Monday, 29 September 2014

Some Musings

Apologies for not posting last week but a wee retina problem caused me to take the sensible decision of reducing time on the Mac.  Hopefully it will be sorted after a visit to the eye clinic in Ninewells later today.

Even if you’re not fan of golf, surely all Scots must have felt insulted when Alex Salmond was loudly booed while being introduced at the Ryder Cup presentation ceremony.  He was present in his capacity of First Minister of Scotland, to present the trophy to the winner’s captain - GB won if you haven’t been following it. I had no choice but hear it in every corner of a house full of ardent golf lovers.  Praise to the Sky camera crews though because they swiftly moved their cameras from the clowns to a part of the crowd where saltires were waving madly.

There’s an old saying ‘Once is chance, twice is coincidence but three times is enemy action’. David Cameron has lost another of his party to UKIP. Two in a week coincidence?  I suggest it’s bordering on enemy action.  He’s not a happy man. The Tory and Labour party infighting is becoming serious as less time is spent on running the UK.  My suggestion to him is to buckle down and stick to the schedule for more powers for Scotland; promised pre-election by Gordon Brown on behalf of Westminster MPs.  The Scots are watching. Carefully.

Last week I said a little prayer when I heard the UK has entered into battle once again. The prayer was a thank you because, earlier this month, my close family member became a civilian.  After 17 years, much of which spent in ‘worry’ mode, it’s a relief to be free. That doesn’t mean I have no empathy for the parents and close family of those troops who will be involved directly with this new war.  I do.  Yesterday I listened very carefully to various opinions and the same old phrases were churned out - ‘We must protect Britain', ‘We must help the US', ‘We must help the civilians’ etc.  Then last night on Sky News there are images of bombs being dropped on civilians according to the report.

The UK and US were instrumental in encouraging this very serious situation in the middle east, but they still want to provide more arms to the Iraqi army which, we were told some years ago, was now a powerful fighting force trained by America and Britain. It would seem courage and discipline can’t be taught.

Where are we going in this?  Who knows.  There’s talk of our involvement being long term; ten years or more.  If politicians are saying ten years were can triple that then add some.  Without doubt there will be more British casualties as our forces are not equipped for more front line duties.

If politicians want ‘to protect Britain’ there are solutions much closer to home.  We know what they are, the politicians know what they are, but they refuse to introduce stricter policies in case they offend our minority communities.  Perhaps it’s time these minority communities spoke out and said stricter measures were absolutely necessary.  All I hear is silence.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Jam Tomorrow - Maybe

We lost. Considering we were around 25% only a couple of months ago the increase of 20% is a tremendous achievement, but the - perhaps fixed - Times poll in the last ten days changed the momentum.

I say ‘perhaps fixed’ because it’s been suggested Murdoch, who has such a grievance with the Westminster government, used the campaign for revenge.

Scotland has been promised new powers not later than March next year.  I won’t be holding my breath.

One thing I’m sure of is that this is not the end of the battle for independence for Scotland. It will continue.

Now it’s time for a couple of hours sleep. 

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Respiro, Respiro

While we wait for the result of today’s vote here’s a little light entertainment.

I smile each time I watch it and I’ve viewed it a few times. Do hope you smile too.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

David v Goliath

Recently I’ve been commenting on Facebook saying the referendum battle looks more like a David and Goliath situation. The invasion of our masters from London, the dishonest ‘promises’ which will fade into the long grass if a No vote, watching the sickening spectacle of the three Westminster leaders agreeing with each other’s words - I could go on and on.

Unfortunately there has been some incidents locally which cause me to feel ashamed of the odd independence supporter. One happened to me last week in Dundee.  I was walking through the city centre with a friend, who is a businessman.  He employs people.  He was undecided and we’d been talking about that while walking along the Murraygate.

When we were passing a small group of Yes campaigners one youth leapt out of the group straight into our path. He roared in our faces, “Ye’ve goat tae vote Yes, Yes, Yes.”  Now I’m not someone who gets easily offended but I don’t like anyone yelling at me two inches from my nose.  My friend attempted a conversation. “Why should I vote Yes?” he asked.  “‘Cause them in London are cutting oor benefits,” was the reply. The conversation continued and I discovered this young man was 27 years of age, left school at 17 “because I didnae like it” and has never had a job.  When asked what kind of job he fancied the reply was, “Ah’m not wantin’ a job. Ah manage fine oan ma benefits and helpin’ ma pal oot wi’ his wee cash jobs now and again”.

When we finally managed to move on, my friend turned to me and said, “It’s a definite No from me now.”  Embarrassed, I couldn’t think of an appropriate reply.

I want a fairer country - one in which people are paid a wage equal to the level of their skills and achievements. A country which acknowledges those who take massive risks creating jobs and doesn’t pillory them for making profits.  Also, I want to see a country which is fair when spending our taxes on helping those in need.  Some would describe the young man we met as ‘vulnerable’ but he certainly was not. He wore quality clothing (I noticed his trainers which cost upwards of £100) and he knew the lifestyle he wanted - one courtesy of the taxpayer.

In an independent Scotland I would hope for a more comprehensive system which stops young people wasting their lives in this way.  One suggestion is the return of vocational schools and colleges.  All of us have the potential to be good at something and if young people are given the opportunity to learn a trade at a younger age (rather than the one-size-fits-all academic system we have at present), then this young man may have had a different outlook on life.  He may have been in work rather than standing on a street on a Thursday afternoon accosting passersby with his silly ‘speech’.

What will tomorrow bring?  I’ve become pessimistic in the past few days and can’t quite put my finger on the reason.  Maybe its because not one newspaper supports the independence cause and that disappoints me.  Maybe it’s the bribery and corruption behind closed doors that sickens me.

Alex Salmond has played his part admirably, along with Patrick Harvie and Denis Canavan to name a few.  It’s reported in the press that many people dislike Alex Salmond and that’s why they’re voting No. A rather pathetic reason really because surely Alex Salmond deserves respect for his political skill in handling the aggression of the Westminster army if not his policies.

Often this week I’ve been asked about the result.  The polls suggest neck and neck but I’ll stick my neck out and suggest it will be 48-52 against. That is a gut feeling and nothing else.  Let’s hope I’m wrong because this is the first and last time I will have a vote on the future of my own country.  If it does happen to be a Yes vote, we need to grow up quickly and shake off the entitlement attitude some possess. The old adage ‘a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’ would be a good motto for starters.

A few days ago I read an article in which the author stated ‘it was brave to stick together’.  I disagreed.  Bravery is taking responsibility for your own actions and not depending upon others to make your decisions for you.

There is no doubt in my mind that one day Scotland will return to being an independent nation again.  It may not be tomorrow and I won’t be around to see it, but it will happen.  Let’s think positive.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Glasgow Welcomes London MPs

No doubt you know London MPs were instructed to visit Scotland.  This wonderful video was taken by a Yes supporter who, driving a rickshaw, made a great effort to welcome our Imperial masters as they walked along Buchanan Street, Glasgow.

Don’t they all seem excited to in Scotland?

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