Tuesday, September 16, 2014

State assets in Scotland

If Alex Salmond wants 27% of the Bank of England assets then we in England want a (big) share of all state assets in Scotland - including Edinburgh Castle, the Stone of Scone (cut it up) and the North Sea Oil in Scottish waters.

A racist argument

This argument by left-wing writer Hopi Sen proposes that voters in England must not be allowed to express their Englishness politically:  http://hopisen.com/2014/an-english-proposal/

It is of course a racist argument.
 

No politician has the authority to make this promise

The Today programme this morning on BBC Radio 4 discussed an article on the front page of the Scottish Daily Record whereby the three main political leaders "promise" extra powers to the Scottish parliament:  http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron-ed-miliband-nick-4265992

I thought it had been clearly established that there can be no constitutional changes in the United Kingdom without a referendum?

What is being proposed is to give residents in Scotland control over their own affairs and also control (through the Scottish MPs at Westminster) over what happens in England.

This is not acceptable.

No politician has the authority to make this promise.

In any case, appeasement never works.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Many things have been said that cannot be unsaid

Writing on LabourList Johanna Baxter says:  The nationalists set out to divide the Union but all they’ve done is divide Scotland  http://labourlist.org/2014/09/the-nationalists-set-out-to-divide-the-union-but-all-theyve-done-is-divide-scotland/

Many things have been said that cannot be unsaid.

Whatever the vote on Thursday, how many English people will want to go on holiday in Scotland after all this anti-English unpleasantness?

Enoch Powell had the right idea about these people.


















I read in the Guardian about "Jihadi John" and once again the thought occured to me:  Enoch Powell had the right idea about these people.

Embers by Sandor Marai















I have just finished reading Embers by Sandor Marai.

It is a complex book with two possible interpretations to every event related by the narrator - the narrator's interpretation and an alternative.

I was puzzled for a while by the apparent murder attempt in the forest, until I realised that the person we are told was pointing the gun at the narrator (who had his back to him) was actually planning to kill himself.

And at the end of the novel the friend of the narrator is too kind to tell the narrator that he has ruined his life through jumping to conclusions and leaves him in his ignorance.

Stylistically it is very beautiful, although as a translation this must be due to Carol Brown Janeway.

Naturally true obedience required a deeper commitment than that prescribed by laws.  Obedience had to be rooted in the heart: that was what really counted.  People had to be certain everything was in its place.

There is no feeling sadder or more hopeless than the cooling of a friendship between two men.

Self-respect is the irreplaceable foundation of our humanity; wound it, and the hurt, the damage, is so scalding that not even death can ease the torture.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Autumn

The county still has the appearance of late summer, but with the sombre colours of autumn.  Grey, brown, green.  A precious feeling of lonely melancholy (not unpleasant).















Cold in the morning, hot during the day, cold again at evening.  The cool air moves across the empty land.  An intense solitude that creates a deep sense of peace.















By the stone wall the common elder has berries that are turning black.  Lush harvest wasted among the wild foliage.  Green leaves at the point where they are about to turn brown.

Saturday, September 13, 2014
















I think it is intolerable that the Last Night of the Proms programme should be interfered with to appease Scottish nationalists.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The ideas floating around that England should be split up into devolved "regions" need to be seen for what they are - a scam to ensure that Labour can manipulate elections.

England is a nation and cannot be divided.

Max Irons was very critical of the toffs

Actor Max Irons was interviewed on Channel 4 News about his role in the The Riot Club, a film that apparently defames David Cameron.

Max Irons was very critical of the toffs who get everything handed to them on a plate.

As someone educated at the Dragon School in Oxford (more little toffs than little tots) and who has a career that is obviously helped by Mummy and Daddy it does seem a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

I will watch the film but I will not approve of it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZwv6h-LhTw

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Terrible news about the fire at Manchester Dogs Home.

Adam Kinzinger

Congressman Adam Kinzinger was interviewed on Channel 4 News, talking about the conflict in the Middle East.

Even in the short time he was on screen I could tell he had considerable charisma.

The Establishment by Owen Jones - 2

One of the first things I did when I received a copy of The Establishment by Owen Jones was to turn to the Index and look up "immigration".  As post-war immigration has been an immense social change (perhaps the biggest social change in modern times) which has occurred without the agreement of the majority of ordinary people one might suppose that a book on the Establishment might help to reveal who in the elite has effected this influx of millions of foreigners, and given them rights of settlement and rights to vote and rights to claim welfare benefits.  At last, I thought, we might get to the truth on this issue.

Unfortunately, there are only seven references to immigration in the Index.

All of them relate to immigrants as a target of "bigotry" and how they are unrepresented in the nation's institutions, particularly Parliament.

Despite referring many times to the 1950s, there is no analysis in The Establishment on how the Establishment (whether through incompetence or deliberate act) effected the entry of millions of immigrants without anyone ever voting on the issue.

This rather indicates that The Establishment is going to be an intellectually dishonest book.

From the Index I turned to the Acknowledgements where the author lists all the people who helped him during the course of writing the book.  Thirty-three people are listed.  As far as I can tell only one of these (Mehdi Hasan) is a BME person. 

Which rather suggests that there has been institutional bigotry in the production and editing of this book.


The Establishment by Owen Jones - 1 http://afroml.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/the-establishment-by-owen-jones.html
 

The politicians who failed to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom

On Newsnight yesterday Emily Maitlis interviewed Isobel Hardman (Spectator) and one other person (whose name escapes me) on the implications of a Yes vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

Isobel Hardman was of the opinion that David Cameron would stay on as Prime Minister and "help the Scots to independence" if the Yes side wins.

This is not tenable I'm afraid.

If David Cameron is outwitted by the pro-independence lobby in Scotland then he would be manifestly unfit to negotiate with that lobby in the event of an England-Scotland split.  The same goes for Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.  In the event of a Yes vote in Scotland we in England will need to have a competent negotiating team able to stand up for English issues and able to drive as hard a bargain as possible with the Scottish negotiating team - this will mean specific elections.

To pretend that the politicians who failed to keep Scotland in the United Kingdom are competent to negotiate the break up of the United Kingdom is not credible.

I do not want the Westminster politicians buying the Scots off with money from English taxpayers so that they can pretend that nothing has changed, that we are still a great power, that the British Prime Minister can still swagger about the world stage "punching above our weight".

Nor do I agree to the last minute extra devolution offer that has been made.  There is no mandate for this serious constitutional change and the offer has no validity.  If necessary I will vote and campaign against my own party to make sure the English people are not sold down the river.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

We will see the end of the Edinburgh festival

One compensation of a Yes vote in Scotland is that we will see the end of the Edinburgh festival on the BBC.

It will be bliss not to have to put up with all that forced tartan jollity and "alternative" tartan garbage.

It has never had any relevance in England.
'One in five Londoners want the capital to become independent' says this article in the Evening Standard by Benedict Moore-Bridger:  http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/one-in-five-londoners-want-capital-to-split-from-rest-of-uk-and-become-independent-9722652.html

And I would guess that none of them were English - probably they are all BME people.

Flag-waving nationalism

Dr Gerry Hassan (Research Fellow in cultural policy at the University of the West of Scotland and author of “Caledonian Dreaming: The Quest for a Different Scotland) has got things completely wrong in this article in the New Statesman:  http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/09/independence-scottish-mind-has-shown-failure-british-nationalism

Flag-waving nationalism has not failed.  Flag-waving nationalism in its SNP form has succeeded only too well.  It demonstrates what an addictive indulgence nationalism can be.

Scottish nationalism will provoke English nationalism - it cannot do otherwise.

And the SNP will find out that they are running a small nationalist state next to a big nationalist state.

Like the Balkans emerging from Soviet domination, the British Isles is going to re-experience all the tensions that were prevalent in the sixteenth century.

I do not think an independent Scotland can keep the monarchy

There was a discussion on Radio 4's PM programme yesterday about the implications for the monarchy if Scotland votes Yes to independence.

I do not think an independent Scotland can keep the monarchy.

Scotland is not achieving dominion status like Australia or Canada.

It is (if the Yes vote prevails) deliberately embarking upon a course that must bring it into conflict with England as the common resources are divided up and the Scottish element removed from government, the civil service and national institutions.  It is naïve to think that this is going to be done amicably and without considerable stress.  In addition, if the United Kingdom is broken up there is going to be a lot of anger from the population of England (who perhaps have not fully realised how their country is going to be fucked up and their lives disrupted).

The Crown cannot be impartial in any conflict between England and Scotland.

Much as I love and respect the monarchy they will have to go if they are not one hundred per cent on our side.

Nor do I want a head of state who lives for several months in a foreign country.

The Booker prize shortlist

On Newsnight yesterday four women were discussing the Booker prize shortlist.

Is it any wonder that young men do not think reading is for them when it is presented in these terms?

The Scottish voters looked at the Labour leadership and decided

As others have pointed out, the faltering of the No campaign is mainly due to the collapse of Labour's vote.

Does this have implications for the General Election in 2015?

Have the Scottish voters looked at the Labour leadership and decided they cannot support them?

Is this what will happen across the United Kingdom in may 2015?