Should Scotland sign UN Nuclear Weapon Ban Treaty

Cvor0P9WIAAUPw9.jpgShould Scotland ask the UN if it can sign the new “Nuclear Weapons Ban Treaty” that will be finalised next year? It would need to be a statement of intent, but still legally binding come Independence.

Don’t shout me down yet. I know we don’t have control over Foreign policy or Defence, so we can’t sign the treaty, but that inability to purse Foreign Policy hasn’t stopped us setting up a permanent trade mission in Berlin, a mini-Embassy basically, so we are obviously open to pushing the boundaries of “reserved powers”. I know that without Independence, its a meaningless signature, its just symbolic. Nope you’re wrong, its entirely significant. Yes without proper nationhood its unenforceable, as we are bound by the UK’s position on the treaty (or are we, as the Sovereign Will of the People of Scotland does not reside in Westminster, but in our Scottish MP’s within Westminster and in our parliament at Holyrood), but what a message to take the rest of world. Scotland not only wishes to take its rightful place amongst you, but on the day it does, nuclear weapons will be illegal on or soil, in our waters and in our airspace. What better message to take the world?

How many allies would we suddenly find at our shoulder, looking to support us into nationhood once again? Yeah the nuclear armed nations would oppose Scottish self determination, plenty of them did the last time anyway or rather the UK Foreign service managed to get some politicians in various nations to speak against it and that was reported as the entire nation opposing our right to reclaim our nationhood.

It would show our seriousness in wanting a better world. It would demonstrate to the majority of nations on the planet that have voted to make this ban happen, that we stand beside them, that we are serious about our responsibilities as a nation state. It would also make it immensely difficult for Westminster during eventual Independence negotiations, because even after Indy they would want to store Trident in Scotland. With one signature they wouldn’t be able to so.

Symbolically and politically I think this is something we must look deeper into.

So, is it an avenue we should be exploring?

Addendum: I meant to add to the piece when I wrote it that Holyrood has voted by a substantial margin against Trident renewal, which again is not a reserved matter so surely this is our next logical step.

How Pokémon Go with the help of PokéVision was breaking down the barriers of disabled access to mobile gaming.

How Pokémon Go with the help of PokéVision was making mobile gaming accessible for people with disabilities.

Niantic the games developer have now killed this option, but it’s still important we explore this, so other developers (and maybe Niantic) can learn from this experience.

My son has issues meeting and interacting with other people. He pretty much goes through a full fear response when forced into social situations he is not expecting, likely due to the fact that he tested highly on some areas of the autistic spectrum. This in real terms means he doesn’t want to go out and socialise or meet/play with friends. Even those whom he considers to be his best friends from school, he struggles to interact with. He wants to talk/socialise with them, but he is often afraid to increase the boundaries of their relationship, even when it comes to simple things like asking them to hang out with him outside of school hours.

There was a dramatic shift though with the launch of Pokémon Go. Now he was actively looking to be out of the house, come rain or shine, he was Pokémon hunting. He is still finding it extremely difficult to socialise with other players we meet and he can’t instigate a conversation, but they are doing it for him and forcing/pulling him into conversation to talk about Pokémon. Previous history has taught me that this forced socialisation would likely have put him off. Not this time, despite continually meeting and having to interact with new people playing the game, he is still going out and doing it (or was until Niantic threw a hissy fit).

Thus the game mechanics along with PokéVision’s large scale map have encouraged my boy to overcome his disability and participate.

However, as any Pokémon Go player knows the game is broken. The tracking system doesn’t work. In fact, as of today’s update (Sun 31st July), Niantic have disabled it altogether, completely killing off one of the biggest sections of the game. Now this wouldn’t have mattered too much if the developer hadn’t also gone after 3rd party fan sites that had started up specifically to overcome the games tracking shortcomings.

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The best site was clearly PokéVision which gave real time locations of Pokémon with a countdown clock showing how much longer they would be there. My wife is an electric wheelchair user, so she simply can’t run around with us chasing after Pokémon, she doesn’t have the energy (or battery life) to be out for long, nor can she physically get to many of the places that she would need to get to in time, before the Pokémon ran away.

grand army plaza pokevision.png

However instead she would sit and home and act as our “navigator”. If a rare Pokémon appeared on PokéVision she would phone us and tell us we had “X” time to get “Y” location and off we would run or sprint (or even jump into the car if it was very far off) as needs required.

Thus PokeVision brought her into the game and allowed her to feel part of the excitement.

Apps and sites like PokéVision made the game accessible to people with disabilities who cannot through their disabilities walk a great distance or access areas that abled bodied players can.

Pokémon Go has become a worldwide phenomenon. People with disabilities would also like to participate in whatever limited capacity they can. 

Since the game itself fails in allowing you to track Pokémon that are near you, PokéVision and other sites kept the game “somewhat” disability friendly. In fact it can be argued that the 3rd party sites opened up the game even further through the example of my wife sitting at home operating as our navigator.

So on two fronts, the combination of Pokémon Go and PokéVision together created a reasonably disability friendly game.

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My best guess is that it will be highly unlikely that we will see PokéVision or similar sites/apps back up and running, now that they have been forced to “Cease and Desist” their services, but other developers could learn a lot in how to make a game as widely accessible as possible, by combining the experience of both services and make no mistake about it, other developers will be paying attention to the success of Pokémon Go & PokéVision and wondering how they can get a slice of the action.

The Cowardly Position of Unite on Trident Renewal

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Since David Cameron has announced a vote on Trident renewal will take place on the 18th July. I want to address the hypocrisy of the position adopted by the Unite Trade Union. Since when did the needs of the few, outweigh the rights of the many. Unite have adopted a stance that puts the lives of not just their members at risk, but also the lives of all Scots and most Brits.

Now Unites Current Trident Policy in a statement in 2010 and reaffirmed in 2012 appears unambiguous and was not to to replace Trident. Yet by Nov of 2015, it seems jobs are more important than lives or peace. However, despite what seems like a volte-face on their original stance, it is entirely consistent with their earlier position, it’s just that their earlier statement was completely hypocritical, this is due to the weasily line at the bottom of the statement which null and voids the rest of the statement, “We need a policy that would see the jobs and skills of Unite members preserved, and until we receive firm commitments to this end we will continue to support our members and their employment.

So despite flowery words in their statement about Unite recognising that due to the non-proliferation treaty, the UK is obligated not to replace Trident, that’s not really their stance. Unite even claim in the original statement that “The moral and internationalist case for peace and disarmament is reinforced by economic necessities. It cannot be right to spend large sums on weapons of mass destruction when essential services are facing cuts.”.

Thus Unite are trying to sit on both sides of the fence at once. For the sake of the few, other members are expendable. For the sake of the few, Scotland’s population is expendable, for the sake of the few humanity is expendable.

For the sake of 520 jobs, everyone else can be eviscerated. OK lets be kind to Unite, as they do a good job, let us also include those who are employed indirectly, so for the sake of 1800 jobs the rest of Scotland’s 5.422 million population is expendable.

You are more likely to be knifed if you carry a knife, you are more likely to be shot if you own a gun, surely human nature being what is, you’re more likely to be nuked if your country swaggers about the world stage with nukes. Unite even acknowledge this in their statement “our possession of them encourages other countries to seek a similar arsenal”.

Unite need to come off the fence before the vote. Unite needs to say to its members that are employed directly or indirectly in the continuation of these WMD’s, that we will support and defend your employment rights, we will support you any way we can, but to borrow a sentiment from Mealoaf, when it comes to support for the renewal of Trident “We won’t do that”.

No 2 Yes – Yes 2 No

No 2 Yes – Yes 2 No

IndyRef2

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Since the EU Ref result there have been some staggering conversions from No voters to support for an IndyRef2. Others have covered this extensively, so I won’t waste your time.

However, within my Yes networks there are also conversions the other way, Yes to No. I want to address this as it makes no sense to me.

Let’s start with a simple premise. The IndyRef was fought on a basis by the majority of Yessers, on Scotland staying within the EU. It was a key plank of our argument and many thousands of lines of print were argued over it.

Better Together said it wouldn’t happen, they dragged in former EU presidents and other allies to poo poo it. The Yes movement had its own allies who said the opposite. However, the truth is no-one could say for sure what the status of EU membership would have been. Unsurprisingly, as a Yesser, I believed that we would continue as EU citizens. However that is irrelevant.

The point I am making is that the majority of Yessers, voted Yes in the full knowledge that the intention was to either try and maintain our EU member state status or at worst be fast tracked back in.

Now let us look at the point of Independence. It was/is to allow us to take a different political direction from WENI (Wales, England and Northern Ireland). It was not purely to create more of the same, otherwise what would be the point. Let me repeat that as this is key, the entire point was so that politically we can take different decisions from the rUK.

So with that established. Can we just look at a hypothetical scenario? Scotland votes Yes in Sept 2014. Negotiations went well and earlier this year as planned, Scotland re-entered the world stage as a fully fledged nation that had maintained its EU membership.

rUK/WENI then as has just happened, votes to Leave the EU. Would those Yes people be seeking a mandate to re-join the rUK? Because that is the only place I can take the logic of the argument I am seeing from former Yessers that say they would vote No to Indy if it involved us being in the EU, but WENI is not. It simply can’t be any other way. So if that is the case, why did they vote Yes in the first place, if the point is to allow us to take a different direction from WENI? I thought we wanted to build a better society for AllOfUS that is not tied to decisions taken by political forces that are going in a different direction to those in Scotland.

If these people really do want Scotland to retake its place on the world, this is something they need to confront. We will take major decisions that put us on a different ideological path from WENI. At other times we will be an agreement, but not always and sometimes the decisions will be on a global or continental scale as per the EU Ref. If they can’t live with that I don’t understand why they ever voted Yes.

Death by Droning: the World isn’t changing, it is changed

OffGuardian

by CJCL

george-orwell-6

Yesterday David Cameron admitted to murder. He did it loudly, in public, with self-justications primed and a self-important look plastered across his quivering jowls. The repurcussions? He faces applause from some sectors…and “scrutiny” from others. Is that all the outrage our atrophied imaginations can offer?

The metaphor of the boiling frogs has long been over used. It takes its place alongside the “smoking gun” and “ticking all the boxes” in the pantheon of phrases that declare a lack of imagination. And it is no longer apt. The unthinkable is no longer being “normalised”…it is normal. It happens every day, and we shrug it off. The frogs have been simmering for hours, they’re nearly done.

Just for a moment, let us compare the world of today to the world of fifteen years ago…

Doing terrible things in an organized and systematic way rests on “normalization.” This is the process…

View original post 1,134 more words

Nukes are too dangerous for England, but Scots are expendable!

Much is said about the fact that Trident is based 25 miles from Glasgow and most worst case scenarios use this distance to determine the blast zone and how many people would instantly die. What this analysis always fails to think about is geography. Let’s look at this map of the Gare Loch, Greenock and Glasgow. These WMD must sail down the Gare Loch towards Greenock and Glasgow. At its shortest point, this puts these WMD’s that the MOD say are too dangerous for England because 11’000 English people may die in the event of a worst case scenario, just under 20 miles from Glasgow city centre (population 598.8K) and right on top of Greenock (1.8 miles, population 45.5K).

distances nukesThen there is also the small fact that the MOD are quite happy to take live Nuclear Warheads through the centre of Glasgow, whilst being quite happy to ignore high wind warnings and travel across the Erskine bridge in such conditions.

Oh well, it’s not like they have ever had an accident that could well have led to a loss of life. Oh wait they’ve had several!

Well at least we can trust them too tell us about it and not cover it up. Oh they don’t tell us.

At least there has been no radioactive leaks/spills. Shit that too, and it’s been more than once!

Oh well it’s not like they have ever crashed a truck in dangerous conditions off the road,

Oh well at least we know they are prepared to deal with the aftermath should this happen. Oh they aren’t!

As a side note. American planes carrying warheads never have accidents on UK soil. Oh they’re just as bad.

Well at least the blast radius isn’t huge.

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The above image shows what would happen if just one warhead had a surface explosion at Greenock. Detonate Nukes

Each Trident missile is designed to carry up to 12 nuclear warheads, but the Royal Navy’s are armed with three per missile after the 1998 Strategic Defence Review imposed a limit of 48 per submarine.

Remember the above image represents 1 warhead going off. If we had an accident where one detonated, what do you think would happen to the other 47 on the boat?

Let’s go back to Glasgow. What if we had a truck crash on the M8 in Glasgow city centre which resulted in a detonation. 1 warhead only.

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The MOD don’t ever confirm if a Nuclear Weapon Truck is carrying a warhead, nor do they say how many each carries, but with 4 submarines, each carrying 48 warheads and the requirement for regular maintenance of those warheads, it would be safe to assume that more than one warhead is transported on our roads at a time.

So forgetting the moral argument for not having them, forgetting the cost argument of $100B in a time of austerity, forgetting the UK’s treaty obligations to be rid of them. It looks like purely for safety reasons, before our own MOD does some catastrophic, the sooner they are gone the better.

Remember the MOD thinks 11’000 dead is too high a price to pay in England. Why are Scots lives more expendable? It’s time to disarm. After all, didn’t Tony Bliar take the UK to war with Iraq to rid them of non-existent WMD’s. What right does the UK have to keep its WMD’s then or are the lives that war cost also valueless?

If the content of this article has made you think, then it’s probably worth your time following these links as well.

Scottish CND

CND

Education Packs

Nukewatch

The Chocolate Teapot

Democracy (only if it favours a Unionist)

I’m quite frankly sick of the line from Unionists that Scotland voted on Independence and that the issue is now dead. I’m fed up hearing that the settled will of the Scottish people is to stay within the Union, so we will never have a vote on it again.

Is that what we call democracy? Is that how it works? From now on, one vote, that is all you have. Once you’ve decided that’s it, the case is closed, game over, you’ve made your choice, live with it. Shit that is beginning to sound a lot like Catholic marriage vows.

That though, is not what we have or what we claim to have. We live in a democracy, (no matter how flawed), if I am not mistaken. That means we get to vote on matters, we then get to change our minds, alter our opinions and vote again. that means we have elections and a new government is formed.

Or should we follow the logic of the Unionists and as such we never need hold another election. Should we just keep the same govt forever? After all we voted on it. That is the settled will of the people, they made their choice, live with it.

Of course not. So why then do Unionists feel that they can make such pronouncements over the future of Scotland.

Well one line they like to trot out is that Alex Salmond said: “That’s my view. My view is this is a once in a generation, perhaps even a once in a lifetime, opportunity for Scotland.”.

Sounds like a closed case then, the Unionists have a point. Nope they don’t. Why? We are back to the opening paragraphs. This a democracy, the people decide our future, not the politicians, not the political parties. That was simply Alex’s view. In a functioning democracy, the electorate are the ones that decide our path.

Thus, if any party decides in the future that it will add an Independence Referendum to their manifesto, then if the electorate vote that party in. If the people through our system of democracy hand that party power, then the people have decided that they once again want to hold the power to determine our countries future in their hands.

That is the power of democracy, we get to change our minds. No one person or party has a right to deny us that, no matter what they say.

Otherwise we no longer live in a democracy and when that happens revolutions begin.

The 1924 Myth – (it happened again in 1951, when the Tories took power)

There is growing myth that 1924 was the last time in UK politics that the largest party after a General Election did not form the next government. In 1924 we had the first ever Labour Prime Minister in history, Ramsay Macdonald, who led a UK government despite having just 191 MP’s to the Conservatives’ 258. If I am correct then the statement that SLAB (Scottish Labour Accountancy Branch) have been peddling, that this was the last time the largest party did not form the UK Govt is factually wrong.

The same thing happened in 1951 when the Tories took power. It’s not apparently obvious though, if you look at Wikipedia to see who won.

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Clearly from the above graphic the Conservative party won. Wrong! This table attributes seats won in Scotland by the Unionist Party (Scotland) to the Conservative Party of England and Wales. The Scottish Tories were a separate entity up until 1965.

In the 1951 General Election the Scottish Tories won 35 out of the 72 seats in Scotland at that time.

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Some simple arithmetic then:

302 – 35 seats = 267 seats

This is compared to the 295 seats that Labour had.

Thus Labour were the biggest party, as they had 28 more seats the Conservative Party of England and Wales.

So the only reason the Tories formed Govt in 1951 is because they could form a working majority, even though they were not the largest single party. A repetition of what happened in 1924, but this time it was the Tories who capitalised on being able to form a working majority.

I am open to correction on this one, but it looks clear cut to me.

Something else that should be mentioned is that Ulster Unionist MP’s were added to the overall majority shown in the results for the Conservatives. I’ve been unable to see how many seats they took, but this reduces further the actual seats that the Conservative Party of England and Wales took, further reinforcing the point that in 1951 it was NOT the largest party that formed Govt.

PS: I can’t take all the credit for this, as I acted upon information I saw in the comments section of Wings to look into this.

The Post IndyRef Perception in WENI (Wales, England & Northern Ireland)

Since the referendum on Sept 18th, I have had numerous conversations on social media where people I talk to or their friends have told me they are hurt by the racial slurs and the attacks that the Yes campaign said about them, particularly by people who live in England.

This article is designed to help set the record straight.

There may have been a small fringe (a very small fringe) of normal people on both sides of the debate that were in it for the wrong reason (every cause will attract them), but can I assure you that the official Yes campaign was extremely respectful and it was not anti-English, anti-Welsh or anti-Northern Irish, no matter what the right-wing press told you.

However what the same press doesn’t tell you is the leaders and officials in the No campaign and the press itself used terms such as “Bayonet the wounded – Labour MP Ian Davidson“, “Blood and Soil Nationalism – Leader of the No campaign Alistair Darling, which is Nazi reference“, “Likening Alex Salmond to Robert Mugabe – The Spectator“, “Johann Lamont – Yes supporters are a disease” and on and on and on. All this directed at anybody who dared to vote Yes.

Find me similar remarks from the leaders of Yes, they don’t exist. The press painted a picture in England of English hating sweaty jocks. Couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the stronger voices we had at grassroots level was English Scots For Yes, we also had Scots Asians for Yes, Africans for an Independent Scotland, LGBT for Yes. Ask yourself this, if the Yes campaign were the vile anti-English racists thugs that Project Fear painted them as, would all these groups and others be campaigning at grassroots for a Yes vote?

The official Better Together campaign (Self Titled: Project Fear) tried their best to whip up a hysteria over the infamous “Cybernats” when it was they themselves that were some of the nastiest perpetrators of foul and abusive language.

There is very clever political tactic of blaming the opposition of exactly what you are doing yourself. Shout it from the rooftops and watch your compliant media carry the message, “that it is really them the Cybernats that are guilty of it, we are innocent”. Project Fear played this card mercilessly. In short they ran a smear campaign.

The No campaign had control of the media, The BBC showed itself as a State Broadcaster and not the impartial Public Broadcaster it is mandated by law to be. It and the press (apart from a few journalists) spoon fed manufactured outrage to the people’s of WENI (Wales, England & Northern Ireland).

Project Fear made a big noise and their friends in the media duly obliged by running numerous column widths on it, about how Alex Salmond must squash the vile comments being made by the nasty Cybernats, they asked an impossible task. A few ordinary people make offensive remarks on Facebook or Twitter and Project Fears leaders fake injured feelings and have stories running for over a week at a time, because of one or two mildly offensive comments were slung at them.

Now most people know how to do a screenshot, but it seems not the vaunted whiter than white Better Together campaign, because when challenged, when asked what was said they had already deleted their (Facebook/Twitter) accounts in disgust, without taking or keeping the evidence of what was said. But they assured us, they vile Cybernats did say that nasty thing to me and the press ran with it like compliant little poodles.

So in large we had plenty of cases reported of the above with the faked outrage of those in the Project Fear camp, but little to no evidence to show for it and some other cases where mildly offensive comments were posted by members of the public, certainly no worse than you hear at the pub at closing time. Those sort of comments are not something the official Yes campaign could stop, no more than they could stop me writing this article or you the reader taking your time to consider it.

However the group that could have stopped a feck load of the nasty in fact downright vile comments were the Better Together Leadership and their associated MP’s and friendly journalists who continually used the sort of comments I mentioned at the start.

Let’s not forget the activists, the party officials that Project Fear tried to pass of as just members of the public with no political connections to them or the councillors on Project Fear leaflets trying to pass themselves off as members of the public or the funniest one of all the actress on one of the main Better Together leaflets who was pictured as an ordinary mum but who was voting actually Yes. However when this pointed out by an army of Yes supporters online, bring on the faux outrage!

Then of course there was the list of which I am on and proudly wear my “I’m on the list badge” still. Then we have the racist attacks attributed to the vilest of the Cybernats only when you do just a cursory investigation you find them to mindless Unionist thugs.

The last area I want to tackle is actual violence. Now we had a massive couple of weeks worth of constant news reporting about Jim Murphy of the No campaign being egged. Did you hear about what was thought to be the first actual recorded violence against an individual during the campaign when an SNP councillor was attacked in a pub, Did you hear about the attempt to run Alex Salmond leader of the SNP off the road in the same week, did you hear about the death threats to Alex Salmond, did you hear about the disabled women whose tyres were slashed for having Yes stickers on her car, did you hear about the chair being thrown from a block of flats at people canvassing for Yes, did you hear about the burnt out yes shop. What about the thuggery in George Square, where Unionists linked to Rangers, The Orange Order and Northern Irish loyalist group turned a peaceful commiseration gathering for losing the referendum into an act of carnage, Nazi salutes and all, luckily RT broadcast all of it live as did people in Freedom Square. I watched in horror captivated and unable to do anything as two young sisters had their saltire ripped from their hands, knocked to ground and were spat on. You did hear about eggs though, didn’t you.

So long and short of the situation readers. There really is nothing for the people’s of WENI (Wales, England & Northern Ireland) to be bitter about, unless you wish to swallow the lies that were fed you by a press determined to stoke up animosity that was not there in the first place and still is not there.

However every Yes supporter has a very strong case for being bitter, after being referred to by OFFICIAL’s in the No campaign and the No supporting press as a virus, as disease, as a fascist, as a Nazi etc. The majority of us are not bitter though. We know the truth of what we were called and the actions taken against us. Any chance of ever supporting the continuation of the Union was killed in most of us, by the VERY SAME PEOPLE CHARGED WITH SAVING IT, but we ain’t bitter. Angry Yes at the press and selected politicians, but not at the English people, not at the Welsh people and not at the Northern Irish people.

Mushroom Politics – SLAB (Scottish Labour Accountancy Branch) Policy

Mushroom Management

A management philosophy prescribing to the theory that to best motivate your employees, you must at all times:

1. Keep them in the dark.
2. Feed them full of shit.

This is exactly the sentiments that Douglas Alexander, SLAB (Scottish Labour Accountancy Branch) Chief Strategist for the 2015 GE and shadow foreign secretary is saying in his recent comments:

In a speech at a conference in England he made the following remarks:

Among the 45 per cent of those who voted Yes there’s a great sense of grief and grief sometimes presents itself with anger.

His speech blamed social media for the current rejection of the LieBour party.

As reported in politics.co.uk Alexander said: “We’re used to a politics where we share facts but diverge on opinions. We are confronting increasingly, with voters’ eyes on social media, a politics which is an echo chamber of people’s own opinions.

How do we engage with a very rapidly changing media landscape in which facts are not common and people have their own facts?

How fuckin’ dare we! How dare we educate ourselves! How dare we not follow the party line!

This really does echo back to the “Eat Your Cereal” advert that Better Together ran during the referendum.

Once again the point is proven that careerist politicians in the LieBour party simply want to lie to you. YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO KNOW THE TRUTH, just accept what we tell you.

There, there thats a good little boy and girl. Now vote LieBour and feck off back yer hovel.