Fracking Scotland

Fracking Scotland

Originally posted on :

Laura Eaton-Lewis explains how Westminster has literally sold the ground from under your feet.

Ye’ll have had yer Democracy, then?

Oh Edinburgh. It was all looking so good for you for a while.

Your high property prices, your comfortable financial services, your beautiful scenery, your controversial masonry, and now… this.

For various reasons, this good people of this city put its trust in London to make decisions for us. They voted not to take our own decisions here in Scotland.

Oh, but would they have seen one little map, they might have felt a little differently about that.

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This little map from the Crown Office with the big red circle right around the whole of the centre of Scotland, shows exactly where the UK government are currently selling off licenses to energy companies to drill under your homes to get at that pesky gas and oil trapped in the shale down…

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Is There a Way Out of Here?

Originally posted on lescunningham:

The Westminster parties have put themselves between a rock and a hard place. If they fulfil the more extravagant pre-referendum pledges made by them or on their behalf, they will incur the wrath of the xenophobic part of the English electorate – a minority, no doubt, but a very important minority to the Tories and and Labour when they both have a chance of winning the next general election, and UKIP is waiting to profit from disaffected Labour and Tory voters. If they try to honour their pledges, but are foiled by their own back-benchers, they will antagonise people in both England (for trying) and Scotland (for failing).

If Westminster does not devolve significant new powers to the Scottish Parliament, and even more so if Westminster cuts the Scottish block grant, they will gain brownie points in England, but in Scotland there is likely to be a marked increase in…

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Westminster in a bind…

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It seems to me that Westminster managed to insert a form of ‘Devo-Max’ on to the ballot paper at the very end of a long referendum campaign – by proxy, if you like. It might have been a panic-induced move, in reaction to the polls that showed the irresistible momentum of the Yes movement, but it worked.

A week is a very long time in politics and that last week before the polls opened gave the Unionists just enough time to recover and make a believable vow of more powers; a form of watered down and corrupted Devo-Max. Based on polling and canvass returns leading up to the poll which suggested a narrow Yes win; it looks as if it was just the edge to swing a small but significant number of voters away from Yes in the last few hours to save the day for Westminster (Opinion polling indicates that around 25% of no voters made their voting decision on the promise of additional powers).

Yet, it has become a log jam of the Union’s own making. There is no support for more powers for Scotland amongst the English voter. Many back-bench Tory MPs oppose it. Boris Johnson, the likely future leader of the Conservative party, is also dead against it. As for UKIP…

Already, the first part of the vow, which was published in the Daily Record newspaper, has not been met. This has provided ammunition to the fast reforming Yes movement which recognises that 45% of the vote is a great building block for future campaigning rather than a defeat of the cause. Furthermore, that proportion of the electorate that voted for the status quo in light of the vow will want delivery. They voted to save the Union and now look to Westminster to keep its side of the bargain.

It is a dangerous time for Westminster. Failure to deliver on the vow will see a backlash from Scottish voters that voted no in the light of it and calls for another referendum. Delivery of more powers to Holyrood may see English voters turn to UKIP in even greater numbers than its recent polling gains suggest. An in-out referendum on EU membership which results in Scotland being dragged out against the will of the Scottish voter is also an independence time bomb which could explode spectacularly under the political elite of Westminster.

Finally, who says that a new UK government, following the 2015 General Election, will keep to the powers for Scotland pledge? We could have a new Prime Minister, a coalition between the Tories and UKIP or even an alliance between the two. Whatever the outcome, the new regime could legitimately claim that it did not make the vow.

Whatever happens, those Scots that assumed a no vote was a vote for ‘no change’ are likely to be very disappointed. Change is in the air and unfortunately, most of it is out of the hands of the Scottish voter now.

Edit: It seems that Salmond is pursuing the promises with gusto. In reality, he doubts that the three unionist parties will be able to honour the pledge, never mind the suggestions of proper Devo-Max, ‘Home Rule’ or federalism made at certain times during the latter stages of the referendum campaign. The whole thing is a complete mess. More on Newsnet Scotland.com and Business for Scotland.

Beyond the 45

Beyond the 45

Originally posted on :

SNP conference 2013Tommy Sheppard, former assistant general secretary of the Scottish Labour Party, on why he’s joining the SNP.

Sign me up.

Only four days into the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum and my emotions are still raw. From this distance I’d say we did good; closer than anyone could have imagined when we started on this journey.

Without comparison the Yes campaign has been the biggest progressive movement I’ve been involved with in over 35 years of political activity. The level of involvement has been unparalleled. So many people, so much hope and an incredible unity of purpose. This was a tremendous flowering of democracy – people prepared to confront and overcome the feeling of being powerless in a world controlled by unelected elites. Many on a steep learning curve – developing confidence and articulation by the day. Most of all this was the moment when politics became too important…

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Food for thought No. 28 – a message to that Nairn ‘No Thanks’ blogger…

Interesting to note that a Nairn-based ‘No Thanks’ blogger popped up in the last few days of the referendum campaign.

Can he or she now explain this to voters?

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Oh boy but were you fooled – big time. So come on, write a nice wee entry on your keep the Union blog site to explain this away. Add something on the warnings about the NHS in England being made at the Labour party conference too. Especially as the Yes movement warnings of what will happen to the NHS were called ‘scare stories’.

I re-post this banner from the campaign – it seems that the chickens are coming home to roost quicker than we thought. The so-called vows are unravelling too. So please explain!

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Wipe your eyes. On your feet.

Wipe your eyes. On your feet.

rowantree633:

Time to get back to work. Join a pro-independence party – Greens, SNP…does not matter which. Keep the campaign groups together. Read this article from Bella Caledonia – there’s some great ideas here. Take a look at Derek Bateman’s web site too. It’s time to start moving forward again. There’s a great foundation to build upon and the UK establishment is scared of us.

Originally posted on :

10552637_683212328423444_31606524078828249_nBy Robin McAlpine

The rebellion: Phase Two

There will be a time to put in words how I feel now. There will be a time for me to discuss what I think we should have done differently to win. There will most certainly be a time (when the pain subsides) in which I will celebrate who we became in these two years, to memorialise the countless heroes of our failed revolution who changed my life and who changed Scotland.

This minute, this grey Friday, I just want to list what we need to do next. (This is a long read for a day like this – read the rest tomorrow). I do it for three reasons. First to let you know that once this weekend is over, Monday is when we start. It will be hard, but the team who are working on the Common Weal project will be meeting…

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