Dignified Possibilities

scotlands-rorschachBy Mike Small

These are dark days with the Conservative government announcing daily policy initiatives so emboldened, so savage and so off-the-scale of what we have seen before that they are going to get darker still. The Metro reports: ‘homeless people could be fined up to £1,000 for sleeping in doorways near popular tourist spots, under new rules launched by a London council.’ The old and vulnerable – those with learning difficulties and mental health problems – are being “placed in jeopardy” by a further £1.1bn of cuts to adult social care. There’s the ongoing punishment culture through sanctions and workfare and it’s voyeuristic mirror in media output. Yesterday George Osborne announced £4.5 billion worth of savings in the Commons. £3bn of those savings will come from cuts to departmental budgets, and the rest will come from the selling-off of the government’s 30 per cent stake in Royal Mail. This is the beginning of what they promised. It’s Thatcherism on steroids. It’s the consequence of the No vote we all predicted. Frankie Boyle reminds us: “The Conservatives actually campaigned on a manifesto pledge to get rid of human rights and people voted for it.” But, if the Britain of the Summer of 2015 seems like an Edgar Allen Poe tale of gothic surrealism, there are also moves to change this broken system and build on what we’ve learnt and created in the last five years.

There’s a convergence of understanding happening, and our own experience of it should be seen in the context of wider movements across the world.

From Iceland Birgitta Jónsdóttir writes:

“The 21 Century will be the century of the common people – the century of you, of US. We live in remarkable, transformative times. We have the library of Alexandria at our fingertips; all the recorded knowledge of the world is being digitized and made available through the Internet. Meanwhile, our democratic models are hollow and crumbling at an alarming rate as we move further into a new era of complexity, technology and interconnectivity. The ideologies of the old school of politics, media, monetary systems, education, corporations, and all known structures are in a state of transformation. They are crumbling. Now is the time for fundamental change on all fronts, we have to seize this moment. Because this is THE moment. Our states are built around systems that are outdated, created in simpler times and for smaller societies. Today, those systems no longer serve the people but are simply self-serving. The welfare state has been hollowed and is on the verge of collapse, often as a way to privatize it.  We are running out of planet and our current systems are unable to do anything about it.”

From England, Chris Erskine talks of ‘dignified possibilities’, moving beyond the ‘fake epiphany of democracy’ and forcing us to confront our complicity in mass consumerism and deeper systemic problems:

“Let’s stop believing the current fantasy of actually caring. Of story-telling that we are in this together: and its all going to have a happy ending. This fairytale has always had dragons – land ownership; colonisation; the weapons industry…. It’s time to wake up. But, in a sense we are all in this together – up to our necks in it. Too bogged down with debt and fear to care or challenge the system. Or too complicit with our own little vested interests of home, career and (fragmenting) nuclear family demands. Every new birth carries a point of utter exhaustion, pain and despair. No alternative is going to be delivered without us all being willing to experience this.”

It’s true that the malaise of contemporary society goes beyond crumbling democratic models. This suggests there needs to be a deeper engagement with our problems and our complicity. The question is -how does this sit with the real opportunities being manifested across Europe? I think there’s an opportunity to take the disheveled realism of Erskine’s position and meld it with the lively idealism of the new citizens movement.

In Spain Podemos (We Can) was born out of the Spanish indignados movement. The fledgling party won five seats and 1.2 million votes in Spain’s European elections in 2014. It all happened very fast. In times of change everything accelerates. Writing on the Left Project’s site, Mark Crawfurd writes:

“This question of political speed is not unique to Scotland. In Spain, it took Podemos twelve months to go from its creation as a political organisation to take a lead in the opinion polls. Although, in Greece, Syriza has been around for ten years, its journey to government – relative to its political ideology – has been fast. Upon citing these examples, critics usually point out that Spain and Greece have been subjected to an extreme form of austerity which has caused the centre-ground to disintegrate, leading desperate people (who, we are told, are far more desperate than we, in Scotland, will ever be) to consider radical political alternatives. This is one objection to the idea of a “Scottish Syriza” that I would like to challenge in this essay before, then, turning to the question of political speed – the role that speed played in the referendum and how we should aim to harness it over the next year.”

Speed is an interesting idea in politics.

At times it’s felt like nothing would ever change. Now it feels like everything might collapse, at any time. Sometimes that feels good (Blatter), sometimes that feels disturbingly bad (ice caps). But we are on a slide with dozens of drivers: globalism versus cultural renewal, the base reality of climate crisis, peak inequality, technology/democracy/communications, forty years of gender politics, elite failure.

Now we have a connection of flows. [“A connection [of flows] is a mutiny, a prison break, a bank panic: the more that join the flight, the faster it goes” – John Protevi]

From Sweden – talking about the general election in the UK, Dougald Hine writes: “What we have seen is a failure of politics, a failure of democracy at a cultural level, part of a larger story playing out across the struggling countries of the post-industrial west. For now, it may look like the Tories have won, but it is a fragile victory. If you want an image for the state of English politics today – Scotland is another story – then think of three cartoon characters who have run off a cliff. Two of them have just plummeted and flattened themselves into the ground, while the third is still hanging there, feet spinning in the air, oblivious to its situation.”

This image of the failure of the victors is perhaps less obvious with the triumphant Tories but is certainly visible in the dissembling incoherence of the post-Ed Labour discussions.

But the point is that Quietism is Over. Everything’s still busting loose, we are freer, if not free.

If the radical democracy movement in Scotland can and must learn from Iceland, Spain, Greece and beyond, they too can learn from us. As Niki Seth-Smith writes in a new collection of essays on generational politics in Britain: Resist! Against a Precarious Future

“What I’m about to argue shouldn’t be controversial. Namely, that the 2014 Scottish independence referendum was the most important political event yet for my generation of young people in Britain. Not only that: it was a harbinger of the kind of politics we can expect for the future, not only in the UK but also Europe-wide. The independence campaign was movement-based, created alliances across political tribes and the vote was direct democracy in action, if not of the radical kind. In a country whose political system has been dying of slow suffocation – with the average voting age rising and increasing numbers turning their backs on the ballot box – it re-engaged the ‘missing million’, including 80 per cent of under thirty-fives. The majority of these young people voted for independence. In fact, without the country’s pensioners, who voted against by 77 per cent, Scotland would now be an independent country. The ‘impossible’, the end of Britain as we know it, very nearly happened, falling short by a 10 per cent gap.”

The challenge we face as the Conservative government begin their task of imposing permanent austerity and restructuring he social fabric of Britain, is to resist this, to show solidarity and to organise to leave and determine our own affairs as soon as is practically possible.

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  1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    Off topic but on the same theme, this is what former Liebour MP Austin Mitchel wrote recently.

    On your constituency

    “Constituents are a grudging lot and the people that turn to you for help are so clueless that they probably don’t vote anyway. It’s appearances that count, not work or surgeries.”

    “The days when you’d get away with a monthly visit – still less a yearly visit – are gone. You’ve got to live there, or pretend to… so create the impression that you’re constantly in your constituency without wasting too much of your time by being there.”

    On the general public

    “You can’t call anyone snobs, plods, plebs or scroungers – even if they manifestly are.”

    I wonder why he didn’t write this before the General Election ?

    order-order.com/2015/06/03/austin-mitchells-advice-for-new-mps/#_@/O5ct08PM2ZCZLg

  2. sandy ritchie says:

    What I like about BC is the contributers optimism. It really does lift me oot my doom and gloom. I only wish that it could be sustained. The author refers to the new nationalist left of centre parties sprouting up in Europe. Unfortunately for every left of centre there’s about 2 right wing neo Nazi parties who are doing well..if that’s the correct description. I refer to Golden Dawn in Greece…Front Nationale in France…Finn in Finland…Party of Freedom ..Netherlands..Danish Peoples Party ..Denmark..NDP Germany…Austrian Freedom….Austria…. and of course our own UKIP…I won’t say what all of these parties and those in the left have in common…I’ll leave it for others to deduce…

    1. In afraid you’ll have to help us with what these groups have in common Sandy. I only touched it in brief but the point about Podemos and Tzirisa is how successful they have been. There are reactionary forces everywhere but thankfully few actually in office.

      1. Sandy Ritchie says:

        my point was that nationalism is rearing its head all over Europe as a reaction against the establishment. The author quoted those on the left …that are considered progressive..but I was indicating that unfortunately there are more on the right ..far more. In many ways they are different sides of the same coin. More extreme examples are occurring in the Middle East ..ISIS for example is the most extreme. Don’t faint I’m not saying those in Europe have descended to that level, although Balkans werenae far away. My comments also relate to the other topic where Unionists were described as “the enemy” …one could have added “within”. That kind of talk can lead our country down a dangerous and divisive road. Frustration by those who support Independence about this Tory Government is equally shared if not more so by those of us on the left. A massive march against austerity is planned in London this week end. This indicates that many people in England share our frustration with the Tory mantra of dismantling the welfare state that was built by Labour. If or when the next referendum occurs…I hope that individuals on both sides accept the result ..as the French speaking population of Quebec did when there was less than a 0.5% between the separists and those who wanted to remain as part of Canada. And let’s get on with fighting workers common enemy…the Tories

        1. bringiton says:

          Scotland is not the same as Quebec.
          Voters in Ontario do not elect Quebec’s government.

  3. Iain says:

    These are dark days, and our new masters seem determined to maximise the rights their 24% vote gives them. They should – but will of course not – reflect on what their mandate actually is:

    Democracy and mandate

    Do we have an effective, or even viable, democracy?

    True democracy exists where the people have well-articulated mechanisms and opportunities to gather together, collectively expose and refine their opinions and aspirations. Those seeking election by the people should then seek to demonstrate to them, and convince them, how they will strive to bring these requirements into reality through parliamentary and governmental channels The corpus of ideas and demands that they take forward from these discussions can properly be called their mandate, and they must be accountable to the people, and not to some party, for the exercise of that mandate.

    In reality, the UK is not a democracy and parties are largely the enemies of democracy. What happens is that political parties set out (sometimes with the maximum ambiguity!) their ideological stall,qQ describing how they would like to see the world. Then, they try to impose these views on the public at large through elections, at irregular intervals, making greatest use of obfuscation, specious reasoning and generalised blarney. Thus they can too often extract votes from gullible electors – without remotely approaching their requirements (which may not of course be that clearly discernible – how often have we seen an unscrupulous politician garner great popular support for seemingly attractive cuts affecting the “undeserving”, only to find out later that when the detailed effects of these on recognisable groups of people are fully revealed, that support soon evaporates?).

    Mandate in the UK is usually imputed, by those politicians successful at election, from their own interpretation of how far they can stretch the votes they have secured, without any necessary resemblance to the electors’ wishes. Did Blair have a mandate for “academies”? Does Cameron for the rightwing shift currently being rolled out in front of us? Their FPTP system can mean a few votes go a long way!

    We should note too the role of the media and their corporate proprietors both in helping the parties confuse and frighten the public before the vote (descending sometimes to outright lies when the SNP, the Greens or any other group not conforming to the corporate songsheet is involved), and in reinforcing their claims to have a mandate to do whatever they wish after they have assumed the reins of government. Alas, this is true of all the major parties.

    We need a sustained and mature debate, so as to identify ways in which real ideas of how to define and enforce a popular mandate can be articulated into action, and then properly policed.

    During the Scottish referendum, the organisation RIC did sterling (and unprecedented) work in organising local communities to voice their feelings and take control of their future. None of us thought that their work (and that of some others) would lead to such wholesale success in the general election as the complete defenestration of the defunct political arrangements in Scotland. Other areas of the UK should, and must, study this and learn, if the eighteenth-century elitist Westminster model is to be reformed, although instant success as in Scotland should not be expected. No one in Scotland is starry-eyed; we have not somehow uncovered a whole new breed of political animal, and our 56 will have lessons to learn.

    But they know acutely what the people of Scotland require of them – an end to austerity (an economically valueless cloak for rightwing state-busting ideology), an end to Trident (practically of no military value and simply a support for post-imperial UK delusions at the UN and elsewhere) and greater equality throughout our society. They have a mandate.

    Mandate can only be a real concept if the people take it up permanently, remember that politicians are their servants, be very, very afraid of (all) parties, maintain their vigilance and shout like hell to get their own way (despite the deafness of the mainstream media). Social media and new online magazines must have a role to play.

    I wonder, though, if there is not also some possibility of a continuing process of redress against government cruelty and corporatism, through the coming together of a dedicated and widely representative community organisation (set up by an existing think tank?), and the brighter sparks in the legal system. Effectively this would provide judicial review (as well as widespread publicity) on application in those important cases (alas, all too frequent) where government proposals could be shown to be either unworkable in practice, simply partisan or likely to cause extra, rather than less, public expenditure. Put otherwise, the product of malign ideology or sheer political spite.

    An example would be the bedroom tax in Glasgow. Those in the know appreciate that the housing stock in Glasgow is such that few one-bed roomed flats exist. The stated aim of achieving improved use of the housing stock (shared by us all) could not possibly be achieved, and the policy was soon exposed as a cheap, tasteless gimmick, aimed only to cut the budget, cause additional misery and homelessness to the poor, and achieve cheap plaudits for politicians in rightwing media. In a real, vibrant democracy, an alliance of the community and the law should be able to strike down such sour-minded posturing by an undemocratic clique temporarily in charge of government. This would help control abuse of their self-styled mandate until challenged at the next election.

    Democracy can only flourish when the people are in charge, when it is their needs which are being met, and when “we are all in it together”, to quote one sage. Perhaps it is only when communities select their own, local MPs and instruct them directly, sweeping aside for good the old elitist parties, that change will come.

    5 June 2015

    1. MBC says:

      The bedroom tax. You are thinking along the lines I am. What scope is there for non-cooperation with Tory policies. How can we make the UK ungovernable from a Tory policy perspective without doing damage. That is, what if we just did not implement their policies. What if the fiscal-military state, (the army, HM Revenues and Customs) plus the civil service, and local authorities just refused to cooperate. What if we just took control? What if they were in office but not in power? Thinking about Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement.

      1. alan says:

        The ‘non-cooperation’ undertaken by Gandhi and also the civil rights movement in the USA was an incredibly success, peaceful means of empowering ordinary citizens to a common cause.

        We could replicate this here quite easily and would cause the austerity agenda to collapse.
        The point is this, we have a contract with the government; we pay our taxes (most of us that is). Then the Government uses that money for the common good; social services etc.
        However we have the situation at the moment where the Government taxes us the same as ever, and here’s the but, they are increasingly reluctant to invest that collected taxes for the common good.
        This is done in the name of Austerity and ther need to reduce our nations debt levels. The problem with this is the Tory Government’s obsession with reducing the current, annual deficit is putting more pressure and demands on personal finances; resulting in increasing personal debt, with credit-card debt, student-loans, mortgages etc.
        The Tories do not want us to get our own personal finances in order by reducing our personal debt levels for 2 reasons. Reason one is the economic recovery is hugely dependent on consumerism and reason 2 if we reduce our spending and consumption then we reduce the flow of revenue to the Government which would in turn collapse the whole Austerity ideology.

        So what we as individuals have to do is easy but will need to be done on a grand scale to be effective. If we reduce our spending, those of us who can afford to, and especially on high tax items such as alcohol, petrol, cigarettes, new pair of shoes etc, we can improve our personal finances and at the same time if we have any spare cash we can use it how we choose, give to a charity for example, for the common good and cutting out the government middle-man. The great thing is though we would be actively, peacefully and legally refusing to support the Austerity agenda by reducing the amount of taxes we give the Government and thus making it less likely for the government’s policies to succeed, after all we would only be reversing the roles.

  4. MBC says:

    This is all very well Mike, but what’s to be done about it? How do we get our independence in Scotland now? Can we persuade the Noes to join us, or are they still stuck in their ‘I’m all right, Jack’ mentality?

    And moreover, would it matter?

    Do politicians actually control anything any more?

    The 34% in England who didn’t bother voting either think there’s no point, or else they are quite happy with whatever happens along. Possibly because they feel safe. Or else they feel so unsafe they feel there is no help at all so why bother. Which was it?

    1. Well we have to win the arguments and win the next referendum. This needs to be a credible economic case – and I don’t mean credible by the usual standards. We can do this. Popular will wont be resisted. I think they will throw everything at us – but I don’t believe they will send the troops in if we vote Yes.

      Yes we mean in a compromise and complex interconnected world but don’t buy that guff about ‘no such thing as independence any more’. It’s derisory sideshow stuff. What they are really threatened by is the threat of a good example. That would (and will) scare the living shit out of them.

      1. MBC says:

        Thanks for the reply Mike. But they won’t allow us another referendum. What do we do then?

        Think: Cameron says he won’t do a third term, so that means Boris. The boundary changes coming into play mean that Labour will have to win a further 106 seats to win. But they are in total disarray and can’t possibly do that.

        We have a lot of work to do. Extra-parliamentary activity to continue the indy debate, win people round. How many soft Noes are there showing buyer’s remorse?

        You mention a ‘credible economic plan’. Can you expand on that? If they stick to their guns and refuse to let us continue in a monetary union with the Bank of England as the central bank (it was actually nationalised after WW2, and is actually the Bank of Britain, only they never got round to renaming it) then we will need our own central bank.

        Could we begin that now? With a national development bank? In readiness for the time?

      2. florian albert says:

        ‘This needs to be a credible economic case.’
        Agreed. Is this an acceptance that last September the YES campaign failed to produce such a case ?

        ‘The threat of a good example’
        Agreed again. Education would be a good starting point. The Literacy Commission concluded that about 18% of pupils lacked basic skills. These are concentrated in the least prosperous areas of Scotland. The most recent analysis suggests there is regression rather than progress here.
        If you want to know what is going on Scottish schools, the Sunday Post and Daily Mail will tell you more than Bella Caledonia.

  5. MBC says:

    I’m trying to think about how we can by-pass the Tory government or bring about its collapse.

  6. WILL CASEY PURVIS says:

    CAN’T SOLVE EVERYONE’S PROBLEMS. FIX SCOTLAND 1ST

    1. Clydebuilt says:

      Will, Agreed. If we could take a pair of sissors to cut Liverpool Newcastle off from England we could take them with us straight away…..but that’s not how things are…… Probably all we can do is make Scotland the best we can make her a beacon of hope something to aim for for English voters. They have to vote for change, have to want it ….. The balls in their court.
      Hearing the confident Tories rolling out their “Austerity With Tackity Boots On” (Jim Sillars) left wondering how could folk vote for it.

      1. Broadbield says:

        Agreed. An independent Scotland could be transformative – if we can get a government committed to social democratic principles, to fairness and equity, redistribution of wealth and to extending democratic participation to the people.

        However, I fear the neoliberal military-industrial complex will not easily be defeated. Finance, business has already captured the political classes (and the commentariat) and, as used to be said of the police in Hong Kong, we now have the finest politicians money can buy. They control everything (apart from our minds, and I’m not even sure about that) and, when all else fails, they have the forces of “law and order” to call upon.

        I don’t believe the “The 21 Century will be the century of the common people”. The knowledge economy, the internet, is already controlled by big businesses like Google and I think this control will extend even further.

        I’m not optimistic, unless something truly extraordinarily unpredictable happens.

        1. Clydebuilt says:

          Broadbield, Have faith what happened in the election is an indicator that the powers you talk of have not won. There is hope to be found if you look. The internet you talk of is a useful tool for the forces of hope……plus Gandalf’s about to enter the fray…..so that’s all right then

        2. Something ‘truly extraordinarily unpredictable happens’ all the time. Pay attention!

  7. Darien says:

    The solution is simple. Its called a declaration of independence. Many other ex colonies have used it. The 56 now have the mandate – all they need is the courage to walk out of Westminster. How else does anyone think independence is to be achieved? Independence will not be given, it has to be taken.

    1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

      I hope we don’t have another rigged referendum, we’ve had two already, 1979 and 2014. I’m with Jim Sillars on this, just declare UDI.

      I would prefer it if the 57 SNP MPs did not take their seats at Westminster like Sinn Fein MPs and just boycott the place, by doing so it gives London legitimacy to rule over Scotland. We’ve been here before, 120 years ago with Irish Nationalist MPs and Charles Stuart Parnell, I don’t think they achieved much.

      1. BillH says:

        Don’t think so. Look at the Tory histrionics last week over the SNP boycotting the SC last year.

        A total WM boycott like Sinn Fein would simply be carte blanche for Marr, Niel, the two bigoted wallies on Sky news, the Biased Broadcasting Corporation et al and the whole SE Chattering Class along with their sycophantic followers in Scotland.

        Look at how empty the HC is most of the time except for the SNP. Sooner or later Cameron’s goons will start slipping up. With all their ‘outside interests’ that are much more important (remunerative) than HC stuff, something will happen where they cannot rally enough of them quick enough. Just as long as Labour doesn’t continue voting with the Tories.

        1. Fed up with the Lies and Propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

          ”Look at how empty the HC is most of the time except for the SNP.”

          You prove my point, the House of Commons is an irrelevance.

          1. BillH says:

            Not to the people who get their news and commentary from MSM. I agree with Broadbield.

    2. Russ says:

      I agree Darien. The people of Scotland voted in 56 of 59 SNP MP’s on a mandate of 3 main points, Austerity, Trident and more powers for Scotland.
      If, as is happening at the moment, the Tory government carries on with it’s further austerity cuts, commitment to Trident, and no REAL powers coming our way, then the 56 SNP MP’s should withdraw from the UK parliament and declare UDI for Scotland.
      There never will be a nice, easy way to gain our independence from this corrupt system, we have to leave on our own terms, and sooner rather than later

  8. Graham A Fordyce says:

    Let’s boil this down to basics.
    The essence of every human relationship is control. From a baby’s cry to a world at war, each of us in our daily lives seek to exert, maintain or defend the balance of control with our partners, our families, our neighbours, our work colleagues and – our government.
    Scotland has unconsciously reacted to that fundamental law of human nature. When control is imposed by one party on another, the human spirit reacts. The Tories and their Establishment friends have Control taught to them in private school and passed on in their DNA.
    The balance in control however shifted last September. It has not as yet settled. On the one hand, there is an almost simplistic energy in Scotland pitted against a force which holds the trappings of power, but lacks the moral authority to sustain itself.
    My assessment at this point in this unfolding, quiet revolution is that the Scots recognise the Establishment is dying, but so far lack the realisation that their control is the real and only legitimate power in a democracy.
    If Civilisation stands any chance of survival, the quicker we shift the balance of control, the better.

    1. Graeme Purves says:

      I think “agency” is a more helpful concept than “control” in this context.

      1. Darien says:

        ‘agency’ perhaps seems more reminiscent of ‘executive’.

        But our unionist overseers/Lords continue to ignore Scotland’s desire for real change – despite 56 snp bums on tartan seats (i.e. 95% of Scots MP’s). Much as they have done for 300 years and more. We Scots are indeed a patient lot. But remember, so long as our unionist overseers and their establishment centurions in our midst exert control, they will be constantly looking at further ways to diminish our people and nation. Smith’s rotten menu is a good example, as is old reliable – the BBC, and the rest of the msm.

        Alternatively, we can choose to discard their noose around our necks. A noose is effective control, jist like a dug’s lead. Scotland is like a wee dug, which gets occasional pats on the heid, as well as frequent kicks up the…… Orders are to STAY and DOWN BOY and DON’T CLAP! Aye, we’re like a wee obedient dug, controlled by its maester. Agency disnae come intae it.

        1. Broadbield says:

          The MSM are major agencies in this control. Reading GA Ponsonby’s book “London Calling..” it’s obvious that the BBC in Scotland is institutionally biased towards unionism and against Scottish Independence, the SNP and AS in particular. More generally, the BBC as a whole has become little more than a mouthpiece for the government and neoliberalism. Instead of reporting the news it sets the agenda, or takes it from newspapers. Since the BBC is funded by the TV licence we may have some influence. The printed press seems beyond any kind of oversight – I see the Daily Mail is linking Charles Kennedy’s death to the SNP and its supporters. There seems little we can do about it, but the effect of their poison is insidious in the way it insinuates itself into the public consciousness.

          1. bringiton says:

            The English right wing press don’t like the idea that they had little or no effect on Scottish voters during the GE.
            That is why they are attacking online media which they see as having supplanted them in Scotland and will find any excuse to try and undermine their credibility.,
            The only people who now believe any of the drivel comics like the Mail and Torygraph publish as factual news are those on the verge of dementia or supporters of the English establishment who see Scotland’s place as subservient.
            For the benefit of the British Labour party,I have no intention of standing for public office so you are wasting your time recording my comments for future use against me.

  9. Andy Haney says:

    It’s amazing how something’s never change, this story has been going on for nearly 2000 years when Scotland fought against Londinium Regnum ( London rule ) by the Romans in the 1st century at Mons Graupius and September’s Threat-eremdum looks a bit like the battle of Mons Graupious when all seemed lost, but Scotland played to her own strengths and won through ,
    take heart Scotland

    Mons Graupius

    Like a trail of evil centipedes, they had marched right through oor land
    With a desire for death and bondage, and tae enslave our Pictish clans
    Toward the Caledonian heartland, with Eagle Standard at the fore
    Mighty Rome’s killing machine ,moved forth wi’ blood and gore

    Thair governor Agricola, sent his fleet up north tae pillage
    And they had plundered so mercilessly, in every coastal village
    They had persecuted Europe’s Celtic Race, in the name of civilisation
    And now had sighted Caledonia, for their slavery and annihilation

    There were many Caledonian chiefs ,but Calagos was thair highest
    And he made alliance with all northern tribes,tae gether at Mons Graupius
    As the legions stamped toward the Picts, brave Calagos led the Cry
    “They make a desert and call it peace”,so we must fight or die

    But the battle suited Rome’s dark plan,to get the Picts to fight
    To get them onto open ground and tae maximise Roman might
    They fought the legions valiantly, then vanished tae the forest and fern
    Realising the only way tae victory, was tae fight on Pictish terms!

    Tacticus recorded a victorious rout, and that Rome should have nae fears
    But the Picts fought on for liberty,for another fifty years
    Then mighty Rome stood behind Hadrian’s wall, an admission they never could beat them
    And the Picts stood proud from the other side, with the eternal spirit of “Nae Londinium Regnum”!

    1. HerewardAwake! says:

      I could pen similar stuff, Andy Ganey, about Boudicca, Alfred, Arthur and my namesake, let alone the suffering of the Luddites, Tolpuddle Martyrs, etc., etc., right up to the miners’ strike victims of recent times, but while we must never forget our past we have to fight today’s battles today with today’s weapons. Retreating into a mist of nostalgia, myth and legend is not the solution. I’m not Scottish but wish Scotland well, and while this article, rightly, paints a black picture of present times for us all, it could be worse. The Cameron government has to survive on the very thinnest of electoral ice for a long five years and if Dave’s own colleagues don’t think he’s doing their bidding he’ll be toast. So let ’em get on with it and do the dirty work themselves. Perhaps your Pictish forbears were right after all then, duck and dive and twist and turn like a wraith in the mist whilst the heavy cavalry sinks ever further into the slime of their own making.

      1. ColinD says:

        In between the ducking and the diving, those of us who can afford it should help Bella out by contributing to the fund. This is something concrete that will further the cause and help lessen any sense of frustration.

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