Monday, 21 January 2013

Another Unionist half-truth exposed

The Squadron Volante, which now claims to be in favour of further devolution, despite having opposed that option being put to the people of Scotland, despite its leader Alistair Darling - who had to repay back public money he took but was not entitled to - supporting the NO campaign in the first devolution referendum, despite Johann Lamont, the "leader" of Labour in Scotland being convenor of the Glasgow University NO campaign in that referendum, and despite their funders, the Conservative Party, being on record as recently as last year opposing any further devolution, released the following campaign poster today.

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anti-Independence campaign poster#
It's probably not even worth investigating the truth of those "grants", which will doubtlessly include work in Scotland for London's Olympic Games. 

However, let's take it at face value that Better Together aren't exaggerating the extent of the "grants" to Scotland (although taking Better Together's word on anything economic is probably a risky business, seeing as their leader can't even manage to keep his sticky fingers out of the public purse!). 

Firstly, these aren't "grants" to Scotland by a benevolent British government. This money is paid for by Scottish people, and is being returned to their communities. 

Secondly, Better Together presumably use this Camelotian largesse as a reason why we shouldn't be independent. 

£2.300.000.000 is quite a lot of money. It could buy some of Johann Lamont's nuclear weapons. It could pay for all of the free bus passes that Johann Lamont wants to rip from the gnarled hands of pensioners who have served this country all their days. 

Over the eighteen years of the National Lottery, it adds up to £0,128 billion per year. 

Now, that £0,128bn - Better Together imply - is money that couldn't be raised were Scotland to be an independent nation with its own lottery.

I have a lottery ticket in front of me from Ireland. At €1,50 a line (£1,26 - £0,74 cheaper than Camelot's lottery ticket), it has raised over €4bn since its inception in 1987.

Taking that at its least charitable estimate (€4bn), that is €0,16 bn per year to good causes in the State.

0,16 billion is a greater number than 0,13 billion, I'm sure you will agree. 

At today's £/€ conversion rates (even as the £ collapses against a resurgent €), the money "given" to Scotland for good causes only amounts to €0,15bn per annum against Ireland's €0,16bn per annum. 

It will not have escaped your notice that Ireland is "separate" from the United Kingdom and has been for some time. 

Better Together: even their truths are lies.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A New, Horrible Low for Labour in Scotland

They haven't got a terribly high starting point. 

If they're not abusing womenstealing public money or cheating the disabled, it seems that Labour politicians in Scotland spend their time busily engaged in violent assault (I had a fair few people to link to here!).

But tonight's behaviour, by senior Labour Party activist Ian Smart, takes some beating.

Smart, who writes for racist extremist Tom Harris' Labour Hame blog and the Unionist Herald newspaper, is a former President of the Law Society. And a serial candidate for the Scottish Parliament.

His mutterings since the historic SNP landslide victory have increasingly become deranged, shrill hysteria, throwing quite astonishing allegations and slurs around. 

Tonight, he hit a new low. At least four people have been killed in a natural disaster in Bidean nam Bian today, in what remains a developing story. 

The First Minister, Alex Salmond, expressed his sadness to the England and Wales TV station, ITVsaying

This is an appalling tragedy and our immediate thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who have been lost. 
To lose four people from a party of six is truly devastating.  
The Scottish Government will provide any support that we can and I would like to thank the police and mountain rescue teams for their efforts in these difficult circumstances. 

Comforting the families of those who perished, and thanking those who assisted in the rescue and recovery effort, is right, and is proper. 

Scotland is in mourning tonight for those who have been killed, and it is entirely appropriate that our First Minister expresses our sentiments. 

Astonishingly, however, Smart did not feel this to be appropriate. Launching into a hate-filled attack on the First Minister, he sent a series of bilious messages on the Twitter blogging website, claiming that the First Minister was "only trying to get his name in the papers".

This is wicked behaviour, an attitude conceived in fear and blind panic; and is the product of a black, evil heart, which holds neither humanity, nor compassion, but only hate.

People like Smart aren't gutter people. They need a promotion to the gutter. The hate in their hearts sees them scuttling around the dark shadows of the sewers. 

It is despicable, it is evil, and it is terrifying characteristic of the depths to which the Unionists have sunk, that they gorge themselves in an orgy of joy at a natural disaster.

Those who died in the avalanche today were trying to achieve something wonderful. People like Smart are engaged in trying to tear down good things.

God have mercy on the souls of those who were killed today. And God have mercy on the hearts of those who are so filled with hate that they don't have in themselves even the slightest decency.

Today, we saw in Bulgaria, the horrifying spectacle of a party leader, who had been subjected to sustained, constant personal attacks by elected politicians of all other parties, subjected to an assassination attempt by a young man who had been driven mad by the hate he had been daily told was right. 

Only the misfiring of the would-be assassin's gun saved Ahmet Dogan from ending his day comfortably ensconced in a polished wooden box with brass handles. 

The Labour Party's Shadow Scottish Secretary, Margaret Curran, once said that if someone assassinated Alex Salmond, she wouldn't even bother to ask who did the deed.

The hatred, the deliberate whipping-up of an atmosphere of hysterical defilement against one particular politician has today led to the end of Ian Smart's career in public life. 

Let us hope that both events: the reaction to the tragedy in the north, and the narrowly-averted assassination of Dr Dogan, lead the Labour Party in Scotland to abandon their personalised hate campaign against Salmond. 

In a country where nutters can be whipped up into such a rage that they send letter bombs to soccer managers, lawyers and politicians, Labour must stop and think what their hate campaign may lead to. 

Smart's membership of the Labour Party and his chance of a career in public life is the first casualty. 

Let us hope that Labour moderate their behaviour and ensure there are no others. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

Leave Gordon Alone

The news today that Labour Councillor, Gordon Matheson, was caught engaging in an enjoyable interlude with a friend in a public place led to a degree of "scandal" reports in the media, and, unedifyingly, on social media and comment articles. 

I know Gordon Matheson. Or, I've met him. He seems nice enough. Does a good line (not in the Purcell way) in pintripes. Enthusiastic wee man. Pleasant to political opponents. He's certainly not a man you immediately despise in the way of Jackie Baillie or Apartheid Jim Murphy.

The response from the National Party, when asked to comment, was clear and unambiguous - Drew Hendry, the Leader of the Opposition, said that he would not comment on Mr Matheson's private life. 

This was the right approach to take, not only politically, but on a human level. 

One does not need to imagine what the response would have been had the shoe been on the other foot. The unedifying spectacle of journalists and Unionist representatives harrying and abusing someone going through what must rank among the worst experience of their life. 

Most of the "outrage" seems to have been predicated on Mr Matheson and his friend engaging in their activity in a public place. 

This is faux outrage. 

It is not as though the two friends were engaged in mutual masturbation in the middle of Sauchiehall Street on a busy Saturday. 

They were in a parked car, in a deserted housing scheme, in the dark of night. They had a reasonable expectation that this was a secluded area. They had a reasonable belief that they were not outraging public decency. They had a reasonable belief that they would not be seen. 

Does anyone believe, seriously, that a high-profile man like Matheson would engage in an illicit sexual affair where he believed he could be seen?

There is no offence in the law of our nation of engaging in sexual activity in a public place. All the law requires is that steps are taken to ensure that nobody comes across it, if you will, who does not desire to. 

Reading between the lines, this "tryst" ( (c) The Sun) was spotted by a CCTV operator, and the police alerted. This isn't kids wandering past a park, it isn't a housewife wandering along a street, it isn't a dog-walker wondering why his dog has stopped at a car. 

The police reported the incident to the Procurator, who decided not to proceed. 

Why would the Procurator do so if public decency had indeed been outraged?

We may turn to the moral aspects of Matheson's behaviour. Yes, Matheson engaged in sexual activity with a former partner who was not his current partner. Yes, he did so illicitly (he could hardly do so publicly!). He's a highly-paid man, who could have got an hotel room. True. Have you ever had a joint bank account? Imagine the repercussions of an unexplained hotel room?

So, those of us who have never had an overlap in relationships, feel free to whine about Matheson.

I'm not going to write about him cheating on his partner. It's irrelevant, to everyone except the two of them. Regardless of his public position, he is entitled to a private life, no matter how he may conduct it, unless it is led using Glaswegian money. 

The illicit thing isn't an issue. It's an issue for Matheson and his partner.

Sadly, I don't think it's what Matheson did that's the problem. The problem to many people is with whom he did it. 

If I was to have scattered this post with "she"s, Matheson would have been guaranteed re-election for life. "Shagger Matheson, what a guy!". 

There's plenty of things to criticise Gordon Matheson for. 

There's the state of the litter-strewn city centre, which is paved with dog dirt.
There's the constant criminality of Labour Councillors.
There's the lack of the promised free WiFi.
There's the atrocious public transport.
There's the theft of £500.000 of public money by Labour Councillors.

Getting noshed off in the back of a Nissan Micra by a consenting adult is not one of the myriad reasons why Matheson should resign. 

Matheson's indiscretion took place on the 12th of December. My diary entry for that day reads: "re-organise payslips, send Tax Clearance Certificate; remember to order coal".

I know who should be getting slagged for a rubbish Wednesday night, and he's not wearing a pin-striped suit.

The criminality of Gordon Matheson's party is enough to be going along with. Gordon Matheson's party stole £500.000 of Glasgow's money to give to a crony. Gordon Matheson's councillors are involved in wife-battering, under-age-drinking, theft and drugs. 

Let's criticise him for not getting a grip on that. 

But let's not descend into hypocrisy, and to what seems to me, tawdry homophobia. 

Matheson's a poor leader of a criminal party which is wrecking our greatest city. I'm not averse to having a kick at the Labour Party - but not for this. Give the man a bit of privacy, give him a bit of dignity, let him and his partner get through it.

Just because of what he is - a Unionist and the leader of a party of thugs, thieves and criminals - doesn't mean we should forget who he is - a human being.