And then we will win

Spot on from Paul Kavanagh. @weegingerdug

Wee Ginger Dug

I have a long standing policy of refraining from attacking other people in the Yes movement. If we are to win Scotland’s independence, we can only do that with a broad based movement which encompasses a wide range of opinions, and a diversity of viewpoints. We need to attract those who disagree with us, and we can only do that if we contain within our ranks people whom those wavering No voter can identify with. That means that, by definition, our movement will contain voices which I individually don’t agree with. After all, if the Yes movement only contained people who agreed with me, it wouldn’t be a very broad based mass grass roots movement, it would be a fan club.

In this blog post I’m about to do something I never do – criticise certain parts of the Yes movement. I love this movement. I am committed to the…

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Too Taboo…or just too Difficult – things you maybe shouldn’t joke about

Robinince's Blog

Are there some topics you shouldn’t joke about or that you shouldn’t want to joke about? is suicide one of them?

A couple of years ago, I was talking to an ex-headteacher in a hotel bar after a gig. There were a few us around the table, as well as a stranger on a business trip who was lonely so joined in the drinking and olive eating. As I lent in to pick up my beer, the ex-headteacher grabbed my arm and said, “you comedians need to do more routines about suicide.”
In a matter of fact manner, she told me that her daughter had killed herself and she believed that it would help if talk of suicide did not seem such a taboo. As George Carlin probably said (I remember him saying it, but can find no trace of it), “stand up is a low art, but it’s a…

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The DUP: history and controversy

Politics and Insights

Former DUP leader, Peter Robinson, (left) in paramilitary uniform, 1986.

The following story, first published in the IrishTimes on 16 May, is of a massive donation to the DUP, which reads like a John le Carré novel – but voters need facts, not fiction.

What connects Brexit, the DUP, dark money and a Saudi prince? By Fintan O’Toole

If Northern Ireland were a normal democracy, the election campaign would be dominated by a single question: how did the Democratic Unionist Party end up advancing the cause of a united Ireland through its support for Brexit? More specifically: what role did dark money play in that extraordinary decision? This story has all the makings of a John le Carré thriller but democracy on this island needs facts, not fiction. 

To recap briefly: two days before the Brexit referendum last June, the Metro freesheet in London and other British cities…

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Wanted: Scapegoats

Media Diversified

by Kiri Kankhwende 

Listening to the coverage of the Tory Party Conference in the last couple of days a real blind spot is emerging: who are we going to blame for everything when the foreigners are gone post-Brexit?

Granted, not everyone will go, but this government is going to try to get rid of as many as possible. Everything is geared towards supplanting “foreign” with indigenous.

Like, doctors. Jeremy Hunt, possibly the biggest threat to the future of the NHS but with the durability of a post-apocalyptic cockroach, has pledged that by 2025 the NHS will not have to rely on foreign doctors. Plans to provide 1,500 more training places a year for new doctors aren’t a bad thing, but the British Medical Association said that this “falls far short of what is needed.”

Hunt also said that he would force doctors to repay some of the money for…

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So MP’s Don’t Like The Idea Of Deselection??

Declaration Of Opinion

I listened to Liz Kendall talk down to a Question-Time audience member last night saying how MP’s like her were voted in by their CLP’s then voted for (or not) by a wider electorate. What Kendall failed to mention is that during Blair and Brown’s tenure as Labour Leaders, the candidates the CLP’s were voting for were “approved” from “on high” by the Leaders office and not, in some cases, the preferred candidates of those same CLP’s. So is this the reason lots of these MP’s seem so ready to follow along when it comes to attacking Jeremy Corbyn? and why they are appearing to be so anti-democracy. These MP’s haven’t really had to try, they were handed their positions, I wonder how many CLP’s in the past voted for the “best of a bad approved bunch” after they “won” their chance to stand in a local election all they…

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Beautiful. Sums up how it felt for so many.


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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