On Being Beholden, the True Nature of British Democracy

ScotlandMAPSBy Mike Small

I have to to join the swarm of disinterest about today’s ‘historic’ announcements on the Smith Commission. If this is Home Rule, or ‘as close to Federalism as you’ll get’ I’m a donkey.

30% of tax and 15% of welfare is a meek and helpless form of self-governance, and independence campaigners involved in implementing it should stop and think what they are doing with their time and energy.

STUC were quoted on the Smith Commission Bill saying:

“The Scottish Trades Union Conference (STUC) said the final draft proposals were “a further watering down” of the promise that was made to referendum voters in Scotland.

A spokesman said: “The UK government will present today’s publication as significant progress, but the truth is that we are not even at the end of the beginning of progress to meaningful additional devolution.

“It’s now vital that the fullest possible public consultation is conducted, including a citizen-led process.”

But meanwhile as David Cameron rides north again, it is polling not posturing that takes centre-stage. As politicians and the commentariat stumble over themselves to make sense of the new landscape and the latest polling, mass confusion reigns.

Scottish Labour, under the magnificent triumvirate of Susan Dalgety, John McTernan and Jim Murphy, look to have reverted to their default position of assumption of ‘right to rule’, but the reality beyond the bunker looks far bleaker with Murphy’s strident new leadership apparently stillborn. Today’s Ipsos Mori polling would leave them with just four seats in Scotland; Glasgow North East, Glasgow South West, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill.

Support for the SNP remains at 52% since October’s survey, giving them a projected 55 seats at Westminster.

This new prospect will only encourage Dalgety, McTernan and Murphy who are likely to see this more than as a goad to the Blairite Truth rather than a warning about the public mood,which will just make it all the more funny. If the polls hold then Jim Murphy, Margaret Curran, Alistair Carmichael and Danny Alexander would be among the sad losses to British public life, as would the Conservative’s sole parliamentary representative.

In this scenario the EVEL Dead would meet the Feeble Fifty in whatever parliamentary afterlife exists – Andrew Neil’s sofa-tv perhaps or Andrew Marr feeding soft questions to affronted Labour has-beens in mutual befuddlement.

That the Smith Commission is a con and a constitutional cul de sac, confirmed by Osborne’s pronouncement that restrictions on the voting powers of Scottish MPs would “have to apply on areas connected with the Budget” after a portion of income tax is devolved to Scotland. An idea flatly contradicting the impotent and ineffectual cross-party Smith Commission on devolution.

If you want any further proof of where power lies in the British State you need none other than the reality that proposals for “English votes for English laws” would be published before the general election but the Chilcot Report will not. One is a fictional invention of tired Tory nationalists, the other is a report on a ‘war’ that The Lancet estimates cost 600,000 civilians their lives.

Such is the nature of British democracy. It’s manifested also in the bitter and scared response to their changing world. London-based journalists seem particularly behind the curve.

‘Scottish nationalists are not Irish Republicans’ the Guardian editorial starts observantly before descending into a cascade of self-deception. Poor Michael White joins the fray in frothy confusion: “For those Britons who value the union and would feel diminished if the Scots left it – as well as fearful on their behalf in a harsh world – this is dangerous territory. Sturgeon is a nimble political heir to Alex Salmond (does backseat Alex still pull the strings? I don’t know) who is seeking to reassure disaffected Labour voters in Scotland that defecting to the SNP on 7 May will not be helping the Tories get re-elected at Ed Miliband’s expense.”

A quick thought to Michael: Labours vote has already gone, it’s not to be ‘defect’ in the future tense. Thanks for the concern (‘ fearful on their behalf in a harsh world’) but we’re here now, so everything from Trident 2 to foodbanks is on you. And, we do love the ongoing post-referendum fantasy of the SNP as some duplicitous behind the scenes operation, rather than, say, the outcome of a democratic vote.

“Sensible people” the Guardian’s assistant editor continues: “should not overreact to Sturgeon’s mischievous provocation.”

Having begged pleaded and threatened Scotland to stay within Britain for two years it now seems the nature of that democracy has changed. Osborne today bleats:

“I think that would not be fair for the rest of the UK and I think those who aspire to hold this office should make it very clear before the election that they would not be beholden on Scottish Nationalist votes.”

Imagine one country within the union having control over another? That would be an affront to democracy wouldn’t it? Unthinkable.

But as the new realities loom into sharper focus today, we should remember that the General Election is simply a cleansing process of clearing out the dead and the useless from our political life. According to the Undertake and Midwife theory the real fun would start in 2016 when the Scottish elections kick-in. By that time the Labour Party in Scotland would be a busted flush with a new leader in place and the space would open up for a genuinely broad, diverse, exciting new politics.

 



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69 replies

  1. Mike Small seems to be in the never happy, glass is half empty brigade. Fortunately there are lots of people in Scotland who look for positives and look for opportunities. These positive people will drive the country forward as they always have. It is the negative people who hold us back. If only we could get more people to take a grasp of the vast potential available to us now.

    • Nice to see you are coming on board and realise the potential of a strong SNP fighting Scotlands corner. Unless of course your post is a rather oblique attempt of “Lets not pay attention to Osborne, as he freaks out at the idea of Scotland pulling some strings in westminster” – I mean, that would be really silly.

    • Ha ha, that was funny Andrew Skea!

    • Andrew Is that sarcasm?
      Even you must recognise that Holyrood has gained almost nothing by these recommendations.

      Unfortunately it is no surprise that we have been shafted once again. Threats, fear and manipulation are no foundation for a continued union.
      A fairer society will never be achieved under Westminster due to the compromises made by Labour and LibDem to win the votes of middle England.
      Scotland will only make progress with a strong representation of the SNP at Westminster working to achieve a true federal system or independence.

      • If the British empire was any good why has all the commonwealth left the empire I will tell you it is because england stole all resources from there countries now they are still doing it to scotland and Wales but puting a lot of money into Northern Ireland not there fault due to the bombings but have you noticed that no country has to come back same as malta got rid of the UK and in the EU and doing very well for themselves

  2. “Our family of nations”, Swiss regions or Canadian provinces. How confusing.

  3. The continued rule by England of Scottish affairs is all that Westminster are interested in.
    That is what they consider to be democracy but since they have acknowledged that Scotland is
    a country then it is a very twisted version.
    Only by getting rid of the block “grant” will be be able to exercise true democratic governance in Scotland and decide what is in our best interest to pool and share with England (with their agreement of course!).

  4. Westminster, there’s a storm coming…

  5. In 1965 I was at the birth of a small country who declared independence from its richer part who was rich in recources where as this natnion had none …only its people I heard the so called experts that it would fail very quickly
    Well that country was Singapore and Scotland became 10% as successful as Singapore I would be very happy

    • What ‘Disney land with the Death penalty’ a souless, uber neoliberal autocracy with the highest rates of citizen dissatifaction, social control and unhappiness in the developed world; a place with more tax dodging millionaires/ billonaires per head than anywhere else…Yep welcome to Alex Salmondland (formerly know as Scotland or the UK or Dai Riata or Bernicia or Northumbria or Pictland….)

      • Not sure I’d want any of the substances you are on…

      • I thought you were looking for a job, Bernicia? I hope you find one soon, I dare say it would do wonders for your bank balance. And perhaps, when you do find one, you will be too tired in the evenings to post abject unionist nonsense on a pro-independence website…

      • I always thought care in the community was a mistake this rant by bernicia has just proved it ,Question why don’t you use your real name something to hide ? or are you really slippery murphy labour scottish branch in disguise ?

      • Am looking for a job. Thankfully some MP’s (labour, lib dems, others) missed a cynical and pointless vote on Trident (it’s been around for a while and there is plenty of time for this before the election) to attend a committee on the future of the Northsea Oil industry and how to mitigate immediate job losses. Of course not a SINGLE Nat was there!!! Oh what interst they have in actual livelihoods!

      • Don’t know what you are taking but it is not aspirin what you are talking about is your own government as a thread last week state the 1% have increased ther wealth by about40 billion pounds and no mention of the thousand of working class people using food banks I could go on but look closer at home before you make your comments

    • Use my own name? Not likely, saw what happen to ‘nationalist roaders’ during the indy ref. You lot are far too sinister!

  6. Either’ Ipsos Mori rules OK’ @ SNP 52% or the ‘SNP-inspired once-in-a-generation Referendum Rules OK’ with Yes @ 41%, No 55% (or whatever the exact % were). Work out the proportions from there.

  7. excellent article.time for forward, progressive ideas, hence the dead wood of murphy and his cohorts needing to be swept away at the general election in may. i have faith in my fellow citizens to be radical and clear out these imposters..cant happen quick enough

  8. Will you please stop triggering Micheal White’s violent panic attacks? He is not getting any younger and every time a car backfires outside the Guardian office his BP hits the fairground bell. I’ve been told that when Polly slams her coffee mug down with a loud “bang” (often, when Owen calls her “Aunty T”), he’s on the phone to GCHQ shouting “Stella…its the fkg IRA again”. It’s a new post Blair world and he just can’t cope. Have a care. He’s prob NUJ too. Is Scotland worth another pensioner life?

  9. I notice that Osborne’s objection is not to Scottish MP’s per se, just “Scottish Nationalist votes” Hm!

    Norman Phipps says he would be happy with 10% of Singapores success, so would I Norman but nearer to home it seems the Isle of Man has more control over it’s own affairs than we are being offered in the “more devolution than anywhere in the whole world” Smith Commission.

  10. Any way you look at it the union continues to disintegrate. It’s only a matter of time. To protect Scotland’s interests during the union’s disintegration the people of Scotland should send as many SNP MPs as possible to Westminster

  11. “One is a fictional invention of tired Tory nationalists, the other (The Chilcot Report) is a report on a ‘war’ that The Lancet estimates cost 600,000 civilians their lives.”

    At least 600,000 lives in Iraq and many many more if the past and current killing in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Gaza and other Muslim countries is included. All of those abominations have arisen because of the chutzpah of Blair and Bush, two abysmally deluded men who thought they were going to “sort out” the Middle East. Well…they certainly did THAT.

    • Yes, I could have gone on. Taking the cost conservative account of deaths is appalling enough in itself.

      • Yeah, nothing to do with anyone else. In fact I heard jihadi john is actually Tony Blair in disguise. Apparently he was also behind the Charlie hebbdo masacre, 911, the kidnap of those girl in nigeria and the masscreof christians in northern kenya. Gets around a bit, no! And….

    • Blair and Bush – two war criminals. I work in the Middle Est and constantly have to tell my Arab colleagues that there is no adoration or support for Blair where I come from.

  12. mmmmm…is it just me or does anyone else feel like they walked into a particularly angry hipsters bar when they somtimes read bella (lots of souness moustaches/ danny magraine beards, retro scotland tops, middle class revolutionaries talking about life in the schemes and social justice and Thatcher…all on a bmx with a skinny jeans and russel brand attitude towards the ‘establiiishmint’). in short heavy on the irony.

    Today we have an article all about the dismal state of democracy and representation in our land underscored by a picture showing ‘our land’ looking like the map of europe circa 1942 in it’s party political plurality. A few plucky Fifers are still holding out from the one party state it seems.

  13. Wow Bernicia, aren’t you clever?

  14. Why do you come here Bernicia? You’re not convincing anyone. Don’t you have anything better to do with your time?

    Or is there a residual anger that we got as far as 45%, so it’s a form of therapy for you to come here regularly, bare your teeth and have a bash and bite at us Yessers? Revenge of some sort?

    Just wondering.

    • No, currently don’t have anything better to do with my time, see above. Has to do with the oil price/ marine service industry and people on (Zero hours) contracts. But like many will be leaving these shores soon, but the beauty of the internet is that I can still keep in touch with my natty freinds. And besides, you’ll miss me if I’m gone! All that agreement and mutual back slapping is soooooo dull.

    • “…you’ll miss me if I’m gone!”

      Come to think of it, I would…not only because I want my lolz, but also because I reckon that your continual postings of nonsense help to firm the resolve of Scottish independence supporters not to vote for the unionist parties at the coming GE.

      You are starting to troll a bit, though. Hit the online jobs boards instead.

  15. MBC. I suspect it’s a form of attention seeking on Bernicia’s part. Most of it is just psychobabble. It generally goes round in ever decreasing circles,of prosaic shit. We all know people in our life like this. They talk a lot but say nothing. I can’t even be bothered arguing with someone when it’s not clear what their point is. I find it’s always better to be succinct and avoid flowery language , or random clichés. That way the readers eyes don’t glaze over half way through!

    • ‘ever decreasing circles’…’talk alot but say nothing’…flowery language’…’eyes glaze over’…? what exactly is your non cliched point? (that deserves a lol!)

      • I’m starting to worry about you Bernicia. You seem to be losing the plot a bit. Maybe it was the news the other day about the STV Ipsos poll that the SNP are now on 52% despite the expected Murphy bounce. It’s starting to look like a solid base of support and no fluke since 19/9.

        No, seriously, take it easy. After all, you have no real commitment to Scotland. So if you don’t like the idea of an SNP led Scotland you can go anywhere. The world’s your oyster.

        We’ll always be here, fighting Scotland’s corner. Who knows, maybe we’ll actually succeed in making it a better place! Should you ever deign to return.

  16. Or better. Just insult the stupid bastards and hope to drive them of elsewhere.

  17. Aye but they tend to be thick..skinned. Hard to shift probably quite needy as well!

  18. Just watched Question Time UKIP HAS JUST BOOSTED THE SNP BY HIS ILL INFORMED REMARKS

  19. Bernicia, I’m so tired of your continuous and tiring show of flagellation. I “get it”, your adolescent need to appear extremely clever. I “get it”, your continual fixation on criticising each posters contribution. I “get it”, your messianic points of view when you are on a roll.

    The reason why I “get it”, is because this whole charade Bernicia is exactly the same reaction that one time friends are exhibiting, it is called guilt.

  20. Don’t automatically assume Coatbridge and Chryston will re-elect our 70+ yr old MP. What was once the safest seat in the country voted Yes while Tom Clarke watched on helpless.

  21. What did anyone expect from ‘UK establishment man’, multi-millionaire investment banker and friend of the very wealthy ‘Lord’ Smith. Someone so distant from low wages, poor housing, poverty, and foodbanks as it is possible to get. But really, we are only getting what UK senior civil servants and their political friends deemed ‘safe’ for them and those like them – thanks to the ‘wisdom’ of the 55% No voters.

    It is now more true than ever to say that Scotland is a mere colony; we must be a colony, as only colonies can be ‘granted’ devolved parliaments. This also fits the Whitehall view stated during the referendum campaign that Scotland was dissolved in 1707 and incorporated into England/Britain – 55% of ‘proud’ Scots signed up to that view last September. (So ‘proud’ in their nation that they are unwilling to make it one.)

    Alistair Carmichael merrily proclaims (to his BBC and MSM chums) that Scotland now has the ‘third most powerful devolved parliament in the world’; what this actually means is that Scotland is the third most powerful colony in the world. In other words, in the global hierarchy of nations, we do not exist; but, do not despair, Scotland is now a top-flight ‘powerhouse’ colony, slightly behind Catalonia and Greenland in the global order of colonies ‘granted’ devolved parliaments by their superiors.

    Our ‘international elevation’ in the worldwide colonial hierarchy will surely make 55% of us even more ‘proud’ to be Scottish. Buffoons mare like.

  22. Trolls are kind of like midgies in summer. They serve some sort of purpose in the food chain , but they annoy the hell out of everyone! I suppose if you ignore midgies they don’t bite as much! Ignore the vacuous, souless trolls.

  23. And so Cameron arrives to tell us that the smith commission is not a pig in the poke. The cartoonishly inept William Rennie tries to tell us that a westminster veto on that feeble collection of stocking fillers, is the “vow” delivered. A meaningless cascade of worthless non-powers, that can be vetoed by westminster, including the ransom Scotland is paying to mitigate the bedroom tax. All we can do with our devolved powers, could be removed, on a whim, by a majority vote in England.

    All the while, the UK parliament’s collective arse is making buttons as it contemplates a Scottish party having influence in westminster. How very much dare the Scots seek to influence westminster!
    Is that not what the no campaign was all about though? Scotland matters, Scotlands vote counts, Scotland has influence. No, Borders, Better together, Best of both worlds, UKOK? Strange then, that as this might actually come to pass, suddenly its Scotlands powers must be curbed. I’d like to see some of those who cherish the union speak out against that. But oddly they either go very quiet or expound at length as to how it doesn’t matter what the likes of osborne says.

    The commission in the end will be defined for what wasn’t in it, rather than what was.

    The response of the no voter to this disgraceful state of affairs? variations on a theme, pretending that is doesn’t matter, with a “I know something, George Osborne doesn’t” sneer.

    Swivel eyed mendacity, thy name is Union.

  24. Spot on as always Mike. Aside from the politics, it has been very enlightening watching the UK media over the past two years. I once believed The Guardian was a progressive voice. It seems clear now that they are no such thing. For all that they may want their readers and themselves to believe they are, the referendum has shown they are a staunch part of the British establishment, toeing the line and not asking questions. The implicit message behind their writing: ‘everything is okay as it is’. I feel sad for my English family and friends who are still under the same impression I once had.

  25. There were no principles underpinning the compromises that resulted in the Smith proposals. Each participant tried to get as much as what they wanted, that is all. There are no principles in the draft legislation announced yesterday. The governing parties simply decided how far they were prepared to go with the Smith proposals, accepting some of them, changing and reducing others and, perhaps, ignoring still more. Since there are no discernible principles underlying the whole exercise, neither the proposals nor their current implementation will result in anything permanent.

    Nobody wants principles because the UK is not based on any principles. The UK exists only as a consequence of a succession of power arrangements between different groupings, trade agreements (think of the 1707 Act of Union) and ongoing pragmatic compromises, which shift according to circumstances.

    That’s how the establishment – Westminster, the Civil Service and rich and powerful lobbies – wants to keep it. The powers that be at Westminster want the UK to continue in this way for ever. The last thing they want is a constitution based on principles to which all are accountable, especially those in power. That is, themselves – whether they are in government or not.

    I did not like Alex Salmond’s phrase about holding people’s feet to the fire, since it has connotations of torture. The idea behind the phrase is nevertheless justified: no one gives up power, especially unaccountable power, unless it is wrested from him. For that reason, even those who disagree with this or that element of SNP policy will need to get behind the SNP in May, and give them their vote. They are the only party or grouping in Scotland that poses a real and potentially sufficient threat to those powers that be.

    In the midst of all this, what becomes increasingly clear is how little contemporary Scotland is known or understood south of the border. The (London) establishment really thought the No campaign was about saving the old union. They still do not realise that we – Scotland and, let’s be blunt, England – have already become two countries. Their idea that Britain is a unitary state is decades behind the curve. They don’t even know that it never really was one; it just appeared to be so (especially to them). Whether they are aware of it or not, their attempt to reconstitute the UK as a unitary state, equated with its major part in terms of population (England), is an act of vandalism. It vandalises all the previous arrangements and compromises on which the UK is actually based, going all the way back to 1707.
    The old UK is in fact already a busted flush. The only way to create a new UK which has any chance of lasting is to establish a set of constitutional principles which all can understand, and to which all would be accountable. Only a genuinely Federal State can achieve that. The establishment fears such a thing for many reasons, perhaps above all because it thinks it will give even more impetus to the SNP and is simply a staging post on the way to full Scottish indepnedence. It was for that reason that they removed Devo-Max from the referendum ballot paper, knowing full well that it would have been the clear winner. It is also for that reason that Smith could not and will not produce proper Devo-Max / Home Rule / Full Federalism.
    The establishment’s calculation might be right: perhaps Full Fedralism would demonstrate the viability of Scotland, and lead to independence. But this is by no means sure, and a viable Scotland remaining within a UK federation might remain an option that most Scots would approve. By refusing to give this possibility a go, and still dreaming of their essentially centralised unitary state, the establishment are shooting themselves in the foot and sounding the death-knell of the UK.
    By trying to hang on to the old UK, despuite it already being long dead in the water, they are preventing any new UK from being born. You need principles, not just on the hoof compromises, to found a new UK. And these principles need to be so clear that all can scrutinise them, and draw their own conclusions in regard to them. By ignoring this, the establishment is making the future of Scotland a choice between belonging to a UK based on baseless compromises, which no one really understands, and full independence.

    Full independence is bound to win in such a contest with the voting public, and sooner rather than later. It alone will give guarantees of a political system which people can understand, because it includes open accountability. The alternative – fudge and mudge – is confusion. Even for its own sake, the establishment should embrace what it more than hinted at, and even promised: genuine home rule within a genuinely federal UK. For them, it’s certainly a risk, but the alternative – again, for them – is apparently worse: the end of the UK altogether. The way they are behaving at the moment, it looks like that alternative is where we – and they – are heading.

  26. Apologies for the typing errors in the above post. Putting more paragraphs would also have helped. Hope it is still clear enough to be understood.

    • It’s fine Wull, and a good read, although the federal idea has never really interested me. ‘Scotland free or a desert’ is more to my taste. Thanks anyway for a coherent post.

      • Reminds me of the graffiti on a bridge over the A92, a couple of miles north of Montrose, which read ‘Scotland free or a dessert?’. I was told the locals called it the choccy pudding bridge. Been 25+ years since I used that road so would imagine it’s been cleaned off – certainly can’t see it on google street view.

  27. Thank you WULLthat is a good summery of the situation I hope you are wrong but I see where you are coming from I hope for independence due to the fact they will try and screw us for a lot of dosh and every thing they can get it is a shame as devo max would have worked and just pay service charges for defence and other bits but they can only se the end of there noses do you know scotland and England could make a country that people would love to come here not just for the beniffits but cameron and co only look after there bank balance

  28. The English media’s hysterical racist assaults on Scotland’s progress to self rule is disgusting but totally predictable. The mask of urbanity and cool liberal sophisticated analysis is ripped away to reveal the ugly reality of a colonial mindset in turmoil.

    Only after the surrender of Scottish sovereignty by the traitorous aristocratic Scottish Parliament was England truly able to make a grab for Scotland’s greatest resource: its people.

    Our young men, drafted in by poverty and bogus ideals of valour, filled the North British ranks of the emboldened Empire and set about conquering and dying for this confidence trick of a Union.

    Ireland, North America, India etc. our nation’s blood was shed in pursuit of profit and vainglorious conquest.
    The result: a stunted and aging population….even in the twentieth century, 200.000 more war dead, over two million emigrants. An economic basket case propped up by a branch economy constructed to placate the Uncle Tom politicians based here from fear of losing their sinecures.

    Then came Oil. The one resource that only in the UK is described as ‘insignificant’ and because it is ‘declining’ is not worth being factored into a future Scottish State’s prospects.

    The utter disdain with which the Scots have been treated by the English throughout history, has only been surpassed by the treatment of the Irish. They had to suffer a ‘Plantation’ of mainly fellow Celts as ‘settlers ‘and eventually the illegal partition of their Island in order to prevent war being waged further by the brainwashed ‘planters’ and a mutinous British army officer cadre.

    But now its our turn. Such audacity!…how dare they!, …bloody Sweaties…porridge noshers etc. etc. Steve Bell and others feeling free to produce loathsome cartoons portraying our First Minister as a Hogarthian throwback….kilt wearing drunk, bare arsed and gross. Lovely images of fellow Britons what?

    From the louche scribes of the ‘Quality’ broadsheets, liberal and urbane to the skin-headed boors of UKIP, the response is unanimous: ‘Get to the back of the bus!’. The echo of the sixties treatment of blacks in the American South is appropriate. The palpable outrage of The English establishment at the bloody cheek of this outer Mongolian outpost to start demanding ‘more’ is beyond the pale.

    And its all so easily explained. We have not been living in an equal Union for three hundred years. We have been living as a subject unequal colony, with open access admittedly to the Mother State, but only by those of a certain class and by those prepared to join the Rulers as auxiliary and ersatz Brits.The interesting fact is that the Westminster Parliament has actually stated this as a fact: we were incorporated into England in 1707 apparently.

    Risible as this may appear to anyone educated in Scotland, or even England for that matter, it appears that the Act of Union between Scotland and England to create Great Britain as desired by our original Uncle Tom, King James vi or Ist (take your pick) was actually a complete act of deception…a takeover.As Burns noted ‘A parcel of rogues’ were ‘bought and sold for English gold’. So don’t say we weren’t told.

    Well we certainly ken noo!. I’m afraid that the argument as I always suspected it might, has been reduced by our English neighbours, down to a colonial basis. Noble and desirable aims of social justice and fairness for all in Scotland are being traduced by these racist cretins into ‘don’t let the Jocks get away with it!’. They’re not interested in the Common Weal, the Jimmy Reid Foundation, or the broader YES consensus, all they see is their last colony slipping along with the bedrock of their IOU to the City of London, that of OIL. A reducing resource it will be then right enough!

    So that is why we have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous slurs about our nation and its food and drink. Pathetic, but we’re stuck with it. So how do we carry on? As we have been is the answer….Dignity always dignity. But relentlessly, nevertheless. We are on the right road and it leads sooner rather than later to our destiny of Independence. We cannot descend to their vile level of imperial loathing.

  29. Some great comments here and a good post. Let me just echo the view of lochside – we carry on ‘relentlessly and with dignity’. Whatever the outcome of the GE, whatever obstacles are put in our way that is what we must do.

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