I was very struck by the widespread hypocrisy attached to the plight of the Afghans who have already helped the British and American military for the past 20 years. There is, and rightly so, unanimous sympathy and empathy for their plight, now the Taliban are back in power, across the political spectrum and the media. There is absolutely no way that I will lessen these feelings.
However, it was only five weeks since the Daily Mail criticized the RNLI for rescuing migrants in the Channel and there was broad support for this position by the usual xenophobic culprits in public life and among the general public. I have always been taught “there but for the grace of God I go”. It seems that many can relate to this sentiment if they apply to those who helped British soldiers, but then it is forgotten if there are no such circumstances.
For years, we have regularly seen on our television screens, especially in Syria, images of bombed cities in a rubble heap, with their wandering citizens in shock covered in the white dust of destroyed buildings. We’re not shown the real bloody scenes involving death, mayhem, and human body parts strewn about, in case that puts us off our teatime lasagna.
However, how much imagination does it take to realize that the survivors of such scenes of Armageddon would want to get the hell out of any safe country. Why can’t more people imagine the village, town or town they reside in being smashed to pieces, loved ones killed and wives, girlfriends and girls raped? Why have so many people become so insensitive to the plight of others just because they live thousands of miles away and have no connection to our own country?
It is to their great honor that the Scottish Government and their potentially imminent partners, the Greens, have always supported those around the world who seek asylum, not just in circumstances where it may seem more acceptable to the public opinion. This should never be underestimated in a world that seems to be increasingly dominated by unscrupulous politicians. As we all know this obviously includes the UK government which relentlessly continues to dominate us.
To do the right thing is not to get the agreement of more than 50% of the voters to pursue policies emanating from a very dark place. Often, doing the right thing is doing what should be done morally, regardless of public opinion which can be so fickle and manipulated by evil forces. I want to live in a Scotland where politicians regularly do the right thing!
Dalgety Bay, Fife
WHAT we have seen in recent days in Afghanistan is horrific and a thousand times worse for all the families of those who have lost loved ones.
Yesterday, the Defense Secretary who gave him his due was visibly upset both on TV and in the Commons – many were disappointed with America’s and Britain’s actions on this pullout and many have asked “was it worth it”.
I think this is what happens when countries believe they have the answers to another country’s problems and insist that their path is right. In the West, we think we have the civilized answers to problems, and people like the Taliban are dead wrong. That last point may be true, but we can’t say we’re better – haven’t we sent children down chimneys and under looms to suffer horrific injuries, all in the name of profit?
We continue to send young people to war unprepared, ill-equipped and with no real idea of the horrors of war. Yet we still advertise recruits for the service on television telling young people that they can train, learn skills and see the world – half truths and no truth on the agenda. .
The Invictus Games were born out of good intention and real need, but they might never have been necessary if we had taken other avenues. I can’t begin to think about how these injured people are feeling now.
Then we find out that Dominic Rabb couldn’t bother to phone his Afghan counterpart to ask for help with the evacuation – this was delegated to a junior minister. I wonder who he was following.
WE should all bow our heads in shame. Being connected to an English government that follows the US like pocket dogs and has abandoned Afghanistan. What about our own integrity? We don’t need arguments about finance or whether we could survive on our own. Self-pride, making our own decisions – that’s why independence is imperative. Nothing else. We must sever our link with the most accommodating country in the world. The empire is gone. And we have to go too.
The only way Bonnie Prince Charlie could get the support he so desperately needed was to get rid of the Union and its grip that kept the Scots virtual slaves to their new masters, the Sassaanach (the English).
He agreed and as soon as he canceled the Union he got immediate support. Traders gave up what they were doing, and doctors, lawyers and high-ranking men from the community flocked to his banner. All the popular classes and all religions have united in a great cause, to regain our national freedom.
Despite Unionist propaganda to the contrary, religion was not an issue, and the fact that four different chaplains were part of the Scottish Jacobite army seems to confirm this. We have been independent for a glorious year.
So mission accomplished, and if Charlie had listened to his French advisers – and stayed in Scotland to reorganize and consolidate his victories, inviting his daddy to ascend the Scottish throne – the French would have liked it, who wanted Scotland as an ally. against England, not as a change of monarch, on a British throne, on which Charlie had unfortunately set his ambitions.
If he saw himself as the future King of Scotland, leaving England out of the equation, he was on the verge of winning. We could have spent the next 275 years as a happy independent state, with a strong French ally to help us stay independent, which was to their advantage, and among other European traders as well. IF ONLY, and as my grandfather always said, SI is the biggest word in the dictionary and certainly the most important.
What happened in the past must stay in the past, but the mistakes that happened back then, the consequences of which we suffer every day, must and can be rectified. The consequences of a corrupt Union should not be passed down from generation to generation like some witchcraft spells, but the curse can be lifted quite easily.
Both parliaments, Westminster, Scottish – and if they wish to participate, the Parliament of Wales – should agree that all laws passed before 1928, when women got the vote, and could be considered the beginning of democratic government. All laws prior to this were the product of the so-called ruling or self-proclaimed classes.
A referendum would be declared not for independence but to let the Unionists write a new Union treaty that favors all parties. During the referendum, as the Union was no longer valid, we became independent nations again, giving us a level playing field and a chance to add England to the referendum. They would probably be asked if they still wanted to keep these northern grant junkies. Somehow we would find out how much we were loved in the past, and now that the oil windfall is almost over, we can be afloat as far as England is concerned.
Better together? Bitter together was more often the case. So, Mr & Mrs Unionist, let’s see you hurry up and with the help of your English masters draft a fair Treaty of Union. The one where there is no currency problem, as there should be a provision for a Scottish currency. There was some in the old version of 1707, but like most promises of the time they were never kept or honored. In conclusion, we Scottish Jacobites honor and support the cancellation of the Union by the Prince Royal of Scotland.
There is no Union, we were brought back into the bayonet annexation treaty. We are simply an occupied country awaiting liberation. In this case, the big word SI does not apply, but when? Our national anthem, written by Robert Burns, has a loud and clear instruction, and it sounds: “Now is the day and it is the hour. So what are we waiting for?
HAMISH MacPherson will know the esteem that Sir Walter Scott had on both sides.
The Scott family traveled to London, arrived late, and sent a maid to the fishmongers to buy Yarmouth Bloaters, which were Scott’s favorites. He was told the store was closed. She observed: “Sir Wattie will be disappointed”, and when after investigation it was determined that this was Yarmouth Bloaters for Sir Walter Scott, the store was quickly opened and the finest fish sent immediately to the starving author and his family.
Iain WD Forde
TIME is running out, the alarms are ringing, the end of September (in a month) is looming. The end of September will have devastating consequences for so many if Chancellor Rishi Sunak continues on the road to cuts for the most vulnerable.
The temporary £ 20 / week Universal Credit (UA) increase is due to end at the end of September and it will simply devastate many families, with increased levels of poverty and food bank dependency.
Almost a third of UC applicants are single and childless and owe no rent. So this reduction for them will be equivalent to a 20% reduction because these applicants receive a minimum benefit of less than £ 100 / week.
The Chancellor is also phasing out the Furlough Scheme (end of September) which will have devastating consequences for so many people and will surely have worrying consequences for the labor market.
In both acts, the Chancellor and the Conservative government in Westminster will almost certainly plunge many into poverty and despair. Here in Scotland, in a bid to tackle child poverty, the Scottish government is rolling out the game-changing ‘children’s payment’ (£ 10 / week) for every child in Scotland, but if the Chancellor of Westminster continues with its proposed reductions, the household benefit of the ‘children’s payment’ in Scotland could be wiped out in an instant.
This is morally wrong and much at odds with the Scotland I want to live in, where social justice is at the top of the agenda.
Catriona c clark