Wednesday 31 October 2012

Same questions. Different answers.

English: First Minister Alex Salmond and Deput...
Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon - Honest brokers
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I was chatting with some friends the other day when the subject turned to "that interview". You know the one I mean. The one where Andrew Neil attempts to interrogate Alex Salmond. In the course of the conversation one of my friends wondered aloud how it might be possible that two people observing precisely the same conversation could come to totally different conclusions about what has been said. One person utterly convinced that the interviewee said one thing, the other just as adamant that no such thing was said at all. That which is observed remains the same. But the reports of what has been observed differ markedly. Same evidence. Different verdicts. How might this phenomenon be explained?

Sunday 28 October 2012

The claws are out

The British state - no pussy-cat!
I do not inhabit the political bubble. I am not "in the loop". Unlike Euan McColm, I don't get calls from spin doctors eager to influence my opinion. And that suits me just fine. I am perfectly comfortable with being a mere political anorak. I am quite content that my perspective may be more attuned to that of "ordinary voters" than is possible for those tainted by constant contact with the elites of politics and the media. And if that perspective is any guide then those ordinary voters are pretty disgusted by what they are seeing. The British state is on the defensive. The claws are out. And things are starting to get really dirty.

Alex Salmond has long been something of a hate figure for the British establishment. The more so since they have been obliged to at least pay lip service to dealing with him on equal terms, only to find that this master of the political arts is more than a match for them. In various ways, from the SNP's election victory in 2007, through the proving years of that first minority administration, to the 2011 election landslide and lately culminating in the signing of the Edinburgh Agreement, Salmond has bested the best that the British state could send into the fray against him. The British state does not take such slights to its imperious pretensions lightly.

Saturday 27 October 2012

Certainty - and where to find it

Scotland and the EU - figure it out!
The head of Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE), Owen Kelly, insists that "business leaders" are looking for a "conclusive, authoritative conclusion" in the matter of post-independence Scotland's status vis-à-vis the European Union (EU). To which my immediate reaction is that if these "business leaders" seriously imagine there can be such certainty then we probably need new business leaders.

I'm not sure it's any defence, but Mr Kelly is only parroting the kind of drivel spouted by unionist politicians on this issue. The way they tell it there is somewhere to be found the Holy Grail of some definitive morsel of "legal advice" that will settle the matter once and for all. And depending on which version of this drivel you listen to Alex Salmond either has this elusive prize in his possession, or he doesn't have it and hasn't even started looking yet. The anti-independence campaign never seems to be at all uncomfortable with such inconsistencies and contradictions.

Friday 26 October 2012

Let's be clear!

Dumb and dumber? Or just dishonest?
"Let's be clear!" How often do we hear that phrase, or some variation upon it, from British politicians. It's a familiar part of the language of politics which, as is the way with these things, invariably signals a significant lack of clarity or presages the intention to obfuscate.

There is much talk of clarity in the debate on Scotland's constitutional status as we work towards the referendum in 2014. Among the myriad inconsistencies, contradictions and assorted untruths which pervade the British nationalist campaign to preserve the union, demands for clarity and/or claims to be seeking clarity stand out as some of the more blatant hypocrisies and/or mendacities.

Thursday 25 October 2012

Communication and understanding

Lakhovsky: The Convesation; oil on panel (Бесе...
Lakhovsky's The Conversation
I do not permit myself the conceit of imagining that my scribblings enjoy a large readership. But I do know from various communications that I have a few regular readers. Those who honour me thus will be aware that, as a general rule, I tend to hold political journalists and pundits of the mainstream media in somewhat low regard. It is not my intention here to catalogue my complaints against this contemptible clique. I merely note that, as a breed, they have signally failed to win my respect.

Nor am I going to point the finger at any individuals. No names, no pack drill, as the saying goes. Although most of you will, I suspect, have found the name Alan Cochrane popping into your heads, unbidden and unwelcome.

Wednesday 24 October 2012

Poisoned politics

Poisoned politics (Photo credit: Murray Williams)
There is a sickness in Scottish politics. A corrosive malignancy in the very heart of our nation. A debilitating malady that threatens to cripple our democracy.


Crude, mindless, intellect-sapping hatred. The seething hatred of the British establishment for the freely and democratically elected government of Scotland. The intense antipathy of Britain's ruling elites for the largest and most popular political party in Scotland. The burning resentment of British career politicians towards Scotland's rightful First Minister - a man whose ability and popularity provokes jealousy of truly toxic intensity.

Monday 22 October 2012

Right to know?

Scotland and the EU?
Writing in The Independent today (Poll puts pressure on Salmond over joining euro), Hamish MacDonell continues to peddle the unionist propaganda line on the supposedly problematic issue of Scotland's membership of the European Union using a recent poll as a device. But he does not tell the whole story.

The poll showing a majority of people in favour of the Scottish Government revealing whether it has obtained any legal advice on EU membership reflects the abject failure of the media to properly inform people on this issue. Totally committed to supporting any strategy of the anti-independence campaign, no matter how devious or dishonest, the media have been no more than a platform for Catherine Stihler's petty political mischief-making.