Wednesday, April 28, 2010

London's lies on public service cuts v. Norway's oil wealth

Just a few thoughts on the reticence of the London 3 of Labour, Tories and Fib Dems to explain how they will tackle bankrupt Britain's very muckle national debt. It also makes me wonder why more Scots don't see the benefit of going it alone. Could things be worse with independence? Possibly. But then again, we could have been like Norway which has NO national debt and billions of dollars, krona, whatever sitting in banks and being spent on state of the art hospitals, forward looking free education, excellent public transport, good social security, good pensions, giving rural communities some equality in level of service etc...

Meanwhile, Unionists tell us that it is good that Scotland has to send her oil, whisky, tourism and renewable energy wealth to London and in return get a share of:
  • backward Britain's huge debt
  • expensive nuclear subs and Trident missiles
  • a new aircraft carrier
  • the maintenance of occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
Britain spends more on war than any of its EU neighbours, including right-wing governed and centralised France. Is it a result of England's desire to rule whatever waves it still thinks it owns?

Norway has a similar terrain to Scotlands and a similary scattered population. It also doesn't waste it's wealth on war. Even nuclear power is non-existant here. Again, it has no national debt and it's GDP is higher than Germanys or the US. Ireland and Iceland may not have done too well from the recession but then again the UK hasn't either. Meanwhile, oil-rich Norway sits on a mountain of cash. I'm not an economist but that doesn't sound like a bad position to be in.

Can Scotland afford to remain part of the UK?

Meanwhile, some bedtime reading while contemplating the dismantling of backward bankrupt Britain: 'Breaking up Britain - Four nations after a Union', edited by Mark Perryman. Kevin Williamson's excellent article on Scottish culture is even available to read for free online.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm not party political but...

...I would encourage people to vote for anyone but London. Admittedly, voting for a progressive party that does not have its political brain stuck in the corrupt Westminster sludge is easier in Scotland. If you are against sacrificing our troops in third-world countries for no obvious benefit to our lives here and against wasting money on weapons of mass destruction not to mention feeling a burning anger at politicians who line their pockets on our tax money....

You don't have to vote for a variety of xenophobic right-wing heidcases. No, the Empire is dead.

The SNP, unless someone can convince me here, is the most progressive mainstream political party in Scottish and UK politics. In the Scottish parliament, due to our fairer system of voting, you can also vote Green and still see your vote counted and represented. The Greens too have similar policies which would break up backward Britain and create an independent Scotland with progressive values similar to the Nordic nations. The Scottish Socialists too shared this vision and also had a significant representation in our parliament until they imploded due to having a leader with ego problems and jealous underlings who took the huff at the idea that he might have attended a swingers' club.

Unfortunately, voting Green for the Westminster parliament is probably a wasted vote if keeping out backward warmongering rightwing parties is your aim. The Lib Dems in England may be a good choice. But in Scotland, it is worth asking, 'what the hell do we need with a nuclear stockpile?' and 'wouldn't these £billions be better spent on schools, health and better public transport?'

Independence is common sense. Of course it 'works'. Does it mean that we'll all be rich? Probably not. But if other small nations can survive and thrive despite the boom and bust nature of international capitalism, and still provide excellent education to their kids and health services to all, then we can. I'm not voting for Salmond or his party. I'm voting for independence. I'm voting for no nukes, more community buy-outs, more Gaelic and bilingual education, a better NHS with no private interference, an end to people living in slums, cheaper public transport, more and cheaper renewable energy and most importantly, cheaper malt whisky.

Saor Alba is seas air ar casan fhèin.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cameron's Blackshirt press gets nasty

London's ugly sisters of Tory and Labour have found a new kid on block to pick on. His name is Clegg and he's upset the apple cart by upstaging Gordon of the Immoral Compass and Dave, the Eton Hoodie at the English-only inter-school debate last week. I say 'English-only' as the door was barred to the troublesome Celts of the SNP and Plaid Cymru.

So much for BBC impartiality. However, since the shine was taken off David Cameron's portly upper class coupon by Clegg, Tory Central Office has sent in the nasty squad. Hence we see a flurry of ludicrous scare stories that purport to 'unmask' the real Nick Clegg. The worst of the bunch was the rabid Daily Mail who tried to link Clegg with Nazis due to an article that was published 8 years ago calling for less parochial Brit Nat navel-gazing on the part of the Brits. The lovers of dark attire at the Daily Mail obviously saw no irony in linking Clegg with fascism. Perhaps Clegg isn't right wing enough for those lovers of Oswald Mosley?

Joining in the witch-hunt was the porn baron's moral mouthpiece, the Daily Express. Not surprisingly, MySpace Murdoch joined in by publishing other smear stories in his rags.

I reckon that this will backfire on the Tories. Surely, even Daily Mail readers are not stupid enough to swallow this shit? However, it goes to show the dangers that would come with having a London government run by the old Etonians. These would include:
  • more cuts in public services
  • tax cuts for the Tories millionaire friends
  • Scotland, which has always enjoyed good relations with our European neighbours, being lumped together with Tory England's rabid anti-Europe agenda. Hell, even European conservatives are too left-wing for Cameron. Do we really want be represented in the EU parliament by a small bunch of lunatic fringe neo-fascists?
  • more money wasted on the likes of Trident
  • a cut in funding to the Scots Parliament
  • more backward semi-religious support of 'British family values' and more punitive measures aimed at those who don't fit into the Daily Mail's idea of British morality such as gays and single-mothers
  • more anti-immigration mania - 'immigration' has now come to mean anyone who wasn't born in Britain. This includes people who have lived here for 40 years or more. I myself know some who were born in the US of Scots or Irish parents and who were raised in Scottish council schemes from infancy. However, for the purposes of propaganda, the Tories and Daily Mail would label them as 'immigrant's who have taken 'our' jobs and homes
  • the return of upper-class death-sports such as fox-hunting. Though Afghan lesbian asylum-seekers living in 'plush' Glasgow housing schemes may be next
  • the very probable dismantling of the BBC and with it, its invaluable support for minority languages, including ironically, native British ones such as Gaelic and Welsh
  • more private interference in our schools and hospitals
Unfortunately, Labour too share at least some of the above ideals. Therefore, if you live in England, go Lib-Dem or Green. Fortunately in Scotland and Wales, we do have a credible alternative to London's parochial little-island politics. Go for it. SNP, Green or Plaid Cymru on May 6th.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Good Edinburgh Whisky Pubs #5 - The Auld Hoose

So, Gordon Brown has requested that the Queen of Saxe-Coburg dissolves the Westiminster parliament and centre of debauchery. Unfortunately the dissolution will not be in a huge
tocasaid of acid prepared by the likes of ex-stand up comedian and political agitator, Ian Bone. Nevertheless, as Scotland hopefully takes the next step to ridding itself of the expensive, corrupt and unnecessary layer of government that is Westminster, one could always don a 'I still hate Thatcher' t-shirt' and head to the Auld Hoose in Edinburgh's St Leonard's for a cheap dram.

The Auld Hoose, like Bannermans doon the road, is another malt whisky supplier far removed from the masonic end of the business. It is in fact an 'alternative' boozer. This apparently refers to the jukebox which house sounds such as the Dead Kennedys, Slayer, Pantera, Killing Joke and even the defunct Glenrothes' punk/ska stalwarts the Newtown Grunts. Similarly, if you know what you're looking for, you can spot members of local 'alternative' acts such as the Happy Spastics, Gin Goblins, Oi Polloi or less alternative retirement-rock acts like Norman Silver and the Gold.

Therefore, you can savour a superb Laphroaig 18yo at less than £4 whilst listening to Sick of it All or the more tuneful Dinosaur Jr if you're fortunate. Also on show at reasonable prices are the likes of World Whisky of the Year 2009, Ardbeg Uigeadail at 54% as well as Caol Ila 12yo and 18yo, Laphroaig 10yo, Lagavulin, Springbank 10yo, Glenkinchie, Benromach 21yo and Cragganmore. Many ales and ciders are on offer too including nanny-state baiters BrewDog.

Food is of the usual bar variety but pretty good. One of the best veggie breakfasts in town can be had here. So, get an Uigedail, a bucket of nachos and sit down to read the latest lies in the Hootsmon.

The Auld Hoose, 23.25 St. Leonards St, Edinburgh.