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Crumbs

All these cries all these yells…

It’s been a very long time since I’ve said anything outside of Twatter. It’s a problem I have. Everything moves at such a rate that I can’t respond in real time, so I end up not responding at all, apart from in Twatter that is.

I’m going to come across all ‘me & I’, fuck shoot me now.

But where else can I come from.

There was a Tweet about ..oh giz a min, I might be able to just put it here.

 

 

fitba

Sorry that took a good 15 minutes to sort out. But do you see what that account is saying?

I don’t follow fitba or sport at all, but I do wonder where the sport is and why oh why is there a constant yell from folk about not being able to see the fitba.

There are other sports, curling and shinty to name just two. Where I grew up you could say Gaelic and Hurling. But both those were normal, they were on the telly box. Why? Well because thankfully I grew up in an independent country.

See the problem here? It’s the same as shutting down the language, it’s part of shutting down the culture of a country.

This is a very short shout out, but I’m starting to see Scottish sport and in a way other culture as ‘hedge schools’. No not as drastic, but also as drastic. Not as drastic cause folk aren’t being killed, but as drastic because culture, be it language or sport are in the cross hairs of English exceptionalism.

I have spent my adult life trying to ‘excuse’ English exceptionalism. I have great friends who are English who do not abide by this weirdness. But I think, now, if trying to walk the ‘but’ line, I just need to say it out loud.

England is still coming after you. It’s still trying to control you. Your languages, your sports. Everything about you.

Don’t let them. Stop banging on about not being able to see the fitba. Boycot the feckers.

 

 

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A Message From Abroad

I’m extremely lucky to have friends all over the world. Many of whom I’ve met in what we call ‘real life’.

Others sadly are not in a position to meet up and hang out.

This is because they don’t live in what is termed, the ‘civilised’ West.

Thanks to the internet, social media and a shed load of tools, we can now meet people from countries and cultures, that have been until very recently an exotic mystery to us. And I’m sure us to them.

It turns out we’re really very much the same. No matter what our respective governments and (most) main stream media would like us to think.

What is different is the systems we live under. Do we call them governments or regimes? It depends on the country we’re talking about and who is doing the talking.

Here in the increasingly authoritarian UK we tend to hear talk of democracy and the ‘Mother of Parliaments’.

How very ironic. The ‘Mother of Parliaments’ has managed to get into such a state that we are now trying to reverse a two child cap on tax credits and the hideous ‘rape clause’. A clause we are told is there to ‘protect’ mothers who conceive by rape. The ‘Mother of all Parliaments’ is indeed out-doing any wicked step mother that fiction has ever conjured up.

I told one of my friends, Milad, in one of those mysterious exotic countries about this latest ‘progress’. He lives in a country our UK Government would not refer to as a free and fair democracy (mind you, nor would he), Iran.

His response floored me “What the fuck? Gearing up to be another Afghanistan?”

I suggested that on May 4th (the local council elections in Scotland), I should stand outside the polling station (at a respectable distance), with a printed version of the form women will need to fill out for a third or subsequent child in order to clam tax credits for said child.

His response came through the web as a warning to us all.

“I like the way ya can print stuff and distribute them and not get arrested. Take care and nurture that democracy.”

 

 

Britain is not the UK

I am so sick sore and very bloody tired of this confusion.

This will be a very very short post.

BRITAIN IS NOT THE UK.

Britain is a land mass.

The UK is a union (hahaha) of member states. Namely Scotland and England.

Wales (god help them is an add on) are they even on the map? You might want to check they’re still there, seems like British Labour In Wales have been let loose with the crayons again..

wales

And Northern Ireland doesn’t even get a look in at the Olympics. Team GB tosses them out in the cold.

So, can we do our very very best to unpick the annoying Britain = UK (+ a whispered NI)

One of the most confused articles I saw on this recently was to do with the railroads, now there’s irony for ye. Look at this article. Oh hell, I only just noticed it’s from @OwenJones84 I assume it’s that Owen Jones.

It may seem trite it may seem over egged. But language is very very important. Without having a sodding framework we can’t communicate. So every time you see Great Britain / Britain / UK mixed up. Ask yersel, what the hell are they meaning?

 

 

A Peculiar Train of Thought

This has been bothering me since yesterday. For the life of me I can’t get my head round the thinking behind it.

There was a piece in BuzzFeed news about the upcoming election of the new rector at Glasgow University. A petition has garnered nearly 2000 signatures demanding that two people be removed from the list of candidates.

All fine and good. People express opinions and demand action via petitions all the time.

What I can’t understand is the stance the University of Glasgow’s feminist society has decided to take. Which is, they will NOT VOTE unless the list is altered and the two candidates are removed.

I know it’s a well worn and maybe at this point almost threadbare point to make, but do we still remember all those who went before us, who fought long and hard struggles to gain the right to vote?

In what alternative world do feminists not use their vote to amplify their voices, to push back against that with which they do not agree?

They have stated that they will boycott the election.

I’m seeing some confused thinking here. Boycotting and voting are two quite different actions.

Where we don’t have the luxury of a vote we can sometimes turn to boycotting. Don’t like a companies behaviour? Boycott them. Don’t like a particular candidate? Vote for someone else who does stand for what you believe in.

What happens if by not voting they inadvertently allow in one of the candidates they want removed. What if it happens by a tiny number, like 1, when their votes could stop it?

I wonder what the women of the world who are still fighting for the right to vote would make of this.

To boycot your own vote is to me, nothing more than silencing your own voice.

One thing usually leads to another

Especially if you ask a question on Twitter.

It’s Sunday, my day of reading. It always starts out with a quick check in on Twitter followed by the Sunday Herald. We have a bit of a tradition in our house where I read some of the articles to the other half while he makes breakfast and if he can bare it, after we’ve had breakfast too. We both still miss the great Ian Bell very very much.

In today’s Sunday Herald  was an article “Robin Hood” land reform revolution. Land reform campaigners highlighting a long forgotten 1919 Land Settlement (Scotland) Act as a possible way of giving the state powers to purchase land against the owners will and rent it to ordinary folk.

An interesting read with (to me) an admirable purpose. And that was that, I put the paper down and popped back to Twitter just in time to spot @PeatWorrier raising questions about the legislation and, as I tend to, I asked him a question in response. Andrew has a wonderful habit of not answering a straight question, but tends to respond with something additional. He could have said “yes” or “no” instead I got:

“We can’t evade the thorny A1P1 property rights issues.”

What did we do before Google?

A quick search led me to The Council of Europe handbook on The Right To Property: A guide to the implementation of Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Dry reading you might think, maybe I’m odd, but I found it fascinating.

Then I wondered, where are we at with the Tory plan of scrapping the human rights act, it all seems to have gotten very quiet around this subject.

The most recent article I could find is from February 25th this year, so it’s not gone away.

“Scrapping the Human Rights Act will help protect human rights, the Attorney General has argued.”

And back to Google I went. What I found was a series of handbooks covering 14 areas.

“Written by experts in the field, each handbook deals with one aspect of the European Convention on Human Rights or its protocols. The handbooks are intended as a very practical guide to how particular articles of the European Convention on Human Rights have been applied and interpreted by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. They were written with legal practitioners, and particularly judges, in mind, but are accessible also to other interested readers.”

If you are interested in reading them they are over here

I think that will be the only question I ask on Twitter for today.

 

It’s not easy being Green.

How to not get that list vote you want folk to lend you.

I should preface this, my first post by saying, I quite like the Scottish Greens, I think they get a raw deal when it comes to getting their voice heard (witness the latest attempt by the BBC to shut them out).  I’m quite fond of Patrick Harvey, he sponsored me so we could screen Gas Land II at the Scottish Parliament a couple of years ago.

But listen, if you’re after votes in an upcoming election, it might be an idea to take the time to explain a section of your ‘We Will’ promises to people when they ask you a serious question about them.

Yesterday an email arrived from the Scottish Greens telling me what they’ll do if enough people vote for them. This caught my eye.

Greens fracking ban

That’s it, that’s all it had to say on that topic. Later I fell over a Tweet linking to their Vision on the Scottish Greens website  A little bit more said there but not much more.

As far as I’m aware the Scottish Government is using its planning powers to keep a moratorium on fracking and UGE in place. As far as I’m aware fracking / UGE is not devolved. Scientific evidence from other parts of the world does show that these are dangerous destructive practices, however I don’t think we can use scientific evidence from say, America or Australia to put a case against fracking / UGE in Scotland. It’d be shredded by lawyers working for the fracking companies.

I know I’m not alone in wanting an all out ban. But from what the Greens have sent me and from what I’ve found, I still don’t know how they plan to implement an outright ban.

So I popped over to Patrick Harvey on Twitter and asked him. Here’s how that went.

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 1

So far, no detail.

Next:

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 2

Asking for detail would appear to be silly, but I’m still none the wiser.

Next:

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 3

A helpful tweet from a passing Twitterer. That would have been the way to go imho. A link to an article or an essay or a blog post or I dunno, maybe a not top secret policy document. But alas no.

Next:

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 5

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 6

Now two of us would like those pesky fact things. I’m sure there’re more of you out there that would like some pesky facts.

Next:

Conversation with Patrick Harvey part 7

This has to be my favourite response though. In answer I have to say, no, the Green policy is still entirely unclear to me.

I’m not convinced that giving me the detail I asked for, which as you can see was spectacularly avoided for some unknown reason, wouldn’t have convinced me of the merits of the policy.

I’m left with more questions than when I started last night. Is there a detailed policy on how the Greens will achieve a total ban or is it just some sort of bungled criticism of the Scottish Government’s position?

If anyone out there has the detail I’d really appreciate seeing it. Who knows, I might agree with it given the fact that I want to see a total ban in place.

Patrick’s strategy for gaining those list votes has left me somewhat cold. I must thank him though for the push I needed to start a blog (and for not blocking me).