The Scottish unionists are singing a different, siren song these days, panicked by the re-election - with an overall majority - of the SNP and now the referendum agreement - singing a song of new powers, of devo this and devo that. They’re lying in their teeth – here’s what awaits a Scotland that rejects independence in 2014 -
The Calman threat to Scottish freedom from nuclear power – and weapons (March 2009 blog)
Two things come together today in an insidious coupling - an article by Gordon Brown in the Observer entitled "We are about to take the war against terror to a new level"
the news in the Scotsman from Tom Peterkin, Scottish Political Editor, that the Calman Commission wants to partially reverse devolution by clawing back powers from Holyrood to Westminster, including the power of the Scottish Government to veto nuclear development.
The ostensible reason for this is the belief that the UK's energy needs can only be met by building new nuclear plants in Scotland. If this were the sole reason, it would be bad enough, exposing nakedly what the Union really means for Scotland. But the real reason is the link between civil nuclear power and the nuclear weapons industry. I covered this is some detail here on the 20th of February and I wrote to the Herald on the 21st in response to an Alf Young article.
The Gordon Brown article in today's Observer is an exercise in naked paranoia, or more accurately, an attempt to induce paranoia in the electorate by a failing Prime Minister and a failing government. One paragraph alone should send a chill down the spine of any Scot concerned for freedom.
“As the threats we face are changing rapidly, we can never assume that the established way of doing things will be enough. We will always make the necessary changes, whether through greater investment, changes to our laws or reforms to the way we do things, to ensure that Britain is protected.” GORDON BROWN
Here is my online posting to the Observer today (22 Mar 200() on the article -
22 Mar 09, 1:03am
We lived through thirty years of IRA terror directed at our shores without resorting to the attack on our liberties that Brown has mounted. Every ruler whose coat hangs upon a shaky nail needs an enemy to deflect attention away from his inadequacies, and the more shadowy and amorphous that enemy is the better.
Does Al Quaeda exist? Of course it does, as a loose grouping of terrorist cells, but not as the mighty global entity portrayed by Brown and his ilk. Does terror exist? Of course it does. Has it comes to our shores? Undeniably, but we brought it on ourselves - in all its full, inhumane, undemocratic horror - by our own ill-considered and inhumane actions in Iraq.
People have died and are still dying to serve the overweening ambition, lust for power and vanity of Blair and Brown.
I have never voted Tory, and I voted Labour all of my life up until 2003, but Maggie and her cabinet were the targets of a terrorist attack in Brighton, yet this did not stampede her into panic reactions. I detested Maggie, and much that she stood for, but she was not a coward, and was more of a leader than vacillating, terrified Brown will ever be.
As a Scot, I have an option, and I have taken it, by joining the Scottish National Party. As I speak, the Calman Commission, a Unionist front, is trying to claw back to Westminster the powers the Scottish Government currently has over civil nuclear development. Since The Deadly Nuclear Twins of civil nuclear power and the nuclear arms industry are joined at the hip, the purpose of this is all too clear. It has little to do with global warming and a lot to do with WMDs.
England, wake up to what this failing regime is trying to do as it desperately tries to survive.
I have also posted on the Scotsman online comment to the Peterkin article as follows -
This must be stopped, by legal, constitutional means, and there must be public, legal demonstrations against any clawing back of powers. This is the insidious workings of the military/industrial complex, and we should have expected it. They were never going to let a little thing like democracy or the wishes of the Scottish people get in the way of their war machine.
There must be an outcry, and soon. I have been postponing my decision to rejoin CND after many years, but my cheque will be in the post on Monday.
I have written of the Deadly Nuclear Twins to the Scottish press and in my blog of 20th February 2009.
This must be stopped. They want to further pollute our country and deprive us of the right to veto further nuclear development.
Here is my Herald letter of 21st February 2009 in full - it was edited in some aspects in the Letters page of the Herald.
Alf Young (20th Feb) advances the case for nuclear power in Scotland, and criticises the SNP’s implacable opposition to nuclear. I am one of the very large number of Scots who, in 2007, abandoned my previous political allegiance (Labour) and transferred my vote and my commitment to the SNP. A major factor in that decision was precisely the fact of the SNP’s implacable opposition to nuclear weapons and nuclear power. In spite of my strong commitment to an independent Scotland for many other reasons, I would resign my membership of the party instantly if that commitment ever wavered, however, I am sure that will not happen.
I will not rehearse the arguments against nuclear power generation versus alternative sources of energy in relation to the global warming priorities, for the simple reason that I would rather accept the energy deficit and all that goes with it – although I do not believe that this will happen – because of the link between the civil nuclear power and the nuclear arms industry. Every advocate of civil nuclear power generation I have read, heard, or met personally is either an advocate of nuclear weapons, nuclear defence policies and the so-called ‘nuclear deterrent’, or, frankly, must be naive, and unaware or badly informed about this insidious linking of the civil and military aspects.
The facts are these, and in setting them out, I would remind readers of the famous quote by American senator, Daniel Patrick Moynahan – “You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts ...”
Any country that has nuclear power has the undeniable potential to make nuclear weapons. This is why the West is making such a fuss over Iran’s nuclear programme, and was the ostensible reason for invading Iraq. The UK is a massive exporter of nuclear technology and uranium enrichment processes, and this is at the core (forgive me) of nuclear weapons production. If the UK abandoned this deadly trade and never built another nuclear power station it would be taking a major step towards reducing international tension, nuclear proliferation and creating a safer planet.
The International Atomic Energy Commission (IAEA) is charged with investigating the regular, and sinister, transfer of nuclear material between civil and military stockpiles, but its powers are limited, and by the UK government’s own admission, its acceptance of inspection was not intended to provide an assurance that such material would not be used for defence purposes. In any case, the notorious ‘national security reasons’, the final refuge of totalitarian, militaristic governments everywhere, can be uses to stop the inspections at any time. In America, in Britain and in France, where one might assume that there were safe and secure procedure, unaccountable and unexplained discrepancies exist on plutonium. It is not just Russia that has problems of the theft and smuggling of nuclear material, not to mention inadequate and permeable storage arrangements.
I am a grandfather, and this status provides a special focus, a special viewpoint. I may not live long enough to experience the appalling consequences of our present nuclear obsession, but my children may, and my granddaughter almost certainly will. I was born in the 1930s, the decade of an unprecedented rise in militarism, and the lead-up to war. I sat in 1945 in the Park Cinema in Glasgow (formerly The Marne Cinema) as watched with fascinated horror the dropping of the Hiroshima nuclear bomb and its appalling aftermath. I grew up in the 1950s with the spectre of nuclear annihilation hanging over my world. I followed with apprehension the Cuban missile crisis in the 1960s, when that threat became real and immediate. I don’t want my beloved granddaughter to have to live her life under this radioactive cloud.
The nuclear power industry and the nuclear arms industry are conjoined twins, locked forever in a deadly embrace, and cannot be separated. You can’t have one without the other. Until homo sapiens evolves into a greater maturity, the world can afford neither nuclear power generation nor nuclear arms. We owe it to ourselves, our children and our grandchildren to reject these deadly twins. Alf Young used the word ‘meltdown’ in the title of his article. I hope it does not prove prophetic in a context other than the one he intended.