It’s Peace, Man

OK, news editor. What do you lead with today? Interest rates held? More police forces investigate Ted Heath? Police Scotland in spying trouble?

The answer, if I was the overweight slob with the flat sausage sandwich sitting feet up on the desk, would be none of the above. This is the anniversary of the most terrifying single act of war perpetrated in human history – the nuclear bomb bursts over Japan. Those same weapons that flattened cities, obliterated human life and caused horrific injuries and defects for generations are still the arms of choice for civilised, democratic Britain – our country – and have their submarine base and warhead store on Scottish soil – our soil.


Isn’t that the story not only of today but of our age? What does it say of us, humankind, that 70 years later we still defend ourselves with weapons of unimaginable devastating capability? It’s only 18 years since a Labour government was elected with a promise to start a process of reduction along with other countries leading to their global eradication. It didn’t satisfy those of us who believed that with the super powers armed to the hilt an act of unilateral disarmament by a (global) power with a seat on the Security Council would have been a gesture of enormous significance deserving of a Nobel Prize for the instigator. That same national leader was instead to gain eternal notoriety for an intervention of a contrary kind. But it was, like rail nationalisation and minimum wage, iconic of the Britain we envisaged under Blair.

To find years later that Labour is now more committed than ever to retaining a so-called deterrent and upgrading it at a cost of anything up to £100bn is to realise how far the party has fallen from leader of progressive politics into right-wing shadow of radicalism.

What a day to declare in the middle of a leadership contest that all those who would lead the party are now committed to abolition of Trident. Wouldn’t that be a step towards reclaiming some of the vast acres lost in credibility and progressive humanity? What a day to start a campaign by activists to influence the candidates on this quintessential issue of our age.

So what is the Scottish Labour leadership tweeting? Blair McDougall, who who led the rancid No campaign and destroyed his own party, demands to know why SNP MSPs are ‘ silent’ on Labour’s motion for answers about police spying on journalists (if they did).

You’ll notice it isn’t the human rights issue or excessive police power that interests the party spokesman –that might imply principle. No, it’s the SNP that is the target. How we run justice and society generally to safeguard citizens isn’t the stuff of today’s Labour – it’s the ‘silence’ of SNP MSPs. Like Kezia’s juvenile tweet about student exam passes, this is the scrapings of student politics that so afflicts the upper echelons of a once-moral party.

(I’m not sure either what Labour is getting at. Do they think ministers instigated an illegal wiretap for the police? Are they suggesting ministers knew but turned a blind eye? ‘Aye, on youse go, Stephen. If you want to break the rules and spy on reporters, we don’t care.’ Or is it another attempt to rope them into some obscure blame game – Labour having nothing else to fight with?)

In this regard try Paul  Cairney’s thoughtful piece here which mirrors what I was writing the other day about the pitiful attempts to say hospital management is a minister’s responsibility, not the dozens of administrators whose job it is or the health board who oversee them. This chicanery is a particular favourite not only of Labour apparatchiks but of our beloved media hacks whose Jackanory grasp of how government works is like watching a five-year-old thread a needle – tongue out.

If Police Scotland has illegally spied on respectable journalists, it is a scandal that will blight its reputation for ever. If it was done against the rules, Stephen House must be sacked – no wheedling wait for his planned departure – but ousted in ignominy. If any minister is implicated directly in authorising or knowing and hiding this activity, he/she is political toast and follows House out of the door.

But can we please stop the sanctimonious posturing by Labour grovellers with their wee boy pointy fingers desperate for any smear that might just stick. McDougall must be the mangiest and most flatulent attack dog still ripping off the Labour Party. Let’s recall how Labour in power treated justice in just one documented instance, shall we?

A major criminal investigation into alleged corruption by the arms company BAE Systems and its executives was stopped in its tracks yesterday when the prime minister claimed it would endanger Britain’s security if the inquiry was allowed to continue.

The remarkable intervention was announced by the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith, who took the decision to end the Serious Fraud Office inquiry into alleged bribes paid by the company to Saudi officials, after consulting cabinet colleagues.

In recent weeks, BAE and the Saudi embassy had frantically lobbied the government for the long-running investigation to be discontinued, with the company insisting it was poised to lose another lucrative Saudi contract if it was allowed to go on. Read the full story here

Yeah, police spying on journalists is unacceptable but calling off the police to allow bribes to the Saudis so we can sell them weapons of war – that’s just politics, right?

Labour enmeshed in the arms trade and wallowing in weapons of mass destruction. Isn’t that where we came in?

One of the things I’m most proud of about the SNP and Yes is total opposition to nuclear arms. And every Labour voter knows they should do the same…except they can’t because then they couldn’t weasel another SNP Bad/SNP Blame line out of it, could they? Peace, brothers.

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17 thoughts on “It’s Peace, Man

  1. If they (Labour) stop with the “SNP Bad” rhetoric there would be utter silence punctuated by the occasional tumbleweed drifting across the room. They are an empty vessel and therefor obliged to make noise ….. any sort of noise. It’ll be a relief when they’ve finally gone and a real socialist party replace them.

  2. I understand that bonobos are known to utter “peeps” that aren’t motivated by the usual triggers for animal sounds – alarm, fear, acknowledgment and so on. The “peeps” seem to be entirely spontaneous and akin to the little protophonic squeaks and peeps that babies make in their early development.

    These regressive little squeaks and peeps by Blairites are just that. Meaningless, inarticulate, spontaneous vocalisations that mean nothing much but at least let us know that they’re still alive. There’s the occasional screech triggered by fear and panic but they tend to quieten down when soothed with a headline or two.

  3. I think Nagasaki was actually a worse act because they knew how bad Hiroshima was but went right ahead with even worse- very wicked.

    • It’s slightly worse than that, they had two different types of bomb, so were compaing them. Nagasaki inparticular was nothing more than a test site.

      • In 1970 I was a 19 year old cadet engineer with Ben Line and we docked at Nagasaki. The ship was a pre-containerisation break bulk cargo liner so was in port for several days and I had time off to explore. I paid a visit to the Peace Park that was at the epicentre of the blast. The bomb was designed to explode above the ground with the down blast destroying the city. The exhibition of photographs of the immediate aftermath of the bomb and more particularly what had happened to individual families in the intervening years (horrible birth defects) was a seminal moment in my political awakening. A weapon that not only kills and maims your enemies but also destroys the lives of innocents not yet born. I have been completely opposed to nuclear weapons ever since. I have attended CND marches and rallies over the years and it is interesting how the MSM and utterly disgraceful BBC consistently misreport the events and straightforwardly lie about the numbers attending just as they consistently did with any YES event during Indyref1. Given the foreknowledge of what had taken place at Hiroshima, Nagasaki was a grotesque experiment and war crime even in the febrile atmosphere and by the human rights standards of 1946. I am glad that the SNP stance is to rid Scotland of nuclear weapons although the “real politic” stance on NATO membership is a disappointment that I hope will be overturned one day.

  4. If they were spying on BBC Scotland journalists. I would give all the police a free holiday in the Costa Brava.

  5. Heidstaethefire

    I doubt that many people read the vacuous cac that McDougall et Al produce. If you hadn’t told us of this tweet I doubt many of us would actually know about it. A measure of their irrelevance.

  6. The irrelevance of Labour in Scotland is astounding!

  7. The playground “pointy finger” politics of (Not) Labour has been their undoing but most of them still don’t get it (though I suspect Ken Macintosh does – but then he comes out with stupid stuff like more devolution is bad for Scotland as it will lead to reactionary government).

    It’s a joke – but one with a serious down side. Any government in a democracy needs to be held to account by effective opposition. Yet in both Holyrood and Westminster (Not) Labour just can’t manage this basic function.

    As for nuclear weapons? They are an abomination that should go. Really what is the point? They haven’t acted as a deterrent to the dozens of wars that have killed millions of people since 1945. If we use them at any time we’d all be annihilated. And if we are never going to use them? Well, either way there is no point in having them.

  8. I know Steve.

    Slabour point the finger so much and cry wolf so many times. That Joe public just think everything they do is criticism for criticisms sake. It’s because of this that even when they have a genuine concern people can’t tell the difference.

    Saying things like the Police are in meltdown. Is disrespectful, not constructive and a simple a falsehood!

  9. On Nuclear weapons, I read Corbyn in a comment article in the National today.
    At one point he said, “Unlike government at Scottish and UK level, as Labour leader I’ll take defence diversification seriously”.
    That was the whole point of Independence and now getting as many powers as possible, it was to get diversification, create new industries to replace weapons.
    This was one of the great criticisms of Labour in Scotland over the last decades, they made no effort to do this.
    So, when he said that he lost my support.

  10. Gavin C Barrie

    I assume Corbyn in saying “Unlike government at Scottish and UK level as Labour leader I’ll take defence diversification seriously”, he was referring to the past Labour Gov’t in Scotland not the SNP.

    And diversification isn’t as clear a statement as would be “I’ll take nuclear disarmament seriously”. Options open then?

    Two years of campaigning has surely sharpened my verbal reasoning.

    • No, there are two separate situations in the comment, ‘government’ and ‘Labour leader’.
      Otherwise it would have been “Unlike Labour government…”.

  11. We talk about the bombs as being horrible and they are, but we tend to forget the firebomb raids on Japan that wreaked the same level of destruction and death.

  12. Hiroshima – from someone who was actually on the ground at the time:

  13. So now the Chair of BAE, Sir Roger Carr, is appointed Vice Chair of the BBC Trust, to assist Ms Rona Fairhead (of HSBC) in overseeing our state broadcaster. Peace and love!

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