It appears “the Vow” is just part of a funny wee joke the Labour Party™ has been telling itself for a long time…
Whenever 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.
Andrew and I were joined by two guests for the 34th episode of the For A’ That podcast.
The first topic of discussion was the errrm, debate, between Nicola Sturgeon and Anas Sarwar. We didn’t talk about it in glowing terms.
Gordon Brown making another appearance in the debate got a look in. Were his proposed constitutional changes just hot air or do they actually mean something? Also Brown himself, a confusing (surely confused?) figure at the best of times.
Should we be trying to rock the boat more and strike out with a bold vision of a new Scotland or should we be trying to allay the fears that some people have about Indy.
In a week of wildly differing polls, we asked if they matter, and if they do, why?
This is the direct download link (right click and save as)
Or you can subscribe with itunes
I see a certain Mr Brown has reared his head again to add his particular nuances to the Independence debate. This reignites his old pal’s act with Mr Darling.
I wonder what other old friends he would bring along if he could.
And if you don’t remember how this story went, then it was with allegations of duplicity.
Gordon Brown and David Miliband were last night drawn directly into the furore over the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing when it emerged that Britain told Tripoli that the prime minister and foreign secretary did not want to see him die in prison.
In a major setback for Downing Street, which has insisted the release was entirely a matter for Edinburgh, it emerged that a Foreign Office minister intervened last February to make clear to Libya that Brown and Miliband hoped Abdelbaset al-Megrahi would not “pass away” in prison.
Well that title was a nice wee word joke, wasn’t it? No? Ach well.
Anyway, in this 3rd episode of the For A’ That podcast The Peat Worrier and myself have a little more international outlook than usual as we talk about the US election a little but also relating to how people on this side of the Atlantic tend to see these affairs.
We also talk about the resurrection of Gordon Brown and Alasdair Darling. “Jam tomorrow” is also discussed, as well as why the ‘No’ campaign insist on bringing up Spain all the time.
Something of a running theme in the episode is the idea of cognitive dissonance, which is why I have written that title.
I hope you enjoy it, I think it was a rather interesting episode, no I don’t, yes I do, no I don’t. Oh damn, this dissonance thing is troubling.
Or you can go to the page and listen online.
In a shock move it was today announced that there will be another referendum in Ireland over the Lisbon treaty. Surprised ‘No’ voters expressed delight that they will get the chance to overturn the overturning of their no vote.
Leader of the ‘Yes’ campaign Shadie O’Character has decided that they were possibly being unfair when they pumped lots of money into the ‘Yes’ campaign and so warped the democratic process.
Yesterday, O’Connor spoke at length about the process…
“Yes, we admit it. We didn’t get the answer we wanted the first time so we made them vote again and paid journalists and politicians to say what we wanted them to. It is the same basic system that is used all over the world. We call it ‘coincidental democracy’ in that when they vote for we want then that is fine but when they don’t we have to do it all over again until we get the right answer.
To be honest, we were prepared if the great unwashed had voted no again to make them vote again anyway so the organisation has already been done. “
He later explained the reason for his chage of heart.
“Well, we considered that it has just been too easy for us for a while and we were getting a bit bored of it. Therefore we have decided to give each campaign an equal amount of airtime and money this time and allow journalists to say what they want. It should be more exciting that way.
Also, in the interests of fairness, we got to try again after we got a result we didn’t like so why shouldn’t they get the opportunity this time? It is only fair.”
Here was the scene in Hell yesterday…
This of course has sent the politicians of almost all the other countries of Europe, who hadn’t even bothered to give their respective electorates a chance to vote into a major strop.
Gordon Brown criticised the Irish decision to expand democracy when all the other nations in Europe are downsizing it.
“The Irish are pissing into the wind” said Brown, “and being just over the sea if it is a windy day then we get the democratic splashback. That is unacceptable in this modern age.”
“We are in a situation where many countries in Europe have systematically cancelled proposed referendums on the Lisbon treaty on the basis that the people would probably have said ‘no’. Ireland can’t be the only one to ask people what they think…it is selfish”
I decided a while ago that I would like to try putting together a few podcasts just to see how it went.
So I bought the equipment and last month I went to London to speak to one of the funniest bloggers and writers you could come across.
I met with Philip Challinor, otherwise known as ‘The Curmudgeon‘, who is a writer as well as a blogger.
As I am very much learning this podcasting thing on the job I wasn’t able to add an introduction before the conversation starts on the mp3 file but in failing to do it this time I have learned how to do it for the next one.
This podcast was very much a conversation in the pub [with added rat]. There are a couple of conversations put together as we were variously interrupted by having to go to the bar or the rain.
Some of the subsequent ones might be conversations and some might be more formal. I am going to try to make them all different.
In this one we discuss the Scotland/England thing, Douglas Adams, Gordon Brown, Science-Fiction and a few other things too.
If you go to THIS LINK HERE then you can listen to it online or download it as an mp3. You want the VBR MP3 link where it says ‘Audio Files’.
You can also LISTEN ONLINE HERE
Hope you like it.
Finally, if you have any complaints about what we said you can write an email. But don’t send it to me.
My first reaction on seeing the gains made by the far right in Europe was to hope that the people of Africa and Asia will be kinder to us when we are banging their door for help than we have been to them.
My second reaction was to think I wouldn’t blame them if they weren’t.
The usual suspects can be blamed for all this. Low turnout is one thing but the media being generally to the right and the supposed left’s inability to inspire people because they simply water down the right’s policies are more important.
The Greens seem to have completely lost their way when they are needed most. This was another major cause for concern. I can only assume it is because voters have been buying into the other parties new green propaganda.
The fact that Scotland proved to be going in a different direction was a comfort, but not that big. The SNP [the party for independence] made huge gains in Scotland, despite being midterm. It also highlights again the differences between Scotland and England, furthering the independence cause.
The Greeks also ignored the general drift right so well done to them. Make mine an Ouzo.
Berlusconi is angry in Italy because his party didn’t do as well as expected so on balance that is a good thing.
Well done also to the Swedish pirate party who, I imagine against their own expectations, will be sending someone to the parliament.
I’ll leave you with these quotes from a certain Mr Orwell. Terminologies and times have changed but the messages still stand…
“We have got to admit that if Fascism is everywhere advancing, this is largely the fault of the Socialists themselves. Partly it is due to the mistaken communist tactic of sabotaging democracy, i.e. sawing off the branch you are sitting on; but still more to the fact that Socialists have, so to speak, presented their case wrong side foremost. They have never made it sufficiently clear that the essential aims of Socialism are justice and liberty.” (The Road to Wigan Pier, p.188).
“Hitler’s after us! Let’s all grab a spanner and get together, and perhaps if we smash in enough faces they won’t smash ours. Gang up, choose your Leader. Hitler’s black and Stalin’s white. But it might as well be the other way about, because in the little chap’s mind both Hitler and Stalin are the same. Both mean spanners and smashed faces.” (Coming Up for Air p. 149).
I don’t suspect they do want him but there you go.
Who am I talking about? Gordon Brown of course.
He is coming to make a speech today about how supporting Scottish Independence is unpatriotic to Scotland. He believes remaining part of the Union is the only way the Scots can join in bullying the rest of the world.
According to the Daily Record the phrase he is expected to use is “belonging to the Union gives Scotland more opportunity to lead in the world because Britain offers a bigger canvas on which to paint.”
He is also expected to say how remaining part of the Union would be the best way for Scotland to remain involved in the systematic robbing of the worlds poorest countries through mechanisms such as the world bank (more on this tomorrow). I think he is going to describe this as ‘the way the modern world works’ or some such thing.
He is expected to attempt to scare the public by saying that labour are the last line of defence for pensioners, patients and pupils. This is while they are creepingly privatising the NHS, teachers are calling class sizes a disgrace and pensioners in the whole of the UK™ are being denied some of the things they have been given in Scotland alone.
The other side of this kind of nonsense is an accusation that is levelled at independence supporters of being parochial or provincial so I want to take that one head-on.
If the question is do I want an independent Scotland that deals with in-house problems before getting involved ventures to ‘democratise’ or ‘rob’ countries in other parts of the world, then my answer is absolutely.
If the question is do I want an independent Scotland that remains in 100% isolation from the rest of the world then the anwser is obviously no but that is what the propaganda coming from London portrays as the option, which is obviously ludicrous.
In order to be involved in the capitalist economy that those in charge so favour, Scotland would need to have something to sell, which of course, it does and plenty of it (problems with this kind of economy are for several other articles, suffice it to say for the moment that I have written about it a lot). From the intellectual properties produced by the excellent universities to the oil in its waters, the wind that can be generated in the climate and a huge abundance of clean fresh water (a commodity that will become more and more valuable with time), Scotland is in a fantastic position.
THAT IS PRECISELY WHY LONDON WANTS SCOTLAND TO REMAIN IN THE UNION.
An independent Scotland involved in the world economy then, could use the resources to deal with problems at home and instead of international involvement being restricted to bombing people we could do an infinite amount more good by using the bomb money for humanitarian aid.
I think we would make more friends that way too.
It is a simple enough argument if you boil it down.
If the question is does Gordon Brown see himself as more important than all of the people of Scotland combined just as his predecessor saw himself as more important than all of the world combined (probably the universe) then the answer is yes.
 Well that and so they can use us as a nuclear dumping ground obviously.