Posted by Ivan Rendall on Saturday, 13 July 2014 in Blogging
We are asked to believe that “sites in Scotland” are being considered for a UK Spaceport; a landing ground for Richard Branson’s Intergalactic spaceships, amongst other things.
Is there such a list?
If so, why can’t we see it?
Why is it being leaked now?
Presumption: it’s referendum time, stupid.
Would Scotland be chosen as UK’s Cape Canaveral in the event of a NO to independence vote?
Would the Rest of UK accept such a decision given that, as it appears everybody agrees, that the UK, internal national relationships will change forever, whichever way the vote goes?
Would “devomax,” the chosen political drain cleaner, not create too unstable a political environment for some future, possibly fragile, possibly coalition, UK government to make such a long-term, strategic choice in Scotland’s favour.
Will Scotland, legally, geographically, politically, and economically distinct from the UK now, let alone in fifty years time, be the right place from which to emigrate to the moon Mars?
Would the rest of UK be happy creating a reverse Mid-Lothian question: Westminster MPs handing control of a strategic UK asset over to the day to day ministrations of a Holyrood government, SNP or otherwise, with hairs on its chest?
Could RofUK afford such a project alone, or would it be a Europroject with Britain as a Eurohub or feeding into a Eurohub.
It may or may not be, as the man said, that Scots and rays of sunshine are not difficult to tell apart (though I have always had great difficulty with that idea when applied to Billy Connolly, to give one name among many).
There is rather less debate over whether Scots are stupid.
Pretty Solid Presumption: they’re not.
The glaring nature of this manipulative opportunism, let alone the absence of any hard information to go with it, suggests this leak comes from a source close to some pretty stupid people, UK government or otherwise.
Scotland might be the Eurohub if it was independent, or as part of the UK. Either way, its pretty long-term, yet-to-be-decided stuff.
One thing’s certain now: it’s easy to spot the difference between today’s politicians and Francis Urquart.
If he was in charge, the presumption should be that his spin doctors were actually be working, incognito, for the Yes campaign.
But politics doesn’t come in Box Sets: this is the result of real, unsmart, post-Dobbsian, UK and Scottish politics: reducing the referendum to half-wits counting beans rather than plotting a dark conspiracies.
And their assumption, not for the first time, is that Scots are beans, and not very bright beans at that.
The truth, as far as its possible to divine it given what’s in the public domain, is that individual Scots will probably be slightly worse off for some relatively short time if Scotland was become independent, that they would negotiate hard with RofUK, but after that the Scottish GNP would depend purely on the competence of its government.
But that is still based on very squashy, malleable information.
The Scottish and UK governments seem to have reduced the whole debate to something neither of them are much good at handling – money, or what they really mean when say “beans,” or vice versa.
But Scots are not beans, and neither are ethnic Irish, Welsh, or English folks, or any of the New British folks in all four countries.
Money is really important to them, it’s not about pretend Beanstalks. It’s too important to be left to banks, markets, and political corner boys and girls, but between these financial “rays of sunshine” and politicians, that is what is generating the “sub-truths” of the current political debate.
Like the spaceport mirage, bits of nonsense, of which Edward Lear would have been ruly, deeply and madly proud, are the basis of a “debate,” that only seems to really swirl in the environs of Westminster and Holyrood.
Instead, we should all try to find real, whole facts, whether palatable or not.
It’s difficult, but if facts simply can’t be found, then we have to analyse what we do have, demand what we need to know from anal politicians, an almost impossible feat, and make our own minds up based on their responses, which I wager will not be worth the effort and only heap more nonsense on to the pile.
The traditional political systems (and the media parts of the same machine) are providing lots of colour and cheeky chappie coy opinion about the referendum because they know they could get arrested with a real fact about their person, or worse if it had been on their person, but had now, been accountably released to the rest of us.
These parties are failing largely because they are contemplating the failure of their own, already discredited, institutional, political system.
We need real change, commensurate with what’s going on in politics all over the world.
Apparently members of the Conservative Party have noticed this before their Coalition government, and are leaving in large numbers, about 15% in the PM’s constituency, normal swapping the delights of the local Association’s social whirl and summer fund-raising for more agreeable, al fresco, tea parties and cakes.
They have seen and felt power creeping away from their comfy old parties and ever closer to real people. They want to be closer to “where it’s at.” They are people, not beans to be counted or counted on, people fed up with mendacious and unnecessary conflict and the divisiveness that ensues.
(Metaphor: rats deserting an unsinkable ship while the Captain and crew are still culpably oblivious to the proximity of a rather big, sharp iceberg?)
We must all demand facts to which we add the human element all by ourselves.
If, in a particular area, there are no, or insufficient, reliable facts, then those who seek our votes should tell us, loudly. The humanity is our job, our contribution to democracy. What we bring to the process is currently wasted; it doesn’t work because it’s based on what we are told. So, we don’t trust those who tell us.
It is a gross abuse of the people of Scotland to ask them to cast such a life-changing vote, for them and their neighbours, on such unreliable information. It’s also stupid.
Scots, and the rest of us, know how we make up our minds up in this incompetent age: we either don’t vote, or vote reluctantly, trying to hold on to democratic principles we regard as important in the face of at best mendacity, and at worst naked, obvious, mindless corruption.
All we really want is accurate, dependable independently vouchsafed information. Not leaks but accountable facts. Not politically-driven, money-powered disinformation packs but simple, core facts.
I hope the Scottish people get the country they want on 19th September. But, if I had a vote I would prefer to use it based on better information. Like a dodgy business, it might have been better to have a cooling off period, a provisional result, until the facts had been negotiated.
There is insufficient, reliable information around for the magnitude of the debate or the decision.
Such facts as there are, are daily mangled by all politicians, with very few exceptions.
However, of all the completely nonsensical stuff around, voting No to independence on the basis that some, as yet, unelected, future, UK government, “might” build, of all things, a Bransonesque spaceport, at unknown cost, “somewhere in Scotland” would be – errrr – to put it mildly, rash.
If ever a politician tries to argue otherwise with you, – hand over a bean and call him or her “Jack”.