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Wings Over Scotland


The Path of God

Posted on February 17, 2013 by

We’re not quite sure what someone put in the tea at the Sunday Mail this morning, but the quoted-for-truth excerpt we’ve reproduced further down this post (emphasis ours) comes from what is a simply extraordinary editorial considering the source.

pathofgod2

We’ve been saying the same thing since 2011, of course, but seeing it in the Mail is a bit like the Telegraph saying “Y’know, communism isn’t all THAT bad”. The Indiana Jones analogy, and what it implies about independence, is particularly startling.

“The SNP have only one reason for people to vote yes. We would, they say, be a better, more grown-up country, taking our own decisions and living with the consequences.

That’s it. That’s the issue.

The SNP and fellow Yes campaigners are not trying to sell a showhome with carpets in and bathroom fitted. They’re selling a plot of land. What an independent Scotland looks like will depend on what independent Scots want to build.

Of course, voting yes to independence would be a leap of faith, like Indiana Jones in the Last Crusade when he steps on to that invisible bridge. But, the SNP say, the bridge exists here like it has existed elsewhere.

And we should have more faith than most, they say, because our bridge is anchored in the oil fields deep beneath the North Sea.

The sound and fury on Monday signified nothing because voters already know that independence will mean serious talks with London and Brussels. They also know that, while everyone will be looking for the best deal, simple self-interest means all sides will want an independent Scotland to prosper.

There are serious discussions to be had about how much economic freedom an independent Scotland using the Bank of England’s pound would have, but the idea that England would deliberately try to sabotage an important political and economic ally is for the birds.

The No campaign needs to start explaining why the Union can make Scotland better not why independence will be a terrible thing as Scots, mired in a swamp of endless negotiations, wander between our mud huts borrowing cups of woad.

If, as their campaign claims, we will be better together, they need to start telling us why.”

Now, it could be nothing more than a desperate plea from an ultra-Unionist paper for its own side to up its game because it can sense public opinion beginning to shift. But it might just also be the Mail tentatively laying the ground for a switch in its own position. And that really would be crossing a chasm.

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60 to “The Path of God”

  1. Doug says:

    One suspects the Scotsman woukd not get past the ‘breath of God’ point. Penitence seems rather unlikely.
    I do feel it would be the tabloids that still have influence and that if the Sunday Mail, Sun, Record opened their eyes…

  2. heraldnomore says:

    Thanks for bringing us that Stu.  It’s the old groundswell thing; that and no popular newspaper wanting to be seen backing the wrong horse, as we eventually found in 2011.

    On Derek Bateman’s show this morning, aside from that article in the other thread, there were interesting comments about Mr Darling, and comparisons in the charisma and personality stakes with Ms Sturgeon and her place in the top 20 influentials.

    Can you hear the worm turning? 

  3. AMillar says:

    The editorials in the Scottish media have become increasingly more measured and considerate, and seem to be recognising the validity of Yes arguments in the face of relentless negativity from the Unionists. Shame it hasn’t been reflected in their reporting.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if, in the run-up to the referendum, the Scottish Sun backed independence and the Herald abstained from endorsement.

  4. I hope the Mail doesn’t shift its position too far.  If it does, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was purely to taint the cause with its toxicity.  I like that particular devil exactly where it is.

  5. Derick says:

    Did have a ‘holy shit’ moment when I saw that this morning.  Also the article on Nicola and the bedroom tax! faints. http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/nicola-sturgeon-condemns-brutal-bedroom-1714231

  6. Marcia says:

    I have a different take on the ‘despite the SNP I will be voting Yes’ article in the SoS. Alas the circulation of the paper is so low these days but to those who are not supportive of the SNP this might make them think ‘I do want to Yes but would still not consider voting SNP’. It could shift a good few votes our way. If Labour for Independence or LD for Independence can get a purchase on the folk that vote Labour/LD but sympathetic to Indepence, it would produce helpful  groundswell of opinion.  

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Michael: I’ll have to disagree with you on that one. The Mail coming over to Yes (and I’m in no way assuming that’s actually what’s happening here) would be HUGE, not so much in the terms of them persuading people to change their minds directly, but in terms of “normalising” independence.

    In recent days and weeks the comments on this site have been full of folk relating anecdotal experiences of people reacting with shock and anger when they revealed that they were Yes supporters. That phenomenon goes away overnight if the Sunday Mail is onside, and that blows the last floodgate apart.

  8. Derick says:

    And Kevin has used the Q word in the Observer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/17/scottish-history-so-neglected
    You can feel the anger in his writing, now he realizes he has been lied to.  I remember that feeling – you get more measured later.
     

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Alas the circulation of the paper is so low these days but to those who are not supportive of the SNP this might make them think ‘I do want to Yes but would still not consider voting SNP’.”

    A good point. But not, I suspect, the intention of the headline-writer.

  10. iain says:

    I wonder if that editorial would have been written if Gardham was still inside the tent?

  11. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “And Kevin has used the Q word in the Observer. “

    Which of us, a year ago, would have thought we’d find ourselves in a position where the Sunday Mail was equating independence with the Path of God and Kevin McKenna was penning the sentence “It is a consequence of the pernicious neglect of Scottish history by generations of educationists who were acting as wretched Scottish Labour party ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s”?

    The times they are a-changin’, viewers.

  12. James Morton says:

    I would have to agree with that article – particulary the final paragraph. Hell even Alex Massie has been baging on about the need to explain why the Union needs Scotland, and not the dreadful fate that Scotland would suffer if it should leave.
    Recently had a rather unedifying twitter exhange with Hothersall – I don’t know why I bothered, but felt the need to explain why I would vote yes. I put it in the most simple language that I could. To vote no, would be to leave the fate of my country in the hands of either team evil or team stupid. I cannot in all good consicence do that, so I will vote to have Scotland leave. Hothersalls answer was a glibly idiotic assertion that it was a mistake to make a choice based on parties, and that constituion is for life not for xmas. Point. Missed. Completely.
    Hothersall like the rest have been living on Bullshit mountain for far too long.

  13. CameronB says:

    What surprised me more about the dailyrecord, was the linking article below regarding the sore point about our Anas. 🙂

  14. cath says:

    “You can feel the anger in his writing, now he realizes he has been lied to. I remember that feeling – you get more measured later.”
     
    I remember thinking that kind of sentiment would play a part last year when I made my first attempt at handing out Yes declaration cards and trying to convince people to vote yes.

    I spoke to 2 girls who took cards and both said they really, desperately wanted Scotland to be independent but….then they spewed all the too wee, too poor,too stupid, oil’s going to run out tomorrow kind of thing.

    I wrote McCrone report (I’d only just learned of it myself) on the card and told them to go and do some internet research before making a decision.
    I suspct people initially in the NO camp realising they’ve been actively lied to for years may well end up some of the strongest proponents of independence.
     

  15. CameronB says:

    This really is a strange day, when balance appears to outweighing bias (is that possible?).

    It looks like Michael Gove is attempting to neuter the English history curriculum in the same way that Scotland’s was.
     
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/16/historians-michael-gove-curriculum

  16. Stevie says:

    The Mail will not change its position — a desperate plea, I felt that from mid-January, the NOs ran out of steam and even bored themselves beyond speaking.

    The momentum has changed in our direction — people are willing to listen but what are we saying – I didn’t see the SNP broadcast but apparently it was pointless.

    In any case, we need 1) to communicate the economic arguments for indy; 2) use the cuts from Westminster to cut Wesminster’s throat; 3) use the prospect of a looming Toy government (they’ll get in next time — big RBS give away etc.)

    Those 3 things will do it.

  17. Doug Daniel says:

    Has anyone read the comments on McKenna’s piece by some chump called lownoise?
     
    If ever anyone’s head deserved to be put on a spike…

  18. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    The purpose of the No campaign is simply to negate anything produced by the Yes campaign and in particular the Scottish Government.Their thinking is that it is up to the people proposing constitutional change to make the case.However,they assume that most people in Scotland are content with the current arrangements and even if they are not,vague promises of reform will be sufficient for voters to retain the status quo in a referendum.This strategy will,however,come off the rails if they continue to publish cack handed white papers which show how they have been duping Scottish voters for centuries and the absolute need for constitutional reform.
    Keep up the good work I say to them.

  19. muttley79 says:

    @Doug Daniel
     

    Has anyone read the comments on McKenna’s piece by some chump called lownoise?
     
    If ever anyone’s head deserved to be put on a spike…
     
    There is a collection of posters such as Rider 000, Niclas etc who are against independence to the most hostile extent.  The name ‘Iownoise’ rings a bell and he will fit in with the diehard Brit Nats on CiF.  They are being noticeably aggressive at the moment.  I think they are trying to get a reaction from Yes supporters.
     
    On the Sunday Mail today I would be very cautious.  The newspapers in Scotland will know that their circulations are plummeting.  I am wary about reading to much into thinking that some or even one is going to support independence.  The most likey I reckon is probably the Scottish Sun or Sunday Herald.

      

  20. The Mail coming over to a neutral perspective, never mind a Yes one, would be cataclysmic.  I wouldn’t trust them though – as a business they’ll be watching their sales figures.  Two weeks before the referendum they’d announce that they’ve carefully analysed everything and concluded that we are indeed better together having hoovered up the cash from their pro-Yes readers.  Think The Scum back in the early 90’s for a precedent.  I haven’t been on the Daylate Rectum website all year as my New Year resolution and feel so much cleaner as a result.

  21. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    There’s more chance of me voting no in the referendum, than The Mail supporting Independence. I suspect it’s no more than a wake up call to the Bullshit Together mob.
    I think it’s just dawning upon various unionists that they can’t win by merely scaremongering for another 20 months. They realise it will be counter productive. Perhaps this theory gained more prominence after their paper produced this week, which at best (for the unionists) was politically neutral. 

  22. The Sunday Mail then the Daily Record,now my heart would stop with the shock.I live in hope that some honesty will prevail though.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    Have to say that, as predicted by many, the peak (last gasp) of the union being last year looks spot on. Tentative signs, but very encouraging and fits with the history leading to where we are.

  24. Macsenex says:

    Much more attention should be taken of the political stance of local weekly papers. In West Dunbartonshire and Helensburgh the local papers are just a Unionist rag despite the best efforts of YES campaigners for equality of coverage.

    Local papers’ circulations are better than national ones.

  25. mark piggott says:

    Hard to tell at this stage what’s going on with the Papers, But we do know what’s going with our license funded broadcaster, so time for another wee plug for the ‘Illuminate the Debate’ rally in Glasgow next weekend. I’d urge as many of you as possible to get along and make your feelings known about the standard and depth of reporting that’s been on offer so far. Remember the event is a call for balance and inclusiveness in the Referendum Debate.
    We will not convince the disengaged by rabid accusations of bias.

      http://www.facebook.com/CampaignForBalancedBroadcastingInScotland?ref=hl

    http://www.bard2014.com

    We can help them to make this journey by letting them see where the media are being less than honest with facts,  and by asking questions of how specific issues are portrayed.

  26. CameronB says:

    @ mark piggott
     
    I have just visited bard2014.com and had a look at the information leaflet. Are you having these printed digitally or traditional litho? Just a wee note of warning if they are to be printed digitally. Achieving a consistent black will be a pig of a job, depending on the technology that your printer is using. You may not be satisfied with the result, so it might be an idea to get a sample now, while there is time to modify the design, if necessary.

  27. the rough bounds says:

    The Mail? Coming over to the Yes side? Get real everyone…they’re bastards. Nothing more and nothing less.

  28. Dee says:

    Will any media report on next weekends rally  in glasgow.??

  29. CameronB says:

    @ mark piggott
     
    You might also find that the black bleeds into the text. Again this will depend on the technology being used.

    Apologies if you are already aware of this.

  30. Dal Riata says:

    @Doug Daniel

    Re poster lownoise on Guardian’s CiF:

    When that idiot first appeared on CiF in articles relating to Scottish independence he was straight in there with ad hominem attacks and ridiculous right-wing Britnat assertions. I assumed he was a troll, but no, in times of lucidity he proclaimed himself as being late-middle-age, kids, from East Anglia, stuff like that. Anyway, his shit on CiF got increasingly hostile, abusive and offensive. It got to the point where he was giving it ‘Alex akbar’ (Allah akbar) repeatedly!

    He then disappeared for a while, presumably in pre-moderation phase. Then he reappeared, using the same methods as before; start with moderate offence, then build up to all-out  right-wing lunacy leading to pre-moderation (presumably). And so it continues.
    He has popped up again recently, so he won’t even have got half-way to full-on berserker-mode yet! He really is  loathsome.

    That the Guardian still allows him to comment at all is quite telling. I was put on pre-moderation twice by the Guardian, the second time for six months(!), for pointing out untruths in a couple of Severin Carrell articles !!

  31. mark piggott says:

    @CameronB  cheers for the tip, it is too late, but luckily we had a good printer onboard who helped out with all the techy stuff. Only problem was black fingers after being all day on Buchanan Street over the weekend, the plus was bumping in to a Mr B Jenkins, who was really supportive of what we’re doing.

  32. CameronB says:

    @ Dal Riata
     
    He doesn’t speak Latin though. If I accuse someone in English of engaging in Duckspeak, the comment is normally moderated out quite quickly. Not today though.

    So that I am not perceived as a pretentious twat, the previous posts had been arguing in Latin. It just seemed appropriate to continue with the theme.

  33. douglas clark says:

    Dal Riata,
     
    I am barred, sine die, from the Observer for telling the truth about Madaleine Bunting! Well, I still think it is the truth and it is years later.

    The thing about newspapers is that their editorial / commentariat are a protected species. No-one is allowed, on certain newspapers, to point out that the King or the Queen are without clothes.

    I am also in moderation on the Herald for pointing out that they had moderated me for providing a link to one of their own articles! I may not have been too polite in pointing out their own stupidity.

    Well, I wasn’t.

    But why should the terms of engagement be set by people that couldn’t arbitrate a fight between a donkey and King Kong?
     
     

  34. CameronB says:

    @ douglas clark
     
    Hello Douglas. You can be an awfy man for the leading question, not that leading questions are always a bad thing. Was that what your Ted link was last night? Not that I want to revisit that discussion on this thread.

  35. Bill C says:

    @cath -” I suspct people initially in the NO camp realising they’ve been actively lied to for years may well end up some of the strongest proponents of independence. ”

    Agreed Cath, the convert is the greatest zealot. 

  36. Hetty says:

     
    Education, education. Why choose to be ruled and dictated to by those, under the pretence of democracy,  have secured all fought for freedoms to be removed and any notion of fairness and equality disintegrated? Why accept lies and corruption as the rule of law or/and in the interests of only those who represent the rich and powerful? ie Those who have forced their way to the top and are at the helm, totally to the detriment of any decent peoples.

  37. Bill C says:

    @Stevie –

         “The momentum has changed in our direction — people are willing to listen but what are we saying – I didn’t see the SNP broadcast but apparently it was pointless.
    In any case, we need 1) to communicate the economic arguments for indy; 2) use the cuts from Westminster to cut Wesminster’s throat; 3) use the prospect of a looming Toy government (they’ll get in next time — big RBS give away etc.)
    Those 3 things will do it.”

    I agree with your 3 points.  I  watched the SNP broadcast and as a member it pains me to say it was mince.  A rehash of the ‘Canned Heat’ videos of 2011, great tune, no message, a total waste of air time, I will be informing HQ of my opinion later today.

  38. douglas clark says:

    CameronB,

    Hi,

    Do you really think being banned on the Guardian and in moderation on the Herald is a leading question on this thread?

    I pushed the envelope, partly because I didn’t know there was an envelope to push. In the very early days of ‘Comment is Free’ you could challenge their journalists. When I got banned, you couldn’t. Victim of their revisionist political envelope. Nowadays, who knows whether you can or you can’t.

    One thing you must never be is at all rude to their journalists. It is the Guardian way.

    I am just me. I do not admire, nor respect, journalists just because of their supposed status.

    They have to say something to me that reflects, however uncomfortably for me, the reality of our lived experience.

    When they don’t, they are no more worth listening to than a  lunatic walking the streets.

    On web sites of the past, I used to play the Columbo card, y’know, the last comment, “and, just one a last point ma’am”…

    I thought that I had given that up after using it to some effect against a senior BNP person. And people who were convinced that Moazam Begg was guilty. Despite them having not a shred of convincing evidence. A vacuum contained more evidence than they could present, but ‘guilty’, ‘guilty’, ‘guilty’ – it did go on a bit – was the cry.

    So, I am do not give in easily to weight of numbers, although I will back down in a flash if I am wrong about a fact.
     
    I have read your exchange of views with Braco which I really enjoyed.

    On this thread:
    http://wingsland.podgamer.com/dont-cut-universal-services-for-the-old/#comments
    ____________________________________________________

    To clarify for you who you are talking to. I am an old guy that, because of restrictions on what you could do if you worked in local government, and especially if you were part of the vote counting process, well, you really shouldn’t have an opinion on politics.

    Someone has to adopt the role of the guardian of democracy – except in Glenrothes, perhaps – but I did my honest bit and never spotted anyone else doing otherwise.

    We were not compromised either at the ballot nor the count. And believe me, I would have made a full scale nuclear stushie if I, as a gatekeeper,  had been compromised.

    Time goes on and you wonder whether you would have been better being a politician than a gatekeeper.

    Who knows? I am probably not cut out for compromise.

    I do see a better future for us as an independent nation. And, rather optimistically, I kind of see a good future for the human race.

    So, I loved his box presentation at the end. 10 billion? We can, just about, handle that.

    You commented elsewhere, and I didn’t reply because I wasn’t sure where you were coming from, that:

    ” Women’s education and health care are essential factors if economic development is to be encouraged. So is family planning,….”

    I’d completely agree with that without the, perhaps unneccessary caveats that you followed it up with.

    We use pre-birth eugenics right now and that is an arguement that would be better had another day.

    Going back to our favourite statistician, he also had this to say, not in Doha:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_shows_the_best_stats_you_ve_ever_seen.html

    Contrary to what we are told, the world is getting better, and that is the message that politicians in particular don’t like.

    Bloody hell, I make you and Braco look like the essence of brevity!
     

  39. CameronB says:

    @ douglas clark
     
    No, no… I think we are a cross porpoises. Better be quiet though as Findus will be after us. I am sure that is a delicacy somewhere, or will be package a such and probably sold in Asia (not racist as the Japanese love to tuck in to their cetaceans). Anyway, I will have to remember the old leading question trap, as it appears to be effective in attracting cross porpoises 🙂
     
    Thank you for the insight into who you are. I was beginning to think that we were cut from similar cloth, but I now see I perhaps have a lot of catching up to do in the frustration stakes. No slur implied as I could not have been a “gatekeeper”. I’d probably have ended up in the pokie.
     
    Anyway, my previous question was as straight as they come. You have drawn me into debate yourself, with the odd leading question or two, so I was simply trying to establish if this was another example. Our previous discussions suggested to me that we have a similar outlook on a number of issues, such as Moazzam Begg, However, I am more than a little suspicious of Ted Turner and his platform of truthieness. I would not be the first person to point out how politicised the academic world is. I am also a big fan of Voltaire, who despite being so 18th century, is still a radical thinker in my eyes (perhaps I need new glasses though). So I suppose we should agree to differ on this occasion, until the next appropriate opportunity arises. 😉
     
    Finally, here is a link to an interesting individual and opinion on whether the world is getting better. Regards.
     
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/feb/17/free-market-fundamentalists-think-2013-best
     
    Vote Yes in 2014.

  40. CameronB says:

    @ douglas clark
     
    I think that getting yourself banned just shows that you are passionate. As you appear to suggest, possibly a little too passionate at times. More power to your elbow.

  41. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Meanwhile, I just noticed something about the Mail article. A phrase is conspicuous by its absence – “Better Together”. Instead it consistently refers to “the No campaign”. Interesting.

  42. CameronB says:

    To be fair Rev., one mention is hardly a test of consistency. Good to see though.

  43. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “THE No campaign needs to start highlighting why the Union can make Scotland better instead of focusing all their efforts on why independence would be a terrible thing.”

    “The No campaign needs to start explaining why the Union can make Scotland better not why independence will be a terrible thing as Scots, mired in a swamp of endless negotiations, wander between our mud huts borrowing cups of woad.”

  44. CameronB says:

    Sorry, I didn’t spot the sub-headline. I suppose two out of two is consistent.

  45. Braco says:

    Douglas Clark and CameronB,
    Have either of you had the chance to read this article by Murdo MacDonald over on Bella yet? http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2013/02/16/finding-scottish-art/ It really adds a whole new dimension to the way academia in Scotland is used to undermine culture, self confidence and the important ability to view ourselves (and be seen by others) in a global context. It also begs the question as to parallels in all other fields of endeavor in ‘Scots’ institutional society (Scots Law springs to mind). I really would recommend it to everyone!

  46. CameronB says:

    @ Braco
     
    Certainly provides an insight into a world I admit I have little knowledge of. To my chagrin, that is despite my years as a student being spent at art college. In my defense though, I was studding to become a town planner and not an artist. As such, Patrick Geddes was something of a demigod, though I had no appreciation of his significance to the Celtic Revival. I suppose I should have spent more time developing my cultural awareness, rather than my beer arm. 😉
     
    It should go without saying that a colonial power must seek to annihilate or subsume a colony’s culture. How else is one to undermine the sense of “self” within the colony’s population? Without knowledge of “self”, how can one understand and respond to the realities of the society in which one exists. I suppose this links in with Gerry Hassan’s article concerning the film “No”. To be honest, I wasn’t terribly impressed by his analysis.

    I have come across many instances of “systematic ignorance”, as a student, as a professional and as a private individual. By “framing the discussion” in terms which deny the potential for alternative explanations or approaches, you are taking the first step on the road to fascist dictatorship. This was the function of George Orwell’s fictional language newspeak, which was intended to obliterate the potential to discuss or even imagine topics that were not approved of by the Party.

    Anyway, enough of that. I hope you followed the link I posted, to the Gruniard article by Slavoj Žižek. I think he is bang on the money, and should possibly be invited to comment on our referendum. As a Slovene philosopher and cultural critic, I am sure he would have some very insightful opinions on what forces are opposed to our self-determination. He seems to do a lot of touring lectures, so perhaps the Rev. could commission him, if he has anything left over from his appeal. 🙂
     

  47. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    an interesting article but I tend to disagree with his basic analysis so I am lead to doubt any conclusions he comes to. For example, the Egyptian spring rather than being fomented by Mubarak loosening up and allowing the web savvy youngsters to cause all the trouble, I would think it was more likely down to Mubarak’s simple loss of control over his price controls on the basic foodstuffs that his population depended upon. Wheat prices multiplied x6 (i think) and made up an eyewateringly high % of total income of the average Egyptian.

    Ironically this was caused by so called democratic free market economics in the form of speculators making wheat, maize and cooking oils totally unaffordable. So much so in fact that even Mubarak’s undemocratic regime could no longer afford to subsidise them adequately and keep them within financial reach of his populace.

    So it was your old fashioned ‘let them eat bread’ revolution as usual with the sexy techno savvy stuff helping to publicise and move things along.

    Similarly with this idea that folk moving from Portugal to Mozambique, Angola etc. are simple economic migrants is a bit simplistic. This kind of migration, rather than showing an equalization, (Europe lowering, 3rd world rising) is more to do with the creation of incredibly unequal societies in Mozambique and Angola.

    Small postal codes in these countries have some very high living standard developments and job opportunities indeed, but set amoung a sea of poverty. Portuguese moving to Mozambique etc move to these centres of inequality for a better lifestyle than is now the average in Portugal. Much in the same way as a fitter from Newarthill would move with his family to South Africa in the 80’s, for the swimming pool lifestyle and not caring too much about the nation of poverty stricken Blacks that were paying for it.

    Not many folk from Motherwell moved their family to Soweto for a better lifestyle and that’s the real comparison to be made unfortunately. There are many Mozambique, Cape Verde, Angolan etc migrants to Portugal who are indeed returning home, but that’s more to do with refusal of job opportunities, encouragement to leave by the government and general disenchantment with the future available to them in Portugal under the present economic climate.

    So again, all can be explained by simple old fashioned racism, first in/last out and family first responses to economic armageddon in Portuguese comunities rather than a miraculous reversal of fortunes between Continents. Sorry to sadden you. Sadsadweething The only way to a better world is to vote YES in 2014 and start building one!

  48. CameronB says:

    @ Barco
     
    You make some good points, but I wouldn’t be so quick to write off Žižek’s analysis. He is quite a sharp cookie, and trying to explain the workings of the world in under 3000 words, simply can not be done.
     
    To me, his general thesis that the ongoing relocation of capital to Asia, is producing a society which is largely communist with capitalistic characteristics, is sound. Mirroring this, western democracies are capitalist societies with increasingly communistic characteristics. Surprise, surprise, neither of these social models are conducive to democratic participation. Ach well, as you say, everyone’s a critic. 😉
     
    We must ensure a Yes vote in order to survive and address this “end of era” shit storm.
     
     

  49. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    Don’t you know I have all the answers? (weesmilywink). No you are perfectly right that there are some very peculiar bedfellows out there in this changeable world but then, as far as I can tell, there always have been. Follow the money is the only advice I follow when trying to formulate an analysis and apportion blame. Simple but usually effective in a blunt depressing kind of way.

  50. CameronB says:

    @ Barco
     
    Exactly. Who benefits?

  51. Braco says:

    Come 2014, ALL of us hopefully! Vote YES

  52. douglas clark says:

    Hi Barco, Hi CameronB,
     
    There is an interesting arguement to be made that Asian societies, particularily, South East Asian societies such as India and Indonesia and Malaysia have a greater growth potential than almost any Western society you care to name.
     
    There ought, however, be a measurement about how the poorest in all of these societies, and our own, fare. Because that, well to me at least, is the true measure of how a society performs. It is not about how many billionaires a society has, it is about how the poorest are treated. What is the life expectancy of a Bangladeshi, what is the life expectancy of someone from Shettleston?
     
    Men in Bangladesh apparently live to circa 68. Men in Shettleston die at 63.
     
    It is these impoverished people that have to be taken out of their circle of despair. In the former case it is probably shite living conditions, the odd tsunami, and famine. In the latter it is what the Labour Party has done to them.
     
    I have more faith in the Bangladeshi’s sorting themselves out than I have in the latter being well served by their Labour representatives.
     
    This is not kosher, but I feel sick when I read the blessed Terry Kelly tell me he is a socialist. What has he ever done except sit in happy valley spouting platitudes? The SNP has not only stolen their clothes – oh! me, oh! my – but has done what the likes of oor Terry could never find in his heart to do.

    Implement it and stick by it.

    And the weak brained amongst the socialists, self acclaimed, say:

    ‘ya, boo, sucks!’
     
    I expect what I am saying is that the Yes campaign is about implementation of socialist policies, versus Terry Kelly, who isn’t.

  53. Braco says:

    Douglas,
    Who knows what Scotland will look like 30 years from independence but one thing is for sure, it won’t be what the Terry Kelly’s of this world decide it should be! It will grow from the democratic and social will of the Scot’s electorate. God I get so easily excited about all this. How sad. weeembarrassedsmilley

  54. douglas clark says:

    Bloody hell! Lost post!
     
    Anyway, politics won’t die if we vote for independence. There will always be rotten apples arguing for a new diety, either God or Mammon or ” what have we done 🙁

    “Where is the socialism I subscribed to for thirty years and failed to implement? ”

    These folks are best ignored, back then, now and in the future. Because their record of achievement is pretty thin.

  55. CameronB says:

    @ douglas and braco
     
    I think Asia is already outstrip the west in terms growth. Indeed, China must achieve exponential growth simply to satisfy the heightened social expectations Žižek was alluding to. Otherwise there’s going to be an awfy big stushy in the streets. This means China’s economy must double in size in the next 14 years, but right now it is hanging on a pretty shoogly peg. Then there is India and Indonesia, Bangladesh and the Philippians, and all the central Asian ‘Stans, each with massive latent development potential and equally large structural challenges. And lets not forget Pakistan, which is the new agreed route for the pipeline from the Iranian gas fields to China.
     
    This new route totally negates the need for the trans-Afghanistan route, which has cost so many innocent lives. Kind of reminds me of an James Bond film. In reality though the only ones to benefit from all the death and destruction that has been brought about the heads of the Afghan population, are the corporations, a corrupt drug dealing President and the heroin producers. I exaggerate of course, but not by much. And who is suffering the ravages of this boom in heroin supply. Give yourself a pat on the back if you guessed it is the Russians. Possibly another Bond plot? Don’t dare ask yourself if there was any plan behind this. There is no danger that this is Operation Gladio 2.0 and how dare you bring Turkey and Syria into the conversation.
     
    The driving force behind the decline in the hegemonic role played by the west, are the interests of capital. As such, democracy and open society are peripheral luxuries with a diminishing guarantee of a place in future. Don’t consider they are a given, just because they are fluffy and nice. We will all have to work hard in order to ensure a future Scotland can remain open and democratic, but we first have to make sure we have the opportunity to do so.
     
    Vote Yes in 2014.
     
     

  56. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    I still think you are placing too much weight in Žižek’s basic theory. That is, as far as I can gather, that revolution occurs from the strains created by the difference between a populations perceptions of expected progress and the disappointments of the actual significantly lesser real world progress being made.

    That, in my experience just is not true. I cannot think of a single episode of social revolution that was not underpinned by reversal (not slowing) of progress. Usually some sort of starvation situation in reality. Can you? I would like to hear it if you do.

    This is why I just don’t believe that China and the other regimes you mention have some sort of a public uprising gun to their head, should their growth rates start to slow drastically or even stagnate. The small expectant middle classes can always be bought off and the great unwashed will always put up with far more than is humanly possible before breaking.

    This is International Capitalism, whatever global form it takes. The threat of popular revolution against the slow speed of progress their ‘investments’ might bringing, will play no part in the decisions of where the easiest profits are to be made for their flow of capital.

    I think your man Žižek is perfect for The Guardian. Warm woolly theories of the inherent need for progressive capitalism within global capitalism, written for an audience desperate to believe in it. Trying, I suppose, to blunt their middle class educated guilt that tells them they only have it so good on the backs of the poor of the world. Something that is true however you cut it.

    Another diatribe! Lets just vote YES in 2014 and please god, start something new.

  57. CameronB says:

    @ Barco and douglas clark
     
    Barco: Žižek isn’t necessarily my man, I was just offering his interpretation to stimulate debate. So should we shoot the messenger and or his message? I am in agreement with you regarding the Gruniard. It is a stinking donkey, so nuff said there. Žižek has also made appearances on the BBC, though I’m not sure any inference can be made regarding his relationship with either vehicles, other than he got paid.
     
    To run through his article, he begins by outlining the opinion offered by the Spectator and supporters of free-market fundamentalism (? I haven’t read them). In their opinion, the world has never had it so good. This appears to be supported by the evidence presented in the excellent video Douglas linked me to @ 12.17am.
     
    As the stats clearly show, income levels and life expectancy are generally evening out globally. This is clearly a sign of the spread of progress, as the direction of travel for both these criteria tends towards the positive. Taking account of human rights improvements in China and Russia, is this an adequate measure of progress though? I think this is the question Žižek is really asking. I think he is also asking if economic migrants from Portugal who may be heading south to their former colonies, “Is a potent symbol of …. the shift of progress”? He probably has an opinion, but I don’t as I don’t know the circumstances. Neither am I aware if he has said anything about capitalism with African values?
     
    Žižek identifies the global shift of development and capital from the west to the east as “contemporary capitalism”, which he suggests has a “clear and present tendency to limit or even suspend democracy”. He asserts “This tendency in no way contradicts the much-celebrated progress of humanity – it is its immanent feature”. In other words, it is an inherent characteristic. It’s got a catch name too, “capitalism with Asian values”, but is it worth the price? 
     
    As far as Žižek’s interpretation of historical popular revolutions are concerned, and their relationship to development and progress – pass. Not saying that he is correct or not, just a bit above my pay grade, that’s all. It does sound a bit like the Marxist concept of Uneven and combined development though, which you might expect from a Slovenian of his multidisciplinary background. I think he is correct when he suggests that people in very poor circumstances are unlikely to bring about serious social change. It is interesting to note also, that the possibly apocryphal story about the exchange between Sidney Hook and John Galbraith took place only a decade before Nixon visited China.
     
    Pointing to the tendency for fundamentalist approaches to blame failure on the operating framework or methods of implementation, rather than on the institution, Žižek also warns against unquestioning acceptance of the traditional measurement of progress. Describing such interpretation as “progress-ism”, he is also pointing to the danger of accepting the normalisation of “capitalism with Asian values”. Don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t like to see it become the model of progress.
     
    I am not suggesting that there is the immanent likelihood of popular revolt in China, as the bulk of the population still remain in very poor circumstances. The pressure is rising though and adding to the friction between the demands made of the new-squeezed-middle and civil liberties. I do not have sufficient knowledge about China’s economic position, but I do know that it faces serious demographic challenges. These may be the best for the free market, but they are also interesting times.
     
    This is international capitalism, so what are the likely implications for Scotland and what timescale can we expect to notice any limitation of our democracy? IMO we had got to vote Yes to ensure the freedom to respond a changing world, in the most appropriate manner.
    ———————————————————————————————
    Donald; Thanks for that, took me back to looking for and understanding discrepancies and dissimilarities. That public database search facility is exactly what I needed to develop an idea I had for and educational app back in the early 90s. It wasn’t around then so perhaps my time will come. 🙂 As everyone seems to be pouring oil on fires these days – it think birth control is very much less of an influence on the spread of economic development than women’s education and improved healthcare, in that order.I do not think it is necessarily the moral thing to be promoting before women’s education.
     
    Just tell me to shut up.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  58. douglas clark says:

    Guys,
     
    Another reason to be cheerful, perhaps:
    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2013/02/if-this-had-happened-30-years-.html
    (It is perhaps neccesary to read down to his BTL comments for his point to become clear, some of the other comments are pretty interesting too.)
    Charlie Stross makes the point that we could all have been sent to kingdom come had the meteorite that hit the USSR last week had hit 30 years ago. We live in a (better) connected world, thank your Gods.

  59. CameronB says:

    @ douglas clark
     
    Possible but not probable, IMHO. It was nice to see the SG coming out so strongly about Trident having to go. It should make them proud to be the voice of opposition to Westminster’s continued support of WMDs.

  60. Braco says:

    CameronB,
    Thanks for such a detailed response to my rather emotional reaction to that article. It feels like the kind of debate that can be used by friends to agree with each other or disagree violently over. To me it seems too nuanced to be of practical use in what is, let’s be honest, a very blunt world.

    I like to think things through on as an esoteric level I can manage but then once I am comfortable with it, break it right down again to it’s relationship with the most basic of human needs and social behaviours. Trouble with this technique is that it helps navigate but leaves you so cynical that you want as little to do with ‘organised’ society as possible. Doubly problematic as I am no Tea Partier! But luckily it’s exactly these internal contradictions that alcohol was invented for! (hungoversmilley)

    CameronB  and douglas clark,
    I think that the type of technology we have access to at the moment is in the lagg between governmental understanding of it’s ramifications and their need for social control. There is a clear window of opportunity that has opened for us in Scotland, so it’s really up to us to make sure WE take it. The world is as good as it’s ever been for the likes of us (not that that’s saying much though) so I am just hoping with everything I have that this is when the promises are delivered. Please Vote YES.

    P.s. Sorry, I always seem to be lurking around at the end of threads. Slow thinker and slower typer. (Winky)
     



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