Category: "News & Politics"

Indyref 2023

July 2nd, 2022

IndyRef Facts and Thoughts

Indyref 2023 has provoked a lot of genuine outrage and ignorance. This article covers some, BUT not all of the issues.

1. Parties stand on a manifesto to offer the electorate something. If a party OR parties combined, win, on a similar mandate to do something then that something is deemed mandated by the voters. This is a long-standing parliamentary tradition in Westminster so if it's good enough for them then it's good enough for us.

2. If Scotland votes YES to end the union with England then point 1 will still apply.

3. If Scotland votes NO to end the union with England then point 1 will still apply.

4. In Scotland, politicians serve the voters. If the voters don't like what parties are offering in their manifesto then they won't win and their manifesto will be deemed not mandated. It's pretty simple.

5. In the 2021 election the SNP and the Greens stood on a manifesto to offer the people of Scotland a choice on their future. They were elected on that manifesto. The SNP polled over 47% of the vote share and were 1 seat short of an overall majority. Considering the parliamentary voting system is designed to prevent a majority, I think that's a resounding endorsement. The Greens won 8 seats. Parliament numbers for a referendum, 72 seats, against a referendum, 57.

1-5 That is democracy in action.

6. This is democracy Westminster style...
2015 : Tory manifesto pledge for an in-out EU referendum by the end of 2017
2015 : Tories win in Westminster with 36.9% vote share.
2016 : UK has EU referendum based on a manifesto commitment.
2016 : The UK votes to leave the EU
2021 : The UK officially leaves the EU
2021 : SNP manifesto pledges for an independence referendum in the first half of the term.
2021 : SNP wins in Holyrood with 47.7% vote share.
2022 : SNP announces plans to fulfil their manifesto pledge.
2022 : Opposition MPs and MSPs say NO, disrespecting the voters of Scotland.

Democracy
7. If Scotland votes NO to end the union with England, see point 1.
8. If Scotland votes YES to ending the union with England, point 1 still exists.

Myth 1 : Scotland getting independence will create a hard border between England and Scotland.
Mythbuster : This is absolute nonsense. No border posts need to be set up. They are just trying to scaremonger.
However, if at some point in the future, Scotland votes to rejoin the EU then that will be a topic for discussion at the time. By the time Scotland rejoins the EU, England will more than likely be trading with the EU and therefore have to trade with Scotland.

Myth 2 : Most of our exports are to rUK and we would lose that. Basically saying rUK won't trade with Scotland.
Mythbuster : Most of our exports are to rUK due to the current UK system. Most of Scotlands exports have to leave the UK through English ports OR have to be sent to England to be processed before being sent back here. That wouldn't happen in an independent Scotland.

Our priority in Scotland is to serve the people of Scotland.
We produce more energy than we need,
We have the potential to produce more food than we need.
We have more fresh water than we need.
What we don't use, eat or drink can be sold to anyone who wants to buy it. If rUK doesn't want it then that's up to them. I'm sure there will be a huge market for our high-quality products.

Myth 3 : How will you pay your share of the debt?
Mythbuster : Scotland never accrued the debt so can't be liable for it. England would be the continuing state and will continue to operate as it currently does with all the legal and financial obligations BUT minus the successor state, Scotland.

If Westminster borrowed money and spent some of it on Scotland then that's not our problem. Until recently, Scotland was a net contributor to the UK. That sounds selfish but it's a fact, however, IF Scotland accepts some of the debt then that will be thrashed out in any future discussions.

Myth 4 : Scotland is too poor and won't be able to fund NHS, pensions etc.
Mythbuster : This assumes that Scotland will continue to run Scotland the same way Westminster ran Scotland. If that were the case, WHY would we need to be independent? An independent Scotland will have full fiscal control, tax-raising powers and full spending powers. Generate inward investment with all the economic benefits that will bring to communities. Full control over immigration policies. Scotland has been let down over the years by successive Westminster governments and many jobs have been lost or transferred south. We can rebuild a stronger future for Scotland by creating jobs and industries here.

9. If the SNP weren't trying to deliver better services for the people of Scotland, such as mitigating Westminster policies that we didn't vote for, then they wouldn't keep getting elected. It's that simple.

With our modern, 21st-century parliament, Scotland's future can be better. It won't be easy at first, but I think of my grandson's future if we remain shackled to Westminster rule. That future looks bleak unless we break free and take back control of our future and that of future generations.

We shouldn't accept that this is as good as it gets. Ruled by parties that we never voted for, governed in another country by people who don't know or don't care about what happens to the people here. They exploit our resources and tell us to be grateful, Well NO MORE.

10. Westminster controls the purse strings and they have the power to make life hard for people here, and believe me when I say this... If Scotland votes NO this time then Holyrood will be phased out by Westminster. Scotland will become a region of England and our voice will be silenced.

They will promise us the earth again like they did in 2014 but they were empty promises. David Cameron's fake tears, the vow, the "impartial" monarchy siding with England, all the lies they told.

If you think I'm scaremongering then you may have forgotten David Cameron's speech the day after we voted NO.
David Cameron: Less than 4 minutes into his victory speech...
"But I have long believed that a crucial part missing from this national discussion is England.
We have heard the voice of Scotland - and now the millions of voices of England must also be heard.
The question of English votes for English laws – the so-called West Lothian question –requires a decisive answer"

https://youtu.be/6D3XRvxDbHM?t=276

The promises he made also turned out to be hollow for Scotland.

11. We've heard all their lies before and people fell for them.
We've heard all their promises and watched as they ripped them up.
We saw how Cameron asked the queen to “raise an eyebrow” in the campaign
We heard how she "purred" when she got the news.
We hear about the "once in a generation" commitment, which wasn't in any agreements. And let's not forget what Boris Johnson said about the 2019 general election
Boris Johnson :
"This is a critical once-in-a-generation election. I think this is one of the most important in modern times. On this election, the direction of the country depends. " So no more General Elections for 25 years folks. source : https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/1214450/boris-johnson-letter-general-election-2019-tory-party-labour-jeremy-corbyn-latest

Read all the facts about 2014 "once in a generation".
http://blog.andyholtonline.com/blog6.php/once-in-a-generation-independence-referendum


12. We have to win this time. Vote for a better future for your family and for future generations. We only have to put a tick in a box to change our future.

#WhyNotScotland

 

Westminster Rules Football

July 26th, 2020

UK elections take place every 5 years, well they're supposed to but lately, it has all been a bit mental. Anyway, in UK Government elections all 4 nations vote and are represented in Westminster. As we are a union of equals it would seem fair that each nation gets the same number of MPs. Unfortunately, that's not how it works.

The UK parliament is made up of 650 MPs. To have an equal union each member nation should have 162.5 MPs however this is not what happens. Here is the breakdown of the UK 2019 election.

533 England
059 Scotland
040 Wales
018 Northern Ireland

As you can see England get 533 MPs and the other 3 nations have a total of 117. An English majority of 416 MPs - not exactly as equal as we are told. I know England has a higher population but that should not mean they should get more MPs, especially as we are told we are a union of equals.

Let's have some fun.
Here's a bit of fun to prove my point. Imagine if football was played using Westminster rules.

The big game has arrived, Scotland vs England so let's look at some stats.
Scotland has a population of 5.4m people and England has a population of 54m, which, in Westminster, equates to 533 England MPs and 59 Scotland MPs, a ratio of 9:1

By playing Westminster rules football the Scotland football team would get 11 players (the current standard) but as this is Westminster rules football, England would get 99 players. A bit like a simplified Barnett formula. It's not exactly a level playing field is it?

Football Match

Clearly, it would be silly to play football like that BUT this is how we allow our political system to work. Sadly though, in politics, the ball is peoples lives and it doesn't often end well..

If we think about this in more detail, we then find that under Westminster rules football, the head of the football association that sets the rules (the UK PM) is also the manager of Englands football team. Not only that but and he/she is also the referee. They also get to steal the other teams resources in order to weaken the opposition.

The head of the football association (UK PM) also gets to set how much money each team gets for training facilities, wages etc.

Q1. What do you think the chances of Scotland winning are now?
Q2. Who do you think is going to get priority funding?
Q3. Why would you even bother taking part in a game that's so clearly one-sided?

A1. None
A2. England
A3. It's not about winning, it's about taking part (that's what they want you to believe).

Not so much fun when you realise that that is how politics actually works in the UK. Politics isn't a game and people are dying as a result of Westminster rules but Scotland still seems to want to take part in this charade. We vote, we elect and then wonder why we get pumped every time we try to play by the rules.

It's time to stop playing by their rules. It's time to pick up the ball and go home. Time to rewrite the rules for a fairer game.

Are You Yes Yet?

Andy

A New Reality

May 24th, 2020

A New Rrality
Scotlands lockdown will be relaxed this week so let's get prepared for a new wave of people coming back into society who have been at home without realising the outside world has changed.

I've noticed that people are already more hostile now than they were in the beginning. At first, people were scared so they took their frustrations out on the staff for not getting a coffee or whatever it was. Nobody likes change.

As the lockdown eases and the next phase begins with more people leaving home for the first time in 2 months, we are faced with people who are more stressed and frustrated as they return to a different reality, while hoping for normality.

The targetted frustration that shop workers now face while trying to protect themselves and others is even worse. It's understandable but not acceptable. People need to accept the changes that confront them and not take it out on those just doing their job.

People need to remember that after 2 months of abuse and daily changes to working practices that this time around, shop workers are mentally and physically drained and might not be as polite as they once might have been to people sneering and abusing them.

However, if you work in retail then you also have to remember that we have changed gradually with our environment, adapting slowly as the changes developed to where they are now. Those who are returning to work are seeing dramatic changes to life that never existed when they went into lockdown, so be patient while they adjust to what's going on.

In better times, It might have been easy to dismiss the odd customer who is rude or aggressive BUT these are not the best of times. We are exhausted. Not only have we missed out on families and friends but we have had to endure the derision of strangers just for doing our job. We have to accept treatment from strangers that we wouldn't accept from loved ones.

So if you are one of those returning to the outside world for the first time, think twice before sneering, arguing or complaining that you have to wait longer to get served etc

None of us like the current situation but we all have to live with the new rules. Retail workers don't need your stress, they have enough of their own. So if you want to be treated properly then think before you speak/act.

Being polite costs nothing and makes a huge difference to those working hard to keep you and themselves safe.

Andy

Easing Lockdown :

May 10th, 2020

lockdown
When Boris Johnson talks to the nation tonight about relaxing the lockdown just remember the figures below. These numbers are down to the mismanagement of the pandemic by a Government who failed to act after stark warnings from other countries.

They knew it was coming and did nothing. There are hints that they might start the quarantining of new arrivals to the UK, 66 days AFTER the first recorded death. Far too late as far as most people are concerned.

Active Cases : 183,329 : 2nd in the World : Highest in Europe
Total Deaths : 31,587 : 2nd in the World : Highest in Europe
Deaths per 1m pop : 465 : 5th in the World : 6th in Europe
Tests per 1m pop : 25,461 : 43rd in the World : 26th in Europe

03/05/2020 : PM admitted he had shaken the hands of everyone at a hospital where infected patients were being treated.
05/03/2020 : 1st Recorded Covid-19 death in UK
23/03/2020: Lockdown Announced : 359 Deaths Recorded
27/03/2020 : PM Test positive for Covid-19
05/04/2020 : PM admitted to hospital
30/04/2020 : Government announced 100,000 tests per day target was met. A claim that was later proved false.
10/05/2020 : 48 Days after lockdown 31,228 people have died during lockdown which averages out 650 deaths per DAY during lock down.

Appearing on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick said: "Stay alert will mean stay alert by staying home as much as possible*, but stay alert when you do go out by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands, respecting others in the workplace and the other settings that you'll go to.

Instead of managing the problem, it appears that they are only interested in slogans that don't actually mean anything.

Please remember that when the P.M talks about easing the lockdown restrictions that he is talking about England only. Devolved nations Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will set out their own plans.

Andy

Fake empathy : A psychological tool.

May 3rd, 2020

empathy
Covid-19 is destroying lives but politicians seem to think they can avoid answering questions about statistics with their empathy quotes such as

"We mustn’t forget that behind every single statistic there is a heart-breaking story..."

"We must never forget that behind every statistic is a family member or a friend."

"Behind every single death is a family’s heartbreak..."

"We must not forget that each of these statistics represents a personal tragedy."

"...every one of them a tragedy, and our hearts go out to all of the loved ones who are grieving their loss at such a difficult time"

Any other variation which precedes their dodging of the questions makes it really difficult to challenge them in the way that they should be getting challenged.

It's a psychological trick that prevents proper scrutiny. Everyone would have used empathy as an excuse to get out of trouble at some point in their lives but this is a government trick used daily to avoid serious answers.

It's basically fake empathy to deflect from further scrutiny which is more noticeable during real-time questioning rather than the at scripted briefings. It's very much in the same way that a salesperson pretends to understand your pain to gain trust. After all, how can a customer be angry at a salesperson who has just shown empathy to them?

A salesman dealing with an angry customer might say "I understand your frustration, I would feel exactly the same, so let's see if I can help" before taking back control. He just wants the situation dealt with and if that means fake empathy to get control then guess what he's going to do?

A politician being questioned about death statistics might start with a slight downward tilt of the head and eyes while he prepares his soft voice tone, before stating "before I answer, let's remember that behind the numbers there are grieving families..." they then proceed to not answer the question. How could you possibly be angry with someone who has just shown empathy?

If you hadn't noticed it before then look out for it. I'm not saying they do not have empathy for the families etc but they are using empathy purely as a psychological tool to avoid answering their failings.

Andy