Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Plaid Cymru in Pact with the SNP



From The Times
March 31, 2010
SNP and Plaid Cymru set out their plans for hung Parliament


Ieuan Wyn Jones, right, with Alex Salmond. The Plaid leader said a strong "Celtic bloc" of MPs "will give us a once in a generation opportunity to secure the best possible deal"
Lorraine Davidson


Alex Salmond will demand complete control of Scotland’s finances in return for supporting the UK government in the event of a hung parliament.


The SNP leader yesterday set out his demands for dealing with the next Westminster government if the main parties fail to secure a majority.


In agreement with the Welsh nationalist party Plaid Cymru the Scottish nationalists formally ruled out joining a Westminster coalition.


Mr Salmond said his party would not agree to prop up either a Conservative or Labour UK government if the election produced no overall winner and would only support the administration on a case by case basis.


He claimed that a hung parliament would be “the best possible outcome” for Scotland and would give the nationalists an opportunity to press for a package of demands.


Complete control of all the money raised and spent north of the Border including North Sea oil and gas revenues would be at the top of the SNP’s list of demands in return for support on any UK government measures.


In addition to fiscal autonomy, the SNP say they would press for the protection of front line services, environmental measures and support for business growth.


Mr Salmond said: “While Westminster parties regard the prospect of a hung Parliament as a difficulty, it presents a substantial opportunity for the nations of Scotland and Wales.”


Recent opinion polls have suggested the election, expected on May 6, could leave no party with the absolute majority of seats required to form the next government.


That would result in talks between the mainstream and smaller parties, in an attempt to find agreements to underpin a new administration.


The SNP and Plaid yesterday signed an agreement to join forces in any talks in an effort to secure action on their four priority areas in return for their support on other measures.


Plaid’s main demand is for a more generous funding agreement for Wales.


The Plaid leader, Ieuan Wyn Jones, said a strong “Celtic bloc” of MPs “will give us a once in a generation opportunity to secure the best possible deal” for the people of the two nations.


Both parties have close experience of such negotiations. Mr Salmond’s SNP government is a minority administration which relies on the votes of other parties to get its legislation through Holyrood while Plaid Cymru is in coalition with Labour in the Welsh Assembly.


Mr Salmond reiterated his refusal to join a formal coalition with Labour or the Tories, “We will not form a coalition with either Tweedledum or Tweedledee.


“That would be entirely wrong and hugely difficult,” he said — given their commitments to make deep public spending cuts in future years.”


The SNP and Plaid plan to hold a series of press conferences in Scotland, London and Wales during the election campaign during which they will give further details of their demands.


The SNP leader also held talks with the Chancellor Alistair Darling in London yesterday.


Mr Salmond demanded a £350 million cash injection to help Scotland deal with the effects of the recession.


He also insisted that the current Scottish budget which was passed earlier this year was not subjected to further cuts.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Scots Can Go it Alone, and they will....



From the SNP
The SNP has urged Scots to make their own decision at the General Election after Labour, joined the Tories in disregarding Scots voters, echoing the actions of broadcasters who are currently ignoring Scotland’s views in the General Election debate.
With fewer than 100 days until a May 6th election opposition parties continue to refuse to treat Scotland’s voters with the respect they deserve.
Last week the Tory leader in Scotland claimed the Conservatives did not need Scotland to govern.  This week one of Labour’s leaders added to the disrespect toward Scots voters by telling them who to vote for – rather than putting a choice before Scotland’s voters.

SNP MP and Campaign Manager Stewart Hosie said:
“The attitude of the UK parties to Scottish politics is deeply disrespectful.
“It is typical UK party politics to ignore the views of actual voters in constituencies and to lecture them on how to vote and how they will be treated.
“The General Election should be about the people of Scotland making a choice not Jim Murphy or Annabel Goldie making it for them.
“Scotland is already being ignored by broadcasters with their focus on debates on English health and education systems that will be largely irrelevant to Scottish viewers, now the UK parties are doing the same – even their Scottish leaders have joined in. 
“The only party talking about what matters to people in constituencies across Scotland is the SNP.
“This kind of opposition arrogance is simply unacceptable.
“Labour can campaign how they like, but the public will make the decision and this kind of arrogance will find no favour.”

Sunday, 28 March 2010

How Green is Wales Today?





From the "Washington Post" - click on the link.


Make Wales even Greener - at the election 
Think Green - Vote Plaid



Saturday, 27 March 2010

Another lying New Labour advert banned (26Mar10)




Anyone who votes Labour in the election is someone who condones dishonest behaviour by politicians.

England is Surrounded by Celtic Nations

The Celtic League

Aims

The Celtic League presents its aims as including:
"Fostering co-operation between Celtic peoples."
"Developing the consciousness of the special relationship and solidarity between them."
"Making our national struggles and achievements better known abroad."
"Campaigning for a formal association of Celtic nations to take place once two or more of them have achieved self-government."
"Advocating the use of the national resources of each of the Celtic countries for the benefit of all its people."[1]
"Each Celtic nation is conditioned by a different history and so we must not expect uniformity of thought, but instead allow diversity to express itself within the Celtic League. In this way, we may better recognise those areas of possible co-operation and eventually formulate a detailed common policy. With this we can work out which kind of relations between our communities will enable them to enjoy freedoms and liberties at both individual and community level."[2]
Politically, the Celtic league seeks to create six sovereign states from the six Celtic nations it acknowledges as existing, unified in some way. There is some variation in the understanding of these aims, which ranges from general meetings, to an actual federation along the lines of the Nordic Council.[citation needed]
[edit]Branches

Scotland
Ireland
Man
Wales
Cornwall
Brittany
There are six main branches of the Celtic League,[citation needed] often utilising local Celtic language place names: Ireland is known as Éire, Scotland as Alba, Wales as Cymru, Brittany as Breizh, Cornwall as Kernow and the Isle of Man as Mannin.
Brittany
Cornwall
Ireland
Isle of Man
Scotland
Wales

There is also an International Branch, and others based in the USA and London. There used to be a branch in Cape Breton Island, Canada, where a small Scottish Gaelic-speaking community still exists. Attempts to set up branches in Australia, and the Chubut Valley, Patagonia, (where there is a Welsh-speaking colony) have failed until recently though at the end of 2009 a branch has been set up in Patagonia with the help of Welsh-speaking patagonian enthusiasts led by Mónica Jones.

Magazines

The Celtic League publishes a quarterly magazine, Carn, which highlights political struggles and cultural preservation issues. The articles are produced in the six living Celtic languages (including Manx and Cornish) in addition to English. The cover of the magazine is a map of the six Celtic countries with their respective Celtic language names beside them. In the past, articles have appeared in French as well. For many years, Carn claimed to be the only regular publication carrying all six surviving Celtic languages.
The Celtic League, American Branch (CLAB) prints its own quarterly newsletter, Six Nations, One Soul,[3] which provides news of Branch activities and events within the Celtic communities in the United States, publishes letters from members, and reviews books and recordings of Celtic interest. It also produces its own calendar each year, with art from members, appropriate quotations and anniversaries.[4]
Other Branches have published their own magazines from time to time, but few have been very long-lived.
[edit]History

Founded in 1961, the present Celtic League grew out of various other Pan-Celtic organisations, particularly the Celtic Congress, but with a more political emphasis. Previously, the likes of Hugh MacDiarmid and others had suggested something along the same lines.
It was started at the 1961 National Eisteddfod which was held at Rhosllanerchrugog near Wrexham in north east Wales. Two of the founding members were Gwynfor Evans and J E Jones, who were respectively president and secretary-general of Plaid Cymru at the time. Interest was expressed by Scottish parties, and also by two prominent Breton exiles, Yann Fouéré and Alan Heusaff.
The Celtic League, American Branch (CLAB) was founded in New York City in 1974. It plays little part in AGMs.

Notable members and former members
Some of the more notable past and present members of the Celtic League have been Plaid Cymru luminary Gwynfor Evans, Alan Heusaff, the historian and writer Peter Berresford Ellis, writer Bernard Le Nail, Manx language revivalist Brian Stowell, and Winnie Ewing, Robert McIntyre and Rob Gibson of the Scottish National Party.

Campaigns
The Celtic League also campaigns for a united Ireland, and the return of the Loire-Atlantique départment to Brittany (see "Bretagne"). Over the years, the Celtic League has campaigned consistently in support of the languages in Celtic nations, and for the return of ancient artefacts, removed from Celtic countries to museums outside of these areas - amongst these are the Lewis Chessmen and the Chronicles of Mann. These campaigns have been conducted in various ways.
The Manx branch of the Celtic League successfully campaigned for the Calf of Man (island) to be transferred from the National Trust in England to the Manx National Trust.[citation needed]
In the mid-1990s, the Celtic League started a campaign to have the word "Alba" on the Scottish football and rugby tops. Since 2005, the SFA have supported the use of Scots Gaelic on their teams's strip in recognition of the language's revival in Scotland.[5] However, the SRU is still being lobbied to have "Alba" on the national rugby strip.[6][7]
The Celtic League has also passed a motion to support the general aims of Independence First, which aims for a referendum on Scottish independence.[8]

Political status of countries

The political status of the the Celtic League's suggested six Celtic nations varies widely. Both the UK and France were traditionally very centralised states (although France more so).
The following Celtic nations have some degree of autonomy, although Ireland consists of the territory of two sovereign states:
Republic of Ireland (26 counties) - independent.
Northern Ireland (6 counties) - under the Good Friday Agreement some autonomy and various provisions were granted on a power-sharing basis, but various controversies between unionists and republicans have caused the British government to rule directly. Northern Ireland now has its own devolved Assembly since 2007.
The Isle of Man - home rule, a British Crown Dependency outside the UK and European Union, arguably the oldest continuous parliament in the world.
Scotland - has had its own devolved Parliament since 1999.
Wales - has had its own devolved Assembly since 1999.
There is also a campaign for a Cornish Assembly. In 2000 the Cornish Constitutional Convention launched the Declaration for a Cornish Assembly campaign. In less than two years, more than 50,000 people signed the Assembly petition and Lord Whitty, in the House of Lords, recognised that Cornwall has a "special case" for devolution. On a visit to Cornwall, John Prescott said "Cornwall has the strongest regional identity in the UK."
Thus three of the countries are completely within the United Kingdom, one partially, and another is a British dependency. Brittany is part of the French state, and does not have any legislative autonomy, but four départements have some financial autonomy as one of the Regions of France, whilst the fifth département is in another French region. The Republic of Ireland is completely independent.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Guido Fawkes and Cider-Space


Cider imbibers will not be voting Labour in the election.
That rules out the populations of Devon, Somerset and Herefordshire who will now vote Tory, possibly Lib-Dem, 65% of whom drink cider.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Scots Prepare for Electoral Success

....and a Hung Parliament?

Chancellor must use Budget to freeze fuel duty

On the eve of the 2010 UK Budget, SNP Treasury Spokesman Stewart Hosie MP has called on the UK Government to freeze fuel duty and back SNP measures to stabilise fuel prices. As part of a Fair Fuel Campaign launched at SNP Spring Conference, SNP activists have been campaigning across Scotland for fair fuel prices.

The SNP are pressurising the UK Government to rule out further cuts to Scotland’s budget on top of the £814m reduction already planned and give greater clarity over future Scottish budgets to allow the Scottish Government to plan more effectively for the next Scottish spending review.

The SNP will continue their campaign for accelerated capital spending.

Commenting, SNP Treasury Spokesperson Stewart Hosie MP said:

“Rocketing fuel prices are putting a massive strain on household budgets across Scotland.

“Not only do sky high petrol prices affect motorists, they also have a knock on effect hauliers and drives up the prices of basic goods in shops.

“As the price of filling up an average family car heads towards the £100 mark, the SNP are saying enough is enough. At this Budget, the Chancellor must freeze fuel duty with immediate effect and back the SNP’s proposal for a fuel duty regulator which would even out these massive price increases.

“With the General Election looming, this Budget could be Alistair Darling’s last chance to deliver for Scotland. Until Scotland becomes independent, the UK Treasury controls many essential policy levers. This must be a Budget which delivers jobs for communities across Scotland, not good headlines for Labour.

“The Chancellor must rule out rises in National Insurance - taxing jobs in the midst of a recession is absolute madness.

“He also needs to continue with the fiscal stimulus. The UK is the only G7 to be removing it next year – risking a double dip recession. Cutting Scotland’s budget in the midst of recession is absolutely the wrong thing to do. He should rule out further cuts to the Scottish budget so the Scottish Government can continue to support jobs and invest in long term, sustainable recovery.

“The SNP Scottish Government has done everything in its power to help the Scottish economy through this Downing Street downturn – but the UK Treasury must match this effort. They must offer greater clarity over future budgets so the SNP Government can invest for the long term good in Scotland.”

Monday, 22 March 2010

Abolish political graft, sleaze and ignominy

“We, the undersigned, call on Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, to strip Stephen Byers MP of his membership of the Privy Council due to his involvement in offering to sell access to the British Government for personal profit.”

Anciiliary Activities of Lembit Opek MP 

Parliamentary adviser to the Caravan Club of Great Britain. (£5,001-£10,000)
16 January 2010, payment of £6000. Hours: 100 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
Training for the National School of Government. (Up to £5,000)
Broadcasting fees from the BBC. (Up to £5,000)
Fees from ITV for television appearances. (£5,001-£10,000)
Fees for training work for Luther Pendragon.
Journalism for the Daily Sport. (Up to £5,000)
July 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
August 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
September 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
October 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
November 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
December 2009, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
January 2010, received payment of £1600. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
Payments for articles for Mail on Sunday newspaper, Associated Newspapers Ltd, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT:
£1000, 13 August 2009. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
£1000, 2 September 2009. Hours: 6 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
£20,000 received 9 March 2009. Hours: 40 hrs. (Registered 4 March 2010)
Television appearances arranged via Personal Appearances, 20 North Mount, 1147-1161 High Road, Whetstone, London N20 OPH:
£1000, 'Cash in the Attic', 9 June 2009. Hours: 8 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
£984, 'The King is Dead', 31 July 2009. Hours: 3 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
£400, 'Big Brothers Little Brother', 11 August 2009. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 2 February 2010)
£191.25, 'The End of the Year Show', 30 October 2009. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 9 February 2010)
Payment of £150 for political seminar for GovNet Communications, 3rd Floor, St James Buildings, 79 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6PP, 23 July 2009. Hours: 1 hr. (Registered 2 February 2010)
Payment of £2000 (plus £390 food and accommodation) for after dinner speech and informal seminar for Avery Healthcare Ltd, 1b Basset Court, Loake Close, Grange Park, Northampton NN4 5EZ, 24 November 2009. Hours: 4 hrs. (Registered 2 February 2010)
Speaking engagement for (Cunard) Carnival plc, 5 Gainsford Street, London SE1 2NE, 29 November-4 December 2009. Hospitality, accommodation and travel to the value of £5752. Hours: 10 hrs. 





From the SNP





The UK Labour Government have been forced to make a House of Commons statement after a Sunday newspaper revealed former cabinet minister had been offering to lobby government contacts for commercial interests - despite still being MPs. 

Commenting the SNP MP who started the cash for honours inquiry, Angus MacNeil, said:

"The Westminster Parliament has been left totally discredited. From cash for honours, to the expenses scandal, to dodgy donors and now cash for access; the London parties have presided over a deep decline in standards in politics.

"Just when it seems trust in Westminster politics can sink no further, Labour has become embroiled in yet another scandal, and as usual the Prime Minister is running away from the problem by refusing to have an inquiry.

"With each successive episode, voters are becoming more and more disenfranchised and disheartened with politics, but at this election the SNP is offering an alternative to those let down by the Westminster machine.

"On polling day voters across Scotland will have a straight choice between SNP candidates who will champion local causes and Labour politicians who are out for what they can get."

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Thought for Padraig's Day

“We tend to think of St. Patrick's Day as one big Irish party. However, St. Patrick's Day means something special to Irish people around the world. When there is much that pulls the world apart today, but St. Patrick's Day is a time to start all over again and celebrate the positive things we all share in life!” -Dr. Sam Speron



Talking Politics

Who will judge the system?

Mon Mar 15 11:55AM
It is that time again. An election is close. Surely now is the opportunity to debate the things that matter. But what issues are attracting the headlines? Is the leader of the incumbent party a foot-stamper? Can a man who attended Eton College feel our pain?

By Robert Mercer-Nairne

Where in the media are such vital issues as the disgraceful level of child deprivation among some parts of our population, or the appalling level of education in many areas, or the sense of alienation that pervades much of our Muslim community, or our declining economic competitiveness? If the headlines are any guide - nowhere! Yes, a few brave voices speak out on these issues, but the coverage given to them is token, at best.

We may wonder why the government in 18th-century France seemed frozen in front of the revolutionary headlights bearing down upon it, but if we go on like this, it won't be long before the people grow tired of their celebrity shows and demand a few truly authentic, never before seen on television, executions instead. Our polity is locked in a death spiral. Why, and what, can we do about it?

To answer these questions, we need to understand how human organisation systems work. Remove human consciousness and we would do what every other species has done - elaborate, defend our boundary conditions to the last, and follow any advantage we have without regard to consequence until blocked by our environment, which includes other species. By contrast, and through a process of trial and error, consciousness has allowed us to create functional structures designed to achieve objectives. This has sped up the evolutionary process no end, and given Homo sapiens an advantage to which our number of 6.7 billion and counting attests.

But the intelligence we have embedded within our structures, particularly our government, is limited to the function the structure has evolved to achieve. Armies are designed to make war, not love, corporations to make widgets, not happy families and political parties to achieve electoral success, not improved government. When unleashed they will follow their structural imperatives until victorious, stalemated or defeated. We merely hope that the interaction between them will take us to where we would like to be. It is only when this rather haphazard approach blows up in our faces that we consider the overarching system we are part of, and even then we have no very effective mechanism for doing so.

Structures are our collective memory and do much of our thinking for us, but they are invariably backward looking. It is not just generals who are condemned to fight the last war. The current US president campaigned on an anti-war, anti-Guantanamo, platform, but is hog-tied by the system he inherited.

What we have not evolved, and urgently need to evolve, are mechanisms for looking at our systems of government and changing them. That is why change invariably only comes after a disaster; only when the story underpinning a structure becomes so discredited that its active components (that's you and me) stop doing its bidding.

We need four things. The first is a wider understanding of how our human systems work so that collectively we have a firmer grasp on the relationship between order and change. The second are generally accepted moral criteria against which we can judge the effectiveness of the systems we have. Thirdly, we need a much better mechanism for channeling individual priorities into the legislative arena. And lastly, we need an expert body whose sole task is to keep improving our structures in the light of what people, generally, want them to achieve.

And finally, here is one other change that could easily be made. There has been almost interminable discussion about what to do with the House of Lords. My suggestion is simple. Turn the House of Lords into the House of Ladies. Forget about all-women shortlists. Give them their own chamber, and watch the quality of government improve no end.

Robert Mercer-Nairne is a University of Seattle organisation theorist and the author of Notes On The Dynamics Of Man, published by Gritpoul on March 18th

Monday, 15 March 2010

Prepare for Saint Patrick's Day

See this: 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/11554a.htm

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385 (some say Strathclyde, but certainly of British origin). His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of  bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship.
Far from being a saint, until he was 16, he considered himself a pagan. At that age, he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village. During his captivity, he became closer to God.
He escaped from slavery after six years and went to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years. During his training he became aware that his calling was to convert the pagans to Christianity.
His wishes were to return to Ireland, to convert the native pagans to Christianity. But his superiors instead appointed St. Palladius. But two years later, Palladius transferred to Scotland. Patrick, having adopted that Christian name earlier, was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland.
Patrick was quite successful at winning converts. And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity.
His mission in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, Patrick retired to County Down. He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since.
Much Irish folklore surrounds St. Patrick's Day. Not much of it is actually substantiated.
Some of this lore includes the belief that Patrick raised people from the dead. He also is said to have given a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the snakes from Ireland. Of course, no snakes were ever native to Ireland, and some people think this is a metaphor for the conversion of the pagans. Though originally a Catholic holy day, St. Patrick's Day has evolved into more of a secular holiday.
One traditional icon of the day is the shamrock. And this stems from a more bona fide Irish tale that tells how Patrick used the three-leafed shamrock to explain the Trinity. He used it in his sermons to represent how the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit could all exist as separate elements of the same entity. His followers adopted the custom of wearing a shamrock on his feast day.
The St. Patrick's Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.
Today, people celebrate the day with parades, wearing of the green, and drinking beer. One reason St. Patrick's Day might have become so popular is that it takes place just a few days before the first day of spring. One might say it has become the first green of spring.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Abandon Those Wasteful Nukes

SNP Leader Alex Salmond led a march against Trident through Edinburgh and told the crowd that only a vote for the SNP was a vote against Trident.
 
Scottish National Party leader and First Minister Alex Salmond MSP joined Reverend Ian Galloway, CND Chair Kate Hudson, MPs and MSPs,  actor David Hayman, and hundreds of ordinary Scots in a march through Edinburgh protesting against the replacement of Trident on Saturday 12th March 2010. 

Addressing the crowd, Mr Salmond said that Trident would be a central issue in the General Election campaign, and that the decision to waste £100,000 million on new nuclear missiles while public services are under threat was "indefensible and obscene".

Mr Salmond said:

"There is massive opposition to dumping a new generation of weapons of mass destruction in Scotland.  The Scottish Parliament has voted against the 'son of Trident', a majority of Scottish MPs reject it, and it is going to be a central issue in the General Election campaign.

"At a time when Westminster is imposing cuts in public services to deal with Labour's recession, with much deeper cuts planned in the future, and the Scottish Government's budget is falling in real terms for the first time since devolution, to waste £100 billion on weapons of mass destruction is indefensible and obscene.

"Any way you look at it - on moral, financial, or defence grounds - renewal of Trident is completely untenable, and I believe that position can prevail in the General Election.

"The tide has well and truly turned on Trident - and the General Election offers the opportunity to ensure that weapons of mass destruction are banished from Scotland forever."

Comment: another reason to vote SNP and make Scotland a neutral non-aggressive country and at the same time save billions of pounds.

PETITION - FOR NATS TO DEBATE

Allow Alex Salmond to participate in the leaders' debate
70 Signatures

Published by Tina McCaffery on Mar 12, 2010
Category: Television
Target: Prime minister Gordon Brown and the BBC
Background (Preamble):
The BBC have decided that the First Minister Alex Salmond is not going to be allowed to take part in this years Leaders' debate.

It is a part of UK democracy to allow every leader of a political party to engage in all manner of debates.

Not to allow this is against everything we stand for as a nation.

This petition is not affiliated to any party political, it is purely from the people demanding what is democratically right.
Petition:
We the undersigned, call on the Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the BBC to allow The First Minister his rightful place in this years leaders' debate.

It is wholly undemocratic to allow only certain political party leaders to participate, the BBC is supposed to be impartial, unbiased and able to report on all issues with the freedom that we the license payer pay for.

Please sign our petition to allow The First Minister of Scotland Mr Alex Salmond to be a part of this years Leaders Debate.

No matter where you live or what your political views are gagging a person is undemocratic, please sign and make sure you pass this on to all your friends and family.

This petition is not affiliated to any political party, it is purely from the people demanding what is democratically right!

With everyone's help we will get Alex Salmond in to this years Leaders' Debate.

Thank you.

The Allow Alex Salmond to participate in the leaders' debate petition to Prime minister Gordon Brown and the BBC was written by Tina McCaffery and is hosted free of charge at GoPetition. Contact author here.
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A reader's view of petitions:
Petitions no longer work in this day and age, especially online petitions. The powers that be will ignore it like they do any other petition because in their minds, 'we the people' simply have no say what so ever. This is not a democracy we live in but a corrupt, greedy, dictitorial like global oligarchy, where the "Elites" (if they truelly are Elite, in my mind they nothing more than sub-human scum) run the show down to every last detail and we the people ("brainwashed sheep") just get herded along, on our way to the slaughter house, not knowing the fate that awaits us because we are too docile, controlled, dumbed down.

The Media Refusal to Allow Debate

Comment: Debates which include nationalists would help to make people aware all over Britain that there is an alternative to Unionist politics. The three contenders for the post of PM are all unionists and it is in their interests to keep voters in ignorance of the nationalist cause. Obviously it is seen as a threat to the continuance of the United Kingdom.

From the SNP:

Following discussions in Edinburgh between the SNP and representatives from the BBC and from ITV regarding the unacceptable proposals for leaders debates which exclude Scotland and Scottish voters SNP leader and Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond said:

“The SNP has today met with both the BBC and ITV over their plans to exclude Scotland and Wales from the UK leaders debate.

“It remains deeply unsatisfactory that neither the BBC nor ITV are prepared to reopen the 90 minutes of debate or their closed shop deal with the three London parties.

“As a result it is clear that not just the interests of the SNP and Plaid Cymru, the parties of Government in both Scotland and Wales, but the interests of the Scottish people risk being sidelined at key points in this election campaign.

“The BBC are particularly culpable as a national broadcaster whose obligations to licence fee payers in Scotland should be as great as to those in England. There is real rage against the BBC machine that as a
national broadcaster it is behaving as the English Broadcasting Company and not serving the people of Scotland.

“The SNP remains willing to be extremely flexible to ensure the broadcasters can meet their obligations and that a fair and representative debate is available to viewers in Scotland and elsewhere.

“We have put a proposal to the BBC for an additional leaders debate involving the political leaders from the UK wide debates alongside the SNP and Plaid Cymru on constitutional issues, issues of concern to Scotland and Wales and the importance of Scottish and Welsh voters in determining the make up of the next UK Parliament .

“We await the BBC’s response to this idea before determining our next steps.

“As an example of how much thought has been given to the London parties, and how little to Scotland, ITV had not yet determined if they will broadcast the STV debate in the Borders – a move which could exclude a significant part of the Scottish population from the election. ITV have now indicated they will consider this issue.

“We have proposals from Sky News on how they can balance their output out with the three leaders debates which we are considering. The BBC made a number of suggestions and ITV has agreed to consider the issue of balance outwith the debates.

“However nothing as yet proposed by the broadcasters would compensate Scotland and Wales for the fact that the broadcasters are holding three debates in England, debating largely English issues in an election where they should reflect four nations not one.”

Friday, 12 March 2010

Scrap the Redundant Scottish and Wales Offices

Former Scottish Secretary, Ian Lang, has said that the position of Secretary of State for Scotland ‘no longer has any influence in the cabinet’, ‘pads out the cabinet’ and 'defies credibility’. Commenting on his outburst in the House of Lords, the SNP’s Shadow Scotland Office spokesperson Angus MacNeil MP said it was an embarrassment for today’s Tories and an indictment of Jim Murphy’s running of the department.

Commenting Mr MacNeil said:

“This is another seriously embarrassing snub for David Mundell. Not only has he been sidelined the Tory high command in London for the General Election campaign but any ambitions he has are being criticised by the Tory old guard.

“Considering how rumours abound that he will even be overlooked for the position of Scottish Secretary it doesn’t say much for his stock in the Tory party.

“These comments from Ian Lang are also an indictment on Jim Murphy’s running of the Scotland Office. It is a judgement on how he has simply abused the office for Labour campaign purposes as is evident from their use of dodgy dossiers. It should be abolished and the money better spent on creating or protecting ordinary people’s jobs in Scotland.

“This outburst underlines little there is to choose from between Labour and the Tories. Only the SNP is standing against their cuts programme. Only with more Nat MPs will there be less cuts from London.”

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Campaigning on the Doorsteps

Campaigning on the Doorsteps


How many times have I heard on the media broadcasts, mostly from Labour politicians including Ms Harman:

"We need to get out and knock on the doorsteps....."

It seems to me that knocking on the doorsteps will not help to get the party elected and may even be rather painful for the campaigner..
What needs to happen is for people to go out and KNOCK ON DOORS!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

"Fair For Them but Not Fair for Us" - Welsh and Scots Anger

Anger from Plaid and SNP over televised debates

Ieuan Wyn Jones and Alex Salmond
The leaders of Plaid and SNP question the BBC's impartiality
Plaid Cymru and the Scottish National Party (SNP) claim the BBC's live Prime Minsterial TV debates could "endanger the conduct of a free election".
The claim was made in a joint letter from the parties' leaders to BBC Director General Mark Thompson.
Ieuan Wyn Jones and Alex Salmond are angry their parties won't be represented in three debates to be televised on BBC, ITV and Sky.
The BBC argues it has clearly set out how impartiality will be achieved.
Mr Jones and Mr Salmond have also written to international press bureau heads accusing the BBC of bias.
It follows plans for Prime Ministerial debates on the BBC, ITV and Sky between Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Conservative Leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg in the run up to the general election.
Plaid and the SNP are angry that they will not be represented in these debates, claiming the proposals exclude three of the four countries which make up the UK and parties of government in Wales and Scotland.
Plaid Cymru and the SNP have expressed anger over their exclusion from the prime ministerial debates
They've written a joint letter to BBC Director General Mark Thompson arguing the BBC's plans deny "fair competition of ideas" and "could endanger the conduct of a free election".
The write: "For politics to be about healthy debate, the winning of hearts and minds, rather than about prior tribal political affiliation, then parties in reasonable competition must be given similar opportunity to present their policy platform to the electorate.
"The medium of television has a unique ability at election time to bring the competition of ideas, which is at the heart of the democratic system, into the living room of every voter in the country.
"Without a properly informed electorate, the conditions for free election are not possible."
'Debates breach impartiality'
In a separate letter to the international press the two leaders state that the BBC's proposal breaches the corporation's duty of impartiality and "effectively disenfranchises the people of Scotland and Wales".
They write: "As yet, no satisfactory measures have been put in place to ensure... balanced coverage, reflecting the different political make-up of the United Kingdom."
The leaders argue other broadcasters around the world achieve balance in more complex political situations than the UK's and say they're disappointed "the BBC lacks the ambition to even try".
Nick Clegg, David Cameron, Gordon Brown
The debates will feature Nick Clegg, David Cameron and Gordon Brown
Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "Unless broadcasts are held in a fair, impartial and accurate way, the legitimacy and integrity of the general election results will be called into question. That cannot be an acceptable state of affairs for anyone.
"The action the BBC has taken in putting together these plans is nothing short of a betrayal of the principles upon which the editorial integrity of the BBC is built."
Alex Salmond argued that after "almost 90 years of being a world respected independent broadcaster" the BBC had "allowed itself to become politically compromised" in setting up the debates.
A BBC spokeswomon said the corporation had clearly set out the agreement reached on the televised Prime Ministerial Debates including how impartiality will be achieved.
She added: "The BBC has also announced it is to hold subsequent leaders' debates in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, part of a range of measures to ensure that the SNP, Plaid Cymru, Northern Ireland and other parties have appropriate opportunities to be heard.
"We will continue to speak to the parties as we develop our plans."

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

After Devolution, Unification of Ireland is the Final Step

North Ireland justice deal ends political crisis

HILLSBOROUGH, Northern Ireland
Fri Feb 5, 2010 7:27am EST
Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams holds a copy of an agreement at a news conference in Hillsborough, Northern Ireland, February 5, 2010. REUTERS/Julien Behal/Pool
HILLSBOROUGH, Northern Ireland (Reuters) - Northern Ireland is to take full control of its own police and justice system under a deal marking one of the boldest steps since a 1998 peace pact and ending a row that threatened to bring down Belfast's government.
An agreement that will give Belfast its first justice minister by April 12 was reached late on Thursday after nearly two weeks of talks between the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the nationalist Sinn Fein.
"This is the day we have secured the future, lasting peace and power sharing as it should be in Northern Ireland," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a news conference at Hillsborough Castle, outside Belfast where he and his Irish counterpart Brian Cowen endorsed the accord.
Failure to get a deal would almost certainly have triggered a snap election in the British province where former foes, the predominantly Roman Catholic Sinn Fein and the mainly Protestant DUP, share power.
"This agreement is a sure sign that we are not going back to the bad old days," Northern Ireland's First Minister, the DUP's Peter Robinson said.
"No future generation would forgive us for squandering the peace that has been so long fought for."
'MOST IMPORTANT DEAL OF ALL'

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Twenty SNP Seats and Seven Plaid


Make it a reality!


Three reasons why the voters of Scotland and Wales should vote SNP or Plaid Cymru ........
1. My Fair Future is not your "future fair for all".
2. My concept of Change is not your change.
3. My Real Alternative is not your alternative.



Friday, 5 March 2010

Neck and Neck In the Scottish Polls


The Scottish National Party hailed the result of am Ipsos MORI poll which puts the SNP and Labour neck and neck for UK General Election voting intentions and 7 points ahead for Holyrood.
SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson said the coming General Election was full of opportunity for Scotland, in light of the increasing possibility of a hung parliament.

SNP MP and Westminster leader Angus Robertson said:

"This is a breakthrough poll for the SNP, putting us far and away in our strongest ever position going into a UK General Election - neck and neck with Labour for Westminster, and 7 points ahead for Holyrood.

"Before the 2005 General election, the same polling organisation put the SNP at just 13 per cent, and we added 5 points to that in the election campaign itself.

"This time round, we are already at 32 per cent - with a current
projection of 11 seats - and the lesson of the last election is that we can strengthen that fantastic position further in the campaign itself.

"The election in Scotland - a two-horse race between the SNP and Labour - is now absolutely wide open.

"With the real possibility of a hung or balanced parliament at
Westminster, the situation is redolent with opportunity for Scotland and
the SNP.

"In that scenario, working on a case by case, day by day basis along with our Plaid Cymru partners - we can secure vital gains for Scotland, regardless of whether the next UK Government is Labour or Tory.

"To take just one Scottish priority, we can free Scotland's £170 million Fossil Fuel Levy from the grip of Treasury control, to invest in boosting renewable energy projects.

"The SNP are on the front foot, with record pre-election poll ratings, and SNP MPs will be champions who can win for Scotland."

Notes:

The poll findings for those certain to vote are:

* Westminster voting intentions (change since 2005 General Election in
brackets):

SNP: 32% (+14)
Lab: 34% (-6)
Con: 17% (+1)
Lib Dem: 12% (-11)
Other: 5%

On these figures, the SNP would gain seats such as Dundee West, Aberdeen North, Ochil & South Perthshire, and Kilmarnock & Loudon from Labour; and Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey, and Argyll & Bute from the Lib Dems.

Scottish Parliament constituency vote (change since 2007 Holyrood election
in brackets):

SNP: 36% (+3)
Lab: 29% (-3)
Con: 14% (-3)
Lib Dem: 15% (-1)
Green: 3%
SSP: 1%
Other: 2%

On these figures, the SNP would gain 10 more constituency seats: Aberdeen Central, Falkirk East, Cumbernauld & Kilsyth, Dumbarton, Airdrie & Shotts, Linlithgow, East Kilbride, Midlothian, and Glasgow Kelvin from Labour; and Tweeddale, Ettrick and Lauderdale from the Lib Dems.

Alex Salmond has a positive rating as First Minister of 46% satisfied
compared to 45% dissatisfied.  Gordon Brown’s satisfaction rating is 47%, and Nick Clegg’s is only 38%.

David Cameron is the only leader to have as negative rating: 39% satisfied compared to 44% dissatisfied.

Results are based on an Ipsos MORI survey of 1,006 respondents between 18-21 February.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Not Something to be Proud Of!


I reproduce a blog posting from Welsh Ramblings:


Gordon Brown on the role of Britain

on Wednesday, 3 March 2010

According to the UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a visit to Wales for the Labour Conference, Britain remains a worthwhile union for us to be a part of, because:

“I think everybody knows that Wales, like Scotland, is stronger within the Union, and the strength of Great Britain and the United Kingdom is important to developing the modern economy and international relations that we need.

“We’re able, through Britain’s leading role in the world, to influence the events in international development, in climate change, in economic restructuring."


Britain's role in "leading the world" arguably either does nothing for Wales, or does things that are deeply unpopular and alien to the values held by most people in Wales.

In international development, perhaps Brown means the UK's success in channeling more than £50m per year in arms (as far as we know) to the human rights-loving government of Uganda? There was principled outrage at the fact that the Welsh Government granted £50,000 to a coffee farming co-operative in Uganda at a time when the country's government was considering a bill that would confer the death penalty on homosexuals- but the British Government gives alot more than that, and not to co-ops but directly to their government and military.

On climate change, Brown might be promoting Britain's participation in refusing to confront neo-liberalism and rampant capitalism at the failed Copenhagen summit?

And on economic restructuring Brown is possibly promoting the spectacle of British MEPs trooping through the European Parliament to vote for the marketisation and full privatisation of postal services with only Jill Evans and a handful of others putting up resistance?

Ramblings for one would not mind Wales losing that kind of "influence". It's a poisonous kind of influence that ends up with Welsh men and women dying to protect a fraudulently elected group of warlords in Afghanistan. An independent Wales could opt out of imperialism entirely and play a more concilatory and less hated role in world events.

Couldn't have said it better!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The "English" Election Debates


The debates which the media television channels are organising will all take place in England, in the north, the midlands and the south-west,  and only the major three unionist parties will be represented. It may be said that Wales and Scotland do not count for much in this very English general election. Wales and Scotland are increasingly isolated from the politics of Westminster and these circumstances will induce the public in Wales and Scotland to turn away from English political parties and vote for their own national parties, Plaid Cymru and the SNP.

Furthermore, the unionist parties of northern Ireland are not happy that the DUP is in alliance with David Cameron's conservative party. The links with Britain are loosening and it will not be long before the north of Ireland sees its future as being linked with the south, the Irish Republic. Many of the people of Ulster feel that their destiny is not with Britain but with Ireland, and it is only a matter of time before the island is once again united.

Three nations of Britain are being ignored and discounted in this general election and the voters in these countries will take note of the fact. The three leaders have little credence north and west of the border and the parties which they represent are competing vigorously with the nationalist parties which gain in strength from year to year.

(alanindyfed)

From the SNP website:

Commenting on the statement from Sky, ITV, the BBC and the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour regarding televised election debates, SNP Westminster Leader Angus Robertson said the current proposals put forward by the broadcasters excluded three of the four nations comprising the UK.

All three debates are planned to take place in England, and  it would be outrageous if the people of Scotland were misled and not properly represented.

Questioning the attitude of the broadcasters – the BBC in particular – and UK parties towards the people of Scotland, Mr Robertson said:

“It is unacceptable for the people of Scotland to be short-changed in this way. The broadcasters – in cahoots with the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour - are attempting to exclude entire countries from these leaders’ debates.

“All three debates are proposed to take place in England, completely ignoring Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland despite being broadcast in these nations.

“By definition these debates as currently proposed are incapable of reflecting what’s happening in Scotland – this is exemplified by the planned domestic issues programme, which will almost entirely be based on what’s happening in England.

“Along with the broadcasters, the Tories, Lib Dems and Labour are trying to mislead the people of Scotland, shackle the governing party at Holyrood and ignore the reality of devolution.

“The SNP does not want to prevent these debates from happening, we want to participate in them, but if these debates go ahead as currently proposed, the views of Scotland’s voters and the interests of the people of Scotland will be ignored and excluded.

“The behaviour of the BBC, in particular, is shameful. They have abandoned any pretence of being the UK’s broadcaster and breached their own Code of Conduct by agreeing the principles of the proposed debates with the London-based parties before even contacting the SNP.

“The proposed format of the debates borders on the ridiculous, with the audience gagged and prevented from having any meaningful participation.

"With the latest poll from MORI putting the SNP neck and neck with Labour in the polls for the Westminster election, and polling nearly double the Tory support and three times the Lib Dem support, it would be outrageous if these debates are broadcast in Scotland without involving Scotland’s party of government, the SNP.

“In Scotland 60% of voters are opposed to the exclusion of the SNP from these election debates, yet the other parties have simply ignored their opinion.“

Monday, 1 March 2010

UKIP's Bizarre Understanding of Wales

Liverpool Daily Post (Liverpool)
March 1, 2010

Not quite Gaelic;
yourLETTERS


HERE'S a sobering nugget for St David''s Day.

Reading UKIP's policy document Restoring Britishness, published on February 12,
I came across this sentence in the section on Educational, Art and Music
Measures, concerning what schools would be required to teach under a UKIP
government: All cultures, languages and traditions from around the British
Isles, such as Gaelic, would be celebrated.

' No mention of Welsh culture and traditions?'' I thought.

I read on, and came to: UKIP believes Britishness is inclusive and should
celebrate all cultures, languages and traditions emanating from the British
Isles. UKIP does not regard Gaelic or expressions of Home Nation identities as
being in conflict with Britishness.

' Still no mention of Welsh?'' I thought.

Next: UK citizens can be proud Scotsmen, Welshmen and Ulstermen as well as proud
Britons. At last, an honourable mention for the Welsh, after several disparaging
references to Welsh nationalism and the Assembly.

Then I came to the next sentence: UKIP will enthusiastically support teaching of
the various Gaelic languages and histories within the UK, in Scotland, Ireland,
Wales and Cornwall.

Suddenly, the penny dropped. I realised that UKIP's policy-makers are so
clueless about anything that doesn''t relate to England that they think Welsh is
a Gaelic language.

You couldn''t make it up.

Wyn Hobson, Tal-y-bont, Gwynedd


Dydd Gwyl Dewi - St David's Day