Another one bites the dust …

CiRpSvPXEAAfK1RSo, she’s finally had enough – Ruth Davidson has walked away from her role as the leader of the Tory party in Scotland.  Everyone thought her missing in action routine when Boris Johnson decided that dealing with democratic politics was too much for him, that she was indulging in one of her many disappearing acts.

Being the darling of the UK mainstream media, Davidson has never had to work hard to avoid a difficult question – simply because those BritNat journalists never ask her anything more difficult than what was her favourite colour!  So, when Boris dropped his bombshell on Wednesday it wasn’t too surprising that Ruth Davidson was nowhere to be found.  Of course, UK journalists didn’t waste much time looking for her, and BBC Scotland couldn’t find anyone to doorstep her – as they’ve routinely done with SNP politicians!

You would have thought reaction for the media’s favourite (Scottish) Tory would have been relevant to Johnson’s prorogation of Parliament.  After all Davidson made it clear throughout the Tory leadership campaign that she was voting ABB (Anyone But Boris), working her way through a number of contenders as they all fell by the wayside. No doubt her support was seen as a poisoned chalice as it was a guarantee that everytime she publicly declared for one of the candidates they would lose!

She’s claiming she wants more time with her family – now that she has a young son – and the thought of leading the Scottish branch of a political party would take too much time out of her family life.  Fair enough, everyone should have the chance to spend time with their families, unfortunately due to Tory policies and their mismanagement of the economy not everyone will have that opportunity.  Too many people are working multiple jobs simply to make ends meet, they don’t have the luxury of an MSPs wage to survive on.

davidson_euMaybe it’s no coincidence she started reconsidering her future during the European elections when the gloss came off her leadership as the Tories fell to fourth place in the polls.  It was also clear she had no control over the Tory MPs representing Scottish constituencies and the constant stream of embarrassment over tweets and facebook messages from Scots Tories didn’t seem like letting up.  In the last week or so one Tory Glasgow Councillor boasted about getting a pension at 60 and not giving a damn about everyone else now facing to wait until they’re 75 and of course we had the tory activist being suspended over her comments about Nicola Sturgeon.  Davidson has never been able to deal with these people in her party and the mainstream BritNat media don’t bother looking into why she has no control.  Of course there was also the controversy over the dark money – who is funding the Tories and what are they getting out of it!  With Davidson gone the whole Tory campaign of backing Ruth’s candidate also falls by the wayside.  There will also be less talk of independence as Davidson mentioned the I-word more often than most of the SNP MSPs put together.

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Ruth Davidson has walked away from her party’s leadership but will remain an MSP for the time being – it’s not an onerous job when you do as little as her.  Maybe not being leader will give her time to do a couple of surgeries for her constituents – something she has consistently failed to do so for years?

She’s just another failed opposition leader who couldn’t make the breakthrough to take power from the SNP and will only be missed by the BritNat press who effectively invented her.

Bye, bye Democracy

No doubt many people will be describing the decision by Boris Johnson to close down Parliament to force through Brexit as the ‘death of democracy’ but the procedures which allow this to happens simply highlights the lack of democracy within the UK.
We have an unelected Prime Minister advising an unelected Head of State to close down the House of Commons where the democratically elected representatives of the public were wanting to use their democratic right to stop the government forcing through the results of an advisory referendum which was won by one side which broke numerous electoral laws.
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We have a weak Prime Minister struggling to keep control of Parliament, despite bribes to the DUP, who has surrounded himself with right wing zealots who are happy to crash the UK economy so that their tax dodging businesses can swoop in and asset strip as

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Tory Cabinet waiting to benefit from Brexit

much as possible.  The vultures within the Tory Cabinet are getting restless waiting for their time to pick the bones of the UK economy, ensuring that they benefit from everyone else’s Brexit misery.

Of course there is a better way than this.  Scotland shouldn’t be stuck in the middle of this. We need to move to Independence as quickly as possible to at least limit the damage that Brexit will impose on our economy.  It’s time for Independence.

We know who the real extremists are!

621162-scotland-secretary-alister-jack-leaves-10-downing-street-following-the-first-cabinet-meeting-with-neSo, the new Secretary of State for Scotland, Alister Jack MP, has claimed he sees no difference between the SNP and xenophobic, nationalist movements abroad.  He went on to describe the SNP as extremists and needing an enemy to thrive.

That’s some claim, especially coming from a Tory MP – who until his ascension to the UK Cabinet was a relative unknown in most of Scotland.  When Boris Johnson picked him for his cabinet most pundits and political watchers simply didn’t have a clue who he was and relied on google to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

According to this right wing, millionaire MP the SNP are extremists, but that’s not what their record in government shows.  How many extremist parties support policies to create a fairer more equitable society for all, and are particularly welcome to new members of our society – wherever they come from?  Since being in power the SNP has introduced policies such as the Baby Box and increased free childcare (all to give a better start in life for new-borns and their families), tuition free higher and further education (placing a priority over the ability to learn rather than the ability to pay) and introducing free prescriptions (ensuring everyone can access the medicines they require without worrying about the cost).  The SNP Scottish Government has also supported local businesses (with the small business bonus scheme), improved the Scottish Health Service (so that it is the best performing NHS in the UK) and even spends over £100 million per year offsetting Tory policies which are harming individuals, families and communities all across Scotland.

And all through this period in government the SNP has retained a massive lead in the opinion polls over all other political parties in Scotland.scotpollgraph

This is in contrast with the Tory policies which do so much harm.  The bedroom tax, universal credit and the rape clause are causing harm. Continued austerity which sees those on benefits demonised and cuts to essential public services have resulted in a massive rise in the use of foodbanks.  In fact, the rise of foodbanks – where ordinary people – many already in work – have to turn to charity to help feed themselves and their families is a staggering indictment of the Tories in power.  Essentially, they are using state powers to not only demonise the less well off but are effectively starving a section of our people.  These are the policies of extremists. Add to this list, the Tory plan to increase the state pension age to 75 – meaning many people will simply die before they receive their pension.  And not forgetting the current WASPI fiasco where the UK Government effectively reneged on pension promises to women born in the 1950s.  The Tory Government is riddled with right wing zealots happy with the economic turmoil that Brexit will cause as long as it doesn’t harm their own personal wealth.  No doubt they’ll be looking to benefit from Brexit as others are forced to foreclose on their businesses or even homes.

Boris-Johnson-s-Cabinet-1157676If Alister Jack wants to see extremists he should look around the cabinet table where he will see some of the most right-wing politicians ever assembled.  A cabinet full of Brexit extremists including one who was sacked for allegedly leaking information from a National Security Council meeting, another who resigned over a row about secret meetings with Israeli politicians and another who ignored civil service advice to continue to grant export licences to Saudi Arabia despite allegations of war crimes in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.  Of course, these cabinet meetings are led by someone who has twice been sacked from jobs for lying but I suppose it gives him more time to spend making model buses!

And as for the nonsense about the SNP needing an enemy to thrive – has Mr Jack read any of the election material put out by his own party?  Even current election literature for council by elections focus on Ruth Davidson hammering on about the SNP wanting to call an Independence Referendum, with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP mentioned more times than either Davidson or the Tory candidates. It seems it’s the Tories that need an enemy to thrive – although it might be a bit optimistic to call fighting for 2nd place in Scottish politics, well behind the SNP, as thriving!

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Finally, Mr Jack makes some ill-informed comments about the Keep Scotland the Brand campaign, wrongly trying to claim its some sort of SNP campaign.  It’s not.  It’s an independent non-political campaign supported by people of all political opinion, including the NFU Scotland. Mr Jack seems happy that Scottish farmers and producers are potentially losing out in the battle with major supermarkets downgrading their Scottish provenance to a British standard which has lower animal welfare and environmental standards.  For more on the essential Keep Scotland the Brand campaign follow this link – or better still get along to one of their public meetings.  This campaign is clearly doing more to stand up for Scotland’s farmers than the current Secretary of State for Scotland.

Alister Jack is just another BritNat politician putting Scotland down to further his own narrow BritNat policies.  It will be interesting to see if being made Secretary of State will result in Mr Jack actually taking part in debates in the House of Commons.  Prior to this appointment he spoke in only 11 debates in the last year, one of the poorest records of all MPs.  But then again if this is the rubbish he is going to come out with then maybe it’s better he remains silent.

 

 

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The same lies every year….

It’s groundhog day again – that time of year when the UK Government release the GERS figures (Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland) proclaiming that Scotland has a black hole in its finances. In reality these made up figures are simply a propaganda tool by the UK Government to make Scots think they can’t run their own country.

Each year the GERS figures will show how Scotland has a black hole in its economy and the dutiful BBC and the rest of the mainstream media will repeat this comment endlessly hoping it will strike a blow against Scottish Independence. However, the GERS figures are seriously flawed and its time the Scottish Government fought back.

So, what’s wrong with GERS?
Just about everything. The whole idea of GERS was to make Independence seem unattractive – try to make the Scottish people believe that they rely on subsidies and couldn’t run their own country. GERS was conceived as a political and propaganda tool with the figures behind GERS being manipulated to meet the required outcome.

Missing figures and added costs
Missing from Scotland’s figures are all the revenue from our oil fields – apparently the UK Treasury is unable to allocate these to a specific geographic region!  Also any Scottish goods which are exported from England do not appear as Scottish exports. Then on the other side of the equation, Scotland is given a pro-rata share of the costs of projects which will not benefit Scotland – i.e HS2 etc.

GERS relates only to Scotland within UK
The GERS figures relate to Scotland as part of the UK – in other words, under the current constitutional arrangements – with the UK retaining all the key economic levers, the UK Government estimate that Scotland has a gap in its funding. So, after over 300 years in this union – Scotland, a country rich with natural assets including oil, gas, water etc – still requires additional funding. If anything the GERS figures should be seen as a failure of the UK Government. How can a country like Scotland, so rich in natural resources, still require a subsidy? Clearly someone in the Treasury isn’t very good at their job. Of course, it’s worth remembering that according to UK records, India recorded a deficit for every year of the 180 years it was under British rule. During the same period it’s been estimated that Britain extracted £44 trillion of wealth from India! The UK Government was lying to India – it’s certainly lying to Scotland.

It’s also been reported that Scotland has a £12.6billion deficit and Wales has a £13.7billion deficit. The total UK deficit is allegedly £23.5billion! Are we really to believe that the rest of the UK (England and Northern Ireland) have no deficit?
If this deficit was anywhere near the truth why would the UK Government want to hold onto Scotland? They won’t even pay for a spare bedroom for those on benefits so why the hell would they support a country which they claim requires so much subsidy?

Former BBC Journalist Derek Bateman explains:

bateman gers

The GERS figures should not be taken as a serious assessment of the economy of Scotland. It is only a propaganda tool used by BritNats to claim Scotland couldn’t afford Independence. The GERS figures do not, in any way, relate to how an Independent Scotland would manage its economy.

Treat these figures with the contempt they deserve.

The other Leadership election …

The bookies were right – Jo Swinson MP has become the next leader of the Liberal Democrats, beating off Sir Ed Davey for the role.

This leadership election was obviously overshadowed by the Conservative leadership contest and as one of the minor political parties in both the UK and Scottish Parliaments there is currently a limit to the impact this party could make although that may change soon.

As the fourth largest political party in Westminster, the Lib Dem’s 12 MPs could prove crucial for a new Tory Prime Minister – whether a new general election takes place or not.  The only constant about the Lib Dems is their desire to jump into Ministerial Mondeos – despite being slaughtered at the polls for being the Tory coalition partners in the past, Jo Swinson has indicated it’s a role she’s willing to take again.  She’s made it clear that the only party she’ll work with in Westminster is the Tories.  That’s hardly surprising when you see her voting record – to all intents and purposes she is a Tory in disguise (and not much of one at that).

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And if her voting record isn’t bad enough, let’s not forget her championing the campaign to build a statue for Thatcher!  I don’t think any of this will go down well in Scotland where her party stagnates in fifth place with only 4 MSPs across the whole of Scotland (and potentially down to 3 if they lose the upcoming by election).

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It’s true that Swinson did win back her seat from the SNP in 2017 but a lot of questions were raised about the amount of money spent by the Lib Dem campaign, with serious concern that her campaign broke spending guidelines (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-40959614).

Of course, the big question that Swinson has failed to adequately answer is why her party fully supports and campaigns for a 2nd Euro Referendum but are vehemently opposed to a 2nd Scottish Independence Referendum.

Playing to the Audience

The two little rich kids vying to be the next leader of the Tories (and subsequently the next Prime Minister) aren’t interested in what you or I think.  They don’t care about the views of the public in general – they are only playing out their game in front of a select audience, that is the membership of the Tory party!

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Tory Party re-run of Dumb and Dumber

A recent article in the Guardian examined the current make-up of the Tory party (membership reported as 160,000 in May 2019) and found that:

  • 71% of members are male
  • One third of their members live in London or the South East
  • Average age of members is 57
  • Only 14% think government should redistribute income from the better off to the worse off
  • 54% would rather see their own party destroyed than have Brexit not take place
  • 63% would consider Scotland leaving the UK to be a price worth paying!
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Hunt not having a clue how to work a microphone

These are the people that Hunt and Johnson have to win over – these are the people who will decide which Prime Minister we get.  That is why tax cuts are on the agenda for both candidates – they are buying votes from their members, promising them more money as public services suffer even more austerity.  After all their members don’t generally believe in redistribution so why should they care about the poorest in society.

However, it does seem strange that the media are all over this election like a rash – vUW7COIexcept the BBC which seems to have already came out for Boris (maybe that’s something to do with the alleged ‘affiliation’ between Boris and the BBC’s so-called political editor Laura Keunssbeg).  But why the hell should the rest of us have to suffer this ongoing muppet show when we don’t have a say in who will be elected?

Whoever wins – we all lose!

It’s time to launch that lifeboat called Independence and get out of here!

 

Is any guitar worth $3.975 million?

The answer is yes if you’re a big (and rich) follower of Dave Gilmour.

Pink Floyd’s guitarist, singer and songwriter Dave Gilmour broke all records with the sale of over 120 of his guitars.  A massive $21.5 million was raised for the non-profit environmental law group – ClientEarth – from the auction.

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Lasting more than 8 hours with bids from over 66 countries, the auction was hosted by Christies from their New York office.

The showpiece item was Gilmour’s Black Strat – the iconic guitar used to record classic albums such as ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘The Wall’.  Although the auctioneers expected this guitar to go for around $150,000 it was sold for a massive $3,975,000 to Jim Irsay – owner of US football team the Indianapolis Colts.  A breakdown of all the items up for auction and their eventual sale price can be found on the Trogly’s Guitar Show:

trogly guitar show

https://youtu.be/sHiiciUnxN4

Play authentic! Gibson You Tube Fail

Just when guitar making giants Gibson seemed to be turning a corner, their debts being managed, new management team and new models launched they go and blow it.  In a Untitled design (2)YouTube message their Director of Brand Experience – Mark Agnesi – seemed to warn other guitar makers that Gibson was out to protect their brand image, whether that be the shape of a guitar, the names used or even their instruments appearing in movies.  Within days, and following a lot of ridicule online, Gibson pulled the video.

It seems that this approach was actually started under the previous management but they never quite got around to suing anyone but the new management have pushed ahead with the Untitled designcompany behind Dean guitars being served the relevant legal papers. It will be interesting to see how they get on since Dean have been using similar guitar shapes for 30 to 40 years, so it seems a little strange that Gibson would take this long to serve papers against them.

There are lots of online comments and videos slagging off Gibson but the best comes from Glen Fricker and Henning Pauly:

Boycott the Beeb

There is an online campaign to encourage everyone to boycott the BBC on Friday 21st June to show the public’s anger at the corporation for removing the free TV licence for all pensioners over 75 years old.

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To be fair though this was a decision forced on the BBC by the current Tory Government in Westminster.  Despite making a manifesto commitment to maintain the free TV licence for all pensioners over 75, the Tories simply got around that by passing the responsibility of this to the BBC – without passing the full funding.  Only pensioners over 75 who claim (or they partner claims) Pension Credit will now get a free TV licence – meaning the vast majority will now have to pay out £154.50 per year.

However, in their usual cack-handed way the BBC simply did the bidding of their Tory masters and found an excuse to slash the free TV budget while maintaining the money they need to pay the excessive executive salaries for their part time directors and of course the exorbitant fees for their main presenters.  There have been plenty of posts online highlighting just how much the BBC think their own directors are worth, never mind the eye watering salaries they give to the likes of Gary Linekar and co.    The online campaign has been picked up by some of the right wing newspapers (well apart from the National, most of them are right wing rags), who are stoking this up as another stick to beat up the BBC.

There have also been a few petitions doing the rounds including AgeUK who highlight the importance of accessing TV for elderly people (petition can be found here: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/our-impact/campaigning/save-free-tv-for-older-people/) as well as petitions to the UK Parliament, one of which has reach the 100,000 limit required to ensure a debate in Westminster about this issue. As yet no date has been agreed, but even if it does go ahead the debate cannot force the government to act.
Although the boycott may be a good sign to allow the public to show their dissatisfaction with the BBC maybe something stronger is required – such as a mass boycott of TV licences.

Scotland is poorly served by the BBC – its output is so bad that it would make Pravda blush.  Only yesterday a good news report about a reduction in alcohol sales is turned into a bad news story by the usual BBC Scotland reporters finding anyone off the street who disagrees with the policy and giving them all the airtime they need to slag off the policy.  More information on this and the BBC’s many failings in Scotland can be found at https://informscotland.com/. Even at the Women’s World Cup the BBC find a way at insulting Scottish viewers:

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The BBC will find it difficult to ever recover from their showing at the Scottish boycott BBC - is that trueIndependence Referendum in 2014, where their anti-Scottish bias was clear for everyone to see. This has been summarised in the documentary London Calling which can be london callingfound online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXQYuLUAbyw. This documentary is based on the excellent book by G A Ponsonby:  http://bit.ly/BBCstolethereferendum.

More and more people are realising that they are simply paying a TV licence to allow the BBC to broadcast misinformation and lies to them. This has led to an increase in the number of people cancelling their TV licence, or simply refusing to pay for one in the first place.

There is lots of information online on how to legally stop paying your TV licence and I’m sure that this would have a far greater impact on the BBC than a one day boycott. As long as you don’t watch live TV or BBC iplayer then you do not need a TV licence. You can watch catch up TV, Netflix, Amazon or whoever and do not require a TV licence. The BBC pays Capita to collect the TV licence – but these people from Capita have no powers to ask you any questions – so don’t reply to them and don’t let them into your house.tv licence facts

Further information can be found at: https://tvlicenceresistance.info/

How to deal with TV Licensing Harassment:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXcLqvFjMhE

use mandate

A Disunited Kingdom

disunited kingdomThe results from the EU election show a clear political split from Scotland and the rest of the UK (mainly England).  The rise of the Brexit party was halted, while the SNP took a massive 38% of the vote entitling them to 3 MEPs.  This was the highest vote share of any party in Western Europe, the largest ever margin of victory for any party in a Scottish EU election and the first time that any party has held 50% of seats since the introduction of proportional representation in 1999.  The SNP won the vote in 30 out of 32 council areas, coming second in both Orkney and Shetland and even then, increasing their share of the vote. It may not have been the best turnout for an election, although better than previous EU elections, but it is clear the SNP got their vote out.

The biggest loser in Scotland was Labour, losing both their MEP seats, including long serving MEP David Martin, and trailing in at fifth place in the results table with around 9% of the vote.  Apparently, this was Labour’s worst result in Scotland since 1910 – their members must be wondering how long they can keep Richard Leonard as leader, he is ineffectual in the Scottish Parliament, continuously confused between devolved and reserved issues and has obviously overseen a very poor election campaign.

no more referendumsThe Tory campaign – yet again – of making this election an attempt to stop the SNP getting another Independence Referendum failed spectacularly.  Their campaign was such a flop that Ruth Davidson sent out her deputy Jackson Carlaw to do the TV interviews.  Colonel Davidson must be hiding in a bunker greeting to herself after realising that she won’t be the next First Minister of Scotland!  Davidson plastered her own face all over the Tory leaflets endlessly obsessing about Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP and an Independence Referendum yet failed to make any inroads, with her party coming in fourth in the results table. If Davidson really believed in what she was saying in her literature then maybe its time for her to admit she was wrong and back a new IndyRef …. nigel-farage-milkshake-1558430783.jpgaye, right – more chance of Nigel Farage walking into a milkshake convention than that ever happening!

Of course, the BBC spent most of the time going on about how great a result this was for Farage and the Brexit Party.  That was to be expected as they’ve been promoting him for years, with only the presenters of Question Time appearing on the show more often than Farage.  However, if you look a bit closer you see that the Brexit party has really just replaced UKIP and gained a few extra percentage points on the vote as well as a few extra MEPs.  A good result for a completely new party – but in reality it was UKIP by another name, the same secret donors (no doubt breaking electoral rules as has happened in the past) and just a few different fascists from before.

In terms of the Leave/ Remain division – it seems that nothing has been cleared up.  The UK is still hopelessly split on the issue and the real danger is that the Tories, fresh from this doing from Farage, will choose a nutter like Boris Johnson who will be desperate for a no-deal Brexit.  Tory members will see this as the only chance to take votes from the Brexit Party. murray nutter

The Brexit impasse will not be resolved in Westminster.  Corbyn will lead his party into further abstentions as the clock ticks away to a no-deal Brexit by the deadline at the end of October.  Time will be limited to do anything else, will the Remainers in Westminster be strong enough to call for and win a second EU referendum? It’s unlikely.  Take into account the time for the Tories to choose a new leader, then it’s the summer recess followed by the autumn recess for the party conferences and that leaves around 4 or 5 weeks for any business to be carried out in Westminster.  That isn’t a lot of time, especially if you have a Prime Minister and an opposition leader who are both happy with a no deal option!

The other story from the EU election which has been dropped since the results came in was the missing EU citizens votes.  Has there been any further investigation into why so many EU citizens were denied their vote?  Was this a deliberate move by the Westminster political establishment, fearing that EU citizens were more likely to vote for Remain parties? Is this just another sign of the corruption in the failing democracy that is the UK?

Whatever happens now, it seems that too many voters in England have swallowed Farage’s crap – they believe he is going to make a difference. Yet the only difference he has made to now has been to inflate his own bank balance.  He is a political fraudster backed by dark money, from people who want to make money from selling off the NHS and other public services, from people who don’t want new EU rules tackling tax havens and money laundering and backed by not just the national press but by the BBC.  Yet again the BBC highlights that it is the true successor to Pravda.

However, in Scotland we have a lifeboat.  We can escape from the madness of Brexit and a UK that is becoming increasingly right wing and isolated from the rest of the world.  We can choose Independence.  It is up to us – Scottish Independence supporters – to make that change happen.  We don’t have to wait for Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP to launch an Independence campaign – we have to do it ourselves and do it now.  Sitting behind keyboards won’t win votes but by talking to your family, friends, neighbours everyone can make that difference. Scotland has a chance to escape the madness but only if we’re already doing the work to make it happen.  Let’s get out there, let’s start chapping doors, holding street stalls, rallies. marches – whatever it takes to persuade more people that the only escape from Brexit is Independence.

Indy nothing less dark

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