#ScotRef

And there we have it ladies and gentlemen, there’s gonna be another one!

We’ve got another 18 months or so to get ready.  We’ve got a great chance of winning this but we must not be complacent.  If we rest on our laurels on the assumption that it will be a walk in the park, we’ll end up losing it again.  And this time, it will be a generation or two before we have our chance again.  (And I’m not getting any younger so would like to see Scotland become independent in my lifetime!)

I’ve already shouted at Michael Crick on C4 news this evening as he spouted several myths live on telly about the Euro and Spain’s determination to veto Scotland joining the EU.

We’ve also seen Sky News come out with this pish:

And it’s not even been 24 hours since the presser in Bute House!

If anyone thought the last referendum was divisive and nasty, clearly version 2 of Better Together will ramp that up to 11.

We’ve debunked these myths many times already and we will no doubt have to remind everyone of the facts over and over again.

But we need to keep the heid.

We’ve got 18 months or so to work out the arguments, all the sticking points that derailed us last time and come up with a stick on, no questions asked idea of what the Scotland we all (I hope!) want away from our Imperial Masters.

We’re starting from a position of an almost 50-50 split and at the moment it could go either way.  #ScotRef is ours to lose – I hope we’re able to grasp the thistle this time and can break the shackles from this ‘union of equals’.

It’s Time.

A new Scotland is coming.

 

 

Why?

I was out with an old friend at the weekend and he asked me a question that I couldn’t quite answer as well as I should have.  I thought I did well to bite back the vitriol, especially as I was fairly pished at the time!

The question was:

Why does the SNP attack Labour?

A simple enough question and I’m sure there are lots of answers to it.  Here’s my tuppence worth…

For as long as I can remember, Scotland has voted Labour.  Whether it’s locally or nationally, we kept the red flag flying here.

Now, not so much!  And the main reason, for me anyway, is that they’ve taken us for granted and given us hee haw in return.  UK Labour will happily take 40+ MPs to help bolster their numbers at Westminster but hell mend us if we try to change UK policy that might actually benefit Scotland in any way.

They made us subservient to our Imperial Masters and thought we would just lap it up for ever.  This is the party that insisted on a 40% rule at the last minute during the Assembly vote in the late 70s (where we voted Yes but the total Yes vote was less than 40% of the total electorate of Scotland at the time…).  The party that ‘gave us’ the Scottish Parliament in the 90s to help stave off any future calls for Independence.  The party that then colluded with the Tories during the #indyref with that fecking Vow that wasn’t worth the paper it was printed in.

We’ve got parts of Scotland – Labour heartlands no less – that have the lowest life expectancy in the UK.  You would think by now that Labour would have done something to help those areas that will always vote for them?  But no, they’re ignored because they will always vote for Labour so they don’t need to do anything to ensure their votes.

The SNP, quite rightly, realise that Scottish Labour voters are a target to help boost their numbers to gain Independence.  There are loads of people that have voted Labour in the past purely because it’s something that they’ve always done without giving it any thought.  Or that their parents voted that way so that’s how they will vote.  Again, purely without any thought.    Whether it’s the poor health coverage in Labour areas, or alleged corruption in Labour run councils, it makes sense for the SNP to highlight Labour’s failings at every opportunity in the hope that it might sway Labour voters to think about who they will vote for next time round.

For Scotland to become Independent, we need a big chunk of traditional Labour voters to vote Yes and that means persuading them that the SNP (and independence) is the way forward.

Since the Scottish Parliament came into being, our Country has started to believe in itself. We are starting to believe that there is more to life than being second best in a ‘Union of Equals’ and being treated like shite at every opportunity.  We were a bit early with the last #indyref but by the time the next one comes along, we’ll be ready and willing to take that final step into becoming a big grown up fully fledged nation.  With the SNP being in power for 10 years now, I think this self belief has stemmed from the SNP showing that we can do things well, albeit with the restrictions in place through the devolution agreement.

And yet, Labour – be it in Scotland or at UK level – have completely ignored this sea change in Scottish politics.  With every failed election, with every change of leader, they spout the same old pish about listening to the electorate but I guess they continue to listen to the wrong people, as they harp back to halcyon days when Scotland would gladly put an X in the Labour box.  If they still intend to take us for granted, they will be wiped out and with their current showing in the polls, that might be sooner than they think!

They now have to fight for us but have no idea what to fight for.  We see UK Labour abstain or vote with the Tories on every key decision at Westminster and they struggle to understand why we are deserting them in droves.  Scotland wants things to change, we don’t want to be continually ruled by those heartless bastards in blue.  We see the state of UK Labour and the inevitable capitulations at the next few general elections and we’re not going to put up with it any longer.

It is only a matter of time until the Yes movement has the numbers it needs to escape the shackles of our Imperial Masters.  It would make it easier if Scottish Labour embraced Independence but if they are unable to change, we will do it without them.

Apologies for the ramble – you can probably now understand Stewart why I didn’t say much of this on Saturday night –  it’s difficult to put my thoughts into words sometimes and there was no way I would have been able to do so after 4 pints of Heineken…

 

Fuds

Every now and again we see a story in the news about how Labour in Scotland should change their position on Independence, as it would enhance their chances of being in power in Scotland and would ‘guarantee’ a Yes vote at the next #indyref.

As Labour in Scotland are currently languishing in 3rd place behind the Tories in the polls and could potentially end up being overtaken by the Greens, I am amazed that one of the high held yins hasn’t decided that it would be a good move for them.

I’m not quite sure whether I should be impressed that they are sticking to the Union At All Costs policy that has seen them become a bit of an irrelevance these past few years.  Or maybe I should take pity on them for being too stupid to realise that their #SNPBad approach does more damage to them than the SNP.

Either way, they don’t look like they are going to change any time soon and their inevitable demise as a political force will soon be upon us.

Whilst I agree that a change in Labour’s position on Independence would be good for Scotland, I have to say that I would be very sceptical of any adjustment to their position on this subject.  A change of heart would suggest a cynical ploy to reach top spot at Holyrood and move into Bute House, rather than doing something in the best interests of Scotland.

One thing’s for sure, Labour in Scotland have never done anything that is in the best interests of this country.  You only have to look at the state of traditional Labour voting areas of Scotland to see how badly they have been let down by their elected officials.  There are still parts of Glasgow where life expectancy is a good 20 years or so below the UK average and it can’t be a coincidence that these areas are where Labour were certainties to be represented at local and national levels.  And the less said about the tram fiasco here in Edinburgh, the better…

I used to think Labour were the bee’s knees but as I’ve become more politically aware I have realised that they are a bunch of Fuds.  I would have voted for them in a post Yes Scotland but that ship has sailed.

Their antics over the past few years have shown them to be a bunch of petty fuds who have no shame in their attempts to smear the current Government irrespective of how good or bad they are doing.  (Generally, with the Tories intent on pushing Austerity at every opportunity, they’ve done an alright job, considering.)

I get that while in opposition, they have to highlight inefficiencies or bad practices but all they are doing is screaming #SNPBad at every opportunity – aided by a compliant media who seem to publish their press releases verbatim without any questions asked – without coming up with any alternatives that would have a positive impact on society as a whole.  Only Labour could come up with a #SNPBad story during the launch of the SNP’s ‘Baby Box’ policy at the start of the year.  I think anything, no matter what it is, that will hopefully improve the early lives of new born babies is something we can all agree is a good idea but alas no.  Labour were able to find something to moan about and quite rightly they were lambasted for doing so – although not by any of their pals in the press…

 I’ve had enough of these fuds being given time on our TV screens or writing columns for crap newspapers to spout their pish and I hope one day we can go at least a week without hearing their constant bleating about pooling and flipping sharing!

Hopefully the Council Elections in May will give them another bloody nose but I sense these guys are so full of their own entitlement that they’ll put it down to a temporary blip and will promise to listen to the electorate to find out what went wrong…  Because that’s worked the umpteen previous times…

I don’t want these fuds anywhere near power in Scotland ever again and hopefully, once we are Independent, a new party will make a name for themselves that we can all get behind to take us forward into the brave new world.

Fingers crossed anyway!

Reflections

Howdy,

2017 is upon us and many will be glad to see the back of 2016.  Most commentators suggest 2016 has been a shocker of a year but in reality, bar a few untimely deaths, a referendum that looks to be bringing about a British Reich and an American election that may well lead to the obliteration of our planet, I think it’s been a good one!

For me personally, I was made redundant from my job just as I turned 42 and that was the ultimate end to a horrendous period working for a company that had drained every last drop of enthusiasm out of me and where I had been running on empty for quite some time.  I couldn’t see any way of getting out of it despite trying my luck on the job market a number of times over the years and then BAM – the guys in charge finally made the right decision to get rid of my department.  Let me tell you, since that fateful day I have not looked back.

Granted, I didn’t manage to have that 3 month holiday I had planned, nor was I able to get a new job outside of pensions administration but apart from that, it’s been great!

They say once you hit the age of 42, you get to know the meaning of life, the universe and everything and you know, I think they’re right. Since I left my previous employer, I appear to have a new lease of life. No longer do I suffer from the Sunday Night Dread or the even greater Monday Morning Oh My God I’m Going To Stab Someone mood swings and these days, I’m more likely to be caught skipping into my work of a morning!  (Perhaps I’m drinking too much coffee before I go to work…)

It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for you and long may it last!

Another thing that’s made my year is watching the continued growth of two of my most favourite people.  My son turned 3 near the end of the year and every day brings something new to be amazed at. Whether it’s his grasp of language or his sense of humour, every day is a joy.  Ok, his tantrums are epic and his poops are legendary but he has filled a hole in my life that I didn’t know I had and I am very thankful that we decided to create such an amazing little boy.  (To be honest, with my genes, I am not at all surprised at his awesomeness…)

Someone else who deserves special praise this year is my wonderful wife.  She continues to put me to shame on the weight loss stakes with a whopping 4 stone drop compared to my 2lbs.  She has also tried to improve her prospects of eventually changing jobs later in 2017 and both of these have given her a massive boost in confidence that can only help her achieve whatever it is she sets out to do this year.  Obviously, she deserves lots of praise for putting up with me for another year…

I can’t wait to see what both of them will do during 2017 and I know whatever it is will make 2017 another exciting year round our way.

My thoughts turn to those that we’ve lost during 2016.  Thankfully, I can say that my family is still intact and the Grim Reaper has given us a wide berth these past 12 months.  Long may that continue!

Yes, I know, there have been some celebrities who’ve not managed to make it but who gives a shit about them?  They’re not important to me or my life so I’m not going to shed any tears for them.  Apart from Carrie Fisher, obviously.  I mean, for crying out loud, we’ve still got oxygen thieves like Nigel Farage or Donald Trump kicking about and yet someone who has given so much joy to so many people (and increased sales of gold bikinis) is taken from us in the prime of her life.  

It’s just not fair.

So, what do I want to see in 2017?  Well, assuming we aren’t blown to smithereens this month when Obama hands over the reigns of the world’s biggest super power to a complete and utter fruit loop, I just want to have fun with my family and go on as many holidays as we can afford!

Politically, I think no matter what happens with Brexit (means Brexit), the UK as we know it is screwed.  There won’t be another #indyref this year but we will certainly be another step closer to being a fully grown up country by the end of 2017. No matter what happens as part of the negotiations, Scotland won’t get what it wants, which is to remain in the Single Market and as such, we will have no option but to have another referendum.  I just hope we take the opportunity when it presents itself as I don’t think we’ll get another chance in my lifetime if we screw it up again.

From a footballing perspective, I am excited about the appointment of Ian Cathro as Head Coach of Hearts and think it’s a brave move by the Board.  With this appointment and the building of our new Main Stand, it could well be a very good year for Hearts.  I am always an optimist when it comes to my team but usually that is gone by the first couple of weeks of a new season, so it’s a bit weird that I’m feeling so good about it at this moment in time.  I’ve mentioned previously about losing my football mojo and I can feel some of it coming back these past few weeks.  It will be interesting to see how that pans out – maybe I might even get a season ticket next season?!  Well, only if the wee fella wants to come along too…

Anyway, I think I’ve waffled enough.  Hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and I’ll be back on soon for some more inane drivel!

Cheery bye.

Show Me A Leader

In these turbulent times, we need strong people in power to take control and keep the ship steady, whilst also trying to get what’s best for us as a country. As luck would have it, we’ve got that in spades at the moment, with our First Minister showing everyone how it’s done along with our group of MPs in Westminster.

It’s great to see and it’s also heartening to know that we’ve got people in place who will fight for what’s best for Scotland following the calamitous #Brexit vote last month.

Imagine if you will, a scenario where Labour were in power in Scotland (I struggled to write that without laughing) and we had Kezia Dugdale and co trying to fight our corner! It’s bringing me out in a cold sweat just thinking about it but what if it was actually true?!

Would we see stateswoman like speeches defending Scotland’s right to remain in the EU or a plea to EU nationals currently living here that they are valued in this country .

Judging by today’s ‘action plan’ (FFS) I would think not.

Kez would be telling us all that we need to respect the result despite us voting to remain and then trying to implement tax raises in Scotland to mitigate the economic shit storm forced upon us by those pesky British Nationalists. Trotting out tired old clichés like “We’re in this together” and “pooling and sharing” as she bends over and does whatever Labour’s PLP tells her.

Thankfully, Kez is not going to get the keys to Bute House any time soon, or indeed at any time in the future, so we can all sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that the right people are there looking after our best interests and that one day soon, the holy grail of an independent Scotland will be upon us.

The Second Coming

It’s been a couple of weeks since Brexit and the UK is still reeling from the vote to leave the EU.  There’s been a huge amount of turmoil following the vote and I’m sure there are many more to come.

One piece of turmoil that I’m looking forward to is the chance to have a 2nd referendum on Scotland’s future.  This time, I’m sure, we will be ready and we’ll have all the answers we need to persuade enough people to vote Yes.

I was heartened to read in today’s Sunday Herald that the SNP are looking into the option of Scotland having it’s own currency should we decide to go it alone.  This, for me, was the main sticking point at the last referendum as we got bogged down trying to deflect unionist claims that we wouldn’t be able to ‘keep the pound’.  I could understand the White Paper having this as their main currency choice but always felt that if we were to be a grown up country, we should do everything a proper country does.

If we can have this option tied down and out in the public domain before the next referendum, with everyone knowing exactly what the ramifications were in a post indy Scotland, then I think this would give a massive boost to the Yes campaign.

The only other sticking point is the EU and I’m pleased that Nicola Sturgeon is taking steps to work out our options and also to touch base with the movers and shakers in Europe to see how we go about becoming part of their club, should the rUK go their separate way.  The noises coming from Europe seem positive and I will be watching how this develops with interest.

In my opinion, not having these two issues nailed down in 2014 was the reason we lost as Better Together were quick to jump on the uncertainty around these issues.  Nobody likes uncertainty and I think that was a major problem in trying to garner enough votes.  How could you get a majority to vote for you if two of your main policy ideas had so many unanswered questions?  Hindsight is a wonderful thing but if we had certainty on our currency and EU membership then we’d have been celebrating our independence by now.

Anyway, I’m optimistic about the future and hope that the indy dream can eventually become a reality.  The recent moves by the Scottish Government should help to swing things in our favour and I’m looking forward to how all of this transpires over the coming weeks and months.

Interesting times ahead!

England’s Dreaming

The past few days have been very interesting indeed.  And most of it is not good.

As things stand, the UK as we know it is on the brink of tearing itself apart as the ugly undercurrent of English nationalism has found its voice and is not afraid to let that voice be heard. Scotland and the rest of Europe can only look on aghast at what is unfolding in front of us following the victory for Leave in Thursday’s referendum.

We’ve been building up to this time for many years with papers like the sun, the daily mail and the express all spouting vitriolic pish about nasty immigrants t’s coming over here and nicking our jobs as well and being a drain on our welfare system/NHS. Leave used this as the backbone of their campaign and has legitimised the racist views of many a little englander. I have seen far too many anecdotal twitter posts about people being verbally and physically assaulted down south because of the colour of their skin or their accent over the weekend and I fear things are only going to get worse.

The tories and certain media outlets have created a a myth about all of the country’s ills being caused by Johnny foreigner rather than the bankers that caused the 2008 meltdown and successive governments for sticking to a failed austerity ideology. It’s not Europe’s fault for our public services being starved of funds and it’s certainly not the fault of polish people choosing to live and work in this country.

We are bombarded with bullshit from people who should know better and we are finally reaping what they have sewn.

England is dreaming if they think backing BoJo and Gove will make Britain great again.

Thankfully, us Scots have a strong leader who has taken control of this sorry situation that we find ourself in and it will be interesting to see where this all leads to. I can only hope that #indyref2 will follow but we must ensure we are in a winnable position before its called. The next one needs to be a commanding victory for Yes as it’s too scary to think about the consequences for losing it a second time.