In a reply to the video of Ian Brotherhood and his colleagues from the Scottish Socialist Party, Councillor Braveheart wrote the following:
“I was at that meeting. Aiden, the chap with the long blonde hair and the yellow jacket, asked a question claiming to be uncommitted and just looking for information to help his make up his mind.....
I started a reply, and got a bit carried away with it, and it rambled on until I realised that it was probably a post in itself, rather than a reply, so here it is. I'm sorry it's long... and maybe a bit disjointed.
Braveheart: In my experience, that's the only way BT will engage with people. There is no point saying to them: “I'm committed YES voter, can you explain why you are a committed NO voter?”.
That was tried in Dundee at a stall BT had at Baxter Park fun day. There was a BT woman there sitting on her own, but obviously there were more people from BT in the background, because, when someone tried to argue with, her two big blokes arrived and made it clear that discussion wasn't on the agenda. Threats were made. And, allegedly, the word “off” preceded by some Anglo Saxon was heard from the lady herself…although to be fair she strongly denies this.
If you turn up at a NO meeting and put your cards on the table you will not be entertained. It is far better to pretend ambivalence and see it they have a decent argument. If they think they have a chance to persuade you, they are likely to make the effort. Intellectual argument is not on the agenda.
So far all I have ever heard is that we are too poor and couldn't afford it. Or that we wouldn't be on the Security Council, and people all over the world wouldn't respect or fear our prime minister.
(As even members of his own party can't abide Cameron, I find it hard to believe than anyone anywhere in the world respects him. And despite the 4th largest military spend in the world no one fears him because, since Suez, no British prime minister would dare go to war without America's permission. So, it you want to be scared of someone, probably best make it Mr Obama! I noted the other day that Cameron had the president of Sri Lanka fair trembling in his boots, just like he did with the Chinese when he tried to lecture them. But then like all of his class and upbringing, he still thinks that what the British Prime Minister says carries weight.)
I'm still waiting for an argument from BT that adds up to more that “clout”.
Most Scots truly don't care about being a big shot in world affairs, actually I suspect most Brits don't care about that either...at least not while they queue, or watch people queuing for food bank, and sit in their mufflers in their own homes for 6 months of a cold Scottish winter.
We are realistic. Even Britain is a small and relatively insignificant country: a fur coat and no knickers affair if ever there was one. We have the fourth largest forces in the world but our railways are 3rd world (particularly in Scotland where there is no electricity north of Edinburgh), our roads, likewise (especially in Scotland where there is practically no REAL motorway, just freeway that pretends to be motorway). Clearly English hospitals are worse than those in the Central African Republic, as people appear to arrive there to be slaughtered in numbers, lying in their own waste or starving to death. Medics assure us that this in not because the staff don’t care; just that there isn't any money.
Social security has become something akin to almshouses and soup kitchens under both Labour and this government of Eton boys.
Poverty is rife; folk are cold and hungry, stuck in run down towns denuded of hope since Mrs Thatcher concentrated the wealth in a square mile of her capital (doubtless on instructions from Denis, who had much to gain).
These towns have high streets of empty shops and pound stores selling the kind of tat that might just brighten up the inhabitants’ lives for a short time before falling to pieces.
There is no hope of work at anything even approaching a living wage. But people are persecuted by one of life’s big failures, who was lucky enough to bag himself an heiress; Iain Duncan Smith.
They beg for enough to top up the inadequate wage so that they can eat. Inflation for the poor is 10%, food, gas and electricity rise a pace while wages go down and benefits are static. And if you are unfortunate enough to need a dialysis machine in your house you are charged another £15 out of your benefits for the spare room it takes up. Pensions have been decimated and the state pension is the lowest in Europe by wage comparison, and about half what is paid in the Channel Islands leave, OAPs living in a cold hungry misery. How the hell is that Better Together?
But goodness me are we feared and respected by…erm… someone, aren’t we?
Scotland knows it will not be important. It will be like Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Iceland, Ireland, Finland, Sweden… and so many other small countries. All of which are better off that we are, although no one knows who their presidents, prime ministers or kings are. And they certainly rarely appear next to Obama, Abdullah or Xi. But there will be no deaths from the cold in Iceland or Norway this year, because their politicians are more concerned with that, and less concerned with running Sri Lanka, or Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya or getting a photo opportunity with someone who really does matter, and basking in the reflected glory.
There won’t of course be a house of lords and £300 a day tax free for its freeloaders in Scotland. You’ll remember that Labour always swore they would get rid of this obscenity. Still, if you can’t beat them. ..
And the 'too poor' nonsense that the Tory think tanks pour out, always neglect to take into consideration that not every country, and not Scotland in particular, wants to follow the UK spending plan. OECD seems to think we will be somewhere about 6th richest country per capita in the world. Why do the Tories think that that equals too poor?
Not having a massive military spend will save a lot of money; not keeping the royals in 5 palaces in or around the capital (they will get one and like it), not taking part in every war that America tells us to (even when they don’t get involved themselves ...what suckers), not putting massive new sewers in London, or Cross Rail or HS2, none of which benefit us one tiny bit, will all make a difference, and yes, burden though Alistair says it is, oil hasn't exactly done Norway any harm..
Warning: Prices can go up as well as down. Yes they can, that’s true. But seriously, what is the trend over the past 40 years? Will it ever go back to 5$ a barrel?
Well of course it is better for those people who wish to pursue a career on the international political stage. Tony Blair, a not so proud Scot, would never have shared President Bush’s neo- confidences down on the good ole ranch in Texas if he’d only be prime minister of Scotland. And Lord Foulkes would only be Mr Foukles if his career had been Scottish.
I can understand Darling’s dilemma. There he is, working all these years in London and just as he gets old and is expecting ermine and “you rang my lord”, not to mention his £300 a day tax free, it is all snatched away from him. I’d be pissed off too.
I asked you, BH, some time ago to give me some reasons why we were better together. You declined as did everyone else on the blog, except Dean, for whom I have much respect because at least he tried, even if I didn’t agree with his argument.
The other BT supporters on here just walked away.
Perhaps I should start a blog that indicates that I am yet to be persuaded. Then I might get some engagement?