The Wee Ginger Dug Comes To Airdrie

Wee Ginger Dug Airdrie

Airdrieonians For Independence will be hosting Paul Kavanagh, also known as the “Wee Ginger Dug” on Tuesday 2nd May 2017 at 7.30pm in the One Wellwynd Centre, 35 Wellwynd, Airdrie, ML6 0BN. Admission is free (although donations towards the cost of the evening are always welcome) and we would advise early arrival to ensure that you can get a seat. Paul’s irreverent and satirical take on Scottish politics is seriously funny, and there will be an opportunity afterwards for discussion and maybe even a wee photo opportunity with the Dug!

You can indicate that you will be attending at our Facebook Page. Please also like and share, share, share! YOU are our advertising media and your help and support in making our events a success are always welcome.

Ruthless Davidson: Selling Out Scotland

img_pqbgz2.jpgI think it was only last week that Ruth Davidson addressed the Scottish parliament and accused others of “whataboutery”. Her pronunciation of the word was odd, as usually in Scottish politics I hear it pronounced as “Whitabootery”. Her focus on the anglicised pronunciation was almost as if she was trying overly hard NOT to sound, well, Scottish. So it came as no surprise to find that she was causing a stramash in yesterday’s debate at Holyrood when she mocked SNP MSP Joan MacAlpine’s accent, before snapping at the First Minister to “Sit Down!” Such was the venom displayed by her yesterday throughout the debate that even Kezia Dugdale expressed her distaste.

Davidson is akin to the hinger’s oan to the school bully, who will chip in with snidey comments and laugh while they do it. She seems almost ashamed to be Scottish, and appears to be trying to convince everyone she is anything but. She epitomises the “So-Called Scot” who will endure any slight to this country and cheer while it happens. Ruth ought to know by now that real Scots stand up FOR Scotland, not against it. Everything she says and does is detrimental and derogatory to this country. Whether it’s mocking our accents, labeling us as thieves or putting the boot into our economy, Davidson has no boundaries. Clearly the gloves are off. Don’t expect it to get any better.

See article on Indyref2.scot

Foreigners ISN’T a Dirty Word

There has been a lot of xenophobic sentiment displayed over the last few years, particularly in England and it is worrying. In the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser; Convenor of the RMT parliamentary group Elaine Smith MSP complained about how our railways are in private hands and that they are now a “cash cow for Dutch state-owned Abellio” and that they are “passing profits abroad”. Most people in Scotland fully agree that our railways should be nationalised, but why does Ms Smith draw attention to which country that money will go to? There are numerous privatised Train Operating Companies operating in Scotland, Arriva and Virgin to name two which aren’t foreign owned, yet Ms Smith specifically singles out the one where the privatised profits don’t go into British pockets. Alluding to foreign companies taking “our” money might resonate with some, but not with most Scots. Her “anti-foreigner” rhetoric is sadly parroted in full colour on the back page of the February issue of the RMT news, and this is perhaps indicative of an agreed approach to campaigning which the RMT would be wise to avoid. While England has voted for Brexit, Scotland did not, and we send the message out that Scotland welcomes people from across the world: to us “foreigners” isn’t a dirty word, a slur to be whispered behind peoples backs.
If privatisation of public services is wrong then by all means make your case on that basis Elaine. Not by the nationality of the pocket the money ends up in.

Airdrieonians For Independence Meeting: Saturday 25th March 2017

In view of recent developments following the announcement that the Scottish Government will be seeking to hold a new independence referendum, Airdrieonians for Independence will be holding a meeting to discuss this development. New members and activists are encouraged to attend, and we would like to stress that the group is politically independent and not affiliated to any party. The meeting will take place in Airdrie Public Library on Saturday 25th March 2017 at 1200hrs. Admission is free.

Popular Misconceptions No2: Scots Knew There Was Going To Be An EU Referendum

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On Question Time last night a lady piped up with her opinion which received rapturous applause from the audience in Bognor Regis: Why are the Scots demanding a referendum now, because when they voted in 2014 they KNEW there was going to be a Brexit vote.
It’s not the first time I’ve heard this stated. It’s nonsense of course and anyone with decent powers of recall or even better, access to google should be able to establish a few basic facts. But let’s give the good lady from Bognor the benefit of the doubt and say she wasn’t following the situation in this country as closely as we were here and look at just why she’s mistaken.
Joanna Cherry MP had a decent stab at addressing all the points put to her and to be honest it could have been an hour long show with just Ms Cherry, David Dimbleby and the audience of Bognor Regis, but the question above was one she didn’t respond to and in my view should have.
In the lead up to the September 2014 referendum Scots were being told by the print, radio and television media and by Labour politicians that if they voted No a Labour government was just round the corner. That if they voted No, in less than a year they could sweep the coalition from power and that Ed Miliband would become a Prime Minister who would hold Scotland in high regard. Indeed Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson deliberately played down the Tories chances of returning to power to reassure Scots voters that they should vote for the union. I was one of many warning that this wasn’t the case; that Ed Miliband was unelectable and that the Tories would not only take power but seek to emasculate Scotland in the process. I was correct on every single point.
From The Guardian, September 2014
“Ruth Davidson, the Tory leader in Scotland, highlighted fears of a yes vote when she told a cross-party referendum debate on STV on Tuesday night that the Tories are on course to lose the UK election. This was seen as an attempt to reassure wavering voters who are more likely to vote for independence if they believe the Tories will win the UK election, according to the former Labour first minister Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale.”
“Citing unguarded remarks on Monday night by Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader, that the Conservatives were unlikely to win the general election, Miliband will insist that Labour would win in 2015 – a year earlier than Scotland could become independent.”

But I digress. In the lead up to September 2014 the Tories were having internal rows and were under pressure from UKIP and David Cameron was floating the idea of an EU referendum to quiet the unruly within the party and to stop wavering voters from switching to UKIP. The EU referendum bill was actually introduced to the UK parliament in October 2014, just over a month after the Scottish referendum. It passed its first hurdle then floundered, before David Cameron included it as a manifesto pledge for the May 2015 election, and it was confirmed as going ahead later that month.
So in the pre-Indyref campaign the possibility of an EU referendum was certainly there, but it was being played down in Scotland by the Tories, Labour and the Lib-Dems, with all three campaigning on the same message: voting Yes was a sure fire way of taking Scotland OUT of Europe.

At the Labour Party (Scotland Branch) conference in March 2014, Margaret Curran made a conference speech in which she said:
“Because Alex Salmond knows Scots don’t really want independence.
What they want is a Labour Prime Minister and a Labour Government.
And rest assured, Conference, Alex Salmond know that his biggest threat is Ed Miliband is throwing David Cameron out of number 10.”

While the main thrust of the No campaign was squarely behind the Project Fear approach the one positive aspect that they did try to sell was a tenuous house of cards. If any one aspect was removed it all fell apart. Everything hinged on No winning, then hapless Ed Miliband winning the general election, so that there would be no EU referendum. Even the dog’s in the street could see that Ed was the weakest link in that chain, yet he was talked up by Labour as the best of both world’s. And still no one was willing to admit what anyone with any sense could see: that he was a short term solution to a long term problem, and that even had he by some miracle won that the Tories at some point would be back, vindictive as ever. The plan fell at the second hurdle and left Scotland facing another Tory government.
As we saw afterwards, once Scotland was secured within the union, focus returned to Europe. The Conservatives, ran their campaign with two major themes; that they would deliver a referendum on EU membership (which Cameron fully expected to win) and that Ed Miliband would be a puppet Prime Minister worked from the back by Alex Salmond. Having told Scotland it would be a valued and equal partner, within months Scotland was the enemy within, and while Labour tried to blame their loss of seats to the SNP for their defeat, simple mathematics showed that Labour had been roundly defeated by over a hundred seats and even had they retained their Scottish seats would still be languishing effectively a million miles behind the Tories.
Having brought in English Votes for English Laws which stripped Scottish MP’s of some voting rights the UK parliament has now moved to reduce Scottish MP’s by scrapping 6 seats. With a now tried and proven system in place for the election in the form of whipping up anti-Scottish sentiment and insinuating that Labour will (if they remain as one party) enter coalition with the SNP to deny the English electorate their rightful government, we have a recipe for Tory government in Scotland for years to come. So if there’s a way out of Brexit and from another lost generation of Tory rule, I’d grab it. Margaret Curran might think otherwise though…

Edited to add: Murdo Fraser caught red handed trying the same line with Andrew Neil (Video: Wings Over Scotland)

 

Popular Misconceptions No 1: Handing Sovereignty To Brussels

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“Why would you want to leave one union to be ruled by another in Brussels?” asked an audience member on Question Time last night… “because you can’t be independent in the EU”.

Unfortunately David Dimbleby didn’t allow Joanna Cherry MP to respond to that particular point, but it’s one that needs addressed.

The idea that the UK is a benevolent “partnership” while the EU is an overbearing dictatorship seems to strike a chord with some people, however this avoids one blatantly obvious point.

When the UK wanted to hold a referendum on EU membership the UK held a referendum. It didn’t have to seek permission. Because it is a sovereign nation.

When Scotland stated it’s intention to hold another referendum on UK membership it has to seek permission, because it’s not a sovereign nation. It has to ask the permission of the largest nation in the “partnership”. And that nation said No.

So the idea that Scotland would be recovering it’s sovereignty only to “hand it back to Brussels” is one of the greatest fallacies of the whole debate, and one which may have to keep countering for some time to come. “Luckily” Theresa May has given us a blatant example of this in practice. Lucky us, eh?