Gordon Bennett (Brown)

Brown EmpireWhenever Gordon Brown rears his not-available-for-interview head for 10 minutes before going off to earn ludicrous amounts of money again, I’m always reminded of this

“We should celebrate much of our past rather than apologise for it.

“And we should talk, and rightly so, about British values that are enduring, because they stand for some of the greatest ideas in history: tolerance, liberty, civic duty, that grew in Britain and influenced the rest of the world.

“Our strong traditions of fair play, of openness, of internationalism, these are great British values.”

The thing that always bothered me about this speech is that I can’t remember Britain ever doing much apologising in the first place (link goes to a regret, not an apology). Certainly they didn’t feel as much of an apology was necessary as to pay reparations.

However, I noticed Brown was careful to say “much” of our past and fair play to him at least for that, but I don’t think a couple of wreaths and a few speeches can really paper over the mass graves.

Would an empire with much to be proud of have taken such care as to do all this?…

The full extent of the destruction of Britain’s colonial government records during the retreat from empire was disclosed on Thursday with the declassification of a small part of the Foreign Office’s vast secret archive.

Fifty-year-old documents that have finally been transferred to the National Archive show that bonfires were built behind diplomatic missions across the globe as the purge – codenamed Operation Legacy – accompanied the handover of each colony.

The declassified documents include copies of an instruction issued in 1961 by Iain Macleod, colonial secretary, that post-independence governments should not be handed any material that “might embarrass Her Majesty’s [the] government”, that could “embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers”, that might betray intelligence sources, or that might “be used unethically by ministers in the successor government”.

In Northern Rhodesia, colonial officials were issued with further orders to destroy “all papers which are likely to be interpreted, either reasonably or by malice, as indicating racial prejudice or religious bias on the part of Her Majesty’s government”.

I cannot recommend strongly enough that you read the whole of that article.

I suppose at this point I have to say that yes, the Scots were complicit in a lot of this. It is true, and I see nothing but cause for shame in that, and in fact it is one of the reasons I want out of the UK. I don’t want Scotland to be part of anything similar in the future (or the present).

I won’t say anything more on the Brown pension speech as plenty of other articles have taken it apart well enough. I just wanted to show that, for good or bad according to your own opinion, Gordon Brown’s British Nationalism™ goes very far indeed.

In case you were wondering how far, here’s a map of all those countries NOT invaded by the UK. They’re the ones in white.

 

BcMCsvJIIAIOzza.png large

 

 

The Scottish Independence Podcast 68 – Yes Motherwell

BfEfjbvCAAEu4lNThe 68th episode of The Scottish Independence Podcast comes from a recent yes event in Motherwell with thank to Independence Live, who are making a great job of filming these events).

Scotland is full of Independence events at the moment, and the Yes campaign is reaching many many communities around Scotland.

Obviously however, it is not possible for everyone to go to every meeting, and it is not possible for some to go to any meetings, so I think it is important to spread the ones that are recorded around as much as possible.

In that spirit, mixed in with the interviews in the normal podcasts and For A’ That series, I hope to be bringing you more podcasts of events around Scotland too.

At this particular event, the speakers were firstly Robin McAlpine, in fine angry form. He was followed by Cat Boyd and finally Jim Sillars had the chance to explain his ideas without George Galloway repeating the same sentence at him ad infinitum.

Hope you enjoy…

This is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at its web page

Or you can subscribe with itunes 

We are also now to be found on youtube

P.S. If you’d like to help this and the other podcasts keep going, please go here.

“Save The Icebergs” – Titanic Captain

btpensionsIt’s more than  a little strange that the Better Together campaign are choosing to run with pensions on their billboards.

Don’t take my word for it, let’s look at some Unionist newspapers…

Firstly, The Daily Mail (I know, I’m sorry)…

UK state pensions are the LOWEST in Europe – and even Slovenia and Slovakia give their old people more

  • Pensioners in the UK are entitled to a maximum of £110.15 per-week
  • Report says that is almost £70 below what is a ‘living state pension’
  • Nations such as Slovenia, Hungary and Slovakia offer more generous deals
  • Salary replaced by UK pension is 32.6%, compared to 67.9% in Slovakia

This is something the Mail tends to go on about often. But after all, it’s only the Daily Mail right? What about other people?

Economonitor is less gloomy but shows that the UK is planning to increase pensions at a rate that is well below the world average…

pension-blog-post-fig2_1feb2012

Another site points out…

It’s official: the British state pension at a maximum £110.15 a week is the most miserable in Europe. Compared to average income, even Hungary and Slovenia better the pension benefits 12.3m British pensioners receive, according to a new OECD report.

But wait a minute, this is just those horrible Tories and their austerity, right? Labour will come in and sort it all out?

Wrong!

In 2008, after 11 years of Labour Government, which was enough time to do something about it, the website This Is Money published this…

PensionMM_470x355

This does seem like very strange ground for them to be fighting on, doesn’t it?

 

The Scottish Independence Podcast 67 – Margo MacDonald

23887163A few months ago, after I’d interviewed a couple of MSPs (John Finnie and Jean Urquhart), I asked them and their assistants if they would be able to put me in touch with Margo MacDonald or her assistant, and then maybe we could set something up.

I got the contact for her assistant and it seemed she was willing to come on and give the show a try, but  I should  ask again a bit later on when she had more time.

Unfortunately, we never got round to it before she passed away.

However, what I’ve done here is to put together some audio of her speeches and various appearances throughout her career.

They go from the fun, funny and flippant to the extremely serious end of the spectrum. Some of them are TV or radio interviews, some of them are her interventions in the Scottish Parliament and there are some other interesting snippets in there too.

Regular listeners will know that the guest on the show chooses the tune. That not being possible, I did some digging around and it seems she liked country music, so I put some of that in too.

Margo-Macdonald2_2872599cHope you enjoy…

This is the direct download link (right click and save as)

You can listen to the show online at its web page

Or you can subscribe with itunes 

We are also now to be found on youtube

P.S. If you’d like to help this and the other podcasts keep going, please go here.