Showing posts with label parliament. Show all posts
Showing posts with label parliament. Show all posts

Friday 31 March 2023

Time to Speak Out!

Time to Speak Out!


Scotland’s struggle against Tory austerity policies

The anger among public service workers is palpable. They have seen their incomes reduced by 30% under Tory austerity the past years. Strikes will continue. The Tories would rather invest 5.5 billion in Ajax vehicles, which are six yeas behind schedule – than a billion on health service workers  (or in education). Perhaps they should ask voters where they would rather see investment?  NHS Scotland has huge waiting lists and lack of staff, partly the result of Covid and Brexit, but mainly the result of austerity policies and the lack of funding under the Tory UK government.


The UK is no longer a super power with a captive empire, and should not be spending billions on weapons of mass destruction – but rather on ways to save our planet! The British empire collapsed after the second world war, after which 62 nations sought their independence. The Tories lack of investment has seen a lack of productivity and average UK incomes have fallen by 11K  since 2008. The unionists are living in a romantic past of an imperial British empire that no longer exists - its time to look to our future prosperity and potential.


The Scottish Parliament is only responsible for 20% of the Scottish economy (and mainly income limited tax levers) so has only very limited control over budgets. George Kerevan writes that “being hamstrung to a failing UK, the Barnett formula is like a vice around Scotland, holding us back from pursuing policies that could make a real difference to peoples lives.” The south of England elites only care about the financial global economy of the super rich and with a lack of UK manufacturing, the British economy has no solid base to grow. 


The UK government has refused investment in many future innovative Scottish businesses. It appears that unionists see their future potential as a “managed decline.” They may be disparaging a well-bring economy, but a healthy, well-educated society is necessary for investment, businesses, infrastructure and a thriving economy. The latter requires the former. 


Meanwhile Ireland, with far less resources than Scotland, decided twenty years ago that for future success their country should focus resources on education, which has paid dividends now, with a well educated workforce, record investment and a healthy economy.


I’m beyond angry now. We have such high levels of poverty and inequality, and we need land reform and fair opportunities, 20% of children live in poverty in Scotland. But how far can the Scottish Parliament with its limited powers, mitigate damaging Tory government policies? (Or the Red Tories who are equally as bad.) Scotland needs control of its energy policy, immigration, vat, and all economic levers. The reality is that Scotland has world leading universities, major international arts festivals, tourism, leading renewables. 


I worry for our children’s future. Its good Kate Forbes won nearly half of SNP votes because we need change. We urgently need a focus on businesses - business is half of the coin for a well-being economy. Sweden for example pursues a healthy, inclusive capitalism while also providing a decent standard of living – we need both Humza! Change is necessary and possible.


Scotland needs investment and a stake in future industries such as ScotWind – but Westminster has control of Scotland’s energy; Scotland needs more immigration to sustain our working age population but Westminster has control of immigration; Scotland needs to invest in infrastructure but Westminster has control of all economic levers; Scotland needs investment in it public services ( NHS, education, security) but its impossible as Westminster has control of austerity policies. 


Scotland needs a new way forward - independence. We can do better, why not? How angry are we? What are we afraid of? Time to speak up! 

(Please Note. We need independent-minded people in our independence movement – otherwise we can’t have only yes people who only want to toe the conservative line.)


The SNP now sees a new generation at the helm, a chance for renewal, I hope they are as angry as the generation before, on whose shoulders they now must build. Our strongest voice is the grassroots movement, our strongest hope is freedom to choose, our democratic right and sovereign will.

Time to speak up!



Tories disregard serious issues like poverty and only care about their own back pockets. In time of crisis we have small minded people, with small minded ideas – we need to think past this.


Wednesday 30 November 2022

Worlds Oldest Parliaments for democracy

1. Iceland - 930

2.  Spain – 1188

3.  Netherlands & Belgium – 1581

4.  England – 1688


**A democracy is a political system or a system of decision-making within an institution or organization or a country, in which all members have an equal share of power.

This ridiculous slogan of  “Mother of Parliaments” – 301 years old from 1721, Is simply a made up slogan. Because Westminster is not the oldest parliament.

The oldest national parliament of Iceland. It is one of the oldest surviving parliaments in the world.

"The mother of parliaments" is a phrase coined by the British politician and reformer John Bright in a speech at Birmingham on 18 January 1865. It was a reference to England. His actual words were: "England is the mother of parliaments".


1834 act which created our democracy.

I don’t see how #Torychaos can improve! Its this UKs failed pre-democracy of a First Past the Post electoral system that causes this 2 party confrontational system. On party with a huge majority, leads to shallow, rushed, ill-informed and reckless decision making -  which compares badly to more consensual and collaborative government which results form a PR voting system. 

Iceland. The first Parliaments date back to the Middle Ages. In 930, the first assembly of the Alþingi was convened at Þingvellir in Iceland, becoming the earliest version of a formalised parliamentary system. It was a combination of national assembly, court of justice and yearly cerebration, where the most powerful leaders, called goðar, met to decide on legislation and dispense justice, with the whole community in attendance. 

Spain. In 1188 Alfonso IX, King of Leon (in current day Spain) convened the three states in the Cortes of Leon and according to UNESCO it was the first sample of modern parliament in the history of Europe, with the presence of the common people through elected representatives. 

Netherlands. An early example of parliamentary government developed in today's Netherlands and Belgium. during the Dutch revolt (1581), when the sovereign, legislative and executive powers were taken over by the States General of the Netherlands from the then-monarch, king Philip II of Spain. 

The modern concept of parliamentary government was further developed in the Kingdom of England (1688) and the Parliament of Scotland – which had sat 500 years from 1200s to 1707.   

The Parliament of Scotland was the legislature. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved Middle Ages from the king's council of Bishops and earls. Begun in 1235, during Alexander II with a political and judicial role. By 14th century, the attendance of knights and freeholders and in 1326 commissioners from the burghs. Consisting of the "three estates" of clergynobility and the burghs sitting in a single chamber, the parliament gave consent for taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war and other legislation. 

The Parliament of Scotland met for more than four centuries, until it was prorogued sine die by Acts of Union in 1707. Thereafter the Parliament of Great Britain operated for both England and Scotland after the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain 1707. The union articles guaranteed the independence of the Scottish church, Scots law and education. 


A democracy is a political system or a system of decision-making within an institution or organization or a country, in which all members have an equal share of power.

Modern democracies are characterized by two capabilities that differentiate them fundamentally from earlier forms of government: the capacity to intervene in their own societies and the recognition of their sovereignty by an international legalistic framework of similarly sovereign states. Democratic government is commonly juxtaposed with oligarchic and monarchic systems, which are ruled by a minority and a sole monarch respectively. Democracy is generally associated[ with the efforts of the ancient Greeks, whom 18th-century intellectuals considered the founders of Western civilization. 

This ridiculous slogan of  “Mother of Parliaments” – 301 years old from 1721, 

Is simply a made up slogan. Because Westminster is not the oldest parliament.

Monday 30 November 2020

Sean Connery : Scots Hero


Sadly died. He was the best known Scot of recent times across the word as the most charismatic Bond.

He defined the role.


He was a true believer in Scottish independence and helped to campaign for the Scottish devolution vote in 1997.

For the restoration of our Scottish parliament he was the voice of the Pro-independence broadcasts. His involvement was a big boost for the SNP’s indy campaign.

Following Salmond’s election as party leader in 1990, Connery was the biggest force driving momentum. There was a Connery day when he scheduled a photo call with Gordon Brown on a boat flying a saltire in the Firth of Forth and headlined a cross party rally in the Old Royal High school – when he said – 


“The issue of self government went beyond any political party.” With 100 hours remaining he cautioned, “We don’t have much time.”


George Kerevan wrote, “Connery’s own time came to an end last Saturday but not before he made a lasting difference for Scotland.”

Wednesday 24 April 2019

Democracy and Universal Suffrage

It appears that the small island nation of Iceland led the way
Iceland is generally held to be the oldest Parliament, starting in 930. The oldest continuous Parliament is the Tynwald (Isle of Man), which started in 979, although its roots go further back. In 1188 Spain held one of the first parliament followed by the Netherlands in 1581. 

In the UK the Union of Parliaments 1707, brought about a more modern parliament, which limited the power of the monarch. 
After the Union of the Parliaments in Britain – which dissolved both the Parliament of Scotland the Parliament of England under James Stuart (VI Scotland and I England) to create a parliament of Great Britain, which sat in London. The modern concept of parliamentary government emerged in the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707 - 1800 ) and in Sweden during the Age of Liberty (1718 - 1722). 

**Universal Suffrage
Suffrage – is the right to vote in public, political elections. 
Britain was not one of the first countries to offer votes for all men, and later all women.

France - 1792 suffrage for all men (in 1850 excluded criminals and homeless)
America  - 1856 Voting rights all white males, and suffrage women 1920
New Zealand  1893 – full suffrage and votes for women. First self-governing country.
Finland - 1906 – suffrage all men and women (women could also stand for election) 

UK – 1918 – male suffrage, all men the vote
1928 – all women the vote. 

Voting Injustice
In 1969 UK closed a loophole where 7% got 2 votes!
Also in 1969 Northern Ireland  votes for Catholics after the civil rights movement. (under Harold Wilson)

In the US, some states exercise shared sovereignty to offer citizens the opportunity to write, propose, and vote on referendums. 
Referendums in the UK are rare. In the UK we have a passive, non interactive democracy.
and we have too large, impersonal council areas.