Categories
Uncategorized

Sexuality is an important part of who you are – denying it for social acceptance or gain is wrong but understandable – but campaigning against it is just wrong

Conservatives UK - Would this be a fair slogan for the current Tory Party?  I think it would make great new slogan! What you guys think? | Facebook

WOKE and the Tory Party

The Tory Party has not been shouting from the rooftops about its views on WOKE rights which is not surprising since its policies are decided on by the Tory Central Office in England.

The most powerful lobbying group in the Party is the “Cornerstone Group” and its influence and demands will prevail over weaker opposition and be the deciding factor in any policy pertaining to WOKE activists.

Jacob Rees Mogg Makes Billions From No Deal Brexit

2005: The Cornerstone Group Website Launch.

 In his opening address Chairman Edward Leigh MP wrote about the aims and aspirations of the Group:

“We represent traditional Tory themes of nation, family, enterprise and compassion, founded on Judaeo-Christian ethics. We keep the flame burning because we believe that a vigorous discussion about Conservative ideas can be of immense value to our party”

“We applaud David Cameron’s decision to speak up in favour of marriage.”

British Conservatives lead charge for gay marriage - The Washington Post


The Tory Party Cornerstone Group

A large and influential group of Tory MP’s dedicated to maintaining the traditional values which have shaped the British way of life throughout the country’s history.

It believes in the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, its culture and its nations sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state.

It stands for the Monarchy; traditional marriage; family and community duties; proper pride in the nations distinctive qualities; quality of life over soulless utility; social responsibility over personal selfishness; social justice as a civic duty, not state dependency; compassion for those in need; reducing government waste; lower taxation and deregulation; protection of ancient liberties against politically correct censorship and a commitment to a democratically elected parliament.

It is opposed to gay marriage and is generally fairly homophobic.

Abortion should be banned.

Sexual abstinence should be taught in schools.

Contraceptives should be discouraged.

Immigration should be strictly controlled.

Liberalism  is a disease.

Image result for mundell images

Tory Party Insider Comments:

The group is mono-ethnic, mono-cultural, anti-diversity and anti-homosexual and it commands a major swathe of the parliamentary Tory Party and its membership.

It is a good development. The policies they advocate are very sensible. Those who brush them off as reactionaries betray their own bigotry in a way.

The Group’s views are held by many Northern voters and there are many more who would like to see extra emphasis on some of the Cornerstone principles. Lurching hard to the right wins more voters in the North.

The Cornerstone Group are an important lobbying group who will make sure the Party remains focused on its full policy agenda.

Image result for mundell images

Jan 2016: Ultra right wing Tory Cornerstone founder member Mundell Comes Out the Closet as Gay

Mundell married Lynda Carmichael in 1987. The couple separated in 2010 and divorced in 2012. They have 3 children: Oliver, 28 (elected to Holyrood), Eve 26 and Lewis 25.

He wrote on his personal website:

“it is time to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am. I hope that coming out will not change anything about how I am treated.”

In another online post he wrote:

“New Year, new start! I have already set out my political priorities for the year and now I am setting out my personal one: Having taken one of the most important decisions of my life and came out as gay I just want to get on with it, and now, just like that, I have said it. I still cannot rationalise my feelings, but they are not uncommon, particularly in men of my age.” He added:

“Of course, everybody who gets to this point, has have their own journey. I have certainly been on mine, conflicting emotions, of doubts and fears, but ultimately positive and uplifting, with an unstoppable direction of travel. Over time, I have come to understand that, for me, the only way to be truly happy on a personal level is to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am.”

Comment: Living a lie is never easy but being a founder member of the Cornerstone Group takes the biscuit.

What does 'woke' mean to Britons? | YouGov
Categories
Uncategorized

Letter from America – a teacher warns of the inherent dangers in allowing the implementation of Sturgeon’s insidious and cancerous Trojan Horse WOKE creep

Wokeness: what does it mean and how did it become weaponised?

An American teacher warns about the invasion of WOKE orthodoxy in the education sector

I have been a teacher for nearly two decades. My awareness of WOKE ideology started about five years ago when our schools began to be consumed by “WOKE ideology”.

The schools became obsessed with sophomoric and divisive notions of diversity, equality, and justice; increasingly hostile to freedom of expression; addicted to cancelling anything that offended the WOKE movement and prioritised activism over understanding as the goal of education.

The purpose of this letter is to alert the “sleep-wokers”. A sleep-woker is one who has not taken the WOKE creed to heart, but tacitly complies with the linguistic, pedagogical, political, and moral imperatives of wokeness.

Sleep-wokers go through the motions; they are like religious folk who say prayers without thinking, attend worship services without engaging, and perpetuate dogmas without believing. I was a sleep-woker. In some ways, due to a combination of timidity and tiredness, I still am.

Sleep-woking, like sleepwalking, is very dangerous. While sleep-woking, an English teacher can unwittingly help cancel Chaucer, Keats and Conrad in the name of decolonisation. A biology teacher might find herself obliged to deny important differences between the sexes. A football coach will not be able to cheer on a player after a strong tackle, as strength and physical violence smack of toxic masculinity.

Wokeness has proven to be oppressive and totalitarian rather than inclusive and liberating

Most of my sleep-woking colleagues are good people. Like me, they were lulled into complacency by a WOKE take-over that was slow and subtle.

What’s more, some changes were initially promising and even corrective — of course we should pay more attention to marginalised voices and overlooked narratives, and I am glad that we now do.

To bemoan an expanded curriculum is simple chauvinism. In the end, however, wokeness has proven to be oppressive and totalitarian rather than inclusive and liberating.

My objection is to the effect of WOKE ideology on education, not to liberal politics. My grievance is that teachers are increasingly under pressure to adopt the WOKE agenda or be ostracised.

I empathise with the difficult situation that top school officials find themselves in. As wokeness takes over culture, schools face enormous pressure to follow suit.

That said, those with the power to stop the degradation of education have a special responsibility to do so, and those of us with less power have a responsibility to remind our superiors of their duty.

The Promise and Problems of Being Woke | Psychology Today

Here is some of what wokeness introduces:

Offence in is the Eye of the Offended

Schools are required to teach that if one feels offended, one has been offended. For example, if a student or colleague claims to have been offended by your words or actions, it does not matter if you intended no offence. More troubling is the fact that it does not matter if your words and actions were not those that a rational person should find offensive — you are an offender merely by virtue of the fact that someone claims to have been offended.

Since legal norms follow ethical norms, if schools (and societies) succeed in changing the ethical norms of speech and offence, they will eventually have a basis upon which to change the legal norms.

As soon as they can show that a normal or typical person is offended by certain language or certain ideas, they will be able to argue that a person presenting such language and ideas is failing to abide by the reasonable ethical cultural expectations.

In essence, we are training students how to be offended so that their perceived offence can be used to eliminate anti-woke expression.

Elimination of Non-Woke Student Clubs

Any student group that resists WOKE orthodoxy is forcibly disbanded or prevented from forming with the outcome that free thinking students have trouble officially meeting and inviting speakers.

If a non-woke speaker is invited, the wokes mobilise to deny them a platform and they feel righteous for doing so.

Few free thinking students openly identify as such because they are afraid of repercussions from teachers and other students. Not only is this unfair, but it is also dangerous.

Alienated free thinking students are being pushed away from moderate disagreement towards political extremism.

No Resisting WOKE Slogans

Opposing WOKE slogans or voicing contrary slogans is not tolerated.

Since opposing wokeness is thought to be motivated by hate, voicing opposition to WOKE slogans is tantamount to hate speech.

A student who challenges a WOKE slogan is bullied and harassed by the WOKE majority.

Meanwhile, WOKE slogans and images are hung in school buildings and cannot be removed.

Cultural Appropriation

White or Western students are told not to participate in cultural traditions of non-white, non-Western people — the oppressors cannot participate in the culture of the oppressed.

For example, several white students who wore shirts with African designs were reprimanded and forced to change their clothes. The fact that the shirts were a gift from their teacher, a black African man, made no difference. The students wore the shirts to show affection for their teacher and to honour his gift, but that was still cultural appropriation.

In another instance, a musician was reprimanded for blending a western and non-western musical style into a new artistic expression. The musician was accused of cultural imperialism.

Cancelling Curriculum

Shakespeare, Homer and other canonical authors are being eliminated from the curriculum. In some cases, schools and teachers boast about cancelling these patriarchal racists. Even at schools that do not officially cancel canonical Western texts, the texts are subtly replaced in the name of anti-racism.

The result is that many students move on to university never having read Homer or Shakespeare, though they will have been required to read many texts and attend many lectures on intersectionality and gender identity.

They can speak at length about toxic masculinity and a panoply of so-called phobias, but they would not recognise the terms “iambic pentameter” and “dactylic hexameter”, let alone recognise actual examples of the meter.

Normalising Fallacies

Ad hominem attacks are presented as the cornerstone of critical thinking rather than as a fallacious form of argumentation. Teachers educate students to evaluate texts and arguments by primarily attending to the author’s race, gender, and sexuality.

Mandatory Training

Students attend mandatory training sessions in which experts teach them how to identify and report microaggressions. And since to a student with a hammer everything looks like a nail, the students begin informing on each other and on their teachers.

White teachers are told to attend racial-political re-education workshops in which they strive to overcome their whiteness in the classroom. (It has long been accepted that “whiteness” is a meaningful category.)

Teachers who claim to not be a racist are seen as the worst, most unredeemable kind of racist and labelled heretics who will not admit heresy. Suffering from something called “white fragility”.

Trigger Warnings

Before introducing any new activity teachers are required to compile lists of trigger warnings for it. The warnings which are shared with students alert them to any and all things in the subject that could cause them stress, frustration, anger, or sadness.

Manners and Dress Codes

A side-effect of the WOKE attacks on tradition, authority, and hierarchy has been the revocation of dress codes. So long as their genitals are covered and no profane words are visible, students can and do wear anything they like.

Many students eat meals with headphones in their ears while watching videos on their phones. The less respectful students don’t bother with headphones. “Sir” and “Ma’am” have long since disappeared as too authoritarian and gendered. The terms “master” and “headmaster” cannot be used as master might connote slavery.

Elimination of Objective Assessments

Exams are being eliminated for two reasons: first, because exams are apparently inherently racist, sexist, classist, heteronormative, or otherwise unfair; second, because exams cause students stress, and stress makes students feel bad, and feeling bad negatively impacts their well-being.

Additionally, some students do poorly on exams, and this has the potential to result in a situation that is inequitable.

Pronouns

Schools are increasingly pressured to identify their pronouns.

Failure to identify one’s pronouns is seen as transphobic or cis-centric or both. Students can reassign their own pronouns at will.

If a teacher mistakenly does not use the student’s preferred pronoun, the teacher is accused of misgendering.

Misgendering a serious offence, even a kind of violence.

In Summary

The unchecked advance of wokeness results in two major failures.

First, teachers and students lose the ability to freely read, write and speak as pupils and teachers.

Second, the education provided becomes unrecognisably impoverished.

The second effect is probably the hardest to accept. In place of free-thinking young scholars, the education system churns out generations of woke activists who believe that feelings matter more than facts, that perception is reality, and that it is more important to judge a text than to understand it — where “judging” means anachronistically interpreting the author’s words in light of the most recent WOKE orthodoxy.

Students claim to be proud practitioners of social justice yet they have only an elementary command of grammar and geography.

They struggle to write complete sentences and are unable to locate Turkey on a map.

Some question the need to take maths seriously given that maths is apparently grounded in Western patriarchal rationalism.

Wokeness has been achieved at the expense of education.

Reason has been subordinated to passion.

Plato’s charioteer has been replaced by the horses he was meant to reign in.

To not be woke is to be asleep: unconscious or ignorant of what is really going on.

Perhaps some of you are disturbed by some of the woke excesses at your schools and in your communities, even if, like me, you readily support appeals for greater diversity, genuine inclusion, and a multicultural curriculum.

There are some who instinctively to dismiss the excesses as isolated incidents with sayings like “The pendulum will swing back” or “That will never happen at my school.”

But the pendulum will not swing back because the WOKE movement is not a pendulum; it is a steamroller.

One of the canniest bits of WOKE linguistic manipulation has been appropriation of the term “WOKE” itself.

To not be WOKE is to be asleep: unconscious or ignorant of what is really going on.

Either one is Woke or one is not aware of reality.

Or, as in the words of a WOKE student “if you are not WOKE, it must be because you are uneducated or hateful — or both.

Such is the WOKE reality. (The Critic)

Cancel culture, and the toxic rebranding of the 'woke left'
Categories
Uncategorized

Scotland sent 56 MP’s to Westminster and the sum of all their achievements was a recognition that women should be provided with free sanitary towels – Nationalist policy needs to be changed to abstentionism now – bring our MP’s home

The 1707 Act of Union Handed Scotland Over To a Very Wealthy English Elite Supported By Lickspittle Unionist Politicians Who Maintain Their Power Through the Impositon of Oppression on Scots – caltonjock

The Discredited 1707 Act of Union

The 1707 “Act of Union” was signed off, against the wishes of Scots, by a corrupt landowning, political elite.

It was heralded by the English as a voluntary joining of the two nations which would become a single United Kingdom. All would be equal.  But that is not what transpired.

The English trap was sprung within weeks of the signing of the treaty when the Sovereign of the two states declared Westminster to be the seat of the newly formed United Kingdom.

England’s green and pleasant land would survive but Scotland would be consigned to the historical rubbish dump.

And historical evidence from that time to the present day supports many thousands of allegations that Westminster politicians have only ever acted in the best interests of England and against the wishes and needs of Scots.

The 1707 Act of Union Handed Scotland Over To a Very Wealthy English Elite Supported By Lickspittle Unionist Politicians Who Maintain Their Power Through the Impositon of Oppression on Scots – caltonjock

Scots Are Ready for Change: Now::

Conditioned by the brutality of the first and each succeeding Westminster regime over 300+ years, the Scottish view of Westminster is far removed from that of the people of Newcastle or Leeds.

The majority of Scots perceive Westminster to be a parliament that has imposed 313+ years of murderous and dictatorial rule.

They see it as a political regime that has denied them their right to economic and political sovereignty. Westminster is not Scotland’s Parliament and never will be.

Scots, with Brexit forced upon them against their wishes, are now clear in their minds that Unionist politicians will continue to impose their will over Scots regardless of any economic, social or other hardship.

The Scottish nation is of little consequence to the political ambitions of the political elite of Westminster.

How did England and Scotland become the 'United Kingdom'? - ppt download

Modified Abstentionism

S.N.P. MP’s should no longer routinely participate in any of the political activities at Westminster, including withdrawing MP’s from all joint committees and no attendance to the House of Commons.

MP’s would, in all other respects, continue to actively represent their constituents only engaging where necessary with other political Party’s and their representatives on matters affecting their constituents.

This would ensure no financial detriment to S.N.P. MP’s. but would send a shot across the bows of the Tory dominated parliament and frighten the Labour and Liberal Party’s who would be consigned to the opposition benches forever.

Scottish and English history: 1707 act of union : HistoryMemes

Categories
Uncategorized

Before the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 – Scotland’s most able statesmen of the day stood up for Scots and vehemently opposed it – We need him back at the coal face of politics leading the government before Scotland is sold down the river of political and financial gain yet again

The return of Alex Salmond | The Economist

18 Mar 2003: Do not rush to war with Iraq – Alex Salmond – House of Commons

Fundamentally, the debate is not about Iraq, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction or even oil, though oil is certainly a factor. The debate is about a new world order, with an unrivalled superpower adopting a doctrine of pre-emptive strike, and how we accommodate that and come to terms with that new world order.

Eighteen months ago the United States had an atrocity committed against it and it is still in a trauma. The point was made a few minutes ago, and it is undoubtedly correct. On 12 September 2001, the day after the attack on the twin towers, the United States was at its most powerful.

In its moment of greatest extremity, the United States was at its zenith. In addition to its unrivalled military might, it carried total moral authority throughout the world.

A hundred or more nations signed messages of sympathy, support or solidarity with the extremity that the United States had suffered. Now, 18 months later, that enormous world coalition has been dissipated.

I do not take the position that it was only a gang of four who gathered in the Azores. I accept that there are more countries—or at least countries’ Governments — who are signed up, but the coalition of the willing for the campaign against Iraq is very narrowly based.

Anyone who wants confirmation of that should just count the troops: 300,000 United States and British troops, and I understand that 1,000 Australians have been asked for, and 100 Poles have been offered. That is a very narrowly based coalition indeed.

The Prime Minister believes that the way to accommodate the situation is to accept that the United States will be predominant and that the rest must fall into line. They can try to restrain it, but they will have to fall into line with the views of the United States Administration.

That is a wrong-headed policy, and it is taking people into ridiculous positions.

Former US president and UN special envoy

In his undoubtedly powerful speech today, the Prime Minister argued that the weapons inspection process had never worked. He came close to saying that it had all been a waste of time.

I remember a speech on 2 October at the Labour conference in which another powerful speaker went into enormous detail to show how successful the weapons inspection process had been in the 1990s and how it had led to the destruction of chemical weapons, the chemicals used to make weapons, the armed warheads and the biological weapons facility.

He concluded that, “the inspections were working even when he (Saddam Hussein) was trying to thwart them.”

I watched that speech on television. Many hon. Members were there. The speaker was President Bill Clinton. The television was doing cutaways to Ministers, including the Prime Minister. They were all nodding vigorously last October when President Clinton said that through the 1990s that policy worked and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction than were destroyed, for example, in the Gulf war.

The Prime Minister now seems to be denying what he accepted only last October. We are told that the majority of the Security Council would have voted for the second resolution, if it had not been for the nasty French coming in at the last minute and scuppering the whole process. Let us get real. Have we listened to what other countries were saying?

The Chileans proposed an extension of three weeks, but they were told by the United States that that was not on. In the debate in the General Assembly, country after country expressed their anxieties about not letting the weapons inspectors have a chance to do their work.

They were told that the nasty French—I am not sure whether the Conservative party dislikes the French more than the Liberals, or vice versa were being extremely unreasonable, but the French position, and the Chinese position in order to become acceptable, resolution 1441 had to be amended.

Everything has been consistent in the opposition of countries that are against a rush to military action. Somebody should speak up for the French, because their position has been consistent, as has that of the Russians and the Chinese.

The Chinese, the French and the Russians issued a declaration on the passage of resolution 1441. It sets out exactly how the British and the United States ambassadors agreed that it was not a trigger for war.

The reason that those countries did not want a second resolution was not that it would be a pathway to peace I wonder who dreamed that up in Downing street. The reason was that they saw it as a passport to war, so obviously they opposed a resolution drawn in those terms.

The majority of smaller countries in the Security Council and the General Assembly countries did not want to rush to war because they saw that there remained an alternative to taking military action at this stage of the inspection process.

media-alex-salmond

We are told that the Attorney General has described the war as legal. We could go into the legalities and quote professor after professor who has said the opposite, but one thing is certain: when the Secretary General of the United Nations doubts the authorisation of military action without a second resolution, people can say many things about that action, but they cannot say that it is being taken in the name of the United Nations.

The argument is that it will be a salutary lesson, that a dictator will be taught a lesson and that that will help us in dealing with other dictators.

I suspect that the cost of the action — I do not doubt the military outcome for a second will be so high in a number of ways that it will not provide a platform for an assault on North Korea or Iran, which form the rest of the “axis of evil”.

I do not think that the policy of teaching one dictator a lesson and then moving on to other dictators can work. Most of us know that it will be a breeding ground for a future generation of terrorists. That is not the case because people like Saddam Hussein.

The images that will be shown throughout the Muslim world will not feature him, although, without any question, he will be more attractive as a martyr when he is dead than he has ever been while alive. The images that will be shown are those of the innocents who will undoubtedly die in a conflict that will be a breeding ground for terrorism.

BillClinton

President Clinton’s address to the labour Party Conference in Blackpool October 2002, (6 months before the invasion of Iraq

Sound advice was falsely embraced by Tony Blair and his government who only six months later ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the terrible consequences have been visited upon many nations of the World, (in particular the middle East) ever since.

Bush and Blair are now retired and earning financial fortunes from speeches, advisory activities in support of many governments around the world and other business. Indeed Blair and his wife are multi-millionaires.

But thousands of our young men and women serving in the armed forces have been killed in action or returned to their families maimed through physical and or mental injury. The rest of their lives to be lived out handicapped and in permanent pain as will the many thousands of families who lost their sons and daughters.

Why did Blair not listen to President Clinton and Alex Salmond. The last 18 years future could have been so different.

The debate: http://www.warmwell.com/iraqwardebate03.html

The video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?172964-1/foreign-policy-issues

IRAQ
Categories
Uncategorized

Before the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 – Scotland’s most able statesmen of the day stood up for Scots and vehemently opposed it – We need him back at the coal face of politics leading the government before Scotland is sold down the river of political and financial gain yet again

The return of Alex Salmond | The Economist

18 Mar 2003: Do not rush to war with Iraq – Alex Salmond – House of Commons

Fundamentally, the debate is not about Iraq, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction or even oil, though oil is certainly a factor. The debate is about a new world order, with an unrivalled superpower adopting a doctrine of pre-emptive strike, and how we accommodate that and come to terms with that new world order.

Eighteen months ago the United States had an atrocity committed against it and it is still in a trauma. The point was made a few minutes ago, and it is undoubtedly correct. On 12 September 2001, the day after the attack on the twin towers, the United States was at its most powerful.

In its moment of greatest extremity, the United States was at its zenith. In addition to its unrivalled military might, it carried total moral authority throughout the world.

A hundred or more nations signed messages of sympathy, support or solidarity with the extremity that the United States had suffered. Now, 18 months later, that enormous world coalition has been dissipated.

I do not take the position that it was only a gang of four who gathered in the Azores. I accept that there are more countries—or at least countries’ Governments — who are signed up, but the coalition of the willing for the campaign against Iraq is very narrowly based.

Anyone who wants confirmation of that should just count the troops: 300,000 United States and British troops, and I understand that 1,000 Australians have been asked for, and 100 Poles have been offered. That is a very narrowly based coalition indeed.

The Prime Minister believes that the way to accommodate the situation is to accept that the United States will be predominant and that the rest must fall into line. They can try to restrain it, but they will have to fall into line with the views of the United States Administration.

That is a wrong-headed policy, and it is taking people into ridiculous positions.

Former US president and UN special envoy

In his undoubtedly powerful speech today, the Prime Minister argued that the weapons inspection process had never worked. He came close to saying that it had all been a waste of time.

I remember a speech on 2 October at the Labour conference in which another powerful speaker went into enormous detail to show how successful the weapons inspection process had been in the 1990s and how it had led to the destruction of chemical weapons, the chemicals used to make weapons, the armed warheads and the biological weapons facility.

He concluded that, “the inspections were working even when he (Saddam Hussein) was trying to thwart them.”

I watched that speech on television. Many hon. Members were there. The speaker was President Bill Clinton. The television was doing cutaways to Ministers, including the Prime Minister. They were all nodding vigorously last October when President Clinton said that through the 1990s that policy worked and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction than were destroyed, for example, in the Gulf war.

The Prime Minister now seems to be denying what he accepted only last October. We are told that the majority of the Security Council would have voted for the second resolution, if it had not been for the nasty French coming in at the last minute and scuppering the whole process. Let us get real. Have we listened to what other countries were saying?

The Chileans proposed an extension of three weeks, but they were told by the United States that that was not on. In the debate in the General Assembly, country after country expressed their anxieties about not letting the weapons inspectors have a chance to do their work.

They were told that the nasty French—I am not sure whether the Conservative party dislikes the French more than the Liberals, or vice versa were being extremely unreasonable, but the French position, and the Chinese position in order to become acceptable, resolution 1441 had to be amended.

Everything has been consistent in the opposition of countries that are against a rush to military action. Somebody should speak up for the French, because their position has been consistent, as has that of the Russians and the Chinese.

The Chinese, the French and the Russians issued a declaration on the passage of resolution 1441. It sets out exactly how the British and the United States ambassadors agreed that it was not a trigger for war.

The reason that those countries did not want a second resolution was not that it would be a pathway to peace I wonder who dreamed that up in Downing street. The reason was that they saw it as a passport to war, so obviously they opposed a resolution drawn in those terms.

The majority of smaller countries in the Security Council and the General Assembly countries did not want to rush to war because they saw that there remained an alternative to taking military action at this stage of the inspection process.

media-alex-salmond

We are told that the Attorney General has described the war as legal. We could go into the legalities and quote professor after professor who has said the opposite, but one thing is certain: when the Secretary General of the United Nations doubts the authorisation of military action without a second resolution, people can say many things about that action, but they cannot say that it is being taken in the name of the United Nations.

The argument is that it will be a salutary lesson, that a dictator will be taught a lesson and that that will help us in dealing with other dictators.

I suspect that the cost of the action — I do not doubt the military outcome for a second will be so high in a number of ways that it will not provide a platform for an assault on North Korea or Iran, which form the rest of the “axis of evil”.

I do not think that the policy of teaching one dictator a lesson and then moving on to other dictators can work. Most of us know that it will be a breeding ground for a future generation of terrorists. That is not the case because people like Saddam Hussein.

The images that will be shown throughout the Muslim world will not feature him, although, without any question, he will be more attractive as a martyr when he is dead than he has ever been while alive. The images that will be shown are those of the innocents who will undoubtedly die in a conflict that will be a breeding ground for terrorism.

BillClinton

President Clinton’s address to the labour Party Conference in Blackpool October 2002, (6 months before the invasion of Iraq

Sound advice was falsely embraced by Tony Blair and his government who only six months later ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 and the terrible consequences have been visited upon many nations of the World, (in particular the middle East) ever since.

Bush and Blair are now retired and earning financial fortunes from speeches, advisory activities in support of many governments around the world and other business. Indeed Blair and his wife are multi-millionaires.

But thousands of our young men and women serving in the armed forces have been killed in action or returned to their families maimed through physical and or mental injury. The rest of their lives to be lived out handicapped and in permanent pain as will the many thousands of families who lost their sons and daughters.

Why did Blair not listen to President Clinton and Alex Salmond. The last 18 years future could have been so different.

The debate: http://www.warmwell.com/iraqwardebate03.html

The video: http://www.c-span.org/video/?172964-1/foreign-policy-issues

IRAQ
Categories
Uncategorized

The 2014 Scottish independence referendum was supposed to be about Scot’s deciding the future of their country. The bussing of many thousands of English born labour supporters of the Union was yet another example of the Unionist party’s philosophy of, “bugger the rules and rights win at any cost

Scottish independence Referendum: Scotland votes No and Alex Salmond  resigns - BBC News

Douglas Garven Alexander

He was born in Glasgow in 1967 and grew up in Bishopton, where his father was the local Minister. Aged fourteen he joined the Labour Party. In 1984, at the age of 17, he studied a for 2 years at an international college in Vancouver, Canada before returning to Scotland to study Politics and Modern History at Edinburgh University. After graduating he worked for Gordon Brown for a year, as a SPAD.

He joined the British American Project (BAP) an exclusive American financed neo-liberal political network and is also a senior member of the left leaning Fabian Society, a secretive organisation driven by the ideology of the supremacy of the “British State” over any other political formation.

Mentored by Gordon Brown and guided by Tony Blair his rise to the top echlon of the Labour Party was spectacular. In 2006 he was promoted to the Cabinet as Secretary of State for Transport and Scotland.

What comes after Richard Leonard for Scottish Labour? Time for an  Independent Labour Party - Gerry Hassan - writing, research, policy and  ideas

The 2007 Scottish General Election

The “New Labour” Government was in crisis. Blair, in defiance of the wishes of the public had taken the country to war in support of an American invasion of the sovereign state of Iraq and had added to the debacle by aiding an American invasion of Afghanistan. Both decisions proved to be costly military and political disasters. And there was the “Cash for access” scandal involving the New Labour leadership.

The setbacks in popularity alerted Blair and Brown to the possibility of a humiliating SNP victory in Scotland and something needed to be done fast to avert a political disaster which might lead to a bid for Scottish independence from a resurgent SNP under the inspiring leadership of Alex Salmond whose appointment had galvanised his moribund Party.

Alex Salmond, alert to the trickery of “New Labour” petitioned Westminster seeking a transfer of the organisation of Scottish General Elections to the authority of the Scottish Government. His request was refused. Westminster retained the right to organise Scottish General Elections and Douglas Alexander, the part-time Secretary of State for Scotland would, in addition to leading Labour’s campaign in Scotland, also take charge of the organisation of the process.

Alexander moved fast and in a reversal of previous successful arrangements he decided on the use of two separate ballot papers for constituency and regional lists. Further complicating matters he decided that Local Council Elections would be held at the same time as the parliamentary election and that all election selections would be printed on one ballot paper.

Alec Salmond, Civil servants and an independent marketing firm all warned that the use of such ballot forms would lead to voter confusion and a higher-than-average number of rejected votes. But their concerns were ignored. Even when faced with public critisim Alexander and his governing, (Labour) party insisted the changes were extremely popular.

In the election the Scottish National Party (SNP) emerged as the largest party with 47 seats, closely followed by the incumbent Scottish Labour Party with 46 seats. The Scottish Conservatives won 17 seats, the Scottish Liberal Democrats 16 seats, the Scottish Greens 2 seats and one Independent (Margo MacDonald) was also elected.

Alexander was praised by Labour Party mandarins since he had almost, “saved the day” for Labour. But the elections had been tainted by a chaotic voting process in which in excess of 146,000 votes had been declared void. The largest in electoral history. 17 MSP’s were elected to Parliament with majority’s lower than the number of spoiled ballots in their constituency.

There was a public outcry and, “Returning Officers” formally voiced their discontent. Alexander, the accountable person for the elections, said there would be a statutory review of the election under the auspices of the Labour Party dominated “Electoral Commission”.

The Scottish Electorate was outraged and demanded an independent inquiry which was at first denied but public pressure forced Blair to concede and an inquiry was commissioned.

At the end of an extensive, lengthy inquiry, an official report submitted by, Ron Gould, (a senior Canadian election official), heavily censured Alexander and the Labour Party stating that ministers in the Labour Scottish Government and at Westminster together with Alexander’s political, “self-interested” moves, (as the Labour Party in Scotland’s election supremo), had abused their, “offices of state” making decisions about the election on “party political interest grounds”, with voters treated as an “after-thought.”

POLL: How would you vote in a Scottish independence referendum? |  HeraldScotland

18 Sep 2014: Scottish Independence Referendum

Scot’s failed to heed the warning from 2007 and allowed the “Electoral Commission” free rein over the rules governing the 2014 Independence Referendum and were denied by another flawed process which had been loaded against a “Yes” vote. The Scottish Government must exercise complete control (overseen by international observers) of any future future referendum.

Scots voters said No but still shook up the status quo.. 2014 is the year  politics came to life - Daily Record

22 Sep 2014: Independence Referendum

Alexander, in a major speech, in Manchester, to the Labour Conference thanked the many English students and Labour Party fifth columnists that had invaded Scotland in the course of the referendum in support of the “Better Together” fear campaign. He said:

“Conference, we gather here in Manchester just days after a defining decision for the United Kingdom. The referendum campaign in Scotland was about more than party politics. It was about who we are, what we believe and what we hope for as one nation. And when, as Scottish supporters of the Union, we sent out the call to our friends and comrades in the Labour Party in England you answered that call. By coming to campaign alongside us, you demonstrated solidarity in action”.

Scottish independence: Gordon Brown insists it's a 'proud and patriotic'  decision to vote No as he hails 'turning point' in fight for union - Daily  Record

Comment: The referendum was supposed to be about Scot’s deciding the future of their country. The bussing of many thousands of English born labour supporters was yet another example of the Unionist party’s philosophy of, “bugger the rules and rights win at any cost”.

How Brexit could mean a second Scottish independence referendum and the end  of the United Kingdom - Jonathan Walker - Birmingham Live

Categories
Uncategorized

Scottish renewable energy provision screwed by Westminster -there is no end to the abuse

Renewable energy in Scotland - Wikipedia

Sep 2010: Alex Salmond claims 100% green electricity in Scotland is ‘achievable’ by 2025

In the post-devolution period, and particularly since the election of the first Scottish National Party Scottish Government in 2007, there existed an uneasy relationship between Holyrood and Westminster over energy, which was reserved (with limited exceptions for the limited promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency) to the UK Parliament under the Scotland Act 1998.

In 2010 Alex Salmond, addressing the International Low Carbon Investment Conference in Edinburgh doubled the Scottish Government’s target for generating “green” electricity from 50% to 100% by 2025. And claimed Scotland with the proper financial investment could actually generate all of its electricity and more – currently about 6.8GW – from green sources by that year. And Scotland’s energy resources, in particular North Sea oil and its renewable energy potential, became significant elements in the case for Scottish independence during the 2014 independence referendum.

The referendum confirmed the retention of the “union” but mindful of the on-going aspirations of Scots for independence Westminster’s goal became to ensure England and Wales would be self sufficient in energy provision (no reliance on Scotland) and this brought about the decision to focus production on nuclear.

Proving the case for this was relatively easy. Staticians did the business and the media persuaded the gullible electorate in England and Wales that nuclear would be cheaper than Scotland’s more costly wind and wave energy and contracts were signed off with foreign based companies.

Since then the projected costs of building nuclear plants in sufficient numbers has increased many fold bringing about a need for the provision of massive amounts of new finance from the Treasury. Any financial “bail-out” of the nuclear debacle will be sourced from the capped “energy” pot and this is to the detriment of Scotland.

Echoing the foregoing and gathering pace since the 2014 referendum, there has been a spate of UK government decisions on energy, such as the withdrawal of funding for carbon capture and storage development, the closure of the Longannet coal-fired power station and the withdrawal of subsidies for renewable energy. All of which have, whether by accident or design, undermined Scotland’s “energy independence” in advance of any second independence referendum.

The 2016 Act reflects the ebb and flow of this cross-border constitutional dynamic and the provision for energy is piecemeal and lacking substance suggesting that the wings of the Scottish Government’s energy policy are being clipped by Westminster: the Empire is striking back.

The foregoing is a summary of the content of a (must read) article “ENERGY AND THE SCOTLAND ACT 2016” written by Gavin Little – Professor of law, Stirling University

Scotland loses again in £2bn wind farm boom after ministers pledge action |  HeraldScotland
Categories
Uncategorized

Heart-rending 1701 plea from Fifers to the Scottish parliament- fell on deaf ears

William Hamilton, 2nd Duke of Hamilton - Wikipedia

Petition from the people of Fife to the Scottish Parliament 9 January 1701

To his Grace his majesties High Commissioner (James Douglas, 2nd Duke of Queensberry) and the right honourable Earls and representatives of parliament, we submit this humble address and petition of the people of Fife.

That now after so long and expensive wars, attended with unheard scarcity and many other calamities, instead of enjoying the blessings of a happy peace, incentives for trade and manufacturing, providing employment for the poor and easing the burdens of state support.

We still find not only great discouragements to trade, increased numbers of poor and a lack of money sufficient to pay a standing army. But above all what we are deeply aware of is the violation of the sovereignty, freedom, and independence of Scotland which our predecessors so nobly defended with their blood.

And the encroachments by English and Spanish forces upon which seem to us to be the cause of the great losses which the African and Indian companies have sustained in their Caledonian colony settled in Darien.

Losses contrary to their human rights and the law of nations, and which we perceive to be of national concern affecting the hearts of every true-hearted Scot.

May it, therefore, please your grace and right honourable Earls and peers of the Scottish parliament to give serious consideration to asserting the Kingdom’s freedom, sovereignty, and independence.

Strengthen and support the people in Darien in their right to their settlement in Caledonia, make good their losses, assist them in their efforts so much that they are able to succeed for the honour and wealth of Scotland.

Introduce measures designed to provide a better future for the poor, encouraging Scottish manufacturers to invest in Scotland restraining the practice of transferring money to England.

Reduce the size of the occupying army bringing forward ways, other than force, of ensuring the security of peace and support of the government and the future and liberty of the Kingdom.

Signed 9 January 1701

Mr George Arnott of Grange

W. Anstruther,

Robert Forbes of Riris,

David Leslie, master of Lundors,

James Fairfull of Kilduncan,

John Preston, baronet,

David Corstorphine, portioner in Kingsbarns,

George Sinclair, baronet,

Henry Balfour of Denbre,

Alexander Bridge, portioner in Kingsbarns,

James Preston of Denbre,

Andrew Baillie of Parbroath,

T. Bruce of Blairhall,

Robert Herriot of Ramorny
J. Browne of Bogward,

Patrick Ross of Hilcairnie,

Robert Scott of Spencirfeild,

John Wemyss of Winthank,

David Lindsay of Kirkforther,

Thomas Weems of Fingask,

Henry Wardlaw of Pitravie,

D. Clephane of Carslogie,

William Henderson of Fordell,

R. Douglas of Glenbervie, baronet,

James Lindsay of Kavill,

James Holburne of Menstrie,

Archibald Makgill of Kemboke,

Robert Ged of Baldrige,

Captain Alexander Bruce of Petothe,

James Bennett of Graing,

W. Trent of Pitcullo,

John Stanhous of Southfod,

G. Paterson of Dinmuire,

Mr Duncan Whyte of Cruiks,

John Imrie of Crowie,

John Forrester of Carberrie,

George Hay of Mortoune,

John Dewar of Lafodie,

John Cuninghame of Banden,

H. Wardlaw of Luskar,

John Malcolm of Inverteill,

David Wardlaw of Craighouse,

James Law of Burntoune,

P. Seton of Lathrisk,

R. Balfour of Balbirne,

John Balfour of Fernie,

J. Balfour of Collachy,

J. Kinnier of Kinnier,

Michael Malcolm of Balbeadie,

J. Malcolm of Foxtoun,

Mr David Dewar of Balgonie,

John Crawford of Montquhne,

Boswell of Glenistoune,

J. Arnott of Woodmile,

J. Skene of Wester Bogie,

Russell of Balmalkim,

Rachie of Ballmedisyd,

James Walker of Daftmill,

John Aitoun of that ilk,

George Arnott of Woodmill,

Michaell Balfour, (the younger) baronet,

John Barclay of Colernie,

Charles Cheape,(the younger)of Rossie,

D. Anderson of Ferriebanck,

Alexander Spens of Beriholl,

David Orme of Amriecruik,

James Maxuell of Lekebank,

Patrick Forbes of Lumquhat,

Alexander Thomson of Yerdland,

James Nicolson, porshoner in Strakes,

Robert Maxwell of Brounbrae,

Walter Scot of Eadniehead,

Alexander Weymes, portoner of Ballow,

Alexander Nairne of St Foord,

A. Bruce of Earlishall,

Robert Lentron of Kincaple,

Philip Hamilton of Kilbracmonth,

James Martine of Clearmonth,

A. Balfour of Northbank,

John Bethune of Craigfudie,

William Jack of Possil,

James Scott of Dron,

John Pattullo of Balhoussie,

John Wemys of Lathockar,

Alexander Nairne of Friertoun,

D. Boiswell of Dovan,

W. Imrie of Flass,
T. Nairne of Craigtoune,

James Robertsone, portioner of Grange,

James Linsay of Balkirst,

P. Anstruther of Anstruther,

James Robertsone of Newbiging,

Robert Anstruther of Balcaske,

Alexander Aytoune of Inchdarnie,

John Leslie of Eastquarter,

John Watson of Dunekeir,

J Beatsone of Kilrie,

J. Alexander of Skeddoway,

James Betsone of Glesmonth,

Patrick Murray of Pittloche,

John Skene of Hallyards,

P. Greig of Ballingrie,

William Aytown Douglas of Kinglesy,

W. Arnott of Achmur,

Robert Douglas of Strahenry,

Arnott of Arnott, Archibald, portinor of Drumard,

Robert Bogie of Lennestoun,

William Dudingstone of St Foord,

James Archibald, portioner of Balbrikie,

John Carstairs of Kinneucher,

Col. Arthur of Ballon,

Henry Stephenson of Ballmoolde,

Alexander Monniepennie of Pitmillie,

William Lyell, portioner of Kingsbarns,

Robert Ged (the younger) of Baldrig,

William Wemyss of Cuttlehill,

John Aytoune of Kinnaldy,

Henry Wardlaw, portioner of Luskar,

Andreas Smith (the younger) of Food,

John Morres of Coldensbeath,

James Stenhouse of South Food,

John Stevenson of Stevenson Bath,

Andrew Smith of Food,

William Halkerstone of Halkerstons Beat,

John Dewar of Beath,

Laurence Walls of Mosyde,

J. Balfour of Baith,

Hendrie Belfrag of Coltstown,

Thomas Mwdie of Lassoddie,

David Douglas of Gellits,

John Aitken of Thorntoune Milln,

James Halkett of Pitfirren,

David Black of Cocklaw,

James Moutray of Rescobie,

David Aitken of Windag,

Michaell Balfour of Forrett,

J. Balcanquall of that ilk,

W. Aitoun, younger, of Aitoun,

J. Colqwhown of Corstowne,

William Schaw of Gospertie,

George Lundy of Drum,

G. Birrell, portioner of Kineskwood,

Mungo Law of Pitlouk,

William Arnot, portioner of Kinaskwood,

John Arnot of Chapell,

James Hoy Leslills of Riggs, 

Thomas Craige of Lamonths Law,

D. Balfour of Kinloch.

Comment: Three hundred and twenty one years later the content of this petition still holds relevance today.

I was asked recently why I wished to live in a Scotland independent of Westminster governance. My answer: Because I am a Scot.!!!  That’s it, folks, my heart dictates my actions.

Categories
Uncategorized

The Alex Salmond Stitch up gets ever more murky – but the truth will out

The catalyst report

A Judge recommended for a senior judicial role by Nicola Sturgeon had previously found the First Minister committed professional misconduct in a Law Society probe of Sturgeon’s failure to provide legal service protections for a domestic violence victim

The Judge who was a case manager for the Law Society of Scotland from September 1998 to March 2003 released a five page report in December 1998, which found Sturgeon guilty of three counts of professional misconduct: Namely:

1.Failing to raise interdict as instructed.
2.Misleading client about legal aid application.
3.Failing to properly consider the client’s financial circumstances

The report concluded:

“The complaint in this case has been identified as professional misconduct by breach of code of conduct and conduct unbecoming a solicitor.”

For reasons not explained the Law Society cleared Sturgeon, who gave up a promising career and left the legal profession.

Alex Salmond will respond to Nicola Sturgeon the only way he knows how - by  aggressively hitting back

So- dead and buried eh!!! Not quite!!

The incident was not reported in the media but surfaced again early March 2021 when a former journalist published details on “twitter” (since deleted).

But the information was out there for the public consumption and comment and a press legal expert assessed the material which named a Scottish newspaper and a “spiked” story on Sturgeon.

The legal expert said he hoped the Committee on the Scottish Government Handling of Harassment Complaints would scrutinise the information available and ask further questions of the First Minister.

He said:

“In view of suggestions on social media platforms – a former journalist held this information for a number of years, and approached several newspapers seemingly without success – people may reasonably expect questions to be asked of why this story has not come to light until now and the method of travel to the media”.

Adding:

“Was there motive in withholding this story involving Scotland’s First Minister, either by a newspaper, a political party or a journalist? I am curious to find out. However, I am also curious as to why no one with the information offered the material in evidence to the long running Scottish Parliament investigation of issues involving Alex Salmond. Given the First Minister responded to questions on what appear to be references to the investigation of Sturgeon and a newspaper deal”.

“MSPs should ask rigorous questions of anyone involved in this matter given the situation we face where information now exists alleging the Sheriff complaint probe of Scotland’s First Minister was allegedly swapped for a story on harassment complaints and a Police investigation of Alex Salmond in the summer of 2018”.

Nicola Sturgeon 'has not spoken to Alex Salmond since sexual assault charges'  - Daily Record

And there is more to the story

It was later alleged that the story had been filed with a Scottish newspaper for publication in June 2018 and had support from the editor to be published – until a “Political editor” at the newspaper voted the story down.

The deleted tweet went on to allege that some weeks later, the same newspaper which did not publish the story on Sturgeon – was leaked details of the harassment complaints against Alex Salmond and the investigation by Police Scotland – which subsequently led to Alex Salmond being charged with 14 offences, including two counts of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault, two of indecent assault, and one of breach of the peace. At the subsequent trial, he was cleared by a jury trial – heard by Scotland’s Lord Justice Clerk – Lady Dorrian.

Is Alex Salmond sex pest? - Page 12 - Politics - Tartan Army Message Board

And the Political editor was!!!!

As political editor of the Daily Record David Clegg revealed former first minister Alex Salmond was facing allegations of sexual assault. The story won him Journalist of the Year, Political Journalist of the Year and Scoop of the Year at the 2018 Scottish Press Awards.

Full story here:
https://petercherbi.wordpress.com/2021/03/10/first-interests-judge-recommended-for-judicial-role-by-nicola-sturgeon-found-first-minister-committed-three-counts-of-professional-misconduct-in-law-society-probe-of-ms-sturgeons-failure-to-pro/

Categories
Uncategorized

A core principle for the Smith Commission must be to ensure that devolved powers granted to Scotland are underwritten by a legal framework that ensures their durability and stability -Swinney did not insist on this and Scotland’s powers are being dismantled piecemeal

Your Guide To The History Of Democracy - HistoryExtra

The Ekklesia Foundation Shaping Public Policy

Ekklesia is a public policy think­tank, (one of the UK top 5) headquartered in Edinburgh and London, which examines the role of beliefs and values in shaping policy and politics for the furtherance of social and environmental justice. It is supported by a charitable trust but is fully independent.

1200 Church

Terms Of Reference for the proper discharge of the Smith Commission

The Commission is charged with securing recommendations to deliver more financial, welfare and taxation powers to strengthen the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom based on wide consultation with political parties, civic society, businesses and individuals across Scotland.

It is recognized that this is an extremely challenging and complex task and this submission will therefore focus on two areas. The need for civic participation and the principles which it is believed should rest at its core.

The Commission advised against a mere “shopping list of powers”, and there is concurrence with this view. The issues involved in achieving a radically improved devolved settlement for Scotland require a more wholistic approach.

There is little confidence that the top-down nature of the Commission’s structure, with two representatives each from the political parties who currently sit in Holyrood, but no solid framework for civic participation, is adequate to this challenge, and the Commission membership needs to be expanded to better reflect public opinion.

Ekklesia Series / Bridging the realms – Convergence

Adequate Time and Scope For Popular Participation:

The scale and complexity of the Commission’s remit relate directly to chronology. Whilst there is recognition of the pressure to produce Heads of Agreement by 30 November 2014 on the path to a legislative process by January 2015, there is concern that this timetable does not allow realistic time for adequate consultation with the people of Scotland.

Lord Smith responded to this concern by arguing that, effectively, consultation expands to fill the time available for it, and that discipline is no bad thing in this respect.

While recognizing the weight of his observation it is argued that there is a balance between efficiency, quality, reach and coherent outcome to be achieved which cannot automatically be resolved on the side of brevity.

The 18 September referendum on Scottish independence and the two years of debate that preceded it were an unprecedented ‘democratic moment’ in the history of this country and the islands of which it is part.

What was particularly significant was the revival of ‘town hall politics’, the extraordinary level of local engagement, and the growth of political and constitutional literacy at a grassroots level in Scotland.

The energy for change and development came not from top-down institutions but from ordinary people and communities.

To be consistent with this reality, the form of delivery of the Commission and the framing of its proposals needs to make time for genuine and extensive public discussion of the Heads of Agreement, so that it is the people of Scotland and not simply the representatives of political parties or other vested interests who are consulted and involved in the process of agreeing the instruments for devolving power within and across the nation.

What is an Ecclesia? - Fathers Heart Ministry

Key Practical Principles and Yardsticks To Be Observed:

The foundation is committed to social justice, equality, conflict transformation and non-violence, the localization of power, environmental sustainability and public dialogue as procedures (not just theories) capable of bringing people together from different belief backgrounds and experiences in the creation of common purpose. We would urge attention to the following principles in determining the outcomes of the Commission.

Subsidiarity:

The principle of subsidiarity is that central authority should have a subsidiary (that is, a supporting, rather than subordinate) function in political and constitutional organization, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate regional or local level.

In the case of the Smith Commission, there is a public desire for outcomes that demonstrably allow and encourage the possibility of further sharing of power from the Scottish Parliament to regions and communities.

Nobody's Dream: stories of Scottish devolution | Scotland | The Guardian

Recognition of Nationhood:

The Commission should recognize Scotland as nation (that is, a geographical unit capable of enabling a large group of people to be united in their diversity of language, culture, environment and economic life ) rather than simply a region of the UK.

This is because of the strong desire for self-determination expressed both by those who voted for independence in September 2014, and by many who voted to remain part of the United Kingdom while responding positively to the promises of “substantial powers” and “what would amount to home rule” or (so-­called) “devo-max” made by representatives of the largest Westminster parties during the run-up to the referendum.

In other words, recognition that Scotland as a national entity provides, on practical grounds and in terms of scale, the genuine possibility of ensuring the kind of political, social, economic and ecological accountability that can make life better for people within its embrace especially those who are currently suffering from levels of poverty and deprivation which is wholly inconsistent with the natural and manufactured resources available to those who live in Scotland, whatever their background or nationality.

A ‘Family Of Nations’:

Both during and after the referendum, the UK has been spoken of as a ‘family of nations’. But there are genuine practical, economic, political and legal difficulties to achieving straightforward federalism in a country marked by enormous differences of size (with England housing 85% of the population of the British isles) and financial power (with the City of London, in particular, operating as a virtual city state and therefore strongly shaping, intentionally and otherwise, the political disposition of the largest Westminster political parties).

It is hoped that the proposals emerging from the Smith Commission, while taking a generally federal shape, will remain open to other possibilities in the future, notably that of confederalism an association of states in which each member state retains substantial independent control over internal and external affairs, with sovereignty pooled and shared by agreement.

This enables the combining of a high level of autonomy and self-determination with interdependence and conviviality pointed towards a post ­national way of thinking and acting in a globalized world.

As Canon Kenyon Wright (widely regarded as the father of the Constitutional Convention and the present devolution settlement in Scotland) observed that devolution has two in­ principle limitations.

The Embedding Of Devolved Power:

First, it is incomplete. The recent debate about the impact of a UK-wide decision which could potentially see the withdrawal of Scotland from the European Union against the will of the majority of its people is illustrative of this.

Second, and especially important for the work of the Smith Commission, it is only conditional.

In other words, devolution is power on loan; power ultimately retained rather than given. It can be withdrawn, as has been seen recently in Scotland’s case in relation to the 2013 Energy Act.

This is crucial. For Westminster to retain the permanent power to grant, alter, or rescind powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament would leave Scotland insecure and the United Kingdom as a whole fundamentally unreformed.

A core principle for the Commission should therefore be to ensure that devolved powers granted to Scotland are underwritten by a legal framework that ensures their durability and stability.

Scottish independence will be a story about all of us | The National

The Capacity To Disavow the Threat Of Mass Destruction:

It is recognized that it is not within the remit of the Commission to recommend substantial devolution of powers in the area of foreign affairs and defence (security) policy, but it is regarded as axiomatic that the people of Scotland should not have to have weapons of mass destruction, namely the Trident nuclear submarines based at Faslane on the Clyde, imposed on their territory without, as a minimum, democratic consent of a kind not provided within the current United Kingdom settlement.

Nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction are not only immoral but illegal in international law.

Scottish National Party (SNP) - 👇 Even the House of Lords are calling out  Boris Johnson and the Tories on their power grab. ❌ The Internal Market  Bill is putting a wrecking

An equilibrium between powers granted and the capacity and resources to utilize them for public benefit:

It is extremely important that political and constitutional powers granted to the Scottish Parliament and Government under a devolution settlement are matched by the tax-raising, financial and economic powers required to enable them to deliver measurable benefits to people and communities.

Nicola Sturgeon news: SNP warned stop independence | UK | News |  Express.co.uk

The right of civic engagement, consultation and assembly:

The institutions of governance and policy should be invested in the capacity of people and communities to determine their own lives, rather than the other way round.

The principle of establishing processes that are open to shaping by citizen’s assemblies and popular participation is important and rooted in the notion of ‘radical democracy’ moving beyond merely liberative democracy to the capacity to embrace difference and antagonism in public life/policy in ways that enable dominant power relations to be challenged by those otherwise marginalized by lack of resources, education or status in society.

It is recognized that this principle is more relevant in terms of the outcomes of the deployment of specific powers (judging them morally and practically in terms of their impact on the poorest and weakest, recasting them to give such people a real stake in determining better outcomes, along lines suggested by Scotland’s Poverty Truth Commission). Nevertheless, it is important to bear it in mind in formulating the settlement of powers within national institutions

Scottish Parliament/Westminster - ppt download

Specific proposals for devolved powers and their grounding.

The following would be a good basis for establishing the kind of principles enumerated before:

  • Power over all franchise and electoral law residing in Scotland: This would would allow 16-18 year‐olds to vote in Holyrood election, allowing Scotland to develop and deploy a fairer electoral system creating conditions for a proper power of public recall.
  • Comprehensive economic powers: This would need to include borrowing as well as taxation. The aim would be the capacity to deliver social, environmental and financial security and measures of redistribution.
  • Full control over employment law and employment rights, including industrial relations and health and safety legislation.
  • The welfare system: This would enable Scotland to create a fabric of social security and comprehensive welfare suitable for a modern society, and appropriate to the needs of disabled and sick people and the most vulnerable.
  • Energy powers: This would involve control over industrial emissions standards, the generation of community renewables, energy efficiency and the proper assertion of public purpose over power companies.
  • Transport policy: To enable the creation of a community owned and oriented integrated and environmentally sustainable public transport system in Scotland.
  • Full powers over human rights and equalities law: This would enable Scotland to retain the Human Rights Act if it was scrapped by the United Kingdom Parliament, and also full consonance with European and international instruments.
  • The right to refuse participation in illegally and morally flawed international wars and conflicts, and to refuse the stationing of weapons of mass destruction on Scottish soil.
  • The right, as part of family of nations, to retain membership of the European Union if the majority of those voting in a referendum on the topic in Scotland so determine.
  • Constitutional Consultation:

In view of the complexity of these issues and the need for public and civic participation, there should be thoughtful proposals for a proper constitutional convention for Scotland, and for the other nations of the United Kingdom. Full document here:

http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/sites/ekklesia.co.uk/files/submission_to_the_smith_commission_0.pdf

Devolution in Scotland - ppt download

November 2014; Simon Barrow’s blog › The Smith Commission: what We Said and What Has Happened

There has been, and will be, much debate about Smith following its publication late last month. It is probably the case that as much as the Westminster parties were ever going to be prepared to concede is in its proposals. But the idea that this amounts to ‘Home Rule’ or ‘devo max’ (everything other than foreign affairs and defence) is far from true; as is the assertion that this is the maximum that can be achieved. It is but one package, developed out of conversation – constructive but inevitably compromised – by five of the six parties that played a large part in the September independence referendum campaign.

DEVOLUTION SETTLEMENT PREVENTS THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT FROM PROTECTING  RIGHTS OF SCOTLAND'S CHILDREN

Richard Murphy of Tax Research

Is among those who have made a powerful case that the tax solution proposed by Smith is the worst possible for everyone involved, and essentially part of a two-pronged trap set by the UK government.

(http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/11/27/scotlands-tax-solution-is-…)

The other involves EVEL (English votes for English laws). The whole settlement can also be questioned in terms of the lack of balance between new powers and resources to deliver with or from them – something we specifically warned about.

Of course there are positives, too. Those have to be built on. But people in Scotland and elsewhere on these islands will be necessarily sanguine about the adequacy of what is on the table.

The Smith Commission process, set in motion by the deliberately vague and highly politicised ‘Vow’ by the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat leaders, was from the outset constrained by a timetable which ensures minimum public involvement and consultation.

One of the major planks in Ekklesia’s submission was about this failing. It can be somewhat mitigated as Heads of Agreement are considered, but at present we can have no confidence that it will be.

Nevertheless, as the energy for change continues in Scotland, there remains, throughout all these flawed processes, the hope that the case for more substantial constitutional and political change can be pushed for across these islands – for the benefit of people in Wales and the English regions, too.

That will of necessity involve tackling ‘the London question’ – the impact of the quarter mile City State which now shapes Westminster politics and much else on the British and Irish isles.

It will also involve much more thought and response on the implications of Smith. http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21100

Who decides the date of a Scottish independence referendum? | Financial  Times

November 2014; Scotland’s Tax Solution Is The Worst Possible For Everyone

Richard Murphy is a chartered accountant and economist. He has written widely, and blogs frequently. He has appeared in many radio and television documentaries on taxation issues. He has also presented written and oral evidence to select committee committees of the House of Commons and House of Lords. Richard has been a visiting fellow at Portsmouth University Business School, the Centre for Global Political Economy at the University of Sussex and at the Tax Research Institute, University of Nottingham.

There appears to be broad consensus this morning that Scotland will get devolved powers over all income tax on earnings but not savings in the review of its authority to be announced today. Some other taxing rights, which are much less contentious, will also be devolved.

I have to say I am very worried about this compromise solution for Scotland. In saying so I stress I was in favour of independence and felt Scotland should have embraced its own currency: little else made sense in September. Two months on a worst possible outcome for everyone now seems to be the option.

The settlement reached appears to be based on the premise that tax’s sole purpose is revenue raising and that Scotland must have taxing powers if it spends. At the core of my concern is my belief that this is wrong. Tax has not less than six purposes:

1) It reclaims the money that a government has spent into an economy

2) It reprices goods and services that the market misprices

3) It redistributes income and wealth

4) It raises representation in democracies as people are motivated to vote by tax

5) It reorganises an economy

6) It regulates money by giving it value in exchange by requiring that tax be paid using the state currency.

You will note that none of these refers to raising revenue and that’s appropriate. We know governments can and do spend money they do not have and we know governments can also spend without ever borrowing: QE has proved that. This is why I refer to tax collection as the reclamation of money the government has already spent into the economy using the power a state has to create money at will.

The trouble is Scotland does not have that power to create money. That will, as the whole referendum debate focussed upon, stay with London. So Scotland ends up with revenue collection rights but no control over money: that’s half a power at best. And it has even been denied the right to reprice necessary parts of the economy to achieve the goal of redistribution which many think absolutely vital to economic recovery because tax rates on savings and rents are going to be taken out of its control meaning it can only redistribute earned income – which is precisely what is probably not needed in Scotland.

What’s the outcome? A mess, is the best answer. The West Lothian question remains on the table and is too uncomfortable to answer. UK fiscal control is reduced, and Scotland has powers too limited to really effect change. Macro economic policy will be hard to deliver. The practicalities of administering two, related, domestic tax systems will be enormously difficult (who will be resident in Scotland, and how will they know?). And Scotland will remain frustrated that some real reforms will remain beyond it for time to come.

If ever we wanted to know that the No vote in September was a very big mistake this is the proof. We will now live as two nations with two tax systems and no macro economic control on some key issues living under one umbrella state with one currency that no-one can be sure they control. That’s the definition of a macro-economic mess in the making. I am, I think, appropriately worried. There could have been worse outcomes – and they may still come – but this is a potential nightmare in the making.

http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2014/11/27/scotlands-tax-solution-is-the-worst-possible-for-everyone/

Scottish Government urged to act as Smith Commission's devolution of  tribunals faces further delay | HeraldScotland