Tuesday, 20 September 2022

Noam Chomsky Dissent Across the Decades,

 

Noam Chomsky Dissent Across the Decades, gave an online talk at Edinburgh International book festival 2022.

 

Whether it’s discussing linguistics with Foucault in a televised debate, authoring more than 100 books or being a fierce critic of American foreign policy, Noam Chomsky has been a highly influential figure for nearly seven decades. Now in his mid 90s, he shows no signs of stopping and joins us today to discuss Chronicles of Dissent, an accessible and broad-ranging collection of talks for those who seek new perspectives on the big topics of our time.

 

*BOOK, Chronicles of Dissent, an accessible and broad-ranging collection of talks for those who seek new perspectives on the big topics of our time. Chomsky said that the corporate press often gets it wrong when ideas can be suppressed with things that you just cant think. We must encourage debate and to look elsewhere. To be different to totalitarian regimes. 

 

In 1920s,  where were the Russians getting information, from BBC and America – in fact many censored Russians better informed than Americans. Could the Ukraine war have been avoided if there had been some thought of Russian security and to Russian red lines, and not to move Nato to border closer.

 

Identity politics can be good. Scottish independence might be good, he said we would need think though the many consequences, and decide what you want for yourselves and also to retain the unity of UK. The UK can’t hang together in present form – is federalism an option? There will be lots of complications and consequences. Ireland reunification?

 

Brexit was a major error, and driven the UK into the pockets of the US. We face madman Putin, and the threat of fascism all over the world. Today levels of poverty are unprecedented.



Tuesday, 13 September 2022

Queen Elizabeth's Respect for the Scottish Nation

 


Professor Tom Devine was commenting on the radio on this historic week after Queen Elizabeth’s death, as her cortege left Balmoral’s estates. He said the Queen showed a deep affection for Scotland and recognised the distinctive Scottish nationhood - perhaps reminiscent of past generations that we appear to have lost in our modern times.

 As Scotland pre-eminent historian, he was knighted by the Queen a few years ago. At this ceremony, the queen said that she was pleased to be honouring a Scots scholar and historian and she raised her voice – “who has written extensively on Scottish history.“  

 Devine said, “Its  a shame some UK politicians can’t speak of Scotland with the same level of respect. “

I notice the Welsh language had pride of place in the Welsh ascension ceremony today for new King Charles. So why is the Scots language still treated as an embarrassment? Its shocking that Scots history and culture have been so deliberately suppressed over the past century in Scotland. Children were belted in schools for speaking in Scots and teachers were told they would sound ignorant if they spoke in Scots! 

 

In Maori schools in New Zealand, Maori children are taught  Maori words and culture and to be proud of their heritage. So why on earth must Scots be embarrassed of their wonderful Scots culture? Many Scots are totally ignorant of Scots history and have been taught only English culture. 

 

The Welsh also sang the Welsh national anthem. We in Scotland urgently need new words to Flower of Scotland OR a new Scots national anthem!! Hint, hint Proclaimers, Dougie MacLean…etc.

 

I would like to emphasize to those who like the union with England, Wales and Northern Ireland – 

Scotland’s independence is NOT in any way about not having “unity” here in the UK. In fact I hope we can have much better and more successful unity after indy – its about how Scotland is best governed in the best interests of all those who live in Scotland.


I lived many years in the United States – the states are united, but also independently run their own affairs. For instance, each state organises their own trade deals, vat rates, immigration, laws, and other economic levers. So I firmly believe that Scotland needs their own self governing levers to best address the needs and best interests of the people of Scotland. I would be for a slimmed down monarchy, and I don’t like the term ‘subject’ and would much prefer ‘citizen.


I hope the recant services and ceremonies around the Queen’s death, show any doubters that Scotland is its own distinct nation, one of the oldest in Europe. I hope all those who dislike Scottish traditions, were able to appreciate the beauty of Karen Matheson’s Gaelic song at the St Giles service. It was highly significant that the ancient Scots crown of James IV was placed on the queens coffins, as Queen of Scots. 


I had heard from several sources that Operation Unicorn was well planned ahead of time. I hope we can have unity as well as the best of self government. As Succession actor Brian Cox recently said in his chat with Nicola Sturgeon at the Edinburgh book festival, " Its not about personalities but about country and democracy." 

“Its time to be free!”


Brian Cox at Edinburgh book festival 2022


“Its time to be free!”

Cox said that he’s an optimist!

Succession actor Brian cox chatted with Scotland’s First Minster Nicola Sturgeon about his acting career and of his hopes for Scotland’s future independence.

He got his first thoughts of performing as a young boy, when he sang at a new year party at home and singing on a small stage. Later Cox went down to the London theatre stage, and was a character actor in film.

 

He said young actors can now stay here to be successful, There’s also been the Scottish film successes. His major part in the hit series Succession role, Logan Roy, has a King Lear element, and is not over written. With a wonderful cast and script. Theatre is my church, retain your pass, cathartic. Telling stories and walking with ghosts  and can be cathartic. 




Cox said that after the great war 1945 Scotland was very much north Britain – there were identity battles of the 70s and 80s. We must be true to ourselves – subdued in who were as second class citizen and to discover what we are culturally.

 

He said there is not enough confidence here in Scotland, its not about personalities, but about country and democracy.   Scotland is a place for social democracy. We’ve suffered old style propaganda and our own voice being stifled. He was the voice of  Labour 1996, but became disillusioned and he didn’t  like Blair and the Iraq war and thought it was all wrong

 

Cox will be here for our Campaign for Scotland’s independence Referendum 2023 – we can do better! 

He s aid its not about personalities but about country and democracy.

 


Sunday, 11 September 2022

Lea Ypi on Freedom with Allan Little Edinburgh book festival 2022

 

‘Coke can with a rose’ was a symbol of the west

She spoke of the special shops for tourists, and a marker of contact with the outside world.

BOOK Lea Ypi, “Free, Coming of Age at the End of History”

Lea is a lecturer at the London School of Economics. She decided to write her book from the perspective of her childhood and the naivety of seeing the world for the first time.

Albania was isolated and communist and accused other communist nations of betraying communism. It was viewed as the anti-imperialist lighthouse of the world, surrounded by powerful foes and on the right side of history. The College of Communism at the most eastern edge of Europe. 

They used special codes, with code words like “biography” and the mystery around “university”, and “stayed to study” – (was an informer). If accused of treason, executed. Her father was not allowed to study maths because he was a teacher. There was corruption and divisiveness – there were Marxists, Leninists and Scandinavians. The regime collapsed in1923.

 

Her mother, was bourgeoisie and spoke French and had an aristocracy identity. She grew up in Slovakia and lost her identity, in order to preserve her identity. The Ottoman empire last century. Her mother become an MP, father a teacher. Her grandparents met at the kings wedding. 

In 1919 the peoples drama when the independent nation state of Albania was declared. Things changed, with a communist republic. Mass emigration and shot at border if trying to escape. The market economy became a gangster capitalism and people became poorer and lost jobs. Parts of the economy became criminalized. Civil war erupted and an economic crisis. There was no financial sector, and fraudulent investments. Collapsed, and started looting and violence. Detested any foreign imposed system. 

Liberalism had won and right all along, great powers decide borders. The EU said to reform economy. In 1989 the Berlin wall came down, but there was also nostalgia for the east and maternity leave. 

The Ottoman empire had 3 different religions - Catholic, Greek orthodoxy and Muslim. There was Freedom of religion and Religions living peacefully and not an issue. Albania is a Nato country and close friends to US. The politicians promised citizen-led grassroots, privatization and shop therapy, 

 

Tyranny and coercion versus freedom and democracy. The idea of freedom has no blueprint – the abstract idea of freedom. Against ‘Empire” and inclusive democratic idea of sovereignty and afraid of forces outside that they can’t control. Civic engagement to regenerate they can’t control.  



**Albania is a country in SE Europe located on the Adriatic, Ionian and Mediterranean seas and land borders with Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Greece. Albania has been inhabited by IllyriansThraciansGreeksRomansByzantinesVenetians, and Ottomans. The Albanians established the autonomous Principality of Arbër in the 12th century. 

Albania formed between the 13th and 14th centuries. Ottoman conquest in 15th c. Albania remained under Ottoman rule for five centuries. Between the 18th and 19th centuries, the Albanian Renaissance

After the defeat of the Ottomans in the Balkan wars, the Nation state of Albania declared independence in 1912. In the 20th century, the Kingdom of Albania was invaded by Italy, before becoming a protectorate of Nazi Germany. 

 

Enver Hoxha formed the Peoples republic of Albania after WWII modeled under the terms of Hoxhaism. 

The Revolutions of 1991 concluded the fall of communism and the establishment of the current Republic of Albania.

Albania is a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic and a developing country with an upper-middle income economy dominated by the service sector, followed by manufacturing.[10] It went through a process of transition following the end of communism in 1990, from centralised planning to a market-based economy. Albania is a member of the United Nations, World BankUNESCONATOWTOCOEOSCE, and OIC. It has been a candidate for membership in the EU since 2014.