new labour

They Won’t Be Repeating This

This is a must watch.

It’s a documentary documenting the history of obstructions placed in the way of the Scottish Independence movement by successive Tory and Labour governments through the years.

If you haven’t seen it, watch it now. If you have seen it, watch it again.

Not Not Mad, Just Less Mad

blair83aI’m sure you’ve all seen this lovely picture of His Bliarness before, but have you actually read the full leaflet?

I’ve put the full things on the read more continuation page but for the moment I’d just like to highlight a couple of little bits that raised the eyebrows.

In the part called “Defence Madness” you can find this…

“The Tories would rather spend £10 billion on trident missiles, than try to stop the growing nuclear arms race.”

And so Labour did what?

Also, in the section where Labour responds with their own policy, “Labour’s Sensible Answers” they lay out that they are going to have a more sane defence policy”. I like this because they don’t actually promise a sane defence policy, just more sane than the Tories, who they’ve just described as mad.

Vote for us, we’re slightly less mad!

Actually, on the subject of insanity, Einstein defined it as…

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.



Spelled Out

One of my favourite comments in all of the Independence debate so far is…

“If we get Independence I will personally drive Tony Benn up to Scotland to be leader of Scottish Labour and give them some backbone”.

In this video he explains the neoliberal project we are still suffering under quickly and in clear language.

It’s well worth a few minutes viewing…

The Scottish Independence Podcast 26 – Jack Foster

426485_444240645651227_428901402_nFor the 26th Scottish Independence Podcast I spoke with Jack Foster who is the writer and narrator of a few films I’m sure most of you have seen by now.

The first he made was Precious Few Heroes

Whether you’re for or against an independent Scotland, or maybe you’re not entirely convinced either way, this film makes the positive case for Scottish independence in a light-hearted, self-effacing fashion.

Forget the historic grudges, the ancient battles and the unjustly romanticized idols, Scottish independence isn’t about “us and them”, it isn’t about anti-Englishness, it isn’t about ownership, it isn’t even about the SNP!

That was followed up with A Parting Hymn: Lies Deceit And The Death of The Labour Party

‘A Parting Hymn’ is in some respects a tribute to the political party that was once a voice for the poor and the working classes, the embodiment of fairness and solidarity. On the other, it recognises the very real death of the Labour party, whilst unashamedly making the case for Socialism (however lonely a voice that might be in a post Thatcher/Blair era).

More recently, the Top Ten Unionist Myths Debunked video caused a fair bit of fuss.

He’s also recently put out a Let’s Vote Yes video.

We talked about the inspiration behind his films and the reaction to them and we talked about why he supports Independence.

Hope you enjoy it…

As usual, 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


Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 22 – Labouring Away

BGTw04BCQAIgNH8.jpg largeFor episode 22 of the For A’ That podcast Andrew and I were joined by New Statesman contributor James Maxwell and Huffington Post blogger and Labour Party member Andrew Smith.

The Labour party was the focus of a large part of the discussion. More specifically, the couple of interviews that Johann Lamont did this week and her speech at the conference. This became a more general discussion on some of the woes of that party in the post-devolution era.

We also discussed their new Truth Team and what that says about politics in this country. Some of us felt this had a kind of Orwellian overtone to it, others felt it represented the Americanisation of politics in Scotland and the UK and is reminiscent of American style attack ads.

Devo-somethings were also a topic. With the three Better Together parties now all backing some form of further devolution, will they be able to come up with a unified plan. Furthermore, would further devolution damage or in fact strengthen the SNP’s hand.

Back on Labour, is the idea of more devolution causing a problem between the Westminster party and the Holyrood one?

As usual, 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


Michael Greenwell

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For A’ That 20 – Immigration & Sporran Policy

1086For the 20th episode of the For A’ That podcast, Andrew and I were joined by Caron Lindsay from the Liberal Democrats and Douglas McLellan, who is possibly the most right-wing member of the Green Party.

I was also joined by six new additions which prevented me from making an answer decently at one point, but there you go.

On the menu this week were immigration policy and how things might be different in that regard. Foreign policy was also up for discussion again, and it got a bit heated.

Ruth Davidson’s recent conversion to the cause of further devolution came up – what was behind this volte-face?

If the better together parties came up with a semi-plausible/believable devolution plan, how would this affect the debate?

Does the SNP have a tendency to centralisation? This and some of their other motivations and policy pronouncements came under scrutiny.

Douglas also took the opportunity to explain why he ended up in the same party as Patrick Harvie.

Finally, Caron had an 80s party to go to, so that explains the introductory song.

As usual, 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


Michael Greenwell

For A’ That 12 – In And Out

Tory ConferenceBack to our roots this week as it was Andrew and myself having a chat.

We talked about the EU from a few different perspectives. The referendum and how it will affect things was one topic and we had a natter about some of the fundamental misunderstandings about what the EU is/does as well.

How the EU referendum might change things over at Holyrood got an airing. Could it strain the Unionist alliance?

The European Court of Human Rights has also been in the news a bit more than normal recently. Andrew has some interesting ideas as to why.

The rhetoric and the reality of what Obama had to say for himself this week was our final little topic.

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

You can listen online at the homepage.

Or you can also get us on itunes.

Still Recovering

I don’t know about all of you, but I am still recovering from the shock of last night’s bombshell…

“We have a majority SNP Government in the Scottish Parliament, but that is not a democratic place in the conventional sense; it is a dictatorship of one man sitting in Bute House.

I must be missing something here. I thought there had been elections and so forth?Arbuthnot quotes politics and lies

Maybe what I am missing is in that part about the conventional sense. Could he mean Westminster and The Mother(f*****) of all Parliaments?

What is the convention there? Well, certainly Lord Hailsham described that parliament as an “Elective Dictatorship” because a government there can basically always pass something it really wants to. Funny that down there it can be done also with only around 30-35% of the popular vote too.

That must be more democratic than a government that most people voted for in the popular vote, no?

Alternatively, it may be that I misunderstood the role of the First Minister. Right enough, he hasn’t been speaking to me since I turned the framed photo of him that we’ve all had put in our houses forcibly to face the wall, so I might be a bit behind the times.

Do I need to run out into the street and beat that photo with a shoe in a suspiciously contrived-looking western media liberation scene or something?

On the podcasts we’ve had guests from other parties that must have escaped from the brutal reign of terror in Holyrood. I’m off to try and get a hold of them again and see how they managed to escape.

Outside of Holyrood

This is a remarkable video which comes from a meeting of the Clydebank Trade Union Council but becomes something else. The Labour party MSP present (Jackie Baillie) doesn’t come out of it marvellously.

I won’t say anything about it as I think the video speaks for itself. All I would also ask you to consider apart from the stories outlined by the contributors is how much nearer to the people is this debate than First Minister’s Questions?

Democracy – Tony Style

After returning home from his recent successful mission to resolve all of the problems in the Middle-East, the BLiar’s recent entrance into the Scottish Independence debate has made many Indy supporters, me for one, feel this will be a bonus for our side.

93669099_d7d6337a8b_oWe haven’t forgotten Iraq yet you see.

However, aside from the misleading guff he said that blithely ignored the fact that he personally did not want devolution, there was a little something in there that I think the shows the arrogance of the man in particular, and of the Westminster political class in general.

It is also remarkable how no one seemed to pick up on it.

I have highlighted it below…

“Devolution is a sensible way of keeping all the strengths of the United Kingdom while allowing decisions that really should be taken close to the people are taken close to the people.”

The obvious thing to note here is that Tony obviously believes that many decisions should not be taken close to the people. I wonder if the people’s Prime Minister would provide us a list of which decisions he believes the people should have no say in, and explanations as to why?

It’s quite remarkable thing for a supposed democrat to say.

In the speech he also decided to say people should stop scapegoating immigrants for their problems in their own countries. I would agree wholeheartedly but I suspect my reasons are somewhat different from his. In his mind it probably makes more sense to make up false claims and attack people while they are still in their own countries.