Posts Tagged ‘Scotland’

Scotland votes NO

September 19, 2014
Scotland referendum ballot paper

Scotland referendum ballot paper

‘The political class really ought to take a lesson from this referendum campaign because the one thing that came over on the doorsteps was utter cynicism about the political class. — Conservative peer and former Scotland Secretary Lord Forsyth

An outbreak of commons sense in Scotland

  • NO – 2,001,926 – 55%
  • YES – 1,617,989 – 45%

It was not a decisive victory for NO, as the BBC reported, which once again shows how slanted and biased BBC news coverage.

A collective sigh of relief, the pound at a record two year high. A reversal of the flight of capital out of Scotland.

If, as in Catalonia, a genuine grass roots desire for independence, or at least greater autonomy, fine, but that is not what we have seen.

We have seen Scottish National Party browbeating people into submission.

When you have to force people to vote Yes, then something very very wrong.

Businesses in Scotland have been too scared to speak out.

There was a crude attempt to force the Provost of St Andrews to speak out for Yes. She had previously said it would be a disaster for St Andrews as a world leading academic institute.

Did people really wish to live in a one party state?

It became very clear in the last ten days or so of the campaign, the ramifications had not been clearly thought through.

Driving factors:

  • hatred of the English
  • ConDem government imposed austerity
  • collapse of the political system
  • autocratic rule by corrupt political elites

A huge mistake of Better Together Campaign, was to put discredited has-been politician Alistair Darling in charge. That was guaranteed to drive people into the opposite camp. It was a badly run campaign, that started with a clear lead and almost lost it.

Similarly David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband deciding to head to Scotland. They made the mistake of believing their own PR. Again more votes driven into the other camp.

If nothing else, exposed Ed Miliband as having no credibility. If Labour wishes to do well in next elections, they must dump Miliband and have a radical agenda. But sadly far far too late.

David Steel noticeably silent. But then, he covered up for paedophile Cyril Smith, even recommended a Knighthood.

The only person to emerge with any credibility has been Gordon Brown. It was Gordon Brown who saved the day. And yet, Gordon Brown was warned to stay away from the campaign.

It is ironic, to say you want to be independent, then say wish to join EU.

A country without a currency.

A country with no money.

Oil is running out.

A country on the periphery of Europe, a potential basket case like Ireland, reliant upon EU bail outs and hand outs.

It was a farce, immigrants allowed to vote.

The one good thing it has galvanised people. Public meetings in every community. An incredible voter turn out.

What it has shown, is there is not a lack of interest in politics, there is a lack of interest in the corrupt bastards who sit in Westminster and every town hall, who are there to serve self-interests, line their own pockets, and do the bidding of Big Businesses.

We need constitutional reform, not just for Scotland, for the whole of the UK.

Scots are over-represented, their numbers should be cut.

They are also heavily subsidised, the subsidy should be cut.

When purely English affairs are being discussed, Scots, Irish and Welsh, should be barred from participation.

We badly need constitutional reform, but not only Scotland.

This cannot be stitched up by party leaders, neither can it be stitched up by the parties. It has to be a decision by the people, and has to be devolution of powers to the people, not to local councils or regional assemblies.

Town halls are just as out of touch as Westminster, and a lot more corrupt.

One of the factors driving the yes vote, was the level of disconnect.

This disconnect is not only at national level.

  • Lincolnshire: Philistine councillors attempt mass closure of public libraries
  • Rotten Borough of Rushmoor: Trashing of Aldershot and Farnborough town centres, destruction of c 1720s Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s
  • Cornwall: A ten-year-old who has led the fight against library closure denied the opportunity to address the council

Post-result, a very intelligent discussion took place on BBC Radio 4 Any Questions (Friday 19 September 2014), And on the follow up Any Answers on the following day (after the repeat).

We cannot have a Scotland Bill rushed through Parliament. We have to have a Constitutional Bill, with as much discussion across the UK as took place in Scotland on the referendum.

Reform has to involve the people, it has to devolve power to the people. The final say, as with Scotland, has to be by the people.

Diário de Classe a verdade …

September 4, 2012
Diário de Classe a verdade ...

Diário de Classe a verdade …

Isadora Faber y Martha Payne

Isadora Faber y Martha Payne

Martha Payne aka Veg with her NeverSeconds food blog has inspired a Brazilian schoolgirl to launch a similar blog, which in turn has led to improvement at the school.

Brazilian teenager Isadora Faber was inspired to start a blog after hearing about Martha Payne aka Veg.

Martha talked about school dinners, Isadora Faber took it further and talked about more than school dinner, highlighting problems with her school.

She created her own Facebook page Diário de Classe: A Verdade (School Diary: The Truth).

The photos published on her page showed broken water fountains and fans, a basketball court with no ceiling and she even called for a teacher who had issues with some students to be replaced.

What she was writing got picked up by newspapers and TV channels and has led directly to a school refurbishment programme and the teacher with who the students were having problems being replaced.

There were attempts by bullyboys at the local council to silence Martha, but she showed courage in the face of the bullies and stood firm.

Isadora faced bullying by the school to try and silence her, but like Martha she stood firm.

Both girls have exchanged videos with each other.

As well as writing of her school dinners, Martha has raised funds for a school kitchen in Malawi called Friends of NeverSeconds. Later this month Martha and her family will be travelling to Malawi for the inauguartion of Friends of NeverSeconds.

Martha has been nominated for a Great Scot Award and for a BBC Food and Farming Award.

Today, on my way from Guildford farmers market and on my way to a lovely coffee shop Café Mila, on visiting Cook (a lovely food shop in Godalming), I nominated Martha for a Cook Great Briton Award. As I told in the shop, I could not think of a more deserving recipient who has done more to raise awareness and understanding of good food.

Whilst at Café Mila a little girl came and chatted to me and told me she was enjoying her ice cream. I asked did she like the coffee shop? A very definite yes. Would she not rather be at Costa? A very definite no!

The Speyside Sessions

June 16, 2012
The Speyside Sessions

The Speyside Sessions

I am no great fan of Scottish music or folk, two reasons not to like The Speyside Sessions, and yet to my surprise I find I like.

The sessions, an intimate mix of traditional Scottish ballads, reels and bawdy crowd pleasers, were recorded live last winter in a sprawling old house on the banks of the River Spey, in the Scottish Highlands.

A lovely example of simple live recording and yet very high quality. Profits from which go the Save the Children.

Speyside is the centre of Scottish whisky. In the 1970s, snow on the ground, I was in Grantown-on-Spey for Christmas. I was at a Ceilidh (do not like either). I won first prize in the town’s raffle. It was crate loads of whisky (I don’t like whisky either). Most of it I gave away (I don’t think I would have got out alive). The rest went into my cellar. Each Christmas my grandfather (who did like whisky) was very happy to receive a bottle of whisky for Christmas.

Top Story in The Waverley Daily (Saturday 16 June 2012).


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