Holistic Politics vs That’s what you are, what am I?

Increasingly I despair when looking at politics. The average politician these days is a simpleton bully, the kind of moron you had at school who would keep yelling the same line over and over again until everyone else was battered down: “That’s what you are; what am I?”  A twerp?  “That’s what you are; what am I?”  A stuck record?  “That’s what you are; what am I?”  Oh, forget it.  “That’s what you are; what am I?”

IDS Yesteday

IDS Yesterday

Apparently Scottish Labour have better policies on women than SNP.  Apparently SNP have the weakest strategies in place on gender equality of the major Scottish parties when it comes to policies supporting women.  Of course what does this actually mean?  How is this evaluated?  Is it not a case of comparing some statements written on a manifesto somewhere?  Could it not be that SNP got side tracked and forgot to elaborate such points clearly enough?  Could it not be that the SNP were busy with other stuff like trying to save the whole country of Scotland and turning out a 700 page plan balancing everything from currency to war to economy to nuclear weapons to renewables to healthcare to education to oil to Europe?

victorian-slums

United Kingdom in the year 2020 – Scotland voted No!

The complete idiocy of comparing policies as if they were on a giant check list is that it’s fundamentally impossible to address any significant policy individually without considering the whole ecosystem?  So Scottish Labour scoring cheap points over SNP on women’s issues is insane because when the whole United Kingdom – that Labour ensured we remain part of – goes down the toilet and begins to resemble the Victorian era again, we’ll not be very concerned about what some irrelevant party has on a bullet list.

Free Dental Clinic in Los Angeles.  Welcome to the UK's future

Free Dental Clinic in Los Angeles. Welcome to the UK’s future

When the economy has gone to the dogs, when you are up to your ears in debt, when you’re homeless and on the street with your family, when you’re without human and worker rights, when education quality is dropping, when you need to go to a charity for healthcare, when you’re queuing at a charity backed food bank, when fracking pollutes the water and makes you sick, when radiation leaks from rusty submarines and cost optimized private nuclear power stations, when you exchange your right to vote for food and shelter, when you’ve lost every last scrap of human decency – then some bloody Labour policy on women’s rights is not going to make much of a damn difference.

I do not stop at the politicians.  The academics and journalists that evaluate and report on policies are also severely lacking in ability.  That supposedly intelligent people cannot think in a holistic way is frightening.  But then again is it surprising?  Weighing up countless factors and drawing conclusions on how they all influence each other is hard work and, in a world with little patience for more than a quick sound bite, is liable to leave you sounding wishy-washy and uncertain.  Ultimately it’s much easier to just shout: “That’s what you are; what am I?”  Over and over again.

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My wife and child are disabled, I care for them. Tories have made our lives a living hell. No government should do this to citizens.

Originally posted on Thomas Hemingford:

I have no idea why my wife and I ever bothered paying into the system. Which, in turn, means we wonder why we ever bothered working.

People buy into all the TV productions, media headlines and political nonsense about benefits. But the likes of “Benefits Street” or Benefits Britain are not factually typical or realistic. They are far from representative, and always one-sided.

There is a great myth that has been spun by the government and media; the myth is that welfare benefits were too generous, too high and needed to be cut.

However, the reality is very different from this image that has skewed people’s perceptions of welfare. The truth is that welfare benefits were never too high. Far from it, they were in fact inadequate.

The truth is that pay levels have been and still are grossly insufficient. Combined with high prices and a high cost of living…

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Parpcaster – From Broke to $1Billion IPO in 6 months

From its humble beginnings in a student dorm room just six months ago, Parpcaster.com has come a long way.  The new darling of the financial markets, this upstart British based technology company is set to sweep the world stage, treading in the footsteps of the likes of Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram.

parpcaster-full

The premise: make use of the universal language of sound for a truly global communication medium.  Parpcaster’s founder and CEO David H. Tanenboom was becoming frustrated by the limitations of Twitter’s 140 character basis.  This was compounded when trying to connect with people unable to speak a common language.  That’s when it became clear to Tanenboom that a less restrictive and more natural means of communicating via social media was required.

“Snapchat was just stupid and Twitter was becoming passée.  Young people were finding it increasingly difficult to get their thoughts out of their heads in 140 characters,” says the spirited 22 year old. “Let’s face it words are complicated and can have different meanings for different people.  One night I accidentally Skyped a man in Burma … I don’t know what he was saying but from his rather desperate screams I could still empathize with him.  From here the idea was born and I began programming, pulling all-nighters and maxing out my credit cards until version 0.1 of Parpcaster was up and running.”

Parpcaster definitely comes from the same primordial gunk as Twitter.  Users sign up for free accounts.  Users can have an avatar and basic profiles.  However instead of Tweets, users make Parps.  A parp is a short noise – typically a few seconds.  The user can record Continue reading

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Sold from under our feet

formerdundeeman:

Fracking and other Neocon vices: this is what 55% of Scotland voted for. And although Better Together did try to keep it quiet, we all knew this was afoot. The idiotic head in sand attitude of much of the 55% believes in Why can’t things just stay the way they are? They don’t see that a vote for NO was a vote for a massive swing to right wing extreme policies. Enough said – read on about the joys of fracking, coming to a place under you soon.

Originally posted on Laura Cameron Eaton Lewis:

Ye’ll have had yer Democracy, then?

Oh Edinburgh. It was all looking so good for you for a while.

Your high property prices, your comfortable financial services, your beautiful scenery, your controversial masonry, and now… this.

For various reasons, the good people of this city put its trust in London to make decisions for us. They voted not to take our own decisions here in Scotland.

Oh, but would they have seen onelittle map, they might have felt a little differently about that.

Screen Shot 2014-09-26 at 18.43.39

This little map from the Crown Office with the big pen line right around the whole of the centre of Scotland, shows exactly where the UK government are currently selling off licenses to energy companies to drill under your homes to get at that pesky gas and oil trapped in the shale down below. This is not some remote desert in America, this is where 80%…

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A ONE SCOTLAND

formerdundeeman:

A common theme we’re seeing is that of exploring why the middle-classes are not supporting independence. I have my own theories pertaining to the middle class still being comfortable enough, fearing the “great unwashed” Scotttish underclass, not wanting to risk even a few weeks of uncertainty or a minor drop in current income, and a delusional belief that a NO vote was for keeping things as they were – when everything says that the Neocon Westminster is going to squeeze the middle class dry. Connecting to the middle class to making it clear that nothing will be the same and one cannot turn a blind eye to the plight of others thinking it has nothing to do with them.

Originally posted on petewishart:

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In 2011 the SNP won the most remarkable landslide victory. We won from Caithness to Cumnock. We won in every city in Scotland and we won across every social class, securing votes from all backgrounds. We won this astonishing victory on a manifesto that had a range of measures to improve our society and community at every level and we were rewarded for the good government we had demonstrated in the previous four years. We pledged to retain free education, keep free prescriptions and freeze the council tax. It was what could only be called a ‘One Scotland’ platform. We secured support and votes from all demographics and from people from all social backgrounds. 
 
On September the 18th, the Yes vote scored almost exactly the same percentage share of the vote that the SNP secured in 2011, but the composition of that vote could not be more different. The…

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Britain: How they control the classes.

formerdundeeman:

Excellent, deeply thought out piece of writing with an uneasy edginess that suggests it’s hitting rather close to the reality.

Originally posted on Scottish Pokemon - What do you believe in?:

anarchy_in_the_uk_by_alpner-d4vsada

DISCLAIMER: I’ve been struggling for the past few days trying to unravel the class structure of the British state. What follows is my draft attempt at unravelling this knot. This is not a perfect analysis, it is not academic, it is not thorough. I generalise, I stereotype and I do make assumptions. That being said, I also feel I’ve hit some nails on some heads.  While not perfect, I believe this piece provides some interesting points of view that can be of value in moving forward. I aim to refine this reasoning and afterwards I shall try to apply it to the referendum campaign and to whatever comes next for the post-indyref movement.


The British state and the media have created a hierarchic society where your position, goals and opportunities are based on you or your parents financial income. The state enforces this hierarchy through policies aimed at keeping the working-class…

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Poll Tax Arrears Threat – Pure Evil

What can you honestly say about the plans of various Scottish councils to chase 25 year old poll tax arrears based on voter registrations from the Scottish independence referendum? Think about what this means?  Why would they do this after more than two decades?  Simple, Labour want to ensure that never again do so many of the disenfranchised poor of society bother with registering to vote.  Fearing a demolition job at next year’s general election, Labour continue with the kind of nasty dirty tricks honed during the referendum.

salmond-bans-poll-tax-arrears

Miserable faced Labour MSPs informed by Salmond that he will block poll tax collection

What kind of sick and twisted mind thinks up something like this? Sure it is a final sign (as if one was necessary) that there is no difference between Conservative and Labour.  Old Labour was against the poll tax.  Twenty years later they are happy to drag one of the most controversial Conservative experiments back out of the closet for their own deviant gain.

The photograph above shows the faces of Labour MSPs after being told by Alex Salmond that he will block any attempts to collect poll tax arrears.  Anyone questioning Salmond’s ethics in front of me better duck quickly – compared to the vast majority of British politicians these days, he is an absolute saint and I challenge you to prove otherwise.

Why Salmond does not have an even higher status in Scotland is beyond me and says more about the sickness at the heart of mankind than it does about Salmond.  He offered us the chance of dispensing with healthcare privatisation, fracking, nuclear weapons, tuition fees, prescription fees, poverty, inequality, illegal wars … we’d have had 100% electricity from renewables by 2020.  We’d have a political system that wanted to involve the people in the process, that would have seen town halls packed with an active, well informed electorate.  Who would not want that for their children and grandchildren?  But no, back in our wee houses and then steeped in our private demons, fears and greed in the voting booth we chose to back a system and people that represent something that falls not far short of evil.

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