canada’s Lester Pearson

    ‘Many monuments, memorials and names of institutions across Canada celebrate our colonial and racist past. Calls for renaming buildings or pulling down statues are symbolic ways of reinterpreting that history, acknowledging mistakes and small steps towards reconciling with the victims of this country’s policies.
    As I outline in Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping: the truth may hurt, the former Nobel Peace Prize winner was an aggressive militarist and imperialist. There is even a case to be made that the former external minister and prime minister could be posthumously tried for war crimes.

    Rename the Lester B. Pearson Airport
    by Yves Engler / August 30th, 2017

    The airport is Toronto’s

    His Wikipedia entry is glowing.

  • Sharp Ears


    30th August
    Is it time for the Duke of Sutherland statue to come down?
    The statue of the Duke of Sutherland is referred to by locals as ‘The Mannie’

    FOR the last 180 years, the Duke of Sutherland’s likeness had stood on the top of Ben Bhraggie, looking down over the lands where, in his name, thousands of Highlanders were evicted from their homes.

    The Mannie, as it’s known locally, has long been one of Scotland’s most controversial statues, and attempts, some legal and some not quite-so-legal, have been made over the years to see it taken down.

    With debate raging over the future of Confederate statues in the US, some are starting to look again at the monuments littered around Scotland, and ask if they’re worthy of their place.

    Two years back thousands signed a petition calling for the Mannie to be taken apart. There is, however, a surprising amount of local support for Sutherland’s statue to remain.

    It would be crass to claim a similar context for any argument for toppling the Duke of Sutherland to what’s happening in the States.

    Over there it’s partly a reaction to Dylan Roof, the White supremacist, who two years ago killed nine black Americans, and in pictures taken before his murderous rampage draped himself in the Confederate flag.

    That led to politicians in South Carolina agreeing, eventually, to take down a Confederate flag that had flown over the state capital for years, which in turn led to other to states and cities thinking again about their own confederate symbols.

    The other difference between there and here is that in the States some people support the statues remaining as they see the toppling as an attack on Southern pride, or they see Confederate General Robert E Lee as someone who deserves being immortalised in marble.

  • Mary Hardwick

    “The brave left wing demonstrators of Charlottesville, supporting the removal of Robert E Lee against the violence of the fascists, put us to deep shame.”

    Brave left wing my arse.

    You too have fallen for this blatant divide and conquer bait.

    Antifa are scum by the way. Filthy, dirty, scum. (And no I’m not a “nazi” before you put on your black and white glasses)

    • Brianfujisan

      By Your Dirty Tongue
      You are Certainly Warped.. Hypnotized.. WEAPONIZED… .WE shall Talk About Blood ..Another Time EH

  • Sharp Ears

    There is also a debate in Australia.

    Australia debates Captain Cook ‘discovery’ statue
    23 August 2017
    A debate has ignited in Australia over a statue of British explorer Captain James Cook, which has a plaque saying he “discovered this territory”. The 19th Century statue, in Sydney’s central Hyde Park, has come under scrutiny following recent discussion over Confederate monuments in the US.

    Critics say the inscription overlooks indigenous Australians, while others defend it as being part of history.

  • Sharp Ears

    Charlottesville city council votes unanimously to remove another Confederate statue
    September 6

    Officials in Charlottesville have backed removing a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson — marking another push to take down a Confederate landmark in the college town rocked by deadly clashes last month between white nationalists and counterprotesters.


  • kathleen barlow

    I don’t know much about you as I have only just seen your petition, but what little I have read I pretty much agree with. I wish you luck in your legal battle , but as I only get the basic pension and I am sure your weekly income is more than my annual one, I will not be able to contribute.

  • kerdasi amaq

    Robert E. Lee was not a war criminal. The war criminals were on the other side. All Lee did was to defend is native country from invasion by a foreign power. Virginia did not secede over slavery. Virginia seceded because she would not make war against her fellow southerners.

    This disrespect for valiant men, who are American veterans, will lead to another civil war, a real one where elected would-be preservers of the Union will be considered enemy combatants.

    Anyway, do you know that a racist, unrepentant slaveowner is honoured on the the American $50 dollar note.

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