Posts tagged ‘vote yes’

September 17, 2014

Thank you all fellow YESers it’s been great!

The Yes Scotland Campaign

We’ve taken on the Tories

We’ve taken on the BNP

We’ve taken on the Orange Order

We’ve taken on the Labour Party

We’ve taken on the Britannia Party

We’ve taken on the Liberal Democrats

We’ve taken on the National Front

We’ve taken on Ukip

We’ve taken on the BBC, determinedly propagandizing on behalf of the Union

We’ve taken on the luvvies with their enormous egos and holiday homes in Scotland

We’ve taken on the distortions of our views, our desires, our ambitions in the press

We’ve challenged and sang and laughed and chapped on doors in the sun in the rain in howling gales

We’ve spoken at meetings and shrugged off abuse and attack

We’ve turned ordinary Scots into activists

We’ve introduced young people to political participation

We’ve challenged lies and more lies and dirty tricks

We’ve shaken our heads at political posturing and stunts

We’ve shaken our heads at Labour politicians advocating people do not use their democratic vote

We’ve faced up to the whole panoply of aggressive misrepresentation thrown at us by a mischievous media

We’ve used social media to counter media distortions and lies and censorship of our opinions and ideals

We’ve taken on millionaires and billionaires and city folk who aim to buy support

We’ve taken on self-serving corrupt politicians motivated by self-interest who feather their own nests with inflated expense claims paid for by people who are reduced to feeding their families from food banks

We’ve taken on threats and personal attacks from No supporters

We’ve countered the hysterical rantings of fanatical rightwing commentators

We’ve countered the hysterical ranting of Kensington lefties

We’ve grown more confident

We’ve loved being part of a movement that is positive and ambitious to help the majority in our little country of Scotland

We’ve taken the flak and shrugged it off because we’ve been empowered to speak out

Thank you all fellow YESers

It’s been great

September 15, 2014

Not narrow nationalism but popular democracy

Aberdeen Yes

A great deal of nonsense has been said and written throughout the Scottish independence campaign by a mostly hostile media.

We were told at the outset it was too long. Well here we are about to vote and interest in it is greater than ever. It certainly has caught the attention of the world media and even, the UK media, and that takes some doing when it comes to Scotland-related matters.

The Guardian is an example of a newspaper purporting to represent the whole of the British Isles when, in fact, it represents possibly a small community around SE England. Pick up a copy any day of any week, outside of the referendum period, and you’ll struggle to see any mention of Scotland whether in the politics section or sport.

The Guardian, therefore, cannot be taken too seriously when it claims to understand the Scottish psyche through this campaign. Curiously it regards itself as sharing with the campaign ‘some of the things that matters most to this newspaper and its readers.’ An eyebrow or two will have been raised around Scotland at this conceit.

You, the Guardian, are part of the problem which has led to the groundswell of support for re-asserting our independence.

You are wrong when you say that national identity is high on anyone’s agenda, certainly not for those of the Yes side. The same may not apply to the No side for they’ve supported the cry of Scots across the UK and even abroad who maintain they should have been given a vote. The Yes side see this referendum as the business of those who live in Scotland, who make their livings here, who raise their families here, irrespective of where they come from originally. It is not a franchise based on national identity at all but of location. You can be from Pakistan, England, Poland, Estonia and you are deemed to be Scottish and so entitled to vote.

‘Ugly nationalism’ has no place in the Yes movement, except as an invention by mistaken or mischievous opponents of the independence movement.

No, the view that this is a campaign of national identity, narrow nationalism or Britishness of the type Gove tried to introduce into England with all the nastiness that involves, is far removed from the pro-independence movement. Only No campaigners have been desperately declaring themselves patriots and passionate about Scotland, not the yessers. It is so misleading to suggest independence here is about narrow nationalism. It is a movement which has emerged from us being overwhelmed by at times a bullying and often indifferent Union partner happy to exploit Scotland’s people (industrially and militarily) and our resources and condescend us by ‘giving us’ a few powers of government so that there is an allusion of semi-autonomy. We are a partner we shouldn’t be ‘given’ powers we should be able to take what we want out of the Union.

The Guardian holds up the views of Charles Kennedy to knock back independence. He has not featured in Scottish politics for long (while still an MP) his voice is now unfamiliar here and he speaks for a discredited party of LibDems whose integrity is in shreds and who will struggle for votes in the future so why the Guardian thought he was someone who could shed light on the movement for change here is risible and another example of how out of touch the Guardian is with Scotland and its Scottish readers.

The newspaper’s editorial is spiteful in its accusation against the millions who support a radical shakeup of life in Scotland and reveals an unhealthy level of intolerance of opinion despite its opening statement about sharing some of our concerns.

No-one I have heard has ever uttered the opinion that they think the Scots superior to anyone else; inclusiveness is the overwhelming view.

I suggest the Guardian ca’s canny when going down the line that the Union better serves oldies relying on a state pension for UK pensioners receive among the worst pensions in Europe and the pension age if being pushed back towards 70 the age it was when pensions were first introduced – when few lived long enough to benefit from them.

Likewise with the NHS there can be few in doubt that privatisation will erode all but a tiny element of the once-great NHS. Only by Scotland getting away from its status as a pocket-money dependency will we have a hope of retaining a well-funded free at the point of access health service; as campaigning medical and nursing staff have argued.

The wealth that is created in Scotland will be used to tackle the obscenity of poverty in the 21st century in an oil-rich state but it can only be done when we rid ourselves of the corrupt back-slapping nepotistic establishment that pulls all the strings in the UK around Westminster and Whitehall.

There is little Scotland, as part of the Union, can do to raise the living standards of people across the UK but there is much it can do to use the massive oil and gas reserves we have along with the rest of our economy to improve life here in Scotland with our small population. The argument that risk shared across populations is manifestly untrue given the evidence that small western nations have the highest standards of living and well-being.

Scots are looking for big constitutional change. Labour says vote for them next year and they’ll reform the House of Lords. We’ve heard that one so often and what do we get? Labour Party MPs queuing up to wrap themselves in ermine, eager to grasp the daily allowance of the totally undemocratic Lords. No Labour we don’t want reform of the Lords we want its eradication.

Until recently most issues of the Guardian along with all other mainstream UK newspapers and BBC largely ignored us or patronised or ridiculed us. Fair enough, carry on doing that but don’t expect us to give you respect or play your games anymore.

Whatever the outcome of the referendum vote Scotland’s people have been reinvigorated and we will not be docile any longer.

July 26, 2014

I-i-i-n-n-n-d-d-d-e-e-p-p-e-e-n-n-d aaah! Separation – a reply to John McTernan in Prospect Magazine

I’m more amused than captivated by the views on Scottish independence of people who don’t live here. Lots of celebrities have spoken up on one side or the other although I suspect they know more about the intricacies of astrophysics than they do about Scotland.

John McTernan likes to air his opinion on the referendum. Don’t know if he counts as a celeb but, like them, I doubt he’s got his finger on Scotland’s pulse but he thinks he does and so feels entitled to record his impressions in Prospect Magazine 24 July 2104 in an article entitled ‘Why Patriotic Scots will be voting No.’

 

I suppose the response to that is some will and some won’t. Then again never fully trust anyone who evokes ‘patriotism’ as a justification for preserving Scotland as a subjugated region within a UK that is inevitably dominated by its much larger neighbour. Not even when that person refers to the nationalist Hugh MacDiarmid to  demonstrate just how much he LOVES us.  Just what is it you LOVE about Scotland John? and all those celebs who are clueless about the place.

John McTernan sticks to  #naw’s  standard terminology – ‘separation’ never independence possibly because they know that independence is positive and progressive and worth aiming for. But no, it’s as if they can’t quite get their tongues round the term ‘independence’ – i-i-i-n-n-n-d-d-d-e-e-ppppppppppppppp – no can’t do it – separation – that’s a whole lot easier – more negative, bad vibes, scareyyyyyyyy.

Actually John it’s not separation at all: not physically and not politically – it is independence – there’s a world of difference. By not daring to engage with the term you fail. They all fail.

John McTernan is right to say the numbers supporting independence have been relatively stable over the years but something has changed here though possibly looking from the outside he wouldn’t recognise it.  What’s changed is that more people are not just quite enthusiastic about Scotland taking responsibility for itself – pursuing policies which chime with the different mindset there is here to England’s – but also because there’s an opportunity to see the long cherished hope realised .

I’m one of those. I never used to care much about independence and I don’t know what changed me, perhaps studying History at University where I came to realise that Scotland’s position in  world affairs was rarely acknowledged – as part of the UK Scotland is invisible both within and outwith these islands. The UK is too often solely England but never solely Scotland. It’s not as though anything has changed. Yes the media have discovered Scotland and for the past year or so we’ve been bombarded with Scotland this and Scotland that but it is all part of the #bettertogether smokescreen aimed at persuading voters into believing we are fully integrated part of the UK. It will all vanish like snow off a dyke after the referendum and everyone will return to normal with Scotland shut back into its box.

John asks ‘why’? Why go for independence.  He asks it with reference to the Scottish Enlightenment – as in Hume and Smith asked ‘why’ a lot in their pursuance of enlightenment so it is reasonable to apply the same approach to the referendum. And yes it is.

But in John McTernan’s citing of Hume, a giant of the Enlightenment, he takes no cognisance that this giant of a thinker was flawed as a man, as in his disagreement with Beattie over the issue of slavery.

When Beattie asked why slavery? Hume responded along the lines of why not? Why not because black people, in his view, were not quite human so he couldn’t see Beattie’s difficulty with the issue.

So, John when you ask why ? – realise the answer may not be what you expect. It is a reasonable question but only if you’re open to the response why not?  What you are saying is really why bother?

My response is that a Yes vote resulting in Scotland regaining its independence will be better for Scotland in every aspect of Scottish life – politically, socially, economically, culturally, for our health and for our well-being AND – of equal importance perhaps that  other places will benefit as well.  Why? Because in Scotland it is inevitable there will be support for a more socially democratic regime than we get/expect from future UK governments where austerity and private capital is the driver.

Privatisation has all but eradicated the NHS in England. This is the consequence of England voting for conservative policies from Tories, Lib Dems, and Labour. All of them support this drive towards the market that is so damaging to the once sacrosanct publicly run health care system that put people before profits and spreadsheets. That this hasn’t happened in Scotland speaks volumes. Support for the above parties has fallen here because there’s no appetite for their rightwing policies – for the pursuit of austerity at any cost, for adopting the market at the expense of public safeguards.

John weakens his case when citing Gordon Brown for the man once highly regarded in this country no longer holds the nations’ respect: he is the voice of rightwing social democracy happy to go along with illegal wars and unrestrained capital.  Under Brown and Blair the spivs got richer and economic inequality increased. Where is the equality involved in illegal wars supported by Brown and Blair? Where is the equality in the doubling of the 10% tax rate for the poorest in the UK? Where is the equality in the introduction of the bedroom tax? That’s what we got and will get with Labour. Never mind the soundbites this is the reality of electing UK Labour in the future. A change in government will give us what we have now with knobs on. Brown wanted to free capital and see where that’s landed us. Labour relies on our short-term memories and a compliant media. Scots have long memories, John.

‘The United Kingdom is a massive engine for redistribution and social justice. We tax the wealth of London, a great world city, and distribute it across the country.’

The idea that London’s wealth is redistributed around the country is certainly quixotic. According to John McTernan London is supporting the rest of the country which is strange because to the rest of us London is a pampered and subsidised parasite that is hugely damaging to the economic and cultural life of those regions and countries making up the rest of the UK.

Astronomic sums are spent in London. Compare the funding it gets in all manner of ways compared to what is spent elsewhere.  Suggesting London’s wealth filters down to the rest of us is bogus even quixotic and certainly claptrap.

Why should Scotland NOT regain its independence? It is logical for a country that is marginalised by its size in this uneven and unequal Union to want to advance itself: to get the government its people chooses that will allow it to broaden and build its economic base and fund social policies that are in tune with the majority of its population.

No-one is  saying everything will be great from day one. But the mistakes Scotland make will be ones of our own making and the solutions will be too.  We want nothing to do with your austerity cuts shouldered by the poor that are inflicted on us by Tories and Lib Dems with Labour lurking in the background thumping its fist asking ‘how hard do you want it?’

If Yes supporters gloss over potential hurdles then No voters are equally glib – desperately erecting hurdles more ludicrous by the day. There is never acknowledgement that aspects of Scottish life could be improved through independence. By overstating their case No voters show themselves to be petty-minded, vindictive, carping, sniping, ungenerous and yes, dishonest.

McTernan’s nasty little aside in his summing up is an example of this abusive and bullying behaviour that the UK media is happy to ignore while frothing at the mouth whenever a supporter of Yes goes too far.

Scotland doesn’t need to be patronised. It doesn’t need London’s cash. It doesn’t need the reactionary politics that are becoming so harmful in England. Scotland needs to move forward into the future with confidence. We have the means to become hugely successful participants on the world stage. Our people have made great things happen all over the globe there’s no reason we can’t do the same for ourselves. Anything less makes no sense whatsoever.

July 19, 2014

The Better Together #Vote No #No Thanks #Naw Movie

Just thought I’d provide a platform for Better Together so we can fully grasp what they stand for.