45 thoughts on “JUST LISTEN TO THIS BS…”

  1. What a load of excreta.
    The EU, all 27 countries, have to change their rules to accommodate the most stupid inflexible government on the planet.
    How many time has the idiotcracy been told NO, the EU should forget diplomacy and say “Piss off Britain, good riddance.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The problem is, I think, getting the EU to change its rules. Necessarily an organisation of 27 EQUAL countries as diverse as they are, has to have very strict rules and, with a veto on terms of withdrawal, any one of these countries, no matter how big or small, can scupper the deal.

      I think it will be difficult, although surely the EU (which has a lot to lose too) is trying its best.

      But it is up against, as you say a stupid government that keeps having changers of personnel; that is factionalised and that is dependent for its survival on a bunch of loonies who believe that there were no dinosaurs.

      Looking good?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The lunatics have taken over the asylum. The EU have rules that they will not break, cannot break, the Tories are incompetent, arrogant and living in a bubble where everything is fine dandy. In the real world we bang our heads in disbelief.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I think the UK forgets that the EU can’t walk roughshod over its constituent countries like the UK can. If Scotland or Wales disagrees they can be told to shut up and get back in their box. If Malta disagrees, it can bring the whole thing to a standstill.

      I’m not sure May has grasped that.

      Liked by 3 people

  3. Seriously, is this a spoof? Has the world turned pythonesque? Do we get free unicorns every second thursday and Christmas three times a year? As for the flying pigs, have they thought about the spin off? Getting shat upon from a great height? Somebody here is insane … not me, surely?

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Nope. I have to admit that I thought it was a spoof till I heard her strong and stable voice over.

      She really needs to get someone with a little more sincerity in their voice to do these things. She is such a poor performer.

      Anyway, in a few years we will be lucky to get Christmas at all.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is from the party whose MEPs voted in the European Parliament against the motion censuring Victor Orbán and his neoNazi regime in Hungary. The article in the Independent on the subject – https://is.gd/eeVM9k, “Conservatives back far-right government of Viktor Orban in crunch vote in European Parliament” – has a subhead as follows: “The Hungarian leader arrived in Strasbourg demanding a fair Brexit deal for Theresa May’s government”.

    To the Tory Party’s MEPs hitched their ride on a falling star, as the European Parliament went on to pass the censure motion anyway. Also, expecting any help from Orbán – even if he had been inclined to offer it – would have been crass, deluded, and fundamentally stupid: the Westminster regime persists in claiming to want that which it should know by now is not on offer and cannot be on offer.

    It makes sense only if you imagine that the plan all along was the nihilistic one of creating economic and social chaos, blaming foreigners and immigrants for it, and coming in with the jackboots to restore order.

    It was May herself, I think, who said that people who consider themselves citizens of Europe are citizens of nowhere. Compare that with the Nazi propaganda trope branding Jews – and the internationally-minded, the pacifists, the supporters of the League of Nations – as “cosmopolitan”.

    It is instructive to see where the May regime positions itself on the European political stage. It’s been quite a while since the centre-right European parties would willingly associate with them; it wasn’t just Farage and UKIP that the German CDU/CSU party / parties wanted cast into outer darkness along with the other far-right sh*itheads, they didn’t want the English Tories to be part of the European centre-right group either.

    I hear that Steve Bannon, he of Breitbart and Trump, has been involving himself in far-right, white supremacist, generally racist and islamophobic (etc.) movements throughout Europe, including England.

    Let us pass over the delicious irony of having foreigners involving themselves in the affairs of extreme blood-and-soil nationalist groups whose cry is that they want to Take Back their country and concentrate on the essential thing: these people are essentially nihilistic; they want to tear everything liberal, civilized and democratic down, and put in their place – what?

    These people have no decency. It will not surprise anyone here when I say that if anything is to be saved from the wreckage of the UK, Scotland has to jump ship, because the ship is foundering.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Sorry, that was just me bringing a little sunshine into all our lives – I suppose I should have put up a Rant warning.

      I agree with the WGD almost 100% of the time, but I think he’s wrong in “Brexit Day Blues” (https://is.gd/ctD1K2) pooh-poohing the concerns of those of us who think that the independence referendum must be held before we are actually forced to Brexit. My concern is not about the legalities, it is about the consequences of having a fascist regime at Westminster with no qualms about sending in the tanks. They have successfully laid the groundwork for it with all the anti-Jock propaganda that gets regularly dished out down there…

      I should put that where it belongs, as a comment on WGD’s article, but I’m too damn tired right now.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I no longer believe a yes vote will be enough. England cannot afford Brexit (in any form) without Scotland’s resources & I think its naive to think Rees Mogg et al are just going to say “off you go with England’s oil/water/power, no problem at all”. NB they view those resources as English.

        I hope I’m wrong but I think that will be just the start of the struggle. The ballot box isn’t going to get us indy – Westminster will find a way to vacate/nullify the results by changing the law.

        Ultimately Spain used violence/abused the rule of law to prevent democracy. Anyone see any seriously negative consequences affecting Spain a year on? No and you can bet your last penny the Tories noted that well.

        WGD has lost the plot on this one IMHO. I think maybe he’s spending too much time inside the “indy bubble” and can’t see the wood for the trees now 😦

        Liked by 4 people

          1. The thing to ask yourselves is this :

            “What does England sell which the rest of the world would wish to buy?”

            The answer is nothing of any consequence except money laundering and arms sales. Even then they can only sell those to already dodgy countries.

            Then think it through.

            Its hopelessly naive to expect Westminster to behave rationally/legally after a yes vote – either set of tories (red or blue) are simply barking mad. Venal self-serving scum, one & all.

            IMHO the best we can hope for is that a mass campaign of civil disobedience following a yes vote will be enough. If I’m being honest to myself I don’t think it will & after that, well we know where things will inevitably go.

            I fervently hope I’m wrong.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Well, I desperately hope it won;t come to that, but we know that they will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their “precious union”, and even within Europe (because internal law and order and constitutional affairs are not the EUs responsibility) we have seen what happened in Spain. So I rule nothing out.

              Britain is a self interested nation. It’s unlikely they give a stuff what happens to them, but as you say, bombs, jam and English champagne isn’t a lot to sell to the world.

              I’m glad I’m not a child growing up into this mess.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. The Scottish Government will play by the rules.
              You can guarantee Westminster wont !
              How many times have they changed things and backdated the changes?
              Westminster doesn’t like something they’ll change it, ignore the Law.
              Get what you want by whatever means necessary.
              Ignore decency and everything else a civilised modern country should stand for.
              We are up against one of the most venal organisations in the world.

              I think WGD is being overly trusting.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. I’m not pointing the finger at WGD but I wonder about the people who (ironically) are echoing the Maybot – “now is not the time”.

                I specifically wonder “qui bono?”

                We’ve already seen how some of the “pro-indy media” people turn out to be “now is not the time’rs” – Haggerty/Boyd et al – because they’ve worked out that NOBODY is going to be interested in a single thing they say post-indy. Oh & they can fill their pockets more or less indefinitely provided indyref2 doesn’t happen 😉

                The same thing applies to politicians – some of the (longer serving) MPs at Westminster are much worse (hello Pete Wishart!) because they know they’re unlikely to be anything other than a list MSP in future. ie a nobody.

                If the SNP doesn’t pull the trigger this year then I don’t see them getting the turnout they’ll need for Holyrood next time around. They have a “triple lock mandate”, the political system at Westminster is falling apart & the blonde buffoon lurks (a pound spent in Croydon etc). What the hell more do they want – a signed guarantee of victory?

                Fool me once etc…. people won’t vote for the unionist parties but the danger is they won’t turn out for the SNP who will get gubbed on the list votes (again).

                Liked by 3 people

                1. Well, you have a point there.

                  I’m inclined to think that we should go after the outcome of Mayhem’s meeting this week with the EU.

                  She of course, will say that now is not the time when the UK is facing its darkest hour… but, our answer to that is, that this time, the darkest hour is of their own making, and we didn’t participate, so if they want to go on and face their darkest hour (which they don;t have to) that is up to them, but we are all for having some really bright times ahead…

                  Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll go and read WGD.

        I wouldn’t want to sound sensationalist, but I have to admit that there are a lot of things I thought I’d never see in the UK which are happening and tanks have been deployed before (Churchill against Glasgow strikers: http://iainthepict.blogspot.com/2011/02/bloody-friday-battle-of-george-square.html )

        http://www.thenational.scot/resources/images/7341164.jpg?display=1&htype=0&type=responsive-gallery

        My goodness, wouldn’t Ruth be at home there?

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It has struck me that ever since she took the job, May has fallen over herself to associate with the most dubious people.

      Trump, Netanyahu, Salman, Erdogan, Orban.

      Brings back memories of Thatcher and dear dear General Pinochet.

      My Hungarian friend is embarrassed by Orban. If I felt even remotely British, I would be embarrassed by Mayhem.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. As everyone on here knows, I love my English friends dearly – but I find myself being glad I’m not English far, far more often than I used to even during the Thatcher years.

        We really should be planning for a significant influx of refugees from down south.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this from Alex in response to all the people who remind us that we have coped outside the EU before…

    Alex Andreou

    Verified account

    @sturdyAlex
    14h14 hours ago
    More Alex Andreou Retweeted Shouty Cassandra

    – “Are you sure it’s ok to jump out of this plane with no parachute?”

    – “You were on the ground before and you were fine. Plenty of people on the ground right now and they manage. The ground won’t hurt you. Unless the ground is being unreasonable.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Very impressed by Munguin’s definition of a few weeks holiday!

    I agree completely with Eddjas and Vestas about the growing extremism and disregard for the rules shown by the Tories.

    Indeed, two ideas flowing from this belief, firstly, that we need to focus less on the future vision thing and a lot more on the dangers that we need to escape from and, secondly, that the Tories and the UK media are systematically making Scotland invisible, lie behind the “View From England” columns that I’ve begun publishing in The National.

    So, to go off on a slight tangent, this makes the timidity and lack of ambition of the resolutions to be discussed at the SNP’s October conference incredibly frustrating.

    The SNP seems to be so focussed on the timing and mechanics of IndyRef-2 and on demonstrating competence in office that we are not pushing the benefits of independence or acting as if we were serious about independence on a day to day basis.

    Impressions are important in politics and the Party leadership currently look much more interested in talking rather than doing. Gradualism may have got us where we are but, given the current state of UK politics, we need to step things up a gear and the leadership seem strangely unwilling to do this. I have been a delegate at the last two conferences and I am completely fed up with sitting in the auditorium and being told from the stage that we are not going to let the Tories get away with this or that policy, without any hint of how we might actually achieve this.

    For a concrete example of the problem, look at the October conference’s Migration Policy resolution:

    “Conference condemns the UK Government’s narrow, negative and isolationist approach to migration, and denounces damaging Tory immigration targets – – – Conference therefore urges the UK government to devolve further powers to The Scottish Parliament – – – ”

    But what, exactly, is the motion going to achieve? It may make the delegates feel good but it will get minimal press attention and the Westminster government will simply ignore it, because there are no consequences.

    To be effective, the resolution needs to include something like this:
    “If the UK government refuses to devolve immigration powers, the Scottish Government will instruct Police Scotland to neither to co-operate with the Home Office’s Immigration Enforcement section nor to assist with forced removals of migrants. The Scottish Government will also set up its own immigration department to assist persons threatened with deportation”

    Would this be legal? I don’t know, but that’s not the point because the law and politics are two very different things. We should be concentrating on the political consequences. Playing by Westminster’s rules gets us nowhere – we should be pushing constantly at the boundaries of Scotland’s powers.

    A reworded resolution like this would show a seriousness of intent and a willingness to fight that has been conspicuously lacking. It would almost certainly generate press coverage and discussion, and would force Westminster to decide between two unpalatable choices – either accept it, reinforcing Scotland’s powers or oppose it and be seen (again) to be thwarting the will of the Scottish people.

    And, as I’ve written elsewhere, the Westminster establishment has become shaky and repressive and may not have the resources or will to resist a really strong push. But this won’t last for ever – either they’ll recover or they’ll become more repressive. So, if ever there was a time for action and pushing the boundaries of what Scotland can do, this is it.

    Just remember what happened when the SNP took very modest direct action with the Westminster walk-out – widespread publicity and 7,000 new members.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Brilliant post, Gordon.

      I’ve been a reluctant gradualist myself, but I’m coming round to the view that now we really must grab the bull by the horns.

      Of course there are no powers to do it. May may refuse to allow a binding referendum “now is not the time” style… but there is nothing to stop us having a referendum and presenting it to Westminster as “the will of the Scottish people”. As May has droned on about “the will of the British people” it might be harder for her to ignore OUR will. Harder but not impossible.

      Lack of co-operation with the British authorities is certainly an interesting idea. Is it breaking the law? Yes, Almost undoubtedly.

      What would they do?

      Send police to arrest the Justice Minister and close the parliament? Well, they could, I suppose.

      But then the ba’ would really be in the slates. We might have to get off our bums and fight for our rights as a nation. I don;t want to have to do that, but I could.

      Because, the future in a UK outside Europe frightens me.

      I really want action very soon.

      One way or the other we need to know where we are, and what kind of options we might have to move abroad if Scotland remains stuck in the UK.

      Munguin is, of course, still on holiday, cruising somewhere warm and expensive.

      I enjoyed my few days in the garden shed with Mickey and Jerry Mouse… but, well, relaxing with Chocolate muffins doesn’t pay the rent…

      🙂

      Like

    2. Just saw this on Twitter:

      Barrhead Boy

      @Scotpol1314

      If you really want to help Scotland reclaim its independence can I suggest you cancel whatever plans you have for Oct6th, buy a Saltire and get to Edinburgh for AUOB Rally the SNP Conference starts on 7th help send the message, Referendum Now!

      3:10 AM – 18 Sep 2018

      Like

    3. I’ve been advocating just grabbing what we can while we can. The Eye of Sauron – sorry, the Westminster regime has little attention left over from Brexit to pay to us funny little Jockanese-type persons – and if They insist on grabbing back Holyrood’s powers, we need to grab back as much and more. Gordon Millar says that the Scottish Government should announce that Police Scotland will no longer cooperate with the agents of the Home Office in deporting people and set up assistance for people to fight the Home Office.

      I don’t think the Government needs conference to tell it to do that – it should get ready, and then press go the minute the next significant case of Home Office abuse come up. Voilà: fait accompli.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I completely agree.

        I was talking specifically about my frustration with empty gestures at the SNP conference (and I’m not sure that the conference can force the Scottish Government to do anything anyway).

        But, in general, the Scottish Government (essentially the SNP) are not promoting the benefits of independence or acting as if we were serious about independence on a day to day basis.

        As I said in my post, I am completely fed up with sitting in the conference auditorium and being told by the SNP leadership that we are not going to let the Tories get away with this or that policy, without any hint of how we might actually achieve this.

        If we can’t be more pro-active and take the fight to the most chaotic, least effective UK government in living memory, I don’t understand how we expect to win independence.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. If the SNP wait until after Brexit to do anything then I think there will be many people who will have lost faith in the SNP. We voted for them to stop Brexit happening to Scotland, not for us to sample it first and then maybe do something about it.
    Ms Sturgeon doesn’t necessarily need to announce a date right now, but I do believe the SNP should talk about independence more. The Tories in Scotland already think they (the SNP) talk of nothing else, so nothing to lose there.
    People need rousing, they need something/someone to get behind. They need to know that all the chat (on here and other blogs) and the marches is getting us somewhere.
    I understand we don’t have the media behind us like Catalonia, but in Catalonia their pro independence political party(ies?) stand up in front of the people and risk everything to shout Independence!
    Ours don’t!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yep. It has to be soon.

      I think that it should be on the cards at and after the conference.

      May has had all the time she should have had to sort out Brexit and she has failed dismally, as usual.

      There is a suggestion going that NI may be treated differently (although clearly Arlene will withdraw her support) and Scotland will not.

      That is utterly unacceptable.

      I’ve had it with these Brits.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Absobloodylutely. The behaviour we’re seeing is beyond arrogant and ignorant, though it is all of that; it’s well down into despicable. And spiteful toward us Scots too – how dare we vote No to independence and then refuse just to hop meekly back into our box!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Many are suggesting that if Westminster refuses a binding referendum – which they will do – then the SG should organise an “unofficial” one in the hope that a YES result will give the SG the moral authority to demand Independence.

    However all the Unionist side has to do is call a boycott. The result, even if YES, is compromised and can be legitimately ignored.

    Scotland is not going to get it’s Independence through referendums.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. **RANT ALERT – YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN MENTAL SAFETY AND YOUR OWN THRESHOLD OF BOREDOM**

      The question of Westminster accepting or not accepting a demand for a Section 30 order to make the independence referendum result binding depends entirely on just how objectionable and idiotic the Westminster regime decides to be at that particular moment, because I suspect that they have no coherent strategy worked out to respond to that eventuality. I say so because They are apparently incapable of planning any coherent strategy about anything and are currently just pinballing from crisis to crisis in a kind of political pachuko, with loads of sound and fury, loads of distraction from real life and real-life problems, a frittering away of time, effort and money.

      That the question of whether Westminster considers the independence referendum legally binding or not depends entirely on Westminster – that is, I suppose, a statement of the absolutely bleedin’ obvious, but we must always to remember too that Westminster did just reaffirm / confirm / accept the Claim of Right; i.e., Westminster has itself accepted that the people of Scotland are sovereign in Scotland. In so doing, Westminster undermined just about all its rationale for reserving any powers to itself over Scotland: while the Union persists, the only powers it has any justification for retaining are foreign affairs and defence. If anyone can think of any others, do please let us know.

      The Westminster regime either does not realize the consequences of accepting the Claim of Right yet and is pressing on regardless, with its usual ignorance and arrogance, with imposing things on us that we have actively rejected. If the regime itself does recognize the consequences of that acceptance, then it is pulling a massive con, a Big Lie, by asserting Westminster’s sovereignty over everybody and everything – including us Scots, of course – which, they seem to think, goes one up on the universe itself by being not finite but unbounded, but infinite and unbounded.

      Let others argue whether the implications of the recognition of the Claim of Right are what I say they are – whether they are or not, that must be our interpretation of them, our gambit, our interpretation, and let the burden of proof to the contrary rest with the contrarians. Let us make it our political truth and our policy position, regardless of how anyone else outwith Scotland views it. It does, after all, reflect the view of the majority here in Scotland: in addition to the nearly half of us who are prepared to vote for independence as soon as the polls open, there are more than enough Scots who remain attached to the Union but are still not happy with the way Westminster and the regime are behaving, are fed up with Scotland being pushed around by it, and who want Holyrood to have more powers rather than fewer.

      We independentistas must never allow ourselves to be seduced by Westminster’s distorted and logically indefensible takes on anything. We must keep our critical faculties on full alert at all times, and operating on the principle of total scepticism absent reliable evidence to the contrary. We must always expect propaganda, always expect mendacity, whether in the form of ignorant, arrogant falsehoods, or deliberate, perfidious lies. Anyway, there are other types of seduction that are much more fun, I seem to recall.

      So I say: if the democratically elected Government of Scotland says that the independence referendum is legally binding in Scotland, then if Westminster disagrees then let the regime take the Scottish Government to the Supreme Court and, if that goes against us, onwards and upwards as far as we want to go. We will have ended the Union before that process comes to an end, but -regardless of any likely or unlikely result – we will have put a legal spoke in Westminster’s political wheel and bought us time while the regime decides what it can do politically and legally in response – and it has very little attention to spare at the moment to actually doing the day job of running the precious, precious Union. Which is more of a blessing than a curse, mind you, given its penchant for evil.

      We must, however, be prepared for the regime to use force against us, à la Mariano Rajoy or worse – and that means civil disobedience. I do hope there are plans and procedures in place to ensure that our polis answer to the Scottish Government and no one else – it would be good to ensure that our own Mossos d’Escuadra are on the right side, or at least refrain from taking action against us.

      In a nutshell, I want to know for sure that the moment we vote for independence our Government is ready to go: UN representation and membership, EU ditto, amendments to all international treaties and conventions binding on already drafted with all the necessary mutatis mutandis stuff done to reflect our continuing status as parties to them, cases prepared and ready to the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) in Hamburg over the territorial disputes with the rUK in the North Sea, practical arrangements for cross-Border electricity, gas, telecoms traffic in place.

      Let me stop there for a moment and say that the only way to force unreasonable people to deal properly with you is by a show of strength: in the case of the North Sea, “agree with us or we take you to court and we will win” should be the gambit – but starting with a claim on our side that is the absolute maximum the Court could possibly consider, without tipping over into absurdity or claiming territory off the Dutch, the Danish or the Norwegians.

      Rockall – I am absolutely sure that we Scots and the Irish could sort out what remains of that territorial dispute pretty painlessly between us; I have this strange – really odd – almost spooky feeling that the Irish will be much happier negotiating with people who they do not suspect of trying to rip them off at every opportunity, and who actually want mutual agreement and cooperation rather than just to have it all their own way all the time as if that were their God-given right.

      *****

      International infrastructure projects are Great Good Things, assuming that they are not Great International White Elephants or Environmental Disasters. There is rather a lot that we could be doing in that area.

      If we were to get together with Ireland and Iceland (and the Faeroes) on an electricity interconnector or interconnectors between us all, that would be an obvious Great Good Thing, especially if we are linked to Norway as well – so even if there were a flat calm over the whole of Scotland and the surrounding seas and no wind power, we would still have power flowing in from other renewable sources. We might want to beef up / back up the Moyle interconnector with Norlin Airlann while we’re at it. Some of this is already under way.

      The interconnector project with Iceland is called IceLink – such imaginitiveness, how on Earth do they come up with these names – read all abaht it at https://is.gd/ccbWdy. One piece of information from that article: “IceLink is on the European Union’s list of key energy infrastructure projects”. It’s not the only one, of course – see https://is.gd/2wTL6d.

      The Wikipedia article will do for the proposed interconnector with Norway, which is called NorthConnect – https://is.gd/sFbHY1.

      *****

      For the Moyle interconnector with Norlin Airlann – Wikipedia https://is.gd/Xf0MPf – the construction of the bridge across the North Channel might come into play. I do hope that the bridge will be designed to carry electricity and rail traffic as well as road vehicles. That bridge is a Must Have, I think. Here’s an interview with Prof. Alan Dunlop about it: https://is.gd/b8kYzn. There is a factual error in the article which I would like to point out: the current proposal or idea does date back to 2015 (originating with the unbelievably fragrant Arlene Foster, apparently), but people have been discussing the idea of a fixed link between Scotland and Ireland since at least 1886.

      The knock-on economic and social benefits of a bridge to Ireland are pretty obvious: over and above the boost to trade and reductions in transport costs, it would be a great motivator to continue the electrification of our railways down to Stranraer and onwards to new track to and across the bridge, and along a reinstated or rebuilt Dumfries-Stranraer railway. Before anyone cries “But the railway gauges in Ireland and Scotland are different!” we should be aware that it’s a pest but not an insuperable obstacle – trains can be designed with variable-gauge wheelsets (https://is.gd/9W9YiB), as I know from personal experience of being on one in Spain – and it was on one of their high-speed AVE trains, which regularly run at over 190 mph on their custom-built standard-gauge track.

      The Westminster regime has the power to screw a lot of this up – but before the usual Yoons of gloom and doom start crying that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid to do any of this and they’re all impossible anyway, we must be prepared to respond that we have a much better record at delivering projects on time and on or under budget than Westminster does, that none of those projects is impossible, and in fact some of them are already – ahem – in the pipeline.

      *****

      Oil and gas – we should start by imposing the same taxation / royalties regime on our oil and gas extraction industry that the Norwegians do on theirs, and ensure that they remain comparable if not exactly the same as time goes on. As a useful side effect, that would stop oil companies that operate in both jurisdictions from bellyaching about the taxation regimes in one but not the other – they’d have to take both governments on. T

      There is a lot of scope for improving all the agreements which Westminster arranged for us with Norway, and with all our other neighbours to east and west – because Westminster has never been nearly as good at anything as it likes to make out. It seems the obvious thing to do, really.

      Harmonization of environmental / health and safety / (hazardous) waste disposal / decommissioning regulations in the North Sea would also be a Great Good Thing – we have to suspect, at least, that the Norwegian standards are better than ours: their Alexander L. Kielland disaster was caused by a structural failure, while our Piper Alpha was caused by the sort of procedural sloppiness and human error that gave us Chernobyl. My reading of the reports on Piper Alpha is that that the absence of a “safety culture” on the rig was the fault of the company and its prioritizing profit over the welfare of its people. At Chernobyl, up the chain of command in the old Soviet Union regard for individual welfare was rarely much of a consideration, of course. Plus ça change…

      If I’m wrong about the regulatory aspects of the oil and gas industry in the North Sea (or about anything else, actually), I hope a better-informed Munguinite will set us all right.

      We also need to have a sovereign oil fund set up and ready for us to put the money into it. We will never be as well off as the Norwegians thanks to Westminster’s decades-long (centuries-long?) criminal mismanagement of our reserves and finances, but that is not an argument for not doing it at all – because that is exactly the mistake that Westminster made.

      *****

      I have a quaint notion that some of that oil money should be used to set up a not-for-profit retail banking service – if you are old enough, you may remember the old Girobank which Maggie Thatcher flogged off. People used to get their benefits and pensions by giro at the Post Office, which helped keep rural post offices open and gave crusty old sods like me some motivation to get out of the house.

      Other countries still have that kind of public-sector bank. We need a national public-sector retail banking service – the threatened closures of bank branches that leave whole communities without banking services at all, and the banking deserts even in parts of our major cities tell us that.

      A public-sector retail bank would be an integral part of the independent Scotland’s rejigged financial system. Combine it with our equivalent of National Savings, flog Scottish treasury bonds and the like through it – and offer it as a real alternative to the private banks. Those banks must of course be regulated so that they no longer have the power to crash the real economy of goods and services, people actually doing things and making things, as a result of their financial finagling. Their executives must no longer be permitted to cream off millions of quid a year as a reward for stiffing personal and business clients, turning the shares in their banks into junk bonds and impoverishing pensioners and others, and their managers and directors should be had up in court every and any time they put a foot wrong. We could save time by asking the Icelanders how they do it, I suppose.

      *****

      We need to be ready for independence. I worry that I do not see any visible signs of preparations being made. Our Government must start doing so if it hasn’t already, and it should also be really pushing the envelope, and doing it hard. In response to Westminster’s power grab, it must challenge all Westminster’s reserved powers, especially where it is doing such a terrible job – telecoms come to mind – and we must take ownership of our part of the National Grid and abolish the d*amned surcharge on the electricity our generators put into the grid – a cost which gets passed on to consumers, of course. We should be maintaining our own part of the grid, not handing control over the money we pay to someone else for no apparent reason. We should also be taking great care to maximize our revenue and minimize our expenditures on cross-Border electricity flows – and on many other things.

      Maximizing revenue flows in and minimizing the money going out is among the many things we need to do. Even though we know that Scotland’s financial black hole is mainly if not wholly attributable to pauchled figures, abused statistics and false or misleading assumptions, that does not excuse us from our responsibility to plug any leaks we find, to staunch any financial hæmorrhages we identify. We need to set about it now – and reserved powers be damned.

      If we cannot challenge the Westminster regime now, when it is at the weakest and most chaotic I have seen it in my half-century of adultish awareness, when can we? I’m fed up with folk fannying around being feart, and worrying whether we’re “allowed” to do something or not. Far better to do what we want (within reason) and let Them try to stop us.

      Look how I’m not mentioning immigration matters either – it’s one of those self-denying ordinances I have, you see.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That was …erm… pretty brilliant and I don;t disagree with any of it.

        This stuff is article material… well several articles. Maybe you’d like to write an article or two.

        Or maybe you think it would be worthwhile for us to split this into different sections as articles. (It is posted on a post that is now not current)

        What do you think?

        Like

          1. Work is after all, a four-letter word!

            OK.

            Panda Paws will tell you how little Munguin pays for articles, but he might permit you to spend the weekend in the shed with Mickey and Jerry Mouse.

            Like

    2. You have a point there.

      Although, wouldn’t it look really bad for them if they called on all their unionist followers to boycott a referendum… specially as they have been going on and on and on ad inf, about the “will of the British people”.

      Still, if they did… as well they might… would it really render it invalid? After all, it’s your prerogative not to vote in Scotland if you prefer not to.

      Like

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