Friday 17 February 2012


The BBC seems to have nailed its colours to the mast by affording Alex Salmond a mere mention and David Cameron a line by line analysis of their pro and anti independence speeches on its radio coverage yesterday. 
So, as I don’t have any of Alex’s thoughts, I’ll have to continue where Auntie left off by commenting on the wise words of the great leader from London.

Lack of space allows no in depth or breadth analysis, only some brief thoughts. So... vacuous, insulting, patronising, and assemblage of pap, sums it up. Deigned to impress the shallower thinkers in the Downing Street village which he inhabits as prince, but surely unfit for anyone who understands Scottish politics, unionist or independence.  I can imagine the “that’ll make the Jock blighters sit up and take notice” brigade, patting him on the back in a genuine admiration, redolent of all that is wrong with the union, in that most of all that doesn’t matter to us.

The “better off together... stronger, count for more, permanent seat on UN Security Council, clout in NATO, Europe, unique influence with allies all over the world” bit was typical. Apart from the fact that it wasn’t true (we only have influence when we agree with America and ‘clot’ rather than ‘clout’ would be more appropriate in relation to Europe), there would have been a lot of “so whats?” heard in Scotland.   

“Safer, because we have the fourth-largest defence budget on the planet”... but we also have, for example, more people die of the cold in the winter than any other country in Europe. Fur coat and no knickers is an unfortunate analogy. “Anti-terrorist and security capabilities across the globe; feared by our enemies, admired by our friends.” But at what cost, and in any case do we, are we...really?

“It matters head, heart and soul; shared home under threat.”  Well Dave, it’s not our shared home when we contribute a few billions to your Olympics and you don’t contribute to our Commonwealth Games.

And of course, as if we were all morons, he couldn’t help getting in the bit that he really cares about: “there are arguments that can be made about the volatility of dependence on oil, or the problems of debt and a big banking system. But that’s not the point.” he warbled. Well, if it’s not the point, why mention it?

“The best case for the United Kingdom is entirely positive. We are better off together. Why? Well, first of all, let’s be practical (oh yes, let's). Inside the United Kingdom, Scotland is stronger, safer, richer and fairer.” OK, we have heard why Scotland is stronger. An unhealthy amount on spent on defence. But I’m betting that that probably makes us less safe, on the basis that we are a target.

But the best adjectives are “richer and fairer”. Say them fast then they sound comforting and warm. If you say them slow...well... they don’t stand up to any kind of analysis.

Let’s just take a few words from earlier in the speech. ‘The fourth largest defence budget in the world’ ...that would be just behind America, China and Russia. Just where you would expect us to fit, given that we are a small island off the coast of Europe.

So, let’s just suppose for a minute that we spent that massive budget on something that would actually help people, an amount appropriate to our size and wealth on defence? Let’s just suppose that we didn't let, for example, our pensioners live on less than half of the poverty threshold, or make cancer sufferers, on chemotherapy, go through the stress of job search interviews... etc, etc. That might be a bit fairer. 

Petty? Maybe, but, you see, to millions of Scots that's what matters. Not Dave's imagined clout, or the fact that our army could invade Mars (if only it had some equipment that worked and when the wounded came back they didn't depend on charity to help them recover). 

What matters in Westminster, isn't necessarily what matters here.

Know thine enemy, Dave, might be a maxim you could ponder. Not that we are, of course, your enemy, unless you make us one; but for now we are your opponents. 

I wonder how many more members joined the SNP today...             


  1. I liked his promise (well not even a promise)to LOOK at what extra powers COULD be transferred I have no doubt he would look I very much doubt if he would offer anything How does he propose to keep the HoL from deleting his benevolence should he decide to bestow us with goodies (cannot see Forsyth Foulkes &Co being too happy with that scenario)

  2. Cameron just doesn't have the grey matter and political nous to really get Scotland.

    His understanding comes by his minions who filter out the noise and deliver to him Readers' Digest summaries.

    Unfortunately for him, but the opposite for us, these guardians of Camerooned are all of the same background and M25 culture.

    The web has given almost instant access to information and facts which allow us to read their past tactics and understand their strategy.

    We know our "enemy" in the Chinese sense and already have ripostes and debunking lines ready.

    If Cameron is a shining example of the Eton and Oxford, and thus the best education that money can buy, it really must call into doubt the English education system.

    Long may he rule in Downing Street. He is doing a sterling job for the independence movement, so much so that I have to wonder if that is really not his strategy. Then I just watch and listen as he gaffs away and realise I was right first time.

  3. Yes fairfor. After ruling it out he tells us (presumably in the hope that we will buy into this rather than vote for independence) that there might be more devolution after the referendum.

    But if that is what he wants to do, then why does he not let US decide if that's what we want, rather than have it decided by an Englishman who has only visited this country. Does he not value the democratic process, or maybe he just has no intention for doing anything.

    In any case, who knows if he will be there to do anything. He's not exactly what you'd call popular. If Ed pulls his socks up maybe Labour will be the next London government.

    And anyway, no one believes a word he says. He spins around like whirling dervish ... in both senses of "spin".

  4. If we are “stronger, safer, richer and fairer” inside the United Kingdom? Then how come that Scotland has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the UK, the highest instances of domestic violence in the UK, the highest rate of child poverty in the UK, the lowest life expectancy in the UK? That is what this blessed Union has done for Scotland over the last 300 years made it the poorest, most deprived, least safe and most unhealthy part of the UK. That is why we should leave. Because no matter how bad it might be under independence it cannot be worse than it is currently.

  5. The press and unionists had a field day with the referendum falling close to the 700th anniversary of Bannockburn claiming 'Braveheart' sentimentality and cheap soundbite politicking by the SNP.

    Of course, there wasn't a hint of any such thing in Cameron's speech...

    Was there?

    Or was that all it actually was?

    An impressive 'meh' out of ten from me I'm afraid.

  6. Wolfie... where you been?

    He's not very clever. He's not a smooth operator. He's badly advised by other people that are also not terribly bright and who know less than nothing about Scotland or the Scots.

    And his Scottish leader is an inexperienced woman who seems to be someone taken in by him and doubtless says what he wants to hear, and does what she's told.

    But he's doing a grand job for Scotland's independence.

  7. Yeah Munguin. I'm waiting to hear what the advantages of the union REALLY are... not the rhetoric dreamed up by Cameron's minions who've never been here.

  8. No sentimentality in it at all pa, erm... that water in my eye was there because I was bored to tears.

    None of what he was saying had any substance behind it. It was a series of sound bites.

    But his plummy delivery is bound to have got up quite a few people's noses and they realised that what he was promising was the same much in the same bucket, and maybe some jam tomorrow.

    Only an arrogant man, knowing perfectly well that the Tories are soiled goods in Scotland, would come here and deliver that kind of empty speech.

  9. Good one CH. Munguin was telling me that the cartoon in the Herald is a picture of Cameron with the text "One Nation Tory", next to a map of Scotland with the annotation "One Tory Nation"....

  10. tris and the fellow snp travellers

    My fervent hope and wish is that Salmond and the snp separationist(Oh! the pain of being torn apart from the family and Union I and the majority of normal people love)
    get not one line in a newspaper unless it is to inform us of their incarceration in gaol.Not one interview on the telly or the radio.
    A complete and utter embargo of all Nationalist black propaganda is the best way forward.

    so far so good well done 'Unionist' media after we win the referendum gong and awards all round for us unionists....

    To the snp just a hearty ha! ha! ha!

  11. I wonder how many more members joined the SNP today...

    Last I heard was 131 highlighted for Niko's benefit.

  12. I couldn't possibly say why, but all of a sudden I feel like some fruit cake.

    Must've been something I read...


  13. Scotland can be a stronger, fairer and more prosperous place. As a nation, we have so much potential.

    The SNP is determined to make Scotland all it can be and you can be part of it. So, join us today.

    As an SNP member you will have an important role to play as we take Scotland forward. We look forward to welcoming you, and together we can build the best possible future for our nation.

    I want to start making a monthly payment of:
    or other (min £1) £
    Yeah! not bad for 1 quid a month

    why thats got the snp 131 quid extra.

    Dont make me laugh

  14. Oh Niko, my wee pet. How Spookie must despair of you sometimes. He tried to make you a better persona dn he has failed.

    But there is time. Come over to the side of right and reason, and leave the moribund UK behind you.


  15. 131 so far CH. I wonder how many joined the Tories as a result of Mr Cameron's speech...?

  16. Aye... there's a air of fruit cakeiness about here. Must be someone called Niko, pa!

  17. Are you joining up Niko. D'you know, even if 131 all chose to give a pound a month, that's another £1572. That's better than a stane ahent the lug!

    CAMERON SAID: "The liberation of Europe was a battle fought to the skirl of the pipes as Lord Lovat's Highlanders were among the first ashore on D-Day in the battle to defeat Hitler."

    He didn't lead Highlanders. He actually commanded the 1st Special Service Brigade - Army and Marine Commandos.

    If he doesn't know his regiments is that because the Westminster government has abolished or merged so many of the historic Scottish regiments that did fight in WW2?

  18. CH: Bless the BBC. They probably sacked the poor typist who got that wrong.

    CAMERON SAID: "From Waterloo to the Second World War, our servicemen and women have fought and won together."

    At Waterloo over half of Wellington's troops at Waterloo were German, Dutch or Belgian and it's estimated that some 40 per cent of the British army during the Napoleonic Wars were believed to have been Irish.

    In the Second World War we fought alongside Canadians, Australians, New Zealanders, South Africans, Indians, Fijians, Pakistanis, etc etc

    Just what point is he actually trying to make about independence?

  19. Cameron is a patronising git.

    Good nightol!

  20. CAMERON SAID: "Your heroes are our heroes. Men like Robert Dunsire who, twice in one day, crawled out of a trench facing a hail of bullets to rescue injured men at the Battle of Loos in the First World War"

    And for which he rightly won a Victoria Cross. A medal awarded to soldiers from various countries including Canada, Australia, Nepal, Ireland and previously India and Pakistan.

    Again, what point is he trying to make about independence?

  21. CAMERON SAID: "Founded on the strength, yes, of our constitutional monarchy ..."

    A monarchy which was united in 1603 - for 104 years Scotland was independent. The Queen is head of state of 16 Commonwealth Realms, and she is also head of a Commonwealth of 54 independent states - a quarter of the earth's independent countries.

    Again, what point is he trying to make about independence?

  22. CAMERON SAID: "... it’s also the birthplace of the NHS ..."

    NHS Scotland was set up under a separate Act of Parliament – it's independent from the NHS in England & Wales and not threatened by his privatisation plans.

    National Health Service (NHS) (Scotland) Act 1947

  23. CAMERON SAID: "... but it’s also the birthplace of ... Christian Aid."

    Suggesting its threatened by independence. It’s a private body which organises across the British Isles – not just Scotland. As the link shows as well as Belfast it also has offices in Cork and Dublin.

    Again, what point is he trying to make about independence?

  24. CAMERON SAID: "Together we turned a group of offshore European islands into one of the most successful countries in the world."

    It became an Empire which has now gone and been replaced by a Commonwealth of independent countries. Therefore the tide of history is towards independence.

  25. CAMERON SAID: [that within the Scotland Bill the Scottish Parliament would get tax raising powers] "for the first time".

    Holyrood already has the power to vary income tax rates by 3p in the pound.

    If he doesn't know what the current powers are how can he be trusted when it comes to offering more powers?

    He paid us very little respect with a speech so full of holes and inaccuracies.

    He's not overly bright, is he?

  26. Tris, don't stop when you are on a roll.

    Now don't hold anything back, will you?

  27. Lifted from a comment by David at Labourhame.

    The famines that killed between 12 and 29 million Indians. When an El Niño drought destituted the farmers of the Deccan plateau in 1876 there was a net surplus of rice and wheat in India. But the viceroy, Lord Lytton, insisted that nothing should prevent its export to England. In 1877 and 1878, at the height of the famine, grain merchants exported a record 6.4m hundredweight of wheat. As the peasants began to starve, officials were ordered “to discourage relief works in every possible way”. The Anti-Charitable Contributions Act of 1877 prohibited “at the pain of imprisonment private relief donations that potentially interfered with the market fixing of grain prices”. The only relief permitted in most districts was hard labour, from which anyone in an advanced state of starvation was turned away. In the labour camps, the workers were given less food than inmates of Buchenwald. In 1877, monthly mortality in the camps equated to an annual death rate of 94%.

    As millions died, the imperial government launched “a militarised campaign to collect the tax arrears accumulated during the drought”. The money, which ruined those who might otherwise have survived the famine, was used by Lytton to fund his war in Afghanistan. Even in places that had produced a crop surplus, the government’s export policies, like Stalin’s in Ukraine, manufactured hunger. In the north-western provinces, Oud and the Punjab, which had brought in record harvests in the preceeding three years, at least 1.25m died.

  28. Fair wore myself out, Wolfie, with all the rubbish that Cameron blethered.

    What a tube for a prime minister...

  29. I said that at post No 2 above.

    Could have saved you some heightened blood pressure?

  30. Jeez CH. I knew they were a set of bastards, but that takes some swallowing.

    How shameful.

    I remember reading somewhere, that some district official had sent a memo to Churchill when he was in government earlier on in the century. I think it was from what became Iraq. The official pointed out that if he followed the policy that Churchill had laid down, thousands of the natives would die. Churchill pencilled a not back to him. "I don't care how many heathens die" he wrote, "as long as the will of his majesty'ss government is carried out."

    No wonder there is a fair amount of hatred towards these islands from so many in the world... no matter what the fool Cameron might like to pedal about the respect Britain is held in.

  31. LOL Wolfie, so you did, so you did.

    But it's quite satisfying to repeat it, don't ya think? :)

  32. Whoever said we had a representative press?

    Free yes, but no one ever made the claim that it is in any way 'representative'

    If it was, why the hell would we all be blogging?


  33. We don't have a free press Dean. If we did then we would hear all about the EU corruption, global warming scam and the dumbing down of our education system with people with degrees ( like you) barely able to spell.

  34. Monty,

    The EU is a modern, open democratic space. It has its local troubles, but all problems are soluble so long as we keep to our common duty of solidarity.

    United in Diversity.

    I for one refuse to listen to your europhobic hatred of modernity and progress.

  35. Dean. Like I said.
    Our free thinking education system has collapsed.
    You are the useless product.

  36. You are unable to actually explain precisely how in a modern, globalised and highly interconnected age, why the EU solidarity acquis is bunkum.

    Might it be because you represent the pettiness of a previous age? An age of imperialism, British aggression and dangerous balances of power?

    Europe is uniting, around progressive ends. If you don't like it, to quote Bob Dylan "The times are a-changin" if you don't like it, get out the road and shut up.

  37. That's true Dean.

    The press is after all business, and the proprietors have agendas.

    As I suppose do we bloggers... :)

  38. Ah Monty and Dean having their never ending argument about the EU. Bliss.

    Keep it sweet though lads.

    Let's not get personal. I don't want to have to hold anyone's jacket!

    On European matters though, I see that the great London leader has been sucking up to Le Petit Napoleon de Paris.

    It only seems a matter of weeks ago that they were sticking daggers in each other... perhaps because it was only a matter of weeks ago.

    It seems that as England loses Scotland, it might be gaining France.

  39. Dean doesn't understand democracy when Greece is being run by unelected bureaucrats just like the president of the EU.

    Scottish Devolution and the Labour myth

  40. Cynical,

    Greece is being run by those who have its best interests at heart.

  41. Dean

    Greece will default around the period of 26th to 29th March, leave the Euro followed by a "temporary" coup d'état and the installation of military rule assisted by Bruxelles advisers.

    You read it here first.

  42. It may see a little heartless, but.... you reckon there will be any cheap holidays on the islands this year?

    I could do with some sun.

  43. tris

    I'd wait a wee bit, either that or get in quick and buy a wee apartment in Athens

    But wait until the sky falls in first and slide in under the confusion.

  44. LOL Wolfie... It'll need to be very small, even after the sky has fallen in.... Hmmm...I wonder if they do tents?


  45. Greece is being run by those who have its best interests at heart.

    I believe that is what Stalin believed!

  46. Dean. I've explained to you many times that the EUSSR is a totalitarian regime governed by an unelected elite on £300K plus exes.
    They certainly don't have our interests at heart. They're currently making Greece spin while they find a way to dump them out of their eurozone project without getting blamed themselves.
    The fact that you are too dim to understand this isn't my fault.
    And no I won't shut up.
    I enjoy our jousts too much ;)