Interesting. More for me than you guys, you seem to already understand what he's saying. I really had no idea what the word meant. But I think this is where you have to really think and ask yourself whether national and cultural nostalgia is worth giving up whatever protection you might be getting from the "bigger" state, federation, whatever. It's kinda like Palestine, is the name "Palestine" so important? Or could you accept absolute equality, reparations and all that, a viable 1 state solution, it just wouldn't be called "Palestine" or "Israel", but rather a different name. Is the name really that important? More important than feeding your children and making sure they are safe, have an education, a life outside of occupation.
The issue Shakur is that the break up of the Union also implies a gradual break up of the existing power structures which have dominated for centuries; particularly monarchy.
Quote:TWO-thirds of Scots want the monarchy scrapped or radically modernised, according to a Scotland on Sunday poll which shows support for the institution has collapsed in the wake of the Paul Burrell trial fiasco.
Asked how the monarchy should react to the events of the Golden Jubilee year, 19% of Scots said it should be abolished while 43% wanted it significantly updated.
Support for a republic outstrips backing for the monarchy, the poll also shows. Questioned on whether Scotland should have a king or queen or a president, 37% backed a president and 30% a monarch.
Quote:It is also possible a demographic timebomb is ticking under the monarchy in Scotland. Fewer than a quarter of 35-44 year olds back the throne, and almost half of 18 to 24-year-olds want an elected president.
(10-27-2011 02:12 PM)Sean Wrote: I am whatever I want to be whenever it suits me. Regardless of what you really think about it.
I only say I'm a Scot so nobody calls me a Pom
RE: Scottish Devolution / British Federalism - shakur420 - 12-29-201112:27 AM
(12-27-2011 11:41 AM)1871 Wrote: Independence inevitably breaks apart the 'United Kingdom'. There would be no referendum on the issue under the current system. With Independence, there would (at least in Scotland).
But what does this have to do with the monarchy?
Anyways, relevant maybe? He's talking about the U.S., not the UK but it's interesting. Heard him talk about this, how smaller, and more, businesses can hold a state hostage cause it's easier to cross state lines than it is to move your whole operation to another country. I wonder how this would apply, the corporate aspect, in Scotland, or Ireland for that matter.
Quote:You say you want a devolution - dismantling federal government functions - excerpted from 'Alternative Radio' program interview - Cover Story - Interview
Imagine yourself in the office of a public-relations firm trying to turn people into ideal, manipulatable atoms of consumption who are going to devote their energies to buying things they don't want because you tell them they want those things. They're never going to get together to challenge anything, and they won't have a thought in their heads except doing what they're told. A utopia.
Suppose you're trying to do that. What you do is get them to hate and fear the government, fear the bigness of the government, but not look at the Fortune 500, nor even medium-sized businesses, not ask how they work. You don't want people to see that. You want them to worry about the one thing they might get involved in and that might protect them from the depredations of private power. So you develop a mood of anti-politics.
That's what has happened in America. People hate the government, fear the government, are worried about the bureaucrats.
Take, say, health care. There's a lot of concern that the government bureaucrats will be controlling it, yet there are many more bureaucrats in insurance offices who are already in control. But that's not what people worry about. It's not those pointy-headed bureaucrats in insurance offices who are making us fill out these forms and telling us what to do, and we're got to pay for their lunches and their advertising while they propagandize us. That's not what people's anger is focused on. What it's focused on, after a very conscious manipulation and a perfectly rational design, is this dangerous federal bureaucracy.
What's going on now with the attempt at devolution--the effort to reduce decision-making to the state level--makes great sense if you believe in tyranny. Devolution could be a step toward democracy, but not when you've got private tyrannies around.
General Electric is not influenceable by the population except very indirectly through regulatory mechanisms, which are very weak and which they mostly control anyhow. But you can't vote to decide what GE ought to do, and you can't participate in those decisions.
When you've got private tyrannies around, the only institution that at least in part reflects public involvement, that can cope with them, is the federal government.
Let's say you send block grants down to the states. Even middle-sized businesses have all kinds of ways of pressuring states to make sure that this money ends up in their pockets and not in the pockets of hungry children. Devolution under these circumstances is a great way to increase tyranny and to decrease the threat of democracy as well as to shift resources even more dramatically toward the rich and away from the poor. That's the obvious consequence of the current devolution.
But I've never seen it discussed in the mainstream. What's discussed are complete irrelevancies, like whether we can trust the governors to care for the poor.
What's that got to do with anything? It's totally meaningless. But that kind of absurdity is what's discussed, not the obvious, overwhelming fact that distributing governmental resources to the lower levels will simply make them more susceptible to the influence and control of private power. That's the major fact. And it's part of the same anti-politics: to weaken the federal government.
But not all of the federal government is being weakened. It's just being changed.
The security system is expanding, not only the Pentagon, but even the internal security system--jails, etc. That's not just for control, although it's partly for that. It's also a way of transferring resources to the rich, which is virtually never discussed.
In fact, this manipulation is almost off the agenda, unless you read the business press. But it's overwhelmingly significant. It ought to be a front-page article every day.
By now the sham is so obvious it's hard to miss. The Russians are gone. The Pentagon's budget stays the same; in fact, it's even going up.
It's there for the same reason it always was. How else are Newt Gingrich's rich constituents going to stay rich? You obviously can't subject them to market discipline. They'll be out selling rags! They wouldn't know what it means to exist in a market.
What they know is, the government puts money in their pockets, and the main way it does so is through the whole Pentagon system. In fact, the criminal security system is beginning to take on this character. It's reached, if not the scale of the Pentagon, a sufficient scale so that the big investment firms and even the high-tech industry, the defense industry, are getting intrigued by the prospects of feeding off another public cash cow. So it's not that the government is getting weaker.
But the long and very successful effort over many, many years to get people to focus their fears and angers and hatreds on the government has had its effect.
We all know there's plenty to be upset about. The primary thing to be upset about is that the government is not under popular influence. It is under the influence of private powers. But then to deal with that by giving private, unaccountable interests even more power is just beyond absurdity. It's a real achievement of doctrinal managers to have been able to carry this off.
The new Republicans represent a kind of proto-fascism. There's a real sadism. They want to go for the jugular. Anybody who doesn't meet their standards, they want to kill, not just oppose, but destroy. They are quite willing to try to engender fear and hatred against immigrants and poor people. They are very happy to do that. Their attitudes are extremely vicious. You can see it all over.
Take the governor of Massachusetts, William Weld, who's supposed to be a moderate, nice-guy type. Just last week every day in the newspapers there was another headline about forcing people out of homeless shelters if he didn't like the way they lived.
Some mother took a day off to take care of a mentally retarded child. OK, out of the homeless shelter. He doesn't like that. He thinks she should work, not take care of her child.
Some disabled veteran didn't want to move into a well-known drug den. OK, out in the street.
That's one day. The next day he says state social services have to report to the INS if they think somebody may be an illegal immigrant. Then that person gets deported. Which means that person's child gets deported. The child could well be an American citizen. So American citizens have to be deported, according to the governor, if he doesn't like their parents being here.
This is day after day. Pure sadism. Very self-conscious.
Weld is not a fool. And he's trying to build public support for it by building up fear and hatred. The idea is, there are these teenage kids who are black by implication (although you don't say that in a liberal state) who are just ripping us off by having lots and lots of babies. We don't want to let them do that. So let's hate them and let's kick them in the face. That's real fascism.
And that's the liberal side. It's not the Gingrich shock troops. That's the liberal, moderate, educated side. This aggression runs across the spectrum.
In the long term, I think the centralized political power ought to be eliminated and dissolved and turned down ultimately to the local level, finally, with federalism and associations and so on. On the other hand, right now, I'd like to strengthen the federal government. The reason is, we live in this world, not some other world. And in this world there happen to be huge concentrations of private power that are as close to tyranny and as close to totalitarian as anything humans have devised.
There's only one way of defending rights that have been attained, or of extending their scope in the face of these private powers, and that's to maintain the one form of illegitimate power that happens to be somewhat responsible to the public and which the public can indeed influence.
So you end up supporting centralized state power even though you oppose it.
I would propose a system that is democratic, and you don't have democracy unless people are in control of the major decisions.
And the major decisions, as has long been understood, are fundamentally investment decisions: What do you do with the money? What happens in the country? What's produced? How is it produced? What are working conditions like? Where does it go? How is it distributed? Where is it sold?
Unless that range of decisions is under democratic control, you have one or another form of tyranny. That is as old as the hills and as American as apple pie. You don't have to go to Marxism or anything else. It's straight out of the mainstream American tradition.
That means total dismantling of all the totalitarian systems. The corporations are just as totalitarian as Bolshevism and fascism. They come out of the same intellectual roots, in the early Twentieth Century. So just like other forms of totalitarianism have to go, private tyrannies have to go. And they have to be put under public control.
Then you look at the modalities of public control. Should it be workers' councils, or community organizations, or some integration of them? What kind of federal structure should there be?
At this point you're beginning to think about how a free and democratic society might look and operate. That's worth a lot of thought. But we're a long way from that.
The first thing you've got to do is to recognize the forms of oppression that exist. If slaves don't recognize that slavery is oppression, it doesn't make much sense to ask them why they don't live in a free society. They think they do. This is not a joke.
Take women. Overwhelmingly, and for a long time, they may have sensed oppression, but they didn't see it as oppression. They saw it as life. The fact that you don't see it as oppression doesn't mean that you don't know it at some level. The way in which you know it can take very harmful forms for yourself and everyone else. That's true of every system of oppression.
But unless you sense it, identify it, understand it, you cannot proceed to the next step, which is: How can we change the system?
I think you can figure out how to change the system by reading the newspapers that were produced by twenty-year-old young women in Lowell, Massachusetts, 150 years ago, who came off the farms and were working in the factories. They knew how to change the system. They were strongly opposed to what they called "the new spirit of the age: gain wealth, forgetting all but self." They wanted to retain the high culture they already had, the solidarity, the sympathy, the control. They didn't want to be slaves. They thought that the Civil War was fought to end slavery, not to institute it.
All of these things are perfectly common perceptions, perfectly correct. You can turn them into ways in which a much more free society can function.
Quote:You should hear what Alex Salmond's enemies say about him, behind his back. "He's the consummate political operator," says one opponent of Scotland's first minister from his vantage point in another party. "Articulate, charismatic, with a particular ability to conjure up a phrase that captures the public mood. Where he's especially good is in talking to the UK audience, sounding like the reasonable voice of Scotland. He was on The One Show the other day and I bet English people were watching it thinking, 'If only we had a politician standing up for us the way Alex Salmond stands up for the Scots'." Such is the damning assessment of one of those dedicated to removing Salmond from office.
Not that that front-rank Scottish politician is deluded enough to think his party has a chance of toppling Salmond from the pinnacle of Scottish politics any time soon. And pinnacle is no overstatement. The Scottish National party was re-elected in a landslide in May, winning the very overall majority Scotland's electoral system was designed to render impossible. Salmond's party is united and disciplined behind him, and his putative rivals trail far behind in the opinion polls, mere minnows to his shark. This week the Times anointed him Briton of the Year, a surprising accolade for a man who does not readily describe himself as a Briton at all. To my mind, Salmond has long been the most naturally gifted political performer in these islands, unchallenged for that title since the departure from the scene of Tony Blair. Even in Blair's day, Salmond came very close.
What's his secret? He has intellect, a former Royal Bank of Scotland economist's grasp of numbers and a wide hinterland that enables him to talk confidently about nationalism and its place in the forward march of history. He learned long ago the Ronald Reagan maxim that the successful politician owns optimism and the future. Successive election campaigns have boiled down to one essential theme: that there is no limit to Scotland's possibilities. Indeed, "Yes, we can" was the SNP slogan in 1997, long before anyone had heard of Barack Obama.
As for that knack with an easily understood phrase, it has not deserted him. Criticising George Osborne's economic policy – earlier than most – Salmond said Scotland needed a "plan McB". Cheesy perhaps, but memorable. He is also skilled in the low arts of politics, cunning enough to have pulled off that hardest of tricks, the comeback. He quit the leadership in 2000 amid some mystery – only to roar back into the top job four years later. That break apart, he has led the SNP since 1990, a more than two-decade tenure of positively North Korean duration (indeed one that outstripped Kim Jong-il).
Experience is perhaps his biggest asset. The new leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson, was 12 when Salmond, 57 on Saturday, first led his party. Labour's new boss, Johann Lamont, is older than Davidson but she too has only a fraction of Salmond's experience and none of his profile. None of the leaders of the other main parties in Scotland "is even in his league", one opposition politician admits.
Is this absence of serious rivals the cause or consequence of Salmond's dominance? A similar question attended Blair in his pomp too. Was Blair merely lucky to face a series of dud Tory challengers – Hague, IDS, Howard – or was the lack of talent among his opponents a function of his supremacy, a reflection of the fact that his adversaries had no idea how to oppose him? In Salmond's case, there is hard evidence for the latter view. He has challenged them to come up with a second question to appear on the ballot paper when Scots vote in the promised referendum on independence. They have not, so far, responded, reducing their role to that of mere naysayers to independence: the parties of no.
The more dominant he becomes, the more dominant he is likely to remain. Scottish Labour, for example, might stand a better chance if one of its former UK cabinet ministers took over. But Douglas Alexander, Jim Murphy and others have probably concluded that the prospects of Labour taking power in Edinburgh are even gloomier than in Westminster. So they stay away, leaving the way even clearer for Salmond.
Intriguingly, the only possible obstacle Scottish political hands can see in Salmond's way is his cherished dream of independence. No matter how high the SNP climbs in the polls, public support for a Scottish break from the UK remains stubbornly pegged at about 38% or lower. If Scotland votes no, that could surely break the Salmond spell. It would certainly cause restlessness among those SNP activists who have so far accepted the leader's gradualism.
Salmond has seen the risk, of course, and plans a second question of his own, offering independence-minus, or "devo-max", a supercharged form of autonomy that stops short of a full rupture. That would surely pass. Such an outcome might even suit Salmond better than independence, for his appeal rests, in part, on his status as the underdog, the plucky (Scottish) man against the mighty (London) machine. All-powerful first minister he may be but, as long as he is campaigning for independence, rather than achieving it, this appeal remains intact. For Salmond, truly the journey is as important as the destination.
Those of us watching from the outside, especially those who prefer a Britain that includes Scotland, are not mere observers: we have a stake in all this. Salmond's dominance means that, when the referendum battle is finally joined, defenders of the union will have no voice to match that of the independence campaign. The Scottish Labour, Tory and Lib Dem leaders are too weak to head the 'no' effort. Some suggest a figure outside politics – Alex Ferguson? – or an elder statesman, such as Gordon Brown. But both bring complications. This is a more pressing question than it might seem. Salmond has promised a ballot by 2015. As things stand, despite the polls, there is at least a chance that it could be settled in favour of independence by sheer force of personality. Salmond may be the Times's choice of a great Briton, but his ferocious talent could yet prove to be Great Britain's undoing.
RE: Scottish Devolution / British Federalism - 1871 - 12-30-201111:42 AM
Quote:a supercharged form of autonomy that stops short of a full rupture
Alex Ferguson ?and Wayne Rooney as Press Officer.
Gordon Brown - as an 'elder statesman' hahaha.
fucking bag of shite. The face of the Union hahahaha
What about Ian Paisley? Hes a good one. If he can turn Blair to Roman Catholicism he can do anything.
Salmond is astute enough- not that you can trust any politician. The Scots realise that they do ok out of the Union, but they lack the courage to do what the Irish did - and that is gain independence and rule their own country.
Quote:1871 Wrote: Independence inevitably breaks apart the 'United Kingdom'. There would be no referendum on the issue under the current system. With Independence, there would (at least in Scotland).
But what does this have to do with the monarchy?
It would mean that the Scots would get to vote on whether they are a Republic or not.
Most of them would vote for a Republic. Then Sean could return home.....
I really don't understand how the monarchy has much to do with devolution, like in the case of Scotland. As far as I understand it, it's about bringing power and decision making closer to a local level and just further away from the parliament. The UK is a specific example where the devolution they're talking about means certain things but this is the basic principle. I think you guys were explaining to me that with Scotland, it's about keep foreign affairs with the parliament and everything else coming back down to the state level, like taxes I think. I don't really know but when you guys were telling me about it, I started reading a bit. It seems like people are more concerned with what it will mean for tax collection (going up or down) and social spending (will they have enough to even maintain what they have now?), things like that. I just started on the queen cause I don't see how people are really thinking that the monarchy has anything to do with it. lol, and cause I'll jump on any opportunity to shit on those motherfuckers, hypocritical assholes telling me they're civilized compared to other peoples, that they're some kind of democracy when they have a fucking royal family. lol
Personally, I've always felt better about decision making on a local level. The closer you get to that, the more Democracy you have, obviously. And I think most people would agree (the result of that poll might be a little different if the questions were asked properly) that some guy sitting halfway across the country shouldn't make decisions about your neighborhood park, school or transit. It's the people that live in the neighborhood, that use these things who should be making decisions. On a larger scale, you'll have things like the economy, interest rates, minimum wages, military spending, natural resources, a bunch of things that need a broader range of decision making, for sure. If you actually had representatives on this level, people who asked your opinion and took your decisions up to the top, then I don't see any problem with some of these decisions being made on a national level. Clearly, some things need more local power and some things need to be debated and decided on a national level. But we know this isn't the case, this isn't how real life works. In real life, politicians do what the fuck they want and are largely influenced by money, and people who have lots of it. There's no representation, there's little to no accountability (unless you're found to be taking bribes or something from the official villain of the month, think News Corp) and the public pressure needed to influence elite decisions up there is so big, it's almost not worth trying. Almost.
I think this is why I would support things more in the direction of local decision making, more right now than if we had real, people-based political or economic systems. Like I definitely understand why some decisions should be made by a broader sector of society, but maybe I wouldn't support that at all in today's world, or at least in a bunch of today's states. Like Canada's healthcare is a tough one for me, I'm really not sure what's better. The way it works now is that the feds collect all the taxes and then divi up the money to the provinces. The provinces themselves actually decide what's done with the money though. All they have to do is comply with federal guidelines and regulations about minimum standards and shit like that. I think it's better than some guy in Ottawa deciding how many hospitals and clinics there are going to be in Vancouver, for example, but I don't really know how an alternative to our current system would work out. I don't know enough about it to compare anything, to look at other systems. I know they exist, but I'm just not informed enough.
What I do know though, is that someone on the other side of the country deciding property taxes for the GTA is fucked up. You can't have that, but sometimes people get duped into thinking it's a good idea. This is one of the reasons I hate marxist-leninist states, they want me to believe that centrally controlled economics and policies are carried out in the interests of the people, lol, like screw thinking for yourselves, don't worry about it we'll make these decisions for you. And we'll even let you look at our new economic plans, hundreds of pages of mumbo jumbo that, if you can take the time off of work to understand, you can vote on and we'll take it into consideration. Maybe, if the masters see fit (think Cuba and what's supposedly the proof of their great democratic nature).
With Scotland, at the end of the day, it's really up to them. If they can get an accurate view of what the consequences are (like will their be more independence, more local decision making but less benefits?) they should be fine in deciding this shit for themselves, how they see fit. I think the problem is, unless power is at the lowest of levels, like literally your neighborhood MPs, city councilors, etc., there won't be much in the way of actual decisions made by the public. Again, we have to remember real life. The reality is that if 100 people show up and make noise in front the premier of Ontario's house, he's not gonna care. But if those same 100 start knocking on the mayor's house, or the local councilor's house, lol, they gotta pay attention. So personally, I guess I'm in favor of "devolution" (I really fucking hate that word) as much as possible, at least in today's world. As far as Scotland though, it's not really my business, but I was interested in this idea, what the fuck does "devolution" mean, lol. I think I got it, I'm sure there's a bunch of debates about it in Scotland. Is there any stuff that would explain what the monarchy has to do with it? Like I really don't get that part.
Im sure that if you try youll manage to put an actual sentence together. Perhaps if you push yourself youll get to an entire paragraph. Go on you know you can do it.! Im only descernded from lowland Scots - I mean lower than Dundee (and you cant get much lower than that) but anyway.....
I just started on the queen cause I don't see how people are really thinking that the monarchy has anything to do with it. lol, and cause I'll jump on any opportunity to shit on those motherfuckers, hypocritical assholes telling me they're civilized compared to other peoples, that they're some kind of democracy when they have a fucking royal family. Lol
In which case you will agree with the original premise. Scotland still has a royal family. The monarchy is still the head of state in the current situation. The Windsors. With devolution this has not changed. Devolution merely means that to a limited extent some decisions are 'devolved' from the ruling establishment but the ruling establishment still rules – it is still basically in control – and this does not change until there is independence.
Quote: Scottish Parliament
Alex Salmond of the Scottish National Party, as the first party leader to be sworn in to the Scottish Parliament in 2011, before raising his right hand to swear allegiance to the Queen, the SNP leader said: "The Scottish National Party's primary loyalty is to the people of Scotland, in line with the Scottish constitutional tradition of the sovereignty of the people." The Scottish Socialist Party, who advocate the abolition of the monarchy have made a number of protests during their Oaths of Allegiance in the Scottish Parliament. Their former leader Tommy Sheridan swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen with a clenched fist in 1999, Rosie Kane held her own protest during the oath ceremony, during which she swore allegiance with the words "My oath is to the people" written on her raised hand, Colin Fox sang Robert Burns' "A Man's A Man for A' That" at his protest, before being moved to the end of the queue by presiding officer Sir David Steel
Youll notice that Salmond says primary loyalty. Thats not ‘only’ loyalty. What it says basically is that the primary loyalty is towards the Scottish people but they are still under obligation to provide loyalty – in the current system – to the monarch.Thats a REQUIREMENT - it is an OBLIGATION As you say this is not democracy.
Whatever their individual little protests this power structure still reigns above them. Thats why theres still Trident.
On a side note - but no less relevant - the breakup of the Union and Scots independence affects not only the Scots but every country in the 'Union' - and also those outside it - as Alex Salmond has repeatedly said. It also has geopolitical significance.