Wednesday, 31 December 2008

A Wind of Change

As a new year dawns a wind of change is sweeping across the world. The transgressions of past actions are manifesting themselves in a variety of ways and nothing will be the same.
The world is in need of a transfusion to revitalise not only its economy but its values.
The structures of society are in danger of collapse and a re-evaluation is required to bring about a new direction for mankind.

The elements which will transform society are not so much materialistic as spiritual. In order to survive mankind has essential material considerations: food, shelter and clothing, but there is an current imbalance causing turbulence and instability throughout human society. The rich and famous are honoured and feted and the remainder of society is ignored or encouraged to adopt false values. It is no shame to pass through life leaving scarcely a mark.

Past civilisations have been brought down through corruption and greed, as well as by environmental catastrophies. The most successful societies were those which cared for their environment as well as their people, who were content with their lot and demanded little, who lived in harmony with nature and treated their world with awe and reverence.

They were the pantheists, so-called primitive societies, the sun and moon worshippers, who saw the spirit of nature alive in every living thing. Today we see the world around us ravaged and exploited and we see conflicts between nations which are unable to co-exist. Gordon Brown, despite his self-confidence and arrogance, cannot save the world, but there is hope that Barack Obama can, and will, provided he can provide the inspiration and leadership that the world sorely needs. It is love and compassion along with wisdom and action which will transform this world.

Monday, 29 December 2008

The Hammer of the Poor Indeed

Independence Cymru recognises the truth wherever it is preached, whether it is spoken by Bishops or organs of the Conservative Party. The time has come to join forces, and unite to turn back the tide of crass materialism, deception and spin, and to stand up for the true values which are being spurned and trampled upon by the present government of the discredited United Kingdom.

Gordon Brown - The Hammer of the Poor.

Warning! This is a partisan post, written under the influence of a dark mood. The cause of this darkness? I've just read this bilge from Mr Liam Byrne, Cabinet Office Minister. I do not know how he can bring himself to speak in such a way - and on a Sunday as well.

How will our children, and their children, look back on what's being done to their futures by the current Labour Government. Will history record the 'spin' or the reality. Will it describe Gordon Brown in the way he wishes to be remembered, or the way he deserves to be - as Britain's worst Prime Minister of modern times. Will he be remembered as the Chancellor/Prime Minister who spent and borrowed so much that he brought the British economy to its knees. Over the last day or two, some Bishops have used their pulpits to help open the eyes of the British people to what this man has done and would like to be allowed to carry on doing.

What's instigated the Bishops to speak out is the realisation that its the poor who are going to pay the heaviest price. He was found out when he abolished the 10p tax rate. But the leopard doesn't change his spots. Its still the poor he's going to target. He preferred an ineffective temporary cut in VAT, rather than help poorer people by raising the starting rate at which income tax is payable. And to recover the money this pointlessness will cost, he tells us he plans to raise National Insurance Contributions - a direct tax on jobs, which again is going to put more people on the dole. The Bishops have seen through him. It will not be long until everyone else, at least those with eyes willing to see, will do the same.

Its the hideous 'spin' that grates with me. The whole 45p tax rate issue is nothing to do with raising money for the Exchequer - but to make it appear that he's hitting the rich. It'll probably raise less money for the Treasury, rather than more. He witters on about tax credits, knowing full well that many of the most needy don't claim it because its too complex. He shouts at the banks to lend more to support business, but he knows the terms on which he has lent the money to them to re-capitalise are on terms so unfavourable that they will want to repay as soon as possible. Its all 'spin'. And worst of all, he's raising Government borrowing to levels never dreamt of before - and trying to put all the blame on others. No - even worse than any of this , is that the Prime Minister seems to believe what he says. Its terrifying.

posted by Glyn Davies at 22:59

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Britain's Spiritual Bankruptcy

Britain under "New Labour" is not only financially bankrupt but morally and spiritually bankrupt too. First the Archbishop of Canterbury, and now more church leader are speaking out about the legacy of the past ten years under Labour which has left Britain devoid of ethical and moral values. They speak of the encouragement given to people to spend causing them to get into spiralling debt, the rise of the property-owning democracy which saddles people with mortgages which they cannot afford to sustain and the encroachment on civil liberties which deprive people of the right to happiness. They are right in speaking out against the pernicious erosion of family and societal values and the destruction of community life. Britain is not the land that many of us grew up in and which we were led to believe to be the home of the free. It is time for change, for Britain to disband as a viable state so that the people of its constituent nations can embrace a different philosophy from the one which has led us all to this sorry state.

Your comments are welcomed.....

Bishops slam 'morally corrupt' Government

2 hours 32 mins ago
ITN


Leading bishops have delivered a damning assessment of Labour's record in power, branding the Government "morally corrupt". Skip related content
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Bishops slam 'morally corrupt' Government

Five senior figures from the Church of England warned that the country was suffering from family breakdown, an addiction to debt and a growing gap between rich and poor.

The bishops of Durham, Winchester, Manchester, Carlisle and Hulme accused ministers of squandering their opportunity to transform society and pursuing "scandalous" policies.

The interventions, in separate interviews in a Sunday newspaper, came after the Archbishop of Canterbury launched an extraordinary public attack on the Government last week.

Dr Rowan Williams said Gordon Brown's plans to spend more in order to tackle the recession were like an "addict returning to the drug", and suggested the economy had been going in the wrong direction for decades.

The Rt Rev Tom Wright, the Bishop of Durham, berated ministers for not doing enough to help the poor since 1997.

He said: "Labour made a lot of promises, but a lot of them have vanished into thin air. We have not seen a raising of aspirations in the last 13 years, but instead there is a sense of hopelessness.

"While the rich have got richer, the poor have got poorer. When a big bank or car company goes bankrupt, it gets bailed out, but no one seems to be bailing out the ordinary people who are losing their jobs and seeing their savings diminished."

The Rt Rev Nigel McCulloch, the Bishop of Manchester, criticised Labour for encouraging people to get further into debt.

"The Government has acted scandalously. This is not just an economic issue, but a moral one. It's about what we value," he said.

"The Government believes that money can answer all of the problems and has encouraged greed and a love of money that the Bible says is the root of all evil.

"It's morally corrupt because it encourages people to get into a lifestyle of believing they can always get what they want."

The Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, the Bishop of Hulme, said: "The Government isn't telling people who are already deep in debt to stop overextending themselves, but instead is urging us to spend more. That is morally suspect and morally feeble.

"It is unfair and irresponsible of the Government to put pressure on the public to spend in order to revive the economy."

He suggested they were cynically attempting to improve the economy in time for the next general election.

"They are trying to take the credit for this, but are playing with people's livelihoods in the process."

Monday, 22 December 2008

Duchy of Cornwall - A Few Comparisons


Below is an economic comparison with some small countries throughout the world. Luxembourg is the most relevant as it is almost identical in size and population to Cornwall. It is also a Duchy. Cornwall earns a relatively high proportion of its GDP from three sectors – mining and quarrying; distribution, hotels and catering; and agriculture. In 1996 Cornwall's Gross Domestic Product was estimated to be £3,680 million. Cornwall had a population of 485,600 in 1997. Cornwall's population has grown by 27% since 1983 and its working population has risen by 24% in this same period.

Tourism is the only traditional industry which is currently expanding. There are now an estimated 4 million visitors a year spending some £930 million, although only about a third of this is retained in Cornwall. The industry accounts for around 30,000 jobs with many more at the peak of the season. In 1997 87.1% of Cornish employees worked in small firms with fewer than 10 employees, more than the 83.6% equivalent for the UK. In 1996/7 21% of the workforce were self employed, nearly double the UK average of 11.6%.

Cornwall National name: Kernow Area: 1370 sq.mi (3550 sq.km) Population: 485,600 in 1997 Density per sq mi: 1.4 people per hectare, 363 per sq. mi Economic summary: GDP/PPP: 1996 Gross Domestic Product est.£3,680 million ($6 Billion) ; per capita: £7,614 ($12,410) Real growth rate: 1.9% Inflation: 2.3%. Unemployment: 4.8% Jan 2001 Industries: Distribution & catering (25.3%), Other Services (30%), Construction (9.3%), Banking & Finance (7.7%), Agriculture Forestry & Fishing (6.0%), Other manufacturing (5.4%), Manufacturing metal etc (5.1%), Transport (5.1%), Mining (2.8%), Energy & Water (1.2%)

Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
Ruler: Grand Duke Henri (2000) Premier: Jean-Claude Juncker (1995) Area: 998 sq mi (2,586 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 448,569 Density per sq. mi.: 449 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $15.9 billion; per capita $36,400. Real growth rate: 5.7%. Inflation: 7.8%. Unemployment: 2.7%. Labour force: 248,000 (of whom 70,200 are foreign cross-border workers primarily from France, Belgium, and Germany) (2000); services 83.2%, industry 14.3%, agriculture 2.5% (1998 est.). Industries: banking, iron and steel, food processing, chemicals, metal products, engineering, tires, glass, aluminium. Natural resources: iron ore (no longer exploited), arable land. Exports: $7.6 billion (f.o.b., 2000): machinery and equipment, steel products, chemicals, rubber products, glass. Imports: $10 billion (c.i.f., 2000): minerals, metals, foodstuffs, quality consumer goods. Major trading partners: EU, U.S

Republic of Iceland
National name: Lydveldid Island President: Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson (1996) Prime Minister: David Oddsson (1991) Area: 39,768 sq mi (103,000 sq km)1 Population (2002 est.): 279, Density per sq mi: 7 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $6.85 billion; per capita $24,800. Real growth rate: 4.3%. Inflation: 3.5%. Unemployment: 2.7% (Jan. 2001). Labour force: 159,000 (2000); agriculture 5.1%, fishing and fish processing 11.8%, manufacturing 12.9%, construction 10.7%, other services 59.5% (1999). Industries: fish processing; aluminium smelting, ferro-silicon production, geothermal power; tourism. Natural resources: fish, hydropower, geothermal power, diatomite. Exports: $2 billion (f.o.b., 2000): fish and fish products 70%, animal products, aluminium, diatomite and ferro-silicon. Imports: $2.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000): machinery and equipment, petroleum products; foodstuffs, textiles. Major trading partners: EU, U.S., Japan.

Principality of Liechtenstein
Ruler: Prince Hans Adam II (1989) Head of Government: Otmar Hasler (2001) Area: 62 sq mi (160 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 32,842 Density per sq mi: 532 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (1998 est.): $730 million; per capita $23,000. Real growth rate: n.a. Inflation: 0.5% (1997 est.). Unemployment: 1.8% (Feb. 1999). Labour force: 22,891 of which 13,847 are foreigners; 8,231 commute from Austria and Switzerland to work each day; industry, trade, and building 45%, services 53%, agriculture, fishing, forestry, and horticulture 2% (1997 est.). Industries: electronics, metal manufacturing, textiles, ceramics, pharmaceuticals, food products, precision instruments, tourism. Natural resources: hydroelectric potential, arable land. Exports: $2.47 billion (1996): small speciality machinery, dental products, stamps, hardware, pottery. Imports: $917.3 million (1996): machinery, metal goods, textiles, foodstuffs, motor vehicles. Major trading partners: EU and EFTA countries.

Principality of Andorra
National name: Valls d'Andorra Head of Government: Marc Forné Molné (1994) Area: 181 sq mi (468 sq km) Population (2003 est.): 69, Density per sq mi: 379 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (1996 est.): $1.2 billion; per capita $18,000. Real growth rate: n.a. Inflation: 1.62% (1998). Unemployment: 0%. Labour force: 30,787 salaried employees (1998); agriculture 1%, industry 21%, services 72%, other 6% (1998). Industries: tourism (particularly skiing), cattle raising, timber, tobacco, banking. Natural resources: hydropower, mineral water, timber, iron ore, lead. Exports: $58 million (f.o.b., 1998): tobacco products, furniture. Imports: $1.077 billion (c.i.f., 1998): consumer goods, food, electricity. Major trading partners: France, Spain, U.S.

Principality of Monaco
National name: Principauté de Monaco Ruler: Prince Rainier III (1949) Minister of State: Patrick Leclercq (2000) Area: 0.75 sq mi (465 acres) (1.95 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 31, Density per sq mi: 42,485 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (1999 est.): $870 million; $27,000 per capita. Real growth rate: n.a. Inflation: n.a. Unemployment: 3.1% (1998). Labour force: 30,540 (Jan. 1994). Natural resources: none. Exports: n.a. Imports: n.a. Full customs integration with France, which collects and rebates Monegasque trade duties; also participates in EU

Most Serene Republic of San Marino National name: Repubblica di San Marino Captains Regent: Giuseppe Maria Morganti and Mauro Chiaruzzi (2002) Area: 24 sq mi (61.2 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 27, Density per sq mi: 1,174 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $860 million; per capita $32,000. Real growth rate: 8%. Inflation: 2.2% (2000). Unemployment: 3% (1999). Labour force: 18,500 (1999); services 60%, industry 38%, agriculture 2% (1998 est.). Industries: tourism, banking, textiles, electronics, ceramics, cement, wine. Natural resources: building stone. Exports: trade data are included with the statistics for Italy: building stone, lime, wood, chestnuts, wheat, wine, baked goods, hides, ceramics. Imports: trade data are included with the statistics for Italy: wide variety of consumer manufactures, food.

State of Qatar
Emir: Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani (1995) Prime Minister: Abdullah bin Khalifa al-Thani (1996) Area: 4,416 sq mi (11,437 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 793, Density per sq mi: 180 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $15.1 billion; per capita $20,300. Real growth rate: 4%. Inflation: 2.5%. Unemployment: n.a. Labour force: 233,000 (1993 est.). Industries: crude oil production and refining, fertilisers, petrochemicals, steel reinforcing bars, cement. Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, fish. Exports: $9.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.): petroleum products 80%, fertilisers, steel. Imports: $3.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000 est.): machinery and transport equipment, food, chemicals. Major trading partners: Japan, Singapore, South Korea, U.S., UAE, UK, Italy.

State of Bahrain
Emir: Sheik Hamad ibn Isa al-Khalifah (1999) Prime Minister: Sheik Khalifah ibn Sulman al-Khalifah (1970) Area: 257 sq mi (665 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 656, Density per sq mi: 2,742 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est): $10.1 billion; per capita $15,900. Real growth rate: 5%. Inflation: 2%. Unemployment: 15% (1998 est.). Labour force: 295,000 (1998 est.); industry, commerce, and service 79%, government 20%, agriculture 1% (1997 est.). Industries: petroleum processing and refining, aluminium smelting, offshore banking, ship repairing; tourism. Natural resources: oil, associated and non-associated natural gas, fish, pearls. Exports: $5.8 billion (f.o.b., 2000): petroleum and petroleum products, aluminium. Imports: $4.2 billion (f.o.b., 2000): non-oil, crude oil. Major trading partners: India, Saudi Arabia, U.S., UAE, Japan, South Korea, France.

State of Brunei Darussalam
Sultan: Haji Hassanal Bolkiah (1967) Area: 2,228 sq mi (5,770 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 350,898 Density per sq mi: 158 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $5.9 billion; per capita $17,600. Real growth rate: 3%. Inflation: 1% (1999 est.). Unemployment: 4.9% (1995 est.). Labour force: 144,000 (1995 est.); note: includes foreign workers and military personnel; government 48%, production of oil, natural gas, services, and construction 42%, agriculture, forestry, and fishing 10% (1999 est.). Industries: petroleum, petroleum refining, liquefied natural gas, construction. Natural resources: petroleum, natural gas, timber. Exports: $2.55 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.): crude oil, natural gas, refined products. Imports: $1.3 billion (c.i.f., 1999 est.): machinery and transport equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals. Major trading partners: Japan, U.S., South Korea, Thailand, Singapore, UK, Malaysia.

Bermuda
Status: Overseas territory Governor: Sir John Vereker (2002) Premier: Jennifer Smith (1998) Area: 21 sq mi (53.3 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 63,960; Density per sq mi: 2,817 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $2.1 billion; per capita $33,000. Real growth rate: 1.5%. Inflation: 2.7%. Unemployment: negl. (1995). Labour force: 35,296 (1997); clerical 23%, services 22%, labourers 17%, professional and technical 17%, administrative and managerial 12%, sales 7%, agriculture and fishing 2% (1996). Industries: tourism, finance, insurance, structural concrete products, paints, perfumes, pharmaceuticals, ship repairing. Natural resources: limestone, pleasant climate fostering tourism. Exports: $56 million (2000 est.): re-exports of pharmaceuticals. Imports: $739 million (2000 est.): machinery and transport equipment, construction materials, chemicals, food and live animals. Major trading partners: UK, U.S., Mexico.

Republic of Estonia
National name: Eesti President: Arnold Rüütel (2001) Prime Minister: Siim Kallas (2002) Area: 17,462 sq mi (45,226 sq km) Population (2002 est.): 1,415, Density per sq mi: 81 Economic summary: GDP/PPP (2000 est.): $14.7 billion; per capita $10,000. Real growth rate: 6.4%. Inflation: 4.1% (1999 est.). Unemployment: 11.7% (1999 est.). Labour force: 785,500; industry 20%, agriculture 11%, services 69% (1999 est.). Industries: oil shale, shipbuilding, phosphates, electric motors, excavators, cement, furniture, clothing, textiles, paper, shoes, apparel. Natural resources: shale oil (kukersite), peat, phosphorite, amber, cambrian blue clay, limestone, dolomite, arable land. Exports: $3.1 billion (f.o.b., 2000): machinery and equipment, wood products, textiles, food products, metals, chemical products (1999). Imports: $4 billion (f.o.b., 2000): machinery and equipment, chemical products, foodstuffs, metal product, textiles (1999). Major trading partners: Finland, Sweden, Russia, Latvia, Germany, U.S., Japan.
Phil T, Cornishman in Oman

Sunday, 21 December 2008

British Labour's Taxing Regime

Under failed Labour government Britain has the largest debt in its entire history.
Gordon Brown through his policy of leading the country into debt, and now along with James Purnell, has unwittingly engineered massive redundancy as thousands of workers become unemployed. A loan to help the needy is to be is proposed with an interest rate of up to 27 per cent.
Is it possible that Labour has dug its own grave?
Does Labour rely in the masochism of the working class?
Merry Christmas and Nadolig Llawen to all.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Scottish Protest

SNP launch new attack against GB football team

Monday, November 17 03:00 pm
Politics.co.uk

The Scottish National party (SNP) has launched a new attack against the idea of a British Olympic football team. Skip related content


Have your say: Scottish National Party

SNP sport spokesman Pete Wishart has called on Fifa to investigate interference by the UK government over attempts to "force through" the 2012 team.

Mr Wishart has also written to prime minister Gordon Brown seeking an explanation for the alleged "meddling" and highlighting Fifa statutes that prohibit political intervention by governments. Mr Wishart said: "The Labour government at Westminster is playing politics with the people's game by trying to force through a British Olympic football team with no regard for the views of the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland football authorities or the fans of all four home nations, who are united in their opposition to this daft and dangerous idea.

"Significantly, all four home nations' supporters associations are actively working together to oppose this irresponsible idea."

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

An Unintended Boast

Prime Minister Gordon Brown made himself the butt of merciless mockery in the House of Commons when a slip of the tongue led him to boast "we have saved the world".
But can he save himself from ignominious defeat at the next general election?

Working Together in the Cause

Welsh and Scots MEPs back 'Dragon and Lion' bid for Euro2016


Plaid Cymru Member of the European Parliament Jill Evans and colleague SNP MEP Alyn Smith have thrown their weight behind the prospect of a joint Welsh and Scottish bid to host football's European Championships in 2016.

The pair have written, jointly, to the Presidents of the Welsh and Scottish Football Associations in support of talks between those bodies to thrash out the details of a prospective bid. The SNP and Plaid Cymru co-operate in both the European and London Parliaments, sharing staff and facilities.

Speaking from Brussels, Alyn Smith MEP said:

"We're used enough to the camaraderie that the Rugby generates and this is a great chance to showcase both our countries to the rest of Europe. Joint bids are the way of the future for UEFA and I like the fact that there is an actual need for co-operation. The Scots and the Welsh have already been working together for years and this is another extension of that.

"We know from our own experience in the European Parliament that working together gets results, and I think it is only right we stress that any Scottish-Welsh bid will have our full support.

Jill Evans MEP added:
"This is a great chance for the Celts to shine, we know from our own experience that we can work together well and it is only right that two such passionate footballing nations work together to host the championships.

"I'm delighted to support a joint bid and both myself and my Scottish colleague Alyn Smith have put our backing on the record. This would be a tremendous opportunity for our two countries to showcase our strong sporting history and culture. Between us we have first rate facilities and I know that the Welsh and Scots would make excellent hosts.

"It would also be a major boost in promoting football to a new generation of young people as well as emphasising our respective nations' independence in sporting competitions."


diwedd / ends

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Free Greenland - Free All Nations!

Our Friends in the North

Greenlandtown

One of Scotland’s largest neighbours has just voted for independence. I don’t mean England, or Ireland, or Scandinavia, but a country which is bigger than all of these combined. And I use the term “neighbour” loosely, because it is a good few hundred miles across the Atlantic from us, and very few readers will have ever been there.

Greenlanders voted by 3-1 for almost total independence last week. I say “almost”, because while they don’t get control of defence or foreign policy, they get control of just about everything else. 32 areas of government will be handed over to them. Every political party, but one, in Greenland backed the “yes” vote. Who couldn’t sympathise with this statement that senior politician Hans Jakob Helms made?

“Home rule was a compromise, it’s a simple fact that home rule has reached its limit and there’s a need for more room for self-government.”

Applied to Scotland, it appears that even the majority of Unionists support this position. The result makes Greenlandic independence pretty much inevitable.

Greenland’s road to independence is a bizarre one. A colony of Denmark for three hundred years, its population is tiny – a mere 57,000 (less than Guernsey), but if it gains full independence, it will be the 13th largest state in the world. 80% of the place is covered in ice, and there is no road network to speak of. People get around by boats or planes. There are about a dozen settlements, mostly tiny, scattered around the island. Traditionally, some of them have had almost nothing to do with one another, just because of the sheer distances involved. It is the largest island in the world – if you don’t count Australia – at eight times the size of Great Britain. At one end, it is near the North Pole, and at the other, the same latitude as parts of Shetland – there are even some trees there. Technically part of North America, its size and remoteness, makes it almost a continent in its own right.

80% of the people who live in Greenland are Inuit (Eskimos), only 12% are Danes. Under the terms of the referendum, Greenlandic will replace Danish as the language of government. The native Greenlanders are an obviously non-European people, still tribal to an extent, and mainly nomadic in the recent past. The native Greenlanders have massive social problems including a degree of permanent unemployment, bad diet, alcoholism, drug abuse and even AIDS. The suicide rate is also extremely high. While the traditional Inuit lifestyle was a difficult and harsh one, the modern disillusionment and substance abuse are classic results of colonialism, and can be found in places such as widely separated as Peru and Tibet, as well as parts of Australia and the USA. By voting “yes”, the Greenlanders have displayed the maturity and self-confidence that they require for a happier future. Greenlandic is now the only official language – even though it has fewer speakers than Scottish Gaelic.

However, Greenland already has some serious problems which are global in nature. One of these is climate change, something impossible to deal with at a purely local level. Greenland features prominently in Al Gore’s documentary, An Inconvenient Truth with good reason. If its ice cap melts, the sea level may rise by twenty five feet everywhere, drowning whole cities and nations. Another theory claims that if it melts, then the Gulf Stream will be set into reverse, and Europe will experience another Ice Age. Neither of these are theories that I’d like to see proven. Further oil drilling and mining will provide jobs and money for the Greenlandic economy, but they also threaten the hunting and fishing many Inuit still rely on, and poison the island’s fragile environment permanently. Greenland’s economy is much less diversified than Scotland’s, and subsidised to the tune of £400 million by Denmark, but the alternatives may prove simply too costly.

If it is not careful, Greenland also risks replacing Denmark with the USA. The island played a surprisingly strategic role in both WW2 and the Cold War. The Americans unsuccessfully tried to buy Greenland off the Danes for $100,000,000. In 1953, the Danes allowed them to set up the Thule base in the far north of the island. It was the most northerly American base anywhere, and allowed the US to monitor Soviet activity in the Arctic. With shades of Britain’s Diego Garcia – in 1999, the Danish High Court ruled that the base was on Inuit land, and that the inhabitants had been illegally evicted. Shortly after this ruling, it also emerged that a B52 had crashed near there in 1968. It had been carrying H-bombs, and an estimated 1,700 people were exposed to radiation. The base is still there. Some people argue that an independent Greenland would be unable to defend itself, but its relationship with the USA is going to be one sided from the outset.

But what Greenland has done is brave, and we should respect them for it. As one Welsh blog http://www.british-nats-watch.blogspot.com/ puts it -

“Now, if Greenland, a nation of 57,000 people, speaking what many of our fellow-country men would probably call ‘a silly language which nobody speaks’, has the confidence to have more power, what the hell is stopping Wales?”

When it comes to self-determination, the Nordic countries have a much better record than most. I suspect there are several reasons for this, one of them being that it is much easier for the likes of Greenland to deal with a nation of several million, than one of tens or hundreds of millions. Secondly, the remoteness of many parts of the Nordic countries meant that it was more practical for a number of decisions to be taken locally to begin with. Denmark’s other colonies, such as the now independent Norway and Iceland, or the nearly independent Faroe Islands, all neighbours of Scotland, have been given much fairer hearings by Copenhagen, than they would have done from London. For example, since WWII, the population of the Faroe Islands has doubled, while that of the Shetland Islands has halved. It’s worth remembering that Greenland got its parliament in 1979, the very year that Scotland’s own vote for an assembly was sabotaged. Since then, Greenland has never looked back. Scotland, on the other hand, is only just getting over that defeat.

A Short History of Greenland

The first people arrived in Greenland over four thousand years ago, although it has not been continuously inhabited since then. It is thought that the ancestors of the Inuit arrived in about 1200.

Southern Greenland’s European connection goes as far back as 980, when it was discovered and settled by the Norse. Their numbers were never particularly great. By the 15th century, Greenland’s white population appears to have died out, due to worsening climate, unsuitable farming methods which eroded the thin soil, and conflict with Inuit who came in from the north. They did not leave much of a legacy, other than a few ruins, and a mere 5% of Greenlandic DNA.

The Europeans returned in the early 18th century with disastrous consequences. The missionary Hans Egede heard stories in Norway of the Norse settlement in Greenland, and decided to find out whether it still existed. He established Godthåb (Nuuk), the capital, and set about converting the natives and wrote down their language for the first time. He also translated the Bible – an incredible feat as Greenlandic lacked words for “bread”, “sheep”, “wine” and other important Christian imagery: his version of the Lord’s Prayer includes the surreal line - “Give us today our harbour seal.”

Within a few years, a smallpox epidemic had wiped out large numbers of Inuit, and their shamans were being tried for witchcraft. The Europeans’ intensive hunting, fishing and whaling made it harder for the Inuit to obtain food, and some of them were also abducted or raped by sailors. By the end of the 18th Century, Greenland was an official Danish colony.

During the 19th century, the first newspaper in Greenlandic appeared, and the first district assemblies. In 1911, two regional assemblies were established, one for the north and one for the south. It was not until 1951 that they were merged. These assemblies were not a form of home rule – they were more like local councils, and all their business was conducted in Danish.

In the late 19th century, a Greenlander actually reached Scotland by kayak after being blown off course. He died soon afterwards, but his boat can still be seen in a museum.

In the early 20th century, the USA and Canada claimed parts of Greenland. In 1946, the USA attempted to buy all of it from Denmark, but the Danes refused. In the 1930s, Norway laid claim to a section of east Greenland, but the Permanent Court of International Justice ruled in Denmark’s favour. In 1951, Denmark and the US signed a defence treaty, and the Thule base was established two years later.

By 1953, Greenland was no longer officially a Danish colony, and was allowed to elect MPs to the Danish parliament. Proper welfare and medical programmes were initiated, and most of the population started to move into towns. Greenland’s integration with Denmark meant it became part of the EEC in 1973, even though 70% of Greenlanders voted against joining it in the referendum.

In 1978, Greenlanders voted for devolution, and a year later, a 31 seat parliament was set up. All Danish place names were replaced by their Greenlandic versions. In 1982, 53% of Greenlanders voted to leave the EEC, while Denmark itself stayed in. This put Greenland in a strange political position, but not a unique one – the Isle of Man, Bermuda, the Faroe Islands, Canary Islands and Madeira are amongst those nations currently outside the EU, but still controlled by members of it.

In 1985, Greenland’s flag was designed, and in 1996, the international Arctic Council, an environmental body, was established, with Greenland as a founder member.

In November, 2008, three quarters of Greenlanders voted “yes”…

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Tags: Ray Bell
2 Comments

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ssprenfrewshire
December 2, 2008 at 6:48 pm

It is interesting that almost none of the arguments for or against Greenlander independence have been based on the economy. In Scotland almost all the arguments are based on the economy. Why is it so important here and apparently not in Greenland.

It surely is because the people that set the agenda for discussion all have a vested interest in the economy, but almost nothing invested in all the other facets of life. It seems that in Scotland, that any serious discussion of our seprate culture is viewed with embarrasment and that we do have a certain cultural cringe

Jimmy Kerr
SSP Renfrewshire
http://ssprenfrewshire.wordpress.com
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Ray Bell
December 2, 2008 at 9:12 pm

You make a good point, Jimmy. Obviously, the economy is important in that no one should live in poverty, but one of the overriding factors in both cases must be self-esteem and self-confidence. The Inuit, as a colonised people, have been told for centuries that both them and their way of life are somehow inferior - this goes a long way to explaining a lot of their social problems (although the lack of sunlight in Winter is also a problem in both Greenland and Scotland).

I think comfort, happiness and peace of mind are more important than massive amounts of money, which will buy people a lot, but not fulfil them.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Guarding Hard-Won Human Rights

The scenes in Parliament following the Queen's Speech were unprecedented in the modern era. Not since 1642 have we witnessed such indignation and outrage. At least it indicates that there are courageous souls who will not succumb to the kind of scenario characterised in "Animal Farm".

Greenland's Bid for Independence

For more information on the above please go to the following website:

http://bellacaledonia.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/our-friends-in-the-north/

Friday, 28 November 2008

Three Cheers for Adam Price




Adam Price M.P., Plaid Cymru Treasury Spokesman, conducted himself with great aplomb last night on the BBC programme "Question Time". His comments went down very well with the audience and he received considerable applause. He was supported by other members of the panel. In contrast Mr Alexander's contributions were received in silence. His assertions that the government is doing everything that is necessary and "what it takes" were seen as empty platitudes, which indeed they are.

More on Greenland's independence:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-big-question-is-greenland-ready-for-independence-and-what-would-it-mean-for-its-people-1036735.html

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Question Time Tonight : Adam Price

TONIGHT - 10.35 - BBC
Cofiwch.....

Greenland Goes For Home Rule

Greenland is about to become an independent nation. Certain links with Denmark however will be maintained. Presumably it will be the 28th member of the European Union.
It appears that the divorce will be amicable.

Greenland: Further cracks in ties with Denmark?
http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/11/24/europe/greenland.php

Greenland, the world's largest island, is to vote Tuesday on whether it wants greater independence from Denmark, which colonized it nearly 300 years ago.

Greenland - 2,200,000 square kilometers, or 850,000 square miles, some 80 percent of which is covered by ice - has steadily been gaining more autonomy for decades and has had its own home-rule government since 1979. But it still depends on Denmark for much of its budget and is bound by Danish decisions in a variety of policy areas.

If it passes, the referendum on Tuesday will pave the way for Greenland's eventual independence from Denmark. The measure would allow Greenlanders to be recognized as a separate people under international law; make the Eskimo-Inuit tongue known as Greenlandic the island's official language; and give the home-rule government the option of taking more responsibility over areas like justice, defense and foreign affairs.

Perhaps more importantly, a "yes" vote would allow Greenland the opportunity to wean itself from its annual grant of $550 million by giving it control of the revenues from potential oil, gas and mineral finds. Experts say that huge quantities of natural resources are lurking offshore and under Greenland's melting ice cap, but it remains to be seen exactly what is there and how much it is worth.

Native Greenlanders have been talking about independence for years, but not until now has the island felt emboldened to take the next step toward it.
Polls show that the proposals have overwhelming support among Greenland's population of more than 56,000, nearly 90 percent of whom are native-born Inuits. About 39,000 people are eligible to vote.

"The future of Greenland is being strengthened a lot with this," said Hans Jakob Helms, political adviser to Lars Emil Johansen, one of two Greenlandic members of the Danish Parliament. "This allows the Greenlandic people to decide themselves if, at a later date, they want independence."

Greenland has come a long way economically in the last few decades. But while 60 percent of its people live in the six largest towns, the rest live in more than 120 isolated, austere settlements and trading posts that have perhaps one store apiece and few job opportunities.

Outside the towns, people make their living by hunting and fishing. There is no national road network, and people rely on boats and planes to travel - weather permitting - from one area to another. Besides several dialects of Greenlandic, English and Danish is spoken.

Greenlanders stress that it may be several decades before Greenland is able to declare complete independence from Denmark but said that the vote was the next step in a long evolution toward that goal.

"Home rule was a compromise," Helms said. "It's a simple fact that home rule has reached its limit and there's a need for more room for self-government."

(acknowledgments to Ray Bell)

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Scotland Outlaws I.D. Cards

The Scottish Parliament (bar Lord George Foulkes and the Labour members) have voted to reject the U.K. government's proposed introduction of mandatory I.D. cards on the grounds of:
intrusion on civil liberties;
the great cost of funding (4.8 billion - possibly increasing to 18 billion);
discriminatory acts concerning ethnic minorities;
no necessity as passports, licences, credit cards etc contain data;
no evidence of an affect on terrorism as terrorists use valid i.d.s;
public unpopularity with the introduction of I.D. cards;
the present economic situation and a loomimg recession.

The Scottish Parliament sends a clear message to Westminster that Identity Cards are not wanted, not needed and not warranted.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Welsh/Cymraeg - a Living Language of Europe

20 November 2008

Making history in Welsh


Plaid MEP Jill Evans, who has campaigned for many years for official status for the Welsh language at European Union level, has welcomed today's first speech in Welsh at the EU Council of Ministers. (NOTE - see Timeline below).

Welsh Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones will speak Welsh at a ministerial meeting of the EU's Culture Council in Brussels on Thursday where interpretation will be provided into other languages.

Speaking ahead of the meeting the Plaid MEP said:

"I'm delighted that today the Welsh language is finally getting the same recognition as other European languages. I've been campaigning for official status for Welsh in Europe for many years. This is literally making history in Welsh.

"This is of huge symbolic importance and will raise the profile of Wales as a nation on the European stage. I congratulate Alun Ffred Jones and the One Wales Government for making it happen. I also want to thank all of the organisations and individuals in Wales who have given such strong support to this campaign.

"In spite of those who laughed at the idea, including then Prime Minister Tony Blair, and despite opposition from the other parties, we have come a long way. But this isn't the end of the story. I'm still pushing the European Parliament to adopt similar new rules for Welsh. The fact that other European bodies have done it shows that it is both possible and practical."

diwedd / ends


Timeline for Gaining Co-Official Status for the Welsh Language in Europe

*
November 2004: Jill becomes first person to legally speak Welsh in European Parliament following rule changes led by her parliamentary group.
* March 2005: called for EU Constitution to be translated into Welsh. Jill Evans and Elfyn Llwyd meet UK government to press case for recognition of Welsh language. Announcement marks the first step in winning co-official EU status.
*
June 2005: Spoke in Welsh in European Parliament during debate with Tony Blair during UK EU Presidency.
*
June 2005: Decision by Europe 's Foreign Ministers on framework for co-official status for Catalan, Galician and Basque. Citizens can correspond with EU institutions in these languages and they can be spoken with interpretation in most of the institutions. Jill called on UK government to follow this example for Welsh.
*
August 2005: distributed language information packs, asking people to write to Jack Straw, Foreign Secretary, calling for Welsh to be given the same rights as Catalan, Basque and Galician.
*
September 2005: Jill and Hywel Williams MP hold meetings in Brussels as part of Plaid Cymru's campaign to improve the status of the Welsh language in the EU.
*
November 2005: UK presidency signs agreement for Catalan, Basque and Galician to be given co-official status, and so can be used in official meetings and correspondence.
*
June 2006: Welsh Assembly's European Affairs Committee announce they are to consider a proposal for limited use of Welsh in EU institutions.
*
July 2006: Jill writes to Rhodri Morgan asking him to follow Spain 's example and ensure the UK government covers translating costs.
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November 2006: Jill makes the case for co-official status to the Assembly's European Affairs Committee, by live video link from Brussels .
*
January 2007: EU Commissioner for multi-lingualism appointed
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June 2007: Commitment to get co-official status for Welsh is in the One Wales coalition agreement, first put forward by Jill.
*
June 2008: Jill launches appeal asking organisations in Wales to write to President of the European Parliament, stating their support for the right to communicate with the Parliament in Welsh.
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July 2008: Welsh made a co-official language in the EU Council.
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September 2008: Jill meets with President of the European Parliament to discuss making Welsh co-official in Parliament.
*
November 2008: Heritage Minister Alun Ffred Jones to address Council in Welsh for the first time.

Monday, 17 November 2008

Breton Independence - Recent Activity

BRETONS UNDER ATTACK

On Monday three Breton activists - Gael Roblin, Kristian Georgeault and Paskal Laize - will appear in a special court in Paris accused of being implicated in the Breton Revolutionary Army (ARB) and the bombing of a MacDonalds restaurant in Quevert in 2000.

Gael was released from prison in 2004, Paskal in 2005, because there was no evidence to link either of them to the Quevert bombing. Gael and Paskal strenuously deny any involvement with the ARB and both served four and five years respectively, in remand, awaiting trial,for a crime neither committed.

Kristian on the other hand does not deny that he was involved with the ARB in the past. He served six years in prison for admitting his association with the ARB. But not a shred of evidence links Kristian to the Quevert bombing.

There are those who will say that there is no smoke without fire. But this would be to misunderstand the motives for the previous trial, to ignore its findings, as well as misundertand the motives for the current re-trial.

After the Quevert bomb went off in 2000 the French state - flailing about wildly and indiscriminately because they didnt know who did it and because public outrage in Paris demanded Breton heads to be cracked - came down hard on ALL activists who supported Breton independence.

Over a hundred Breton activists were arrested in the weeks following the 2000 bombing. Paris was screaming for revenge. Nine prominent Breton actvists were immediately detained without trial. The subsequent trial in 2004 of Gael, Paskal and Kristian was a political show trial with no other purpose than to justify the 2000 crackdown and appease the Paris media that "something was being done".

Now the Paris prosecutors, egged on by the viciously anti-Breton President, Nicholas Sarkozy, are once again stirring up anti-Breton sentiments.

Brittany is a country of 4 million people - a Celtic country roughly comparable in size to Scotland, Ireland or Wales - with its own indigenous Celtic language and culture. The French government are utterly opposed to the break up the French state and routinely attack Breton activists, as well as trying to suppress the Breton language. This is another such attack. One of many.

If there was any evidence that Gael, Kristian or Paskal had been involved in the Quevert bombing I would not be writing this article. But not a scrap of evidence exists. This is why I would hope that anyone who agrees with the principle of natural justice will follow this trial, raise it where possible/necessary, and send messages of solidarity and support to the three falsely-accused Bretons.

There is a rally today in Rennes to demonstrate solidarity with the three accused. I'll post photos and updates of the trial next week.

In solidarity

Kevin Williamson

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Formerly Britain

Is there such a thing as British nationality, Mr Brown et alii?
It follows that if Wales, England and Scotland are nations (which they are (?)) there cannot be a British nation also.
Politicians constantly refer to "this country" and "our nation" when they mean Britain.
There is no logic in calling Britain a nation - surely Britain is a state.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

British = not a Nationality!

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/70662/British-That-s-offensive

COUNCIL WARNS STAFF ABOUT USING OFFENSIVE TERM 'BRITISH'

UNDER FIRE: Former MP Ron Davies


Wednesday November 12,2008

By Martin Evans Have your say(31)

A STORM erupted last night after a council warned staff about referring to people as being British – in case they found it offensive. Town hall bosses said that the term suggested a "false sense of unity" and could upset those from Scotland, Wales and Ireland as well as members of ethnic minorities. The document warns about using the word "British" alongside other offensive terms such as "negro", "spastic" and "half-caste". The advice, presented to 9,000 staff at Caerphilly Council in South Wales, is contained in a training booklet about equality offering tips on communicating with the public.

Critics have blasted the idea as completely unacceptable. Welsh rugby legend Gareth Edwards said: "This is political correctness gone absolutely mad. It is utter nonsense to ban staff from using the word British. Lance Corporal Connick "I'm very proud to be Welsh and if anybody asks me where I'm from, I'll say Wales. But I'm also British and I've played for the British Lions and I'm very proud of that as well. I have no issue with being called British."

Falklands veteran Simon Weston, who was born in Caerphilly, said: "I am proud to call myself a British Welshman. "I just do not know what is going on with Caerphilly Council but guidelines like this are simply ludicrous. Since when was calling
someone British offensive? We are British, that is the simple fact of the matter and whatever is done to try to break us up we have survived. "Welsh soldiers, no matter what regiment they are in, are members of the British Army and they are very proud of that fact." Falklands hero Denzil Connick, 51, who lives within the council's jurisdiction, blasted the ban as "utter nonsense".

Lance Corporal Connick, who lost a leg in the conflict, said: "I always refer to myself as Welsh-British. I have my Welsh heritage but I am proud to be British. "It is utter nonsense to ban staff from using the word British."

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley in West Yorkshire, said he could not understand what was to be gained from such an initiative. He added: "The term British is a unifying term not a divisive one and we ought to be promoting the idea of everybody feeling British rather than looking for reasons to drive us apart." Mr Davies said he thought that the council's "priority ought to be improving services and keeping council tax bills down".

The guide was compiled by the independent Valleys Race Equality Council directed by shamed former Caerphilly MP Ron Davies. The book said that "many Scots, Welsh and Irish resist being called British". It added that people from ethnic minorities should be called "British Asians" or "Chinese British".

Mr Davies, who resigned from his post as Secretary of State for Wales in 1998 after being mugged at a notorious gay cruising spot on Clapham Common, south London, defended the leaflet. "It's just for information, there's no advice or instruction," said Mr Davies, who is an Independent cabinet member on the council.

"Of this council's employees, 3,900 describe themselves as white British, whereas 5,400 describe themselves as white Welsh. So this information is very much in accordance with the way that people in Caerphilly identify themselves."

A council spokesman said: "We are committed to equality and we always try to ensure that everyone is treated equally, regardless of sex, race or religion." He added that the information in the guidebook was "not a direct instruction to staff about what phrases they can and cannot use in the workplace".

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Cornish Independence - The Third Front

Self-rule for Cornwall

Like Wales and Scotland, Cornwall considers itself a separate Celtic nation – so why shouldn't it have independence?


by Peter Tatchell

o Peter Tatchell
o guardian.co.uk, Monday November 10 2008 20.30 GMT
o Article history

Cornish nationalists are preparing a legal challenge to the UK government's decision to refuse the people of Cornwall national minority status. They argue that Cornwall is a separate Celtic nation, similar to Wales and Scotland, and that their political, economic and cultural rights have been diminished by rule from Westminster. The aim is devolution, with a Cornish parliament. Why not?

Last year, both the Commission for Racial Equality (pdf) and the Council of Europe (pdf) urged the UK government to reconsider its non-recognition of Cornish national identity.

To finance a legal challenge in the European Court of Human Rights, a Cornish "fighting fund" has been established, with the aim of raising £100,000.

This new battle for Cornish rights comes 500 years after the Charter of Pardon of 1508, under which the English Crown accepted a degree of Cornish autonomy.

This was an English concession following the rebellion against King Henry VII in 1497, when a 15,000-strong Cornish volunteer army marched on London to protest onerous taxation and oppressive rule. Although the Cornish were defeated, fear of further uprisings prompted the English establishment to abandon its centralising machinations and allow Cornwall greater rights within the Tudor state.

The 1508 Charter implicitly recognised Cornwall's ancient elected Stannary Parliament and accepted its right to veto English law that was prejudicial to the interests of the tin-mining Cornish people - who comprised much of the local population at the time - and to their heirs and successors in perpetuity.

By including this veto in the 1508 Charter, the English monarchy was, in effect, guaranteeing a substantial degree of control over Cornish affairs to the Stannary Parliament.

Indeed, in 1977, the British government acknowledged that recognition of the Stannary Parliament and its right of veto has never been withdrawn.

The quest for Cornish devolved government is driven by deprivation. Rule from Westminster has seen Cornwall decline, from being at the forefront of the industrial revolution, to becoming one of the poorest regions of Europe, now qualifying for EU assistance to make up the shortfall in funding from Whitehall.

In the October 2001 issue of Business Age Magazine, Kevin Cahill wrote a feature headed: The Killing of Cornwall. He noted that the Treasury extracts £1.95bn in taxes out of Cornwall's GDP of £3.6 billion. However, the Treasury returns less than £1.65 billion, so there is a net loss to Cornwall of £300 million. This extraction of wealth is happening in a region of England where earnings are 24% below the national average.

Many people view Cornwall as little more than an extension of the optimistically misnamed "English Riviera" – a pleasant tourist destination. In reality, it is a by-word for low wages, unskilled McJobs and house prices that are out of the reach of many local people.

Allied with this economic impoverishment has been the centralisation and transfer out of Cornwall of decision-making institutions and government offices – together with the skilled jobs they entail – to various undemocratic and faceless south-west England regional quangos, which are run by unelected, unaccountable London appointees.

Westminster's frequent concern for poverty and under-development in the north-east of England is not replicated when it comes to the relative lack of state resources earmarked to tackle deprivation in Cornwall.

Successive London governments have shown little respect for distant Cornwall, or its people, identity, history or culture. It is a far away place about which they know little and about which they seem to care even less. How else can the decades and centuries of neglect be explained?

Nationalists argue that Cornwall is a subjugated nation, in much the same way that Scotland and Wales once were. Not only is the historic Cornish flag – a white cross on a black background – excluded from the Union Jack; until not so long ago Cornish people needed planning permission to fly it.

Comparisons with Scotland and Wales are valid. After all, Cornwall has all the basic cultural attributes of a nation: its own distinct Celtic language, history, festivals, cuisine, music, dance and sports.

Many Cornish people perceive themselves to be other than English. Despite the government's resistance, under Commission for Racial Equality (pdf) and Council of Europe guidelines (pdf) they qualify for recognition as a national minority.

Cornwall county council commissioned a Mori poll in 2003 which showed 55% of Cornish people in favour of a democratically elected, fully devolved regional assembly for Cornwall (an increase from the 46% in favour in a 2002 poll). Earlier, in 2000, the Cornish Constitutional Convention launched a campaign which resulted in a petition signed by 50,000 people calling for a fully devolved Cornish assembly.

Further evidence of the rising tide of Cornish nationalism is the result of the 2001 UK census. It shows that a sizeable proportion of the population defined themselves foremost as Cornish, rather than English or British. Even though it was not a tick box option in the census, 37,000 people wrote Cornish on their forms.

Cornish nationalism finds political expression in Mebyon Kernow (MK), a political party campaigning for a self-rule Cornish parliament. Although its electoral support is currently small, many commentators believe that under a proportionally representative voting system support for MK would grow significantly.

Cornwall was once separate and self-governing. If the Cornish people want autonomy and it would improve their lives, why shouldn't they have self-rule once again? Malta, with only 400,000 people, is an independent state within the EU. Why not Cornwall?

Friday, 7 November 2008

Glenrothes

The SNP increased their vote in Glenrothes. However, it was not sufficient to win the seat - this time! Scotland lives to fight another day. The wind of change is on hold in Alba. Independence is still high on the agenda.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

The Wind of Change - Today´s the Day

Tomorrow we hope to see a repeat of the change which swept across America and brought some sanity into the US political scene. We can only hope to wake up in the morning to a new dawn and to hear of a resounding win for the SNP in Scotland.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Verdict on the U.S. Election

Jill Evans:

'Great hope that Barack Obama will breathe new life into US foreign policy'

Plaid Cymru have sent congratulations Barack Obama follow his historic presidential election victory in the USA. Wales’ Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said that there is now an expectation that the new President will fulfil the plans that he has laid out before his people. Plaid International Affairs Spokesperson Jill Evans MEP said that there was great hope that Barack Obama would breathe new life into US foreign policy.

Jill Evans MEP, who is also Plaid Vice-President, said that Senator Obama’s victory should now herald an end to the Foreign Policy followed by the current American administration.

Jill represents the whole of Wales in the European Parliament. She said:

“There is great hope that Barack Obama will breathe new life into US foreign policy after the division, war mongering and unilateral action of the Bush years. Bridges need to be built and friendships renewed in international relations, based on trust and shared values. The rhetoric has been lofty and inspiring, hopes and spirits have been raised but now it's time for delivery.
“Amongst President Obama's top foreign policy priorities will be restarting the Israeli Palestinian peace process, dealing with Iran's nuclear programme and the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. In these issues and others he has shown every indication of being fairer and more open minded than his predecessor who so severely tarnished America's reputation around the world.

“We also need to see more of an emphasis on a strengthened United Nations which was sidelined by President Bush with such disastrous consequences.”

diwedd / ends

We will now watch with great interest the result of the Glenrothes by-election in Scotland. Pob hwyl i chwi, Peter Grant, SNP.
(alanindyfed)

Victory! One Down - One to Go

As widely predicted, our man won the election in America. Congratulations to Barack Obama, a Man of the 21st Century! On Thursday we look for a similar result in Glenrothes, Scotland. Change is in the air, and the world is awakening to the realities of the present age. Obama speaks with conviction and displays the kind of moral integrity which all politicians should note. These are the qualities we should look for in our own politicians. The peoples of Britain would do well to look to Barack Obama and America for inspiration. The Parties for Scotland and Wales would do well to copy the campaign tactics of the Democrats which were a lesson in political strategy and logistics, and greatly involved the use of You Tube and the internet.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Change Happens! - Tomorrow the World Awakes

The election to be held in America tomorrow will be a wake-up call for the world - the election on Thursday at Glenrothes will be a wake-up call for Britain. Nothing will ever be the same. The voice of sanity and expectancy will not be stifled. Times will be hard but we will pull through as humanity gropes towards a sense of its true destiny.
Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States and Peter Grant will be at Westminster fighting the cause of Alba (which others know to be Scotland).

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Voting for Change - Peter Grant and Barack Obama

Two significant elections will shortly be held, in Scotland (Glenrothes) and America (USA) and the significance of both cannot be underestimated. Both elections, in their own way, could result in great changes in Britain and America which may hold the seed of world transformation. The importance of Glenrothes to the Labour government is highlighted by the fact that Gordon Brown is actively campaigning in the constituency in a vain attempt to prevent a devastating win for the SNP.
An SNP win will set the seal for unionist Labour's demise in Scottish politics, and will point towards the government's ultimate defeat at the next General Election.

As usual Independence Cymru predicts the outcome:
a victory for change and progressive politics - a win for Peter Grant and the SNP, further bolstering the Scottish Party's bid for independence, and a win for Barack Obama and his positive and dynamic realism towards the economic problems and international crises which embroil America, Europe and the world.

Background


Fife is traditionally a stronghold for the Labour Party. McDougall had held Glenrothes and its forerunner, Central Fife, since 2001, when he succeeded Henry McLeish. Willie Hamilton had previously represented the area, which has elected Labour MPs since Hamilton won West Fife from the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1950.

The poll follows a run of poor by-election results for the Labour Party, which have included a loss to the Scottish National Party (SNP) in Glasgow East, formerly the party's twenty-fifth safest seat in Britain. Glenrothes has a considerably smaller Labour majority than Glasgow East had.

According to the Financial Times, Labour have privately admitted that they expect to lose Glenrothes to the SNP. The Guardian describes the constituency's main town, Glenrothes, as a "core area" for the SNP. The SNP were in second place in the seat in the 2005 General Election and won the nearest equivalent seat in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election.

The SNP also run Fife Council, which covers the constituency, in coalition with the Scottish Liberal Democrats. The Scottish Liberal Democrats won the last by-election to be held in Fife from Labour on a swing of 16%.

The Labour Party have claimed that the SNP have been campaigning in Glenrothes ahead of MacDougall's death, but the SNP claim that their local Member of the Scottish Parliament, Tricia Marwick, has simply been working in the area in her elected role.

The seat adjoins that of the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, and it is possible that as a result he will be under pressure to actively campaign in the by-election, something Prime Ministers generally avoid.

(Wikipaedia)

Thursday, 23 October 2008

EU proposals 'good for Welsh students and universities'

From Jill Evans MEP Plaid Cymru

Plans to extend the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme have been described as good news for Welsh students and universities by Plaid MEP Jill Evans.

MEPs in Strasbourg this week approved proposals which would see more scholarships for European students and an increase in the number of students coming to study from outside the EU.

It's hoped the plans will be an important boost for Welsh universities who will be able to attract some of the best foreign students and academics. There will also be funding available to promote links between Welsh universities and those outside Europe.

In 2007/08 a total of 458 Welsh students studied overseas thanks to Erasmus, mostly in France, Spain and Italy, with Finland and Norway also popular destinations, and all Welsh universities take part. The European Commission proposes to make 950 million euros available for the Erasmus Mundus II programme in 2009-13.

Speaking from Strasbourg after the vote, the Plaid MEP, who represents the whole of Wales in the European Parliament, said:

"The aim of this multi million pound scheme is to help our universities attract the best foreign students and academics, forge links with institutions abroad and make it easier for our students to study abroad.

"Already, the scheme has proved extremely popular in Wales with hundreds of Welsh students studying overseas every year thanks to Erasmus, and hundreds of overseas students coming here to study.

"I am pleased to give these plans my full support, and I hope our Welsh universities will take full advantage of the new funding available."

Fellow Plaid European candidate Natasha Asghar, who spent time on work experience at Jill's office in Brussels when a student, commented:

"Working in Europe was an amazing experience and was a major influence on my career path.

"The political buzz and the opportunity to meet new people abroad was a fantastic experience that I shall cherish forever and I highly recommend it to everyone."

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Further Closures Pending

Following the massive closures of post offices in the countries of (Great) Britain the next closures to be made are :
PUBLIC TOILETS
The public are advised to make their own arrangements depending on their needs.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

At the Feet of the Master

Alex Salmond's speech to the SNP Conference


Friends – one of the delegates was asking me for the details of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge that we launched the other day.

This is the latest Homecoming event – the final stage of one the world’s great rally events coming to Scotland next November – the first stage of the same event is the Monte Carlo rally! It will attract a MINIMUM of 40,000 people to Stirlingshire and Perthshire next year and stow out just about every guest house and hotel.

Now I launched this on Tuesday with Provost John Hulbert of SNP led Perth and Kinross Council and Provost Fergus Wood of eech at the SNP ConferenceNP led Stirling Council. I said to them that’s a fair number of folk – you know 40,000 people - this is like having 20 SNP Conferences in a single year – so which would you rather have - conferences or rally?

They – John and Fergus - being loyal Party members, totally unflinching in their dedication to the national cause, both immediately said – we’ll have the rally!

Delegates, Homecoming Scotland – the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns - something which by definition only happens once every 250 years – will be a marvellous celebration of all things Scottish – Burns himself, golf whisky, music and dance and Scottish scientific advance and innovation.

AND let us acknowledge that Sandi Thom has dedicated her forthcoming tour to Scotland’s Year of Homecoming.

Sandi comes from Banff in my constituency, and her Homecoming Tour will visit her home town - I merely mention this to secure my ticket!

Delegates, I am delighted that Sandi will be providing the sound track to the 2009 celebrations – with her own version of my favourite song – Dougie McLean’s Caledonia.

And let’s not forget the FITBA, with the Homecoming Scottish Cup. Forty countries will be tuning in when I present the trophy to Heart of Midlothian next year – ok not all of that sentence is absolutely certain to happen!

Scotland’s Year of Homecoming is a chance for Scotland’s international family, and all who feel an affinity with our nation, to come back and reconnect with our heritage while also learning what being Scottish in the 21st century means.

And with a really spectacular programme of 160 national events I am positive that our year long Homecoming celebrations will turn a threatened tourism downturn into a visitor boom.

Let the message ring out from this conference to all of Scotland. Get behind homecoming and make 2009 a year to remember for Scotland.

And so we intend to turn a feared tourist bust into a visitor boom.

Of course I would never be daft enough to proclaim an end to “boom and bust”

And yet that is what the Prime Minister claimed so many, many times. Or as he clarified when tackled on this boast last Saturday, apparently his pledge was not to end “boom and bust” but just to end “Tory boom and bust”.

Ah well that’s all right then. Now we understand. Tory boom and bust is bad but Labour boom and bust is ok?

Delegates maybe we should just describe it as London’s boom and bust.

Delegates, Brown’s Labour bust threatens to break records – and has almost broken our banks.

Under his watch our greatest company has had to be rescued and saddled with 12 per cent preference shares. And our oldest Bank is threatened with disappearing as an independent force.

And the Prime Minister thinks this is an advert for the Union?

I would have thought that the condition of the economy, the fears of our people, the state of the financial sector, are a staggering condemnation of the state of the United Kingdom.

Delegates during the period of financial chaos over the last few weeks we willingly responded to the call to put political differences aside in a national emergency. We did so because we thought it was the right thing to do.

And how did the Prime Minister respond? At his very first opportunity last Tuesday he launched an attack on independence and the SNP.

You know delegates. It is almost as if there was something at the back of his mind, something worrying him – I wonder what that could be – perhaps a by election beginning with G ?

Two days ago in another interview he said he knows how people feel. He feels our pain.

That much is true. He is certainly making a connection. Last month he was frightened of losing his job. Now tens of thousands of people are frightened of losing their jobs.

There was a time when unionists in Scotland concentrated on running down our own country. Now in order to make their case they are forced to run down other countries as well.

Now we are expected to believe that because of the manifest problems of Iceland that Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark are all going bust.

Well delegates I have here the latest growth forecasts of the International Monetary Fund published last week. Ireland is in recession but it is and will remain almost 40 per cent per head more prosperous than the UK.

And what do Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland have in common? They are among the few countries in Europe still forecast to escape recession.

And as for the UK – the country which had eliminated boom and bust? It is expected to tumble into the economic mire.

Wouldn’t you expect a Prime Minister who is presiding over the biggest economic reverse for a generation to be a little careful about his attacks on the economic records of other countries?

Well conference I say that we should be grateful to the Prime Minister.

It allows us the chance to speak our mind.

Let us start with the TSB Lloyds takeover of HBOS. Four weeks ago it was the only game in town as it was either merger or oblivion and I have not and will not make any criticism of the actions of Lloyds TSB. They have acted perfectly honourably as far as I can see.

But circumstances have changed and now – right now - there are questions to answer. These questions were placed pointedly this week - fairly and directly by some of Scotland’s major business figures.

The Bank recapitalisation gives the UK government a share and a big say in the future of the joint company – as much as 40%.

So let the Prime Minister and the Chancellor answer the questions that have been legitimately put to them.

Before THEY put OUR money into THIS bailout we want to be sure that it is in the public interest and in the interests of jobs and decision making in Scotland.

Is the re-capitalisation available to both banks independently? If not, then why not?

If the future of HBOS has been secured then are we not entitled to ensure that any merger is in the public interest – that the public won’t end up paying for the merger, paying for lost jobs and then paying for the restriction of competition.

Until these questions are satisfactorily answered then there must be no merger.

The Bank of Scotland has been around for 300 years. It is hard wired into the social and economic fabric of Scotland. It does not deserve to be just cast aside as a consequence of the AGE OF IRRESPONSIBILITY.

Of course the Age of Irresponsibility is the Prime Minister’s own phrase - produced as if he had nothing whatsoever to do with it!

Calgacus said of the Romans. They create a desert and call it peace. Gordon Brown has co-authored a calamity and called it a triumph.

Where did this age of irresponsibility come from? Who broke down the barriers in the financial sector? Who presided over the inflation of asset values? Who allowed the spivs and speculators of the £40 TRILLION derivatives markets – the financial weapons of mass destruction - to be totally unregulated? It might just have had something to do with the occupant of 10 and 11 Downing Street over these last eleven years.

And in a wider sense of the age of irresponsibility?

I believe the age of irresponsibility is the proposal to spend £40 billion on building new weapons of mass destruction in Scotland.

I believe the age of irresponsibility is the off balance sheet, credit card finance of the PFI.

I believe the age of irresponsibility is financing and keeping troops in an illegal war in Iraq even after the Iraqi government asks us to leave.

Let the message ring out from this conference. We should have an end to the age of irresponsibility – not just in the financial sector but also in the governance of the country.

Sub prime? More like sub Prime Minister.

Delegates, what we need is a new age – an age of responsibility.

A new time for our nation – when we reap our own harvest and ring our own till.

And what is our role in this new age of responsibility? Our role as a Government and our responsibility as a nation?

Delegates,

July was a highlight month for Scotland – a highlight for obvious reasons in Glasgow East with the election of John Mason, the man who has developed an entire new trademark from the thumbs up sign!

But there was another highlight even more important. Unemployment on the International Labour Organisation measurement reached its lowest ever level in Scotland – 4 per cent.

But behind the figures there was worrying news from the business surveys suggesting the credit crunch was about to bite and that has since happened – and big time.

That is why over the summer the Government set its mind to the action we could take within our current responsibilities to maximise jobs and investment.

We accelerated £100 million of capital spending to provide a much needed boost to our housebuilders this year and next.

Fast-tracked investment to add to the billions being spent today across Scotland on capital projects, big and small, – including new schools in Falkirk, Lanarkshire and West Lothian. Projects the length and breadth of Scotland already approved by this government as part of 250 new and refurbished schools we WILL deliver in our first term.

And hospitals. Coming soon the new Southern General Hospital – the largest project in the history of the Scottish health service. To be built, I am proud to say, every single penny with direct public finance.

What a fitting tribute to the sixtieth anniversary year of our health service.

As Scotland’s government our responsibility is to act now and invest for our future.

That is why today work is underway on a crucial part of our successful Commonwealth Games bid, the SNP delivering after 50 years of talking, the completion of the M74 – bringing 1000 welcome jobs at its peak.

And why we are investing to bring our transport infrastructure into the 21st century – the SNP electrifying the rail network across central Scotland; cutting journey times through this fair city of Perth from Edinburgh and Glasgow to Aberdeen and Inverness; £200 million of new rolling stock to transform capacity and comfort on the railways.

Record capital investment, delivering jobs in Scotland today and well into the future. And after the excess of PFI, real value for money through the Scottish Futures Trust.

The right choice for today, and wise choices for our future.

Our role must also be to support Scotland’s wealth creators – the people and the companies that will form the core of our recovery and economic resillience.

Delegates, as a party we have long supported the thousands of small Scottish businesses that form the life blood of our economy.

This year tens of thousands of Scottish business saw their rates bill slashed by the SNP. Next year we will extend it further boosting the high streets and main streets of Scotland.

And we will do more.

Big contracts should not just be for big companies.

We have been determined to open up access to government contracts to our small and medium sized businesses.

This summer we developed an online contracts portal to enable this to happen.

I can now tell conference that no less than 10,000 suppliers have registered and we have advertised £1.5 billion of contracts to date.

The Scottish government - now open for Scotland’s small businesses.

Delegates, this is a government that works with the people and for the people. A government and party that is on Scotland’s side.

We are working to ensure our economy is best placed to weather the financial storm and well positioned for recovery.

And we are also working to protect households across Scotland.

We are the party of the home and the high street.

Already we have, with our local authority partners, delivered a freeze in the Council Tax this year and we are phasing out prescription charges.

Two measures that leave more money in the pockets of families in all parts of our country.

And we are doing more.

John Swinney has confirmed that resources will be available to freeze the Council Tax for the next two years – a measure that will ease the pressure on family budgets on the way to the abolition of the hated council tax.

And today, I can announce new help for hard-pressed homeowners, with an extension of our shared equity scheme for first time buyers. And to allow us to give more young Scots the opportunity of a new, affordable home, we plan to increase the money available for this important initiative by 150% from £24 million to £60 million.

This will help, not only first-time buyers, but also families currently struggling to sell their homes.

It will provide much needed demand in our housing market, jobs, homes and hope.

And, for next year, we will expand the scheme from the current 10 Scottish local authority areas to cover the whole country – bringing in towns and cities from Glasgow and Dundee to Stranraer, Falkirk and Glenrothes.

It is the action of the party of the home and the high street - ready able and willing to help where we can – SNP on your side.

And as Scotland’s party we will continue to demand that Scotland gets the fair deal to which we are entitled.

We have identified £1 billion of Scotland’s money that should be released right now to invest in services and jobs in our country.

A billion pound is a lot of cash, a big number – so let us examine just one part of it - the £120 million of Scottish money from the Fossil Fuel Levy.

Today, this £120 million sits, untouched and untouchable, in an Ofgem bank account in London. Lost investment because of daft accounting rules.

Earlier this week I visited Tullis Russell in Glenrothes, where they will be soon building a new bio-mass plant – an energy source for the company itself, but also a plant that could power every home in Fife. That plant will reduce Scotland’s carbon emissions by some 250,000 tonnes a year AND it will give Tullis Russell a competitive edge in terms of energy supply and energy cost. It is a project that creates new jobs and secures 550. It is a great company, 200 years old, Trust owned and profit shared.

It is exactly this sort of win win win that the Scottish Government is focused on creating across Scotland and we are supporting that project to the tune of £8 million.

The concept of renewable energy applied to major industrial plants is an example of how we can harness the great resources of Scotland to power the future.

We could help finance 15 projects on the scale of Tullis Russell across Scotland from the Ofgem money – giving Scottish companies energy security, a competitive edge, making and protecting jobs and cutting our CO2 emissions.

And this win, win, win for Scotland has been met thus far by a no, no, no from the London exchequer.

Delegates, the reason that the SNP is trusted by the people is that they know in good times and in tough times Scotland’s party puts Scotland first and will not take no for an answer.

We accept our responsibilities and we fight for Scotland’s rights.

But let us be clear what is needed right now from the government in London to avoid our nation being dragged into a deep recession – action from those who currently have responsibility for economic management.

We demand further and deep cuts in interest rates

Lower tax on energy bills over this winter

And a programme of capital investment in expanded public works

Three clear steps – action that if taken today will save families from greater economic pain tomorrow.

And as we cast an eye to the years ahead we have strong foundations here in Scotland to build on.

We have great strengths and many advantages.

As the storm clouds clear – and they will – there is the prospect of a much brighter future.

A summer of uncertainty in the markets was matched by a summer of success for Scotland’s renewables industry – with investment worth £1 billion in the last three months alone.

If this is what we can do in a time of global slowdown, just think what more we can achieve in the months and years to come.

The opportunity is as big as our ambition.

We are proud to have the support of National Geographic on the Saltire Prize – the world’s largest innovation prize for marine renewables.

And when we launched the Saltire Prize at National Geographic’s headquarters in Washington, they hailed it as a prime example of how “a small country can make a big impact on a global challenge.”

We will be setting out the details of the challenge as part of this year’s celebration of St Andrew’s Day, but I am delighted to announce today that Professor Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has agreed to join the Saltire Prize Committee.

Delegates, Professor Pachauri is a hugely significant figure in the international battle to tackle climate change, and along with the other members of the IPPC, a Nobel Prize winner.

It is an honour that he is part of this nation’s efforts to deliver a step change in renewable energy generation from the waves and the tides, for the benefit of the whole world

We can lead the world in marine renewable energy and not only lead the world but lead IN the world.

As part of our partnership with the nation and people of Malawi, we will be supporting the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute with a £340,000 grant as they work to promote sustainable communities, including the use of ethical bio-fuels.

By supporting the development of renewable energy in Malawi, we are contributing to the wider global battle to tackle climate change and doing so in a way that protects, rather than threatens, people’s food security.

It is in these ways that Scotland can step up to meet the many challenges that face our planet.

In our new Scotland, gone will be the old ways of illegal wars and weapons of mass destruction.

And in its place our new age of responsibility – at home and abroad.

A nation that takes responsibility for our own success and our own future.

And as a nation, our strength is not only in our renewables sector. In the past 6 months Scottish manufacturing companies have won £1.2 billion of major contracts.

In engineering and electronics – aerospace and pharmaceuticals. Companies like Aberdeen’s Wood Group, or Galashiel’s Pro-Strakan, Clyde Blowers or Alexander Dennis – winning contracts in America, Norway, Italy, Ireland, the Gulf and many more.

Scottish companies with global reach and, even in these difficult times, global success stories.

Companies building on Scotland’s comparative advantages.

In life sciences Scottish research is opening up the prospect of cures for even the worst of diseases. In the last three months announced from Aberdeen, Glasgow and Edinburgh, breakthroughs in Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis, and diabetes.

Our Universities are co-operating to provide the critical mass of graduates to attract the mightiest pharmaceutical companies in the world and your Government is facilitating the rapid growth of the sector.

Delegates it is said that Scotland “invented the modern world” – not said by a Scot but by the American Arthur Herman in the book of that name – the innovation that we celebrate in Homecoming.

I am not and have never been a ‘wha’s like us’ sort of person. I am well aware of our nation’s faults and shortcomings – and this administration is tackling one or two of them.

But equally I am well aware of the nation’s abilities, strengths and capacity to imagine the future.

And I will not have this country’s potential traduced by unionist political self interest. People who would sell their country short.

Their position is that the nation which invented the modern world is incapable of governing itself successfully. It is a ludicrous demeaning proposition – out of date and out of time.

Delegates, prosperity will come when we make the most of all these national strengths and assets.

Something the London Government will never do or even allow us to do.

So, in this age of global uncertainty we know where the correct path for Scotland lies.

Across Scotland we see a more confident nation – a nation that is ready to face any challenge.

A nation whose destiny is independence.

The new age of responsibility will usher in that new Scotland.

Monday, 20 October 2008

More Madness from Government & Co.

Doctors are to be given high incentives for NOT recommending their patients to go to hospital.

Please feel free to comment and list other government directives which appear to you as insane.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

What if?

The collapse of the banking system has called into question the issue of independence for Wales and for Scotland. With the problems mounting on the government of Iceland and the downturn of the Irish economy has come the questioning of independence as a valid and legitimate goal. How, they say, would Scotland, or Wales, have prospered if it wasn´t for the British government to come to the rescue?
What would have happened without Gordon Brown and his trusted Chancellor?
Well, what do you think?

Monday, 13 October 2008

Lest We Forget

You may wish to add a new blog to your collection : ANTI-METRIX

Campaign to oppose St Athan privatised military academy - biggest PFI/PPP ever, with arms dealers Raytheon Serco. M Hayle, chief exec Metrix 'Our aim is that by 2013 if you travelled anywhere in the world and talked about military training, people would say that St Athan was the only place to go. John Pilger "a British "School of the Americas" is to be built in Wales, where British soldiers will train killers from all corners of the American empire in the name of "global security".

www.antimetrix.org/

Saturday, 11 October 2008

A Digital Television Network for Scotland

Scotland now benefits from BBC Alba, much of which is in the native language of Alba - Gaelic. It is an entertaining channel and I recommend that you tune in. A debate has just recently taken place in the Scottish Parliament on the creation of an independent digital television network for Scotland and cross-party consensus has been achieved for this highly important service, which will assist in
further promoting the economic and cultural life of the nation. It is encouraging to note that, while many Scots are not (yet) nationalists, they recognise their distinctive heritage and are Scots patriots who have the best interests of their nation at heart. The next goal on the agenda should be to promote the Gaelic language and set up schools for the Gaeltacht areas of Alba, as there are relatively few Gaelic speakers in comparison with the 500,000 in Wales who speak their nation's language.

Thursday, 9 October 2008

The Age of Materialism

Does not this economic and financial calamity - the biggest since 1929 - only go to show that mankind has got its priorities of life utterly wrong, and that the world is dominated by greed, ignorance, fear and the lust for power, fame, affluence and self-aggrandisement? Mankind is destroying itself along with its environment through its self-induced separation from nature and spirituality.

The economic melt-down serves as a warning for mankind to change its ways, or perish.
It is not money that is the root of all evil. It is our extravagance and imprudence. It is to do with our whole philosophical attitude to life and its purpose. It is to do with the divided self which is expressed in a divided and fragmented society and an abused and exploited world. Man creates his own heaven and his own hell. It is here and now, not in some fantasy dimension.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

A Letter from a Cornish Patriot

The Cornish Fighting Fund, promoting local cultural diversity

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to bring your attention to a new campaign by Cornwall 2000 to get the Cornish and our culture some legal recognition within the UK and EU. The purpose of the fund is to pay much of the costs involved in pursuing a legal action against the UK Government. The action is necessary after government’s constant, dogmatic and wholly irrational, refusal to include the Cornish within an international treaty designed to, among other things, introduce educational pluralism in their traditional homeland and thus bring to an end the forced assimilation of the Cornish people. That treaty is the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities. Please study this short summary of the situation and help us take the steps necessary to secure, among other things, equal educational opportunity for all pupils in Cornish schools. The website for the fund can be found here: http://www.cornishfightingfund.org/index.php Please help and please do feel free to forward this e-mail to any you think might be interested. I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have or alternatively you can contact the campaign via the website.

Oll an gwella

Philip Hosking

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Republican Reactionary Regressives

Republicans in America are the equivalent of the "Yesterday's Men" of British politics, and typically resort to gutter tactics by throwing sleazy allegations at their opponents when they see that they are losing support in the race for the White House. Their childish tactics only serve to make Barack Obama appear more statesmanlike in contast. Let us hope that the somewhat gullible American public see them for what they are - opportunists and reactionaries.

Whatever It Takes

I would like to point out that we will do "whatever it takes" to ensure that Wales and Scotland achieve their independence in the shortest possible time. Have no fear, we promise to do "everything in our power" to work towards this end, in the interests of the people of Wales and the people of Scotland. We will do " whatever is necessary" to bring about social and economic regeneration for the people of these nations, which are stuck in an invidious position as part of a bureaucratic and highly regulated British state presided over by a government of diminished responsibility.

We look forward to the forthcoming by-election at Glenrothes, to be held on November 6th, and anticipate a big win for the SNP and the People of Scotland.

Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Strange Predisposition

David Cameron likes Wales, we are told, and is well disposed towards the Welsh nation.
If this is true let him declare his support for the establishment of a Welsh Parliament with full powers for legilation, unhampered by the restrictions imposed by the British government. Furthermore, he could lend his support to thye Scottish parliament to free itself from restriction which prevent the Scottish government from fully managing its own affairs.
Until the Conservative policy-makers have a change in attitude towards the national interests of the Celtic fringe this party will make little or no headway in the constituencies of these nations. They may well win the next election but they will not take Wales and Scotland into their fold!

Friday, 3 October 2008

Emulating the Dragon!

It appears that David Cameron is seeking to revive the policies of Thatcherite Conservatism in his bid to win power in Britain. In his Convention speech he made references to the change which Margaret Thatcher brought to British politics. He also stated that his policy was conservative, not libertarian. While this Labour government is in dire need of being replaced owing to Labour´s inept and incompetent, arrogant and bureaucratic, ten years in office, with a great increase in social injustice and mismanagement of public funds the policies envisioned by David Cameron will not endear him to the Welsh electorate.

There is undoubtedly the need for change, as Britain increasingly falls into the type of society as described in "Animal Farm" and "1984", but we should be careful that the changes proposed by David Cameron and others do not mean a reversion to Thatcherism.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Who do the People of Wales Trust?

The people of Wales cannot trust the British parties whatever their policies or their hue. The simple reason is that they all believe in the Union, and in keeping the "country" (Britain) united. Despite the policy of "devolution" which they advocate they fear the one thing which will free the nations of Britain from the bureaucratic enslavement of the British establishment - Independence. They cannot accept, let alone visualise, the day when the nations of these islands become self-governing entities within the umbrella of the European Union, using a common currency and subscribing to a common philosophy based on the rule of law and the principles of the French Revolution - liberty, equality and brotherhood. A truly united Europe can only become a fact when the nations of Europe are free, self-governing and interdependent.