Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Unionists Hit New Low as They Incite Sectarian Fears for Independent Scotland

Hot on the heels of the usual drivel from Michael Moore and the ridiculous statement from Douglas McWilliams, the chief Executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research that Scotland would be come a third world country within years of independence, comes the prediction that a vote to leave the Union could lead to a rise in sectarianism and anti-Catholic discrimination.

Paul McBride QC, one of the country’s leading lawyers, has warned of possible “very serious consequences” and damage to “social cohesion and related matters” from a rise in sectarianism that could “blossom” if voters backed independence in the referendum.

He tells us that “People are anxious that if they vote for independence and sectarianism isn’t tackled there will be very serious consequences”.

McBride believes that “sectarianism is the most serious social issue in the country today” and that as a society we ignore it.

I doubt very much if this is foremost in the minds of people when it comes serious social issues. But then again, I can only speak for the parts of the country that not blighted by this particular manifestation of this particular superstition.

McBride is backed in this view by Professor Patrick Reilly of the University of Glasgow, who tells us that he knows “some people who feel safer being part of the Union”.

He goes on to say that he can see why “some people might be concerned that the discrimination that used to exist against Catholics over jobs and housing could return.”


Seriously though, in a country that gave legal force to the European Convention on Human Rights through the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Scotland Act 1998, is somehow going to dump that and all the other legislation pertaining to discrimination and equality?

Reilly really should assure these ‘people he knows’, that in reality, this is not going to happen. 

What McBride and Reilly are implying here is that whoever governs Scotland after independence, may choose to ignore sectarianism and allow anti-Catholic discrimination to flourish. This will happen for no other reason than the people of Scotland choosing to leave the Union. Furthermore the only reason it is not happening at present is the fact that Scotland is part of the Union.

Both are astute enough to suggest that this is merely a possible scenario. They provide no evidence for their claims which are peppered with “if”, “could” and anecdotes. Therefore, when their scaremongering fails they can plead not guilty to inciting fear in a substantial part of the population. 

Yet again it is disgraceful attack on the people of Scotland. And in this case, on the vast majority of people Scotland, whether they support independence or not.

It is playing the sectarian card for cheap political ends. It is an attempt to fabricate a climate of fear amongst Scotland’s Catholics and persuade them not to vote for separation.

These remarks should be seen for what they are.

Another cheap, absurd and offensive attack on the Scottish people by those who wish to deny them the right to self-determination.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

More of Moore is Just More if the Same.

The Governor General of Scotland, Michael Moore, has told the Edinburgh Government that it has should stop showing so much interest in such things as economic policy, corporation tax and constitutional change that are determined at Westminster.

According to Moore, Alex Salmond should stop picking fights with London.

It seems to have come as a surprise to one of the bluntest tools in the unionist box that these things are of paramount importance to a party that advocates independence. While the status quo is good enough for those who don’t think that they’re good enough, it is not good enough for the rest.

Moore’s attempts to defend the legitimacy of the coalition in Scotland must come as an embarrassment to others in the Scottish party. He is the voice of the coalition in Scotland simply because not even David Cameron is stupid enough to give the job to a Tory. Although how much worse that could be, in the light of Moore’s recent statements, is open to debate.

He also told the Edinburgh Government that it should stick to, the “bread and butter policy decisions” that it has control over.

Aye, but wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have something a wee more than “bread and butter”.

Or, do we accept Moore’s diktat and look to the South, hoping for some jam.  

No doubt more of the same from Moore in the future. If he has one, that is.

“Third World” Prediction is yet Another Third Rate Scare Tactic

According to Douglas McWilliams, the chief Executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research it will take the people of Scotland just over a decade to destroy their country’s economy to such an extent that it will become the Ethiopia of Europe and require Western aid. They will do so despite being part of the EU, the world’s first trade power and the largest and wealthiest economy on the planet. 

The latest third rate unionist attack on Scotland comes from Douglas McWilliams, the chief Executive of the Centre for Economics and Business Research. He used to say that an independent Scotland would be a Third World Country by 2050. Now however, with the independence referendum looming, he has cobbled together a new report and revised that date to 2030.

The Finance Minister, John Swinney, has dismissed this latest report as “deeply flawed” and containing “a series of basic mistakes”.

Mr McWilliams may very well believe in what he says but, how he comes to his conclusions are unclear.

He points out that in the last ten years, living standards in Spain and Greece have caught up with hose in Scotland and that Korea, Poland and Turkey are soon to do so. Good for them.

The reason for this, he claims, is a lack of entrepreneurship and over-government. This is compared to who or what you might ask. Because as far as I know, everything’s far from rosy in the garden south of the border.

As for Spain and Greece - just what were they doing in the last ten years that an independent Scotland should have been copying?

But, a “Third World Country”?

The term “Third World” has long been considered an arbitrary one. It arose during the Cold War to define countries not aligned either to Capitalism and NATO or Communism and the Warsaw Pact. Today it is generally considered to mean those countries which demand and receive Western aid.

So, if Mr McWilliams is correct then more than the people of an independent Scotland should be worried. In the relatively near future the European Union will be in such a mess that one of its better off countries will have become comparable with present day Ethiopia, Sudan, Afghanistan and Haiti. In economic terms these countries are considered the least developed by the United Nations based on, among other things, their Gross National Income per capita (GNI).

If McWilliams’s prediction had already come to pass, then in 2010 the Scottish GNI would have been £460. The GNI for the UK (nominal atlas method) was £1,468,800. However, all that the rest of the UK would have to do to stave off “Third World” status was have a GNI above £551. The suggestion being made by McWilliams however, is that while Scotland becomes one of the least developed countries in the world, England, Wales and Northern Ireland will remain on a sound economic footing.

That then, is the astonishing prediction.

In just over a decade after independence the people of Scotland will show themselves to be so incompetent that they will destroy their country’s economy to such an extent that it will require Western aid. 

They will do so despite being part of the EU, the world’s first trade power and the largest and wealthiest economy on the planet.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

The “Fairy of Guadalajara”

Only in deeply superstitious countries such as Mexico could anyone hope to get away with something like this.

Normally in this part of the world, its Jesus or his mother on a tortilla. This time however, they are queuing up to see a “fairy”.

The aforementioned little person has, we are reliably informed, was found by one Jose Maldonado, a 22 tear-old unemployed bricklayer when he was picking Guavas.  It is being preserved in formaldehyde at his home in one of the poorest parts of Guadalajara

Jose has it on display and is charging people to have a look at it.

Mr Maldonado has said that the 2cm tall, red and gold fairy was alive when he found it. He has yet to offer an explanation for its death. Perhaps the police may want to investigate.

As usual, those miserable skeptics are suggesting that the magical sprite is nothing more than a popular plastic toy and that Jose is at it.

This though, has not dissuaded the more than 3,000 visitors to Jose’s “fairy grotto” who have stumped up $1.60 to view the “Fairy of Guadalajara”.

Good luck to Jose. He has shown himself to be an enterprising young man in the mould of P T Barnum.

And after all, he’s only he’s only doing what the Catholic Church has been doing in his country for centuries. Making money out of ignorance and superstition.

In this case however, one can’t imagine there being any lasting damage to those in the queue as Tinkerbell doesn’t appear to come with archaic and repressive life controlling dogma.

“Ordinary Domicile” is not the same as “National Origins”.

Students from the UK, who are not ordinarily domiciled in Scotland, have to pay tuition fees when studying ay Scottish universities. Those domiciled in Scotland do not. A similar fees structure is being introduced in Wales. The fees structure is based on “ordinary domicile” not “national origin”.

Easy to understand? Not if you are from Public Interest Lawyers (PIL).

According to Phil Shiner of PIL the Scottish Government has misinterpreted the law and the fees structure contravenes Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which prohibits discrimination in relation to rights and freedoms on the basis of “national origin”. He also claims that it is illegal under the Equality Act 2010 which protects against various forms of discrimination including race, which is defined to include “national origin”.

The reason why we use language is to communicate. We use different words to convey different meanings. That is why “ordinary domicile” does not mean “national origin”.

There is no legal technicality behind which the Scottish Government is hiding. Nor is there any loophole in the law which allows them to do so.

PIL’s argument that “national origin” can be determined by “ordinary domicile” is unreasonable, downright stupid and somewhat dangerous.

If this was a case of discrimination based on “national origin” then those born elsewhere in the UK but brought up in Scotland would be paying tuition fess when attending Scottish universities because of their nationality. That is patently not, nor ever has been, the case.

If we go down the road of reinterpreting language by consigning new and different meanings to words then we will never be sure what anything means.

But, I’m sure that there would be plenty of lawyers on hand to tell us.

Don’t Let Three Come Before Four.

It’s astonishing to think that that the BBC would even consider keeping BBC 3 at the expense of BBC 4. Changed and strange days indeed.

My feelings on “Three” have been made clear elsewhere on this blog.  However when you hear the likes of Ken Clark praising some of the channels programmes you might begin to wonder.

BBC 3 is, for the most part, tabloid telly for teenagers. At the forefront of dumbed-down television, its original remit has long since been consigned to the dustbin of quality television. 

Voyeuristic forays into the worlds of the dysfunctional and those less fortunate, with all the subtlety and morality that accompanied a Victorian freak show, has little  educational value and the channel’s attempts to disguise it as meaningful social documentary fail miserably.

“The World’s Strictest Parents”, “Don’t Tell the Bride”, “Young, Dumb and Living off Mum”, “Snog Marry Avoid”, “Under Age and Pregnant”, is a more than fair representation of the channel’s homemade output. All of which seem to be repeated ad nauseum.

Bulked out, only too readily, by jollies to music festivals (including the corporation’s very unhealthy relationship with the Glastonbury annual mud bath) and repeats from BBC 1 means that we have already seen much of what is on offer. And as good as the US imports “Family Guy” and “American Dad” are, even these wear thin on the umpteenth showing.  

And let’s not forget the irritating Cherry. “Cherry’s Body Dilemmas”, “Cherry’s Parenting Dilemmas” and “Cherry’s Cash Dilemmas” to name a few of Cherry’s dilemmas. One might wonder if it’s responsible to actually let Cherry out on her own. Perhaps see should stay in and watch the box – “Cherry’s So much Shite on the Telly Dilemmas”.

Left to their own devices, I have no doubt that “My Three Lesbian Mums”, “My Cross-dressing  Grandparents”, “I Married My i-Pod” and “I gave Birth to a Poltergeist” are coming our way soon.

Although BBC 4 is also blighted by the “rule of repeat”, its more eclectic programming, that encompasses both science and the arts, absolves it of the charges levelled at its spotty faced sibling.

It would be just as unacceptable to see the adolescent driven rubbish from “Three” share a channel with “Four”. Although I’m sure the programme makers would welcome the credibility that might come from association.

If there’s a niche, and it is a niche, for BBC 3, then its not at the expense of a channel that is superior in every way.

There’s plenty of rubbish like this on our screens as it is. There’s precious little quality.

There again, it only television.

Send the Rioters to London - That’s a Real Punishment.

Ah, those were the days. When the courts of England could banish their “ne’er-do-wells” to lands far beyond their borders.

Step up Richard Miller who, after one presumes reasonable consideration, went to the Government’s daft “Petition” website and started a daft petition. He wanted Parliament to debate his suggestion that his fellow English men and women, who are prone to a bit of rioting and looting, should be deported. Not to Australia this time. Rather, his preferred option was the Outer Hebrides.

Mr Miller’s petition states that the islands have “none of the comforts of English city living e.g. no running water, electricity, decent food, culture and shopping”. As such this would constitute punishment. He goes on to say that as some of the islanders keep sheep, they could look after the English yobs as well.

Surely not in the same field. What have the sheep done to deserve that?

You would have to hope that there was an element of mischief behind this petition but, this particular Dick might actually believe that he has come up with a solution. He may even be Jeremy Clarkson in disguise. But, with the inclusion of words in the petition that contained more than two syllables, this seems unlikely.

As for the Outer Hebrides? 

Well, of course there’s running water. OK it hasn’t done the recycling rounds like the drinking water of the South-east. So, if you prefer your water to have previously resided in the bladders of a couple of strangers, then the Hebrides are not for you.

Electricity? Renewable and subsidising the Green House Gas emission reductions of the gas and coal burning South.

Decent food? Granted, no jellied eels, faggots or pie and liquor here. And alas no McDonald’s or KFC. But he could try some fresh lobsters, prawns or scallops. Maybe a bit of salmon or venison. 

As for Culture? Here I would have to admit to knowing little of the traditions and customs of English city life. I know there are brass bands, clogs and Whippets, pearly kings and queens and Morris dancing. But perhaps he means the galleries full of the work of foreign artists, Italian High Opera, or the proximity to concert halls where he can listen to the music of Bach, Beethoven or Strauss. Either way. I’m not convinced that any of those he wishes to inflict on the people of the Hebrides would recognise a fugue as long as the hole in their arse points to the ground. 

How that stacks up against the culture of Hebrides, with an impeccable provenance and an unbroken history going back over a millennium, is perhaps a matter of individual preference. It is certainly not for comparison.

It is also interesting that Mr Miller thinks that denying his fellow citizens the ability to go shopping is a punishment. It was apparently obvious, from the television pictures beamed around the world that they prefer to steal rather than shop.

And Mr Miller needn’t be so modest. What about all the other things that English city life offers that they don’t have in the Outer Hebrides.

Polluted air, muggings, murders, rapes, drug dealers hanging around the school gate and the very real chance of having your children shot or stabbed to death by one of their peers. And all this on litter strewn streets that are costing English councils close on £1 billion a year to clean up.

And let’s not forget the most recent contribution to civilisation to have sprung from English city life, the brain-dead knuckle draggers who rioted, looted and trashed the very places of whose virtues he extols.

London would surely top the list of places of places most suitable for internal exile.

Having said that, there may perhaps be some merit in this idea.

A reciprocal arrangement that saw the despatching of Hebridean delinquents south would be a deterrent unrivalled. Although actually being forced to reside in one of Mr Miller’s urban utopias would surely be considered cruel and unusual punishment.

Still, Richard Miller got his 15 minutes of fame, albeit only in the Outer Hebrides. I for one hope that he has a few more such petitions up his sleeve. A man with such remarkable insight and knowledge of Britain must surely be destined for great things. Even if the freedom of Stornoway is not one of them.