Mike Vickers' Blog

December 28, 2019

The Observer View

Filed under: Brexit, Dictatorship, Ireland, Johnson, Music, NHS, Scottish Independence, Westminster — derryvickers @ 10:30 pm

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/28/observer-view-britains-future-in-uncertain-world-boris-jonson-brexit?CMP=share_btn_link

A short summary of the year ahead by the Observer.
It would be nice to follow Antony Newley’s ‘Stop the World I want to get off’

But that’s not in our gift.
We all have to do what we can to work towards a more democratic and tolerant world.

 

December 25, 2019

The Trail of Charles 1

Filed under: Brexit, Dictatorship, History in the making, Johnson, Law, Westminster — derryvickers @ 8:27 pm

Charles I: Killing a King

A three-part series on BBC 4 on the Trial of Charles 1.

The Trial comes to a climax on the decision as to whether Charles 1 raised an army and a bloody civil war against the people of the UK (well mainly England) and against his oath on his Coronation to protect the people.

He is found guilty, as we know, by what were in effect a chosen selection of the Proletarians. Charles 1 had ignored the will of Parliament and had ultimately gone to War to prove that he was King by Divine Right and was therefore omnipotent.

Charles was ultimately defeated by Cromwell and Fairfax, captured and had to be put on trial – the series makes no attempt to show that the trial was a show trial; rather it makes the case that the King is Not Above the Law and as such it set the precedent for the numerous examples across the World since.  We shall see whether, as claimed by the lawyers interviewed, the Trail affected UK Parliamentary Democracy ever since.  A bold claim and one that looks dubious in the light of the recent UK Election where the Executive has assumed the mantle of the Devine Right of Kings .

As at 25th December the Series is still available on BBC4

December 22, 2019

An Independent Scotland or 10 years under the Control of Boris Johnson

Filed under: Brexit, Johnson, Scottish Independence, Sturgeon, Westminster — derryvickers @ 9:54 pm

Two articles in today’s Scotsman on Sunday (22/12/2019) by Euan McColm and Dani Garavelli

McColm berates Nicola Sturgeon on yet again pressing for a 2nd Independence vote. McColm makes the point that the votes of SNP together with the Greens in last week’s general election didn’t make the 50% mark ie taken together they wouldn’t win the vote for Scottish Independence. In any case he stresses the point that even with the matters derogated to Scotland the SNP has made a mess of them eg Education and the NHS

Read Euan McColm here:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/euan-mccolm-nicola-sturgeon-divides-and-rules-with-myth-of-the-mandate-1-5065710

Dani Garavelli comes from another direction. We have Johnson for 5 years at at least and probably 10 years. During that time, he is likely to move the UK drastically to the Right. Already he has gone back on allowing child refugees entry into the UK to meet up with their parents. He is also considering making appointments to the judiciary on a political basis (as in the US).  And Heaven knows what will happen to working conditions.

Read Dani Garavelli here:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/dani-garavelli-naked-power-grab-of-boris-the-emperor-is-all-too-clear-1-5065718

Comment

In my view McColm is correct in that the SNP Government has not made a good job of the opportunities afforded to it over the last 10 years. But his article dwells on the SNP continually pressing for a 2nd referendum which is unlikely to succeed and, in the meantime, the SNP failing to tackle the outstanding Scottish problems; rather than the devastation that a Johnson Government could make to the UK Social Fabric as a whole. Surely it is better for Scotland to go its own way, free from the Social destruction under Johnson. As the expression goes, Scotland ‘to take back control’.

Johnson’s Vacuity

Filed under: Johnson, Westminster — derryvickers @ 3:39 pm

Ken Clarke on Johnson’s Vacuity

Clarke said Johnson’s policy vagueness was particularly acute on Brexit: “I could never get out of Boris – and nobody so far could get out of Boris – what he has in mind for the eventual deal. To say they’re generalities is an understatement

Remember: Roger McGough

I wanna be the Prime Minister
I wanna be the Prime Minister
Can I be the Prime Minister?
Can I? I can?
Promise? Promise?
Yippee I’m the Prime Minister
I’m the Prime Minister

OK what shall we do?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/22/boris-johnson-told-to-stop-campaigning-and-start-governing-ken-clarke-brexit

November 17, 2019

Looking for a Democratic Leader

Filed under: Brexit, Politics, UK Parliament, Westminster — derryvickers @ 9:21 pm

The Leader in today’s Scotsman

https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/leader-comment-least-worst-leader-is-far-from-the-best-case-scenario-1-5047397.

“On the Remain side of the argument, the likes of Labour’s Keir Starmer, Anna Soubry, the ex-Tory who now leads The Independent Group for Change, and Dominic Grieve, the former attorney general, who had the Conservative whip removed and is now an independent, have stepped up to the plate.

But Starmer has to cope with his boss’s obfuscation on Brexit, Soubry’s profile has slipped since she quit Johnson’s party and a single independent will always struggle on the national stage.

However, when Grieve says Johnson is an “extremely troubling” individual and that he has “never experienced a politician in modern British history who is so elastic with truth”, there are lots of Conservatives who will take that seriously and be worried.”

Happy to go with Starmer, Soubry or Grieve. OK, these are all Remainers.

But there is no one on the Leave side that inspires anyway.

November 16, 2019

Scotland declaring UDI

Filed under: Scottish Independence, Westminster — derryvickers @ 11:14 am

I refer to my recent blog

https://derryvickers.com/2019/11/15/1461/

and I wonder, should Scotland declare UDI, whether the UK government would charge the SNP ringleaders with Sedition and issue long prison sentences on each?

November 6, 2019

Rees-Mogg impersonating Burlington Bertie from Bow

Filed under: Brexit, Music, Westminster — derryvickers @ 7:43 pm

Burlington Bertie

Rees-Mogg

October 27, 2019

Unthink the Britishness

Radical Independence Campaign Scotland [RICS] Event in Glasgow: 26/10/19 – a few comments
‘Unthink the Britishness’

From today’s Guardian

“I came to fusion because I passionately believe that it is needed – that it can change the world,” says Chapman. “I’m convinced that not only is fusion important: it’s going to happen.” We’re not on the verge, but it’s just about in sight.”

It could equally have been

“I came to Scottish Independence because I passionately believe that it is needed – that it can change the world,” says Lesley Riddoch. “I’m convinced that not only is Independence important: it’s going to happen.” We’re not on the verge, but it’s just about in sight.”

Is Independence an attitude of mind?

Getting the Referendum through, looks to be target of a lot of the people at the meeting yesterday.

It’s a little like the Leader poem by Roger McGough.  To ‘Wanna be Independent – I am Independent – What shall we do now’.

OK I stretch the point

Yesterday was a good event

Even though the hearing loop was not on – I continually hammer this with the organisers of the event I attend, and they all apologise and promise to better, I heard quite a lot.

I am now used to Aamer Anwar having been to his Jimmy Reid lecture and read his address on becoming Rector of Glasgow University, but his speech is still good with Hope at the end

Lesley Riddoch was good in the final wind up session even though we got a touch of the Nordics.

And I did like ‘Unthink the Britishness’

Get rid of the feudal society once and for all.  I could add: Eradicate David 1 who I am studying at a course given by Edinburgh University.

But it is not that easy.

“Unthink the Britishness”; but its more than that – its unthink Western Europeanism.  You will reply that Norway has successed and I hope they keep to it.  But Sweden is backsliding, and Denmark?

Are we fighting ‘Human Nature’?  John Gray take a very pessimistic view.  Dawkins- The Selfish Gene.  I much prefer the late Stephen Jay Gould.

But to closer at home; I note that for all the good intents of the SNP Government to move Scotland towards the constitution of the RICS it is failing, and this is NOT wholly Westminster’s fault.  It is more that the SNP are at best hitting their heads against Democracy and all its legal trappings as we know them.

It is unclear to me that Full Independence will resolve all the history of European Civilisation and reach the promised land of the RICS Constitution.  It’s the people who love to be in power; ‘power corrupts’.

As a small aside it could be that the small comings together of the townships such as Eigg and Knoydart are the nucleus of a new human society.  Gould put forward the concept of Punctuated Equilibrium that change takes place in small groups away from the centre but once these small groups become strong enough, they move back and take over the centre.

In my experience the small townships are as much populated from across the UK as a whole, as from just Scotland.

BTW Cat Boyd was one of last persons proselyting the original RICS Constitution.
Realism and Passion are uncomfortable bedfellows.

Find the RICS Constitution at:
http://radical.scot/about-ric/ric-constitution/

 

October 18, 2019

Johnson in a Rush – To minimise the Opportunity for MPs to read the Small Print

From Today’s Financial Times

The deal that Boris Johnson signed with the EU yesterday has immense economic and constitutional implications for the UK.

In any normally functioning democracy, a treaty of this magnitude would be subject to extensive parliamentary scrutiny — if not a confirmatory vote by the British public.

The reality is that neither of these things is happening, or indeed likely to happen. MPs are being given little time to scrutinise the text before being asked to hold a landmark Commons vote tomorrow.

As for the confirmatory referendum, there will be numerous attempts by MPs to secure one in the days ahead if the Johnson deal is passed. But MPs on all sides are now so fatigued by Brexit that their efforts are unlikely to end in success.

The absurdity of the situation is not difficult to see. As Martin Wolf argues in the FT, the Johnson deal damages the UK economy. As he writes: “It is going to make the country substantially poorer than it would otherwise be. It is going to reduce the resources available to any future government to deliver on domestic policy promises.”

The constitutional implications are possibly worse. The Johnson deal means Northern Ireland will be in a completely different trading relationship from the rest of the UK. This will inevitably fan the flames of militant unionism for the first time since the Good Friday Agreement.

Note, for example, this story that the Democratic Unionist party met loyalist paramilitaries — including the Ulster Volunteer Force — to discuss the implications of a mooted Brexit deal this week. This is troubling.

Meanwhile, Scotland, which voted Remain, will want the same preferential trading terms with the EU as Northern Ireland. Instead, the Scots are being subjected to the hard Brexit that Mr Johnson is imposing on the whole of Great Britain. 

As the commentator Ian Dunt writes: “It is as if Westminster were trying to write the SNP’s independence campaign for it.”

One other aspect of this deal should not be ignored. Many MPs will vote for the Johnson package tomorrow because they think they are avoiding no deal.

But this simply isn’t the case. Under this treaty, the UK will enter a standstill transition period until December 2020. If there is no fully-fledged trade deal agreed with the EU by then, the UK will crash out anyway.

In other words, if the Johnson deal passes tomorrow, Britain will spend the first half of 2020 having the same argument it has had for the past three years. Do we accept the tough trade terms the EU wants to inflict on us? Do we ask for an extension? Or do we crash out?

MPs campaigning for a confirmatory referendum will not give up hope. If Mr Johnson succeeds tomorrow, they will try to pass an amendment demanding one in the time left before the UK’s departure on October 31.

But the numbers probably aren’t there because MPs and the British public believe that passage of the Johnson deal will mark the crossing of a Rubicon. They want the UK to move on to other things.

Of all the illusions about Brexit, this is probably the greatest of all.

 

September 26, 2019

Rather the UK Cabinet has no Moral Right to Sit

“This parliament is a dead parliament,” [Geoffrey Cox] said. “It should no longer sit. It has no moral right to sit on these green benches.”

Expel the Johnson (Mussolini) Dictatorship.

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