REFERENDUM NIGHT

Beautiful. Sums up how it felt for so many.

petewishart

September 18th September

It’s finally here. I joined the SNP in 1995 when we had 4 MPs and were less than 20% in the opinion polls. Now today we are asking the people of Scotland whether they want our nation to be an independent country. It has been an incredible journey and I feel quite emotional as I go and cast my vote in Craigie Church, just round the corner from where I live. I started out believing that we had absolutely no chance of winning this but have been genuinely surprised at just how close we have run them. Even today I think there might just be a chance we could pull this off. It has been all down to this incredible new constituency for Yes that has been created in the last few weeks of the campaign. The old industrial working class vote has now almost entirely embraced…

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Defending the Human Rights Act

Media Diversified

by Tanzil Chowdhury

The new Justice Secretary Liz Truss, and the third non-lawyer in a row to be appointed for the position, recently gave evidence to the House of Common’s Justice Committee pledging her government’s commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) and replace it with a ‘British Bill of Rights’ (BBoR). However, many of the claims that critics of the HRA make fundamentally misunderstand how it works and why it is essential in a democratic society, and evade any serious discussion about what a British Bill of Rights would look like.

hra_heartfield1The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) was put together in response to the European Holocaust and the Third Reich’s expansionist wars and was intended to prevent government excesses. It provided a basic set of rights for citizens, not based on their nationality, race, gender or religion, but simply by virtue of the fact that they…

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We need more ordinary people in Parliament and less career politicians

Walker's Rambles

I’ve just read today’s Guardian editorial “Byers for sale” taking former cabinet minister Stephen Byers to task for allegedly offering, on camera, to use his access and influence to lobby for private clients for up to £5,000 a day.

While condemning Byers for his greed and stupidity, interestingly, the Guardian also feels let down by the sight of a leading “centrist” being so eager to enrich himself. The paper also sees a potential conspiracy in Byers being exposed by The Sunday Times and Channel Four’s Dispatches, all the more so given that other MPs similarly identified as ready to make a fast buck included Patricia Hewitt and Geoff Hoon, ‘architects’ of the botched coup to remove Gordon Brown earlier this year.

The Guardian suggests that the last thing one should expect from “progressive centrists” is a willingness to dip their noses in the parliamentary trough like all the rest…

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The real Spanish veto threat

Wee Ginger Dug

I wasn’t going to blog today because I’ve got a bad case of manflu, which is like a regular cold only with additional histrionics, drama, and attention seeking. So very much like the Labour leadership contest then. But there’s news from Spain which I thought worth sharing, mostly because it’s deeply discomfiting to those Unionists who keep claiming that Spain would veto the membership of an independent Scotland in the EU. And when you’ve got a severe dose of manflu, the one thing that cheers you up more than anything else is making people who annoy you really miserable.

Regular readers of this blog will know that the myth that Spain would veto an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU is just that, a myth without foundation. At no point has the Spanish government ever made a statement to that effect, and on those occasions when he has been asked…

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SPINAL COLUMN: TAP SHOTS

flotation device

First, an intro to the introduction.

Rather than bang out another version of Tap’s origin story, I thought I’d just use the introduction I wrote for Karl French’s book about the band and its place in the universe.

Some pictures I know you haven’t seen. I have more lurking somewhere in this house. When I find them, you’ll be the first to know.

Castle

PREPILOGUE

(From Spinal Tap: The Official Companion)

When I am called upon to write about the mostly fictional entity called Spinal Tap, I usually do so in the mostly fictional character of David St Hubbins, long-time guitarist/clothes-horse for said group. David can knock the piece off at one sitting, email it to his manager, and be back in bed by 10am.

But the one thing David St. Hubbins can’t do for us is talk about a movie called This is Spinal Tap. None of the band can…

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Trust ‘Britain’ with our Human Rights?

Butterfly Rebellion


After World War II and the horrors of the holocaust a brief window of opportunity opened for the international community to discuss and concretise by declaration the fundamental rights and freedoms of human beings, not the rights of mere citizens but the rights afforded to all people by virtue of our common and shared humanity. Eleanor Roosevelt, who represented the United States on the drafting committee of the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, rightly foresaw that the Declaration would have the same effect on the whole world that the US Declaration of Independence had on American society. No other written document in the history of human civilisation has so profoundly shaped how we see ourselves as people with inherent and inalienable rights, freedoms, and dignity.

Sadly, it is fair to suggest, that with the normalisation of international governmentality through the Cold War and the post-Cold War…

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