Thursday, 7 March 2013

Kenny and the Drink

As we all know, Kenny MacAskill, the Justice Secretary is currently 'consulting' on lowering the alcohol limit for drivers from 80 milligrams per 100ml of blood to 50 milligrams.

The rationale for this would appear to be that, 'the current drink drive limit has been in force since the mid 1960s. While social attitudes toward drink drivers have hardened over the years, it is tragic that latest figures show an estimated 30 lives continue to be lost each year on Scotland’s roads as a result of drink driving.'

Now obviously, any death due to a drunk driver is really deplorable. What is unclear is whether any of these estimated 30 deaths are caused by drivers who currently are tested as being between 50 and 80 milligrams per 100ml of blood.  I suspect that is because drunk drivers are usually two or three times over the limit and care not a jot for any limit in the first place.

However, the beautiful irony is in the statement, we believe the current limit has had its day – the time is right for a change that will bring Scotland in line with the vast majority of Europe.

There you have it - what independence is all about. Doing the same as everyone else!!? Doh!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

First Point at Issue: Immigration

To continue, uninterruptedly (oh the joy of blogging - a conversation with oneself) - Farage and UKIP have made immigration an issue. Their top issue in fact.
Whereas, if we Scots of the political classes were to be believed, Scotland has no issue with immigration.
To quote Macwhirter, Immigration is simply not an issue in Scotland. Or rather it is, but only because increasingly restrictive UK policies are choking off the flow of migrants we need....

I gather Macwhirter (and lets be honest a host of other liberal commentators and politicians) have not actually talked to our labouring poor. They are overjoyed at the cheap labour they provide and long hours they endure alongside their East European co-workers. Hired. Fired. And if you're a bit more up-market, you'll be happily working with your Indian IT colleagues, as they upskill themselves.

Leaving that aside, the question that arises is why are the you-know-whos (English) so obsessed with immigration? Are we suggesting it is an English gene, which is thankfully absent here? Or are they just nasty people?
This commentator has no doubt why immigration is a lesser issue here. It's because there are so many fewer immigrants! When historically, there were upsurges of immigration, they were no more welcomed than anywhere else. Irish? Have you heard about that?
But the current levels of immigration experienced down south dwarf that totally. And guess what, many people don't really care for it. From Brown's 'bigoted woman' upwards, people who find society changed around them, find it a discomforting experience. A woman I know who moved here from Rochdale admitted to me that she moved here as her kids were the only 'white' kids in the class. And she's a lefty.
And ignoring people's individual views, immigration is not always for the best. Social cohesion is something which is a positive force; it reinforces our responsibilities to one another. Immigration, without a doubt, threatens it.
And over time (a short time) society will be changed. Many commentators have described how Israel has politically moved way to the right due largely to the influx of east european who care nothing for the old Kibbutz and socialism. How would Scotland be if 37 per cent of our residents were born abroad, as is the case with London - and not spread across Scotland, but concentrated, as they are in London, in new ghettos?

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

The start

The start! I guess that when you start blogging (or re-start blogging), there has to be some sort of motive. And it's more than likely that if politics is your bag, that it'll be because something has irked you. Someone or something has got under your skin. You can't clean the windows without a debate going on in your head. Then you know it's time.

So, I'm here, back in the blogsphere, thanks to Ian Macwhirter, an admirable man in so many ways. A persuasive and articulate commentator on the Scottish Political scene. Like myself, of course. But I don't have to make a living at it.
Ian's piece in the Sunday Herald of 3/3/2013, 'What does Farage factor mean for us', did it for me. The self congratulatory Scot, is written there between every pair of lines. The upfront text is obvious - we're different (sub-text: better). Now, leaving aside this notion of 'we' (meaning the Scots, rather than people  born in say Kirkcaldy in a certain year), Ian is on familiar territory here. It the great lie which is continually peddled by our commentators, which is milked by every nationalist. It is used to create a new construct - the modern, tolerant, compassionate, out-looking European that is the Scot.
Unlike the you-know-whos that we share the island with.

Ian's not daft - he acknowledges the danger of complacency. That maybe not everyone may be as wonderful as the new Scot. Some (gasp!) - may not be immune to prejudice! And then he makes mention of some of the terrible prejudices that may just be lurking within the population.

Have no fear, our Government will set about you and you'll change your ways!