A real Scottish Labour Party?  Maybes aye maybes naw

The extremely disappointing UK general election result for Labour has led to some in their Scottish branch office to look at the option of creating a separate Labour Party in Scotland.  Leading this charge has been Labour list MSPs Neil Findlay and Monica Lennon, with the latter highlighting her thoughts on the issue in the Daily Record recently.

monica lennon splitTheir theory is that the British Labour party in Scotland was tarnished by the policies of the London based Labour party, which resulted in them losing all but one seat in Scotland.  Their concern was that the Scottish leader was isolated and his policy statements were often contradicted by Labour spokespeople from London, including Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell.  Their solution is to split the Scottish section from the London party and form an autonomous Scottish Labour Party, one that can form its own policy ideas.  This would mean raising their own funds, persuading trade unions to affiliate and voting with their sister party (London Labour) – if persuaded.  It would be seen as a bold move but will the current Labour leadership go for it?   Ms Lennon has submitted these proposals to the Labour party’s review of last month’s elections but already she’s stated that this isn’t about supporting independence (which she opposes) but about having decisions about Scotland’s future taking place in Scotland rather than Westminster.

Some Labour sources have already dismissed this argument, fearing that advocating separate structures within the party lessens any credibility in supporting devolution rather than independence.  The British Labour Party in Scotland has had some form of devolved structures within the London Labour party, with its own executive committee and its own policy making body, however any policies made are routinely ignored in UK terms.  It seems Labour is struggling to adapt to devolution and, after 20 years of the Scottish Parliament, appear to have hit the buffers when it comes to offering distinctive policies for the Scottish electorate.  For instance, during the UK general election the London led Labour party was pursuing a policy agenda which simply lifted SNP policies which Labour MSPs had repeatedly campaigned and voted against!

It’s unlikely a review led by the same people who were in charge of Labour’s disastrous general election campaign will amount to much. The idea that the Labour party in Scotland could attempt some greater form of separation is fanciful, the Scottish branch office relies too heavily on its income from London – and during Scottish elections it also relies heavily on Labour members from other parts of the UK to come up to campaign for them.  It is however, ironic that at least some Labour politicians (and I suspect more of their members) are now effectively arguing not for further devolution of the Scottish branch from London Labour but are effectively suggesting independence for their branch!  At least now the argument that decisions made about Scotland’s future should be taken in Scotland is taking hold within the Labour party.

Whether this move is a genuine attempt to reflect modern Scotland and the desire for more powers or whether its simply a feeble attempt to raise profiles and perhaps simply save the jobs of current politicians we will just have to wait and see.

How dare you be happy!

The BritNat media really do know how to work themselves into a lather over any little thing!  Their latest outburst was over the reaction of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon MSP when the SNP’s Amy Callaghan won her election in East Dunbartonshire.  Amy had come from behind to beat the sitting MP who also happened to be the Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson.  Normally you would expect a political party to throw its whole weight behind its leader, to ensure that they win, so this would have made it an even tougher battle for Amy, irrespective of how close the gap may have been between the parties at the start of the election campaign.

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However, as Jo Swinson found to her cost, the advantage of constant TV coverage started to work against her as the voters started to realise just how bad a candidate she was. Every time she appeared on a leaders debate her approval rating plummeted.  The fake accent, the phoney bar graphs and the outright lies of being the largest remain party started to take its toll.  Add in the reminder of the LibDems propping up David Cameron’s Tory Government along with the bedroom tax, the rape clause and constant austerity saw Lib Dem support fall rapidly.

Is it any surprise that the leader of a political party would celebrate one of their candidates winning an election – especially if this victory wasn’t expected?  Of course not, its entirely natural.  If the media were upset about Sturgeon’s reaction then I would hate for them to realise the reaction across the rest of Scotland where there were massive celebrations about Swinson losing!

It may also be worth remembering the reactions of BritNats when Alex Salmond, Angus Robertson and co lost their seats in 2017.  Was there any condemnation of BritNat politicians by the media? was there hell!  They joined in with the BritNat celebrations. The same happened in 2014 after the Scottish Independence Referendum.

So if the BritNat media are concerned about a party leader celebrating a great victory tell them to get stuffed. Its just another typical two-faced attack on the SNP and Scottish Independence Movement by the hypocritical BritNat media.  The vast majority of Scottish voters – and not only independence supporters – enjoyed seeing Swinson fail, it was our Scottish ‘Portillo’ moment and we’re not going to apologise for enjoying seeing an absentee MP lose her seat, in fact I’m going to watch it again online for the sheer thrill of it!

 

It’s Still Scotland’s Oil

chancellorThe condescending comments by the Chancellor, Phillip Hammond that ‘Scotland gets its fair share, and precious little thanks we get for it’ are appalling but they highlight the mentality of the British Government.

Thanks to the National a lot more Scots are aware of the lost generation of Scots who were robbed of the investment that our extensive oil and gas resources could have generated.  The McCrone Report clearly shows that successive Labour and Tory Governments connived to keep the truth of the extent of Scotland’s natural resources from the Scottish people.  Instead they claimed such resources were worthless and were running out anyway; simply lying to the electorate to keep our resources to prop up a failing UK economy.

thatcher oilAnyone who has read the McCrone Report will be aware of just how much Scotland has lost out on and how the two main British political parties worked to deny a generation of Scots the benefits of our natural resources.

Yet instead of an apology we’re treated to comments like that of the Chancellor – as if we’ve to be grateful for them hoovering up all our resources and then flicking a few crumbs in our direction!

It’s good to see in today’s National (http://bit.ly/2Hu7SYT) that former Scottish Office statistician Jim Cuthbert is calling for an Independent Scotland to get compensation from the UK Government for £100 billion worth of misappropriated oil revenues.

“Securing adequate resources to back a new Scottish currency will be critical. In this context, the question of compensation for the oil revenues which were effectively misappropriated by Westminster has to be addressed,” Jim Cuthbert

scotlands oilWe need to use this line to highlight to those that are currently undecided how much we have all been lied to by successive UK Governments.  The publication of the McCrone Report will help but not everyone will take the time to read it, but if we can highlight its relevance through our demand for compensation then let’s do it.

Let’s not waste any more resources, time or energy waiting for the UK to treat Scotland as an equal partner – it’s time we demand our independence.

 

 

… and for those who do want to read the McCrone Report – simply click the link below:

https://www.thenational.scot/news/17461406.this-is-what-westminster-doesnt-want-you-to-read-the-mccrone-report-in-full/?ref=mr&lp=1

 

Another Hiccup for Mundell!

loch fyne gin
One of the many gins produced in Scotland but ignored by the Secretary of State for Scotland!

I don’t drink gin but I know someone who does.  They like to try as many as possible but particularly favour trying Scottish gins, after all Scotland now produces something like 70% of all the gins made in the UK.  You would think that many Scots would favour their local produce, after all it helps to promote jobs and the economy in Scotland.

However, there is one person which this doesn’t apply to, David Mundell MP – the Secretary of State for Scotland!  His department have been busily promoting Forest Gin – made in Macclesfield Forrest, Cheshire, England via their UK Government in Scotland social media channels.  They used to be the Scottish Office but that sounded to ‘nationalist’ for them so they had a quick rebrand (at taxpayers expense) to emphasis their role as part of the UK Government.

Surely Mr Mundell’s department – which was criticised for failing to intervene to save 450 jobs at the Youngs Pinney site in Annan while the UK Government gave the same company a grant to create 200 similar jobs in England – could have found at least one Scottish gin producer?  Are we now in the situation where a UK Government department which is meant to bring benefits to Scotland actually uses its time and resources to promote English competitors?

Yet again this will leave many people asking – what exactly is the point of David Mundell MP – and his ‘UK Government in Scotland’?

 

In defence of the Sunday Herald …

… nope, sorry I haven’t got anything!

Sunday Herald YesThe Sunday Herald came out in support of Scottish Independence back in May 2014 but in the past few months more and more Independence supporters have felt the paper slipping back from such support.  I suspect most independence supporters are happy for any newspaper that supports independence to be a critical friend, one that helps improve our arguments for independence rather than one that blindly supports all calls for independence, irrespective of how logical or relevant they may be.

However, something has changed within the Sunday Herald.

Their main investigative reporter has been producing attacks on SNP politicians that the Scotsman would be proud of and the coverage of the Indy March in Glasgow really was the last straw for many.  How anyone – let alone experienced journalists – could print the photograph appearing to show equal numbers of Brit Nats and Indy marchers (along with the caption claiming there were ‘ugly confrontations’) and not expect complaints is beyond me.  The Sunday Herald indy march glasgowwilfully misrepresented the indy march for reasons known only to themselves.  The following week’s diatribe only added fuel to the fire of discontentment with the paper.

Then to make matters even worse, its news editor decided that it was okay for her to ‘out’ an MP’s partner and then follow this up with a pathetic ‘apology’ which was nothing of the sort.  Of course, the said news editor is now claiming that she is the victim of online attacks – again – despite showing no regard whatsoever for the person she outed.

It seems the Sunday Herald is drifting further and further away from its support of Scottish Independence, it’s definitely doing what it can to piss off as many independence supporters as possible.  If they lose readers (and they will from the independence side) then they have no one to blame but themselves.

In the meantime I’ll be relying on the National, the excellent iScot magazine and all the usual online sources from Peter Bell to Wings over Scotland.  Below are links to both Peter Bell’s and Wings’ interpretation of the Sunday Herald’s recent actions.

https://peterabell.blog/2018/05/13/sunday-heralds-death-rattle/

https://wingsoverscotland.com/the-angry-man/

If ye want something done, ye need to dae it yersel

Another excellent article by the Wee Ginger Dug in today’s (Saturday 14th October) edition of the National, highlighting the need for those of us who support Scottish Independence to get active.  Independence isn’t going to happen by just sitting there waiting for it, and when a referendum is called surely it would be better if we’ve already laid the groundwork and convinced more people to choose Independence?

WGD 14Oct17

http://www.thenational.scot/comment/15596208.Wee_Ginger_Dug__Don_t_wait_for_permission_____here___s_what_we_must_do_NOW_to_fight_for_indy/

paul-kavanagh-and-wee-ginger-dugI was fortunate to hear Paul Kavanagh (aka Wee Ginger Dug – and just to note the dug isn’t that wee) at my SNP branch meeting last weekend.  He was one of the best guest speakers we’ve had, providing a strong case for independence with just the right mix of humour and information.  If anyone else is looking for a guest speaker you can’t go wrong with inviting Paul (and his dug).

https://paisleyindependent.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/wee-ginger-dug-addresses-local-snp-branch/

paul-and-crowd

 

 

 

 

 

What’s in a name?

As you can see from above, the title of this blog is Rock and Rhetoric.  I ran through a few other suggestions looking for a title that would reflect what I am thinking of blogging about.

To acknowledge my interest in music and guitars I went for the Rock title (even though the main styles of music will vary between rock, blues and heavy metal). As for the rhetoric title?  Well the other main theme of this blog will be about politics, certainly from a Scottish Independence viewpoint, but other political issues may well emerge.  I struggled to think of one all-encompassing term and settled for Rhetoric – after all politics (and politicians) survive on a diet of words and arguments.

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