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ECONOMY...by Alex Porter

FDR (Financial Dispute Resolution) Hearing

As models, the SNP’s ‘Arc of Prosperity’ involved three countries each of which varied in terms of their comparability. Unionist politicians had the right to try and pick apart any aspects of these models which did not resonate and they did.

That done, it made no sense to then point to their perceived ‘failures’, when their respective economies suffered badly because of the global financial crisis, as counter-evidence against Scottish independence. This inconsistency was ignored by Scotland’s mainstream media.

Murphy’s Law contains another false assumption upon which the case for the status quo hangs. If Scotland should look to the ‘Arc of Insolvency’ and conclude that political independence is undesirable what happens then when those models fare better, in independent assessments, than the UK state? By unionism’s own economic criteria the union, is by extension, redundant.

ICELAND V. BRITAIN

Comparability with Scotland:
Location: 1, Natural Resources: 0, Population: 0. Total: 33.3%

The tiny nation of Iceland has a population of 318, 000 people which is much smaller than Scotland’s capital city at just under half a million, and miniscule compared to the UK’s population of 62 million.

Examination

To justify his assault against this member of the United Nations Jim Murphy said: “Iceland as a country is on the verge of bankruptcy.”

Iceland’s bankers and government were incompetent and easily influenced. Global merchant banks undertook a sting operation. The banks were privatised, investment flooded into the country mostly from Wall Street and the City of London, the government and the nation felt invincible and was talked into undertaking a hugely expensive national dam project.

The dam project cost billions more than was originally estimated and there was no need for the dam with a generating capacity of 4, 400 GW per year in such a small nation. The reason they were undertaking the project was to provide electricity to a new aluminium smelter plant that would cost another €1 billion to construct and which would be constructed by Alcoa – a US company whose former CEO was George Bush’s treasury secretary. Aluminium would be used to make airplanes and such like products. Could Iceland not manage economic diversification in a more economically sustainable way? The country was taken out.

When reality started to dawn that the nations’ finances were a mess, investment pulled out leaving Iceland with a mountain of debt and little means to repay it. During all the speculation Iceland’s banks gambled on derivatives whose assets were not worth their stated value. Most of these products would have been sold by City of London traders who were not properly regulated thanks to PM Gordon Brown’s policy of ‘light touch’ regulation.

Iceland’s banks seemed to have lots of assets on their books. They offered high interest rates (15%) and so under rules of ‘fiduciary responsibility’ Brown’s government directed local councils to put their savings where interest was highest i.e. said Icelandic banks. This encouraged the speculation that the big global banks were after and Gordon Brown was in the thick of it with the financial oligarchs. The assets on the banks’ books imploded along with the global financial sector.

Then came the thorny issue of getting the money back. When Lehman Brothers went bust and Europe lost money the latter didn’t press the issue. Iceland though was small and could be bullied. To recoup losses Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling branded Icelanders ‘terrorists’; another diplomatic outrage by Labour politicians with a subtext. They used anti-terror laws to freeze accounts in Icelandic bank branches in the UK. The banks could not remit the money back to Iceland and so the banks were insolvent.

Then Britain, the Netherlands, ECB and others demanded that the Icelandic banks’ private debts be transferred to Iceland’s taxpayers. There is an attitude that high interest was not compensation for private risk by investors. On top of that the British Labour government showed incompetence by not taking any responsibility for regulation or oversight for these transactions. Now, foreign countries were demanding that private debts become public debts. It was either that or track down the fraudsters, who were bankers colluding with governments, so that wasn’t the kind of precedent that Gordon Brown wanted to set.

Icelanders held a referendum and refused to assume the debts. Now their former PM Geir Haarde is standing trial on charges of ‘economic negligence’ – a crime which carries a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment. I’m not sure what the right honourable Jim Murphy MP will make of his ‘Arc of Insolvency’ model in light of this development, but I would hazard a guess that this is where he would draw the line when comparing Iceland to Scotland.

Murphy’s contempt over the Iceland financial model was part of a strategy to demonstrate that the UK umbrella could shelter Scotland from the worst of a global recession. By pointing to their ‘near bankruptcy’ status the message was that Scotland would have faced a similar fate without the cushion of the leviathan UK economy sheltering her.

However last November Labour’s John McFall MP, then chairman of the powerful Treasury Select Committee, let slip on the BBC that the entire banking sector of Britain was bankrupt:

”Every bank in the United Kingdom has the taxpayer standing behind them.

“Let’s not be kidding ourselves, there’s no bank at the moment in a sense standing on its own two feet because there’s so much government money going around with quantative easing, with the printing of money, that they are getting the benefit of this cheap taxpayers money.”

Remark on state of UK banks comes at around 1 min 19 secs.

Labour was well aware of the problems the banks were having and allowed them to continue trading. They did this by allowing the banks to transfer their debts to the public through bail-outs and money printing.

The huge debts that the UK banks, government and population now have combined mean that credit has frozen. Money continues to be printed and given to the banks who simply buy from and sell products to other banks using taxpayers money and draw down giant bonuses but the economy is broken. You can borrow money to pay deficits and that money will go towards consumption and make the economic statistics like the GDP look a little less bad but what happens when the government can’t borrow to plug the hole in the public finances anymore?

In August Britain borrowed over £15 Billion in a single month to balance its budget. Soon austerity will cost Britain almost 500, 000 public sector jobs which can’t be absorbed by the private sector as they are struggling with declining sales and being credit starved. This cull of public services will be a real shock to people’s way of life and on top of that, more unemployed will mean less consumption and place a higher social security burden on a reduced workforce.

These problems with deficits and austerity undermine unionism’s implied assertion that Scotland is sheltered by the scale of the UK and its global roll as a key financial player. With the Legatum Institute’s findings that public confidence in Britain’s financial sector stands at 101st in the world, ranking among third-world nations, it transpires that the economic icon of the mighty British wealth generating City of London was actually a parasite flush with ponzi finance and dependent on state subsidies to survive.

Money printing is technically defaulting on debt. With a printing press a nation can avoid running out of money but when a government and its central bank resort to printing to pay debts and balance budgets, that’s bankruptcy. The new government’s deep austerity cuts are merely a symptom of that.

Labour’s economic negligence perhaps can’t be better expressed than it was by the outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, when he left a note on his desk for his Liberal Democrat successor which said:
“Dear Chief Secretary, I’m afraid to tell you there’s no money left. Kind regards – and good luck, Liam.”

Summary

Iceland has less unemployment than Britain and her per capita GDP is five places higher in the Prosperity Index. Perhaps Iceland wasn’t the best example for Salmond to point to. It is not Iceland’s exposure to global economic volatility that rattled them but manipulation, fraud and bullying, much of which emanated from London. However the lowest ranking nation on the Legatum Index out of the ‘Arc of Insolvency’ still scores higher than the UK. If Iceland is an example for Scotland not to follow then according to Jim Murphy neither is the UK.

IRELAND V. BRITAIN

Comparability with Scotland:
Location: 1, Natural Resources: 0, Population: 1. Total: 66.6%

Ireland’s population is around 4.6 million people. Although it was described as the Celtic Tiger, Ireland had a much smaller financial sector than Scotland. Her economy is modern and diversified. Historically, ties between Ireland and Scotland are very strong and so culturally both nations are in some ways very similar.

Examination

Scottish Labour leaders like Murphy and Iain Gray have pointed to Ireland as a model for Scotland not to follow.

The ‘Arc of Insolvency’ and other derogatory claims about the Irish economy have prompted harsh words from Ireland and one Irish economist, Marc Coleman, in particular felt it necessary to defend his country (and Scotland) in relation to the Scottish constitutional debate in the Scotsman newspaper:

“Ireland's GDP per capita is 30% above the European Union average, while Scotland's, sadly, is well below it. Labour has ruled Scotland for 13 years, and it's been a very unlucky 13 indeed with Scotland's population and relative living standards falling far behind…

"And, according to forecasts of the International Monetary Fund, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Commission, once the correction of the last two years is past, the Irish economy will resume its record of growing faster than both Britain and the euro zone...

“The nation that invented the phone, television, penicillin, the Enlightenment, modern economics (I could go on), is just as capable as Ireland, if not more so, of rapid growth. But not if its politicians love their Westminster careers more than their country. And not if a one-size-fits-all economic policy – ideal for the south-east of England but devastating for Scotland – draws economic activity and talent away from the north and towards an already over-congested south-east."

Hear Marc Coleman's full interview

The tenet of Murphy’s Law which seeks to undermine Scottish self-confidence was exposed as intellectually redundant in this blistering riposte. Yet, that stands for nothing. The other tenet of Murphy’s Law ensures the first survives unaffected. For Scotland’s compliant mainstream media it was business as usual when Labour MP Ann McKechin, referring indirectly to Scottish independence – and in spite of Marc Coleman’s protestations - again felt it incumbent upon herself to run down the Irish economy on a BBC Radio Scotland programme.

Listen to Ann McKechin here:

Summary

Ireland has a higher GDP per capita seven places above the UK and its economic outlook is far better according to the Prosperity Index. Again, given that Ireland has no large oil revenue, it is perhaps not the best example of what an independent Scotland would be like. According to the Legatum survey Ireland ranks two places higher than the UK in terms of prosperity. This begs the question that if Ireland is a model of failure according to Jim Murphy, Iain Gray and other unionists, then why should Scotland thole a Britain which is comparatively worse?

NORWAY V. BRITAIN

Comparability with Scotland:
Location: 1, Natural Resources: 1, Population: 1. Total: 100%

Norway’s population is just under 4.9 million people. It is, like Scotland, a serious oil producer. Scotland has some key advantages that Norway does not have such as a large financial centre and whisky exports. Norway has been more cautious with the exploitation of their oil fields and now produces more than the UK. However, recent large discoveries in the UK sector and as yet untapped deposits West of Shetland and indeed West of Scotland where the sea is less deep may, in the medium term, mean that situation is reversed.

Examination

This member of Jim Murphy’s ‘Arc of Insolvency’ is the second richest country in the world in terms of wealth per adult. According to Credit Suisse the average wealth per adult is $326, 530 which is almost $100, 000 more than the UK and represents a 195% increase since the year 2000.

Labour politicians in Scotland argued that Norway was struggling due to the crisis. In the last year Norway’s oil fund, which is now valued at £315 billion and amounts to £67, 000 per person, grew by 26% - an amount which is more than double Scotland’s grant from Westminster.

This oil fund called ‘Statens pensjonsfond utland’ or ‘Pension Fund Global’ is a pension fund which is set aside for future generations to enjoy. It is the second-largest sovereign pension fund in the world and the most respected according to the prestigious Peterson Institute in Washington DC. Around 60% of the fund is invested in overseas shares in companies quoted on different stock-exchanges worldwide. It is thought to own around 1% of the world’s wealth. Only 4% of Norway’s oil revenues go into public spending.

The former World Bank chief economist and key economic advisor to President Clinton, Joseph Stiglitz, pointed out to Gordon Brewer of Newsnight Scotland recently that Britain had ‘squandered’ its oil wealth whereas it should have invested it.

This supported Alex Salmond’s call for oil taxation to be devolved so that an oil fund for Scotland could be established. Professor Stiglitz is now an advisor to Scotland’s First Minister.

In Scotland’s mainstream media, the sensational story of Joe Stiglitz joining the Scottish Government’s Council of Economic Advisors invoked Murphy’s Law – it is undeniably good news for the SNP and so a media blackout is enforced.

With the UK’s tax-base plummeting, North Sea oil will soon contribute 20% of all of the UK’s corporation tax. This doesn’t take into account tax levied at the pump. It is clear that if those revenues were attributed to a Scottish treasury that Scotland would move in the direction of Norway’s economic success and away from Britain’s public sector debt, financial and currency crises.

Invoking Murphy’s Law, BBC Scotland invited the Professor of Economics of Strathclyde University to discuss why the benefits Norway accumulated from oil would not be so beneficial to the UK with a population of 62 million. No mention was made about how those benefits would go to an independent Scotland. There were some comments about how North Sea oil is a mixed blessing for Norway’s economy. One wonders how the second-richest people on earth would respond to that observation.

 

Final Hearing

The SNP’s enthusiasm saw them point to example nations such as Iceland and Ireland. These were poor examples and unionism had good cause to point that out. However, unionism about turned after the financial crisis when these nations developed financial problems. Suddenly they were good examples of what Scotland would be like. Despite the media ignoring this opportunistic and logically absurd volte face these models still nevertheless favour Scottish independence by dint of the fact that the UK is outmatched by all three nations.

The three best models for the SNP to point to in arguing for the cause of independence are 1) Norway, 2) Norway and 3) Norway.

Murphy’s Law extends beyond the ‘Arc of Insolvency’ and in fact permeates every aspect of the economic debate. Another example is Scotland’s financial sector. The unionist case, carried uncritically in the mainstream media, is that an independent Scotland would not be able to afford to bail out the affected Scottish banks.

No serious probing analysis of this assertion has been forthcoming from Scotland’s mainstream economic commentators. The fact that the bailout money mostly went to bondholders and shareholders in London is not considered to be a salient fact undermining the key premise of unionism’s thrust. The argument is a little complex and so for unionism the corrosive charge of unaffordability finds headlines easy to come by.

Another unionist narrative which is implicitly and explicitly promoted in the mainstream Scottish media is that Scotland is subsidised by London. Last week the world renowned economist Andrew Hughes Hallet told BBC Radio Scotland that an independent Scotland would not in fact have had to pay for the entire bail-out of Scottish banks as they had significant operations in England.

Hallett also exploded the unionist myth that Scotland is subsidised by England in the same programme when he argued that for a number of years, at least, Scotland has subsidised the UK.

See Hallett V. Britain.

Indeed, GERS (Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland) demonstrates a surplus going from Scotland to London.

None of this world-class or official analysis matters when you have a captured mainstream media. The narrative doesn’t change, despite the evidence.

This reality well explains the abundance of pro-independence blogs and websites on the internet. Unionism has identified this phenomenon and has sought to undermine its effects by categorising ‘cyber-nats’ as a peculiar SNP problem. All these outlets are attempts at by-passing the captured mainstream media where nationalism cannot expect a fair hearing. The problem for nationalism is that these are disparate and so, without some kind of aggregation, lack any serious counter-balancing effect on the mainstream media.

That is the void into which Newsnet Scotland has stepped. Its mission must be to rewrite the Scottish debate in such a way as to force unionism into an evidence-based defence of Scotland remaining within the union. Not to directly benefit the SNP, but to benefit Scots who switch off because the debate is not fair, free and honest. Murphy’s Law must be challenged - an audience frightened out of its wits, confused and misinformed will incline towards disengagement with the political process or arrive at non evidence-based political conclusions and that only suits the status quo position. This is a systemic problem and is an unacceptable affront to democracy.

For Scots to make informed decisions about their future, only an honest and intelligent debate will engage them. Unionism must supplant Murphy’s Law with a cogent defence of the union.

For the sake of Scottish democracy, it is imperative that Newsnet Scotland succeeds in its mission to become mainstream. Unionism must be forced out into the open to argue its case intelligently. Newsnet Scotland is small and run by volunteers yet, despite a crowded media market, more that 20,000 people are already reading it. That is testimony, not only to the passion and determination of those who established Newsnet Scotland, but to the reality that hundreds of thousands of Scots feel betrayed by their media and have no refuge from deception and fear-mongering.

This unserved market is rich pickings for Newsnet Scotland – it is not loyal to mainstream newspapers which continue to shed readers by the thousand. The fact that the SNP won the Holyrood elections in 2007, in spite of an almost uniformly hostile unionist press tells a story of that enormous constituency’s resilience and scepticism.

To force unionism out into the open, nationalism must beat it at its own game. The stranglehold unionism has over Scotland’s media is an insult to our nation.

Britain is heading into a very deep and protracted economic depression. It is not the consequence of business cycles and there is no recovery or recession despite what the economic propagandists tell us. The British government and the Bank of England are involved in money printing which is creating volatility and uncertainty for business and Scottish institutions.

Nationalism must seize this opportunity to turn the tables. Scots can not afford to go down the road of austerity and do not have to. Scotland is in surplus and consequently, with the economic powers only independence can grant, Scottish businesses and institutions will be able to plan ahead with confidence and create jobs and prosperity in so doing. Our North Sea oil wealth would pay for the debts Scotland would have to carry over from bankrupt Britain and would stabilise our higher education sector. That done the rest of that wealth would be invested in future generations. Those generations face either austerity and a legacy of debt under the UK or economic freedom and prosperity in an independent Scotland. This is a strong self-confident message which must be heard.

It is my belief and prediction that Newsnet Scotland, born to democratise Scotland’s media, is here for the long-haul and will ensure that that side of the story has the right to be heard. I look forward to its swift growth and success.

In closing, I plead to my fellow Scots to see through those who conspire to blind you. You are the highest authority in Scotland. In the forthcoming Scottish elections, I urge you to grant Scotland a final divorce in the case of Scotland V. Britain.

Published with special thanks to Kevin McCourt and Stephanie Gough.


Read more of Alex Porter's Essays written for Newsnet Scotland:

LABOUR'S BANKRUPT BRITAIN
http://www.newsnetscotland.com/economy/770-labours-bankrupt-britain

Rediscovering Oil – A From Rags to Riches Story
Part 1 - http://www.newsnetscotland.com/economy/686-rediscovering-oil-a-from-rags-to-riches-story
Part 2 - http://www.newsnetscotland.com/economy/689-rediscovering-oil-a-from-rags-to-riches-story
Part 3 - http://www.newsnetscotland.com/economy/696-rediscovering-oil-a-from-rags-to-riches-story-

Would an independent Scotland have a viable economy?
http://www.newsnetscotland.com/economy/632-would-an-independent-scotland-have-a-viable-economy

Comments  

 
# tom 2010-11-12 07:31
Alarming and depressing stuff. In 2007 the MSM were hostile to SNP, but one of the outcomes of that seismic shock to Labour complacency has been a much more virulent and coordinated media effort of censorship and negative spin. You all know what I mean.
 
 
# colin8652 2010-11-12 09:50
can i firstly show my appreciation to the authors of these two passionately written articles. Then in reply to tom agree with him and relate a little story of warning to all in regards to this anti nationalist effort.

last week i visited a site from a link to a video streaming site with a video of a pro nationalist video clip. I stupidly used my desk top PC which i normally only ever use only for my work, visiting one secure site via a secure network, as part of a virtual call centre. On leaving the site however i discovered that there was a Trojan virus attached to the downloaded video clip which infected and has rendered my desk top useless despite there being a high level of security on my system. This was one powerful virus, the attempt to remove the virus has fried the system and the only thing i can do is replace the computer. There are people out there who will go to any length to stop us getting the message across. Be careful unfortunately i have lost the link and forget the name of the site i visited..
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-12 13:03
Quoting colin8652:
On leaving the site however i discovered that there was a Trojan virus attached to the downloaded video clip which infected and has rendered my desk top useless despite there being a high level of security on my system.


SUPERAntiSpywar e: www.superantispywar e.com/index.html There's a FREE download and it works, good luck.
 
 
# Moone 2010-11-12 17:57
There really shouldn't be any hardware damage. The worst damage possible would be rectified with a format and re-install of windows. After everything is restored to your preference you could consider a program which makes a perfect copy of your C drive(or any drive) and stores it as an 'image' file. This allows a very easy and rapid restoration of your machine to exactly as it was before any nasty infection. My favourite for this is Norton Ghost 2003 btw. It fits perfectly on to a floppy(remember them?) and is easily the best program I've ever used. Hope this helps.
 
 
# dillond666 2010-11-12 19:44
@ colin8652

Just bung Linux on the borked machine.
Virus resistant and secure out of the box.
www.distrowatch.com for info.
FYI I use Fedora on my machine.
Good luck.
 
 
# David Lyon 2010-11-12 21:21
Viruses cannot "fry" a computer.

My next IT article will cover disinfection of common infections without the need to install additional software.

Viruses are nothing more than applications that are written with malicious intent. They have no potential to cause anything more than software issues. Most of them are relatively simple mechanisms that cause inconvenience and/or irritation that can be removed with half an hour or so of work.

Whatever was responsible for this apparent hardware damage, it was not a virus.
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-13 00:55
David

You really are one of the most reassuring people around for us fearful folk!
 
 
# Alx1 2010-11-12 12:11
Only had a cursory glance over this article (will read after) but from what I have read is that you (Alex) have laid out precisely the facts to counter all the myths surrounding the debate on Scotland’s economic viability in this excellent piece.
A first class article Alex.
I take it you have no problem in me linking this article?

Please forgive me for leap frogging, but!

Off Topic;
As Christmas is fast approaching and many of you will be sending out Christmas cards, one way we could advertise the newsnet site to family, friends & colleagues is to write the web address of newsnetscotland on the reverse of every envelope you send with your Christmas cards, that way you don’t waste the card.

Think! If all members were to send an average of 20 Christmas cards and write www.newsnetscotland .com on the back of the envelopes, how many people we could advertise too, including the postal service workers!
Also the added value is that you haven’t preached the merits of newsnet to them and if they enquire as to what newsnet is about when they read the newsnet address, you can then subtlety suggest to them visiting newsnet.

SO GET WRITING!

There are many guests? (I'm aware most will be newsnet members) viewing this site at the moment.
Can I ask you to sign up to become a member of newsnetscotland and as the holyrood election is coming soon we want your help to be in a stronger position.
It’s easy and we would like to hear your opinions on these stories, so sign up today and help make this site a force in the Scottish media scene.
 
 
# birnie 2010-11-12 12:57
Brilliant suggestion. But why wait for Christmas?

Many of us have stick-on address labels which we fix on the back of our letters. A few hundred of these can be ordered pretty cheaply and used on all our mail.

Get sticking!!
 
 
# Alx1 2010-11-12 13:47
birnie,

Better idea with the stickers and of course why not ANY out going mail.

Cheers.
 
 
# nipper 2010-11-13 21:33
Or you could get a self inking rubber stamper made up from www.vistaprint.com, I had one made up with a few keyrings also,There are cheap too..

Nipper
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 19:25
Glad you liked the piece Alx1,

Please do link. Neither myself nor Newsnet have any problems with pieces being linked or reproduced elsewhere. If we get credit then all the better but the most important thing for us is that the message gets out there!
 
 
# Independista 2010-11-13 01:26
How right you are. Read John Pilger "Flying the Flag, Faking the News"
johnpilger.com/.../...
 
 
# RandomScot 2010-11-12 07:55
Hang on, I listened to GMS this morning. Gary Robertson spoke to two impartial observers, a chap from the Sun and Hamish Macdonell.

According to these impartial observers the SNP is doomed and Labour will win (*), so surely Newsnet Scotland should get on the winning team!

(*) to be fair to the guy from the Sun, what he actually said was he didn't know what could be done to stop Scots voting Labour and he did seem slightly depressed by that.
 
 
# springy 2010-11-12 08:09
Yes, I listened to the same piece and just shook my head as the guy from the Sun explained that pledging to increase taxes going into an election was not a good idea and that Salmond was an asset over Gray, then simply stated that Labour will win the election, as did McDonnell.

No explanation of why, no real scrutiny of Labour at all, just a simple message to listeners that Labour will win. You simply couldn't buy advertising like that.

Also noticed that minimum pricing and the water bill were described using the media's favourite phrase 'flagship policy'.

Alex Porter's article yet again a masterpiece that should be circulated far and wide. If this wee site can get a monthly paper edition printed off and circulated it could be a game changer.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2010-11-12 08:10
What an excellent piece of work Alex.

This is a superb, forensically detailed breakdown of the unionist myths peddled by the likes of Labour.

It exposes the total nonsense that Mr. Jim Murphy espouses.

Newsnet Scotland right now is the jewel in the crown of Scottish media. It is breaking the unionist lies, exposing the media distortion every day.

The debate for or against the restoration of Scottish independence can never be properly made via the 'old' mainstream media in Scotland. Their correspondents are too deeply in the pockets of Labour for that to happen. They don't want open, fair debate.

They have their unionist blinkers on, and none of them is brave enough to take them off, to see how they are destroying their own country, Scotland..

In the elections next May let's challenge the unionist nonsense head on.

Scotland can be a prosperous country, as soon as the people of Scotland are made aware of the true wealth in this great land.

Newsnet Scotland will help us do that.
 
 
# Vincent McDee 2010-11-12 08:10
Awesome Alex did it again.

It's difficult to argue with records, unless you are labour, O'course. Nobody like them for selective memory or denying the bl@@dy obvious.

It's and old adage: "Nations and People get the government they deserve".

If we vote them back next May it would be our fault, try very hard it does not happens.

Check with your local SNP branch Organizer where to canvass, now!
 
 
# springy 2010-11-12 08:16
Should also point out that The Scotsman today have two separate articles attacking Ireland, very timely piece from Newsnet!!
 
 
# Dougie Douglas 2010-11-12 08:38
Hello everyone.

It boils down to money and all of us getting out there and promoting this site.

Please go to the paypal button on the top right hand side and donate now.

Then disseminate the article.
 
 
# Dougie Douglas 2010-11-12 08:39
Hey, what happened to the paypal button?

Ed - people will want to give money to support the effort!
 
 
# Marian 2010-11-12 08:39
Excellent article yet again from Alex Porter. Both this and the previous one should be required reading for all aspiring SNP candidates.

Fact is that the nations that suffered the most economic damage were the ones who adopted the Anglo Saxon economical model of letting their financial services operate with little or no regulation and monitoring.

The World is now having to pick up the tab for an economic catastrophe that originated in New York and London.

Labour were in government and asleep at the wheel so it was Labour's fault.
 
 
# Dougie Douglas 2010-11-12 09:58
That's right Marian, except Australia which maintained a very conservative regulatory environment and whose four main banks are now rated amongst the world's top dozen.

Bankers were blinded by greed but it was only made possible by the completely inept inactions of G Brown and Co.

Labour - economic bananas
 
 
# Legerwood 2010-11-12 14:16
Quote:
Marian 2010-11-12 08:39
Excellent article yet again from Alex Porter. Both this and the previous one should be required reading for all aspiring SNP candidates.


I agree about the article and it certainly should be required reading for all SNP candidates. And it is to the candidates that we should be focussing our attention for the forthcoming election. Their preparation and ability to explain, describe and defend the SNP's policies and manifesto commitments will be key as well as their ability to anticipate likely questions and have a cogent answer ready. Does someone prepare 'talking' points for them?

We all know that the media will not give fair exposure or critical analysis of the opposition policies so the quality and preparadeness of the candidates will be vital to success. Their ability to engage with voters either on the doorstep or in hustings or on a soapbox at a street corner is essential.

Just what programme of preparation, if any, does the party take with respect to its candidates?
 
 
# Training Day 2010-11-12 09:42
Excellent article, Alex - collectively, we must do everything we can to circulate it beyond Newsnet.
 
 
# taimoshan 2010-11-12 10:28
Labour lies while Scotland dies!
 
 
# dodgardiner 2010-11-12 10:37
Just want to echo the comments of all here - excellent site, first class article(s) and to all active and passive followers who wish to live in a normal Scotland... talk to people, tell them about this site and don't allow them to close down debate with weak arguments such as 'they're all as bad as each other' and other unionist status-quo blocking tactics.
 
 
# Soloman 2010-11-12 10:43
This is a very detailed and well thought out article backed up with good evidence, the only problem is getting this kind of story out to the people of Scotland.

If someone has the time they should organise a mass phone in to BBC chat shows, therefore probability may suggest that some pro Scotland voices could appear on the radio, this would have to be done in the pretence that the mass phone in was interested in the subject matter but once live on air they could let rip!
 
 
# Richardmci 2010-11-12 10:44
Two great articles Alex,

I would be interested to hear your views on Channel 4's documentary broadcast last night, which was truely horrific as far as Britain's public debt is concerned?

...http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-trillion-pound-horror-story

Start digging up the garden and plant tatties!!!

Or start following the remedy?
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 11:06
Hi Richardmci,
I'm not based in Scotland so can't see the programme. Maybe it will end up on youtube.

I would urge everyone to promote this video though. We need to tell people that Britain is bankrupt and so Scots need off the Titanic..
 
 
# Richardmci 2010-11-12 11:11
Alex.

I put a link that works on the other thread....

SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT PARALYSED....

Another excellent article co wrote by your goodself.

You can watch it there.
 
 
# Richardmci 2010-11-12 11:40
Alex it's on youtube at....

www.youtube.com/.../
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 11:52
went there and there's a video about Davos. Do you have the link to the specific video? If not, I'll find it later - I saw it trailed and it sounds interesting. I kind of know what's going on but hard to get figures here. Much easier to get US figures and then realise what they're doing here so always good to get specific UK ones..
 
 
# Richardmci 2010-11-12 12:16
www.youtube.com/.../

This should do it Alex.
 
 
# rgweir 2010-11-12 10:50
I can think of only one word,EXCELLENT.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 11:00
Thanks for the positive reviews people! Glad you enjoyed the piece.

As we are planning lots of article
narratives between now and the election and beyond it would be very helpful to hear from you how you think we could subtly inject positive messages images of why divorce is sometimes necessary.

For example one idea is when talking about the denial of the referendum represents a 'forced marriage'.

Anyone got other ideas?

I'd like you to help promote this article and also another article published on the Bella Caledonia website about why women do and don't vote SNP:
bellacaledonia.org.uk/.../...
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-12 14:49
The "Divorce" attack was an effective strategy in its day, because it played on fears.

Scotland, however, is in a Victorian marriage. All our property belongs to our "husband" who can dispose of it as he wishes. Even if that means gambling it all away (Brown selling off the gold reserves), or on the demon drink (Trident), or on associating with loose women (George Bush).

Abused wives had no recourse but to remain trapped, because their resources were seized. Only in the late 19th century, did wives have the right to hold the property that they brought to a marriage, and any subsequent earnings or windfalls.

At the least, Scotland needs the equivalent of the English Married Woman's Property Act of 1870. Full Fiscal autonomy would be the equivalent.
 
 
# Barontorc 2010-11-12 11:55
Well put article Alex and Murphy's hand is seen all the way through Scotland's problems.

The very urge you espouse so clearly to decapitate the unionist position and argue its case is already denied through Murphy's law to refuse the SNP into any debate about the Union's values.

Democracy is well under attack. The media is well bought-up. Murphyism will further ruin this country. Scottish politics must be grabbed by the throat and prevent subversion.

We have very rich sympathisers who would bankroll a pro-Scotland media; but there is the question of applying for and obtaining a broadcasting licence to operate, which is UK establishment run and controlled. Here again the Catalans have less control upon them than we are subjected to.

And, of course it is possible to start up a pro-Scotland alternative newspaper but it carries a big financial risk, so the logical question is - is it really needed?

The best option? Do it at the ballot box. There are a specific number of votes in Scotland. Do we know exactly how many? If not - why not? Find the target audience and send every voter the facts in a well presented newsletter. Induce them to freely take part in a poll by offering high value prizes.
Don't just send one newsletter - have a strategic plan - use psychology triggers and build up interest to polling day.

I for one would pay for that effort - we must make a huge push against this anti-democracy campaign we will certainly suffer from. All ideas more than welcome.
 
 
# Saltire Groppenslosh 2010-11-14 01:16
That was an intersting point you made Barontorc;-

"We have very rich sympathisers who would bankroll a pro-Scotland media; but there is the question of applying for and obtaining a broadcasting licence to operate, which is UK establishment run and controlled. Here again the Catalans have less control upon them than we are subjected to."
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Didn't the old BBC deejays get around the licence thing and do something about that in the 1960's by setting up Radio London and Radio Caroline offshore?

How would someone go about setting up a TV and Radio Station on a ship which would broadcast on standard analogue transmission frequencies and would also upload to "youtube" etc on a daily basis. If the money is there - why not? The ship would have to stay outside the (12 mile?) limit and could operate with impunity.

It would be "totally viral" and a great assett to anyone seeking to get the truth heard by the Scottish masses. It would be playing entertainment broken up by messages from various sources expounding the Free Scotland story.

Anybody out there with a ship? Anybody out there who knows how to set up a TV and Radio Station? Anybody out there with the money to finance such an operation?

I think it would be difficult but I don't think this is beyond the realms of possibility. And, lets face it, who would an Independent Scotland use as it's Medai provider. A shrewd operator would be able to steal a march on the other encumbant providers with very little trouble at all and have the thanks of everyone in Scotland (almost).
 
 
# loveme2times 2010-11-12 12:17
Excellent article Alex very well written and put together with facts, something the unionists don't seem to like very much.

Newsnet Scotland is becoming a beacon of light and it seems it is putting the fight back into the independence movement.

As for promoting this site does anybody know how much it would cost to take out a full page advert in a national newspaper like the medical profession did last week??? If a full page spread would be a good idea I am sure we could get together a fighting fund from contributions from posters, thoughts???
 
 
# balbeggie 2010-11-12 13:39
the Herald/Sunday Herald
display
ROP £15scc
Full Page £3,570.00
Guaranteed position premium + 10%

Evening Times £6000
 
 
# birnie 2010-11-12 14:15
What about the local press? They might be more amenable to printing an ad which the big MSM might refuse to accept on principle.

I was thinking along the lines of

"WAKE UP EAST LOTHIAN AND SMELL THE COFFEE!

For voters of all persuasions and none

Find the essential news that's hard to find on WWW.NEWSNETSCOTLAND.COM "

I'm sure that can be improved upon, but how about that approach?
 
 
# chicmac 2010-11-12 12:17
Many years ago I noted the relative prosperity (as per GDP tables) of the small NW European nations surrounding Scotland and began to tout the idea on such internet forums as existed then. However, despite it's high position, I did not include Iceland. Not because of any specific expectation, but solely on the basis that its small population and reliance largely on the vagaries of one commodity, i.e. fish, meant it was not a reliable indicator - too open to statistical anomaly.

However, others running with this idea seemed determined to include it, despite my pointing this out. But as you say, Iceland is still higher up the prosperity ladder than the UK.

The other mistake made as the idea became consolidated, was the omission of other small NW European states which also frequently figured at the top of GDP and prosperity estimates. The 'Arc of Prosperity' (I preferred 'Continuum') also includes Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands.

As in a recent post elsewhere:

*************** *************** *

According to this years league table of Prosperity published in the past few days by the Legatum Institute in London, Norway - which featured so prominently and embarrassingly in Murphy's asinine "Arc of Insolvency" statement, is on the contrary - the most prosperous nation on Earth.

Only he could be so spectacularly wrong.

There are 8 European nations in the top dozen of this Prosperity League.

In order they are:

Norway(1)
Denmark(2)
Finland(3)
Sweden(6)
Switzerland(8)
Netherlands(9)
Ireland (11)
Iceland (12)

Note - that all except Switzerland inhabit an 'Arc of Prosperity' in NW Europe.

Note - that the average population is very similar to that of Scotland (but then around 5 million was the predicted optimum size for national prosperity as far back as the 60s by Kahn et al.)

Note - like Norway we have oil.

Note - unlike the above we have an already identified tidal and wave energy production potential which exceeds our current North Sea oil production in energy-dollars.

Note - Norway has sent thousands of students over to Scottish Universities.

Scotland - "too wee, too poor, too stupid"? - Aye right!

Oh! and the UK did not make the top dozen. It languished in 13th place - even with Scotland's oil. Unlucky for some (and, unfortunately, we all know who).
*************** *************** ***

It should (with a normal media) be very easy to make the case for the choice being simply that of
Solvent Scotland or Bankrupt Britain

However we should not lose sight of another key message. Namely that those who claim or infer that Scots alone for some innate reason would, despite the regional/resource/size advantages apparent all around them, still fail to succeed,... are essentially being racist.
 
 
# Old Smokey 2010-11-12 12:58
Just watching the channel 4 documentary
'Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story '
One name has surfaced, that I wasnt aware of as regards how Hong Kong became the success story in the Far East and that is Sir John James Cowperthwaite
He is now revered, not only in Hong Kong, but accross China, with busts and statues being made of him.
Turns out he was a Scotsman.
'He was an economist, responsible for creating Hong Kong's dynamic economy. Born in Edinburgh, Cowperthwaite was educated at Merchiston Castle School, read classics at the University of St. Andrews and Christ's College (Cambridge) before returning to St. Andrews to study economics, under the influence of Wilkie Nisbet (1903-74).
He joined the Colonial Service in Hong Kong in 1941, but spent three years in Sierra Leone while Hong Kong was occupied by the Japanese. He returned to the Asian colony at the end of the Second World War to assist in economic recovery, rising to become Financial Secretary in 1961. A champion of laissez-faire economics, he removed import and export controls, and balanced the colony's budget, while reducing taxes and encouraging the natural entrepreneurshi p of the Hong Kong people. His lack of intervention and promotion of free enterprise has been criticised principally because of growing corruption, poor social services and the lack of housing for immigrants, although the export success of Hong Kong's businesses certainly reduced poverty.
After his retirement in 1971 he served as an advisor to Jardine Fleming, the Hong Kong-based investment bank, until 1981. Thereafter he returned to Scotland, settling in St Andrews. He was awarded an OBE in 1960, a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) in 1964 and knighted in 1968.
He died in Dundee, widely credited as the architect of Hong Kong's prosperity.'
 
 
# Barontorc 2010-11-12 13:31
Thankyou for this information Old Smokey, can I ask - are you making a point that he was a Scot, or that he was a sensible economist, or both?
 
 
# Old Smokey 2010-11-12 14:27
Both
 
 
# Richardmci 2010-11-12 13:36
I will be spending 3 days in Hong Kong in March next year, it will be interesting to compere it with Scotland.
 
 
# Legerwood 2010-11-12 14:07
I was there 5 years ago and can confirm what the programme on Channel 4 said about their public transport system particularly the underground- you could eat your dinner off the floor. Clean efficient and well organised place even down to providing plastic covers for your brollies at the entrance to underpasses and to shopping malls etc. so that your wet brolly did not drip all over the floors!
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 13:57
Quoting balbeggie:
the Herald/Sunday Herald
display
ROP £15scc
Full Page £3,570.00
Guaranteed position premium + 10%

Evening Times £6000



Guys,
Nice idea but the strategy has a serious error!

When you look at military strategies you find that those under attack starve the invading army. It slows an army down to carry food so it is better to take and pillage when you invade.

The media war is at root about finance. Sympathetic Scots have no choice until now about consuming unionist media. That means they are paying for the propaganda they are reading/watching.

If you want to beat the machine stop feeding it. Don't post on their sites as advertisers pay them by viewer. The BBC is the same - they allocate our license money and justify it by the numbers that log in. Do not pay directly for their content. Especially do not pay for advert on their media outlets. Every propagandist that gets sacked and has to find a real job is a victory against them. Let's not pay them anything as that only allows them to produce more content and attract readers away from places like Newsnet Scotland.

I understand the urge to attack their propaganda in guerrilla skirmishes but we have far more powerful weapons available now that Newsnet is here!

The message is wrong but the best strategy is to starve that message of money - far better than going on their turf and attacking them! That's only really helps them in the long run..

If you want to help there are a million things to do at Newsnet!
 
 
# Alx1 2010-11-12 19:45
Totally agree with you here Alex on visiting other media outlets.
I only visit about 2 other media sites now omitting several others, namely the hootsman which I haven't visited for over 3 months now.
You must understand though we need to get our main stream news stories from somewhere, so we visit these media websites.
I'm very glad newsnet is here it's my first port of call every morning, but I want them to produce more main stream news stories, as well as excellent atricles like this, so I/we don't have to visit any other news website.
I want to do everything possible to help the cause so can we have more main stream news stories please?
 
 
# Legerwood 2010-11-12 14:54
An excellent series of articles which, as others have noted chimes very well with the Channel 4 programme shown last night.

Some additional grist to the mill about the countries mentioned in the article above:

NORWAY had a banking crisis in the late 1980s and had to nationalise 3 of its largest banks. It managed to resolve that crisis speedily ’with little cost to the taxpayers’ .
SEE: Report from Norge Bank (Norwegian Central Bank) on the Norwegian Banking crisis
norges-bank.no/.../...

Quote from the report: Quote:
“The gross cost of crisis resolution was 2 per cent of GDP in Norway. This was smaller than in both Sweden and Finland where comparable numbers were 3.6 per cent and 9.0 per cent respectively.3
After the crisis, GDP and bank solvency recovered rapidly.”


The manner in which it resolved the crisis is seen as a one of the most successful ever.
SEE Resolving a banking crisis the Nordic Way (from Federal Reserve Board of St Louis)
research.stlouisfed.org/.../...
Quote:
“The Nordic bank resolution is widely regarded as among the most successful in history. In all three countries, the final net cost of assistance to the banks (net of liquidation of assets and including appreciation in the value of government
shares) was far smaller than the initial cost—for Sweden and Norway, near zero, for Finland, an eventual 5.3 percent of 1997 GDP versus initial outlays of 9 percent
of GDP.”


IRELAND AND ICELAND are both running trade surpluses while the UK is running a monthly trade deficit.

IRELAND despite its financial problems came 6th in the Forbes 2010 list of Best Countries for doing business. Last year it was 14th. The UK dropped to ninth from sixth. In fact if you look at the list, 7 out of the top 10 countries have populations ranging from 4 million to 10 million.
trak.in/.../...

Makes you think. Or as George Bernard Shaw said:

"You see things; and you say, 'Why?' But I dream things that never were; and I say, "Why not?"

George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1950), "Back to Methuselah" (1921), part 1, act 1
 
 
# loveme2times 2010-11-12 15:47
ScotlandUnspun,

Understood, I was just throwing an idea out there to get some publicity for the website not to attack the sites or politicians in the advert(save that for here).

What about billboards, sides of buses etc???

We need to try and target people to this website that are not already inclined to vote SNP or already favour independence and you mostly find these people read the newspapers that we want to starve. (is that a catch 22?)
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 16:05
Ideas are good. I'm busy contemplating how best to martial resources to defeat 'complex systems' by identifying the where, when and how 'complex systems' are vulnerable.. I might try and produce an article on it for activists..

All good idea LM2times, those kinds of advertising are beyond the means though. The team here is very small and all volunteers. The strength is the passion of the volunteers combined with a powerful platform. This is far better than commenting on other media! I am keen to encourage readers to participate in meaningful and practical ways so the site can be continually honed. Citizen researchers, journalists and promoters are what is required. If people want something to do to help then make sure Newsnet Scotland is listed on web portals which Scots read - that's Scots here and Scots abroad. Email Burns societies around the world and get them to link. Same with highland games and St Andrews societies. Sites involving golf, whisky, tartan or history websites.

We want to give Scotland back its politics. Spread the word.
 
 
# pinkrose 2010-11-12 15:55
Totally agree with several of the posters above, people want to help so please bring back the paypal button, and can we advertise the site somehow as was suggested before?
 
 
# David Lyon 2010-11-12 16:36
In all honesty pinkrose, and I note this is my personal view, not that of Newsnet Scotland's editor, money is less valuable to us than exposure.

If people wish to donate, they could achieve far more by spending less money on business cards and spreading them around than they would have donated originally.

We make a small profit on items in the merchandise section, a few dollars/pounds per item, what is worth more to us is the exposure that this brings.

Order a few hundred business cards from Vista Print, supply the PNG files to them to get both sides printed, and stick them places/leave them places/hand them out. This will make a greater difference. Print articles and stick them up places.

Or even pop an advert for us into a local newspaper if it isn't too expensive. Reaching people is the goal here, and we all need to collaborate to that end. Tell everyone here if/when you do anything, it's encouraging to hear people doing their own stuff.

At some point in future I'll be creating a semi-professional-looking A4 fliars that people can get printed in large quantities with selected articles on them, and a link to the site for more. They could be left in newsagents and anywhere else where normally-uninitiated people congregate.

PNG for back of card: www.newsnetscotland.com/.../
PNG for front of card: www.newsnetscotland.com/.../

All in my opinion, naturally.
 
 
# Alx1 2010-11-12 19:59
David would donations not help in hiring a journalist? maybe part time.
 
 
# David Lyon 2010-11-12 21:30
A single journalist isn't going to get the site noticed across the board. We already have several high-quality writers on the site.

What we need at this point is action. People mobilising. Giving us money is nice, but money can't do this job by itself.

Pay a printer to print a few hundred high-quality flyers, with the first half of one of the more interesting articles, followed with "Read more on Newsnet Scotland". Pay a newsagent to sit them on the counter and give one to each customer. Spend the donation money on those things.
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-12 23:41
What about a photographer? Good shots can be used in all sorts of ways to promote/engage/inform.
Photography is huge these days, with many great amateurs active and willing. Competitions?
Another avenue to involve.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 16:51
pinkrose, what will bring us more readers is more writers..

Can you think of a strategy that would bring writers in? Little ads where our target audience reads. I'm keen to bring in women to write - where do women consume media that men don't? perhaps we could drop a little ad in places like that. You got any ideas on that?

PS. Another point about advertising. It is generally very useful only by persistently reminding people you are there. Launching products is really expensive and requires a broad media mix and channels. Ads are not about winning over readers but about keeping them aware of us.. Short campaign then are not so good and so inexpensive ads run in specific place are better. This is especially so as to get readers advertising for writers is the better strategy at this stage..
 
 
# enneffess 2010-11-12 19:46
Good idea on getting more writers. In a short space of time the site has expanded the range of articles and a few such as Alex above are spending a considerable amount of time and effort producing their articles.

Whereas other blogs can be scanned through in five minutes, Newsnet can keep you there for a solid half-hour.
 
 
# pinkrose 2010-11-12 17:18
David Lyon, good ideas, looking forward to the flyers and must really get some of those business cards done too.

Unspun, I will think about how we could get more female readers/writers on board. Women read magazines, but I expect getting something online would be cheaper. I will think about it.

As I said before, if you would like more people to submit articles, then you need to say this again and again, maybe at the end of every article or just where the 'Add comment' bit is. The more people read something the more likely they are to do something about it. Mentioning it once is not enough, keep it on the page somewhere and you will definately get more people submitting articles.
 
 
# Bugger the Panda 2010-11-12 17:35
Bella Caledonia has two articles by Lena the Hyena and Caitlin O'Brien which pose many questions concerning how ad why women vote for whoever they d6.

Well worth a read, especially by all the bloques here.

Man are from Mars and women from Venus,
remember.


bellacaledonia.org.uk/
 
 
# Exile 2010-11-12 17:37
ScotlandUnspun

As a dormant polemicist, I think your point about new writers is excellent. I remember Alex Porter's contributions to the Herald comments sections when I used to be a regular commenter there too, before the Herald closed down its comments facility. I also used to get a lot of letters published in the (Glasgow) Herald and Scotsman before I moved to Finland nearly a quarter of a century ago. I'm stuck here for the time being, but Alex's articles are so spot on in terms of content and attitude, that I feel inspired to try to get involved again in a more creative way than just sending the odd cheque when I can afford it.

The divorce argument is one I have often deployed myself in response to the 'separatist' jibes. Scotland does not need a separation, we need a divorce on the grounds of forced marriage by rape and serial abuse ever since. One thing where I disagree with many nationalist commentators is the tendency to say 'it's not the English that's the problem, it's the Scots who sell our country out'. The bottom line is IT IS THE ENGLISH (or really the English ruling class) who strove for centuries to subjugate Scotland and finally succeeded. In any subjugated people there are people who suffer from false consciousness about the reality of their predicament, identify with the oppressor, etc, just as in an abusive marriage where the battered wife blames herself rather than the abusive spouse.

The Scottish people are in many respects like a battered wife, hence the power of the Unionist attacks on our self-confidence and the wisdom of the SNP's confidence-building approach. Like a battered wife, there are many waverers who swing between wanting independence and wanting to hang on to the devil they know. I very much like alex's approach of calling a spade a spade ('forced Union' etc). We will never heal the damage to our national psyche by just being upbeat. We also need to subvert the Unionist propaganda by changing the terms of the debate. Many people do not want to confront the horror of what has been done to us, where we could be now as a nation if we had not got entangled in England's web.

It is a horrible vision to behold, but we have been subjected to slow-motion genocide for several centuries now. It hit home (yet again) the other day when an English colleague at work asked what the population of Scotland is, and guessed at 10 million. Given the economic and demographic development of Europe in recent centuries, particularly the past 100 or so years, it probably should be around 10 million. Look at the Dutch, FFS. But that's what happens when your country is ruled by another land which, at it's most benevolent, doesn't give a monkey's, and at it's more normal level of hostility really 'likes' Scotland, but wouldn't it better without all those pesky Scots, and why do they need a steel industry, a transatlantic air hub, etc anyway? I mean, they're so ungrateful. The Union gives them security, guarantees them freedom from constant invasion by (oops, by us of course)....etc.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 18:24
Exile, sounds like you need to be at the counter-intel department :O) Ok, email me alexporter69 @ gmail.com

I've got all sorts going on and help is much needed!
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-13 00:28
Had to look up polemicist and came across this 1984 interview of Michel Foucaul.
foucault.info/.../...

However, there is another well known syndrome which we, as a captured nation, could be facing other than divorce. Hostage syndrome or better known as Stockholm Syndrome, a phenomena where the victim has "bonded" with the captor/s even after they have been at near death at the captors hands. Okay, no-one is holding a gun but we have become so "friendly" or accustomed with the oppressor we can't see the oppression and would not want any harm or break in the relationship.
 
 
# chicmac 2010-11-13 00:47
Agree completely. The diminution of Scot's self-esteem is essential to the Unionist. It prevents some otherwise pro-independence Scots from voting for normal levels of self-determination.

Otherwise the careers of that mediocrity which make up the brunt of the Unionist brigade, most of whom are already in positions beyond their level of competence, are at risk.
 
 
# chicmac 2010-11-13 01:10
The following couple of posts contains vital information for Unionists in Scotland extracted from the British Unionist's Handbook

DOs and DON'Ts for Unionists in Scotland

This crib-sheet of DOs and DON'Ts has been compiled as a quick reference for all true Unionists operating in the field of anti-independence activities in Scotland. It is an extract of that which we regard as being the key actions from "The British Unionist's Handbook" (with which you are probably more familiar).

1. DO point out how well the Scottish economy is doing under the Union.

2. DO claim Scotland cannot afford independence.

3. DON'T, however, make points 1 and 2 to the same individual(s) at the same time. (slight compatibility problem).

4. DO claim that North Sea oil is about to run out. It's harder to sell the 'oil isn't worth much' line since those troublesome 'McCrone Report' revelations under the Freedom of Information Act.

5. If you are influential in UK Government DO what you can to prevent Scottish companies and industries becoming a source of national pride. The less Scots feel able to prosper under independence the less they will be willing to vote for independence. It also will do no harm to infer that a London government may be capable of hurting a post-independent Scotland economically, but never state this baldly.

6. If you are influential in UK Government DO not baulk from limiting Scottish democratic rights if necessary. In particular DON'T ever allow a referendum on independence.

7. If you are influential in UK Government DO cut the budget to the Scottish Executive if it is an SNP one, so that not all of their commitments can be fulfilled. Work with the UK Treasury on this. Then claim targets not met are the SNP's fault.

8. DO claim that the SNP would create an 'Albanian style socialist republic'.

9. DO claim that the SNP are 'Tartan Tories'.

10. DON'T, however, claim 8 and 9 at the same time and again, make sure of your audience's political leanings first.

11. If you work in the media, DO portray SNP politicians in as bad a light as possible e.g. doing something trivial or seemingly carefree or arrogant. On the other hand, portray Unionist politicians as being serious and competent.

12. If you work in the media, DO report as often as possible anything which might help to lower Scots self-esteem. This is vital, if the electorate do not feel confident enough they will not vote for independence supporting parties. So lie if you have to.
 
 
# chicmac 2010-11-13 01:17
13. If you work in the media, DON'T report poll results on straightforward independence, they frequently show a majority for it. If you must do so, make sure these are 'buried' as much as possible.

14. If you work in the media and are interviewing politicians, DO make sure you are more aggressive with the pro-independence interviewee. Cut him/her off if they seem to be making a good point, and change the subject. Ridicule their answers and always let the Unionist have the last word. Wherever possible, emphasise division in the pro-independence camp.

15. If you work in the media, DON'T use the Scots language except for ridicule or deprecation of Scottish culture.

16. If you work in the media, wherever possible DO seek out comment from an English accented individual, especially in authority situations. Never use a person with a Scots accent unless you have to. The exception is football, but we are even making progress there.

17. If you work in the History sector, (Universities, museums, historical sites), DO your best to eradicate or play down any nationalist content. The scourge of nationalism must be politically cleansed from our past, it only lends encouragement to independence ideas.

18. If you work in the History sector, DO claim that nothing of importance happened in Scotland prior to the Union. In particular Wallace is to be ignored, or if that is not possible, portray him as a terrorist. Portray the Bruces as self-seeking French rejects.

19. If you work in the History sector, DO claim that Scots were enthusiastic partners in Empire after the Union and that nationalism only reared its ugly head in the last few decades. Claim England really came to Scotland's rescue in 1707 and that it was appreciated.

20. If you work on a cultural quango DO try to make sure that Scottish culture, particularly Folk and Celtic Music, goes ignored and unfunded. Encourage the output of politically cleansed material which promotes the Union, especially on TV.

21. If you work in the cultural sector, DO encourage the output of films and theatrical productions which denigrate Scottish culture. Negative, we know, but the key to success is to keep Scots' national self-esteem down as much as possible. Comedy is particularly effective here as any criticism of it can be pooh-poohed as a lack of sense of humour.

22. DO infer that Scots just aren't good enough to govern themselves but DON'T ever put that in writing or you risk a charge of racism.

23. DO describe the SNP as being the 'Proddy Party' to private audiences of Catholics.

24. DO describe the SNP as being the 'Papist Party' to private audiences of Protestants.

25. DON'T make points 23 and 24 at the same time and once more make sure of your audience first.

For clarification for the reasoning behind these tips, and for many more, refer to your copy of "The British Unionist's Handbook".
 
 
# ace182 2010-11-12 18:11
Great articles for reading, thank you Alex porter.
loveme2times simple ideas are the best as is yours. Perhaps the S.N.P. can sponsor putting ads on billboards and buses supporting this site. Why not check with your local S.N.P. office.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 18:20
Glad you like the articles ace.

As to your suggestion. Newsnet is currently thinking hard about effective strategies. Unfortunately there must be a very secure firewall between Newsnet Scotland and any political party. There are many reasons for that - credibility is the principle reason..

Hang in there guys. There are some moves going on in the background which will hopefully bring answers to all these questions. Hopefully there'll be some momentum inducing news soon for everyone to chew over soon..
 
 
# enneffess 2010-11-12 19:41
Very good article, however far too in-depth for the average voter who has little time for such analysis.

Norway is most definitely the best model to look at. But Ireland and Iceland, no matter how you look at it, are in dire straights.

The fact - depending on analysis - that both countries may be in better shape than the UK does not matter, since they both still have massive problems.

From a political point of view that is a non-starter, and you can see this by the SNP focusing on Norway only.

Try speaking to a few colleagues, at all levels. Then try and use the Iceland / Ireland argument. The first response you are likely to get is that both are in trouble.

People have to get away from trying to defend everything that Salmond says. Yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing, but in politics that's tough.

Get away from Ireland and Iceland and concentrate on Norway for economics and Catalonia for politics. In my opinion that is far more productive in winning people over to the SNP and independence.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 20:17
Hi enneffess, I think the fact that the UK is knackered does matter. Unionism has to defend the status quo which is bankruptcy and getting worse.. To turn the case round we need to point out that they if they point to these nations as failures they are underlining the failure of the British state..
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-12 20:17
Ireland and Iceland are small countries who have severe problems because their leaders made bad political/economic decisions.

UK and USA are respectively middle sized and large countries who have severe problems because their leaders made bad political/economic decisions.

Norway and Finland are small countries who are doing well because their leaders made good political/economic decisions.

etc etc

Regardless of the size of the country, if the people elect bad politicians then they suffer - and vice versa.
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-12 23:56
I read somewhere that a business person was granted a meeting with the top gov officials in Iceland and was taken aback by the youthfulness of the gathering. Inexperience might have played a part in the fall. The UK can't claim the same excuse.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2010-11-12 22:35
Hmmm. I'm not sure Alex wrote this article as a lightweight piece, enneffess. It was, so far as I can see, never written as text for a political flyer.

It is n fact a rather well written in depth article to highlight key facts that the unionist media and especially Labour in Scotland keep lying about.

It is a pity you seem to find so much wrong with it.

Yes, Ireland and Iceland are both having problems, but they are NOTHING, and I really do mean NOTHING compared to the mess the UK is in.

In fact, Ireland and Iceland are currently both performing better than the UK.

The point is, that Labour keep trying to suggest there is this terrible 'arc of insolvency', all the while missing the elephant in the room - the UK, which is in a bigger mess. Scotland can do better and will do better, once it is free from London economic ineptitude, and wasteful spending.

Economic decisions made in London are irrelevant to Scotland, and that is why Scotland needs to control its own economy.

The UK is bankrupt thanks to Gordon Brown and Labour, Scotland will do much better on its own. As for Iceland and Ireland, they are BOTH above the UK in the recently published legatum prosperity index.
 
 
# enneffess 2010-11-13 15:07
You are completely missing the point.

Most voters do not have the time or inclination to look at in-depth analysis of economics. What they see is that both Iceland and Ireland are in trouble. The fact they are doing better than the UK is irrelevant.

Ireland is allegedly now in talks about a Euro bailout. I've gone trawling around worldwide sites rather than UK media outlets, and the same story is there.

How can you possibly speak to a voter and tell them that Scotland can be like Iceland or Ireland? It's the pyschology that is important. In sales, you hit the customer with Features and Benefits. Where is the benefit of being in a similar situation to Ireland or Iceland?

You, like others, seem to be taking offence that someone has dared to criticise Salmond's Arc of Prosperity. He called it two thirds wrong.

I'm not disagreeing that we desperately need control of our finances, but that is not going to happen at the earliest until next May when the SNP secures a majority. The ConDem alliance will likely be disintegrating anyway, and this might give the SNP the leverage it needs.

But to win that majority people need to start thinking as to what will sell the SNP message, and Iceland/Ireland will not.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 20:21
Quoting Alx1:
David would donations not help in hiring a journalist? maybe part time.

Guys, if you want more content - we're working on it. There may be something for you in due course.

Meanwhile, this is a site for the people. If people want to create rather than consume then you can contribute..
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-12 20:23
Good old 'Any Questions' England susidises Scotland seems to be part of the script.
 
 
# Vakov2000 2010-11-12 20:48
Of course economic arguments aside. I would rather live in a "poor" country proud of it's identity, history and culture. Than a affluent are where you have to adopt another nation's identity. Not that this applies to britain as it's certainly not affluent trailing behind Iceland and Ireland. Also Albania if it wasn't for our oil.
 
 
# enneffess 2010-11-12 21:40
Quoting ScotlandUnspun:
Hi enneffess, I think the fact that the UK is knackered does matter. Unionism has to defend the status quo which is bankruptcy and getting worse.. To turn the case round we need to point out that they if they point to these nations as failures they are underlining the failure of the British state..



I fully agree that it IS important that we point out the state of the UK economy. But we cannot keep defending Ireland and Iceland, since I cannot see how you can possibly argue to the voter in the street that we should be like them.

Norway has proved Salmond's point, and we should concentrate on that.

Most people are interested in how much money they have in their pocket, which with increasing energy bills, VAT, pay freezes and Labour wanting to increase the council tax makes it difficult to argue that we should be looking to two countries who are bust as examples of what independence would bring!
 
 
# Robert Louis 2010-11-12 22:46
Quoting enneffess:
[


...I fully agree that it IS important that we point out the state of the UK economy. But we cannot keep defending Ireland and Iceland, since I cannot see how you can possibly argue to the voter in the street that we should be like them.....


I don't agree with much of this at all.

I don't think anybody is suggesting we should be like Iceland, the point is that in reality Iceland AND Ireland are BOTH doing an awful lot better than the UK.

The standard of living in the UK is going to drop like a stone over the next two years. Suddenly people will find things like cameras and tellies to be way too expensive. Things that just a year ago were bought by many with great ease, will become unaffordable. This is what happens when a countries economy is trashed.

The UK and its citizens are in the poor house.

The UK is quite literally bankrupt.

Labour keep lying by saying Ireland and Iceland are doing terribly, but the truth is, they are doing an awful lot better than the UK.......

AND SO IS SCOTLAND
 
 
# 1314 2010-11-12 22:26
Two fine articles. I agree absolutely about the negativity of the Labour party over the past 30 odd year and your analysis of Scotland vis-a-vis Iceland, Ireland and Norway.

However, I am in complete disagreement with your positive divorce argument. It would be following their agenda: drawn into their negative representation of independence. Much better to set up a positive agenda of our own.

Openness, internationalit y, direct relations with other countries, confidence, a guid sense o' oorsels (not to be confused with pride/hubris), our long held belief in education for all and an independent legal system, being able to admit we sometimes get it wrong (start with Megrahi?). Recognising that we are no better and no worse than anybody else, that our forebears did some great things and some not so great, that like any other population we produce our fair share of able, even brilliant people, that the disproportionat e Scottish contribution to the enlightenment was a chance combination of time, place and a concentration of people of genius.

None of this makes us special: it makes us fine , normal, OK, as able to run our own affairs as any other country, and with all sorts of advantages, in terms of both human and natural resources, bestowed on us by the vagaries of of history

The divorce argument is negative, small minded, false and not worthy of response. Ignore it. Fight on our ground, not theirs.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 22:33
Hi 1314,

I understand your take but I think you're misunderstandin g what I'm saying. I'm suggesting using language that defuses the power of the 'divorce' narrative which is powerful if left unchecked..
 
 
# 1314 2010-11-12 22:53
Sorry, can't agree on this one. The word divorce has strong negative connotations regardless of whether some good may come of it. Labour are experts at negativity, they have a real talent for it.

I haven't commented on any article for a while. I did so in this case because, if Newsnet does become much bigger, this would not be a good theme to chose as a central argument. It offers far too many opportunities for more negativity in response. Because they have chosen the ground doesn't mean we have to fight on it.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-12 23:17
Again, I think you are totally missing the point. I am NOT suggesting Newsnet use a 'divorce' theme. I don't know where you get that idea from. Perhaps you can help me and explain where I said this in the essay?
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-13 00:57
It does appear to be the theme
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 08:51
Yes, I wrote about a theme which exists NOT that it should be a nationalist theme..
 
 
# Old Smokey 2010-11-13 01:06
Addressing 'ScotlandUnspun' and '1314' on the use of 'divorce'
Perhaps I can suggest that instead of using the rhetoric of the unionists, which use the analogy of Divorce and breaking up, which have negative conitations. We should really be using the word 'Dissolution' as in
dissolution of a partnership
dissalution of the act of union
I feel that its doesnt have such a negative feel and more of a possitive 'weve tried everything' feel about it.
After all to get to Independence, we must first have the dissalution of the Act of Union that created the United Kingdom in 1707
I personally prefer dissalution
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-13 01:17
Is the point not that with such huge Unionist control over the media, we can (and should) use our own terminology BUT at the same time recognise the language that will be used constantly by the opposition.

It's an effective technique to dilute their narrative with its own positives rather than allow it to carry only negative connotations.
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-13 01:53
Also, it needs to be recognised that Alex was writing a Newsnet article - not a piece of SNP polemic.

That distinction is vital.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 08:48
Thanks Oldnat,

It's a bit frustrating that my point didn't get across after almost five and half thousand words of writing..

I'll be as short as possible here:

1) Divorce is going to be imagery that is used in the debate by unionists.
2) It is powerful imagery.
3) To imagine it is not going to be used is naive.
4) Introducing language like 'forced marriage' will help to take the power out of that imagery.

Back to my question. Where did I say Newnset or the SNP should directly use the theme of divorce?

Divorce is a central theme of unionism: 'seperatism', 'break up', 'better together', 'divorce is a messy business'.

This is all very powerful stuff. It all also assumes the marriage is a happy one:
'better/stronger' etc.

It is perhaps the principle strategy for denying Scotland a referendum and for many people fearing a vote for independence.

We should NOT use divorce as a theme but have our own images of an unhappy or forced marriage so that when this 'divorce' imagery is conjured up to frighten people it loses its negative effects and so its power over people.

I actually said in the text that I wasn't saying that the SNP should claim the divorce theme as its own, precisely to avoid this sort of misunderstandin g.

Hope that has cleared up the confusion!
 
 
# Yorkshire Lass 2010-11-13 10:21
I think most of us got your point. Forced marriage strikes a chord with me, but in order to make this one credible we need to counter the "impoverished Scots wanted the union" myth.

Oh and to the poster further up the comments chain, please stick to blaming the ruling classes rather than "the English" - like it or not there are quite a few of us around and our votes matter too. I am having to counter "the SNP will send us all back to England" myth. It won't help if they get the idea that they are being blamed for Scotland's problems.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 10:53
Excellent point Yorkshire Lass!

the 'wanted union' myth is undermined by the denial of a referendum. If the impoverished Scots were jumping over themselves to get into union so they could get fed then surely unionism has the perfect opportunity to demonstrate its worth in a referendum.

Denial of the referendum then gives us an opportunity to build a narrative. Combined with media control - forced marriage, manipulative partner, psychological abuse etc..

I think you're also correct about the English being the problem. The problem as far as I can see are Scots on the make.

This brings up another myth which could be exploded. The English didn't want union either. As the title of my essay points out: it is Scotland versus Britain - not Scotland versus England.

The idea that the English are to blame is another 'British' unionist meme. Much of it came from Oxbridge historian/propagandists and was designed to make Scots feel powerless and defeated - much along the lines of Sir Walter Scott's novels..

Yorkshire, any chance of penning a piece on your thoughts? I'd like to see your ideas developed!
 
 
# Yorkshire Lass 2010-11-13 15:00
Bit busy for the next couple of days, but can try and put something together a bit later in the week.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2010-11-13 10:32
Don't let the naysayers distract or deter you.

Your article was explicitly clear, and made sense.

You were merely advocating the response to the marriage and divorce concept used by unionists.

Sometime people will try to spread dissent from within, but that merely exposes their own personal agendas for all to see.

The union with England was a forced marriage. It is an abusive relationship hidden under the false concept of 'union'.

There can be no point in pretending otherwise.

Your hard work is very much appreciated.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 10:57
Cheers Robert,
I don't think these guys are naysayers - I just think I've not made myself clear enough on the subject.

The subheaders are maybe misleading as people will not get the difference between a plot device of an essay and the linear argument of a manifesto..
 
 
# chicmac 2010-11-13 10:59
I agree with RL. Seemed clear to me. Also take this op to say what a good job you are doing. Keep it up.
 
 
# heraldnomore 2010-11-13 11:09
Ditto that, bigtime. More power to your keyboard Alex.
 
 
# rodmac 2010-11-13 11:17
I think you got your point across very well. I did a piece which was not too dissimilar in parts,a while back, but it was never used. Probably because there are so many good writers to choose from on Newsnet nowadays.
Indeed I have felt for quite some time, that the Unionists Separatist arguments should be turned back on them. Separation is nothing to be ashamed of in this modern world.
Well done for a good solid rebuttal. It is an argument that needs to be thrown back in Unionist faces,with added Interest!!
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 11:24
many articles were refused because of the way they were submitted.. You should try again!
 
 
# rodmac 2010-11-13 12:01
I will give that suggestion a bye thanks.
I took far too much time to write the two pieces I wrote, to bother doing so again.

I do not have a copy of the article,which was in two parts. So I cannot even resubmit.

I am perfectly happy read the excellent contribution of others.
 
 
# fairliered 2010-11-13 18:13
Quoting Robert Louis:
Don't let the naysayers distract or deter you.

Your article was explicitly clear, and made sense.

You were merely advocating the response to the marriage and divorce concept used by unionists.

Sometime people will try to spread dissent from within, but that merely exposes their own personal agendas for all to see.

The union with England was a forced marriage. It is an abusive relationship hidden under the false concept of 'union'.

There can be no point in pretending otherwise.

Your hard work is very much appreciated.

Quoting ScotlandUnspun:
Thanks Oldnat,

It's a bit frustrating that my point didn't get across after almost five and half thousand words of writing..

I'll be as short as possible here:

1) Divorce is going to be imagery that is used in the debate by unionists.
2) It is powerful imagery.
3) To imagine it is not going to be used is naive.
4) Introducing language like 'forced marriage' will help to take the power out of that imagery.

Back to my question. Where did I say Newnset or the SNP should directly use the theme of divorce?

Divorce is a central theme of unionism: 'seperatism', 'break up', 'better together', 'divorce is a messy business'.

This is all very powerful stuff. It all also assumes the marriage is a happy one:
'better/stronger' etc.

It is perhaps the principle strategy for denying Scotland a referendum and for many people fearing a vote for independence.

We should NOT use divorce as a theme but have our own images of an unhappy or forced marriage so that when this 'divorce' imagery is conjured up to frighten people it loses its negative effects and so its power over people.

I actually said in the text that I wasn't saying that the SNP should claim the divorce theme as its own, precisely to avoid this sort of misunderstandin g.

Hope that has cleared up the confusion!


I wish the SNP had the cojones to start a poster campaign showing a battered women saying "I want a divorce" next to an unemployed Scot saying "I want a divorce".
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-13 21:55
No you dont
 
 
# rgweir 2010-11-13 11:12
OFF TOPIC.
Everyone will know of the hike in the cost of gas,double the rate of inflation.
It would be interesting to know how many MPs-MSPs of all parties have shares in the energy companies.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 11:27
Much of this is to do with quantative easing - inflation is out there. It is just not being identified because we add house prices into the equation which are suffering from deflation because their price was held artificially high before.

Look forward to price hikes in everything you need and a drop in everything you own..
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-13 19:37
Bernnake's QE Explained - "Screw You America!": market-ticker.org/.../
 
 
# Barontorc 2010-11-13 11:31
Who agreed this so called "marriage" with England? As far as I can see it was a devised plot to ensnare Scotland aided and abetted by a parcel of rogues. Here we have the Goebbels device of telling a lie often enough so that even the oppressed accept it as somehow the truth.

Describe the process that produced the Union and you will see the cause and effect to be most certainly not that of a willing agreement by the people of Scotland.

Alex, use any terminology that describes it as forced, driven by trickery, a malevolent fraud, abusive by design, perpetuated by lies, unilaterally anglo-centric and if it is to be coined as an unwilling partnership within a forced marriage then so be it.

Murphy is waiting to counter it anyway -so be bold and black!
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-11-13 12:00
This is who will pay for Crash Gordon’s Debt Binge:

spectator.co.uk/.../...

Aye and their children.
 
 
# rodmac 2010-11-13 12:05
Talking of Labours loving of Goebbels!!

thedailymash.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-11-13 12:16
By the way NuLabour knew about the ‘Housing Bubble’ but decided to run with it anyway!

Apparently it was something to do with filthy lucre, exchequer and black holes.
 
 
# rodmac 2010-11-13 12:28
And Lest We Forget!!!!
Something, I wrote last April, And Browns Insistence that consumers go forth and spend spend spend.


Spend Spend Spend

Let's all gamble on the Lottery
There are millions to be won!
Ok, we may never see it
Just a few pounds spent, then gone.

But just think! We will boost the Country
Some hard pressed Charities will gain
Let's all gamble on the Lottery
Even though the odds are quite insane!

After all we have been shown the way
By the Bankers and their class
The Financial experts and Economists
Who by the Markets have been trashed

We can do no worse than Governments
Who have bailed those shysters out
The Banks have all been saved. Hooray!!
The troughs emptied of their snouts

Let's all gamble on the Lottery
Spend all our hard earned cash
And when we have lost it all?
The Good-wins will give it back?

Were told that we now own the Bank
The tax payer has Major share
So when we get our dividends
We will all be Millionaires.

The jobs they've taken from us
The homes they've repossessed
Will be exchanged for Mansions
We will have nothing but the Best

So lets gamble on the Lottery
The Economy is in need
Lets all spend gratuitously
We'll be rewarded for our greed!

Who need worry about the workers?
All those who lost their lot
No need to bail them out
Hell freezing over, aint all that Hot

Let's gamble on the Lottery
It sure beats stocks and shares
And If our children are starving
Does anyone really care?

We'll all have enormous pensions
To take in to old age
Then all swan off into the Sun
Bust and Boom is all the rage

If our planet is polluted
If it dies a bit each day?
What does it really matter
When excess won't death delay?

We can sing our Hallelujahs
At the alter of our greed
And sacrifice the common man
While we gorge upon his needs

Now let's hear it for our elected
They're all doing their bit
Claiming Millions from the Tax we pay
To keep the country fit

For they must have their second homes
Or third,or fourth or fifth
And furnish their apartments
Claiming for every little bit

The Wok they bought from B&Q
The pornographic film
The "working" holidays which they take
Always smiling whilst they squirm

The system is corrupt you say?
"Of course it's not Dear Chap"
It's the Capitalist Economy
Take much,But give Nothing back!!

Rod Macfarlane
 
 
# pinkrose 2010-11-13 12:49
Rod, I like your poem, especially the last 2 lines, so true. If only people would give these lines a bit of thought.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2010-11-13 12:50
Listened to derek Bateman on Newsweek Scotland this morning. Astonishingly fair debate with Angus McLeod ringing the praises of Nicola and downright condenation of the opposition over minimum pricing. Newsweek has a blog to which I have just contributed I tried to inform the Taylor blog but they mysteriously closed the Taylor blob.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-11-13 13:09
Aye Seagetagrip.

For those who missed Newsweek Scotland:

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Starts about 7:40 minutes in.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-13 19:39
Quoting Roll_On_2011:
Aye Seagetagrip.

For those who missed Newsweek Scotland:

bbc.co.uk/.../...

Starts about 7:40 minutes in.


Well worth listening for 11mins.
 
 
# 1314 2010-11-13 13:50
Alex

First, thanks for all your articles: well researched and which have filled in many gaps in my knowledge.
Also, it's good that you take the time to respond to points made. However, as with many others over the years, I sometimes disagree with the chosen path forwards.

Apologies if I've misrepresented your intentions. Also for slow reply.

Here's why I bothered to post.

'Only Scottish unionism benefits from this debate descending into a “haggling session" '

Exactly - so avoid haggling (sometimes easier said than done).

'Divorce may indeed be “a messy business” but is it always an undesirable outcome? The SNP has identified that women are less likely to vote for them than men. Not tackling the ‘divorce’ epithet is perhaps an example of why. In any dysfunctional marriage the partners will contemplate life beyond: rediscovery of self and of life, improved self-confidence, realised potential, overcoming financial fears, healthier relationship with the ex-partner and so happier children etc.'

This suggests to me that we should engage in their deliberately negative and small minded agenda and try to make positive statements about the same subject to counter their argument. Why bother, better to work to our own agenda. The more we can dominate the argument with bold, positive ideas and leave their negativity out in the cold, the better.

Even then I wouldn't have bothered, if I hadn't come across this in your earlier post.

'As we are planning lots of article
narratives between now and the election and beyond it would be very helpful to hear from you how you think we could subtly inject positive messages images of why divorce is sometimes necessary.'

Which suggests a continuing campaign.

So I repeat,

The more we can dominate the argument with bold, positive ideas and leave their negativity out in the cold, the better.
 
 
# ScotlandUnspun 2010-11-13 16:34
"Which suggests a continuing campaign."

It doesn't suggest that at all. What it does suggest is that we inject ideas about how the union is a dysfunctional and abusive marriage. When the idea of divorce is brought up AS IT IS AND WILL BE, these ideas will then undermine the unionist divorce narrative. None of what you said proved that I am arguing for a divorce "campaign".

"subtly inject positive messages images about why divorce is sometimes necessary" and "suggest a continuing campaign" have no logical relationship with each other.

Your last line: "The more we can dominate the argument with bold, positive ideas and leave their negativity out in the cold, the better." That is exactly what I'm doing.

So, you can rest assured that the thing which you worried about doesn't exist!
 
 
# 1314 2010-11-13 18:40
Quoting ScotlandUnspun:
Your last line: "The more we can dominate the argument with bold, positive ideas and leave their negativity out in the cold, the better." That is exactly what I'm doing.

So, you can rest assured that the thing which you worried about doesn't exist!


Good.

Be in no doubt, your effort is greatly appreciated. I've enjoyed all your articles, and look forward to lots more.
Keep them coming.
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2010-11-13 14:29
Thanks Roll on 2011
My computer expertise does`nt rise to those heights.
Maybe the Newsweek blog could be a fresh rallying point.
Afterall in successive weeks he, Derek Bateman has, given space to the American economist re Scotlands excess contribution and the following week had Joan MacAlpine socking it to Dimblebay. It is a very wecome change of course!
 
 
# Seagetagrip 2010-11-13 14:42
I think I have been shut out of Taylors blog as I tried to flag up Newsweek Scotland. Maybe somebody else could try!
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-11-13 15:35
Quoting Seagetagrip:
I think I have been shut out of Taylors blog as I tried to flag up Newsweek Scotland. Maybe somebody else could try!


BwB has been shut down since noon yesterday. So until he reopens it’s a no go area.
 
 
# enneffess 2010-11-13 15:16
Quoting ScotlandUnspun:
Much of this is to do with quantative easing - inflation is out there. It is just not being identified because we add house prices into the equation which are suffering from deflation because their price was held artificially high before.

Look forward to price hikes in everything you need and a drop in everything you own..



Someone on here (can't remember who sorry) predicted higher prices months ago, and they were correct.

Perhaps we should start stocking up on tinned food....... either that or Aldi's is going to do well over the next year or so.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-13 20:14
No need to apologise but I remember telling the 'brig' on BwB a couple of years ago but he was more intent on proping up his fence to keep the invading Scots from spoiling his comfort zone than listening
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2010-11-13 15:33
Not much has changed at Westminster - this was said in 1700 by an English MP regarding the proposed 'Marriage'

The Thistle and the Rose - British Union

‘Scotland is a beggar and whoever marries a beggar can only expect a louse for her portion’.
The Tory leader Edward Seymour on the subject of Union with Scotland in the English Parliament, 1700
 
 
# 1scot 2010-11-13 15:53
What a fantastic article. It explains everything we need to get out into the public domain.
Thanks newsnet, you are going to have a great future.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2010-11-13 16:02
Cartoonist Steve Bell in the Guardian has been going through a condom period. Every cartoon featured ‘Call me Dave’ with a condom on his head, for example:



Do you reckon he is trying to tell us something?
 
 
# oldnat 2010-11-13 17:34
A more interesting (!) piece in the Guardian is this about how the Brit ConDems are developing policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease - in all these areas, a number of aspects are reserved to the UK Government.

guardian.co.uk/.../...

"The Department of Health is putting the fast food companies McDonald's and KFC and processed food and drink manufacturers such as PepsiCo, Kellogg's, Unilever, Mars and Diageo at the heart of writing government policy on obesity, alcohol and diet-related disease ..... The alcohol responsibility deal network is chaired by the head of the lobby group the Wine and Spirit Trade Association."

If you look at the Con and LD votes in Holyrood on minimum pricing, in this context, it is clear that they were voting for the interests of the companies, and not the people.
 
 
# cynicalHighlander 2010-11-13 21:33
What Is Money?: blog.mises.org/.../...

The other reason for posting is If you can type, you can make movies...: www.xtranormal.com/
 
 
# Gill 2010-11-13 22:02
INDEPENDENCE

independence has ring, what d'ya think?
yeah I like it
independence
hey I think we've got something here

sure beats the socks off divorce

And for the cosy regular here I don't like being called anything, but a naysayer???
 
 
# Legerwood 2010-11-14 19:10
On the subject of finance and financial powers for Holyrood: There is a good article in today's Glasgow Herald by Tom Miers. Does Holyrod really need superpowers? (heraldscotland.com/.../...

Food for thought and further discussion.
 
 
# ferryman 2010-11-14 23:32
I see we are not the only ones who have a big problem with the UK press.
www.sartma.com/art_8195.html
 

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