Tuesday 31 May 2016

Shout Out, Say No - great new Brexit song on Youtube now

A catchy little song by Michael Blount is going the rounds as of today. It's one of those folksy pieces that stick in your brain for a long time afterwards:

We gotta shout, I'm out,
Let the people say no.
We gotta shout, I'm out,
Free our country, let it go.


Why Scotland Should Leave The EU - now available to download

Why Scotland Should Leave The EU is now available to download from Amazon. It is permanently free to subscribers of Amazon Unlimited, and starting tomorrow, Tuesday, from just after 9.00am it will be free for everyone until Sunday morning.

The 6,000 word e-pamphlet looks at the issue of independence from Brussels through a Scottish eye, so if you don't live in Scotland, please tell your family and friends up here who do as they might want to read it.

Far too much of this debate seems to only concern England, but there are lots of good reasons why Scotland should vote Leave, reasons which are only applicable to Scotland. 

For instance, the fisheries, including fishery protection, are wholly devolved matters, but Scotland has to take orders from Brussels over how the bounty of the sea is harvested. Form the moment that the UK is free of those tentacles, all the fishing waters then become the sole responsibility of the Scottish Government.

Just think of the jobs that would be created if the bulk of those waters were reserved for Scottish boats, crewed by Scottish fishermen. 

All this and more is covered in Why Scotland Should Leave The EU - so grab it now!

Edinburgh's streets fill with Brexit teams as the campaign goes into high gear

The Brexit crews were out all across Edinburgh on Monday night, so I was spoiled for choice as to which group to go and have a pint with after they had finished leafleting. I decided that the Morningside team had the right idea as they met up afterwards in the famous Canny Man's, an Edinburgh institution that has been in the same family for over 150 years.

The question on everyone's lips is where are the Federast teams? The people who want to sell out the country to globalised capitalism are just nowhere to be seen. Don't get me wrong, as I quite like having the city - and its pubs - left entirely for the increasing number of Brexiteers who are now going out every night to spread the word.

We have no choice: democracy's enemies control the media, especially the television, and they are ahead in the polls. All we can do is spread the word that a better country is possible.

We may lose this battle, but at least we were never ashamed to go out and fight for out beliefs, unlike our opponents.

Sunday 29 May 2016

Labour has sealed its own fate by supporting the Federasts

Jeremy Corbyn is a life long opponent of the EU, who not only voted against it in the 1975 referendum, but who voted against every extension of its powers since then. He heads a parliamentary party that is thoroughly Federast in its outlook, and appears to have made a Faustian pact with them. The full terms are obviously still secret, so we don't know what Corbyn will get in return, but his side of the deal is obvious: he must support the EU in the 2016 referendum. 

The problem is that by supporting the EU, Labour has probably made itself permanently unelectable. Polling figures that are now available show that fully three in seven of Labour's 2015 voters who are also Brexiteers will not vote Labour in the future, based solely on the party's attitude to the EU.

When Tory voters claim that they will never vote Tory again they tend to be blustering. When Labour voters say that they are abandoning Labour then they damn well mean it and they carry though with their threat. They then spend a lifetime telling anyone who will listen why they no longer vote Labour just so we all know.

I had friends at school who were a year of so younger than me so got caught out by the raising of the school leaving age in 1972. The Tories were in power then, but it did not matter because those people blamed it all on Labour for not doing anything about that measure after 1974. I never had the heart to tell them that it was a Labour policy that the Wilson government had to put back by a few years owing to financial constraints, so it was purely blind chance that Heath was in power when the measure was passed. Anyway, to the best of my knowledges neither of them have ever voted for anyone, which means in a district like that, it is Labour that  suffers.

A friend of mine had a pub in Salford, and half his regulars were Labour voters who stopped voting when the smoking ban came in. Every time they went outside for a tab in the piss poring rain they would have a moan about how Labour was getting them wet. They probably still are for all I know.

In Scotland Labour lost a whole damn country with its stupidity. Firstly by fiddling the 1978 referendum for a Scottish assembly to make sure that even though the measure passed, it did not pass by the required percentage. Then by refusing to oppose the Tories with sufficient vigour in the 1980s, even though Labour had 50 out of the 73 Scottish seats. Finally by siding with those same Tories in the 2014 independence referendum when the bulk of its core vote had decided to take a punt on independence.

Last year Labour activists were being abused in the streets by ordinary people who then went on to hand every single Labour seat but one to the SNP. This year in the Scottish elections, the anger had gone, and people were just indifferent to Labour's plaintive cries. One activist told me that the indifference was even worse than the hostility.

Staying on the Scottish theme for a moment, Corbyn could have adopted the strategy that the SNP is using in this referendum, but he hasn't, and it is probably too late to change, now.

The SNP tried to dragoon its members into supporting Remain, and when they refused, the party began a policy of criticising the Remain campaign, but not Remain itself. It is obvious what they are up to, they are making sure that whatever shit flies up does not fall down on them. The SNP can face the future and say that whatever happens none of it was their fault, which is bollocks, but has the advantage of being plausible bollocks.

Labour could have done that. Ostensibly supporting Remain, but in reality watching the Tories tear themselves to pieces. Maybe even doing as Stanley did at Bosworth Field and changing sides, when the other army looked like becoming a winner.

Instead Labour has decided to sacrifice its future as a serious political party on the altar of the EU. The working class vote in Northern England, which is the last of the old vote left, will abandon Labour after this final betrayal.

Saturday 28 May 2016

Last Saturday in May and Brexit is winning the Edinburgh ground war

Saturdays are Brexit days in Edinburgh, and here is today's group photo from my usual stall in the centre of the city. 

Demetrios is back after two weeks in Greece, sorting out his taxes over there. Taxes that as he said will go straight to the Germans. He likes to tell people that we are setting an example that he hopes Greece will follow in giving the two fingered salute to the whole rotten structure that is the EU.

People are starting to clue in to just how important this is, as well as just how awful the Federasts are. A few people told me today that the idea that a Third World War will break out if we leave the EU just cracked them up. People resent being treated like gullible fools who will believe whatever nonsense the Federasts can dream up, so that line has probably been worth a few more tens of thousands of votes to the Brexit side.

My reply today to those comments was to tell people that if they thought it was bad now, then they should just hang on another week until the Federasts really start getting nervous - then we will really see some examples of hysteria in action.

All in all, today was a good day, with more and more people coming up to the stall and asking for lapel badges to wear. My group started to run out, but luckily more are on the way for next week. If today is anything to go by, we will need all the badges we can get. 

The SNP were out in part of the city, but their activists refused to campaign for the Federast side as the leadership wanted. Eventually a compromise was reached that allowed the bulk of them to hand out SNP leaflets and try to sign up new members, with the few out and out Federasts in each group giving away special SNP branded Federast propaganda.

As things stand on the last weekend in May, Brexit is winning the ground war handsomely. It's on to June now, with Independence Day on the horizon.

As Brexit Day draws near, the Federasts start their panic attacks

Richard Littlejohn over at the Daily Mail was rather cheesed off with this poster, but I quite like it, albeit for cynical reasons of my own. I think it says everything that needs to be said about some of the Federasts and how they view us, the people of Britain.

Emily Wood learned this up close and personal when she complained on BBC Question Time about the fact that her disabled mother cannot get a council bungalow. The Federast reaction across the web ranged from mockery to the usual screams of waycism.

Then the BBC ran a documentary called The Last Whites of the East End, which really set the cat amongst the pigeons. The howls of outrage from the pure at heart who genuinely seemed to believe that this rather wistful film would lead to another Kristallnacht  was a joy to behold.

The reason why I like all this is that it shows to the ordinary people of Britain that there is an element within the country who genuinely hate and fear them. They are the trendy, liberal, wanky Federasts who are voting for Brussels because they see it as a bulwark against the people that they despise. Those type of Federasts talk a lot about democracy, but they hate it, really. They hate it because they know that democracy gives power to the demos, the people, and it is the people that they hate and fear.

These wanky little excuses for men, accompanied by scrawny-titted women with their frizzy hair and poor dress sense are what I call the polyocracy. They are sad examples of humanity with their pathetic little poly degrees, puerile desire for status and well-paid non-jobs in the wonderful world of local government.

And they are afraid. That is why they shout and scream. They know that we can outvote them if we only turn up to the polls and that frightens them even more.

On the 23rd June 2016 let's go to the polls mob handed and give them a genuine taste of bowel loosening fear.

Thursday 26 May 2016

A rainy night in Edinburgh did not deter the Brexiteers

The weather in Edinburgh has been vile all day, but that did not deter our valiant band of brave Brexiteers who spent the evening leafleting. Well, they did, I just turned up for a jar or three afterwards, but you get my point.

Today marked the start of the ground campaign in this fair city, with groups going out all over Edinburgh. The Federasts are nowhere to be seen, with no ground campaign going on at all.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Brexit means a booming Scottish fishing industry

Read Brexit: For A New Country at this link.

A new and amusing line is being heard from Scottish Federasts, which states that if Scotland and England vote differently next month, then the border trade between us could be affected, and that could lead to a rebirth of the old tradition of the Border Reivers.

Now, shall we take this nonsense seriously? Oh, let's do, and say what's wrong with reiving? You may think that I would say that, given my surname is Bell, and you would be dead right since it would mean that I could go back to the old family tradition of stealing sheep on one side of the border and then flogging 'em off on the other - which is basically what the reiver clans in Scotland and families in England did. The Bells were on both sides of the Tweed, so were equal opportunity raiders.

They were generally regarded by in both Edinburgh and London as being the tastiest of all the Border peoples, which is why after the Union of the Crowns in 1603 both governments went after the Bells with a vengeance.

Enough of these increasingly desperate Federast fantasies. It is a fact, and not a fantasy, that  if Scotland votes to leave the EU, then the country will immediately take control of her farming and fisheries. As you will know, the fishing industry was sold out by Ted Heath as one of the bribes paid to get the UK into what would become the EU back in 1973. However, what is left of the fishing industry is fully devolved to Holyrood, which is why fishery protection is handled by Edinburgh and not London.

Yes, that's why we have our very own, perfectly formed Marine Protection Flotilla, which consists of the Mina, Herta and Jura vessels, along with a small air squadron.

Think about it for a minute: all those waters which currently come under the control of Brussels will pass not to London, but to Edinburgh. Think of the jobs that will be created in the new Scottish fishing industry, with skippers of the new trawlers begging school leavers to sign up as fishermen.

Look beyond that because those waters will need protecting, and with all due respect to the officers and men of the three existing patrol ships, they are not going to be enough. Scotland will need her own Royal Scots Navy to ensure that the waters are reserved for our boats, and to check the licenses of any foreign vessels that are allowed into them. How will that be paid for? By the taxes paid by our fishing industry and the license fees from the foreign vessels.

This is the ensign of the old, pre-1707 Royal Scots Navy. Vote Leave next month and you could see it flying proudly again:

This is what the Americans call a no-brainer: anyone who wants to keep Scotland in the EU does not care a tinker's cuss for our school leavers or the future prosperity of the country.

Monday 23 May 2016

Labour is disconnected from its voters over the EU

 I was talking to an electrician last Friday who commented on my window posters and told me that he was also going to give the two-fingered salute to the Federasts and their EU wet dream. He went on to tell me that at the age of 50 he had never voted in his life - not even in the 2014 Scottish referendum - but this  vote was so important that he had registered. His wife shares his anger, but has not yet registered, so I told him to buy her a bunch of flowers and when she gets all sentimental, stick the form in front of her to sign. He agreed that this was a good strategy.

Also on Friday, Labour gave us another Gillian Duffy moment when an MP named Pat Glass was caught on tape moaning that a voter was "a horrible racist." The poor man has done to ground and the Glass woman has had to make a grovelling apology just as the then Prime Mentalist did in 2010, but it tells you everything you need to know about today's Labour Party and the people who infest it from top to bottom.

The 1975 referendum on Britain's membership of what was then called the EEC was called for the simple reason that Labour was split right down the middle over the issue, and it was the only way that Harold Wilson could hold the party together. Cabinet members were allowed to campaign for one side or the other, and the majority of the party's rank and file members voted to leave. What the referendum meant was that when the dust had settled the party held together, which was all Wilson was after.

Today, Labour is pretty much united as a Federast wet dream, with the parliamentary party and the membership by and large united behind the desire to keep the country as a province of the European Union. That's fine, but the bulk of Leavers will be the self employed like my electrician, along with the low paid and the claimants. The C2 and D/E element in Britain, in other words, and we are all, every single one of us, getting mighty cheesed off by Labour's antics.

I have never seen such a disconnect between Labour and its voters as I have seen recently. Along with Pat Glass we had Emily, Lady Nugee MP, another entryist, who also enjoys mocking the people that she expects to vote for her.

You expect such insolence from the middle and upper classes, two groups that have become insufferable over the past few years, but the attitude of the party's members is new and troubling. Inasmuch as Labour even has a membership these days it seems to be made up of the  local government employed C1 stratum of teachers, social workers, generic local government and NHS managers and other ancillary rabble. I can just about take the old aristocracy, but this new polyocracy leaves me feeling in need of a nice hot bath. It is that polyocracy that gives the nominations to the likes of Glass and Nuggee for their safe, cushy parliamentary seats. Then they wonder why formerly rock-solid Labour seats become marginal all of a sudden.

The days when Labour activists lived on the same estates as the voters, and went drinking in the same swill shops on Friday evenings are long over. Labour's activists are lower middle class types who have more in common with the people that the voters hate and the policies that they oppose.

Labour lost Scotland forever in 2014 when it decided to support the Union when the bulk of its core vote had decided on a punt for independence. Now, in the rest of the country, Labour is a Federast party that wants to grovel to Brussels, whilst the bulk of its voters are Leavers.

From top to bottom, Labour has to realise that you cannot mock your voters and then expect them to vote for you. Neither can you have a policy such as the Federast one that the party enthuses over today, and expect a core vote that has been left behind by the forward march of globalised capitalism to fall in line behind that policy.

I predict that Labour in England will suffer the same fate as its  Scottish counterpart, once the dust settles from this referendum.

Saturday 21 May 2016

Edinburgh Leave campaign branches out into Leith

Today the group of Edinburgh Brexiteers that I belong to put out three stalls in Scotland's capital, one of which was in Leith, which is where I live. Not only that, but there is a damn fine pub just 50 years from where the stall was located, so once we had finished handing out leaflets, we went and quenched our raging thirsts with a pint or three.

Since today was Cup Final day and since Hibs who are the local team were in the final against Rangers, it was probably not a good day for campaigning, but there were enough women about doing their shopping who were willing to take the leaflets to make the day worthwhile. The fact that they were accompanied by men who were all looking at their watches with a air of wanting to be in a pub with a big screen TV only shows that the good men of Leith have their priorities set correctly. 

The day was made even nicer by the news that the Federasts could only manage one stall in the whole of Edinburgh, and that stall only had one solitary man standing there with his leaflets.

Why not come along next Saturday and join is? Our main stall is always in Waterloo Place, near the Duke of Wellington's statue. Just turn up between 11.00am and 2.00pm and join the gang.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

Nick Thomas becomes a blogger

Anybody who was around Oxford from 1978 to about 2008 will remember Nick Thomas, who has now joined the ranks of the blogging brotherhood. For those of you who have never enjoyed his company, Nick is a former columnist for both the Times and the Daily Telegraph, a playwright, essayist, wit and raconteur - and almost certainly the most bone-idle fellow I have ever known. He is now married to an achingly lovely young woman who is not only half his age, but also seriously rich. The couple have two delightful children and live in Amsterdam.

Nick's blog can be found at the Pissedoldhack.com URL, and it is less a traditional weblog, and more an outlet for his essays. Pop over there and be prepared for a master class in the art of the essayist.

Monday 16 May 2016

Download Brexit: For A New Country free at Amazon

Brexit: For A New Country is now available as a free download from Amazon until about 8.00am on the morning of Saturday, the 21st May.

Remember that the file is not DRM encoded so you can read it on any device, make a copy to your mates, do what you like with it just so long as people get to read the bloody thing.

It has been a long, cold, near-forty years of shit with just about all the political parties ignoring us. On the 23rd June we have the chance to bring them face to face with the reality that we are still here and that payback is due.

Sunday 15 May 2016

Brexit: For A New Country is now available to download

Brexit: For A New Country is now available to download from Amazon.  My plan was to offer it as a permanently free download, but Amazon will not allow that, so I had to price it at 99p, which is the minimum price allowed. The good news is that it is a freebie for anyone who is signed up to Amazon Unlimited.

I have signed the pamphlet up for a promotion with Amazon, which starts tomorrow and lasts for five days. During that period you can download the pamphlet free, so keep your eyes peeled and nip in smartish when the promotion starts.

Right, that's my contribution to the Glorious Cause done and dusted.

Saturday 14 May 2016

Saturdays are Brexit days in Edinburgh

Today was a strange day here in Edinburgh with an unusual yellow orb in the sky which made everything warm. The shoppers were out in force to take advantage of the weather so we got rid of a lot of Brexit leaflets, took some photos and generally enjoyed ourselves.

I reckon that the Scottish government will be in for a shock when they find out just how many people who voted Yes two years ago are now casting in their lot with Leave. Having campaigned in both referenda, the attitude of the people on the street towards Leave is far more positive than it was in 2014. People were enthusiastic then, but they are more so now.

Somebody told me that they had seen a Federast stall today, which would be a first. We have the numbers and the enthusiasm, so can mount these campaigns all over the city. The Federasts cannot match that.

Come and join us!

Coming soon - Brexit the pamphlet

This week's posts have been collected into one file, topped with an introduction and sent off to a friend to be proofread. Hopefully tomorrow that file will be uploaded to Amazon where it will become a Kindle e-book. It will be free to download, and will not have any Digital Rights' Management encoding, so you can read it on any Kindle enabled device.

Also tomorrow I hope to also convert the text to ePub and PDF formats. If you want either then please drop me a line and I will send you the files. The PDF would make a nice pamphlet to hand out from your Brexit stall.

Just my small contribution to the Good Old Cause.

Friday 13 May 2016

Brexit is in your hands

On the 23 June 2016 ordinary people like you will have the future of the country in your hands. Between now and then you will be subject to a barrage of lies and threats from the employers, the employers' men and all those politicians who represent the employers. Every single one will tell you the same thing: that you must vote Remain and continue living in the shit.

The newspapers and television will be full of horror stories that will come at you thick and fast. Every day there will be new tales, with often different horror stories being fed to different newspapers, so that it will seem as if  a great tidal wave of terror is about to wash over you. Unless you vote Remain, that is. Then all will be sweetness and light.

This tactic was used to pressure the Scots into voting No in 2014, and believe you me, if you think that the hysteria is bad now, wait until the final two weeks of the campaign, because then it will get a  lot, lot worse. Then the Federasts will throw caution to the winds and hit you with everything that they can.

People who try to argue back will find that they are wasting their time because by the time they have researched their answers the news cycle will have moved on to other hysterical, over-the-top allegations of doom and gloom. The Federasts do not want to debate - all they want to do is scare you into voting as they want.

The best thing to do is not even try to debate with them. Just work on the assumption that you can always tell when they are telling porkies, 'cos they move their lips when they speak. From Heath who sold out our fishing industry to get into the EEC in the first place, right up to Blair and the gang who said that Poland would only be sending a manageable number of incomers every year, the Federasts will say anything to keep the UK in the EU. Their place in society relies on it, just as your place at the very bottom of the heap is conditional upon Britain remaining as part of a never changing system.

Of course, the campaign of fear will have its effect on some people. Amusingly enough, they will probably be the anally retentive, saloon bar fascist  types with their buttoned up cardigans who wear ties at home, and who are married to women with faces like well kept graves and cast-iron perms. On polling day the men will stop moaning about the EU, the immigrants who drive down the value of houses or the scroungers who are all raking it in courtesy of their taxes. Their wives will stop peeking out from behind the lacy curtains in the front room at the people across the street who never work, but have a big car outside their door and are always going on holidays. Then together they will go to the polling station with their smacked arse facial expressions firmly in place and vote to remain in the European Union.

They did it in 1983 when Labour had a manifesto commitment to leave the European Union. They did it again in 2015 when they dumped UKIP and voted Tory, having spent years boring the rest of us to tears with pledges that they would never, ever vote Tory again.

It is what you expect from the middle class, as they are people who haven't got the balls to be workers, nor the brass to be gaffers. These precious suburban souls in the middle can only pray that the wealthy leave them with a bit of prosperity and a sizeable police force to ensure that the rest of us are kept down.

On the 23 June 2016 the middle class will, by and large, crawl to the polling stations and vote Remain, like the good, obedient little doggies that they are. In return they will be allowed to keep their pathetic bits of prosperity, and given leave to continue pissing on the people below them. They are the people who resented the gains that we made in the thirty years or so years after the Second World War, and wanted to put clear blue economic water between us and them. So they voted time and time again for governments that would do just that. Thank God we are rid of them and can stand entirely on our own in the battle to come.

So it will fall to you to free your country. Brush aside the cowards and the crawlers: all they want to do is give the country more of the same, and more of the same for you means that your children will live in the same shit as you. It's time to end it now.

The road ahead will be long, and there is no guarantee that we will emerge as the victors from the political chaos that will occur as soon as we vote Leave. What we can be sure about is that there will be political chaos and out of that chaos there will be the opportunity for major changes.

If any nasty piece of work asks you why you voted Leave on the 23 June 2016, tell him you did it to create that chaos and that opportunity, that a better country might emerge from the wreckage.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Edinburgh Leftists meet to discuss our Leave campaign

Here I am, meeting Nigel Griffiths yesterday at an informal get together  to discuss the fight against the Federasts in Edinburgh, which was an event worth attending. Nigel was the Labour MP for Edinburgh South until he retired in 2010 and he is one of the senior figures in the Scottish Leave campaign.

As you can see, we had a pretty good turnout for the informal meet, greet and drink beer event, and I ended up chatting to the local Communist Party of Britain organiser, who told me in all seriousness that he had just met a Tory who had somehow found his way to the pub. Given that the CPB probably has more members than the Tories in my part of the world I was most impressed by that.

So the evening rolled along, with 'phone numbers and e-mails being exchanged and rounds being bought. Some kind soul had managed to wangle a stock of Wetherspoons 50p off vouchers for the beer, so the evening turned out to be even cheaper than it normally would be in a a local 'Spoon.

Let battle commence - as soon as we sober up!

Life after Brexit

It is funny the way in which the Federasts who want this country to remain under the thumb of Brussels think that they can predict the future. They fill the newspapers and television screens with their lurid fantasies about how terrible life will be, but the simple truth is that they don't really know what will happen once the country is independent anymore than I do.

Certainly the middle class who have taken control of the Labour Party and who tell us that the Tories will remain in power forever unless we remain under the cold hand of Brussels are talking utter bollocks of the highest order. The notion that the political class, all of them, right across the board, will just be able to carry on as if nothing has happened after the people have just rejected the cornerstone of over half a century of political and economic policy is just too ludicrous to take seriously.

Just think about what is likely to happen starting on the morning of the 24 June 2016, when we all wake up to the first day of a free country.

First of all, by demanding that the country becomes independent once more, you, and people like you, will be in a position to demand long-term changes to the way that the country is run. The political class who support the European Union, and the employers' organisations who do so as well out of it, will all have been discredited just by your simple act of refusing to be intimidated and casting your ballot to leave the EU. You will have seen through all their fairy stories and by voting to leave you will have demonstrated your complete and utter contempt for every single one of them.

The politicians especially will have to start listening to you for once because they will be quite simply shitting their loads. They will be afraid of what you might do next, having got the taste of power in your mouths. You can imagine that Labour politicians will start scampering to come up with policies that appeal to us and to people like us. Regulation of the economy, nationalisation of industries to ensure that workers people get a decent screw for the first time in well over a generation, all that and more will suddenly appear back on the agenda again.

The Tories will have more to fear from a population that is no longer on its knees, so can be expected to scramble quickly to catch up with Labour.  They have done it before, in the couple of decades after the Second World War, when Tory leaders were only too happy to appease the working class by levying higher taxation on the middle class, so they have previous form for that.

Of course they won't do that because they love us, but because we will have made them afraid. To protect their own positions in society they will look for policies that will buy us off and keep us happy, but so long as those policies involve decent wages and good terms and conditions, why should we care about their motives? I always took the view that management scum could not buy me, but they could rent my services for an agreed number of hours a week, just so long as the bastards were not too lippy and paid me a decent screw. I suspect that most working people think like that, and so they should.

Now it may be that you are happy doing a shit job, for a shit wage, for a shit gaffer, in which case then of course you should vote to stay in the European Union. On the other hand, if you want something better, if you can just smell the opportunities that independence might bring, then you should go to the polling station on the 23 June 2016 and vote to leave the European Union for once and for all.

Seriously, your life cannot get any worse than it is already, and there is the possibility of good times ahead.

What's not to like about that?

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Brexit is about controlling the labour supply

Go to any Northern English mill town and start asking the older people when the first Pakistanis arrived and it won't take you long before someone starts giving you chapter and verse. They will probably also tell you which company shipped the newcomers into the town and by how much they cut the wages.

Let me give you an example of this. I lived in Nelson, Lancashire between 2010 and 2013, and more than one neighbour was only too happy to tell me that a company called Smith and Nephew brought the first group of Pakistanis in to work the night shift at the company's mill. In those days the going rate for an unskilled night worker in a mill was £7.00 a week, so Smith and Nephew paid its new workers £6.00 every week.

Needless to say, the people back then were none too happy at that state of affairs, and that led to union protests. The new workers were quickly signed up to the union, and the Labour government then stepped in towards the end of the 1960s and brought in the first Race Relations Act which made it illegal to pay differential rates on the basis of race. It was a perfect example of Labour, the unions, and ordinary working people joining together to foil management's wickedness.

Today we live in a world of hire and fire where management scum do not need to worry about agreed rates of pay because the bastards can pay whatever they like, so long as it is on or above minimum wage. You might say that getting a job that is much above minimum wage is like finding rocking horse shit in the street, but that's not the point.

The point is that the idea that immigration is good for Britain is nonsense. It is certainly good for the employers who get the cheap labour. It is good for the middle class who love immigration because it gives them an army of cheap plumbers and nannies. They also love the newcomers because it gives them a chance to patronise the poor, benighted dusky masses, whilst at the same time encouraging their sense of superiority towards us, the poor bloody working class, who they can then condemn as evil racists. Self interest combined with self righteousness: that's the middle class all over for you.

To make matters worse, the simple economic fact that an oversupply of labour keeps the price of that labour low also acts to depress pay rates that are slightly above the minimum. Management can employ semi-skilled people at low rates of pay so long as they offer a rate that is a few pennies above what the people below them are getting. Even skilled workers, such as lorry drivers who used to be very well paid, are now finding that the influx of foreign workers is acting to keep their take home pay low.

By voting to leave the European Union on the 23 June 2016 the ordinary people of this country will send a signal to the employers and those who spend a lifetime with their noses jammed up the ring pieces of those employers. The signal will be heard loud and clear by those people who gloat at our poverty, but more importantly even than that is the fact that it will almost certainly have an effect on the scab labourers who are thinking about coming to Britain to dance to management's tune for crap wages and even crappier conditions.

The message to them is that the working people of Britain are no longer prepared to tolerate the mixture as before. By the simple act of voting to leave the European Union the word will go out that our country is no longer a safe haven for those who want to cut our wages. It is not too fanciful to speculate that within weeks of the vote to leave having been registered, the supply of cheap labour from Eastern Europe will start to dry up.

Forget changing the law to restrict the entry of scab labour, forget rebuilding the strong unions that we once had, or the Labour Party that we once had to to speak for us.

Forget all that for the moment and concentrate on the notion that if foreign labour ceases to flood into the country then almost by definition your wages will start to rise. If there is no longer a reserve army of unemployed and underemployed people then management scum will have to start offering better wages to you and to people like you. They may hate you as much as you hate them, but they are not stupid and they need someone to actually do the bastard work that creates the wealth that they then skim off and enjoy. That someone could be you, with for the first time in your life, a decent bloody wage packet burning a hole in your pocket.

I have no doubt that if you repeat this argument, that some clever bugger will come along and tell you that the management will take their companies elsewhere. To be honest, that may be true, but we won't know whether it is true or not until after we have voted to give the two-fingered salute to the European Union.

What is true, and what cannot be denied, is the fact that you spend your lives going from one crappy job to another, with long periods on the social in between. Those crappy jobs are often via an agency, so really, can anyone honestly say that those crappy jobs are worth defending?

Think about it for a moment. Can your life be any worse than it is? Yes, independence is a gamble, of course it is, but what is the worst that can happen to you if the gamble fails? That you might lose your shitty job, for your shitty wage? You are probably going to lose that job anyway, sooner rather than later. The company will tell the agency that they don't need as many workers next week, and you will get a text message on your mobile 'phone telling you to go and sign on for a bit until something else that is equally shitty turns up for you.

Independence is a gamble, but it is a gamble worth taking because not all the jobs will go. The ones that remain will have to start paying better wages for the simple reason that fewer and fewer people will be willing to work for next to nothing.

Just leaving the European Union will lead to that end.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

Brexit as seen from Scotland

In the 1975 referendum campaign the Tories and Liberals supported the European Union, and Labour was split down the middle over it. One of the few parties that opposed the EU root and branch was the Scottish National Party, which is perfectly coherent when you think about it. The SNP was arguing the case for Scottish independence, and a country cannot be independent if it belongs to the European Union, so the SNP was anti-EU.

Today, the SNP is the party that now dominates Scottish politics, and it is also the one that has the most incoherent set of policies relating to the EU imaginable. This incoherence exists on so many levels, but let me just pick out the major ones as they are enough to be going on with.

The first relates to the position of an independent Scotland in the European Union. The SNP's official line during the 2014 referendum campaign was that  Scotland would automatically remain a member of the EU via some nifty footwork under Article 48 of the Founding Treaties. Opponents argued that an independent Scotland would have to join the queue of applicants from outside the EU and then apply as a new member under Article 49. We don't know who was right, and it doesn't matter, but what does matter is that the issue was never as done and dusted as the SNP blithely wanted the rest of us to believe.

What is beyond dispute is that several existing EU states, of which Spain is probably the most vociferous, did not want Scotland to even enter the EU because that would have encouraged the secessionist movements in Catalonia and the Basque Country who want to breakaway from Spain. Perhaps needless to say, the nationalist parties in those lands also want to remain under the thumb of Brussels. So an independent Scotland would have found itself caught up in the internal political wrangling of several major EU players who all have valid internal reasons of their own to want to discourage such breakaway states from even existing, and if they do exist, at least prevent them from joining the EU.

The issue is not what is right or wrong here in any abstract, moral sense. The issue cuts to the quick of the international order which is the same today as it was when the Athenians enunciated it to the small, weak, island of Melos in 416BC: The strong do as they will and the weak do as they must to survive.

So, Scotland's position, had the country voted for independence and then sought entry to the EU would have been very weak indeed. It is possible that Scotland would have been eventually admitted to the gang, but that would have been on terms dictated by Brussels, so forget using the pound which is what the SNP wanted, because Scotland would have been instructed to use the euro as one of the conditions of entry to the EU. Think about it for a minute, why would the EU negotiators make any concessions to their Scottish counterparts who had a really weak hand to play because the whole thrust of their argument had been the illogical one of seeking  independence from London, whilst pleading to remain in the European Union?

If the SNP were serious about the strength of their case about EU membership, and feel genuinely certain that the EU would accept public version of how Scotland would join,  then they would be encouraging the English people to vote to leave the EU, and the Scots to remain. Such a strategy at least has the advantage of some intellectual coherence about it, but instead the SNP are using the full powers of government to encourage the people of the United Kingdom as a whole to remain in the European Union.

What the SNP are doing here is not just implicitly conceding all the earlier objections that people made to the party's publicly stated policy regarding the country's EU status, but they are also explicitly accepting that this is a referendum for the whole UK. Given that Nicola Sturgeon is reported to be planning to visit England herself to jolly along the Remain voters there, they can hardly deny that fact. If it is a vote for the whole country, then it must be a decision for the whole country, so how in the name of God's left bollock can the SNP then say that if English votes take Scotland out of the EU, that would be enough to trigger a second independence referendum in Scotland?

Even if the SNP was able to escape from that trap of their own making - and I am sure that they would be able to spin it to their more credulous supporters somehow - the SNP would then be faced with three big political hurdles. The first would be that they would have to call their second referendum and the second is that they then they have to go on to win it. Given the result of the first referendum, and the voting figures from the May 2016 Scottish elections, it is far from certain that they would win another referendum. Then they would face their third and final hurdle which is even more massive than the first two: they would have to get the EU to agree to admit them on the SNP's fanciful terms.

All the previous points that I made about several EU countries opposing secessionist states as a matter of their internal politics would still apply, with the Scottish negotiating hand being even weaker than it would have been even in 2014. Scotland would appear not as a confident, modern state seeking to join a group of equals on equal terms, but as a supplicant, begging to be admitted on any terms at all. Obviously, the wolves in all the major capitals would lick their lips in eager anticipation at the chunks that they could take from Scotland's flesh. Forget the pound, of course, and perhaps get ready to wave goodbye to any and all fishing waters. Then ask yourself, would Scotland even be able to keep control of her oil?

Think about it - states like Spain will know that they have the Scottish on their knees.  Why should they make it easy for Scotland when they can get the Scottish government to sign up to anything that is contemptuously tossed in front of them?

A far more honest, straightforward policy for anyone who voted Yes in 2014 is to vote Leave in 2016. Scotland and the rest of the UK can then sort out their internal constitutional position, free of Brussels, since neither side would have any interest in remaining within the EU.

An independent Scotland, if it came about, would control not just the vast offshore oilfields, but the bulk of Europe's fishing waters. Those waters could provide employment for an army of Scottish fishermen under a government that could forbid foreign fleets from touching them.

On the other hand, if Scotland did decide, quite democratically, to remain within the United Kingdom, the post-Brexit UK would be a very different country than the one that we all inhabit at the moment. It is ludicrous to claim that UK politics would carry on as normal following a Brexit vote, because the fallout from a Leave vote would lead to the discrediting of the political elite all across the country. There would be a new politics for a newly invigorated land, with quite possibly a new constitutional settlement between the home countries.

The choice is yours on the 23 June 2016. Vote for more of the same, or defiantly vote to demand the possibility of a better tomorrow that will only come about if we leave the European Union.

Monday 9 May 2016

An apology to the young for my vote in the 1975 European referendum

In June 1975, I was eighteen years old when I stood in a polling station in Manchester and cast my ballot to remain in what was then called the Common Market. Over forty years later I want to kick my younger self for that act of stupidity, but since I do not have a time machine that is an impossibility. Instead, this piece is a mea maxima culpa from a man who will hit sixty in August this year, and who bitterly regrets the foolishness of his youth. How could I have got it so wrong all those years ago? 

I was not the only young fellow in 1975 who felt that the future was going to be better than present, because millions of others felt the same way. We were the children of the men who had suffered the dole and the means test in the 1930s, fought in the Second World War, and then voted to ensure that never again would unemployment be a factor in British life. We took full employment for granted, and regarded it as our right. Indeed, we never imagined that any government could ever take the plentiful supply of easy to get jobs away from us.

We stopped providing the teaching trade with employment one Friday afternoon when we were fifteen, and the the following Monday we left the house and started the world of work. It was our right not just to work, but not to have to take any old buck from the two-legged cockroaches known as the management. They would tell us what to do and we would tell 'em to take it up with the union. Then we left them to argue about it with the union for the next year or so, with the result that nothing much changed because the union could usually negotiate away at least half what management scum wanted to do. For the rest, well, the odd concession was made, but those concessions usually came with more money for us, and since bastard work is the price that we all pay for our money, we accepted such changes along with the extra brass that jangled in our pockets.

This is why when we looked to the future it was with optimism in our hearts. We talked about new technology, and believed that it would mean easier work, fewer hours and no loss of pay. It was going to be introduced by politicians who would work with the unions, and would ensure that by the end of the century we would all be working twenty hour weeks with probably a couple of months' holiday a year, and then we would all retire at 60 or even earlier. How would people fill their long leisure hours? That was the question that many of us asked in those dim, innocent days.

We saw the European Union - or Common Market as we then called it - in that light. It was about progress, and progress to us was a very good thing indeed. It was about more money for less work, and work that new technology would make a lot easier than the grimy, balls-achingly, tedious version of it that we all did as part of industrial Britain all those years ago.

We were told that pretty soon every job that was going begging anywhere in the EU would be advertised at every labour exchange. I can remember in 1975 being told by some political hack in Market Street, Manchester, that if I wanted to get a job as a projectionist in any cinema, anywhere in Europe, all I would have to do would be to wander along to the local employment exchange and they would give me a list of all the available positions. A few months later I did just that and needless to say the man had been talking out of his arsehole.

Had we not fallen for those lies, then Britain today would be a very different country than it is, and a far better one to boot. By voting the leave the EU in 1975 we would have created an enormous political crisis that would have led to the resignation of the Labour men who just two short years later would introduce the proto-Thatcherism, that disfigured the years from 1977 to 1979. The likes of James Callaghan and Dennis Healey would have been discredited by their defeat, and would probably have been replaced with the Labour victors, such as Tony Benn, Peter Shore and Barbara Castle.

Across the Commons, the likes of Margaret Thatcher, who was also a committed proponent of the European ideal, and whose policies after 1979 were a harsher, colder version of what Labour was already trying to introduce, would also have felt the blowing of the icy winds. Would the Tories have  replaced the creature in the wake of what would have been a defeat for her? We will never know, but what is pretty certain is that the Tories, had they still won the election in 1979, would not have had the right-wing Labour policies that led to the Winter of Discontent to build upon for their own vile ends.

So we lost the chance to change our history, and we condemned ourselves to the long, cold winter that started in about 1977 and which still shows no signs of ending. 

I am now in the evening of my life, but I want to try and make things right. Not for me, as I am too old, but for the young people who look around in bewilderment as they face a lifetime of crappy jobs, for a crappy wage, for a crappy employer that is all interspersed with achingly long periods on the social.

You deserve better than the wretched country which my generation will bequeath to you, but let me join you in starting the fightback on the 23 June 2016.

Please, also, accept my apologies for my appalling mistake in June 1975. I really knew no better.

Sunday 8 May 2016

My window gets new decorations as we head towards the EuroRef vote

My latest window display is up, as we head seamlessly from elections to the EuroRef.

Between tomorrow and Friday, a  post will go up every morning at about 11.00am at the latest to bang the drum for Brexit. By next Sunday I hope to have been able to put them together along with an introduction, that can become a freebie for the Kindle. It will not be digitally protected so feel free to copy the booklet as much as you want.

I will also create a PDF version if anybody fancies printing it up as a traditional pamphlet, and an ePub version will also emerge which will be available just as soon as I can find a hosting site for the file. Alternatively, you can drop me a line and I will send it to you as an e-mail attachment. 

All this is my humble contribution to the Good Old Cause. 

Friday 6 May 2016

A guide to dealing with Yooners

There is something about the modern version of Scottish dress that can only be described as cool...

And sexy. Yeah, pretty seriously sexy.

OK, so, let's agree that modern Scottish dress is both cool and sexy, how does that sound? Good, now read on.

There are other people who are neither sexy nor cool, and this is how they dress:

This man is not cool. Rather he is a total wanker.

As is this man...

And the less said about this woman the better.

The reason why the uncool dress and act this way is that they are Unionists, or Yooners as we now call them. Based upon yesterday's voting figures for their party, Yooners are about twenty percent of the population.

Luckily for the rest of us they are mostly beyond breeding age, so time is on our side, but while we still have them in our midst, please let's not be nasty towards them.

We should just smile nicely, and tap our heads knowingly, whenever we spot one.

It is the way that the cool people behave.

For Scotland, the future will be a process, not an event

As I said in my last posting, I am very happy to see the SNP remain in power, but without having too much power. A lot of people are not happy, but that's politics for you, and it does not mean that the road to either independence or maximum devolution is blocked. Rather it means that the future will not be marked by a major event, such as a referendum that leads to an independence day, but a process that will in the fullness of time lead to the same end.

Many countries have followed this road over the years, with Canada being the prime example. The country in its modern form was created thanks to the British North America Act 1867 that was passed by Westminster. That act gave the new entity certain powers, but many more were reserved to Westminster. In 1914 when the United Kingdom went to war against Germany, Canada was automatically at war herself. A generation later, when the UK again went to war with Germany on the 3 September 1939, Canada declared war on the 10th of that month, as the power to do so had been devolved between the two wars.

The right to declare war is one of the powers that only sovereign states have, and it took Canada many years to obtain that central sovereign right. Indeed, the last bit of Westminster control over the Canadian polity was not relinquished until 1982,  over a century after the process had begun in 1867.

At no point during that long period of time did anyone in Canada talk about unpacking the rifles and declaring independence as the 13 British colonies to their south had already done. It was accepted in both London and Ottawa that the process would reach it own conclusion in its own good time, which it did.

Scotland embarked on a similar journey, starting as early as the 1880s when administrative devolution was granted to the country. By the 1930s the whole of the Scotland Office had been moved to Edinburgh, with only the Secretary of State for Scotland remaining in London with his small staff. 

Political devolution took rather longer, thanks to the intervention of the Great War, but when it came in 1999 it was quickly followed by two further Scotland Acts in 2012 and 2016, with the result that today the bulk of the decisions that effect people in their day to day lives in Scotland are decided by Holyrood, and not Westminster.

Looking to the future, Scotland does not need to continue with the constitutional debate, because that was settled in the 2014 referendum, a matter that was confirmed yesterday when the people of Scotland said that they wanted the SNP to have power, but not too much power. 

This is an opportunity for Holyrood to legislate for Scotland, and by doing so it will slowly but surely continue the process of breaking up the United Kingdom. That cannot be avoided, if Westminster continues to enact legislation that will not apply to Scotland, and Holyrood passes its own legislation in its areas of competence that diverges from what exists south of the River Tweed.

Much of this process does not actually need legislative change to take place. Until 2007, Scotland was run by the executive, not a government. In that year the SNP decided to quietly start calling their administration the Scottish government, and London did not object, so the matter was settled. One could imagine the office of First Minster becoming that of Prime Minister, or Premier, along the same lines. Similarly, the Presiding Officer who chairs Holyrood could also be replaced. Historically, the pre-1707 body was chaired by a Chancellor, and as far as I can see there is nothing to stop Holyood changing the Presiding Officer for a Chancellor.

What's in a name? That will be London's attitude, just as it was in 2007, but the symbolism of such markers on Scotland's road to the future is the most important thing here.

Returning to the legislative arena, if Labour finally drops nonsense such as the Baine Principle which held that whatever the SNP proposed they would oppose, and starts to work with the SNP government in areas of mutual interest then that would be a step in the right direction. Labour badly needs people to stop believing that it is a Westminster stooge, which is why the party now opposes Trident. That policy is a gesture, but it may have been enough to stop yesterday turning into a complete route.

Labour, the Liberal-Democrats and the Greens are all in favour of higher taxation, whereas the SNP have suddenly got cold feet over what was until recently one of their flagship policies.One can imagine a trade-off, with the SNP agreeing to some opposition polices, in return for those parties agreeing to support the replacement of the First Minster with that of a Prime Minister.  Its is a small constitutional change, which London may not even care about, and the taxation issue is fully devolved so it is not their problem.

The Tories in Holyrood will howl that this is further evidence that everyone else wants to break up the UK, but they can be sidelined and left to bang their Lambeg drums in impotent rage, if all the other parties can agree.

They are right, of course, but the process will be so long that it is unlikely that anyone who is an adult today will live to see its end. Thus is is not an issue that we need to discuss, and most people won't. This is just about using Holyrood's powers to their fullest extent.

Let the process begin!

Yesterday was a great day for Holyrood and Scottish democracy

Yesterday was a great day for Scottish democracy, and has left Holyrood to function as it was set up to do, with no single party in overall control. Out of 129 seats, the SNP has 63, the Tories 31, Labour 24, the Greens 6 and the Liberal-Democrats 5. What this means is that the SNP has enough seats to pass day to day legislation, but for anything controversial it will need the support of one other party at least. That, ladies and gentlemen, suits me right down to the ground.

The failure yesterday was in the SNP's  policy of asking for its supporters to give it both votes, and then expecting that to give the party all that many list seats. The SNP grabbed 59 constituencies out of a total of 73, so its vote share on the list was marked down dramatically, which is why they managed to get just four list seats.

A lot of screaming will now begin, but for the rest of us, normal service has been resumed. The SNP can govern the country with our blessing, but they cannot do anything too ambitious without the support of other parties.

That's democracy, folks, and it worked fine yesterday.

Thursday 5 May 2016

Make sure you vote today!

 Here in my Scottish constituency of Edinburgh Northern and Leith the numbers seems to be down slightly on the UK General Election vote of a year ago, but people were coming and going to the station when I got there at 9.30 this morning.

All of them were over 60, but that may reflect the time, with the youngsters turning out later, or not as the case may be. Certainly I did not see a single 16 - 30 year old anywhere near the booths this morning.

I cast my ballots for the SNP and Labour, so that's my job done. If you haven't voted yet, then make sure that you do, no matter where you live in the UK.

The politicians only listen to the voters, not the ones who cannot be bothered to vote, which means that my pension is pretty much secure, but that's not the point, is it?

So make sure you vote today!

Wednesday 4 May 2016

We must stop the Tories becoming the main oposition in Holyrood

The result of tomorrow's Scottish General Election is pretty much beyond doubt, with the SNP almost certain to grab around 70 out of the 129 seats in Holyrood. That's fine by me, but what isn't fine is if the Tories manage to get more seats than Labour.

The SNP are currently triangulating like mad to the centre and right, and I suspect that they would be only too happy to have the Tories as the main opposition party. They could then triangulate still further to the right by claiming that they have to do that to prevent the Tories from gaining ground. The fact that the Tory vote has not moved for several years, and remains stuck on just under 20 percent is neither here nor there. If the Labour vote continues to fall then the Tories will become the main opposition just by virtue of the Labour collapse, and that is something that should worry the rest of us a lot.

We need a strong, leftist party as the main opposition to wrench the SNP back to the centre and left, and force them to abandon their current position. If the SNP thinks that its main threat in the future comes from the left, then that should be enough to encourage this populist outfit to change some of its newly minted taxation policies and readopt the ones that they held a few months ago.

Neither of the two Trot grouplets who are taking up space on the ballot papers for the list can do that as no poll puts them above two percent nationwide, and that is on a good day. The Liberal Democrats and the Greens are both running at about eight percent, but the former has a long way to go to persuade people that the party is anything other than a Tory stooge outfit. For its part, the Greens have a voting core that is made up of the young who are experts at explaining why they neglect to vote, and lousy at actually doing it.

That leaves us with a vote for Labour, on the list at least. The party is now opposed to the renewal of Trident, which is a gesture, since Trident is a reserved matter, but it demonstrates that Labour is now autonomous and no longer under London's thumb. Not only that, but Scottish Labour is now an agnostic party as far as independence is concerned, and will leave its members to side whichever way they choose in any future debate on Scottish independence. Finally, Labour is the party that wants to raise taxes on the wealthy. So do the Greens, let's be honest, but unlike the Greens, Labour is the party that will get over double the Green vote, even in its currently battered state.

We have to vote Labour on the list to ensure that the scummy Tories do not become the main opposition party in Holyrood.
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