No Regrets

For the umpteenth time, Bella Caledonia has issued an olive branch to No voters, inviting them to explain themselves:

As we stagger about the burnt-out shell that is post-indyref Scotland, we are trying to make sense of it all. So next week we are offering a space for No voters to have their say.

Understanding what the hell just happened before we all disappear for Christmas Pudding and box-set bliss is important – so we’ll be giving over space to allow No voters to express themselves now we are three months on.

If you voted No – what do you think and feel now?

You might want to apologise. You might feel vindicated. You might have realised you were being lied to all the time. Does the oil price prove we would have been an economic basketcase? Or does the pensions revelations prove that propaganda won? Did the Vow wow you?

Whether you changed your mind or feel it was the right thing to do, we want to hear from you.

Best of luck to Bella, it’s very magnanimous of them. But I’ve spent enough time being accommodating to No voters.

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Ronnie Cowan for Inverclyde!

Ronnie on the Boat

Ronnie Cowan taking a moment to reflect on the Millport-Largs ferry after a long day campaigning.

(The following is a party political broadcast not paid for by the SNP)

In the coming months, I’m going to be looking at all the candidates for the 2015 General Election and pointing out more or less why I think any vote for someone other than a pro-independence party is not only a waste of time, but actively damaging to the needs and desires of the people of Scotland. First on the list, of course, will be my local MP, Iain McKenzie. As with my post on Braden Davy, this isn’t about personal attacks or smears on their personalities – simply a collection of their votes, comments and actions which, in my mind, prove their ineligibility as representatives of the people of Scotland. Mr McKenzie could be the nicest person in the world – I know he’s been nothing but cordial with me in my interactions with him – but it’s the job that matters.

At the same time, it would be pretty damning to vote for a candidate based on who they’re not. What kind of confidence does it inspire if the only reason to vote for someone is “well, they aren’t New Labour, so that’s something?” None. So Inverclyde needs someone they can rely on to fight their case in Westminster, who isn’t going to abstain on votes that directly affect them, and who will not be part of the Establishment. Fortunately for the 80,000 of Inverclyde, we have that individual: his name is Ronnie Cowan.

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This Theatre of Dreams

Wings Over Scotland’s been getting a bit of flak on Twitter for his somewhat relentless exhibition of, well, basic facts in the case of prospective Gordon MP Braden Davy. A lot of people think it’s unfair to juxtapose the silly escapades someone got up to in their teen years with their more mature present. Normally I would agree, if this wasn’t a discussion about someone who seeks to wield enormous power over the lives and livelihoods of the people of Gordon, and by extension, Scotland and even the UK.

I feel compelled to (figuratively, gently and compassionately) slap some bloody sense into these people.

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No Such Thing As Scotland

I came across this piece by Gerry Hassan. The fact that unionists like Douglas Alexander, Claire Lally and Chris Deerin have been promoting it should give you a suggestion as to why I’m going to discuss some of the points in it.

Nearly three months since the momentous indyref Scotland is still gripped by a sense of movement, possibilities and new openings – up to and beyond the 2015 and 2016 elections.

Yet at the same time in parts of the independence movement there are unrealistic expectations of political change, of belief that the union is finished, and that Scotland can embark on its destiny in the next couple of years.

Well let’s be fair, Gerry: if people didn’t have “unrealistic expectations of political change,” how would anything be changed at all? Yet I agree: people need to be realistic, depending on your definition of “realistic.” In fact, it might even be fortuitous to be cynical about everything, if only to make you work all the harder. All the same…

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Yesmas Ceilidh

I’m still extremely proud of Yes Inverclyde’s achievement during the referendum: if our almost 20 point increase from predicted result (20%) to actual result (49.9%) was replicated in every Scottish constituency, we would’ve walked it. But while the referendum is over, the struggle for Scotland’s future continues.

YESmas

So, I’m going to use my wilderness to for a bit of local promotion. On the 13th of December, Yes Inverclyde is hosting a fundraiser to raise money for the next few months, up to about the General Election period.

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Where Are Your Heroes Now?

Jings, they weren't kidding when they said First Minister's Questions would never be the same after the referendum...

Jings, they weren’t kidding when they said First Minister’s Questions would never be the same after Nicola took over…

(So Gordon Brown wants to reset Scottish politics, does he? Well, let’s see how far back the default setting goes! For maximum effect, read this post in this voice)

Federalists! Devolutionists! Unionists! Loyalists – Royalists! You proud, dedicated, determined many! The Fifty-Five! The Two Million! The Silent Majority! Proud Caledonians and Proud Albionites All! You came out in force on the 18th day of the Ninth Month, bearing your Union Flags aloft – some in your hands, others in the secret spirit in your heart – to put a stop to the Tide of Nationalism. You came out in force on the 18th day of the Ninth Month, to finish the tribalism that poisons Caledonian politics by crushing the despised Nationalists. You came out in force on the 18th day of the Ninth Month, to show that you were not afraid of the Nationalists – that their lies about an independent paradise would not deceive you from the lurid nightmarish reality of Separatism.

For Caledonia needed you, friends. Did you not hear the pleas of your family, your kin, your friends in Anglia and Cymru and Ulster, begging you not to become foreigners? Did you not see our cultural heroes exalt you, celebrate you, write solemn pledges asking you to remain Albionites? Did you not behold all our mightiest leaders amass and march forth to your greatest city, so they may pay homage? Even the Kings of Albion promised to grant wishes and magic powers to those Caledonians who chose to remain subject. Yet even with every daily scripture, every sage, dozens of oligarchs, hundreds of guildmasters, and the leaders of entire nations aiding us, it was as nothing compared to the insidious might of the Great Chieftain’s cult of personality. Singers, jesters, scribes, doctors, historians, tycoons, the great and the good, the high and the mighty, all formed a Phalanx of Solidarity against the Nationalist Hordes. Yet even then, it was not enough, for they were but mortals against monsters: what could be done against the dread fury of the Cybernats?

What you needed… were heroes.

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The Problem With The Smith Commission In A Nutshell

In 2009, the Commission for Scottish Devolution (the Calman Commission) suggested the devolution of certain powers regarding the Crown Estate:

RECOMMENDATION 5.8: The Secretary of State for Scotland should, in consultation with Scottish Ministers, more actively
exercise his powers of direction under the Crown Estate Act 1961 and, having consulted Scottish Ministers, should give
consideration to whether such direction is required immediately.

RECOMMENDATION 5.9: The appointment of a Scottish Crown Estate Commissioner should be made following formal consultation with Scottish Ministers.

The Calman Commission’s proposals were watered down to practically nothing by the time it was enshrined in the Scotland Act 2012. But let’s not fret: it has emerged that the Smith Commission also suggests partial devolution of Crown Estates. Maybe this time it’ll stick! But the Calman Commission, like the Smith Commission, was just consultative. It wasn’t law, just suggestion. It has to go through the UK government before it can become law. That’s where the problems start.

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