Friday, 31 May 2013

What we ought to do Better in an Independent Scotland - Number Two

I have scratched my very small brain and I cannot get my head around the idea that we should celebrate the start of a War.

It seems obscene that the Cenotaph will be covered in, what, memorials to the dead?

Perhaps not. This seems like an obscenity to me.

In a new mode that  suggests that WW1 was a glorious endevour rather that what it really was, slaughter of us at the behest of Royalty across Europe. As a sort of sparring game between cousins. Deaths to be totted up for a laugh and a joke. The War itself was an obscenity, a last hurrah! for royalty.

 But what is planned, is not around the Cenotaph where one might imagine a complete generation of idiotic rulers committing seppuku, but our betters don't do that, do they?

Oh! No!

Glasgow, is to lead this merry dance of celebration of the Start of a World War.

I know why they are asking us to host this.  Did you ask for it? No, neither did I.


Here is what a soldier had to say about it:

Siegfried Sassoon (1919)
clr gif

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.

But the past is just the same-and War’s a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack–
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads—those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

It isn't really worth celebrating the start of that, is it? The end of it, perhaps, but the consequences of it, do we lie about that too?

What we ought to do better in an Independent Scotland - Number One.

Patrick Mercer has apparently resigned the Tory whip, see here:

It is not clear yet whether he just loved Fiji, don't we all, or whether he was paid to ask these questions. The fact he resigned is a tad indicative that it wasn't just about love.


If we are to learn anything from this, it should be that no MSP should be allowed to take a brass farthing without being thrown out of the Parliament. There should be no quarter given, no matter the goodness of the cause.

A transfer of money from any advocate should mean that the MSP is barred sine die, to use a good old football expression.

It is up to us to make this future land a place where the brown paper envelopes are a thing of the past.

I would hope that the mere threat of being chucked out of civic society would be enough to stop this sort of thing. If not, we should criminalise them. Because the idea that they serve us is more important that the idea that they are above our contempt. It is our contempt that they seem free to disregard when the political classes come to town. We need them accountable to us, and not vice versa.

We need a written constitution almost as much as we need our freedom.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

A Problem with the ego of successful blog authors. The little guy does upskirt!

There is a real danger that certain people - I am looking at the Rev Stuart Campbell - lies to us. He certainly loves the word "lie"!

Once upon a time, that person would  have accepted all comments, and then he didn't. Then he got as restrictive as fuck. I find that quite aggravating and egotistial. On his part. Changing the rules as popularity increased, who'd have thunk it?


I could accept that, on the basis that some of the comments against him were truly nasty.


But mine weren't.

What the Rev Stuart Campbell says he does, has become a lie, he is just as much of a fucked up media tart as the people he criticises.

He suppresses comment as much as the BBC.

Mine, for example.

But, on that basis, beacuase he can, because he controls what is said on his web site,  he is just as fucked up as the press.

He is a  guy is a tad full of himself.

It was something he, himself, rejected.


No more does he see that as an issue, no more does he see that as problem.


Ego is not a joyous thing to see in a person I used to have a lot of time for.

No more.

An apology is unlikely. For the Reverend Stewart Campbell has made an arse of himself and he is incapable of seeing little old me as being on the same side.

I assume that the Rev Stu Campbell reads the words 'Rev Stu Cambell' 'cause that is the sort of ego we are dealing with.

If you come across this, and I expect you will, pretend that you didn't, you will come across as the humourless person that I expect you are.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

The Reverend Stu Campbell - I worry in public.

This is what the hero of the modern revolution had to say: The Revend Stu Campbell, yes that hero

"You are barred, yes.

Wings Over Scotland is not a democracy. It has a very open comments policy compared to anywhere else, but it is not without rules, and the one absolutely cast-iron one is that my word goes - if I explicitly tell you not to do something again and you tell me to fuck off and do it again several times, you're out.

You were warned repeatedly when you were already testing my patience (and had been unambiguously told as much), and you chose to continue acting like an arsehole. As such, you're no longer welcome in the comments section. I hope that's clear and unambiguous."

It is, It is. I said:
"Thanks for clearing that up,

I am disappointed that you would see my comments as worthy of a ban. Still, your web-site, your rules.

Frankly I didn't see the barriers. Call me blind or summat. Quite why you saw it as a challenge to your authorty is a bit beyond me. Not a side of your personality that has been evident to me in the earlier, hundreds of posts that I have made.

And, quite why you support someone that has, AFAIK, never written or commented on your web site before, or apparently since, as though they were your long lost brother, defeats me. It is perfectly possible for people to play identity fraud anywhere. As a victim of that in the past, though not in the current fandangle, I would alert you to the possibility that you are being conned.

I thought, obviously wrongly, that you were up for a bit of banter.


Apparently not.

We are on the same side. As a long time follower of your blog I regret this parting of the ways.

Best wishes.

douglas clark."
I worry for the Rev Stewart Campbell's health. I most certainly did not tell him to 'fuck off'. He has taken on a huge burden of expectation. His genuine bravery in not backing down to a misplaced legal threat was and is completely admirable. Contrary to what he might think, I would have helped pay his legal fees over that had it come to it. He probably runs the worlds second most successful Scottish Independence blog. (He could probably argue that Newsnet Scotland is not a blog, and I am not sure I would argue with that, so first.). I know that he was genuinely impressed with the financial support he got. His output is prodigious. But the degree of humourless, or as he has said himself, anti-democratic sentiment, that he has expressed here to me is quite concerning. This is, usually, quite a funny guy.
This is not the first time I have read similar sentiments - not a democracy - from blog authors, though never directed at me before. Quite what is it about success, because they never say that when they have one or two correspondents, that allows them to trivialise the media that they have developed and / or benefitted from? What new found numbers allow them to treat us as a, well number, rather than a person?

A different side of his nature, perhaps. Not to make too big a deal of it, but on their way up blog authors appear quite accomodating to criticism, then they get as sensitive as any main stream media journalist. Who are, despite this, still the worst. In relation to the mainstream it appears to be an ego thing, or a projection of their idea that journalists as the only voices worth listening to. Had they not made the horrendous mistake of having comments the old model could have continued ad infinitum. Else we could have retained the dead tree press and their 'Letters to the Editor' with it's huge delays in actual criticism of whatever was now in a chip wrapper.
But the point about blogs is that they ought to be, with the usual caveats about trolling and lies and the Scotsman and stuff like that, to be a two way process. Which have the all the advantages and disadvantages of speed.  It is that that makes them dynamic, different and useful. It is absolutely great to have a discussion started off by a post of quality, and, usually, the Rev Stu's posts do that.  That, not to put too fine a point upon it, is the difference between the mainstream and new media. Misunderstanding that, is to misunderstand the game you are playing.
When contradiction, in the mildest of ways, becomes a challenge to ones 'authority' what is going on in ones head? Who, exactly decided that blogs were - not a democracy - it certainly wasn't their users. It is obviously a truism, but it is anti-democratic (by definition). Is that how Wings over Scotland wishes to be seen?
Is everyone that comments there to avoid any criticism whatsoever of his ideas or  philosophy or what? Is everything perfect in the best of all possible worlds?
It is the genuinely lazy idea that you cast aside contrary views, just because you can. 
I will have no impact whatsoever in his soaring flight into the stratosphere. I am a tad annoyed however that someone I had serious time for seems to have no idea what this media is about. I am also a bit worried that success will bring about it's own failure. It tends to do that when you don't remember where you came from.
Just saying.
douglas clark
13th May 2013


I got it wrong, mark one

I have argued that we are all the same under the colour of our skin.

I was way wrong about that.

There are seven billion people around on Planet Earth right now.

Every one of us is unique and different.

Skin colour is a uniquely poor method of differentiating the good guys from the bad guys.

What makes each and every one of us unique has a lot of components.

And the simplistic battle lines of Christian / Muslim for instance, which is the commonest trope nowadays, seems alien to me.

I am neither a Christian nor a Muslim. As far as God goes, he is, well, not proven in the traditional Scottish verdict.

I have been playing around with other Venn diagrams, in a sort of delta space.


There are Muslims that clearly believe in science. There are clearly Christians that disbelieve in it. Conversely, there has to be an intersection between, say Muslims that believe in science and Christians that believe in science that at least occludes their other differences? Psychologists argue that (sexual, i.e. reproductive) relationships are built on a combination of familiarity and availability. I will return to that in a moment. Whilst the extremes, the Muslims that don't believe in science versus the Christians that don't believe in science appear, on that analysis to be completely alienated - the Venn diagrams do not touch and may as well be on separeate Earths - there is for the, albeit smaller numbers that have the common cause of science, perhaps not so much of a difference. There is common ground, albeit of a similarly abstract, but different, set of understandings.
And that is only one Venn diagram. Any attempt to comprehend the modern world based solely on religious beliefs and myths is quite likely to collide with, say Newton, Copernicus,Darwin, Adam Smith or this guy, Abū ʿAbdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī . There will be those of us that look at a cell phone as a magical device, but it is unlikely that everyone will. And that goes across all cultures.  

It seems to me that sexuality has a bit to do with change, for it is change I am trying to express here.

Quite a lot of folk are quite willing to love and care for people that seem, to others, to be excluded from their Venn diagram of  'acceptable' partners. If you were, for instance, a white supremacist, you might argue that whites should only marry whites. But not all whites are supremacists, and not all whites agree with their philosophy. The converse is also true.

So, somewhere, in fact in many places around the world, London for instance, miscegenation takes place. Point - I do not think that that is a bad thing, I think it is a word that has had completely the wrong value judgement placed on it. Just in case you are a racist reading this, I think miscegenation is a good, indeed,  I think miscegenation may be our ultimate salvation.

It seems to me that all sides have their violent stereotypes. How, exactly does that deal with the somewhat simplistic fact that we are not actually killing each other on the streets, day in day out? Perhaps because there is an almost gravitational attraction between the mass of humanity -versus- it's outliers.I was, when a lot younger, extremely impressed by the Reverend Iain Paisley. Not for what he had to say, but for the ferocity with which he held his beliefs, his ability to stir up emotions in his 'flock'. It is noteable, that despite media coverage that even had me aware of him, his 'flock' never grew particularily large. Indeed, even in that hotbed of religious competition there is a tiny intersection of the Venn diagrams, allegedly circa 2% of the population reject segregation. Not, in itself, particularily positive, but perhaps again indicative of how gravity works.

It is, perhaps, simplistic but it seems to me that attraction on an almost atomic or personal level can outweigh repulsion at a cultural level. This is, in no way whatsoever, a result. It is, at most, an expected direction of travel. Whether the great repulsors, the conservative of a religious or racist origin can outwit human affection is the fight we are all having, whether we recognise it or not.



Thursday, 9 May 2013

Stuart Campbell

This place has been dead in the water, sinking slowly for a lack of content.

It is, however, where I can say what I like.

The Rev Stuart Campbell appears to support a complete arsehole, mosstrooper, who tells us:

" Many years ago before postal voting I stood for the SNP for election to Glasgow City council.  During the count when the counted votes were being put into piles of 100 for each candidate with the name of the candidate on top of each pile I happened to notice that one of my 100 votes had the name of my rival put on top. I called over the returning officer and pointed this out. The error was corrected and the counting was about to recommence when I said but what about the other piles. It was made out that this had been a one off mistake. Nervously I stood my ground (It was my first election and I was quite young. After some discussion it was agreed that the other piles would be checked and low and behold another 5 piles had my opponents name on top of my votes.
Mistake? possibly (pace Margo) but all for my opponent and this in a local election?
If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s a fair chance it is a duck.
I have no Idea if Craig Murray is correct or not but something smells bad and if I may murder my metaphors, at this referendum if we are not eternally vigilant it will be like bringing a knife to a gun fight.
The British establishment can fight dirty and it will."

Perhaps, but who is Mosstrooper? Why would he or she hide behind a pseudonym rather than identify themselves properly as they would have to do on a ballot paper?

As of this moment in time, mosstroopper's identity is still unknown. Yet, the Reverend Stuart Campbell accepts it without a qualm. I am not willing to do that without evidence.

Attempts to determine his or her identity and with the particular result being  met by silence by mosstrooper. I don't accept that silence as realistic. .I want to know who he or she is. I want to know the evidence that he or she can present.

Stuart  Campbell is being unusually favourable to the case of mosstrooper..

I have no idea why.

Being barred on a site you have contribued money to is an odd sensation. It in not wrong, in principle, to walk away from your benefactors. It just seems odd that I was banned over something as trivial as asking for evidence. Quite what the Reverend Stu thought he was all about is completely beyond me.

Perhaps the hits, the number of views, etc, is making him bigheaded. He does not run the independence case and neither does mosstrooper.