Tag Archives: scottish independence

The BBC are beyond a joke

I’ve had it with the BBC for a very long while, but my TV is in serious danger of getting a foot put through it and not just because I cant work the remote control.  Yes, yes, I know they make good drama, Eastenders is pretty good and hell historical drama and they are there, but for a public broadcaster; someone whose public responsibility it is to keep the public informed and knowledgeable, it is disgraceful.

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The Destruction of the Metropole

It is an odd situation that Scotland finds herself in at the moment.  A bit like a teenager, yearning for the freedom which is only a few years away but seems like a lifetime is to be lived until the magic date which will denote the beginning of our independence.  And like a teenager we must make good use of the intervening period to ensure that our freedom once obtained is not shackled by repeating mistakes that many have made before and lived to regret as the first flush of their youth evaporated.

In the 1950s and 1960s a wave of liberation swept through Empire.  Great hopes were held for the third world and grand schemes were developed.  By the 1980s, riddled with debt, systematically stripped of resources and a pawn in the Cold War, its people were hungry, impoverished and disease ridden as the newly rich implemented the tricks of the Bwanta – syphoning off the nation’s riches, using ethnic and cultural differences to justify exploitation and conflict, all the while squandering the capital of the nation to build luxurious and impressive symbols of the nation in its capital.  Welcome to the new boss, same as the old.

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Rising to the Unionist Challenge

The last few days have been a remarkable display of kack-handedness, arrogance and sheer stupidity on the part of Unionist politicians.  Attempting to seize the initiative on the Scottish Independence Referendum, Cameron set out a range of parameters under which he was prepared to consider allowing the kind of question that he liked, at a time of his choosing, considering that we should be grateful for his benevolence of considering us worthy to be asked such a stupid question.
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Scottish Identity – Visions & Mirages

Over on Bella Caledonia, David Tobin writes on Post-Colonial Scotland, examining the “national identity politics” which are shaping us on our course to independence. This is indeed a key question for us as a nation as we forge an identity of ourselves in the world – what narratives and images represent Scotland in this modern era?

Tobin situates this discussion within the discourse of identity politics, suggesting that artifical barriers are being drawn on the basis of geography while the differential is (or should be) class.  This argument is certainly not a new one to anyone familiar with the debates that have gone on within feminism, Black politics or LGBT liberation in the past 50 years. There is a constant tension between the call of class politics and acknowledgement that class differentials use subtle strategies of power to divide the class.

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Internationalism in One Small Island

I attended the launch of Coalition of Resistance in Glasgow last week, a fantastic event with a participative format, which was a refreshing change – a few short speeches were followed by lots of practical group discussions among a wide range of activists. It was a great launch, and to help us on our way the already established CoR in England had sent up a speaker to tell us about the work that they had been doing there and give us some pointers in how most effectively pinpoint pressure. The speaker was very welcome,spoke very well and informatively, however insisted on referring to the need to target the “national” government, the “national” conference of CoR and the need for a “national” strategy of resistance. None of which I disagree with, however it was transparently clear that his nation and mine are not one and the same – and moreover he seems to think that his includes mine. This certainly isn’t a new development on the part of the English Left. Most of them don’t even acknowledge that they are the English Left, claiming that their scattered supporters in North Britain qualifies them for “national” status, but it is becoming more and more jarring as time goes on.

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Cuts & the Independence Movement

They say that nothing is certain in life but death and taxes. Over the next five years, if the UK government has its way, public sector spending cuts can be added to that unhappy list of certainties. While the Scottish Government may have a level of control over where the axe falls, the axe has already been crafted.

The Scottish Parliament does not have the power to collect its own substantive tax revenue, and the limited tax varying powers granted following the successful yes-yes vote in the 99 referendum have been allowed to lapse through either incompetence or indifference. The Parliament obtains its funding through a block grant from the UK government under the Barnett formula, which it then distributes to non-reserved matters. While the rhetoric of the Salmond administration is of maintaining services and an unchanged commitment to supporting freely available prescriptions and personal care, the next few years is likely to see that sorely tested.

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Independence: The issues

My excitement at the implications of the national election result on May 5th, has been tempered over the last few weeks with the realisation that, despite a majority in Holyrood being from a party whose principal raison d’etre is to obtain Independence for Scotland, it looks likely that Salmond will push the SNP to promote “fiscal autonomy” over the coming years, rather than Independence. He has already announced that this will appear as an option on the referendum ballot paper.
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