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'No-one knows where they came from, or what they were doing...'

It seems that few of our most prominent political actors have not, at some stage, spent time 'over there'.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024
5 mins

Who are these people?

by Frances Watt

The following comment is another from Wings, posted earlier today.

It raises a basic question which more people are asking themselves as we await further developments in the Branchform inquiry and some kind of resolution to NuSNP/Green pact shenanigans in the wake of the Cass Report - who exactly are these people and why is their behaviour so strange?

Vivian O'Blivion is just one of the voices repeatedly drawing attention to the murkiness of favoured politicians being 'schooled' Stateside early in their careers having been fingered as potential leaders. It seems that few of our most prominent political actors has not, at some stage, spent some time 'over there'.

This is nothing new, of course. We can remember reading Lobster magazine, oooh, twenty years ago. The work of Robin Ramsay, and others raising the alarm about Deep State activities, has always been meticulously sourced but there is something about the whole subject (i.e. the 'special relationship') which generates great unease and it receives next to no mainstream coverage.

Al Jazeera's recent expose of the targeting of Jeremy Corbyn is just one example of serious investigative journalism which has passed many by because they simply could not bring themselves to address the gravity of what was revealed. The recent passing of John Pilger raised another example of msm queasiness in acknowledging the reality of nefarious activities being ignored - while tributes to the man were plentiful, few even scratched the surface of his oeuvre. Assange is just the latest example in a long line of journalists who have been smeared and persecuted for simply doing their jobs.

With another general election looming and the strong likelihood that we will be seeing many more 'independent' candidates than usual, it's important to ask ourselves what we really know about candidates. Responsible journalists should also be asking them directly whether or not they have benefited from US largesse in developing their careers.

After all, why they should be ashamed of it?

It appears to be generally agreed that the current state of politics is dire. But in a democracy the blame can always be laid at the door of the voters. Whether or not that is 'fair' is neither here nor there but it should serve as a reminder that we do have a responsibility to make sure we know who is getting our vote. And if journalists can't or won't help us do that then we have to do it ourselves.

Vivian O’Blivion

23 April, 2024 at 9:53 am

The key to reinvigorating democracy is to lessen the influence of the Parties. We need more unaffiliated representatives, whether that be the likes of Martin Bell in Westminster or Margo McDonald in Holyrood.

Participatory democracy is actually under attack from the Parties. Hyperbole? Let’s inquire.

The predominant trend of the last two decades has been the drive from a professional, technocratic, managerial class (we can call this the Permanent State) to micromanage the democratic process. The Permanent State seeks to suffocate mass participation and vibrancy from politics and replace it with a stolid, managerial bureaucracy. We saw this most recently with the triumph of the Blairite, Forward faction over Corbynite, Momentum. The British (and American) Security Services were covertly involved in this.

Control of media and the use of language is intrinsic to this. Once, (certainly the 1920’s) the term “populist” denoted an appeal based on the desires of the masses. The word, Populist has been corrupted in mainstream discourse to imply Demagoguery. This is all very deliberate and clever.

In recent times the “liberal”, “centrist”, Clinton faction in America spat out the term “populism” as a venomous curse. Anyone who wasn’t supportive of offshoring manufacturing (or indeed service) jobs was denounced as belonging to Trump’s “deplorables”.

The high point in true, democratic representation at Holyrood was 2003 with eight MSPs outwith the five establishment parties.
You don’t have to support the political platforms put forward by non-establishment individuals or parties to support the general principle that a multitude of voices enhances debate. By design, we are left with slightly different flavours of our managerial class endorsed, bland menu.

The fall of the Scottish Socialist Party was the result of various factors, but their political posters at election time were a feature of our streets. The ability of the SSP to harness the enthusiasm of their support and promote their message through poster campaigns will have played a significant part in their returning six MSPs in 2003.
By the 2007 election, Margo MacDonald would be the only independent voice at Holyrood. As of the 2016 election, Holyrood was reduced to the five establishment parties.

There was a vibrancy to early Holyrood elections. Our main streets were festooned with a kaleidoscopic display of posters from all parties. This election material didn’t get there on its own, organisation and mass participation was required.

This display of “populism” was intolerable to our managerial class. By the 2016 election, 32 out of 36 Scottish councils has established by-laws prohibiting election posters on council owned street furniture.

The four “hold-out” councils continue to allow election posters on street furniture, proving that any perceived “littering” issue can be managed rather than resorting to prohibition. It’s no coincidence that all four councils are rural and are substantially populated by independent councillors, free from the admonishments of any Party head office.

Is the potential for a wee bit litter too high a price to pay for a vibrant, mass participation democracy? The answer from our permanent managerial class is apparently yes.

There is now an industry in “managing democracy”. The John Smith Centre exists to fill the ranks of elected representatives and support staff with doppelgänger, middle-class politics graduates. Two individuals selected as Parliamentary interns recently, openly referred to “progressing my career” in their introductory comments. Public service and vocation are oh so passé.

The John Smith Centre is itself a sinister entity, refusing to disclose its sources of funding.

Yesterday, the JSC announced that Michael Gove had joined its Board. Gove is often dismissed as an oddball, curious character. This is a clever scheming camouflage. Gove has for decades moved in the covert, Anglo-American circles characterised by blandly titled, Right-wing, Think Tanks. On investigation these are invariably linked to and funded by Foggy Bottom.

Wings Over Scotland | Hobson’s Law

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