Wednesday, 31 August 2016


This morning, Sky News reported a claim by a Law professor from Durham University that argued the UK Government must vote on whether or not Britain should leave the European Union.

The professor stated that 'we' have “parliamentary sovereignty in the UK”, which, he said, means the recent referendum decision is not the final word on EU membership. The UK Parliament exercises sovereign (ultimate) power on behalf of the Sovereign (the Queen), which means that only the UK Parliament can take a decision – in or out – in terms of EU membership.

The professor's statement is wrong in one very important matter: parliamentary sovereignty exists only in England, not across the whole United Kingdom. This issue is crucial in relation to the decision taken by Scots to remain within the European Union.

In Scots law the people are the sovereign power, not the monarch. Dating back to the Declaration of Arbroath (The Letter of the Barons of Scotland to Pope John XXII) in 1320, it has been established that no monarch can ascend the throne of Scotland without “the expressed will and wishes of the people of Scotland”. The Declaration also makes clear that if a King did not act in accordance with the will of the Scottish people, then the 'sovereign power' – the people - would depose the monarch and elect another.

The Declaration of Arbroath, enshrining Scotland's right to exist as an independent nation – and the crucial clause confirming the people as the sovereign power – was accepted by Pope John XXII. In 1320 the Pope was essentially the United Nations, which means that Scotland is one of the oldest-recognised nations in the world.

The difference, then, between Scots law and English law is that, in Scotland, parliament is not sovereign. No parliament – Scottish or UK – needs to ratify a decision of the Scottish people. In fact, neither of those parliaments has the power or authority to overrule a decision of the Scottish people.

In June's EU Referendum, the people of Scotland overwhelmingly voted to remain within the European Union. According to Scots law, this is the end of the matter. The sovereign power in the land – the people – has spoken. Scots must not be dragged-out of the EU against their will.

Now, some British Unionists will no doubt argue that a position adopted in 1320 cannot be held as still determining Scots' legal status as the sovereign power, particularly as the Declaration of Arbroath was superseded by the Act of Union in 1707, which 'united' the parliaments of England and Scotland.

However, in April 1689, the Scots Parliament passed 'The Claim of Right', which reiterated the established rights of the Scots Parliament in relation to the Crown – the role of the monarch is to reign, parliament legislates and the people of Scotland are the supreme constitutional authority.

The Claim of Right was not affected, in any way, by the Act of Union of 1707, and therefore remains legally in force today. Both English and Scots law were specifically excluded from the Treaty of Union that established the British Parliament.

This position was reconfirmed in 1953, in the case of 'McCormick V The Lord Advocate', where Lord Cooper of Cardross, Lord President of the Court of Session, stated unequivocally: “The unlimited sovereignty of Parliament [the English legal position] has no counterpart in Scottish Constitutional Law.”

The ultimate legal power in Scotland is the people, and the people spoke last June when they decided by a significant majority to remain within the European Union.

Thursday, 4 August 2016


Donald Trump is a very stupid person.  He is not bright.  If he hadn’t inherited millions-of-dollars from his dad, the likelihood is he would, today, be struggling in a minimum-wage job.  His very limited intelligence would have offered little alternative.

The successes he’s had in business are down to him having his father’s money to hire intelligent and skilled people to do the work.  He has reaped the financial benefit of others’ labour.

There is also a long list of Trump business-failures, where workers and creditors went unpaid, while he washed his hands of responsibility by declaring his companies bankrupt.  Presumably these were the ventures where ‘Dimwit Donald’ thought he knew best and overruled the advice of staff.

Of course, Trump’s stupidity screams from him every time he opens his mouth on a public platform.  During his run for the presidency of the United States of America, one of his most ignorant and offensive ideas has been to ban all Muslims from entering the US “until we know what’s going on”.  The clear implication being that Mr Trump doesn’t “know what’s going on”, and believes barring entry to millions of followers of Islam would, in some way, stop whatever actually is going on.

Had Trump’s insane and unworkable ban on Muslims already been US policy, decent, hard-working people like Khizr and Ghazala Khan would not have been allowed to emigrate from their home country to the US and become American citizens.  It would also have meant that the Khan’s son, Humayun, would not have grown-up in the States and would not have answered his country’s call by joining the military and fighting in the ill-fated and illegal war in Iraq.

In 2004, Humayun, then aged 24, was killed when an improvised-explosive-device detonated under the vehicle in which he was travelling with fellow US soldiers.

Last week, Humayun’s mum and dad attended the Democratic National Convention, where Mr Khan publicly, and rightly, noted his son’s bravery and commitment, before questioning what “sacrifice” Donald Trump had ever made for the United States.

In response, Trump mocked Mrs Khan because she had not contributed from the convention stage: “She had nothing to say,” argued Trump, before suggesting that she might not have been allowed to speak because she is a Muslim.

The Republican presidential candidate also indicated he had “sacrificed a lot”, because he had built businesses, created thousands of jobs and “been successful”.

As previously stated, Donald Trump is a very stupid person.  He is also a coward.

Unlike Humayun Khan, Donald Trump did not serve his country – the United States of America. 

Trump was at college during the 1960s, while the Vietnam war raged and thousands of young Americans fought and died in the killing fields of Vietnam and Cambodia.  As a student – studying Real Estate – Trump received four deferments from military service to allow him to complete his course.

However, in 1968, as Trump completed his studies, the Viet Cong were inflicting extremely heavy casualties on American forces.  The US was desperate for more young men to join the fight.

Donald Trump, though, discovered he had a medical condition – bone spurs in his heels – which secured for him another deferment, meaning he could join his daddy’s real estate company rather than fighting for his country.

According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, ‘spurs’ are a growth of calcium that can develop on bones.  The condition causes pain in only half of those who suffer from the condition.  

Generally, doctors recommend a change of footwear for people who have bone spurs on their heels.  Dr John G Kennedy, a foot and ankle surgeon at New York’s Hospital for Special Surgery, advised, “If people wear the right shoes, most heel spurs will stop causing pain, even though the spurs themselves don’t go away.”

While attending college, Donald Trump played football, tennis, squash and golf, apparently without his heel spurs causing any problems. 

Last December, Trump’s longtime personal physician, Dr Harold N Bonstein, stated that, over forty-years, his patient had “no significant medical problems”.  Dr Bonstein made no mention of bone spurs.

When challenged this week by the New York Times about the bone spurs that exempted him from having to serve his country, Trump said they had been “temporary”, adding, “over a period of time, it healed up”.  He described visiting a doctor who gave him a letter, granting him exemption from military service, but Trump could not remember the doctor’s name.

Donald Trump – idiot and coward.

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

End the insanity

We live in a capitalist society.  Capitalism is an economic system that allows a small elite-group to become extremely wealthy through the exploitation of the majority (that’s you and me).

Capitalist exploitation takes many forms – poverty-level wages; zero-hours contracts; slashing Social Security support to levels that leave families penniless for long periods; transferring the greater tax burden from the wealthy to the poor; forcing taxpayers to meet the multi-billion-pound cost of bailing-out bankrupt private banks; imposing taxation on people earning so little they can barely afford to feed themselves and their family; the most draconian anti-trade-union laws in the so-called developed world; legislation that makes it extremely easy for workers to be sacked.  All of which has the purpose of creating a cowed and desperate workforce for bosses to exploit.

Infamously, North Ayrshire Council, while controlled by the Labour Party, used its Economic Development website to ‘promote’ the local area’s “flexible workforce”, which the council pointed-out was paid, on average, at 12% below the UK figure.  North Ayrshire’s Labour councillors and senior council officials saw the low-pay of local people as a selling-point to attract businesses.  The message was, ‘Our workers are exploited, why don’t you come and join in?’

We already know that many companies - such as Vodafone, Starbucks and Amazon - have paid no tax to the UK Treasury in recent years, despite posting multi-million-pound profits.  It has now been revealed that five multi-national banks operating in the UK - JP Morgan, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank, Nomura, Morgan Stanley – paid no corporation tax last year.  The accounts of these banks show they, collectively, posted multi-billion-pound profits while paying no tax.

How long are we going to sit back and accept this situation?

The media – so-called ‘mainstream’ newspapers and broadcasters – are owned by capitalists: they tell us there is no alternative to capitalism.  Anyone pointing-out a genuine and workable alternative, such as socialism, is branded as being insane (how many times have you seen headlines referring disparagingly to the ‘loony’ left).

What is actually insane is allowing a situation to continue that impoverishes the majority of people while a small already-wealthy group gets even richer.

What is insane is a society where a handful of wealthy individuals controls the media, resulting in attempts to indoctrinate the general population with incessant stories depicting as spongers and workshy skivers those unfortunate enough to be without work.  If we believed UK newspapers, the collapse of the capitalist system was caused by lazy workers, the unemployed and foreign migrants, rather than the corrupt and criminal action of spivs and speculators in the City of London’s banks and financial institutions.

To change this insane situation, we must start putting the needs and interests of people before the profits of multi-national corporations.

We need to start electing politicians who will challenge the capitalist elite, who will introduce a fair taxation system – forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share – and who will use the revenue raised to create a society that delivers hope and opportunity for everyone.

Poverty, austerity, inadequate wages, zero-hours contracts, benefit sanctions, slashed spending on public services do not happen by chance, they are not the result of an evil spell cast by bad pixies.  All of these things happen because people elect politicians who choose to introduce such measures as policies.  Those politicians are capitalists: they work in the interests of the wealthy elite – that is why companies and banks are not breaking UK law when they pay no tax.  However, should you decline to pay your income tax, HM Revenue & Customs will immediately pursue you, through the courts if necessary, to force payment.

How long are we going to accept this unfair situation?

In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP) is not a socialist party, but it, at least, sits on the centre-left of the political spectrum, a moderate social-democratic party that rejects the worst excesses of the capitalist system.

What was striking about political positioning during the 2014 Independence Referendum was that progressive parties tended to support independence for Scotland, while those who argued that we must remain controlled by and from London were overwhelmingly right-wing and profoundly pro-capitalist.

The Conservative & Unionist Party has just one MP in Scotland, but because of a 10-percent majority in the referendum, we remain a member of the British Union and this party – rejected at the ballot-box by the people of Scotland - forms ‘our’ government and is imposing on us poverty-creating austerity, while facilitating a system that allows multi-national corporations to exploit our workers and to pay no tax while racking-up multi-billion-pound profits.

It is entirely undemocratic for a party with just one MP to be forming the government, particularly when the people of Scotland elected 56 SNP MPs from a total of 59.  Of course, that only happens because Scotland within the British Union accepts that the people of England will choose which party governs our country.

How long are we going to accept this unfair and undemocratic situation?

Things won’t change, they won’t get better or fairer if we simply shrug our shoulders and moan.  Change requires action.

Scotland did not vote for the Tories: Scotland did not vote for increased austerity and public spending-cuts: Scotland did not vote for a capitalist taxation system that allows multi-national corporations and banks to pay no tax on multi-billion-pound profits.  Scotland did not vote for the continued exploitation of our people by a remote, uncaring, wealthy elite.

So, on the brink of a new year…what are we going to do about it?

If we want change, we can have it, we can make it happen.  No government or wealthy elite is stronger than the collective power of the people…but we, the people, need to be prepared to fight back, literally if that is what is required, to end the injustice of the British capitalist system.

We need to end the insanity of a political and economic system that works against our interests.