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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

IS A UNILATERAL DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE ("U.D.I.") THE WAY TO GO FOR SCOTTISH NATIONALISM?


IS UDI THE WAY TO GO FOR SCOTTISH NATIONALISM?



Over the last week or so we have been entertained by the spat over the Scottish Referendum between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May. Andrew Marr's programme had it commented that it was “handbags at dawn”! 



Nicola Sturgeon has been saying that she wants to call another Scottish referendum before Brexit is complete, i.e. in about 18 months. Theresa May has been saying that she does not want it called for at least 6 years!


The process is that the Scottish Parliament will vote on the issue this week. Given the political balance in the Scottish Parliament of SNP and the Scottish Greens, it is inevitable that the resolution will be passed.


The resolution will then be formally submitted to the British Government, in accordance with the legislation which was passed by Westminster when it was agreed between David Cameron and Alex Salmond on holding the first referendum.


An interesting and real question will be whether Theresa May actually has legal power to refuse or delay a resolution made by the Scottish Parliament which fully complies with the legislation?


It may therefore be that in the drumroll of press releases one of them will be an Application by the Scottish Government for Judicial Review! If Theresa May loses such a Judicial Review,
after her fiasco over the BREXIT case, she, and the British Government, will be utterly humiliated.


Whereas if Nicola Sturgeon were to lose the Judicial Review it could be useful to her as part of the case for the Scottish Parliament to go ahead and hold its own referendum (as an act of non-violent civil disobedience), unregulated by the British State. This would be in opposition to the British State, on much the same footing as Catalonia has held a referendum in which there was a majority for Catalonian independence, but which the Spanish State has sought to quash.


Unlike Spain, Britain no longer has a sizeable army that could be deployed to crush a rebellious civilian population and consequently there will be nothing practical to stop a Scottish Government, which having won an unofficial referendum then declare a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (“UDI”)!


Indeed from the Scottish Nationalist point of view I can see very good reasons to do so which will gel nationalists support into an even harder block of determined supporters than it currently has in Scotland, with Scottish nationalists being literally ready to fight in order to protect Scottish independence.


Much the same process occurred in the early 20th Century in Southern Ireland but then the British State had the whole might of the imperial British army to try to hold down the population of Ireland against its Will. Even so this proved to be an utterly futile and bloody exercise.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

ENGLAND AND WALES: IS IT TIME TO SPLIT THE LEGAL SYSTEM?


ENGLAND AND WALES: IS IT TIME TO SPLIT THE LEGAL SYSTEM?



I recently wrote an article about the above for publication on the Institute for Welsh Affairs’ website “Click on Wales”. It was published slightly amended here >>> England and Wales: is it time to split the legal system? - Click on Wales

http://www.iwa.wales/click/2017/03/england-wales-time-split-legal-system/



Here is my full original article:-

ENGLAND AND WALES – TIME TO SPLIT THE LEGAL SYSTEM?



There are now beginning to be moves afoot to split the unitary “jurisdiction” of England and Wales into two separate national jurisdictions.


In many ways such a split is not as radical a move as it might seem, bearing in mind that there are already separate jurisdictions in Scotland; in Northern Ireland; in the Isle of Man and in the Channel Isles with different Judges, procedures and often different substantive legal rules. Separate jurisdictions do not necessarily cause much practical difficulty in dealing with either civil matters or criminal matters. What it does however mean is that there would be separate legal professions.


Furthermore, even outside the Commonwealth, jurisdictions like Southern Ireland have relatively similar rules.


The jurisdictions of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and quite a few others of the old Empire/Commonwealth are similar to. There are also often less differences between their legal systems and the English/Welsh legal system than there is with the Roman Law based jurisdiction in Scotland.


It is more difficult to deal with continental European systems since they are not based on Common Law principles but rather on civil law codes deriving from Roman Law, with substantively different legal rules and often dramatically different legal procedures!


My interest in the splitting of the current unitary jurisdiction of “England and Wales” into two national ones was first raised by a discussion that I had some months ago with a senior Welsh Judge who said that he wants to see a split.


Then, just before Christmas, the Law Society Gazette had an article called in the printed version “A bridge too far” talking about splitting the jurisdictions. The on-line edition was called: English solicitors 'could pay extra to practise in Wales'. (It can be found here >>> https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/english-solicitors-could-pay-extra-to-practise-in-wales/5059013.article)

Increasingly the Welsh Parliament/Senedd are legislating for Wales, in a way that is different than the legislation for England. There will therefore come a time very soon when it no longer makes sense to have a single jurisdiction.


Putting my hat on as Chairman of the English Democrats rather than as a solicitor I would also welcome separation of the jurisdictions as being an important step in the direction of Independence between our two Nations. In our modern world there is no reason why our two separate Nations should be constrained into the same grossly expensive and inefficient, grandiose and extravagant UK State!



If I were a Welsh solicitor or barrister I would be optimistic about the prospects of a successful separate Welsh Jurisdiction.



As long as the Welsh Government could be persuaded to reduce the currently absolutely ridiculous level of court fees, by which the British Government has been exploiting litigants in the “England and Wales” jurisdiction there would be real benefits.



The Welsh Government would then have the right to run its own Legal Aid scheme. This could be more like the successful Scottish one and less like the unfair disaster that the “British” Government has created.



It should also be pointed out that the Welsh Government ought to want to take-over the judicial appointments system, which in England and Wales is currently very politicised.



Judges here are currently appointed and promoted by the Judicial Appointments Commission. The JAC was set up by Lord Derry Irvine, when he was Tony Blair’s Lord Chancellor, which he publically boasted would prevent the appointment or promotion of “those with reactionary views”. This aim might appeal to you or repulse you depending on which side you stand on politically, but what cannot be denied is that this is an expressly political criterion for the appointment of Judges. It is wholly inappropriate to getting the best lawyers appointed as Judges. It is also contrary to providing the best service to those who use the court system!



Far from being a problem the separate jurisdictions could make the Welsh jurisdiction very attractive and might lead to many businesses having a Welsh-only legal jurisdiction clause in commercial contracts since there would be less expense and less delay and perhaps a better selection of sensible Welsh Judges.



Also from an economic point of view the current arrangements are clearly not working very well for Welsh lawyers as it appears that fees in Wales are dramatically lower than those in England.




A separate and overhauled and sensibly rationalised completely Welsh legal system could well be much more competitive with the English jurisdiction and provide a boost not only to Welsh lawyers but also to the Welsh economy.



As the Gazette article says:- “The buildings are all here (in Wales), the judges are all here. More is spent per head in England,’ said Hughes. ‘At the moment Wales is not gaining [in terms of] access to justice. SMEs in Wales are subsidising multi-million-pound litigation between oligarchs in London. That does nothing for the community in Wales – the fees are not coming back.’



A legally independent Wales would be able to do ‘imaginative’ things to enhance access, Hughes suggested, such as introduce a contingency legal aid fund. ‘Wales would not be a particularly small common law jurisdiction. If it were a US state, 20 [states] would be smaller,’ he added.



‘The problems of the Wales bill are largely to do with the mania for preserving a fused jurisdiction,’ said Hughes. ‘But the bill is a con. It is not a reserved powers model on any sensible understanding. There is a presumption against competence in private law.



’Since our pamphlet came out the Assembly has come out in support of a separate jurisdiction and the Welsh government is using the arguments we put forward – both economic and constitutional.’



As both an English Solicitor and also as the Chairman of the English Democrats, I welcome these moves. Also if any reader in Wales supports a separate Welsh legal system then I would urge them to write to their Assembly Members and MP to lobby them to support a separate legal system. Do not forget also to write in to Barrister David Hughes, of 30 Park Place Chambers in Cardiff, supporting him as well!




Tuesday, 28 February 2017

HOPES FOR A UKIP BREAKTHROUGH ON THE 23RD FEBRUARY ARE UTTERLY DASHED


HOPES FOR A UKIP BREAKTHROUGH ON THE 23RD FEBRUARY ARE UTTERLY DASHED


February 23rd 2017 was, accordingly to Katie Hopkins, “The day that UKIP died”! As you can see from her scorching prose on this link >>> KATIE HOPKINS on the day Britain became a one party state | Daily Mail Online

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4257106/KATIE-HOPKINS-day-Britain-one-party-state.html#ixzz4ZcY3PVRT


In my view Paul Nuttall started his campaign for the Westminster Parliamentary By-election for Stoke Central (or “Brexit Central” as he unwisely called it), with a positive message about being English and proud of it, but he then did nothing about the English question at all in the election. 



Instead he got totally blown off course with a series of controversies over various inaccurate claims. The result was that his campaign was a defensive one. That is the sort of campaign that you can fight if you are the incumbent. However to stand any chance of success as an “insurgent”, as Nigel Farage rightly pointed out in the UKIP Spring Conference, a campaign has got to be both positive and edgy!


There also seems to have been a failure to fully analyse both UKIP’s and Paul Nuttall’s strengths and weaknesses with regards this campaign. There was also a failure to fully understand the Labour opposition. In particular, there was a total failure to understand the role of Labour’s various Third Party Campaign front groups (such as the appalling and extremist “Hope Not Hate”) and the role that they play, not only in attacking their opponents in a way that doesn’t damage their candidate whilst they are doing it, but also it vastly increases the amount that can legally be spent on the campaign by those supporting Labour.


The outcome on the 23rd, on a dismal turnout from the 62,250 constituents of Stoke Central, was that 7,853 voted Labour (as compared with 12,220 who voted Labour in the General Election 2015).


By contrast UKIP only managed 5,233 as opposed to the 7,041 that voted for UKIP in the General Election. This is UKIP at their high watermark with their party just having achieved both a referendum and a Brexit vote and with Article 50 not having yet been activated. In order to win they only needed to have hung on to all those who voted for them in the General Election and gained a mere 813 extra people, out of the 79% that voted for Brexit in the EU referendum.


Instead of which their actual vote dropped by 1,808 votes. This was when UKIP had put up their Leader. No doubt therefore they have also put their organisational and financial best efforts in trying to win the seat. No doubt also UKIP spent the full £100,000 on the campaign that is allowed under electoral law.


On that same day of the result in Stoke, in Copeland, there was a still more dismal result for UKIP in which their vote in the General Election of 6,148 dropped to 2,025, below even the Liberal Democrats!


By contrast Theresa May and the Conservative strategy for these by-elections was completely successful. They have got an extra sensible sounding MP and humiliated Labour in Copeland, further undermining Jeremy Corbyn’s standing with the Parliamentary Labour Party.


They have a new Labour MP for Stoke who will be nothing but trouble for Jeremy Corbyn once he is in Parliament, but the result allows Corbyn a life-line so that he continues as Labour’s Leader.


The icing on the cake must however be to have lured Paul Nuttall and UKIP onto the rocks. I noticed that Esther McVey was rolled out, when Paul Nuttall was considering whether to stand, to say that she thought that if he stood he would get elected and various other Conservative figures said similar things, thus no doubt encouraging him to follow the rash course of standing.


In doing so Paul had, I think, taken insufficient notice of the fact that the Conservative leadership were aware at least six weeks before of Tristram Hunt’s intention to step down. This is because both the Culture Secretary and Theresa May herself were involved in signing off on him being able to take the job at the Victoria and Albert Museum. That six weeks was reportedly used by the Conservatives to leaflet and canvass the constituency unrestrained by any limitation on electoral spending.


No doubt this was done with the clear objective of ensuring that the Conservative vote held up enough to wreck UKIP’s chances of winning the seat by taking votes off the Conservatives.


The Conservative leadership has thus achieved the double success, that of seriously damaging both Labour and UKIP and of leaving both of their leaders badly damaged but attempting to struggle on.


A footnote to the campaign in Stoke is that the BNP, which used to have councillors in Stoke and was in contention to win the Elected Mayoralty, only managed 124 votes!


Thursday, 23 February 2017

Tony Blair, the ghost of 'Prime Minister’s Past', comes out of the cupboard to frighten us over Brexit!


Tony Blair, the ghost of 'Prime Minister’s Past', comes out of the cupboard to frighten us over Brexit!


I was interested in the coverage over last weekend of Tony Blair’s foray in the Brexit debate. All the commentators and papers seem to be reporting that he is very much “yesterday’s man” and that nobody was listening to what he had to say. I thought that was an interesting deflection from the likely purpose of his intervention.


The first thing that we need to bear in mind and accept about Tony Blair is that he remains one of the slickest British political operators of recent times. The idea that he has completely lost his touch at his age is frankly incredible.


So what was he trying to achieve? Well for a start the “people” that he was calling on to “rise up” were not you or I. He was, no doubt, focussed on supporting his old friends Peter Mandelson and Peter Hains and the motley crew of Europhile/Remainiac Lords to “rise up” and use their undemocratic position in the Upper Chamber of our legislature to block the democratic vote.


This is of course exactly the sort of thing that so-called “liberal democracy” is all about, whereby the institutions of the State have a role in preventing “we the People” from getting our way on anything which the British Political Establishment doesn’t think we ought to get our way on. This is normally done behind closed doors with an orchestrated effort by the mainstream media to bamboozle us in to thinking that it is done as a result of a mass demand, rather than just because of a small gang of elitists.


Given the decisive EU referendum result, that covert option is not open to Remainers.


Blair would have been well aware of this and has put himself up to be the “scapegoat” and “whipping boy” for those of us who do not like what he was saying, whilst at the same time emboldening the Remainers opposition in the House of Lords.


It is an often ignored part of politics that by standing up for what you believe in, you do embolden others to do the same. This works just as well for those of us in “insurgent” parties as for those in the Establishment.


I firmly believe that Blair’s behaviour is better explained by a calculated effort to take the flack and thus embolden more of a protractive Remainers’ battle in the House of Lords than would otherwise have happened.


We will have to see over the course of the next few weeks how effective that call has been!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

THE BBC THINKS “LEAVE” VOTERS ARE:- 'POOR, THICK, OLD WHITES'?



THE BBC THINKS “LEAVE” VOTERS ARE:- 'POOR, THICK, OLD WHITES'?



The BBC’s Freedom of Information specialist, Mr Martin Rosenbaum, has published an article which I produce below, in which he claims that the data shows that the poorer, less well-educated, or elderly “white” population voted more heavily for Leave than for Remain in the EU Referendum.


Although he does quote briefly Dominic Cummings who was the internet and data focussed campaign director of Vote Leave. Dominic Cummings says the better educated are more prone to irrational political opinions because they are more driven by fashion and by group mentality.


In effect Mr Rosenbaum dismisses this view since it does not suit his or the BBC’s agenda to acknowledge that in today’s England the better educated have been subjected to a more longer and more sustained effort to convert them to ensure that they emerge as left, liberal internationalists and far more likely to support the EU’s transnational statist agenda.


Mr Rosenbaum also ignores those analysts who have talked about “Clacton man” as being of the sort that he has characterising as Leave voters and also “Crawley man” who has higher education qualifications and is an aspirational, striving middle class person.


In my view however the most glaring failure of the article is so very typical of the BBC group mentality. This is over the question of what he calls “ethnicity”. The first point to make is that he has clearly made no effort to understand what the law means by the word “ethnicity”. This has been set out now for decades, clarified in the Mandla – v – Dowell-Lee [1983] UKHC7 case in the House of Lords Appeal Court, which in effect ruled that ethnicity was limited to self-identified sub-sets of a national racial group i.e. that Sikhs without any of their Sikh specific clothes or styles or equipment were indistinguishable from other North Indians, but because of their cultural markers and self-identification were an identifiable sub-set of North India and therefore an “Ethnicity”.


On this legal basis the English, for example, are an identifiable sub-set of British and therefore an ethnicity.


The English have also been specifically accepted by courts as a national identity, national origin, nationality and as a racial group.


Despite this long established legal position, Mr Rosenbaum uses the word ethnicity in a context which shows he has virtually nothing in the way of a definition behind the word except that they are perhaps non-“White”.


This leads him to the absurd position of talking about “Asian” as if they were all the same. So it is a monochrome world in which he cannot tell the difference between a Sikh, a Muslim, a Hindu, an Indian, a Pakistani, a Bangladeshi, a Gujarati, a Tamil etc! Nor does it seem that Mr Rosenbaum is able to tell the difference between the English, the Scottish or the Welsh. This leads him to ignore one of the key findings of the Ashcroft polls which was that of the top 30 Leave voting local authorities, 100% - that is every single one of them – were constituencies which had the highest proportion of people who responded to the 2011 Census stating that they were “English only”.


Isn’t it interesting and certainly typical of the BBC that its group think mentality even now still makes it impossible for it to understand or accept that the English had by and large and very sensibly realised that the EU was and is an enemy of “the very idea of England”?


So no Mr Rosenbaum. The English are not poor, stupid or uneducated, they are merely people who care for England and didn’t want to see England broken up into EU “Regions” and overwhelmed by unrestricted mass immigration from other parts of the EU. Also they don’t want or to be made to pay for the poor and economically failing parts of the EU - when we have got enough problems that need to be fixed before we can think about dealing with other people’s problems!


Here is the article:-

Local voting figures shed new light on EU referendum


The BBC has obtained a more localised breakdown of votes from nearly half of the local authorities which counted EU referendum ballots last June.

This information provides much greater depth and detail in explaining the pattern of how the UK voted. The key findings are:

The data confirms previous indications that local results were strongly associated with the educational attainment of voters - populations with lower qualifications were significantly more likely to vote Leave. (The data for this analysis comes from one in nine wards)

The level of education had a higher correlation with the voting pattern than any other major demographic measure from the census

The age of voters was also important, with older electorates more likely to choose Leave

Ethnicity was crucial in some places, with ethnic minority areas generally more likely to back Remain. However this varied, and in parts of London some Asian populations were more likely to support Leave

The combination of education, age and ethnicity accounts for the large majority of the variation in votes between different places

Across the country and in many council districts we can point out stark contrasts between localities which most favoured Leave or Remain

There was a broad pattern in several urban areas of deprived, predominantly white, housing estates towards the urban periphery voting Leave, while inner cities with high numbers of ethnic minorities and/or students voted Remain

Around 270 locations can be identified where the local outcome was in the opposite direction to the broader official counting area, including parts of Scotland which backed Leave and a Cornwall constituency which voted Remain

Postal voters appear narrowly more likely to have backed Remain than those who voted in a polling station

The national picture

Education

A statistical analysis of the data obtained for over a thousand individual local government wards confirms how the strength of the local Leave vote was strongly associated with lower educational qualifications.

Wards where the population had fewer qualifications tended to have a higher Leave vote, as shown in the chart. If the proportion of the local electorate with a degree or similar qualification was one percentage point lower, then on average the leave vote was higher by nearly one percentage point.

Using ward-level data means we can compare voting figures in this way to the local demographic information collected in the 2011 census. Of the main census statistics, this is the one with the greatest association with how people voted.

In statistical terms the level of educational qualifications explains about two-thirds of the variation in the results between different wards.

The correlation is strong, whether based on assessing graduate and equivalent qualifications or lower-level ones.

This ward-by-ward analysis covers 1,070 individual wards in England and Wales whose boundaries had not changed since the 2011 census, about one in nine of the UK's wards. We had very little ward-level data from Scotland, and none from Northern Ireland.

It should be noted, however, that many ward counts also included some postal votes from across the counting area, and therefore some variation between wards will have been masked by the random allocation of postal votes for counting. This makes the results less accurate geographically, but we can still use the information to explore broad national and local patterns.

Age

Adding age as a second factor significantly helps to further explain voting patterns. Older populations were more likely to vote Leave. Education and age combined account for nearly 80% of the voting variation between wards.

Ethnicity

Ethnicity is a smaller factor, but one which also contributed to the results. Adding that in means that now 83% of the variation in the vote between wards is explained. White populations were generally more pro-Leave, and ethnic minorities less so. However, there were some interesting differences between London and elsewhere.

The ethnic dimension is particularly interesting when examining the outliers on the graph that compares the Leave vote to levels of education.

wards in Birmingham illustrate the pattern of ethnic minority populations being more likely to support Remain.

There are numerous wards towards the bottom left of the graph where electorates with lower educational qualifications nevertheless produced low Leave and high Remain votes. This is where the link between low qualifications and Leave voting breaks down.

It turns out that these exceptional wards have high ethnic minority populations, particularly in Birmingham and Haringey in north London.

In contrast, there are virtually no dramatic outliers on the other side of the line, where comparatively highly educated populations voted Leave. Only one point on the graph stands out - this is Osterley and Spring Grove in Hounslow, west London, a mainly ethnic minority ward which had a Leave vote of 63%. While this figure does include some postal votes, they are not nearly enough to explain away this unusual outcome.

In fact, in Ealing and Hounslow, west London boroughs with many voters of Asian origin, the ethnic correlation was in the other direction to the national picture: a higher number of Asian voters was associated with a higher Leave vote.

Overview

This powerful link to educational attainment could stem from the lower qualified tending to feel less confident about their prospects and ability to compete for work in a competitive globalised economy with high levels of migration.

On the other hand some commentators see it as primarily reflecting a "culture war" or "values conflict", rather than issues of economics and inequality. Research shows that non-graduates tend to take less liberal positions than graduates on a range of social issues from immigration and multi-culturalism to the death penalty.

The former campaign director of Vote Leave, Dominic Cummings, argues that the better educated are more prone to holding irrational political opinions because they are more driven by fashion and a group mentality.

Of course this assessment does not imply that Leave voters were almost all poorly educated and old, and Remain voters well educated and young. The Leave side obviously attracted support from many middle class professionals, graduates and younger people. Otherwise it couldn't have won.

While there was undoubtedly a lot of voting which cut across these criteria, the point of this analysis is to explore how different social groups most probably voted - and it is clear that education, age and ethnicity were crucial influences.

After these three key factors are taken into account, adding in further demographic measures from the census does little to increase the explanation of UK-wide voting patterns.

However, this does not reflect the distinctively more pro-Remain voting in Scotland, since we are short of Scottish data at this geographical level. It is clear as well that in a few specific locations high student numbers were also very relevant.

To a certain extent, using the level of educational qualifications as a measure combines both class and age factors, with working class and older adults both tending to be less well qualified.


But the association between education and the voting results is stronger than the association between social or occupational class and the results. This is still true after taking the age of the local population into account.

This suggests that voters with lower qualifications were more likely to back Leave than the better qualified, even when they were in the same social or occupational class.


The existence of a significant connection between Leave voting and lower educational qualifications had already been suggested by analysis of the published referendum results from the official counting areas.

The data we have obtained strengthens this conclusion, because voting patterns can now be compared to social statistics from the 2011 census at a much more detailed geographical level than by the earlier studies.

The BBC analysis is also consistent with opinion polling (for example, from Lord Ashcroft, Ipsos Mori and YouGov) that tried to identify the characteristics of Leave and Remain voters.


Local patterns

The data we have collected can be used to illustrate the sort of places where the Leave and Remain camps did particularly well: it is hard to imagine a more glaring social contrast than that between the deprived, poorly educated housing estates of Brambles and Thorntree in Middlesbrough, and the privileged elite colleges of Market ward in central Cambridge.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that most of the voting figures mentioned below also include some postal votes, so they should be treated as approximate rather than precise. It is also important to note that the examples are limited to the places for which we were able to obtain localised information, which was only a minority of areas. The rest of the country may well contain even starker instances.

Leave strongholds


Of the 1,283 individual wards for which we have data, the highest Leave vote was 82.5% in Brambles and Thorntree, a section of east Middlesbrough with many social problems. Ward boundaries have changed since the 2011 census, but in that survey the Thorntree part of the area had the lowest proportion of people with a degree or similar qualification of anywhere in England and Wales, at only 5%. And according to Middlesbrough council, the figure for the current Brambles and Thorntree ward is even lower, at just 4%.

Second highest was 80.3% in Waterlees Village, a poor locality within Wisbech, Cambridgeshire. This area has seen a major influx of East European migrants who have been doing low-paid work in nearby food processing factories and farms, with tensions between them and British residents.

Other wards with available data which had the strongest Leave votes were congregated in Middlesbrough, Canvey Island in Essex, Skegness in coastal Lincolnshire, and Havering in east London.

Remain strongholds

The highest Remain vote was 87.8% in Market ward in central Cambridge, an area with numerous colleges and a high student population, in a city which was strongly pro-Remain.

This was followed by Ashley ward (85.6%) in central Bristol, a district featuring ethnic diversity, gentrification and alternative culture.

Next highest was Northumberland Park (85.0%) in Haringey, north London, which has a substantial black population.

Other wards with available data which had the strongest Remain votes were generally located in Cambridge, Bristol and the multi-ethnic London boroughs of Haringey and Lambeth.

In the middle

The count for Ashburton in Croydon, south London, split 50-50 exactly, with both Leave and Remain getting 3,885 votes, but that did include some postal ballots.

Nationally representative

As for being nearest to the overall result, the combined count of Tulketh and University, neighbouring wards near the centre of Preston, was 51.92% for leave, very close to the UK wide figure of 51.89%. The individual ward of Barnwood in Gloucester had Leave at 51.94%. Both figures however contain some postal votes.

Given that a few councils provided even more detailed data down to the level of polling districts, it is possible to identify some very small localities that were nicely representative of the national picture.

The 527 voters in the neighbouring districts of Kirk Langley and Mackworth in Amber Valley in Derbyshire, whose two ballot boxes were counted together, produced a leave proportion of 51.99%. And this figure is not contaminated by any postal votes.

So journalists (or anyone else for that matter) who seek a microcosm of the UK should perhaps visit the Mundy Arms pub in Mackworth, the location for that district's polling station.

Similarly, the 427 voters in the combined neighbouring polling districts of Chiddingstone Hoath and Hever Four Elms to the south of Sevenoaks in Kent delivered a leave vote of 51.6% (again, without any postal votes).

Switching areas

The data obtained points to 269 areas of various sizes (wards, clusters of wards or constituencies) which had a different Leave/Remain outcome compared to the official counting area of which they were part.

This consists of 150 areas which backed Remain but were part of Leave-voting counting areas; and 119 in the other direction.

The detailed information therefore gives us an understanding of how the electorate voted which is more variegated than the officially published results.

Scotlandvoted to Remain - but some wards backed Leave, analysis shows

Every one of Scotland's 32 counting areas came down on the Remain side. Yet, despite the fact that most Scottish councils did not give us much detailed information, we can nevertheless identify a few smaller parts of the country which actually backed Leave.

A cluster of six wards in the Banff and Buchan area in north Aberdeenshire had a strong Leave majority of 61%. There is much local discontent within the fishing industry of this coastal district about the EU's common fisheries policy.

An Taobh Siar agus Nis, a ward at the northern end of the Isle of Lewis in Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles), also voted Leave, if very narrowly.

And at a smaller geographical level, in Shetland the 567 voters in the combined polling districts of Whalsay and South Unst had an extremely high Leave vote of 81%. The island of Whalsay is a fishing community, where EU rules have been controversial and in 2012 numerous skippers were heavily fined for major breaches of fishing quotas.

London

Ealing and Hounslow are neighbouring multi-ethnic boroughs in the west of London with large Asian populations, where - in contrast to the national picture - non-white ethnicity was associated with voting Leave, particularly in Ealing. Both boroughs shared a varied internal pattern of prosperous largely white areas voting strongly Remain, poorer largely white areas preferring Leave, and the Asian areas tending to be more evenly split.

Ealing voted 60% Remain, with Southfield ward hitting 76%, but in contrast the Southall wards which are over 90% ethnic minority were close to 50-50.

In Hounslow the richer wards in Chiswick in the east of the area voted heavily Remain (73%), but the poorer largely white wards at the opposite western end in Feltham and Bedfont voted Leave (64-66%). Osterley and Spring Grove was also 63% Leave, the highest Leave vote in any individual ward in the UK with a non-white majority for which we have data.

The south London borough of Bromley narrowly voted Remain. Those parts which did not do so by a significant margin were the Cray Valley wards, largely poor white working class areas; and Biggin Hill and Darwin wards, locations to the south which contain more open countryside and lie outside the built-up commuter belt.

In Croydon in south London, places which voted Leave by substantial amounts were New Addington and Fieldway, neighbouring wards with large council estates.

Other areas

Beyond the areas with the strongest backing for Leave and Remain, examining the detailed breakdown of votes in various places gives greater insight into the pattern of support for the two sides - as can be seen from the following examples.

In several places (for example, Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Portsmouth) there was a strong contrast between the Leave-voting populations of large, rundown, predominantly white, housing estates in the urban periphery, versus Remain-voting populations in inner city areas with large numbers of ethnic minorities and sometimes students.

Birmingham had several wards with large Remain votes, although the city as a whole narrowly voted Leave. These pro-Remain wards tended to be the more highly educated, better off localities, or minority ethnic areas which strongly backed Remain despite low levels of educational qualifications. I have written about this before.

In Blackburn with Darwen, Bastwell ward had the highest Remain vote at 65%, compared to only 44% in the area as a whole. This ward has an ethnic minority proportion of over 90%. Other Blackburn wards which voted Remain were also ones with high minority populations.

Bradford voted to Leave (54%), but the area included some starkly contrasting places which went over 60% Remain: the prosperous, genteel, spa town of Ilkley, and strongly ethnic minority wards in the city, such as Manningham and Toller.

Bristol voted strongly Remain on the whole (62%), but there were some striking exceptions, particularly the large, deprived, mainly white estates to the south of the city. Hartcliffe and Withywood backed Leave at 67%. Similar neighbouring wards (Hengrove and Whitchurch Park, Filwood, Bishopsworth and Stockwood) also voted Leave, as did the more industrial area of Avonmouth and Lawrence Weston to the north west of the city.

As a county Cornwall voted to Leave. But one of its six parliamentary constituencies, Truro and Falmouth, voted 53% to Remain, possibly linked to a significant student population.

In Lincoln, which voted 57% to Leave, Carholme ward stands out as very different - it voted 63% to Remain. This ward includes Lincoln University, and 43% of the residents are students

Middlesbrough voted 65% to Leave. As already noted, it had several wards with extremely high leave votes of over 75%. But one ward, Linthorpe, voted very narrowly to Remain - a comparatively well-to-do inner suburb which includes an art college; and another ward, Central, which contains Teesside University, nearly did.

Mole Valley in Surrey exhibited a dramatic contrast between two neighbouring districts with very different demographics and housing. The highest Remain vote was in the very prosperous location of Dorking South, which voted 63% Remain, but the neighbouring ward of Holmwoods, dominated by large estates on the edge of the town of Dorking, voted 57% Leave, the area's highest Leave vote.

Nottingham voted narrowly to Leave, but the inner city ward of Radford and Park voted 68% Remain. This has both a comparatively high proportion of ethnic minorities and considerable numbers of students from two nearby universities. There was a lot of variation within the area. Bulwell - a market town to the north of the city with many social problems - voted 69% Leave

There was also a high Leave vote in the housing estate locations of the Clifton wards in the south of Nottingham.

Oldham voted to Leave at 61%, but Werneth, the city ward with the highest ethnic minority population, voted Remain (57%). Other wards with high minority populations also voted Remain.

central wards in Oxford had high Remain votes

In Oxford the cluster of polling districts which included Blackbird Leys and other deprived estates on the southern edge of the city voted to Leave at 51%. In contrast the central areas containing colleges, university buildings and student accommodation voted to Remain at over 80%.

Plymouth voted 60% Leave, but Drake ward which includes the university had the city's highest Remain vote at 56%.

Portsmouth was another place with wide variation. Paulsgrove ward, with its large estate on the edge of the city, had the highest Leave vote at 70%, whereas at the other end of the spectrum Central Southsea, an inner city ward and student area, voted 57% Remain.

Rochdale voted 60% Leave. The place which bucked this trend by voting 59% Remain, Milkstone and Deeplish, was the most predominantly ethnic minority ward. Central Rochdale had the second highest Remain vote and is the other ward that is mainly not white.

Walsall voted strongly Leave (68%). The only ward which voted Remain, Paddock, is both a comparatively prosperous and multi-ethnic locality.

The most local data

A few councils released their data at remarkably localised levels, down even to individual polling districts (ie ballot boxes) in the case of Blackburn with Darwen and Bracknell Forest, or clusters of two/three/four districts, in the case of Amber Valley, Brentwood, Sevenoaks, Shetland, South Oxfordshire, and Tewkesbury.

This provides very local and specific data, in some cases just for neighbourhoods of hundreds of voters.

At its most detailed this reveals that the 110 people who cast their votes in the ballot box at St. Alban's Primary School in central Blackburn split 56-52 in favour of Remain, with two spoilt papers.

It also discloses stark contrasts in some neighbouring locations. The 953 people who voted at Little Harwood community centre in north Blackburn had a Leave vote of only 31%, while the 336 electors who voted in the neighbouring ballot box at Roe Lee Park primary school produced a Leave percentage over twice as high, at 64%.


Postal votes

The very detailed data we obtained also provides some rare evidence on the views of postal compared to non-postal voters. Campaign strategists have often deliberated on whether the two groups vote differently and should be given separate targeted messages.

Most places mixed boxes of postal and non-postal votes for counting, so generally it's not possible to draw comparative conclusions. However there were a few exceptions which recorded them separately, or included a very small number of non-postal votes with the postals.

These figures indicate that postal voters were narrowly less likely to back Leave than voters in polling stations. Data covering five counting areas with about 260,000 votes shows that in these places the roughly one in five electors who voted by post backed Leave at 55.4%, one percentage point lower than the local non-postal support for Leave of 56.4%.

The counting areas involved are Amber Valley, East Cambridgeshire, Gwynedd, Hyndburn and North Warwickshire.


The data

Since the referendum the BBC has been trying to get the most detailed, localised voting data we could from each of the counting areas. This was a major data collection exercise carried out by my colleague George Greenwood.

We managed to obtain voting figures broken down into smaller geographical units for 178 of the 399 referendum counting areas (380 councils in England, Wales and Scotland, with a separate tally in Gibraltar, while in Northern Irelandresults were issued for the 18 constituencies).

This varied between data for individual local government wards, wards grouped into clusters, and constituency level data. In a few cases the results supplied were even more localised than ward level. Overall the extra data covers a wide range of different areas and kinds of councils across the UK.

Electoral returning officers are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act, so releasing the information was up to the discretion of councils. While some were very willing, in other cases it required a lot of persistence and persuasion.

Some councils could not supply any detailed data because they mixed all ballot boxes prior to counting; some did possess more local figures but simply refused to disclose them to us. Others did provide data, but the combinations in which ballot boxes were mixed before counting were too complex to fit ward boundaries neatly.

A few places such as Birmingham released their ward by ward data following the referendum on their own initiative, but in most cases the information had to be obtained by us requesting it directly, and sometimes repeatedly, from the authority.


(Here is the link to the original >>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-38762034)


Thursday, 9 February 2017

FAR LEFT CLAIMS SCOTTISH NATIONALISM IS NASTY AND DIVISIVE!


FAR LEFT CLAIMS SCOTTISH NATIONALISM IS NASTY AND DIVISIVE!


The article below is written by one of the “People’s Front of Judea” type of Far-Left grouplets, but is nevertheless interesting and worth reading for a number of reasons.


The first reason is that Scottish nationalism is not exempted from their criticism and, indeed, is the focus of their criticism in this piece. This is despite Scottish nationalists positioning themselves as far to the Left as would be acceptable to any electorate in the Western world. This is also despite the Scottish National Party bending as far as it can towards multi-racialism and multi-culturalism and generally positioning itself as much as a politically correct and acceptable version of nationalism as possible.


So far as the authors of this article are concerned I suspect that the Labour Party and, certainly the Conservative Party, will both be considered to be nationalist parties as well, but of course they are British nationalist, not Scottish nationalist.


The second reason it is worth reading this article is that it does vividly demonstrates that it is pointless for any patriot to consider political accommodation with those with Far-Left views. The aim of patriots in dealing with the Far-Left should simply be to try and leave them as isolated and as irrelevant as possible.


The third reason why the article is well worth reading is that it does set out the Leftist argument against patriotism in a clear and unequivocal manner and is well written.


It also shows how naïve the Far-Left are in their view of humanity, since they are in effect pointing out that, within the patriotic vision for our country, that there will still be disputes, oppositions, antagonisms, etc.


Anyone who has lived in any community, even where there is no divergence of interest between various people, would know that people simply don’t all get on and that there are some that you can trust and some that you can’t. There are some who will steal and some who are honest.


It is not realistic to claim that nation states need more state power to curb human nature than any other types of state.


Indeed our experience in the world today is that states that are controlling territories where there is no nation, such as many of the Middle Eastern states, are states riven by far greater and more irreconcilable antagonisms than nation states. In those states the only effective remedy by the state itself is the use of force!


Perhaps the sheer naivety of the article and of the unrealistic understanding of human nature shown by the article is something of a partial explanation as to why, when the Far-Left get into power, that they seem inevitably to have to resort to murder?


In any case it is useful to see that our Leftist opponents are not merely unpatriotic, but they are anti-patriotic and are hostile to the very idea of a national community. Since the nation state is the largest and most successful organisation that humankind has ever managed to create, their position on the nation state puts them firmly against progress and it is therefore a rather amusing irony that such people might call themselves “progressives”!


Here is the article:-

Since you mentioned “us” — Nationalism by example of Scottish independence


We oppose nationalism. 1 With this opposition, we are not alone. For many people, nationalism has a bad reputation. For example, in the debate around the referendum for Scottish independence, the “Yes” campaign was repeatedly accused of being nationalist. On the other hand, few take issue with identifying with their home country — they might call this standpoint patriotism. 2 Many take being English, British or Scottish as a self-evident part of their own identity. But they might get a bit annoyed about others waving flags, because they do not want to make a big fuss about nationalism. Some people might even reject mainstream or right-wing nationalism as oppressive but posit the “real nation” 3 or (local) “community” 4 against it. Finally, from left to right, big fuss or not, many protests invoke the greater, national good to make their point: unions calculate how higher wages would benefit the whole economy 5 , students point out that they are a key resource of the nation 6 , bankers and benefit recipients are criticised for putting their interests before the nation (from the left and right respectively) 7 . The word nationalism might have a bad reputation in some places, the appreciation of the nation, however, is undaunted.


Many people who distance themselves from some forms of nationalism oppose the overt racism that often accompanies it. When the Left opposes nationalism, they usually take issue with the nationalist segmentation of humankind into peoples. In contrast, we criticise nationalism not just because of a wrong segmentation but also because it posits unification of actual people into the people. This particular critique is not one which is widely shared. 8 Hence, in this piece, we want to explain what nationalists think, what nationalism claims and wants and why we oppose it in any form. 9


As a running example, we are going to use the referendum for Scottish independence held in late 2014. While we realise that we are rather late to the party in writing about Scottish independence, we chose this example for three reasons. Firstly, Scottish nationalism did not go away with the referendum. Repeated calls are made for a second referendum. Secondly, the question “Should Scotland be an independent country” 10 asks exactly what any nationalism asserts and hence takes us to the core of the matter. Thirdly, Scottish nationalism — being often more left-wing — prides itself with avoiding some features of nationalism outlined above which many people object to. Scottish nationalism only serves as our example, though, the arguments presented in this article also apply to English, British or German nationalism. 11


“We”


Nationalism posits the people. This is an assertion of a distinction between a nation’s people and the rest of humanity (“The Scots are Scots and not English, not German, not French”). The starting point of any nationalism is the assertion and appreciation of a particular group: “we”.


“We” is also the assertion of an accordance between the people of the nation (“Scots belong and fit together”). When nationalists speak of “us”, they do not simply mean to describe a group that is somehow distinguished from the rest of humanity like “all people with brown hair” or “all people who like tea”, instead “us” characterises a community. Nationalists think that their personal interests and the interests of other members of the community — and hence of the community in total — are somehow aligned. Not necessarily perfectly so but at some level. Nationalists think that somehow the national community is the place where they fit in, where their purposes have a place, where people accomplish their respective goals somehow with each other. They believe that there is a connection, some accordance, some cohesion even, that “we” are “better together”. 12


Justification


Nationalists differ in where they see the basis of this accordance. Some see the basis for why “we” fit and belong together in a presumed common biology (“Celtic blood”, “Aryan race”), some in a common culture (language, customs, cultural values) and some even in a common conviction (constitutional patriotism). 13 None of these reasons holds water. There is no “Celtic blood”, language does not preform thought but ideas can be expressed in any language, a habit of drinking tea makes for a tea drinking society, not an all-encompassing community.


It is of no use, though, for the critique of nationalism to pick apart these reasons, because nationalists do not ask if their people exists. The point of these reasons is not to actually establish that a particular people exist. Rather, the existence of their people is the nationalist starting point and conviction. We can see this by looking at how nationalists relate to these reasons. Asking most English nationalists what exactly characterises the English as a nation, typically earns you a blank stare and maybe some half worked out argument. Moreover, without such prompting nationalists hardly ever ask this question. Most nationalists tend not to inquire about each other’s reasons and two typical nationalists would not find anything too worrying about finding out that they do not agree on, say, whether drinking tea is a defining British pastime or not. Similarly, most racist nationalists tend not to be too invested in the particularities of their racist theories. The relationship of most nationalists towards specific foundational arguments for their nation is characterised by a lack of interest: the reasons that nationalists give are not reasons they have. 14 Instead, these reasons are justifications for some “us” which is presupposed.


Scotland as a nation was taken for granted by all sides arguing over Scottish independence. 15 The British State considers Scotland a nation and itself a country of four nations. Consequently, Scottish nationalists did not have to agitate for its recognition as a nation. 16 The taken-for-granted starting point for all separatist and unionist agitation was Scotland and the referendum simply presupposed Scotland and the Scots as a collective who now decide on an important aspect of their lives.


In contrast, when nationalists struggle to have their nation recognised, these justifications play a greater role. For example, Cornish nationalists invoke a wide range of historical, political, linguistic and cultural reasons to illustrate that Cornwall does constitute its own nation. But these reasons ought to justify the “us”, not establish it. They do not ask if Cornwall is its own nation, but ask how to demonstrate it.


General differences between justifications, cultural or biological, play a role in political life. For example, people may be more or less relaxed about immigration based on whether they believe in blood and soil or in culture. Yet, here too, the question is not if the citizens of the host nation indeed constitute a nation, but they argue about how their national bond is characterised.


The indifference of nationalists towards the particular foundational arguments of their nation does not mean that they do not care about justifications. The point of these justifications is to assert cohesion. Asking most nationalists about the particularities of their justifications is met with disinterest. But when they smell that the inquiry seeks to undermine the certainty of their community, they get upset. How the community is justified is not that important, that it is justified is without an alternative to a nationalist.


Identity


Nationalists identify with their nation. 17 Nationalism not only asserts the existence of a group but being part of that group is an identity of its members.


If people have a shared interest in drinking fine wine they may decide to find others who share this particular interest and decide to form a wine tasting club. The people in this wine tasting club might also have different interests outside of wine tasting, but they are an affinity group based on their mutual interest in wine tasting. The membership in a wine tasting club is both conscious — they decide to join and leave — as well as based on a shared activity or interest.


The nation is no such collection of people based on some particular shared interest. To nationalists, being Scottish or English is not something you decide to do , but it is something which claims to define your being . For an English nationalist when 11 English players win a world cup, we won the world cup, not just someone from our group. Also, this is something for the whole nation, not only for football fans. Our green valleys are a feast to look at. If the British economy does well, we grew our Gdp . If the British State goes to war, we go to war and its soldiers are fighting for us . 18 Some people even say that we won World War I, despite all the people who fought in that war having died now. When nationalists appreciate something about their country, it is somehow also partially themselves who did it and it fills them with pride. When they accept that atrocities were committed by their people (usually in the name of the nation), it fills them with shame. Both of these reactions presuppose identification.


The criteria employed to decide who gets to be Scottish, English, Us American or German differ, in some cases the criteria might be lower than in others, sometimes it might be possible to be a member of two nations, but nationalists assert that belonging to a certain nation is not a lifestyle choice, a conscious, calculated decision or a particular interest, it is an identity.


However, nationalists do not rely just on self-evident and immediate identity. Where they can, they foster traditions, customs, national language and national culture. In established nation states, a lot of energy is spent by professional nationalists — politicians, journalists, teachers, etc. — on educating the population about “their” national customs, culture and history. Students learn the national language, learn about national history, about their “cultural heritage” and to respect other cultures. Cultural institutions and museums provide the population with national culture and history. National holidays encourage the celebration of the nation. Scottish, German, British might be something you are in the eyes of nationalists, it is certainly also something whose performance is encouraged and maintained — no nationalist movement trusts in self-evident essence alone.


“State”


Nationalists hold that a national community requires actualisation in a state. There are many ideologies which claim that certain (ostensible) criteria would establish some group and the identities of group members: racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. Nationalism is distinguished from all these essentialist ideologies in that the group it is concerned with is a community and requires some form of stately authority. 19 Nationality — in the eyes of nationalists — is an identity which requires a political authority. The nationalist proposition is “the right of nations to self-determination”. Or rather the right of their nation to self-determination, e.g. “Scotland should be an independent country”. That is, nationalists posit the nation which then finds its actualisation in its own state. For example, the Scottish Government wrote:


If we vote for independence, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland as our ancient nation emerges — again — as an independent country. 20


In established nation states this idea often finds expressions in the preamble of constitutional documents where it is claimed that it is the people who establish a state of law. 21


The true relationship between state power and nation is the other way around. A state does not make itself dependent on the nationalism of its human resources, it subjugates them and the territory they live on. Borders of states, and therefore what is and is not a people, are results of wars between states, a question of power. When most European states were established, the respective nationalisms were ideas amongst small groups of intellectuals. It was only through the subjugation of “the people of …” by their state that the unity which nationalists posit was produced. When the United States were founded, it was not “the people of the United States” who founded them but some people with enough power bent on subjugating their fellow countrymen to a new democratic state. Despite what preambles in constitutional documents might claim, “the people” have never given themselves a state.


Even if the “Yes” campaign had won the independence referendum, it would not have been “the Scottish people” who would have given themselves a state. The Scottish independence referendum was an attempt of a nationalist movement — around the Scottish Government — to subjugate Scottish people under a new state. If the “Yes” agitation had been successful, then the Scottish Government would have subjugated those it defined as Scottish under a new Scottish state, regardless of whether they voted “Yes” or “No”. It would have been able to do this because it was tactically backed by the existing monopolist of force — the British State. The referendum could happen because the British State, which asserts absolute authority over its citizens, gave a part of itself — the Scottish Government — permission to subjugate a part of the British population in the case of “Yes” vote. 22 Usually, separatist movements are not met with tactic approval from the state they seek to separate from. In this case, the question of violence is posited directly: who can assert power over those defined as the chosen people against the contender also claiming to represent them.


Foreign rule


A demand for political autonomy is a rejection of rule from outside of the national community. Foreign rule is not simply rejected because of what it wants and does, but because it is foreign. In the words of the Snp :


Today, we have a Tory government in Westminster that most of us did not vote for, and yet that government is able to take decisions that cause real harm to families and communities in Scotland. 23


The Snp notes that the Westminster Government rules over a majority of people in Scotland who did not vote for it, just as it rules over many people in England who did not vote for it. This is a feature of every democratic election, elections the Snp stands in and wants to happen in an independent Scotland: in some part of the country or in some strata of society there usually will be some majority who did not vote for the government.


Hence, one could be tempted to accuse the Snp of hypocrisy, but this is not fair. By making a distinction between Labour voters in the North of England and in Scotland, both of which are ruled by a government they did not vote for, the Snp expresses what standard it applies. If Scottish people are ruled over by a party in Westminster they did not vote for, this is a problem. For people in England not so much. The Snp does not propose to split up the Uk along voting lines or interests. The problem for the Snp is not rule but that it is exercised by people from the wrong community. Westminster is wrong because it is not Scottish; that it is Tory is just an additional sin. Put differently, if a Scottish government voted in by the Scottish people would do “real harm to families and communities”, then it would at least be home rule. The rejection of foreign rule on the grounds that it is foreign is an affirmation of home rule. 24

Self-determination


A demand for political autonomy wants rule by a nation state over those who belong to its nation. The self-determination of a nation means that the members of the national community are subjugated to their national political authority. Practically, a people realises itself by its people being subjugated under their nation state.


On the one hand, nationalists want an authority which objectively subjugates the people. The people are its objects . On the other hand, those people are assumed to want this authority and their collective will is thought to find actualisation in this authority. To a nationalist, the people is the subject . 25


To a nationalist, this is no contradiction as she posits the state not as a force of domination but instead as an administrator of the community. This is not because she does not understand what a state does, but because she considers this as an adequate actualisation and administration of the community she wants. Nationalists know that laws passed in Parliament apply to everyone regardless of whether they like them or not and they know that states have coppers, judges and prisons to enforce those laws. But to them, this means us taking care of ourselves. In the words of the Scottish Government:


Independence means that the people of Scotland will take responsibility for our future into our own hands. 26


The Scottish Government wants to rule over those who it called to the polls, but this demand for subjugation is understood as the Scottish people taking matters into their own hands to do what they want. Nationalism is consent to domination , which is understood as a people’s freedom , self-determination and self-actualisation .


As with any other nationalism, Scottish people are invited to think of acts done to them by the state as actualisations of themselves. If an imagined Scottish government bans nuclear energy, this is done by our government, we are banning nuclear energy. If a Scottish government guarantees the right of my boss to cut my breaks, this is an act of our government. If a Scottish government institutes a maximum working day, this is an act of our government. The order of policy and rule is so that identification with and affirmation of rule comes first, then come questions of policy which may affect me positively or negatively. 27 In the words of a Scottish nationalist:


There is widespread confusion among some politicians and media pundits regarding the independence referendum planned for Autumn 2014 and the Scottish general election scheduled for May 2016. Many pundits are treating the two events as if they are the same thing. They are not. This cannot be stressed, underlined, or shouted from the rooftops loud enough. 2014 is a referendum on relocating power, relocating the tools of democratic governance, from London to Scotland. 2016 is about the people of Scotland picking up these tools and using them in any damned way we choose. I’ll say it again: 2014 is about Democracy . 2016 is about Policy . 28


The “Yes” campaign and the Radical Independence Campaign argued for independence by listing many nice things which could be done in an independent Scotland: better health care, higher benefits, greener energy … None of these policies were actually on the ballot. The ballot did not ask voters what they think of the welfare state, citizenship laws or where government spending should be directed. The question was if the authority ruling over Scotland should be Scottish and this is the first standard by which nationalists judge it. 29


However, the rule these people appreciate does not make itself dependent on their appreciation. While nation states want and encourage the appreciation of their populations (hence the referendum), if consent is absent then time after time the question of rule is settled by force. This does not make consent to domination a harmless private matter, though, with no effect on the world. Rule over people is easier if they accept and appreciate it. When, for example, people argue if this or that politician is fit to rule over them, the question what purpose the rule over them serves is not one to worry about. Furthermore, if people think of what is done to them as their own doing, it not only saves costs on coppers and prisons, but also mobilises their energy and creativity for the rule over them.


Opposition and cohesion


Nationalists demand self-determination in the form of a state and seek to subordinate their people to their nation state. Their national community must be enforced by superior force; the same community which they hold to be a self-evident part of their being. Therewith nationalists practically acknowledge that their community is not as self-evident and matter-of-fact as they claim, it does not simply flow from their essence but needs a nudge or two from the state. Nationalists posit their community as self-evident and — in insisting on a stately authority over it — as frail. In other words, to them, the members of the community are drawn together and apart. While Scottish nationalists posit a self-evident ancient nation which has to find actualisation in a state yet again, they find this status quo untenable: to them the Scottish need a state. They do not merely seek to drive out Westminster, but to establish a rule over Scottish people for Scottish people because they are Scottish people. The unquestionable essence in them which they believe to bind them together — being Scottish — is not firm enough to bind them together — this the Scottish state ought to provide. Amongst all claimed unity and accordance, nationalists also presume divisions within the nation. The interests and actions of the individuals are not simply assumed to be aligned with the interests of the community and, hence, each other.


Thereby, nationalists address the objective divisions that exist in their community. Democratic nationalists know of and do not deny the many little and big divisions that characterise life in a capitalist society. Workers know of the pressure to work harder and longer, they know of the threat of unemployment, tenants know that their landlord hikes the rent when she can, they know that they struggle to make ends meet. The economy — how a society produces, distributes and consumes — is a continuous source of conflict. 30 At the same time, nationalists posit a common interest with those on the other side of their disputes. In the words of a British nationalist:


Whatever happened to that post-election stuff about “one nation”? It is clear that David Cameron and some of his ministers genuinely believe in the Disraelian ideal of social cohesion at some important level. Yet in the wake of the government’s latest move against trade unions, the commitment will look to many like mere hypocrisy. Part of the essence of any kind of one-nation politics, whether from the left or the right, must be an effort to reconcile old antagonisms. But these new measures to make it more difficult to join a union are only designed to provoke this antagonism still further. 31


The author acknowledges the continued necessity for workers to organise in unions against their employers and calls for a reconciliation of “old antagonisms”: opposition and cohesion.


To nationalists, oppositions are, in principle, not in opposition to their community. Instead, oppositions amongst the members of the community fit in with their community, are accepted and filed as part of how it functions. Life in their community is no easy, harmonic life. Oppositions and their consequences are, in principle, to be expected, accepted and endured. Indeed, democratic nationalists appreciate “everyone for herself” in the economic sphere as a contribution to their community. This way, they think, the community becomes more productive, this way all give their best, this way the community prospers. Collateral damage and benefit is part of community life. 32


However, nationalists distinguish between opposition and antagonism. The accepted and presumed conflicts ought to have their limits. They notice the expressions of oppositions around them, but would deny that systematic, fundamental antagonisms are produced from the way their community functions. Amongst all divisions they seek cohesion and call for restrictions on the pursuit of opposing goals; they seek a balance.


Decency


Nationalists do not ignore that they have to follow the rules of the community (cf. “State”), that their community does not allow them to do whatever they want. In the nationalist perspective, though, the restrictions placed on them are for them , not an external constraint: this community is their community, where they can pursue their interests, it is the place and premise for their “pursuit of happiness” (cf. “We”).


They appreciate the community for allowing opportunities for its members — they can try to get that job, apply for that loan to start a business, win the lottery — and think of moderation as an exchange relation: if each of us moderates herself, lives by the rules of the community then the community prospers which means that we get to pursue our respective goals in this community. They moderate their goals in the hope that this allows these goals to be realised: voluntary compulsion or worthwhile renunciation. 33 They expect this imagined relation of exchange to be honoured, expect what is fair and what is deserved : a fair wage for a fair day’s work, a just minimum level of sustenance as a member of the national community, a just reward for providing jobs etc. In the words of a Radical Independence campaigner:


We believe the success of a country comes from the hard work and commitment of all. We believe that a good country is one in which all share fairly the success of good times and all share fairly the burdens of bad times. 34


In the nationalist ideal, if everybody takes a step back from their respective interests, if all work hard and commit, if all interests are moderated in the name of the common good, then they all get the fair share they deserve.


They demand the national community to be a community of the decent, a community where participants want the restrictions placed on them, a community where the participants are willing to a step back in the interest of the greater, national, collective good. The Radical Independence Campaign version of this ideal goes like this:


Scotland can be a moral nation. Where mutuality, cooperation and fellowship define our relationships. Where we are good stewards of our country and hand it on to the next generation in a better state than we inherit it. Where our values are not dominated by greed, selfishness and disregard for others but by patience, generosity, creativity, peacefulness and a determination to be better. 35


Different nationalists address their calls for “determination to be better” towards different groups. Some ask for jobs and payment of taxes from companies, some demand wage moderation from workers, some demand decency and guidance from politicians. But they all demand decency.


Essence


For nationalists, cohesion, decency, the will to the nation, — “we” — is not a calculated, rational decision but a natural part of them.


The assertion of a self-evident unity of the nation is not merely a mistake that could be rectified by educating a nationalist about differing interests in a capitalist society. They know of them, which is why they want to moderate them. The assertion “we” is as much an invitation as it is a demand. Firstly, “we” is an invitation to look beyond the day-to-day competition and to recognise the needs of the community as being greater than mere individual materialism and calculated decisions for personal gain. 36 Secondly, “we” is also a demand that this unity is not up for debate, it is an invitation you cannot refuse, it is essential.


For a biological racist nationalist, it is a natural essence which guarantees the national bond, which is not only self-evident but natural. She asserts that the will to the nation is not a product of volition but of a biological essence. To her, this founds a strong, irrefutable bond because the members of the community have it in their bones. They cannot but stand for their community and act decently for the benefit of their community. This is an uncompromising demand against the members of the nation.


Nationalists who invoke culture (language, customs, values, etc.) seek the same result but without a recourse to biology. They, too, found the will to the nation in a pre-voluntary essence of the members of the community but an essence which is produced by society — which is why they can be more open to the idea of others being integrated into the collective. They disagree that biology can account for a will but seek the same, firm result from a source outside of the will, beyond decisions.


Here, too, the demand against the members of the community is expressed as the assertion that these members have their national bond in their being. 37 They have no choice in the matter, they are English, Scottish, German and so on. For example, “National Collective”, a group of artists campaigning for Scottish independence, offered their view on a progressive civic nationalism in Scotland:


In Scotland, we make a lot of noise about our ‘civic nationalism’ — an open, inclusive brand of national pride based on shared goals, values and institutions, summed up by the late Bashir Ahmed, Scotland’s first Asian Msp : “It is not important where we have come from; it’s where we’re going together, as a nation.” 38


Civic nationalists claim that sharing certain liberal values is part of a particular national identity and they are proud of these values: freedom, equality, democracy, the rule of law — the accomplishments of modern democratic rule. People who criticise nationalism for excluding others from the national community might read statements like these as an open invitation to everyone who shares Scottish values. However, this is a misunderstanding. Who would get to be Scottish is not some individual choice of sharing a certain set of values, but up to the Scottish Government to decide in the interest of the nation. 39 Civic nationalism posits that the members of the nation share certain values, not that sharing certain values makes you a member of the nation.


When civic nationalists speak of shared “goals, values, and institutions” this expresses that they expect those who are part of the national collective to share these. Especially, when a politician says “It is not important where we have come from; it’s where we’re going together, as a nation” this is not merely a true or false analysis of what constitutes the nation, but a demand to get in line. When someone in power tells you “this is how we do things”, this is an imperative indicative: a demand against you to follow through. When someone who shapes the values and goals of the nation tells you that you share those defined goals and values, this is the demand to want what they want for the nation.


The same applies to other pictures that nationalists draw of their respective peoples. Nationalists will not shy away from statements like “Germans are punctual” or “British are polite” when confronted with a disorganised resp. rude person. These statements are not intended as statements of fact but expectations and demands against the members of the national collective. “We” is a demand.


Force


Nationalists think of the national community as a moral community, a community with just rights and responsibilities, a community formed by and for decent people. This is a peculiar view towards their actual social relations.



In their daily lives, the subjects of a democratic state are endowed with rights and responsibilities by the state; it provides its subjects with general rules which they have to follow. There is much to regulate, permit, prohibit and sanction when people who are dependent on each other compete against each other. For their interactions in the economy, the actors make contracts. These are agreed upon because each party expects to gain from them but this does not extinguish the economic opposition of the contracting parties. A low or no price is better for the buyer and worse for the seller. More concretely, a low wage is a means for profit and a detriment to workers sustenance. Capitalists have reasons to squeeze more out of their workers and workers have reasons to resist this through collective action. 40



The capitalist economy needs an arbiter to decide who prevails when the members’ interests collide and to provide general restrictions keeping competition from eating itself, to make the unity of competition and mutual dependency feasible. This feat is not accomplished without force: when everybody’s goals are pursued against the others, under rules which restrict the means of success of each party, then it makes sense to bend or break the rules here and there to realise these goals — theft and fraud are ways to take part in competition with other means. Therefore, a capitalist economy requires a state ruling over it with force. Capitalist states happily oblige because they rely on their capitalist economies as the basis of their might. They guarantee private property and provide the rule of law, infrastructure, the welfare state and economy policy to facilitate accumulation of their national capital which they count as the growth of the gross domestic product ( Gdp ) and which provides their rule with means.



Where the state in its laws defines the conditions under which its subjects must pursue their own interests, nationalists see conditions under which they can pursue their own interests. Conditions become opportunities. Where the state excludes the mass of its citizens from the wealth around them, where it ensures their continued existence as human resources for the accumulation of capital, they see general regulations being implemented which ensure that their decent community — and hence them — can function and consider the rights provided by the state as their means to participate justly in their moral community. They treat conditions, which they do not decide about, as their own, as expressions of themselves and of their morality.


Escalation


This reversal — that the objects of rule think themselves as the subjects — does not mean nationalists are content. When they interpret law as a realisation of their morality, not as the form in which the state organises its society for its own might, they also judge it this way. Hence, as much as they are one with their nation and its state in principle, they always tend to find some transgression, some violation of decency, some instance where someone receives what is not deserved and where those who deserve do not.



Nationalist criticism detects deviations from decency, identify culprits and demand a correction from the state: more crack down on benefit scroungers, more restrictions on strike action, a tighter tax regime for corporations, restrictions on banker bonuses etc. Left-wing and right-wing nationalists often target different groups with their criticisms, but both want to mobilise the guardian of the national community against “excessive” self-interest.



However, because the state’s purpose is not to realise the often conflicting moralistic national ideals of its subjects but its own might and a strong capitalist economy, it often fails to live up to the expectations of its nationalist critics. What they imagine as decent and fair is not on the agenda. Most nationalists are content with airing their complaints down at the pub, armed with the righteousness of their respective standpoints of justice. Some of them, though, become critical of the government, which they accuse of having lost sight of what is important and seek more grounded alternatives. Some become even critical of the form of the state in general and become disciples of a fascist state which ruthlessly cracks down on vested interests everywhere. 41 Some turn the claim of national identity around and seek culprits amongst those they do not consider the right kind of English, Scottish or German. They extend the idea that identity ensures national cohesion to the idea that the wrong kind of identity undermines it — just as firm and unchangeable as the former.



Not every nationalist takes these last steps. In fact, many do not. But what they all share when they say “we” is plenty: appreciation for a community which requires force over its members to make their relationships passable, acceptance of the antagonisms produced by the capitalist economy which ought to be endured, identification with the conditions we are confronted with by the democratic state and moralistic demands to submit to these conditions.


Postscript: Into the world


Nationalists judge all and sundry from their nationalist standpoint, also other nations and their states. On the world stage, nation states confront each other with their demands and compete for power. They compete economically, threaten each other with their military might and engage in open war. Nationalists observe these conflicts in a peculiar way. To nationalists, their own nation is the home of the decent and universal, the guarantor of everything that is good in the world. In contrast, other nations are merely French, Russian, Us American etc. The respective national standpoints are merely their particular standpoints. This does not necessarily make them foes, but every nationalist can identify base motives driving other nation states’ policies. Reading any British newspaper’s reporting on Russia or watching an hour of Russia Today provides ample material of this kind. From this perspective then, it only makes sense for nationalists to wish their own the best of luck in every endeavour, even base ones because this is the basis of success for everything that is decent in the world.



(Here is a link to the original >>> https://antinational.org/en/since-you-mentioned-us/ )


Monday, 6 February 2017

BRIT-SCOT MINISTER THREATENS TO BLOCK SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE VOTE!


BRIT-SCOT MINISTER THREATENS TO BLOCK SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE VOTE


The ‘Brit-Scot’ who is the current British Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, has threatened to block any further right for the Scottish Parliament to have a further Scottish Independence referendum.


Michael Fallon is the Tory MP, "representing" an English constituency, who was appointed by David Cameron as the Minister to be involved in transferring the last of English shipbuilding from Portsmouth up to Scotland - when the Cameron Government closed the docks near Portsmouth.


This was done just before the Scottish Independence Referendum with a view to making it more difficult for the ‘Yes’ Campaign to win in Scotland.


At that point it looked as if the Clydeside ship workers might be considering voting for independence. This electoral bribe was to encourage them to vote ‘No’ to keep their jobs. It carried the implied threat that, if Scottish Independence won, the Ministry of Defence’s ship building contracts might go elsewhere!


Now that the "Supreme Court" has ruled that Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland Parliaments/Assemblies and Governments have no legal or constitutional role directly in Brexit. This ruling has, of course, ramped up the Scottish Nationalist rhetoric about going for Scottish Independence. Michael Fallon has now waded into this controversy suggesting that Westminster may refuse to authorise a further Scottish referendum.


I also think Westminster would be within it constitutional legal rights to refuse to authorise a further Scottish referendum and that would mean that it couldn’t legally be held. The effect would be to call Nicola Sturgeon’s bluff.


When you call someone’s bluff you have to bear in mind that there are two possible consequences. One is that they will back down and go off quietly having been humiliated. The other is that they will fully “go for it”!


In this context if Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP were to “go for it”, they would be holding a referendum that was technically illegal. They would also have to ignore all rulings by the courts to the contrary. In that scenario it is not unlikely that they would win, just as happened in Catalonia! If they did that they might well feel entitled to use any methods, including those outside the law, including violence.


Michael Fallon may hold an apparently grand office within the British State as Secretary of State for Defence. He may sit in an office once occupied by titan’s from the days of British imperial power, but he is by comparison the equivalent of the dwarfish wizard of Oz sounding very impressive and frightening, but without the real power that the title once gave.


Michael Fallon is after all the Secretary of State for Defence whose main job from the moment of appointment has been to slash the British Defence budget to the point where the capabilities of the British armed forces have been drastically reduced. It must now be extremely doubtful that the British military would be willing to obey orders to suppress Scottish nationalism.


In those circumstances calling the SNP’s bluff might well be the equivalent of pulling the trigger that blows apart the United Kingdom of Great Britain!


Here is the article which reports Michael Fallon’s comments:-


Michael Fallon: Westminster will block new Scottish independence vote



The UK Government will block any attempts by the SNP to hold a second independence referendum, Michael Fallon has said.


In a further sign of the tensions between Holyrood and Westminster, the Defence Secretary said the Scottish government should "forget" any plans to stage another vote.


Mr Fallon hit out in an interview with The Herald ahead of a visit to the Royal Marine base near Arbroath today.


Constitutional matters are reserved to Westminster, so the UK Government must give permission to the Scottish Parliament if it wants to hold another referendum.


Asked if ministers would facilitate a fresh vote on Scotland leaving the UK, the Defence Secretary said: “No, forget it. The respect agenda is two-way.”


He added: "She [Ms Sturgeon] is constantly asking us to respect the SNP government but she has to respect the decision of Scotland to stay inside the UK in 2014 and the decision of the UK to leave the EU. Respect works two ways."


Scots voted by 55% to 45% in favour of staying in the union in 2014, but Ms Sturgeon has repeatedly mooted the idea of a rerun following the Brexit vote, in which Scotland overwhelmingly backed Remain.


The Defence Secretary said the SNP government did not have a mandate for a second referendum, because it failed to secure a majority at the last Holyrood election.


He said: "We may well have seen peak SNP. They lost the referendum, they lost seats. There are other voices in Scotland now, not least Ruth Davidson's."


But Ms Sturgeon accused Mr Fallon of “backpedalling” after he refused to repeat his comments when interviewed on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme.


When asked whether UK ministers would block a vote, he said: “We don't see the need for a referendum - this is a diversion.


"What the Scottish government should be focusing on is what it was elected to do, which is to improve schools standards, get to grips with the problems in Scottish hospitals and reverse the serious rise in unemployment."


The First Minister tweeted in response that such a block would be “disastrous” for the UK Government.


Theresa May's official spokeswoman said: "The real question here is should there be another independence referendum and our view on that has been clear, which is that the one in 2014 was legal, fair and decisive.


"Our priority here is on how do we look to the future and move forward. We believe that this issue was settled in 2014. I think recent polls don't suggest there has been a big change in the views around a second referendum, so what we should be focusing on is how do we work together to ensure the best possible outcome for the UK as we exit the EU."


A spokesperson for the First Minister said: “The arrogance of the Tories knows no bounds. They now think they can do what they want to Scotland and get away with it – not content with trying to drag us out of EU against our will with the support of just one MP out of 59 in Scotland, they are now suggesting they might try to block the nation's right to choose a different path.


"Any Tory bid to block a referendum would be a democratic outrage, but would only succeed in boosting support for both a referendum and for independence itself - something which the prime minister has previously indicated she understands all too well.


"Our mandate is unequivocal, with a manifesto commitment which makes explicitly clear that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to decide on an independence referendum if Scotland faces being taken out of the EU against our will."”


(Here is a link to the original >>> https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/uk-regions/scotland/news/82978/michael-fallon-westminster-will-block-new-scottish).