The day democracy in the UK died

Wednesday 28 August 2019 will go down in history as the day democracy died in the UK. Thursday 29 August 2019 should have been the day that Nicola Sturgeon announced either a new referendum or the intention of the SNP to use a possible forthcoming General Election to secure a majority for independence in the manner I spoke about in my blog of last Saturday. It was the day that the British government asked the queen to confirm the proroguing of parliament , effectively shutting off any feasible opportunity to have legislation in place to stop or put off Brexit until a deal or another referendum can be put in place.

Let me be clear, once more. The Scottish government do not need the “permission” of the Westminster government or any one else to hold a referendum. There is absolutely nothing in the Devolution Settlement which excludes a referendum . There is however , what is called a section 30 order which refers directly to Schedule 4 and 5 of the Scotland act 1998, Schedule 5 contains the reserved powers including the Union. Using a section 30 order in effect changes one of the items in either Schedule, in this case the reserved item, the union of the two Kingdoms of Scotland and England. It has the effect of temporarily ( or finally if thought best) removing this ( or any other) reserved matter. In this case for the propose of recognizing the result of a referendum, but not for actually allowing or refusing the holding of a referendum. Now in the case of a referendum being held without a section 30 . The process would be that either the Westminster parliament would accept the result( unlikely) or the matter would go before the courts . There could also be a declaration of independence based on the results whereby countries would be invited to accept the sovereignty of an independent Scotland in the same manner that Kosovo became independent and Britain was one of the first countries to recognize them as an independent country. Quite simply a majority gained through an election ( General or Scottish) would fulfill the requirements UN charter of human rights as far as determining the will of the people to become an independent country.

Now another red hearing that has been going about for a while is that the British Government could dissolve the Scottish parliament. I do not think this is the case. In fact it would seem that the only way the Scottish Parliament or indeed the Scottish government could be dissolved is through a referendum of the Scottish people and here from the Scotland act s the item that deals with this issue.

Permanence of the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Government

(1)The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are a permanent part of the United Kingdom’s constitutional arrangements.

(2)The purpose of this section is, with due regard to the other provisions of this Act, to signify the commitment of the Parliament and Government of the United Kingdom to the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government.

(3)In view of that commitment it is declared that the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government are not to be abolished except on the basis of a decision of the people of Scotland voting in a referendum.]

So all this is my way of saying , why on earth is Nicola Sturgeon Fiddling While Westminster burns and not taking advantage of the best and most advantages set of circumstance ever likely to present themselves?

Every day that goes on seems to throw up more and more questions regarding Nicola Sturgeons leadership and suitability to lead the so called party of independence which is why I am intending standing for Dundee west against an established SNP MP. It is my hope that other people will do this in their constituency’s an just perhaps the SNP will get the message and change tact. For the good of the country it has to, or the cancer of complacently ( or worse) will have to be cut out to save the rest of the body.

After my blog of last week which had ( for me) a good readership and I would say 99% positivity, I had some people saying that one of the attachments I had included in my assessment of how I arrived at the decision to stand against the party I had been a member of for over 30 years, was not showing up when clicked on. It was the attachment of a blog I did with my resignation letter to Peter Murrel , chief Executive of the SNP and husband of Nicola Sturgeon. So I have copied it and Pasted it below. Just in case there is any one out there afflicted by insomnia as my blogs are guaranteed to put the most ardent insomniac to sleep pretty quickly.

Letter of resignation SNP

Peter Murrell

Dear Peter

It is with much regret and very much soul searching that I must cancel my membership of the SNP. A party that I have supported for many years both financially and indeed a vast amount of my time.

To give you an idea of my commitment to the party and indeed the fight for independence which is what, up to recently I have always thought that the SNP were all about, I list below some of the input I have had to the independence cause and therefore the party.

Going back to 2013 and the wonderful march and rally in Edinburgh I supplied two coaches free of charge at a worth of £***

I also supplied a minibus for disabled people free of charge at a worth of £***

Over the years I have allowed free storage and parking at our depot for SNP vehicles

In the run up to the referendum I took in Chris Law’s 50 year old fire engine and turned it into The Spirit of Independence, in our workshops this involved completely stripping the paint by hand and repainting it , refurbishing the brass work and completely overhauling the mechanical elements of it . The value of this was £*,***

I made available the Yes Bus Scotland’s dragon for independence to any grass roots organisation to campaign in their own particular manner. A 20-year-old double decker bus with a history of service in two countries which had gained their independence from the UK. The value of this could be conservatively assessed at £**,***

This bus then went on to actively campaign throughout Dundee Angus and fife with the Yes bus team, a group of committed volunteers from all parties and none. This yes bus has continued to promote independence mainly in the City square both during and since the referendum.

The value of this could conservatively be put at £**,***

During the campaign I supplied vans and minibuses to collect yes materials from Edinburgh and distribute these materials throughout the area and convey SNP campaigners throughout Dundee.  A conservative estimation of a worth of £*,***

During the referendum campaign I supplied for a whole 2 months, a coach and driver for Business for Scotland who worked very closely with the SNP, **********************************************************************************the worth of this is £**,*** with a contribution from business for Scotland of £*,***

There have been many other areas of assistance which I have given.

So the forgoing plus the direct donations that I have made to the party I feel shows that I have had unstinting commitment both to the party and to the cause of independence.

I have since the referendum mainly through social media and discussions with SNP politicians sought to offer suggestions regarding the ongoing fight for independence. Sometimes this has been taken as being anti SNP by some of the less able to think members of the party instead of constructive criticism.

A couple of days after the referendum I approached a local SNP politician and said “well we have lost a battle but not the war so what is the plan. The response I got was “what plan”. I said that we had made mistakes during the campaign such as muddle on plan B and we failed to convince pensioners that their pensions were not at risk in an independent Scotland and before any further referendum we must at the very least answer these questions and we should continue at a lower level the grass roots campaign to make people aware of these and many other issues that they were obviously uncomfortable with. Again, the equivalent of a blank look. In short, we have not made any preparation for a future referendum and it is still that situation today.

During the referendum campaign   we, the yes Bus team were on the streets of Dundee almost every day talking to thousands of undecided and hard no voters explaining the positive side of independence. We had a fantastic mix of people from all walks of life and political persuasions including people from business for Scotland of which I am a member. We had people out on the periphery and the streets surrounding the city square handing out merchandise and leaflets (when we could prise the material from the SNP run Yes Hub in St Andrews Street. And most important was that all these people sometimes 20 to 30 (far more than the SNP could muster to deliver leaflets and 10 times more than the amount of people who manned the occasional SNP stall including the politicians who huddled ineffectually around their stall in the Nethergate.

Now I should have realized at the time but this reluctance to have much to do with the grass roots groups was actually apparent even then, because the only time we saw the politicians at the Yes Bus was when the press were there and they disappeared along with the press, so they did absolutely no campaigning in Dundee with the grass roots groups that I was associated with.

After the referendum the yes organization was disbanded and I can only wonder at the wisdom of this as it was a catalyst for the grass roots groups and to my mind would have been a logical way of keeping the independence movement alive.

We sent 56 MP’s down to London out of a possible 59. A massive majority and I cannot for the life of me understand why they were not tasked with attempting to wrest the power to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing from Westminster to Holyrood. You will be aware that with a majority of one in Holyrood we managed to persuade the British Government to grant temporary power to hold a referendum after the last Scottish elections.

So I have over the last few months began to have an uneasy feeling regarding the actual commitment of the SNP to actually commit themselves wholeheartedly to the cause of independence.

I keep receiving messages and postings from unthinking people with the well-worn message of “ the SNP knows what they are doing they have a plan “ well with half a century of business behind me I have found that blind allegiance and faith generally leads to disaster.

So I have had misgivings as to the commitment or lack of strategic planning exhibited by the SNP with regards to a future referendum for some time, but what has brought this to a head is recent events in connection with a rally  myself and others organized in Dundee on Sunday 4th October.

This rally was a “road map to independence” misconstrued by some of the mindless SNP trolls to be pressure for an imminent referendum. I realized for the reasons previously mentioned that we are not ready for a referendum should the opportunity present itself and taking into consideration the remarks from Nicola Sturgeon that “the Scottish people will decide  when we are ready for another referendum” and also realizing that many people in Scotland , a great many SNP members among them are becoming restless because of the inability or reluctance of the SNP to present a reasonable way forward (a road map) I reasoned that a sensible approach and opportunity for the SNP would be to present a road map , not necessarily with a date but showing that proper preparations had been put in place . I feel that this would have been a good compromise and would have placated the unrest which is brewing.

Now we had asked Tommy Sheridan (being a prominent pro-independence campaigner) to talk together with several other speakers. We had a great line up of top class bands to entertain the crowds. The problem was that we could not get any SNP speakers. Eventually the top brass put forward Jimmy Black who is not a parliamentarian but a councilor, who made it clear that he had been “put forward.” Now he promptly   did a posting on Facebook asking all and sundry (not necessarily his constituents) if he should appear at the same event as Tommy Sheridan. I have never in my life seen anything so transparent, immature and incompetent being initiated by anyone let alone a politician. As if that was not bad enough he actually made reference to why he thought he should not appear siting Sheridan’s conviction for perjury (which he has served his punishment for ) and inexplicably reference to a book about Sheridan which made unsubstantiated allegations about his past. So we had an SNP politician “on Facebook” indicating that a punishment handed down in court was not sufficient and the person should continue to be ostracized presumably for the rest of his life and more incredibly acting as judge and jury on unsubstantiated allegations that for some reason have never come to court.

Now this started a torrent of abuse, mainly from insiders within the close confines of the SNP in Dundee, mainly Dundee West, both to me and another person (a woman) who was involved in the organization of this event.

Now we had properly applied within the time constraints for permission to hold the rally but because of a misunderstanding concerning the parade element of the day we had not applied separately (despite the staff in the council offices stating that only the one form was needed) for the parade and therefore we applied as soon as we realized this. Now late applications are very commonplace and happen all the time and the Convener of the Licensing committee has discretion in this. This man is Stewart Hunter an SNP councilor. Now despite all the necessary departments being happy with the parade including the police who I had detailed discussions with and in an apparent attempt to harm the rally he decided not to use his discretionary power to allow the parade to go ahead. He used the excuse that the last time I organized a rally in May it was chaotic, and he only gave permission on the morning of that rally.

So, I will go on now to explain what actually happened to the last rally, again a grass roots rally organized by Yes We Care and not me. I was in fact nothing to do with the application.

This rally was to take place on the weekend before the general election. Several days before the rally was to take place, I had a visit from Chris Law (now Chris Law MP) at my office. He asked me if I could use my influence to stop the rally (a yes rally) and have it postponed to the week end after the general election as he did not want people filling up the City Square waving saltires and having yes signs all over the place. Yes, incredibly the SNP did not want any mention or sign of independence before a general election. I at first expressed my disbelief at this and found it difficult to comprehend what he had just said. I firstly explained that I had not applied for the permission so he was speaking to the wrong person, although I had agreed to put the Yes Bus there on the day as a focal point and to use as a changing room for the Highland dancers. I however agreed to have a word with the organizers to see what could be done however I did mention that as the event had been booked for that particular weekend, there was no permission in place for the following weekend. He assured me that this would be sorted!   Now apparently and before I had had the chance to speak to the organizers he had asked them to go to the Dundee west office and again asked them to postpone the event until after the General election and again I believe stated both by him and another person employed by the SNP that the short notice application would be sorted. In the event the rally went ahead without, as far as I can ascertain even an application being submitted and was only passed by Councilor (SNP) Stewart Hunter on the very Morning of the Rally.

So for this councillor to try to use my late application for an event that I had nothing to do with and was in fact the internal machinations and political maneuvering of local politicians (which in itself throws up questions of probity) that caused the late (if any) application to prevent a yes parade going ahead is nothing short of a disgrace.

The event on 4th October minus the walk around the town went ahead and was a huge success with over a thousand yes supporters present. This engendered extreme sour grapes on the part of the SNP and Stewart Hunter through the Dundee Courier (a staunchly unionist paper) tried to put a negative spin on the event calling it a shambles and stating the there was only 300 at the event. Negativity I have not witnessed since the referendum and all by unionist papers and project fear. It would seem that the Dundee SNP have taken that mantle for themselves.

Because of the success of the event, there appeared on Facebook yesterday a posting by Tom Thompson (a parliamentary assistant to both Joe Fitzpatrick and Chris Law, showing the front page of the unionist paper the Courier with a totally false impression of how the event had gone and a very negative slant on it.  This was closely followed by negative comments by several people who are either employees of the SNP or in a close cabal that can be seen regularly inhabiting the Dundee West offices, in a blatant attempt at character assassination of which I was the subject. I never thought that I would see the day when the SNP used a unionist paper to attack one of their own.

One of these people I mention is already the subject of a complaint to you in regard to libellous statements in reference to me on social media and of which I took great exception to especially as he was an officer of the SNP. A complaint by the way that you yourself have for some two months failed to address.

Well Peter I have had enough, I have supported the SNP through thick and thin for many years I have walked the streets of Dundee for months during the referendum I have engaged with people from all walks of life and convinced them to vote for independence or in the case of the General election, to vote for Chris Law .I have offered honest constructive criticism when I thought that they were straying off the road to independence. I have lived and breathed independence for the last two years and more during the campaign and after it.

During this last two weeks I have been sickened by the vile comments posted about myself and the other organizer of this Yes event by members of the SNP including staff members and I will say it again in case you missed it A YES EVENT.

I feel the SNP have indeed strayed of the road we are all going down I feel they are side-lining the grass roots organizations that did so much good work. I feel that the SNP are more interested in retaining power , power they see diminishing after a yes vote when we will have in Scotland a Labour part of Scotland , Conservative party of Scotland , a Lib Dem party of Scotland and all the smaller parties ,all off Scotland.

It is with a heavy heart that I must leave the SNP but my loyalty is to Scotland above any political party. Scotland, the place that gets me excited every time I come home to it. Scotland, the only place on the World I would ever live in and lastly Scotland, the country that belongs to the Scots

Regards

Bob Costello

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A Nautical Nomad

Days two and three trip to the Outer Hebrides.

Once upon a time I carried out tours of Scotland . I have not done anything like that for quite a time but one of our clients from Sweden was setting up a tour of the outer Hebrides for a group of his friends and he managed to persuade me to take the tour myself. I was a bit apprehensive but it turned out a great tour and I enjoyed it very much. Here is a couple of days of that tour, from September 2018. it brought back many great memories.

Good dinner and some traditional music at the Ceilidh Place on Thursday and a decent breakfast before heading for the ferry to board at 10.30 . Brand new ferry called the Loch Seaforth. Some great views heading down Loch Broom and into the Minch en-route to Stornoway. Got the computer out and did quite a lengthy travel journal tried to save it and can’t find the bloody thing now, therefore the reason for this one consisting of days two and three.
Nice smooth crossing and managed to get a wee nap in one of the reclining chairs then went to the cafe for a coffee.

Disembarkation went smoothly, collected the group and headed the short distance to the Hebridean Guest house. Checked in the group and off loaded the luggage, mine being the last , then, disaster, no computer. I had left it in the cafe on the ferry and it was heading straight back to Ullapool. Quick about turn in the bus and headed back to the terminal where the receptionist informed me that the gangway was about to be sealed but I could try to get back on board., I ran up the stairs and along the passageway to the doorway to be informed by the crew member that the ship sailed in two minutes whether I was on board or not, ran to the cafe to discover it was not the cafe I had left the computer in so again ran the length of the ship and there it was right where I had left it. Got back to the entrance as the guy was about to close it and just managed to get on to the gangway in time, saving myself a six hour two way trip to Ullapool and back again.

So panic over , back to the Guest house collected the people and walked them into town as though nothing had happened, let them loose in Stornaway and headed to the Harris Tweed display centre which is a bit like the yard in Steptoe and Son. Nice guy though and tweed jackets etc at very good prices saving around £80 compared to high street prices.

Next job was to arrange someplace to have dinner for last night and tonight, which was rather difficult, but managed it eventually then off to Lews Castle with the group which involved about a mile walk and the main reason I took them there was to confirm that the Castle had been partially turned into a hotel and there was a Starbucks cafe there too. Yes indeed , civilisation as we know it is doomed as we now have a Starbucks Cafe on the outer Hebrides. Dinner was nice in a hotel on the other side of the town and afterwards, on the way back I excused myself and went into a wee Irish pub in the town centre, which had live music and had a very well earned pint, which went down exceedingly well.

Leisurely breakfast this morning and we headed off South and then West towards the standing stones at Callanish , always a good visit and brought back memories of when I was taking the production crew of the film Brave around the country when the film was in the production phase. If you watch the film you will recognise the Callanish stones, although it is an animated film and also Dunnottar castle. If you go to the verry, verry, verry end of the credits you will also see my name there.


So after Callanish it was off to the Black houses at Grerrinish , wonderful place and a great situation by the shore. We had a walk along the shore before heading for Dun Carloway and the broch. I remember a previous visit there over 20 years ago. I was at the Broch and telling the people about it when I looked towards the sea and there was the masts of the Royal Yacht Britannia close into the shore. Now the royal family at one time would take a trip around the coast of Scotland each Summer, to have a look at their subjects from a safe distance and at the same time make the peasants feel proud that their hard earned cash was being spent wisely keeping that privileged family in the manner they seem to think they deserve. So it looked like they had come ashore for a picnic. Being the ultimate tour guide and realizing that the Queen would be delighted to see her most loyal subject, me) and a group of Jonnie foreigners,. I decided to join the picnic and prove once and for all that the Royal family are good for tourism. So I put this to the group and although the majority of them were all for it , there was an English couple who were horrified, I therefore decided against it , pitty.

I digress. So after the Broch we had lunch at the hotel nearby. Then off north to the lighthouse at Ness point and a visit to the beach nearby where the ladies in the group immediately divested themselves of any unnecessary clothing and plunged into the water. I of course looked the other way. So coffee followed at the harbour at Ness to warm the ladies up and a cold drink to cool me down.

A drive back to Stornaway with an explanation of the Highland clearances to keep the group awake and my mind off the mermaids from Sweden. Dinner tonight at 8.30 so time to get ready. Another good day in, I could get used to this again.

Why I will throw my hat into the ring at the next election

Ok so here we are almost 5 years years since the last independence referendum. We have had the shutting up of Scotland with the EVEL ( English votes for English laws) legislation. Which means that although Scotland in effect subsidizes England and therefore every law passed in the Westminster Parliament has an impact on Scotland , Scottish MP’s cannot discuss predominantly English issues in parliament, We had the “Vow” which was actually an invention of the daily Record in the last desperate days of the referendum campaign to sweet talk the Scots into a sense of security, but it was gleefully adopted by Labour and Tory politicians as a means to an end , the end being the 55% to 45% result of the referendum.

Yes we now know it was all lies and it was followed by the Smith commission which was supposed to distribute a healthy amount of new powers to the Scottish government on the basis of Gordon Browns” virtual federalization” Well we know what happened to that don’t we , yes we were thrown a few scraps and as I and others warned at the time, all we really got was no more of our own money but lots more blame.

Then we had the ignominious Scotland act legislation acted out in a parliament that does not represent us fully and a humiliation of our representatives we sent down to West Minster full of hope, false hope as it turned out. The thing was that we shouldn’t have been sending them down to Westminster in the first place , should we? No, we should have been declaring independence on the amazing majority we had achieved in the Westminster elections. 56 out of the 59 possible seats went to the SNP. Problem was that Nicola Sturgeon did not make provision for this in the election manifesto. She either did not, or did not want to read the mood of the people in the May of 2015, eight months after the referendum, despite opinion polls consistently showing ( accurately as it turned out) a huge swing to the SNP on the back of the deep disappointment of the referendum.

It was worse than just that, because she actually discouraged any talk of independence. Independence was not to spoken off ,it was to be swept under the carpet because she knew best. In Dundee we had an incident that highlighted just how bad this was.

In the weeks leading up to the 2015 Westminster elections we , through the Yes Bus Team and Yes We Care had arranged an independence rally in Dundee City Square, for the week before the General Election. There was various acts and speakers arranged . Just over a week before the General Election I had a visit from the SNP candidate for the seat of Dundee West. The propose of the visit was to ask for the rally to be postponed until after the election. I expressed my surprise that the SNP candidate was asking for an independence rally to be put off in the run up to a general election when he was standing as an SNP candidate as the whole propose of the SNP was to gain independence for Scotland. He told me that a prominent SNP MP had said to him “we cant have saltires and Yes posters being waved around the city Square the week before a General Election” Yes you heard right, “we cant have Saltires and Yes signs being waved around the City Square the week before a General election” this from an SNP member of parliament, in other words ” we are trying to suppress any thoughts of independence in order to get ourselves elected. I expressed my amazement at this. However, at this time I was still a member of the SNP and although I personally was not the signatory on the application for the rally I agreed to speak to the person who was, to get their point of view. However, as it happened, the politician and his political manager approached the other party and persuaded her ( under protest and surprise) to allow the event to be rescheduled. Both myself and the other party had expressed concern that there was not officially enough time to apply for the event to be rescheduled to the week after the General Election and both of us were told that “it would be sorted” the local council in Dundee were SNP.


So there we were, the yes city, the Yes Bus team and Yes We Care, being hushed up from promoting the raison d’etre of the SNP, “BY” the SNP on the eave of a General election, an election they went on to win in Scotland by an almost unbelievable margin. They did not achieve this “because” of the SNP , they achieved this “despite” the SNP.

I will not go into our other attempts to hold independence rally’s in Dundee, although they are the subjects of other blogs as is my resignation letter to Peter Murrel. However I copy it below just in case you have not fallen asleep and need some assistance to do so .

https://bobsblog.scot/2016/05/04/letter-of-resignation-snp/#

Ok so, since the event of Nicola Sturgeons coronation we have had nothing but a steady down turn in the voting pattern for the SNP apart from as I explain above the 2015 General Election which, I believe was won on the back of the severe disappointment of the referendum in 2014. We had the Scottish elections in 2016 with again a notable reluctance to put forward the independence question, where there was a loss of seats for the SNP, resulting in them losing their overall majority.we had the local elections in 2017 where again the SNP lost seats and the Tories made considerable gains.

Then there was the snap general election in 2017 where the SNP lost 21 seats and half a million votes compared to the 2015 General election. All the while Nicola Sturgeon carried on as though nothing was happening, which was actually true , nothing had been happening regarding addressing the issues we lost the last referendum on since the last independence referendum. Still it never dawned on Nicola, either by design or incompetence that something was amiss.

Then we had Brexit , that vote happened in 2016 and yet even that did not trigger a reaction from Nicola, Scotland was to be dragged out of the EU even although we had voted 62% to 38% to remain. Instead Nicola produced a paper outlining the Scottish governments approach to the situation I wrote a blog the day before this report was published titled ” A road Map To Unionism” and on the day it was published I wrote another blog titled ” I Told You So” See below.

https://bobsblog.scot/2016/12/19/a-road-map-to-unionism/

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/bobsblog.scot/2188

In the first blog I predicted almost exactly that Nicolas position would be to attempt to save the UK rather than take advantage of the forth coming chaos and prepare for independence. Everything that has happened since has done nothing to change my mind.

So here we are with the British government in chaos and their potential savior Nicola beavering away to save the Union. That is simply unacceptable As I explained way back in my letter of resignation to Peter Murrel and before, we should have been working to address the issues we lost the last referendum on whereas the only initiative ( if you could call it that) that Nicola has instituted was the Growth commission report under Andrew Wilson, which is a complete disaster as it more or less commits to the very flawed monetary policy that lost us the last referendum. Not only that but it gives credence to the ridiculous GERS figures which have been taken to pieces by both myself and more importantly by Professor Richard Murphy. See below a blog I wrote on September 4th 2016 almost exactly two years after the independence referendum.

https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/bobsblog.scot/1468

Only yesterday, I think it was the last straw for me when it was reported in the National, that the motion put forward by Angus McNeil to allow a discussion of a very feasible plan B was rejected out of hand. Yes, believe it or not , a request for a path to independence to be discussed at an SNP conference was rejected out of hand, How could this happen? well to me, and taking into consideration the lack of preparation since the last referendum, the amount of times the faithful have been marched up to the top of the hill and down again , the amount of open goals the SNP have failed to take advantage of, the way the unionist machine has never stopped their campaign, there is only one answer, Nicola Sturgeon.

There comes a time when it becomes apparent that writing blogs ,debating with people who prefer to follow blindly, a leader who does not have the capacity to lead, sitting here and watching the unionist machine march on un-assailed , that one has to look for the next step. I have been blogging for some time now, I do not artificially bolster the numbers of people reading my blogs, no, they are there for a record , a record of what I thought about the political scene at any given time. I hope that perhaps some day my grandchildren will read them. They will see a constant dissatisfaction of the way the SNP and in particular Nicola Sturgeon have diverted their attentions away from independence and to, I fear some possible half way house of federalization or some other non independence option.

My great fear is this and that is that my grand children might read some or all of my blogs and say this, “Grandad , you were right, but what did you do about it”?

Ok , I am no politician but I weathered the storm of the independence referendum in 2014. I stood in the City Square with the yes bus team almost every day in the run up to the day of the vote . I was a member of the SNP for 30 years before I felt I had to leave because I believed in independence and was concerned at the rout they were taking by brushing independence under the carpet.

So I have decided to stand at the next election as an independent, independence candidate, probably a “Dundee for independence” ticket with one main manifesto commitment, independence.

I will do this for one reason and one reason only and that is when my Grandchildren say to me ” Grandad, what did you do about it”, I will be able to proudly say, “I tried my best”

The world this week from Mennies

Saturday 17 August 2019

Brexit,Wings over Scotland, and Donald Trump

Another week in and yet another busy week in business with the new property acquisition moving on apace and plans laid in place for further expansion moving on. all this of course depending on what happens when we leave the EU , whether by a crash out or an orderly falling of the edge of the cliff, Lemming-wise to oblivion. Whatever the case ,there are challenges ahead, of that there is no doubt.

This week has seen various moves to thwart Boris Johnson’s stated aim which is to leave the EU by the extended deadline of the 31st October regardless of whether there has been a deal or not meaning that it is either a case of a slow lingering death of cutting the throat of the nation by leaving it exposed to chaos and lack of trading partners with preferential trading terms.

There has ben an attempt by Caroline Lucas, leader of the greens and all things socialist, to set up a “Woman’s Cabinet” to save the Nation aided and abetted by that other champion of the road to unionism Nicola sturgeon and a few others. One slight problem with this Women’s cabinet of wisdom and fairness was that it consisted of an all white cast and excluded any colored Women. Whoops, the theory behind it also seemed to lack a basis in fact as the thought that the problem was men handling Brexit, obviously did not take into account the fact that it was a women who got us into this mess in the first place, Theresa May. Oh well quite possibly a plan B there someplace and thinking about it ,I have not heard much about it for a while now .

Corbin has been active this week after his conversion on the road to Damascus , with the threat to call a motion of no confidence on Boris the clown and instead install Joseph Grimaldi ( aka Corbin) in his place. The conversion was from staunchly resisting another EU referendum to embracing it .no doubt brought about by the many elections and polls lately showing that pro EU candidates generally came out on top. His other revelatory change of mind was on agreeing that the Scottish people should choose whether to have an independence referendum . Only problem there was that he forgot he had a Scottish branch of London Labour and didn’t tell them of the change of mind , instead letting John McDonnell his shadow chancellor blurt if out in an interview last Sunday , leaving the leader of the labour branch office in Scotland, Richard Lenard, fuming oh well nothing like showing these politicians in Scotland just how unimportant they are in the scale of things just like Boris the clown did two weeks ago when he chose to fill Scottish related cabinet positions with English politicians, mind you with mind the caliber of numbingly stupid MP’s like well known groper, Ross Thompson to choose from you cant really blame him.

There has been a great deal of activity regarding the announcement that the Blogger of Wings over Scotland Stuart Campbell, could put up a new party to contest only regional seats in the next Scottish elections, which will only take place if there has been no attempt by the SNP to call a referendum on independence.

The problem is that during the run up to the election in 2016 the SNP insisted that their supporters voted for them in both the constituency vote and the regional vote, Their reason for this are mysterious because it resulted in them loosing their overall majority and almost depriving us of an independence committed majority. It is a complicated voting system designed so that no single party can have overwhelming majorities in the Scottish parliament. It is called the De Hont system and it works. Now it means in practice that the first vote which is based on the first past the post system and called the constituency vote is calculated before the second vote which is called the regional vote and based through a formula around the seats won through the Constituency vote giving preference to smaller parties . Now if a party receives a large amount of constituency seats and they have also a large amount of votes cast for them in the regional vote then to a great extent these regional votes are wasted . That was what happened in 2011 and the SNP know this , therefore it beggars belief that they would encourage their supporters to make the same mistake again, but they did in 2016. Now what Campbell is suggesting is that he will only field candidates in the regional vote leaving the Constituency vote to the SNP. It makes perfect sense, unfortunately not to the SNP who have been sniping at this all week., They really have to get their act together and act soon on a referendum or commitment to use a General election ( which could be soon) to gain a simple mandate for independence or the chance could be lost indefinitely.

So. across the Atlantic and to our friend Donald Trump who is coiled like a python ( Monty Python) waiting to strike as soon as Britain leaves the EU with an offer to flood us with good old American delicacies, like chlorinated chicken whilst removing large swathes of the NHS in trading arrangements which ,if china is anything to go by will last at least a couple of weeks.

However , Donald has bigger things on his mind at present as he is thinking of “buying Greenland” yes I am not kidding . He probably realized that the population of fifty six and a half thousand would be relatively easy to over come using the massive and military machine at his disposal , which would be the normal method used, no doubt getting the CIA, first to encourage unrest among the locals for mistreatment of the Caribou and lemmings ( sorry that is Brexiteers isn’t it ) before sending in Americas finest to save the population. However in a fit of uncommon compassion he has decided to get ” his people” to look at the possibility of “buying” Greenland.

Now this might not be as daft as it seems at first sight, because it has been done before when in the late 19th century America bought Alaska from Russia and they bought it for the princely sum of $7.14 million , at todays prices this would be about £1 billion, cheap for a country with the assets of Alaska and I do not include Sarah Palin who is about as thick as a full set of Palings ( fence posts). Donald ,of course probably doesn’t realize that Greenland belongs to Denmark, the people who discovered America long before Columbus got lost and ended up on an island in the Bahamas, to just before his death still thinking he had reached Asia.

So if any Greenlanders are jumping up and down with excitement thinking that Donald is about to appear and make them all very wealthy I wouldn’t hold my breath if I was them, as he probably doesn’t even know where it is.

So to the best part of the weekend, a couple of pints in Mennies and a look back on the week past . I raise my glass to my many friends wherever on this fragile planet of ours you are .

The past , remember it, learn from it, but don’t dwell on it


Slainte