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Showing posts with label Jon Snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jon Snow. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

The Currency – Jon Snow and Alex Salmond

Not a very inspired or economically literate interview from Jon Snow, in my view. He trots out old quotes and BetterTogether simplistic soundbytes to the manner born.

Once again - for Snow and other economic primitives - the options are these:-

ONE: Adopt the euro. COMMENT: Nobody in their right mind would do that at the moment.

TWO: Launch a new Scottish currency. COMMENT: As above - but after independence day and new Scottish Government in 2016, clearly an option, dependent on European situation.

THREE: Decide to abandon the referendum and stay with the failing, incompetent, corrupt UK/Westminster regime. COMMENT: Scots would have to be nuts ...

FOUR: Stay with sterling after a YES vote. COMMENT: No other choice till 2016 since we're not yet independent - re-evaluate sterling in the light of progress in negotiations with rUK over currency union - and the state of the eurozone ...

Quod erat demonstrandum, Jon Snow.

Friday, 29 April 2011

The Royal Wedding - a Union symbolising a divided nation?

Celebrations across Britain? Technically true, but in fact concentrated on London and the Home Counties.

Anglesey and St. Andrews effectively had to stand for Wales and Scotland, for obvious reasons - the royal couple live in Anglesey, and went to St. Andrew's - a Scottish University that is predominantly the province of rich English students.

This was a wedding attended by the rich and privileged (plus a few brutal tyrants), the British Establishment and a few token peasants. It was almost exclusively white - apart from the dictators - and entirely unrepresentative of the United Kingdom. It was a huge expensive PR exercise for the British Establishment, militarism and organised religion, mainly Christian.

It was reported in either hushed reverential tones or a nauseatingly jolly jingoistic and patronising manner by the BBC and ITV both nationally and regionally, and grossly distorted the reality of the widespread indifference of Scotland, Wales and the Midlands and North of England.

Only Channel 4 offered any kind of realistic debate and critique. We expected little else, and it's over - till the next time.

Monday, 28 February 2011

George Washington's Farewell Address 1796

So spoke a great patriot, the first President of the United States, who freed his country from the corrupt and venal grasp of the British Empire. (I hope he will forgive my spell checker changing favorite to favourite.)

He could hardly have foreseen the continuing relevance of his words in the 21st century - or maybe he knew, as all truly great men know, that they were for every age and every time.

They resonate ever more strongly today, especially in relation to America’s relationship with the United Kingdom - and the UK’s with America - and the poisoned seeds that the creation of the State of Israel - aided and abetted by Great Britain - planted in the heart of the Middle East.

Washington's Farewell Address 1796

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils.

Sympathy for the favourite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.

It leads also to concessions to the favourite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld.

And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favourite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot.

How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils.

Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Every word, every line of the above is directly relevant  to our tortured planet, and to Scotland’s wish to free itself its poisoned union with the United Kingdom.

Saor Alba!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

The English Transport Minister–Philip Hammond

Stewart Stevenson – a good, dedicated Scottish SNP Minister, was forced to resign because of the impact of the worst winter weather in decades – perhaps unprecedented weather conditions – virtually unanticipated by everyone, with warnings coming at the very last minutes.

Now we have chaos in England’s transport system and road network form weather that was well-signalled in advance, with the recent Scottish experience to profit from.

Will the UK Transport Minister be forced to resign?

Lets take a closer look at this man – Philip Hammond. What kind of a man is he?

Here is one aspect of the man - Hammond's tax avoidance

Here is a Wikipedia extract on Philip Hammond - Wikipedia

Philip Hammond received criticism in 2009 when it emerged that he claimed just £8 short of the maximum allowance for a second home in London from 2007 to 2008 – even though he lived in the commuter belt town of Woking.

The Sun columnist Kelvin Mackenzie stated that as Mr Hammond had previously refused to support his opposition to a rise in car parking charges at Weybridge railway station, the revelation about the second home showed that Hammond is "not interested in the downtrodden local motorist". As a result of the criticism Mr Hammond told his local paper that he would pay back any profit he makes on the future sale of his second home to the public purse.

When his expenses were revealed on the internet it emerged that Hammond spends thousands of pounds of taxpayers' money every year on newspapers, and once spent £24 of public money on eight teaspoons.

Clearly an upright, public spirited man, devoted to the service of the public. No one would ever suggest that he should resign over a little snow. After all, he has survived far worse, and remained unscathed.

He is of course, a member of the same party as Annabel Goldie, and the same Coalition Government that Tavish Scott’s party is the junior scapegoat – sorry, partner – in.

Both of these Scottish politicians called shrilly for the head of Stewart Stevenson, in their celebrated roles as members of that failing music hall act known as The Three UK Stooges, the third member of the slapstick team being one Iain Gray, the Holyrood Labour Leader.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Danny Alexander – “cruel and illiberal” cuts?

Jon Snow to Danny Alexander, Channel Four News, 20th October 2010

Nevertheless, the point of all this is that you have to realise £2 billion out of this programme, and that means, quite possibly, some quite severely disabled people are going to have to be got to a point where they are not able to work and will not get any income.”

Alexander babbled feebly about fairness, getting ‘our’ public finances in order, and the back-to-work scheme.

Jon Snow:

But when you keep talking about fairness – and my goodness, we’ve heard that word a lot today – your office sent me a graph of what you’ve done today, and if you look at the weight of what’s been done today, the biggest quantity of it falls upon the poor. That’s hardly Liberal Democrat excellence, is it?”

More ConLib jargon came from an increasingly uncomfortable Danny.

Jon Snow:

Let’s take another very quick one. Where you have a disability allowance – you’ve got a mobility allowance within that, and if you actually have either the misfortune or the fortune to be housed in a home, in some kind of supportive environment, you lose the mobility allowance. A rather cruel and illiberal thing to do, is it not?”

Let’s take a closer look at this tall, red-haired, rather diffident Scotsman and ask how he came to be the instrument of Tory millionaires in visiting cruel and illiberal cuts to income and vital services to the poor and disabled.

He was born in Edinburgh then spent part of his boyhood on Colonsay. 38 years of age, he was educated at Lochaber High School then gained an honours degree at St. Anne’s College, Oxford in politics, philosophy and economics – the PPE degree that I have commented on in a recent blog, the preferred choice of the career politician. (Click here for PPE blog)

St. Anne’s College has impeccable liberal (with a small L) credentials, originally set up as a place for emancipated women. Here’s what it says about its values on its website -

St Anne's values

St Anne's has always set its outward face towards the world. It has always been driven by its sense of connecting the ideals of the University to those who have not previously had the chance to encounter them – originally it was women, then women too poor to come to Oxford otherwise, and latterly a confident, tolerant, diverse and multicultural community of women and men.

One can understand why a young, perhaps idealistic, aspiring Liberal Democrat might choose such a college. One might expect that it would pursue academic excellence but not at the price of a wider awareness of society and its original ideals. Again, in its own words -

“… it is implacable in the pursuit of academic excellence, but does not see this as setting it apart from contemporary society.”

How could a product of this background and this education produce someone who, as Chief Secretary to the Treasury, was the main number cruncher of savage cuts falling mainly upon the poor and the disabled, “cruel and illiberal” cuts?

The politics and the economics components of the PPE degree seem to have been assimilated – what happened to the philosophy part?


His career has been entirely in communications, and almost entirely in politics, except for a brief period (2004-2005) when he was Head of Communications for the Cairngorms National Park Authority. He has been Shadow Just-about-Everything with the LibDems, and, very briefly, Scottish Secretary in the ConLib coalition, until David Laws’ abrupt exit from the Treasury catapulted him into the role for which he will become famous or infamous – make your own prediction.

This career path is exactly what the PPE degree equips its holders for - it is the modern day version of the government or colonial administrator’s career in the bright summer of the British Empire – someone with little or no empathy with the lives of ordinary people, with no hard, tangible experience of commerce or industry, but nonetheless destined to make decisions that impact cruelly upon those they float above, wholly insulated from the pain, suffering and economic misery they are destined to inflict on millions.

But you can redeem yourself, Danny, and in the process, make a real and fundamental impact on the corrupt Westminster and UK Establishment values that have brought you to this point.

Resign, and make a public statement that you are revolted by what you have become a part of, and the way your liberal and democratic ideals have become betrayed by the company you were induced to keep. Commit yourself to work for the very people whose lives your policies will impoverish and destroy. Then you will stand alone and above the heaving, mendacious mass of Westminster careerists, lobby fodder, like swine at the trough.

Ideally, recognise that you can really only make an impact on the land that I believe you love – Scotland – by joining the fight for Scottish independence. Then you will really be a Scottish liberal and a Scottish democrat.