Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Questions, Answers, SLabbers and Sudan

The Government's question for the referendum is straightforward, concise, and will elicit a clear answer in either direction. It is, quite simply:

Do you agree that Scotland should be an independent country?

Naturally, the Unionist lickspittles within Scotland, as well as the British régime, are up in arms about it. They would rather the question went something a little more like "do you believe that Scotland should be ripped from the embracing bosom of her neighbours, the queen shot at dawn, EastEnders forever banned from Scottish television screens, and machine gun posts erected at the border so that you can never visit your granny in Barnsley again? Do you? WELL, DO YOU?!"

This sniping and whining should, of course, be treated with the contempt it deserves. As I said on BBC Scotland's Big Debate on Wednesday last, it is astounding that political parties which only nine months ago campaigned on a platform of no referendum, now or ever, wish now to dictate the terms of the referendum. The Unionists had three centuries to set up their own referendum.

But is there something in this particular whine?

In the last such referendum, in Europe, when a nation seceded from a larger state (Montenegro leaving Serbia-Montenegro), the question was:

Do you want the Republic of Montenegro to be an independent state with a full international and legal personality?

Whilst Southern Sudan didn't have a question per se, I can see the British régime and the Unionists asking if the Juba administration has any blank ballot papers left over. I think they'd rather like the wording.

SLab's preferred ballot paper

Incidentally, President al-Bashir of Sudan claimed that the issue was "about unity or separation" and refused to consider any discussions about further devolution to southern Sudan. al-Bashir is a violent dictator, indicted by the International Criminal Court, and widely regarded as a corrupt thug.

Perhaps Johann Lamont ought to consider if it is entirely seemly for the "leader" of the Labour Party in Scotland to be parroting al-Bashir's arguments verbatim.

"Separation": Lamont and Bashir, yesterday

Meanwhile, back in Europe, there are so many precedents for a similar question to the Government's proposed one that it would bore both blogger and reader to go through them all.

A selection will suffice.

Estonia EU referendum 2003:
Are you in favour of the accession to the European Union and passage of the Act on Amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Estonia?

Latvian independence referendum 1991:
are you in favour of a democratic and independent Republic of Latvia

Slovenia 1990:
Should the Republic of Slovenia become an independent and sovereign state?

Ukraine 1991:
Do you support the Act of Declaration of Independence of Ukraine?

Ballot Paper, Ukraine 1991

Georgia 1991:
Do you support the restoration of the independence of Georgia in accordance with Act of Declaration of Independence of Georgia of May 26, 1918?
The British régime recognises all of these countries. Clearly, there is no doubt that a "do you support", "are you in favour", "do you want", "do you agree" style of wording is no impediment to the referendum being clear, concise, free and fair.

Consequently, any further mewling from the British and their Unionist allies in Scotland can be treated with the utmost contempt.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Scottish Flag Banned At London Olympics

Amongst the excitement of the week, the announcement that the Athletes' Village has been handed over to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games has slipped somewhat off the radar.

As part of LOCOG's final preparations for the organisation of the Games, they have issued a list of policies, some of which relate to the behaviour of spectators at Olympic venues. One condition of ticket sales, for example, is the eminently reasonable suggestion that spectators don't enter venues with
firearms, ammunition, dangerous weapon or object, explosive, chemicals or incendiary device.

Less reasonably, but in keeping with the Olympics as a money-making rather than sporting venture, is the instruction that fans don't wear
objects bearing trademarks...promotional signs or messages.

However, the Devil, as always, is in the detail of these things. In Section 19.2.3 of the terms and conditions, amongst such prohibited and dangerous items such as sandwiches, umbrellas, Bibles, Trade Union activity and lighters, lies the condition that spectators must not bring to the Games (the games for all of the UK, remember?)

flags of countries not participating in the Games

As Scotland remains banned from competing in the Olympic Games, despite the proud Olympic traditions and success of Scots, we are now in a situation where Scottish fans, supporting Scottish athletes, in an event taking place partly in Scotland, will be ejected from an Olympic venue (even in Scotland) for waving the Scottish flag.

Scottish Olympians celebrate medal successes at Beijing 2008

The London Olympic games have already been a public relations disaster for the Unionist movement, with the announcement that despite the objections of the Scotland Football Association, the Football Association of Wales, the Irish Football Association, and supporters of all three teams, they would force through a "British" team for the Olympics despite genuine concerns that it would compromise the footballing independence of the so-called Home Nations.

Fans protest outside British Olympic Association headquarters

Not only this, but the very hosting of the Olympic Games has led to charities in Scotland being deprived of 70% of their National (sic) Lottery funding in order to fund sporting, transport and social developments in Britain's richest city to the tune of more than £10,000,000,000. This money, in the midst of the Unionist Parties' recession, would fund NHS Scotland for a year and still have money left over to buy an ice lolly for every man, woman and child in Scotland.

Is this the Respect Agenda? That Scotland's sportsmen are prohibited from taking part as Scots, that the desire of our national sporting associations are ridden over, roughshod, and that the flag of our nation is banned from being waved by our own people in support of our own athletes in a competition paid for by Scottish money and taking place largely in Scotland?

And in these days of southern whining about the Barnett Formula, and the idea that it may somehow be used to calculate an Independent Scotland's share of the Unionist generated UK debt, what does Scotland get in Barnett consequentials for this lavish investment in Britain's richest region?

None. It's a UK event.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The First Parliamentary Attempt By Unionists to Partition Scotland

Last week, I predicted that the British would use every trick at their disposal to maintain the southern flow of subsidies, and suggested that John Taylor's call to Partition Scotland was not merely the murmurings of a madman, but the deliberate floating of a balloon to gauge reaction to the prospect of Partition.

In Hansard today, it was made quite clear that the British have no interest at all in allowing the people of Scotland to decide the constitutional direction of Scotland, and no interest in allowing democracy to prevail. The British State and its establishment, in the form of the affront to democracy which is the House of Lords, and in the person of the despicable Malcolm Sinclair, who has generously taken time out from driving wives to suicide to undermine the democracy of Scotland, is now busily engaged in an attempt to strip away all of the rights of Scotland as a nation.

Malcolm Sinclair

That a former British government minister, a member of the governing coalition, is now attempting to amend the Scotland Bill to ensure that Britain retains Scottish territory - and Scottish oil - at the expense of Scotland post-independence, shows that Partition is a plan from the top. The British have no interest in allowing Scotland to govern itself. They have no interest in allowing the subsidy flow south to cease, and will do all in their power and much outside their power to prevent it.

The Scottish Government, I am certain, will be clear on this issue.

The Scottish nation will take national decisions, as a nation. If Scotland votes in favour of returning powers to Scotland as we did in 1979 and 1997, then those powers will be returned as a nation. Orkney and Shetland are universally recognised as part of Scotland, and return Members to the Scottish Parliament. By including these constituencies under the aegis of Holyrood, the British government has confirmed this.

In the case of Rockall, the position is absolutely clear. The island is part of either Inverness-shire or Ireland. There is international agreement - including the British government - that it is part of the former. There is no geographical, legal or moral case for this island or any other territory of Scotland to remain part of Britain after independence.

The British policy of divide and conquer, Partition, has caused misery, violence and failure across the world.

Scotland must stand strong against the aggressive behaviour of the British, and the British need to realise that the territory of Scotland is not fixed by legislation of the British parliament, any more than is the territory of any other country.

One last thing: this is an attempt to deprive the people of Scotland of the territory of Scotland, the assets of Scotland, and the riches of Scotland.

It is an example of the outright anti-Scottishness which does exist in a large part of the Dependentist Movement.

This isn't anti-Independence. It's blatant and bitterly anti-Scottish.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Unionists will never accept Scottish independence

It's becoming increasingly clear that Unionism is not prepared to accept Scottish democracy.

Already, we have witnessed the quite despicable events of the British régime's attempts to usurp the democratically-elected Scottish government by dictating to the people of Scotland not only which questions they will permit us to answer, but when we will do so.

The régime is trying to bully and cow Scotland into voting "no" - the British finance minister even threatening that we will be prohibited from using both our currency (the Pound Sterling) and our central bank.

We will be hearing more and more of these fairy stories as we approach the referendum. But recently, a new, sinister narrative has started to emerge: the premise being that Scotland, as a nation, does not get to decide our constitutional future.

The British are utterly determined to keep the flow of subsidies flowing south as fast as ever, and to continue pocketing our national wealth (the profits from Scottish oil pays for the British to have three million unemployed). The call from John Taylor to partition Scotland, retaining the richer parts for the UK, is floating a balloon at the moment.

As the Unionist Alliance of Labour, Tory and Liberal continues to collapse, and continues to lose the debate on independence spectacularly, one can expect this call to intensify. Simon Heffer, the aptly-named polemicist of the Daily Mail, has questioned Shetland's position in an independent Scotland, floating the idea that it may be a dependency of England (and, at a stroke, keeping Scottish oil money flowing south).

There is no popular movement in any part of Scotland to be anything other than part of Scotland. It is baffling that the likes of Taylor and Heffer are suggesting this idea. One a Lord, one a High Priest of the Conservative movement. You imagine this idea of partition hasn't suddenly germinated from nowhere.

When Scotland voted "yes" to Home Rule, the Labour government changed the rules and told us we couldn't have it.

When Scotland voted - overwhelmingly - for a pro-Independence Parliament (72/128 MSPs are pro-Independence), the first reaction of the British parties was to demand that the rules be changed to prevent it happening again.

When the Scottish Government announced it would be holding a referendum on Independence, the Labour, Liberal and Conservative parties stood shoulder-to-shoulder to bully it into submission.

The British have never, ever accepted that Scotland's people have the right to choose Scotland's future.

A "yes" vote in the referendum isn't going to change that. That the people will vote for Independence is now more likely than ever before: but that positive step will be nothing more than the beginning of the battle. The dirty tricks, bullying, dissembling, intimidation and outright thuggery will start when the Scottish and British governments begin negotiations.

The British have no intention of having, on their own border, a rich, fair, socially-democratic nation for all their people to see. Questions would be asked. People would get angry. And the British establishment would be finished - which is the real, fundamental reason why the Establishment is so implacably opposed to Scottish people controlling Scotland's affairs.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Senior Labour figure fired - BBC Scotland refuses to report it

More on the sacking of the disgraced "Nazi smear" Labour MP, Tom Harris.

The parasitical BBC in Scotland exists by extorting money from the people of Scotland, whether or not they share the BBC's fanatical support for the Labour Party, whether or not they wish to use the service, on pain of imprisonment.

So here's how they report on the sacking of the man in charge of Labour's digital strategy, the man who only last month came third in their leadership election.

Oh, they don't.

Stories which the BBC deem more worthy of coverage than the end of a senior Labour figure's career:

A possible new garden in Aberdeen
The Press & Journal slightly changes the length and width of its pages
It is expensive to build roads

Fit for purpose?

The Downfall of Tom Harris

Smell that?

That's the smell of the shattered, twisted wreckage of a political train wreck first thing in the morning.

I suppose the particularly amusing thing about the end of Tom Harris' career is that it is entirely self-imposed. Harris, the extremist Unionist MP for Glasgow South, has made something of a niche for himself, and has a self-image as a sort of Labour superhero, seeking out imaginary "Cybernats" in their dark corners, shining light at them, and making them scurry away.

The problem for Harris is that such creatures were entirely a figment of an imagination which got more and more incredible as time went on and his descent into paranoid delusion continued apace.

The nadir of Harris' political dabblings came when protests were held outside a special Labour Party conference held in Glasgow before Hallowe'en last. Harris breathlessly took to Twitter to inform the nation of the racist nature of the banners held up by these bullying nationalists.

"End English rule", Harris reported one of the banners said, adding for good measure that the chaps holding them "looked more like BNP than SNP, to be honest". Of course, Harris would know more than most what BNP people look like, the vast majority of their voters being Labour people.

Disgusting, if true, and a complete departure from the non-ethnic civic nationalism pursued so successfully by the Scottish nationalist movement.

The problem, of course, was that it was another Harris delusion. Well - I say delusion: I mean an outright, blatant lie, designed to harm the nationalist movement and get his name into the papers as he languished fifth in a three-horse race for the Labour leadership (he eventually scored less than 8% of the votes). Photographic evidence showed that the banners recommended an end to London rule. A subtle, but important difference that Harris was well aware of.

One could go on and on with examples of Harris' lies, or examples of his playing the man instead of the ball. He is vicious and vindictive, filled with hate, and empty of principle.

That's why it is so wonderfully laugh-inducing that his political career came to an end after he attacked SNP MSP Joan McAlpine for her observation that the Dependentist parties were behaving in an anti-Scottish manner. He chose, deliberately, to "misunderstand" her accurate remarks as an attack on people, not behaviour.

Bizarrely, he then thought it was a good idea to post - on YouTube - a video depicting First Minister Alex Salmond as Adolf Hitler. Suffice it to say that comparing the democratically-elected leader of a small European nation to a genocidal maniac and mass murderer - wasn't considered the most appropriate behaviour for Scottish Labour's "digital czar".

Johann Lamont agreed. Harris has been fired, his month or so of relevance finished, and his political career with it.

Back to being a Cyberned for Uncle Tom now.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

All adults should have the right to choose Scotland's future

The hard-right British regime has indicated that it intends to disenfranchise around 130.000 16 and 17 year olds in the referendum on Independence, to be held in autumn 2014.

These young people have the right to marry, to join the armed forces and to find gainful employment.

The British regime compels these young people to pay tax to their Exchequer. Yet it has the unbridled arrogance to demand that they are not given a voice in the future of their nation. In other words, the British are demanding taxation without representation.

It is perhaps coincidental that this section of society is generally regarded to be the most enthusiastically in favour of our land returning to its natural state of independence. Certainly, denying the vote to young adults in this referendum would be slightly less despicable than Labour's behaviour in the 1979 referendum, in which they decreed that the dead would automatically have been deemed to have voted "No" to devolution.

The Unionist movement has a slight problem in this regard, though. Douglas Alexander, William Bain, Gordon Banks, Anne Begg, Russell Brown, Katy Clark, Tom Clarke, Margaret Curran (who is now, gloriously, the face of the anti-independence movement), Ian Davidson, Thomas Docherty, Brian Donohoe, Frank Doran, Sheila Gilmore, Tom Greatrex, Cathy Jamieson, Eric Joyce, Mark Lazarowicz, Michael McCann, Gregg McClymont, Graeme Morrice, Jim Murphy, Ian Murray, Pamela Nash, Sandra Osborne, John Robertson, and Anas Sarwar are all Labour MPs on record as supporting extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds. Claudia Beamish, Kezia Dugdale, Neil Findlay and John Park are their MSP colleagues who have backed, in public, the Votes At 16 campaign.

It would be an act of unbridled opportunistic hypocrisy for these people to now turn round and attempt to prohibit young adults from voting in the most important poll in the history of Scotland.

I have written to each of them for assurances that they remain supportive of all adults being allowed to vote.

As someone who is interested in extending the franchise to 16 and 17 year olds, ensuring that all adults have the opportunity to vote in elections and referenda, I was delighted to note that you are on record* as supporing the aims of the Votes At 16 campaign, along with many of your colleagues, and non-aligned organisations including the British Youth Council, the Childrens Rights Alliance for England, the National Union of Students, Scottish Youth Parliament, Article 12, Barnardos, Compass, the Electoral Reform Society, European Youth Forum, the PCS union, the Cooperative Party, the TUC, Unison and the YMCA, as well as most mainstream UK political parties.

The existence of such a broad coalition of MPs, MSPs and organisations would, of course, suggest that the moral and natural justice of such a measure is beyond any doubt save for political opportunism.

With David Cameron's coalition government seemingly intent on restricting the franchise in the upcoming referendum to over-18s, prohibiting around 130 000 young adults from voting, I am writing to enquire if you will stand up to David Cameron's government and continue your very welcome support for allowing 16 and 17 year olds to vote.

Of those who have responded (I will update),

Those who still support votes for 16 and 17 year olds:

Katy Clark, Brian Donohoe, Ian Murray, Neil Findlay

Those who have changed their mind:

Thomas Doherty

A thread running through the replies is that the franchise must be changed for all elections, not just the referendum, which seems eminently reasonable and in concordance with the Constitution for a Free Scotland.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The British regime is suddenly very keen on a referendum

It's nice that the British are suddenly so very keen on asking the Scottish people to have a say on their constitution.

When Scotland was railroaded into the Treaty of Union, it was anathema to the people of Scotland. There was unrest on the streets, and sermons against the Union were thundered from the pulpit of churches throughout the land. The threat of further, violent, anti-Treaty civil disorder caused the Parliament to implement martial law.

In 1707 itself, with petitions against Union being received by Parliament from every corner of the nation and the Convention of Royal Burghs (Parliament did not receive a single petition in favour of Union), it was clear that Scotland's people were bitterly opposed to selling their sovereignty.

Commissioner Lockhart (Carnwath), the only anti-Incorporation Commissioner, observed that the

whole nation appears against the Union

It wasn't just the ramblings of a bitter man who had seen his cause defeated: Commissioner Clerk (Penicuik), who was in favour of the Treaty, stated that it was

contrary to the inclinations of at least three-fourths of the Kingdom.

Astoundingly enough, there was no consultation of the people on a matter on which they were clearly considerably opposed - the British establishment was content to sell Scotland down the river despite the objections of her people.

The next time the Constitution was seriously examined in a legislative sense was 1969 when Harold Wilson's Labour government established the Kilbrandon Commission. After reporting to Edward Heath's Conservative government in 1973, Wilson's new government put forward the Scotland Act 1978, which provided for an elected Scottish "assembly".

However, in the best tradition of the Labour Party, Islington MP George Cunningham sacrificed his political career by successfully moving an amendment which made it impossible for the proposals to pass a referendum: despite a clear and health majority in the referendum for Home Rule, the Labour Party decided that this wasn't good enough: they decided that that non-voters and the dead counted as "No" votes - the referendum failed.

Immediately after this show of dishonesty by Labour, a motion of no confidence was passed and the government fell. Labour were so desperate for Scotland not to be allowed to have its say that they were prepared to almost sacrifice their party, and plunged Scotland into 18 cold, bitter years of Thatcherite rule.

Even in 1997, when it had become impossible not to listen to the increasing calls for Scotland to have some form of democracy, the Labour Party and the British establishment cunningly made a last, desperate attempt to limit the re-established Scottish Parliament's powers by splitting the referendum into two questions.

Last year, the British Establishment parties - Labour, the Conservatives and the Liberals - stood as one on a platform of "no independence referendum - not now, not ever". One of the leaders of the Unionist campaign, Tavish Scott, even stated on an STV leaders' debate "if you want independence, vote for the SNP".

The electorate did, and overwhelmingly - the SNP had a clear mandate to hold a referendum on reverting to an independent state, and the First Minister had stated clearly, openly and publicly that it would be held "in the second half of the Parliament".

The bullying, hectoring, and the expulsion of toys from the pram began within days. Having lost the argument on whether there should be a referendum, and having failed to convince the electorate that consulting the Scottish people on the Scottish constitution would be somehow illegal, the Establishment Parties tried to take control of both the timing and content.

Their argument boiled down to a basic premise:

Any referendum on independence, which is illegal, and which in any case we do not support, should be held immediately with the following question.

The Establishment have been run ragged in this whole campaign, and have succeeded in making fools of themselves and their remaining members.

It leaves the Labour Party in a bit of a quandary now, though: they must decide on one of two strategies - to stand for Cameron's Coalition; or to stand with Scotland's elected Government.

Cameron - taught well by his Labour predecessors - is determined not to allow the Scottish people to vote in a free and fair constitutional referendum organised by the Scottish Government. It's the old saying writ large: "you'll get fuck all from Whitehall".

Frankly, it now appears that the British are intent on alienating the Scottish Government and people so much that UDI (and if Labour switch to supporting independence, it looks even more so) is beginning to appear the only option.

The Scottish people increasingly support returning to our normal state of independence. It is up to the British now to work with us to achieve this, or work against us and force us to take it from them.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Lies and Labour

It has oft been the policy of the Labour Party to use division and dissembling as a political tool.

Witness last year when the deputy leader of the semi-autonomous Labour Party in Scotland, Johann Lamont, misled Parliament by using - in attempt to cause political embarrassment to the First Minister and the Government - a rape case which was no more than a figment of a sick imagination and totally fabricated. Rape Crisis Scotland condemned the story as perpetuating "the myth that women can’t be trusted when they speak out about being raped.

Under normal circumstances, a swift and unreserved apology for misleading Parliament would surely have sufficed. Sadly, Lamont refused to apologise. She refused to discuss whether she was aware that the case was fabricated before she raised it. This raises serious questions about her motives and her judgement.

Labour showed their disgust of Lamont's behaviour by appointing her leader despite the objections of their remaining 13,000 or so members.

It's another example of Labour refusing to apologise when they are clearly, utterly in the wrong. It's another example of Labour believing that they cannot possibly do wrong.

The Jackie Baillie fiasco is yet another example of this mindset that Labour cannot do any wrong because they are existentially right.

The privately-educated Labour MSP offered up what was little more than a pack of lies this week.

Baillie, who affects to know more about medicine than doctors, superciliously informed the nation that under the SNP government, hospital acquired infections (HAIs) had risen to the extent that Scotland was now the "Superbug capital of Europe".

In a surprise development, BBC Scotland reported her remarks verbatim: unresearched and uncritically (and several hours after it had been exposed as bunkum). Pacific Quay has developed a very worrying habit of treating Labour press statements as "news".

Sadly for Baillie and the Beeb, it transpires that her figures not only did not stand up to scrutiny but also referred to a period in which Labour were in Government.

It is worth noting that MRSA and C. difficile levels are at historically low levels in Scottish hospitals. But did Baillie congratulate our hard-working NHS staff for this magnificent achievement? Of course not - she impugned them, and lied about their performance.

But I suppose when you're discussing a Shadow Health Secretary who doesn't even know what Norovirus is actually called (see picture below), and who refuses to listen to the advice of medical people on medical matters, it's hardly a surprise.

And has an apology - much less a withdrawal - been forthcoming from Baillie? Of course not - she's a Labour MSP, so she can do no wrong. And if there was an incredible accomplishment from NHS staff under an SNP Government after the explosion of superbugs under Labour? Well, that's clearly not something to be proud of if it shows Labour in a bad light.

For the Labour Party it is and always has been the same priorities:

1. The Labour Party
2. The Union
3. Scotland

and to Hell with truth and decency

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Scottish Labour's big problem

Earlier on, as a result of some interesting posts on the Twitter, I was having a look at the expulsion of Alex Salmond from the semi-elected parliament in London in 1988 after his vociferous criticism of the British finance minister, Nigel Lawson, and his quite despicable introduction of the short-lived Poll Tax at the same time as lowering Corporation Tax to the lowest level since the war.

The Scottish Labour Party (or, to be accurate, that branch of the British Labour Party which operates semi-autonomously in Scotland) makes great mileage out of its opposition to the Thatcher régime. Indeed, it is so proud of its opposition to Thatcher, that it fought the General Election in May against her.

For his "crime" of criticising the Thatcher régime in Westminster, the Thatcherite Tory government's front bench, to a man, voted to expel Salmond - a relatively new MP, from the Chamber. It seems a very Pyongyangian response to parliamentary opposition.

Naturally, the cadre of Scottish Labour members - you'll remember, those who made so much of rejecting Thatcher and all her empty words - would have relished, nay, savoured, supporting opposition to her administration.

Strangely, Hansard of the day tells a rather different story. It tells a story of Scottish Labour members standing - literally - shoulder-to-shoulder with the Thatcher régime against the lone voice of Scottish opposition.

There are a few names which stand out*:

  • Gordon Brown (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian, apparently)
  • St Donald of Dewar
  • the policeman-battering drunk George Foulkes (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian)
  • Sam "What's An Examination System?" Galbraith
  • Martin O'Neill (remains a Scottish Labour parliamentarian...and chairman of the Nuclear Industry Association - no wonder Johann Lamont doesn't know which way to turn on nuclear!)
  • war criminal, "Dr" John Reid, whose favourite pastime is to holiday with fellow war criminals such as Radovan Karadžić
  • George Robertson

amongst others.

This might appear to be very much an historic post - a dig at Scottish Labour MPs rushing breathlessly into the lobbies to vote with Thatcher and her entire Cabinet in order to deny the people of Banff and Buchan their democratic voice in what was then Scotland's only means of representation.

It's not merely historic, though. Many of the Labour MPs who cuddled into the warm embrace of Thatcher are still active in politics just now. The violent thug George Foulkes is extremely active, working against Scotland's interests and for Cameron's Coalition in the affront to democracy which is the British assembly's upper house.

And it leads to an excruciating question for Scottish Labour and Johann Lamont (below).

Soon, there will be a referendum on whether Scotland should resume the normal state of affairs and return to the family of independent states.

Johann Lamont, yesterday

Lamont's Labour has to make a choice.

Do they campaign for Scotland to be governed, from London, by a Conservative Party for whom the Scottish electorate returned a solitary MP at the last election?

Or do they campaign for Scotland to be governed, from Edinburgh, by a government selected by the Scottish people - and with the electoral history of Scotland, it would appear that this would be Labour more often than not?

It would appear to be a total no-brainer.

But given their shameful history of filtering into the lobbies with Thatcher, Brittan, Forsyth and the rest of those vomit-inducing names from the worst excesses of Thatcherism, one might be justified in expecting the Labour party to campaign "No to Independence; Yes to Cameron's Coalition".

* and there are all too few which stand out for the right reasons. David Lambie and Dennis Canavan were alone amongst Scottish Labour MPs in voting with Scotland rather than Thatcher. The latter, when democracy came to Scotland in 1999, was forbidden for standing for Holyrood for the Labour Party in an act of spite and revenge. He defeated the official Labour candidate handsomely - showing, if more proof was needed, that the electorate will support those who stand up for their principles and their country.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Pacific Quay and a nation which must not be named

The BBC doesn't do itself any favours.

This evening, on the "regional" Scottish news programme, Reporting Scotland, they interviewed Ann Ballinger from the Scottish Secondary Teachers' Association.

Someone at Pacific Quay, though, decided that the on-screen graphic introducing Ms Ballinger would introduce her as from the "Secondary Teachers' Association".

In the current climate - with recidivist Scottish Labour candidate Catriona Renton being appointed to report (doubtless impartially) on Scottish politics, among other issues which suggest that the integrity of the Corporation is seriously compromised (being forced to apologise for the appalling Kirsty Wark's treatment of the First Minister; a BBC presenter caught on camera mocking the SNP Conference with Alan Cochrane)- the BBC really ought to explain why they decided to omit the word "Scottish" from the name of the organisation.

Was it an attempt to mislead viewers into believing that Scotland does not already have an independent, entirely different education system from England?

Was it an attempt to persuade viewers that Scotland's Trade Unions exactly mirror those of our southern neighbours?

My opinion is that it was an attempt to persuade their viewers that everything in Scotland is entirely in tune with, identical to, and subservient to, England, and to under-emphasise the extent to which structures in Scotland are already broadly independent.

When Scots are forced, on pain of imprisonment, to fund the BBC, we should be entitled for even their pathetic "regional" news output not to distort fact.

It's a small thing. But small things matter. And lots of small things add up to A Big Thing.