• Brexit,  Britain Today,  Russia,  Scotland

    It takes a Nationalist to love a Fascist

    Putin’s Lord Haw Haws – why does the UK continue to tolerate Russian propagandists and useful idiots? – this article begins. I can’t see how a liberal democracy can do anything but “tolerate” them. Still, it is marked how the arch nationalists, Farage and Salmond, are admirers of Putin and appear on Russia Today.  Meanwhile Nicola Sturgeon hit out at the “highly likely” poisoning. She is a less grandiose nationalist than her predecessor. She was annoyed with him appearing on Russia Today. Incredibly however, since the poisoning of Skripal, his daughter and Nick Bailey on the 4th of March – some of the loudest self-professed patriots in the land have…

  • Nationalism,  Scotland

    The King over the Vodka

    There’s been a big stramash about Alex Salmond hosting a regular chat show on Russia Today. Nicola Sturgeon is November frosty with him. You can read all about it here and here. I haven’t anything to add. I only wrote this post as context for this video: Salmond's new TV show looks awful. pic.twitter.com/uNXADESC6c — Brian Spatel (@BrianSpanner1) November 10, 2017

  • Scotland,  UK Politics,  Vote 2017

    And what’s happening in your constituency?

    Look on the bright side in this general election.  At least there’s no Russell Brand – remember Ed Milliband paying court to him last time?  Not to mention the Ed Stone.  The process of democracy, of politicians out-sloganing each other, the photo stunts, the slagging and counter-slagging is fairly undignified. The dignity belongs to the activists door knocking and leafletting, the voters at the poll stations making their mark, and the fact that we have evolved a way of passing on power without bloodshed.  Long live King Demos. Here in Scotland the issues boil down to not Tory or not SNP and 15% of the electorate, including me, are voting…

  • Nationalism,  Scotland

    Against the Grain

    The endless, endless tune, Of Indy vs Yoon Everyone agreed the campaign for Holyrood was dull, consisting of silly photo opportunities. Social media, cacophonous during the referendum and noisy during the General Election, was a dull grumble. (An aside. Democratic politicians, like courtiers, have no dignity, nor should they. Asking for a vote is not a dignified act. The dignity is with those putting a cross on a ballot paper or counting votes.) Counting votes in Edinburgh Everyone agreed that the SNP would win an easy majority in Scotland’s rebarbative voting system.   And those of us who dread that referendum that is constantly going to be triggered by Brexit,…

  • Scotland,  Stateside,  Vote 2016

    Trump’s threat to Scotland

    From an imaginary “threat,” we move to a real one. Donald Trump says that if he isn’t elected president this year, he may do something drastic. “I don’t think I’m going to lose, but if I do, I don’t think you’re ever going to see me again, folks. I think I’ll go to Turnberry and play golf or something.” The Trump Turnberry Resort is located in Scotland. America’s loss would be Scotland’s gain. Or perhaps the other way around. Scots frightened by the prospect of a relocated Trump may welcome the last-ditch cooperation by his remaining Republican opponents Ted Cruz and John Kasich to stop Trump before he accumulates a…

  • Democracy,  Scotland

    The dance of democracy

    I was in Jordan once during an election. I knew nothing of the the parties or Jordan’s constitution but there were huge posters of the faces of the candidates, including women without hijabs. I got the impression of a lively democratic dance, unlike Syria across the border, where the only bill-boarded faces were chinless dictator Assad and his hard looking father. Notes at the time:- The passengers were all fairly quiet until we got to a town where the air was filled with election posters hanging from every pole and house. Suddenly everyone started talking, presumably about what candidate they favoured. … (At Petra):- Bus back – through people electioneering…

  • Scotland,  SNP

    Stands Scotland where it did?

    As I’m sick of, and sickened by, Scottish nationalism Tom Gallagher’s Scotland Now: A Warning to the World,  wasn’t the jolliest holiday reading. I relived the independence referendum which was the worst political time of my life – the flags, the bad history, the bad economics, the endless flattery of the Scots, forming a wave that half drowned the spluttering Unionist campaign. As his account of that time chimes in with my own dark memories, I trust his version of the history of the SNP and his description of the broader political setting. I also found it useful to get what was a heap of fragments in my own head pulled…

  • Corruption,  Nationalism,  Scotland

    My MP

    After the indy referendum in September 2014 we No voters – who were startled to find we’d been given a new identity, Unionists or Nawbags – thought we could forget about that interruption and get back to normality. Wrong. The SNP rode high, grabbed 56/59 (95%) of the Westminster seats in the general election and are likely to take as many in next year’s Holyrood election. Their opposition is fragmented into the old parties of Liberal Democrat, Labour and Conservative, Labour has been broken and the only party that has gained are the Conservatives as the full-out Unionist party under the gutsy Ruth Davidson. So it’s been a gloomy time…

  • Nationalism,  Scotland

    An answer for everything, always the same answer

    Though there has been a lot of noise in the media about the anniversary of the IndyRef I haven’t noticed it much in real life and social media except among the die-hards on both sides. I am hoping it will grow quieter as time goes by. Here’s a study of the demographics of the voters. I fit the No voter template – female, right age bracket, average earner, Protestant (by birth), not born in Scotland. Average earners don’t want to take risks.  You’re one pay packet away from not being able to meet your mortgage payment (not that that was my reason for voting No.) It’s interesting though how the…

  • Energy costs,  Scotland

    I Am Fairly Sure This Is Not Compassionate Conservativism

    Following the enactment of the 2015 Conservative Manifesto, one of the casualties is the subsidy boon for wind-farm and other ‘renewables’: none more so than in Scotland where the SNP’s vaunted 100% target by 2020 has yet to produce a worthwhile electricity supply. Like the bounty on rat tails in Ankh-Morpork resulting in a cottage industry of rat farms, public money – paid for from domestic energy bills – has been lavished on companies which, from my own observations, have not been based in the UK let alone Scotland with construction crews being supplied from outwith the local areas. Even know windfarms now are a mature technology and we are…