Rant on the defeat!!

1 Nov

Twa mair deils fae London toon

Lies ‘n’ Deceit –the media’s mither

 

 

They come sleekit, like a kleek o cancers

Labewhore big-ben names; a mass o chancers-

Ayeways the same; twa tae blame

This Janus-face o’ Scotia’s shame!

What a parcel o rogues
in Scotia’s clothes!

City slickers we nae nickers

Go hame! Go hame!

Tak the train back to Londonstain

Leave oor wee hysteria alane!

 

Shame shame, yi powers that be

Who cannie see; wha widnie see

Britannic hypocrisy; masking

Familiar treachery.

We are just a half-made nation

A semi-colon; a pause,

a political hesitation ahent a cause.

Yet oor wee no-finished lament,

has its ain national parliament!

It gies us an agony of hysterics

In a house, fur schizophrenics.

 

Whit a nation! Self-hate withoot a state

(Wi a arts-army of occupation.

A national theatre withoot a nation)

A double felt delirium o damnation.

In this time a noise an choice

Who has Scotia’s voice

(wi Jimmy, Eddie and Hamish gone)

To give us an honest heartfu’ song?

Tae mak us feel that we belong

Confident aye; Independent (sigh).

 

But Listen! From sea and munro;

from Kelso to Thurso

On wind and tide

On Tweed, Tay and Clyde

None but ourselves can make us whole

None but ourselves can heal the soul

Let the earth tide bring us hame

Leave behind auld London’s shame

Wi’ it’s arsetocracy ;a political hypocrisy

Now Scotia is in its birthing pains

In this big world o Adams weans

Let us sing the great song,

That echoes in the bone

fling it like yon David’s stone

Freedom Come all ye

Cry it on the lonely wind

In housing schemes ahent the blind

On mountain tops let us sing

Feel the spirit a Dr King

Sing it wi drams or cups a tea

Cross glens an toons on oily sea

We can be, we mus’ be

Yes dear Lord… mak us free!

 

 

 

Chappin Doors

1 Nov

Chappin doors

 

 

A: Hiya! Good evening I’m a volunteer with the Better Together campaign in xxxxxxx for a No vote in the Referendum. Can I ask you two questions?

 

B: Are you a dancer?

 

A: No. Why you ask?

 

B: You’re a chancer?

 

A: No Im a …

 

B: …volunteer I heard yu! Yeh… Now I know you… you was on the telly

 

A: I have been…

 

B: Now I clock yu…You iz a Hem P yeh. I seen yu on wi yon Kitsy Fark

 

A: Wark… and Yes I am an MP

 

B: You got done for expenses right…You never did time … Yes I know you….£27 grand you spent and no receipts… And not a day yu got

 

A: I paid it all back and now I’m…

 

B: … a volunteer … Yu telt me… But what about the £27 grand … you took £48 grand awe the gither but they let yu aff we 27… right? No even a court appearance… just a wee bit in the media an tha… You still an MP then?

 

A: Well yes… That was all a misunderstanding…. We didn’t know the rules…

 

B: Right…misunderstanding Like this bedroom tax a cannie paye yer honour is just a misunderstanding yer honour!

 

C (His partner comes to the door) Yew! I ken yu… yu went oot wi ma pal Vickie is no true?

 

A: Vickie… I don’t remember but what am here for is to…

 

C: But you cannie ask me nuttin until yu tell me that you used to sleep wi Vickie and then left her expecin … pregnant! It was you! I see yu blushin yi bampot!

 

A: Look a have ti go… I doan talk ma personal business on the doorstep

 

B: But yu want to dictate and shape oor personal business?

 

C: …oor personal is political… You ‘re a dirty cheating bastard and you want us to be better the gither?

 

A: Look!

 

B: We are lookin! And what dae we see? You are gonna cheat and lie! Spend £100 BILLION …a 100 million million on bits a metal you will never ever use and caw it Trident! Weapons o mass destruction. Is that personal or political?

 

C: You’re gonnie privitise the NHS …turn it intie American style medicine …money first…oor personal health second!

 

B: Don’t leave yet! We’re no finished!

 

A: (Leaving) Well you can keep your bloody Alex Salmond!

 

B: We’re no here fighting for Salmond but for a new an better Scotland!

 

C: A better Scotland for folk like me so that we don’t need to go and beg at food banks… so we can hae dignity, self respect…and a livin wage for workin people.

 

B: So that oor granweans will be proud o wi that we stood up against the likes o you!

 

A: (Mumbles as he leaves) F aff idiots!

 

B: Yu leaving! Well we idiots are comin wi yu, roond this scheme!

 

C: Aye me tae! Every door yu chap in this scheme I will tell them what yu done and what you want tae dae tae us!

 

B: I… WE will tell oor neighbours the truth! The truth will set us free!

 

C: A new Scotland free fae the likes a yu fae Westminster!

 

(Shouting up the street)

 

B&C: Here comes the Nae-nae man. Nae honesty, nae self respect, nae policies and NAE fxxxxx chance!

 

C: Aye run! Look yer big car! WE’RE VOTING YES! FOR A BETTER LIFE!

 

B: Heh we done good there! I think we can go chappin doors!

 

 

 

 

Submission to Lord Mr Smith

1 Nov

Dear Lord Mr. Smith,

 

You a Lord and me just a common man

I am thankit that you let me offer my humble plan

You see, all I want, your Lordship, as best a can

In my wee-way to let you try to understand

How we ‘poor -auld- dugs’ feel in these present days

And view the future from our humble ways.

 

All I ask you is this: ‘gie us mair fkn po’er’

No just for MPs an that but fur we, the poor!

Who live each day and nicht afraid o hunger

Who fear the comin, cauld dreich winter

We doan get thousands for sittin on boards

We doan get 300 a day like youz in Lords

That is mair than a weeks pension fur me an the wife

Tae heat, tae feed, ti live half a life

She still cleans flairs for an extra pund

I grow some tatties in some stoney grund

But that is no how man should hae tae be

Day by day struggle… persistant poverty!

 

Its no Fn right! Something wrong!

It been like this up here too fn long!

This isnie 1914 wi “Yes Sir fur the shillin, thanks”

Its 2014 and bloody food banks!

We want the power tae change awe that

Real power down here where life is hard

Power to change the entire equation

Bring sovereignty tae our nation

Turn the whole thing upside down

Gi us a pension o 300 pound,

 

Nae House a Lords tae decide for we

What is needed in Dundee

But gie the poor power tae mak decisions

We have ideas! We have visions

To mak a new Scotland fair, with dignity

I submit this tae you, wi nae humility!

But tae Mr Smith in desperation

Save the poor in this new nation!

If No? Lord Smith F-off

Leave us. Your Lordship Toff!

PS Do you think today that it is right

that you a lord, unelected tae shite

should sit in judgement on our hopes

and we sit writing you begging notes?

I wish you luck!

Otherwise GTF!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Rule??

1 Nov

Home Rule is a very acceptable tactical option in the incremental accumulation of power towards the tipping-point of de facto sovereignty. It has been the political methodology employed by the vast number of new post-war states in their decolonization process. Please note-process; for sovereignty, particularly in this epoch of the post-sovereign state in which power is   devolved and shared (EU/UN) the idea of what constitutes a ‘sovereign Scotland’ will mutate and change form. However there are dangers when playing constitutional politics with perfidious albion.

Britain played games around the issue of home rule within the Empire by offering colonies ‘local’ powers but retaining substantive power in London.

Creech Jones a major player in the Labour Government’s decolonization process suggested that granting full responsibility for LOCAL affairs was only right but he did not see this as ‘ involving the elimination of British power’.

In 1952 there was a Foreign Office paper called ‘the problem of nationalism’. In it the FO argued that it was possible to ‘ draw the constructive forces of nationalism to the British side by offering limited political authority in order to minimize the threatened erosion of British power’.

So Home Rule can be seen (in London) as a full stop whereas it is merely a semi-colon(y).

Australia is an interesting example. Though gaining home rule around 1900 it took another 80 years to finally gain supreme authority from Westminster.

Australia assumed a de facto Independence (home-rule) by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900 the more formal dejure Independence came much later partly by the Statute of Westminster 1931 that granted sovereignty which was not formalized by London until the passing of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act of 1942 . Although this was assumed to grant Independence it to another 40 years 1986 until Australia held supreme constitutional sovereignty preventing Westminster from repealing or preventing any Acts of the Australian Parliament by the passing of the Australia Act 1986 in Westminster and Canberra and signed into law by the Queen.

To this day Australia does not have an Independence Day.

So from this example there was no single act called Independence (though the 1942 Act is generally accepted) while the de facto Independence in practical terms, what is called utilitarian sovereignty, began way back in 1900.

The idea of an incremental acquisition of power over time is a genuine alternative to a ‘one- time act’.

(What the Australian case offers (and a valuable lesson) is that prior to the 1900 Australian Constitution Act for almost ten years Australian’s held a number of people’s constitutional conventions across the several states (with no legal status).

In all of this and at the very centre of this debate has to be the lead actor-the SNP.

It has a constitution that all members must endorse.

 

 

  1. The Party shall be named the Scottish National Party.

 

Aims 2.

The aims of the Party shall be:

(a) Independence for Scotland; that is the restoration of Scottish national sovereignty by restoration of full powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that its authority is limited only by the sovereign power of the Scottish People to bind it with a written constitution and by such agreements as it may freely enter into with other nations or states or international organisations for the purpose of furthering international cooperation, world peace and the protection of the environment.

 

This just might be a stumbling block to the idea of a process towards Independence via Home Rule.

 

However there is a second aim:

 

(b) the furtherance of all Scottish interests.

 

In clause (b) we might just fine the key to unlock the movement for Home Rule as a mighty step towards Independence.

 

 

Independence is a process not an act

1 Nov

Scottish Independence through a process of incremental powers

 

 

 

The idea of national sovereignty is increasingly becoming redefined, as nations form unions, federations, groupings and alliances. Nevertheless it is from a position of national sovereignty that these decisions are made and from within the nation state. The nation state historically is a political construct formed over time in which incremental acts of national popular will are reflected in a process towards Independence. The idea of Independence as an evolutionary process is illustrated through the following (brief) examples drawn from Canada, Jamaica, Australia, India and Ireland. Though Scotland was never quite a colony nevertheless it has acquired political characteristics of governance that can be called a culture of ‘coloniality’.

 

Canada is an early example of the transition from a self-governing (home rule) British semi-colony into a fully independent state through an evolutionary process. Like Australia, Canada acquired sovereignty over a period of several years making it almost impossible to give a particular date for Independence. Andrew Heard offers this explanation:

‘The Supreme Court of Canada reflected this uncertainty when it said that Canada’s “sovereignty was acquired in the period between its separate signature of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919 and the Statute of Westminster, 1931…”

However, the development of this independence had its roots before 1919, and was not actually completed until well after 1931.

Indeed, symbolically-important legal traces of Canada’s colonial status were only shed with the passing of the Canada Act by the British Parliament in 1982’.

From A Heard 1990

Undoubtedly there were periods of doubt, uncertainty, frustration and disappointment yet Canadian Independence was realized.

 

Jamaica became a colony of Britain during the Cromwell revolution and remained so until 1962. However after a series of major labour riots in the late 1930s Jamaica gained universal suffrage and home-rule by the mid 1940s. The 1950s saw Britain deal with the clamour for Independence across the West Indies by introducing a Federation (1956) but with substantial variance in population and little sense of common values (save for cricket) the Federation collapsed when Jamaica voted in a referendum (1961) to pull out and go it alone. So in August of 1962 Jamaica declared Independence but kept he Queen as head of state. (When Jamaica pulled out of the 10 member federation

,the Oxford historian and PM of Trinidad and Tobago Dr Eric Williams declared ‘one from ten leaves nought’)!

So for Jamaica the journey was long and hard-fought yet the people declared their sovereign will and it was realized.

 

 

 

Australia assumed a de facto form of internal-federalism with a first stage Independence (self-rule) by the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act of 1900. However the more formal legal dejure Independence came much later partly by the Statute of Westminster 1931. This Statute granted increased sovereignty that was not formalized by London until the passing of the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act of 1942.

Although this 1942 Act was assumed to grant full Independence it took another 44 years (1986) until Australia held supreme constitutional sovereignty preventing Westminster from repealing or preventing any Acts of the Australian Parliament. This final legal Independence was created by the passing of the Australia Act 1986 in Westminster and Canberra and signed into law by the Queen.

To this day Australia does not have an Independence Day but rather it celebrates Australia Day.

So from these examples there is no single all encompassing act called Independence The de facto Independence in practical terms ie utilitarian /functional sovereignty was established way back in 1900. Australia assumed the functions of independence incrementally prior being granted the status.

The idea of an incremental acquisition of power over time is a genuine alternative to a ‘one- time act’.

 

India had several political setbacks and indeed suffered many acts of British brutality before acquiring its hard-fought Independence in 1947.

 

Nearer to home, the Irish people didn’t allow one or two political defeats to stifle their process of Independence. From the Irish Home Rule Act of 1914 (enacted in 1920) to the Irish Free State of 1922 the 1937 republic of Ireland act and finally the 1948 Act demonstrates again that independence is a torturous process; a process of struggle.

 

Indeed, the enactment of sovereignty doesn’t end with a change of flag and a new anthem (not Flooers please).

It continues through the broadening of public engagement in governance, greater economic opportunities and fairness, deepening the opportunities for development through education and greater commitment to international peace and the protection of the environment.

 

The Scottish Referendum setback is an incident in time: history will record it as part of the great virtuous journey towards that most fundamental act of social justice: the sovereignty of the people expressed through a liberal democracy.

How does Scotland stand?

9 Apr

There is a counter-revolution taking place in this (un) United Kingdom un-doing the last vestiges of social democracy, inflicting greater hardship on the have-nots.   We are experiencing ‘uninterrupted disturbances of all our social conditions ….everlasting uncertainty… agitation….al fixed fast frozen relations are swept away…all that is solid melts into air… all that is unholy is profaned and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses, his real conditions of life.’  This is of course old man Marx, describing an earlier bourgeois revolution.  What is particularly significant about the current one is that in the overthrow of the post -war consensus, the Conservative right has been able to co-opt the Liberal Democrats as allies in this anti-popular agenda. Even more disturbing, is the role of the Labour Party, whose Balls, Darling and Brown, were the deficit’s draughtsmen: whose policies, the Conservative coalition is broadly implementing. The only distinguishing feature is that Labour would inflict the cutting-pain more gradually, over a longer period. Let us be quite clear; Labour no longer seeks to challenge entrenched power and privilege. Labourism is no longer capable/willing to deliver social change or to seek the redistribution of wealth or develop new forms of popular participation. Thus the people across the length and breadth of Scotland are realizing that it is truly time for a change.

One Nation Labour (a concept borrowed from Disraeli) is the vision of Ed Miliband and Balls incorporating an economic paradigm that abandons any attempt to reform neo-liberal capitalism, tackle alienation or formulate any form of greater egalitarian politics.  In Scotland they promote a corporatism in harmony with Cameron’s coalition that will see Scottish social-civic, labour forces atrophy and alienation increase. 

There are currently three political responses. Alienation:  a withdrawing from any engagement leaving a’ nothing can be done’ attitude; a ‘there is no alternative’ syndrome. Let Jimmy Reid remind us of this debilitating political phenomenon.

‘Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control. It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.’

The second option is very much a neo-liberal form of the above: the status quo.  Vote NO in the Referendum and we’ll carry on the same way (but punish Scotland a little more) with little to choose within the three main Unionist parties (tweedledee, tweedledum and tweedledummer). Put your Labour ‘No’ vote in the box and you put it alongside the Tories and the Lib-Dems and the other arch-Unionists. Objectively any ‘No’ vote is for the retention of the failing unionist British State.

 Meanwhile all three of the tweedles are looking behind them at the angry surge of UKIP. (We should not need to be reminded that political crises can create major shifts to the right as well as to the left.)

 The opportunist policy of Labour, wooing the right and centre-right, is seen as vital, particularly in southern England, where outside of London, in approx, 180 southern constituencies, Labour has just 12 seats.  What does this status quo scenario mean to Scotland and the Scottish political process going forward?

     I wish to argue that Scotland under the 1999 devolved administration constitution , is, in my (third) world of  political analysis, a near perfect example of the crown-colony state, attempting to advance the limited constitutional process towards a Home-Rule, self-governing status  within the British state.  Social-democrat Scotland, in this limbo-state of pause, of semi-colon, coloniality reality, will suffer greatly, indeed be punished under the avenging thrust of all three main Westminster parties in a post-No Scotland.   

     Across Scotland, especially in my neck of the woods in Lanark shire, the desperate poor have been conditioned to give their votes to Labour, as others light a candle, in the desperate hope of personal salvation.  Let us be clear; persistent poverty and underdevelopment is the future for Scotland under the hegemony of Westminster unionist power.  Devolution has attempted to alter the power relations within the culture of UK politics. By its much enfeebled nature, Holyrood was born to be self-inhibiting, shorn of autonomous history-making powers.

This can only be answered by major constitutional reform (Independence) supported by economic and social reforms. What is startling is the great wave of popular support demanding change that is moving across Scotland especially in areas of greatest social deprivation.

In my opinion the vital process required for the effective development of Scotland in this 21st Century is best described in the thesis being formulated by Robin McAlpine and the Common- Weal Project.  This political/economic initiative will have to be taken up in some form under the leadership of the Scottish Independent Government post 2016

 This Government of whatever party (or coalition of parties) will be required to turn its back on the Westminster dominating economic strategy.  A ‘jock’ form of neo-liberalism cannot and will not satisfy the demands of this new empowered Scottish electorate. With tenacious urgency they will have defeated the Unionist blandishments. In the absence of  almost all ‘big-media’  support the YES ground campaign a ‘Scot-cong ‘ strategy built with grass-root power will not accept an Edinburgh ‘fur-coat’ (no real political change). 

     What is required is the dismantling of this empire created Westminster – British –state ethos through a progressive transformation, instigated by a programme of greater national political consciousness in Scotland. Already there is a popular national culture ,a kind of ‘epistemic sovereignty’.

     But for all that and all of that, it is not enough. The idea of a Scotland as a sovereign state (albeit in a globalized world) needs more than the idea of a Scotland cut and pasted from the Westminster template. We have over time drawn (relied) heavily on our artists, writers and intellectuals. Collectively they have helped create a national consciousness. Now it has to become a redrawn political and economic movement beyond liberal-nationalism.  This will require fresh approaches of imagiNATION. Much of this new paradigm is being articulated by The Common -Weal team at The Jimmy Reid Foundation. Post YES we just might see a form of Scottish Labour breaking with its London masters and joining in this new democracy.

Wither Scottish Labour post YES?

 I for one ,have come to the conclusion that post-war Scottish Labourism has failed to understand that popular social consciousness in Scotland has embedded in it a nascent political nationalism alongside social-democracy. Popular national conscientization ( Freire) that empowers has never been realized or released by Labour.  Scottish Labour will decline, atrophy, like the Conservatives unless it breaks from its unionist heritage.

     At present the Scottish Labour Party cannot offer Scottish people any option that does not rely on it being thirled to London Labour. (London’s dependency on the Scottish 50 plus seats; in turn London funds Scottish Labour is the deal?).

  Yet national autonomy /independence can no longer rely on the reductionist, simplistic idea of a ‘national economy’.  Whose ‘national economy’ do I hear the cry? Yet, in what is becoming a highly plural yet polarized global economy (BRIC verses the West), Scotland has the opportunity and the ability to negotiate its own future through the effective adoption of fresh economic strategies with new international powers with which to negotiate a better fairer future.  Will Scottish Labour or in some other guise take up that challenge?

     It is surely time that the great swathes of the non-active, voiceless social –forces that are dormant across Scotland (especially those who have felt the pain of the cuts) discover their destiny and seek a popular national sovereignty through Independence.  But there is much more needed. We need to see and hear the genuine promise of greater opportunities for popular participation through the Freirean concepts of community empowerment.   The internet and social-media have offered the YES campaign a powerful weapon. We must not let this popular-power wither.  Rather let us seek to embrace new forms of democratic governance by making regular engagement with the public, part and parcel of enhanced public policy development.(The Brazilian  concept of popular budgetary formation and development is one such innovative proposal.) For make no mistake the awakened social forces harnessed within the YES movement will not sit idly-by while policies inimical to their progress are being implemented.

Let’s win the referendum and move on with new powers for the Scottish Government AND new powers for the Scottish people. Scotland is pregnant with opportunities and awaits deliverance.

 

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23 Nov

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