Scottish independence is coming, slowly…

For a while now supporters of Scottish independence have been a tad frustrated with the lack of any progress during the increasingly chaotic, not to mention insane, period that is Brexit and all the frothingly mad xenophobic English/British nationalism which comes with it.

Well at last there’s some movement with Nicola Sturgeon making it clear the mandate her party & the Scottish Parliament has for a second referendum will be used in the lifetime of this parliament, so by 2021. For some that’s waaaay too vague a timeline, but for a vote to be held we need to know what the status quo of the UK is. Right now that’s a choice between a deeply racist and xenophobic Brexit favouring disaster capitalists favoured by the likes of Rees-Mogg and Farage, not to mention Theresa May and most Tories, or a slightly less racist but still xenophobic Brexit favoured by disaster socialists like Jeremy Corbyn or George Galloway. Both offer Scotland nothing, and both involve closing Scotland off from Europe and the planet as both plans are structured round accepting the referendum result, racism and all, rather than fighting against what was only an advisory referendum.

There’s a lot which also needs to happen. Neither a Tory or Labour government are going to grant a Section 30 order (essentially transferring power to Holyrood making the referendum legal and binding) easily if at all, and the full force of the British establishment will rain down upon Scotland as it did in 2014. But make no mistake, win this and Scotland can make all its own successes and failures without clinging onto the coattails of the British state. Lose it, and Scotland faces a generation at least denied any sort of respite because it’ll be punished and asset stripped to pay for the failed promises of Brexit and for being pro-EU/immigrant. We can argue about what type of independent nation we can be once we win the ability to make that decision, plus we’ve also got to remember we’re not in a fair fight so some on the harder left of the movement need to realise this.

So sign the official petition. Show support. Vote for pro-indy parties in the EU elections, so that’s the SNP, Greens and SSP. All others are a vote for the British establishment & (barring the Lib Dems to be fair) are a vote for a party strongly supporting Brexit.

Good luck. We’re all going to need it but at the end of this we could be getting something special indeed…

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Do we live in a terrible future dystopia?

The short answer is ‘yes’.  Works like Children of Men were meant to be fiction, not a roadmap for the future.

I think we can say recent government policy shows the UK is heading for a viciously anti-immigrant/asylum seeker policy dripping with racism, but this latest phase of British institutionalised racism goes back further and is even ingrained in British culture. This latest phase was riled up over a decade ago by the Tories when Michael Howard’s Tory Party ran an amazingly racist campaign in 2005, which was also thoroughly rejected by the electorate.

It didn’t help things that post-2005 politicians were less inclined to defend immigration and multiculturalism, so we end up with the Tories and Labour both chasing UKIP votes by swinging more and more right, which in doing so swung the political compass in England especially waaaay to the right.

And we come to Brexit which places the UK on the verge of a genuine dystopia where people will suffer because people hate the idea of immigrants. Also the idea that this is the fault of the working class (a line peddled by many on the right and left) is arguably, bollocks. Academic research shows in fact the white middle class were the midwives of Brexit. It does however suit the narrative of the far right, and left, to paint the working class as the culprit and the victim here.

So with less than 90 days we’re facing a no deal. Forget any fantasy bullshit from Tory or Labour the harsh legal reality is coming home to roost and the result of that is we’re on the verge of finishing the roadmap which started in the mid 2000s and enter this fucked up dystopia we’ve been building up to since then.

Brexit enters the world of Papers Please

There’s a game called Papers Please. It’s a great game set in a totalitarian country which forces you as the player to challenge your own morality as you start trying to fight the system, but soon end up sending people to labour mines because they’re immigrants.

During the Christmas holidays the UK government decided to release plans to charge, screen and classify EU immigrants living in the UK after Brexit next March 

Of course the idea to charge people £65 who’ve lived here in some cases since they were a baby is going down with EU27 nationals as well as one would expect, with many online just going ‘fuck it’ and deciding to move out the UK. Many aren’t able to so they face having to pay for themselves, and their children because the UK is now a country that classifies and screens children for ‘criminality’

We’ve crossed a line. Even The Sun realises that. Of course The Sun is one of many reasons we’ve got such a poisonous debate on immigration but they grasp where things go from here.

The problem is that for all those speaking out there’s more sitting on their hands doing nothing or who support this because Brexit unleashed all this ethnic English/British nationalism which is leading to what is a purge of immigrants. Of course anyone that’s followed Theresa May’s career will not be surprised as for eight years she’s made it clear she despises immigrants and immigration, though obviously not of the wealthy oligarchs we see still coming into the UK.

What happens next lies in our hands. There’s talk of civil disobedience as people refuse to be put through this screening but the issue is a government and official opposition so locked into the idea of Brexit that properly challenging one aspect like this is challenging the entire fucked up process. The Tories are leading us into a dark, terrible place and every single MP who voted to invoke Article 50 helped enable them even attempt to create this neo-fascist state they’re trying to build.

A word about the People’s Vote March

As I write this the People’s Vote march is snaking its very crowded way round London’s streets.

On the whole I support the march and with massive bloody caveats, support the aim of a second vote but here in Scotland I feel we’re being ignored, or at least patronised by a big chunk of the People’s Vote. This is something I’ve said before, and nothing has changed my mind that for a chunk on the ‘progressive’ left in England, Scotland is only useful for votes because deep down they know that realistically England will vote to leave the EU again in a second vote.

The problems are many. Kev McKenna goes through some of them in this article at The Herald, this paragraph being especially damning.

Yet, like their manufactured concerns for the future of Ireland I’ve rarely heard any of the metropolitan elites previously profess to be overly-vexed by the challenges faced by working-class communities in England’s north-west or north-east. Where were they when the fishing fleets on Humberside disappeared, sacrificed to enable the US to spy on Soviet submarines from the Icelandic coast? And beyond some hand-wringing and anti-Thatcher sloganising what did they actually do when the mines all shut and the car factories fell silent? Each time I see Gordon Brown wade into Brexit on his white charger I can still hear him say: “British jobs for British workers”. You also contributed to this, big man.

I rarely heard any concern for Northern Ireland prior to June 2016, and as McKenna says, while traditional working class jobs and communities were being ripped apart many of these folk sat on their hands, and yeah, Gordon Brown massively contributed to where we are today.

But the problem is that there were aspects of the English left that did raise their hands in protest, but today they’re as likely to be supportive of Brexit for vague, outdated ideology which is why there’s no Jeremy Corbyn or any of the Labour leadership near the march today. From here it looks as if the left and right have a common cause (and both rely on some level on nostalgia tinged with xenophobia about ‘foreigners’) to win the Brexit fight so they can install their rose-tinted vision of Albion.

Meanwhile in Scotland although you’ll find plenty like me who support today’s march and would appreciate some reciprocal support  for a second independence referendum, with the caveat that any second EU vote would need all countries of the UK to support it, or if the result mirrors last time  then that triggers a second Scottish referendum and a border poll in Ireland.

It is hard however not to see the march as anything but positive when it shows the weight of support against the what should be now, clearly obvious far-right coup of the UK. When you’ve got various Brexiters, right and left, talking up a ‘civil war’ and wanking on boringly about taking the fight to the streets, they should remember the tens of thousands who are out on the streets now so even though I don’t think it’ll change anything politically it does help in reminding the elites fighting tooth and nail for Brexit there’s a large number of people who will oppose it.

How a Douglas Adams quote explains modern society

Confused, puzzled and angered by things like Brexit, the ongoing nightmare of Donald Trump, the various strains of nostalgia politics and the rise of gammon-faced people from the right and left, and just generally everything?

Well, the late, great Douglas Adams has a quote from the Salmon of Doubt that explains everything!

1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
2. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
3. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

So there you go, the modern world explained!

 

 

The BBC and Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson, or to give him his actual real name, Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is what the media call a ‘controversial figure’ as is there’s an actual controversy as to whether or not he’s a far-right bigot being used by other far right-bigots to attract more people to their cause which is an aggressive ethnic nationalism of the type we see in Russia and sweeping across parts of Eastern Europe.In saner times he’d be someone long forgotten about, but we’re not in normal times; we’re in the age where actual real fascists are given the sort of voice they could only dream of.

Now I’m not talking about censoring people;I’m talking of ensuring we don’t give platforms to people with  criminal background who has a violent past and would happily see blood on the streets. We don’t do that to Islamists so why does Yaxley-Lennon get a pass, especially at the BBC?

The other night Lennon was on the BBC’s Newsnight, giving him the sort of exposure he could only dream of. People complained and the BBC said this:

Seems reasonable? Except it isn’t. The BBC have had issues with their producers pushing a right wing agenda, and on Question Time they’ve excluded pro-EU SNP/Plaid/Green/Labour MEP’s completely over the last five years. Centre-left to left wing views have been excluded deliberately, while fascists and demagogues are given free range to spread lies and hatred often unchallenged.

Fact is the BBC has become an unreliable source of information, even part of the problem in that it’s helped nurture an especially British/English form of ethnic nationalism wrapped in the Union Jack and with an unhealthy fetishisation of the armed forces, not to mention a longing of mythic days that never happened. And the BBC are giving these people a platform in the name of fairness while ignoring the larger picture, or just what these people actually do.

So remember this next time you see a Stephen Yaxley-Lennon of one of his ilk being presented on the BBC as something more than the fascist thug he actually is.

The Spider’s Web: Britain’s Second Empire

One of the threads of the Scottish independence referendum in 2014 was of breaking the construct that is the UK in order to end, or at least damage, the UK’s vision of an unequal society held together by a network of Old Boy’s Networks, privilege, inequality, and of course, our network of tax havens which enable the wealthy to remain wealthy while pumping out money which should be paid in taxes so services collapse and austerity continues.

Indeed, since the end of the Second World War, the UK has ensured it remains at the centre of global tax evasion. As we prepare for Brexit (which will make things worse or better depending on what side of the divide you lie) here’s a splendid documentary directed and written by Michael Oswald which is fascinating and horrific at the same time as it goes from the end of empire, to the City of London and up to today where the UK’s elite ensure their wealth is secure thanks to a system both main Westminster parties have helped build over the decades.

This isn’t easy watching but it should be essential viewing for you to understand what happens in the UK just under the surface.