Showing posts with label referendum. Show all posts
Showing posts with label referendum. Show all posts

Sunday 31 May 2020

Remembering 2014!

I wish now I’d kept a diary during the 2014 referendum time – which was such an enriching and energised and enlightenment time. With the exciting exchanges of ideas of how we might build a fairer, greener and more equal Scotland. It was full of expectant hopes. We looked to other thriving small nations as a way forward – such as Denmark, Finland, Norway. Our northern neighbours. Scotland is as ancient and has equally excellent resources. Why wouldn’t Scotland thrive w thought? 

It wasn’t to be with the vote 45/45% spilt and sadly many Anglo Scots prefer being tied to a Tory administration. Then again Scotland has practically no independent media, so what else did we expect with British nationalist propaganda flooding our airwaves. 

Sunday 24 March 2019

Indyref Yes No vote 2014 documentary: BBC Scotland

The new BBC Scotland has been running a three part series on the Indy Ref Yes/No Vote 2014. 
‘We have made a vote for progress and change", spoke Alastair Darling, of leave of the Better Together campaign (of Lorretto 
school fame) after the 2014 vote. (45% yes, 55% no) How hollow his words ring....  We were promised all these increased powers; protection of our pensions; being in Europe,.

England must now also be heard. The day after the No vote result Cameron announced English votes for English laws. It was a dark forces of the blatant ignoring and side-lining of Scotland that was to come. Its hard to watch without feeling a sense of shame.  

One young man felt the NO side had more to offer – which suggests 2 things – their control of the media and press, and also the lists of promises. The wise amongst us saw from past performances and that promises or vows are actually Lies dressed up in fancy clothes and we listen to the MSM with questioning ears. 

Does this mean in a future ref the indy side, rather than have vague outlines, needs to have clearer promises? Perhaps? What would these be exactly – control of our resources, improved infrastructure, investment in R & D and education, a fair welfare system, business opportunities and investment… 

According to Osborne, ‘SNP were put back in their box.’ ‘Lib Dems were a spent focre.’ This also ruined Labour in Scotland – who barely got a mention in this series. Except for the very funny video shot in Glasgow of the Labour Mps descending to the music of Darth Vadar, " Our imperial over lords are here to rule us.’"! Or the blustering speeches of yesterdays man, Gordon Brown making promises he had no way of ever keeping!

Wednesday 14 March 2018

The Year of Young People 2018

There will be programs and festivals to celebrate young people's voices this year.
I attend Celtic Connections festival every January in Glasgow and enjoy the diverse mix of cultures and music. One of the most interesting aspects is the platform the festival offers young emerging talent –

*The young musicians who drew attentions this year –  Talisk, Siobhan Miller, Siobhan Wilson, Friel Sisters,  Rura, Alasdair Roberts, Kathryn Joseph, Misha Macpherson. Elephant sessions, Saltfishforty.I have also been reading of the backward looking Brexit nonsense – young people did not vote for these poorer futures – 16 and17 years olds were not allowed to vote in the 2016 referendum.

It’s a tough world for young people these days. Many have no prospects of ever owning their own home or ever having a pension. I worry many are distracted by online game playing too! MEANWHILE many pensioners spend their massive drop downs on holidays and renovating homes. The UK depends on this false London housing bubble that will surely burst.

With Brexit there are very serious issues over the Northern Ireland border and Scottish rights. I read of a British/Irish Convention which sat 10 years ago, which addressed questions such as the Irish language. There is talk of holding another convention over the question of a hard border. Westminster purposes an electronic border but is this really workable?

My first thought was - bring in the teenagers, students, twenty year olds to discuss what kind of future they want. There is far too much emphasis on what the old want, and it is not their futures.

This could most certainly is not be about out dated empire building or 300 year old European religious wars. Many young people are very angry and their futures are being neglected by selfish baby boomers and their large drop downs.   
Our links to Europe – There are the great European literary traditions from Greece to Rome, to the Renaissance through the Reformations. 

The latest Brexit is that May wants to leave the EU customs union and single market – in order to join a new EU customs non -frictionless trade arrangement where the UK can make their own rules on certain things and abide by the EU rules on others? First we’re in Europe with Opt Outs now out of Europe with Opt Ins! What’s really going on. Scotland never voted for this foolish Brexit, it makes me angry and sad. 

Apparently the significant Scottish Youth theatre is to loose its funding., in the Year of Young People. 

‘We need to remind ourselves that,  as Europe is a whole (and still, in it progressive mutilation an disfigurement, the organism out of which any world harmony must develop) so European literature is a whole, the several members of which cannot flourish, if the same blood-stream does not circulate throughout the whole body.

The blood-stream of European literature is Latin and Greek – not as the systems of circulation, but a one, for it is through Rome that our parentage in Greece must be traced.’   TS Eliot lecture to Virgil society 1944

Sunday 26 June 2016

Brexit: Has the Nation State changed?

Now is a time to look at the bigger pictures after this surprise Leave EU vote by middle England’s older voters. In todays world of instant Internet connections and easy travel - perhaps the Nation State and what it means has changed irreversibly? 

Its important to know and understand both our nationhood and our interconnections with other places.  Perhaps it is necessary to be grounded in order to be outward-looking?

Englanders want England back it seems. Scottish people want Scotland back too. What this all means for Ireland or for their ancient old rivalries is hard to call – will the northern Irish people really want old borders back again?

However what will this mean for scientists and others who rely on co-operation and funding in Europe?

The rest of England has spoken up against the Elites of both London and Europe. Just as Scotland too has been speaking against these elites. The banking crash of 2009 is causing major upheavals.

**The EU is not a Super state – neither a state nor an empire but a union of states and peoples whose policies were arrived at through consensus seeking and compromise.” 

Scotland has voted to REMAIN in Europe and Nicola Sturgeon has said another independence referendum is now on the table. 

**CELTIC Interconnections Against Imperialism of northern Europeans are discussed by historians Alan Raich and Alexander Moffatt, All the ways of marking beliefs and expressing power, and understanding of our heritage and place in the world.
“British nationalism and legacy of imperialism, comes to the 21st century through contemporary mass media every day and evening”
Perhaps this VOTE has been about the Control and Lies of Murdoch's press?

Tuesday 20 October 2015

Iain MacWhirter: Disunited Kingdom talk Edinburgh book festival 2015:

Iain MacWhirter - Disunited Kingdom: How Westminster Won a Referendum but Lost Scotland
Award- winning Scottish journalist and political commentator for the Herald Iain MacWhirter, has written his second book on the Scottish Referendum 'Disunited Kingdom" How Westminster won a Referendum but Lost Scotland".  
He writes that the SNP 167 pages indie light White Paper was pretty much the same as what Regions in other federal states enjoy. We may say that there is a fine line between Indie light and Federal states that pretty much run all their own affairs. He argues that the Union has been presented as a partnership of equals and of two nations joining together – as a moral union in 1707, which has now been broken by the chancellor George Osborne.

MacWhirter takes a broad and informed view as an insider of both Westminster and Holyrood politics. He also reported frequently on the Scottish Referendum, in the Herald and Sunday Herald. His first book was The Road to Referendum. He gave a talk at Edinburgh book festival 2015 about how inspirational the whole Referendum process was and how it engaged so many different voice
In MacWhirter’s view nationalism in Europe has now replaced class warfare. "Decline of industrial class politics and the rise of regionalism in Europe, nationalism is proving to be a new organising principle in democratic engagement."  
He writes that, "Young people see independence as the only viable challenge to globalization and the dominance of neo liberalisation."  Civic nationalism allows for a means of progressing the democratic process.

For him an independent Scotland would be a better society. There is a huge democratic deficit between Scotland and England and are now on very different paths. He argues that baby steps devolution is not workable and it would be better from a position of implicit sovereignty strength through independence to then remake the UK holistically. To then work to establish new ground rules to work alongside the other UK nations. This is pretty much the thinking that I believed with regard to Scotland and that federalism will not be achievable through Westminster.

He has visited many other federal states to gather information on how their Federalism works. The Scottish Parliament is NOT the strongest devolved parliament in the world. Regions like Quebec or Alaska are practically independent as we in the UK would describe it. – they control ALL their taxes, economy, borrowing etc. Only foreign affairs and defence are shared. 

*MacWhirter had three main reasons for his decision to vote for Scottish Independence
The first reason was that England sees little need for Federalism and seems happy with the Westminster system. The second was the SNP White Paper (at 167 pages) of indie light – was in affect so light and safe, how was it independence at all? So much would remain the same.  Real Independence statements are normally short ones......!
I agree - playing it safe may have been the right thing five years ago - but now we need to be more radical!  Otherwise what's the point? 

His third, and most important reason, was Osborne's saying that Scotland could not use its pound, while all those south of Hadrian's Wall could.  Even though the two countries are big trading partners.  In his mind this broke the moral union. 

I agree with many of his arguments with some reservation. MacWhirter doesn’t feel that the UK is a repressive state. In my view unless Labour politicians leave the House of Lords – this is still a country of patronage, elitism and inequality. The UK is a top-down hierarchy. The Land Reform Bill is also crucial too with the gross ownership of Scottish land by only a few. 
Also at the Union of the Parliaments there was a great deal of coercion placed on the Scottish Parliament – historian Tom Devine writes that troops were positioned at the border and in Northern Ireland, England also refused to trade with Scotland (Tom Devine, The Scottish Nation). Most of Scotland at the time was strongly opposed to the Union. Of course there were back then some advantages of the Union, as all the political elite left Edinburgh for London with James VI and his court!  Which meant the great thinkers were free to have their discussions and we had the Scottish Enlightenment.

The English press appeared to believe that the SNP was about right wing thugs and attempted to portray this in the media. Nothing could be further from the truth. The grassroots indie campaign was energetic and inspired and led by articulate artists, journalists, scientists and business people from all walks of life.

*MacWhirter presented Westminster Live for ten years before returning to Scotland in 1999 to present Holyrood Live in 1999. He wrote Road to Referendum.