Sunday, 14 October 2012


I think we have all been agreed for some time that, faced with the fact that Scotland was likely to leave the United Kingdom, the UK government was equally likely to be looking for means, fair or foul, to put independence back in its box.

I am willing to bet that we, as UK taxpayers, have been forking out for members of the security services to rifle through every tiny detail of the lives of anyone in Scottish government, or the YES campaign, to see if they can find anything discrediting about any of them.

Following the success of the year of Jubolympics,  it was always on the cards that they would want another big-money, flag waving exercise to take place during 2014.

In fairness, I would say that it is not likely to be a coincidence that the year of the referendum, chosen by Alex Salmond, will see a grand sporting event in Scotland, one in which our athletes will compete under the Saltire and not the union flag, and that the Ryder Cup will be held at Gleneagles, the first time in Scotland since 1973, and a great showcase for the country, around the world and at home.

So Cameron and his men must have been looking around for something that would allow for a sense of Britishness, like the Jubilee, that would pull people out together to sing 'Rule Britannia' and 'Jerusalem', and wave union flags, hold street parties, etc.

Of course we can still reasonably expect that Harry's wedding will take place that year, but in terms of the English aristocracy, the younger son has never quite the same importance as the heir. It is also not beyond the bounds of possibility that William and his wife might well be expected to be producing children by that time and it would be naive to imagine that this possibility has not been discussed. 

But Cameron needs more than one event of Britishness... indeed the more the merrier.

So, like many of the other ideas he has grasped at in his amateurish governance, he has come up with a bizarre notion that we should commemorate the START of the Great War, the war to end all wars.

Normally, one commemorates the END of a war. In that way the commemoration can be mixed with a celebration that the terribleness is over and a joy that life can return to normal. But 1918 would be too late for Cameron.  Scotland will have voted; the deed will have been done. And in any case, it's unlikely that he will still be prime minister.

We already commemorate the END of the First World War every year at the exact time that hostilities ceased, ie the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month (or the nearest Sunday to that time). We shall do so again in less than a month's time. The Queen, members of the royal family, politicians from all chambers and old soldiers are watched in respect by the nation as they lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in London, in capitals over the UK, and in towns over the world. Politics are forgotten as people pay their respects. 

I have no issues with the various UK governments suggesting that children do special history projects, and if they can afford the money from the education budget, I have no problem this year, or any other, with visits being made to the graveyards and fields of slaughter.

But it seems to me to be open opportunism to exploit a war in which millions were killed and millions more lives ruined, in order to whip up some Britishness.

Cynical Highlander brought to my attention a petition asking the government to reject the plans. You might like to sign it, if you agree with me that this is a distasteful idea.

Here is the link again.


The result of our poll for the least popular politician can be found on the comments of this post. For those who care enough to know who won, but not enough to go to the post, It was Tony B£air in runaway lead, followed at a distance by Mrs Thatcher, with Cameron in a respectable third place.


  1. Even now, days after we all first heard about the "celebration" in 2014 I am still at a loss to figure out what the hell was going through Cameron's brain, I assume he does ACTUALLY have one, at the time he decided on this. Pity it wasn't a bloody bullet going through his pea brain instead of his concept of a thought process.

    I think anger is the closest description to how I actually feel about this at the moment. Well sick to the bottom of my stomach and anger actually. Like every thing else that Cameron touches I hope that this too blows up in his face, BIG TIME!

    I don't know if you've seen this Tris but BBC Scotlandshire have a good take on things.

    Of course we still have to ask where he is going to get the £50 Million from. I mean we all know that the poor, the infirm, the jobless, the elderly are ALL playing a FULL part in "contributing" towards this £50 Million. Will this be enough though. According to the IMF Cameron's side kick, Osborne, and his austerity measures are costing the U.K. £76 Billion a year. So really the question is will all the financial "help" the infirm, elderly etc put in towards Cameron's "celebration" really make it through to pay for the "celebration" or will these "contributions" just be swallowed up by the result of Osborne's austerity measures?

  2. I'm sickened by it Arbroath.

    I expected dirty tricks. I expected Cameron to use all that he had at his disposal, but it never occurred to me that the devastation and horror (look at the figures in the chart at the top of the post) that were visited upon us, and countries that are now our allies, would be used as an excuse to wave flags.

    I'd have accepted it quietly if it had been done at the end of the war, but no one ever commemorates the beginning of these things.

    It's despicable.

    BBC Sctlandshire made me laugh again though.

    As for the idiot Osborne's half arsed plans... well,we all told him that austerity never works.

    When the banks have no money to lend and business has no money to spend and people are paying off their maxed out credit cards, the only people who can spend... and stimulate demand in the private sector, are government departments.

    No one else has the money. They spend, build infrastructure, create jobs in private enterprises supplying the materials and labour for the infrastructure. The people newly in work in turn spend their wages (creating more private sector jobs) and pay taxes, feeding some of the money straight back to the government.

    And the bonus is, when the economy picks up we have the roads, railways, communications.... that a modern economy needs, and the schools, etc that we deserve.

    Osborne is a thick idiot.

  3. I heard him talking about a football match to commemorate the xmas day game. How gut churningly sick.

  4. He is gut churning Anon.

    Has he no idea how other people look at these things.

  5. I sometimes wonder if this is all part of his "master" plan.

    I have a theory that Cameron has been, for some time, looking beyond the 2014 referendum and has seen it, the referendum, as a chance to achieve something no one else has ever achieved in Westminster, a generation of Tory rule. I just wonder if this is, in his mind, a brilliant way to "p*** off the Jocks" enough to get a YES win in 2014.

    He does that then Westminster instantly loses 40 or so Labour M.P.'s This means that any future General Election leaves Labour trailing the Tories by 40 odd seats BEFORE a single vote has been cast. So long as the Tories can keep London and the South East of England happy they are virtually assured a return to power every time.

    Sure he take a rollocking from his own side for "losing" Scotland but that will fade fairly quickly I reckon as soon as they realise what a "master" stroke it was for him to "lose" Scotland.

    After all when you think about it, "losing" Scotland would mean Labour losing 40 odd seats, the Lib/Dems would lose around 11 seats, the SNP would lose around 6 seats and the Tories would lose just 1 seat. All in all the opposition would lose 58 seats to the Tories losing just 1 seat. That HAS to be seen as being GOOD odds in anyone's book I think.

    If this is the line of thought that Cameron has been following then, in political terms at least, I think you could just about call it a "master" stroke. However, if he has NOT been thinking along these lines then it is pure and simple the MOST disgusting thing ANY P.M. could EVER do to the memory of ALL those who have fallen giving up their lives for the Royal family feud between two of Queen Victoria's grandsons that was WWI

  6. It's a bit morbid to celebrate the slaughter of 73 million poor souls.

    The £50m is probably better spent on providing help for war widows and their children from the present conflicts.

  7. Arbroath,

    I've said that all along and, indeed, it obviously has been discussed at senior Tory level.

    As for the commemoration it is, as someone else wrote, disgusting and distasteful and smacks of desperation.

  8. The most important thing is that the referendum result really does reflect the will of the Scottish people. It would be unfortunate if voters were unduly influenced by transitory events like the Olympics, or anniversaries like WWI or Bannockburn. But I think the Scottish electorate are wise enough to see through the flag waving of either side and make their choice on the issues. Let's hope so.

  9. Well, it's a possibility Arbroath. I guess you have to balance the ignominy of losing Scotland with the prize of also losing 58 opposition seats.

    It has to be a hard one to call.

  10. If, Monty, he finds that he has £50 million to spare, I'd have no problems with him spending it on helping war wounded/widows/kids from current misadventures.

    Frankly I don't know where he will get the money from... no, wait a minute, the disabled, of course.

  11. John: Yes, I bet the eminences grises of the Tory party will have talked about it. It's anyone's call how they feel. They aren't about to let us in on that secret.

    It would be nice if someone leaked it though... after a particularly good lunch at a club...

    I think that what the UK does to remember the war dead is dignified and decent. (Not often I praise the UK.)

    The Earl Haig poppy fund is a superb idea. We never have a chance to forget, because we all wear poppies every year, not just for that hour or two on the Sunday morning, but for a week or so.

    It's a pity that the people who take us into war don't seem to derive any benefit from the solemnity of it all.

    I heard some retired Admiral admitting that... while one is waiting for the Queen at the Cenotaph one is standing next to the Defence Secretary with nothing much to do... one might as well mention the fact that such and such a company is selling a particular piece of equipment...or words to that effect. Lobbying in short.

    I wondered if he had any notion of why he was at the Cenotaph.

    Perhaps, that, more than the fool Cameron's plan, is indicative of why we learn no lessons from these affairs.

    I've never really understood the 10 year, 50 year, 100 year commemoration of anything. It hardly matters whether something happened 50 years ago, or 51 years and 3 days ago. It happened. In this case millions of people died, many more had their lives ruined. But maybe that's just me.

  12. Effie: I agree that the main issue is that there is a fair and believable referendum.

    That is why I believe that there should be external scrutiny of the voting and counting, along the lines that the UN or EU provide for other countries.

    I can't say that I would trust Cameron as far as I could throw him, but I dare say that the unionists might well say the same about the YES campaign.

    Whatever the result, I believe that neither side can come out of this feeling cheated.

    The Electoral Commission is just not enough.

  13. The 100th commemoration should be on the 11th hour 11th day in the month of 2018
    unfortunately the eton spivs see this as a jolly good wheeze to spin the electorates vote as pr men would .

    They dont even care to honour the English fallen in a proper manner let alone anyone else

    wonder if any other party leader will disagree with this subverting of national grief for deceased

    to be honest do we really want a campaign of shroud wavers
    not a good nor honorable day for keeping the union .

    That old lle
    Dulce et decorum est pro patri mori

  14. I see the Daily Telegraph is running a poll about whether Scots should be "granted" independence.

    The voting is currently around 50-50.

    I've tried to point out that we won't be "granted" anything. If we vote for it, we shall have it.

    I see, in the same article, that Mr Moore is still telling us that The Bank of Scotland (Halifax, Lloyds, TSB) and the Royal Bank (Williams and Glynn, National Westminster), were Scottish banks which would not have survived without the English.

    I note that Iceland, which did not bail its banks out, is doing much better than the UK. Strange that.

  15. Arbroath 1320

    and, of course Cameron still has the boundary changes, which he will ram through at an appropriate time, maybe just after the YES vote. Bingo 20 to 30 more lost seats for Labour, although I am not sure how many of them could have already been counted in from Scotland. Let us say 8 to 10, so that he stands to gain 50 to 60.

    Labour is finished and Miliband knows it so he is getting his retaliation in first and adopted the Tory Blue polices that the SE of England so love. He is preparing to jettison Scotland and any bollox about promoting Jimmie Krankie to the Shadow Cabinet is her reward for taking the English Gold and when the time comes a seat in the House of Lards, with her mates and fellow Crims.

  16. Ha ha... Wolfie

    Oh Lord, I hope Mrs Lamont didn't swallow being sent to the retirement home house. She is Scottish. When Scotland leaves the union she'll not be eligible to sit in a house that legislates for a foreign country.

    Daft woman.

  17. The general at the Cenotaph just so happened to be president of the Royal British Legion He has now resigned He ought to be horsewhipped especially for his other reported comments about these boring ceremonies

    You just could not make it up

    Respect they could not spell the word never mind understand the meaning of it

  18. Hi Fair... I just heard that. And yes, I agree with you, horse whipping sounds like the right deal for him.

    So now we know that MPs are corrupt: more than half of them were stealing from us; lords, someone said 80% of them were on the fiddle; Charlie have been taking money from businessmen in return for invites to their wretched weddings; and we all know about the Duchess of York and Princess Michael and her weak kneed husband. And prince Andrew also demanding money for the protection of his "bloody" princesses.

    We know that the Queen tried to benefit from the a fund set up to help poor people with heating.

    The police, particularly in London, but also in Sheffield and in many other places are corrupt, sometimes in league with the government, sometimes not. They certainly seem to have liked taking money from newspapers to release information.

    The press is rotten through and though, the BBC too. Everyone knew about St Jimmy, but he was too big to be challenged by the law.

    Now it seems that the moment that they get a chance, our retired military, often with titles (for what, I ask myself) can't wait to benefit from their positions by selling themselves as prostitutes.

    I remember being angered at the way that a Labour MP had sex in his office with some tart while the rest of us were showing respect for the dead. But he was a nothing; and now he has been sacked. These guys were people at the top! Is it any wonder Cameron has no compunction about using 77 million deaths to make a political point.

    It may backfire. It is unlikely that Scotland in and of itself would ever have got involved in a silly imperial war about who owned what.

    So, sorry for the rant, but who exactly, in this "United" Kingdom can we trust not to have their sticky fingers in the till, or to be perverts?

  19. hey tris that MP ( two shags prescott) is now in the 'other place' lording it over us and sticking his fat gob on the telly whenever he gets the chance.
    The last time I saw him he was bleating about press intrusion by newscorp and wanting compo.

  20. Noooo Monty, I just looked him up. He was even more insignificant than Prescott. He was Nigel Griffiths. Who?. I hear you say.

    I heard that Prescott is standing for this mad police thing they are having in England.

    No one is in the least interested and they are having the polling in mid November, which means probably no one will go to the polls, and police will be governed by people who only got 17 votes.

    England will always try to be America though, won't it?

  21. I am just wondering here.

    As we ALL know "Two Jags" Prescott ALWAYS maintained that he would NEVER take a Lordship. I wonder whatever happened to that pledge, oh that's right he became a Lord because his wife WANTED TO BE A LADY!

    Now that he is "allegedly" standing for Police Commissioner I have to ask the question. Is he standing for the post of Police Commissioner because HE wants the job OR because his wife wants to ride around everywhere in a fancy police car?

  22. Maybe the thrill of being Lady Prescott was not enough for the fragrant Pauline with her 1960s hair do.

    I can't wait for the car crash this is going to be... (I mean the elections, not Lady P ramming the police car around a lampy!!)

  23. Ah it was Nigel. Remember now :)

    As regards two pies and the mad police thing. At least England are getting a vote. We got our single police force without a chance to vote against it. ( apart from voting lib dems - it was their flagship campaign policy at our last election).
    We're one region of the EU so have one police force ( fire service to follow soon).
    England have 8 EU regions so will get 8 police forces.