Why don’t you ask a Tory SE MP to set out the positive case for the Union?
That really is an excellent idea. Or – a contuation of the ‘debate’ series that never really got going?
My oldest brother, Johnnie, was 26 years old when he was killed in December 1963.
He and I were good friends consequently I felt his loss deeply I felt like a boat without a rudder, a fish without a tail.
In the summer of 1964 a friend told me how impressed he had been listening to the Labour candidate, for the seemingly safe Conservative seat, in the constituency of Berwick and East Lothian, Dr John P Mackintosh.
In September I passed my driving test and that evening I resolved to attend a public election meeting in the village hall in Gifford. Standing at the top of the steep steps were two men, Councillor Andrew Purvis and a fellow whom I assumed was John Mackintosh.
‘Hello Arthur’, quoth Andrew, who was our Co-op Insurance agent ‘.Meet John Mackintosh.’
‘Ah, Dr Mackintosh I presume’
‘Arthur Greenan, we met when I was doing my teacher training when you were a pupil at Holy Cross Academy. I had your class for two periods’.
At the end of the meeting John Mackintosh rattled on my car window.
‘Would you like to help me with this election campaign?’
‘Dead right I would, where?
‘Tomorrow morning at 9 o’clock, Macari’s ice cream shop in Tranent.
‘Just make sure that your there, son’ I said.
That was to be the beginning of a unique friendship between two men, me at twenty three and he at thirty three. He was the brilliant analytical thinker and university lecturer, and I the simple minded country laddie who new every gatepost in East Lothian. It was a friendship bound by need. I needed John to articulate the cherished political views that my brother and I had inherited from our dad. He, a cosmopolitan townie, needed me to keep him right as to the different civilisations that one met every six miles along the length of East Lothian and the quite different social structure that one found in Merse of Berwickshire.
John Mackintosh lost that election by a whisker. He was successful in 1966 till February 1974. He regained his seat in October 1974 on a great wave of relief. We visited the high streets of all the major towns in the constituency thanking the electorate for their support and basking in the warmth they exuded towards him.
In a café in Haddington I asked ‘What’s next, John?’
‘Isn’t dead in the water?’
‘It is Arthur, but I would like Scotland to have control over all things Scottish and with its own Assembly’
‘Because the Scots are perfectly capable of running their own affairs’.
Ok, I’ll ask if I can put it on the agenda of the next Constituency AGM in two weeks. Make sure that your there, John. I’ll introduce it then you pick it up and persuade them to support your case’.
He did and they did. The next stop was the Scottish Labour Party conference at Perth. We discussed, haggled and negotiated with a whole rake of industrial and rural representatives and Scottish trades union leaders. I seconded the motion which the conference accepted.
It was now on to Blackpool to persuade the British Labour Party and its horde of powerful interest groups. John Mackintosh was viewed as the finest orator ever to enter the House of Commons in the twentieth century. That day he excelled himself. Devolution for Scotland became official policy of the British Labour Party who were then in government.
It became a confused campaign. In favour was Mr Harold Wilson, Prime Minister. Mr Ted Heath, Leader of the British Conservative Party and the Liberal Party. Arraigned against John was Mr Willie Ross, Secretary of State for Scotland, Former Prime Minister, Sir Alec Douglas-Hume and the Scottish Nationalist Party.
Missing from the fray was that swathe of bright young Labour MPs who were part of the 1964 intake. In search of promotion they kept their heads well below the hedge. Mackintosh ploughed on almost single-handedly. In 1977 he asked me if I would join him in a Scottish parliament.
I said that I would. John was expected to be appointed the first First Minister. By the time that the referendum date was set for 1979 John Mackintosh was seriously ill. By the most scurrilous of acts Mr George Cunningham, a Scottish London MP inserted a victory level of 40%. He was but Mr Robin Cook’s puppet.
Thus the referendum was scuppered by the treachery of Scottish Labour MPs who loved Westminster and its bottomless trough of privileges as they strove for recognition then reward by elevation to the House of Lords. They yearned for cosiness with the aristocracy who had cleverly suppressed the working class for centuries. They had forgotten the people from whence they came.
I didn’t join John in a Scottish Parliament. In 1978, he was lowered to his final rest at Gifford by his Malcolm, his son,Dr Colin Mackintosh, his brother, Dr Henry Cowper, Sir Alec Douglas Home, Rt Honourable David Steele and I.
What is going to happen to the nuclear waste, have not heard it mentioned at wesminster
Is Socialism Dead?
History records that the Labour Party was establish over a century past as a consequence of trade unions sending representatives of the movement to Westminster to stand as Members of Parliament. The party was founded on a socialist agenda of ‘common ownership’ (nationalisation) established within its constitution of 1918. Clause Four of the constitution enshrined this commitment. Despite the introduction of nationalisation by the Labour Party gaining power, several attempts were made to remove or amend Clause Four from the Party constitution. It wasn’t until Tony Blair’s government came to be that the Clause was finally amended removing its commitment to public ownership of industry and ensuring the public sector did not necessarily remain in public ownership. This decision was a fundamental shift in the Labour Party’s founding beliefs and a move away from its traditional supporters in attracting middle England to the ranks of the Party.
It would appear that ‘socialism’ in the true sense of the word (founding principals) is no longer the bedrock of the present Labour Party, which for many lies right of centre and increasingly distant from its working class origins leaving a principally two party system with no distinguishing differences in political ideology.
Socialism is defined as an economic system of social ownership and cooperative management of the countries economy. Essentially socialism provides its citizens with a means to control, manage and ensure public accountability of essential services that provide for the well-being of all, including health and care services, transport, security, broadcasting and the welfare state. These services form the basic human needs for a society to ensure its ability to establish a democratic means of protecting its citizens personal freedoms without the chains of capitalist greed that seek to ensure a two class society prevails (haves and have nots). Socialism should ensure that the benefits of such a society are redistributed to those it serves equally whilst reinvesting its success in furthering the benefits of a fairer society.
Alas such a society is increasingly less evident as all the principal parities of the country move towards a society that feeds the greed of corporate corruption of the wealthily for the benefit of a privileged few over a population who feel increasingly politically disengaged and apathetic to their ability to influence those in power.
So, is socialism dead?; Has capitalism won? For many the war is over, as a disenfranchised working class abandon their faith in Labour Party that is increasingly dominated by career politicians less likely to come from its traditional routes.
Clearly the future is far from certain in a society that yearns to see men and women of exceptional stature and oratory skills capture the imagination and faith of a people who have few heroes to talk of. Who inspires us today? Who is willing to stand up to political control of freedom of speech and fear of an oppressive media who pluck the strings of a capitalist agenda? With the death of Nelson Mandela and men and women of such stature, who will inspire, motivate and install confidence in us the working men and women of Scotland in reigniting the flames of socialism in Scotland today?
The answer is simple. You do. Whether that be to speak out in support of our neighbour, defend our work colleagues, or protect your community against greed and the erosion of our natural environment we all have our part to play no matter how small that commitment is. As the old British Telecom advert said “It’s good to talk” and this is how we must begin in shaping a new society and seeks to influence men and women of good character and commitment in re-establishing socialism as a means of creating a society that sees us all as equals and strengthens our trust and belief in a society that respects all regardless of status or ability. It’s time for new, better Scotland regardless of whether or not independence prevails next year. The choice is ours.
Daniel Hannan speaks truth about North Sea Oil, but then, he was amongst friends, and it just slipped out….
“Often a facile phrase used which the deceased would not have wanted”
indeed….here, straight from Daniel Hannan, Conservative Party Member of the European Parliament and tireless Toadygraph blogger on behalf of the Tories, comes the truth of the value of North Sea Oil to the British state, in general, and the Thatcherite destroyers of civilisation in particular ;
start to listen around 5.20, if you have no stomach for Thatcherite murder of truth, but truth, outraged and eternally beautiful will out, and out it pours ;
..’….. was hearing adults causually saying England has gone to the dogs, as Henry Kissinger said,’
….”.Britain is reduced to beg, borrow and preying ’till North Sea Oil receipts come in……”
They seized our wealth and used it to destroy Blighty’s indusrty, self belief and civilisation, then gave away our sovereignty to the darkest forces of corporate greed and nation destroying globalisation.
Only now, at last, at this eleventh hour, as their relentless campaign of fear and deceit grows ever more strident in true Thatcher fashion, truth nonetheless endures, escapes and may even triumph.
Their lies cannot, even through their own propaganda, hide the facts of the matter indefinitely.
Thanks, Daniel, and fare ye well, my bonny wee, would be nemesis
we would have done with you and all your band of idolaters, spivs and British Imperial toadies .
Sometimes it is best to be candid.
Alexander is not blessed with a fine analytical intellect. Most of his utterances are made on the move, leading with his chin you might say, improvising as he goes along.Then again, you could be bunt as say, he’s pontificating as usual.
Could someone help point me at the best articles for persuading Scottish friends to vote YES.
They are currently very confident that their NO votes have substance.
INDEPENDENCE Yes or No
I believe, as the late John P Mackintosh MP for East Lothian and Berwickshire did, that we Scots have the brains and the courage to run our own country. We have the sense to welcome the English, and their skills, into our midst too. They know that whilst we will defend their country at every turn, as indeed they will defend us, it is not in the interest of the working class within Scotland to be shackled forever to England.
I appeal to traditional Labour voters, like myself, not to be deceived by the fibs of Messrs, Blair, Brown, Blunkett, Darling, Hewitt, Mandelson, Reid and Prescott. These new Labour millionaires sold the Labour Party’s soul. They, and 23 Tory Cabinet millionaires, now seek to persuade you to sell you country’s soul. They urge you to vote NO to INDEPENDENCE. Will you? I won’t!
To vote NO is to support pay day loans, pawn shops and abandon manufacturing skills.
To vote NO is to support wars of intervention in foreign countries.
To vote NO is to ensure a constant Conservative Government who knows nothing of your life.
To vote NO is to accept unemployment rates of 50% on parts of the west coast and 30% on average.
To vote NO means that 60% of Scots will continue to earn less than £25,000 per year.
To vote NO accepts that 100,000 children in poverty is tolerable.
To vote NO is to agree that cuts should be imposed on the most vulnerable in society.
To vote NO agrees to a £375 Bn bailout for the stockmarket and £140 Bn to cover tax evasion
To vote NO is to demand a flexible workforce that is transferable and disposable.
To vote NO is to prefer others to rule your country.
To vote NO is to beg for your fair share and the humiliation that comes with that.
To vote NO shows a lack of self-belief in ourselves and a lack of faith in our children.
To vote NO is to be frightened into staying in a relationship and the contempt that that brings.
To vote NO means agreeing to suffer poverty, degeneration, hopelessness, fear, abdication and to
giving up democratic government so deeply cherished in Scotland.
That is why I’m voting YES!
I urge all the Labour voting electors to think deeply and to act courageously.
Arthur Greenan. (Founder , The John P Mackintosh Memorial Fund)
21 McCall Gardens
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
After hearing a few pro indyref YES songs I thought I would add to the mix and I have reworked the village people song go west …and written a song called Vote Yes
I’ve noticed it’s even more obvious that NO campaign are running scared,having listened to the Scottish liberal leader this evening on Scotland 2014…to be honest they have nothing to say because when it comes down to it they can’t agree with each other on anything…whereas our YES campaign is full of vigour,vitality,hope,reason and smiling faces.
We must make sure we get the YES vote out in September and in the meantime carry on the good work.
Oh one more thing,I think various Scottish Labour spokespersons and voters promoting the NO campaign at the moment are not happy with sideing with the torys and Liberals and I’m hoping because its a secret ballot they show there true feelings and vote YES in September.
I had an unexpected visit from a former neighbour who was a member of a large Labour voting family. His son is an avid YES supporter but the Scottish Labour Party, betraying its roots, has become wedded to the Tories, who have always suppressed the working class to their own personal advantage and the holier than thou Liberals who, as classic carpetbaggers have achieved little that I can recall.
Imagine my visitors delight when I told him that I, like the late John P Mackintosh MP, was always in favour of devolution leading to Independence.
I will vote YES he replied but won’t let on to the rest of my family!
I wrote a wee letter to the Dundee Courier a few weeks ago, published on 28th Aug.
It’s in the middle, after several rather ignorant ‘No’ letters.
Do post it on Wings, or anywhere else
WILLIAM HAIGH HAS JUST STATED AT PMQ’S THAT THE OFFERS BEING BROUGHT BY THE PARTY LEADERS ARE THE SAME AS OFFERS MADE BY PARTIES PRIOR TO A GENERAL ELECTION BUT THEY ARE NOT GOVERNMENT POLICY so now we know then
i cant believe in the first place why we are having this debate, who would want to be ruled by Westminster.
First time poster here.
Just trying to find my way around and say hello.
Now to see if this posting attempt works.
Boycott as many pro-no establishments as you possibly can.
From the BBC to your local shop or boozer – if they promoted ‘No’ they opted to destroy the future prosperity of Scotland.
So who in their right mind would want to help them prosper.
Other than voting, boycotting is the most non-violent personal
and positive action we can take as individuals. Nothing speaks
louder to these establishments than a severe dent in finances
and trade. We have to make every one of them pay the price.
So we Scots (at least 62%) of us, don’t want to leave the EU. A very wise decision!.
So let’s look at the huge current and projected expenditures within the U.K that England regards as vitally important and which have little or no value to a Sovereign Scotland… as a Social Democratic Republic remaining within the EU.
The Annual UK Defense Budget
(Actually the cost of waging seemingly endless wars on other nations) £ 33.0 Billion
Trident annual cost £ 2.5 Billion
Trident replacement cost of £167 billion amortized over 30 years. Each Year £ 5.5 Billion
Annual UK Foreign Affairs Budget(atleast)* 1.2 Billion Cost of Monarchy and House of Lords £ .64 Billion
Total £ 42.84 Billion
I say (at least) since there are so many secret deals going on within The British government that we we never know the actual truth. A small example of this is… that on the remote and obscure mid South Atlantic ‘British Possession’ Island of St Helena, the UK built a £200,000,000 airport that is totally unsafe to use and is now quietly forgotten.
So for easy maths…let’s round that off down to £40 billion divided by 5 million Scots… that means for every man, woman and child the cost will be £ 8000. Or if you like… we do the Boris Brexit thing soon and for at least 30 years save £8000 each year! So we’ll call it MacBrexit and keep it Scottish!
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