Worth Quoting

3rd June 2013

“Imagine the people who believe such things and who are not ashamed to ignore, totally, all the patient findings of thinking minds through all the centuries since the Bible was written. And it is these ignorant people, the most uneducated, the most unimaginative, the most unthinking among us, who would make themselves the guides and leaders of us all; who would force their feeble and childish beliefs on us; who would invade our schools and libraries and homes. I personally resent it bitterly.”

Issac Asimov and bloody well said!

The religi board at the front of my old house. It was great fun. Sometimes my posts were rubbed out! Haha. The religites didn’t really approve.

When Islam Breaks Down

 

This image from Church&State

This image from Church&State

This is a remarkably insightful article from City Post by Theodore Dalrymple. I have to share it here – I have not read such a comprehensive piece on Islam before. I hope that everyone reading this blog gets as much from this as I do. I read the following article on the Church and State site but it was first published in City Post – a quarterly review published by The Manhattan Institute.

Editor’s note: “When Islam Breaks Down” was named the best journal article of 2004 by David Brooks in the New York Times.

There are so many appropriate quotes to be taken from this article – I have chosen this one:

‘Is there an essential element that condemns the Dar al-Islam to permanent backwardness with regard to the Dar al-Harb, a backwardness that is felt as a deep humiliation, and is exemplified, though not proved, by the fact that the whole of the Arab world, minus its oil, matters less to the rest of the world economically than the Nokia telephone company of Finland?
I think the answer is yes, and that the problem begins with Islam’s failure to make a distinction between church and state. Unlike Christianity, which had to spend its first centuries developing institutions clandestinely and so from the outset clearly had to separate church from state, Islam was from its inception both church and state, one and indivisible, with no possible distinction between temporal and religious authority. Muhammad’s power was seamlessly spiritual and secular (although the latter grew ultimately out of the former), and he bequeathed this model to his followers. Since he was, by Islamic definition, the last prophet of God upon earth, his was a political model whose perfection could not be challenged or questioned without the total abandonment of the pretensions of the entire religion.’

If I were to continue from this quote, I would mention the intractable problems that Islam faces but Dalrymple has written so lucidly that his words are the ones to read.

http://churchandstate.org.uk/2013/07/when-islam-breaks-down/

Wind Turbines and Renewable Electricity Generation

There are now three wind turbines to the south of where I live. They have been erected in the past few weeks. To the east there is a set of eight turbines, at Kinglassie there are four, at Mossmoran there are nine with an extension mooted.

At Mossmoran.

At Mossmoran.

There are a few single, smaller and residential turbines I see when I drive around my local area. The south west of Scotland has a large number of turbines that I noticed when travelling down to Cumbria. Lewis has a lot of turbines as well. There are offshore turbines in Solway Firth. Wind power is here and doing well.

Sand banks are great for offshore wind farms - Robin Rigg in Solway Firth

Sand banks are great for offshore wind farms – Robin Rigg in Solway Firth

http://spaceforvee.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/cumbria-here-we-come/

There is possibly as much resistance to wind turbines as there is in favour of them. At the outset, I should declare that renewable energy makes the only sense to me and wind turbine technology makes even more sense to me. The other declaration I should make is purely personal – I find these structures to be quite majestic, very elegant and extremely efficient in the generation of power.

·         In November 2014, CEO Niall Stuart of Scottish Renewables released this statement (bolding is mine):

Historic milestone as new figures show renewables now Scotland’s largest source of power.
Renewables overtake nuclear to become largest source of electricity.
Renewable energy has become Scotland’s main source of power, new independent figures have revealed.
Records from the first half of 2014, the most recent period for which data is available, show renewables generated 32% more electricity than any other single source of power in Scotland.
In total, the renewables sector generated a record 10.3TWh (terawatt-hours), compared to 7.8TWh from nuclear generation – previously Scotland’s main source of electricity. The figures also show that coal and gas-fired electricity generation produced 5.6TWh and 1.4TWh respectively over the same six-month period. (Figures supplied by the National Grid)
Niall Stuart, Chief Executive of Scottish Renewables, said: “The announcement that renewables have become Scotland’s main source of electricity is historic news for our country, and shows the investment made in the sector is helping to deliver more power than ever before to our homes and businesses.
“This important milestone is good news for anyone who cares about Scotland’s economy, our energy security and our efforts to tackle climate change.
“Every unit of power generated from renewables means less carbon emitted from the burning of fossil fuels, decreases our reliance on imported energy and supports jobs and investment in communities across Scotland.
“The renewables industry has come a long way in a short space of time, but there is still plenty of potential for further growth.
“Offshore wind and marine energy are still in the early stages of development but could make a big contribution to our future energy needs if they get the right support from government. That support includes the delivery of grid connections to the islands, home to the UK’s very best wind, wave and tidal sites.”

WWF Scotland’s response to the news release was:  “Renewables overtaking nuclear power to become the largest source of electricity is certainly historic, and represents a major step on the way to Scotland becoming a 100 per cent renewable nation.
“Last month, while nuclear reactors were forced to shut because of cracks, Scotland’s renewables were quietly and cleanly helping to keep the lights on in homes across the country. Wind turbines in Scotland alone generated enough electricity to supply three millions homes in the UK – equivalent to 126 per cent of the electricity needs of every home north of the border.
“Put simply, renewables work and are helping to cut climate change emissions and create jobs in Scotland.”

So here are the graphs based on data

So here are the graphs based on data

Now I have to be impressed with the renewables energy sector here in Scotland. Who wouldn’t be? I have difficulty tackling the negative naysayers and their unsubstantiated quasi-arguments against wind turbines. Rather than my going through these quasi-arguments, I will cite the answers to the myths that purport, in the mouths of those who don’t like the turbines, to be truth with a capital T!
These are the common myths according to WWF:

Myth 1: Building a wind farm takes more energy than it ever makes

Myth 2: Wind farms are inefficient and only work 30% of the time

Myth 3: Other countries are moving away from supporting wind power

Myth 4: Wind energy needs back-up to work, resulting in increased emissions

Myth 5: Wind farms are expensive ‘subsidy harvesters’

Myth 6: Renewables contribute to fuel poverty

Myth 7: Most people do not support wind farms

Myth 8: Wind farms have a negative impact on tourism A small point – Gran Canaria is full of wind farms and also full of tourists. In fact tourism and cochineal are important to the economy of that wee windy island. And most of their power comes from the wind turbines.

Myth 9: Wind power does not create jobs

What is interesting is that most of the anti-turbine lobby probably applauds the work of WWF and Greenpeace and charities of similar ilk. My only thought is that confirmation bias gets in the way of impartial and realistic enquiry on the part of naysayers.

These links that I have provided are worth while looking at. The information is available and substantiated.

Scotland is the windiest country in Europe with around 25% of the continent’s wind source, according to Scottish Renewables http://www.scotsrenewables.com/windinfo.html

The other arguments propounded against wind turbines are pure silliness and smack of self-serving – property values diminish, an unscientific concept called ‘ultra-hearing’ means that even if you can’t hear anything, the sound the turbines make as the blades whizz around at 12 revolutions per minute (!) is doing your head in. Birds (who have been using the medium of air for thousands of years) can’t recognise blade movement and get killed. Excuse me!! The arguments pulled out of the hats of those who don’t want turbines really have no currency that stands up to any serious scrutiny. As my husband is fond of saying – Belief is meaningless to all but the believer; knowledge is meaningful and available to all. I guess I would add – ‘None so blind as those that will not see’ (Matthew Henry) – look him up.

Birds? How many are killed by cars? Over 100,000 http://www.usatoday.com/story/ The figures reported for bird strikes against windows are astonishing. It is often said that between 100 million and a billion birds die in the US each year after striking windows.
Hundreds of thousands are killed bashing their heads and breaking their necks against the colourless panes in our houses and offices. http://www.bcnbirds.org/window.html Birds don’t understand glass and are vulnerable to windows. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22395664

These are real dead birds. From window strikes.

These are real dead birds. From window strikes.

Bats?   Last week thousands of bats fell out of trees in Casino, New South Wales because the heat reached 44.1ºC (otherwise called an effect of climate change) and died. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/australian-horror-story-thousands-dying-bats-dropping-trees-amid-heatwave-1475419s

Thousands of them dead from excessive heat wave

Thousands of them dead from excessive heat wave

A final point: what would the anti-turbiners suggest in place of renewable energy source(s) that is kind to the environment? Is there an alternative? I used to think that our energy requirements would need to be met by a combination of technologies – nuclear (fusion would be great but we haven’t been able to do that yet), wind, wave and geothermal. Whatever we end up with, fossil fuels have to be out of the mix. We have to decarbonise our electricity supply. That is what is non-negotiable. And that means no hydraulic fracturing for natural gas which is the next big thing in the central belt of Scotland.
And that’s another post that won’t be long in appearing.

 

 

Remembrance Day for Lost Species

Veronique:

I didn’t know about this Remembrance Day until I read this blog. That day is today in the Southern Hemisphere where so many other species have been lost. I needed to reblog this article.

Originally posted on :

g1jUYAq[1]When we burst into flight we so filled the sky
That the sun was darkened and day became dusk.
Humblers of the sun we were!
The world inconceivable without us.

Paul Fleischman

The passenger pigeon became extinct one hundred years ago. It was once the most abundant bird in North America. One flock in 1866 was recorded as being a mile wide and 300 miles long. It took fourteen hours to pass the observer and is estimated to have held over three and a half billion birds. A few decades later, numbers plummeted; in part because of changes in land use and deforestation, but primarily because of over-hunting. The passenger pigeon was a cheap and easy source of meat. On September 1st 1914, Martha, the last one, died in a Cincinatti zoo.

I grew up on the outskirts of Glasgow, in one of the new housing estates that bulged…

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English reflections on a Scottish referendum – a reblog

Looking through a distorted window: English reflections on a Scottish referendum

Seeing the Scottish referendum from outside Scotland, it was too easy to entirely misunderstand it.

Image: Maxim Edwards

Reading coverage and opinion from England on the Scottish independence referendum has been a strange experience. It has been like looking at someone you know and love through a distorted window: the image is contorted to the extent that you can barely recognise the person you’re looking at anymore. There is a sense in which people who have never lived in Scotland or been involved in the political debate in Scotland just don’t get it. This is what has become so abundantly clear reading and talking to people in England about the referendum. It’s not just that they disagree with those in Scotland campaigning for independence it’s that they don’t really understand the situation at all.

English observers have received most of their information through sources that are based in England and on the whole are against independence (only one newspaper the Sunday Herald backed independence, no UK newspaper did so). At best the information comes from people who don’t understand at worst it comes from people who have deliberately distorted the picture. Research from John Robertson suggests that in the coverage prior to this year pro independence views made up only 2/5 of the views covered on British TV. Furthermore, prominent BBC journalist Nick Robinson has been criticised for cutting footage so as to suggest that Alex Salmond did not respond to his questions. This does not make it easy for the English to grasp what has gone on in Scotland.

Many people in England just don’t get why many Scots would back independence. Some originally believed that it must be some sort of xenophobic anti-English sentiment or simplistic patriotism. According to this view the enthusiasm for Scottish independence is part of a dangerous sort of nationalism moving across Europe that comes with a hatred of outsiders: a form of dangerous fascism. Many with good political sentiments are wary of any form of nationalism and find the idea of pride in a particular nation deeply problematic. I was once one of those people. I didn’t recognise the fundamental difference between nationalism in a dominant country that wishes to celebrate and extend that domination and be seen as better than the rest of the world and the nationalism of a country that is currently ruled by a larger unit or outsiders and wishes for self-determination: a country that wishes to have power over its own affairs rather than to dominate others. It is also vital to recognise that nationalism does not have to be based on an idea that there is a particular race or culture that is special or should dominate a region. However, the first important truth to realise about the majority of those who support independence in Scotland is that it’s not really about nationalism at all. To explain what I think it is about and why it is so hard for those in England to understand I’m going to have to tell a bit of a story.

Photo: Maxim Edwards

I was born and brought up in England (where I now live) but spent 5 very formative years living in Glasgow. It was my first real home as an adult and by the time I had to leave for work I felt fully a part of that world. So much so that I find it almost impossible to support the England football team and after a few drinks I often find myself trying to claim a Scottish identity (much to the humour and confusion of the people I’m with). Whilst living in Scotland I got into politics: activism, campaigning and following events at Holyrood and Westminster. At that time independence was not really on the agenda. It was something I talked to people about and learnt to understand but it was not a major topic of debate like the Iraq war, student fees or privatisation. In those days even when people voted for the SNP at Holyrood elections this was not primarily because they supported independence. In fact at the time many SNP voters did not want full independence for Scotland. There was a majority against independence (calculated by the Sun at 58% compared with 22% in favour) even when the SNP got 44% of the popular vote and a majority in the largely proportional parliament. Whilst living in Scotland I learned to appreciate the fact that Scotland is another political world. The playing field is just fundamentally different compared to the rest of the UK. This is what explains why so many Scottish people voted for independence this year and why so many English people just don’t get it.

As a left leaning open minded person there was a wealth of real political choices in Scotland. There were plenty of leftist groups to choose from and there were radical parties that had even held seats in the parliament. The Greens had at one point held seven seats and a party called the Scottish Socialists had also had 6 representatives in Holyrood from 2003-2007. Meanwhile in the centre the SNP and the Scottish Labour party were battling to out social-democrat each other (and the SNP were winning). The SNP picked up policies from the Scottish Socialists including scrapping prescription charges, introducing free school meals and replacing council tax with a more equitable system in order to gain votes. Making a stand against privatisation and private public partnerships was a vote winner. Votes in parliament declared a majority against nuclear weapons of 71:16 with 39 abstentions.

While I was in Scotland the parliament introduced free care for the elderly. It became clear to me that things that south of the border we had been told were impossible were actually happening right here in Scotland. Whilst in Glasgow I witnessed the SNP take a majority in a proportional parliament (a very rare thing) on the basis of scrapping council tax and replacing it with a system based on earnings. I realised that Scotland was a world in which the post-Thatcherite consensus was not being followed. Political reality in Scotland is something that many left leaning England dwellers can only dream about (free old age care, free higher education, proportional representation in parliament, the protection of the NHS from privatization). While temping at the Scottish Government I witnessed some business present the case for a private sector measure to try to reduce absenteeism in the Scottish NHS through a system where ill employees must phone up a call centre who would give them medical advice and seek to identify whether they are really sick. The businessmen had been successful in selling the service to parts of the NHS in England.

However, I was delighted to hear from civil service superiors that although they liked the plan, outsourcing of this kind was politically impossible because the SNP government would never support paying a company to give medical advice to absent NHS staff. This shows how different things are in Scotland. However, the fact that much of the civil service in Scotland hires temps through agencies that take a large cut of the money and offer no benefits or guaranteed hours shows that Scotland is not yet an anti-neoliberal paradise. In this political world joining the Labour party was to support conservativism it was just not a viable option for someone with progressive politics. And all this was before the fall of the banks and the financial crisis.

Another difference about Scottish politics concerns participation and attitudes of working class people in Scotland. In Glasgow talking politics at the bus stop is not as taboo as it is in some parts of England. People express their views. Political discussion is not just for the intellectual middle class intelligentsia and the political elite. Even more importantly working class people have political options when it comes to the ballot box. If they are sick of the Labour party and the Tory party because they seem only to speak for the interests of big businesses and forget working people they have many options. Meanwhile in the North of England those who quite rightly see through the major parties have only UKIP to turn to. And many are willing to turn there to stick two fingers up at the political elite regardless of the fact UKIP contains plenty of that elite and does not support any of the things they are interested in.

Image: Maxim Edwards

What my time in Glasgow taught me was that the political situation in Scotland is different. What is not fully grasped down south is that what is possible politically is fundamentally different north of the border. It is this fact that has led so many left-leaning Scottish residents to back independence. Independence gives them a chance to have a society that is different to the neoliberal one that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats are aggressively rolling out for the UK. The stepping up of neoliberal policy and the strict austerity that the coalition has imposed and the Labour party has only criticised in a limited manner is very different to what the majority of Scots support. It is a threat even to the devolved services because it can reduce their budget and force them to make cuts to public services. The fact that the Labour party has pledged to largely stick with conservative spending plans and not reverse cuts to services means that many left-leaning Scots see no hope whilst remaining in the UK. Meanwhile independence offers the chance to pursue an anti-austerity agenda through a proportional parliament and to promote these policies to an electorate committed to a strong public sector. Once this is understood it is no longer a mystery why so many left leaning Scotland residents are pro-independence. This is not about the SNP being a social democrat party. They are committed to neo-liberal economic policies like cutting corporation tax to attract foreign investment although they also support more Keynesian public investment in industry. Rather it is about having an electorate and a parliament open to ideas outside a neo-liberal consensus. It is this situation that makes protecting the NHS, getting rid of council tax, providing care for the elderly and not charging for university vote winners. The situation isn’t perfect. Scots are more in favour of abortion rights, less anti-EU, more against privatisation, but share similar views to the rest of the UK on questions like gay marriage. However, it remains true that debates and policies that are impossible in England can happen in Scotland.

Given the differences discussed above it is no wonder that there is a disconnect between Scotland and England that makes it difficult for those south of the border to understand what is going on. The political world is just different in Scotland. This means that when the Westminster political elite, London journalists and people living in England turn their attention to something going on in Scotland they are likely to misunderstand it. They have an understanding of politics in England: they know the constraints, they know the limits of reasonable opinion, they know what makes you ‘loony lefty’, unelectable or seem economically incompetent. However these limits and the spectrum are different in Scotland. Furthermore the parties they are observing have different platforms in Scotland, there are additional parties and the balance of power between those parties is different too. This can leave people at sea if they look at Scottish politics through an English frame.

All the experiences and understandings from my time living Scotland come from before the political earthquake that has been the build up to the referendum. I have not been a part of the society as the massive changes have taken place. I have only been able to look on from abroad (I was in Germany last year) and try to get snippets of what has happened. This means that there are now no doubt ways in which I don’t really ‘get’ what is going on. Furthermore, my experiences were predominantly Glasgow based and say nothing of society in Scotland in general. In fact the referendum results from rural areas show that Glasgow is not representative.

The referendum campaign has brought many young and working class people in to the debate and on to the voting registers than ever before. This is a huge development. While I was active in Scotland I saw the beginning of return of young people to politics. When I first started attending rallies it was the baby boomers who dominated. Young people of my generation weren’t particularly interested. But five years later this was changing and fast. The referendum campaign has seen an explosion in political participation by this generation as they rally round the chance to actually make a difference.

I arrived in Glasgow the weekend before the referendum to crowds of motivated, articulate and informed people talking about the referendum. There were songs and chants but there was also debate. The city was abuzz with referendum talk and campaigning. There was a movement. I arrived wishing to see what was going on and hoping to see a good campaign and a reasonable debate. I left with the shocking realization that Glasgow was going to vote yes and that a radical change to politics was actually possible. I have never before been able to see first-hand or been part of a campaign for radical change that has had a real chance of winning. Those on the left who have been part of the official yes campaign, Radical Independence Campaign, Green Yes, National Collective, Labour for Independence, Women for Independence, English Scots for Yes, Yes LGBT, Scots Asians for Yes and any other pro-independence networks should be immensely proud of what they have achieved. I am really in awe of them for creating such a strong and diverse movement. On the left we are used to being in the minority and facing an uphill battle. The yes campaign started with such a battle and made huge gains despite not having the backing of the media or the majority of elites. This is a huge positive development. It inspires me to think that there may be hope for radical political change in the UK yet. It suggests that it is not impossible to build a movement for positive change that is capable of winning.

In most elections people are asked to back one party or another: to select one group of elites to rule over them. However, the referendum was a directly democratic event: it asked people to make a choice themselves. This is part of why it had so much power to get those who dismiss politics as a farce to participate. The fact that people were voting not for some elites to rule was not fully grasped by the BBC who showed pictures of ‘campaign head quarters’ as the results came in and talked about votes for the yes campaign or for the better together campaign. These votes were not for a campaign. They were votes in favour of a particular decision. Talking of those video streams of campaign headquarters there was a stark difference between the young careerist political types shown at ‘Better Together’ headquarters with their smart dress and rosettes showing party allegiances and the rag tag collection of people at the media office for a part of the yes campaign that the BBC showed. Although these people looked predominantly middle class they did not look like wannabe prospective politicians from good universities and moneyed backgrounds (the type you usually see at campaign headquarters). Furthermore, they did not declare themselves as ‘the campaign’ but a part of a wider movement doing some media stuff. This showed how the yes campaign brought about a different kind of politics. It was not just the debating society types hoping for a career in politics that were involved in the campaigning.

The weekend before the referendum, where Sauchiehall Street meets Buchannan Street at the Donald Dewar statue, masses of friendly smiling people who turned up to support independence. Being in the crowd it felt to me like Scotland was becoming a democracy of the kind civil society champions like the Scottish Enlightenment thinker Adam Ferguson and communitarians like Michael Sandel endorse. It felt like a demos had emerged where people actively and loudly engaged with politics. Whilst outside the BBC protesting at the poor journalism mentioned earlier in this article a woman started to explain to me how single mothers were being imprisoned for not paying their license fee. Her enthusiasm and passion for political issues was clear as was her fearless discussion of them with anyone she came across. If Scotland can keep this up then there is a chance for a better future. I just hope that the energy, interest and commitment that the vote inspired can be maintained and used to make gains and improve life in Scotland and the wider UK. Already, there has been an ongoing debate as to how to move forwards and remain engaged. I hope that something beautiful can come out of this debate.

Dear Mr Speaker, concerning that Gordon Brown ‘Debate’

Veronique:

Gordon Brown has lied by slime to the voters is Scotland’s IndyRef – how unusual

Gordon Brown

Originally posted on petewishart:

Dear Mr Speaker,

I am writing to you, the Leader of the House, the Shadow Leader of the House and the Chair of the Backbench Business Committee, concerning the debate secured by the Right Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath on the 16th of October on the subject of the UK Government’s relationship with Scotland.

The Right Honourable Member for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath revealed to the press that he secured this debate with your kind permission and he has since described this debate as a substantial debate on the ‘vow’ made concerning the timetable on ‘more powers’ for Scotland. As you are aware, this debate is nothing other than an end of day adjournment debate, meaning that it will only last only half hour, is un-amendable and can not be voted on. These debates usually involve only the member who has secured the debate and the relevant Minister responding. In…

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Why I wish Everyone Else had voted Yes

There have been a lot of analyses since 18th September when Scotland decided to stay tied to the apron strings of Westminster. I think I shall re-post a number of these on this blog so I will have a record in one place. This one is self-explanatory and well said Ian Montgomery. More people should amass facts and figures.

This is Ian Montgomery writing…..on his wife’s Facebook page..because I don’t have my own, the reason being…… I’m pretty convinced that ‘social media’ is, for the most part, for twats….like you lot….!!!
However, this evening I had a casual scan through the endless and mostly mindless postings below (YES voters excepted) and concluded that this forum needed some informed and intelligent comment…….this is where I come in folks!!!
What follows is from me…. and me alone……….OK….!!!
Some facts and figures…………………….

1) There are 280,000 millionaires in the UK. 260,000 of them live in London.

2) There are currently, and have been for the last twenty years, more construction cranes working in London alone than there are throughout the rest of the UK in its entirety. There is NO recession in the South East!

3) Back in 1988, when the Channel Tunnel project was announced, we were all told that every city in the UK would soon have direct high-speed rail access, via Folkstone, to the continent. Today, twenty years after the Chunnel was commissioned, only one city has high-speed access to the tunnel……………Can you guess what city that is……????

4) In an average European country the economy of the nation is reflected in the metropolitan demographic. (Big words….Eeeh………….are you still with me?) In short……The largest city is approximately twice as big as the next city, three times as big as the third city and so on….etc……etc………Check this on Google if you like……I’m not lying.
But…..In the UK …London is eight times as big as Birmingham…….sixteen times big as Glasgow and Manchester….and the other cities are nowhere………..so what’s happening?

5) Major projects in London now and pending: East/West Crosslink rail, followed by North/South Crosslink rail, followed by new hub airport…………..Elsewhere……not much!
A whole succession of Governments of differing persuasions have, passively or actively, contributed to the exponential expansion of London, at the expense of the Scotland, the Midlands and the North of England.

6) There are around 4.5 million voters in Scotland and around 20 million in London and the Home Counties….. If Ed Milliband wants to win the general election next year for Labour…..whose votes does he have to chase?……………. Tony Blair knew this in 1997 and re-aligned the Labour Party so that he could win…………so we ended up with Tory and Tory-Lite!!! and then…Iraq……… Afghanistan………….Banking Meltdown………etc….etc.
Ed Milliband will have no choice but to do the same….think about it..!!!

7) Last week the Unholy Triumverate, in a panic, swore that new powers would be devolved to Scotland…..if only, please please and pretty please……. we voted NO!………………So we did!
Points to ponder here:-
David Camerons back-benchers are already applying pressure………..Who gave you a mandate for increasing Scottish autonomy they cry….,,,and they’re right………….who did? England demands an input!!!………..probable outcome:- Fewer Scots MP’s at Westminster…….Will the Torys’ care about losing One MP…………………No!
As for Milliband……if he becomes PM and augments Scotlands fiscal autonomy, his English back-benchers and grass roots supporters will, as a bargaining condition, demand a cut in Scotland’s presence in Westminster…..most of these are Labour MP’s……..which means he would have to cut his own throat to meet his assurances of last week…………….A rock and a hard place?

8) In 1969 man put astronauts on the Moon..a wonderful technological achievement……… 45 years later…in the second decade of the twenty first century, UK subjects still toady to a Monarchy and aristocracy. We still have an unelected House of Lords, including Anglican Bishops, who can veto just about anything from the Commons. We still have Dukes, Earls and Lairds who own most of the Scottish land-mass. Our legal courts are populated by judges and lawyers dressed in gowns and wigs from the sixteenth century and who speak in a pseudo-biblical language.

Yesterday we were given an opportunity to begin a journey that would leave all that behind and begin a progress into the modern world occupied by our European partners…..We did not take it. And just to compound our decrepitude, this evening , on the television news, I watched Union Flag waving ‘Loyalists’ attack YES supporters in George Square ……..(We all know which football club they support……..no surprise there…….utterly pathetic!)

What a sad broken little nation we are……..Those of you who voted ‘NO’ did so mostly as a matter of self interest rather than principal. You have no vision…..no imagination and no moral compass. What lies ahead is your legacy……

Why I’m voting YES

Originally posted on CAMERON McNEISH, Writer & Television Presenter:

SOMEONE said to me recently that Alex Salmond has “divided a nation” with the independence referendum, but if division is about discussion, about debate, even friendly argument, with so many people engaged in something as important as the future direction of my country, then I’m absolutely all for it.

I heard someone discuss this on the radio the other morning and he said his family were Italian – and they often have loud, vociferous family arguments about kinds of things – but they still loved each other… 

I think it’s wonderful that a small nation like Scotland can reach this point in considering its future direction with what has been a campaign of hope, optimism and positivity.

But before I set out my reasons for voting Yes I should remind folk that I’m not a politician – mind you, that’s not stopped Danny Alexander from becoming First Secretary to the…

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