Survival of the fittest

A guest post by Samuel Miller

Apparently the UK faces ‘challenges’ according to the Conservative manifesto released on Thursday.

‘Challenges’

That’s one word for it I suppose. There are of course others, but none the weans could read before the watershed.

Brexit Britain, austerity ideology, UK populations and society in general fractured along so many fault lines. A society so divided that all the kings horses and all the kings men… Well, I’m sure we know how the nursery rhyme ends.

How did it come to this you might ask? Two reasons near as I can tell. Firstly, the buck stops with our politics and its relationship with the media and corporate world. Y’know, good old fashioned greed and self interest. The naked manipulation of the populations of the UK and the division of their demographics for political and financial advantage. Exploiting and expanding small differences into the chasms which divide and where none exist? Create them.

Out of the 30 OECD countries the UK has the 7th most unequal distribution of wealth and has the honour of having the 4th most unequal in Europe. With the fifth largest economy in the world (as Treeza and co. keep reminding us), that should tell you all you need to know about our system of government and what its priorities are. Its not and never has been the governance and care of the populations of the UK. I’d say it more resembled an asset management exercise and some of those assets, those that aren’t strong, fit or prosperous enough of course, would be expendable assets. Survival of the fittest by any measure.

The second reason we are where we are? That would be the fault of the electorate. You get who you vote for. You get the society you contribute to, or don’t, as the case may be. For generations the populations of the UK bought into the big lie of our governance, that it gave a shit, could be trusted, was just the way it was meant to be. We allowed ourselves to be reduced to ‘ists’, ‘isms’ and labels (Makes that whole dividing thing so much easier). We allowed our system of government to take our best and brightest, make over their idealism and turn them into ‘weel kent’ faces we would vote for, perpetuating the cycle of legislative abuse. Worse, we allowed them to tell us who to trust, who to vote for, who to alienate and who to hate. The pen proving itself every bit as destructive and effective as the sword over a great many years.

The voting electorate let it get this bad and they allowed the fox to convince them it was a good idea to leave him in charge of the hen house. The majority allowed themselves to be convinced they were powerless to change the way things were.

Most readers will have had a few days to absorb extensive commentary on the contents of the Conservative manifesto by this point. In times of plenty, with a stable body politic and a more or less stable wider society, such a manifesto would unsurprisingly be binned out of hand. A party attempting to sell the public on the concept of emergency measures which would effectively grant them the divine right of kings would not only set off warning klaxons of extremism, they’d also be quite rightly ‘labelled’ themselves as dangerously unhinged.

Today though? With a massively dominant right wing Conservative government and societal narrative. The willing support of an equally massively dominant right wing media to sell their narrative. Oh, and let’s not forget the nature of the democratic deficit inherent in the political make up of the United Kingdom, it’s not only possible the Conservatives can pull this off, it seems entirely probable.

The Conservatives dominate current UK politics on 36.9% of the vote. They seek a mandate to extend austerity measures, stifle democracy and silence dissenting voices (see under internet policy). If they should extend their vote share and representative presence in Commons, does anyone really doubt what their idea of ‘strong and stable’ means in reality by this point?

This is the government that turned sanctioning and benefit cutting across the board into a national sport and has been found to be in violation of human rights for same by the United Nations. This is the government that removed motability vehicles and personal independence for thousands of disabled citizens. This is the government which has seen wealth disparity and food bank culture grow exponentially for every year it has been in office. We have people starving on the streets of a 21st century United Kingdom. We live in a state where government policy has been cited as being linked to an increase in mortality rates. The world’s 5th largest economy remember? Pretty certain readers can and WILL add a lot more to this list.

This government wants your permission to extend its own powers. THIS government.THIS system of politics.

In Scotland, we have only very rarely had any influence over who will eventually take office behind the door of number 10. We will never have enough MPs in Commons to form a partnership of equals. Simple arithmetic dictates this stark fact. What the majority in Commons decides, Scotland historically and meekly accepted. Brexit and the nature of Brexit being a perfect example of the UK’s and Westminster’s democratic deficit.

Today though, we have an opportunity and one we created for ourselves. We can decide who we wish to represent and defend our interests as a nation. We can decide who best represents and reflects our body politic. We can decide when enough is enough. We can choose to take a different path. We can refuse to be labelled, reduced to ‘ists’ and ‘isms’. We can decide what kind of country we want to live in and we can instruct our representatives to act accordingly.

We can choose who we want to be and how we wish to be viewed by others in the world. We are potentially two votes away from having the government we vote for at every time of asking.

Most people after the past few years are probably sick to the back teeth of politics. Understandable to say the least. But if we don’t fix a patently broken and societally destructive system, then who will? If we don’t do it now, whilst it is still possible, then when? Decision time is almost upon us. What kind of country do you want to live in and what legacy do you want to leave for future generations?

Two votes.

54 comments on “Survival of the fittest

  1. Bill Dale says:

    Great post, but we are potentially only one vote from independence, if the Westminster “government” persists in denying Scotland their imprimatur for a Section 30 Referendum. A no deal on Brexit, a potential swift exit from EU for Walengland and an equally swift dissolution by Scotland of the Treaty of Union. Now looking like a distinct possibility – oh and I want to remain in the EU, not EFTA, or any other half-way house.

  2. When you send Scots Tory, Labour or LibDem MPs to WM, the English leaders of these parties tell them what to do – usually along the lines of keep your mouths shut, do as your told and you’ll do just fine.

    When you send SNP MPs to WM YOU (the people f Scotland) are the BOSS. The SNP listen to YOU, not some English party leader who has no interest in Scotland or its problems.

    Vote SNP – be the boss.

  3. AAD says:

    I’ve always had a problem understanding why Unionists cling to the Union. However, I had it explained to me today by an convinced Unionist.

    ‘Give me one reason why you support the Union’.

    ‘Jist because.’

    So there, now I understand.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Because of a concentrated effort by those in power over the years, many have been taken in. Now the majority in Scotland see through their tricks and lies. Hence TM’s fear of another referendum on independence. BUT looks like she’s miscalculated over pensions and the 200 quid at Christmas!
      Let’s hope that brings a few more to life.

      Thanks, Sam, for another excellent article.

  4. Garles says:

    Funny I was watching V for Vendetta.Thought it was a documentry of this country at the moment

    • douglasclark says:

      It is annoying. You know you should disagree but you don’t. Alan Moore is a genius, and takes us to places where blowing Westminster to smithereens seems as entirely legitimate form of protest.

      In fact he makes it look like democracy.

      Love his work.

  5. East Neuker says:

    I’m still failing to convince my fellow pensioners (with some exceptions) . They are deliberately not listening. What to do? I can’t kill them all (joke – but not as much of a joke as Kezia.)

    • Brian Powell says:

      You could show them that the young, and that is every group under 55, supports Independence but their help is needed to take it to the winning post.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        Yeah but there’s those in the elderly who wont even bother to listen to us younger people

      • Hard to do as most of them are blinkered about Independence and they tend to stick their fingers in their ears and chant “La la la la la la …. not listening” when you try to address the issue, sadly.

  6. Possibly the best essay on the current state of UK politics that I have ever read. How, oh how, I wish it could be required reading for every potential voter in this (dis)United Kingdom. Thanks again for putting everything SO clearly, MacArt.

  7. TheStrach says:

    Win the GE and wait for Brexit and the overreaching Tories to do the rest.

    People haven’t experienced enough pain yet to vote for independence but it won’t take too much longer.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agreed. The Yes vote is still between 45% & 50% with no big change despite what has been going on. Very depressing. Yes more pain needed, more economic damage. People hurt but regrettably that may be what is needed.

      • maxi says:

        Andy, there was a great deal of voter fraud last time and if we don’t step in and stifle it next time then history will be repeated.Remember the real owners of the UK will do anything to keep control of the oil and other resources that we have here in Scotland.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        The polls of late have shown indy over 50% not 45% your behind the times let one indy poll of 52% slip and the times is a tory rag panel Base is pro uk yet it had indy at 53% then there was one at 57% but I forgot which source posted that 1 nay wonder Mrs may stating that if re elected she’d never consent to another independence vote

        • Andy Anderson says:

          I was aware of these polls. My figures were based on You Gov who were spot on in 2014. The trend is upwards though, slowly.

      • Lizzie55 says:

        I don’t think it’s more pain that’s needed, it’s more understanding of the political situation. Anyone reading this blog or commenting on this page has a good understanding of Scottish politics. We are the few. Most people don’t care about politics or care to understand about the political situation. They only see who shouts the loudest or in the case of the torys in Scotland the most reptative. Most people will beleive the repeated monotonous garbage the MSM serves us day in day out. I beleive Scotland should be independent as soon as possible but only because I understand why. For a long time now I have thought the snp could do much better to educate through ad campaigns and counter act all the lies spewed by unionist parties. In my opinion they don’t do nearly enough. The media prevent this happening to a certain extent but our nationalist parties should be doing more. Where are the hard hitting ad campaigns, the angry MPs? I beleive we fight fire with fire, this attitude of the nationalist simply saying what they stand for is not working, they need to call out the unionist parties for what they are and their dreadful policies (or non policies). Did anyone see the snp party political broadcast with all the children… very cute and it had a very subtle message. Most folk got bored after the third cute kid and any interested enough at the end of the broadcast hadn’t a clue what was going on. People need the truths about what’s coming if you vote Tory. Hard hitting facts. Don’t think they all know, they don’t. Education is needed now.

        • Patience is a Virtue says:

          Personally I think the PM and Ruth make some very good points and we should perhaps focus a little more on what they have to say…….

          ‘Remaining inside the European Union does make us more secure, it does make us more prosperous and it does make us more influential beyond our shores’

          – Theresa May 25th April 2016

          ‘You don’t get a Referendum for free. You have to earn it. So if the Greens and the SNP – and the SSP or any of the other Parties who declared an interest in Independence – get over the line and can make a coalition, make a majority, get the votes in Parliament, then they’ll vote through a Referendum, and that’s what Democracy is all about..it’s perfectly simple’

          – Ruth Davidson 2011

          28th Mar 2017 … Holyrood approves new plebiscite by 69 to 59 votes – Scotland’s elected representatives vote by Majority for second Independence vote – ‘and that’s what Democracy is all about..it’s perfectly simple’

          1st May 2017 – the National – Poll finds 51% of Scots want Indy -blow to Unionists as survey finds support for independence at its highest since EU Referendum….

        • Andy Anderson says:

          I agree Lizzie facts is what is needed. The issue is getting them out there. Individually I do my bit and get a bit of grief sometimes. I console myself that some of it must go in, eventually.

          The issue is our very poor press. They do not question the daft statements from people etc.etc. Still onwards and upwards.

        • I agree wholeheartedly, Lizzie55, that our MPs need to be calling out the Unionists for their disgraceful, socially divisive policies and we need more aggressive advertising etc. However, it is a sad (but true) fact that many people will not open their eyes, ears or minds to different political views until or unless they begin to feel the pain themselves.

          Witness what is happening South of the Border – nothing was putting a dunt in May-hem’s support until she started taking money and benefits from the pensioners – her core vote. Now they are up in arms and starting to think the erstwhile unthinkable!

  8. Andy Anderson says:

    Brilliant Samuel.

  9. Deelsdogs says:

    Had the most bizarre conversation yesterday with a person from the deepest, darkest south. ‘Why don’t you Scots ask us in England if you can have your Independence? We would be quite happy for this to happen. Why did you not wait until the Brexit negotiations have been finalised before announcing another Independence Referendum? Theresa May’s doing a great job. I voted Brexit. I work in the NHS. Loads of EU people come and use the NHS and then bring their families in. The majority of the NHS workers where I work are from outwith the EU. I’m from Cornwall and they despise what the EU has done to the fisheries. Theresa had a really good welcome in Scotland, especially Banff and Peterhead with fishing people who are fed up with the EU taking what’s theirs…’

    Groangroangroan…
    Oh my goodness to gracious, openmoothedgobsmackedcannaegetawordin…

    • Robert Harrison says:

      They tryed that with an online petetion to kick us out of the uk and the torys stopped that quick before it got enough support time to remind the southern morons that when they open there gobs

  10. Melvin Penman says:

    The SNP needs to remove themselves from Westminster and not attend. We need to declare our Independence as Westminster will never allow us our democratic rights and freedoms. I believed they would not stand in the way of the democratic majority of 56 MPs long held as the measure of the democratic will. But Westminster will continually modify and change the barriers to our people’s rights and freedoms until we eventually break and result to violence. Why …Why would they do this to a “too wee too poor” colony. It’s the same old Westminster using the same old solutions to the same old colonial problems. Brexit will mean that they can abolish the European court protections and in that they will make Scotland pay for thinking they have a voice. History is filled with similar stories when will we ever learn.

    • I am inclined to agree – although I abhor the very thought of Scotland having to “resort to violence” to achieve its Independence. We must do everything within our power to ensure that it does not come to that.

    • W. Habib Steele says:

      If the May woman and her Tory millionaire minister henchmen block a referendum, rather than UDI would an appeal to the EU Court of Human Rights, or the UN on the basis of the right of a nation to choose their own government, be likely to keep us within the law and be successful?

  11. Jim Morris says:

    Every elected person at local, national, UK and European level is paid salary and expenses on the back of tax payers and the natural resources of these countries. Every civil servant, of every department and agency, every level of educational professional, every person in the NHS, Rescue services, police, courts, armed forces and their civilian back-up, and every member of the Royal Family with the staff of all their residences on the civil list, and the attending members of the House of Lords are equally dependent on those same tax payers and resources. So how come the frail and elderly, the young, the sick, the unemployed and other vulnerable groups are excluded?

    • Andimac says:

      Because they’re elderly, young, sick, unemployed, vulnerable – not state employees, civil servants, royals, etc., etc. That’s how it works.

  12. Siobhan says:

    My god, this was refreshing. Too often i read nasty rants or idiotic ideas…. this has been good.

  13. Irvine says:

    By focussing on IndyRef2 and arrogantly expecting that voters are interested in nothing else the Tories have created an own goal against themselves and handed the opposition parties a gift of silver haired votes to win over by way of their far right manifesto plans for funding of elderly care costs, abandonment of the triple lock on pensions, and introduction of means testing for winter payments.

    The SNP vote is steady and the one section of the vote the Tories cannot afford to lose is the elderly so these Tory manifesto plans is where the SNP should be focussing their attacks at every opportunity from now until the election.

  14. well said, Sam. Under 3 weeks to go.
    I have no doubt at all that the Yoons will be all over Sunday TV today spouting the usual pish.
    I am in training for the big one; stocking up on low fat rice pudding and tea bags.
    I have a sense that May has peaked too soon. Ok, I’m only joking,
    This is turning out to be the election that never was.
    How else do we explain why Davidson is spearheading the Blue Tory campaign Up Here, with Oor Wullie and Dugdale contorting themselves politically, maintaining the Better Together Project Fear 2 Coalition of Chaos, arm in arm with their good buddy Ruth, while kicking her in the teeth over her new Fascist Right policies?
    Murray Carmichael and the Fluff are bouncing along the sea bed hoping nobody will notice them.
    It is simply unthinkable that we do not vote Yes the next time.
    Two votes from self determination? Brilliant.

    • Andimac says:

      Jack, if we are two votes away from self determination, I’ll be overjoyed. I’ll also be, frankly, amazed. We must not underestimate the enormous inertia, or indeed the enormous animosity, towards independence. My personal experience in our, admittedly “mature” age group is that I can count 2 or 3 fearties for every one for independence. I hope (against hope?) that my experience is not the norm but time and the ballot box will tell. I write this not from a sense of defeatism but from a real fear that victory could be torn from us by our self-centred and selfish contemporaries who don’t want to “rock the boat”. Still – nil desperandum.

      • Andy,
        nil carborundum illegitemi.

        If they were being herded to the Euthanasia Suite to be recycled as Soylent Green to the music of Elgar, some of our fellow fuddy duddies would still clutch their wee Union flegs to their bosoms, humming ‘there’ll a;ways be an England.’ under their breath.
        Don’t let the bastards get you down.
        Johnny’s still in the basement fixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement thinkin’ ’bout the government.

  15. Aucheorn says:

    I was at a street stall yesterday, next door was the tory’s stall among their helpers was a youngish man in a wheelchair. Am I missing something?

  16. Robert Graham says:

    very good post Sam & a wider audience is required .
    A few comments that have been posted regarding the non coverage the SNP are getting just now , the media control the output as did Maggie with her ridiculous attempts to silence the IRA many years ago what was her mantra then “remove the oxygen ” , exactly whats never mentioned but we see it daily ,silence the SNP and if they are mentioned immediately attack them , interrupt any answer with yet another question – re BBC Scotland style .
    these NO to YES clips need to be used ,and the AD Vans that for some reason vere criticised by some in the YES movement makes me wonder if other forces are at work inside the movement .

  17. Andy Anderson says:

    Not a related item.

    Last Thursday you gov poll said SNP 49 seats. Poll today says SNP 53 seats. Answer no doubt somewhere in between. Fingers crossed.

  18. emilytom67 says:

    Robin McAlpine of the common weal says it all in his “Book of Ideas” a blueprint for a future Scotland which is free from political dogmas/agendas a definite way forward inmo,his assertion is that you will never change peoples mind by pointing out the negatives rather try by showing them the positives,people do not want to understand the issues they would rather moan for the rest of their lives.Get majority of SNP MP,s and declare independence,the Act of Union was anything but “democratic” and the Tories govern on circa 35% of the vote.

  19. Sarah Smith
    Jackie Bird
    Professor Curtice the Tory funded pollster
    Severin Carrell
    Alex Massie
    David Clegg
    David Torrance
    That blonde lass from the’ Press Association’ whose name always escapes me but is a pro Union regular on BBC Politics programmes.
    Murdo The Queen’s Eleven Fraser
    Jackie Bailllie
    Alex Cole Hamilton
    Willie Rennie
    Kezia Dugdale
    David Coburn
    Ruth Davidson
    Nurse Clare Austin ( Severin Carrlell, thanks for naming if not quite shaming her in your otherwise antiseptic Unionist damage limitation account of the ‘debate’ in today’s Graun; Ms Austin,the flame haired harridan who was a ‘re-invited’ member of the ‘balanced’ BBC audience who, and these are facts from her own tweets, is single, is photographed sitting in a very comfortable gaff, who earns according to her own tweet, £22,345 per annum, the nearest equivalent of which on the Royal College of Nursing’s official Scottish pay scales is £22,313, which is the fifth increment of the Band 4 scale , which is £404 MORE than her equivalent in England and Wales, where Ruth’s Government is demanding £20 BILLION in ‘efficiencies and savings’ from the English HS, which means sacking thousands of nurses doctors and vital health staff by 2021, while Clare is guaranteed no redundancies, by that BAD SNP mob whom Clare is accusing of bringing you to the brink of resigning.
    In Northern Ireland the equivalent rate is £621 LEES that Clare’s take home.
    They must be queueing ‘round the block at the Falls Road Food Bank across from the Victoria.
    We have yet to discover the location of the Food Bank which gave ‘free food’ to a single woman, in full time employment, pocketing £437 a week. Did she mislead them? Or can anybody pop into their nearest Free Food Store these days? Some body’s lying somewhere, and it ain’t the Royal College of Nursing.I’m sure David Clegg will be investigating this juicy EsEnnPee Bad yarn today.)
    A wee curly heided Maths Teatcher hidden at the back, and a grey haired veteran teacher in the front, obvious plants, both ‘randomly’ picked to spout ‘Edukayshun Shite/ SNP BAD’. (At one point Davidson was tapping Smith’s knee and pointing to the audience so that our ‘impartial’ chairwoman knew which of the ‘plants’ to pick next. Good old ex BBC colleagues at work there.)
    The Bald comfortable off elderly guy plucked at random (aye right) from the middle of the audience to act as a prompt to Kezia and Wullie to remember to bring up the £15 billion deficit; which they did. This was the Man of Mystery’s only contribution)

    Oh Yes, and on the other side of the debate, there was Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister of Scotland, SNP Leader with 56, yes, 56 MPs standing for re-election
    Patrick Hardie
    And in the Spin Room Joanna Cherry the only actual WM politician invited to this absolute farce from BBC Scotland.

    No Ian Wallace. No Alistair Carmichael, no Mundell the Michty.
    Why would they invite Scottish WM MPs to join a panel to defend their Parties’ record in WM over the past 2 and a bit years? What do we think this is? A UK GE 2017 debate?
    Why would they encourage the audience to demand answers on Brexit, Trident, the assault on pensioners, their pensions, Winter Fuel Allowance, Bedroom Tax for the elderly, and selling their house from under them when they are mercifully screened from the daylight robbery of Ruth by ongoing dementia?
    Why would they want to risk questions being asked about £160 billion being handed over to the US (of which Boris and Treeza seem determined to join as the 51st State) Military and Industrial Complex while ‘balancing the books’ by stealing food from infants, taking mobility vehicle away from our disabled to the tune of Atos assessed 1000 PIP recipients a week, 48,000 and counting have already lost out despite Ruth’s lies last night, why risk discussing WM plunging 260,000 Scots children into eternal, 500,000 Scots citizens living below the poverty line through Ruth engineered state austerity measures, 11,000 18-21 year olds homeless because their Housing Benefit has been ‘saved’, working Class families restricted to two children by Big Brother Edict, tax Credits frozen as inflation hits 2.7%, rape victims morally raped again by Professor Tomkins, and so on?
    Why give the Scottish Public a programme that informs and educates, when you can kick the feck out of Nicola Sturgeon for an hour and a half?
    No, the English Establishment’s Unionist BBC Propaganda Unit pulled all the stops out for this one.
    Sarah Smith is the political equivalent of athlete’s foot.
    You apply unctions and salves to ease the itch and irritation, spend a couple of weeks trying not to scratch, because you know that if you succumb, it will only make things worse, until it eventually goes away, only to creep back, a couple of years later, unannounced, unwelcome, and you have to go through the whole irritating cycle yet again.
    The BBC sent up their ‘professional’ Hit Woman to front this farce.
    In an earlier post I imagined Glenn Campbell leading the Yoon charge. Apart from forgetting about the Smith effect, the ‘debate’ panned out exactly as I foresaw.
    EssennPee Very Very Bad.What about the £15 billion Black Hole?
    Jackie Bird got the spin room, the equivalent of the bimbo prancing about the ring between rounds at a Prize Fight.
    The event was held in Mansfield Traquair, in the NewTown, the ‘Sistene Chapel of the North’, where if you’ve got a bob or two, you can have a Pippa style Wedding reception.
    Still no place in Glasgow?
    The BBC did provide a ‘balanced’ audience right enough.
    4/6ths Unionist, 1/3 Pro Independence.
    Call it a UK GE 2017 ‘debate’, but hold an Independence debate instead.
    Smith blurted that the devolved issues dominated the questions submitted by the audience, to explain away the EssEnnPee Bad assault on the FM.
    Sturgeon was sat in the middle, surrounded by the snarling lying Yoons (Davidson wild eyed pointy finger mad was quite scary) and Sarah Smith in the chair who allowed the SNP Bad nonsense from the audience but no right of reply from the FM.
    It reminded me of Butch and Sundance facing the Bolivian Army as they met their death. Surrounded by riflemen who let rip. It was unrelenting Yoon Propaganda.
    If it’s ok for a Tory hopeful to mouth it, may I be permitted? Sarah Smith, why don’t you fuck off back to London?
    BBC Scotland be ashamed of yourself. You are helping to send an additional 4000 Scots in the West of Scotland to an early death each year by propping up this Fascist regime.
    Presumably Campbell, Robertson, Magnusson, Brewer, and Kaye with an ‘e’ will get the EssEnnPee Bad Monday shift.
    Sarah Smith, I know that you, or one of your interns, read this excellent blog.
    You and those Yoon Doublespeaks listed above are an absolute disgrace to the democratic process.
    We, The People of Scotland will reject your form of journalism, the Red Blue and Yellow arch right stifling Brexit and Totalitarianism and Isolationism (your ‘isms’, Macart.) in just over two weeks time, and again in the autumn of 2018, when we exercise our democratic birth right, and declare Scotland Independent once again.
    Shame on you all.

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