Politics

  • Scottish government to invest over £5 million in cutting-edge research February 8, 2018 ‘An investment of over £5million will bolster the work of one of Europe’s most cutting-edge research and innovation facilities. The funding from the Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise will support the second phase of work of the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics (FhCAP) in Glasgow. The non-profit centre specialises in photonics, or laser technology, and FhCAP is the innovation catalyst at the core of Scotland’s £740m-a-year photonics community.’ https://news.gov.scot/news/innovation-investment This is another in a series of Scottish Government initiatives to promote and support the Scottish economy. Much of this goes un-reported by our media. Here are some earlier examples reported here in the last year or so: Scottish Government pledges £60 million to maintain its confirmed UK and European lead in low-carbon innovation ... Read More
  • RANDOM THOUGHTS February 8, 2018 Once out of the EU Customs Union the UK could unilaterally cut all tariffs on products we don’t grow for ourselves or could offer to do so in return for some free trade response from those who would benefit. Inside, we can’t do this as the others don’t agree with this strategy. Yes, that would all be fine, Mr Redwood, but it would involve leaving the World Trade Organisation too. You did know that, didn’t you? ++++++++++ It appears that Fluffy Muddle wasn’t available for an interview this morning on Radio Scotland to talk about the EU withdrawal economic impact assessments from the British government, y’know, the ones that they had and didn’t have and then had again (or something). I suspect he must have ... Read More
  • Insulin dependant lady fails ESA medical relying on foodbanks, wheelchair bound homeless man forced to live in rat infested hostel, missing gateway codes, welcome to Tory Britain. February 8, 2018 Well today’s demo was busy. I was greeted by John as I arrived at Ashton Under Lyne Jobcentre, he was very early today and that cheered me up immensely. Very soon after John’s arrival Gordon arrived with the food parcels and they more or less left as soon as they arrived. it’s an awful sign of the times when this happens and the cold weather certainly does not help. Everyone agrees that winter does feel never ending this year. I have been pondering on how I should write this weeks blog, and I have decided that I shall list the accounts of what happened today. Please note that no one in need left without adequate help, support, signposting and when needed ... Read More
  • Banking for the Common Good February 8, 2018 “Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from these rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous, and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations Do we expect our schools to be run as profit-making enterprises? How about our police services? Fire services? Hospitals? Roads? Rail? How about our utilities like electricity and water? How you answer those questions will very likely correlate with the political party you most affiliate with and may even depend on where in the UK you live. Some of these may be ... Read More
  • Don’t take too long February 8, 2018 The Scottish Parliament is set to discuss the new Social Security legislation today. It feels like this has been a long process, I went to a meeting in Eastwood late 2016 to listen to Jeane Freeman talk about her hopes for the new system, the consultation process and timescales. At the time she stressed how was to be based on 3 premises: Change of attitude – Social Security not Welfare Based on dignity, fairness & respect Based on the view that people who apply need help and are not out to con the system To me this sounds fair and reasonable. Time for your regular reminder that the level of benefit fraud is a drop in the ocean compared to tax avoidance and even the DWP ... Read More
  • ATOS doesn’t do irony – but… February 7, 2018 PIP award rates vary significantly between different areas, and Dundee again loses out in this postcode lottery (as shown in this Scottish Government report, see tables 6 and 7). This should be prompting further investigation and action by the UK Government, but we’re not holding our breaths. Meanwhile, reality can’t be allowed to get in the way of corporate image. The basic reception space in Dundee’s tin shed Assessment Centre has acquired a sugar coating of signs that should make you feel nauseous even if you weren’t already. Ahead, as you enter, is a photograph of a beach with a big heart drawn in the sand. So far so kitsch, but your eyes are then drawn to the inspiring message painted ... Read More
  • Definitive power February 7, 2018 It all comes down to the issue of ultimate power. So long as Scotland remains in the Union, ultimate power will always rest with the British political elite. That power extends to the apparently trivial as well as the obviously vital. Because it is ultimate power, it is ultimately power over everything, regardless of the pretences and deceptions of any devolution settlement. One aspect of this power is the assumed right to define terms. Theresa May can casually promise ‘full involvement’ in Brexit negotiations to the Scottish Government – and other devolved administrations – secure in the knowledge that she gets to define what constitutes ‘full involvement’. Even no involvement whatever can simply be declared ‘full involvement’; just as May’s lackey, ... Read More
  • Gender, the GRA and Women’s Rights February 7, 2018 There has been a good deal of debate regarding the Scottish Government’s proposals for changes to the Gender Recognition Act 2004, but much of it has ignored what these proposals potentially mean for women and girls. So I’m attempting here to firstly explain how gender affects the lives of females, and to outline the ideological conflict between genderism and feminism. I will then go on to highlight some of the issues with these proposals, and provide suggestions for consultation responses.   ON GENDER To understand where feminists are coming from on gender, it’s firstly important to understand that the actual axis of oppression for females is and always has been our reproductive sex. For thousands of years, with few exceptions, patriarchy has been ... Read More
  • London Grenfell area homeless told to pay rent February 7, 2018 This video from London, England says about itself: OneLoveGrove: RBKC Protest EL NINO & CX4 (Explicit Content) OneLoveGrove attends the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Town Hall Protest in response to tragedy at Grenfell Tower. Wednesday 19th July 2017. #Justice4Grenfell #ELNINO #CX4 #OneFamily #OneLoveGrove From daily The Independent in Britain today: Grenfell Tower: Residents in surrounding estate told to pay rent despite one-fifth living in hotels due to no gas or hot water Exclusive: ‘RBKC are yet again demonstrating how out of touch they are’, says one tenant who says he has been unable to move back home since the tragedy Lucy Pasha-Robinson Residents of the homes surrounding Grenfell Tower have been told they must pay rent, despite more than a fifth of them still living in hotels due ... Read More
  • A Faustian Pact February 6, 2018 Not in my backyard Throwing the term fascist into conversations is easily done without defining what we mean by ‘fascist’, but there’s no doubting the disenfranchised and the disaffected are adopting extreme ideologies out of frustration with their lot, and political charlatans are quick to exploit that anger. Look at the head-butting goat that is Ruth Davidson, leader of Scotland’s gang of jeering, goofy Tories who take instruction from London headquarters. She might call her antics passionate unionism but I see neo-fascism, a disdain for civil rights, boosting corporate power, suppressing dissent and collective bargaining, rampant cronyism and corruption, the SNP depicted as ‘the enemy’, and obsession with British nationalism over everything. You can’t approve as local councillors sociopaths spouting extremism and hate, as she has done, smile benignly ... Read More