Monday, May 5, 2014

Scottish independence: Sunday Herald comes out in favour of a Yes Vote, the Herald remains neutral, Richard Walker made a choice, here is what George Laird had to say on the breakdown of what got him to this position, he made the wrong choice backing Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon

Dear All

On twitter, I am followed by Richard Walker; he is the editor of the Sunday Herald. 

As the editor, he has decided to back a Yes vote.

He has made a choice, I tweeted to him that I respect his choice but he has made the wrong one, so I thought I would go through his editorial piece of why he is backing a Yes vote.

But before I crack on through his observations, here is something worth noting:

"That the Sunday Herald has decided to lend its support to independence does not mean that its sister papers, the daily Herald and the Evening Times, will do likewise. That is a decision for their editors to make. Nor does our decision reflect the position of our owners, the Herald and Times group".

Tim Blott, managing director of the Herald and Times group, says:

"Our policy is to give individual editors the freedom to decide their own newspaper's position on this hugely important constitutional issue but our own official company stance will remain non-political and neutral in the independence debate."

That means one person, Richard Walker, although an interesting development, it isn't a game changer, now lets see if what he says stacks up regarding facts. At the end of the day, facts will decide the independence result, Braveheart rhetoric won't. 

Richard Walker highlights that there is nothing simple, clean, or clinical about ending a union that has endured for better than three centuries. In that respect he is right, but is a vote for independence right at this time? The answer is no, the SNP needed to complete as a minimum two successful terms of office before asking that question.

In this Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon failed.

There was no Government and local Government reform to set the country up for independence, the whole bid is bogus. The SNP thought they could bounce Scotland into it without a plan, then they found out that was imploding as the questions kept coming, and they had no answers because they had done no work.

Richard says:

"Independence, this newspaper asserts, will put us in charge of our destiny. That being the case, Scots will have no-one to blame for their failings, no-one to condemn for perceived wrongs. We will, for the first time in three centuries, be responsible for our decisions, for better or worse".

If we look at this, we should remember that independence isn't on offer, interdependence is what is being sold, and we should remember that the SNP don't and will not offer Scots a vote on EU membership. The SNP want to cut out the 'middle man' in this case Westminster which means that Scots would have even less rights. This is important and should be explained in detail, because that is the crux of the matter.

The point of, "We believe that now is the time to roll up our sleeves and put our backs into creating the kind of society in which all Scots have a stake".

This sounds every noble, but is he saying that SNP cronyism will be given up by the Nationalists? If he thinks that the SNP will embrace meritocratic, I say to him, type in SNP vote rigging, take the names you find and type their names along with Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. What would Richard find, he would find, the people involved all know the leadership and the leadership know them well, in some cases they have even worked from them.

"Decisions affecting our lives will be made on our doorstep, by the people who live here. By us"!

So, is it possible that one set of foreign rulers could be replaced by another set of foreign rulers?

Only this set of foreigners 'approved' by Salmond and Sturgeon. The SNP isn't campaigning for Scotland to be run by its own people. You could argue that calling themselves the Scottish National Party is a deception because it implies that this is about the destiny of Scots.

"Above all, we want a progressive, fair society in which the gulf between haves and have nots is no longer unbridgeable".

Let's be clear, Alex Salmond isn't a socialist, socialists don't park their arse in £2,900 a night hotels.

"Come independence, the sky may still be blue (well, possibly not in Scotland in September) and the grass green, but there is no magic wand. Scotland will not overnight be transformed into a land flowing with milk and honey".

Richard got that right, however, he could be at the birth of the 'Athens of the North', budget cuts and austerity to fix the financial black hole that Oil revenues can't cover. 

"We cannot be certain the pound will be retained, that existing terms will be easily forthcoming, that the price of oil will be higher tomorrow than it is today, that pensions will dwindle or increase in value, that businesses big and small will stay or go. We can never know the future".

True but the lack of planning could have been done to offset problems, and wasn't, this is unforgiveable, the chance for an informed and educated stable, well-structured society was missed. It isn't rocket science to plan, and the laughable 'white paper' dubbed the 'white manifesto' shows the SNP isn't interested in democracy, they are interested in an election timetable.  

"We therefore believe that a currency union is probable. Likewise we are confident that Scotland will be a member of the European Union".

Two things, two big things, currency union has been vetoed, and it is highly likely that Scotland will not get EU membership for some time because of other countries domestic situations, particularly Spain.

Richard is right when he says that there is a bankrupt, political structure, however, if independent, he would wake up with the same people holding the same positions and there would be no chance to remake our society.

The carrot of a more equal, inclusive, open and just society is a mirage. It doesn't exist, there is no fairness in Scotland; working class people know this as part of their daily existence.

Better Together have a lot to do, they have pointed out problems, their next task is to come up with solutions, to make society just. A start could be the removal of the list system at Holyrood, the 'vote riggers' charter where the public don't have any say on removal of publicly unelectable people. That list is a democratic defect, we could have a start at a fairer country there if we got rid of it, but that isn't even being mentioned.

Is it because SNP leaders want to have a fall back position?

Meritocratic is a pipedream flung out there to tell people if they play by the rules and work hard they can successful, I wonder if Richard is aware that there are interconnected networks were people promote each other up the ladder? I can't believe Richard Walker isn't self aware of this given his position as editor of the Sunday Herald.

Richard also says that Scotland's media should reflect the diversity of opinion within the country; that is something I would agree with, however, when he says "we believe that in a real democracy the public should have access to a wide range of views and opinions", I would say that same ability should be extended to the public to comment as politicians do. The public is often seen as having to be 'managed' which is why we have such a bad state of affairs in Scotland. Decisions are made in advance which is why people have to continually fight for their rights, politicians rather than tackling injustice just prop up the system or simply refuse to act.

Meritocratic isn't on offer and neither is independence, we already know that because of what has gone before.

Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon cannot be trusted, when I campaign in the Govan By-election, many women said to me that Nicola Sturgeon was an "arsehole", does Richard Walker think an "arsehole" will deliver meritocratic?

What about Alex Salmond rolling around on a bed in a £2,900 hotel while Scots women were dying of cancer because they couldn't get drugs available in England?

Justice is catching up to Alex Salmond, like Bill Walker, Salmond can't outrun destiny.

Richard Walker said:

"We can manage matters better on our own account, and make a future for ourselves. The prize is a better country. It is, truly, as simple as that".

I would point him in the direction of health, education and law and order, the big three controlled by the SNP Government. Health under Nicola Sturgeon was a shambles, the list is too long to reel off, education, Teachers voted no confidence in Mike Russell as Education Sec and Kenny MacAskill is an outright idiot.

"We can manage matters better on our own account".

Not with these people in charge.

In writing this, I thought that Richard Walker had stumbled on something which would make me consider thinking twice, he hasn't, I respect his right of choice, he has made one, I consider it wrong because it is based on wishful thinking.

I won't be getting onboard with that concept, the answer to Scottish independence under Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon is No!

Finally, we should remember, if they are prepared to outright lie and deceive people on the EU, why should anyone believe a word they say on anything?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University


Anonymous said...

Hi George,

Leaving aside this guy’s stuff about the EU and currency, there’s a particular bit that you quote which has steam coming out of my ears:

“We can manage matters better on our own account, and make a future for ourselves. The prize is a better country. It is, truly, as simple as that"

“We”. Just who the hell is he including in “we”. I hope he’s not including me. I don’t know him. I’ve got nothing in common with him. I’ve got nothing whatsoever to do with him. It’s condescending and deeply insulting when people say “we”, when, of course, they mean themselves.

“We can manage better on our own account…” Leaving aside my issues with “we” and “our”, he has obviously never watched half an hour’s action from the Scottish Parliament. If he had, he would have come to the conclusion that “we” would be better off having government and power as far away as possible from the inept amateurs we call MSPs (which is, funnily enough, exactly the conclusion that the parliamentarians of 1707 came to – they realised that they were making a total hash of things, and that the affairs of Scotland could be managed better by a bigger (and wealthier) talent pool).

“…make a future for ourselves.” Again, leaving aside “ourselves”, this is babbling garbage, implying as it does that individuals, under the status quo, are incapable of making a better future for themselves, and that they will only be able to do so under the presumed benevolence of a Scottish state. This is not only deeply offensive, it is completely divorced from reality – as he would surely know if he opened his eyes and saw people working hard and bettering themselves every single day, all without the need of a bunch of mediocrities in an independent Scottish Parliament telling them what to do and how to live their lives.

“The prize is a better country.” Em, "better" how? This is just adolescent, infantile claptrap.

And finally, la crème de la crème, “It is, truly, as simple as that.” Ha! “Simple”! You’ve got to admire the chutzpah of these people. As I’ve read somewhere else, nothing like this – disentangling a country as wealthy, integrated, and technologically advanced as the UK now is – has ever been attempted in human history. “Simple”? It wouldn’t be “simple” if we had Einstein and Stephen Hawking and Isaac Newton spearheading it. With the quality of people we’ve got in the Scottish Parliament, it will prove to be well-nigh impossible, and will almost certainly result in economic paroxysms for decades to come. But who cares, just as long as the political elite will continue to be paid handsomely?

Cheers, Derrick

G Laird said...

Hi Derrick

I don’t have a problem with Richard Walker of the Sunday Herald coming out, he made a choice.

It is in my opinion, a bad choice.

You are right about homing in on “we”; we don’t me us, it means them, we wouldn’t get any say on anything. If they use some of our ideas, they would simply change it to put their spin on it.

Holyrood doesn’t have a great reputation due to what is sitting on the benches there.

And you are also right that about the ‘better country’, we all know it's corrupt now under the SNP, is this going to change?

No, Salmond won’t even defend democracy in his own party never mind a nation.

SNP vote rigging into Google explains that one!

The SNP campaign is a rich man’s campaign, nothing to do with the people of Scotland.

I am voting No, Richard Walker is entitled to his opinion, I am entitled to mine, I will be fighting every day to send Salmond and Sturgeon packing, they run a rat ship at the SNP.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

andrea chiu said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for inspiring us.
Keep it up and continue on what your doing. Visit my site too.