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As good as it gets

Posted on June 01, 2013 by

Readers may recall how back in January of this year we highlighted a truly horrible piece by tribal Labour dinosaur Michael Kelly in the Scotsman, where in reference to the current grotesque condition of the UK he wrote “No campaigners must publicise the fact that this is as good as it gets, and win votes by emphasising that reality”.

Ian Bell in the Herald today reports some figures from the latest research by Poverty and Social Exclusion, an organisation comprising analysts from six major universities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Here’s a sample:

“More than 30 million people “suffering some degree of financial insecurity”; close to 12 million “too poor to engage in common social activities”; around four million children and adults who are not properly fed; around 2.5 million children in damp homes; around 1.5 million children “in households that cannot afford to heat their home”.”

This, we’re told even by Labour in the No campaign, is the best the UK can ever hope to deliver. In their own words, the Union can offer us nothing better than that, and almost certainly worse still in the future. Is there anything else to say?

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156 to “As good as it gets”

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    These statistics could be turned into a very potent poster or leaflet.
     
    It needs to be diffused throughout Scotland with the punchline
     
    All that No can offer is this
     
    Vote NO and it will get even worse.
     
    I am sure that some of the people who make the independence videos could make a real 3 course meal of this

  2. turnbul drier says:

    I guess that if you live in these circumstances then you need to be convinced that this is a real chance for change.  Where as if you are fortunate to not be affected you need to told that there are people out who are suffering and that an “I’m all right Jack” is not acceptable. 

  3. The Man in the Jar says:

    We’ve got to get out of this place,
    If it’s the last thing we ever do!
    These stats are truly shocking, I am sympathetic to those poor folk in England & rUK. that will be left behind but it has gone too far for that now. Time to man the lifeboats!

  4. Albert Herring says:

    And they’re dong it deliberately.

  5. cynicalHighlander says:

    We Gotta Get Out Of This Place
     

  6. Linda's Back says:

    The Office for National Statistics have published a report on Regional Distribution of Wealth across the UK which clearly shows a concentration of wealth in the south of England, with Scotland having the lowest percentage share of the wealthiest households.
     
    Watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGdRM3C_wjc&feature=youtu.be

  7. balgayboy says:

    According to George Galloway today on RT with Max Keiser it will be a lot worse for Scots if they choose independence. All negative according to him.

  8. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      O / T    but I  am sure this will not derail the thread as it is just a small example of the BBC’s psyops agenda.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-22735677
     
    Note the headline  SNP councillor Bill Holman guilty of kerb crawling.
     
    Can anyone point me to any BBC headline saying Labour MP guilty of fraud or guilty of assault or being drunk and disorderly?
     
    Nice to see the  BBC are chanting their anti SNP mantra at any opportunity.
     
    Defenestration anyone in 2014?

  9. Famous15 says:

    I Watch all these scornful faces and hear the hysterical catcalling of the opposition at FM Questions and wonder what they make of all this information indicating Scotland is being denied fairness. The Labour members hurt the most as once they had beliefs closest to my own. Some of them I counted as friends must soon break away from the NO side. Fool me once shame on you,fool me twice shame on me

  10. The Man in the Jar says:

    @balgayboy
    Got a link?
    I would like to hear what crap Galloway has to spout. I think it will have to wait till I let my breakfast settle before watching though.

  11. HandandShrimp says:

    “As good as it gets” as we spiral downwards simply shows the paucity of Labour’s ambition and imagination. Put these people in charge and watch your life stagnate.
     
    Was there not a chap in the patents office back in the 19th century that recommended they shut the place because everything that could be invented had been. Or perhaps the chap that didn’t sign the Beatles because guitar bands were going out of fashion…….that is Labour and the Nae Sayers that is.

  12. balgayboy says:

    The Man in the Jar says: @ 9.37
    Sorry, watched it on TV and tried to see if it was on RT online to get a link but could not find it. Probably later today. It’s quite interesting though but not surprising considering his previous statements.
     

  13. Jimbo says:

    You get to the stage in this disunited kingdom where you can’t afford to stay… but you’re trapped as you can’t afford to leave.
     
    YES is the answer.

  14. HandandShrimp says:

    George is still living the international socialist dream. He would stick pins in his eyes rather than see an independent Scotland. I think he is wrong on this score but then being wrong isn’t a crime.

  15. Stuart Black says:

    Haven’t had time to watch it yet, but the Galloway piece is supposed to be about halfway in…
     
    http://rt.com/shows/keiser-report/episode-452-max-keiser-006/

  16. The Man in the Jar says:

    I want to see if Galloway is still talking with a slight Middle Eastern accent. Last time he was on TV I wasn’t the only one to comment. Watch out for it.

  17. The politics of fear. It’s the only language Westminster politicians purvey, and on more than the indy referendum. The MSM are as guilty and that’s what’s behind my latest blog entry.

  18. JLT says:

    Those are some shocking figures. In fact, it’s actually frightening to be honest.
    This is slowly turning into a fight to the death. There will be casualties one way or another come the day after the Referendum.
    Either Scotland stays in the Union, and suffers, like it has not suffered before in the Union, or it escapes, and builds whatever future it can. If Scotland does go, only God knows what happens to England, let alone Wales or N.I. I fear England will collapse financially at the loss of Scotland. I just cannot see, how they can pay off the debt, if they have no oil.
    For the Labour Party, they know they are staring down the barrel of a gun. Lose the Union, it’s the end of Labour.
    The Tories seem to be unsure of how far to the right should they jump, and the Libs are just a zombie party. They ARE finished. Only UKIP seem to be the party that is growing slowly, but surely in England.
    I’m still holding faith that come the big day, the people of Scotland will really open their eyes, and do the right thing.
     

  19. Robert Kerr says:

    JLT
    HAVE FAITH…. THEY SHALL !

  20. Dee says:

    And over £11 BILLION of cuts still to be announced this month. Will be interesting to see how they pull off that trick,, how do you cut something when there is nothing left to cut. There is talk of cutting our pocket money even further, if they do that then surely any undecided voters MUST start to see that there is another more just way. VOTE YES.

  21. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Like that clown MCClaren who was manager of England for a couple of weeks.  He was working in the Netherlands and starting speaking English like the Dutch do, with the intonations and accent!

  22. Red Squirrel says:

    This must be a parallel universe – wow Labour actually believe Johann’s performance is worth celebrating?  I can’t watch FMQs – I was brought up to believe it’s rude to mock the afflicted.
     
    The NO better together campaign is even lying about the status quo – it definitely won’t remain “as good as it is now”. it’s going to get several magnitudes of horror worse.
    You can see the car crash in slow motion but folk just aren’t getting out of the way fast enough.

  23. ron17 says:

    George tells the truth[he says]Scotland has 72 Mps.We have a falling population.We have no resourses We just canny dae it.Your so so last Century George.

  24. Stuart Black says:

    George Galloway, FFS! Couldn’t watch that all the way through, he is either a fucking liar of the first order, quite outstandingly ignorant, or genuinely bonkers.
     
    A bit of all three, perhaps…

  25. handclapping says:

    Now we can see how we are sinking with the Titanic, YES is the lifeboat.
    The renaming of social security as welfare says it all really. Instead of a compact that we would not suffer the privations of sickness, unemployment and old age in exchange for not defenstrating the rich, we now depend on charity grudged by the uncharitable. Westminster wont change, doesnt want to change, sees no need to change, we’re doing very well, it was the last mob’s fault, lend us a fiver. YES is our way out of the Westminster system and with any luck it will be also for rUK.

  26. HandandShrimp says:

    BTP
     
    Johann is shockingly bad, she mistakes being a torn face, humourless moaner for gravitas. That Labour celebrate this is a good thing because let’s face it she is going to perform badly off script in the run up to any vote (2014 and 2016). Just as Gray imploded under the spotlight so shall Johann.

  27. Stuart Black says:

    Johann is shockingly bad, she mistakes being a torn face, humourless moaner for gravitas. That Labour celebrate this is a good thing
     
    Never interrupt the enemy when they’re making a mistake… 😉

  28. HandandShrimp says:

    O/T
     
    Is privatising the Post Office another example of why we are better together? More family silver in the pocket of big business.

  29. Hetty says:

    George Galloway quite clearly lost the plot some time ago, who on earth takes him seriously? He’s been treated as a joker and has become one.
    The rich boys down in westminster do not care about the poor or sick and disabled and are quite happy to condemn many families to long term poverty, it keeps them living in luxury and their sidekicks calling the shots.
    YES for Scotland is the only option to escape the downward spiral for most of the country, that keeps the South afloat.

  30. cynicalHighlander says:

    Tried to post on Max site re Galloway.
     
    I have now heard George speaking from the orifice encircled by those ” Three cheeks of the same arse” and just shows his total ignorance of Scotland today.
     
    Refused as being offensive language!

  31. The Man in the Jar says:

    @HandandShrimp
    If event of a no vote Scottish Water could be next. If they could privatise the air that we breathe they would.

  32. balgayboy says:

    From the Respect Party Website:
    We want a world in which the democratic demands of the people are carried out; a world based on need not profit; a world where solidarity rather than self-interest is the spirit of the age. We want to reach out to all those who share our views, to build a new party for change in the interests of ordinary people. 
    But not Scotland it seems!

  33. CameronB says:

    Globally, water is the ‘commodity’ that is coming under most pressure for privatisation. It does make you think and has lead to an increasing number of “water riots”. There is hope though, as some people have gotten up on the hind legs and fought back.
     
    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/VANOVEDR/
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTKn17uZRAE

  34. Richard McHarg says:

    Poverty in the UK is by design!  They really don’t care.
    And the economic crisis was their perfect opportunity for a policy of austerity, closely followed by the planned disintegration of public services that we are now seeing in England, purely for the benefit of corporatism.
    With further cuts in expenditure here, our government will have to follow a similar line at some stage in the future.
    As a consequence, I believe that every UK General Election will also become a virtual independence referendum, though it would be more sensible to vote ‘yes’ next year.

  35. balgayboy says:

    Scotland’s water belongs to the people of Scotland. The YES Scotland campaign will rightly introduce the possibility of losing this premium asset if the vote goes otherwise. I trust that the people of Scotland realise the consequence of such a scenario!

  36. CameronB says:

    Water is the most essential of our ‘Common Weal‘, but the World Bank and the IMF are enforcing water privatisation as a requirement of loan approval. Does make you think about the next phases of austerity over the next couple of decades.

  37. Marker Post says:

    As if to prove that Things Can Get a Whole Lot Worse, the UK government comes in for some scathing criticism by the UN of its human rights record. As Craig Murray points out, this would have been major news in the pre-Blair days:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2013/may/31/uk-human-rights-record-un-panel

    Strangely, can’t find any mention of it at all on the BBC website.

  38. balgayboy says:

    Just imagine having to pay the highest price for your own water as well as we now have to do for our own produced petrol/diesel fuel? What country in the world would countenance such a situation? How can any person or politician defend such unfairness?

  39. Geoff Huijer says:

     
    balgayboy says:
    1 June, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    Just imagine having to pay the highest price for your own water as well as we now have to do for our own produced petrol/diesel fuel? What country in the world would countenance such a situation? How can any person or politician defend such unfairness?
    They don’t defend it – they hide it!
    McCrone Report was hidden and they won’t release documents
    on Devolution. There will be many more I’m sure…

  40. Blackford Wheeler says:

    More wind and pish on RT Max Keyser prog from George Galloway who scores at least 8 out of 10 for parroting the Top Unionist Myths and says “In these storm tossed times, to get out of an ocean liner and get into a rowing boat would be a very perilous choice to make”.

    Not if it’s the Titanic.

  41. balgayboy says:

     
    Geoff Huijer says:
    1 June, 2013 at 1:35 pm

     No hidden report here my friend will cover the reality of a monthly bill whether hidden in the council tax or a water tax..the bottom line to the ordinary punter is that one is paying more than their previous bills…not for better service….just to make some greedy b**tard more rich.

  42. DMyers says:

    UK OK, eh?  Well I’m of the opinion that ‘OK’ isn’t anywhere near good enough, and the alarming lack of ambition for Scotland will hopefully be the undoing of Labour come next year.

  43. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Give the French their due, there are about 5,000 out in the streets of Toulouse just now demanding an end the the 5th Republic and a cleaning of all the incumbent politicians and a new 6th Republic.
     
    Every so often some of the demonstrators cut out and have a glass of beer or wine in the cafes lining the pavement.

  44. handclapping says:

    @BTP
    When will we be allowed to join the civilised world? How many years AY? (After Yes)

  45. balgayboy says:

    I often wonder how George and the rest of the anti-independence naysayers will feel  when the vote comes home for a big YES. Where do they go? what do they say? who will listen to them anymore…go on then write a book about yourself!!

  46. Jiggsbro says:

    When will we be allowed to join the civilised world? How many years AY? (After Yes)
     
    Only after we have renegotiated all 8,500 treaties. Assuming an average of 3 months per treaty, we will become a full member of the international community in 4138.

  47. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    One interesting banner was, roughly translated
     
    All the elected politicians are BICs, they can be thrown away at will.

  48. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Galloway is such a bag of contradictions it’s hard to take him seriously when it comes to the Indy debate.
     
    He has, in the past, referred to Scotland as ‘a dying country’ (on his Talksport show a few years back) – a remarkably offensive thing to say about any country, and yet he can front an Al Jazeera show, comfortably filling an hour with impassioned demands on behalf of the Palestinian cause. It doesn’t add-up.
     
    The guy is always fantastic value – a brilliant orator and natural entertainer. He would’ve made a splendid circus barker, or could easily have fronted one of those old-style variety shows (what was the name of that telly show again, where they all got dressed up as Edwardians?) but when it comes to the most basic politics regarding his own ‘country’, he seems remarkably out of touch. 
     
    He’s missing a trick – as someone who still claims to love the original ‘Labour’ party, and longs to see its resurgence, he must be able to see the clear opportunity for root and branch renewal in post-Yes Scotland. He would be in with a decent shout of leading such a party – and wouldn’t he relish the chance to face AS on a weekly basis?
     
     
     
     

  49. G. Campbell says:

    Keiser Report. Just Gorgeous.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CamjOvAmgW4

  50. Dcanmore says:

    O/T sorry … Frank McAvennie on Off The Ball having a go at Alex Salmond, then promptly put down by Stuart Cosgrove by calling McAvennie a Tory! 🙂
     
    Taking a step back and looking at the UK as a whole, the horrors that is unfolding today from food banks, BNP/EDL marches, UKIP, bedroom tax, child poverty, NHS privatisation, mass unemployment, homelessness and destitution, social cleansing … how much of this is being reported on a national scale, particularly by the BBC? The average person is not being informed by the BBC in collusion with the right-wing press, with zero opposition from the Labour Party as the Coalition government tries to foist a colossal change on our society. Rev Stu puts together the Sealand Gazette bringing together these horror stories but the Scottish people need to be informed what a NO vote really means.

  51. Sapheneia says:

    As good as it gets?
    If you want to see how the UK government has failed everyone who has contributed to a state pension (both public service and basic state) look at this recent independent expert report from the intergenerational foundation – a UK registered charity.  Look at the names of the contributors to check the expert opinion.
    http://www.if.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Can-the-UK-Afford-to-Pay-Pensions.pdf
    According to the ONS the UK has £1.2 trillion of public service pension liabilities of which 75% is unfunded. According to experts – public service pensions are most likely never to be paid in full and the basic state pension has an even chance of it being means tested by 2040.
    Scotland needs to negotiate (get our citizen’s money rescued), consolidate (invest the 5% subsidy [*1 note] the average Scottish worker currently gives to rUK), and legislate (stop politicians committing such fraud ever again).
    *Note 1: Average Scot aged 65 (male and female) has 7% lower life expectancy than UK.  Average Scottish wage is 2% lower than UK average.

  52. Inbhir Anainn says:

    @ianbrotherhood
     
    Think you are referring to The Good Old Days compare was usually Leonard Sachs.

  53. balgayboy says:

    Dcanmore says:2.25
    Simples: A no vote means 1) Loose Devolved Government. 2) Loose Scottish Law.
     3) Loose Scottish Education. 4) Loose Scottish NHS. Most importantly Loose SCOTLAND as a nation AND as a Country. Is that enough evidence to just vote YES FFS.

  54. CameronB says:

    I wish the original poster would own up to this one, ’cause its brilliant.
     
    Vote No and make Scotland history.
    Vote Yes and make Scottish history.

  55. balgayboy says:

    This is what u get when you vote NO. This is the leadership that Scotland will get if you vote NO! God help us please.
     

  56. Iain says:

    @Jiggsbro
    ‘we will become a full member of the international community in 4138’
     
    And still no Olympic gold medals.

  57. turnip_ghost says:

    I’m going to apologise for going OT but I’ve just watched Have I got News For You and is it JUST me or is there now a Jock Joke every week now? I wonder if it’s possible to do a tally of how many jokes at Scotland’s expense say a year before the announcement of the indy ref to a year after…

  58. The Man in the Jar says:

    I just watched Galloway on Kesler. Un fucking believable.
    I think Stuart Black summed it up very well in his earlier comment.
    Stuart Black says:
    1 June, 2013 at 11:48 am

    George Galloway, FFS! Couldn’t watch that all the way through, he is either a fucking liar of the first order, quite outstandingly ignorant, or genuinely bonkers.

    A bit of all three, perhaps…

  59. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Inbhir Anainn-
     
    ‘The Good Old Days’! 
     
    That’s the one. Just watched some of it on Youtube but will spare you any clips.

  60. The Man in the Jar says:

    @ianbrotherhood
    Don’t You F*****g dare. It was utter shite then and will be even worse now! 😉

  61. The Man in the Jar says:

    I posted this link earlier at the tail end of the Cybernat thread. Worth a look if you missed it.
    700 years on and we still have similar problems. At least the Bruce didn’t have the BBC and the MSM to contend with. As now a positive case for independence!
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-22734279#

  62. Sapheneia says:

    Galloway on Kesler.
    Strange hearing the communist dictatorship that was the Soviet Union being described as a failure of socialism by Galloway. I thought he was a socialist?
    George’s analogy of leaving an ocean liner (the UK) to get on a rowing boat (Scotland) makes me think that in the film “Titanic” George would be the employee shooting terrified passengers trying to save their lives by getting on the life rafts.
    I’m up for getting on the life raft in 2014 before the ocean liner sinks us all.

  63. scottish_skier says:

    Is see part of the pro-union union campaign are hold a demo outside the parliament today.

    http://local.stv.tv/edinburgh/227711-scottish-defence-league-holds-rally-over-death-of-soldier-lee-rigby/

  64. Craig M says:

    Re George Galloway;
    The reason George loves the Union is because it has been generous to him and allowed him to build a career. What other institution would furnish Galloway with the profile he currently has.
    George is nothing more than an opportunist, career digger. Don’t believe all this crap about his Respect Party, it’s all just a vehicle for his vanity. What is sad is that the good people of Bradford and before that Bethnal Green have been taken in by this imposter. He’s a charlatan, nothing more. He jumped on a convenient bandwagon that was passing him by in his hour of need. If any one person shows up the complete failings of the Westminster system, it is George Galloway. His presence in Westminster also shows how utterly empty is the democracy of the UK.
    Vote Yes and rid the British Isles and the English electorate of professional careerists Scots masquarading as politicians. 

  65. Sapheneia says:

    Strange how the EXISTING pro better together fascist groups don’t get talked about in the context of the independence debate.  All the speculation is of apparent FUTURE racism after a democratic vote for independence?

  66. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Weird or even deranged

  67. Shinty says:

    Craig M
    Well said.

  68. john king says:

    Stuart Black says:
     
    Got as far as the partition of India and could stomach that clown no more

  69. john king says:

    Dee says:
    1 June, 2013 at 11:16 am

    “And over £11 BILLION of cuts still to be announced this month.”
    The fear I have is the more austerity imposed by wastemonster the greater the concern by the uninformed that we will have to tough it out with the UK  or go down in the maelstrom created by the sinking of the rUK 
     

  70. john king says:

    Just had a thought,
    maybe George Galloway is sucking up to Ed (the talking horse) to take over Eric (the inebriated’s)  seat ?
    OMG >:(

  71. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Jeeesh
     
    What are you drinking?

  72. john king says:

    jisht a cheeky wee bojolly with ma dinner and a few cans o tennents why? hic 

  73. CameronB says:

    To be honest, I couldn’t get past George Galloway’s first answer. Norsewarrior suddenly sprang to mind and I didn’t dare watch any more. 🙂

  74. john king says:

    Craig M says:
    1 June, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Re George Galloway;
    could not agree more, your absolutely right about him ,
    he is a complete snake oil salesman and Bradford voters fell for it. 
    I was asked by a Muslim college about my thoughts on Galloway, I think he thought I was going to be complimentary about his inclusiveness and ability to talk to the Muslim community,
    when I told him exactly what I thought of him,
    my college agreed and said he felt the Muslim community of Bradford had been fooled by Galloway but they have seen him for what he is ,an opportunist, and cant wait for the chance to get rid of him,
    btw my college came from Bradford

  75. CW says:

    George Galloway can go and tuck himself in. Any of you who are under any illusions about this man because of his position on Palestine should understand this – a corrupt thug like him is absolute poison for any cause he espouses, so let him spew forth on the matter of Scotland.

  76. handclapping says:

    @Jiggsbro
    Assuming we put all our 8500 cicvil servants on to it and allow 3 months for training, we should be joining just about the time we find out that Paddington has overspent his election expenses allowance by mistake again.
     
    But I still won’t be holding my breath 🙂

  77. Morag says:

    Hah.  I was out leafletting in Peebles this morning, generally positive feel by the way, I think there must be quite a “shy Yes” factor on the opinion polls.

    Anyway, someone suggested giving Paddington one of our Yes badges and telling him it was “yes to keeping Peebles court open” or something like that!  He’s dumb enough to fall for it.

    Met some LibDems leafletting on the court thing.  Posted one leaflet through a letter box for one of them, to save him climbing the steps.  He looked at my badge and said “Yes is good!” without any hint that he was taking the Mick.

  78. Ronnie says:

    @ CameronB at 2.50;
     
    Thanks for continuing to promote my slogan – previously posted as ‘Ron’.
    But since there seem to be rather a lot of ‘Ron’s’ on here, thus shall you know me;
     
    Vote ‘YES’ to make Scottish history,
    Vote ‘NO’ to make Scotland history.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  79. Krackerman says:

    My money has always been on Galloway being an MI6 agent… look at his company over the past 20 years, the Arab tyrants and mass murders (usually right before they get toppled) – his involvement in radical Islamic movements in the UK even his relationship with PressTV and Iran….
    Obvious really.
     
     

  80. CameronB says:

    @ Ronnie (formerly known as Ron)
    Thank you for a very clear, direct and easily remembered message. I know it has struck a chord with a few readers here. Please take a bow.

  81. tartanfever says:

    close to 12 million “too poor to engage in common social activities”

    Thats frightening. I know all the statistics are bad in this report, but this one in particular I find very disturbing. So 1 in 5 of the population are so badly off that they are shutting themselves away.

    The latest suicide rates we have are from 2011, and show an 8% increase from the previous year. Although suicide rates have dropped in the last 30 years, I would presume that the increase is continuing as people find it harder and harder to cope. 
     
    As mentioned by Dee and John King – another £11bn of cuts will obviously have a huge negative impact on citizens, but £11bn is nothing – remember we are still adding to the overall national debt at a rate of @ £9bn PER MONTH ! So while this action may halt the increase in the national debt, we still have to pay off the estimated £1 – £1.5 trillion.

    Or to put it another way, that works out at somewhere between £17k – £20k for every man, woman and child in the UK. For the UK to pay of the national debt will literally take decades of austerity to do so. 

    Imagine what a horrific state society will be in by then.

  82. Robert Bryce says:

    Just watched Galloway on the RT Keiser report literaly a few minutes ago.
     
    Galloway says that socialism will fail in Scotland as it’s not big enough, has no resources and not enough people. He went on to use the former USSR as an example. They had way more land, way more people & way more resources but it failed there.
     
    Galloway then went on to describe his respect party as “Socialist & progressive”.
     
    Sorry to break this to you George. The UK is way smaller, has way less people & way less resources than the former USSR.

    By my reckoning that makes your party meaningless and exists only as a vehicle for your Westminster salary. Your nose is firmly in the trough like the rest of them.
    Your nothing more than an opportunistic career politician who’ll ask for a peice at anyone’s door.
     
    Oh, and by the way. Scotland will be whatever kind of society it want’s to be. If we want socialism we’ll get socialism, if we want capitalism we’ll get capitalism.

    That’s the bit you don’t get George. It’s about democracy. Currently we don’t have much in the way of that up here.
     
    Surely you can “Respect” that?

  83. Linda's back says:

    After finding out about George Galloway’s activities in Dundee Labour Party Clubs my respect evaporated.

  84. Robert Bryce says:

    I think he may have a problem telling social democracy and Communism apart but what do I know about it?

  85. Hetty says:

    turnip_ghost
    I think your observation of a joke at the expense of Scotland and her people is a very astute one…I stopped listening months ago to 99% of BBC programmes especially the so called satire/comedy ie ‘the news quiz’ etc. I got so fed up of their ant-Scottish, negative rumblings, it was starting to sound quite acutely racist…

     

  86. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Robert Bryce-
     
    ‘That’s the bit you don’t get George. It’s about democracy.’
     
    Hear hear.
     
    Surprised that Keiser didn’t raise that, and some of your other points to Galloway. 
     
    It was a strange interview. Keiser isn’t afraid to rip into guests if they utter blatant absurdities, but he let Galloway off with a few real howlers. Galloway was also uncharacteristically coy, seemed almost afraid of Keiser, or very wary – did you notice how Galloway avoided any real eye-contact until the last few minutes?
     
    It would be interesting to get the thoughts of one of those behavioural experts who can tell more about such meetings with the volume down than most of us get from hearing the entire thing.
     
    All in all, a fascinating encounter, but I suspect George knows he’s stuck himself right out on a limb with many of his fellow Scots – he should certainly expect chunky quotes to be flung in his face for some years to come.
     
    A strange man – a product of strange times.

  87. cynicalHighlander says:

    Keiser was invited to Westminster Hall a while ago by George to explain the corruption in the globalised money markets which be will why he played stum.

  88. Hetty says:

    O/T
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00fr2gm/A_History_of_Scotland_Series_1_Bishop_Makes_King/
     
    just watching the ‘History of Scotland’ again on BBC iplayer…Neil Oliver.
    Does this have a baring on the truth? Yes sorry my knowledge of Scottish history is not great, but then, the NE of England, school wasn’t really about knowledge in the 70’s and 80’s. Programme gripping anyway, even if it’s the bbc!
     

  89. Marcia says:

    Tomorrow’s Sunday Herald front page.
    http://twitpic.com/cutu8t

    It looks like an interesting read.
     

  90. Famous15 says:

    I should have known after his leotard antics on BB but I was shocked at the shallowness of the man. Galloway was profoundly  foolish and his support for British Imperialism policy was disgusting.His body language spoke volumes.He himself obviously did not believe the tripe he was saying 

  91. The Man in the Jar says:

    Thanks Marcia. I now set my watch by your Saturday evening Herald front-page post. 😉
    Interesting Headline “How London is bleeding Scotland dry”. . Also noticed a trail for a forthcoming TV prog “Road to Referendum” by Macwhirter.
    I might just part with the £1.30

  92. Morag says:

    Marcia, wow.  Just, wow.

  93. Robert Bryce says:

    Marcia,
    Have you been mixing the cooking sherry and photoshop or is this a genuine front page?
     
    I’ll be £1.30 lighter in the morning me thinks!

  94. Marcia says:

    Robert.
    I have my own Truth Commision.
    I see that the LD have polled 6% in a UK wide poll. The SNP at 4% will soon catch up with them despite only standing in seats in Scotland.
     
    http://news.opinium.co.uk/sites/news.opinium.co.uk/files/VI_28_05_2013.pdf

  95. Bill C says:

    I am sleeping tight tonight, I have seen the Sunday Herald’s front page with my own eyes and when the SNP records 4% in a UK poll, I know that we are on our way. Something’s happening!

  96. BillyBigbaws says:

    I want to compile a big illuminated book bound in calf-skin and scrivenned with a quill called something like “The Reekin’ Pish and The Strong, Strong Wind :  Being An Historic Treatise On the Accuracy of George Galloway In Relation To the Kingdom of Scotland.”

    Since it’s unlikely that I’ll ever get around to it, here’s a Youtube video instead:

  97. Seasick Dave says:

    BillyBigBaws
     
    If you ever manage to get around to it, I think that it would look lovely in Belted Galloway calfskin.

  98. BillyBigbaws says:

    I hadn’t got as far as considering a breed yet Dave, but I’ll definitely keep that in mind.  It seems most appropriate.

    I quite like George, in a lot of ways, and his autobiography is where I first learned what an Atlanticist tool George Robertson really is, but it pains me to see him defending his enemies (and the source of their global power) so vociferously.

    When he admitted on his TalkSport show that he had no idea about the contemporary rate of Carer’s Allowance, or how hard it was to qualify for it, I realised that he really has very little clue about domestic UK politics (not just Scottish), and that his good works on the international stage have come at the cost of studiously avoiding the needs of his constituents at home. 

    He is a fine (if ocassionally bawbaggish) debater and orator though.    

  99. Seasick Dave says:

    Billy
     
    I don’t have too much time for the man; if he were chocolate he would eat himself.
     
    I’m always astonished how happy he is for Scotland to be misruled by the westminster system but I suppose that he has done very well out of it, so maybe no real surprise.
     

  100. Another London Dividend says:

    Another London Dividend in Sunday Herald this morning
     
    http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/london-calling-the-shots.21228380

  101. scottish_skier says:

    @Marica
    21% for UKIP it would appear too in that opinium.

    Brings the extreme right Tory/UKIP combined share to 46% on average.

    Will hit 50% soon if the trend continues.

  102. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    As I read it, OK minus all the weighting stuff, that over 50% of the voters, presumably in Scotland, would vote for the SNP.
     
    Am I right here SS or not?

  103. scottish_skier says:

    @Panda
    4% would be 48% SNP in Scotland.

    Bit of an error there, but 4% (48%) or 3% (36%) of the national total are the most frequent numbers for the SNP suggesting they are in the low 40’s for Westminster VI (e.g. 43%) with a possible MP majority.

    Folks often try to look at Scottish subsets, but they’re not weighted so not of great use as will swing wildly. The SNP share of the national total is a better reference for averaging as it is weighted. However, only worth noting if the Scottish sample is approaching 100 or more. If it is down in the 50’s/60’s then again too wild.

  104. HandandShrimp says:

    Scottish Skier
     
    That was quite a big poll wasn’t it? What was the Scottish element? 150-200?

  105. scottish_skier says:

    @H&S
    Aye, 160 unweighted, 171 weighted for Scotland so not bad at all.

  106. SCED300 says:

    Noticed in the Sunday Herald that Alistair Darling is going to be addressing the Tory Party Conference in Stirling.
    Labour’s desperation to hang onto control of Scotland is putting them in the position of the LibDems, when they joined up with the Coservatives in the Coalition. The Tories will just chew them up. Then come the next General Election Labour will be saying, ‘What happened, this is isn’t how we planned it’.
    Listening to Lamont and Darling they do talk as if they own the Labour voter in Scotland.

  107. YesYesYes says:

    I wonder if those in the Scottish press who referred to the protestors against Nigel Farage in Edinburgh recently as ‘fascists’ realise that these were the same people who were protesting against the fascist SDL outside the Scottish Parliament yesterday?

  108. alexicon says:

    Yes Yes Yes.
     
    An excellent read by Mr Ponsonby in newsnetscotland this morning about that very subject.
     
    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/7496-scottish-unionism-british-nationalism-and-their-creeping-fascist-tendencies

  109. MajorBloodnok says:

    The Sunday Herald‘s excellent today, by the way.  No beating about the bush, that’s for sure.

  110. The Rough Bounds says:

    My guess is that Darling will be given a standing ovation by the Tories at the end of his craven speech.

  111. joe kane says:

    While most Government Ministers fight for their departmental budgets, Ian Duncan Smith voluntarily wants to cut another £3 billion from the DWP budget and give it away to the police and Ministry of Defence.

    Nick at ilegal has come up with some brilliant findings uncovered from his studious interrogation of DWP documents released to the public.
    Cost to taxpayer of the ESA regime to date is £2.2 billion pounds, with 3.2 million ESA claims processed out of which just 1,290 former ESA sick and disabled claimants have found jobs!

    Reference –
    Are the true costs
    ilegal
    29 May 2013
    http://ilegal.org.uk/thread/7764/true-cost-esa-major-project 

     

  112. YesYesYes says:

    @Alexicon,
     
    Well spotted and thanks for the link.
     
    Ponsonby is right. Those “fourteen identifying characteristics of fascism” identified by Dr Britt do seem eerily familiar.
     
     
    The logic of the Scottish press and unionists on this issue is as wrong-headed and ill-informed as the logic of those who support the current badger cull in England. England is currently killing 5,000 badgers so it can improve the health of the 2.5 million cattle that it slaughters every year. I find the ‘anti-fascism’ of the Scottish press about as convincing as the arguments that England is an ‘animal loving’ nation and is welcoming to ‘foreigners’.

  113. Juteman says:

    Interesting comment on the Politics Show this morning.
    Neil suggesting to the Conservative MP that a deal had been done with Jim Murphy re the ‘Snoopers Charter’. If the Liberals don’t back the Conservative motion, Labour will.
    Better Together.

  114. joe kane says:

    Apparently, with the forthcoming introduction of Ian Duncan Smith’s flagship Universal Credit (or Universal Car Crash to give it a more accurate title), along with those on part-time and low paid work, soon half the working population of the UK will all be eligible for sanctioning by the DWP.

    Reference – 
    At least 100k a year hit by benefit sanctions 
    The Skwawkbox Blog 
    02 June 2013
    http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/06/02/at-least-100k-a-year-hit-by-highest-level-benefit-sanctions/ 

  115. Morag says:

    Badger cull.  Let’s not go in that particular off-topic direction unless you want a stand-up fight.  Just be very, very grateful that Scottish badgers do not have bovine TB.

  116. YesYesYes says:

    @Morag,
     
    I think this thread’s been off-topic for a while now. In any case, I was talking about the logic informing the arguments of the respective advocates.
     
     
    Let’s also be grateful that Wales is instituting a vaccination programme. Scotland is bovine TB free. On topic again, let’s hope that after September 18th next year Scotland will also be Britnat BT free.

  117. Yesitis says:

    I keep watching the Sunday Politics Scotland Show expecting it to somehow become a little less hysterically unionist. Nup.
     
    Yet again, I end up wanting to trash the TV.

  118. Marcia says:

    MajorBloodnok says:
    2 June, 2013 at 11:31 am

    The Sunday Herald‘s excellent today, by the way. No beating about the bush, that’s for sure.

     
    Their editorial in the print edition will not be happy reading in the NO camp. The paper has a god howler in that the article about Flooden has James V1 instead of James 1V. Just like my bad typing – hate typing.

  119. MajorBloodnok says:

    Re badgers – it’s all Nature’s fault again, isn’t it.  It’ll be otters next, pesky sprainting varmints.  Mind you, Darling looks like a badger…

  120. Marcia says:

    aw gawd – good instead of god. 🙂

  121. Adrian B says:

     

    The identities of those involved cannot be revealed for legal reasons, but is said that the relationship was between two middle-aged figures and has now come to an end.

    The revelation could have political implications for David Cameron, who has been hit by a number of scandals recently.

    He was said to be “stunned” by the news, the importance of which he realised “immediately”.

     
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/10093996/Downing-Street-rocked-by-revelations-of-secret-affair.html
     
    This could rumble on for a while, we know how certain sections of the press love a scandal. It is something that could help UKIP a little bit.

  122. Morag says:

    I’m a vet who works in farm animal disease surveillance and disease control.  The arguments for and against the badger cull are complex and detailed.  Nobody is doing this on a whim or for the lulz.

    What has been allowed to happen in England with bovine TB is a crashing failure of the disease control system, caused by the metropolitan MAFF and DEFRA lacking all sense when it comes to what to do when you have a serious disease nearly eradicated.  However, they are where they are, now, and it’s not a good place to be.  The health of the English national herd is quite genuinely in jeopardy.

    To dismiss the years of epidemiological modelling and prolonged scientific debate about this complex subject as if you have a divine hot-line to the truth, and describe those you disagree with as “wrong-headed” and “ill-informed” is shallow and pretentious.

  123. YesYesYes says:

    @MajorBloodnok,
     
    “Mind you, Darling looks like a badger…”
     
    LOL. Major, I think you may have hit on something here. Maybe on polling day next year, all of us Yes voters should dress up as badgers and ‘foreigners’ just to piss off the Britnats.
     
    But I blame the beavers myself, whose bright idea was that? And don’t get me started on foxes. And as for those bloody golden eagles… It’s political correctness gone mad I tell you.
     
     

  124. MajorBloodnok says:

    Trapping, gassing and flaying’s too good for ’em.  And that goes for wild animals too.

  125. YesYesYes says:

    @Morag,
     
     
    The point is that no-one has a “divine hot-line to the truth”, including scientists. These are pilot projects not national, because no-one knows what proportion of bovine TB is caused by badgers. Estimates range from 16 per cent to 50 per cent. Equally, no-one knows whether the culling or vaccination of badgers is a more effective means of controlling the transmission of TB to cattle. Wales and Northern Ireland (smaller countries than England of course, with smaller cattle populations) are introducing national vaccination programmes. That seems a right-headed and logical means of addressing the problem, at least in the first instance.   

  126. muttley79 says:

    In light of Billy Bragg’s photo in WoS twitter, all I say is save the badgers!!
     
    https://twitter.com/billybragg/status/340977729946136577/photo/1

  127. YesYesYes says:

    @muttley 79,
     
     
    Comment of the day, IMO.

  128. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I keep watching the Sunday Politics Scotland Show expecting it to somehow become a little less hysterically unionist. Nup.
    Yet again, I end up wanting to trash the TV.”

    I didn’t watch it, and I didn’t watch a single edition of Newsnicht or Scotland Tonight this week either. I’m not proud of it, but nor do I feel as if I missed anything, and that’s a bit worrying.

  129. Yesitis says:

    Rev Stu
     
    It is a bit worrying, but it`s probably reflective of how a lot of people feel these days. Pissing in the wind with a Unionist mainstream media.
    Mmm…sounds like an idea for a TV program with Robson Green  🙂

  130. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Could one of the two middle aged persons be DC and the other a redhead?
     
    Just saying like,  though Bordeaux coloured spectacles.

  131. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    YesYesYes
     
    When there are no more beavers in Canada, so I was told, it would be the end of humanity.

  132. Morag says:

    Yes, the badger cull isn’t a cut-and-dried decision either way.  I think that’s what I said.  Nobody has a hot-line to the truth.  Including you.  A lot of people, including a lot of colleagues of mine, have spent a great deal of time investigating the issue, and have agonised a great deal about it, either way.  Some take one position, some take the other.  All, however, respect the debate and the people in it.

    You, however, seem to have made up your mind and feel comfortable attacking those on the opposite side of the debate as “wrong-headed” and even worse “ill-informed”.  If there is one thing those who have been studying this issue for not just years but decades are not, it is ill-informed.

    So I do feel offended when you jump randomly into an internet discussion about something else altogether, spouting offensive and derogatory remarks about people who are well-intentioned, sincere, and acting in what they reluctantly see as the best interests of the livestock farming community.  You are entitled to your opinion.  You are not entitled to casually bad-mouth and insult people who take the opposite position to you, on what is a finely-divided debate.

  133. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Yes, the badger cull isn’t a cut-and-dried decision either way.”

    All I have to say on the subject is that when expert opinion is closely divided, I generally default to the option that doesn’t involve the wholesale slaughter of wild animals.

  134. YesYesYes says:

    @Morag,
     
    I wasn’t exempting myself from the category, “nobody”!
     
    I understand the offence that you’ve taken and you’re right, the term “ill-informed” was a poor choice of words. So I apologise for that, I hope you’ll accept my apology. But I would still stand by the term “wrong-headed”. I’m not against culling on principle btw, only against culling as the preferred solution, particularly when other parts of the UK have adopted vaccination as their preferred solution. The implication of the UK government’s decision in England is that there is no alternative to culling and it’s that implication that, I would argue, is “wrong-headed”. All the more so, if vaccination proves to be a more effective means of reducing the transmission of bovine TB in Wales and Northern Ireland than culling does in England. We’ll see. Of course, the badgers, including all the healthy badgers that are killed in England, will be dead by then.
     
     
    This debate isn’t just about the “livestock farming community” and it’s unfortunate, though not surprising, that it’s being framed in those terms.

  135. Morag says:

    I have been to countless presentations and read innumerable papers and articles about the issue.  I am reluctant to come down on one side or the other, because it is an enormously difficult question and in fact I am not the one who has to make the decision.

    One thing I have taken out of the exercise is this.  Nobody is ill-informed, and nobody is wrong-headed, apart possibly from internet punters who like to pick a side and insult people who disagree with them.  It’s easy to call people names.  It’s not easy to make a decision that’s going to get you reviled if it goes one way, but may cost farmers their living in these hard times if it goes the other way.

    And yes, it is about livestock farming, and food production.  It’s also about human health, as TB is zoonotic.  That’s what makes the debate so fraught.

    I’m pleased to learn you have the answer.  When will you be presenting your paper to the BVA Congress?

  136. YesYesYes says:

    @Morag,
     
    “Nobody is ill-informed and nobody is wrong-headed”.
     
    Nobody in the scientific community? That’s not so much a defence of science as a defence of scientism. 
     
    I believe the point I made was that it’s not just about livestock farming. And food production and human health don’t exhaust the terms of the debate either.
     
    “I’m pleased to see that you have the answer. When will you be presenting your paper to the BVA conference”.
     
     
    You’ve lost me there, I’m afraid.

  137. Morag says:

    You believe you know best.  You believe you have the answer to this dreadful problem that is causing terrible grief to England’s livestock farmers.  It’s a problem the AHVLA and other expert bodies have been debating for decades, with no clear consensus.  You are so convinced you are right that you believe you are justified in calling people names if they don’t agree with you.

    In that case, the entire veterinary profession wants to hear from you.  I look forward to notification that you are going to share your uniquely perceptive insights with the humble professionals who have been studying the problem for so long, and have been unable to see it as clearly as you can.  You have much to contribute.

    However, if it’s only going to be “I don’t trust scientists and so my instinct is right”, then piss off.

  138. YesYesYes says:

    @Morag,
     
    Goodness me. I’ve rattled a few people’s cages in my time but I think that you’re over-reacting here. Not sure where you’re getting this, “you think you know best” line from or how you square that response with your earlier reply to me to the effect that, “you’re entitled to your opinion” (except when I disagree with you it would seem).
     
    To be clear, the substance of my point is that Wales and Northern Ireland have adopted a vaccination programme and that, unless anyone can produce evidence that culling is a more effective means of controlling the transmission of TB to cattle, vaccination in my opinion is a preferable option in the first instance.
     
     
    It’s not that I don’t trust scientists, I just don’t trust scientists all the time and on every issue and that, as the history of science itself illustrates only too well, scientists have in the past, and they will continue in the future, to get things wrong. They’re human.

  139. Braco says:

    Morag,
    pull your neck in please.
     
    Yes Yes Yes is expressing a well considered point from a well informed, non professional, non specialist lay person’s point of view. Yes’s attitude (right or wrong) is essential to, and is at the center of, the essential oversight hierarchy favoured by healthy democracies (and sadly so rare in what passes for ours at the moment).
     
    Technocratic professionals (essential to society as they are), Political, Scientific, Medical, Veterinarian, Architectural etc etc. without just such proper oversight from non specialist but democratic policy and strategic decision making authorities have all, at some time in the past, shown themselves to make flawed policy decisions.

    Pressured as professionals usually are by business, social, professional and fashion considerations. Decisions that have had far reaching consequences and catastrophic effects on personal lives and our wider society to this day.
     
    Not to mention the motivations of simple venal self aggrandizement and personal financial enrichment. Something I am sure you have encountered from time to time in your profession, as I have in mine and I think you will agree has sadly come to infest our political professional class here in Scotland.
     
    Yes Yes Yes has not attacked professional research or called into question an individual professional’s ethics. They are calling into question the overarching ethic behind this particular decision and at what level such a drastic policy should be sanctioned, if at all, given the alternatives apparently deemed plausible elsewhere.
     
    Not an unreasonable position surely?
     
    Especially when you yourself, have been careful to keep yourself on the fence due, as you make clear, to the contradictory professional opinions currently expressed on the matter.

    A luxury position for a professional, I envy you. It does however seem to reinforce Yes Yes Yes’s point though, rather than weaken it, does it not?

  140. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    Is this the first thread to be derailed by badgers?

  141. CameronB says:

    What if these badgers were ‘foreigners’, and instead BVT it was your job insecurity that was the issue?
     
    Shall I get my coat?

  142. scottish_skier says:

    Personally, I just don’t see the badger story as a black and white issue.

  143. Braco says:

    Ianbrotherhood,
    I seem to just hang about the fag end of threads these days purposefully looking to be derailed. It’s so sad and probably the early stages of some deep seated social malady, brought on by overexposure to betterNO’s subliminal high and low pitched whines. (weaksicksadsmily).
     
    I do apologise.
     
     

  144. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Braco-
     
    Nae worries pal. We’re all in this together, fag-end or otherwise.
     
    Reminds me of a scene in that great wee film ‘Le Petomane’, starring Leonard Rossiter – it’s at 23 mins. A classic parting shot…
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gym81fY460

  145. YesYesYes says:

    Braco,
     
    It won’t surprise you to hear that I agree wholeheartedly with you. I’m pleased that you’ve brought up these wider issues for they introduce (better than I did), the territory I was thinking of when I said to Morag that there are wider issues here than just livestock farming.
     
    Here’s my brief tuppence-worth on just a few of those issues but, as your post suggests, there are many more dimensions to this.
     
    Politics/economics. You would have had to have lived on another planet for the last 20 years not to understand some of the political and economic reasons why the British government is ultra-sensitive to problems in English/British agriculture and needs to be seen to be responding to these. I’m not just thinking here about the Countryside Alliance in the shires of England, but also powerful landowners and the economic interests of industrial farming. These are all groups that regularly lobby politicians at Westminster to promote their interests.
     
    Bovine TB is a problem. As Morag says, in England it’s a serious problem, no-one disputes that. Similarly no-one disputes the fact that badgers are one of the sources of transmission of TB to cattle. Culling badgers is one (partial) solution to the problem. After all, the best way to eliminate badgers as a source of bovine TB would be to cull the entire population of badgers in England. But this would not eliminate bovine TB, far from it.
     
    The science is inconclusive but the point I’m making is that I’m not convinced that culling is being entirely driven by the science. If it were, we need to explain why the authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland have not adopted it. As Morag has said, livestock farmers are living in “hard times” and politicians are only too aware of this. They need to come up with a solution, and quick. Culling is a fairly cheap and effective means of achieving the desired objective, it’s also a more convenient option (at least for humans). It demonstrates to the agricultural lobby that the government is addressing and ‘solving’ the problem.
     
    Another political/philosophical issue here is our (human beings’) relationship to nature and the existential value that animals have for us. For livestock farmers, their own animals are commodities that yield a return to the farmer’s investment. The farmer ‘owns’ the animal, it is his/her commodity, so, in our society, he has the right to do what he wishes with it. Other animals are seen as pests or vermin. But just like many of the rest of us, many farmers also have pets and, like the rest of us, farmers develop a deep affection for their pets and value them for different reasons to their livestock. Different animals, therefore, have a different existential value for humans, depending on who we are, what the animal is and what the context of the relationship is. As the poet Norman MacCaig once said, in a related context, to a black man in the southern states of the USA in the nineteenth century, an apple tree was a place to be lynched, to a child, it was a place to play.
     
    There are issues of power here also, man’s dominion over animals and man as a temporary custodian of the earth’s resources and ecosytem. As Burns put it in his poem, Now Westlin Winds:
     
    Avaunt away! The cruel sway
    Tyrannic man’s dominion
     
    In the 1970s, the Welsh cultural theorist, Raymond Williams wrote an excellent little book, The Country and the City (there’s a good précis of it on Wikipedia). Part of Williams’s argument was that the country and the city were two examples of the kind of binary oppositions that human beings construct and attach social and cultural meanings to – man-woman, sacred-profane, black-white, unionist-nationalist etc.
     
    In the case of the country and the city, as with all binary oppositions, these meanings take many forms. We’re all familiar with farmers who don’t take kindly to ‘ignorant’ city-dwellers interfering in the countryside, as if the countryside ‘belonged’ to them and only they could speak with any authority on the subject. Equally, city-dwellers attach various meanings to the countryside and ‘nature’. Although we all use these binary oppositions, most of us are aware that reality is more complex than that. It’s that greater complexity of this issue that I was trying to communicate to Morag.
     
     
    I also agree wholeheartedly with your point about being sceptical about the work of ‘experts’. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. I’m sure if we looked hard enough in previous posts on Wings, we’d find that Morag, too, has questioned the results of scientists in her own previous posts. Perhaps she has contested the conclusion of some unionist-supporting economist (many of them see themselves as scientists) or some political scientist, historian etc. As far as I’m aware, Morag is not an economist, political scientist or historian and has no expertise in any of these areas. So we might find that Morag, in previous posts, has hoisted herself on her own petard here. In spite of this, I can’t imagine any circumstances, where I woould tell Morag to piss off. Or we might just take a more generous approach and acknowledge that Morag is entitled not only to contest the claims of economists, political scientists or historians but she’s also entitled to look beyond the immediate science and reflect on wider issues. That, I would argue is not only the hallmark of a healthy democracy, it’s the hallmark of sanity.     

  146. Braco says:

    Yes Yes Yes,
     
    Thanks for the response. I think it proves the point.
     
    It seems to me to be the source of democracies biggest and continual struggle. To find a publicly constituted and democratically accepted authority which will own, and actively defend it’s right to own, the principle of all final  governmental policy formation.
     
    It rightly being the realm solely of an informed and legally constituted representative body of the entire electorate.
     
    That way professional bodies and interested parties, social activists and academics can all channel their energies into focusing influence on just such a body and through debate, research, science etc. allow and create the well informed non specialist policy legislature to come to a decision that the electorate, as a whole, can take responsibility for (most importantly whether right or wrong).
     
    Any way YesYesYes, I coincidentally find myself in agreement with the detail and spirit of your post, but that was not what raised my hackles. It’s the idea that somehow ‘professional’ qualification or designation somehow can ordain a wisdom beyond the day to day knowledge of a subject, very important for sure, but not necessarily the most important information required when it comes to weighing complex issues of the general public good.
     
    Sorry for the tardy response to such a well constructed and considered post. It’s just  that I didn’t read it until this afternoon.
     
     

  147. Braco says:

    Ianbrotherhood,

    Nice clip. I ended up watching it all,as I suspect you knew I’d have too! I now claim one half hour of your life for the purposes of light entertainment!

    In the meantime, I withdraw awkwardly (for the moment) after rashly trying to perform ‘The Ugly Old Toad’

  148. CameronB says:

    Chortle.

  149. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    Aye, you can laugh!  Have you seen all the spellcheck fails on my last post. Shocking!
    (wink)
     

  150. YesYesYes says:

    @Braco,
     
    Aye Braco, it gets my hackles up too. You get it a lot on blogs as well, people waving their ‘credentials’ as a means of intimidating others and, effectively, an attempt to close down debate, the my way or the highway syndrome. That’s why I was so pleased that you intervened. Not only did it reassure me that I wasn’t alone in the early thoughts that were gestating in my head in my exchanges with Morag, but it gave me the opportunity to expand a little on those thoughts and justify my argument. Cheers mate.
     
    The point I wanted to make, but forgot, at the end of my long excursion (apologies for that, I’ll be a lot briefer here) about the existential value of animals to humans, was about the badgers themselves. In this situation the badgers have no, or limited existential value, at least to those who are supportive of the cull. That, in itself, is interesting (the philosopher Peter Singer is very good on these issues).
     
    Fortunately, those who are campaigning against the cull – who, no doubt some will characterise as dewy-eyed, cuddly, furry animal lovers – do place a high existential value on the badgers and all power to them. That, too, is interesting, for a lot of reasons. I have a lot of admiration for them – and I’m not just talking about those models dressed up in badger costumes! They kind of help to restore your faith in people. There’s no getting away from the fact that, to return to the subject of my first post on this, in spite of what we might like to tell ourselves, we are a destructive species and neither England nor Scotland are ‘animal loving’ nations. In the last twenty years alone, the UK has slaughtered some 19 billion animals, mostly turkeys, ducks, pigs, sheep, chickens and cattle (150 billion if you include fish). If that’s how we treat them when we love them…   
     
    Maybe we should also remind ourselves that there are a lot of good scientists out there, even though, in history, scientists have oftern done a lot of despicable things, both to people and animals, in the name of science. There are even good scientists who’re not only interested in connecting with the public but who have the ability to do it well – Stephen Jay Gould, Richard Dawkins, Steven Pinker, Brian Cox (the physicist, not Scottish Labour’s third-least favourite Scottish actor after Sean Connery and Alan Cumming) and others.
     
     
    Anyway, cheers again, Braco. There’s nothing so gratifying as a meeting of open minds.

  151. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Braco-
     
    Ha!
     
    It took me years of practise to perfect the ‘Ugly Old Toad’ – a large bowl of All-Bran quickly followed by three pints of Guinness and a Scotch Egg. Works every time, and that’s why I have no friends, or underpants.

  152. Macart says:

    @Ianbrotherhood
     
    You too? Spooky.
     
    I just tell Mrs Macart I have IBS. 🙂

  153. ianbrotherhood says:

     
    @Macart –
     
    We’d better stop talking about this or everyone will want to try it – there’ll be a Delia-type run on Scotch eggs and All-Bran.

  154. Macart says:

    @Ianbrotherhood
     
    I smell profit (as well as other stuff) in this diet. LOL 😀



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