Monday, 26 September 2016

Liberty Tree

Do we want to be attached to an Americanised, privatised nuclear-driven England or a greener, fairer future.  After the Project Fear Scotland went from 28% to 45% supporting Independence.

Scottish since 2014
The SNP has become the third largest party in the UK as membership soared and they won landslide victories. In the EU Referendum 62% of Sots voted to Remain. All this cannot be ignored. There are clearly large numbers, especially young people, who see their future as independent in Europe and not part of a crumbling Imperialist power.

The YES movement has grown and even the right wing Sunday Times media recognised this cannot simply be ignored.  There has been talk of a Scottish Six. I’m tired of listening to English news in health and education.  We even have some independence supporting newspapers now! How brave.  In Scandinavia they have a law for equality in the press – that the press cannot only represent one point of view. Freedom of the Press is essential for democracy. We have a drip feed of 'Britain' on the BBC - we are not a region OR north Britain! We have separate Laws, Education, history, culture - we have our own story.

The 2014 Referendum was the most enlightened and hopeful and refreshing experience of my lifetime. For the first time there seemed a chance peoples voices were bing heard. I was also ashamed of the Great Lies put about in the BBC and the Sunday Times – from Burns was unionist (as if!) to as England’s most important partner, we can’t use the pound. These are obvious, downright Lies.  After Project Fear Scotland went from 28% to 45% supporting Independence as it became clear this was not a partnership at all.

**SONGS for freedom
Scots Wa Hae
For These are my Mountains
Freedom Come All Ye

The capitalist exploitation of Scotland and the people who live there.
Over the centuries many Scots have fought for freedom, This journey is a long one, with many voices – from Burns, Wallace and all those who have been oppressed.
Scotland has been invaded and run by those elites. There are concentrated patterns of large scale private land ownership ……  more  than found in any other country in the world. This is criminal in todays world and we should all work towards making radical changes.

Landownership by the few
Half of Scotland is owned by 0.008% of population – exceptional level of inequality for a democracy. ( 432 owners , 16 owns 10%.  Women fought and were gravely injured projecting their homes. People took to the streets after the Union. And the young people only have to leave when they can’t own a croft.
We used to also have a third of the pollution, before union and before centralization in London. Since Union Scotland has been bought and sold, de-populated, viewed as a satellite; and repressed culturally,

What is needed for Democracy?
Land Reform, free press, no private schools,, …..
Do we want Scotland to flourish as a future place to do business and increase productivity or become a retirement and tourism region of Britani?


I imagine today great numbers of Scots are both disappointed and confused.  We should ride the storm of Brexit for now, as no one knows what it means. I feel certain the other European countries are not going to play ball with the UK demands.  Scotland is in even more danger of becoming an even smaller satellite of London – which only drags down our productivity.

In 2014 The YES movement had to prove every answer for every possible future, known or unknown!  All that is really required though is broad sweeps of advantage, taking back control and pursuing what’s in Scotland best interests which has to be a good thing – who can argue this is not!?   The SNP White Paper on independence only gave opponents something to pick holes in.  They tell us Scotland is too poor while they are extremely fearful of loosing all our resources, oddly!! They seem to view or country as simply north Britian.

Meanwhile down in Westminster – no one has any plan over any possible future, even over those big sweeps over what Brexit actually means! Not even the PM.  Will we join the single market? Will we need visas? What will it mean for universities? My moneys on UK leaving the single market and its going to be messy and take 5 to 10 years.

It will be very bad news for universities and academics research. Already Westminster has allowed 4 English universities to have a visa extension for International students – why not Scottish universities too? A large number of university academics are from Europe.

**We can choose. I don’t believe England would put troops on the border – or would they? Is that the fear? Ireland has managed and peace has come to Northern Ireland. Are we mature enough to really believe in democracy? Is that the question? Or do we cling to feudalism, elites, superiority?

It is not possible via Westminster and the elites there are too entrenched and the system is rotten – and actively work to protect the status quo.  There are the new elites who took over after Thatcher de-regulated, just as in Russia or France after they over threw the aristocrats simply to build another elite.  It doesn’t have to be their way, it’s not inevitable. Everyone I know in Scotland wants a fairer, more equal society and I believe if we voted on that it we would win by a landslide

*There is a choice between being a capitalist outpost or one looking north to our Scandinavian cousins and the realisation that – landownership, fairness, justice, equal opportunities and fewer extremely rich or extremely poor iS totally possible and only with independence.

We CAN choose! 
When I was 17 I visited Finland and stayed with a family there only a mile from the border with Russia.  I also visited Helsinki I and wondered – where were the slums and poverty?
Do we want to be attached to an Americanised, privatised nuclear-driven England or greener fairer future.    

Labour is lost in Scotland, but has found an honest voice in Corbyn down in England. The SNP now needs to be more radical and stop tinkering at the edges and bring in more radical reforms.  I voted SNP in my twenties to give Scotland hope and confidence back. Today years I vote SNP – not for borders or anti-English – but because I believe in a fairer, more equal society is possible here because the  people of Scotland wish it.

The Union Suppressions

Plied with riches, our souls destroyed,
Others sent to Lord over us
And empty successes fell.
From the tall windows of Edina’s Georgian new town,
To the majestic marble stairs of Glasgow’s Town hall.
All built on repression on the backs of the many.

Capitalism has bought and sold the few,
From the black oil, the roamin hills of sheep.

Over the roar of the mighty shipyard steel
And the vast steam engine tracks
Now fallen silent.

After Scotland joined forces with the union – or rather with the elites stealing and plundering foreign shores,
The Tobacco, Sugar and slave trade,
Meant great wealth for the few
Exploitation and plundering anew

And they built grand palaces and monuments

Before in Edinburgh’s Old Town, the Grand, the ordinary, the eccentric,
The whole mix rubbed shoulders
In 1606, the Royal court left Holyrood and
Another breath of fresh thinking
The result was the Scottish Enlightenment.

Those Glory Days

For that time, those glory days we hoped, believed and prayed
That better days lay ahead
We saw it clearly, a bright horizon on the sure footed road ahead.

We sang, we danced, we held aloft waving blue and white on the autumn breeze
Made Wish Trees, painted images , wrote new poems of hope,
The Yestivals, the Light projections, the fiddlers, pipes and drums marched on,
Our voices were strong and true on the winds of change,
On the energy of the road ahead.

This was how democracy might be
Where even those who had never voted came out on the streets.
The energy was now, palpable, refreshing, full of dreams and possibilities.
The voices of all spoke up – from the youngest and the poorest
All came out and we heard them, on the road ahead.

But then
Bus loads of Westminster suits came up from deepest darkest London town.
And poured cold, chill water on those dreams.
They told us these hopes were impossible.
We could not reach our wished for destination and fly free.
We needed their help on the road –
 And the hazards were too great, they told us on the road ahead.

We tried to go on, but many stopped to listen to the clammer..
And they left on a weary narrow side road –
They feared, afraid they’d loose their pensions, their jobs, their hearts
The Unionists told them of an artificial shiny future – of home rule, more money, devo max, federalism,
all happy soon, oh so soon together on that slippery side road,
And they were too afraid to be free.

Then came all those forgotten promises –
There was no home rule on offer really, or frigate jobs
All dark vapour in a false wind of lies and deceit
Even the promise of being in Europe was a lie, as Brexit beckoned us all
And the road started to shatter and disappear.
Now we need to ride in the Brexit storms ahead
We are a country split in two forever
Half of us still dream
Of a fair, just country where children are not left hungry with no hopes
Where we can be free to run our own lives and to make our own mistakes.
We look over the sea to Denmark and Norway, and know these dreams can happen and are real.
We know we share deep histories with Poland, Netherlands, France, Germany and more.

And we look down south -
At the squabbling, small mindedness,
The narrow policies, the shallowness,
The no plan at all. We wonder why,
Why do we need to be hampered, hindered and dragged down by all this
Imperial elitist past.
The Tory rich elite and the capitalism that destroys.

Only two hundred years ago  the Highland clearances happened,
People came here, pushed the people off these lands to put sheep on,
 And then years later other people came and took our oil.

There are clearly two roads ahead now as the mist and dust settles
Perhaps there is a bright future where we hold our heads high,
Or the one where we continue to live in fear and
A  Scotland that is a retirement and tourist place,
We know other small countries prosper, are free and independent,
We ask, why not Scotland too?
Let us be a country that is an open for democracy, equality , inclusiveness and for business?

September 2016, remembering those inspirational days of the Scottish 2014 Referendum.

Friday, 9 September 2016

A NEW Conversation for Scotland

Importantly we need now a "Conversation" here in Scotland - Do we want years ahead of Tory elitist government from a remote city - or do we want to run our own affairs here and prioritize Scotland's urgent need for more immigration of young families, a more equal society,  investment in renewables, the encouragement of our top class university research? The question is does the union benefit Scotland today, now there is no empire? England is being Americanized and privatized. Most small independent countries are much more productive and adaptable to global economic pressures than Scotland is, even without our many resources and assets. 

It’s not so long since Scotland was being de-populated by Westminster’s policies and we were demoralized by ignorance of our culture and past. Since our own Scottish parliament there has been a resurgence in Scottish pride - singers are now proud to sing with a Scottish accent, schools teach Scottish stories and pride and confidence has returned again.

I left Edinburgh for America and returned here hoping Scottish confidence had returned. What is this about – our own currency, our own security forces and a renewed confidence. Scotland has benefited greatly from being in Europe. My votes for Scottish independence in Europe. And what of Ireland?  I believe many English people would prefer to see Scottish independence too.

The Political paths, the conversations and direction of travel, of England and Scotland have separated many years ago. The conversations in England over health or immigration are at odds with our Scottish ones. These decisions started to become evident back in the fifties and sixties – over 60 years ago and have widened ever since. It is blinkered for Unionists to ignore these facts.

It is wrong to view this as about proving independence – rather it needs to be about proving the `Union’ works for Scotland. The Status quo of in-between powers of Scottish Parliament – with no corporation tax, Vat, control of immigration, investment, renewables or our infrastructure.  How devolved do we want to be really?

Brexit? English people want control and sovereignty, funnily enough. Its time for Scotland too.