It Wisnae’ Me the Latest

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You’d think the result was in the bag judging by the premature blame game going on across the conventional media – the knives are glinting and it’s the fault of Miliband, Cameron or us silly Caledonian dreamers depending on your source.

(I should add there is a deliciously unhinged item in the Telegraph today in which the Great Tumshie of Tayside Alan Cochrane goes into meltdown with frustration urging Britnats to get a sheet of A4 and a felt tip pen and, if they can, write No on it and stick in the windae…hurry! Salmond’s on his way!)

Philip Collins, a New Labour apparatchik in the Times blames Labour and Miliband and all those in his own party he hates for threatening to lose Scotland. I agree to the degree that Labour is brain dead both in content and comprehension but you can see how far off target this guy is when you read that Yes has ‘no specific answers to questions.’ That’ll be apart from 650 pages of White Paper, then.

(Surprise) Currency? Sorry, Philip if you haven’t understood, but there is a constant and unflinching reply to that one…you can’t say it’s an unanswered question just because the other side holds its fingers in its ears.

Defence? We will have a conventional defence force suited to our needs which is more than we have now – no surface ships, no air reconnaissance, yet nuclear subs. Will the EU override Spanish objections and let us into Europe, he asks. How far behind the debate do you have to be and still be taken seriously…there will be no Spanish objection and no rejection.

Who bails out RBS next time? The same people as last time – the central banks where it does its business. His list goes on confirming at every stage his effective ignorance of how fast things are moving.

Today in the Guardian Jonathan Freedland who was prepared to say he might vote Yes weeks ago if he had a vote, now does a very English wobble because Yes will mean a diminished and less cohesive remainder. He’s right. But why wait till it looks like we might win to pull that one out? Surely he should have been making the social democratic case for constitutional change or federalism for the last few years, not the last few days. Jonathan has what I take to be a Labour source blaming the Tories for potential defeat, or is it the relentless negativity of the No campaign?

It is dawning on Unionist Britain that the end is in sight and even if their prayers are answered, the Union will survive by a whisper and the question will linger through the General Election and any EU referendum – now being urged on Miliband by the Unite union’s Len McCluskey.

For an antidote to this drizzle of failure and complaint and recrimination, can I recommend

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This week I spoke to two refreshing academics who are brilliant at dismantling concepts on which we think we rely. So Iain Docherty of Glasgow University explains how control of the economic levers produces policies moulded to our needs and Mairianna Clyde of the Open University uses history to show how power in the hands of the people produces the best results. They’re informative and entertaining conversations with Scots who really have thought the issues and really do understand our country – unlike Philip and Jonathan. Have a listen and take a peek at our promo video in which me and Amanda look like the stars of one of those seventies action TV series…was it the Professionals, Starsky and Hutch or Charlie’s Angels? Click on the link at the top…

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31 thoughts on “It Wisnae’ Me

  1. I was going to post on Cochrane’s piece in the DT, but remembered that I am banned there.

    Does Cockers permit dissent?

    Anyway, in a few years he’ll be needing the free services of the free SNHS.

  2. Taxi

    with DB as the Danny de Vito character and Amanda as Marilu Henner?

    I’ll get my fur coat and ears.

  3. It wisnae me. Ah wisnae there when I did it and the rest o’ the class were daein’ it as well.

  4. Steve Asaneilean

    For info – the issue with the Trans-Atlantic Trade & Investment Partnership (TTIP) is that services, including state services, should be open to private competition from American multinationals. Health services in Europe could therefore be opened to private competition, but only where privatisation is already established within a member state. In other words, where there is an existing state monopoly, TTIP won’t apply – foreign companies will NOT be able to sue the government in question for unfair competition. But, even in those circumstances, some aspects could be challenged (e.g. the IT and telecoms stuff NHS Scotland out-source or even minimal pricing for alcohol).

    Labour’s Shadow Health spokesperson at Westminster has recognised the threat:

    In this article he says:

    “If this goes through it will mean that any Clinical Commissioning Group anywhere in England could be [sued] by a US private healthcare company. It’s a question of control – the NHS used to be able to plan these things. If it wanted to run a particular service then it could… plan which contracts would go out and which wouldn’t – it doesn’t hold the cards any more. There’s no doubt the Health and Social Care Act opens up the NHS to full competition – that was always the hidden agenda in my view and [TTIP] puts the rocket boosters on it. If it goes through the genie would be out of the bottle and it would be irreversible. The stakes couldn’t be higher.”

    Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) laws – a core component of TTIP – legally protects the profits of corporations regardless of patient care performance.

    Once these ISDS tools are in place, contracts will be underwritten, even where a private provider is failing patients and the Government wants a contract cancelled. In this case, the provider will be able to sue the Government for future loss of earnings, resulting in further costs to the taxpayer for legal and administrative costs.

    ISDS also gives multinational corporations advantage over local providers because it gives overseas investors the exclusive right to commercial arbitration as a means of influence. Trade union Unite have said that TTIP will make privatisation irreversible as:

    “US health companies will even have the right to sue a future UK government in secret courts if politicians try to reverse privatisation.”

    Patients for NHS, an England based pro-NHS lobby group, said:

    “The treaty will change the whole emphasis of NHS health care: the priority will become the rights of transnational organisations rather than the care of patients.”

    David Cameron recently answered a question in the House of Commons on whether the NHS would be excluded from TTIP by saying:

    “[I’m] not aware of a specific exemption for any particular area, but I think that the health service would be treated in the same way in relation to EU-US negotiations as it is in relation to EU rules”

    It’s all very complex and confusing at present and won’t be settled for several years but, in my view having read an awful lot now about TTIP, as things stand today (and I am not making a referendum point here as such) the best way for the Scottish NHS to be protected would be for Scotland to be an independent nation.

    Whilst we are part of the UK there is a very good case for arguing under TTIP that the NHS is a single market and as such, because the Health and Social Care Act (2012) has opened up NHS England to private competition it has exposed the NHS in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to the impact of TTIP.

    If Scotland was independent it would (as things stand today) be exempt from the clinical implications of TTIP as we have not put clinical services out to competitive tendering (as well as the simple fact that, as an independent EU member, we could argue our own case). The only things that NHS Scotland might have to allow in or compensate the multinationals would be those things that they currently out-source such as IT and telecoms. In total this comes to about 0.8% of the NHS Scotland budget and wouldn’t be worth the effort for most big multinationals.

    • Of course this applies to all public contracts and not just NHS. Although health care is seen as a dripping roast for the American companies and another step towards US world commercial hegemony.
      It beggars belief that any European could sign up to such an agreement. Some auditing of private bank accounts required!

    • YES! understanding of the dire implications of Scotland remaining in Europe is paramount for Scotland. I don’t want Scotland to follow what Westminster had in its plans for us anyway. We cannot afford to stay in Europe while the threat of TTIP is still being discussed and actively promoted by our neighbours. We need to steer clear of any politics that allows another bigger organisation to dictate what happens in Scotland. You are quite right Derek about the charisma of our first minister and YES he has fought for this goal his whole political life. But what does he think of the TTIP? What has he done about disarming the police? These are questions I would like him to answer before independence day. It is not a good idea to follow ‘a leader’ blindly without checking first if he’s singing from the same hymn sheet.
      YES to Scotland; no to old politics; Scotland out of Europe.

      • For some time now I have been pondering that the opportunity to exit Europe presented by a Yes vote during post-referendum negotiations might not be a bad idea. Current SNP thinking about Europe is 25 years out of date. Whilst the ‘Europe of the Regions’ idea had strong appeal, we have seen how the aspirations of submerged nations like the Catalans, Flemish, or Corsicans has been suppressed since that time. EU now seems to be controlled by big business.

        On Bella there is an interview with Chomsky in which he casts aspersions on the direction in which the EU is going. In his view it is a corporate big business sell out.

  5. see how they are skewng the polls and why they had to up the figures for yes or they would look stupid

  6. Would Labours ‘One Nation ‘ if it was voted in be considered a paradigm shift or an unofficial treaty by the back door?

    Interesting and informative Derek .

    Meantime old Cochers pleads with the little people to go out and stop the other little people who may impinge on the important peoples lifestyles- he just doesn’t get it does he?

  7. Derek, I noticed a change in the usual Unionist papers, blaming Cameron etc.

    On another note – Friend and her husband are voting No. Sadly, she doesn’t know half the stuff I know about eg. the Claire Ridge oil field. She thinks the lukewarm new powers for the Scottish Parliament are guaranteed if there is a No vote. I did point out the Unionist didn’t want a devo max option on the ballot paper so why should we trust them now. Her husband thinks Scotland is going to be a basket case come Independence, and has moved their savings out of RBS. They think the Yes campaign (or the SNP to them) is all about emotions and the No campaign is intelligent and logical. To say I was frustrated is an understatement.

    • So what’s the logic of taking your money out of a bank that is 81% owned by the UK Government when you wish to remain under the tutelage of that same Government?!

    • Anne, I too have friend who is voting NO. He doesn’t want to be informed about the other side of the debate. All his information is gained from the mainstream media. I saw a reply recently that we should liken friends who are staunch NO voters like smokers. Ultimately damaging themselves very slowly and we can still feel sorry for them as they struggle with their blind refusal to face up to facts. However they will still remains friends despite all this. When our independence is proclaimed on the 19th September they will have to come to terms with the situation.

      • It came as a surprise to his wife, who said that the oil is running out, that there is a new oil field, the Claire Ridge. However, sadly she leaves these weighty matters to her husband who is truly misinformed. I also said that if the oil is running out, then why is their record investment by the oil industry. These people are deaf as a door. I might just try a word in his ear……………….if he has switched on his ‘independent hearing aid’!!

        • Some people will just believe ‘authority’ and trust in that until the day they die. Other people are more moved by the solidarity of their friends and neighbours and place more trust in that. It can be hard to change your view, but the fact that some people will remain resolute for ‘authority’ over democracy or the will of the people, says more about them than it does about the system.

  8. Poor Old Cockers is in meltdown. And it’s a treat to watch. I am not about to waste any sympathy on a man who has done everything he could to contaminate the worthy democratic exercise of the referendum campaign with his own baleful brand of bilious, hatemongering British nationalism. His angry, arrogant, ill-informed and frequently dishonest diatribes threatened to be a blight on a process which, fortunately, was too big and too powerful to be much affected by the spittle-flecked ranting of a professional bigot.

    We get a flavour of the boorish dullard’s hypocrisy in his latest gobbet of British nationalist drivel ( Not so very many months ago Poor Old Cockers was dismissing the entire independence movement – or, as he likes to call it, Wee Eck – as a pitiful waste of time and urging Yes supporters to fold up their tents and go home on the basis of opinion polls which indicated what he took to be an unchallengeable lead for the anti-independence mob. Now that the polls have narrowed to the point where a Yes vote is not only possible but likely, he is frantically urging his little band of fellow British nationalist fanatics to ignore them.

    I wonder if there is a mathematical relationship between the tightening of the polls and the slackening of Poor Old Cockers’s sphincter.

    Whatever! One of the great pleasures in the aftermath of a Yes vote will be watching Poor Old Cockers melt into a greasy puddle of his own spit and bile before being washed into history’s sewer by the wave of democratic revival and economic renewal that sweeps across Scotland.

    • Peter. Totally agree. I read Cochrane’s latest rant and think it is possibly the most offensive piece I have read in the whole campaign. He knows no shame.

  9. You are a sad loss to the Diplomatic Corps, Peter. 😉
    I agree with every word, by the way.

  10. With what is coming after Osborne’s housing bubble bursts and NHS privatisation,
    Voting No will be like pulling the pin and then putting the grenade in your pocket.
    Hold fast and vote YES.

  11. Amazing as it seems, the media appear to have noticed us or rather they are now beginning to take the situation seriously. We were supposed to be a joke, an aberration, a blip in the UKs political history. They simply didn’t believe that the electorate were serious in their demand for change or indeed that enough consensus existed for that electorate to mobilise and form a serious threat to their cosy view of the world and the state of the UKs political status quo.

    Too little, too late? Probably.

    Both the state and the media forgot something in their rush to put the people firmly in their place. They forgot that without the people there can be no government, no country, no right to govern. The true power and wealth of any nation is not currency, its not how many weapons of mass destruction you can park on the landscape and its not how many ‘big tables’ you can get your feet under, its people. Governments aren’t there to direct the will of the people. Governments are there to reflect and serve the will of the people.

    They forgot that simple premise and now they are going to find out what happens when the people no longer feel like being told how things are going to be. Now they’re going to find out how we think they should be.

    • Steve Asaneilean

      Precisely – got it in one Macart

        • Steve Asaneilean

          Not on Twitter so thanks for sharing. I said at a Yes event here 3 weeks ago that I thought the Sun might come out for Yes. I have always found it hard to understand why Murdoch propped up the British establishment when you consider his origins. So it will be interesting to see which way he tilts in the next 11 days. If it is for Yes I am not sure whether to be grateful or not. Also I am not sure what he hopes to gain in return but he must have something in mind as I don’t think he understands the idea of selflessness. Maybe he wants to dominate the Scottish press. Maybe he wants to be involved in setting up a new Scottish broadcasting service.
          Ach well, who knows what the poll will say or which way Murdoch will jump. As they say – if ifs and buts were chocolate and nuts we’d all have a happy Sept. 19th…

          • Yes, I know what you mean, but it wasn’t so much the thought of any of his titles supporting a yes vote for all of twelve days I was thinking about. No, rather it was what he was hinting at. Apparently poll results will be released through tomorrows Times. If his cryptic hint is anything to go by, I think we’re about to see a YES lead.

  12. New YouGov poll – Yes 51% No 49% excluding Don’t Knows.

  13. The twilight of the British state and the moment of its implosion facing it square in the eye – not through a pair of field binoculars, nor a mega-super telescope, but up close. Nose to nose: The sovereign will of the citizens of Scotland re-asserting itself, post-hibernation, in the face of the bare knuckle, street fighting tactics of the anti-democratic Anglo-British establishment and its hangers-on in its propaganda arm and other branches feeding on its withered, auld, sterile tits. The flabby lumps of fat hingin’ from the chest of a punch drunk, big bellied, lard-arsed bully used to having his imperialist fights fixed under the guise of the Marquis of Queensberry Rules. Its “grass-roots” supporters street thugs, it would seem: Fascisti by any other name.

    Cochrane and his demented peers roaring and sniveling alternately as the moment approaches. Ranting and bellowing from their passing-privileged commentators’s box as the dawning recognition that their fixed game is a bogey finally lodges in their collective napper.

    Wonderful stuff. Reminds me of Dick MacTaggart’s elegantly forensic taking apart of his coarser opponents does this referendum campaign: In this case, the collective will of the political amateurs which constitutes the citizenry of Scotland giving the punditry, spin-meisters, and their gangster overseers at Westminster, and its satellites, a right royal, democratic doing.

    A substantial number of drams will be raised primarily by me and my Japanese wife, as she is a non-drinker, come the result. And I promise a ceilidh to end all ceilidhs here in Tokyo.

    A long over-due slainte from us here to you all at home.

  14. but what about the ‘game changer’? That moment to change the fortunes of Yes. Looks like they all missed it back in 2011 when the SNP gained a majority in Holyrood.

  15. I posted the following this Sunday morning, 7th September, on the Herald site in response to the article on the YOUGov poll

    “Latest News: Dewey Defeats Truman. Beware of polls.”

    The post was deleted. Maybe I should have attached an explanation…

  16. So true Antoine. That’s why Alex Salmond, on the Politics Scotland show today, didn’t crow about the latest YouGov poll – Yes 51% No 49%. He is a canny political operator and knows to stay calm.

    Myself, I won’t be confident until the results are in on the 19th September and then I’ll be chewing my nails and hiding!!

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