Tag Archive | David Cameron

 Political Musings On  Valentine’s Day 

Hey Readers Since this is Valentine’s Day  I thought I would write a Valentine’s themed poem to send a few tongue in cheek messagees  to our political leaders and influencers though like all humour you may find some grains of truth in my carefully selected words.  So here goes with a short selection of rhymes for those who’ve been making the news. I’ve titled this poem Political Musings On Valentine’s Day I hope you enjoy the read. 

Political Musings On Valentine’s Day. 
Nigel had a British card 

and Nigel liked his Brexit

when I saw him ín club UK 

I ran towards the exit.
Tony loved really loved himself 

and waved his Union Jack 

until I finally handcuffed him 

for crimes against Iraq. 
Humza Yousaf works so hard 

and never ever complains 

so make his Valentine’s day complete

but please don’t mention trains.
With Mhairi’s Paisley patterned chat 

the voters hearts were melted 

I have to say it made my day 

when Labour got black belted.
 David  Cameron looks so lost 

he seems in great distress 

In fact I think it’s fair to say 

the man’s an Eton mess .
I’ve got a job for Gordon Brown 

so bring him up  from the attic 

he’s rearranging deckchairs  

and he’s starting on Titanic .

 
Jeremy Corbyn seems ok 

his favourite colour is red 

but Kezia ran to the Daily Mail  

when she found him under the bed.

 

Boris lost the Tory job 

but  Boris had a plan 

forget the honey monster now 

it’s time for Wheatabix man.
Ruth was so pleased with her Westminster card 

that she told rebel Scots to calm down 

until a fortune teller claimed

she would soon get a job as a clown 

 
The Lib Dems say Tim’s the man 

their Valentine has no fears 

they claim the future has a name 

It’s called the Farron years. 
I honestly like Willie Rennie

he always e-mails me 

but Nicola Sturgeon has no fears

I’ll stay with the SNP.
 My  Valentine’s message to Michael Gove

concerns the state of the press 

If you believe The National’s bad 

you’ve not read The Daily Express 
 

To Murdo Fraser I will send 

a song to be respected 

Alice Cooper will tell him 

that when voters speak 

he’ll never be Elected.
If you ask a non Tory our favourite month 

I know just what we’ll say 

in unison we’ll answer June 

well we can’t wait to get rid of May.
To Better Together on Valentine’s Day 
with a thank you for telling our story  

this has card has been sent by the BBC 

with love from Jackanory 

@ Gayle Smith 2017 

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Why Britain Must Wish For A Leader Like Nicola

Hey Readers

As Frankie Boyle recently observed in one of his sharp, snappy tweets it is amusing to watch a country whose motto is keep calm
and carry on go in to a full blown meltdown. It is of course potentially at least  even more amusing if unlike myself you don’t have friends who are of opposing political viewpoints when the country concerned is the United Kingdom. This is a country whose political establishment have a smug, sanctimonious , attitude to those they perceive to be too much like Johnny Foreigner and not quite good enough to be
like them and has lead to it becoming the pariah state of Europe.

It is exactly that kind of establishment thinking which has led to the xenophobia which was a major factor in the Brexit vote which shocked both Europe and the world in the early hours of Friday 24th June. This is a vote which will despite the delusions of some in the chattering classes be forced to honour the democratic will of the people of England and Wales and leave the European Union which if truth be told it has never felt comfortable being a part of. 

Note I say this vote is the democratic will of the people of England and Wales, I make this point as the other nations of the United Kingdom Scotland and Northern Ireland voted in large numbers to remain in Europe. The United Kingdom is less united than it has ever been at in its history.

So how do I regard this discontent in my country ? Well I need to select my words carefully at this momentous time in our shared history as I realise many people will be hurting and the last thing I would want to do as add to the pain they will undoubtedly be feeling.

To an extent I share their sadness even if Britishness has never been my identity of choice. Though I am and have always been a supporter of Scottish independence it gives me no comfort to see the country I have always lived in even if I’ve never quite called it home in such a state of flux.

There is a lot of talk in the press and media and amongst politicians as to how we by which they mean they can reunite the United Kingdom. What they haven’t done however is make any dignified attempt at leading this country they want to unite. Both the Conservative and Labour parties have imploded in the last few days with the only causalities being democracy and the British people who put their trust 

Firstly let’s look at the Conservatives. The party of government have in my opinion a moral duty to lead the country and give it a sense of both purpose and direction this government are providing neither and there panic reaction to the events of the last few days have shown that they are more divided than even their worst critics had suspected.

 Whilst Boris Johnson celebrates a vote to travel back in time faster than Doctor Who’s tardis there are many  Conservatives for whom the Brexit vote was an unmitigated disaster and that starts at the top of the party as David Cameron announced on Friday that he intends to stand down as Prime Minister in October in the light of this result. With his right hand man and Chancellor, George Osborne not seen for days both the conservative party and the country are lacking the leadership which is so badly needed at this time.

Now you would think that with the Conservatives so badly divided over Europe and the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister the Labour Party would seize this god given opportunity and present themselves as a united and capable opposition to show the country (Britain) they are not only fit for purpose but fit for government. Instead as I shift my attention to their problems I see a party whose elite political class hereby by known as Westminster MP’s which has more in common with lemmings than left wingers. I view with a mixture of amusement and a disdain an egocentric group of fanatics who are still loyal to the former leader Tony Blair and who serving their Tory masters rather than their own constituents choose this moment to stick the knife in to their current leader Jeremy Corbyn by resigning from a number of shadow cabinet and junior shadow ministerial posts.

This in my opinion is act of treachery and betrayal in fact, it’s worse than that it is an act of collective insanity and confirms my belief that madness is not confined to King George. These people seem to forget it is less than a year since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the Labour Party with over 60 percent of the vote

The most high profile of these petulant and pompous politicians include Angela Eagle, Hilary Benn, and Labour’s Shadow Secretary Ian Murray. I must admit I find Murray’s resignation particularly amusing as he only got the job because he was Labour’s only Scottish MP after they were routed at last year’s UK election by the SNP. For Ian Murray to say that Jeremy Corbyn isn’t up to the job of being leader of the Labour Party and that people don’t see him as capable of winning a general election is I think an extreme example of putting your ego before the good of your party and the country especially with Labour at least in England and Wales being ahead in the polls.

Now I have been informed by some of the chattering classes that the reason for Labour using this opportunity to get rid of Corbyn is because the party are on war footing and have to be ready to fight a snap election which could be held at any minute. Personally I think these people are badly in need of a reality check as under The Fixed Term Parliament Act there is no need for any election snap or otherwise to be held until 2020 no matter how much they may want one. If anything, history has proven there that when a Prime Minister leaves office their successor is usually in no hurry to test their electoral popularity and as recent history has shown John Major, and Gordon Brown both of whom became Prime Minister at the mid point of a parliamentary term served the full time available to them in order to enhance their credibility and gain a reputation for being a competent leader of both their party and the country. To me merits of this strategy are debatable, though history will show whether you agree with his politics or not it was a lot more effective for Major than it was for Brown.

Party politics aside with both of the main UK parties in turmoil. I can’t help but think that many voters in the rest of the nations of the UK must be wishing their party of choice had a leader like the first minister of Scotland and my party leader Nicola Sturgeon. An excellent debater who is politically engaged with the voters Ms Sturgeon is universally admired by her own party members and has earned respect across party lines. This is a leader who actually leads as from the front and has a growing reputation as a stateswoman because of it. Calm and assured under pressure Nicola Sturgeon is exactly the kind of leader Britain needs at this time in its history. What a pity they don’t have a leader of her calibre.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Scotland Said Yes To The Civilised World By Rejecting The Brexit Club

Hey Readers

As dawn breaks I can and will declare that the United Kingdom if not quite officially dead has certainly reached a point where the family have been called and told to prepare for the worst. 

Yes I know that may sound slightly dramatic but as Britain votes for Brexit I and many others will be looking for an exit. However, the exit I want isn’t from Europe it’s from the United Kingdom which is now
more divided than ever after the most catastrophic decision ever made in the history of this mythical nation.

You see I have never bought in to the loyal and unionist fairytale of a united kingdom far less a great Britain and to me this result makes a mockery of the better together campaign to keep Scotland in the UK during our independence referendum as all through that referendum we heard this ongoing chant from the unionists that if we left the United Kingdom we wouldn’t be allowed to become a member as an independent nation.

This of course was nonsense, there tactic was to terrorise the gullible in to believing that they were somehow in danger of being kicked out the EU because David Cameron said so. This morning this cruel trick lies exposed for what it was and better together has been exposed as the fraud some of us always knew it to be.

Nonetheless as democrats we in the yes campaign accepted however reluctantly the result of independence referendum though we still reserve the right to campaign for the constitutional chance we sought and the restoration of Scotland’s place as an independent sovereign nation with the powers rights and responsibilities that comes with it.

Indeed many of us who voted yes in the independence referendum were amongst the most enthusiastic supporters of Scotland remaining in Europe and actively campaigned to achieve the outcome we wanted but what we wanted was far removed from what we got

No matter how uncomfortable it may be we have to face the fact that rampant British nationalism has triumphed in England and Wales where the voters were in my opinion duped by a lethal combination of ambitious right wing Conservatives such as would be Prime Minister in waiting Boris Johnson and his allies such as Education Secretary Michael Gove and former the voice of kindness at the Department of Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith.
and the even more extreme views of Nigel Farage and UKIP who with their toxic brand of politics managed to turn what should have been a referendum on our membership of the European Union into nothing more than a vote on immigration.

These views were given credibility by a fanatical right wing press and media who cannot get over the fact that Westminster no longer has an empire to rule over and yearned to return to the 1850’s yes I did say the 1850’s when everyone was British knew their place and bowed the knee to their so-called social betters. What Westminster doesn’t realise is that in Scotland at least we have a get out clause from this madness which has already produced its first causality with the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and that get out clause is
independence.

You see whether the professional unionists like it or not 2014 wasn’t the end of the debate on Scotland it was only the beginning and these people think otherwise they are way more deluded than I ever thought possible. This however does not surprise me as ever since the morning of their victory in the last referendum which was only achieved through last minute promises they had no intention of keeping they have consistently implemented bully boy tactics and told those of us who voted yes to shut up and get back in our box. I regret to inform this has as much chance of success as Albion Rovers winning the champions league in any other setting than play station or a Des Dillon novel (Note quick plug for Des Dillon novel The Return Of The Busby Babes )

Anyway, nice idea as they might believe it to be Scotland is not going back to sleep and we are now in a much stronger position to campaign for the independence our country needs after this horrible referendum result. The result achieved by the leave campaign was based on primary factor and that was the demonising of those considered to be other. These are the people who don’t fit in to what the Brexiters traditional view of British identity. Unfortunately for those of us who voted remain this view which is an insular narrow minded view primarily but not exclusively based on race will now be how Britishness is viewed on the continent and beyond. This is a result which shamed Britain and exposed the shallow distrust of Brexiters towards those who don’t fit their agenda as being a highly significant factor in their victory.

It is my view and that of many others that this toxic legacy will make it much tougher for the professional unionist political class who were and remain Better Together to fight against independence than they were two years ago as one of their key arguments for this outdated union was based on the now shambolic proposal that if we didn’t do as we were told and vote to stay in the UK then we wouldn’t be allowed membership of the European Union.

This was an oft quoted argument which certainly seemed to resonate with the less well read I don’t do politics kind of voter as they tended believe what they are told by the BBC Daily Mail and unionist Westminster politicians as if they were quoting directly from the bible. To say this disturbs me would be putting it mildly. Well let’s be honest reading the Daily Mail is bad enough but to believe it is written on tablets of stone would be the actions of the demented and deluded.

Unfortunately many of the more gullible members of society appear to be taken in by this line and this was certainly the case at the time of the last referendum when the unionist establishment in which the vast majority of the press and media were a key part seemed to regard the European Union as their own private members club. I make this claim because I know how much it suited British establishment to act in this way until the vote secured Scotland for the union.

After the result of our referendum was declared in favour of the union, It was at least if you believed David Cameron and Better Together spokesman in Scotland Alastair Darling the end of the independence debate and the morning of the 19th of September was supposed to be a return to business as usual and we Jocks as the Westminster set refer to us were supposed to get back in our boxes and be nice colonial children speaking only when we were spoken to with nanny Britain’s permission.
That however is not how it turned out as a newly awakened Scotland had found our voice and we were in no mood to give it up.

In the first serious electoral test in post referendum the unionist political classes suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the SNP which was now led by Salmond’s deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon as the party smashed through what some its supporters had always believed to be the Westminster glass ceiling winning 56 of the 59 Scottish constituency seats and in doing so ending the political careers of some big name Labour MP’s such as Jim Murphy Douglas Alexander, and Ian Davidson.

A smart political operator Nicola Sturgeon had served a long apprenticeship under her former boss and was more than ready to take over the leader of both her party and her country. Impressive in TV debates Sturgeon captured the mood of the nation and gave supporters of independence belief that we not only had a future but our best days were yet to come.

As opposition parties crumbled in the weight of the SNP avalanche they desperately tried to convince themselves that this phase would soon pass and the return to normality they had been promised
This however has been and remains a million light years away from the political reality that is Scotland in 2016. As if to demonstrate this fact the SNP won a third successive victory in Scottish parliamentary election. Though the party fell two seats short of a second successive overall majority the fact that they won an increased number of constituency seats up from 53 in 2011 to 59 in recent election should not be lost on our opponents.

In fact if I’m being brutality honest the only thing that stopped a second successive
majority was the quite ludicrous
D’ hont electoral system which was so badly skewed that it gave the SNP only four extra seats whilst giving The Conservatives twenty four and the Labour Party twenty one. This resulted in painting an entirely false picture of how Scotland voted and giving the unionist parties a far greater sense of self importance than they actually deserve.

The refusal of the unionist parties to acknowledge that Scotland is not a one party state as they so often like to claim does them and their cause no good whatsoever and gives the impression that they are being childish and petulant and therefore unfit to hold office. I think that someone needs to tell them that there is a genuine and very real difference between what is really a one party state and what better together claim it is. The fact none of the unionist parties in Scotland are currently fit for purpose is not the fault of the SNP no matter how much the more fanatical amongst their number would like it to be. This is just the spin of the immature child who wants everything his own way and cries like a baby when it. doesn’t go to plan.

You know it’s funny how when Scotland was ruled by The Labour Party for almost five decades 1959-2007 (48 years to be exact) and having been alive for all but two of those years I never heard this one party state nonsense even once. In fact I can say with certainty I didn’t even hear it from the Tories not even during the Thatcher years but the minute the SNP or any pro independence party look like doing well they trot it out. This to me smacks of the back in your box Jocks kind of the attitude they would be very well advised to avoid if they ever want to regain the one thing they lack more than any other and that is credibility.

This is to me at least one of the most important factors faced by any political party or campaign if it wants to be successful. Without a credible leader your party or campaign will sink without trace and that at this moment in history in Scottish politics at least all the credible politicians are with the exception of Ruth Davidson on the side of Yes.

I have to say that though I dislike her politics intensely I do admire Ruth and more than that I actually respect her. Well I have to say that following Annabel Goldie as leader of Scotland’s conservatives was never going to be easy. Annabel at least in Scottish terms was a legendary figure who had done much to begin the detoxification of the Conservative brand in Scotland and Ruth Davidson with her personable and dare I say it likeable manner has continued the work started by her predecessor.

Ruth however faces one major problem which is that for many people in Scotland which is that no matter what you may think of them personally a Tory is still a Tory and if they are the only credible voice for the union there will be areas which will be closed to them especially after this result.

You see a significant number of those who voted to stay UK in 2014 did so not because of any sense of British identity being exclusive to their way of thinking but because they viewed their Britishness like their Scottishness as part of something better and perceived it as being more inclusive and outward looking than what they viewed as the narrow nationalism of independence. Now with Britain having voted to leave Europe whilst Scotland in large numbers voted to stay with in many of those who voted no in 2014 may already be beginning to rethink that decision and vote yes in the next independence referendum when it is eventually called. Indeed it may be that this vote on Europe has finally proved the very real political differences between the politics of Scotland and the rest of the UK have highlighted the need for independence to a far greater degree than was the case in 2014 as Scotland said yes to the civilised world by rejecting the Brexit Club.

Looking back to the afternoon of the 19th of September when Alex Salmond said in his resignation speech as First Minister the dream shall never die many people may have thought that this was just a politician trying to keep the flame of independence alive on what was for many of us this blogger included the darkest day in Scotland’s recent history. It was on that day as people began to flock to the SNP in record numbers Alex Salmond was proved to be a lot more correct than many of us dared to dream .

It was however a few days later in the interview on Andrew Marr show that Alex Salmond made his most telling comment, saying that at a time when the circumstances were right we would get the chance to finish the job we started. Thanks to Brexit that chance and our independence may come sooner than a lot of people think.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

I Won’t Be Voting For Brexit But I’ll Fight For A Westminster Exit (Debunking The Myths Served Up As Truths By The School Of Political Assumptions)

Hey Readers

With the referendum on Britain’s continued membership of the European Union less than a month away, it is only to be expected that it will come up as a topic of conversation with both friends and strangers between now and polling day

It is i think fair to say that some of the conversations will, like the 2014 Scottish independence referendum be focused on the the big issues or at least the issues the press and media want us to believe are big. Other chats will be heated as this is an issue which evokes strong passions on both sides of the debate but sometimes the chatter will just be bewildering and you’ll wonder how it ever got this crazy.

This last description certainly sums up the discussion I had on the issue recently with an acquaintance of mine who if truth be told isn’t actually in the political premier league when it comes to understanding the issues at the heart of the debate. In an attempt to make polite social conversation my acquaintance asked me if I would be voting to remain or leave in the referendum and said that she would be voting remain. The woman concerned said that the reason for making this decision was that she believed it was better the devil you know than to do something that involves risk.

This to me sounds like someone who doesn’t quite understand how politics actually works and hasn’t quite got to grips with the fact that every decision we ever take involves a degree of risk as nothing stays the same in our ever changing world.

I told my acquaintance I had made my mind up a long time ago as to how I voting on June 23rd and nobody could say or do anything to change my mind now.
On informing her of this news, I waited patiently for her to make her judgement call on how she believed I would be voting and let’s just say I was quietly confident she would without thinking jump in and land at the wrong conclusion. I didn’t have to wait long before I was proven to be right.

Without taking the time to mull over my thoughts or ask me any questions as to what factors influenced my decision she just rushed in and said she thought I would be voting Leave. I have to say I wasn’t surprised at this comment and it shows that the person concerned doesn’t know me half as well as they think.

When I asked my companion why would I want to leave the European Union, I was informed without a trace of irony that since I voted for independence for Scotland and wanted to leave Britain, then it followed at least it did in their world that I would want to leave Europe.

Seldom if ever, have I had to try so hard to suppress a chuckle as I did on hearing this nugget of information which I immediately classified as comedy gold. I assured my contact that under no circumstances would I ever consider voting leave as this was playing a dangerous game of Russian roulette with the Scottish economy and also risking workers rights which the British government had to be dragged kicking and screaming before being forced however reluctantly to accept.

I went on to say that though I didn’t particularly like being on the same side as unprincipled charlatans like David Cameron, and Gordon Brown, I could live with the fact just this once. Well, the way I see it is that they are agreeing with me rather than the other way round. Now difficult as it is to have these two as fellow travellers, it is still a damn sight bearable than the Brexit gang of Nigel Farage , George Galloway, and Boris Johnson. Honestly having to rely on this lot as the three wise men of your campaign then believe me you are in really serious trouble.

As for the Scottish leadership of
the leave campaign, well if there was any doubt about me voting remain then appointing the world’s most lethal double act aka former Labour MP’s Tom Harris (Glasgow South) who seems to have a problem with immigrants, and Ian Davidson (Glasgow South West) who has an issue with SNP members, to lead Scotland’s leave campaign would surely have sealed the deal. I didn’t raise this with my acquaintance as I doubt if she would have known who I was talking about.

What I did say however was that though my reasons for voting remain were many and varied but my main one is not to make Britain stronger in Europe but actually to weaken British identity by keeping the UK in Europe. You see I’m not just scared of the idea Britain leaving Europe I’m absolutely terrified of it. Make no mistake the British establishment needs the civilising influence of Europe to reign them in and keep the lid on shall we say the more imperialist amongst out number as left it’s own devices it could become a very cold, insular, and unkind place to live in for the reason stated in the picture below.

image

Imagine if you will, an untrained stray bulldog with anti social tendencies left unleashed to wander the streets of Britain. This is not a picture I ever want to see. The thought of such an image gives me nightmares but this is the image of Britain I have post Brexit. This would be a Britain which repeals the Human Rights Act it would be a Britain less inclusive and less understanding of difference where those seen as other would be labelled rather than loved and reviled rather than respected. How anyone could assume I would want to risk such a Britain just because I voted yes in the independence referendum leaves beyond incredulity with rage.

This judgement on my character shows someone who believes they know me a lot better they actually do. It is based on a set of causal assumptions about me based on one particular choice I happen to have made in September 2014 which was on my long standing belief that Scotland should be an independent country.

To make this judgement on such limited information is both a misleading and inaccurate representation of my wider political values and the circumstances that shaped them. It is based not on knowledge of me or my background but the lazy politics of assumption. Now if there is one thing I don’t do it’s make assumptions because to assume is to make an ass of you and me and that is something I don’t do.

With only three weeks to go until the vote I take nothing for granted and I certainly won’t be claiming victory before the votes are counted. As I said I don’t do the politics of assumption and why I will be campaigning hard to win every vote to stay in the European Union and make sure Scotland and for as long as I’m a part of it Britain, will get the best deal for the citizens of our collective of countries. So it is in the spirit of friendship that I hope you would expect from a supporter of the British And Irish Lions that I will vote to remain in the European Union not because I have suddenly converted to unionism but because I have always believed that to truly love your own country you must also love all countries accepting their cultures and learning from them in the respect of what they do differently from us and why what works for them may not be applicable for us.

To me it is by taking these steps that you illustrate the vision of an internationalist and prove to the world that real independence is not based on the isolationist tendencies of right wing conservatives but the very real choice of genuine co-operation with others and that is how politics should be conducted in a forward thinking society. It is this kind society that I seek to build locally, nationally, and globally.

It is with this very much on my mind I say that though I voted for a different constitutional settlement for Scotland with the full powers of independence I won’t be voting Brexit. Well that would be akin to slamming the door on our friends in Europe and giving the Tories cart blanch to destroy Scotland and that is something I will never ever do. Well I am reliability informed that no turkey has ever be known to vote for Christmas and I would never contemplate any move which could or would damage my county in any way, shape, or form.

Looking to the future should we decide to hold an another independence referendum I can say now it will be same again for me and I will voting yes. Well I may want to remain in Europe but as for the possibility of a Westminster exit, that is they say is a completely different story.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

Voice Of Truth

Hey Readers On day 9 of NaPoWriMo My poem tackles the issue of the Pamana papers and and an establishment which is up to more dodgy deals than Del Boy Trotter to silence all dissenting voices on this issues. I’ve given it the title Voice Of Truth. I hope you enjoy the read

Voice Of Truth

This is not the news
there is no news to report
there has been no protest
or petitions
urging Johnny Rich to resign
as Prime Minister of Great Britain
this is the official establishment
line
tax evasion is only a crime for the poor
it is a disgrace for those in poverty
not to pay their way
but we the voice of truth say to you
offshore accounts are a private matter
who cares if a multi billionaire
has a secret stash in Panama the Caymen Islands or The Bahamas
look these people are friends with bankers
do you know what we mean
one guy I know is 22nd cousin to the queen
thrice removed of course
if it wasn’t for his fund
he could never have paid for his divorce
yet you want decent honest folk
like him to give up his privileges
has no one told you that it’s things
like this
which makes you proud to be British
what you don’t agree
why don’t you join the SNP
you know that party we never give any respect
even though the Scottish voters
seem to prefer them to our guardians of democratic freedom
those highlanders and Glaswegians
should be content to let us get on with our little plans
personal finance is a private matter
there has been no call for Johnny Rich to resign
this is the establishment line
this not the news
there is no news to report
and we should know what
the stories will be
in Scotland it will be more SNP Bad
for the rest of you it will be that Corbyn is mad
and unfit to hold public office whilst a bunch of public school toffs
continue to do just fine
having committed no crime
this is the establishment line
there is no news to report.

@ Gayle Smith 2016

I’m Saying Yes To A Euro Vision And Rejecting A Nightmare On Downing Street (Why I’m Voting Yes To Staying In Europe In The E U Referendum)

Hey Readers So now we know, the date when the UK must stop whining and decide if it wants to be a part of Europe and an ever closer union or go further back in time than Doctor Who’s tardis and delude itself it is a special little island with no need for Johnny Foreigner. This referendum will split two of the three main unionist parties with only the pro European Liberal Democrats remaining largely unscathed by upcoming events. Opinion polls say this will be a very close call in the UK as a whole but Scotland looks like being the most Pro European of all the UK nations with a substantial majority expected to vote to remain within the safety of Europe rather than voting to leave and leaving our future fate in the hands of Westminster. Decision Day will be the 23rd of June, and believe me when I say I have already decided how I shall vote in this referendum and I will be voting yes to remaining in Europe and rejecting a nightmare made at Westminster.

Now I know there will be some people who were opponents of mine during my country’s independence referendum who will ask and they will be perfectly entitled to do so, why I opposed remaining in one  union yet will enthusiastically campaign to remain in another. My answer however is a simple I only want to be a part of union’s that actually work and benefit the people of Scotland and the European Union works better for Scotland than Westminster ever will.

You see, to me whether I want to remain part of a union has a lot to do with why that union was set up and the intentions
behind it. The United Kingdom was set up in the pre democratic dynastic days so that one elite could join with another elite and increase both their personal wealth and their political stranglehold over their respective nations. It was also engineered by fanatical anti catholic bigots to empower England in its fight with Roman Catholic France and empower it in it’s imperial adventures. 

Compare this if you will to the circumstances which led to the birth of the European Union. This union was born not from the actions of conquest but from a continent ravaged by the most brutal and savage war ever fought in the whole of human history. This was a union born out of hope of a better tomorrow for Europe though as more cynical amongst the population will say with a degree of justification it also served American interests providing a bulwark for the continent to resist Soviet overtures and contain the threat of communism thus preventing it from spreading beyond the Russian – Soviet sphere of influence.  However, true though this may be slowly but surely the European Union gained some teeth a real democratically elected which had the power to shape change the lives of those citizens in member nations. This I think has a lot to do with why Jim Sillars 1988 came up with The SNP flagship policy of Independence in Europe to illustrate that the SNP were not an isolationist party but a party who were both nationalist and internationalist. It is policy which has been supported by former SNP leader and First Minister of our country Alex Salmond, and his successor in both posts our current First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

You see the SNP realise that EU membership has made so many improvements to the quality of life for the people of Scotland and also for the other member nations of the United Kingdom and we know from bitter experience how much this was used as a stick to beat us with during the independence referendum. You see during that referendum UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and his Labour Party sidekicks Alastair Darling, and Gordon Brown spent the best part of three years bullying and intimidating the people of Scotland by threatening us that if we left their little dynastic arrangement where unionist political hacks get their palms covered in more grease than John Travolta’s  hair and get the right to indulge their self importance  by calling themselves by a title which is only fit for a village panto, that we wouldn’t be allowed to join what they regarded as their exclusive private members club. The only problem with this argument was that sooner or later it’s was going to expose their lack of principal and backbone. Indeed I would argue that a no vote in this referendum would expose the better together campaign as a  mockery built on no more than a house of sand. Indeed former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has openly admitted this by stating in a rare moment of truth that if The United Kingdom votes to leave the EU then Scotland will vote to leave The United Kingdom. Personally I think we will leave the UK anyway sooner rather than later, but to blatantly reject the EU after being warned of dire consequences by better together if we left the British mother ship would be at least in my opinion the cruellest of all ironies. You see I never did believe we were or would ever be better together with Westminster and one of the main reasons why they failed to convince me was their rampant right wing brand of British Nationalism which and it has to be said attracted than its fair share of xenophobes to good old jolly roger.

You see this negative campaign contained a far greater number of those those who have strong anti European sentiments than did the more forward thinking Yes Scotland which was the grass roots movement  for independence. This can be supported by the fact that listed amongst their supporters were not only members of the three mainstem UK parties namely the Conservatives, Labour, and  Liberal Democrats who gave it veneer of respectability but also those who shall we say we say belong to either the eccentric imperialist tradition such as UKIP and those who are more malevolent in their views of others such as the loyal orange order. These people are unreconstructed British Nationalists and by creating an exclusive British is best mentality they exist on their own little fantasy island which is about as far removed from reality as you can get whilst still remaining on earth.

It should be noted however that unlike Yes Scotland who were perceived, as the anti-establishment camp in the Independence referendum and received little or no support from the mainstream media The no campaign in this fight will have some vocal and powerful support amongst the chattering classes with The Daily Express , The Daily  Mail, and several other newspapers campaigning to remove the UK from Europe as will certain populist politicians such as UKIP leader Nigel Farage Conservative mayor of London Boris Johnson, and that man of many faces not one of which I have ever appealing the original Mr self important and former Labour and Respect MP George Galloway amongst their number.

Believe me whether you or  like them or not these people will be given plenty of air time not to mention column inches to spread the message that we would be better off removing ourselves from Europe by a sycophantic press and media  sympathetic to their view and nostalgic for the golden days of empire. Though it may be tempting for some culturally conservative members of the chattering classes to paint  this rose coloured picture of a Britain which never really existed outside  the fictitious surroundings of Downtown Abbey it is also being somewhat economical with the truth. This however will not bother in the slightest an establishment determined to hang on to the power that privilege has brought them.
They will sneer at the benefits that the EU has brought to Britain and seek to convince us we are better off trusting them to make our decisions but believe me when I say that an isolated UK without what they will undoubtedly call the restrictions of Europe will be the country not of dreams but of nightmares and I for am terrified at the prospect of a British withdrawal from Europe and what the potential consequences could mean for us particularly in terms of Human Rights.

It is after all no great secret that the Conservative Party would dearly love to scrap the Human Rights Act which they have long viewed as an unnecessary inconvenience by a Government which likes to portray itself as the champion of individual freedom. Indeed there are some members of the Conservative right who have long argued that Britain should come out of the European Union  at the earliest possible opportunity and have used evocative and emotional language to stir up anti European sentiment. The fact that  Europe accounts for  57 percent of all British trade somehow seems to escape these 21st century anti heroes who wish to make a new generation of ragged trousered philanthropists of the ordinary British citizens.

 Indeed if their plans were allowed to succeed the consequences for the UK economy could be catastrophic as for those who believe that we could somehow make up this trading deficit by re-engaging with the Commonwealth nations. Not only do they ignore the assistance to the nations and regions of Britain from the European Union structural fund which was set up to provide economic assistance to areas decimated by the poverty caused by unemployment they also forget how much geography matters in the modern world and that despite the improvement in global communications the costs of transportation could put many small to medium firms out of business. So, nice as this fantasy may be for some people of Britain for the British or British Jobs for British Workers (Gordon Brown Labour Prime Minister 2009) it falls down when it comes to the facts and is about as realistic as Brown’s wet dreams of a British Day with a Union flag in every garden or renaming Scotland as North Britain in other words it makes as much sense as the no voters other delusion of taking back l the colonies and proclaiming the restoration of empire.

But to me at least the debate on Europe is about so much more than just trading. During our 43 years of membership of the European Union the impact  of Europe on this insular little island has I believe been far more positive than negative. These include cheaper air travel which makes it easier for Britons to travel abroad thus broadening their horizons in terms of culture and understanding of others. A recycling culture which cuts down on
waste and creates a cleaner, greener and healthier environment for people to love in. Still on the topic of environment being in Europe has brought us cleaner air, beaches and rivers and with regards to transport it was Europe which gave us lead free petrol and brought in the right of workers to smoke free work place. This is something from which I benefitted enormously as I worked with a couple of very heavy smokers and not to put to fine a point on it there was one in particular you could smell before you could see so god knows how polluted my former working environment could have been had it not been for the foresight of the European Union. Also on the issue of workers rights the EU introduced the directive that no workers in member states should have to work for more than 48 hours a week. Personally I think it should have been 40 hours maximum but this is an ongoing issue which can be debated further to bring about greater reforms
but if we don’t have a place at the table or in the parliamentary chamber then we can’t fight for the progressive changes we want to see.

As a creative who writes and performs my own poetry I am delighted that it was the European Union who brought forward a Europe wide copyright protection act to protect the right of artists to be identified as the authors of our work throughout, all member states.

Yes I know that last one is a personal one but for all the reasons given and at least a million others I am proud to declare along with members of all other mainstream parties such throughout these islands I will be voting yes because though I will continue to campaign for Scotland’s independence from the United Kingdom I will until that day comes fight for the rights of everyone in these islands and to me those rights will be far better protected by Brussels than a Westminster elite who feast on a diet of fear and a distrust of others They want you to vote no not because it will be better for you but because it will be better for them and further entrench their power which will remain in the hands of a privileged elite and you and I the average voters will be even more powerless to stop them. The prospect of this terrifies me to such an extent there are no words to describe it. You I am afraid of an isolated Britain a Britain where the unreconstructed right could impose even more ruthless repressive policies than they are now with no credible UK opposition to stand in their way. This is the nightmare on Downing Street I’m voting to stop and for the sake of democracy I hope you’ll join me by saying yes to a common Euro Vision and give a decisive rejection to the politics of yesterday’s Britain

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X

The Night The Mask Of Respect Came Off We Saw The Colours Behind It

Hey everyone Last night a man showed his employers he wasn’t up to the job they trusted him to do. This in itself is not unusual in all probability it happens every day to both men and women. This time however the circumstances are slightly different. You see the man in question is the Prime Minister of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The Right Honourable David Cameron MP.

In an astonishing display of petulance unworthy of a Primary One child on the grounds the child would be too mature, Mr Cameron launched an emotional and in my opinion hysterical appeal to his fellow Conservative MP’s in which he warned them to back air strikes in Syria and not to vote against the motion as those who did would be terrorist sympathisers.

This attack on his political opponents was at best Ill judged and that is the kindest thing I can bring myself to say about this style of kindergarten politics. This is a time when as Prime Minister David Cameron should have been attempting to unite the country and speaking on behalf of the nation. Instead he decided to launch an astonishing attack on anyone who dared to attack his position and claim the case for going to war which is effectively what we will be doing if parliament votes for air strikes had not been made. 

Now as a political activist  myself I realise that Parliament is a passionate place and that our elected members will have strongly held opinions on the issues of the day and that inevitably in such an adversarial system of democracy as we have in the United Kingdom this will result in some very heated clashes but to accuse your fellow parliamentarians of being terrorist sympathisers just because they exercise the right to express in different opinion to yourself is wrong.  It is even more wrong when the  Right Honourable Gentleman making the accusation is the Prime Minister of your country the politician you look to for leadership at times of crisis. Last night David Cameron showed by making this unprovoked and unprecedented attack on all of those who disagreed with his views he was not the man to provide the leadership we need at what is undoubtedly a challenging time for humanity.

On Monday I was angry with Jeremy Corbyn for what I saw as his lack of leadership as by allowing his party a free vote he has particularly assured that David Cameron will get his way and Britain will launch air strikes on Syria. However much as I am not a member of Mr Corbyn’s  fan club I refuse to label him a terrorist. Indeed I share his views on this issue but I am dismayed by his lack of judgement on it.  Yet again as on so many issues since the General Election it has been the Scottish National Party who have taken the moral leadership on matters of importance and to be honest I can’t see that changing any time soon.

You see the SNP and our sister nationalist parties in Wales and Ulster unlike  Labour do not need to worry winninginning votes in the Tory shires of Middle England  This means they are genuinely free to vote with their conscience on the issues of the day. The sad fact is that the current view of the Parliamentary Labour Party
does not reflect the views of a membership which has taken a decisive turn to the left in the aftermath of the election. 

Whether this leftward turn is any more than a passing phase I don’t know but what I do know is that however much I may disagree with The Labour Party I would not call them terrorists is not language of responsible politics and its use only polarises opinion for the short term politics of populism. 

Whilst in the short term this may serve Cameron well especially with his own core vote such behavior is unbecoming of the office he holds and I believe he must seriously consider his position and whether he should remain as Prime Minister 

As for my own view on this topic, my position couldn’t be clearer. I oppose air strikes just as I opposed war in Iraq and for the same reasons. 
To me this has nothing to do with war on ISIL how can it when the west including Britain armed them to the teeth to fight against the forces of President Assad. This is about oil nothing more nothing less, anyone who says otherwise is to use that well known political euphemism being economical with the truth. 

Now I realise that language may be slightly on the strong side for some people but having said that I will not label my opponents as terrorists or terrorist sympathisers. That is not the way I do things, it is not the democratic way.  On coming to power in coalition with the Liberal Democrats in 2010 Mr Cameron promoted what he called a respect agenda where all people regardless of their views who would be treated fairly and have their opinions valued. Last night even to the most fervent of optimists that mask finally and fatally slipped and we saw the true blue Tory colours behind it.  Believe me when I say it was not a pretty sight.  Having failed to make the case for war David Cameron resorted to smears to win the day. By the end of this evening due to parliamentary arithmetic he may very well have achieved his aim but it is the opinion of this blogger he will have lost all credibility with the country due to the thoughtless and cowardly words he used last night.

Love And Best Wishes
Gayle X