Monday, 30 July 2012

Independent Thought in the "Better No" Campaign?

The independence debate appears to be cautiously entering a new phase as the battle lines drawn between the pro- and anti-independence political parties begin to blur.

Before the last Holyrood elections, the minority SNP administration tried to host an independence referendum, but were prevented from doing so by a wall of opposition from each of the three London-based political parties. Labour, Tories and LibDems were united in their view that Scots must not be asked their views on the constitutional future of their country.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The only way is Ethics

Recent revelations of corrupt practices in the financial service sector are eroding even further public respect and trust for the organs of state. The combination of government collusion and incompetence which is also coming to light only serves to exacerbate this process.

Over the last fortnight we have discovered the fiddling of the Libor rates by at least 20 international banks, apparently with the knowledge (and inaction) of the Bank of England and treasury. This was combined with the admission that interest rate swaps had been mis-sold to small and medium businesses to the extent that many had been forced out of business, at the same time as the banks were deliberately failing to meet business lending targets.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

How I answered the West Lothian Question

Over recent weeks there seems to have been renewed interest in the so-called “second question” or “third option” on the 2014 independence referendum, at least among the chattering classes. The “Better No” campaign and the separate (but strikingly similar) political parties which form its membership have become increasingly loud in their opposition to the very idea of devo max, and to its inclusion as an option on the referendum ballot paper.

Over the first half of this year, there has also been an attempt by many to define the possible types of devolution which might be on offer. I even had a wee go myself a few weeks ago. The options seem to range from Calman plus, through Devo Plus to Devo Max or Full Fiscal Autonomy, with the Lib Dems muddying the water with talk of finalising their federalist proposals after a century of dithering.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Road to London


Sic a parcel, aye rogues you are and stubbornly remain

neo Englander, new Labour, just about accepted by the middle

as long as principles deeply held are dropped as readily as R's.

Denying the wealth of nations, well your very own at least

you propagate your stories of dependence and ineptitude

mouthing too wee and too poor and too stupid with equal appetite.

Your Southerly migrations of body and mind are powered by gravespinning

the genesis of your parliamentary life soon followed by an exodus

both Scotland and socialism becoming far and fearful places.

Then your bitter leavings insinuate onto Holyrood front benches

those badly-tempered yarddogs growling on their long London leash

cynically pulling the chain on neebours, lest their own be Yanked.

Your chromatic careers spin red tie to blue then red hide to green

all spent hacking benefits from those on colder benches than your own

no longer happy to be Tamson's bairns, you become our uncle Tams.

Bob Duncan