All under one Clique

This is my second blog on the subject of All Under One Banner and their attempts to organise an event in Dundee. Since I wrote the blog yesterday there has been some very unsavoury developments such as threats of violence made against myself and others. I enclose the evidence below.

It is a great pity that the independence movement has to be tainted with this disgraceful behaviour.  A pity also that one of the main proponents in this affair was in the past involved in the attempts to adversely affect a previous rally because of the presence of Tommy Sheridan and now we have the spectacle of him arranging a speaking slot on this forthcoming march and rally. Mind you it is hardly surprising when you consider that AUOB is merged with Hope Over Fear, the organisation run by Tommy.

So we now have the situation where we have SNP members and ( as far as I know) an SNP office bearer and partner of an SNP MSP, assisting an organisation which he was involved in trying to prevent from coming to Dundee. One can but wonder at the motivation behind this conversion on the road to Damascus.

The independence movement is a conglomeration of small grass roots groups working away in their own way in their own areas and it was them who gave us the result we had in the referendum. I feel that these groups should be very careful of putting their names to or being on a committee linked to an organisation which openly  espouses breaking the law . An organisation which treats criticism by making threats of violence and arranges seedy back room deals among its chosen few. To do this in the name of a future independent Scotland is disgusting.

I would suggest that if groups do wish to be involved with AUOB they insist on full compliance with any Council or Police  conditions including the  rout to be taken .
They insist on proper public liability insurance and sight of the documents. They insist on a full set of accounts and a reckoning of ongoing expences and proper accounting for the collection buckets which will be there in considerable number, with a share of money collected going to the groups who have participated after of course the disbursement of expenses.

I attach below some more screen shots of conversations between members of the self appointed “committee” ( there are more) I have looked at the profiles of these people and I am sure the police will be interested in doing the same . There was only one which was difficult to get a profile for and that was Robert, I have a feeling you could substitute Mike for that one .

I am committed as ever to the cause of independence but I do feel we should not have to wade through a cesspit of inanity, incompetence and skulduggery to get there. The people of Scotland  deserve something better.

 

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How not to Organise an event

The other day I received an invitation to attend a meeting in the Butterfly Cafe in connection with a proposed march and rally to take place in August., The March is to be organised under the auspices of All Under One Banner. The group who have been responsible for the hugely successful recent marches in Glasgow.

On speaking to who I believe, is one of the main organisers of that group I was made aware that the purpose of this meeting was to elect a committee to decide on the arrangements for the march. I was asked to attend because of my experience with being involved in almost all of the independence related rallies in Dundee, both during and after the independence referendum.

I had a few reservations when I heard of several of the people involved in the initial set up of the meeting as the people have been instrumental in attempts to adversely affect several previous independence related events in the city. However I agreed to  attend the meeting with an open mind and hopefully contribute my experience in this area.

There was about 30 people at the meeting and it started by Dom Anderson ,who owns the Cafe giving an introduction and his opinion on the proposed rout of the march., He was of the opinion that the rout was too long and should terminate at Slessor gardens. Now, the strange thing was that although this meeting was to formulate arrangements for the march/rally, the rout had been published on social media earlier that day which kind of negated one of the functions of the meeting which was to elect a committee and make these very arrangements.

Dom then passed over to a group sitting together and one of the group who I think was called Dale Handy ( I could be wrong) gave a speech which consisted of stating that a committee had already been formed and consisted of the people sitting around him. I subsequently discovered that this “committee” had been formed about half an hour before the meeting in a pub about a hundred yards up the road.

The speaker tried to arouse some enthusiasm ,stating that Dundee needed this march and it would go ahead. He further stated that it would go ahead regardless of any “complience”. That rang alarm bells with me as he was basically saying that this march would go ahead whether or not, there was any permission in place or any restrictions Imposed .

The floor was open to speakers and once everyone else had been chosen I was finally given the chance to say something, although I had had my hand up from the start. I mentioned that I had reservations regarding the initial speakers assertion that the march  go ahead regardless of whether the proper permissions were in place and asked if the insurance implications of such a decision had been taken into consideration. None of the secretly arranged committee seemed to know what I was talking about. I explained that any insurance in place would be invalidated should the march go ahead either without proper permissions being in place or any contraventions, of the  conditions. There seemed to be a general ignorance within this cobbled together committee that insurance was either irrelevant or would not be invalidated by ignoring conditions. I explained that if there was to be a committee voted in ( which seemed irrelevant since this had already happened) then they would have to consider the individual liability aspect  of possibly being without insurance on the march.

As this seemed to be going over the heads of the self appointed committee, I went on to ask whether there was a list of speakers or acts,  at which point the initial speaker said that Mike Strachan ( partner of Shona Robinson, MSP) was in charge of this. Mike mumbled something about compiling a list and something about a problem with Tommy Sheridan appearing but that he would be there. This was the most hypocritical statement I had heard for a long time as Strachan was one of the main detractors of my decision to invite Sheridan to talk at a previous rally in the City Square two years ago. Yes ,of course Tommy Sheridan should be allowed to talk as he is a supporter of independence ,talks well and has a decent following, the problem will be getting SNP politicians to talk at the event as in Dundee we seem to have a lot of holier than thou politicians , one of which literally ran out of the building an independence event was being held in, when he discovered Sheridan was still there. Ironically the same politician was discovered to have been cheating on his wife in what could be called a Whitehall farce.

At this point in the meeting I decided that I could not have anything to do with an event that was being managed in a manner which could involve law breaking and lack of proper public liability insurance and decided that there could be no involvement of the Yes bus which is a pitty because I had though that with 94 seats it could have been used to take the less well able along the march rout.

It is some time since I have seen such a gathering of stupid people in the same place at the same time and I want nothing to do with any of them, and would suggest the decent people who were there, think carefully before committing themselves to involvement with this project in its present form .

To reinforce my opinion of this so called committee I attach a thread of ‘secret” messages ( there are more) between them concerning both me and several other people connected with the independence movement in Dundee. You can judge for yourselves the mental capacity of those involved even a bit of anti Semitism thrown in. I would suggest none of them apply for a job in MI5.

 

The Economy Of Truth

Did Nicola Sturgeon deceive the Scottish parliament when she said: “there is a ban on fracking in Scotland”? Probably, is it a resigning issue, probably not and here is my thinking on this?

When you ban something you simply stop it from happening from a position of authority. Ok, now there are two ways that can happen. A ban can be imposed by a person, organisation or government by invoking the law. The only way that can happen in the UK is by the Westminster government banning it because the law regarding Fracking is a reserved area. So could the Scottish government have banned fracking by using their legislative power? Almost certainly the answer to that is no.
OK, so the other way you can impose a ban is by making something legally impossible to happen by using a power allowed under the devolution settlement, and that is what the Scottish Government have done. Planning is a devolved power and the Scottish Government have decreed that no planning application for fracking will be allowed.

Jim Radcliff is jumping up and down because his lawyers kind of messed things up as it would appear they took the Scottish government to court on the basis that they had no legal right to ban fracking when, if anything they should have taken out the action against the Scottish government for misuse of their responsibilities under the planning act.

 

To use an analogy, suppose someone owned the land a loch sat on but not the water and they wished to stop people swimming in this loch but did not have the power to stop them. They could open a dam and allow the water to drain away thus making it impossible for anyone to swim in the Loch, for the simple fact that the Loch no longer existed,  without actually banning them. Not perhaps a perfect analogy but same principal.

I do think Nicola Sturgeon should apologise for misleading the public as the inference in what she said after the extensive consultation and investigation into the effects of fracking was that it was a legal ban. But on balance, not a resigning matter.

However, I do think she should resign for allowing the independence cause to get into the present mess that it is in.

EU, The Parliament Of The People

Yesterday I visited the EU Parliament. It was an event to open the institutions of the parliament and celebrate the success of the largest trading block on the planet.
It was indeed an interesting day with a chance to ask a question in the debating chamber and put a question in writing. Which will be answered within two weeks.

The role of the EU parliament is widely misunderstood in the UK and to a point in Scotland, although there is a difference in the degree of misunderstanding between Scotland and the rest of the UK and this was made apparent during the campaign and vote on exit from the EU. Overall, the UK voted by a very small margin to leave the EU but in Scotland, there was a large majority of 62% who voted to remain.
The difference between the way the EU is governed and say the UK is that the EU is all about the people, the citizens of the union. Whereas, the UK is all about the vested interests of big business and the xenophobic nature of the present ruling party.

The EU seeks to control corporate pressures, as opposed to the UK parties who are in the thrall of corporate interests through the funding direct from these corporate entities to political parties. Does anyone think that this funding is other than for the benefit of these companies? No, of course, it is not. So, in the UK our governance is based on the needs of the financiers of our governments and not on the needs of the people, otherwise, we would not be requiring foodbanks to feed large sections of the people.
The EU is different in as much as the funding comes directly from the member states, therefore it bears no allegiance to outside interests and therefore concentrates on the needs of the citizens of the EU and not big business.

No more is this evident than in the EU legislation to go live in early 2019 concerning tax evasion by corporate entities by way of the transfer of profits to offshore tax havens thus depriving the country that the money was made in the benefit of the taxes due.

Starbucks is a prime example of this and this is how they do it. They set up a company in say the Cymen islands where corporation tax is either nil or perhaps half a percent as opposed to the 19% it is in the Uk. This company owns the intellectual rights of Starbucks such as the right to use the name. So, when the profit is calculated for each Starbucks outlet, this potential profit is then taken as a payment for the intellectual rights such as the use of the name, by the company in the Cayman Islands, meaning that the Starbucks outlet in the UK appears to have made nil profit. This deprives the host country of billions of pounds in tax.

So, this is what this new EU legislation is all about, it is facilitating a fair tax system for the member countries and therein lies the true reason for Brexit. It is not about immigration (or at least only in a very small amount) no it is all about the corporate interests who fund the Tory party and indeed their own MP’s who are terrified that the EU will stop their huge tax evasion practices.

So, remember this. The EU is about people and the UK is all about corporate interests.

OK, so to the questions I asked. The session was hosted by the speaker and the speech was by Marie Arena who is one of the Socialist members of the parliament. She gave a very good speech, the gist of which was that the heart of the EU was the people. I asked her, “as the UK has voted by a small margin to, lemming-like, throw itself over the cliff edge and into oblivion, but the people of Scotland voted by a large margin to remain and taking into account that the people of Scotland are EU citizens, what is the EU position on this”?

Her answer was that this was a very good and difficult question. It was apparent that the UK had been forced to make a decision under false pretences by receiving unreliable information from people like Nigel Farage, and they were very aware of the difference in the Scottish vote. The member state is the UK and although they do not intend making it particularly easy for the UK to leave without penalty they have a duty to be less severe as they realise that many of the EU citizens do not want to leave, especially now that many of them realise they were deceived.

So there you have it, an honest answer from a member of the EU parliament.
The other question I was able to ask in writing, aided by one of the researchers was, “As Scotland voted to remain and the people of Scotland are by choice European citizens and taking it that there might very well be another referendum where Scotland will almost certainly vote to be independent. Should there be a fast track mechanism in place to facilitate immediate entry to the EU? The researcher said that this was a very good question and she would personally see to it that it was answered. I will have the answer to this within two weeks so watch this space.

So remember this, the EU is all about the people as opposed to the UK which is all about corporate interests.