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Wings Over Scotland

The Only Game In Town

Posted on November 14, 2017 by

This documentary starts a little slowly, but becomes an eye-opening case study of how Labour steamrollered through crippling PFI contracts to build public infrastructure on the never-never when they ran the Scottish Executive from 1999-2007.

We highly recommend giving it a watch.

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    566 to “The Only Game In Town”

    1. CameronB Brodie says:

      “I am sorry to say, but you acted like a fool in criticizing me for another poster’s comment without reading properly.”

      Fair comment, I’d not caught up properly and jumped in with both feet.

      “But in line with my “character and self-control”, I forgive you”

      Nice one. 😉

    2. jfngw says:

      Andrew Neil knows that the Russians have thousand of twitter bots and RT are the voice of the Kremlin. He has the government figures which prove it, the BBC of course would never just be the voice of the government.

      If all these twitter accounts can be traced back to Russia I would suggest they are not as hot at computer hacking that they are claimed to be.

    3. Meg merrilees says:

      Anybody listen to QT tonight?

    4. INDEPENDENT says:

      Just watched Andra Neil and the other 2 stooges on the set, handed their Ar**s by RT journo on This Week watch before it is deleted????

    5. INDEPENDENT says:

      Just watched Andra Neil and the other 2 stooges on the set, handed their Ar**s by RT journo on This Week watch before it is deleted????

    6. liz g says:

      Cameron b Brodie @ 11.56
      Well done you!!??

      You’re forgiven (aye right)

      Don’t ya just feel so very special.

      Don’t ye rise tae it ,,my friend.
      Just keep reminding us,how much we need tae know about… current thinking..

      Because….for us the only answer is,
      Independence….. there is no way that your work IMHO could reach any other conclusion!
      Anybody who reads yer stuff will know that!!
      I think that your”stuff has been read”..??.?
      Don’t let it be disrespected!
      I know that yer fit fur them.
      But be careful of the balance of… giving them their opinion…and giving them a … platform

      Not really my place to say!!
      But I hope ye take this comment as it wiz ment

      I don’t know about you ….but I miss my friend Smallaxe..
      If he is reading Hi honney….And
      I hope I am saying to Cameron ….the kind of thing… that you would X

    7. CameronB Brodie says:

      liz g
      I’m just doing what I can. Think I could get away with a bit of whitemansplaining? 🙂


      In this paper, I argue that we are currently witnessing the emergence of neoliberal feminism in the USA, which is most clearly articulated in two highly publicized and widely read ‘feminist manifestos’: Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (a New York Times best-seller) and Anne-Marie Slaughter’s ‘Why Women Still Can’t Have It All’(the most widely read piece in the history of the Atlantic).

      Concentrating on the shifting discursive registers in Lean In, I propose that the book can give us insight into the ways in which the husk of liberalism is being mobilized to spawn a neoliberal feminism as well as a new feminist subject. This feminist subject accepts full responsibility for her own well-being and self-care, which is increasingly predicated on crafting a felicitous work–family balance based on a cost-benefit calculus. I further pose the question of why neoliberalism has spawned a feminist rather than a female subject. Why, in other words, is there any need for the production of a neoliberal feminism, which draws attention to a specific kind of inequality and engenders a particularly feminist subject?

      While this new form of feminism can certainly be understood as yet another domain neoliberalism has colonized by producing its own variant, I suggest that it simultaneously serves a particular cultural purpose: it hollows out the potential of mainstream liberal feminism to underscore the constitutive contradictions of liberal democracy, and in this way further entrenches neoliberal rationality and an imperialist logic.

      Indeed, neoliberal feminism may be the latest discursive modality to (re)produce the USA as the bastion of progressive liberal democracy. Rather than deflecting internal criticism by shining the spotlight of oppressive practices onto other countries while overtly showcasing its enlightened superiority, this discursive formation actually generates its own internal critique of the USA. Yet, it simultaneously inscribes and circumscribes the permissible parameters of that very same critique.

      Feminism and Neoliberal Governmentality

      ABSTRACT: The article investigates the consequences for feminist politics of the neoliberal turn. Feminist scholars have analysed the political changes in the situation of women that have been brought about by neoliberalism, but their assessments of neoliberalism’s consequences for feminist theory and politics vary. Feminist thinkers such as Hester Eisenstein and Sylvia Walby have argued that feminism must now return its focus to socialist politics and foreground economic questions of redistribution in order to combat the hegemony of neoliberalism. Some have further identified post-structuralism and its dominance in feminist scholarship as being responsible for the debilitating move away from socialist or Marxist paradigms.

      I share their diagnosis to the extent that it is my contention that the rapid neoliberalization characterising the last thirty years has put women and feminist thought in a completely new political situation. However, in contrast to those feminist thinkers who put the blame for the current impasse on the rise of poststructuralist modes of thought, it is my contention that the poststructuralist turn in feminist theory in the 1980s and 1990s continues to represent an important theoretical advance. I will discuss Foucault’s genealogy of neoliberalism in order to assess the ways it can contribute to feminist theory and politics today.

      I contend that Foucault can provide a critical diagnostic framework for feminist theory as well as for prompting new feminist political responses to the spread and dominance of neoliberalism. I will also return to Nancy Fraser and Judith’s Butler’s seminal debate on feminist politics in the journal Social Text (1997) in order to demonstrate that a critical analysis of the economic/cultural distinction must be central when we consider feminist forms of resistance to neoliberalism.

      Violent Femmes – Gone, Daddy, Gone

    8. Big Phil says:

      @ Valerie,
      “I never judge alcoholics or addicts, you don’t know their story, how they got there. We must try and give them the pathways, in various ways, to help them.”
      My thoughts exactly, well said .
      @ Mr Peffers …tell us ? Who is the bad’un ?

      Ok @ yesindyref2 , Wit is it ye sell ? 😉

    9. Dr Jim says:

      Belair hairspray mixed with milk through a straw left folk with eyes like Haitian zombies and brains of runny tripe
      The common haunt was underneath and behind the Rolls Royce club near Eglinton in Glasgow across the road from that famous chippy place


    10. Big Phil says:

      At Riverside school in Glesga we used tae sniff a thing called “shoecoin” or summit, it was a liquid that we put on oor sleeve and buzzed the lessons away. memory no good. ;-(
      Maybe thats why.!

    11. Petra says:

      Wow trying to catch up having read every post on here. Brilliant posts as per usual. Some stand out, imo.


      Let’s hope that everyone who frequents this site will denounce the Labour Party for the ‘shenanigans’ that has been going on in Ayrshire and no doubt elsewhere right across the country. Will take a closer look at what has been going on. Ayrshire Council forking out £1 million a month in relation to PFI, FGS. How many lost jobs does that entail? Then there’s the issue of the Procurator Fiscal and the Police. Who shut them up?

      Has Gordon Brown mentioned PFI in his ‘autobiography’?

      Great big thanks to the ‘investigators’ by the way. Well done folks.


      @ Shinty at 7:18pm says…. ”Excellent video. I came across Campbell Martin’s blog before indyref, but haven’t checked him out much since (to my shame). A wee glance at the shenanigans of the British Establishment at the G8 (Gleneagles)


      @ Meg at 7:46pm ..

      Meg thanks for that. Your story is absolutely heartbreaking and gives us great insight into what goes on in relation to liver disease with regard to the destruction of organs through drinking and of course through no fault of your own. Best wishes from me Meg. You’ve run the (hellish) course, the gauntlet, and have survived darling. Big hugs from me (((X))).


      Let’s see if the witch of the west, Treeza May, announces (re the budget next week) that our emergency services WILL receive their VAT money (£134 million backdated) due to the 13 Scottish Tories (who say nought in Westminster – on record) submitting a claim. No doubt garbage. That follows 30 requests over the last 4 years from the SNP MP politicians at Westminster. If it happens we’ll all know that Westminster once again is totally corrupt and BIASED against our SNP MP’s at Westminster. That of course, that knowledge, will include all members of our Fire Brigades, Police Force and the Ambulance Service. Let’s hear Davidson talk her way out of that one. More so let’s hear what she has to say about the Police Force in Scotland in relation to Northern Ireland. One Police Force that has been receiving their VAT. And, eh, has control over Corporation Tax unlike the most devolved Parliament in the World.


      Alex on RT. Good for you Alex. You’ve found a way around Westminster control. Can access over 90 million people Worldwide. More than anything with your professionalism, honesty, competence, ability and friendly demeanor have made MANY friends along the way. The list of people you can have on your show is absolutely endless from supporters of Scottish independence to opposers. The list is endless from right around the World.

      Show them, the Unionists, up. Tell the story of our oil. How we have been ripped off by experts such as Professor Alex Russell. Get people like Dame Marriot Leslie, NATO, on your show and Craig Murray et al.

      Westminster and their MSM lackeys are quaking in their shoes right now. And no wonder. The truth will come out and they don’t like it one bit. Alex Salmond lost his seat to Tory Colin Clark who has asked ONE question at Westminster since he parked his erse on the benches five months ago. Let’s just say that with the use of their ‘dark money’ they did us all a great big favour. Bring it on Alex X.

    12. Reluctant Nationalist says:

      IMOH, IMHO

    13. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Off-Topic, but relevant by date/time

      I do not “do” twitter, but enjoy reading the Rev’s twitter feed. I therefore have to, reluctantly, indulge in pedantry and pull our exalted moderator up on something.

      James Bond only went to Fettes, to complete his education, after he was “gated” at Eton, where, as a senior pupil, he was discovered in bed with one of the assistant matrons.

    14. Ken500 says:

      The Herald’s awards are truly shocking. The crew who bankrupted the economy.. The Sponsor’s are bad enough. Virgin, RBS and the rest. The Tories and the unionists are destroying the economy. Most of them are crooks and should be in jail.

      Labour – unionists have created £1.2Billion of debt and created the biggest mess in Aberdeen City. It is a public disgrace. So is the Herald. What a complete disgrace of a paper. No wonder it is going down the tubes. Along with the UK economy. It is just unbelievable. Holding a fake awards ceremony when vulnerable people are being starved by the most appalling regime. The Herald puppets are a disgrace to the sicisty. The editor should hold his head in shame. The MSM totally out of touch. Davidson will be out at the next election and they know it. The electoral process changed to accomodate these muppets. What a farce.

      Alex Salmond is shaking them up. They don’t like it one little bit.

    15. Socrates MacSporran says:

      I watched the start of Question Time from Newcastle last night, but, switched-off after the first question. How typically BBC, to open with a question on the decision to introduce minimum pricing for alcohol and NOT have a representative of the Government which had introduced the new ruling on to defend it.

      Of course, that is the SNP, and it would never do to give them extra publicity. I thought Val McDermid made a terrific case for the new law, in spite of the boorishness of the odious and to me, somewhat drunk,Rod Liddle next to her.

      This programme truly is, like Westminster, and the BBC in general, a shadow of what it once was and stood for.

    16. Nana says:


      .@AlexSalmond’s first show on RT has been broadcast. Here’s what Christine Grahame MSP has to say about it.

      Chaotic Incompetence Not Enough to Halt Brexit

    17. Gary45% says:

      Just heard Col Blimp is the Heralds politician of the year!
      Sums up the “quality” of the 2 above.(had to check the date,not April 1st)
      Two lumps of shite in the same cludgie.

    18. Marie Clark says:

      Morning Nana, I was just asking last night on O/T if you were okay, I missed all your links. Hope you are well.

      Thank you for today’s links, I’ll get a cup of tea later and enjoy them. I don’t think you ever sleep with all the stuff you must look through to bring us all these goodies, and it nearing Christmas as well with all the cleaning and cooking and getting ready for the big day. Take care of yourself. See you on O/t.

    19. Abulhaq says:

      Now that RT, Alex and Vladimir have been well aired can we independentists now get on with the glorious task of subverting the failing British state, its agents and all its works? It’s what we’re here for, ?????!

    20. Cactus says:

      Mornin’ Nana, thankx for your excellent linkies 😉 x

    21. Abulhaq says:

      Very interesting…WordPress does not seem to support Cyrillic…..BEPHO?

    22. wull2 says:

      I am only talking about TSTV. Are they now blocking and deleting files using your own antivirus software. If so we should name and shame the company’s before we renew our subscription.

    23. Macart says:

      YAY! Morning read is back. 🙂

      Ta Nana.

    24. Nana says:

      Hiya Cactus. You are very welcome but mind your blood pressure, some of them can make you rage.

    25. Robert Peffers says:

      @Big Phil says: 17 November, 2017 at 1:44 am:

      You asked, Mr Peffers …tell us ? Who is the bad’un?

      I had not intended to say any more on that subject, Big Phil, but as you ask – here is some information:-

      Peter Thomas Anthony Manuel (13 March 1927 – 11 July 1958).

      Manuel was an American-Scottish serial killer. He was convicted of murdering seven people and suspected of killing several others. He murdered victims mainly in Lanarkshire and across south Scotland between 1956 and his arrest in January 1958. He was found guilty and hanged on the Barlinnie prison gallows in July 1958.

      BTW: Here is a cite to a linked story, (by George Galloway), that might be of interest to Wingers:-

    26. Greannach says:

      Boris Johnson is in Ireland behaving a bit like David Davis in Germany. Are they behaving like clowns in order to win sympathy from the EU27, maybe? Is it a “pity me” strategy?

      Johnson has been making a fool of himself on radio, explaining how the EU27 will have to move on to the next phase of talks then return to the question of the Irish border “later”. Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney then politely explains to Johnson that they’re not.

      Try the Morning Ireland programme on the RTE Player for a good laugh.

    27. Nana says:

      Morning Macart.

    28. heedtracker says:

      Big Phil says:
      17 November, 2017 at 1:44 am
      @ Valerie,
      “I never judge alcoholics or addicts, you don’t know their story, how they got there. We must try and give them the pathways, in various ways, to help them.”
      My thoughts exactly, well said .

      Why not judge them, why should piss artists and their suppliers get a free pass? Its easy to be sanctimonious about alcoholics, alcohol suppliers etc but there has to be a societal change here in Scotland and maybe there is.

      Try telling battered wives that you do not judge the pissheads that beat the living day lights out of them, because the pisshead was hammered, team lost that afternoon, hungover…

      Non Judgemental sanctimony might make us feel nice but you can bet that all medics and cops that deal with it probably are, lets say less sanctimonious.

      The creeps that own say Buckfast in Devon are no different from drug dealers. If there is a hell, they’re going there, monk habits and all, hopefully.

    29. gus1940 says:

      On-line Herald – Lead Story – Col Ruth voted Scottish Politician Of The Year for the second year running.

      You’ve got to laugh at that. Anybody who believes that she merits that is in serious need of urgent attention.

      Is Uncle Tom Tractor Gordon Chairman of The Ruth Davidson Appreciation Society?

      After that the Herald manages 4 separate articles plus cartoon, all negative of course, on the subject of Eck’s RT program and the rest of the MSM seem to be on the same or similar tacks – they really are upset.

      On last night’s Brillo Vanity Show he couldn’t resist devoting most of it to attacking RT with, of course, a mention of Eck on the side.

      I see that Fallon’s replacement is threatening Russia and the rest of the world with our wonderful white elephant carriers – if that isn’t propaganda what is? The Russians must be terrified.

    30. gus1940 says:

      Re the Trump – N.Korea business for ages we have been told that N.Korea has an ever developing nuclesr missile capability and only the other day we were told that they would soon have rockets which could reach The UK – we are actually supposed to believe such crap propaganda.

      If the No Korea missile program is so advanced do you think that the Yanks would be so stupid as to distribute pictures of 3 of their Nimitz Class Super Carriers and there vast supporting fleets sailing in formation towards the camera when if N.Korea rockets were as advanced as we are told just one of them aimed at that force would take the whole lot out in one go.

    31. heedtracker says:

      You’ve got to laugh at that. Anybody who believes that she merits that is in serious need of urgent attention.

      Not laughing. Colonel Ruth’s being ladened with sparkly tory baubles for good tory reason. If we’re lucky, Scotland will be free of the whole tory creep show in London for good, soon enough.

      If not, Colonel Ruth’s heading for the House of Lords, dripping in “awards” from all kinds of tory con artists and chancers, like the Herald’s dingdongs.

    32. galamcennalath says:

      Greannach says:

      Johnson has been making a fool of himself on radio, explaining how the EU27 will have to move on to the next phase of talks then return to the question of the Irish border “later”.

      Torysplaining only works on other Tories, and even then, not always. 🙂

      A wee world of their own (making).

      Ireland is central to an exit deal. It has to be dealt with, and soon. The EU27 includes Ireland and they have power if veto if the exit deal doesn’t suit. The Tories’ world is full of fantasies – bespoke trade deal or survival on no trade deal – but also they fail to focus on the real issues in the real world.

    33. starlaw says:

      The Tories believe that the EU will just move on and forget about the Irish border, pretend it does not exist, if we don’t talk about it, it will just go away, nobody will notice.
      The Tories are down the rabbit hole with Alice.

    34. galamcennalath says:

      Independent – ” David Davis blames Germany and France for Brexit talks deadlock ahead of UK deadline to agree bigger ‘divorce bill'”

      Guardian – ” David Davis blames Germany and France for Brexit talks deadlock “

      Makes me wonder if we are now seeing the Tory equivalent of the fictional Col. John ‘Hannibal’ Smith’s oft repeated, “I love it when a plan comes together”!

      The plan, of course, being ‘no exit deal’ and ‘blame it all on EU intransigence’.

    35. galamcennalath says:

      starlaw says:

      Irish border …. Tories are down the rabbit hole with Alice

      Indeed. Reuters ….

    36. Tinto Chiel says:

      @Robert Peffers: since we’re now way O/T and into Peter Manuel territory…..

      After the East Kilbride murder of the young girl, the local police initially arrested a harmless, well-known father of thirteen who had only one arm, despite the nature of the victim’s injuries clearly requiring an able-bodied attacker.

      The man was released soon after but Manuel, who I believe had been questioned at the time, was allowed to continue his reign of terror and there were many more victims to follow.

    37. Bill McLean says:

      Great links as ever Nana! Totally agree with Robert P. on alcoholics and other unfortunates! It’s a privilege to read and sometimes comment on a blog full of talented thinkers and progressive minds!

    38. mike cassidy says:

      gus1940 10.07

      Two articles worth reading on the USA/North Korea issue

    39. admiral says:

      gus1940 says:
      17 November, 2017 at 10:07 am
      On-line Herald – Lead Story – Col Ruth voted Scottish Politician Of The Year for the second year running.

      This is the “politician” who never holds a constituency surgery, who has to appeal for people to write in and suggest policies because she hasn’t got any, who believes that Scots going to visit England are all hooligans and thieves, who personally selects sectarian bigots and racists as Tory candidates, who is so committed to the day job that she spends more time swanning around in a pretendy Army uniform and driving a tank, riding poor, unsuspecting farm livestock and appearing on Dumbvision TV reality shows, whilst all the while denigrating Scots and Scotland.

      In short, a Yoon.

    40. manandboy says:

      Apologies if already posted, Alan Knight of Newswatch Scotland and IndyRef2 presents:’Protecting Ruth Davidson’. A brilliant and irrefutable exposition of how the BBC operates a ‘protect Ruth Davidson’ policy. The BBC is simply Britain’s Best Contortionists of the news about Unionism in general and Ruth Davidson in particular.

    41. Dr Jim says:

      If you have to have a stupid prize award like Politician of the year shouldn’t the main criteria be that “nominees” should actually have done something or be shown to represent something noble or charitable or *something* anything?

      Ruth Davidson doesn’t even hold constituency surgeries, all she ever does is talk to the press then hide until she appears at FMQs where she presents a swaggering self confident attitude for the cameras only to be shot down on a weekly basis by the FM but knows that the BBC will only show the swaggering bit accompanied by Bryan Taylors voice informing the pensioner Tory voter and her sectarian troop of followers and fishermen she *Done good* and scored points off the FM

      We’re at the ridiculous point now where her own side know it’s all propaganda but they don’t care they’ve chosen their side and they’re sticking to it just as the Independence side are sticking to theirs

      Brexit will change few minds in Scotland about Independence that was clear in the aftermath of the vote
      Unfortunately Scotland is not Catalonia where the people of that area can have a common cause because they’re not arguing about the much bigger problem that Scotland has

      Whit team dae ye support and I’ll vote for you if it’s the right one, although to be fair that argument runs way deeper on the Brit side than the Independence side

      We might as well have the referendum now and get it over with, nothing and no event is ever going to change anything in a country where a religion is only acceptable if you play for the right football team on a Saturday but the rest of the week somebody wants to be up to their knees in your blood

      Cuz yer a (insert racial or sectarian slur here)

    42. CameronB Brodie says:

      Talking about the BBC and how stuff works in the real world.

      Liberalism, Neoliberalism and Corruption: a Critical Genealogy

      Attempting to determine a relationship between any independent variable and the phenomenon termed “corruption” is difficult, given the nebulousness of the concepts and the difficulties in establishing causation as opposed to correlation (Ali & Isse 2003). When dealing with the concept of “liberalism”, covering the spectrum from political to economic freedoms, it becomes an even more delicate endeavour since “Liberalism is about as slippery as a political term can be” (Crouch 2011) and “liberty” is more often than not a rhetorical device. However, since it is the dominant political and economic framework of contemporary society, a critical overview of how it can be understood in relation to corruption is illuminating. For the purposes of this essay, “corruption” will be defined as a problematic conflict-of-interest between the individual’s obligation to themselves, the state and the market. These overlapping fields, however, will be examined closely in light of liberal thought and tradition.

      Acknowledging the problems of establishing causation within empirical studies of corruption, this essay will eschew the quantitative method and take an approach founded in Critical Theory by employing a genealogical dissection of neoliberalism to determine what light, on a conceptual level, can be shed on the understanding of corruption.


      The outstanding discovery of recent historical and anthropological research is that man’s economy, as a rule, is submerged in his social relationships. He does not act so as to safeguard his individual interest in the possession of material goods; he acts so as to safeguard his social standing, his social claims, his social assets. He values material goods only in so far as they serve this end. (Polanyi 1957)

    43. Jack Murphy says:

      The REAL grim face of the Tory Party.
      STV News taken from ITV News:

      WINTER HEATING in Ruth Davidson’s Tory Great Britain 2017.

      “More than one million families will not have enough money to meet basic fuel needs this winter, according to research published Friday by National Energy Action.

      The NEA report follows a recent survey that revealed three in 10 Britons are too scared to put their heating on fearful of crippling fuel bills…….”

      “A survey by Solarplicity published Thursday revealed a staggering 32% said they will struggle to heat their homes this winter and a further 43% say the cost of heating their house forces them to think twice before turning it on……..”

    44. Robert Graham says:

      As has been shown the present mouthpiece for the nasty party in scotland we are informed for the second year running has been voted top of the pile , now that really is taking the Jackie Baillie .

      Maybe once , just once this character will be questioned the way SNP politicians are , ambushed and given the third degree on anything under the sun .

      I wish Nicola would start taking the Jackie Baillie out of her at FMQs , she cant stand being ridiculed and laughed at , it dosent take much to unhinge her , stop the polite answers to her mostly stupid questions , she aint listening anyway .

      Come on Nicola start taking the Piss out of her and the clowns behind her who seem to believe thumping the desks and making a loud noise constitutes a days work .

    45. CameronB Brodie says:

      More realism anyone?

      Political realism as ideology critique


      This paper outlines an account of political realism as a form of ideology critique. We defend the normative edge of this critical-theoretic project against the common charge that there is a problematic trade-off between a theory’s groundedness in facts about the political status quo and its ability to envisage radical departures from the status quo. To overcome that problem, we combine insights from theories of legitimacy by Bernard Williams and other realists, Critical Theory, and analytic epistemological and metaphysical theories of cognitive bias, ideology and social construction. The upshot is an account of realism as empirically informed critique of social and political phenomena. We reject a sharp divide between descriptive and normative theory, and so provide an alternative to the anti-empiricism of some approaches to Critical Theory as well as to the complacency towards existing power structures found within liberal realism, let alone mainstream normative political philosophy, liberal or otherwise.

    46. CameronB Brodie says:

      Does anyone realistically still think neo-liberalism is healthy or in any sense equitable?

      What is Critical Realism?

      Critical realism is a series of philosophical positions on a range of matters including ontology, causation, structure, persons, and forms of explanation. Emerging in the context of the post-positivist crises in the natural and social sciences in the 1970s and 1980s, critical realism represents a broad alliance of social theorists and researchers trying to develop a properly post-positivist social science. Critical realism situates itself as an alternative paradigm both to scientistic forms of positivism concerned with regularities, regression-based variables models, and the quest for law-like forms; and also to the strong interpretivist or postmodern turn which denied explanation in favor of interpretation, with a focus on hermeneutics and description at the cost of causation.

      Cautious Ethical Naturalism

      Finally, given a commitment to realism, some critical realists also attempt to reconnect facts and values, resisting the overstated case for value neutrality and “objectivity” (Archer 2015; Gorski 2013b; Sayer 2011; Smith 2010, 2015). The simple equation of “is” and “ought” (the naturalist fallacy) must be avoided; however, a commitment to realism seems to entail the possibility of a cautious normative dimension to our knowledge. Facts and values are not insulated from one another (Gorski 2013b). While facts are, of course, “value-laden,” both in terms of the descriptions we provide and the phenomena we choose to investigate, what is less often noticed is the manner in which values are often “fact”-laden. For better or worse, values have a “factual” element to them which is grounded in certain ontological accounts about the nature of social world, such as an account of persons or social relations. This means that, in principle, values are open to empirical investigation and critique. As a result, in theory at least, insofar as values are concerned with a degree of both empirical and ontological investigation, the social sciences may be able to tell us something about the “good” life or the “good” society and the conditions under which human beings can “flourish.”

    47. CameronB Brodie says:

      Left-wing ideologue, me?



      Critical legal studies is the first movement in legal theory and legal scholarship in the United States to have espoused a committed Left political stance and perspective.2 A left-wing academic trend of considerable breadth in the field of law is in itself worthy of attention, but one which has assumed an organized form and has already made a marked impact loudly demands careful scrutiny….

      The liberalism against which critical theory directs its critical energies is the liberal theory which has generated the philosophy of legalism and the associated jurisprudence of legal positivism that has so decisively implanted itself in both the academic, the political and the popular discourse of contemporary capitalist democracies.

      The central features of this powerful doctrine of legalism are: (a) the separation of law from other varieties of social control, (b) the existence of law in the form of rules which both define the proper sphere of their own application and [c] which are presented as the objective and legitimate normative mechanism whilst other normative types are partial or subjective, and (d) yield determinant and predictable results in their application in the juridical process. It is the view which Talcott Parson made more historically specific in his formulation that ‘law when developed to the requisite level, furthers the independence of the normative components of the social structure from the exigencies of political and economic interests and from the personal, organic and physical-environmental factors operating through them.’10

      The legal theory of the Anglo-American tradition has exhibited a remarkable degree of continuity. The substance of contemporary debates and controversies exhibits a lineage which can be traced back to the variant models of bourgeois political relations developed by Hobbes and Locke. The interplay and reworking of their differential emphases upon the proper relation between state and civil society has been the backcloth against which the repeated play-off between rationalist natural law theory and legal positivism has taken place. It is the persistence of these themes which have so dominated the terms of debate that it has become increasingly oppressive in the sense that it has colonized the intellectual and political space of discussion about the relationship between law, state and society.

    48. CameronB Brodie says:

      There’s more than one way to skin a cat.

      Realism, Deconstruction and the Feminist


      Feminist standpoint theory (FST) is a feminist articulation of the epistemology implicit in CR, based on the 1970s work of Dorothy Smith and others (e.g.
      Smith, 1974). Hartsock’s classic version of FST understood it as ‘a specifically feminist historical materialism’. She took as her starting point ‘Marx’s proposal that a correct vision of class society is available from only one of the two major class positions in capitalist society’ (1983:284). She developed a parallel argument that the position of women as an oppressed group gives them a different and more accurate view of the social world, and makes them inclined (if given half a chance) to choose or to generate more adequate conceptual schemes to describe it. FST was developed over the next decade, by Harding (1991), Smith (1987, 1990), Jaggar (1983), Collins (1991), and others (see Longino 1993, Hekman 1997 and Harding 1997, for useful reviews).

      Smith speaks of ‘women’s standpoint’ rather then ‘the feminist standpoint’, and denies that standpoint theorists ever were a coherent group. She now sees the common feature of these approaches as their undermining of ‘social science’s embedding of the standpoint of white men as hidden agent and subject’ (1997:394). The important thing is to take women’s experiences as a starting
      point both for feminist politics and for sociology: ‘a method of speaking that is not preappropriated by the discourses of the relations of ruling’ (ibid). Her
      earlier work describes the bifurcation of the world into domestic and public spheres.

      The concepts through which both worlds are understood, and through which they are governed, transform experiences into abstract administrative constructs (such as ‘mental illness’). This creates ‘two modes of knowing and experiencing and doing, one located in the body and in the space which it occupies and moves into . . . the other which passes beyond it’ (Smith, 1987b:89). Although both men and women operate with both sorts of consciousness and in both spheres, typically and normatively women ‘provide for the logistics of men’s bodily existence’ (op. cit. 90)

    49. Jack Murphy says:

      Saw this post on my short Break:
      manandboy said at 11:29 am:

      “Apologies if already posted, Alan Knight of Newswatch Scotland and IndyRef2 presents:’Protecting Ruth Davidson’.

      A brilliant and irrefutable exposition of how the BBC operates a ‘protect Ruth Davidson’ policy………”

      Here it is on a 13 minute video:

    50. cirsium says:

      @Nana and @CameronB Brodie

      Thanks for the great links. Good food for thought.

    51. CameronB Brodie says:

      Get in touch with your feminine side guys, we need to purge Anglo-American neo-liberalism from Scotland’s body politic.

      Biopolitics and the Female Reproductive Body as the New Subject of Law

      1. Introduction

      To say that the histories and conceptual frameworks of Michel Foucault have, since the late 1980s, heavily influenced feminist theory is an understatement. On the other hand, one might add that the influence of Foucault on feminist jurisprudence and feminist legal theory has been much less pronounced, in spite of the obvious value of Foucault’s work for critical legal theory more generally.[1] One probable reason for this is the uncanny resemblance of Foucault’s ‘sexless subject’ to the abstract sexless subject of law which feminist legal theory has been tirelessly critiquing since its inception (giving rise to feminist works with titles such as: “unspeakable subjects”,[2] “the hidden gender of law”,[3] “sexing the subject of law”,[4] and so on).

      And yet, when a ‘new Foucault’ – the Italian political philosopher Giorgio Agamben – hit the critical legal scene in the late nineties, one might argue that a new kind of feminist legal theory was quickly born; one that was receptive and subtly attentive to the work of both Foucault and Agamben. And this in spite of the fact that Agamben’s legal subjects are, like Foucault’s, utterly sexless. What might explain this phenomenon? Here, we suggest that Agamben’s work on law and citizenship, in focusing exclusively on Foucault’s concept of biopolitics, and therefore on questions of the regulation of populations rather than of individual bodies, represents a point of departure that is particularly ‘user friendly’ for feminist legal theory. We would also argue that feminist legal scholars need not be disturbed by Agamben’s apparent sex blindness – as earlier scholars were by the sex blindness of Foucault….

    52. Dorothy Devine says:

      Does anyone know the criterion used for Politician of the year?
      Who votes for them? Why the ghastly herald introduced it?

      I love the fact that the useless media is so incensed by RT and Alex Salmond having the temerity of having a show – when are these lying pillocks going to look in the mirror and see their own image not that of the Russians ?

      Can we name the papers that decried everything the SNP does? Can we name and shame the papers inciting violence? Can we name and shame the papers that sneered and smeared our politicians and Jeremy Corbyn – even though they have jumped ship and seem to be giving JC grudging support.

      The claims that Kremlin trolls manipulate , lie and smear – we don’t need them we have our own home grown malicious media.

      This Russia BAD stuff is disgusting and having seen some Times journalist today airing her conviction that Russia has succeeded in making the great brutish public vote for brexit just irritated me even more – Mirror , mirror on the wall who are the biggest liars of them all!

    53. Fred says:

      The Sarry Heid was the last stop before going to the Barrowland, it was a great pub, the wine of choice was “White Tornado!” which it also sold in half-bottles for the jigging! Not many pubs sold draught cider then but the Sarry sold Scrumpy & Champagne Cider (superb), the casks lifted single-handed onto the bar by the proprietor a Mr Ross! Still open I think but won’t be the same.

    54. Les Wilson says:

      Watching sky news talking about Catalonia with a few inverviews from there. Reporter trying hard to get someone who would say it would be bad.
      Anyway, they had a fall back in an old guy who owns the biggest wine company in Catalonia and jeeze he was Tory over the back. It would be bad, very bad, could take 10 years to recover, maybe longer. Very bad for Catalonian people.

      We have these people by the bucket load, but unfortunately it seems Catalonia has the same version of self interests working against them, not only the Spanish state. Seems familiar!

    55. Les Wilson says:

      Watching sky news talking about Catalonia with a few inverviews from there. Reporter trying hard to get someone who would say it would be bad.
      Anyway, they had a fall back in an old guy who owns the biggest wine company in Catalonia and jeeze he was Tory over the back.
      Independence would be bad, very bad, could take 10 years to recover, maybe longer. Very bad for Catalonian people.

      We have these people by the bucket load, but unfortunately it seems Catalonia has the same version of self interests working against them, not only the Spanish state. Seems familiar!

    56. Reluctant Nationalist says:


    57. stu mac says:

      @Fred says:
      17 November, 2017 at 1:31 pm
      The Sarry Heid was the last stop before going to the Barrowland, it was a great pub, the wine of choice was “White Tornado!”

      I’m not sure White Tornado was a wine – more like a mild paint stripper. It could also be the reason the pub was often called the “Sorry Heid”.

      In passing, claims that it was a continuation, however partial, of the old Saracen’s Head Inn (a coach Inn originally, all aboard for Edinburgh and don’t spare the horses) were never true. The original building was completely flattened at the turn of the 19/20th c. The pub built later had no connection with the old inn except the shared name – except perhaps (and I’ve never been able to confirm what I was told) that part of the old inn cellars form the cellar of the current pub.

    58. Fred says:

      @ Stu Mac, the bench seating was from the old Subway trains & the story was that the White Tornado was conjured up in the cellar from slabs of jelly & watter? The label on the bottle had a kinda hame-made charm.

    59. meg merrilees says:


      where are all the MSP tweets to (t)Ruthless Davidson saying aka Jenny Marra that
      ‘Being elected to Holyrood is a privilege not a pathway to Celebrity’

      Will Ruthless donate her salary from the Bake Off – does it matter?
      She’s doing what she always does before elections, get on a cosy TV show, become a well-kent face in people’s living rooms, they think of you like a family friend and at the next election you get extra votes.
      Meanwhile, the same TV continues to show Nicola and colleagues as the big bad bogey-men and you definitely don’t want them in your living room!!!

    60. Shug says:

      On reading a recent rte article about Brexit it looks like the EU border will be the Irish sea with southern Irish border guards at the ports
      N Ireland will be part of the EU for trade but part of UK for politics
      Can’t wait to southern Irish guards checking g rangers and cleric fans crossing over for the fitba

    61. yerkitbreeks says:

      Looks like it’s passe to refer to the video presentation, but it’s utterly depressing. Hope when newish political movements mature, they don’t start to resemble this !

      A follow – up on who now owns the PPP contracts, and the gross profiteering, would also make interesting listening.

    62. Meg merrilees says:

      Loving the front pages of the newspapers today.

      The National is BRILLIANT – Blank page – this is the UK’s Brexit plan – geddit?
      The Daily Record thinks it’s pantomime time

      Brexit supporting papers have lots of squirrel articles.

      But the ‘broadsheets’ actually think May could be gone this weekend – fingers crossed, although who will replace her- Rees-Mogg?

      Meanwhile, in the real world… Trump may be about to tip the Middle East into turmoil with his Jerusalem announcement and simultaneously, he is winding up N. Korea as more than half of the population of Yemen is dying from hunger and the Western world is going into shopping meltdown for Christmas.

      What a mess the human race creates!

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