New Thoughts

by C.C.Hamilton

A country divided

 

The really good thing about travelling around the Shires of England is getting a feel for the people and leaving the “Scotland is shit” media behind. I love England, it’s people, it’s scenery and it’s rich history. I love how, for the most part,they have this great belief in the country’s ability to overcome any odds. There is no way, for example, if England had entered a Union with France 300 years and had the parliament moved to Paris, they would, 300 years later be still agonising over whether they were good enough to be independent. Long before now the English people would have TAKEN their country back. I like that. This last wee while is different though.I sensed division this time, division I had never really sensed before. And 3 way  too. There are those who want a really hard BREXIT,who seem to dispise the EU, those desperate to stay in the EU and those, like most Scots, I suppose, just shrugging their shoulders and burying their heads, dismayed by politics in general. We all hear about Scotland being divided, my goodness, Kezia is never done goingon about it. But lets be clear, there are divisions in all countries between left and right, religion, yes and no….. But we manage these divisions and particularly in Scotland we are managing these divisions better than ever I think. We mustn’t take our eye off the ball of course.

Speaking to people down South I’ve never heard such polar views. Some had a real deep distaste for the EU, usually around the issue of Immigration and others just felt helpless. Some of those I spoke to, voted for Jeremy Corbyn on the basis that he “was different” but already had become dismayed by the fact that 1. he lost and they got a Tory Government anyway (we know the feeling!) and 2. were now of the opinion that Corbyn’s Labour party are after much the same “hard” Brexit that the Tories are.  What was also startling was the positive attitude to some of our Politicians, Nicola Sturgeon, Mhairi Black and Angus Robertson being particularly highly regarded. Funnily enough, friends in England seem to have seen through Ruth Davidson much quicker than us Scots, one guy referred to her as a “Posh Ned!” which I thought was funny. Too much Still Game for him I think! What I think has become clear is that people in England are much more aware of the other countries in the UK (possibly brought in to focus by the Tory-DUP deal) and are paying more attention to our politics.  Becoming frustrated by the performance of their NHS for example compared to Scotland.  Anyway that’s just a snapshot of recent travels in England.  I don’t know where Brexit will take the UK, it’s a mess and I think we all know it. Can we make the best of it? I am not sure but many people around these islands feel exactly the same.

 

The problem with Labour

 

It’s been interesting over the last few weeks to read two of my favourite Pro-Indy writers Cat Boyd and Alan Bissitt wrestle with voting Labour in the recent General Election. As I have said here before, I don’t really care how anyone else votes, indeed it’s none of my business but you have to own that vote. Be aware of what you are voting for, who you are voting for and if elected what you will get from your candidate and if the party forms the Government what you will get from them. For me in the General Election the choice was easy. My SNP MP has been superb for our area. Worked harder than his predessor and deserved, in my view, to remain in place and he did albeit with a reduced majority.  Our Labour candidate was a mess and despite my being encouraged by the prospect of Jeremy as PM, it was just as important to me that the person representing us at Westminster was competent.  The Labour candidate certainly was not that. The Lib Dem was the previous MP and was largely anonymous and the Tory was, well a Tory!

My problems with Labour as a leftie remain.  It is the insulting way they dismissed the YES campaign and continue to dismiss and denigrate those who favour self determintion.  I like Jeremy Corbyn and think he is a decent man, but the party he leads would still keep nuclear weapons on the Clyde.  The Labour mayor of London made bizarre claims about theYES movement being racist. They seem to favour a hard brexit, albeit committed to more concilliatory talks with the EU, and interestingly several of their pledges made during the campaign seem to melt away the closer they get to Government.  Indeed we hear senior members of the Party suggesting that the “radical” manifesto they proposed was based on the fact that they didn’t think they would be elected and admitting that it couldn’t have been implemented.  We also have Jeremy sacking ministers for rebelling, when he himself has been a serial rebel in the party for years. Very much do as I say not as I do.  It’s all so disappointing.  My issue, with the party, here in Scotland is also that the level of candidate just isn’t very good and when I listen to people like Jackie Baillie, Anas Sarwar and James Kelly I don’t hear people who represent what the Labour Party was to me in my younger years or my parents generation or indeed the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn. For me Alan Bisset hit the nail on the head, recently, when he said he thought about it, voting for a Labour party with a socialist agenda again, but just couldn’t.  Too much damage has been done. I can’t vote for a party that includes those who openly dispise and denigrate the peaceful democratic YES movement it is such a joy to be a part of. I hope to be able to vote Labour in an Independent Scotland until then it’s SNP/Green/SSP for me.  I want a radical,socialist Scotland. And while we are in the UK I want a radical, socialist UK. Sorry Cat, but even under Jeremy Corbyn Labour is not even close to that.  I am not saying the SNP are radical either by the way, but in the UK we need MP’s whose first and only concern is Scotland and are not lobby fodder for Labour or the Tories.  I can’t forget my own family’s  80’s experience of  local industry being wrecked by the Tories while the Labour MP’s and Labour councils stood idly by and did nothing for the people they represented.

 

Calling Agent  Gilruth

 

I never think the personal lives of Politicians is anyones business and I certainly don’t think it constitutes news but I had a giggle this week when I read about the relationship between SNP MSP Jenny Gilruth and Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. Both are very capable Politicians and strong characters so I can imagine the discussions over dinner some nights!  Of course, we all know Kezia would love to come over from the “dark side” and back independence for her country and I am sure through time Jenny will be able to persuade her of the merits of that. Kezia Dugdale as the Labour FM in a Independent Scotland? I would take that. On a more serious note, good luck to them both.

 

Space Cringe

 

Not content with saying the Scotland is currently shit, I see our pals in the Unionist media and Tory Party were back to telling us what we couldn’t do as a future Independent country at the weekend.  The National ran a front page at the weekend on the ambitious idea floated by Common Weal that an Independent Scotland could have a thriving space programme.  Despite the fact it was another of those cartoony front pages from the National that I hate.  It was an enjoyable piece, ideal for lighter weekend reading and was indicitive of what the Pro-Indy movement is all about: dreaming big, thinking out of the box, being creative, doing thing differently and trusting ourselves to make those aspirations a reality.  Of course all the big guns piled on, Deerin, Tomkins (yes he of the WATP, Queens 11 tweets), Murial Gray. Most of the Cringers in one place.  How dare Scotland think big?  How dare Scotland think forward?  Quite mad for Scotland to even contemplate such an idea. Of course, many thousands in Scotland are already employed in the space industry and efforts are afoot to bring the UK spaceport to either Prestwick or Campbeltown. We build more satellites in Glasgow than any other European City.  None of that suits the “Scotland is Shit” brigade who currently populate our media and political spaces. It’s a shame really because wee countries with big ideas and big dreams seem to do OK. Never mind.  While they moan from the sidelines we will continue to dream big, reach out and drive forward because that’s what proper country’s do.

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The Truth

by C.C. Hamilton

The truth about Ruth

 

The images over the weekend of Ruth Davidson in military uniform gave me the dry boak. There is something very uncomfortable about a politician in military uniform. The “Lesbian kick boxer” as she was lovingly referred to in the English press at the weekend is just a parody figure in my eyes now. I cant wait to see her joining in with the party tunes at the next Armed Forces day at Ibrox. I am sure brother Adam and brother Murdo will teach her the words.

It was interesting to see the response from Keith Brown MSP, who actually served, on the subject. Dignified and considered. Such a contrast to what we have come to expect from this batch of Tories.

 

Gordon Wilson

 

As I write this, the news is coming through of Gordon Wilson’s passing. Gordon led the SNP through turbulent times and was, for me, a frustrating figure in recent years. I met him a couple of times as a young man as I fell in and out of love with the party, and found him courteous, patient and engaging. In contrast to people like Jack McConnell and Margaret Curran who I met around the same time but found rude and almost arrogant when discussing Scottish politics. I understand Gordon has a big family and he will be sorely missed. As far as the YES movement is concerned, like Jim Sillars, he was an important voice in recent years, a frustrating one at times as I said before, but an important one. He will be sorely missed by all of us who believe in self determination but we will carry on. A true patriot. RIP.

 

More Toxic Tories

 

I see the Tories in Scotland are in more trouble. The new MP for Stirling Stephen Kerr was picked apart by people on Social Media and picked up by the Sunday Herald for holding, shall we say, questionable views on Gay Marriage etc. He was, of course, pictured with “Lesbian Kick Boxer Ruth Davidson.” Amazing how beliefs can change when you get a whiff of power. We also had the incredible news that Ian Duncan, loser in Perth, is to be parachuted into the Lords and to get a top job in the Scottish office ahead of the other 12 useful idiots who actually won a seat ( with help from Scottish Labour of course!) Ruth’s Party is now being taken to court by a European list candidate who has been passed over for Ian Duncan’s MEP job in favour of one of Ruth’s pals, Iain McGill, who lost in Edinburgh . You couldn’t make this up. There is very little noise from the Timid Twelve (discounting snackbeard as he does have a kinda bigboy job) as the 35 SNP MP’s get back to business. It was always this way though, we know in Scotland if we send MP’s down to Westminster, either Labour or Tory, they are merely Lobby fodder with big expense accounts. The Tories in Scotland are actually a shambolic disgrace and the media (even the left leaning side like the Daily Record) gives them a free pass. No wonder the latest poll on trust in the media is an absolute shocker.

 

Labour

 

This week we had Owen Jones in Scotland to visit his sick father and to campaign for the Scottish Labour candidate in Leith. Most of Labour are wetting their knickers at the prospect of another election this year (the third in 2 years) because Jeremy has momentum behind him and he may win this one. Owen took the opportunity to attack the SNP, not the Tories but the SNP and campaign in a seat where the sitting MP is a very good SNP MP. Owen,of course, not so long ago was campaigning for Jeremy Corbyn to stand down, but now there is a whiff of power all is good with the dandy Socialist and Corbyn is his man again. Now, I like Owen Jones and I like Jeremy Corbyn and I have no problem with Owen coming to Scotland to campaign but surely his fire would be better used on The Tories in Scotland. The party of the benefits cap, Rape Clause and mired in allegations of Sectarianism, Racism and Homophobia. Remember even if Labour had swept Scotland Jeremy would still have been short of a majority, that’s how far behind labour had fallen in the UK. Now, of course, they made great strides at the Election but still fell well short of winning the Election against the worst campaign in history. I think, we all have to accept too that the Tories will NOT be that bad again. They will regroup to a degree and won’t make the same mistakes again.

 There is also the hypocricy of Kezia Dugdale driving for another election, the third in two years, but campigning to deny a referendum, already voted through Holyrood, a second in 5-6 years if it takes place as seems most likey in 2019-2020. So I would respectfully ask Owen Jones, to look at the bigger picture here in Scotland. The SNP is not the enemy of Jeremy Corbyn, in fact the wider YES movement are some of the biggest friends he has in Scotland. And certainly MORE supportive of Jeremy and his socialist ideals than Scottish Labour.

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The Invisible Man…ifesto

Despite waiting (I don’t know why) for Labours Manifesto it has finally appeared in hardcopy for journalists online and it still not online –

manifesto_pathetic

So with 8 days to go I am not going to bother waiting any longer. It is a disgrace that any party has waited this long to produce a Manifesto. It does demonstrate an utter lack of respect for the Scottish public as well as zero respect for those with postal votes.

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