Tuesday, October 15, 2013

UK government keeping it unreal

From the BBC yesterday -

"The new Scottish Secretary reckoned David Cameron should not take part in TV debates about the 2014 referendum with Alex Salmond as it would allow the SNP to present "a choice between a vision of Scottish social democracy and English Conservatism"."

You mean the SNP would rather have a debate that presents the choice faced by the electorate in its authentic form? The scoundrels! You tell 'em, Alistair - it's much more fun if we have a TV debate that pretends a No vote will somehow result in Alistair Darling replacing Cameron as UK Prime Minister, and will magically usher in a golden era of 'British social democracy' (now almost a contradiction in terms) for the first time since the 1970s.

"Alistair Carmichael said: "As prime minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron has an important part in Scotland's public life, but he's not a Scot.""

Er, yes, and that's kind of what we're deciding in this referendum, isn't it? Whether someone who does not represent a Scottish constituency, and who wouldn't get elected to government in Scotland in a million, gazillion years, should be allowed to continue playing an "important part in Scotland's public life"? Or to put it more bluntly, whether Cammo should be able to continue lording it over Scotland without a democratic mandate?

As Cammo's right (and the right of his Tory and Tory-lite successors) to rule Scotland is on the ballot paper in this referendum, shouldn't he be the one defending that system? Particularly, you know, as he once muttered something about "fighting with every fibre of his being" to keep Scotland firmly within Tory Britain? I'm beginning to have some doubts about just how many fibres were in his being in the first place...

* * *

And from Channel 4 News, a timely reminder that Cameron and his successors are not the only external menace that will retain a presence in Scotland in the event of a No vote -

"The Trident missile, which is the principle nuclear weapon that Great Britain has, has some safety issues that were revealed in a report to Congress more than twenty years ago...the warheads are not on top of the missile as they traditionally are. They surround the third stage rocket engine, and that rocket engine has a propellent, a fuel, that explodes very easily if it's dropped. So I hope in Scotland that they're very careful when they're loading and unloading the missiles."

Oh great. I live just thirty miles from Faslane. Given that each Trident missile carries several warheads, and given that each warhead is about eight times more powerful than the bomb that obliterated the city of Hiroshima and indiscriminately snuffed out the lives of tens of thousands of civilians (including countless children), I suddenly don't feel particularly safe. Let's crack on with winning over those undecided voters, if only in pursuance of that most basic of Tory principles - the right to protect our own homes from external threats.


  1. Well of course you are right. Cameron is the head of the government that is trying to hold on to Scotland's wealth. He was apparently going to fight with every fibre of his being, despite not being a Scot. Apparently every fibre of his being doesn't mean debating openly with anyone.

    I'm not sure that Carmichael has thought this through.
    I heard a speculation that there have been close shaves in Scotland with the weapons of mass destruction.

    But, unlike the American government, which seems obliged to eventually let out the truth, however reluctantly, the Uk government seems determined to keep theirs secret.

    Handily you can do that when you have no constitution.

    Very worrying, I think, regardless of where in Scotland you live, but clearly more so the closer you are to Faslane.

  2. Like James, I'm about 30 miles from Faslane, and I stay on the east side of Glasgow. If you're on the west side? Clydebank, for instance, is only about 20 miles away.

    Probably the best reason I've heard for moving to Edinburgh, or Aberdeen, or Shetland.

  3. And also the best reason for London politicians to keep Trident well away from (English) population centres. Maybe that's what they mean about the Union being the "best of both worlds" - they get to keep their beloved nuclear virility symbol, but without having to face the daily risk of them and their families being blown to kingdom come by it.

  4. Or you could admit Salmond's only tactic is to demonize Westminster because his policies are mince.
    And you are more likely to die from a wind turbine falling on you than in a nuclear accident.

  5. It's always a thrill to have a rare visit from the opposition, Davie, but it's a great pity you couldn't come up with a retort of somewhat more substance. Firstly, as far as Alex Salmond's policies being "mince" is concerned, if he didn't have a solid record of achievement in government that puts his Labour predecessors to shame, then the cheeky 2011 campaign message of "what have the SNP government ever done for us?" would have gone down like a lead balloon. Instead, it gained the SNP 22 extra seats and a near-impossible absolute majority in parliament.

    As for your claim that you're more likely to die from being hit by a wind turbine than in a nuclear accident, that is just plain garbage. A catastrophic nuclear weapons accident could in some circumstances kill millions. You're indulging in one of the more obvious logical fallacies - pretending that the fact that such a catastrophic accident hasn't occurred up to now (by the grace of God, as Schlosser's book makes clear) somehow constitutes proof that it cannot possibly happen in the future.

    A useful analogy would be the comparison between deaths in air traffic accidents and deaths in meteor/asteroid strikes. Recorded history would give you the impression that the former is much more common - but in reality that is simply because recorded history covers a quiet period for meteor strikes. A single large-scale meteor strike on a populated area, which would be expected to happen very infrequently but is inevitable sooner or later, would kill far more people than either air travel or your Great Wind Turbine Menace.

    But don't have nightmares, Davie. Put your faith in Trident, like a good little Brit Nat. Thanks for reminding us that opposition to independence and apologism for inhuman weapons go hand in hand.

  6. I am wondering if the Davie that responds might in any case be the same person as David Cameron.

    Blaming the SNP for the thing that Westminster is best at: Scaremongering