Writings, photos, politics and rants... *Original content - may not be reproduced without my consent.*

Saturday, 31 August 2013

Swinson's Rung...

The Libdems who voted for war seem to have changed their minds about capital punishment-or does it not count if the criminals are arabs?

'Kill the bad arabs, but reduced jail sentences for those who have family who might vote for us.'

Another principle floated down the Swannee for another rung up the sleazy, greasy pole for some of the right wing cabal who planned and instigated the coup against the "leftish" social democrats who had boosted their party through the 90's and 2000's and turned it into a viable -third- force in British Politics.

Did your MP vote for murder from the sky? Mine did

I delivered a letter to Jo Swinson's office on Wednesday, urging her not to vote for war. 

This morning, Swinson sent me a link via Twitter to a blogpiece she wrote about her dilemma on Thursday- returning from her holidays she was torn between voting for bombs, mayhem and state murder, or not. She thanked me for my "petition," to which I pointed out it was not a petition but a letter, creating a mini- twitter-twister as people berated her for obviously not reading the letter or representing her constituents, but representing the Tories very well.

She goes on to say that her Party Leader, Nick Clegg convinced her to vote yes as, he told her,  this motion clearly did not mean the UK would go to war on the strength of its passing alone.

This was patent nonsense given Clegg's stammering, opaque answers to that very question on Thursday evening in the House. Rather than the "spectre of Blair, Brown and Iraq" the UK press are blaming, on watching this debate, I feel it was most definately the verbal gymnastics around this point by the Deputy Prime Minister that swung it for many in that chamber. But why not Jo?

Jo has voted with Cameron and Clegg on all of the big ones. Principle after principle have fallen as her career and salary has taken an upward trajectory. From University fees through the privatisation of the NHS and the lowering of taxes for millionaires and billionaires, the further impoverishment of those in poverty through the heinous welfare bill and the imposition of the bedroom tax on poor people with nowhere to move... this woman is for the House of Lords if she can topple enough of her principles to do the tories bidding.  She is doing very well out of her support for the Tories.

But of course, the only thing that could get in the way of this plan of a job for life (something a huge proportion of her constituents will never have thanks to her Govts attacks on workers rights) would be independence next year, so she is working hard making sure she is photographed at every White Elephant, bazaar and three legged race in her constituency. 

And now her voting for war.  Like Blair and Thatcher did and look how they did!  Looked after by their rich sponsors and never wanting for anything... Every lower middle class persons dream...

Cameron's shockingly badly handled attempt at forcing us to war- his Maggie moment- Jo's Maggie moment - failed. Reason, principle, compassion and the will of the people won.

And this and all of the dreadful compromises she made that have impacted terribly on peoples lives will be hers and her Rose Garden chums downfall.

Those Liberal Democrats who have gazed open mouthed, stammering, constipated, frozen on the spot at what their party has given away for no return.., will hopefully find their voices and get rid of the cabal who have gravely damaged their once nearly admired party.  The nearly party, sacrificed by the ambitious.

The Tories will, of course just collapse, slipping and sliding in the blood from their own slit throats as they try to out vicious each other.

At least Russia won't be vapourising me for living 30 miles down the road from Europes biggest stockpile of WMD now,despite what condom face and his right wing Etonian buddies, and those like Jo, throwing people onto the bonfire of her middleclass, wanna-be, ambitious vanity.

The coalition has just been dealt a crippling blow. Its up to those of us who believe in real, "people's democracy" and not this Westminster hierarchical,  anachronistic pretence of governance, to take control by breaking these unprincipled, self ambitious nasty power addicts grip on power.

In 2014, we must smash this rotten rule of an elite and their lickspittles by voting for a fair, democratic, independent Scotland.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Don't attack Syria

Angus Clark and I delivering a letter on behalf of local Socialists urging  Jo Swinson MP and Tory/Liberal Democrat coalition Minister to vote against murderous military intervention that is being promoted by Tory Prime Minister David Cameron. The letter can be read here

Saturday, 24 August 2013

#Indyref's #Bettertogether Pretty Vacant...

When I was a teen back in late 70's Northern Ireland I used to think my punk rock Anarchy in the UK singing loyalist pals just didnt seem to get it.  They didn't really understand the Crass or Stiff Little Fingers lyrics they drunkenly shouted while wearing their Loyal Son's of Ulster badges alongside their anarchy patches.

These no campaign #projectfear people trying to use the #nofuture symbolism of Never Mind the Bollocks really, really have no idea, in the same way, I suppose. Though art, of course can take existing pieces or reference artists and their work, is it just me, but isn't just hanging nappy pins and status quo supporting banners off a tatty union flag really empty? Kind of meaningless beyond the colours and pop art reference?

Pretty Vacant? 

It doesn't subvert the original message at all- but tries to patch up what the Sex Pistols had tore apart. The Sex Pistol's subversion is ironed out and given back to the Royals and Westminster. Punk rock and anarchy as a doilly for mad Aunt Bessie who collects all things royal.

Those who punk railed against are  reclaiming their flag with added 70's youth culture.  Political art that subverts political art - like Prince William rapping.  Like Tony Blair getting down with Oasis.

What would have been more appropriate for them? Perhaps a Status Quo album cover from the late seventies would have been better? or Splodginessabounds "Michael Booths Talking Bum..?" 

But then I see their problem.Trying to make illegal wars, nukes #bedroomtax, bankers bonuses, cuts, expenses thievery etc cool is a big job or perhaps making something so creaking and failing and uninspiring and impoverishing and vicious like imperialist, monarchist, feudal Westminster and inherited priviledge cool,  is impossible?

This is their Chumbawumba Prescott soaking moment. This is when they reassess just what they are- three centre right political parties sharing information in order to hold on to what they have.

I feel they will be relying on flute band,For God and Queen loyalist emotive symbolism next year.  Or perhaps an anniversary of Thatcher party... forced into being more honest. Their dishonesty has hit a brick wall by trying to piggybank youth culture - albeit late seventies youth culture.

What they really are doing is forcing Scots into cap doffing, yessir types by using fancy #projectfear techniques to make Scots feel shit about themselves.  Their whole raison d'etre is to play on fears and present Scotland as a backwater that will never have the talent to create a fair society. Yet this recent culture grab and mash/mess up shows were the talentless truly lie.

The talent of the talentless is to recognise talent and profit from exploiting it.

...or perhaps their recent stupidity is a ruse to try to make us complacent? Expect a Kate and William Proclaimers duet next year. Cunning plan #projectfear.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Further proof...

...my council is trying to kill me...

I haven't written anything for a while.  This is because of a number of factors - i'll not bore you with those just now - but probably will in the coming months.  To cut a long story short, though, I have had the notion to write again in the past few days...

I wrote this letter today on my phone as I waited in two hospital waiting rooms.  It is a follow up to an article I wrote for the local paper a few months back.  It is quite local, but I think what it does is highlight the narrow thinking of the present system of Council budgets and how they can subvert other, perhaps long term strategic plans they might have.

Dear Editor
A few months back, I wrote an article for the Bearsden/Milngavie Herald some thought melodramatically titled, "East Dunbartonshire and Glasgow councils are trying to kill me!" (Original article HERE )
I had a very positive reaction to this article from fellow cyclists and from drivers some of whom told me that after reading the article they had modified their attitude and behaviour towards cyclists.

This behaviour change, alas, did not reach as far as East Dunbartonshire Council (Glasgow have at least made some repairs to the Maryhill road that have made that part of my commute a little safer- though it still has a long way to go).  

East Dunbartonshire Council has made, at what is one of the most dangerous parts of the Milngavie Road, into what quite honestly is a death trap.

It seems the panic to spend the road "improvement" budget before the end o the financial year has led someone to make the decision to narrow the road at Hillside Drive/Hillfoot Station trafficlights. When work started I was optimistic the council were going to upgrade a stretch of their "psychopath."  

Alas, this work seems to have been done in order to ensure no-one blocks the driveways of the houses opposite the Filling Station and in doing so, the traffic lights, with their push button technology that stops the traffic, have been moved out from the previous edge of the footpath so users can see more clearly, the traffic they have stopped. Other than that they have created an extremely dangerous bottleneck at the base of what is increasingly a dangerous road bridge.

Let me explain further. 

The Hillfoot Railway bridge is incredibly dangerous for cyclists on a number of counts. Not only is it extremely busy at most times- and especially so at commuting times, its road surface is covered in ruts and potholes. This with the added assault course of parked vehicles whose doors can open out onto the road at the distracted whim of parked motorists, means that cyclists can be near to the centre of the road when on it. Cycling using a road touring bike with characteristic thin tyres and trying to avoid the pits and ruts makes this inevitable. 

Cycling over the bridge towards Milngavie at rush hour with impatient motorists behind is scary.  And having to negotiate the idiotic new bottleneck as these impatient motorists overtake- or at least attempt to overtake- is perhaps suicidal. 

Where is the green thinking in our roads department? It almost seems the attractively mono-blocked parking spaces and convenient pedestrian viewing platforms have been rustled up to ensure budgets are spent.

I would like to suggest two things. First of all, during the next budget under spend panic, the lights are relocated back to where they were. Moving them further into the road does nothing to help pedestrians, motorists and have created a possible death trap for cyclists. Secondly I would like to suggest this "campaigning paper" has a cyclist’s column- one in which cyclists in the area could have say- and could send in positive and negative experiences/photos of cycling in the area? Perhaps a persistent naming and shaming of just where our council is trying to kill cyclists will influence the chamber to think green and safe at least in this important area.  And perhaps an enlightened attitude to the increasing cyclist population through improved roads and safety may add to the attraction of the greener of the commuting options and of the area as a base for tourists.

Neil Scott