Tag Archives: referendum

I love me

The selfishness of unionism

Ever since the first skirmishes of the independence referendum something has been irking me, nibbling away from the inside, anxious to be enunciated. I’ve been mulling it over, trying to express it in words. It was always just a feeling you see, but now that we are in the thick of the general election campaign the time has come.

Nick Robinson (hope he gets well soon) finally managed to shine a light into the gloom of my mind and illuminate the wee moose that had been bugging me for so long. His post-surgery blog (hope you’re better soon Nick (Enough already, Ed)) expresses his own views on how people decide who to vote for and the reasons that he gives are purely selfish. It’s all about me. Not you, not we, never us, just me.

Thinking back to all those Better Together arguments, they were all about money. It was all currency this and pensions that. Banks and businesses moving away and jobs lost. All of those arguments were focused on the individual, hitting the me and placing the question mark after the I. They were all inherently selfish arguments.

For me, the most tantalising argument for independence was the idea of a better society. One where the people were respected for who they were, not one where their future was mortgaged to bail out corrupt banks. There were no illusions in my mind that the transition to independence would be tough, Any divorce is tough, a divorce after a 308 marriage is bound to be especially so. But the short-term pain would be mitigated by the longer term gain. The arguments for independence were mostly focused on the us, the we not the me. The altruistic not the selfish.

The unionists are still thinking of themselves, as witnessed by the lies being peddled by all of the main unionist parties as part of their pitch for our votes in the general election. It’s arguments like “you’ll be worse off under” whoever and “our plans will save you” how much. These arguments are essentially selfish, focused on the individual. None of them give me any hope that any of these parties will bring about any meaningful change in the UK. A vote for any of the main unionist parties is a vote for the status quo, one with blue bells, the other with red whistles and the other with a little yellow ball. You would struggle to get a silver Rizla between any of them.

I’ll leave you with these questions:

  1. What kind of UK would you like to see?
  2. Which party is most likely to deliver that vision?
Wheelie Bins for Yes

Referendum Recollections

According to the unionist press the dream of independence split the nation. Is this true? In a way I suppose it could be said that it was. Some voted that Scotland should be an independent country while others voted to remain under the heel of the Westminster system. Indeed the September 18th result was obviously the focal point for the British Nationalists, as was demonstrated by the George Square Riots.

After a day of being a sovereign country, we were returned to colonial rule. This begs the question of who was really trying to divide Scotland and whether they were successful? Was it the positive and inclusive grassroots YES campaign organised by the people of Scotland? Or was it the AstroTurf Project Fear; a scare and intimidation campaign run and funded by a Westminster government who became increasingly desperate to hold onto the revenues from our nation in order to prevent the inevitable bankruptcy of the rest of the UK.

For the people of Scotland I believe the lead up to the big day was actually way more important. Far from the hatred and division portrayed in the unionist controlled main stream media the residents of this country actually experienced a reawakening of a sense of community and compassion. For perhaps the first time in their lives the voiceless had a voice and the nation was gifted with a sense of hope.

Contrary to the reports of violent division before and since September, my personal experience was, and indeed continues to be, that of a coming together of people from diverse backgrounds. It has become irrelevant which social class you come from, what race or religion you happen to belong to, which sex you are, or even which country you were born in. People came together then and continue to work for a common cause. Perhaps for the first time politics was being openly discussed in homes, workplaces, pubs and public meetings the length and breadth of the land.

New phrases, such as social justice, flooded social media sites. People who had previously been unaware of just how large the gaps between the well off and the poor had become joined forces to attempt to redress the balance. Food banks became headline news and the levels of poverty, which had been at best ignored and at worst deliberately hidden, were thrust into the spotlight. The people were coming together to help those most in need in our society and continue to do so.

Divisive? That’s a matter of opinion. I have made a lot of new friends through the YES campaign, both on social media and also locally, nationally and worldwide. People I would never have met or interacted with if not for the referendum. I am not alone in this as the sense of inclusion is repeated hundreds, if not thousands, of times over in Scotland and around the globe as many looked on and stood with us in anticipation of the triumph of hope over fear.

Alastair G Rennie (Wheelie Bins for Yes)

Jobs For The Boys

Jobs For The Boys

Excellent news for the Unionist oilman Andy Samuel. He has been appointed as the head of the Oil and Gas Authority which is a new quango created at the behest of that other Arch-Unionist Sir Ian Wood. Andy was formerly the managing director of BG Group’s exploration and production in Europe.

During the Independence Referendum Andy came out on the establishment’s side with the following scare story, “An independent Scotland would have to invest 3,800 pounds per head – over ten times more than when costs are spread across the UK – to match the 20 billion pounds the UK Government has committed towards decommissioning in the North Sea.”

Which begs the question, why are the taxpayers footing the bill to clean up the oil companies’ mess? But of course that question never gets asked by our mainstream media. Anyway, back to Andy. I’m sure that he will have sold all of his shares in BG Group in order to avoid a conflict of interest, hasn’t he? I’m also sure we’re going to hear a lot more from him about how tax revenues from the North Sea should only go to Westminster because they’ve got all the safe pairs of hands down there. They know about tax and stuff. That’s why the oil companies are asking for a reduction as we speak, squealing because the oil price is almost $80 per barrel and oh how the costs have risen. Mind you a 62% tax rate is pretty stiff but, you know, someone’s got to pay for Crossrail, HS1, HS2, HS3, Olympics etc. The champers is getting expensive too as well. Oh, don’t forget the interest on all the money that Gideon has borrowed to make our economy look better than it is in the hope the Tories can get re-elected.

But wait, what’s this? New drilling licences being awarded. The oil companies can’t be that poor then can they? And what’s this? Danny Alexander casting about trying to find some purpose. Trying to suggest that the oil companies are not reducing prices at the pump as the oil price reduces. But the simple fact is that most of the price paid at the pump is fuel duty (55p per litre) and vat (20%) which leaves the oil companies about 49p to get it out of the ground (don’t forget that 62% tax rate on there) transport it to the refinery, refine it, transport it to the pump and sell it. The retailer gets about 2p per litre. So is the chinless one trying to deflect attention away from the government’s tax grab and on to the oil companies or is he merely making some populist noise in order to try to get re-elected? Or is this the first salvo in a public spat between the oil companies and the government? Were the oil companies promised reduced taxes to get the to side with the Unionists? We’ll find out in the autumn statement from the chancellor soon.

Ah but I digress. Andy has been rewarded for his staunch support of the Union. Pure and simple. Just like Sir Ian Wood got rewarded with some juicy fracking licences. Just like Alistair Darling will be feeling the touch of ermine soon. So on, and on, and on, the gravy train goes.

Danny Licks George's Spittle

Cameron Promises to Default on UK Debt

The Prime Minister has promised that the UK will not pay it’s debt to the EU on the 1st December which would leave the UK in default. David Cameron said, “If people think I am paying that bill on 1 December, they have another think coming.” This will henceforth be known as the “Call Me Dave” defence so the next time HMRC come knocking, wanting you to pay your tax bill by such and such a date, you just have to tell them that your name is Dave and the problem will disappear. How do you think that will work out? Exactly, and the same thing is going to happen here.

The spat is designed to make the PM appear to be tough on the EU but the effect so far is to alienate our trading partners and neighbours as well as diminishing our global standing. Who is going to trust a country which does not pay its’ debts? As Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Tory Lickspittle, said during the Scottish Independence Referendum about the SNPs’ promise not to pay its’ share of UK debt, “The Scottish Government’s plan to renege on Scotland’s share of the debt in the event of independence is simply not credible. Mortgage rates would go up, credit cards and bills would go up and the Scottish Government would have to resort to the bond markets equivalent of Wonga to raise money to pay for public services in Scotland.”

So that’s it then, we can expect higher mortgage rates, credit cards and bills to go up and UK government will have to go cap in hand to Wonga to bail them out. Just because Dave want’s to appear to be tough on the EU. Just because the Tories are running scared from the UKIP threat. We’re definitely Better Together now then.