Tuesday, 24 February 2015

The best way to stop muddying waters?

While trying to find time to write about the row over Rifkind and Straw I see this.

Is there any part of our political system that wouldn't be improved by a healthy dose of integrity and clarity. Is everything arranged for personal or party advantage.

What a shower of gits.

George Osborne has a secret veto over large and potentially politically sensitive fraud investigations, The Independent has learnt.

Under a government agreement the Serious Fraud Office must get permission from the Treasury to launch any complex new inquiry which comes on top of its normal budget.

But controversially the Treasury can keep its decisions secret – potentially allowing it to veto politically sensitive fraud inquiries, either before or midway through an investigation, without public scrutiny.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

We dont 'hate' the English

The independence movement and particularly the  Scottish National Party involvement at the forefront of what is in reality a much broader church, is often portrayed as essentially anti-English. This is consistently reflected in many mainstream media reports, particularly and most clearly perhaps, those which are London based or right of centre. This anti-English sentiment doesn't reflect my opinions or those of the vast majority of pro-independence voters that I have come across, though I dare say it does exist somewhere within the indy spectrum. {after all there are always a few nutters around the fringes of anything political} Perpetuating that myth is wrong, disingenuous and manipulative. Yet its popularity is maintained by corporate newspaper media, to ensure that public opinion is kept focussed on its inherently false assumption, to undermine the higher aims of independence and demean it by tribalising its arguments as a way of protecting vested interests. There is also potentially an institutional bias within the BBC which significantly failed to maintain a balanced and objective position across the referendum debate.

The vast majority of people I've come across have, like me, huge issues with how the current two-party-dominated UK politics fails to represent Scottish views no matter how we vote. Instead it acts as a barrier to moving towards the fairer, more balanced and representative society that they feel Scotland wants to be. In my opinion the fact that Westminster is increasingly removed from normal life via career politicians, an elitist establishment unable or unwilling to resist unhealthy ties with corporate power and which slavishly promotes the inequality of neo-liberal capitalism is one key issue. The other is how far the establishment will go to preserve itself. Westminster is in England and that's as far as my antipathy for anything English goes. {Increasingly, the establishment is becoming even more corporate - and global.}

 While we in Scotland cannot influence the whole because of our small size, the only realistic possibility left to achieve these aims is through the restoration of Scotland as an independent state. I'd love to be able to do it by convincing the whole that we need to rebalance our priorities, re-evaluate our goals and change our political system but all the evidence shows that the politically dominant, much wealthier concentration of population based mainly in London and the South East of England is slowly becoming ever more divergent from any understanding of, identifying with or having the ability or willingness to meet the needs of the rest of the UK outside that limited geographical sphere.

That sounds unfair. I know there are voices that chime with mine all across the UK but our political system, particularly with its 'first past the post' election system often prevents our voices being heard. When their mainstream party wins voters find that all those pre-election promises that stimulated them to vote suddenly melt away. We're told we don't understand the reality of politics; how difficult it is to get things done; that concessions have to be made While this may to true to a degree how convenient that the promises dismissed always seem to be those that if delivered would protect, redistribute, improve. This is the establishment at work. This is self-preservation and perpetuation of the status-quo. This is the reality I'd like to see change. You may think I'm niaive to believe that anything would be different even with independence. I would say that there is more of a chance for realistic and sustainable change in a smaller economic unit. Especially one with the level of political engagement and education that exists in Scotland today. And, I would have to add - in a Scotland free to move away from the increasingly polarised right wing politics of the UK and its restrictive hegemony.

There is an enormous mistrust and dissatisfaction of UK politics in Scotland. That's hardly different from large swathes of the UK. We have repeatedly voted labour MP's to Westminster to represent Scotland only to find that as part of a UK party they have to toe a 'national' line which can be diametrically opposed to the wishes of those who elected them. It is the great dilemma when voting for Westminster. Are they Scotland's representatives in Parliament or are they representing party first and Scotland second, third, fourth or at all?. For decades the electorate have been neglected by Westminster politics. This is at the heart of Labour's difficulties today.

There is a great mistrust of the political ruling class in working class society here. We have seen the destruction of Scotland's heavy industries, the decline of capital investment, the stigmatising of Scotland as a 'benefit junky' reliant yet ungrateful for hand-outs from a benign and parental UK. Most of all we have seen the huge benefit of oil wealth, predominately from 'Scottish' waters, squandered over decades with little or no long term planning. The jaded view may well be that this is in fact far from without any planning. There has long been the often stated view that Scottish Nationalism holds a grudge at its heart and is a mean spirited and dark force simply determined to bring about the United Kingdom for reasons of pure and misguided spite.

There is justification for the establishment to hold that view, but it's not justified because of any narrow minded intent or deceitful misrepresentation by The SNP. Quite the opposite. Westminster has lied and denied to Scotland the opportunity to have an open and honest debate. Lied and denied? Absolutely.

Watch this and perhaps your view of British Government as benign may change.

I'll put the porage on while you're watching.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Austerity, inequality and the Scottish approach to economic growth

This is a lecture and Q+A session given by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to UCL, 11/2/15.

The talk starts at 3.00.

Monday, 9 February 2015

HSBC facilitated £Billions in tax evasion via Swiss Bank.

 Dave Hartnett was the HMRC boss who negotiated the notorious tax deal that granted HSBC’s bankers virtually guaranteed immunity from prosecution for any crimes they might have committed relating to tax fraud in Switzerland. In January 2013 he went on to work for….HSBC.
You couldn’t make it up.
- See more at: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/…/the-man-who-did-the-deal-…/…

Herald-ing A Wee Stooshie

Not that EVEL you pilchard!

It's a bit bewildering to me how so many English Westminster MP's are getting their knickers ever so EVEL-y twisted at the moment. {Cynical opportunism aside} Every time there's a hint of Scots MP's making nasty votes that might interfere with the assumed integrity of  English laws they take a right hump. Almost certainly they have SNP targets foremost in their sights but also any other Scots MP's too, regardless of party or how they might vote. Only what they might vote on seems to be exercising their delicate democratic principles. Righteous indignation is the order of the day.

Another wee plank  was tossed on the fire the other day when oor ain wee Furst Meenister, Nicola Sturgeon dared to state that Scots MP's would vote on English matters when there was a direct implication for Scotland. {As described in the Herald on Sunday} Angst and outrage is again loudly proclaimed to all and sundry, well any mainstream media sources that can be reached which given this is London is more than a few. "Those awful Scots Nats are going to vote on English Laws. It's not fair. It's not right and we don't like it! We're going to sort this out ONCE AND FOR ALL! Scots MP's should not vote on matters that relate to England only. ENGLISH VOTES FOR ENGLISH LAWS!"

So the lines are laid for a nice wee stooshie!

English MP's want to be seen as sticking up for England and protecting them against Scots who are a drain on resources by their unjustified demands. After all English MP's can't vote on matters in Scotland can they?

Hmm. Let me think about that for a second.

No, no - it's rubbish.

We are a united kingdom. This has been confirmed by referendum. The constituent parts of that united kingdom select representatives to sit in the UK parliament to represent the interests of their constituents {although admittedly that's stretching it a bit far - represent the interests of their political party would be the current state of play.} Part of that representation is a right, if not a duty, to vote on any and all legislation put forward within that parliament. Certainly Scotland has a devolved parliament of our own, which is responsible for legislating and implementing on a range of devolved powers. These powers are limited and have been devolved by the consent of the UK Parliament. The people who vote on devolved matters are Members of the Scottish Parliament. MSP's. Scots members of the Westminster Government can't vote on matters devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Let's say that again just to be clear.

Scots MP's in Westminster can't vote on Holyrood matters. Just like their English counterparts.

Scots MP's in Westminster CAN vote on matters relating to Scotland which are not devolved. Just like their English counterparts.

What particularly SNP MP's have done is habitually abstain from any vote that doesn't have any effect in Scotland. They don't vote for instance on English only infrastructure spending. What Nicola Sturgeon has reiterated is that if there's a matter under consideration that has any effect on Scotland, directly or indirectly - through knock on effects to funding through The Barnett Formula for example, then SNP MP's will use their vote as democratically entitled to do. She's not saying that our MP's should have a vote on anything which has no impact on Scotland, although currently they are elected, as members of the house , to do so equally along with every other Member Of Parliament.

It's not a shockingly new policy. It's a reaffirming of what happens already.

Labour MP's are, both Scots and English, against any proposals as they have historically relied on their traditionally high numbers of Scots MP's to bolster up their English numbers. Tories, with usually an English majority want change for purely selfish ends. The two main parties are therefore infighting amongst themselves about  narrow self seeking party political ends, not for any moral high ground no matter what they say. Plus ca change eh-no?

But, if Scots MP's are going to have no say on anything which relates to England, even if there is a detrimental funding implications then that would be undemocratic. Unless of course Westminster would care to devolve all Scotland only powers to Holyrood. That would be fair. THat would be home rule/federalism/THE VOW delivered. Won't happen of course.

But, if English MP's insist on exclusivity of decisions affecting England even if there is a knock on effect then perhaps the reverse should be the case.

I wonder how English MP's would react if told to remove Trident nuclear weapons out of Scotland if that was the decision of Holyrood.

Does that feel comfortable chaps?

Do you understand now how lots of us have been feeling for the last 50 years then?

Porage anyone?

Sunday, 8 February 2015


So - some polls from across Scottish Labour's voting heartland have landed making it look even more of a disaster for them than previously could have been imagined. Labour's worst nightmare has just been painted clear, bright and in their face. It reinforces results that have been becoming common over the last few months but back then small poll size and large polling areas could be easily denied and derided without a problem. Now there can be no denying the scale of the disaster that is potentially facing them. Potentially, because these are only polls and only potentially because there are still almost 100 days for things to change.

I doubt if anyone, beyond the most fervent Nationalist, could have believed such a result could ever be possible. The polls seemed too good to be true to chance even half believing in them but now even the academic Professor John Curtice, polling guru of last years referendum, has been stating far and wide that these polls reflect a shift that is real. It truly is a political "wake up and smell the coffee" moment if ever there was one. It puts the "VOW PLUS" theatre of a couple of days ago into just a wee bit more of perspective; a calculated response to a nasty wee smell in the air perhaps. Maybe they thought something a bit whiffy was coming but I doubt they smelt a rotting corpse.

It's galvanised our politics here in Scotland, replete with possibility or penalty for all concerned. Across 16 mainly safe constituencies polls indicate that the SNP could take 15 of them with votes swinging an average of 25%.  With a swing of that magnitude in the elections Labour's Scottish representation in Westminster could drop from being 40 plus to just 5 or 6 and could leave UK Labour short of an outright majority in Government. Suddenly the SNP's forecast of a labour Govt needing their support and having to give concessions by delivering an entirely more comprehensive version of THE VOW than a unionist party would like seems a real possibility.

The battle is on. Labour will continue to push 'Vote SNP get Tory' and 'Vote Labour get VOW PLUS' bollocks in Scotland but they will have to fight this as a second front and tellingly will have to fight it without the kind of UK cash and manpower support brought to bear during the referendum. Outside the Scottish sideshow, in the rest of the UK, the argument will be largely about the EU. You could reasonably think austerity would top the agenda but the truth is there is little difference between the Westminster two on austerity. Sure the Conservatives are looking to claim Labour will raise the deficit with uncosted policies, but Labour are keen to show themselves as strong on the economy by denying that they will tax and spend and also to portray themselves as defenders of that very NHS that 'Better Together' told us was safe  'only within' the UK.

Here it appears that Labour's decades long complacency in taking Scotland for granted has come viciously home to roost. Across the 1990's they moved away from representing the interests of the working class and its now toxic association with trades union power to chase the increasingly affluent and right of centre voters of middle class England in recognition that those were the votes needed to carry a majority there and that majority in England was a secure hand on power. This meant that the concerns of mainly working class Scotland were left unaddressed. Coming as it did on the heels of several terms of Thatcherite Tory ideology which had been disproportionately destructive to Scotland's manufacturing industry with its equally traditional high levels of trades union membership. The failure of Labour subsequently to redress the damage or to listen to the electorate here left the voters in Scotland under no illusion that the Labour Party in Scotland has focus primarily on Westminster and English votes. It has taken a long time - and a credible and acceptable alternative - for Scots to see they are not a prime or any credible consideration in UK politics except as a Labour banked vote no matter what.

English MP's completely miss the point and ethos of the SNP. {or who voted in the referendum or what 'unanimous' means.}

Down South these polls have been met with disbelief  and some panic in Westminster. They can't quite grasp that the referendum has not put the genie of Scotland and the SNP back in the bottle. They are confused that the losers have acted like the winners and somehow the winners are looking increasingly like the losers. There has been uncertainty in the corridors of Westminster while they try to assess the implications of what they never predicted and can't understand . There have been miles of newspaper columns written by English journalists who embarrass themselves in exposing how little attention they have paid and how little they understand what has happened to the political landscape here. That these polls come from a large sample inside actual constituencies and mirrors what the Scotland wide polls said is undeniable. Voices of English MP's are raised in consternation at the prospect of a demanding Scottish accent being loud in Westminster.

Normally parties would look for a unique selling point but the Westminster establishment have negligible points of difference on key policy. The exception and difference this time is the loony right with UKIP, the party that David Cameron really has to beat to win a majority in England, and that is why the UK General Election arguments will largely focus on the EU. Scotland and any other issues are a skirmish by comparison in their eyes. A skirmish that looks like Scottish Labour will have to predominately fight alone. {They have been banging on about how independent they are after all} Understandable given how UK Labour seem to understand Scotland even less than the branch office up here. I don't think Messrs' Murray, Miliband or Cameron will be getting much sleep any time soon.

It's yet to be seen how this will play out. Will the SNP be complacent and think the election already won? Will Jim Murphy and Labour find some credible way to start a fight back or will he fall back on spin, policy theft and double talk? Will voters baulk at the demise of Labour as a credible force or will they leave for good? Has their vote simply been loaned for this one occasion? Will Westminster pay attention or will entrenched notions of entitlement win the day? Will English MP's attitudes become vehement with anti-Scotland or anti-left bias and how will voters here react if that's the case? Can change here be the start of a reimagining within UK labour or even further afield. Will Scotland get the more powers needed to make significant change without damaging herself in the process? Will this go down as being a key a step closer to independence?

There are interesting times ahead.

Porage anyone?

Britain Belongs To Someone Else.

I recommend this short 8 minute clip.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Step Right Up.

Here we go again.

GORDON Brown and Jim Murphy will today unveil a new general election pledge to give Holyrood the power to top up and vary the UK’s state pension and welfare benefits.  {Scotsman newspaper}

Faced with poll after poll showing 'Scottish' Labour trailing some 20+ percentage points in the forthcoming elections for Westminster MP's, which is likely to mean a huge reduction in the number of Scottish MP's Labour here can send south to prop up the rest of the Labour Party, today the behemoth for Scotland that is Gordon Brown has heaved himself up and 'intervened' once again with a promise of 'VOW PLUS' if Labour are elected into UK Government.

What a typically cynical and self-serving ploy for votes. Some real desperation on display. After all it's not being offered because they think it's right for Scotland. Only because they feel they have to for the Labour Party.

Gordon Brown who was {labour}Prime Minister {but not elected as such since he 'inherited' the post from Tony Blair} makes a habit of seemingly coming out of nowhere to save Scotland from its misguided notions of free thought by dangling carrots of indeterminate size to be supplied at some notional future point by a third party. {See 'THE VOW'}

This usually portrayed in MSM {mainstream media} as an 'intervention' of heroic proportions {so brace yerselves!}


It's not and never has been a proper 'intervention' by Oor Gordon. {Intervention: Its origin is from the Latin intervenire, derived from inter- ‘between’ + venire ‘come’.}  It's a stupid {but perhaps deliberately loaded by MSM to increase gravitas and import} way to describe Gordon Brown’s participation in political debates. The man's been a professional politician for decades and is a sitting MP for the Labour Party, even though he describes himself as "an ex-MP", whose stated party policies are opposing independence.  This, like THE VOW, as a fellow blogger aptly put it, "is no more an “intervention” than accusing Wayne Rooney of “intervening” in a football match." He’s not any kind of external factor, which is never explained adequately in the press, it’s exactly what he’s supposed to be there to do all the time.  Gordon Brown is a backbench MP, an everyday combatant in the field of politics. Him doing his job is not an “intervention”, a shock move by some impartial statesman so struck by the arguments he’s abandoning a position of neutrality to issue unprecedented backing for one side or the other. He isn’t the Queen. {although she did intervene in the referendum as it transpires}

So Gordy steps back into the fray. This surely must be somewhat disconcerting to Jim Murphy, the recently elected leader of Scottish Labour.  { even though this is a deliberate misnomer and sleight of hand. There is no such thing. The 'Scottish Labour Party' can't exist other than asThe UK Labour Party in Scotland although you wouldn't hear that distinction as Big Jim trumpets the 'difference' between Scottish and UK Labour even though they are the same 'national party' legally and constitutionally. According to Jim, the last leader - who resigned saying Scotland is treated like a branch office and has to 'toe the line' - had it all wrong and he is completely independent up here. Ironic for a man who fought independence so hard during the referendum to bang on about its importance for Scotland so much so soon afterwards! Of course its only Scottish Labour that should be independent to best meet the needs of Scotland. Nothing else does.} After all, he's just been elected as the single unifying force to lead Labour to halt the haemorrhage of support and save it from annihilation in the forthcoming elections. He's been courted by media, particularly BBC TV, during this honeymoon period where he seems to appear every day talking softly and earnestly about this or that where Labour will no longer neglect its voters and take them for granted, or how they have changed and accept that they have to do that to represent the people of Scotland and then right in the middle of it steps up Gordon Brown.


So Daddy Brown steps up and says "Stand aside Jim. I know exactly what's needed. This is what you need to do. It's easy!  Even more 'more powers'. Again. Because we didn't give them quite enough more powers with THE VOW. We didn't get our input into The Smith Commission right. We need to bribe these fine voters with even more vague powers very soon - but only if you vote for us! That'll sort it out for you. After all, it worked last time."

Yes, the man in charge of Scotland must be very pleased right now. He's not good enough to deliver this message. He's not trusted enough, respected enough and he doesn't have enough integrity to deliver that message. He's not the man for that job. .

Now that's a strange message to be sending the voting public. Is Gordon Brown, good old GB to be wheeled out every time the shit appears to be hitting the fan. And Jim Murphy? Hasn't he been spending the last few weeks saying that the powers that are to come will represent THE VOW being over delivered and that we should leave that behind us and get over it and move on with other important stuff like accepting what else he has to say as if he's Moses come down from the mountain top.

It worked last time Gordon? Well look at the state of the place. There's rejection and discontent in almost every corner. Would you like to try and get it right second time?

Step right up and patronise even more of the electorate as well as undermine Labour's main man in da 'hood.

Lots of luck with that one.


Starting off I think it's right to ask why about a few things.

Why did we vote to stay part of the UK?

To take the first point: {short version}  I believe we voted to stay within the UK because fundamentally any change is bloody scary and because we on the YES side failed to make our argument clearly or strongly enough to convince a vote for change on such an unprecedented and irreversible scale. Scotland voted to stay because, on top of the core pro-unionist voter who will never be swayed from their belief, we allowed - or failed to prevent - the  persistently fear-mongering tactics of the NO side hitting home into parts of the voting public who were not persuaded, or resilient, enough to come firmly into the YES camp and to stay there.

On top of that there was what has become known as 'THE VOW'. This promise of unspecified amounts of unspecified additional powers to be delivered faster, better and infinitely more safely than any unpredictable-leap-into-the-unknown scary vote for independence. It was held up {I believe against the spirit and the letter of 'The Edinburgh Agreement' which set out the process for the referendum} as a last ditch desperate offering by ex-prime minister Gordon Brown, taken up by Scotland's most prolific - and fervently pro-union - daily newspaper, The 'Daily Record' and instantly seized and promoted by the leaders of the three main UK political parties who had been seriously spooked by an opinion poll that showed the YES campaign to be in the lead with only a few days to go.

This more than anything is the reason why Scotland voted no. It's one of the main reasons I want to write about politics and try in a small way to move this forward. It, more than any other single thing affected the final outcome, but much more than that it is THE VOW that is almost single handedly responsible for the state of affairs we are left with now where no one is exactly sure what was voted on, was offered or has been promised to date. {At the point of writing nothing has been delivered. That is dependent on passing into legislation through Westminster after the nest UK elections in May 2015} There will be oh-so-much-more of that in the blog.

How ironic that the very 'vow' that was intended to keep us together may be the single biggest factor in the break up of the Union of Great Britain and Ireland. That would be irony to the max. Maybe I should call it Devo-irony!

Why do I feel this was the wrong decision?

Primarily because I absolutely believe in an independent Scotland as being the best option to build the kind of society I want to live in and to protect and nurture the most vulnerable parts of our society, promote the ideal and reality of an alternative to the purely neo-liberal economics based model that serves the majority so badly and the few so inordinately well. { I will explain what I mean by that in the future}

It was the wrong decision reflected by how many people are left feeling. This is partly due to having such a high percentage of people vote for independence, by the motivation and inspiration of the political argument and engagement across the country, but particularly within the YES movement, by the deceitful means which YES voters believe our campaign was lost and by the blatant chicanery of the political elite since the result.

 The YES vote was 45% of  population which was leaves a large part of the public naturally far from satisfied, not just by the result but especially due to that lack of clarity in the result clinching VOW and the winning sides predictably meek interpretation of it since the referendum result. What I and so many feared and expected is exactly what has happened with the three parties individually pulling back and denying the intention was ever to devolve anything like as much power as people were led to believe they were being promised. We feel cheated - and at the last hurdle. That's incredibly frustrating but, setting that aside, I accept the result of the referendum. Having been beaten by what so many feel was a campaign of dirty tricks, lies, media manipulation and complicity a large percentage of people are determined that if we don't have independence we should get what we feel was truly promised to sway the vote.

What exactly did we vote for by rejecting independence? No one really knows.That continues to sow discontent. Each of the main UK parties says they have been very clear about what was promised, but since that was never explained before the vote yet swathes of the general public seem to believe any promise falls far short of expectations and large numbers seem very unhappy about the chicanery that has happened since. There's been widespread and huge disappointment with what The Smith Commission recommended in trying to agree what powers should be devolved. Certainly it was never going to be enough for the SNP who along with the Scottish Green Party represented the YES campaign. Their aspiration was not for powers to be devolved simply where the UK Government felt comfortable, but for powers to be withheld only for a purpose - if they were incompatible devolved within the Union; powers such as defence, foreign policy and key measures of finance. They wanted the DEVO-MAX {maximum devolution} that could be interpreted, the 'federalism' and 'home rule' that was stated as being on offer by THE VOW and promoted by Gordon Brown.

Now proposals have been made it's clear that what is being devolved is far from realistic {to use many powers proposed will be 'toxic' by having negative effects through un-devolved powers}, practical {don't allow us the freedom to make policy reflect needs} or meets the balanced expectations of the Scottish people. {THE VOW - and remember at this point these have not been passed into statute by Westminster. That needs the approval of the UK parliament which is 85% English MP's with their own party and ideological agendas.}

Why do I feel the need to blog about it and why do I think anyone would want to read what I have to say?

I am going to blog about it because I'm bloody angry and I need to get it out there. I understand people were put off or scared by the scale of the decision, by the complexity of the economic arguments and the scare tactics that were used to prevent people seeing, believing and grasping the opportunities that independence offers. {I don't believe it would be easy or a 'land of milk and honey' - no utopia here} What I don't understand is that people can't see some of the fundamental things that are wrong in our modern political system, the blatant lies and distortions and the means of delivering them that are being used daily to fight an ideological war that is always about the people in power preserving their position. It's not about US. It's not about making a better, fairer, safer country and THAT'S WHAT IT SHOULD BE ABOUT! We can be more than this. We should be more than this.

So frankly, I'm angry. To coin a phrase from a fellow blogger: "If you're not angry, you're not paying attention."

During the campaign I spoke to lots of people about the referendum. I turned some NO votes to YES. So, if I can do that some more I'll be happy {happier}. If I can get the message out there and make people stop and think - even if they don't change their mind, if I can get a few more people talking and thinking about what's going on now and how things could possibly be changed, how people could make a difference then that would be fantastic. If this blog could turn out to be a source of information that would be great.

I'm not an academic. I'm not an intellectual. I'm just an ordinary man in the street. This is going to be as much a journey for me as anyone else who may or may not come along. I have a vested interest and a political viewpoint, make no mistake about that. I welcome comment and challenge that makes me think about what I believe and why, what I do and how I do it, why we should change the system to make it work better than it does and why that's best done through the vehicle of an Independent Scotland. Time is on our side.

Come on in. There's plenty of room by the fire. If you're cold throw a coalition politician or newspaper magnate onto the flames. Porage will be served shortly.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Starting Over/ Auld claes and purritch

If I can really remember I called the blog The Porage Diaries simply because I liked the name. I started blogging on it about my diagnosis of type two diabetes. But it didn't last long. Shortly after I lost interest in talking about that so I took those posts down but kept the title. It's been sitting waiting on me for a long time now it seems.

The last few years have been busy and several aspects of life have intervened to take precedence or more honestly to rob me of inspiration or enthusiasm for blogging. Over at Crivens Jings And Help Ma Blog I've kept it going with the odd piece and regular Sunday postings of poetry. During Scotland's referendum last year I was very engaged with politics and the debate about our future. Some of that found its way into Crivens Jings but I was always a bit uncomfortable. It's a personal blog and although politics is personal it's not what I want the blog to become about. There are times when I would like to write about life or other stuff and I'd like to preserve Crivens Jings for that.

So I'd like to write now and again about politics or share articles from other sources. That's going to be here. As a committed YES supporter I was devastated by the result against independence last year but like so many others I have to come to terms with the fact that many people, the majority in fact, could not find themselves convinced by the argument for an independent Scotland. They will have had as many reasons for their decision to vote No as other people did for voting YES. I don't blame them for that no matter how deep my personal disappointment may be or my conviction that it is still the right thing.

When ever something occurred that he saw as a set-back or at the end of holidays when we had to return to normality my Dad would always say "Ah well. It's back tae auld claes and purritch the morn." That's just how I felt after September the 18th 2014. Not that this is a reality I want or am prepared to accept as anything other than a temporary measure, but it certainly fits with my mind-set.

So, if this blog in any way charts the days towards a time when Scotland can be independent or improved within the framework of the UK then The Porage Diaries seems like a perfectly good name for it.

Welcome one and all. Please feel free to comment, argue or disagree but do it politely or I will cut you off at the knees. Comments will be moderated.

Porage anyone?