Friday, 24 October 2014

Electoral Commission unfit for purpose, claims think tank with links to Number 10

The body which oversees elections is “not fit for purpose”, and the list of voters to be used at next May’s general election will contain at least 13m errors, a think tank has warned.

Peter A Bell's insight:

It seems that the Scottish Government was right when it proposed to set up a new Scottish Electoral Commission to oversee the independence referendum.

Many people, including myself, thought the decision to accept oversight by the existing EC was a minor concession made by Alex Salmond in order to secure the Edinburgh Agreement without humiliating Cameron too much. But it seems that it may not have been such a trivial thing after all.

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Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Clegg: Salmond is like a Japanese soldier fighting on after the war has been lost - Telegraph

Deputy Prime Minister urges the First Minister to ‘call it a day’ and accept the result of the independence referendum

Peter A Bell's insight:

I think it is quite generally accepted that, perhaps more than any other individual, Nick Clegg epitomises the duplicitous hypocrisy and brazen dishonesty which pervades the terminally corrupt British political system. That being so, it would be redundant for me to dwell upon these all too obvious character defects. But the very obviousness of these reprehensible traits gives rise to a serious question. Why is it that the British media is so determinedly blind to them?

Why is it left to online/alternative media to point out that, as well as being puerile and unseemly, Clegg’s comments about Alex Salmond’s continued support for the cause of independence and refusal to rule out another democratic referendum are sickeningly two-faced? (I shall not refer to any of these online sources specifically as much of the British media censors any mention of their honest rivals.)

Many readers will be perplexed as to why it is only the alternative media which are able to point to the recently published “Liberal Democrats’ Pre-Manifesto 2014” and the fact that, referring to the AV voting referendum, it says,

"We still believe these are essential changes and will work towards them in the next Parliament."

Many readers will be wondering why the above article makes no mention of the glaring contradiction that this implies in relation to Cleggs infantile sniping at Alex Salmond.

Some may realise that this attack on Salmond is a product, not merely of Clegg’s innate hypocrisy, but also evidence of his total inability to comprehend the concept of an honest, worthy, aspirational principle which is greater than the imperatives of political expediency and personal aggrandisement.

Some may also realise that the reason the British media is not trumpeting the hypocrisy and dishonesty of the likes of Clegg is that, from owners to mercenary hacks, they are part of the same detestable system within which odious creatures such as Clegg thrive.

A month ago, Scotland missed its opportunity to be free of that quagmire. That doesn’t mean we have to be meekly content to accept the consequences.

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The Blame Game

I am knackered, Bushed, Exhausted, Drained, Burned Out….You name it….I am absolutely gubbed! I have given 3 years of my life to write and fight for Scotland to regain it’s Independence.. Why di…

Peter A Bell's insight:

I was prepared to grit my teeth and put up with the dreadful punctuation and random capitalisation, but the following line told me I should not waste my time reading any further.

"If It were not for the grassroots taking control we would have been absolutely gubbed!"

This one line encapsulates an abundance of ignorance about the nature of the Yes campaign. It was always clear that the anti-independence mob didn’t understand the nature of that campaign. It seems that this incomprehension was not confined to the unionist ranks.

The grass-roots didn’t “take control” of the Yes campaign. The grass-roots WAS the Yes campaign. It was always intended that it should be so. The anti-independence mob always thought of Yes Scotland as a top-down organisation directed by politicians and professional managers. An organisation, in other words, which mirrored Better Together. Other than in the very early days, Yes Scotland was never like this. And it was never meant to be.

Yes Scotland had a well-crafted strategy, the principal element of which was sowing the seeds for a campaign that would grow organically. In the early days, there was a lot of complaints that Hope Street was not providing direction for the nascent groups. That they would arrange a meeting where the skeleton of a group would be formed, and then walk away. While not entirely true - the team at Yes Scotland HQ were always readily accessible for assistance if required - the whole idea was to let these groups find their own level. To let them adapt to local conditions so that they could better communicate with local communities.

To say that this strategy was a “disaster” is complete nonsense that defies the evidence of 45% support for independence and an ongoing campaign that is, if anything, stronger than ever.

I continue to wear my Yes badge with pride. I am proud to have been part of something which has brought so many people together to strive for a common purpose. I am proud to have been part of something that engaged and energised so many thousands of people. I am proud to have been part of a movement which rescued our democracy and reclaimed it for its rightful owners.

Don’t tell me the Yes campaign was a “disaster”. I know this to be a lie every bit as deplorable as the lies which won the anti-independence mob their inglorious victory.

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Sunday, 19 October 2014

New Labour pressure group launches with pledge to listen to voters

JOHANN Lamont’s woes as Scottish Labour leader deepened yesterday with the launch of a new internal pressure group that wants the party to be far more radical than she does.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The problem with all this talk about listening to voters is that we’ve heard it all before. We heard it after the 2007 Holyrood elections, and again in the wake of the SNP’s massive win in 2011. But has anybody actually seen any evidence of this listening? Is there the slightest indication that British Labour in Scotland is even capable of responding to the voice of its own members and supporters, never mind the wider electorate. I don’t think so.

If British Labour in Scotland had been listening to the people it would never have entered into that unholy alliance with the Tories. If it had been at all interested in listening it would have consulted party members in Scotland before opting to oppose independence. Instead, we now have Maggie Curran doing a tour of {former) British Labour strongholds in Scotland telling Labour Yes voters that they were wrong and that they should re-affirm an unthinking allegiance to the party.

The reality is that British Labour in Scotland long since lost any capacity it might once have had for listening to the concerns and aspirations of Scotland’s people. The party elite are so absolutely convinced of their entitlement to power; so utterly persuaded that the interests of the party are synonymous with the interests of the nation that they are quite literally deaf to anything that challenges that world-view.

Lamont, Curran, Murphy and the rest demand a trust that they have abysmally failed to earn. And when that trust is not forthcoming, they insist that it is the voters who have got it wrong.

When British Labour politicians in Scotland talk about listening, what they are actually referring to is an exercise in trying to find a form of words sufficient to persuade people that they are sincere in their intention to reform whilst they get on with the business of preserving the existing structures of power and privilege within which they are embedded.

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Euan McColm: Think-tank gives SNP firepower

WHEN it comes to policies, the SNP has made a little go a long way in recent years.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Of one thing we can be absolutely certain. If - or, more likely, when - this new SNP think-tank is formed there will not be a place for Euan McColm. Why would there be when he clearly doesn’t understand the process involved in developing new policies. According to this buffoon, nobody should ever put forward an idea that is subsequently shown to be impracticable. The very concept of the think-tank is evidently beyond his grasp.

Perhaps if McColm was not quite so smug in his dullness and so misguidedly convinced of his own profound perspicacity, he might have paused to actually ponder the term, “think-tank” and what it implies.

Firstly, and rather obviously, it implies thinking. But, more importantly, it implies innovative thinking. Thinking unfettered by prejudices and preconceptions. Not an area, one suspects, where Mr McColm excels.

Less obviously, the term “think-tank” implies an environment in which innovative thinking is encouraged and facilitated. The environment of the mainstream British media, where Euan McColm makes himself so comfortably at home, does not immediately spring to mind.

Let’s face it! This article had little or nothing to do with examining the idea of a policy think tank that is at least open to the idea of independence. Organisations such as Scottish Global Forum, The Jimmy Reid Foundation and even Business for Scotland are already serving this purpose. Although McColm is either dumbly unaware of their existence or prevented from acknowledging them by his own prejudices.

In truth, this article was nothing more than a contrived excuse for a pitifully inept dig at the SNP. A party which, as most of us will have noted, has done very well out of declining to be guided by the “thinking” of the likes of Euan McColm.

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SNP deputy candidates back pro-Yes alliance

TWO of the three candidates for the SNP deputy leadership have raised the prospect of a pro-Yes alliance fighting next year’s UK election campaign.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Angela Constance and Stewart Hosie have accurately read the mood in Scotland in the wake of a referendum result which is increasingly difficult to regard as anything more than a temporary set-back for the independence campaign. The type of electoral pact that they are talking about normally faces the major obstacle of opposition from the members of the parties involved. But there are strong indications of widespread support among the rank and file of the three main Scottish parties.

It may be interesting to reflect on the reasons for this unusual enthusiasm for inter-party cooperation. Obviously, there is the motivation of advancing the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status. But there is some thing more, I think. There is confidence among ordinary party members that electoral cooperation would be a worthy exercise.

Normally, it is party big-wigs who pursue such alliances - invariably against the wishes of party members - for the purposes which have more to do with political expediency than any worthy objective. They seek pacts in order to secure power and status for themselves rather than a desirable outcome for the electorate.

The reason people are confident that a “Yes alliance” would be different is that, as a welcome by-product of the referendum campaign, they have a new-found confidence in their own power. They have good reason to feel that they themselves would be in control. That they would be deciding the nature and purpose of the exercise. They don’t feel threatened by other parties because they have already found ways of working together with those parties.

This is all part of the new politics in Scotland. Something the British parties are still in denial about.

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Scottish Labour turns its back on Blair legacy

Labour in Scotland is to ditch the legacy of Tony Blair and return to its “socialist principles” as it seeks to ­counter the rising Nationalist threat and win power next May, one of the party’s most senior figures has said.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The notion of a “leftward shift” by Scottish Labour is as nonsensical as it is dishonest. It is nonsensical for the simple reason that there is no such thing as “Scottish labour”. There is only British Labour in Scotland. And there is no way that the party bosses in London are going to allow their minions north of the border to behave as if they were a real Scottish political party with distinct policies.

It is dishonest because Curran knows damned well that neither she nor any of her cronies who wear a “Scottish Labour” label when it suits them can actually effect any change of direction for what they continue to pretend is a real Scottish political party.

One thing is absolutely clear from what is being aid by the likes of Curran, Gordon Brown and Jack McConnell. It is perfectly obvious that their sole concern is, not the interests of Scotland’s people, but the restoration of British labour hegemony in Scotland and the preservation of the status and privileges enjoyed by British Labour politicians. It’s all about the party, and to hell with the people.

Curran is visiting those ten (former) British Labour strongholds in Scotland, not to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the Labour members and supporters who voted Yes in the referendum, but to cajole and browbeat them into going back to being unthinking party loyalists. It is a measure of Curran’s delusional state that she seriously imagines these people, having found a voice of their own and savoured genuine political power, will ever again be content to let the likes of her speak for them, or surrender their new-found political muscle to the party machine.

And if we wanted further evidence of just how detached from reality these “Scottish Labour” politicians are, we need look no further than McConnell’s ludicrous claim that the media have given the SNP an easy ride.

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