BBC still manipulating the news

BBC Scotland’s Sarah Smith highlighted yet again why journalists are so poorly trusted within Scotland. Her attempts to smear the First Minister by saying (twice apparently) that Nicola Sturgeon was ‘enjoying’ the pandemic as she could set her own lockdown rules, different from the rest of the UK.  Of course, as the First Minister pointed out she 99130323_2667394680165167_5260931034580516864_oisn’t enjoying or embracing the daily delivery of the number of people dying from coronavirus. To suggest so is lamentable. It really says more of Sarah Smith than it does of anyone else. The First Minister – in complete contrast to the waste of space currently residing in a fridge in 10 Downing Street – has shown true leadership, presenting almost every coronavirus briefing while Boris Johnson has barely been seen, leaving his duties to an array of talentless, lying, failed spin merchants (also known as the Tory Government).

And as for the nonsense of Scotland going its own way, anyone who has paid attention – which obviously excludes the BBC’s Sarah Smith- would realise that it is the Tory 98174159_3520732824606931_2509946177311473664_nGovernment who have taken England on a different route from the rest of the UK nations. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are all following the Stay at Home message while England hasn’t a clue what it’s doing thanks to Boris Johnson’s incoherent ramblings. Apparently, people in England have to Stay Alert – as if keeping an eye out for an invisible virus will ensure their safety!

To compound matters, Smith then tries the tired old non-apology routine. In true BritNat journalist style, she never apologises in the same manner her insult was made – i.e. live on the ten o’clock news. Instead she releases a couple of tweets which coincidentally allows her to repeat her accusations, ensuring that anyone who missed the initial broadcast will see Smith’s claims, and of course all the search engines online will associate the First Minister with ‘enjoying the lockdown’.

Quite rightly the First Minister said to her the matter is closed, she has more important things to think about but that gave the BBC the excuse they needed to shut down all the complaints against Smith. The only way to treat the BBC is to stop paying the TV licence. You shouldn’t pay to be lied to. The BBC has a long history of manipulating the news to suit the establishment’s political agenda – it is not an unbiased source of news. Go online and watch London Calling to see the devious tactics the BBC used during the Scottish Independence campaign in 2014.

Just as I was typing this up, I see that the UK newspaper industry are using the current crisis to hide their circulation figures. Maybe a wee peak at Wings Over Scotland will reveal the true crisis within the newspaper industry which was developing long before someone order a bat sandwich from a Wuhan takeaway! With lockdown many newspapers are suffering, people have realised getting a daily paper isn’t so important in times of crisis. If this habit has been broken, why would anyone go back to picking up a newspaper once lockdown is over?

After all, there are more credible sources online – whether that’s Wings Over Scotland, Wee Ginger Dug, Independence Live or many other websites, so why return to the printed press (unless it’s the National or the Scots Independent of course)?

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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Don’t trust Labour on devolution

Power devolved is power retained – or so the old saying goes.  The UK Government can always over-rule a devolved government, forcing them to do as they want rather than want the members of the devolved parliament prefer.

79refThe British Labour Party is a reluctant supporter of devolution, it was their MPs who, in 1979, created the 40% rule which effectively killed off the devolved Scottish Parliament which Labour has promised to create.  The 40% rule – where 40% of the electorate had to vote in favour of devolution – had never been used before or since.  This was at a time when the electoral rolls were not as up to date as they currently are and it was accepted that the 1979 referenduminformation they contained could be as much as 18 months out of date.  This meant, for instance, that people who had died but hadn’t yet been removed from the electoral roll were effectively counted as ‘No’ voters – making the 40% target a very difficult one to reach.

When Scotland did eventually win its devolved Parliament, Labour insisted we didn’t scotexecemb1have a government – we had an ‘Executive’, a very bland description of the body of MSPs who were charged with the responsibility for a whole host of public services.  Labour’s record (supported by their Lib Dem lapdogs) was unambitious.  Everyone knew of the housing problems following the destruction of council housing via the ‘Right to Buy’ policy but Labour’s reaction was to build a grand total of 6 council houses across Scotland in their last four years in power!  The only thing they excelled in was dumping massive debts on the Scottish ‘Executive’ via their dodgy PFI scam, resulting in around £30 billion of debt as councils and the NHS had to pay exorbitant rates for new public buildings.  For instance, £100 million worth of new schools in Renfrewshire will cost the council tax payers in Renfrewshire over £530 million when the contract eventually finishes.

Labour don’t want a powerful Scottish Parliament; they don’t want devolution to work as it only highlights that decisions made in Scotland are better for the people of Scotland.  Let’s not forget it was a former Labour Minister, Lord Foulkes, who complained that the SNP Scottish Government were deliberately making public services in Scotland ‘manifestly better than south of the border’.

scotgov logo

Labour only want to create a feeble Scottish Parliament that is used to offset what they don’t like coming out of Westminster – even though their own MPs don’t do enough to criticise or even vote against such policies!  Why vote when you can abstain appears to be the motto of Labour under Corbybn!

Even though Corbyn recently echoed the comments of a UN investigator who said that, “it is outrageous that devolved administrations need to spend resources to shield people from (UK) government policies” that hasn’t stopped a Labour MSP from claiming (wrongly) that the SNP Scottish Government could mitigate the rape clause. Instead of attacking the Tories for introducing such changes, Labour decide to use this appalling legislation to attack the SNP.

Labour can never be trusted with our Parliament again and their constant bickering about mitigating Tory cuts should only serve as a reminder of just how useless this political party has become.

Are you talking to me?

There is a very interesting blog on the Random Public Journal called, “Quit talking to the BBC” that is definitely worth reading.

Quit talking to the BBCThis blog examines the historic role and mission of the BBC and how this relates to the way this organisation frames any political debate that is counter to the BBC’s support for the British establishment.  Instead of reading my views on it why not click the link here: https://randompublicjournal.com/2018/08/01/quit-talking-to-the-bbc/ and read it for yourself.

Part Time Parliamentarians

Plenty has been written about the archaic procedures within the House of Commons, especially the bizarre routine of voting by marching through lobbies, but the established UK parties weren’t that bothered about it.  If anyone said let’s move forward to a modern method of electronic voting, not only will it speed up the voting process, but it will also allow more time for debate – the usual answer was that this was part of the traditions of the House and shouldn’t be tampered with.

On 12th June we saw impact of this antiquated voting system when it came to the powers of devolution in Scotland.  Instead a full debate on the impact of Brexit and the powers of the devolved Scottish Parliament, the drawn-out voting process resulted in only around 15 minutes being allotted to discuss these important issues.  That was enough time for one Tory Minister to speak and no SNP, or even Scottish MPs had the chance to speak before Parliament voted to change the devolution settlement (more to come in another post).  The Tories, who haven’t won a majority of votes in Scotland since 1955, managed to grab powers which should be the preserve of the Scottish Parliament. The devolution settlement has been changed – and all the while the Labour MPs from Scotland abstained!  This will now allow the Tory UK Government to intervene in what should be Scotland’s business, as and when they want.

Last night, the House of Commons was debating UK Government spending plans, the very same plans that impose austerity across Scotland and the rest of the UK.  The SNP group decided to call a number of votes on this issue – each time forcing MPs to troop through the corridors, taking up time until the Tories won the vote – mainly because the majority of Labour MPs had something better to do.  They were sitting in bars watching the England World Cup match!

SNP Westminster Group Deputy Leader said:

“To be clear, the estimates is the breakdown of UK Government spending by department.  It’s our only chance to vote on UK Government spending.  It’s not really obscure.

“The process has only been changed this year to make it less obscure after pressure from us.  It should be reformed further though!”

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford also raised a point of order.  He said:

“Perhaps it is pertinent given some of the angst from the government benches to point out what has happened this evening.

“The reason we’re here is because of government business.  It is the government that is responsible for timetabling.  And this was the only opportunity we have had to speak out against the continued austerity from this Conservative government and the attack on the budget of Scotland.

“But more importantly, three weeks ago we had a power grab against the powers of the Scottish Parliament.  And I signalled to the Conservative Government then, that what they have done, is act against the consent of the Scottish parliament and the Scottish people … it would no longer be business as usual, and I now commend the Scottish National Party for standing up for Scotland tonight.”

Devolution is Dead: Dissolve the Union

The past couple of days have highlighted the contempt in which Scotland is held by British Nationalist politicians. All the promises of the infamous Vow of 2014 have been abandoned as have the calls for Scotland to ‘lead not leave’ the UK.

The shambolic Brexit debate severely limited the time allowed to discuss the implications Brexit would have on Scotland’s devolved Parliament, allowing only 15 minutes to discuss the Tory Power Grab – 15 minutes which were then taken up by a Tory minister. Contrast this to the debate in 1998 when the Scottish Parliament Bill took over 350 days to debate within the House of Commons, yet those devolved powers have been clawed back in around 15 minutes. This isn’t some hypothetical situation – this is the Tory Government in Westminster now grabbing powers over farming, fishing, the environment, food standards and a host of other devolved issues. Scotland’s ban on GMO’s could go as could our blocking of Fracking – it will be up to a Tory Minister in London on how these, and many other, issues will be decided.

And when the SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP asked the Speaker what options are available (referring to Scotland, devolution and the lack of debate) a Tory MP – Ian Liddell-Grainger – shouts out ‘Suicide’! That is the contempt in which our representatives, and in turn the people of Scotland, are held by the British Nationalists within Westminster.

SNP walkout
SNP MPs walkout of Westminster Parliament

The latest fiasco of the Speaker refusing to allow a division (vote) during Prime Ministers Question Time which sparked the walkout of the SNP (the 3rd largest party in Westminster) is treated merely as a stunt. Democracy is under attack. Scotland, which hasn’t elected a majority of Tories since 1955, is about to see it’s Parliament over-ruled by Westminster.

And what of Labour and the Lib Dems. As expected the Labour MPs sat on their hands and abstained – they sat back and let the Tories do as they wish – again! Corbyn is no saviour for the working class in either Scotland or the UK, he is no more than a Tory stooge, happy to play the role of opposition leader without having to oppose their policies!

As for the Lib Dems, surely the most bizarre reason for not backing the SNP’s defence of the Scottish Parliament was given by Jo Swinson MP who claimed that she was abstaining from voting as she couldn’t support the motion of the power grab as the Scottish Parliament was against it but couldn’t vote against it as it would mean denying the Welsh Assembly what they wanted! In case Jo Swinson has forgotten she is the MP for East Dunbartonshire – in Scotland, yet she seems to have more concern about what people in Wales want rather than her own constituents.

With devolution now in its death throes its time to up the campaigning to dissolve the union with Scotland and the UK.

The SNP has launched a petition to protect the powers of the Scottish Parliament – please click the link and sign this, as well as getting involved in local campaigns to persuade more voters that devolution is dead – we need our Independence Now!Hands Off Petition

Would you trust the Tories with our Parliament?

I think most people in Scotland wouldn’t.  Nor would we have much faith in their Brit Nat pals in the Labour and Lib Dem parties.  After all they didn’t exactly keep to the promises they made in their infamous vow during the 2014 Scottish Independence Referendum.

scottish parliamentYet according to most of the mainstream media (and especially the Tory propaganda machine formerly known as the BBC), we are to believe it’s only Nicola Sturgeon’s intransigence that has stopped her signing a deal which will see Westminster take control of powers which should be reserved to the Scottish Parliament – and only for seven years!  Aye Right!

Apparently because the Welsh First Minister has caved in and agreed (while strangely announcing his retirement only a few days earlier) the Scots should do likewise.  All the press coverage was on the SNP refusing to agree terms and not why was Westminster westminsterwanting take away our Parliament’s powers.  The pending retirement of the Welsh First Minister also seemed to come out of nowhere – was he pushed?  I suppose we’ll only find out once he releases his biography, but there is some speculation on why his Labour party have agreed to all the demands made by Theresa May’s Tory Government.

Many of us believe that the current Scottish Parliament is inadequate and doesn’t have the full powers necessary to transform Scotland into a vibrant and fairer society so why should we give up what limited powers we have!  After all didn’t all the Brit Nat parties boast about Scotland having the most powerful devolved parliament in the world?

If the Tories get their hands on the powers of the Scottish Parliament then they will ride roughshod over the wishes of the Scottish electorate and try to bring Scotland back into line with Westminster policies.  This could mean:

  • the Scottish countryside opened up for fracking;
  • the right to buy re-introduced;
  • the bedroom tax re-introduced;
  • Police numbers slashed until we end up with a rising crime rate similar to what is happening in England;
  • prescription charges re-introduced (currently £8.60 in England);
  • privatisation of the Scottish NHS;
  • student tuition fees re-introduced (up to £9,000 per year);
  • GMOs allowed in Scottish farming and so on … the list is virtually endless.

Instead of having a Parliament in Scotland defending Scottish policies we will have to rely on 35 SNP MPs plus hopefully 4 Plaid Cymru MPs to somehow overturn the votes of 611 Brit Nat politicians intent on showing the Scots that our Parliament is secondary to Westminster.

The solution is simple.  Independence. Let’s all work to make this happen.

What is the point of the Labour Party?

Seriously, what is the point of the Labour Party these days?

After copying SNP demands for a House of Commons debate on the Prime Minister’s bloodlust in Syria, Labour were granted an emergency debate on Syria on 16th April.  This debate was mainly about whether the Tory Government should have consulted Parliament before launching any attack on Syria rather than an effective debate on whether such action was justified.  In fact, an alarming amount of Labour MPs seem to have swallowed the Tory/ BBC propaganda about the alleged chemical weapons attack without any question.

However, when it comes to having a vote only 1 Labour MP – Dennis Skinner – actually bothers to hang around long enough to vote (he sided with the SNP).  All the other Labour MPs simply failed to vote.

Syria vote

An opposition which doesn’t oppose is no opposition at all. The Labour Party is complicit in all the actions of this Tory Government when they fail to stand up against them.