Wednesday, 15 February 2017

What has Changed since the 2014 IndyRef?

-Firstly – we were sold promises of greater devolution, which many bought into, that has not been delivered.  They told us Scotland would be the most devolved country and we would be a partnership of equals! Scotland is not the most devolved country - both the devolved nations of Quebec and Catalonia raise their own taxes and have control of their own Immigration. While Scotland's 'most devolved' Parliament has NO control of Immigration and only about 30% control of taxes!

-Secondly -There has been a surge in SNP membership and SNP MPs.

-Thirdly  - there has been the disastrous Brexit vote, which will mean serious losses to our universities, our health services, research, culture and creative arts, sciences.  Both EU and international students have stopped applying to come here and many professional EU citizens are leaving. 

Scotland has thrived precisely because of being outward looking and valuing diversity.  We are surrounded by water and we have always had our bridge of Boats to Europe.

-Fourthly -  the Labour party is in disarray and not able to provide an effective opposition party at Westminster – which means Scotland is at the mercy of a Tory government we did not vote for – Tory austerity, cuts rising consumer debt, dependence on a disastrous Banking system of failures, lack of investment in infrastructure or R & D a failing NHS. May’s answers are Grammar schools and privatising the NHS.
And to make the UK the 51st State and be hand in hand with an unstable D Trump.

- Fifthly  - There has been the election of D Trump, which resent a serious de- stabilising  unpredictable force in the white house  (I can hardly bare to watch the news!) There are dangerous forces abroad in our world and both Putin and Trump want a weaker Europe.

-And Seventhly – and most serious of all – There is the obvious total incompetence of Westminster’s failings for us. and they don’t appear to know what they are doing! We have the blundering Davis and Boris and May – who is a say one thing do another person.
Whitehall has reduced numbers and skills, so how can they develop domestic policy and at the same time pursue this foolish Brexit? They work to reduce immigration with no effect. Immigrants adds to the economy and most come here for work or study reasons. Europe will not give UK a great deal, which clearly means a cliff edge.


**We need now to choose to be in Europe OR aligned to America. In recent times we may have American movies here but if we look back at Europe‘s great writers and artist – I believe we need Europe more than America. America is very divided and confused over its sense of direction – whereas Europe in particularly the small nations –have a much clearer direction over how to build successful and healthy economies. 

Why is Scotland so special among all the other small countries (Wee Ginger Dug National 15th February)? So special we are unable to join Europe or with all our many resources we cannot be a successful small country like Denmark, Iceland or Finland?

What is the the right path for Scotland? Neither option is safe either! Whether you would prefer efta, or a full EU membership  - these are all decisions for the Scottish people after Independence.

Why is Scotland so special among all the other small countries (Wee Ginger Dug National 15th February)? So special we are unable to join Europe or with all our many resources we cannot be a successful small country like Denmark, Iceland or Finland?



We Choose Europe

EUROPE

wechooseEU

More than ever we need a strong Europe that speaks up for the Ideals of Fairness and Diversity.

I believe in the European ideals  - of hard work, community, equality, learning, fairness – of coming together, of what unites us.

After WW2 since Churchill imagine a Europe that would work together for peace.

It is our very diversity and our interconnectedness that makes us stronger. At a time when ignorant forces want to build walls – we need instead voices of hope. Can Scotland be one?

Scotland has always had our bridge of boats across to Europe – we travelled to Poland, to Italy, to France, to Germany, to Holland and Spain.
And many from these countries came over to live and work in Scotland. We are richer for it – richer in our ideas and learning and richer in science, in culture and arts.

At a time of great divisive uncertainty, Scotland’s voice could offer a voice of hope.


Saturday, 4 February 2017

Is America the land of the free and the brave anymore? How Important is Culture?

American ideals are grounded in  the enlightenment – of ‘self-expression, knowledge, dissent, criticism and truth.’ 

President Trump doesn’t enjoy dissent and plans to cut funding for the Arts and curb the creative arts and culture.
He claims the ‘free American Press’ is the opposition to the voice of the ‘People’. Who are these ‘people ‘ that believe this limited vision?  Those who sit on the fence are equally guilty.Many years back I read about a Philosophy Steamer’.
During Stalin’s murderous Dictatorship - writers, artists, musicians and great thinkers were being imprisoned and forced to tow Stalin’s line. Many creatives were scared for their lives and left Russia on what was known as the Philosophy steamer.

I remember seeing an exhibition of Russian art form this time at the Tate Modern – all the paintings were the same with arms raised to the sky. How must that feel for creative artists not to be able to express themselves.

These dictators claim that they do so in the name of the ‘People’

We must be vigilant and never be quiet! We must speak up, all of us.

American ideals are grounded in  the enlightenment – of ‘self-expression, knowledge, dissent, criticism and truth.’


Popular Sovereignty has beaten Parliament Sovereignty at Westminster

Unprecedented in our history the popular Sovereignty has beaten Parliament Sovereignty with this vote to Trigger Article 50 for Britain to leave the EU, when only a few MPs actually believe this is in the national interest.
Only the Ukip and DUP MPs voted to leave in the referendum vote last year!

Are we lacking statesmen today – or perhaps stateswomen – Angela Merkel and Nicola Sturgeon spring to my mind. MPS are now over obsessed and neurotic

In Mhairi Black’s maiden speech, she spoke of ‘Signposts in Politics’ – who have principles and beliefs and stand true and tall and say – this is the way and it is my job to convince you why. She said also – there are weather cocks who spin in whatever direction the wind is blowing them

MPs are Representatives not Delegates and should be able to think.  The Journalist  and Chief political columnist for the Independent newspaper,
Steve Richards says that he believes that politicians are more and more insecure and worried about – focus groups, media, opinion polls, local elections.

That they are therefore TOO in touch.

Richards feels MPs should put the national interest ahead of representing a small marginal majority.

And that it is chaos when you mix Representative democracy where MPs are partly to think for themselves – as well as reflecting views of the electorate.

It is chaos and these Referendums are dangerous devices.

People with no vision, don’t enjoy the cut and thrust of debate. That’s why teaching Philosophy matters to learn the craft of theorising ideas.


Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Sloganeering

I am sure many voters are retreating from the fake news and many of us are reeling from the votes for Trump and Brexit. There are lessons to be learnt though. Many simply haven’t the time for inclination to research or to read the real truth or alternative truths?

Brexit and Trump and Better Together were about simplistic slogans – such as an advertising campaign comparable to selling Coca Cola  – Take back Control, Make America Great again, Safety and Security  make Britain Great again, Build a Wall,  - all simple and memorable. Wheras long winded statements, at the end of it we may wonder what was that all relay about anyway? Its all about selling a concept or idea – NOT about over load with facts.

Good Journalism and good press can only be achieved through rigorous research and the checking and re-checking facts. More than ever we need the gate keepers. Our MPs are there to represent us, along with informed advisors – does that mean we need Referendums over everything?

Like Finland, Scotland need s simple message of intent and not a 700 page document of facts. It is about vision not the details (which can be sorted after I)

Nicola
Walk away from the table but don’t call an IndyRef 2. Wait until the Brexit edifice has crumbled and there is no choice but to seek safety in independence in Europe.  In these uncertain times, people won’t vote for more uncertainty I feel.


Is Westminster Democratic: And the Scottish democratic Deficit


First I do not believe these Referendums are democratic - they are full of lies, innuendo, fake news, untruths and propaganda.

I can’t believe the Brexit Debate today. Democracy depends on rigorous debate and that Parliament holds the government to account. Debating with no detail and no White paper.

The Tories are rushing through the most important Constitutional question since the Great War. Other Big Issues get a MONTH to debate not a few days. First Tories attempted to use the royal prerogative – then late last Thursday they announced a fast track debate on this important issue – to ram a one line Bill to give the PM executive power to trigger Article 50. Most MPs had gone home by then and only a few SNP troopers were in the house to debate.

(Also during Scottish Questions each week MPs arrive and very rudely chat loudly showing clear disinterest.)

Corbyn appears spineless and weak and Labour is disintegrating and not providing an Official Opposition. 
They say - "great day when we leave! Power to make our own choices – what is it about FREEDOM we don’t like?? Make the UK Parliament sovereign."
Tories say – "We want Liberty! But No liberty for Scotland!"

Which means rather than have a protection of European Human rights and Environmental Law, Scotland will be under Westminster Law. God help us! This all means far less powers for Scotland – what is the point of the Scottish Parliament? It's all a fake. 

Instead we can have an American-Anglo alliance and be the 51st state! If a deal with the EU is not forth coming, which is highly likely, May may seek a general election.

Those who keep quiet are equally guilty. Scotland needs to leave this sinking ship asp. Deluded and stupid.
  
PS  In crumbling financial news - the Westminster building requires 4b spend (as does Buckingham Palace) and the EU will require billions to compensate on pensions and more…..mmm??


Nicola
Walk away from the table but don’t call an IndyRef 2. Wait until the Brexit edifice has crumbled and there is no choice but to seek safety in independence in Europe.  In these uncertain times, people won’t vote for more uncertainty I feel.


Monday, 23 January 2017

TRUMPS Golden carriage?

What about Trump and all? - I'm going to start living in my 'Alternative Reality', where Hilary won, there is no Brexit and Scotland has independence!.... The world has gone mad! My solution is more education in schools on Modern studies, Philosophy and Politics.... Oh and ban the Daily Mail!..
Perhaps Bruce Springsteen will show up and sing ‘Blowin in the Wind’ soon..


http://poetryfootnotes.goldencarriage

Monday, 16 January 2017

Nicola Sturgeon's speech to Irish Senate (Seanad Eireann) and questions after

This is well worth watching – and this is such a positive supportive debate of how independence has led to a resurgence for Ireland.   

Nicola firstly has assured a welcome for all migrants into Scotland. She also discussed climate change of half energy coming from renewables; of16 year olds voting; on equality as the foundation of prosperity.

The Senate praised Nicola’s position on gender equality, her equality statement and her desire to play a part in the importance on human rights. They spoke of protecting our shared interests and solidarity with Ireland. And there was praise for Scotland’s inspiring grassroots referendum campaign in 2014.

One senator spoke of the corrosive nationalism of Trump, Penn and Farage – and that it is excellent to see the fairness, democratic social inclusiveness of the civic Nationalism of Nicola. 
One spoke of how ironic that it will be the 40 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome in 2017 – and of how the EU came out of a time of great divisions, war and a time of fear. .

Legally Brexit is a minefield for Ireland and undermines the legal status of the Good Friday agreement and will unravel the peace of the last twenty years. They feel Northern Ireland should be given a special status.

One asked how Ireland can help Scotland with independence and with the challenges of Brexit. 

They spoke of the Scots James Connelly and Margaret Skinnider, who died with the rebels at the Easter rising 1916.

We must listen to the views of the People and it is not enough to change symbolism. And of independence as a means to build a better nation.

The Senate leader quoted from Yeats – ‘All changed, changed utterly, A terrible beauty is born.’

“A good life means fighting to be human in difficult times.” Alasdair Gray


**Not sure I saw this mentioned on the BBC news!??


It was the 100 year Anniversary of the Irish Rising last year 2016: 60 year anniversary of the Treaty of Rome; 70 year anniversary of the Edinburgh international festival.