Mirror , Mirror on the wall

One sleepy morning last year, while shaving I looked in the mirror. I usually look in the mirror when shaving but this time was different. I didn’t recognise the face I was looking at; not at first anyway. The face staring back at me in surprise was a much older version of myself. What’s happened to me?

Of course it was my realface, not the one I remembered from years before. I was not in the habit of looking at my whole face in the mirror, just the bits I was shaving before I hurried out to work. This was different, a revellation. I was not the person I thoiught I was. This was what other people saw when the looked into my face, and I had no idea.

This sudden reflection on who we really are is a good thing – usually. It makes us stop and consider what’s really going on rather that the rosy assumptions we had held. In a way the Brexit campaign and the referendum has been like looking into that magic mirror that shows us who we really are.

We have long applauded ourselves for being a tolerant, welcoming people. We are reasonable, logical and honourable. Unlike some other, hot bloded, excitable or even devious peoples we are the good guys.

Well the Brexit campaign opened my eyes. What I saw was a campaign of lies and deception, welcomed by many who wanted to punish an uncaring Tory government and by many who harboured racist views. I saw a referendum promised as part of a srategy to hold the Tories together being allowed to tear the nation apart in the cause of a power struggle in the Tory party.

They are to blame. The whole box and dice of them. But they were able to do it because we are not the people we thought we were. Boris, Brutus (sorry, I meant Gove) and co. knew that. They played on the weaknesses of our character to achieve their aim and thirst for power.

They are to blame but we are at fault. We are not the nice people we thought we were.

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Just fitting the Flux Capacitor into the DeLorian

Well, that’s it we are on our way! Where to you ask? Back, back to the future, where things were and will be again, rosy and wonderful. Back to the future of the good old days.

video here

Yes, the vote was decisive and we are about to set off into the future on a journey to the past. I’ve been told by those who know these things that things were great in good old Britain before we went into the E.U. Food was cheap, beer tasted better and we were living the life of Reilly.

Mind you that’s not quite how I remember it. I remember a post war Britain where rationing still determined what you could eat. I can still remember the day I was able to go into the shop at the end of the street and buy sweets without my mother bringing her ration book.

I remember a selective schooling system where only the few could get a full secondary education. I remember my dad going to work onChristmas day because it was not a holiday. I remeber people could be forced to work long hours for low pay. I remember when people died of industrial diseases and accidents at work.

So I’m going off to revisit the past now that we can dispense with these pesky E.U. directives. Just as soon as I can hook up my Flux Capacitor into my DeLorian and get it up to 88 miles per hour I’ll be back in a flash. By the way, anybody know where my nearest Plutonium retailer is?

You, on the other hand, will just have to wait till the negotiations have completed and we get out again – back to the future of the past.

Will you go out with Boris and his pals?

We are nearly there. Thursday is the day when we will choose whether to go out of Europe with Boris and the guys in the band or stay and get on with business. What will you choose to do?

Boris tells us that we should go because we will be able to rule without the interference of the ‘Brussels bureaucrats’ who interfere with our freedoms. They neglect to say that the EU has brought us more freedoms than this government ever did. They would love to rule us unhindered by ‘human rights’ (how can they make that sound like an offence?) and working time directives that stop employers forcing people to work unsafe hours.

Lets have a look at the boys;

GoveHere’s Michael Gove. Remember Michael as Education secretary? He instigated a programme to remove schools from local, democratic control to be responsibel only to the Education secretary, himself.

He would be a great champion of  our democracy, unhindered by European ‘interference’.

 

IDSIan Duncan Smith, the man who has pushed through reforms to the welfare system that took millions away from the poorest in society, is he your cup of tea?

Everything was going well until he fell out with the P.M. and decided to change his story about the reforms. Watch out he doesn’t do the same after he takes us out of Europe.

 

HowerdMichael Howerd, a man with ‘something of the night’ about him, according to another Tory M.P.

Where did he ever take the Tories? Are those a safe pair of hands?

I’m not convinced that he is all that he pretends to be. I don’t think I’d go into a dark alley with him.

 

nigel-farageNigel Farage, hail fellow well met? The kind of guy you would have a pint with down the boozer? Well, he has never appeared in my local.

Is that because he is a former commodities broker? One of the financial types who made such a great job of the economy a few years ag? We’re still paying for that. He might deny that his campaigning is racist but I think that would be hard to prove. Is he your type?

BorisThen there’s Boris himself, a man who see’s  himself as the one who pulls the strings. If we all vote his way and trott out of Europe forever then he will be well placed to take over as leader of the Tory party. That will make him prime minister.

It’s difficult to know what that would mean for the country as Boris is prone to changing his mind about policies to fit the current trend.

Can he be trusted? I think I’d prefer the guy on his right.

This could be a fateful year for the democracies; just imagine Boris is P.M. and we are an island again. Donald Trump is President and the U.S.A. is on the skids. Scotland has another indyref and opts out in despair. I can just imagine the complaints from ISIS, “Hey, stop wrecking the world – that’s our job!”

Well if you do decide to leave then remember you asked for it. The complaints desk here will be closing down for good. The rest of the world might just be in too bad a state to be able to help in any way.

Kevin McKenna and a Moral Duty

Reading this weekend’s Scottish Catholic Observer I was interested to see Kevin’s column dealing with the upcoming referendum. Kevin states that we have a moral duty to vote. This is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with. Kevin deftly points out the immorality of the policies pursued by our Tory and Lib Dem coalition and their attacks on the poor. There are moral issues here and we should take note.

Kevin’s point, however, seems to focus on how a vote for independence would free Scotland from immoral policies. He fails to show good examples of policies the Scottish Government has espoused which highlight morality. The same sex marriage bill seems to put great restraints on people of a christian outlook voicing their views and keeping their job in certain areas. It is an interesting thesis that leaving 90% of the population of the KU, the country we inhabit, to the mercies of the Tories is a moral act. Running away and making no attempt to change things does not seem like a moral stance to me.

For some reason Kevin seems to think that Scots are more moral than the English and Welsh. I must say that has not been my experience. Kevin is right to say that we have a moral duty to vote. He is right to suggest that we have a moral duty to work for a fair society. Picking up the ba and walking away does not fit the bill. Kevin is the very man to campaign against the greedy society, the immoral bankers (RBS anyone?) and politicians who rob the poor and help the rich.

Come on Kevin, you know you can do better than this!

You can read Kevin in the Scottish Catholic Observer. See what you think. Where does the moral path lead us?

Joseph

 

The Blockade Runner and the Independence Vote

Clydebuilt

 

I was recently watching this BBC Scotland program hosted by David Hayman. The episode I had recorded was ‘The Robert E Lee’. This episode centres on the Clyde built paddle steamer Giraffe which was sold to the Confederacy and renamed the Robert E Lee and became one of the fastest blockade runners of the war.

 

Steamship

The Clydebuilt Blockade Runner

I found this particularly interesting because I had just completed a course on the American Civil War at Strathclyde University, delivered by Robert Lynch. In the course I had learned about the importance of cotton to the Confederate states. Cotton provided the link with Scotland and soon some of my fellow students unearthed links between Glasgow and the Confederacy. These included evidence of Jefferson Davis having visited Glasgow to stay with some industrialists and collaborators after his release from prison. This is expanded on in the programme which also shows evidence of a Confederate spy network working from Bridge of Allan.

This program highlighted the role of Glasgow’s Shipbuilders and the blockade runners. It filled in lots of interesting details of the activities of the blockade runners and the Scots who made fortunes from the war.

It gives us a fresh look at the role Scotland played in supporting the slave owning Confederacy and is particularly interesting at this time. Scotland is about to go to the polls to vote on independence. The Yes camp has made much of the UK’s imperial past and their desire to dissociate Scotland from it. Is this moral stance justified?

Taking this closer look at Scotland’s history of support for a slave system and the fortunes made in extending the slaughter of the Civil War should encourage us to examine the myth of our historical innocence.

I believe it is important for the future of Scotland to expose the truth about ourselves and our past. We are not a people who lived under the yoke of imperialism but we were instrumental in promoting it and made fortunes out of our fellow man.

When we walk into the polling booth this autumn let’s make our decision based on facts and not myth.

Why We Need an In-Out Referendum Now

Why We Need A Referendum

 

I have come to believe we need an in-out referendum and we need it now!

Why do we need one now? That is obvious.

Our economy is in a dreadful state. I know we have signs of growth, but it is growth based on consumers spending their savings, not on industrial expansion. People are buying new cars, booking holidays etc rather than leave their cash in the bank losing value as inflation outruns the interest rate

Pay day lenders are making massive profits as more and more people fall into debt. The rich are getting extremely rich and the poor are getting even poorer. We are told that the economy will be back to pre-crisis levels at the end of the year. Just ask people how their income matches up to their expenditure. Most people will be way behind.

We are creating a massive problem for our children. Unemployment among the young is racing well ahead of the headline rates. This was caused by the austerity that was supposed to save future generations from our debt.

So,how will a referendum help? I want an in-out referendum on the government and I think we need it now. Things are getting worse and we are being misled by doctored figures and hidden reports. Can we afford to have another two years of Tory muddle and Lib Dem aquiesence? I don’t think so.

A General Election Now! Get the Tories Out before it is too late!

What is the important issue today?

In the words of Bill Clinton,”It’s the economy, stupid!”