Thursday 5 March 2009

They made a desolation and called it a Union benefit.

I've been thinking about the views of two other bloggers, Young AMW and auld Nick himsel Nikostratos.

Niko hates the Tories and thinks of the SNP as basically them with kilts on.

AMW is quite right wing, but is too young to remember the time when a certain Tory ravaged Scotland like a twinset and pearl clad Atilla, so time for a history lesson young yin, you're no in Falkirk noo.
When I was a very young man, the village that I had grown up in was in the process of becoming a town.

Situated on a transport nexus outside the Capital, it had many employers, either within its borders, or a couple of miles away.

First to go was the small Naval base.It didn't employ that many civilian workers, but of course the pubs, clubs, cafes and taxi firms took a hit.

The Victualling yard which supplied it wasn't affected-yet- as it still supplied the larger base across the Firth.

Next was the whisky bottling plant, where I had worked for five years, three of them as a shop steward.

Owned by Distillers, they wanted to put all their eggs into two very large automated plants.

Tam Dalyell found out about this plan on his Old Etonian grapevine, and informed the union.
I'll always remember the bool in the mooth exec that came from London.

I had asked him if the bottling hall actually made a profit. He had the grace to look mildly uncomfortable when he answered; yes, enough...

Over three hundred jobs were lost, mine and one of my sisters amongst them.

Then it was the turn of the two large electronics plants . One shut down entirely, the other's printed circuit division went; Malaysia could make them much cheaper, thanks to miniscule labour costs.
Guess who lost his job again?

The large Naval base closed, perplexing many of the workers there, as there was nowhere else suitable to service the Navy's nuclear fleet.

Fife voted Labour. Hampshire voted Tory.Guess which Naval base stayed open.
When that went, so did the vittling store that served it.

The area had two distilleries in the nineteenth century. Around them grew the industries that serviced them. The farmers sold barley to be malted, the distilleries sold the drained mash back for animal feed. Pig and chicken farms grew up, then slaughterhouses.The distilleries closed down, but the bottling plant and a maltings remained on their sites.

Once the maltings closed, the feed costs soared. No more pig and chicken industries.
So now the area I live in is more or less a dormitory town.

The Tories attitude to Scotland in the eighties was much like an ancient Chinese Emperor faced with a problem.

Famine struck in three provinces.The Emperor's answer was to strip all remaining foodstuffs from two of the provinces, and send it to the remaining one.

The logic being that he would have one very grateful, loyal province...and the others would no longer be a problem...

In conclusion?

Niko, if the Tories get in at Westminster, they will think only of their powerbase again; but this time there will be a Scottish Parliament to oppose them.

Let's hope that Parliament is full of of MSPs who don't take their orders from London.

AMW, in an independent Scotland there wil be room for a right wing party.
It won't be the Conservative and Unionist Party though...


  1. Great stuff and good examples. I wonder if the BBC will bring back an updated version of Spitting Image? On second thoughts, stupid question.

  2. I don't believe the snp AS Tories the SNP with kilts on. But there are amongst them some very nasty free marketeers with enormous influence and support.

    Who are steering the snp Government were they wish them to be and that would be recognisable and welcome to any Thatcherite.

    It always mystify's me why changing a brutal English overseer for a brutal Scottish overseer is seen as achieving some measure of freedom.

    The truth is the 'worst' excesses of the Tory's were only reversed when the labour party took over at Westminster.

    If the snp took over at holyrood in an independent Scotland the nightmare of an imposed unregulated free market slavery may never ever end.

  3. Conan sorry i misses you post, think your date and times are potty, will let you know how to sort that soon though..

    Okay so you and Niko remember the Thatcher years in Scotland and i don't. Now i know she did a lot of harm to Scotland at that time but was keeping big state owned companies that were loss making and breading an era of state control the answer ?

    We have to forget about the past and move on, im not a Thatcher lover but what is the difference between Thatcher and Brown ?

    Labour will do more harm to Scotland than any conservative government, the coal mines would have shut anyway, the shipbuilding couldn't stay in the public hands for ever, we need progress and state control is not the answer

    Conan in an independent Scotland i want an party which encourages privet sector growth with state control over Heath, education police, not controlling industry and hampering growth.

  4. Thanks for commenting everyone.

    Niko, if it's a brutal Scottish overseer, WE can vote them out at the first election; we won't have to wait eighteen long years for the English to.

    AMW, None of the industries I mentioned were state owned, (apart from the Navy of course!)but they were controlled, and taxed, in London.

    I'm all for the private sector, but leave it unregulated and see what happens...

  5. conan

    I must not fear.
    Fear is the mind-killer.
    Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
    I will face my fear.
    I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
    And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
    Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
    Only I will remain.

    That AMW is a bloody little nazi in the making
    if i ever catch him in the shower at the gym I gonna give him what for

  6. Conan,

    I agree with just about everything in your posting. I was in London for most of Thatcher's reign so the devastation was only apparent on my return to Scotland. I can remember a pal of mine who was a DS in the Met telling me that during the miner's strike the police were being paid double time from the time they left their base station until they returned. Some of them were taking "holidays" to go and police the strike and, quite literally, were able to pay off mortgages on the strength of it so, goodness knows how much the whole exercise cost the government to devastate whole communities.

    Not surprisingly, they flocked to the only alternative, thinking that Labour would address their problems, but they carried on in Thatcher's mould.

    Their army of spin-doctors and a docile news media ensured that they continued in power and they still do to this day regardless of how much sleaze and corruption is revealed.

    In an independent Scotland any Tory or Labour party would have to convince the electorate that they were the genuine article and not, as at present, two sides of the same coin under false pretences. Otherwise, they could be booted out after four years unstead of swopping places like they do at Westminster.

    There seems to be a general, perhaps hopeful, assumption that the SNP would fold after their goal of independence was achieved.

    To my mind, since devolution the SNP have been the only party to genuinely aspire to what is best for Scotland and not what is dictated from London and even if Labour/Tories went back to their roots the SNP would have to be a credible alternative.

    I can't imagine that those who fought tooth and nail to oppose an independent Scotland would be welcomed with open arms and invited to form a new government.

    I see that the Labour leader of Glasgow Council is, not for the first time, setting up a new initiative in contrast with his London counterparts. Is this the beginning of a separate Scottish Labour who are ready to accept the inevitable.

    I can't imagine Spook voting Tory but to be fair I think that Goldie is more honest and transparent than the other two clowns. Truth be told, we all have a bit of the right-winger about us over certain matters and I think that that is what comes across in Spook's postings.

  7. brownlie, I'm certainly getting fed up with political correctness for sure.
    And any religious group that wants to me to kowtow to their inane beliefs CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES AND THE CAMEL THEY RODE IN ON!

    My that's better.

    Niko, would that be with or without soap?

  8. Thats funny , Niko posted at the same time as me. Conan i wasn't on about your company's just in general.

    I Just want a fair balance for all and im in no way against public servants, just the fact that under labour we will all be working for the state.

  9. That AMW is a bloody little nazi in the making
    if i ever catch him in the shower at the gym I gonna give him what for

    Niko, would that be with or without soap?

    No i hope its not with the soap, i take it like a man, hio Niko less of the OTT comments btw

  10. brownlie, yeh i would say im more Right winged than the average SNP supporter, who knows i probably get this from my father who is a tory but i have always , even on the Scotsman posted slightly more right winged comments than lefty comments.

    I want an independent Scotland with an SNP gov that encourages free enterprise, business growth and one which encourages people to grow with the economy, not the snail pace of labour

  11. I am as socialist in my outlook than most , I understand if people werent ruled by greed and one upmanship . Then socialism would be a heaven on earth. However, I am a realist.

    The world is capitalist and for Scotland to make an impact it needs to dust itself down, work hard, invest hard to reap the rewards to invest in a more fair society back home.

    I remember the thatcher years and do not ever want Scotland too loose the control over it's own future that it did then. The Tories next time round will decimate this country and Labour have shown the colour of their money which is no good to the people of Scotland.

    Just think of the poorEnglish, their Lumbering parliament only has effectively a choice of 2 parties! At least we have a choice!