Scotland 3.0

As the date for the liberation poll is announced the need for clarity is needed. Liberation from what, for what? A replica mini-state is not what we need from this process. We need a new operating system, not a new computer. What social software do we need? What political apps are required? What could Scotland 3.0 look like?

Number one on my list – and I suspect the vast majority of us, is a response to the crisis in child poverty outlined recently as figures suggest 13 Scottish councils have wards where more than 30% of children live in pockets of severe poverty. Equality needs to be hard-coded into the new Scotland. The ‘worst areas were in Glasgow, the west of Scotland, Edinburgh, Dundee, Fife, Aberdeen and Stirling’, in other words right across the country.

The Campaign to End Child Poverty warned inflation, unemployment and cuts could see levels of deprivation spiral. The group has produced a map of child poverty for every ward, council and constituency. It’s not a pretty picture. In fact, it’s a national disgrace. The figures are matched for old people suffering from fuel poverty and the results of this poverty are seen in our disgraceful record of ill-health. This is a union dividend that needs to end. This isn’t going to change with new policies or a new constitution, it’s going to change with a new economics.

Second we need to create an open-source politics. This needs to be the new operating system, contrasting with Britain’s closed, elitist, feudal stratification. It needs to be an operating system called Scotland SD. Self-determination is about new emerging forms of democracy. Forms that reflect the kind of society we might want to create, ones that might be inclusive, participative and creative. So let’s build new systems where people want to participate in forming and shaping policy and running their towns and cities and communities. And that process itself has to be open to all. Crowd-sourcing our new constitution should be a key aim of the wider independence movement.

Third, we need to download a Peace App. We can start by scrapping the British States Weapons of Mass Destruction, and we can continue by withdrawing our troops from whatever theatre of war they are currently engaged in. Then we can offer a better option to our young men than the ‘adventure’ in Belfast, Helmand or Iraq as has been dangled by recruitment officers for hundreds of years. It’s a sick farce from Tory-Liberal and Labour alike to be opposing the extension of the vote to 16 and 17 year olds whilst young people have died in Blair’s Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Fourth we need to upgrade the anti-virus software that has affected our culture and leaves it marginalised, degraded or abandoned.

Finallly, this is like all upgrades need to be part of global network. The network is the thing. It’s not just about us. And there is no doubting that there are geoplitical consequences for what’s going on. Scotland is home to 5 million UK citizens, 5% of UK GDP, Europe’s sixth largest finance sector in Edinburgh, four Trident submarines (with around 200 nuclear warheads and 58 ballistic missiles), four regular British Army garrisons, three frontline RAF bases and six Royal Navy bases. On its North Sea coast lie oil reserves perhaps amounting to 30 billion barrels. So, it’s important not just for us. Scotland has been the military playground, a place where the British elite are educated and where fossil fuel extraction has made oil barons rich and propped up 30 years of neoliberalism from Maggie to Tony to Dave. All that’s got to go too.

Install Scotland 3.0 now. Warning this may take 2 years to download.

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    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Yes

  1. This would go a long way to tackle poverty endemic throughout the UK for decades.

    sign the petition to David Cameron for tax justice please.

  2. Helen says:

    Why are we concerned about children in poverty, yet ignoring the far larger numbers of adults in deep poverty?

    Let’s concern ourselves with ALLhumans in poverty in Scotland. Age should not be a barrier to concern and decency. Our should my neighbour in his forties father a child before his poverty is noticed? We’ll run to ensure children of those families who find themselves homeless, yet leave those adults in the same predicament sleeping in the streets.

    Please see the data from JRF on adult poverty.
    http://www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-2011

    We all matter. Children matter, pensioners matter. But please do not allow heart strings preclude us all from concerning ourselves about the adults who are as much victim of government policy as children are. Because each and every one of those adults suffering deep poverty, a deep poverty that has been ignored by this and the previous government, matter every bit as much as children do.

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Good point Helen, I agree. I just used that – the latest study – to illustrate the point. You are quite right.

  3. Scottish republic says:

    Mike – always like your articles – 100% agree with the order of the priorities.

    30% in nearly half of Scotland’s local authorities (especially Labour – i.e. perhaps previous – heartlands) not even slightly acceptable in the tiniest degree in a decent society.

    300 years of Union + 50 years of Labour party indifference = poverty for these kids… sick

    Not forgetting – the early mortality rate in Labour ‘heartlands’ is unacceptable.

    Moreover, the social costs : drugs, crime and the eventual fiscal costs associated with spiralling poverty —– makes one angry.

  4. Yep, 100% agree (if perhaps not with the dodgy computer metaphors…). There’d be no point in independence if all we get is a smaller version of the UK.

  5. Scottish republic says:

    I liked the computer metaphors… then again I like metaphors and drawing them out.

    Still, it was cleared conceptually with the metaphor I feel.

  6. Scottish republic says:

    clearer

    no edit button

  7. mhairi says:

    Have you seen what Iceland has been doing with the re-drafting of the constitution? Its a really interesting model, and ultimately one which could work well here.

    “To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.”

    http://sacsis.org.za/site/article/728.1

    1. Helen says:

      I’ve been thinking about Iceland too. I think we should take a good look at what they are doing there. We could learn so much from them.

      Are there are good videos from Iceland, by those involved, explaining what they are doing and how they are going about it? Would be a valuable resouce if available.

      1. I don’t know of any videos, but this is an informative and inspiring read:

        http://www.opendemocracy.net/richard-bater/hope-from-below-composing-commons-in-iceland

        It *can* be done 🙂

  8. richardcain2 says:

    Very good article. To continue the computer metaphor, truly open-source politics will negate the need for any anti-virus. Viruses only creep in when people can’t see (or don’t wish to see) what’s going on.

  9. allymax says:

    Between now and 2014, it’s going to be a ‘bumpy ride’ tussling it out with Westminster; for all the reasons you have mentioned in your article, Mike. But exactly for these reasons we must do it. We must go for independence full-front, and whole-hearted; and we must win.

    The impoverishment of Scotland’s children, (and families if it comes to that), is a result of Westminster’s government for the ‘rich only’. The Westminster government feudal policies are class-divisive; with family tax-breaks for the middle class, and family-breaking taxes for the working class; I mean, how can working class people afford extortionately high rates for fuel etc, on a basic wage? Everything that costs, is determined at prices and costs to impoverish the working class. We were paid only enough what they considered we could barely get by on; no real disposable income unless you were middle class, and even then, the middle class were ‘encouraged’ to spend that money and buy a mortgage. The underclass was the next stage progressed to from being working class, while the petite bourgeois was the ‘perceived’ next step for the middle class. All the while the super-rich Marxist bankers controlled our dire and dreary lives. This is how we’re kept poor, because it is a ‘policy’ by Westminster to keep an ‘underclass’ available to ‘maintain’ the middle class, who pay the taxes for the upper class and super-rich to live their lives of luxury at the taxpayers expense. Everybody ‘in their place’, and the empire functioning properly. Wow, how could we have been so stupid?

    These horrendous empire policies only worked because of our (general) ignorance to believe what we were being told; I mean, how could we not trust those we just voted for? The Westminster-owned main-stream-media, the t.v. channels, and newspapers helped to keep us neatly tied into our dire lives, stuck in front of the goggle-box watching crap like Eastenders, Coronation Street, and Big Brother; soap operas that stole our purpose to live our own lives out, instead we watched, hypnotised in paranoid fantasy, as year after year drifted away.

    Our lives were run from the moment we went to bed to the moment we went back to bed a day later; every day, the years just passed away, leaving only a faint memory of that ‘something we should be doing’. That’s how imperial ideology works; control the masses like they are mushrooms; keep them in the dark, and heap as much shoite on them for ‘conditioned’ growth. Westminster is the de’il for sure, but now there’s a new politics on the horizon; a politics that Scotland has never seen before. A politics that draws from the vertical,bringing truth and reconciliation. Scottish independence.

    The last time Scotland was independent we still had feudal society, but in a less authoritarian empire manner. And now in the 21st century we have a Modern SNP Scottish Government, who actually care about us Scots, (Aye, wid ye believe it!), and the greatest chance there ever has been of putting Scotland on the right tracks. It will be a great place to live for all our children, and their children too. What a beautiful thing to be fighting for; that’s what our ancestors fought for, and we must fight for it too. We’ve never been so close to succeeding; we cannot stop now. We cannot fail. Our children, and their children will either thank us, or deride us. It’s not really a choice; we must make this independence happen in Autumn 2014. If for only a brief moment we can dream of this new Scotland, it would make my heart sing with joy and gladness to see poverty eradicated, brilliant buildings, designed and built by Scots, high employment, everybody on at least a social wage,and an egalitarian society, where there’s no class divide, a fair Scots society exercising its autonomy as we press ahead in veins of strident pride and passion. This is our responsibility now; we must make it happen.

    The things we must avoid, (that are Westminster ‘sand-traps’), are Postmodern political ethics and ideals; this is what Westminster are, Postmodern. Think Westminster lies, deceit, and subterfuge, think the illegal Iraq war, fat-cat pensions & bankers bonuses, politicians peerages, dishonourable gentlemen, and The City of London plc. Think the radical Left, demanding equality’, human rights, and gay marriages; these are things not of a Modern nation, a Modern collective society and nation, these are things of a disenfranchising, disintegrating and divisive nation; a Postmodern nation just like Westminster controls right now. Where no-one is accountable nor responsible, and nothing is real. Will we get independence, than go backwards in our thinking? Back to Westminster control? These are Postmodern political philosophies. These are Westminster !

    As much as there is a lot to do, we must take control of our Scotland; we have the ball in our ‘court’ now, don’t let Westminster get back into the game! We cannot let a radical Left take us back into the clutches of Westminster again. They are waiting for the Postmodern ethics to drive us apart, fracture our identity, and step in and steal our nation again. Don’t let them drive our traditional Scots nation down into Postmodern desires for derelict hearts and decadent fancies. Whatever changes we do make in our new Scotland, we must not change to Postmodern political philosophy ethics and ideals.
    allymax.

    1. Helen says:

      There is no reason to think anyone on the left will take us back to the Westminister of bad politics than there is of the right.

      There is no reason, none for us, to conflate our Independence with left right politics. None!

      It has to be on the basis of the question ‘Do we want to control our own affairs or not?’

      If we decide yes, then we will have periodic elections to decide if for that time period of the next parliament, left or right politics is what suits us.
      If we decide.

      I’ve been looking around. The only radicals I see with a Westminster bent at the moment are the London-based Tory party people creating websites for the no campaign.If you check this out and the registrant, you’ll find a lobbyist deeply entwined with big business and the Conservatives in London. That is interference, unwelcome interference in my view. If we are talking radical and suggest this current crop of privateers are not radical, then we are sorry bunch indeed!

      I don’t want any of them in London involved in this. This is our decision, a Scottish decision to be made by the people of Scotland and who are in Scotland, regardless of their flavour. no Lobbyists, no corporations, no Londonites. We won’t allow the Italians, the Americans or the people of Burundi decide our future and similarly we shouldn’t allow the people of England vote in our referendum. If they want to decide. They can have their own referendum on whether to boot us out of not.

      1. allymax says:

        If you don’t understand political philosophy then there’s no reason for you to fear what you don’t know.

        There’s every reason to think Left-ist politics will take us backwards, you just need to look at how America has constrained itself with these similar politics.

        Ignorance is now not an excuse for Scotland.

        I think you’ll find when it comes to ‘international support’, Scotland will get that support from the E.U., the U.N., and the United States of America; it’s ‘closed thinking’ (that we don’t need anybody) that is the cringe of Scotland’s progress.

        When Scotland is independent, Scotland will have very important
        ‘responsibilities’ in the international arena, and to those aforementioned international support. Now’s not the time for Westminster style bluff and bluster !

      2. Ray Bell says:

        “There is no reason, none for us, to conflate our Independence with left right politics.” – Plenty of people conflate left-wing politics with unionism, and right wing politics for that matter. Depends which suits the argument at the time. However, you’ve come on to Bella Caledonia, which is avowedly pro-independence and left-wing, so what do you expect? If someone wants to set up a right-wing pro-independence blog, then there’s nothing stopping them.

        The Unionist Bulls*** Generator sums up the cliched arguments, pretty well:
        http://members.multimania.co.uk/tm8/UnionistBSGen/

      3. A Marxist says:

        On the contrary allymax, far be it from me to attempt any subterfuge here, because you’re playing the role of subverting this site’s aim admirably. That is, to create a consensus that an explicitly cultural Scottish nationalism is palatable to cosmopolitan socialists, in spite of the fact that “workers have no country”. You remind me a bit of an antique claymore – blunt, crude, and rather too much for your own side to handle!

    2. A Marxist says:

      So does this comment represent a typical SNP activist’s analysis – that gay marriage and human rights are “postmodern ethics” designed to “fracture our identity as a nation”, that bankers are “Marxists”, and that “radical Leftists” drove Scotland into “the clutches of Westminster”?

      Fascinating stuff !

      1. bellacaledonia says:

        I’m equally confused by what or who ‘super rich Marxist bankers’ are…

      2. allymax says:

        ‘Fascinating stuff’ in deed.

        As you are ‘A Marxist’, you are particular about your arguments that I make about, Marxists; (“that gay marriage and human rights are “postmodern ethics””); yes, of-course they are. These ideals never existed on the political plane until the Postmodern era. There can be no argument about that what-so-ever. Besides, in what way would I find my argument on Marxism agreeable to a Marxist ? I don’t expect you to agree with me; did you lose your premise half way through your post ? Unless you’ve noticed, I’m arguing that Marxism is destructive to society, Scots society and politics in particular.

        Do you expect me to agree with you that Westminster are good people, and their policies are good policies because they are Marxists ? I think you’ll find Westminster are Marxists, and their policies are horrendously oppressive; their policies have caused the impoverishment of Scots children and families.

        And, you add in a quote that I didn’t write !
        I never wrote “and that “radical Leftists” drove Scotland into the “clutches of Westminster”? Oh dear, are you crony Bliar ? (Proverbs 30;6) !

        Regardless of the political philosophy of Westminster, and their oinks, Scotland already has the legal and lawful confines of human rights, equality etc in its parameters of Scots Law; the Megrahi release proves on human rights grounds Scotland already has these facets of ‘compassionate’ ethics built into Scots Law. The real problem comes from those arguing about human rights that don’t understand what human rights actually are, and that Scots Law already incorporates these ethics; there’s no need for a new authoritarian yuk supreme court to try and force its jurisdiction on Scotland only to try and con us all into thinking we have to submit to them because it’s ‘human rights’. That’s rubbish !

        There’s no need for Scotland to be ‘adding’ rubbish legislation to appease Postmodern MSP Lefty’s decadent fancies, nor those that are agents of subterfuge; ‘interested’ only in Westminster’s bent to disenfranchise Scots society. Your argument is weak, just as the ‘retort’ comment above you of ‘Lefties’; you really need to brush-up on your arguments; and your subterfuge !

        A Marxist, thanks for the platform. allymax.

      3. Ray Bell says:

        “I’m equally confused by what or who ‘super rich Marxist bankers’ are…”

        They feature quite widely in certain conspiracy theories. Apparently the Rockefellers and Rothschilds are battling to create international Marxism.

        Apparently…

    3. John Souter says:

      Obviously I’ll need to re-read my Marx. If memory serves he was fiercely against unregulated capitalism?

      I’m also confused by the reference to ‘Post Modern’ when its pretty obvious the ‘modern model’ is in a state of flux and looking fairly dismal.

      Nor can I see the relevance to a post independent Scotland adopting or advocating homophobic bigotry by returning to pre modern Calvinism.

  10. Ray Bell says:

    [I have posted this on the last article, but I think that this is an important point, and cannot be overemphasised. Our opponents can and will do the dirty, like they did in ’79.]

    I have repeatedly asked people in the SNP to guarantee that NEUTRAL INTERNATIONAL OBSERVERS will monitor the referendum. However, while I have had positive responses from some people, others do not seem to realise what is at stake here. We need these to ensure that any referendum, is fair, above board, and conducted properly. We really can’t expect the British State to do this, nor trust certain people counting the votes in some areas either.

  11. Ray Bell says:

    I think we need a decentralisation “app” as well. For too long, have certain people in Scotland thought that Scotland = Glasgow, or Scotland = Edinburgh or Scotland = Central Belt. This creates a dichotomy of “Scot” vs Teuchter.

    We really need a Scotland, which serves the Galloway, the Borders, and Dumfriesshire, the north east, the Highlands (including Argyll), the Hebrides, Caithness, Orkney, Shetland etc.

    Scottish TV, whether it be BBC Scotland or STV seems to be very localised. Just about every comedy is set in Glasgow, the political commentary is mostly about Edinburgh, and the crime section is about sectarianism and stabbing in Glasgow. The sports coverage is nearly all about two football teams, with shinty, rugby, Scottish horse racing, Highland League football etc hardly getting a look in.

    The Scotsman and the Herald barely cover affairs fifty miles north of where they’re based. I remember the Scotsman reporting on youth disturbances in Elgin… no less than two years after the initial “riots” started…

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Good suggestion. Totally agree.

    2. R Louis says:

      I totally agree with Ray Ball, in his comment regarding international monitors for the referendum. It is not a ‘conspiracy theory’ to suggest that Westminster, if it thinks it will lose, will resort to underhand gerrymandering tactics of the most undemocratic kind. I also agree, that I genuinely believe there are also some in Scotland who simply could not be trusted on a local level to ensure the count is fair.

      As regards the ‘decentralisation’ concept, I also wholly agree. Compared to the BBC (pro Britannia and Glasgow murder/football obsession), a decentralised Scottish TV and media coverage would be a blessing to Scotland. BBC ALBA, which is under separate control, and has a less centralised philosophy covers events and cultural issues in Scotland which are not even mentioned by either the BBC or STV. For some reason, the BBC think polar bears are more important than say, the plight of the West coast fishing industry.

      Similarly with sport, the obsession only with Edinburgh/Glasgow, misses the cultural aspects of Scotland, which make the country what it is. Maybe such a philosophy is accidental, but then again, maybe in the case of the BBC it is deliberate. Creating a ‘sanitised’, ‘anglicised’ conformity via our television coverage, helps keep Scots from realising how different we are to those in the ‘chipping norton set’ down south.

      As for shinty, it needs its own app. as the coverage in Scotland is at present so abysmally poor. It is atrocious, that some school children in Scotland don’t even know what shinty is, or that we get more TV coverage of cricket on Scottish television than we actually do of shinty. If that alone is not a serious inditement regarding the media in Scotland, then I don’t know what is.

  12. Scottish republic says:

    I agree ‘adult poverty’ is a priority – children are defenceless and as such end up where they do through chance – yet we leave adults out of the conversation -especially single men.

    All poverty is a war – you either fight it or hold up the white flag.

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