SEEN IT ALL BEFORE..THE CIRCLE OF POLITICS!

SEEN IT ALL BEFORE..THE CIRCLE OF POLITICS!

Seems to me politics in the UK AND SCOTLAND are on a forty year circle of life OR DEATH.

As I look around today I am reminded of the late seventies/ early eighties. Inflation is on the rise, strikes are very common and the cost of living is spiralling.

Despite the similarities, things are very different. The reason they are different is because of what happened all these years ago. Thatcher came to power with the aim of smashing the powers of the Unions. Her plan was carried out over the next decade, initially her plans decimated manufacturing. She rundown the big state owned unionised industries like steel and shipbuilding while turning the economy into a service based economy, all the while boosting huge growth in financial services. Revenues from Scottish oil funded these changes. Unions lost thousands of members and nowadays unions are only strong in the transport and public sectors.

The killer move was privatisation. Breaking up the utilities was key. As energy prices soar we witness today the true impact of losing public control and ownership to privately owned cartels. The SUPPOSED  “regulators” in these industries are toothless and have completely failed to stop massive profiteering.

To give a classic example of the lasting impact of privatisation let me spell out what happened with Ravenscraig and Gartcosh. Why? Because it’s the decisions taken at that time that closed down Scottish Steel but also pulled the platform away from British Steel across the entire UK, opening the door to foreign producers who took only a few decades to completely destroy steel production in the entire UK.

All this was accurately forecast at the time. The reason they wanted to close Ravenscraig was that the planned privatisation of steel was early on in their privatisation programme. It was imperative it was successful and oversubscribed.

The plan to achieve this was to reduce the privatised British Steel’s production capacity to way below the demand for steel in the UK. THAT WAY THEY BELIEVED THE PRIVATISED BRITISH STEEL COULD SELL ITS ENTIRE PRODUCTION AND BE VERY PROFITABLE.

It was folly, by reducing BS’s steel making capacity this had no effect on steel product demand in the UK. WHAT IT EFFECTIVELY DID WAS SURRENDER, VOLUNTARILY, A HUGE PORTION OF THE MARKET TO FOREIGN COMPETITION.

Now these competitors did not just restrict their sales operations to the market share BS had surrendered, no they sold across the entire product range, greatly aided in doing so at low cost as the BS surrender of market share allowed them to create effective steel distribution routes without the very expensive costs of only delivering small volumes. Here they were handed an open door for low cost business development with high volume from the start.

The 1980’s was the decade of the Accountants, where good managers who identified problems, found solutions and got the business back on track were replaced by bean counting accountants whose idea of business was to run it all as cost centres. If a cost centre was not profitable, little or no effort was made to find out why, make changes and return it to profit. No much easier to close that bit. This often had a negative knock on impact on other parts of the business reducing product range and once again opening the door to competition. The business “ art” was not to invest in modernisation, the aim was to “maximise” profit for as little investment as possible. Eventually, as such a strategy was always going to do, it resulted in big losses and closures.

It was not just the steel industry where this happened, British Leyland and a host of other manufacturers were effectively destroyed by this thinking and practice. Unemployment rose but the bonus for the Tories was the Unions we’re taking a battering as well.

As you can see from the above it is easy to point out why privatisation was a big mistake but there is a much more serious reason why privatisation was a disaster because it also  replaced serious investment in manufacturing across the entire UK economy. Lax tax regulation and the growth of offshore banking led to billions of pounds that might have been reinvested in the UK leaving the economy never to return in the form of traditional manufacturing investment. As a result manufacturing company after manufacturing company became uncompetitive because of a lack of investment in modern production equipment.

The Tories would blame the workers and high wage demands but the truth was it was those who were making a fortune out of privatising virtual state monopoly utilities like gas, electric and telecom and who were investing in these giveaway markets rather than in traditional manufacturing. That is how Germany, Holland, Belgium captured modern manufacturing at the UK’s expense. Just look at the Shipbuilding industry in Norway, they pay wages Scots workers could only dream of but they are very competitive because they have enjoyed substantial investment that keeps their yards at the cutting edge of their industry. That type of investment disappeared in the UK as investors looked for quick giveaway profits as Thatcher flogged off the family silver. Quick guaranteed profit. Non job creation investment.

The money has been there all along, note the rush to invest in the Covid scandal. All it took was someone to answer the phone on the VIP line and new businesses were created overnight and granted contracts worth tens, or even hundreds of millions of pounds. Often granted to offshore companies, sometimes only days or weeks old, more often for goods manufactured outside the UK. THE ONLY THING THAT COULD BE GUARANTEED TO COME TO THE UK WAS THE BILL. THEN WHEN PAYMENT IS MADE THE PROFITS RETURN  BACK OFFSHORE.

Putting all the eggs in the service economy and financial services industry basket now leaves the entire UK economy in an ever increasingly vulnerable position. Brexit has been a disaster for the whole of the UK ECONOMY but the hope that financial services would retain their top spot in Europe have already been dashed with Paris now claiming that crown.

With the UK now producing so little, the trade gap between imports and exports continues to grow. The old days when financial services income could be relied upon to close that gap is under sustained challenge from not just Paris but a range of European challengers. Scotland, thanks to our food and drink exports, our oil and gas etc is in better shape but Brexit has had very bad outcomes here as well. Our industry is facing challenges and the desperate actions of Westminster signing badly thought out trade deals does nothing to inspire confidence things will improve, indeed, quite the reverse!

We are paying the cost of allowing a neighbouring country to run our affairs. Our priorities will never be theirs. Their interest extends to what assets and resources can be plundered and our revenues flood their exchequer. Nothing else, they deny us the right to determine our priorities, they take hugely damaging decisions that greatly harm our prosperity and contact with other nations, Brexit being the most recent manifestation.

We really need as a people to waken up to this, generation after generation has suffered under this perverse system of Government where we allow others total control over our lives. So much unnecessary damage has been done, so much opportunity denied. Without change the next forty years will continue the downward spiral.

Yet the opportunity and cure lies in plain sight before us. Will we grasp it this time round?

The content of this article is part of the conversation I used in a three hour television session yesterday for a new BBC TV DOCUMENTARY titled “Union” which will be shown later this year on BBC2. The interview will of course be edited so I cannot guarantee what will be broadcast. Their interest in me was tied to my involvement in the steel campaign and in particular my involvement in putting the 1986 Gartcosh March together.

I am, as always

YOURS FOR SCOTLAND.


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46 thoughts on “SEEN IT ALL BEFORE..THE CIRCLE OF POLITICS!

  1. The UK, including Scotland, is well along he path that Margaret Thatcher started down in 1979 where everything and anything is for sale.

    That is, everything and anything that is left.

    Liked by 9 people

  2. The overall message of Iain’s post is that Scotland has to understand that the consequences and social outcome of remaining within the Union, will be a continual decline of our economic well-being. Monetarism and ‘Free Markets’ with it’s ‘business profits are paramount’ political ideology has destroyed the societies of nations in the western world.

    Scotland needs ‘Independence’ with a political and social ideology that serves the ‘People’. We now know that SALVO and Scottish National Congress of the People will ensure our future well-being.

    Neil🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    Liked by 10 people

  3. Thankyou Iain for this article. I well remember the Thatcher years and of course we are all now living through their consequences. We must get out of this Union before we hit the bottom. Very much looking forward to your programme. Keep up your excellent work.

    Liked by 6 people

      1. I just have. Everyone should rad Robin MacAlpine, you really should. The conclusion I draw from his latest piece is that this useless, conniving, scheming, dishonest Scottish government must not be the one that takes us to independence and then sets the rules for the new country. It’s bad enough when they are constrained to at least some extent by Westminster; given a free hand and Sturgeon still in control I dread to think what they’d do. The type of Scotland Sturgeon and Co. seem to envisage is not the one I envisage.

        Liked by 3 people

  4. Yes Iain, and the Tories intentionally closing down Scottish steel production also meant Scotland then missed out on supplying steel for the global shipbuilding boom that started in the 1990s and continues today. We should instead have doubled or even tripled steel production in Scotland, possibly with another steel plant built at Hunterston adjacent to the deep-water ore terminal there. And today that flourishing industry could have been fuelled by accessing Scotland’s plentiful low cost renewable energy as well – had that industry not also been stolen from us – giving Scotland a strategic global competitive advantage.

    Another massive missed industrial opportunity, just like the 100+ new ferries that Scotland needs which should be built here but for the fact our colonial administrators lack vision, managerial competence, and are never tasked with developing Scotland, rather the opposite. https://yoursforscotlandcom.wordpress.com/2021/11/12/how-to-end-the-madness/

    As Albert Memmi said, all you can ever expect running a colonial administration is ‘a mediocre meritocracy’ whose aim is primarily to serve the needs of ‘the mother country’ – Scotland’s continuing experience locked in the UK ‘union’ provides plenty of testimony to that.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Yes, it is scandalous that the Scottish Government persists with its colonial policy of buying a few unsuitable, inefficient and vastly overpriced ferries from other countries, while *ignoring* the practicable and costed plans to build 100 agile fast ferries in Scotland for the same price as a handful of their lumbering dinosaur ‘designed by corrupt political committee’ ships built outwith Scotland. Two other massive missed industrial opportunities [purposefully missed by the SNP colonial government devolved by and under the neoliberal bean counter UK government with its stated Thatcherite “Fcuk Business” policy]: 1) Decommissioning and recycling of Scottish oil & gas production facilities when they reach the end of their designed life – this work is being contracted to Scandinavian firms, including marine operations and onshore engineering work, comprising billions of pounds and thousands of jobs; and 2) Fabrication, installation and maintenance of Scottish offshore wind energy production facilities, as highlighted by Alba MP Kenny McAskill. The Scottish people need to embrace independence and, like other European countries, elect a government that implements industrial and maritime policies that benefit the nation.
      https://www.energyvoice.com/oilandgas/north-sea/decom/438127/foinaven-fpso-denmark/

      Liked by 7 people

  5. Hard to argue with any of this. For the record, the mania for slashing steel production capacity was an EEC (precursor of the soon to be established EU) wide phenomenon. Thatcher couldn’t unilaterally open up British markets for raw steel products to Global competition, she needed and got European collaboration.
    The later years of Ravenscraig coincided with Nissan setting up their assembly plant In Sunderland. To gain access to the European market Nissan had to demonstrate willingness to source materials within the EEC. If these materials could not technically be acquired within the EEC, Nissan were off the hook.
    The technical spec. of the steel Nissan required was an absolute bugger. Way too complicated to explain here, but a number of contradictory chemical compositions.
    At Ravenscraig we were just about capable of meeting their requirements for the initial test batch (after a lot of practice we pretty much mastered the technique).
    After closing Ravenscraig, British Steel’s stated intention was to move the Nissan contract to another plant (South Wales or Scunthorpe). We assured the geniuses who ran British Steel that all other plants would never make that steel grade as long as they had a hole in their arse (Ravenscraig was an EEC designated centre of excellence). As the countdown to closure approached, the penny finally dropped that we were being truthful. Their solution; make as much Nissan steel as possible in the few remaining months, stockpile it and hope for a miracle.
    As Iain correctly diagnosed, Managers educated and trained across a broad spectrum of technical disciplines had been replaced with myopic bean counters.

    Liked by 11 people

  6. (As usual, Iain, I leave you to decide if this appears.)

    My 2p … it’s 1985, I write the draft of an article and call it “Promises, Promises”. I then interview the chief executives of 9 major Scottish Companies, the article is then published.

    The companies involved all had humble beginnings, most, not all, were hundreds of years in the making.

    They shared a common attribute, they were all mutual companies, they were owned by their members. Substantial sums of money were entrusted to them.

    The theme of my article. as can perhaps be derived from the title I chose, was that they were making promises they could not keep, and unless there were fundamental changes, they would cease to exist, cease to exist most certainly as mutuals, or indeed cease to exist at all.

    These were the companies, some did indeed completely cease to exist, and those that remain are no longer mutual and owned by their members.

    Scottish Provident, Scottish Amicable, FS Assurance, Scottish Equitable, Standard Life, Life Association Scotland, Scottish Mutual, Scottish Life, Scottish Widows.

    It was another sign that we as ordinary mortals place our trust in others who we believe are acting in our best interests when the very opposite proves to be the outcome.

    I recently posted a video, now 6 years old, on the subject of pensions, one of the subjects we who are Yes do need to address.

    If you have time please watch for one very specific reason – it illustrates the sheer immensity of our inherent wealth as individuals just here in Scotland, when it involves pensions.

    It also illustrates that we have not learned some essential lessons over who we should trust. (I do not exclude politicians from that comment.)

    Liked by 5 people

  7. I have been bleating on about this since the early 90’s. Basically they, our political masters have not got a clue. They keep repeating the same errors. I wonder about Scotgov as well.

    Liked by 5 people

  8. If i remember correctly, when they took the decision to close Ravenscraig their order book was bulging. It may have been contributed to by vivianoblivian7’s comment above, but I believe the German car industry was desperate for Scottish Steel.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Interesting times: to put it very mildly, indeed. One big difference today, I believe, is the fact that almost everybody is affected to some degree by the public sector strikes, whereas in the seventies and eighties that wasn’t quite the case. Back then, demonising thus isolating the miners and the steel workers, for example, was a relatively simple matter, particularly so with the tabloid-press on your side. Not so today. All that the Tories have left is desperate recourse to anti-union legislation. Let’s see how that works for them, given the degree of public support for the nurses etc. Let’s see too, what the so-called party of independence does with the tactical advantage of a historically weak Tory government, to drive-home the demand for independence.

    Liked by 7 people

  10. Remember it well Iain. The company I worked for got rid of the MD and employed a bean counter. It didn’t last long after his arrival.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The same story of a colonised people, told a thousand times throughout Scotland, with its neoliberal colonial government hell bent on privatisation and financialisation. Cap-doffing bean counters to the fore: marginalise and sack skilled managers that know their business and, heaven forfend, know how to invest in and modernise industry. for the benefit of the people and the nation.

      Liked by 5 people

  11. Is Scotland a lunatic asylum. Where the population keep voting for the same political parties over and over and yet expect a different result. Who suffered the most damage from the deindustrialisation of Scotland, let me tell you it wasn’t the politicians. Naw they all swanny off to the sunny uplands of giant pensions and seats in the House of Lords or a nice sinecure on a variety of company boards.
    Have you woken up yet, politicians are the problem they will never work for you or your interests. I include all political parties I had hoped that Alba would be different but having watched Mr Salmond speak he does not want people power anywhere near Alba. For example. They the Alba party speak of the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, but they want that sovereignty to reside in the Scottish perliament and be kept out of the hands of the people.
    So they stand for Parliamentary Sovereignty Government power over the people
    This is a continuation of parliamentary sovereignty in the English style.
    All political parties and institutions in Scotland have no respect for the laws of Scotland.

    Liked by 9 people

  12. I agree with every word of this, we’ll said Iain, but I am increasingly of the opinion that we need a much narrower strategy than trusting that the people will wake up.

    Speaking as someone who has just witnessed someone diabetic being brought back to consciousness from life threatening a “Hypo”, there are stages resembling sleep which are infinitely more dangerous than actual sleep. Without timely action from those alert to the danger, the complacency of others would have led to disaster.

    At times, the safety of a nation depends on a mobilised population, but at other times, the nations welfare can be in the hands of one or two people foiling an assassination attempt or thrashing out a peace agreement.

    If we don’t have the time, or the opportunity to mobilise the nations democracy is barred, then it’s imperative we mobilise an adequately representative Convention of the Estates that is alert to the danger, to take the action that needs to be taken, and style itself as Scotland’s Constitutional watchdog and troubleshooter.

    A state can suspend normality and impose martial law during a military crisis, or indeed a Lockdown when the nature of the emergency is a pandemic. If we are agreed Scotland is in the midst of a Constitutional crisis, then assembling a Convention of the Estates would seem entirely warranted and appropriate.

    It sounds drastic and draconian, but no more so than Westminster imposing it’s colonial will on the sovereign Realm Scotland on the back of an arbitrary decision from it’s own “Supreme Court”. Where is the constitutional legitimacy in that?

    A Convention of the Estates however has perfect constitutional legitimacy and precedence under the Claim of Right.

    Liked by 12 people

    1. I don’t think that the Convention of the Estates ever had precedence – it was always subordinate to Parliament. But be that as it may, it would indeed be good to have some form of an Independence Convention although I’m not at all sure what you mean by “adequately representative”. I’m sure that plenty of people would be happy to serve on it, but the real and difficult problem would be getting it and its findings accepted by the people at large.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sometimes it can be a very small Group (both non-elected and non-representative) who may be deciding how best to arrange things … Meet the members of the Group of 30:

        https://group30.org/members

        How do you think they view Scotland regaining its independence, or more impactful perhaps how they view the economic future of the remnants of rUK?

        Don’t tell me it’s not on their agenda, it was groups like this, and their agenda in the past that enabled Thatcher and more, and provided for the future in which we now live.

        Liked by 7 people

      2. Where is your evidence that a Convention of the Estates was subordinate to a Scottish Parliament?

        The various references I have seen describe the Convention of the Estates, and indeed the General Council of Scotland which preceded it, as either indistinguishable from Parliament, or a “sister” institution to the Parliament. I have never seen it described as subordinate.

        Truth be told, I believe the General Council of Scotland, a Convention of the Estates, or even simply the list of names serving as introduction to the Declaration of Arbroath, are virtually the same thing to all intents and purposes; for most of the time a largely dormant but constitutionally potent right of assembly to be convened at times of special necessity, and furthermore, uniquely codified as appropriate to address that particular necessity. You might even be forgiven for seeing it as an irregular Constitutional tribunal.

        It seems to me this right of assembly answered to nobody except the letter of the Scottish Constitution itself, and acted as a Constitutional Arbiter / Troubleshooter designed to oversee probity.

        It troubles me that historians describing a Convention of the Estates as “indistinguishable” from Parliament might very well be lacking in their understanding of what a Convention of the Estates actually was. They were quite clearly NOT the same thing.

        I see references to suggest the Convention of the Estates could be “summoned by the King for the limited purposes of raising taxation”, but each time I’ve seen it, this reference comes from the same book by Colin Kidd in 2003: “Subverting Scotland’s Past: Scottish Whig Historians and the Creation of an Anglo-British Identity”. I want to see his references.

        I am not convinced that historians have demonstrated an authoritative understanding of what a Convention of the Estates properly was. It hardly seems possible that an assembly summoned by the King “for the limited purposes of raising taxation” might also be one and the same assembly convened to put the monarchy on trial and physically depose the King via the 1689 Claim of Right.

        If this brings us to an impasse or dead end due to a lack of authoritative information, then perhaps we can approach the matter from the opposite direction. When Scotland was an Independent Sovereign Nation with it’s own Constitution, which was widely recognised as superior to the King, then who or what controlled it and policed it’s observance whenever Scotland’s sovereign principles were threatened? Isn’t it fair to say, if a Convention of the Estates didn’t exist, you’d really have to invent one? QED?

        But this is Scotland. We have our Sovereignty, we have precedence for the Claim of Right, and we currently have a Constitutional crisis threatening the integrity of our Nation. Circumstance demands we convene a Convention of the Estates, or we re-assert the Claim of Right… The semantics of the words we use to describe it don’t matter… Scotland’s Sovereign integrity is imperilled and under threat, so the Nation’s Constitutional defences must be activated.

        Sound the Alarm and get to your stations.

        Liked by 7 people

      3. Breeks asked: “Where is your evidence that a Convention of the Estates was subordinate to a Scottish Parliament?”

        Well apart from anything else, after the presbyterian dominated Convention of the Estates issued the Claim of Right and handed the Crown to William in 1689, doubts were expressed as to its legitimacy as acts of this nature were beyond the powers of a Convention. Accordingly, a few months later the next parliament retrospectively turned the 1689 Convention into a Parliament, thereby giving it legitimacy, and to quell any possible remaining doubts, the 1703 parliament specifically confirmed it as a lawful and free parliament and indeed made it treasonable to suggest otherwise.

        You might also find this article by The Scottish Parliament Project, St Andrews University, interesting: https://www.rps.ac.uk/static/historicalintro5.html

        Finally, you repeat the myth that Scotland “was an Independent Sovereign Nation with it’s own Constitution, which was widely recognised as superior to the King”. As no-one actually knows what the Scottish contitution was, and as it is abundantly clear that Scotland was normally controlled by the monarch with or without the assistance of parliament, I’d be grateful if you’d supply some evidence for your contention.

        Like

      4. “ As no-one actually knows what the Scottish contitution was, and as it is abundantly clear that Scotland was normally controlled by the monarch with or without the assistance of parliament, I’d be grateful if you’d supply some evidence for your contention.”

        “Controlled by a Monarch” who was removed from the throne by a Convention of the Estates, describing their power to remove the King as the 1689 Claim of Right. Thus the King was demonstrably not sovereign, but the people who ended his reign clearly had access to some power which was.

        The Claim of Right directly invoked the same Constitutional principle expressed 370 years earlier as defined in the Declaration of Arbroath that any King of Scots failing in his duties and leaving Scotland hostage to the English would be driven out as our enemy.

        According to you DaveyTee19, the historic example of Scotland’s people exercising their sovereign right to remove their monarch and choose another “doesn’t” provide adequate evidence of Scotland’s people’s sovereign right to remove their monarch and choose another. What an obtuse and contrary conclusion to be reached.

        If “acts of this nature” were beyond the powers of the Convention of the Estates to instigate, then why did the Claim of Right prevail? Why did the throne change hands? I’ll tell you the answer to that, because the Convention of the Estates didn’t assume the power of sovereignty, it didn’t become sovereign itself, but acted as an agent, making sure the Constitutional Laws of Scotland were properly respected. They merely policed the Claim of Right.

        Yet “Nobody knows” the people are sovereign according to DaveyTee19. Curious too that you readily quibble and bristle to dispute the Nation’s right to call itself to arms in self defence, yet say nothing to condemn Westminster’s colonial encroachment inside the sovereign Realm of Scotland.

        Did I say “curious”? There are other less savoury words I might have chosen.

        Liked by 4 people

      5. Yes, the Convention of the Estates effectively deposed the king. But virtually exactly the same happened in England a short time beforehand where by the Bill of Rights James II was deposed. Previously the English had also managed to depose Edward II, Richard II and Charles I, so on your argument the people of England were every bit as sovereign as the people of Scotland. But of course in none of these cases in Scotland or England did “the people” do the deposing – it was always done by the Powerful who formed the Establishment at the time.

        The Claim of Right prevailed because the Convention was highjacked by the rather extreme presbyterians of the time. It was probably illegally constituted, illegally called, and acted beyond its powers which was why it subsequently had to be legimised by a parliament. It prevailed because the presbyterians, who were the powerhouse at the time wanted it to prevail and because it was later legitimised by parliament. It also suited the English, and the 1689 Convention desperately wanted union with England.

        And then Breeks went on to say: “Yet “Nobody knows” the people are sovereign according to DaveyTee19. Curious too that you readily quibble and bristle to dispute the Nation’s right to call itself to arms in self defence, yet say nothing to condemn Westminster’s colonial encroachment inside the sovereign Realm of Scotland”.

        This has left me puzzled. But to deal with easy bit first, you’re right, nobody knows the people are sovereign. Quite a lot of people think it, but that doesn’t mean to say it’s true. But if it was true, what then? What difference would it make? How would you find out what the people wanted? How would you put it into effect? What if some of the sovereign people didn’t want it? What if what they wanted to assert their sovereignty and choose something else instead? What if they wanted to do something unsuitable, eg bringing back capital punishment? How would minorities get on – what would happen to their sovereign rights if the majority over-ruled them? How would the rule of law apply if people considered themselves sovereign and therefore above the law? Why did the Scots people refer to the monarch as their “sovereign lord”? Why was the Act of Union passed when the people were dead set against it? Just a few questions for you, Breeks.

        I don’t understand the bit about the Nation’s right to call itself to arms. I can’t remember ever saying anything about that. Can you elucidate? But in any event, Westminster rules Scotland because Scotland is, by its own choice, an integral part of the UK and Westminster rules the UK. Scotland is not sovereign; if it was it would have its own foreign policy, decide on its own taxation and economic policies, have its own military, decide on its own constitution, decide its own imigration policies – in fact, do all the things a truly sovereign state can do but in our case are reserved to Westminster. It’s a bit daft pretending otherwise. We can only regain our sovereignty by becoming independent.

        Oh, one more thing. Iain, I didn’t know that England boasted about any constitution. However, the UK constitution is made up of a number of elements, most written, eg statute and case law, some unwritten, eg common law, convention, and treaties. Perhaps unfortunately it has never been codified and put into a single document which gives it the advantage of being flexible and the disavantage of uncertainty. I have no idea what the old Scottish constitution was (no doubt the Claim of Right was part of it) and suspect that few people do. A new, modern written Scottish constitution would have to be one of the first things an independent Scotland would have to decide on.

        Like

  13. Thank you. This is a brilliant history of the destruction that followed the arrival of Thatcherism- corruption, greed and brutality. It wasn’t just the cynical destruction of whole industries like steel and ship-building- it has been the demoralisation of public services and the rotten, humiliating treatment of public service workers -treating them like commodities. The worst running sore in my opinion, is the privatised “care industry” where staff and service users have been betrayed for decades. Never forget. I hope independent Scotland has a constitution that reflects the terrible lessons of this history and upholds the value -and protects the well-being -of individual human beings.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Yep it always amazes me how ‘cuddly’ Duncan Bannatyne of Dragons Den fame had the nerve to decide on business ideas when he made his fortune from this self same privatised ‘care industry’ and was days away from going bust before the change in legislation bailed him out. (yeah sorry I forgot – he was also an ice cream mogul first)
      In summary, I don’t know who history will show did the most damage to the ‘care industry’.
      Bannatyne and his mates or Sturgeon and hers.

      Liked by 4 people

  14. Has there ever been a more opportune time with all circumstances (apart from the vast majority of politicians) in favour of those of us who truly believe in Scotland and its right as an independent Sovereign Nation?

    Iain’s experiences and recollection of how Thatcher and her cohorts destroyed the industrial base of Scotland – I know it involved the whole UK, but my interest is purely from a Scottish PoV – illustrates how, even with such provocation, the people of Scotland remained cowed and subservient to whatever Westminster decided on their behalf. Oh, I know there were protests and strikes etc. but at the end of the day, we still let it happen despite the efforts of too few of us to stand up to Westminster’s tyranny.

    Due to the fraud and economic mismanagement of this generation of Tory governments, the UK is currently in a financial disaster mainly of their own making. That disaster impacts on each and every one of us and that is why this Tory government is finding it more difficult to successfully demonise the unions, who unlike what passes for the Labour Party these days is prepared to stand with the strikers who are demanding that their members be paid fairly and to offset the spiralling cost of living created by blatant profiteering supported by the Tory government.

    Of course, as far as Scotland and its people are concerned, the answer to this is not only obvious now, but has been obvious for centuries – end the Union, by whatever peaceful means possible.

    However, despite economic and political conditions being wholly in favour of restoring our self-determination and independence, what are we witnessing from our representatives at Westminster, other than occasionally bleating how the people of Scotland will not stand for this? Then they sit their backsides down again on the green benches until they feel it is time for another bleat, just to make sure that the people up here know they are supposedly down there fighting on their behalf – yeah, right!!

    Salvo and Liberation have opened a new front of attack – an attack that is not in competition with any political party, but coming from a different position and direction.

    It really is now, as it has always been, up to the people of our country to take that final step and get rid of our coloniser, the plunderer of our natural resources and the destroyer of our industries, our culture and the suppression of our people. If they don’t do it now, I doubt that they ever will!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Of course it should be an opportune time – as you say, events of the last few decades might normally have ensured that the people so adversely affected by them would be clamouring for independence. But they’re not – still less than 50% believe that Scotland should be indepepndent and as long as that figure remains so low the time is not opportune. Why is it so low? Because the so-called Party of Independence has sat on its collective backside and done little if anything to further the cause of independence and explain its advantages to the people – indeed, some might say quite the opposite. I have no confidence at all that even if we were to have a referendum Sturgeon and her acolytes would put forward a sufficiently strong case to win it. Unfortunately that means that the time is unlikely to be opportune until the party gets rid of Sturgeon and replaces her with someone who genuinely believes in independence, is able to put forward a strong case for it (which shouldn’t be too hard) and has enough fire and passion to convince enough of the Scottish population.

      Oh, there’s a pig just flown past the window……

      Liked by 3 people

      1. “still less than 50% believe that Scotland should be indepepndent and as long as that figure remains so low the time is not opportune. Why is it so low?”

        Postcolonial literature tells us the reason will in part be due to the ‘colonial mindset’ of a people – in addition to an ever-increasing voting population in Scotland that does not hold to a Scottish national identity.

        In an effort to obscure and diminish its deep and damaging psychological and wider health effects we even gave the colonial mindset another name – the ‘Scottish cultural cringe’. But what is well-established about the ‘colonial mindset’ helps explain why many Scots will vote to reject their own national liberation, as well as the rather tepid efforts of a compromised national party elite and bourgeoisie.

        As this is a ‘psychological condition’ there are various symptoms, not least self-hatred of one’s own ethnic group combined with a strong respect for and desire to become just like that very impressive model – i.e. the colonizer – all helped along through the process of cultural (or colonial) assimilation.

        The cure? Liberation of course, together with the removal of an exploitative oppressor and his culture, which also requires the ‘self-recovery’ of a subordinated people and particularly thair ain naitural cultur an langage.

        To better understand what independence means our erstwhile nationalist leaders really do need to first undertake what Frantz Fanon termed ‘a reasoned analysis of colonialism’, something which they have clearly yet to do.

        https://wp.towson.edu/iajournal/the-socio-political-determinants-of-scottish-independence/

        Liked by 5 people

  15. Off topic but we need a concerted Indy campaign to stop all the bitching and get all of us that are serious about getting out of the UK on the same page. If we have a campaign then it will sort the wheat from the chaff and those still bickering can be dumped if that is not a hate crime at the moment. A big good evening to Pet Wishart who is shy. Bless.

    Liked by 3 people

  16. Thatcher and her subsequent Tory party has turned Scotland into a desert. Our economy is raped our assets sold to foreign carpetbaggers. We have been a Cash Cow for our parictical neighbour, hell bent on our distruction. Austerity, Impoverishment, Starvation of the Masses, Scam prices of Electricity Oil and Gas. How much more can we take,
    Yet the Colonial administration of Scotland the Nu SNP stays silent to our Abuse, complicit and acquiescent as always. We need Alba to stand candidates against the SNP. Our SNP politicians do not seem to have the metal to topple Sturgeon and her useless Unionists cabal, the sham independence party will not be getting my vote next election not any Unionists pretend socialists. They just dont get it we are sick of their rotten sick, corupt, coercive, colonial ,zombie Union.
    Desolve the Union.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. It all boils down to a belief by those in holyrood and WM that they have more (personally) to lose by pushing for independence than by doing nothing. We have to change that.

    Liked by 7 people

  18. The objective of the Tories was achieved. Skilled heavy engineering was replaced by short term contract or hourly payments. Jobs no longer had security. Pensions, were they existed, were degraded and no longer available to new employees.
    The bean counters always push the same argument that it is about efficiency, we need to be more cost effective, we need to increase profit per person etc etc.

    Look at the current rail strike….The Government and Rail bosses screaming about driver only trains being a condition of the pay rise when very few trains have the camera technology to enable it.
    We have Nurses, Ambulance Staff, Care workers who can earn more working in a Supermarket.

    The other major target of the bean counter mindset is “density”., As Boris said his pound spent in the South of England gives a better return than the pound spent in Scotland. Do you remember all those Scottish rail lines being closed in the early Sixties? Passenger per Mile accounts drove the isolation of communities( No Motorways then.). The closer of Amazon in Gourock makes perfect sense to the bean counter looking at population density models.
    That is the problem with not being a Nation. The economic logic for Croydon is applied to Argyll.
    Highlands and Islands is treated like Birmingham Central.

    If Westminster ran Sweden do you think they would have the Motorways, Bridges, Ferry routes, tunnels etc that they currently have.

    Who will be paying the unemployment payments for those Amazon workers…the SG…US

    The dependency model created by London is no different from the terrorist kidnapper giving his captive a sandwich and creating a Stockholm syndrome.

    I have said this many times. Employing more people in most industries actually creates wealth because you are not paying unemployment benefit, they spend almost all their income in other parts of the economy. This is taking a big picture approach. The bean counters only look at the small picture such as a local shop or warehouse.

    However the big issue for society and their mental health is gainful employment and security of living standard. This is the key issue for Independence….not to be a mini UK.

    The FTSE 250 Company CEOs have achieved 40% pay rises over the last few years while Nurses are being offered well below inflation pay rises. Who do you think is more important?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Westminster applies the same criteria as someone suffering from hypothermia.

      If the body is under attack, it will close down the extremities first and that means London will be last to feel any pain. Of course, they will never let the pain get anywhere near them – what do they care if a few fingers or toes fall off due to frostbite?

      Not only have they exploited and plundered our resources – one of the biggest of which is our people – they tell us that we should be grateful for robbing us blind for centuries – after all, we have the Barnett Formula blah, blah, blah!

      We get to hear about the major job losses at the likes of Amazon, but not so much about the ancillary services that kept it working on a daily basis. How many jobs, external to Amazon, will be lost and how many local companies may have to close their doors due to the closure?

      Liked by 4 people

      1. “If the body is under attack, it will close down the extremities first and that means London will be last to feel any pain. Of course, they will never let the pain get anywhere near them – what do they care if a few fingers or toes fall off due to frostbite?“

        It’s worse than that though. More like a cancer or a parasite which feeds on other parts of the system. Labour and the tories designed a finance system which did just that.

        Liked by 7 people

  19. A forty year cycle of life or death you ask Iain. Well I say death. And why do I say death?

    Well I say so because I look at the grievous state that Scotland is in today. Like oil but only now worse, Scotland is in an absolute crisis where despite all our natural resources we sustain no benefit. And renewable wind energy is the the latest example of that.

    We neither own nor build the wind Farms now proliferating around Scotland. Not the turbines, not the the towers, not the blades, not the marine shipping, and now not even offshore workers since last months sacking of workers to be replaced by cheap far eastern workers.

    And so our yards lie empty, our engineering workforce redundant, no training of new blood and no economic benefit of workers wages and a thriving engineering base. No, like our ships, the engineering, the jobs all go abroad. A pound saved by the corporates ion their balance sheet is many many times less than the loss to the Scottish economy where that pound is earned and spent and earned and spent again in a booming economy. But that is what we do when we outsource the way that we do.

    At least in the 70’s we built the rigs. Now in the 2020s we don’t even deconstruct them. That goes to Norway.

    But with oil, and the gas and now the renewable energy it is much worse than that. Much much worse. Scotland is a land blessed with energy. But look around you, Scotland is a country in the grip of fuel poverty, with that shortage and scarcity driven by unaffordable prices whilst all the while around 400,000 households on pay as you go prepayment meters had their heating and lighting cut off for more than 48 hours or two days. And that’s only the households on pre payment meters. What about all the other household on bills that are scrimping to save on bills they cannot afford.

    It’s a heating holocaust. And holocausts of cold houses have impacts, deathly serious impacts. That the Scottish Ambulance Service recently confirmed that in December that they uplifted over 800 people this should be an indicator of the real tip of the iceberg. Hypothermia is extreme, but being cold and with heat is deadly for the elderly and those with heart , lung and respiratory health issues. And you know what, on pay as you go meters in 2021 around 360,000 households with a resident at risk were self disconnected.

    Small wonder then that in the depths of winter our underfunded, and under resourced NHS is in absolute chaos. No accident whatsoever the tidal wave of people needing care. And we put up with it, whilst the corporate raiders fill their absolute boots. Shell for example made an extra last quarter profit of £2,000,000,000 due to soaring power price – and that’s just Shell. But do you hear any of our politicians rail about this, try to do anything about it. Of course you don’t.

    In the mid 1850s millions died in the Great Irish Famines when food was exported out of Ireland to England whilst the people starved. And today the power is exported out of Scotland whilst our citizens die from cold and the lack of heating.

    History repeats as this article headlines. And it certainly does that. The difference now however is that Ireland threw off the colonial yolk of exploitation and abuse whereas, Scotland by comparison. accepts it.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree with nearly all you say but decomishening work is big business here in Shetland. As for starving the Irish, I believe Patel recently sugested famine 1.1 to get them (northern Irish) into line.

      ‘And today the power is exported out of Scotland whilst our citizens die from cold and the lack of heating’
      What’s being feted as the biggest onshore windfarm in the world is being constructed here, they say it will power 475,098 homes, there is a population here of around 23,000 and we pay the highest energy price in the UK.
      https://www.vikingenergy.co.uk/the-project

      Why isn’t this headline news in the media? Rhetorical question. How much longer are we going to allow this?

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Sturgeon today meets our Colonial master Sunak, with a bit of luck maybe she negotiating her exit strategy and her reward for the governance and mis administration of our colony. Nothing as is seems in UK,Ok it’s all theatre and sound bite to keep is in check and under the boot of our oppressors.
    Dissolve the Union.

    Liked by 4 people

  21. The Tories don’t believe in the state, simple as that. They want unemployment to remain around 3% to keep wages down and fear high, hence the sale of council houses. Once people owned them they were too afraid to strike for fear of not being able to pay the mortgage. She deliberately went after the unions, some of whom helped by not holding legal ballots for strike action, and she took advantage of a very weak Labour leader as they are also doing now. This is all just the continuation of Thatcher as you say and with being out of the EU there is zero protection for UK workers as they have not incorporated EU into UK law as they said they would. They are lysing B and the scum of the earth.

    Liked by 3 people

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