Here’s why football is the greatest game on the planet

Last night Liverpool played Barcelona in the semi final of the Champion’s League. They were 3.-0 down against the best team in the world who also have the best player in the world in their ranks. The game should have been a formality for Barcelona. It wasn’t.

This video is an amazing capture of a result that should never have happened.

And that result gave us the best post match interview from a manager ever.

So, football, when it does what it can there’s nothing else that matches it.

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Scottish independence won’t just be won by nuance and persuasion

The weekend saw hundreds of thousands of pro-independence supporters march through Glasgow in the sort of display that reminds the Tory government and the pro-establishment media that there’s a real appetite for Scottish independence, especially with Brexit stinking everything up with the rise of far right populists like Nigel Farage and Tommy Robinson. So you’d expect the SNP especially to be happy, except the Sunday Herald decided to print an article critical of ‘Cybernats’. Which is not the first time this has happened.

So since Sunday, Scottish Independence supporters of all types have been endlessly arguing online about how ”Cybernats” should moderate themselves to the point where opinions become only worthwhile if voiced only by certain folk in the political class, or Scotland’s amazingly fucked up (yes, I know, language!) media class, or those in the Indy movement who look upon grassroots organisations like All Under One Banner with suspicion and contempt because they welcome people of all political persuasions rather than whatever narrow persuasion owned by the person tutting loudly from their West End of Glasgow home.

In short, as the possibility of a second referendum draws closer, people are fighting for a level of control over a movement which is by far the most organic political movement not affiliated to a political party I’ve ever seen in the UK. For some in the SNP, Greens, and the media this has been an issue because as said, they don’t have control of things, so we now have this exceptionally manufactured outrage about how people speak and how they can essentially be controlled. Now like any large group of people there are people to avoid, and yes, there are those who are a pain who cause problems with their lunge towards conspiracy theory and worse. But I’ve never known any group to be so self-policing, especially considering that our opponents aren’t and don’t care about any offence they cause to people. You do not see Ruth Davidson, J.K Rowling, Jeremy Corbyn or any leading British Unionist politician or media commentator decrying the way many of their supporters are misogynist, homophobic, Holocaust deniers and worse.

And we’re stuck now on this eternal loop where we’re expected by some on our own side to play nice, which is a bit like asking someone to bring a stick of celery to a knife fight. You as a reader may not like folk like Wings Over Scotland, Wee Ginger Dug or the parade of Scottish bloggers who don’t just conform to media and political standards, but these people are effective in winning arguments or debunking the bullshit of a mainly Unionist media and establishment.

What I’m basically saying is this debate (for the sake of a better, ruder expression) has been a waste of time and energy which should have been used to motivate people after the independence march in Glasgow at the weekend. The supposedly independence supporting  Sunday Herald should be actually supporting independence rather than working out how to alienate what few readers it has left, and those SNP politicians giving them fuel need to remember that people can be voted out as well as voted in. The SNP may be the only real way towards independence but there’s nothing to stop people giving their vote to the Greens, or if people are members, protesting from within.

This is not the time for the Indy movement to again be going through this level of self-inspection when Brexit looms constantly and the far right are a sliver away from gaining actual real power in the UK. Do we really want to say that we failed to win independence because we were too busy arguing about the right way to speak to keep a minority of people (some of whom I’m not entirely sure want independence as it’d ruin their career path/business plan) happy?

Nah, fuck that.

About the local elections

It’s been local elections in parts of England and Northern Ireland and all the parties are spinning furiously to say they’ve done well. Results say that the Tories have taken a battering, while Labour, failing to capitalise on the worst government in my lifetime, have actually lost seats as voters abandon the party due mainly to Brexit but also it seems because of Corbyn’s leadership. So we have the two main parties led by deeply unpopular people amongst the wider electorate seeing their parties tear themselves apart over Brexit.

The Lib Dems did exceptionally well, as did the Greens, but the real story is the amount of independents winning seats. Local elections tend to through up lots of local independent candidates but this is showing people are tired of all the Westminster parties. In good news it looks as UKIP are over at a local level. However the European elections bring in Farage’s Brexit Party and the weird mess that is Change UK.

So what we learned is the Tories and Labour are fooling themselves but are digging in because for the leadership of either party are so committed to the cause of Brexit now they can’t pull back. Other Remain parties will scoop up votes, as will Farage. Basically the two main parties are back to being picked clean.

As for us in Scotland we have a simple choice in three weeks. Vote SNP or Green, send out a pro EU/Indy message. Time to make another stand at the polls and show we’re not going to be dragged down the road of Brexit by parties more interested in preserving themselves than doing well by all of us.

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…

Sky News are wankers, again.

Adam Boulton is one of the ‘stars’ of Sky News. He’s also incredibly pompous and just a bit less anger-inducing than Kay Burley. This is not praise. More of him in a bit.

The Extinction Rebellion are a direct action Green group  protesting climate change by doing so when Westminster is on holiday, people with money and time are on holiday and in fact, most people are on holiday or winding down for Easter so instead of making an important point what’s happening is poor wankers having to grind out a living are inconvenienced therefore failing to win over people who’d benefit the most from a radical restructuring of the economic system. In effect these are a return of the well meaning, but mainly useless, middle class Greens of the early 90’s. More on them in a bit.

So today there were protests in London and Adam Boulton, every the man to tackle the issues of the day, interviewed Robin Boardman, a spokesman for the Extinction Rebellion. The result was Boulton unleashing his full entitled pompousness as he did more for the cause of fighting climate change than protesting outside an empty parliament ever could.

Boulton really isn’t at this point a ‘journalist’, not that he ever was, but instead he’s an unsold pile of Daily Mail’s at a W.H Smith made flesh. Aye, the lad Boardman is the sort of comfortable middle class protester a group like this would throw out to speak for them, but by the end of the interview I found myself on his side even though I find him part of that annoying middle class protester type which rubs me the wrong way.

Boulton is an arse. A dinosaur. But he’s a prime example of just how fucked the British media landscape is that instead of sitting most afternoons in a Wetherspoons nursing a £1.50 pint of farty ale and smelling of someone else’s piss, he’s presenting a prime news programme.

And you folk outwith the UK wonder why Brexit won?

Into the Black Hole

There’s the fact we’re living in dark, anti-intellectual times where idiots like Donald Trump or Nigel Farage drag their collective arses over the face of humanity, but every now and then something wonderful comes along to remind us that actually, if humanity gets its shit together it can do astonishing things. The fact we now have actual images of a black hole in the centre of another galaxy is one of these things that should send waves of awe flowing over you because this is astonishing.

This amazing video outlines briefly just how we managed to turn the Earth into a giant telescope to view something that is 55 million light years away which is a measure of time as well as distance, so we’re taking a close-up of something 55 million years ago when humanity was but a distant possibility.

The possibilities of science really is endless but the mundane nature of humanity holds us back. These small glimpses of possibility though remind us of what we can be.

Brexitshambles

I am officially still taking time off after a busy weekend but this is too important to miss. This is the German TV report on who exactly financed the leave campaign during the EU referendum, and just how shady the entire operation was, and indeed, still is. It is essential viewing and you do have to wonder why so few parts of the UK media have touched on the same story. Still, at least the truth is starting to come out.

Click here for the English version.