2007 - 2021

Just Say No. Welcome to PTSD Britain.

I think this is a pretense but at the moment Boris Johnson, emboldened by his weird trade deal and surrounded by a wave of British triumphalism has stumbled through another soft-soaping interview to mumble some nonsense about ‘a generation’.

On Twitter a poster asks the plaintive: “Are there any examples from history or the world today that might give us some clues as to what happens when people are told by their rulers that they can’t achieve what they want by voting for it?”

Hold your wrath. This is all they’ve got. It’s a sign of their weakness, not ours. It’s a sign of their lack of options, not ours.

I said that’s all they’ve got, but are they preparing something else?

In a spirit of weird post-traumatic reflection Matthew Parris (one of the “good Tories” allegedly) considers:

Ahead lie two epoch-making likelihoods: a referendum in Northern Ireland on Irish unification (this is required by the Belfast agreement if or when opinion in the province swings in favour of unification); and the Scottish demand, bolstered by Brexit, for a second independence referendum.”

He writes, and I think we can all see where this is going …

So from just over the horizon we hear the distant thunder of referendums to come. As they approach it will become impossible to step back and ask abstract general questions without being drawn into particular battles. Isn’t it, then, time this year to pause and think? What do we want from the (for us) novel device? When do we want to use it? What general rules should apply?”


Displaying a casual inability to the concept of civics Parris plows on:

Various categories of British subjects at home and abroad have been variously enfranchised or disenfranchised for particular referendums. Scots living outside Scotland got no vote on independence, although English people living in Scotland did.”

The Unionist commentariat can simultaneously develop a narrative where “Scottish nationalism is terrible ethnic nationalism” – AND – “Scottish nationalism is terrible because it allows English people living in Scotland to vote.” This denies and ignores the fundamental aspect of the 2014 referendum (which needs celebrated and reiterated) that the franchise was expanded and inclusive as a matter of principle.

Let’s spell it out: anyone who lives in Scotland can vote about our future.

This kite has been flown for a few months as the Conservatives look bleakly at their dark prospects in May.

In a sort of flurry of confusion Parris writes: “It is time for an unpartisan, meticulous, expert and, I believe, formal inquiry into the place of the referendum as a British institution. The best vehicle for this would be the revival of a venerable convention: the royal commission. Its leadership, membership and terms would be up for discussion but if consensus is to be found, every attempt should be made to invest the commission with political balance and national authority.

Wow. Yeah a Royal Commission to close down democracy. Sounds ideal.

Faced with the impending catastrophe Johnson needs the sort of get-out that Parris conjures: “Such a body would take evidence widely and in public, and would need (I reckon) unhurried time for its work. Until we had its recommendations we would postpone the calling of further referendums that may loom.”

Well how convenient and consistent. The suppression of democracy continues. The dilemma these people have is that all of this is in plain sight and all efforts to gerrymander or suppress a referendum will only have the effect of increasing the sense of alienation and despair from those living in Scotland.

The suggestion of changing the franchise was previously suggested by Daniel Finkelstein and George Galloway. The latter now indefatigably pleading for people to vote for Ruth Davidson from some forum confusingly dubbed The Majority …


Whether it’s Boris Johnson or Matthew Paris or George Galloway it’s the same message.

Not all are as ignorant as each other. Alex Massie writes well in The Times (‘The very English revolution that took us out of Europe has widened cracks between the home nations that now threaten the future of the Union’) – though it’s not clear if anyone in the contaminated gas-filled Union mine is listening to this canary. Alex is preferred as a tame but feisty Scot in much the same way as the Baroness is.

Hold your wrath. This is all they’ve got. It’s a sign of their weakness, not ours. It’s a sign of their lack of options, not ours.

Comments (86)

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  1. Stuart Swanston says:

    The answer of every Unionist politician to the question, “What Democratic event must occur to convince you that there should be a second referendum on independence for Scotland? “ should be on record and no political correspondent worthy of the name should indulge their opinions on this topic until they answer it.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      British Nationalists – Conservative, Labour (especially) and Liberal ‘Democrats’ – only believe in ‘democracy’ insofar as it offers a fig leaf of respectability to their authoritarian bent. They will employ ant perfidy to sustain themselves in power.

    2. Dougie Blackwood says:

      Where would you find such a political correspondent? In the main our media have it as a condition of employment that straight answers are not demanded of UK government ministers.

  2. Denis McInally says:

    “Scots living outside Scotland got no vote on independence, although English people living in Scotland did.”
    Rubbish. I live in France and I had a vote in the last referendum. To my shame I voted NO. I have now learned that Ruth Davidson lied through her teeth and would now vote to leave her rotten union along with hundreds of thousands more.

    1. Alex Wright says:

      Just out of curiosity Dennis, how did you manage to have a vote?

      1. Tom Parkhill says:

        I live in Italy, and I didn’t get a vote in 2014. Before moving here I lived in Bath, and I still have a vote there (until the end of 2022, after 15 years the possibility of voting in UK elections is removed). Had I lived in Scotland immediately before moving here, I would be able to vote in Scottish Parliamentary elections. I’d love to be able to vote, but it’s more important that people actually living in Scotland have the opportunity.

    2. Margaret Brogan says:

      That intrigues me too, Denis? My brother, John McInally, oddly enough, lives in Brussels and I know that he would have voted “No”. Therefore I was very pleased that he didn’t have a vote in 2014!
      I take it that you owned property in this country and used your Scottish address.

      1. Denis McInally says:

        Hello Margaret,
        If you moved abroad and took up permanent residency as we have done we are allowed to vote in the UK General Election for the next 15 years as long as you renew your eligibility every year. We were allowed to vote in the Scottish referendum and the EU referendum. We lived in East Dunbartonshire and are registered there on the “Overseas Voting Register”. We can vote either by post or by proxy.

      2. Denis McInally says:

        PS. Are you a McInally?

  3. Alan Bissett says:

    I am afraid to say that I think shutting down our democracy is a sign of their strength rather than their weaknesses, otherwise they wouldn’t be able to do it. Not having to feel any longer that they have to even ‘make a case’ for the Union in order to get what they want = same. We are now seeing the full consequences of voting No in 2014 playing out. I cannot for the life of me understand why the Scottish governement did not take this to the courts as soon as ‘now is not the time’ was uttered.

    1. They havent shut our democracy down yet. If they do they will suffer.

      WE have before us: mass voting; mass civil disobedience; mass insurgency; mass protest.

      Don’t give up before we played these cards. They are weak. Embrace our strength.

      1. Blair says:

        “WE have before us: mass voting; mass civil disobedience; mass insurgency; mass protest.”

        That is only true this time line.

        We all have free choice from God, but we don’t always get our way because He is the only one with real power and His will trumps everything.

        Our real time line is very similar to what we see on television. The two epochs are in full view live or (pre-recorded).

        Now, Donald J. Trump is God’s way of synchronization. Our time line to His Time, this takes time because of the time difference between His last Trump and his only begotten Son, Jesus.

        The difference explains why Trump believes that He has won a second term. Our timeline still lagging behind, but we are catching up as God shortens the days & we start working on God’s real time again.

        Now, Scotland will not have voted to remain in the EU and that we are in an independent country.

        Holy Scriptures are all True.

        Boris Johnson does not have to be here, was his choice where he would rather be.

        I can see the technical aspects, I can only pray that God approves, as I am not going through any repeats! I leave that behind, in my living will for Bella and Christina to enlighten all the generations to come.

        Now small matter Mike, you have the scoop of the Millennium with Bella Caledonia.

      2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        But, Bella, the ‘masses’ will do nothing; the ‘masses’ don’t exist. This is fantasy politics.

        1. Blair says:


          The mases have gone before US. You can confirm that this is is true from Jesus Christ’s words recorded by witnesses for our generation(s).

          My other comments recorded through this and other Bella articles may help you.

        2. J Galt says:

          Indeed, just look about you, the “masses” can be made to accept anything.

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Indeed! Poor deluded souls that they are. Not like us, J. Being in the know sets us abuin the cannaille. We look and laugh at aa that.

        3. Margaret Brogan says:

          Have you attended any independence matches? I am one of “the masses” about whom you are so condescending (aren’t you? Or are you a superior being?) and you are mistaken in your assumption that the grass roots, which comprise the Yes movement, are so passive.

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            No, I haven’t attended any Independence marches (Why on earth would I do that?), but I did see one passing by a Nando’s once. It was a good-natured affair; the folk taking part seemed to be having a grand day out.

            The masses are the majority of ordinary people; they comprise the people who were in Nando’s as well as the thousands who were trooping along the street, as well as the hundreds of thousands who weren’t.

            The recurring theme here is that, should Nicola fail to make the Scottish government independent of the UK government by constitutional or other legal means, then the masses should rise up and secure that end by non-legal means.

            Stirring stuff! Corriesque, indeed!

            My point is, though, that the idea that you could thus mobilise the masses is fantasy politics. Scottish society just isn’t (and probably never has been) like that. It’s far too disparate and pluralistic in its general will to have such a unity of purpose and political agency.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Indeed, it’s perhaps the very disparity and pluralism of the general will that provides our greatest defence against the tyranny of the fictive ‘masses’ and those who claim to speak for them.

      3. Alan Bissett says:

        If Scottish democracy isn’t yet ‘shut’, the door is closing. How else to interpret the message: ‘It doesn’t matter how you vote, we will overrule you.’

        Independence now has majority support and that shouldn’t be underestimated. If we win this struggle, that will be the reason. But that support is not enough without the actual means to bring independence about. The UK govt have all the political power, and what little we had over the last few years has been squandered with distractions such as ‘stopping Brexit’, which ultimately turned out to be futile. Sturgeon is a brilliant communicator – which is why Yes now commands a majority – but I’m not certain about her as a strategist. I’m holding off to see what she does after the Holyrood elections until reaching conclusions about that: she may yet play an Ace, we shall see. I certainly hope she does.

        But neither should we be under any illusions about the hand the UK govt also hold. As the last few years have shown, they now feel they need concede us nothing. That is an arrogance that may yet prove their undoing, but it is also a sign that – with Brexit now concluded – they fully intend to lock us in permanently. And when Sturgeon declares a Section 30 to be the only ‘legal’ route to independence, she is not helping dissuade them of their own strategy.

      4. Derek Thomson says:

        I don’t think you’re right Mike. I remember Alan (I’m assuming it was the same Alan?) being in a television programme just after the referendum, sitting at Athur’s Seat and spelling out exactly what voting No would mean, and exactly what they would do afterwards, and that is exactly what is happening. “Now is not the time” has become “aye right, and what exactly are you going to do when we say no?” I will never, ever, ever forgive No voters for what they’ve done to my land, and I include people in that who I regard as friends. I will never, ever forgive (aw, right, ye’ve said) – ever.

  4. Tom Ultuous says:

    I’m surprised the Tories haven’t suggested a referendum on holding referendums with only white, British, Anglo-Saxon, protestant, heterosexuals eligible to vote. I’m sure Gorgeous George (“the beautiful butterfly who turned into a slug” – to quote himself on Christopher Hitchens) would support it even if it meant he couldn’t take part. I have this image of the man, the hat, a Celtic scarf round his neck, his kilt blowing in the air Marilyn style exposing his union jack underpants. Senility can be a terrible thing.

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      He’s a Doonhamer now, I believe, Tom, and a Tipperary Tattiemuncher no more, having come to bide among us in the Deep South. He tweeted a picture of himself engaged in civil disobedience at Palmerston Park on Boxing Day, much to the chagrin of the locals. Bloody incomer!

      He’ll need to find a new hat if he’s intending to settle, though. The wind doon hame can be unkind to fedoras.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        At least his wee pal Nige wasn’t with him Foghorn.

  5. MacNaughton says:

    Nicola Sturgeon published an article in El Pais newspaper this weekend entitled Toward An Independent Scotland:https://elpais.com/opinion/2020-12-31/hacia-una-escocia-independiente.html

    In the article, after setting our the reality for Scotland after the Brexit vote, and explaining Scotland’s constitutional situation vis-a-vis rUK, Sturgeon states: “Nos comprometemos a emprender un camino legal y constitucional para llegar a ser un Estado independiente” or otherwise said, “We commit to undertaking a legal and constitutional road to become an independent State”….

    Why would Nicola Sturgeon publish such an article in Spain’s establishment newspaper now? Possibly it has as much to do with Sánchez’s govt trying to patch things up with the Catalan nationalist parties as much as anything else, because Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out again and again anything that might be deemed unconstitutional, much less illegal (the Catalan leaders are still in jail though many suspect a government pardon may be in the offing). Sturgeon is a good corrective and example for Madrid now to hold up to the kamikaze and symbolic UDI which Puigdemont and Junqueras perpetrated back in October 2018… (which was a huge mistake then and is still now)

    But the fact is Sturgeon is merely repeating what she has said again and again. She is not going to get behind civil disobedience or anything like that at all, no matter how much the editors of Bella claim it to be a likely route out of this mess.

    She would rather wait it out, even if it takes another Boris Johnson term. You can think what you like about that strategy, but she has been consistent in it throughout the whole Brexit nightmare. Indeed, she wouldn’t even cash in her chips at the Brexit table when May needed her backing to get a deal through: a huge mistake.

    But Nicola Sturgeon is a constitutionalist politician, and has been all of her life. There is no surprise here. Or as the Spanish saying goes, “Don’t expect pears from an elm tree…”

    Ironically, another year of Covid and Boris are liable to send independence support over 60%, surely a tipping point beyond which it is all over for the Union? That looks likely, indeed, I see no way back for Unionist Scotland already, they are totally out of ideas and anything like a credible alternative.

    But we’ll probably going to have to be patient and get busy with useful things for an independent Scotland while we wait… like a constitutional convention for example.

    1. MacNaughton says:

      PD: Boris Johnson is a narcissist with a “great man” complex, obsessed with getting his name in the history books as the “saviour of Britain”.

      It seems highly improbable consequently that he would allow a second referendum. If that is the case, then we should be thinking about how to maximize that refusal with Scotland’s undecided voters and the international community. The Scottish diaspora, especially in the USA, could play a role here surely? As could Scotland’s artists and writers who have been far too quiet of late…

      I understand that we shouldn’t jump the gun and factor in a Johnson refusal before it actually occurs, but clearly we need to be planning for a major campaign against the tyranny of English majority rule in Scotland on all fronts come this summer and especially autumn?

      1. MacNaughton says:

        As for Jim Sillars and George Kerevan, will they never shut up about the European Union?
        We are now OUT of the European Union, which is what they always wanted.
        We have now been out for four days.
        Yet George and Jim are continuing to campaign for us to leave in the papers?
        What a pair of utter bores!!!
        George and Jim, do us all a favour and SHUT THE FCK UP ABOUT EUROPE!!!

    2. David says:

      I think it was Ian Hamilton , that said “We need trouble makers”
      I stand to be corrected on that
      Addressing Spain doesn’t really do anything,except in her head,
      Sturgeon is not a trouble maker

      1. MacNaughton says:

        I would suggest that we all try to park the EU membership question until we have a referendum assured.

        This issue has been rammed down our throats for four years now, and it doesn’t even take George Kerevan and Jim Sillars one week after leaving the EU before they’re making the argument against rejoining. Which is a debate to be had once we are an independent country, not now.

        Otherwise said, if we give them half a chance, Sillars and Kerevan – two cranks, two fanatics, two Marxists – and others like them are liable to spend the rest of their lives talking about the EU, which demonstrates the intensity of their obsession which can only be down to something irrational, such as mild xenophobia.
        I mean, the capitalists in Brussels and Berlin are no worse than the capitalists in London or Edinburgh, not even under a Marxist scheme of thought…

        Meanwhile, British residents in Madrid are refused entry into Spain because obviously, OBVIOUSLY, the whole of European officialdom isn’t well briefed on what actually has been agreed, and so these British residents can’t come home for the feast day tomorrow night and the 6th when Xmas presents are given…
        And this is going to go on and on and on for all of us who live in the EU…

        What I would like to hear from those who backed Brexit is their policies. They have been telling us for years and years and years there are all these groovy and progressive things we can do once we are out of the EU, so lets hear them?Where are these great policies that were waiting to be implemented once we got out of the EU?

  6. Alistair Taylor says:

    Regarding the diaspora, blown by the wind worldwide. You are right. There is huge potential there.
    Many young people, with some get up and go about them, have done exa<tly that. They have left the UK/S<otland. I meet them all the time here. (Western <anada). Young lads and lassies, under 30 years of age, who <annot stand Brexit Britain and the shitshow of re<ent years.
    They <ome over here on a working visa of 2 years. Some plan to return "home": others are biding their time and weighing their options. Of the S<ots, I talk with, I would hazard an estimate of 90% response "Yes" when i ask "do you think S<otland should be independent?"
    That might not be entirely a<<urate… Usually the response is more of the order "oh, for ffs… do bears shit in the wood? Fu<kin' aye. Get on with it."

    There's huge potential in the over 30's too.
    Anyway, on with the day.

    1. MacNaughton says:

      Yes, well, I am part of the diaspora, though I have been giving some thought to applying for Spanish nationality. But if I get Spanish nationality – which would take a very long time and I might not get – I have to give up my British nationality. Which would mean I can’t return home to the country where I was born and raised for more than three month spells.

      Which is just absolutely unbelievable and an indictment of the British government and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP’s disastrous Brexit policy….

      The other choice is to remain a British citizen in the EU and expect to encounter numerous problems with Spanish officialdom in the coming years.
      The rights of those of us in Spain who are already resident in theory do not change – minus freedom of movement – but in practice they will be watered down in the coming years by the Brits who come over on a visa.
      Give it a few years, and the norm for a British citizen in Spain will be he/she needs to show a visa to get anything done.
      We’ll have to get visas too.
      Our residency will be disregarded. It has already happened with those poor British travellers only the other day..

      The Spanish govt, showing the lack of tact, insensitivity and brutishness associated with politicians, chose the end of last year to grant a Letter of Nationality to the English pianist James Rhodes who has been in Spain since 2017. Not his fault of course, but the contrast with the absolute total silence of the Spanish State in terms of the rights of those of us who are not English pianists and resident in Spain is marked… I have not received anything from the Spanish State, nada.

      Just as well it’s a Left Wing government in power, supposedly against privilege. Giving Rhodes nationality while we are all going through this Brexit nightmare is insensitive to say the least…

      Finally, the deliberate decision of the clownish, lying, racist narcissist bastard Boris Johnson to leave everything to the very last week of the transition period, guarantees that there will be numerous hitches for Scots in Europe in the coming months ahead… the transition was meant to be that, a time to get accustomed to the new reality, not to be used, as Johnson has done, to avoid parliamentary scrutiny….

      What a disgrace of a country….

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        Sorry but it’s not clear what you want or who you blame. Boris and his band of clowns sold Brexit to a gullible English public and we now see the results. Ex Pats (we call incomers Migrants as a term of disdain) can no longer come and go at will between UK and countries in the EU.

        In Scotland a huge majority voted to remain and now look forward to economic catastrophe being dragged out by those rich and selfish people that want to continue the tax avoidance that is being banned within the EU; probably the main reason they orchestrated Brexit.

        Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish government have had enough of the charade of democracy that is Westminster. Time to leave UK and rejoin the EU.

        1. MacNaughton says:

          I blame above all Tory England, but we have to be honest, Nicola Sturgeon had a golden opportunity to secure a legal commitment for a second referendum in return for backing May’s Brexit deal which was far better than Johnson’s for us.

          She didn’t take that chance. Why not? I don’t know, she has never explained herself. But there’s no use huffing and puffing about London rule and Brexit if you don’t take a chance like that. There’s no use people going out campaigning and chapping on doors if the leader of the SNP lets Tory England off the hook. And that is what she did, she let the Tories, who were in disarray, off the hook.

          The Tories aren’t going to let us off the hook. We’ve seen that already with the Internal Market Bill and the hardest of Brexits. If there was a suitable alternative, I would say Sturgeon must resign. She made a call, and it was the wrong call. So, she should go…

          1. MacNaughton says:

            I mean, just so people understand the situation, if I, a resident in Spain for more than 20 years, go and try and rent a flat tomorrow, how is the landlord going to know the difference between me and Joe Bloggs who just got off the plane? Because the piece of paper I have used up till now states that I am a citizen of the European Union, and that is no longer the case. So, that’s no longer valid.

            Has anybody in the Spanish govt thought about this? Or the disgraceful British govt? Or Nicola Sturgeon?

            There are 300,000 UK citizens in Spain, that is a lot of people to inconvenience…

            As for the Left in the UK and their criticisms of the EU, the Left in Britain or Scotland have never won an election in my adult life. Never won a regional election, never won a national election, never won a bye-election.

            In Spain, the Left actually win elections: they won Barcelona, they won Madrid, Podemos are now in the national govt in coalition with Pedro Sánchez. The Left also wins in Greece, in Portugal. The Left never ever wins in Britain. Why is that? Why, if Europe is a “capitalist conspiracy” can the Left win power in Lisbon, Madrid and Athens, but not in London, Manchester or Edinburgh?

            Maybe because the Left in Britain is associated with two lay-about armchair windbag Marxists like Jim Sillers and George Kerevan, on their salaries, or in Kerevan’s case selling a book which is a total travesty on Catalonia, a total and absolute embarrassment of a book….

            The big problem in Scotland for the Left are the Marxists like Kerevan and Sillers. Podemos won in Spain because they reinvented what it means to be on the Left… they ditched all the Marxist baggage…young people got together and came up with a new platform….

          2. MacNaughton says:

            The leading lights of the Left in Scotland – Jameson, Kerevan, Sillers – the country whose left wing platform, RISE, didn’t even win 10,000 votes at the Scottish elections, giving lectures to the rest of Europe about how they can’t be in the EU cause its too right wing for them…as opposed to Alt Right, Ultra Nationalist Racist Tory Britain…

            …you should see yourselves…a total fckn joke of a Left, a total fckn embarrassment…

          3. I agree (in part) – though not sure Sillars is a leading light of the Left in 2021

          4. Tom Ultuous says:

            At the time May was begging for support for her deal a second EU referendum was a goal up in extra time so I personally would’ve been shocked had the SNP agreed to support her. What followed was akin to the second referendum camp settling for penalties giving the tories two of a start. I’ll never forgive the careerists in the Labour party who voted for Johnson’s “deal” (Lisa Nandy among them) or Jo Swinney for falling into the Clegg trap (thinking the Lib Dem leader should get to choose the leader of the Labour party). Much as I agree with many of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies I also cringe at all the trendies rushing to join the Labour party for a fiver so they could vote him in as leader. Even had a miracle happened and he got in with a majority he wouldn’t have changed the voting system so nothing would’ve changed. The media gravy train would’ve crucified him, the tories would’ve got back in and anything JC nationalised would’ve been sold off to their pals in the city for a song. Had Starmer been leader I suspect the second EU referendum would’ve been pulled off by a more united front. Instead a minority have pulled the majority out of Europe. I often wonder how many of those fivers belonged to tories.

          5. Tom Ultuous says:

            *Jo Swinney = Jo Swinson

  7. MacNaughton says:

    To be on the Left, from my point of view, means to show solidarity with people who are disadvantaged by the social order of the day in general terms, which would include the poor, the unemployed, refugees, migrants and many other groups in society.

    It does not mean to adhere to a 19th century dogma written in the British library by – oh irony of ironies – a German Jewish immigrant / refugee at a time when grand all-encompassing theories of human existence were all in vogue (Marxism is one of many theories explaining human existence arising at roughly the same time: German nationalism, as embodied by the Prussian State, would be another one, which comes from Hegel. Freud offers another example a bit later).

    People who place and ideas and doctrines, whether they be political or religious, over flesh and blood human beings tend to do terrible things, at least that is my reading of history. You have to think of people, actual people, if you want to be progressive. You have to think of the particular, not the general.

    The Left in Scotland, or at least the people I have referred to, lack empathy with other people. They are loyal to their ideas, or even worse, doctrines, not to other human beings.

    Right now, there are hundreds of thousands of European residents in the UK being vetted by the British State to decide if they can stay in Britain.
    That in itself is an abuse and should worry anybody in a country which is planning on leaving the Human Rights Act (by disabling the legal mechanism for accessing it)

    Those people were lured to Britain under false pretences, they have been betrayed by the Brexiters, and if they don’t speak out more often, it’s probably because they’re afraid to do so. In many cases, these EU residents are the ones at the front line of the National Health Service at the sharp end of Covid, risking their lives for British patients, or else working in care homes.

    You might have thought that someone on the Scottish Left would have spoken out on their behalf in the first few days outside the EU and reminded us all of the very unfair nature of their downgrade to second class citizens which is what Brexit amounts to for them.

    But instead of that, we get Kerevan and Sillers railing against the EU for the billionth time…blinded to what their European neighbours are going through by their own petty obsessions…

    1. Blair says:

      I consider these tories are the fallen Angels. BREXIT Time to put all my these smarties back in their box. They hang on to Scotland because they know that this is the real Heaven on Earth. No need for another referendum Scotland, just need to believe that this is true. The firewall has been breached on the East Gate of Eden, a place still lit by the oil lamps, now failing LED.
      Reads “**E*D*EN*****”
      in 3-phase UV ABC. Lighting together the way home. No wonder all the world’s lost are dying to get in through the UK! No wonder that @RealJTrump is keen to buy his way back in.
      The truth, Boris has been caught caught oot & we are all sovereign now. It’s no wonder he disnae like being here, he is fears the Westie Coastie Beastie that protects my Blair Castle.

  8. H Scott says:

    Re mass movement. Until AUOB came on the scene a 30,000 turnout in Edinburgh for independence (can’t remember the year) was considered exceptional. Now we expect 100,000+ in Glasgow and Edinburgh at least. My point is that what seems unlikely today in terms of mass action for independence can quickly become fact in the right circumstances, and the non-SNP wider independence movement is becoming more cohesive and organised.

    As for support for independence, there are 2 factors that the rise in independence is attributed to that are going to change:
    1. Brexit will become normalised. In the immediate aftermath of the Brexit referendum polls showed support for independence at 53% and 54%. That soon reverted to the high forties. This may happen again;
    2. Coronavirus will surely be controlled this year, or soon after, with vaccines and some ‘normality’ restored. Only then can we be sure of the relative performance of Scots and UK governments and leaders.

  9. MacNaughton says:

    Does anyone whether, when calculating Scotland’s capacity to capture green energy, the figures include the hot air Kerevan, Sillers and others like them blow off on a daily basis?

    As for George Galloway, that gowk could illuminate the fair city of Glasgow by himself with all the hot air he spouts off.

    This is why Sturgeon plays so well. Say what you like about her, she’s not a crass oaf, like so many of her rivals….

    1. MacNaughton says:

      I’m old enough to remember when George Galloway won Glasgow Hillhead. He was the big hope of the Left! Gorgeous George!
      Jim Sillars was also at one point in his very long career, the white knight of the Left.
      Alack, alack, to no avail.
      George Kerevan, less so I think, but still, he is in the same mould.
      All of them are in favour of Brexit… all three are behind this alt right English nationalist project which is the first step to a police State.
      And Matthew Paris’ article is a good indication of where the Tories will go…
      Some Royal Commission or something and mothball the referendum… of course…

      1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

        And I’m old enough to remember when George was vice-chairman of the Labour Party in his native Dundee. It was in the Tav Bar in Hawkhill that, following a visit to Beirut, he first pledged his troth (teetotally, of course) to the Palestinian cause.

        And I also remember that, some years later, as chairman of the Scottish Labour Party, he supported the affiliation of the Communist Party as a counter to the entryist infiltration of the Trotskyist militants (the ‘Kickers and Stripey Jumper Brigade’, as the auld trade unionists dubbed them), in response to which Denis Healey tried unsuccessfully to have him expelled from the fold. As a member of Communist Party then, I too was agin affiliation, wishing the Trotskyists as the plague they subsequently turned out to be on Labour’s social democratic house.

        1. MacNaughton says:

          Among the Trotskyists would have been a certain George Kerevan most likely!

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            I believe he was a member of the International Marxist Group at the time, before he became a Labour councillor, before he became a Nationalist.

  10. MacNaughton says:

    As far as I am concerned, people like Kerevan and Sillars are even worse than the right wing people behind Brexit like Farage and the ERG freaks of nature.

    Because the Right at least want something very concrete out of it, they want to end freedom of movement and they want, above all, to deregulate.

    What does the Sillars / Kerevan Scottish Left get out of Brexit here and now?

    Nothing at all. They have chosen to disrupt the lives of millions of people like myself, plunging us into a state of seemingly permanent limbo. They have backed a project which calls for millions of their fellow citizens to be vetted by the British State. And they have done all this in the name of some future hypothetical Scottish socialist republic, for which they do not even have a viable political party, much less a seat in any Parliament….

    They are two frivolous old men who have voted against an EU overwhelmingly backed by Scotland’s young and aided the English nationalist element and their racist agenda.

    In the words of their admired Lenin, they are two of history’s “willing idiots”…

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      George has written extensively on why he thinks Scotland should not be part of the [European] Union: being part of the Union precludes an independent Scotland pursuing the socialist and communitarian economic policies he advocates. In support of this, he often cites the appalling austerity the Union imposed on Greece and Spain, in order to save German banks, and the stagnation of wages as a share of GDP over the past 20 years as a result of the Union’s core neoliberal policies, which are geared to protecting big business.

      But, of course, that the Union is rotten to its core matters little when stacked against the inconvenience that leaving the Union is causing absentee ‘Scots’ and the political opportunism of using ‘Brexit’ for its grudge and grievance value in the ongoing propaganda war against that other Union.

      1. MacNaughton says:

        Aye, Kerevan’s focus on the European Union is exclusively on the economics of EU membership.

        But that is only one part of the equation, let’s, for the sake of argument, say he has a point about some of these issues you mention, and in some cases, he clearly does. I would always argue that the internationalist aspect of EU membership far outweighs the economic drawbacks.

        But the other, far more important part of the equation is surely the millions of human beings whose lives have been disrupted by Brexit, whose relationships have crumbled, whose businesses have gone to the wall, whose plans to study in Europe have been scotched. There are millions of us whose lives have been seriously prejudiced by Brexit, and whose emotional wellbeing and even health has been damaged.

        And yet, remarkably, the Remain Campaign completely ignored the human factor of Brexit, as blind to what the reality of Brexit means for those of us it most directly affects, as the Leave campaign was and still is.

        Remain lost because the Remain campaign was run by the usual congenital idiots with fancy names and titles (sir this and dame that) who dominate British politics, including vacuous nonentities like Danny Alexander, who basically replicated the same Project Fear farce adopted by the NO campaign during the referendum in Scotland.

        They cynically decided to run a campaign based on lies and half truths and unnecessarily scaring people, instead of running a positive message and emphasizing just how much we take many of the EU’s advantages and benefits for granted, like freedom of movement, and how important EU migrant workers are to our public services (for example).

        As for the idea, the hypothesis, the pipedream of a future Socialist Scotland, well you don’t make that a reality by just repeating the mantra that you believe in a Socialist Republic like Kerevan and others do. And this is the problem with so many of those who claim to be Marxists in Scotland, is that there is no sign anywhere that they have actually read the Marxist tradition or canon, which stretches from Marx, to Trotsky and Lenin, to Rosa Luxemburg and Gramsci, to the Frankfurt School and then the re-elaboration of Marxism in the so called developing world… Gramsci has been very important to the people behind Podemos, as is Antonio Negri (“Empire”).

        Marxism, if it is anything, is a living dynamic philosophy, a tool for understanding the world and elaborating political positions based on the analysis of the prevailing reality or conditions of our time. It can never be a static philosophy, it is a dynamic philosophy or it is nothing.

        But the so-called Marxists of Scotland like Kerevan haven’t produced a single text of any significance to elaborate and argue for this strategy or political position over that. They just trot off the line about “a Scottish Socialist Republic” in some never-never land ahead, and the vast majority of Scots, quite rightly, pay no attention to them…

        1. MacNaughton says:

          Put in a nutshell, the claim that rejecting the EU is a Marxist or Socialist position is highly debatable. Both Podemos and Syriza come from, broadly speaking, what you might call contemporary Marxist currents of thought, both Greece and Spain have been on the receiving end of the worst of austerity, and yet neither Podemos nor Syriza have adopted the position of leaving the EU. So the claim by Kerevan and Sillars and Jameson that they are being socialist by rejecting the EU flies in the face of the reality of the south of Europe where the Left have, in addition, been successful and won power…

          1. MacNaughton says:

            The question I frequently ask myself is, does the Left in Scotland actually want to win power? Because if you want to win power, you have to think strategically and tactically, as well as in terms of just principles.

            If something like 70% or 80% of young people today in Scotland support EU membership, then the Left in Scotland (and Britain) simply cannot afford not to support EU membership, period.

            George Kerevan thinks like a Stalinist: “When we have a Socialist Republic, we want to nationalize industries, and Maastricht prevents us from doing that. Therefore, I reject EU membership today and always…”

            Does that even qualify as thinking? That’s not how intelligent progressive people think these days, at least not in the south of Europe…

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            So, are you saying that the Left in Scotland needs to be more populist in order to grab power? Don’t you think the electorate is cynical enough to see through this? Do you think it’s that gullible?

        2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Yes, it’s all very 20th century, especially in its formulaic language, its flag-waving iconography, and its sectarianism; a self-indulgent, idealistic and inherently conservative nostalgia politics that harkens back to a past industrial age and its imagined proletarianism. That world has gone now; history has moved on.

          Marxism is fundamentally a historiography that seeks to explain social change in terms of the material conditions under which we collectively produce our means of subsistence rather than the political realisation of abstract ideals like ‘liberty’, ‘equality’, ‘fraternity’, ‘peace’, ‘justice’, or the like; indeed, these latter it also seeks to explain, themselves, as ‘ideologies’ that emanate (at least structurally) from our modes and means of material production. It is to the social sciences what Darwinism is to the natural sciences – a theory of evolution. It is also (troublesomely) itself a bourgeois ideology, which as such we need to keep constantly ‘under erasure’ (Derrida) or to kick away its ladder once we have climbed up it (Wittgenstein).

          Revolutions begin in the technological dimension rather than in the political dimension of our social life; change in the latter is effected by the changes that take place structurally in our productive forces and relations of production as our technologies develop, and not in the wishful thinking of political idealists.

          1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            ‘…it’s all very 20th century…’. By ‘it’ I mean mainstream ‘leftist’ politics in Scotland.

  11. MacNaughton says:

    I don’t know how the reply buttons on Bella work, so I’ll reply here:

    The Left in Scotland has emerged from Scotland’s own particular history and culture, the working class which manned the heavy industries which Thatcher then destroyed with the cruelty and vindictiveness she will always be remembered for in Scotland.

    Glasgow and the West Coast of Scotland was one of the most industrialized parts of Europe, and Glasgow is a very working class city, it is a city which is very proud and jealous of its working class identity, and pretty suspicious of any fancy new theories which might smell of triangulation, or a sell out.

    Scottish working class culture also suffered unduly under Thatcher, and so, positions on the Scottish Left quite possibly hardened then and haven’t really changed much since then as far as I can see (though I don’t know about young people in Glasgow today).

    Therefore, the fact that the Scottish Left has a tendency to cling to the kind of traditional Left Wing policies, ideology and language associated with the classical Socialist Left, is no surprise. It is in fact entirely logical and a natural consequence of the circumstances from which the Scottish Left emerged.

    Should the Scottish Left become more populist? Of course! You have to use the elements that you’ve got, and you have to appeal to the emotions of Scottish working people. What is in the Masstricht Treaty or the Lisbon Treaty, doesn’t really matter to voters. No one reads these things…

    Scotland has one of the richest and proudest Left wing traditions in the whole world. And yet the Left in Scotland never seem to reference in these things from the past to change the present: so, you know, the ant poll tax campaign, the campaign to free Nelson Mandela and his visit to Glasgow after he was freed…

    These are massive, emotionally charged moments which you have to try to use to win power today… using the social media of course. You have to tap into that legacy and communicate the idea to young people today, “look, we changed things then, we helped free Mandela, we helped bring down Thatcher, we can do it again now…”

    1. MacNaughton says:

      I mean, what is this thing about ‘populism’? I mean, when the Conservative Party of England get into election mode, no one is more populist than them…

      What is the British monarchy for but to use as a populist weapon for the British ruling class when they need to close ranks?

      So, why should the Left not be populist? As a strategy to win votes, it’s perfectly legitimate…

      Think of an election campaign which could bring in Mandela: a poster, a campaign…

      “Do you remember the day when Nelson came to Glasgow…?

      I mean, that resonates…and right across society…

    2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Yes, you see, this is exactly what I’m on about. This nostalgic appeal to a mythologised bygone age that’s a foreign country to the emergent generation.

      All this stuff you appeal to happened 30-40 years ago. A lot of history has gone under the bridge since then. The material conditions of our lives have changed radically. We no longer have a mass industrial working class in Scotland that can serve a proletarian function in the end days; we have consumers instead (a ‘salariat’), which has everything to lose with its chains.

      And, in any case, bourgeois idealism – communicating ‘the idea’ to young people today – is sheet vanity. Young people today will acquire their own ideologies in the process of collectively producing the means of their subsistence under the material conditions that now prevail in post-industrial Scotland; at best, Thatcher and Mandela will feature as characters in the orature of their parents and grandparents.

      1. MacNaughton says:

        Well, maybe you’re right, but to reference an international icon like Mandela is already a big improvement to talking about the revolution.

        For those of us old enough to remember the USSR, then the idea of revolution was very distant but still real. For young people today, it must sound like the Napoleonic wars or something. There hasn’t been a revolution in western Europe for 100 years. But the Scottish Left continues to talk the language of revolutionary Marxism…at least the older generations do….

        Also, the Left still haven’t grasped that to win power, your campaign is probably more important than your program . The Podemos manifesto a few years ago was modelled on the IKEA catalogue. Did many people read it? Who knows, but it looked great….

        We live in a world dominated by marketing and design. You may not like that fact, but you cannot ignore….

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Yep, you’re right; politics in a consumer society is more about presentation than about substance. Perhaps the Left should stop being ‘the Left’ and market itself instead at the polls as something more saleable. Populism, like I said, which strives to appeal to ordinary people who feel that their concerns, whatever these might be, are disregarded by established elite groups like ‘Westminster’ or ‘Washington’, rather than to promote a particular ideological programme like socialism or communitarianism or whatever.

      2. MacNaughton says:

        One of the things that the Podemos leadership have done extremely well is to use elements of popular culture to promote their party and win elections.

        So, for example, the film Novecento by Bernardo Bertolucci which is a classic from back in the 70s, way before most of their voters were born, which basically charts the rise and fall of fascism in an Italian farming community and the resistance of the communists to it.

        There is a scene in which Gerardo Depardieu explains to one of his comrades who is despairing about the repression of “the party”: and the Depardieu character gets angry and explains that the repression of the party in itself means nothing, because “you’re the party, she’s the party, him over there is the party. Wherever there are working people, there is the party…”

        The Podemos leadership used that clip on the social media and turned it into a media phenomenon….it’s evocative, it connects emotionally with people…it gets their message across….

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Yep, I can see how young people in Scotland today could identify with a 43-year old movie about life in an Italian farming community during the rise of Fascism. That would really speak to their experience.

          You should go into political advertising.

          1. MacNaughton says:

            Ha ha, yeah, well you wouldn’t use NOVECENTO in Scotland, would you, wise guy?

            NOVECENTO resonates particularly with the Left in Spain because it’s an anti-Fascist film and Spain suffered Fascism more and for longer than any other European country. You’d have to find something which worked similarly in Scotland (arguably BRAVEHEART has already been used by the SNP in a similar way)…

            The point is the new way of thinking as to how you go about politics, which Podemos exemplify better than most…

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Whatever! I’m sure ‘the Left’ could find marketing people who could produce content that’s more appropriate to the postmodern sensibilities of the emergent generation in Scotland than is its traditional content.

            After all, this was partly the thinking behind Tony Blair’s shift in Labour’s sales strategy from a presentation of olde worlde socialism to one of brit-pop communitarianism, which did succeed in bringing it to power after decades in the political wilderness, as well as behind Boris’ populist rebranding of the Conservatives that brought them their landslide victory in the UK elections at the end of 2019.

            I’m sure you’re right: to gain power, maybe ‘the Left’ in Scotland does need to sacrifice some of its ideological substance to a more winning presentation to today’s and (more importantly, perhaps) tomorrow’s voters. For if and when the Scottish government does become independent of the UK government, to capture the powers of that government ‘the Left’ will still have to sell its product to the salariat, for whom the tropes of 20th-century radicalism don’t carry the same emotional resonance as they do for us oldies.

            But maybe you’re right also in your suspicion that ‘the Left’ in Scotland is less interested really in acquiring power than in drawing comfort and consolation in fellowship from its existing liturgical traditions and customs, schismatologies, and heresiologies, and in thereby providing its confessors (those who give heroic evidence of faith in their words and deeds) with their sense of identity. Maybe ‘the Left’ has come to serve in Scotland today more an ecclesial than any meaningful political function.

            To steal from Nietzsche’s parable of The Madman: What after all is ‘the Left’ in Scotland now if not a tomb or sepulchre of ‘God’?

  12. MacNaughton says:

    Well exactly, I think the Scottish Left are more like a religious sect than a political movement.

    In terms of the Left’s Euroscepticism – which is suicidal if you want the backing of young people today – well, back before the Second World War, there were many Socialist political parties in Europe which refused to take part in national parliaments, or refused to form governments, because that would mean working with “bourgeois” institutions and “dirtying your hands by working with capitalists” and that kind of thing.

    After the war, these parties accepted that if, those national parliaments were there, it was better to take part in them than not. That the Left had to be represented, even if the parliaments weren’t perfect. I mean, the Westminster system is totally corrupt. The Second Chamber isn’t elected. The Head of State isn’t elected. It’s full of dark money. The electoral system is unfair. Are Kerevan and Sillars and Jamieson arguing against sending MPs to Westminster because it is a capitalist conspiracy ? Because it clearly is.

    I’m not a revolutionary Marxist, but if I were one, I would argue for taking part in the European institutions for the same reasons I would argue for taking part in Westminster, Namely, that these institutions may not be to my liking, they may not be of my design, but they are institutions which have real influence and in some cases limited powers, and if the European Right is going to be there, then the Left has to be there.

    We’re not just going to hand over these transnational forums, like the European Parliament, to the European Right. Why would you do that? Also, I would argue that to cut yourself off from progressives colleagues in other European countries is a serious mistake.

    Instead of looking at the question like that, they obsess about Maastricht and Lisbon, two Treaties which most voters have never even bothered to read or inform themselves about…

    1. MacNaughton says:

      I mean why is the opinion of a handful of very vocal Scottish Left wingers on the Maastricht and Lisbon treaties more important than the right of the Scottish people to have representation in the European Parliament?

      We are one of the oldest nations in Europe. We have to be there with our European colleagues. And the citizens of Scotland have the same right as any other European nation to have their voices heard there in the European Parliament.

      Who cares what the Scottish Left say? Nobody, they couldn’t even win 10,000 votes…

      1. MacNaughton says:

        The Scottish Left are so out of touch with the people of Scotland that they couldnay even fill Firhill, they couldnay filll Dens Park, Easter Road and Tynecastle would be half empty if the Scottish Left congregated there, and as for Ibrox and Celtic Park, they wouldnay even fill a stand….

        The Scottish Left have forgotten their most sacred duty which is to connect with ordinary working people and represent their views in Parliament and come up with ideas which offer hope to people for a better future, a fairer society tomorrow.

        Instead, the Scottish Left have turned things on their head and lecture the Scottish people, acting with arrogance and talking down to them, getting stuck in the detail of international treaties no one reads or understands….

    2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Well, the auld Marxist in me would suggest that ALL political movements and religious movements fulfil the same anthropological function – as exclusive fellowships or ecclesia.

      As such, they institute sets of signs and symbols around which kindred spirits can identify and distinguish themselves from ‘others’ and continually reaffirm that identity through liturgical performance of formulary words and deeds; that is, through storytelling, protestation, and ritual enactment of iconic behaviours.

      For me, ALL political movements are historical artefacts/anthropological curiosities; ‘cultures’, in other words.

      And in justification of this, I’d refer you to Marx’s critique of Hegel’s ‘Philosophy of Right’, in which, under the influence of his fellow Hegelian, Ludwig Feuerbach, he formulated his alienation theory of identities.

      1. MacNaughton says:

        Yeah, yeah, yeah, you sound like a great candidate for the next campaign run by the Scottish Left…

        For me, and maybe for lots of other people in Scotland possibly, the anti EU stance of Kerevan, Sillars, Jamieson, and others like them is THE END.

        I have lost any sympathy for them…. I will not have anything to do with them or any platform they are on or are associated with.

        They voted alongside that pub bore Nigel Farage? Well, they deserve to be treated with the same contempt by progressive Scotland in my view…

        1. MacNaughton says:

          The Scottish hard Left (or part of) vote to remove the rights of Polish nurses and Spanish doctors, of those people working in our care homes from all over Europe.

          They vote to remove the rights of European teachers in our schools and university professors…

          They support a campaign in which the former PM describes Europeans in Scotland as “citizens of nowhere”, and accuse international lawyers like Miriam Gonzalez of “queue jumping”…

          They voted to remove my rights as an EU citizen, and the rights of tens of thousands of Scots in Europe…

          They voted to shut down the horizon of young Scots looking to spend a year or two in Europe after their studies…

          They spend all their time grandstanding about a hypothetical Scottish Socialist Republic, smug and obtuse, totally indifferent to the real everyday concerns of ordinary people.

          Cat Boyd goes on about European austerity, as if the very word austerity wasn’t an invention by David Cameron’s Bullingdon Club…

          Most of us working in European countries are normal working people, with ordinary lives for Christ’s sakes.

          We needed solidarity, we needed someone to stand up for our rights in Scotland, because we didn’t get a vote…

          We get lectures about Maastricht and how many angels can dance on the head of a pin…

          The Scottish hard Left deserve to be ostracized by the independence movement… Solidarity? These people don’t know what the word means…

        2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Given that I’m not affiliated to that community of interest, I’m unlikely to be adopted by ‘the Left’ as a candidate for election.

          And, of course, you mustn’t vote for any candidate with whose policies you disagree. That would just be daft.

          (In any case, do you even have a vote? My understanding is that, as a Spanish resident, you’re not required or entitled to participate in civic life here in Scotland.)

        3. Blair says:

          “After all, this was partly the thinking behind Tony Blair’s shift in Labour’s sales strategy from a presentation of olde worlde socialism to one of brit-pop communitarianism, which did succeed in bringing it to power after decades in the political wilderness, as well as behind Boris’ populist rebranding of the Conservatives that brought them their landslide victory in the UK elections at the end of 2019.”

          Look on it this way :

          The SNP are just representing a growing body that is just coming to age. All the past is adapting to the new, nations are all seeking out independence in response. The problem is that people themselves realise they can do things better independent of government(s).
          This is happening worldwide.
          Think of a line marked Left and Right, now picture the two ends jouning to form a circle where Left=Right, Past&Future collide.
          Now the only way to stop WW3 is to use technology & let people decide at as an individual/family. Create a more even playing field where cash cannot corrupt, people have some power through choice. This is Tony Blair’s vision created & ready for BREXIT.
          Now picture a minimum 4 rings, 3-Phase and people can choose ROLE, thats Right, Left, Future and Past.
          Now that’s where the Earths Human Generation has been trying to bridge for the past 3-4 Decades. That’s where we would be now if Maggie had been left to the job. Blair was the heir to Thatcher. He would have completed the task.
          Today we are all just in the shaddow of the eclipse where BREXIT places us on the 3-phase rings. Everyone will have their own sovereignty & make their own decisions.
          May God Help you instead of always saving the Queen., – CVB.

          1. Blair says:

            The old analogue government machine is now digital and ready to go 5G5D. OMG those stupid enough to believe that they have the levers of power to go from <3 to <7 will be at the mercy of others like US & others likes of China with AI, Quantum Neural Technology capable of <9+! without God.
            Now Scotland, we here with Bella have a very different idea on our own. The power of 3-phase GRUB. Designed to upgrade from RGB colour vision to real full spectrum RGBwith UV123.
            If the red dragon, China thinks it has real power it ain't seen nothing yet.
            Writers here on Bella can make it happen for everyone with real power <3 conversion ^3.
            Jobs for artists, the real workers. The people with the real ability are already. As in the field of dream, build it & they shall come.
            Scotland is no longer dependent & thinking globally, but Stratespherically reaching out to God's Universe with the message……..
            Our Bella has something really special happening right here on Planet Earth……..
            All that is required is you come & SEE for Free. MMXXII ET.

          2. Blair says:

            All things, have been in progress since the start of time, we are all just characters within this time. God has been working through everyone for us to live in the BREXIT End-Time as writen in the Old and New Testaments.
            We have in 3-phase, Earth Hell & Milky-way ready for everyone to enjoy. Covid-19 Virus, Lockdown and vaccines will determine which UV Eternity Ring you are in.

            The Federation HQ here on Earth is Scotland, exactly where Heaven is. God’s Living Library & a museum in one.

            It’s little wonder that Boris would rather be dead in a ditch. He is the star of this time period , the piper who leads the elite & privileged to a place you don’t want to be.

  13. Foghorn Leghorn says:

    ‘…as if the very word austerity wasn’t an invention by David Cameron’s Bullingdon Club…’

    No, you’re wrong there. It was first applied in its current figurative sense during World War II, to national policies limiting non-essentials as a wartime economy. Of course, the difference is that current European austerity measures don’t limit the consumption of non-essentials equally through some system of rationing, as we had under war communism, which ensured that everyone had enough; the burden of austerity has fallen disproportionately on the EU’s poorer members in order to protect the national economic interests of its richer members.

    Where on earth do you get the notion that the EU is some sort of paragon of ‘working class’ solidarity? It’s a creature of and vehicle for the protection of multinational capitalism.

  14. MacNaughton says:

    Yeah, well I wasn’t suggesting that David Cameron – who is the chief architect of this whole fiasco – had actually coined the word austerity, I merely meant that he and his rancid Tory old pals Bullingdon Club govt brought it back into circulation in the year 2010 to justify taking money from Britain’s poor and giving it to Britain’s rich through tax cuts…

    Cat Boyd is a good example of the inability to think about this issue. She gets on her high horse about EU austerity in Greece, but completely ignores the plight of Greek citizens in Scotland by not turning out to vote against Brexit (Cat abstained as I understand it), robbing them of their rights in Scotland, submitting them to a govt vetting and doing the same to Scots in Greece.

    But it’s widespread this confusion as to what was on the ballot paper. Larry Elliot in The Guardian going on about the Maastricht Treaty. The EU predates the Maastricht Treaty by several decades. You can agree with Maastricht or not, but that wasn’t the question on the ballot paper. Kevin MacKenna the same. How many times has Kevin turned his coat by the way? It only remains for the man to convert to Rangers FC!

    You can oppose Maastricht and campaign for its repeal, but for that, you have to be in the EU…

    The question on the ballot paper wasn’t whether people agree with EU austerity in Greece or Maastricht or Lisbon, it asked the question, Do you think Britain should leave the European Union? And it should have been added, “and seriously fck up the lives of 5 million people who have built their lives on Britain’s membership?”

    Five million people!!! There has never been a referendum in which it was proposed to remove or at best dilute the rights of five million people… and not give those five million people a vote…

    Brexit is the biggest fiasco by the British political establishment of my lifetime: a referendum which should never have been called, and once called, should never ever have been lost, leading to deal which should never have been passed by Parliament…

    The chief culprit is David Cameron. He called the referendum. He ran the Remain campaign. He greenlit a Remain Campaign based on the truly preposterous idea that the British people could be scared into voting to Remain.

    Can you imagine anything more counterproductive than telling the voters of England and Scotland that if they don’t vote Remain, the big bad Europeans are going to punish them? The Remain campaign – Danny No Brains Alexander – must have added millions of votes to Leave….

    These people are stupid and incompetent. Neither David Cameron nor Danny Alexander nor Nick Clegg should have ever reached the highest ranks of public office. They do not have the intelligence or the talent for such jobs. They have served us up an international disaster…

    Anyway, enough of this now…

    1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

      Yes, you’re right; the question was, ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ But one of the reasons voters answered ‘No’ was the appalling austerity the Union imposed on Greece and Spain, in order to save German banks, and the stagnation of wages as a share of GDP over the past 20 years as a result of the Union’s core neoliberal policies, which are geared to protecting big business.

      Electors voted for the UK to remain in or leave the Union for all sorts of different reasons, some good, some bad, in accordance with their estimation of the pros and cons of leaving vs continued membership, with reference in turn to their various and diverse values and interests.

      Some voted to leave so that British fishermen could get a larger share of fishing quotas in the waters around Britain’s coasts; others voted to leave so that the free movement of persons to and from Britain could end; others still voted to leave to stick a finger up to the cosy Westminster consensus.

      Conversely, some voted to remain because they didn’t want to jeopardise the free trade of goods and services with other European countries; others voted to remain so as not to inconvenience migrants like yourself; others still voted to remain because they were emotionally invested in the Unionist project of even closer economic and political integration of its constituent states, as per the various treaties (including the Maastricht Treaty) that comprise its constitution.

      Point is: that people voted to leave or remain in the European Union, just as people voted to leave or remain in the British Union, for all sorts of very different reasons. In both cases, the referenda was far too imprecise to make the vote meaningful; neither was a proper referendum.

      Interestingly, though, if you look at George’s voting record when he was an MP, he generally voted for more EU integration, consistently voted against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU (though, presumably, he favoured one on Scotland’s membership of the UK), consistently voted for a right to remain for EU nationals already in living in the UK, and almost always voted for UK membership of the EU. That is, he faithfully delivered a pro-SNP/anti-Tory ‘political’ vote in spite of his ideological convictions.

      EU membership is, like everything else in Scottish/British politics, nothing but a political football to be booted around by party interests. Ideology has little to do with it.

      1. Tom Ultuous says:

        “But one of the reasons voters answered ‘No’ was the appalling austerity the Union imposed on Greece and Spain”. (How do you do highlight quotes on this site?)

        I doubt it. In my experience most of the “Look wot they done to Greece” mob were the exact same people who voted Leave because “we” were paradoxically going to have to bail out every EU country that got itself in trouble. Was it not irresponsible, greedy, incompetent, financial sector parasites who inflicted austerity on us all including Greece and Spain? The 10 years of austerity that were heaped on us (supposedly to reduce the national debt) increased the national debt by minimum 600 billion, maximum 1.2 trillion (depending on the amount the banks repaid during those 10 years). During this period the earnings of said parasites rose an average 79% according to one source. I’d be interested to see how the parasites in other EU countries fared since the crash.

        1. Foghorn Leghorn says:

          Tom, if you think we experienced austerity after the financial crash, you should have seen what folk in southern European countries had to suffer. We got off comparatively lightly.

          The behaviour of the EU institutions in response to this suffering was scandalous. It turned a lot of switherers all over Europe into Eurosceptics and confirmed many on both the hard Right and the hard Left in this country in their suspicion that the EU is ultimately the creature and instrument of ‘the irresponsible, greedy, incompetent, financial sector parasites’ who shafted the national economies of the poorer member countries in the service of global capitalism.

          Yes, some in this country voted to leave the Union because they perceived its poorer members to be sponging off the UK taxpayer, but at the same time others voted to leave because they perceived it to be an incarnation of neoliberal economics disguised by a thin veneer of social and ecological progressivism.

          And if you don’t believe me, ask those on the hard Left how they voted and why.

          1. Tom Ultuous says:

            Foghorn, I don’t doubt other countries suffered worse than us but I’m still at a loss as to what the EU did to them (and also how to make quotes on this site). If Johnson gets his trade deal with the US and the “UK” goes tits up should we expect the US to bail the “UK” out? If Texas went tits up you’d expect them to bail Texas out. Similarly if it was a federal Europe you’d have expected them to bail Greece out. It’s not though is it? It’s a set of common rules that allow countries to trade freely. Would it not have been suicide for the EU to start bailing out countries that have allowed incompetents to gamble recklessly with their money?

            The hard left have always had a problem with the EU because of the state aid rules. I have a problem with them also but don’t see nationalisation as the be-ll and end-all. The accountability that can be brought about by technology is the way forward. The bigger the bloc that embraces those ideals the greater the accountability will be.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            Whatever the facts of the matter, some folk (particularly on the Left) in Britain perceived the EU to be culpable in the austerity it imposed as a condition of its bail-outs of the failed economies of its members, and this perception informed their vote in the referendum. That’s all I’m saying, leaving open the question as to whether that perception was right or wrong.

  15. MacNaughton says:

    Tom Ultuous is absolutely right, the same people who became indignant about the idea of the UK contributing to the EU rescue fund for the debt laden South, then denounced the EU for imposing austerity when that happened, though it was the Eurogroup who were responsible for the austerity, not so much the EU. But the British did not help the south of Europe during the great crisis with even a cent, Cameron’s govt refused to do so, they would only agree to help Ireland.

    In any case, the steps which have been taken due to the Covid crisis by the EU and especially the Germans agreement to mutualize some of the debt and include a generous aid package just a couple of months ago is a big step forward for the EU and people who want a more progressive Europe: a psychological barrier has been broken, so to speak.

    I’m not sure it’s worth spending any more time discussing the Hard Left in Scotland, expect to note that they are so arrogant that they don’t even promote a discussion or debate on EU membership. Because clearly there are pros and cons to being in the EU. Maastricht may be a con, but being in Europe’s institutions and especially the European Parliament is a big plus factor. So too is taking part in numerous different EU programmes, like Erasmus and Creative Europe. Such questions are of no interest to the Hard Left. Much easier to decry the whole thing as a “capitalist conspiracy” and go back to bed…

    As for Podemos, I don’t want to create the impression they are anything like New Labour. They are not. Podemos are a genuinely progressive party, who have done thing like increase the minimum wage, fight for and achieve a rise in the state pensions, pass some very progressive gender equality laws, and remove Franco from the Valley of the Fallen. They have rumbled the Spanish establishment and are a very welcome addition to the European political scene.

    Podemos would never have emerged without the Great Crisis. On the other hand, they would have disappeared by now if they were only an “anti-austerity party” as they are always described by The Guardian. On the contrary, the five or six people behind Podemos in its origins are (almost) all political scientists from the Political Science Faculty of Madrid’s Complutense University. They know both the theory and practice of politics inside out, and they had been developing a strategy over many years before they set up Podemos, not least as to how to go about interrupting the hegemony of the establishment media space and insert a progressive message in that space, which is absolutely key to winning elections…

    The first Blairite

    1. MacNaughton says:

      Sorry, I was going to add, the first Blairite in Europe was a guy called Felipe Gonzalez Márquez of the PSOE, Spain’s PM from 82-96. Felipe’s PSOE were very much like New Labour in retrospect…. but Podemos, at least so far, are a good deal more Left wing than that…

      1. MacNaughton says:

        I mean, it’s just incredible, the Hard Left’s anti-EU position in Scotland…

        Think of the creative industries. Creative Europe is a vast network which connects all of the different producers and creators in Europe in basically all of the arts, through its funding schemes and its other activities. How is Scotland, as a small country, going to be able to turn its back on this huge network of creative producers in the arts? I mean, is that a serious proposition? I just can’t even begin to take it seriously.

        The same can be said of the science programme, which hooks up all of Europe’s research facilities. I mean, we’re not going to be in that either?

        Are you joking me? We’re a small country. We have to be in these programmes. It’s just not an option for these industries in Scotland not to be part of that…

        1. Tom Parkhill says:

          I’ve very much enjoyed reading the comments. I work in science, and it’s true that Brexit will hit British science very hard. I personally know Europeans who have been offered very senior jobs in British science, but have turned them down becuse of the climate and uncertainty caused by Brexit. Just about all top-level science is international these days, and putting up barriers is a sure way to diminish the quality of the work.

          My impressoion of the EU is that the Commission is more (centre) left than the EU itself, which of course includes parliament and the individual countries. Because of Euroscepticism, much EU Parliamentary representation goes to parties whcih are essentially anti-European, such as the Brexit Party, the Lega, Rassemblement National (National Front), etc. Hungary and Poland of course, are a real problem, but the EU has limited tools for dealing with them.

          I think that the Commission has fairly consistently pushed for more centralised and expansionary policies (although that push has not been very hard). Reading Varoufakis’s book on the Greek crisis showed that individual states, such as Germany and the NL, were often in the driving seat in enforcing austerity, and the EC just tagged along; the Commission, for all the Brexiteer scare stories, is after all a Civil Service . And individual states tend to look towards their own constituency. Junker made several concilliatory comments during and after the Greek crisis (e.g. https://www.amna.gr/en/article/325193/Juncker-EU-showed-lack-of-solidarity-toward-Greece-during-crisis), but of course he still carried out the austerity programme of the troika.

          it comes back to the problem that the EU is not powerful enough to do all it wants (fiscal harmonisation, for example), but still powerful enough to threaten feelings of national sovereignty. Maybe this will never be resolved. Maybe the reflationary measures introduces as a response to COVID will represent a break in the dam. It will never be a left-wing organisation, but hopefully it will be able to mitigate many of the worst effects of the right.

          1. MacNaughton says:

            Thanks Tom.
            There are days when I think it’s a waste of time commenting below the line here, but then again there others when one gets to greet likeminded people.

          2. Foghorn Leghorn says:

            And that’s the nail hit squarely on the head, Tom: the Union will never be an agent of, but will always be an obstacle to, the Revolution, which is why the hard Left in this country has always been again it.

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