Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Scottish Stalemate - Part 2

The Scottish Stalemate - Part 2

 The Plan
As R Burns Esq., observed, “The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft aglee,” or words to that effect. Now I don’t know the quality of his insight into the world of rodents, but he was spot on for our specie.

For our purpose even the creation of a plan would invite attention and the construction of a counter plan to debunk and destroy our plan's objectives. Plans need organisations, organisations can be identified, infiltrated and the individuals intimidated. Remember the strength and quantity of our adversary. Against such odds, any attempt to sketch out a critical path to independence is expecting a miracle from a molecule.

So our plan is: there is no plan. No organisation, no flying pickets or goon squads. No particular blog site, no coded reference to affiliation and no hierarchies. We don’t need them, so why break our spirit and possibly body by trying to create anything that our adversary can so easily detect and destroy. To paraphrase the joke about Mel Gibson’s Braveheart – They can take our lives, but they cannot take us seriously. That’s a truism, especially where the establishment is involved. And we have to nourish that belief while we, the molecules, go quietly about the business of everyday life while building the miracle.

The aphorism of a molecule building a miracle carries more weight than simply wishful thinking. Scientists studying human behaviour and the neurological origins of individuality have mapped out this molecule to miracle route (they don’t call them molecules or miracles, but think of it in terms of evolution, you as both molecule and miracle – then as molecule to the tribe (or nation) and that as the miracle and the name you give the building blocks is unimportant.) They even tested this using Game Theory models which, without testing my understanding beyond its limits and sending you to sleep in the process, eventually indicated that the best result for the survival of any specie was by cooperation. 

I’ve wandered off on this tangent to illustrate the tribe of Scotland as part of that specie which is presently not being offered the chance to cooperate but is, in fact, being cheated. I’ll labour the point further, by pointing out that it’s the establishment who finance the research into these esoteric investigations and who use and incorporate the results for their own benefit to manufacture consent under the guise of cooperation.

So we have no plan; but that doesn’t mean we don’t form an understanding of theirs, analyse their intentions and adopt the tactics to thwart them. (Another Game Theory –Tit for Tat) 

We know their plan; it is to remain in control whatever the cost. This is especially relevant in the western world of today when the purpose of democracy is used as a euphemism for the controlled meeting the costs and by so doing making them more impoverished, confused and dependent in the process.

OK! Enough of the dismal stuff, lets get down to the abysmally dismal stuff; the situation Scotland has to overcome to gain its independence.

The first thing we have to recognise is shouting independence from the rooftops isn’t enough. Independence is above politics, it’s even above nationalism. It is fundamental to the survival of the specie and, in the parochial sense, the tribe called Scots.

In 2007 the election of the SNP to government, even as a minority, shook Westminster to its establishment core. This was exactly what the electoral system was designed to prevent and the purpose behind the devolution charade. What did it matter as long as the Westminster parties were in control of the “wee pretendy parliament” their wee pretendy politicians would bow the knee to the dictates of Westminster.

Since taking power the SNP have acted responsibly and, in general, administered well; within the restrictions that responsibility has forced on them. Despite this they haven’t gathered the support their efforts should have earned. Why is that?

Well, in my humble opinion, it is because they haven’t used the time - or if they have they haven’t made it public – to fill in a constructive analysis of what independence will actually mean.

Such as, what form will democracy take in an independent Scotland? What will the sovereignty of the people mean and how fundamental will its incorporation be in its parliamentary procedures? Will we have a written constitution? How will parliament be held accountable to the people? Why do we need to be in the EU? Why royalty as opposed to republic?

These are questions specifically within the brief of politics, especially the people’s sovereignty and constitution, which should have been drafted by now and made public.

Now, we’ll accept as a given this would be mocked and derided by the establishment and its lackeys, but under their guffaw’s and smug superiority, their parliamentary arses would be girded in winding cloots. It’s a risk that has to be taken, to underline the fact we have the confidence, intelligence and ability as a Nation to throw off the snares of dependency and the sneers of subsidiarity.  The lack of this has a negative effect; supporters of independence can’t refer or draw attention to something which doesn’t exist, which means independence remains an abstract notion devoid of substance. A politicians promise; and we all know the high regard they are held in, means nothing whether it’s uttered from SNP or Unionist lips.

Carry on in this way and the SNP will win the skirmish, declare a draw in the battle and lose the war.

What other hurdles have to be overcome. An evolutionary fear of the unknown ( as above) and an inherited 300 year old tradition based on manufactured dependency.

Let’s start with the underclass: Welfare recipients, scroungers, the disenfranchised and disillusioned. The de-motivated, the very young, the old on state pensions, the infirm – lets shorten the list of shame by stating those whose life is restricted to the realm of existence – why would they be interested in the notion of independence?
What is their main worry? Quite simply that their capacity to survive be further tested by their benefits being cut. Offers of a better tomorrow don’t cut through the ice of existence unless they’re assured its not going to get worse than it is now. What do we know that can be used to nudge them (and it has to have integrity) towards independence?

Now let’s move on to the amorphous mass called the middle-class; they see themselves as the bedrock of society. They pay their taxes, make sure their children go to school, act responsibly and pragmatically on the treadmill of life. They have ambitions and practice them in the hierarchies of their workplace. Regard a dis-ease called stress as an indicator of how high they’ve reached and how hard they work; and commit themselves to 30 year debts and a lifestyle that’s matched to what can be serviced from earnings.

Now this group is so large, let’s say £15k to £150k, we need to break it down a little to get to any sensible analysis.

So we’ll split them at the £40k level. Below £40 k it’s easy, their priority is not so different from the underclass – they want to keep their jobs and another £5k per year would be nice. In ambition and aspiration they are of course different. But mega-richness to them is generally limited to winning the lottery.

Again, and these must be the substantial mass, what tools have we been given that would offset the risks? They, of all the classes, probably know what the Union does and are probably not too happy about it, but they’re also very aware that the Union is and where they are in relation to it.

If we move on now to the £40k + to the £100k bracket; they’re similar to the lower bracket in as much as their income services their outgoings. But their expenditure will include paying for their children education along with collecting the furniture and styles that will advertise the rung they’re on in society. They pay lip service to morality in society but have generally nodded to a few dogs on their struggle to reach the top. What clever ploy can we employ to convince them their cleverness will allow them to exploit and profit from independence?

The £100k+ and above are the gatekeepers of our final class The Alpha’s. They’re not rich enough to destroy or even distort communities but they’re well into the comfort zone provided they remain fit enough to keep the Alpha’s gates clear of rif-raff and maintain the ability to keep the graph of cash flow rising.

How do we target them? Do we even want to target them? Do we need to target them? Can a balance sheet be produced that would see the Saltire flying over their crow stepped gables?  Is it sensible to even try?

Having reached this stage of the quandary and having given a very generalised analysis of the hurdles that have to be leaped I would like to refer back to the article from which the title Scottish Stalemate was plagiarised; wherein the author, a professional commentator – as was the person the article was aimed at – claimed that both were “iconoclastic individuals” within the arena of tribal politics.  Without getting into semantics I’m very doubtful of there being any cherished beliefs left in the world of politics that can reach the status of being worthwhile let alone cherished.

Cherished beliefs to me run along the line of freedom within the paradigm accepted as the common good. Professionalism to be earned by committed excellence, or at least capability, rather than elitism. For the odds of birth to be mitigated by genuine opportunities in life. For governance to be open and accountable and sackable when it’s not. (Particularly pertinent today with the Wikileaks exposures). 

Ah well! All power corrupts, says the sceptic. Only if you have less than absolute and are found out says the cynic. Bullshit, it’s only what it costs you that matters, says the oligarch; meanwhile the politicians scramble for the appropriate mask.

Add to the wish list as you will, it has no claim to being comprehensive. But for me, the only cherished beliefs in politics today are held by those who practice it. And that is too small a minority for too selfish motives to claim the comprehensiveness of being cherished.

One final comment on Part 2:

All of the questions posed should have been flagged by the politicians; especially by the SNP. Why are they leaving their supporters to beat a skinless drum?

In Part 3. We’ll title it The Swell of the Peoples Sovereignty. Part 3 will be published tomorrow morning.

In it I’ll do what I’ve advocated others should do, and expose my ideas, and the reasoning behind them, on how we can all help to achieve a worthwhile independence.


Clarinda said...

"a worthwhile independence" - that's the crux of the matter to galvanise and propel the momentum of change - once we know its constituent parts.

Whether these parts will have an innate and self-fulfilling impetus without requiring and exposing a plan remain debatable.

The grudging gift of our Bonnie Wee Tartan Shawl of devolution has, to a certain manipulated effect, kept many of us quiescent. To find the energy and ambition to cast it aside in order to find our own independent form of warmth, comfort and identity may involve a good hard, drafty look at ourselves to select a more wearable wardrobe. Hopefully you will tell us tomorrow what's on offer on the Independence Store hangers.

Indifference is possibly the greatest enemy of change despite its facts and innovation being positive. Moving from a position of disinterested inertia or ingrained tolerance may produce a flutter into action through Chaos Theory but even that appears to require an underlying planned order. I appreciate your point about "no plan" preventing us from being 'kettled' by the forces of unionism and the covert establishment. Perhaps it is as individuals we need to be galvanised while resisting the urge to point out, too harshly, our current quartile political and social shortcomings as self-inflicted faults. The purpose and plan must gather allies not alienate. Tiger country!

Great stuff - the quality, and quantity, of debate and challenge on the political blogs and other independent political news sites recently is invigorating.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Ah Clarinda. True enough the opposite of love is not hate but indifference.

As to what's on the hangers?

Just one man's opinion; what would you like to see in stock?

Jo G said...

I think initially the SNP absolutely had to demonstrate to Scotland that they could govern. The first term had to be about that rather than independence alone. It was about proving themselves in government. Many had previously denied they could do it.

So for me now they have certainly matured even while I also believe they missed out on massive opportunities to truly stand out from the others.

I don't normally get into political discussion while travelling on the bus however on one occasion recently I felt compelled to do just that. Two elderly ladies sitting behind me were saying, "That wee man Salmond, I mean, whits he done really?" I turned around and gave them three immediate answers. "Lower prescription charges. Council Tax freezes and two A&E departments in the West of Scotland that Labour wanted to close." The sheer lack of knowledge about these things shocked me. The indifferent out there are in the main Labour supporters it has to be said. It is astonishing that the very Party they will invariably vote for is the one who will least want to listen to their priorities. When Labour lost out here in 2007 prescription charges were about to hit £8. Call it indifference, call it apathy or whatever. The bottom line is that the SNP must get these policies out there and challenge the other Parties on their own policies in the same areas.

It is where Labour can be easily cornered because since May 2007 the Labour agenda has been to wreck rather than produce policy. Gray is already claiming he will restore the Garl project: pay a living wage and so on. He is rather quiet on the fact that he wants the freeze on Council Tax abolished and is not keen on lower prescription charges.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Jo G, without a doubt the SNP had to prove themselves.

But that doesn't prevent an outline of their intentions towards independence being aired and offered to the public.

Their silence during the financial crash of 2008 irrespective of whether they could actually influence matters, gave the impression of Ostrich and sand.

Why they do this, I don't know but I can see no reason for the SNP being 'loyal' to Westminster.

justme said...

I have never seen the LOGICAL connection between a successful SNP government and independence. Surely we simply want to know if we have enough people with sufficient ability to run a country, and can there be any doubt of that?

Likewise independence is about more than - will I be better off financially.

I realise, however, that both of the above are of great importance to most voters.

Perhaps, therefore, it should be a part of the amorphous plan to break these connections with the desirability or otherwise of independence and substitute your ideas about sovereignty, common good, fairness, dignity etc (with which I fully concur).

That said, I have greatly enjoyed your articles and (to extend Clarinda's metaphor) look forward to your sashay down the catwalk to independence tomorrow.

subrosa said...

I don't think the connection is logical justme. Not for me anyway.

My view is that the SNP did want to prove the party had politicians of quality as they thought (quite rightly) that others viewed them as being slightly eccentric, saltire waving daydreamers. They have proved they can govern as well as, if not better, than any other party.

The financial aspect is a difficult one because it depends upon the arrangement made with Westminster. Any figures the SNP give would be pure guesses and I can't blame them for not wanting to go down that road.

As for the rest of your comment, I'll let CRAP deal with it. :)

Apogee said...

Once again an interesting article.
You raise the question of what Independence is required by the population. People being people, they want to be told what is on offer by the would be leaders that are making the running. Lets start with a list of what we citizens dont want.
We dont want continual intrusion into our private lives by officialdom of any kind, to be passed around by various authorities at their whim and with no safeguards on it leaking, the less the better.And we want full access to our own records at any time,the less held ,the easier it will be.
We dont want dishonest politicians always on the fiddle and continually hitting us with stealth taxes.
We dont want a system where political salary is set by politicians and where a town councillor can make more than the Prime Minister.
That will do for starters, no doubt others will think up some more.
Once we know what we dont want, we may be closer to deciding what we do want.
Oh, and we dont want the EU either,its far too bloody expensive and confining,or to put it another way, Its an expensive way to be a slave, and most of us dont want to be slaves any way.

Apogee said...

It occured to me that this was written with similar thoughts of independence, and when one reads it today it has considerable relevance to the present times.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...


Regard the series as a discussion document. For me, as a democrat, the will of the people must take precedence. But for that to happen they must be informed, not shaped.

If Westminster had followed these principles the independence question may not have arisen to the extent that it has today.

But it has, and, in my belief, not without good reasons. One of which is the political quagmire adopted by Westminster to suit pressure groups who have no interest in the democratic process other than to use it to achieve their own ends.

I see independence as an opportunity to re-establish these democratic principles within a new and open framework. The arithmetic and statistics of demography have proved useless against the ingrained habits of Westminster.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...


Surely the logic, in fact the essence of the SNP is independence?

Just as the essence of Labour is still believed to be socialism and social justice despite their record to the contrary. An illusion that Scotland struggles with today.

Regarding the financial aspect of 2008 - it's not my argument that figures should have been produced under the banner of the SNP as a government but there was no reason why the strategy adopted by Westminster shouldn't be questioned.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...


The devil's always in the detail.

What we don't want is more of what we have and the development of the trends that are taking shape.

Words, whether on parchment in the form of declarations or constitutions mean nothing if the principles they define are mutated to suit the whims of fashion.

Clarinda said...

Apogee has exposed the basic 'undecided, I'll stick with what I know' problem of it being easier in the first place to know what we don't want - a little like being able to recognise quality but not necessarily being able to descibe it before experiencing it! Change itself or even the merest effort towards altering previous loyalty or conviction takes a certain degree of moral courage and re-investment of time and energy.

I was thinking if there are parallels with how we hope that we've enabled our children to become independent - which I hope has more to do with encouaging them in their education and learning than cloning them in line with too many of our personal parental mores! This fundamental nurture appears to have enabled them to have a range of choices in their further education and career goals - so far, so good!

So that Independence Store ought to start by having a staff of buyers and personal shoppers (MSPs et al) who've done their market research on the full range of potential customers so that the goods on sale will fit and suit the client (who's paying for it after all) - step forward the satisfied customer who has a new pride in their appearance and self-confidence and full recourse to take back what doesn't fit and get a refund. Enough of that simile already! Part 3 here I come.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...


Adventure is not a trait ingrained in us all. So,yes, the mode's of yesterday are difficult to shake off.

The markets know and exploit it to suit their own ends, generally by the enticement of new fashions.

The governors know and exploit it to maintain the myth of control by deception.

This is the equivalence of buying a pirated Gucci in a Gucci outlet.

But I'm showing my ignorance -is that how you spell Gucci?

Hope you find part 3 worthy of your interest.

subrosa said...

Yes it is RA, of course it is.

The question that I'm asked most is 'How will we survive financially?' I know there have been some excellent papers written about this over the years, but we can't really analyse them until we know the 'deal' from Westminster.

That's perhaps what we should be pushing now - Westminster into a corner as to what it would offer. Let's say we call for 80% of the oil revenue for a start.

Then again, my preference is that we take independence, not ask for it.

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