Why I Voted No

NOJohn Mackinnon in the first of our series inviting No voters to reflect on their vote and its outcome #noway.

I voted No in this year’s referendum. I would always have voted No and consequently was not swayed by the ‘Vow’.

I try to expedite redistributive and social justice and am an internationalist.

A ‘No’ outcome didn’t really further these aims at the present time but a ‘Yes’ vote would have put them very much further beyond reach.

We hope to shape the future with our votes, but the way we really do put our backs into sharing with our neighbours is by consensual sharing of the tax burden ( the ‘Common Weal’).

I want to share my taxes with fellow Scots. I also want to share them
with the people of YorkShire, Liverpool, Chester and London. (btw – they also want to share with me).

There is no direct EU income tax at the moment but maybe one day I will work (fully tax-wise) side by side (for the ‘Common Weal’) with people from Rotterdam to Budapest.

I dream of a World Tax: a full tax-sharing brother/sisterhood of good
people in a ‘Common Weal’ that extends from Rio De Janeiro to Taipei and from Helsinki to Arusha.

So, you’ll have got the picture: the ‘Common Weal’ for me is all of us, everywhere.

To me, the ‘Yes’ option was an irreversible retreat from global
redistributive justice to an inward-looking parochialism. The ‘Yes’
vision of an exclusively Scots ‘Common Weal’ ( ‘Common Weal Lite?’)
would have created a navel-gazing hangover that would perhaps never go away.

Of course, without Income-Tax-As-Sharing, the outcome of the Smith
Commission is that my labour will no longer be shared with my UK-wide
neighbours as before – a retrograde outcome for me.

So, I guess I voted ‘No’ and lost?

C’est la guerre.

(Btw: On every matter of fact, the Yes campaign failed to make a case – and abysmally)



Categories: Commentary

Tags: , , ,

104 replies

  1. Internationalism wasn’t on offer as an alternative to ‘Yes’, British nationalism was.

    • Internationalism is about defeating Nationalism.
      A Yes vote was for more Nationalism.
      A No vote was for less Nationalism.

      • No, internationalism is about nations working together towards a common goal. The clue’s kind of in the name, you know?

        Anyway, your presumed goal (or what you would presumably claim to be your goal – it’s often simply a fig-leaf to hide British nationalism behind) is better served by increased cooperation within the EU, and that end is easier achieved through Scotland being an independent member of the EU.

      • No , a no vote was for British Nationalism , an increasingly reactionary “doctrine “

      • You always make it up as you go along Andrew. Yours is NOT a definition of internationalism. Doug Daniel has provided you with the meaning of internationalism and also how an independent Scotland would contribute to this. I think you should stop making a complete fool of yourself.

  2. It’s okay… we can still die in their silly wars and play bugles and pipes.

    • If we want to. Not if we don’t.

      • No war was ever started by the average man, only men in power. The problem is when people continue to give them that power. And more so when we fail to hold said men accountable.

        No, the decision to go to war is never held to public opinion, a referendum is never held, so to say that we some how have a say in the matter is a fallacy.

      • um, how do you say no to a westminster war then?
        you gave up your voice and any power you might have had to stop it.
        suck it up and stop trying to justify it.
        no was clearly the wrong choice.

  3. So you prefer your fantasy of “global redistributive justice” to making a real difference to real people. You cling to noble failure to avoid the responsibilities of success. Pathetic!

    • So those beyond the Tweed are either not real or not people (or perhaps both)?

      • I wonder if you are even aware that these are your words. Or whether you have already convinced yourself that I wrote this drivel.

        The whole “solidarity” argument is glib nonsense. It is a pathetic excuse for past failure and a clumsy rationalisation of present inaction. It is an argument which says that, if we cannot bring about social justice for everybody everywhere, it is sinful to even try to bring about social justice for anybody anywhere.

        It is an argument which holds that political boundaries are insuperable barriers to effective action and so we shouldn’t do anything until all such boundaries magically disappear.

        It is a grindingly, depressingly defeatist argument. It is an argument resorted to by those with an aversion to rational thought. It is a dangerous idiocy which has all the shallow appeal of mindless sloganeering.

  4. I don’t agree with you but at least your motives were decent………..Thank you for this note

  5. Look you are utterly entitled to your view of the world, but apart from statements like internationalist and plain dismissing the work of the common weal, what actually does unionism offer? Brothers in Manchester but not Munich is not internationalism, sharing our defence budget explosively on the Hindu kush is not fraternity. The common weal could be a beacon against unfettered neocons. Has any of the big three in Westminster committed to changing the status quo other that squeezing the poor? I don’t know what you stand for bar opposition.

    • Why is the Common Weal so parochial?
      What has the Common Weal got against the people of rUK?
      Why are so many Scots so keen to justify nationalism?
      Why should we take lectures on internationalism from nationalists?

      • Why is the UK so parochial?
        What has the UK got against the people of Ireland, France and Norway?
        Why are so many Scots so keen to justify British nationalism?
        Why should we take lectures on internationalism from cosmopolitans?

      • Why is the Common Weal so parochial?
        Because UK will never implement it.
        What has the Common Weal got against the people of rUK?
        Nothing, we recommend it to them!
        Why are so many Scots so keen to justify nationalism?
        We aren’t, we are keen to justify Independence.
        Why should we take lectures on internationalism from nationalists?
        Coz u’r doin it rong!

    • Yeah, I found reference to “the common weal” as a cause was a poorly thought, oh who am I kidding pure ignorant statement.

      First, you have to change the structure of government to reach these goals, and that will not come about so long as power continues to be given to the people who perpetuate the opposites as you state, justifying greed, homelessness, starving children and food banks.

      Its short sighted, ignorant, and an insult to those of us who volunteer to help these disadvantaged people whom the op is claiming to represent.

      The Common Weal starts with a government, a small example of a different way being a success, only then can it inspire change else where.

      An opportunity missed.

  6. No, John. The YES made a strong case on every aspect. Have you read the detail in the White Paper. The only reason NO prevailed – and I mean the ONLY reason – was a thoroughly dishonest media which buried the YES case and all the facts supporting it on a continuous basis and energetically promoted lies and distortions from Better Together on a daily basis .

    I am tired of YES supporters looking for other reason for that very hard to explain result. There is only one other possible reason and that is another debate.

    By suggesting that you will share your tax with the good peoples of all those INDEPENDENT people of Europe you just sunk your silly argument.

    There are, apparently, good reasons for the continuance of the union. I would actually like to hear them because all we got was scaremongering.

    There is an entirely honest argument that devolution is a complicated and unsustainable dog’s breakfast and why the honest choice is a unitary British State or independence (perhaps as members of a confederal British union).

    That is the choice that is becoming prime. Devo is dead

    • The White Paper wasn’t even independence (independence-lite) and the figures didn’t bear scrutiny. Implicit in that paper (currency union, sharing this, sharing that) is that the cost of independence would be unpalatable to all but the hardcore.

    • There’s a bird in North America whose folk name is ”Whip poor will”.

  7. I was curious why he was reading Bella Caledonia.
    The point about the Commonweal is that one does need to start it it somewhere. Hoping it will happen everywhere is neither possible or rational.
    It is clear the UK as a whole is not a place where it could happen.
    Things change when people actually do something not when they hope it will happen. There was a clear plan with the Independence referendum and the specific aims laid out by the Yes campaign that would start and go on with Independence, because we would have had the legal and economic powers to proceed.
    Voting No remove that, and the No parties made it absolutely clear the very limited development that was proposed with the Smith Commission was secondary to their party interests and not the interests and betterment of the people.
    Your No vote was utterly wasted in both events.

  8. In many ways this is the most depressing sort of No reasoning ever – more so than even brainless Loyalist yobs ranting about the Queen – because it’s based on pure dogmatic fantasy over any sort of acceptance of reality.

    By this logic you’d close down foodbanks and leave the poor to starve, because it’s somehow “parochial” and “insular” to feed our own people while there are others in greater material need in Somalia or Haiti or wherever.

    The simple practical choice in September was for Scots to continue to live under the neoliberal, anti-immigrant, victim-blaming austerity consensus shared by all three Westminster parties, or to lift at least five million people out of it and start setting an example that the left in the rest of the UK could have looked to for an example and an inspiration. A one-world government was not on the ballot paper, and never will be.

    You voted to leave millions suffering needlessly in the name of “solidarity”. We think any reduction in the number of people suffering is a step in the right direction. That’s the difference between us. Progress is only ever hindered, not helped, when idealists make unachievable perfection the enemy of the possible.

    • I agree, I don’t have any malice towards this person, but I think the naivety is startling. It reminds slightly of Gandhi when he said the Jews in Germany should have simply committed mass suicide in protest to their treatment. Yes, in some twisted way he could say it made sense, most died anyway, but really there is point when practicality of a situation kick in and wish for a world shared tax, while noble, is so far from happening that it shouldn’t have had any baring on the referendum.

    • I think you’re going off on one – you didn’t get to where you got using any logic of mine. It is bluntly repugnant to each of us that we even have to think about choosing what degree of extreme deprivation to relieve over another- it’s a shadow cast by Orwell’s “Money World”. It is the indifferent violence of the “Money World” that is the driver of my simple Ideology – and, rightly or wrongly, I believe creating borders is a capitulation to it.

      I am an idealist but I also act. It is only by the determined opposition to the caprice we recognize in our predicament that we experience hope. (Yo! Quite a good sentence that!)

      You make a strong inference that a ‘Yes’ vote would have alleviated the needless suffering of millions – maybe in a little while if there’s a rematch and a ‘Yes’ vote we’ll see if you’re right. In the meantime I’ll still be helping the homeless with cash appeals.

      I might not hold my breath about where ‘Yes’ could take Social Justice : how will the overwhelming support/membership of the SNP (and their predominantly fiscally regressive track record to date) sit with the small numbers of the ‘Yes’-Left (RIC/CommonWeal/SSP/Others voices)?

      • Yes John…..you said

        ”I am an idealist but I also act.” I think you are indeed acting, John, but it’s not well done.

        ”It is only by the determined opposition to the caprice we recognize in our predicament that we experience hope. (Yo! Quite a good sentence that!)”

        You don’t treat the topic with any kind of seriousness given the above. You like style before substance when you insist on telling us you appreciate your ‘good’ sentence. Yo!

        Actually John your ‘good’ sentence is quite meaningless and has all the hallmarks of a politician’s smoke and mirrors.

      • John said

        A/… ”It is bluntly repugnant to each of us that we even have to think about choosing what degree of extreme deprivation to relieve over another”

        and

        B/… ” I’ll still be helping the homeless with cash appeals.”

        John – you’ll have to make your mind up here; is it A or B?

        I’d also suggest that ‘cash appeals’ are trumped by political action. Your way solves little or nothing, though the givers feel good.

    • That’s my take too. Naive. When did the workers of the world ever unite? Did I miss something? But the number of self-governing nation states is increasing.

    • You voted to leave millions suffering needlessly in the name of “solidarity”.

      Well said RevStu.

      A prima facie improvisation of the ‘Poisoning the well’ fallacy. It serves the dual purpose of making John Mackinnon sound both callous and delusional. Who could agree with someone like that – eh?

      Convincing people of the righteousness of your cause is only every hindered, not helped, when Nationalist extremists like the ‘Reverend’, make honestly held beliefs such as John’s the enemy of the Yes voter.

      Anyone yearning for a further referendum should beware propagandists like the Rev working for them. His vilification, finger pointing and toxic ‘othering’ wins few, if any, converts and loses potential Yessers by the shedload.

      As John said in his reply, the ‘Reverend’s’ logic is “repugnant”. Yes supporters should waken up to that fact.

      At least Bella is trying to find some common ground, I assume, with this idea.

      Regards

  9. Regarding John MacKinnon,s article on why he voted no I would like to ask him how would vote if we were independent and rest of the UK made these offers We are closing your parliament, but don,t worry your votes don,t count anyway. We will take the majority of your oil revenue. We will introduce austerity measures that will create food banks and stop free prescriptions and university fees and concession passes for the retired. Oh by the way we will be taking a chunk of the North sea in the SE of Scotland but we wont tell you when….I wonder if John would vote “YES” to this proposal?

    • Shared sovereignty is the way forward, Nationalism is the way back. In the last 70 years many democracies have voted to share more sovereignty. Hardly any democracies have votes to share less.

      From a clean sheet we would maybe not create the UK, we would maybe not create Scotland. But pointless hypothetical questions show that you are scraping the bottom of the barrel to justify your nationalism.

      • Incredible. Absolutely incredible. Do you have any idea how many more nations there are now than there were 70 years ago? Do you just have a very poor grasp of geography, or are you simply a liar?

      • “scraping the bottom of the barrel to justify your nationalism”

        No, Pretending there is no difference between self-determination and fascism is “scraping the bottom of the barrel” to justify British nationalism. Or do you both think the Irish were wrong to want to be independent?

      • You are a Nationalist by your own definition, Andrew. A British Nationalist. However, you are really confusing the term Nationalist with Imperialist.
        Britain is an absolute disaster, a basket-case. Plenty of borrowing and privatisation of health services. No real manufacturing to speak of and so no proper growth of the economy. Importing far outweighs exporting. Borrowing, borrowing and more borrowing. A national debt of 1.5 Trillion, which is rising by the second and we in Scotland have no say over policies. Scotland pays £127 per second for money it hasn’t borrowed itself.
        Britain does not work. It is broken and corrupt to the core, under the control of banks and it’s days as a force are numbered. Austerity measures are employed to hit the poor and less well off, so that they pay for the crimes of the public schoolboys, the Westminster politicians who fiddle expenses, the banks and the multinationals.
        What we need is 4 countries who can bring all this under their local control, restoring manufacturing to grow economies and cooperate with one another. These countries can discover their identities again after losing these identities in the great game of British Imperialism. Britain record in world affairs is astonishingly shameful and it continues to this day. More evidence appears daily, eg., troops involved in torturing in Afghanistan, collusion with the US in the moving of suspected terrorists to be tortured, with appropriate denials of course. This is ongoing imperialism.
        I believe that you do not really know what nationalism is (note the small n), but it has already been eloquently pointed out above by Doug Daniel and donnywho. You should read their notes carefully if you wish to progress.

      • Here is an interesting table of figures for entry of new countries to the UN in the last 70 years.

        Year # members
        1945 51
        1946 55
        1947 57
        1948 58
        1949 59
        1950 60
        1955 76
        1956 80
        1957 82
        1960 99
        1961 104
        1962 110
        1963 113
        1964 115
        1965 117
        1966 122
        1967 123
        1968 126
        1970 127
        1971 132
        1973 135
        1974 138
        1975 144
        1976 147
        1977 149
        1978 151
        1979 152
        1980 154
        1981 157
        1983 158
        1984 159
        1991 166
        1992 179
        1993 184
        1994 185
        1999 188
        2000 189
        2002 191
        2006 192
        2012 193

        There is nothing unusual in Scotland wanting self determination and democracy.

        Hopefully, we will be the 194th member if some other new independent country does not beat us to it before 2020.

        Andrew Skea – you are both an idiot and a liar.
        A unique combination.

  10. Thanks for sharing with us & suppose we’ll differ in opinions just now. I see where you want to go with your view & in some ways admire parts of it. However, I think you are searching for Nirvana & this will never happen as long as humans populate the Earth. Social justice there just isn’t any in the uk just now or since the thatcher years & the likelihood of worsening austerity cuts, social just will just be words in a dictionary or swear words once the propoganda machine is finished. Internationalism is fading fast from the uk, simply due to ukip feeding the fears of bigots or closet bigots with an in/out referendum on the cards. This country uk was pretty screwed before we joined eec as it was then & people forget that. Some of the Tory ideologies take us back to Victorian times & ukip wants to return us to the 60’s with the sexist unionised, bigoted times. So for me we’re never better together or improve the lot of people while we have self serving politicos in charge.

  11. Nice post, Stu

  12. I am tired of people hiding behind internationalism as an excuse to do nothing. We do not need to await perfect conditions in order to improve the well-being of our people. We need good solutions , not some perfectionist fantasy. The rest of the UK has not shown the appetite for change that is evident in Scotland. Why must we wait, or set aside our aspirations in a show of solidarity with people who may never agree with us?

  13. This is at least a consistent explanation for voting No, but I think it’s a fairly atypical one. My impression is that most of those who voted No on supposedly internationalist grounds are not, in fact, in favour of a one-world government (or even a pan-European state).

  14. I think this is a good idea. I like to hear what rational NO voters have to say, even if I disagree with them on why they voted NO. It’s good to share and it’s good to try to have an understanding of other peoples vision whether we feel they are right or wrong. There is consensus among most people of Scotland on how we want a socially just and fair society, it’s that we take different routes to get there. As someone who supports the independence movement and the Common Weal, I too regard myself as an Internationalist. But it is not independence I feel is an obstacle to a caring and sharing world, it is the right-wing politics of Westminster and how the Left in England has let me down so crushingly over the past two decades. Politics has changed forever in Scotland, partly to do with the referendum, partly to do with a sound and confident government in Holyrood. But politics has also changed forever in England and increasingly England and Westminster are becoming ever-more removed from me as each year passes. By the time the Left in the rest of the UK can turn Westminster back into a more enlightened and progressive house of ideas for all, I shall be dead, and I’m only 45 now and hoping to live a long healthy life. The idea that the current Labour Party will sort things out and all will be just fine is laughable. As long as there are Blairites and neo-libs in Labour chasing after UKIP votes to gain power (and then trying to retain it), then the mantra in Scotland is reduced to ‘Vote Labour (because we’re not the other lot)’… is not good enough.

  15. it’s an odd position to take, I’ll give you that, you voted to maintain the UK union because you’re seeking a world tax?

  16. I think this is a good idea. I like to hear what rational NO voters have to say, even if I disagree with them on why they voted NO. It’s good to share and it’s good to try to have an understanding of other peoples vision whether we feel they are right or wrong. There is consensus among most people of Scotland on how we want a socially just and fair society, it’s that we take different routes to get there. As someone who supports the independence movement and the Common Weal, I too regard myself as an Internationalist. But it is not independence I feel is an obstacle to a caring and sharing world, it is the right-wing politics of Westminster and how the Left in England has let me down so crushingly over the past two decades. Politics has changed forever in Scotland, partly to do with the referendum, partly to do with a sound and confident government in Holyrood. But politics has also changed forever in England and increasingly England and Westminster are becoming ever-more removed from me as each year passes. By the time the Left in the rest of the UK can turn Westminster back into a more enlightened and progressive house of ideas for all, I shall be dead, and I’m only 45 now and hoping to live a long healthy life. The idea that the current Labour Party will sort things out and all will be just fine is laughable. As long as there are Blairites and neo-libs in Labour chasing after UKIP votes to gain power (and then trying to retain it), then the mantra in Scotland is reduced to ‘Vote Labour (because we’re not the other lot)’… is not good enough.

  17. All very altruistic reasons for voting No. The only downside is that the current Westminster politicians absolutely don’t subscribe to your internationalist views.

    In fact they’re quite the opposite. Why are we having an EU referendum if not to isolate ourselves from the other powers in Europe.

    And by voting No, you’ve given a clear signal to Westminster that you want more austerity ; more tax relief for the Corporations; more foreign wars; a widening income gap between between rich and poor; and a continued destruction of the welfare state.

    The only real internationalism is rapacious American democracy. And it’s definitely not altruistic in any way, shape or form. It’s about Empire building and money making.

    A Yes vote was never about entering a state of Nirvana but it was about creating the start of a new, more equal society.

  18. A one world common weal?

    And we were branded hopeless dreamers. 😀

  19. Your use of the term ‘parochialism’ denotes a condescending regard for Scottish Sovereignty. Your aspirations for Internationalist Socialism are all well and good. But you didnt vote for that. Nothing even remotely like that. You voted for Neo – Liberalism dressed as the ghost of Keir Hardie. A Scotland Independent of Post – Imperialism , Nuclear Armament. One prepared to confront the rising tide of racism and intolerance. That was what you voted against..

  20. airy fairy rubbish.

    If Scotland had been allowed to manage it’s own affairs – it would have rolled out a model of social justice that would have been a whole lot closer to a common weal than anything “great’ britain has rolled out in the last 60 years that i can remember.

    Go anywhere in the world and you will find Scots as leaders in their field. Folks like you prevented Scotland from bringing its very own brand new form of governance to the world.

    How the heck would you know what that might have embraced?

    • Do you have any proof for any of that statement?
      No – I think it’s all “airy fairy rubbish”

      • another unionist tactic – hang on to an irrelevant comment and ask for evidence – even when denying mountains of it that shows you made the wrong choice.
        also never provide any evidence of your own to show that the union is superior to independence.
        unless you’d like to give us some now?

  21. “A ‘No’ outcome didn’t really further these aims at the present time”

    That should win the prize for understatement. You weren’t being given a choice of international socialism on the ballot. The options were between two constitutional set ups – the character of which is then determined by the legislature voted on by the people.

    Given the current, past and likely future character of the British establishment, inward looking, borderline xenophobic, barely democratic and commited only in the maintenance of corporatist interests. It’s insanity to imagine a situation where your dream could ever come to pass, given the absorption of the once time people’s party into the system they were once set up to change. By contrast the character of an independent Scottish legislature looked likely to come more from the left of centre and the Yes campaign in general were more internationalist in outlook, more willing to take a pluralistic view on foreign affairs, definietely more commited to the EU in practice than the UK.

    At the end of the day we both believe in Socialism, you believe that only a lack of borders cna alllow the doctrine to spread. I believe it isn’t, and shouldn’t be stopped by borders. There will always be variations on the theme dicated by geography, demographics and history, each nation should be allowed to find that place where it works. They don’t need to be all bolted together in a political union for that to happen, indeed, they shouldn’t be. Perhaps there should be more commonality on things like Corporation tax – but such things could’ve been worked out in cross border treaties, not necessarily by sharing a lop sided poltiical union.

    International redistributive socialism will never begin in, or be adopted by a UK governed by the current Westminster system which is now more entrenched than ever by the outcome of the referendum.

  22. Brave response, well done on stating your views, I don’t share them and they look like a bit of a cop out to me, still good of you to post though.

  23. The choice was not between a fair Scotland or a fair Britain.

    It was between building whatever Scotland we wanted, and a corrupt, unequal UK.

    You voted for British nationalism, and a nakedly corrupt, British state. Congratulations.

  24. I don’t wish to sound offensive but this has to be one of the most deluded reasons for voting no.

    Using the authors logic does he consider it despicable that a nation like Norway has build up a $600BN wealth fund while folk in Africa live destitution? I take he believes that the UK should give away its entire wealth until it’s no wealthier than the world’s poorest nation?

    What is the criteria? Is it only Scotland that isn’t allowed to be wealthy while there’s poverty anywhere else on the planet or are all nations required to be as poor as each other? is there a radius within which this “poverty solidarity” applies? If so, what is it, 100 miles,1000 miles?

    “(btw – they also want to share with me).”

    I think you’ll find you are highly mistaken many English resent what they wrongly perceive as an unfair “subsidy” that Scotland gets through the Barnett Formula. For example:

    “60% of UK taxpayers don’t think it is worth continuing to give Scotland a higher share of state spending than other regions just to keep it in the UK.” (You-Gov poll in the Sun February 2014)

  25. “(Btw: On every matter of fact, the Yes campaign failed to make a case – and abysmally)”

    And yet…

    “I voted No in this year’s referendum. I would always have voted No”

    Clearly the Yes campaign was never going to make a case to win you over. It made a case that won somewhere in the region of 15% over, though. Another 15% at least thought there was something worth considering before eventually plumping for No.

    The “I voted No because I’m an internationalist” canard is so tedious. You can’t be an internationalist without nation states. What matters is not how many of them there are, but how they work together. The idea that the pursuit of international justice is directly linked to the number of nations in the world is just absolute nonsense, unless one is stupid enough to think that a one-world government couldn’t possibly reside over mass inequality and injustice. In reality, it would more likely play into the hands of the global elite that is already upon us – one government to corrupt, rather than hundreds.

    Wise up, seriously. Ideology is all fine and well, but when you let it cloud your decisions to such an extent that you start working in favour of the kind of people that you claim to be against, then it’s dangerous. Your bedfellows were big business, media conglomerates and the landed gentry. Go and have a wee think about why that might have been before the next referendum is upon us and you end up making the same mistake.

    • Well said, but as I put, if they are not willing to test what they know, and be willing to put the leg work into research, they will never have a foundation on which to make judgement.

      This here as can be read, is the case.
      And was the case for many.

  26. “I dream of a World Tax: a full tax-sharing brother/sisterhood of good
    people in a ‘Common Weal’ that extends from Rio De Janeiro to Taipei and from Helsinki to Arusha.”

    I think we could all agree we’d like to see some sort of shared global goodwill, but you don’t need to look far to see that countries might vary quite drastically on ideas about what their taxes pay for!

    The main problem is that this global system is already being maneuvered, mainly by the US. In the light of their foreign policy (backed by the UK govt) your ideas aren’t realistic in terms of goodwill. The British Empire was in full flow not so long ago, and we can see that around 50 countries have become independent from the British Empire over the past century. Scotland (a country whose legal and land ownership systems are still archaic and hopelessly outdated in comparison to the rest of Europe, though that’s gradually changing thanks to SNP reforms) is one of the few that remain in union with England.

    While alliances with countries across the world,or trade with different countries, is desirable, centralised laws can’t be about the biggest bullies manipulating the agenda towards their own goals (for example wars for oil that we don’t agree with). Scotland can’t add its voice to those other countries who seek progress and social democracy, by aligning itself with the US and UK.

    This is not about parochialism, or for that matter identity. This is about values (for example – do we value our public services? Do we want Trident? Do we believe in sustainable energy? Do we wish for a more fair and equal society?). These are the values that we can share with like-minded countries. This won’t happen with the neo liberal parties, now peppered with UKIP, that get voted in time and again by the majority of England!

    I think most people in Scotland can see that independence would be one way of ensuring we get the government we want, and that our interests or values would be better represented. All that remains then is identifying barriers to independence.

    Other than questions of economic stability and some sort of irrational faith in the idea of a British State, there are no barriers except lack of facts. Scotland absolutely has the economic capacity to be independent, any no voters who were convinced otherwise by the fear campaign would benefit from more research into, for example oil. Oil prices fluctuate and fossil fuels are a finite resource -saying that Scotland’s oil is running out is true, as it it is for the rest of the world! Having said that, we know that a new oil field has been discovered in the North Sea (we also know that Cameron knew, we also know that this news wasn’t released by mainstream press until after the referendum!).

    More importantly than oil, Scotland has immense capacity in the sustainables industry. It’s investing in this and other Scottish industries which is one of the reasons why we have a future as an independent country

    It’s still beyond me why so many people voted no in the light of all this, unless they’re basically tory and believe in a wealthy few holding on to power while the rest of the country suffers.

  27. “I dream of a World Tax: a full tax-sharing brother/sisterhood of good
    people in a ‘Common Weal’ that extends from Rio De Janeiro to Taipei and from Helsinki to Arusha.”

    I think we could all agree we’d like to see some sort of shared global goodwill, but you don’t need to look far to see that countries might vary quite drastically on ideas about what their taxes pay for!

    main problem is that this global system is already being maneuvered, mainly by the US. In the light of their foreign policy (backed by the UK govt) your ideas aren’t realistic in terms of goodwill. The British Empire was in full flow not so long ago, and we can see that around 50 countries have become independent from the British Empire over the past century. Scotland (a country whose legal and land ownership systems are still archaic and hopelessly outdated in comparison to the rest of Europe, though that’s gradually changing thanks to SNP reforms) is one of the few that remain in union with England.

    While alliances with countries across the world,or trade with different countries, is desirable, centralised laws can’t be about the biggest bullies manipulating the agenda towards their own goals (for example wars for oil that we don’t agree with). Scotland can’t add its voice to those other countries who seek progress and social democracy, by aligning itself with the US and UK.

    This is not about parochialism, or for that matter identity. This is about values (for example – do we value our public services? Do we want Trident? Do we believe in sustainable energy? Do we wish for a more fair and equal society?). These are the values that we can share with like-minded countries. This won’t happen with the neo liberal parties, now peppered with UKIP, that get voted in time and again by the majority of England!

    I think most people in Scotland can see that independence would be one way of ensuring we get the government we want, and that our interests or values would be better represented. All that remains then is identifying barriers to independence.

    Other than questions of economic stability and some sort of irrational faith in the idea of a British State, there are no barriers except lack of facts. Scotland absolutely has the economic capacity to be independent, any no voters who were convinced otherwise by the fear campaign would benefit from more research into, for example oil. Oil prices fluctuate and fossil fuels are a finite resource -saying that Scotland’s oil is running out is true, as it it is for the rest of the world! Having said that, we know that a new oil field has been discovered in the North Sea (we also know that Cameron knew, we also know that this news wasn’t released by mainstream press until after the referendum!).

    More importantly than oil, Scotland has immense capacity in the sustainables industry. It’s investing in this and other Scottish industries which is one of the reasons why we have a future as an independent country

    It’s still beyond me why so many people voted no in the light of all this, unless they’re basically tory and believe in a wealthy few holding on to power while the rest of the country suffers.

  28. All very admirable. However, you will go to your grave paying taxes to support an unelected House of Lords and an unelected Head of State who have all the power and influence as they live and work in their palaces. Voting “No” changed nothing. England/UK has been run along these lines for 1000 years and on it goes. What did your vote achieve? What did it change? To paraphrase Einstein – The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.

  29. While international cooperation towards one global nation sharing resources, taxes etc is a worthy goal, at this point in the history of mankind this is simply not achievable. The world is made of a multitude of cultures, languages, religions, each with their own set of values and for them to come together under one utopian Terran culture will take many many more years (assuming we survive the onslaught of Climate change, which nations can’t seem to tackle together by the way)

    The fact that so many small nations have been created out of failed giant states is telling us that right now the way we want to organise ourselves is into small, manageable nations where citizens can have their voices heard, not behemoths that drown your pleas for change under false pretenses.

    Even to achieve this level of equality within the UK would take a drastic change of how the nation is governed, it would mean equally dividing revenues and resources across the whole country, not just the South East of England.

    Until such time as when the world will be a place of peace and equality, we in Scotland would only have our voices heard under the flag of our own independent nation. The Yes campaign made our case very clear on this.

  30. Let me pose a question to the Op, why do you think the likes of Yorkshire (who you claim kinship to) is fighting to gain self autonomy? The reality is the deep rooted corruption.

    And voting to keep that corruption in power, that has an extreme right wing authoritarian agenda cannot really be any further away from the Common Weal, or lead to its ultimate conclusion.

    If you are not willing to question your beliefs, test them, research and adjust them (as you have stated is the case), then you will never willingly acknowledge the problems faced on the path to the goals of the Common Weal.

    Take note, it is up to you to learn, research, test what you believe, not for some one to tell you, to claim either side should “convince you” shows a terrible lacking and poor foundation to make judgements of any kind.

  31. You go on about international matters and tax you forgot what this was all about it was about us becoming a free and proud people once again I am Scottish not British and always will be proud to be Scottish one day we will free ourselves from the Westminster tyrants all the lies they told about our economy are coming out now

  32. I dreamed of a fair world many years ago but have reaiised that with all the vested interests that it was not possible. I looked at the future and it was obvious that these vested interests pushed globalisation and we were headed for a Blade Runner type society. The only solution is a range of smaller national units were it is possible to build sustainable communities based on local resources and local talent. It would be the only way to react to change and build a locally grown society which would support its members. The future is local and that’s why a Yes victory is essential next time.

  33. The UK want to exit the EU. By default taking Scotland out with it. By voting ‘NO’ you have just done the opposite of what you claim is your goal. Sharing and caring.

    I can’t take this man’s post seriously. I think this is just a wind up. I don’t believe a word he has posted.

  34. Small is beautiful. These thoughts and reasons put forward I would agree with in the perfect world. Unfortunately this does not exist so is not better to start in a small scale and try and make Scotland a fairer and more just society. If the people in England see there is a better way then they might fight for change. Keeping the status quo only means we continue to live in one of the most unequal societies in the world.

  35. Sandra, I agree. This person says he voted NO as he wants a one world commune which to me sounds like a utopian human society from a Star Trek plot. from. Bizarrely and irrationally, voting NO meant retaining a UK society which could not be more at odds with the poster’s ideal world, where he voted to retain the most unequal society in the western world. A complete wind up merchant. Come on, all you REAL NO voters out there. Your honest reasons for voting NO would be much appreciated. If you have the courage to be honest, Someone should do a poll on why folks really voted NO. Of course the Project Fear side will never do this as they simply wish to press a reset button back to ‘normal service will soon be resumed’. Normal service will never suffice again.

  36. The way I see it Scotland should have become a light at the end of the tunnel in regards to social justice. Much as we already look at Scandinavia and see what the mix of strong economies and social welfare priorities can deliver – it acts as a template for us to follow. Scotland could have added to the group of such nations with its own approach to the common weal – an avalanche starts with the small stones. The likes of N Ireland , wales , northern England could have looked upon us and seen there was another way and what was possible if you shake off the current british nationalist westminister form of government and indeed embraced internationalism as an equal partner.
    Scotland could have been the light that showed the rest how to become a fairer more outward looking society and you voted NO and lost that opportunity to lead the way to your british / global common goal.

  37. 307 years of UK Union how is that Internationalism coming along?

  38. Thank you for your article. I disagree because I think that Britain is never going to be a vehicle for social justice, let alone Internationalism. Smaller countries have a better record of cooperation, larger countries are too often tempted to throw their weight about

    There is an important issue that the No camp used to some effect ‘what about solidarity with the disadvantaged in rUK?’ The no camp used this to paint the Yes movement as selfish. I don’t think this was countered effectively and we should learn the lesson.

    My answer to this charge would be twofold. First, the example of a more just Scotland would make it harder for the neocons to argue that there is no alternative (that is why vested interests would work hard to try to make us fail). Secondly, an independent Scotland should seek to help others in rUK directly rather than through the wasteful warmachine that is Westminster. rUK and other needy areas should be part of our aid. This is far more likely to get our wealth to those in need than the current system.

    We need to learn

  39. Vote No, get Eton/Oxbridge posh boys/gels (Tory, LibDem and Labour), House of Lords, and pushing agenda of city and arms suppliers. That is as far away from common weal as you are likely to get. Is this guy for real? He preferred that?

  40. Guys, the poster has the courtesy to come on and state their reason for voting NO. You do yourselves no favours with some of the replies I have seen on here, how about a bit of courtesy back. Frustration can be very understandable, but sometimes less is more, you know?

  41. I had a very good friend who would have shared the views in this post. He was a very good man who was very kind to me and very caring towards others. He believed we should all be working towards a world government. He was also a supporter of the Tory party. I never did agree with his perspectives but I accepted that from my point of view he was just a very decent eccentric and I am going to presume that the person who posted above is likewise. I share the terrible frustration of those who have commented above but ask that we just accept that Scotland has its share of eccentrics and not vilify them.

  42. Two things came to mind when I read this article.

    The first was a question – you state that the Yes campaign failed to make a case on every matter of fact, but where did you get your information from about the cases they were making? The answer to this question matters a great deal, because not all sources were equally trustworthy. If you only consulted mainstream television, radio and printed news, then what you were choosing your information from only one side of the debate. If, however, you went on the internet and looked at sites such as Wings, Newsnet Scotland, Business for Scotland and any of the many truly excellent sources of information, and STILL weren’t convinced, then I think you must have had your ears and eyes closed all the way.

    The second was a comment made by Tommy Sheridan when interviewed by Andrew Neil. Tommy said, “Think global, act local.” What he meant was that the ideal was international socialism, but the way to start achieving it was to do what you could in your own sphere of influence – which is all that any of us can ever do, in the end. If you haven’t yet realised this, then you have a lot to learn about both life and justice.

  43. John you should’ve come to the Radical Independence conference. You would’ve seen speakers from Catalonia, Podemos and Syriza. Also the E15 Mothers from London who got the loudest and longest standing ovation of the whole day. This isn’t about insular nationalism.

  44. Getting rid of British nationalism, illegal wars & the obscenity of spending billions on the Trident replacement is apparently parochial. What planet’s this guy living on?

  45. I have read with interest the starter and the ensuing comments.
    I have been known to frustrate my brothers and friends when I describe myself as a “citizen of the world”. I am no nationalist. I don’t hide that fact.
    However, I have long realised that I cannot change the (whole) world of which I am part.
    I can change me and if I can change me for the better: I change the world for the better.
    Follow this through to if we, as a nation, can change for the better: we, as a nation, change the world for the better.
    An idealist? I hope so but I want a better world like so many of us in Scotland. We start with making ourselves better.

    • ”I can change me and if I can change me for the better: I change the world for the better.”.

      No John Tracey – it’s not enough, nowhere near it. This egocentric thinking is useless.

      • Perplexed why you quote step 1 which is valid for each individual in the world
        ”I can change me and if I can change me for the better: I change the world for the better.”
        and ignore
        “Follow this through to if we, as a nation, can change for the better: we, as a nation, change the world for the better.”
        My real ideal is – we as a world change for the better! I’m thinking to start at the nation level is more likely to see success.
        I’m scratching my head to see where “egocentric” comes from.

  46. “I want to share my taxes with fellow Scots. I also want to share them
    with the people of YorkShire, Liverpool, Chester and London. (btw – they also want to share with me).”

    Not quite right – what they want to share with you is their debt.

  47. Vlad Putin is trying to ressurrect the former USSR community of states whether they want to or not.
    These sort of ideas are based on centralised control of economies and social programs based on what an unelected elite think is best for the plebs (sound familiar?).
    History surely tells us that this philosophy is doomed to failure.
    Bringing decision making closer to people was mainly what the Yes campaign was about and those who disagreed with this must say why this is not a good idea.
    Why shouldn’t we take decisions in Scotland that reflect the needs and wants of Scots as far as is possible within a global interconnected community?
    The No vote left these decisions in the hands of people outwith Scotland who rarely,if ever,consider our requirements.
    If rule by an unelected elite is the basis of John’s philosophy then it seems to me to be no where near any sort of democratic socialism and much closer to Vlad’s position.
    Of course,it all makes sense if you deny that Scotland is a community or country.

  48. My initial reaction of incredulity when this so called learning exercise was mooted, has more or less been justified by this post. The ” I’m an Internationalist” rubbish is probably the the most overused excuse trotted out by guilt ridden No voters alongside the ” but the Yes side never convinced me”.
    The reality is, people like the author are realising that they have betrayed the old, infirm and poor by their selfishness and are looking for excuses.

  49. It was inevitable that you were going to get a lot of flak for your opinion, but at least you have one and didn’t just vote no because you were undecided – like better together told people to do.

    I have to say you vision of an international common weal may be commendable, but that has to start somewhere, it will never be achieved by sticking with the current corrupt governments of the world.

    We were presented with a chance to kick start a new nation, to take the ideas of a common weal and implement them, lead the world and help other nations learn from us.

    Instead you chose to stick with a corrupt system of government where 3/4 of our MPs are millionaires in the hope that they will suddenly do a complete U-turn and work for the common good.

    Not to mention internationalism, when you voted to stay with a country whose voters want to exit from the EU and whose government want to abolish human rights.

    The only internationalism you will see from your approach is multinational companies taking over governments until they form their own privately run world government.

    And to think Better Together called the Yes movement naive, I think you’ve taken 1st prize.

    I don’t intend to insult you, your views are just depressingly out of touch with the actual reality.

  50. Aargh I wrote a long reply and lost it! Essentially I think the above view is one of a purist, and it’s a view I heard often during the campaign. I think by contrast Yes voters tended to be pragmatists who recognise that Rome wasn’ t built in a day. You have to start somewhere, but while trapped in the UK we are powerless to leave the starting blocks. For me, Yes was about seizing the initiative.

  51. My letter’s drawn a point I want to try and explain. If I want sharing, love, peace and understanding to blossom on an epic scale, and if it is a given that the UK/Westminster environment is infertile/even hostile to this tender seed – than why not regroup behind the protective ramparts of the Common Weal that will inevitably flourish in an Independent Scotland – and use this incubator to draw cameraderie, strength and support to proliferate the acts and words of the message (in a box?) around the World?

    If the odds on this scenario being realised were even hopelessly poor, I’d still be placing my bet and arguing with my own letter.

    But my take on the rise of ‘Yes’ places the odds against this as astronomical – there are few honest-to-goodness radical independence voices and much said is at odds with SNP policy, so would these voices be heard in an Independent Scotland? – for so many voters their roadmap for an Independent Scotland is couched as unreflective support for seven years of SNP predominance and with little guided analysis for all of us in the media of the consequences of a raft of (directly and indirectly) regressive policies that court the middle classes under a misnomer of Social Justice.

    My assessment is that an Independent Scotland would be, for as far ahead as you’d dare to guess, at best, no worse than the UK.

    If there is a ‘Yes’ in the next referendum – and the radical dream becomes a reality – I’ll put myself to shame for this correspondence – but I will be glad.

    It did please me sharing my labour (also) with “the boys from The Mersey and The Thames and The Tyne” though.

    And I’ll keep putting my back into my work.

    • Why would these common weal voices be heard in an independent Scotland? You don’t know why? Because we would be a democracy for the first time. Didn’t you grasp this basic point? That this was all about democracy for Scotland? You know, that thing that the English have had for hundreds of years in the UK as elsewhere in the western world but Scotland has been denied because of their domination in numbers? I’m not about to give you a history lesson but the political cultures of Scotland and England have always differed. In the 19th century (after the 1832 reform act) out of twenty elections before WW1 Scotland voted Liberal for nineteen of them but only got Liberal governments some of the time when England occasionally voted for them. Further back, pre-democracy, we had a presbyterian system of church government whilst elsewhere in the British Isles there was an episcopalian one. I could go on. England and Scotland are fundamentally different entities but being joined at the hip it means we are dragged along by their majority.

      You have no grasp of history, sociology, or politics.

    • Well John, for decades I, like you, enjoyed thinking I was sharing solidarity with the workers in England. And one day it dawned on me that I couldnt go on like that with no reciprocity from my English brothers and sisters. They kept voting Tory which is shameful enough but left me not getting the govt I wanted.

      I thought ‘Greater love hath no man but to lay down his self determination for his friend.” Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Time for a change, eh?

      I detest working class Tories and realised the best way to help them was to be an example rather than a crutch. I’d welcome them to work and live in my new Scotland. I already did that when I worked offshore and you couldnt find a Scots accent.

      As others have said, there’s more than a wee hint of agent provocateur in your words; tsk tsk!

    • The solidarity argument would be a lot more persuasive if there was any indication at all that the UK was moving towards rather than away from a model of sharing wealth.

      A Yes vote would have given an opportunity to demonstrate that a fairer society was possible, it wouldn’t have guaranteed it. But what it would have done is completely shifted the political centre ground in the place where we live. For whatever reason the south of England embraced Thatcherism, and the politics that represents are anathema to Scotland. Ever since Thatcher there’s been a move to the right from Labour to capture the votes of “middle” England. Without having to win those votes Labour could actually exist as a party which represents the people it is supposed to represent. The most likely outcome of independence in Scotland would have been a battle between a remnant SNP and reformed Labour movement over how to be fairest. That’s never ever going to be the battleground in the UK.

      A No vote has further embedded the demonisation of the poor, the disabled, immigrants, and low paid workers within our country. Policies doing these things are embraced across the political “spectrum” in what passes as our UK political culture.

      I’ve got some empathy with the reasons youve given above, but the reasons are utterly contradicted by the barest glance at what the UK is. The Yes campaign were not able to give definitive answers, but the people asking the questions of them along the lines of this piece seem to have checked in their critical faculties when it came to asking the same questions of the UK as it currently exists and asking if that was likely to serve their interests. No voters are living in the country of food banks too, just because they exist across the whole of the UK isn’t a reason to say No to getting rid of them in Scotland by creating a better fairer society.

      You sold out the poor because you preferred to indulge your own wee fantasy in my opinion.

  52. Sometimes the reasons people convince themselves of aren’t their real reasons, the real reasons are in their heart, not in their mind. By claiming to be an internationalist he sets himself a goal so lofty it is impossible, which allows him to damn everybody else who doesn’t share it.

    Reading between the lines this guy is actually a sociopath who feels no common identity with anyone.

  53. Superb article articulating my own views better than I’ve been able to.

  54. You would struggle to see a worse reason for voting no then the ‘unification world wide on all taxes’ a goal few share especially no voters who are rarely cited for having any reason or justification for their position let alone this lonesome tax based one.

    Ironically, the weird claim of a no vote being ‘internationalist’ firstly is utterly at odds with the fact that internationalism itself consists of a multiple array of Independent nations and secondly his version of internationalism sounds parochial and totally at odds with the common term of reference it is used.

    A smug ‘go’ at us for narrowly being beaten, no reference to media onslaught or partisanship, just a smug pretence that Yes didn’t make a case (‘abysmal’) which is to hide his knowledge on just how dire the no case was, dependent on lies and media compliance.

  55. John

    Though there are many criticisms of your views to answer, you seem to have fallen silent and I say that like it’s a bad thing.

    Where did Bella find you anyway?

    Come on John, keep ”putting your back” into the debate!

  56. John

    Since you want to share your labour with the world, if the UK comes out of the EU as Cameron wants, would you then vote yes if there was another referendum and an independent Scotland wanted to be a member of the EU?

  57. Hello Bothy Basher, just having an end of day recce, nightcap not on head but in hand.

    Someone shared Bella’s “Invitation To Comment” on social media and it seemed worthy of a response – it’s pretty clear that, for the appetite of so many contributors here, my actual response wasn’t. Oh well.

    This post is probably a good point to fall silent whether a bad thing or not but I’m guessing since you made the effort to post (above) at all you’re owed something in return.

    Take out most of my dreamy language and I’m just rephrasing “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs” but in a world at the asymptote of internationalism so much so that it doesn’t have the token ‘nation’ in it. I do get that this is not Tuesday week.

    The most comprehensive and generously thoughtful reply was:

    Rose
    December 16, 2014 • 14:12

    (above) and I quote an extract of her’s here:

    I think most people in Scotland can see that independence would be one way of ensuring we get the government we want, and that our interests or values would be better represented. All that remains then is identifying barriers to independence.

    (End of extract)

    Who are “we” – am I in “we”, is “Bothy Basher” et al in “we”. If you go back a few posts to my last one I’ve tried to say why I’d worry about this. The SNP are humoungously predominant in our political lives at the present time and the pivot of their apparent unassaillability is their cannily evolving grip on the middle class – there’ll be no narrowing of the economic divide on their watch. If, next May, the SNP stand down in a few seats where SSP/RIC/Common Weal/etc are standing then I’m being unfair here and I’ll have to reconsider a bit.

    The better and worse parts of English social commentary and activism remain in the psyche of the UK – the candle may be flickering but it still gives light – and we need all the light we can get. I’m not saying there’ll never be a time for Scottish Independence I’m just saying not for me right now.

    Scottish poverty is hellish – there is unbelievable poverty within the square mile of the City Of London. These are great evils to be opposed and healed with or without Independence. For the present time, my voice carries little weight in UK policy – we didn’t get the chance, this Referendum around, to find out what weight the contributor’s voices in the forum here would carry in an Independent Scotland.

    Anyway BB, I think we’re just going round and round here.

    Btw: As a “Sociopath” and possessing the most depressing reasoning: “more so than even brainless Loyalist yobs” – I need to get out more and raise my consciousness to the giddy heights of the average Bella poster. (Categorically, you not included here)

    Good luck and Night. Night. 🙂

  58. “It is not enough to say to the citizens, be good; they must be taught to be so; and even example, which is in this respect the first lesson, is not the sole means to be employed; patriotism is the most efficacious: for, as I have said already, every man is virtuous when his particular will is in all things conformable to the general will, and we voluntarily will what is willed by those whom we love. It appears that the feeling of humanity evaporates and grows feeble in embracing all mankind, and that we cannot be affected by the calamities of Tartary or Japan, in the same manner as we are by those of European nations. It is necessary in some degree to confine and limit our interest and compassion in order to make it active. Now, as this sentiment can be useful only to those with whom we have to live, it is proper that our humanity should confine itself to our fellow-citizens, and should receive a new force because we are in the habit of seeing them, and by reason of the common interest which unites them.” – Jean Jacques Rousseau, A Discourse On Political Economy

  59. Well John UK troops on the way to Iraq. Is that the internationalism you were after. I think not. There was more chance of Scotland being a true member of the world than the UK is. We now see build up of troops along the Russian border. The Russian Rouble being attacked, tensions in the area, UK friend of the US, can we all feel 100% that we are not going to be drawn into conflict?
    John I just wish we were now in the process of independence, I would have felt a whole lot safer than I do now and with a lot more to offer to the world than we (as part of the UK) have now.

    • Yes James – the US/EU provocation of Russia is deeply alarming. All mainstream media adopts a posture of Bad Russia, Good West. Scots newspapers focus on f*cking football as usual, doing their job talking bread and circuses. very effectively too. Scotland is sleepwalking to disaster.

      Yet NATO has been encircling Russia, and the US/Saudi Arabia have now recklessly conspired to cripple the Russian economy by lowering oil prices. . Saudi is of course the main source of terror for the US, with 16 of 18 9/11 bombers coming from there. But they dont talk about that. To say nothing of Saudi funding of IS terror. and so on ad nauseam. And the US is the biggest source of world terror since WWII but it’s ok. Special relationship and all that – how humiliating and how false.

      Russia too has made terror in Chechnya and beyond.

      Gorbachev recently warned of an out of control West and nuclear conflict, but now he is no longer useful to the West, we hear little of him. From (our) hero, to zero.

      And the UK, dragging timid, feeble, comatose Scotland in its wake, is spreading its cheeks for Uncle Sam. You know the chant, ” No nay never – right up yer kilt!!” It’s true you know.

      And hey, this is neat!- Glasgow is only 20 miles from one of the biggest nuclear arsenals in the world- nuclear subs and miles of bomb stuffed tunnels in the Glen Fruin hills. . Glasgow? it’ll be ”goin’ roon an’ roon”. !! For a millisecond anyway.

      And neater still – Scots voted to keep it that way!!!!!………………….Ye couldnae make it up! Talk about tartan turkeys voting to be cooked!!!!!

      Ah’m feart and we’re all forked.

  60. ” it’s pretty clear that, for the appetite of so many contributors here, my actual response wasn’t (worthy) Oh well”’

    Glad you’re back John. I’m sorry you sidestep many comments on your words but as far as my response is concerned I’m quite OK that you contributed in the first place.

    On a site like this, you’d expect a robust response (tho’ I reject ad hominem remarks). I assumed you were up for lively debate.

    Still, thanks for your views which you were invited to give; you have the right to express them as we do.

  61. Regardless of any political/financial arguments why do we Scots have so many doubters so many that lack confidence/pride/vision?so much that we entrust our and our childrens future to a mainly cliquesh cabal of public school educated out of touch politicians.I would ask all of them to put up their lifes CV for all of us to see,interesting I think.

    • Well John…Why?

      Religion is a good place to look for feelings of inferiority. Lets ban it. At least we’d diminish child abuse.
      Then there’s the media – run by vested interests, and bought by its victims.(Neat! huh?)
      Then a wee country economically heavily linked to a bigger country, but needn’t be..
      False consciousness (read yer Marx, tho’ you needn’t be a Marxist)
      Bread and circuses (football)
      The mushroom syndrome – fed sh*t and kept in the dark. But we Scots dafties agreed to this! LOL!

      Toffs’ CVs? You’re asking for liars and self seekers to write a CV! Mammy Daddy!

      What’s your life CV John?

      • Hello Bothy Basher – I seem to have adopted you – hope you’re receptive?

        This intent is exclusively for your consumption: I don’t want to sound unwelcomely patronising, but please, please, please don;t let the caprices of the banalities of life propel you into self-doubt and the inertia of bitterness. It is our civic duty to frustrate “numpties” (and confound taxation btw) and also ribald sport.

        I’m going to paste in some text here if I can find it in my associative filing system that I’d like you to read. Give me a minute:

        (excerpt begins)

        Then Jacques said something that surprised me. People are full of surprises, even for themselves, if they have been stirred enough. ‘Nobody can stay in the garden of Eden,’ Jacques said. And then: ‘I wonder why.’
        I have thought about Jacques’ question since. The question is banal but one of the troubles with living is that living is so banal. Everyone, after all, goes the same dark road – and the road has a trick of being most dark, most treacherous, when it seems most bright – and it’s true that nobody stays in the garden of Eden. Jacques’ garden was not the same as Giovanni’s, of course. Jacques’ garden was involved with football players and Giovanni’s was involved with maidens – but that seems to have made so little difference. Perhaps everybody has a garden of Eden, I don’t know; but they have scarcely seen their garden before they see the flaming sword. Then, perhaps, life only offers the choice of remembering the garden or forgetting it. Either, or: it takes strength to remember, it takes another kind of strength to forget, it takes a hero to do both. People who remember court madness through pain, the pain of the perpetually recurring death of their innocence; people who forget court another kind of madness, the madness of the denial of pain and the hatred of innocence; and the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. Heroes are rare.

        Quotation from: James Baldwin. Giovanni’s Room. Page 23

        (excerpt ends)

        Might not wash, I don’t know.

        As the lord Arjuna understood in the “Bhagavad Gita”: “There are battles to be fought!”

        It behoves all of us well not to discharge our best disposition in tittle-tattle. There will be a day of reckoning but at the heart of reckoning will be compassion and measuredness. Understand the parable of the “Eleventh hour”.

        Whoah! Did I just say all the above? This Bella stuff is messing with my head. Time for a drink!

        Did you want my CV? – I have no idea – make mine a large one!:

        My paternal Grandfather came down from Broadford, Skye to work the mines. My maternal Grandfather immigrated from Co. Donegal to work the shale mines. I grew up on a council scheme in Grangemouth, schooled at Augie’s, Broomhouse, Edinburgh, my eccentricity was named as Schizo-Affective Bipolar Disorder across frequent incarcerations in the REH, and I have latterly been a freelance consulting engineer in the medical fraternity for over 25 years. When the machine that goes “ping” goes “pong”: that’ll be my fault.

        I want to help. I’m happy that you do too. I hope this gives you courage and respite from doubt.

        Once again ( into the fray?). Night, night and sweet dreams.

        John

  62. Body-swerve the preceding colourful and cheesy drunken drivel – it’s just the mush that Manic-Depressive’s brains turn to after a Christmas night out. One gets used to it after 55 years.

    Whatever my meanderings about airy-tax-this or fairy-tax-that, the tax powers have now actually changed. I wanted to raise a note about the Smith powers: now that they are available they need to be used (perhaps aggressively) to help those struggling, and quickly.

    The power to create benefits and vary tax bands (including zero rate) will create revenue that must be deployed to help those most in need. These powers could make a sustained improvement to a great many lives.

    If the Scottish Government doesn’t expedite this with all due haste then they should be held to account. Tax me now – I’m waiting.

    • Wakey! Wakey! There are no “Smith powers” available now. There are no “Smith powers”. There are merely recommendations. Suggestions which can, and probably will, be ignored by whatever government might be cobbled together after next year’s elections.

  63. You are the navel gazing hangover my friend. You, as a NO voter, have just consigned the Scots poor to 10 or 15 years of Westminster austerity. That’s very socialist !!!! How is it that every other nation on Earth can be internationalist and nationalist at the same time, without being inward looking and introspective, or do you just keep your bile for Scotland. The damage you have done by voting NO will take decades to undo. I`m sure the Scots at the food banks will be pleased to hear that you are an internationalist and NO voter. A clown is a more appropriate description. Go on down and tell them, they`ll welcome you with open arms. Waken up from your turpid dream.

  64. Hi John McKinnon – sorry about the delay in reply – I got involved in ‘talking shit’ (as Bella thundered) elsewhere. Where I’m from we talk shite, so Bella is a bit posh, maybe Kelvinsaid or Morningsaid.

    You said ” I don’t want to sound unwelcomely patronising, but please, please, please don;t let the caprices of the banalities of life propel you into self-doubt and the inertia of bitterness.”

    John, a wee tautology there- can being patronised ever be welcome? But be as patronising as you like – I am used to it. Spookily enough you are very perceptive – I do get propelled into self doubt and a wee bit of bitterness.(I’ll reflect on that). Mind you, can you blame me?

    You said ”It behoves all of us well not to discharge our best disposition in tittle-tattle. ” But John, I cant help it. It kept me sane-ish in shipyard and platform in order to enliven the ‘banalities’ of work. Otherwise known as banter or the patter. That was healthy working class life – later in an unhealthy middleclass staffroom my banter went down like a lead balloon and (sigh) my alienation was complete. Twats.

    You mention Grangemouth- I was there on a shutdown in the late 80s when it blew up on a morning shift – a friend in Clackmannan was launched out of bed and said ‘ Fork me, BothyBasher has cut the wrong pipe again..” I ran for my life and I remember my hard hat falling with a clatter as I legged it away from that place, as pipes lifted and rippled along my speedy exit route. Mammy Daddy !! -yet here I am as irritating as ever!

    It was my last job in Scotland – ah couldnae get a joab there and trekked a route to the ‘dreaming spires’ or ‘home of lost causes’ which turned into a longer route towards the Great Wen, and then towards the Auld Alliance – and then further.

    You quoted ”the world is mostly divided between madmen who remember and madmen who forget. ” What kind are you John ? I am the kind cursed with remembering. And tho’ I dont like lords, I’m with Arjuna. ”See yon birkie, ca’d a laird” (cheekily I think of the couf George Foulkes)….

    On remembering and forgetting -there is a very fine pibroch, McKinnon’s Lament – do you know of it and of the McKinnon contribution to classical pibroch? Yes you do.

    I’d say more but you may not look in here – any way thanks for your thoughtful post.

    • Hello Bothy Basher

      I’ve just been watching Charlie Brooker’s 2014 Screen Wipe. Make’s you think how much “interested parties” are pulling the wool over all our eyes – like the lines from Dire Strait’s “Industrial Disease:

      “They’re pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind …”
      “They wanna sap your energy – incarcerate your mind ….”
      “They give ya gassy beer, Rule Brittania – page three ….”
      “Two weeks in espagna and a Sunday striptease”

      Divide and rule is abroad and in our time ever more pervasive – “they must be out of their brilliant minds”(Furniture – 90s Manchester art-house band – google it)

      Just heard the Radio 4 Midnight news and the sadness of the Scottish lass with Ebola and the unfathomable distress of the good people of West Africa has been diffused into an anglicised politicised football kickabout about adequate airport screening checks. God it’s so effin’ depressing.

      We need Fiona Bruce to bang the preposterously out-sized BBC News desk and scream “Give us yer money now!”.

      Anyway, thanks for the considerate and gentle reply, and always remember: the answer to the question “When will there be a harvest for the world?” – is – “Tuesday Week!”.

      Have an unrecallable Hogmanay and good things in 2015.

      I very much hope we can continue this correspondence into next year.

      Here’s a wee thought I like:

      “The wounded surgeon plies the steel ….”
      “…. that questions the distempered part …. ”
      “…. beneath the blade we feel the sharp compassion of the healer’s art.”

      It’s by TS Elliott – my Uncle Joe( WW2 tank landing craft stoker, 1939 to 1946, Anzio, D-Day, Burma) loved to quote it.

      Cheers

      John

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: