Monday, January 30, 2012

Tommy Sheridan and freedom of speech

Tommy Sheridan is about to be released from the Castle Huntly open prison, on licence, after being found guilty of perjury by the Scottish courts and having served the amount of time he was legally obliged to do. Putting aside my severe doubts about whether he was guilty of the offence or not; considering that the 'News of the World's' employees (Bob Bird) were witnesses at his trial. Are those the same witnesses that are now being investigated for criminal activity and, if not lied in the current investigation, have almost certainly attempted to twist the truth beyond any form of moral recognition?

But, that is not what I want to say at this moment in time. What is an assault on the balance of justice is the court's possible attempt to place a gagging order on him and stop him from speaking or writing in public. The man is a politician and has always maintained that he was 'set up', not only by the 'News of the World' but also by his fellow Scottish Socialist Party members. Now, I'm not a great fan of his politics, but that is not the point. If he was a danger to the public at large then he should not be released. So why the gagging order? If he comes out and says something illegal during his licensed freedom then he can be taken to court for slander or libel but to stop him from making any proclamations seems to me to be a breach of his human rights.
There is something about this case which stinks of corruption and the attempted gagging order to be placed upon Mr. Sheridan seems to me to be an extension of that self same corruption in politics in Scotland. The sooner we get out of this UK backed 'establishment' the better it will be for justice in Scotland.


Sheridan released and up for it.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Big Debate on the BBC

I have just watched the BBC's The Big Debate-Choosing Scotland's Future, many thanks to Monty for supplying the link. I was shocked, yes shocked, to see Glenn Campbell being unbiased in his role as the host. Long may that continue. I thought he handled it well and has my respect if not suspicion.

The biggest surprise for me, after Glenn Campbell, was the points put forward by Lesley Riddoch. Being English born and spending her childhood in Northern Ireland I would have expected a staunch Unionist. I was totally wrong and that says more about myself than anything else. She put over her points wonderfully and stumped Jim Wallace, on more than one occasion, and handled herself wonderfully against Johann Lamont. I think she was more for the Devo-max option than full independence but, in my opinion, was definitely against the status quo. Good all round performance.

Where do I start with the Advocate General of Scotland, Jim Wallace? Not only did Lesley Riddoch leave him a shivering wreck with her probing questions but he fell to pieces with Nicola's remarks as well.  If this is all that the Unionists can put up against us the referendum is already won. It was an atrocious performance and I would have expected a lot better off him. He obviously thought that he could come on and waffle his way through it because he was the Advocate General and the people would listen to his words of wisdom and worship at the altar of his profound pronouncements; sorry Jim, it doesn't work that way. Even Johann Lamont had to come to his rescue.

A very good performance by Johann. I think she is a far better operator than her predecessor. She is obviously used to the rough and tumble of politics and that showed. She stood her ground and tried, but failed, in my humble opinion, to put forward her case. I suspect that she is being hampered by what her bosses in the Labour party want her to say. I suspect that once free of Westminster she could be a person to watch out for.

What can I say about the lovely Nicola. She never put a foot wrong. If only she was 15 years older I would consider marrying her ;-)

On the whole I would say the the case for independence was won on this programme and, going by the applauses, so did the audience. I would have to congratulate the BBC in Scotland [someone pass me the sick bucket] for a well made and unbiased programme. I hope they continue to bring on guests like that.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BBC coverage of the First Minister's speech

I don't know whether you got a chance to see the First Minster's speech online at Edinburgh castle today. It was covered life by the BBC. The coverage was atrocious with there being constant 'technical' difficulties which broke up the flow of the speech and the questions which were asked afterwards. This is not the first time that the BBC have done this and I expect that it won't be the last. The question you have to ask yourself is: 'If this were the Prime Minister of the UK would these 'technical' difficulties happen?'. Then when you add what Subrosa was saying on her blog it begins to look suspicious. Now, I am more than willing to accept that I may be adding 1+1 and coming to 3 but I suspect not.
Add to that the Paxman interview on BBC and it becomes absolutely clear that the state broadcaster is deliberately trying to interfere in the Scottish government's decision to hold a referendum. Add to it the furore about the lack of comments. Brian Wilson's blog, 'Blether with Brian', writing so few articles about the political situation in Scotland and the disappearance of Newsweek Scotland then it must be no smoke without fire.

The cost of military equipment

Having read this article on the BBC about the theft of military equipment I was shocked to find out that night vision goggles are costing us £45,000 a pair. Why so expensive?

I remember being told during my training that army equipment needs to be 'soldier proof', meaning that it needs to be virtually indestructible. Of course this extra protection will cost more money but in doing a little bit of research online I found goggles averaged out at about $4,000. So why such a huge disparity?  I have spent the last 2 hours trying to find these goggles online but failed miserably. If anyone can recognise these glasses then tell me and I will update this.
Anyway, my father always told me that in the army if it wasn't nailed down it was stolen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

One trillion pounds in debt

Figures released today show that the government of the UK is one trillion pounds in debt and rising by approximately 14 billion a month or to put it another way 144 billion a year or nearly 1/7 of a trillion a year. The interest itself would keep Scotland going for a while. The BBC managed to pull on this person who seemed very optimistic because the government had got the borrowing down. Sorry, but in my books getting your borrowing down is still adding to the debt; it is nothing to shout about.

We are not going to see this for a while

So to start shaving money off what we owe we have to cut our spending by 1/7 of a trillion a year plus the interest that we owe of the trillion debt. So, let's take a figure of 5% [it isn't, I'm just using this figure] which equates to an extra 7.2 billion or, to put it into English, we have to shave off over £151 billion. Now no government is going to do that in one year so they will hope to spread it over the lifetime of their parliament which means over 30-40 billion a year needs to be shaved off our current spending.
The cuts, so far, have hardly taken effect. It is going to get worse, very worse. We cannot do as Labour have said which is to stimulate the economy because the Eurozone is going through a rough time and they are going to have to cut back. 60% of our exports are to the Eurozone countries so stimulating growth is only going to suck in more imports and we will not be in a position to export, to counter the imports, because nobody is buying just now in the quantity that we need to balance the import/export books. Tighten your belts because there are going to be more people on the dole and the dole money, along with all public spending being cut, is going to have to be hit as well. The poor, as usual, are in for a hard time.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Labour's hypocrisy over pensions

It emerged today that the Labour leader, Ed Milliband, who has attacked the UK government's attempt to link state pensions from the current RPI [retail price index] to the lower inflation linked CPI [consumer prices index] which would save the UK treasury £7.5 billion a year to 2015, yet he has saved the Labour party nearly £4.5 million by linking its own workers' pensions to the CPI.

What's he got to laugh about? Oh, yes. He has saved his party £4.5 million by trampling over its own workers.

So why aren't the Unions, who back Labour, out in force to protect the pension rights of the workers from the Labour party? They did it against the ConDems. Or was this just political posturing on the Unions part and also on the Labour party's part too? The hypocrisy of this party and its backers knows no bounds.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The BBC is not all bad

There was a really interesting documentary on BBC 4 called Unnatural histories. It was all about the history of the Amazon and the effects that the indigenous peoples [pre-European involvement] have had on the so-called primeval forest. It was an eye-opener. To give a quick summary of the programme it states that, prior to the Europeans arriving there were abundant advanced civilisations living there. When, one of the first Spanish explorers, Fransisco de Orellana,  arrived he wrote in his diary that the Amazon river was crowded with towns and cities [yes, cities] on its banks all the way along its length.

Fransisco de Orellana

It wasn't until the Europeans arrived with their diseases, which wiped out an estimated 90% of the indigenous populations, that the advanced civilisations of the Amazon Basin disappeared and nature took over the vast cities there, which is why we think we see untouched, pristine forest. But even that is not entirely true as the hunter gatherers of today were/are managing the forests. The BBC explains it better than I.
Which brings me back to the headline: 'The BBC is not all bad'. This is where the BBC are wonderful in their science and natural history programmes. I think that I can safely say that if there was an Olympic prize for these types of TV programmes then the BBC would certainly be in the medals.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Why were the site owners of Megaupload really arrested?

It has been reported on the news that Megaupload, an internet company based in Hong Kong, and founded by Kim Schmitz, have had their executives arrested in New Zealand and their site shut down after the FBI, the US Department of Justice and the Motion Picture Association of America sought and obtained arrest warrants for them. Now, having published myself*, I would not like the idea that someone could read our novel without royalties being given to me for my work in writing it, so why am I complaining about Megaupload being arrested? Well, as usual, it is not as straight forward as it first seems. Are they committing a criminal offence by allowing their site to be used for copyright piracy; yes they are. Have they made loads and loads of money from this site; yes they have. The last sentence is the real raison d'etre behind this shutting of their site. The same big companies that are backing the stance of the FBI & the US Department of Justice are the same companies that have been doing illegal file sharing for years. What they don't want is someone, not of their kind, taking the advertising revenues for those piracy sites which they don't own and/or control: see this. It is hypocrisy at its worst backed up by legislative bodies in the USA with the rest of the world kow towing to their wants.

* 'The Frustrations of Venus and Mars' by Ged Mitchell & Nadia Baranowa. Do not buy it as I have had an argument with the publisher over the price. I think it is far too expensive for what you get. If I thought that I could get away with it I would put the story online for free just to stick two fingers up to them and swallow the money that I have laid out for it. I am currently looking into the legalities of having it published/printed in Poland.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The rise of independence in Europe

The Motherland

Is it just the Scots who want independence ? The simple answer to this is no. There are many states, regions, and areas within the EU borders and outwith, in greater Europe, that are struggling for their independence or want to retain their culture and language from the old colonial super states within Europe. Let's take a brief look at some of them:

Scotland...We know about this so there is no need to go any further.

Wales...Plaid Cymru which has been in existence since 1925 and won its first seat in the Houses of Parliament in 1966. It attained an assembly at the same time as Scotland re-instituted its parliament in 1999.

Ireland...Attained its independence from the UK in 1922 after a bloody War of Independence by the IRA. However, six counties in the north are still in the UK.

Cornwall...Mebyon Kernow (Sons of Cornwall) was formed in 1951 and the Cornish Nationalist Party which was formed in 1975.

Catalonia...An autonomous state in Spain. Catalan Nationalism has been going since, at least, 1892.

Basque...An autonomous country in Spain but claims certain areas within France.

Brittany...A Region of France.

there are many more but you get the point.

There is also a huge list of European countries that have gained there independence post WWI. What is happening in Scotland just now is just a change of mood that have been rushing through Europe for the last 100 years. Will this clamouring for independence continue in Europe? Yes, I believe it will as it will in other continents around the globe. The days of the super states are over but the coming together, in a democratic way, of individual nations will continue.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Freedom of speech on the internet is being curtailed by big companies

Freedom of speech on the internet is being curtailed by big companies yet they are the same companies which made the software to pirate copyrighted material in the first place. You must watch this youtube video and complain. This is a must see video!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wikipedia blackout

Wikipedia are to black out their English speaking site in protest against a new law about to be discussed in the USA. I have been using this site for years, even though I have a full set of Encyclopaedia Britannicas. I agree and support their action. If you want to have free speech on the internet then read the link below.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Should the Queen be given a new yacht for her diamond jubilee?

An article in the Guardian by Patrick Wintour commenting on Michael Gove's idea to give the Queen a new yacht for her diamond jubilee is bound to create a furore from the public who are seeing their jobs lost and their future going down the pan.

Michael Gove

So what is a millionaire Tory doing suggesting that we spend an huge amount of money, from a decreasing public purse, in giving one of the richest women in the world a £60 million pound toy to play with? Gove, an ardent monarchist and a supporter of the Union, who a history of having his snout deep into the Westminster trough, gives his reason as:

"In spite, and perhaps because of the austere times, the celebration should go beyond those of previous jubilees and mark the greater achievement that the diamond anniversary represents."

Is this guy off his rocker? We are about to go into, if not already in, a recession [personally I believe we are in a depression as I don't believe the treasury figures for one moment] and he wants to waste, on top of the huge amount of money already allocated for the jubilee celebrations, even more money. This man has made a career of rising from a poor and uncertain background to a prominent figure in the UK government. Good luck for him for doing that; he has my respect but not at the expense of those who can poorly afford to pay for it. I believe that is called climbing over people to get to the top. The man is a moron if he thinks that this sort of extra expenditure will go down well with those who are about to lose their jobs and as the Scottish Government are looking for excuses to point the finger at UK wastage.
So, what will the benefits be to the British public, apart from watching a rich women on the sycophantic, monarchist-orientated BBC programmes, as she swans about the world in her cheap yacht? It will bring jobs to the shipbuilders. True. It will give employment to the people who have to staff it. True. But do we want to see this sort of money wasted when she could easily afford to pay for it herself? We have already taken out of service her last yacht.

HMY Britannia

And, of course, they also had the royal racing yacht, the Bloodhound
The days when we could afford those luxuries for our monarch by ripping off the rest of the world have long gone, and good riddance to those days.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

HeraldScotland-the 'Winds of Change'?

Has the winds of change finally been felt by a leading Scottish paper? The Herald, along with the Scotsman, was as Unionist as it comes but the Herald has either seen the political light or is eyeing up the revenues it may receive come the referendum debate. There will be a lot of money to be spent, by both sides, and should be a windfall for whichever paper grabs the most in advertising revenues. I suspect that STV and Grampian are eyeing this up as well.

Now, I am not saying that all the political stories in the Herald are pro-SNP but there is definitely a shift away from being anti-SNP. It is definitely a start, as opposed to the BBC in Scotland who are not dependent on revenues.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Is keeping pets similar to slavery?

I do not own a pet because I think of it as slavery. Ah, do I hear you say, where would these animals be without us? I suppose most of them wouldn't exist because evolution would never have produced them in the first place. Then, you would talk about how good we are to them.


Really? They said the same about slaves in the 19th century and before.

I am not talking about the kind of animals that humans have needed as beast of burden until we reached the technological stage where we were able to produce machines to replace those types on animals. I also accept that there are still places in the world where, for whatever reason, it is still imperative to use animals. I am only talking about those animals we use as pets. "But", you may say. "What about the old and infirm whose only comfort is the keeping of pets?"

Well, that is more down to an uncaring society than the need to enslave animals.
The sooner we substitute the term 'pets' for 'slave-animals' the better we will be in seeing it for what it really is.

The effects of Scotland's referendum on the rest of England

An interesting side effect of the upcoming referendum is that the rest of England is now beginning to question its place within the UK. While the status quo remained the areas of England, outwith the south east, has accepted their lot. Not any more:


Carlisle's view

The Cornish republican

England devolve

There are loads more but you get the point.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Battle of the Hook, Black Watch,Korea 1952

I was reading up on the Korean War and the Battle of the Hook, Korea, 1952 in which my father took part as a member of the Black Watch.

My father, like many soldiers, just wouldn't talk about it and the only way that I was ever able to gain any information about it was to get him drunk, normally rum & pep [peppermint], and join together little bits of info that he let loose. You never know, in those types of situations, whether all these things happened to him personally or happened to other people and he related them as happened to him. That aside it was still interesting listening to him and his cronies about those days. I'll relate what I can, but, obviously, there is some stuff which I will keep to myself; for obvious reasons.

Corp. George Mitchell

On the way out to Korea the Black Watch boarded a ship which took them out there. My father, being the type of man he was, realised that the sailors were entitled to their daily grog and, as was his want, ingratiated himself with the sailors to get his 'share'. One day, in the Med, as they headed towards the Suez canal, he got so drunk he fell overboard and the ship had to stop and return for him. The omens for him weren't too good.

After the Black Watch landed in Korea they were met by an American army band who were playing jazz tunes. The band major [if that is what they were called], after looking at the disembarking Scottish soldiers, enquired of them: "Where are your niggers?" [I know but that's what it was like in those days]. It was politely explained to them that the term 'Black' in Black Watch was a description of their tartan.
Anyway, they proceeded up to their positions on the Hook on the 14th of November, 1952 taking over from the battered US 7th marines. The positions the Black Watch took over were considered inadequate by The Black Watch's C.O., Lieutenant Colonel David Rose. So he ordered the men to start digging and improve the trenches. As usual with men, they complained, but his foresight enabled many of his men to survive when they were overrun.

Rose (right), in command of 1 BW in Korea, accompanies General Collins, the US Army Chief of Staff, during the latter's visit to the Battalion Command Post on The Hook.

During one of the Chinese attacks on the Black Watch's lines my father, who was in charge of a Bren gun post-which was positioned in front of the lines-and was meant to mow down as many Chinese as possible then pick up the gun and return, post haste, to their lines, set up and continue firing. [Not being infantry I don't know about this and just assume that this was the case. Maybe someone will be able to confirm or deny that.] Anyway, as someone once said: "Never let the truth get in the way of a good story." While stationed at his post the call for chow was made and my father and his mate left their post to get fed. While waiting in line a Chinese mortar attack happened. After the attack was over my father and his friend rushed back down to their post, stopped, took one look at the Bren gun which was completely bent over, because of a direct hit, and rushed back to their lines. When the fight was over they went back down and took a photograph of it. We have it somewhere and if I find it I shall post it on here. The most interesting point, from my perspective, is if chow hadn't been called my father and his mate wouldn't have been here and neither would I.
Another incident happened when my father was blown up by a mortar. he told me that the only thing that he remembers about that was flying through the air. When he groggily woke up he felt this terrific wind blowing past his head all down his body. He then realised that he couldn't move his arms or legs but managed to move his head to one side and realised that he was several hundred feet in the air strapped to a helicopter. In those days it wasn't the fantastic helicopters that we have nowadays but a 'Whirlybird' helicopter. He told me that he 'shit himself'. Whether he actually did or was just an expression; I don't know but I can fully understand his shock.
He was later found to be suffering from shell shock and was sent back to help with the stores. Bad move for the army. Anyone who has served in the military knows that if it wasn't nailed down it was stolen. My father had a field day. He told me that the only thing that wasn't worth stealing was petrol. The sides of the roads were crammed full of Jerrycans. All you needed to do if your vehicle needed petrol was to pull over to the side of the road, grab what you needed and fling the empty cans at the back of the pile. One day he met an American stores sergeant who told him that it was possible to make alcohol out of chewing gum and would be happy to supply him with as many boxes of chewing gum as he needed in exchange for the winter clothing that the Black Watch had. The American uniforms, though wonderfully smart, were no use for the winters in Korea that were similar to the winters we have in Scotland. However, he had to arrange his own transport. this stumped my father until one day a couple of lorries from the RASC arrived at the camp stores and out jumped a corporal whom he knew from back home. After reaching a deal with him my father's venture in the distillation of chewing gum business was up and running. he was so successful that he was even selling it back to the Yanks. I think he was sorry when the Black Watch had to leave Korea.

It wasn't all mud and guts and as Pathe portrayed there was some fun.

On the left, Private Jim McHale and on the right Corporal Kim Man Kyogh of South Korea

On the extreme right is 2nd Lieutenant A T Baillie, the Platoon Commander. On the extreme left is Sergeant Atholl Bluck, the Platoon Sergeant.

George Mitchell acting as 'God knows what'

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amundsen, Scott and Nobu Shirase

Nobu Shirase

We all know about the great race to the Antarctic between Amundsen and Scott but how many of us have heard of  Nobu Shirase? I know I hadn't until I read an article in New Scientist

Shirase died in 1946, poverty-stricken and forgotten.

"Shirase was the victim of bad timing, says Ben McInnes, a Japanologist at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. "If Shirase had won government support, he would have reached Antarctica at the same time or perhaps earlier than Scott and Amundsen," he says. In the event, his efforts were eclipsed by those of his rivals."

These are the types of people I hold in deep respect. Those who are driven by an idea, no matter how stupid or daring, and strive to overcome the obstacles put in front of them. Long may these types of people exist.

Herald poster

This was posted on in an article in the Herald today. A guy called Brian Harrison from Plymouth and is worth repeating again.

They all talk principle and legalities but this is about power. The UK is an extremely centralised state: power resides at Westminster and no one at Westminster will voluntarily to give any of it away - (Blair was pushed into devolution by the EU). Salmond is also about power and wants to see as much as possible of it at Holyrood. 

For me the key question "is do you think over the last 40 years that Westminster has done well and will continue to do well?" The answer has to be resounding NO for anyone in the UK who does not live in the south east of England and who is not into Great Britain as a world power.

Westminster is incompetent. This incompetence of leadership is clearer the further you get in any direction from London, and wider travel plus the internet have made the comparisons easier to draw. It is not just the scandals like the Iraq war, MP's expenses, News International, the power of unregulated banks, or even the hilariously inconsequential public inquiries ("Carry on, Westminster"): it also shows in the numbers.

Google almost any economic measure - GPD per capita, percentage industrialisation, balance of payments history, balanced budgets, debt levels - and all the North European countries, (except France and Finland on some measures), outperform the UK. The UK's long term economic failure versus its Northern European competitors is being achieved despite reduced union bargaining power, significant privatisation, and it being made easier to sack staff than in any of them, and also despite repeated devaluations (a factor of 5 compared with German currencies of the last 40 years). The UK has had North Sea oil and still achieved a permanent trade deficit: genius.

For most social indicators - life expectancy, obesity, cocaine usage, teenage pregnancy, % GDP spent on Health, % of the population in prison, etc - the UK is nearly always the worst, and the more time you spend in Northern Europe the more you sense this. The internet also reveals that the same is true for less obvious indicators - social mobility, Gini index, percentage of women in positions of power, pay differentials, pension regulation, percentage of youth in training, liveable cities, renewable energy capacity, etc.

With its massive centralisation of power, its secretive ways (look up the McCrone report if you live in Scotland), and its unwritten constitution, Westminster is failing the individual populations of England, Scotland and Wales.

But despite the crowded trains, the cracked pavements and pot holed streets that catch your eye when you return here, Westminster cannot make the comparisons: it thinks in terms of its own importance, total GDP -" we're 6th in the world", rather than that of its citizens, GDP per capita - "we're poorer than everyone in Northern Europe". It is not just Westminster that is dysfunctional, but so is the underpinning "Great British" culture of its political and chattering classes, a culture that is encapsulated in the veneration of the polar explorer Scott, whose men died of starvation and who lost to Amundsen, whose men put on weight. It is not just the endless wrangling of left and right idealogues, any form of drama is more valued than a grasp of the numbers, cooperation and long term thinking. Costly and outdated assumptions are not challenged, as if Britain somehow deserves its UN security council seat, as if it can afford Trident and its military spend, and so, from Suez to Iraq, it is considered normal to indulge in murderous, self important adventures. Most disabling are the myths - Westminster being the mother of parliaments has nothing to learn from other democracies - and distorted narratives of identity - we won WW2 and have little to learn from our neighbours. The arrogance of empire without the fact.

The current British state works well for the metropolitan chattering and political classes, Westminster in short, who even if they do not believe all the myths buy themselves out from sharing the health and education services of their fellow citizens, and who, looking only to the USA, enjoy empire by association; however, for over a generation "Westminster" has failed the test of basic competence, let alone met the aspirations of the governed. Unlike the successfully capitalist countries of Northern Europe, the UK is simply not earning its living in the world. As a result it can afford less and less of the modern goodies, like infrastructure investment, market regulation, targeted welfare and wide access to education and training: this leads to its making worse use of its only asset, its people, who become less resourced, less educated, less numerate, less healthy, less socially mobile, less united in purpose, which in turn leads to less wealth creation, which in turn leads ... etc, etc.

In Scotland the SNP are quite rightly looking to the more successful countries of Northern Europe as their model, because it would be almost impossible to do worse than Westminster, from whom the rest of us should try to remove as much power as possible: if the SNP succeed, we may all benefit.

Scotland's referendum announcement

Well, let the battle begin. The SNP have announced the date of the referendum: Autumn 2014. The anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, the end of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and possibly the end of the Ryder cup in Gleneagles. Let us hope that we will have a proper debate on this and not a negative attack by the Unionist parties, which has been their preferred tactics so far. I have asked every supporter of the Union that I have met to give, at least, one good reason why Scotland should remain in the Union and no one has managed that so far. There have been attempts, such as:
a) We will be stronger together. OK, explain what you mean by 'stronger'. If you mean the armed forces then we would like to point out that we don't want to stride the world bullying all the smaller nations of this world, or if you mean in a financial sense then why is our economy in such a mess. No country-which was part of the Anglo-Saxon banking industry- was strong enough to resist the crashes that have happened; even the USA.
b) The UK has a seat on the security council in the UN therefore Scotland will not have a say on that council. Scotland does not have a seat-and for that matter, neither does England, it is the UK-anyway, we are not interested in playing at being a world policeman. We want to live in peace with everyone.
c) Scotland is too small to take care of itself. You mean like Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech RepublicSwitzerland and all the other small nations of the world who are happy being independent?
d) Scotland is too poor too take care of itself. You mean apart from the abundant supplies of oil, gas and the 4th largest export in the UK; whisky? When you add all those up and divide that by the population of Scotland-which is just over 5 million-it makes the Scots pretty wealthy. Keeping in mind that is only a fraction-admittedly a large fraction- of our wealth. We still manufacture-no thanks to the decimation of our industries under Maggie Thatcher-and we still have a financial sector; admittedly not as big as the City of London, but when has the square mile ever concerned itself with Scotland?
e) It has mentioned that we are to stupid to look after ourselves. Scotland has produced world leaders in science, technology, philosophy and many more things that have added to the advancement of the human race. Considering our size we punch well above our weight.
f) Will Scotland be able to have a military capable of defending its borders. Our only land border will be with England. Are they thinking of attacking us? We will need a navy and air force to patrol our oil and gas fields and a small army in case of international peacekeeping duties. We have no reason, nor need, to invade other countries-unlike the UK-therefore we don't need a large military.
g) If it wasn't for the UK investing the money in the North Sea there would be no oil and gas. The UK never 'invested' a penny. They gave tax breaks [never took money off them as opposed to giving out money] to the oil companies who invested their own money in the exploration.
h) The oil is running out so what is Scotland to do? There is still decades amounts of oil and gas and more fields are being found every year. This is a lie. However, oil will run out eventually but that will apply to all oil and gas producing countries so the question also applies to Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Brazil, Libya,  RussiaKazakhstan, Uzbekistan and all the other producers. I don't see them begging to be taken under the control of the UK.
i) The union has been going for 300 years. That's not exactly true as the Union, when we joined it, has changed several times so the Union is not the same Union we joined. In reality the last major change to the Union was when Southern Ireland got its independence in 1919. Therefore the Union-as we know it today- has only been going for 93 years and not the 300 as often stated.

These were just some of the negative comments being brought forward by the Unionists but not one of them has given a positive reason to stay in the Union.

The Referendum Debate

Let us hope that we can have a full and frank debate devoid of any negative comments. Negativity will do nothing to further the choices of the voters of Scotland and may, indeed, force voters over to the independent side. Strangely enough that is not what I want. I am already convinced of the need for Scotland's independence but I am willing to have my mind changed if the Unionists can come up with good counter-arguments. Independence is a big step for the Scottish peoples-which we are more than capable of taking-and I want to be sure that this is the correct course to take. My view, so far, is that we have been abused and ripped off by the Westminster government who don't give a toss about the Scots. I hasten to add that the Westminster government don't give a toss about the Welsh, the Northern Irish and, for that matter, the English. Which brings me around to some of the vile, and some would say, racists comment seen in the media by those that want to retain the Union as it is. I don't need to produce links to them as we have all seen them. I want to make this perfectly clear, independence is not about being anti-English; it is about being pro-Scottish. I, for one, have an English daughter and English grandkids. I live in England and like the English people, as a whole, and would stand up, and have done so in the past, for some English people abroad. This is solely about the BRITISH government and the way that they have treated my nation in the present and the past. As an aside, I don't particularly like the way the British government have treated the rest of the constituent nations of the UK & NI.
So, let us have a forthright discussion on this. The ball is now in the court of the Unionist parties to come up with a reason why the Scottish voters should remain a part of the UK& NI. Good luck to all.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Antony Worrall-Thompson

Recipe for a good day out:

Go to Tesco and steal some cheese and a bottle of wine or 'Ready, Steady, Crook'.
I wonder if this man had been a poor working class person desperate for something to eat, would he/she just been let off with a caution?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cameron on the BBC

Here we go again.

Now Cameron is starting to unleash the big guns by speaking about the referendum on the Andrew Marr show and copied by their BBC lackeys in Pacific Quay. To show you how important the referendum is to the UK the interview with Cameron, about the referendum, lasted for approx 4 minutes and 15 seconds out of a programme that lasted about 58 minutes. It starts at 43:40 and lasts to 46:54. We should be thankful that they even gave us that.
The fact is, and Cameron has said this on more than one occasion, the referendum is up to the Scots but the UK media aren't exactly shouting this from the rooftops. It is obvious to anyone who has been watching this unfold that the Unionists are attempting to muddy the waters and cause panic amongst the Scots; he doesn't get it. Piss off the Scots and they'll hold a grudge for decades and, in some cases, centuries. All he has to do is count the amount of Tory MPs in Scotland and he'll see what I mean. It was Thatcher that destroyed the UK but Cameron is going to get the blame.

Cameron is talking about the legality of holding a referendum, of course he is, but you can be sure that the legality will be, like the Calman commission, kicked into the long grass and never heard of again. More muddying of the waters and ammunition to the slowly diminishing Unionist media in Scotland.
Then there is the old chestnut of the Scottish economy suffering because of the uncertainty of when the referendum  is to take place. Of course it is Mr. Cameron, which is why there has been so much inward investment in Scotland by the hard work of Alex Salmond, even after Mr. Cameron stood up in the House of Commons and advised businesses not to invest there. Which was the first time in the history of the UK that a Prime Minister has openly told companies not to invest in a part of the UK. I won't forget that.
During the interview Andrew Marr brought up the timing of the referendum and mentioned that it will happen at the time of the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn; so what. The Scottish government [administration according to Andrew Marr] will have the referendum when they said they would have it; in the second have of the 'administration'; Alex Salmond has made that perfectly clear.

All the jostling and complaining by the Unionists will not change that. It just makes them look desperate; which, at the moment, I'm sure they are. However, that will not last for too long and the Unionist bandwagon will get its act together and money, time and effort will be thrown at the NO vote. Their black ops has already begun and the political battle will, when Ed Milliband gets his act together, follow quite soon. They just need something to grab on to, which is what the muddying of the waters is all about. When the referendum comes our ace in the hole is the amount of feet we can put on the streets; it won't be about money.


Now we are being threatened!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Anti-Scottish rants

Here we go again. An article in the Mailonline which puts over only the Unionist viewpoint and doesn't even attempt to get a balance by asking what the SNP think. I shouldn't be surprised as the Mail [English version] is well known for it 'hang 'em high' attitude. When you read the article it is worth reading the rabid anti-Scottish postings by some of its readers; and they wonder why we have this sort of attitude towards independence. If the Scottish nationalists-as opposed to the British nationalists-posted those sort of anti-English statements it would be all over the papers, but it seems to be acceptable to say those types of things about the Scots in an 'English' paper. Sad really.
And then we have an English Libdem politician [Clegg] visiting Scotland and trying to tell us what we should be doing. I will be quick to add that not all Scottish Libdems take this stance. The blog by Andrew Page is well worth visiting. He seems to be a man that will not bow down to party dogma [unlike the Labour MPs and MSPs]. I respect a man who is willing to shelve his career to do what he thinks is right. Pity that we don't have more people like him.

The London 7/7 bombings

I know this guy is classified as some sort of conspiracy nut but he does ask some probing questions which really need to be answered by the 'authorities'. When you take into account his Youtube video and this RT collection of facts about the 9/11 attacks and the history of the USA's attempts to start wars then these separate incidents, when taken as a whole, makes you think just who are the bad guys?

Strange how this released photograph is cut off just before the hole

Is this really home-made explosives?

So, what has this got to do with Scottish referendum coming up? Quite a lot really. Not one of us trust the financial figures given out by the UK treasury about the amount of money that Scotland puts into the UK treasury as opposed to the amount that the Scottish government gets back off then in 'pocket money'. We cannot trust anything the UK government have told us, and is still trying to tell us, about the Scottish independence agenda. What makes you think that we should believe them when it comes to the 7/7 bombings in London. We all know the the UK government is so far up the arse of the government of the USA that it can see what it is eating before it is put into their mouth then the UK copying the USA's warmongering agenda doesn't seem to be as far fetched as the youtube video implies.
I've said this before and I'll say it again. Expect the UK government to engineer an 'incident' if the UK government expect to lose the referendum. When I say expect what I really mean is that they cannot fiddle the results. They have done that already in the previous home rule referendum. What we are dealing with is 'big boy' politics and those at the top will stop at nothing to get their own way.

Friday, January 6, 2012

USA's prior knowledge of an attack on Pear Harbour

There is enough evidence floating around to point to a conclusion that the USA had prior warning that an attack on Pearl Harbour was imminent. Why, you ask, would the USA want the Japanese to attack and destroy their fleet at anchor in Pearl Harbour? Because they wanted to get into the war but the American people would have kicked out anyone who would have brought them into the war. The American people were not interested in getting involved in what they saw as another European war. Therefore the government of the USA needed an excuse to join in. What better than to shock the American public with an undeclared act of war by an aggressor. Now let's look at some of the facts, some of the facts might shock you while others might not seem to be of importance until you view them in the context of the time.
The Japanese were on an empire building conquest of Asia because it needed the natural resources that it's own country did not possess. Japan was desperate to pull itself into the industrial age of the 20th century but lacked the natural resources to do so. Japan had no coal, oil, rubber or anything raw materials. According to the CIA World Factbook Japan has no natural resources whatsoever:
 'negligible mineral resources, fish
note: with virtually no energy natural resources, Japan is the world's largest importer of coal and liquefied natural gas, as well as the second largest importer of oil'
After the the Japanese were forced, by the USA, into signing the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854 where they were forced to open their ports to American ships, the Shogun era came to an end. It seems that Japan had no answer to the USA's military and industrial might and were determined never to be in that position again. The problem they had was the lack of resources and, therefore, set their sights on the Manchurian coal mines. After several wars with China and Russia the limits of Japan's empire began to grow but it still needed the raw materials that the colonies of the French, in Indo-China and the British in Malaysia had. To do that the Japanese first had to deal with the might of the USA and their Pacific fleet. This is what led up to the attack on Pearl Harbour.
It has been claimed by the USA that the attack was a surprise and, what information they did have was lost in a compounded series of mishaps and untimely intelligence failures. On top of that the USA had said that they had 'lost' the Japanese fleet as they had kept strict radio silence. This is all lies. The USA had broken the Japanese code in the autumn of 1940; a full 15 months before the attack. On top of that the Japanese fleet was in daily radio contact with their HQ back in Japan. The USA knew that the Japanese had plans to bomb Pearl Harbour. FDR [the American president] had sent the Pacific fleet from its base in the mainland to Hawaii in 1940. Many thought this was a good move to threaten any Japanese moves in the Pacific. FDR gave instructions for the fleet to remain in Pearl Harbour but admiral Richardson, in charge of the US fleet, complained so much about this that he was replaced by admiral Kimmel. He too complained about keeping the fleet in the Harbour. But back to the attack on the 7th of December, 1941, a few hours before the attack the aircraft carriers had slipped out of Pearl and were not there when the attack occurred; lucky for them but not so lucky for the 2,402 US personnel who were killed during the attack.

So, we have the USA sacrificing their own personnel to enable the USA to join in on the war against the Axis powers. This was not the first time that the USA have sacrificed their own citizens to enable a war to start and it wouldn't be the last.

Diane Abbott and tweeting

I am not going to like writing this piece but there is an underlying truth that needs to be discussed. For too long we in the UK have been at the mercy of the political correctness brigade even to the point where we cannot even have a joke at the expense of people of different cultures. I am talking about the tweet put out by Diane Abbott which said: 'White people love  playing 'divide & rule'. When you look at the context of which it was meant, and I agree that this was the basis of her tweet, it is a reasonable statement to make. English foreign policy in Europe, and then later during the Empire building of the UK, has been to divide and rule. 
So why the big stushie? I believe it was not only a chance to make the Labour party look racist (really?!) but also a chance to enforce the 'don't say anything about race' brigade. In a way it it the same with the underlying culture within the establishment of suppressing the national pride of the constituents of the UK. We are not all the same and never will be. If we cannot laugh at our differences then what is the point of celebrating the different cultures within the UK like the Highland games, Eisteddfod or the Notting Hill carnival?