Easter this year will be so close to Brexit that Scottish sheep farmers and English and Welsh ones for that matter will be waiting nervously to see if many of them will still be able to sell the lambs they have worked so hard to grow. Europe is the major market and if a no- deal Brexit occurs it will have disastrous consequences. A fall in the £ and tariffs of 40% on our lamb being sold to EU (the biggest market) will mean they wont be able to sell it.
The price will drop so much that it wont be economic to feed and keep these lambs – this will lead to the biggest mass cull of lambs out-with a disease containment incident like ‘foot and mouth’.
The wreckage of Brexit will have caused this.The Tory infighting that is at the heart of Brexit and could bring this about could also be the trigger which ends many rural businesses linked with farming. We can accuse the farming community of having their heads in the sand and even for supporting the Tories, but we cannot accuse them of creating the conditions and crazy economics which sees hundreds of thousands of animals culled and buried in pits unsold all in the name of Westminster Tory political posturing. G
Brexit has been a long term project for the Tories.Its been in the works for a number of years but was escalated when they found out about the changes to EU tax avoidance rules.
“Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power”
George Orwell, 1984
One of the most influential dystopian novels ever written, 1984 has had a profound effect on the world. Since its publication in 1949 many of its concepts have entered modern day parlance. Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak and Room 101 are all part of Orwell’s world. What’s more, as a result of the book, Orwellian is now a term to describes official deception, secret surveillance, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian or authoritarian state. Orwell hoped that by writing 1984 he’d help stop such a state ever coming to pass.
Some would say his vision is only now becoming a reality in more ways than one.
Brexit means Brexit we were told.
We knew it was going to be complex but we were not told Brexit is being used as a convenient smoke screen for a whole number of other plans and schemes. So Brexit most certainly doesn’t just mean Brexit and it never has.
What it has done is allowed the true, deeper nature of politics to be exposed and also to reveal how the state works behind the scenes to hide reality from its citizens.
The process of Brexit will achieve much more for the Conservatives than the Thatcher years ever did.It conveniently blows a smoke screen around a whole number of areas where the Tories would want have a free reign to take money out of the system and allow rampant capitalism to flourish in a virtually tax free United Kingdom.
A tax avoiding haven sitting just off the coast of Europe will outdo the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. It will become deregulated to extent where ‘anything goes’ and Brexiteers and their pals will not only have new ‘blue UK passports’ but will retain the EU ones through buying them via places like Monaco and Malta so that they can have their cake and eat it.
The government has shown how it works with the media in order to make its job simpler. Like in Orwell’s novel politics is portrayed as serving some higher purpose, but is only an illusion helped in part by a willing mass media.
No ‘higher purpose’ is being served here than to line the pockets of its party donors as the recent Ferry contract shambles highlights. The rules are being broken on a daily basis. It is as if the media turn a blind eye and the script gets rewritten every time there is a blatant gaffe.
‘Doublespeak’ although not actually used in the novel its is closely linked to the concept ‘doublethink’ and ‘Newspeak’ which run through the novel.In modern language it boils down to lying and getting away with it.
In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible … Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness … the great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
This is where phrases like ‘national interest’ comes in. When we hear it know that there is something going on like a billion pound bung to the DUP to prop up a failing government when they lost their majority after a failed general election campaign.
Speaking of which enter British Labour, stage right or stage left.It doesn’t matter which because all the past hopes of an election victory at a ‘snap’ general election are slipping away for Jeremy Corbyn. Instead of waiting patiently for his big chance at electoral success his party have failed to respond to the pleas of his own supporters in taking a positive stance over Brexit.
Years of abstaining on important issues such as long term austerity measures ( which Scottish Labour still try to blame the SNP for) and avoiding working with opposition parties to put up any kind of fight against austerity will have lost them the next election.
Scottish Labour are also complicit with other Unionist parties in doublespeak. Before the Christmas holidays press outlets were flooded with press releases to ‘keep them going’ over the lean news period. Not sufficient with poorly written and researched press releases Scottish Labour constantly working for their London based superiors came up with a great new wheeze.They organised a demonstration at Central station.
“Doublethink means the power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them.”
The fact that the press nearly outnumbered the demonstrators tells you all you need to know. Also the fact that the BBC and STV trailed the demonstration before it happened and reported on it extensively when most other demonstrations in living memory are largely ignored by them and the attendance figures grossly under represented. Well, I am counting about 12 people.Maybe if some smaller people are in the middle, 15 at best. Hardly a mass movement supporting Scottish Labour?
We have no illusions that Labour , Scottish or British will come to the aid of Scotland.We have come too far for that and have gained too much.Now people know what is at stake.It is not just ‘Independence or bust’ it is independence or the loss of our NHS, independence or the dismantling of our parliament it is independence or the loss of our young flourishing economy, it is independence or an inward looking isolationist UK.
Orwell’s future shock is now clearly recognisable in many aspects of life here and across the world but our future in Scotland is still unwritten. Too many people know that unless we become more engaged and in greater numbers than in 2014 we may end up with no government, being ruled by proxy like a forgotten ‘region’ of a state that never gets what it votes for.
“If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.” 1984
The UK honours system is as old as the hills. It dates back to the crusades when people were ‘knighted’ for service to the monarchy. Its been turned into a more ‘civil’ based awards process and since around 1890 there has been a New Years honours list almost every year.
Honours of course are issued at other times and usually at the hands of the Prime Minister.There is a resignation honours list and that one is where all a PM’s political allies get paid off in one go.David Camerons is here. Tony Blair’s resignation honours list was caught up in a ‘cash for peerages’ scandal which meant any lists would be getting vetted by a committee of the House of Lords. He failed to make the deadline. Gordon Brown’s ‘dissolution list’ became a mishmash of some of Blair’s non-runners and some of his. (Rev. Iain Paisley was in there somewhere.) 22 peers were appointed to the House of Lords this year alone.It is what some politicians strive for, that well paid, free day-care place for life.A place where the wine and the food is subsidised and you get paid for just showing up.
Bringing it bang up to date many observers have slated Theresa May for using honours to ‘buy’ support for her failing Brexit deal, some would go as far as to say that is why she delayed the vote from before Christmas.There are even some companies now that exist to raise your chances of getting on the Honours list. We kid you not. If you have about £3,900 they will knock you up an awards profile and punt it for you increasing your chances of a gong!
Here at Yes Scotlands Future we thought that we would propose a completely new system for a bit of fun on Hogmanay :
The Yes Scotlands Future iScotland Ne’erday Honours List.
In the interests of equality all recipients would receive the award of:
1 fish supper (2 fish) haddock of course
A Morton’s crispy roll
A glass bottle of original recipe Irn Bru!!
We did contemplate different categories of award based on region and status such chips and cheese (Ayrshire) and white pudding (Edinburgh and the Lothians) but in the interests of equality it is a fish supper or nothing!
Now this system is proposed to be self financing and will actually be good for local business. The Honours Committee of the Peoples Republic of Scotland will identify special fish and chip shops ‘by appointment’.These super-chippies will be the purveyors of the awards scheme and in return their businesses will grow with the increased status and they will gladly donate the grub to the successful nominees. This is much the same as the venue Oran Mor ‘pays’ the artist Alisdair Gray for his amazing work on their ceiling, only with fish and chips. We have seen him sitting in the corner tucking into a nice steak pie with a ‘half and a half pint’ on the side, that is for life. It’s a normal way of supporting art in many countries.
Like the UK system some honours can be lifetime awards but let’s face it if you only eat fish suppers you are not going to live very long so it will be a self regulating honours system.There will be no hereditary fish suppers awarded. That is just going too far.
In this first year the committee has proposed two categories of award, one for organisations making a contribution to civic life in Scotland and their community and secondly to individuals who are also doing the same. If it is a big organisation we realise this might mean a hell of a lot of fish suppers but hey why be mean about it!
Organisation Honours List
All Under One Banner (AOUB) for organising all the marches which took place in Scotland last year and giving us all the opportunity to join other Scots on the streets declaring our support for independence. You worked tirelessly to do this and took a lot of criticism in the process but you succeeded. Good luck with the plans for 2019.
Orkney News for being a newly founded community newspaper dedicated to bringing alternative news to the people of Orkney. They are a model of citizen journalism and the committee believes all parts of Scotland deserves a local citizen led media outlet like them. Very best wishes for 2019 and thank you for the encouragement and support to the wider networks trying to build citizen journalism elsewhere.
Independence Live for bringing all the years events to a larger audience. They are great ‘citizen live streamers’ who you are bound to have seen at many of the events throughout the year. From The Hague to Dumfries, Inverness, and Faslane and the big one in Edinburgh they covered them all and most importantly provide a means to share and encourage more people to come out on the street next year. Good luck for 2019 and thanks for all you have done.
Individual Honours List
For this category we take for granted that Nicola Sturgeon deserves more than a fish supper for what she has put up with this year so we have limited the nominations to just two individuals.
Mhairi Black has been the ‘baby of House’ at Westminster, but she continues to act with such maturity and level headedness when it comes to representing Scotland.It must be so annoying working within that environment and yet she does it without being reduced to their level and regularly points out to us just how ridiculous and outdated that system of government is. Keep going Mhairi you are a credit to Paisley and all of Scotland.
Ian Blackford MP and leader of the SNP at Westminster has also had an amazing year of keeping up the pressure on the Tories.You can tell he has got them riled when he was told to his face by Nicholas Soames MP to ‘go back to the Isle of Skye’. We hope our MP’s can all in fact go home to Scotland when we gain our independence from this out dated mess that is Westminster.
All winning fish suppers will of course be wrapped up in newspaper and award recipients will be able to state a preference for salt and vinegar or salt and sauce, no west coast bias here. They will have to buy pickled onions and portions of sauce from their own pocket.
We were considering a special award to Theresa May for services towards furthering the cause of Scottish Independence but we have heard she doesn’t eat fish and chips wrapped in newspaper. She prefers single use plastic.
Have a great time and everyone at Yes Scotlands Future wishes you and your family a Happy and Healthy New Year.
While everyone is celebrating this is the time of year Unionist parties have already prepared their press releases to take advantage of the lack of stories in the media, hoping that some of their ‘spin’ will make the headlines as fact.
In the case of Scotland that will not be a problem there is a willing press pack in radio, print and TV media eagerly awaiting stories which can help to undermine the Scottish Government, and the Scottish Parliament.
Like a broken record (remember those 12 ” bits of plastic you put on a record player) these press releases get stuck in the same message that the SNP are not doing enough to prevent austerity. They usually highlight issues that you would expect such as pensioner poverty , low pay and the increased use of food banks. All sounding quite normal ground for a political party to cover. But when you take a closer look you see them for what they are, thinly veiled lies and spin.
Take Richard Leonard for example, we do not know if he wrote this himself but his piece in The Scotsman on 21 st of December is a classic example of seasonal deceit. The headline screams at you:
Why are working Scots living in poverty? The SNP refuse to help
He starts out talking historically and ends up talking hysterically.
‘I joined the party over 35 years ago’.
So that would be the 1980’s then just after two back to back Labour governments of Harold Wilson and James Callaghan heralded in 11 years of Margaret Thatcher. Another 13 years of Labour Governments were to come in the shape of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. We point this out as Richard seems to get all heated up about Labour and positive and practical things it could do to eradicate poverty. In the 24 years of Labour Governments since Wilson’s 1964 government they have had 5 chances in government to do something about it and little has changed. And they want us to vote Labour to let Jeremy Corbyn govern us.Assuming he would win if there was an election?
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”
So why are Scots living in poverty? Let us answer his question for him by using the well worn phrase , ‘It is the economy stupid’. Here is a standard overview of the UK economy right now and its recent history. A history Labour conveniently forgets when blaming others for their own continued failings.
UK Economy – overview:
In 2008, the global financial crisis hit the economy particularly hard, due to the importance of its financial sector. Falling home prices, high consumer debt, and the global economic slowdown compounded the UK’s economic problems, pushing the economy into recession in the latter half of 2008 and prompting the then BROWN (Labour) government to implement a number of measures to stimulate the economy and stabilize the financial markets. Facing burgeoning public deficits and debt levels, in 2010 the then CAMERON-led coalition government (between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) initiated an austerity program, which has continued under the Conservative government. However, the deficit still remains one of the highest in the G7, standing at 3.6% of GDP as of 2017, and the UK has pledged to lower its corporation tax from 20% to 17% by 2020. The UK had a debt burden of 90.4% GDP at the end of 2017.
The UK economy has begun to slow since the referendum vote to leave the EU in June 2016. A sustained depreciation of the British pound has increased consumer and producer prices, weighing on consumer spending without spurring a meaningful increase in exports. The UK has an extensive trade relationship with other EU members through its single market membership, and economic observers have warned the exit will jeopardize its position as the central location for European financial services. Prime Minister MAY is seeking a new “deep and special” trade relationship with the EU following the UK’s exit. However, economists doubt that the UK will be able to preserve the benefits of EU membership without the obligations. The UK is expected to officially leave the EU by the end of March 2019.
In 2008 it was Labour’s Gordon Brown who presided over the banking crisis admitting he did not do enough to regulate the finance sector. What followed was Conservative imposed austerity starting with the Cameron government ( including an alliance with the Lib Dems).
Here is the rub.
Government programmes like austerity are set out at Westminster not Edinburgh and run for years.At the time it was Labour, in opposition at Westminster who abstained and did not not put up any kind of fight against the imposition of austerity.
That leaves us with two main conclusions, one Richard Leonard is lying to the Scottish public as the programme of austerity which sets the block grants for years to come were in effect supported by Labour.
Secondly, he disrespects the Scottish public because he thinks we are stupid enough to belief this rubbish.He consistently repeats it at every opportunity especially now at the end of the year when editors will be very willing to use any press releases they can get. Nothing but deceit and disrespect for the people of Scotland.
The Scottish Government took positive and practical steps to mitigate the introduction of austerity measures as early as 2014. This was in response to the UK Government introduction of the ‘removal of the spare room subsidy’, more commonly known as the “bedroom tax”. The ‘mitigation’ continues and has come to the point using the limited powers of devolution the people on benefit have been involved in large scale consultations to help design a rights based Scottish Social Security system- but he says the SNP ‘refuse to help’.
Note also at this point after the 2014 referendum the ‘Vow’ and the promises of ‘substantial new powers’ were made to the Scottish people, remember ‘as close to federalism as you can get?’
Being deceitful is a prerequisite for Labour Party leadership. You have to call out the lies every time you hear them repeated because they will just keep on saying them.
Gordon Brown being deceitful in 2014 by promising us things he could never deliver.
‘Seeking a better future for Scotland, and one different to the Tories shrill and ugly Orwellian anti-foreigner and Victorian one for us is the most rationale behaviour I can think of. That’s why I’m YES.’
Mike Dailly (@mikedailly)
During the 2014 indyref Mike (a solicitor advocate) campaigned for the No side. He has since re-examined the evidence and now believes that Scotland would be better as an independent nation.