Scotland and Me 173

I left Scotland during this election campaign simply because I thought I could do more good campaigning explicitly for Gaza in a seat where Starmer could be punished for his genocidal zionism.

Scottish independence and the freedom of my own country remains the cause closest to my heart. But although Scotland suffers the drain on its resources of every kind that it has suffered every day of the pestilent Union, Scotland’s little children are not currently being blown into pieces. I am therefore justified in my prioritisation of Palestine at the moment.

I formed an alliance for Palestine with my old friend George Galloway. We have had very different positions on Scottish Independence in recent years, though he used to be for it. George told me, and indeed the media, he has given up campaigning against it.

I was happy to support the Workers Party in England because I supported more of their manifesto than that of any other party there, and particularly the re-nationalisation of all natural monopolies.

It was the intention that more of the Independent pro-Palestinian candidates across the country would stand as Workers Party, though with the election being called so quickly structures and alliances for the Left had to be cobbled together.

I did not actually join the party and I did not use the party’s leaflets or its red white and blue branding (except in small imprints of the party logo). I very definitely refused to wear a red white and blue rosette! My campaign concentrated very heavily on Gaza.

It has to be said that the political situation in Scotland is a toxic mess I was glad to be out of for this election. The SNP absolutely deserved the kicking they got.

Support for Independence remains defiantly around 50% as it has done this last eight years, despite the SNP having squandered every single chance to take it forward. The key moment was when Brexit occurred against the will of a very large majority of the Scottish people, expressed in a referendum. That was the moment to declare Independence, against the hated Johnson government.

It is not that Sturgeon bottled it. It is that she had no interest in Independence. She was far more interested in building an extreme cult of personality, featuring hoardings, conferences and vehicles plastered with giant images of herself, and forming a Praetorian Guard of ultra loyal supporters fuelled by a highly charged culture wars agenda.

That included the effort to jail Alex Salmond based on false accusations, which were orchestrated from ****’s office and **** HQ. Were I to fill in the blanks they would send me back to jail.

By accident or design, those most strongly opposed to Nicola’s side of the culture wars agenda also happened to be the most radical supporters of Independence, who were driven from the party en masse, which enabled Sturgeon to continue the conversion of the SNP into a de facto devolutionist party.

Scots are not stupid people, and given the choice between two parties, Labour and SNP, neither of which appeared willing to do anything in practice about Independence, they voted in this election for the one less obsessed with weirdo culture wars, and with a leadership less under criminal investigation.

The SNP were also not helped by the fact that those who left for Alba included nearly all the actual footsoldiers. In the constituency where I live, all of the ward captains who organise the leaflets and posters in their wards left for Alba. It turned out that the SNP’s remaining culture wars enthusiasts were less big on canvassing in the rain.

However Alba itself got nowhere. The ostensibly pro-Independence space is too crowded by the SNP while the media and electoral system militate against new parties. In my view Alba is also over-obsessed, from the other side, with culture wars issues that ordinary people are much too sensible to spend much time thinking about.

One thing that saddens me about the SNP rout is that the party’s talent lay heavily at Westminster, which is where the accident of timing sent many great activists after the 2014 referendum. The SNP benches at Holyrood make me groan, being a result of Sturgeon’s outrageous selection procedures.

Nobody is more sympathetic than me to mental illness (I am bipolar myself), but a situation where a candidate wins over another who got ten times the votes, because the mentally ill get preference, strikes many people as not entirely sound.

So it is a huge mess. I am not sad I missed this election in Scotland, because nothing I could do would have helped. My hope is that this huge defeat will wake the cult up to what Sturgeon did to the party and her monumental failure.

That can lead to a reconciliation to reunite the Independence movement in an SNP which becomes again a broad church, and again focused on gaining Independence, not only at elections.

The Scottish parliamentary elections are two years away. We have that period to capture the 30-40% of Scottish Labour voters who support Independence. I have no doubt disillusion with a Starmer government, elected on 34% of the UK vote (and just 1 in 5 of eligible voters) will set in very, very quickly.

Scottish Independence is still coming within my lifetime. I shall be home soon.


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173 thoughts on “Scotland and Me

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  • Republicofscotland

    This is interesting when you think that Russia’s chief prosecutor is on the ICC’s wanted list along with Putin.

    Ukraine’s Prosecutor General said he discussed the attacks (Cancer hospital hit by Ukrainian anti-missile) with International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan, adding that his office would be sharing evidence with the ICC.

    I have very little faith that the ICC will do the right thing not just with regards to Ukraine but with Israel as well.

  • Ewan2

    There’s an article at the BBC of A Hamas critic beaten up. The photo shows him on a trolley-stretcher; his name is Amin Abed. Sounds like ‘ I’m in a bed’. Could be his real name but I reckon fake.

  • Just an observation

    Given that the general election is now over, there’s no need to have a header on every webpage saying “Promoted by…” etc etc.

  • Jack

    Lets hear Starmer, the alleged, human rights lawyer take on this. Is it right to kill not only civilians, but children with famine in war?

    UN experts declare famine has spread throughout Gaza strip
    “We declare that Israel’s intentional and targeted starvation campaign against the Palestinian people is a form of genocidal violence and has resulted in famine across all of Gaza. We call upon the international community to prioritise the delivery of humanitarian aid by land by any means necessary, end Israel’s siege, and establish a ceasefire.”

    After all, he said that Israel had the right to block aid, and this is the result…

  • Cornudet

    In a Guardian article yesterday Gordon Brown exports us to “Rage as Putin Bombs Children’s Hospital but Know there is a Way to try Him.” If there was any justice in the world, or, for that matter, any law, he would be among a sizeable coterie to have stood trial for the devastation and mass murder unleashed on Iraq over the last three decades. He also appears merrily insensate to events no less appalling unfolding in Gaza during the last few months.

    Joining Brown’s call to arms, actually or metaphorically, is akin to joining a lynch mob led by Jack the Ripper

    • Anthony

      The case for himself, Blair and Campbell to be in the Hague is much stronger since Iraq is not a neighbouring country where ethnic Brits were being pogromed and they scorned peaceful solutions and instead confected a hill of lies.

      On Gaza, Gordon has not been totally silent. The Guardian published another moral tour de force back in the spring where he demanded that Hamas – and Hamas alone – be brought to the Hague. For context, when prime minister, Gordon became a patron of the Jewish National Fund, an Israeli ethnic cleansing organisation.

      This is Gordon “fundamentally decent” Brown, as the Guardian will continue to represent him.

    • will moon

      “Joining Brown’s call to arms, actually or metaphorically, is akin to joining a lynch mob led by Jack the Ripper”

      You mean the same neo-liberal inspired lynch mob that did for Muammar Gaddafi – this would be directly up Gordon Brown’s street or back alley as the case maybe

      Brown is a clown of continental proportions, akin to Stoltenberg in my mind – I remember Murdoch’s filthpots calling him “the Iron Laddy” in response to his faithfulness in following Thatcher’s monetary policies

    • David Warriston

      The Lynch mob is celebrating its 75th anniversary in New York at the moment. Brown’s article, in which he accuses Putin of every crime he has himself supported if not committed, was presumably commissioned to coincide.
      The Guardian cannot contain its glee at Brown, Blair and Mandelson being back in positions of influence, guiding Sir Keir behind the scenes. Alongside this giddy excitement lies nervousness sparked by the rise of Poujadism in the form of Farage and this fear is well founded. For if, or more likely when, Starmer’s ‘grow the economy’ slogan lies in tatters then corporate capitalism will have no need of New Labour and will cut a deal with the far right.

      • Bayard

        “The Guardian cannot contain its glee at Brown, Blair and Mandelson being back in positions of influence, guiding Sir Keir behind the scenes.”

        That could explain why Starmer so often looks like a rabbit in the headlights: his wireless earpiece telling him what to do has dropped out of signal briefly.

  • Squeeth

    For as long as voting is negated by the undemocratic electoral system, participating is pointless. You might as well replace ballot boxes with shredders.

    • M.J.

      It is important to vote, even if the party you support doesn’t win. The votes are counted and become part of history. The next time, the party you support might gain more votes. One fine day, you may have an MP. Then more than one. And so on – the Greens and Reform have done precisely this. So might the Workers Party – if they persevere. But not unless!

      • nevermind

        Modernity and rip offs are only thriving because of an unfair, disproportional and ancient electoral system open to cheating and fraud.
        Add to this the zionists undermining the political and communitarian strata and you got what we have now.

      • Stevie Boy

        Voting gives legitimacy to a corrupt system.
        Voting is not going to deliver any meaningful change.
        Keep doing the same thing and expecting a different outcome is the reality of western democracy.

      • M.J.

        Human nature will create the risk of corruption no matter what system is used. If we didn’t have Zionism there would be something else. But the democratic vote creates the possibility of change. Dictatorships don’t have it. We shouldn’t take democratic privilege for granted and allow a populist dictator to arise. We should not repeat the mistakes of Germany, the USA, Russia, Hungary and India!

        • Stevie Boy

          I hear what you’re saying and agree but, IMO, there is a world of difference between the democracy you talk of and the reality of the democracy we actually have.

        • Bayard

          I’m puzzled by the perjorative use of the term “populist”. A populist is one who does what the people want. Isn’t that supposed to be what democracy should deliver?

          • glenn_nl

            I agree to some extent. “Rabble rouser” would be a better term – that’s what they actually mean.

        • Johnny Conspiranoid

          Who decides that someone is a ‘populist’ and how? If a populist wins an election and stays within the constitution are they still a dictator?

          • M.J.

            They might use constitutional means to gain power and crush all opposition afterwards. That’s how Hitler went about it (maybe with a bit of rough stuff on the way). In the case of Mussolini, though I understand that he just marched on Rome. Maybe he thought ‘What’s this silly thing called a constitution? I thought I take one after lunch.’

          • Squeeth

            Hitler was jobbed into office by the conspirator around Hindenburg, not by the public. Weimar Germany was a democracy (unlike Britain, France, the US, Italy, the USSR and Japan) and the people always rejected the nazis in general elections, even in the half-bent vote of March 1933.

          • Bayard

            “Who decides that someone is a ‘populist’ and how? ”

            It seems to me that a populist is any head of state or aspirant head of state that appeals to the people rather than their country’s oligarchy, like Corbyn. If they remain popular and get re-elected two or more times, they are then a “dictator”. A leader chosen by the oligarchy is never “populist”, no matter how popular they are, nor do they ever become a dictator, no matter how often they get re-elected.

    • Stevie Boy

      We’ll see a united Ireland before we ever see an independent Scotland. Maybe there are lessons to be learnt !

      • Wilshire

        The best lesson to be learnt is that Craig Murray never lived in Ireland, so the powers that be and the deep state never bothered to question his attitude towards reunification of Ireland.
        I’m not pessimistic about Scotland though. The general election did somehow clarify the issue. Former actors have basically lost their credibility.

  • Xavi

    Just “1 in 5 of eligible voters” voted Labour. 

    Indeed, and among that fifth 48% said their reason was simply to get the Tories out. Five percent of them said it was Labour’s policies. Only 1% said their reason was the leadership of Sir Keir Starmer.

    One percent.

    Starmer’s personal vote in his own constituency halved from 2019, an election he and his media allies constantly branded the worst, most disgraceful result in Labour’s history.

    Starmer’s small mandate and personal unpopularity, even among the fifth who voted Labour, has not stopped the media-political class (both wings) from trying to generate a Great Leader cult around him. According to them Sir Keir is the calming moderate-centrist father of the nation that “everyone” had been crying out for. From a policy perspective he is the ideal (neolib/neocon agenda delivered with “popular ” Labour mandate), so expect the propaganda on his behalf to be intense, regardless how much lower his popularity sinks.

    It was obvious from the day this figure announced he was running for Labour leader that he was their man.

    • M.J.

      Sir Keir’s strategy of waging a “bomb proof” campaign paid off, but now he needs to prove himself. He will have to restore Aneurin Bevan’s NHS by reversing the rot of privatisation. This applies to taking a more critical view to the role of the private sector generally, especially in public services.
      The pressure to stop the genocide in Gaza may counteract the influence of the “Friends of Israel” Zionist lobby, but he will have to consider the context of 7th October for himself and take a more critical view of Israeli apartheid and its roots in racist settler colonialism.

      • M.J.

        Housing is a big elephant in the room. How to build more social housing, but at the same time prevent Tories come to power by pandering to greed, offering people the prospects of getting rich quick by sellling it off, as they did council houses?

      • ET

        Wes Streeting has stated that he will make more use of private care in treatment and service provision and more use of private procurement amongst other things. The creeping privatisation by the back door will only increase. A search on his views turns up multiple examples of his statements on these things.

        • Xavi

          Streeting and Starmer have both been bought by big private health investors as well as the Israel lobby. I wonder if any of this is genuinely a revelation to M. J.

          • Stevie Boy

            The mistake to make is to assume that Labour and Starmer are a socialist enterprise. Since Blairs days, Labour has more and more looked outwards to the robber barons, they don’t look inwards to the people or the country. Everything is driven by making themselves and the rich even richer, there is no interest in reducing the gap between rich and poor or helping the UK and its people prosper. Blair lives on. This is exactly what the tories did/do. Industry, NHS, Housing, Transport, etc. all to be out-sourced and privatised and it’ll cost us to participate.
            There will be no turning back, this is our future, paying for everything, even what we thought we owned.

          • Xavi

            I can’t disagree. There are no political obstacles whatsoever and they will never be satisfied. Never.

      • Xavi

        Sir Keir has wasted no time at all proving himself.

        I’m sure you saw that one of his first acts since the election has been to appoint arch-NHS privatiser Alan Milburn to drive through NHS “reform”.

        Another has been to assure war criminal Benjamin Netanyahu that he wants an even closer bond between Britain and the genocidal apartheid regime.

        You must also be aware that one of Rachel Reeves’s first acts was to assure the BBC this week that there will be no government spending on council housing. Absolutely zero. (Corbyn promised 100,000 new council homes would be built every year).

        So. Any thoughts on how Sir Keir is proving himself on your 3 main issues of concern?

        • M.J.

          I was struck by an opinion poll that said that most Labour voters did it simply to get the Tories out, and the next biggest slice of this “constituency” wanted change in some form or another.
          The question then is: why did they choose Labour? The answer could be the key to persuading Sir Keir to move back towards traditional Labour values and positions, and looking more critically at privatisation, for example.
          Otherwise we could see more Green, LibDem (depending on how their sympathies evolve) and Reform MPs at succeeding elections.

          • David Warriston

            Starmer has surely made it crystal clear that there will be no return to traditional Labour positions. He has spent the last five years flushing any people with such notions out of the Party. ‘Shaking off the fleas’ was the metaphor of choice.

            I would forget any idea of Starmer turning to the ideas of Aneurin Bevan. However he does have some regard for traditional Labour: at present he is basking in the afterglow of victory to celebrate 75 years of US imperialism- Ernest Bevin would be proud of him.

          • Bayard

            “The question then is: why did they choose Labour?”

            Because, since the last Liberal government before the first world war, the only party to present a credible opposition to the Conservative Party is Labour. Not-Conservative = Labour. That’s as far as it goes. Policies, candidates, leader, none of those are a factor.

          • Johnny Conspiranoid

            “persuading Sir Keir to move back towards traditional Labour values and positions, and looking more critically at privatisation, for example.”
            Many people might want that but the mystery is why do they vote for parties which are explicitly against those things, such as Conservatives, Labour, LibDem, Reform and Greens?
            Labour has spent the last five years proclaiming that they are like the conservatives so how have people ‘got the conservatives out’ by voting labour?

      • Johnny Conspiranoid

        He meant what he said when he waged his ‘bomb-proof’ campaign so there is no chance of him ‘proving himself’in the way you suggest.

  • James

    “why did they choose Labour? The answer could be the key to persuading Sir Keir to move back towards traditional Labour values and positions”
    There is no way of changing the system from within the system.All Uniparty candidates are thoroughly vetted by the system. They are obedient servants of the system – not of the voters.

    Corbyn was the last chance of effecting some change – and he only got on the Labour leadership ballot as a joke. If they’d thought, for one moment, that he’d actually win, he would have got nowhere near the candidate list. Now, the ‘choice’ is neoliberal party A or neoliberal party B. That’s it. The Greens and all the rest can get millions of votes, nationwide – they’d still get FA seats.

    As others have pointed out, all voting does now, is endorse the prevailing, corrupt, Nature-destroying nightmare known as ‘normal’.
    People believe in this hell because they’ve been conditioned, from school, through employment, to think the status quo is ok. All the institutions – the courts, universities, scientists, construction workers, police, healthcare – the lot – exists to maintain the priviledged position of the ruling class (ie the professional-managerial class).
    While the system abides, there can be no true freedom.

    • David Warriston

      I think the professional/managerial class maintains – ‘delivers’ in Keir Starmer language – the system of class rule but the actual rulers are rarely seen by us and remain largely anonymous.

      Corbyn was put on the leadership ballot more as a sop rather than as a joke, but his election certainly terrified the ruling caste. Corbyn’s reception at Glastonbury was probably the moment that they decided on full scale attack, for here was a man winning over the young people of the country. His anti-NATO and anti-Zionist instincts had been well known for years but were now starting to corrupt Britain’s youth. To our rulers, this was democracy gone mad and had to be stopped.

      The concept of Party members voting directly for a leader will probably be quietly replaced by the major Parties in the years ahead.

      • James

        Idk if the system needs anyone other than its managers (these include politicians, bankers, lawyers, corporations). It’s like a living thing, in that it somehow ensures its continuation. Starmer (and the rest) are products of it, designed to enforce the rules and keep the masses in order.
        Unlike an actual, physical animal or plant, however, the system does not live in balance with Nature – rather, it destroys Nature in order to feed itself and grow. In that respect, it (not people – the system) is like a cancer on the planet.

    • M.J.

      It depends on how much democracy there is within the Labour party, in the sense of members being able to get positions (like neo-Bevanism?) considered at conferences. I don’t know, because I’m not a member.
      But my point is, if Starmer doesn’t identify and address the reasons why voters close Labour over other parties, he’ll start losing councils, byelections and even general elections to them. So the ball is in his court now.

      • James

        It doesn’t matter what Starmer does. If he goes, he’ll just be replaced by another machine-mind psychopath.
        It’s like the famous quote by Noam Chomsky to Andrew Marr, who was protesting how uncensored he was:
        “if you believed something different you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting.”
        What was true about Marr is true about all those who succeed in large institutions – including political parties.

        “The fact is that they are deceitful with no wish to deceive, not like Machiavellians, but with no consciousness of their deceit, and usually with the naive assurance that they are doing something excellent and elevated, a view in which they are persistently encouraged by the sympathy and approval of all who surround them.” – Leo Tolstoy

  • Republicofscotland

    So Starmer has been summoned to Washington to make sure he doesn’t put a block on the case against the ICC’s right to issue a warrant for Netanyahu and Gallant. Washington wants to make sure Starmer’s man in the ICC – Brit, and chief prosecutor Karim Khan – doesn’t follow through and issue a warrant for these monsters.

    • David Warriston

      According to the WSWS, Biden rather let the cat out of the bag on Wednesday when meeting with the AFL-CIO trade union bureaucrats. He alluded to them as ‘my domestic NATO’ thereby acknowledging their role in controlling the political ambitions of the working class. This has long been a problem for Democrats: amidst the usual foliage of political dishonesty, Biden has occasionally been known to blurt out the truth. Which is why I think he will have to be sidelined as the NATO war machine grinds up a few gears.

    • Goose


      It’s a preposterous intervention too. Geoffrey Robinson KC, explains why here:

      Robinson explains: “Palestine was accepted as a member state of the ICC in 2015, and in 2021 the court ruled that it had jurisdiction (that is, the legal power) to investigate and punish Israeli war crimes in Palestine. Some other member states objected, although Britain was not among them.”
      Although, this is likely the real driver behind the UK’s despicable initiative : “The US is not a member of the ICC, and expects the UK to look after its interests there”.

      The new Foreign Secretary, David Lammy, has already stated that a Labour govt would comply with any ICC issued arrest warrants. Continuing with the Tories’ outrageous challenge to the ICC, is surely completely at variance with that promise to comply?

  • Republicofscotland

    The UK is still allowing the (US) to use it bases in Cyprus to send weapons and troops to Israel.

    The UK government signed a 10-year trade and defence pact with Israel in 2021.

    Consecutive UK governments have been complicit in the genocide in Gaza.

    “Unmarked planes are being used by US forces to fly from Cyprus to Israel, including as recently as June 26
    The aircraft are believed to be used by highly secretive 427th Special Operations Squadron and the CIA
    Declassified also finds 26 huge US military transport planes have landed at UK base on Cyprus, believed to be carrying weapons for Israel
    Revelations could further implicate British ministers in war crimes
    The US Air Force has been sending unmarked planes from Britain’s base on Cyprus to Israel since it began bombing Gaza, it can be revealed.

    The planes are all C-295 and CN-235 aircraft, which are believed to be used by American special forces.

    Declassified has found 18 of these aircraft which have gone from the sprawling British air base on Cyprus, RAF Akrotiri, to Israel’s capital Tel Aviv since October 7.

    Akrotiri is the key node in the international effort to arm and provide logistical support for Israel’s assault on Gaza.

    But the UK government has always refused to divulge any information about US activities at Akrotiri, which is known to include transporting weapons to Israel.

    Asked in May how many US Air Force (USAF) flights had taken off from the base since October 7, defence minister Leo Docherty said: “The Ministry of Defence does not comment on the operations of our Allies.”

    But Declassified discovered the unmarked planes that flew from Akrotiri to Israel from November to June have a serial number showing they are operated by the USAF. Most of these journeys had the flight number GONZO62.

    Six more unmarked C-130 planes have gone from Akrotiri to Tel Aviv since the bombing of Gaza began, which are believed to be USAF, but it was not possible for Declassified to locate their operator.

    The C-130 can carry 128 combat troops and almost 20 tonnes of cargo.

    The new information could further implicate British ministers in war crimes in Gaza. In November 2023, a US military official revealed that American special forces were stationed in Israel and “actively helping the Israelis”.”

    • Stevie Boy

      The military bases on Cyprus are British Sovereign Territory, ie. Technically not Cypriot, however: Recently, hezbolla pointed out that if Israel was to invade Lebanon they would also target enablers of Israeli aggression, specifically Cyprus.
      IMO, Cyprus is essentially a hostage of its past relationship with the UK. Cypriots don’t really want the UK, USA and Israeli military on its island but cannot do much about it.

      • will moon

        Stevie Boy, Cyprus was the premier staging post in most of the Crusades.

        If you want to mess about in the Levant or deeper into West Asia the bases on Cyprus are essential. I wonder how the locals responded to Nasrallah’s sabre-rattling – I can’t imagine going on holiday to Cyprus at the moment, though I know someone who is taking a cheap week there shortly lol

    • Jack

      And just the other day Keir Starmer proclaimed how he would keep the (Tory initiated) aim of 2,5% of GPD for military spending:

      “UK’s Starmer commits to increasing defence spending to 2.5% of GDP”

      How could an alleged social-democrat be pro absurdly amount of money, ultimately going to death and destruction, and not to his actually, often impoverished, electorate that is in dire need of social reforms, aid?

      Pardon me but to hell with this weaselly man.

      • Bayard

        “Pardon me but to hell with this weaselly man.”

        He’s worse than Johnson. Just as untrustworthy, shallower and far less likeable.

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