Saturday 20 September 2014

This Is What Democracy Looks Like

So the results are in, the ballots counted, the results accepted, and the Union preserved by a healthy, if not totally overwhelming margin of nearly 11%. A region voted on its independence without - Moscow take note - the requirement of thousands of Kalashnikov-wielding thugs invading and declaring a suspiciously massive majority for one side.

The cause of Scottish independence has obviously seen a set-back here, though they'll long talk about their 1.6 million votes for an independent Scotland, and anyway thrive on historical remembrances of what might have been going right back to 1707 if not earlier. Unionists like myself cannot rest too easy since 45% of voters voting against the Union indicates that many Scots do not agree that preserving the Union is in their interest - there's certainly work to be done.

Regionalists in the rest of the UK are now beginning to take note of the new powers promised to Scotland. I personally think this will be flash in the pan - other experiments in devolution in England outside of London have been met with outright apathy (particularly the experiment in elections for crime commissioners, which cannot even raise a 20% turnout). The idea that Scottish-style politics will energise the rest of the UK is an odd one when you consider the low turnouts typically seen in Holyrood elections.

For myself, though, playing  very, very small part in keeping the Union together has been a revelation. The next likely referendum in the UK will be those on EU membership, promised if there is a Conservative government elected in the next parliament (though the Conservatives are committed at the moment to staying in), and I intend to help out in them too.

[Picture: Scottish independence referendum results - red is "No", green is "yes". By Wiki user Sceptre]


Anonymous said...

Foarp. While you are saving GB, you might also want to give Liverpool a bit of an assist.

Seriously, there are no good guys in the Ukrainian business. Filth being perpetrated by both sides.

Are Ukrainians suitable aspirants to join the European community? Maybe, if you hold your nose just to be able to tweak the Russians, who do have legitimate security concerns in the East and the Crimea.

Ukraine: a location, not a genuine nation state, with an extremely unsavoury history which I should not have to spell out to you.


Anonymous said...

Apol. I posted in haste.

Filth = outright lies, truly laughable propaganda and name calling, plus the shelling of civilians and their dwellings (and this most definitely includes Ukrainian forces.

Just why would Europe want to embrace this garbage location?

Massive HIV problem and growing, endemic prostitution and sex trafficking, not to forget a corruption rating equal to Syria (cf Transparency Internation).

Krushchev actually gifted the Crimea to Ukraine in 1954.

I suppose a "faltering EU" is thinking of the market potential offered by this area, combined with its incredibly fertile agricultural sector. The latter reminds me of the Hitlerite eastern ambition.

Truly, a cesspit of old 19/20 century ideological poisons. The only thing missing is a bit of contemporary Islamic jihadism.


FOARP said...

KT, none of this excuses launching an invasion of the Ukraine and annexing its territory. If you think it does, then I hope you won't mind when Britain decides to protect its "legitimate interests" in, say, Perth, or Darwin. After all you guys speak the same language as us (or something, what the hell is a "Bikie"?), used to be part of the British empire, and I'm pretty sure if I think about it I can invent some legitimate interests Britain might have in doing so (that clearly rigged - because we lost - Ashes series for starters, and to protect this oppressed Bogan minority I've heard so much about as well). said...


@ Foarp. You are most welcome to annex Perth WA. Its full of Poms and white South Africans anyway.

I'm not so sure about Darwin however as if offers tremendous Asian food.

I know the bogans are a problem, but if you banned tattoos they wouldn,t exist. You would just be left with your generic, welfare dependent lumpen prole types, similar to the majority which populate every city in England. You know, the one's waiting for the next free shopping and arson opportunity which so perplexed you a few years ago.

Cricket. Who cares....old, mouldy and white. I support Crystal Palace who are showing a lot more vim than Liverpool.

justrecently said...

Two things. One is that Ukraine is the only country or party in this conflict that deserves respect. It is a victim of Russian and Ameropean imperialism.

Western coverage hardly ever mentioned article 7 and articles prior to it in this draft.

What Russia does is not terribly different from what the West and its Saudi and Qatar allies are doing in Syria. Moscow would take what it could get of Ukraine before the West took the rest of this fragile country with its constantly changing majorities.

To demonstrate outrage about Moscow's behavior is either naive or hypocritical, Foarp. If there are people with reasons to complain, it's the Ukrainians. We, in the EU and America, have reason to look closely at what our "elites" are doing.

Ji Xiang said...

"I suppose a "faltering EU" is thinking of the market potential offered by this area, combined with its incredibly fertile agricultural sector. The latter reminds me of the Hitlerite eastern ambition."

KT, you really like randomly comparing people to the Nazis, don't you? Now I see it's not just the Israelis who you do this with.

Nobody is seriously thinking that Ukraine can become an EU member state anyway. It's out of the question. said...

@Ji Xiang.
I was making no such comparison.

Very very different political systems, but the same ambition.

Ukraine has some of the most fertile agricultural land in middle Europe, and if it is drawn into the embrace of The EU (not membership), there is also a potential market of about 60 million people. And no one is denying that the EU is faltering at present and needs all the help it can get.

"Ukraine is the world's largest producer of sunflower oil,[36] a major global producer of grain and sugar, and future global player on meat and dairy markets. It is also one of the largest producers of nuts. Ukraine also produces more natural honey than any other European country. Because Ukraine possesses 30% of the world's richest black soil, its agricultural industry has a huge potential. However, farmland remains the only major asset in Ukraine that is not privatized.[37] The agricultural industry in Ukraine is already highly profitable, with 40-60% profits,[37] but according to analysts its outputs could still rise up to fourfold.[38]" WICKI

The above is really something to think about, Ji Xiang.

Factoid. In my five years of posting on a range of sites, along with Foarp and JR, I've probably mentioned the term Nazi about three times.

Face up to the realities of modern Israel and the dispossession of the Palestinian people.

(And I don't have any brief for Palestinian Islamic types either.
Old world monotheistic religions are the Black Plague of modernity.)

It will set you free and you will abandon your diaspora identity politics.

However, if you need the crutch of a religious belief system, join the Silent Quakers who are a pretty good, non-judgemental bunch, or better still, go all silly like me, and be a Rastafarian.

Ji Xiang said...

Wow, you determine that I am Jewish, even though I have never said so anywhere, just because I object to Israel's demonization.

You even somehow "know" that I am a religious Jew, an even more outlandish thing to be certain of, and invite me to become a Silent Quaker if I need a different sort of religious crutch.

For your information I am an atheist, and Jewish on my mother's side indeed, but I certainly don't engage in "diaspora identity politics", and I don't need to be set free from anything. I am sure that even if my mother weren't Jewish I would still object to such ridicolous demonization of Israel, which only feeds into certain extremist discourses on the other side.

If you don't normally call people Nazis, all the worse. The fact that you are able to discuss countries which disregard human life far more than the Israelis (for instance Russia) without resorting to the accusation of Nazism, but just have to blurt out the accusation of Nazism as soon as the subject of Israel comes up, only highlights your bias.

Anonymous said...

Okay. Okay.
So many discussion points are off the menu.

Can we talk about your Rambo fantasies and your fascination with assault rifles???

Anonymous said...

Better still. Before explaining away your gun fantasies, brush up on some of the ethnic cleansing statements made by historians like Benny Morris.

If you really have a stomach for serious realities, dip into some Norman Finkelstein.

Not likely to happen, since all you do is parrot simple-minded and dogmatic views which are the staple of the US-Israeli soft power industry. And it is an industry of the first order.


Ji Xiang said...

Rambo fantasies and fascination with assault rifles? What the hell are you talking about? You must be insane.

Anonymous said...

Your site.
More photos of me in Guangxi. 2009.

Come on, Pal. Your credibility is on par with Bugs Bunny.


KingTubby said...

Apol for being so uncharitable.

Syphilis and issues with methylamine tend to affect the memory.

Don't worry I have saved your facebook selfie on my site.


Gilman Grundy said...

Seriously, you guys at it again? Give it a res, please.

JR - have to disagree, Ukraine is not a victim of "Euroamerica", and one has to draw the line at invasion and annexation.

justrecently said...

JR - have to disagree, Ukraine is not a victim of "Euroamerica", and one has to draw the line at invasion and annexation.

I respect your position, Foarp, but I see nothing it can stand on. How is invasion and annexation intolerable, while "regime change" from Libya to Syria somehow laudable or tolerable?

What reason do you have to believe that the Assad regime would not happily cooperate with Washington in destroying IS - and how, in this light, do you justify U.S. bombings on Syrian territory without consultations with Damascus (or suggest that this kind of action is somehow better than Russian behavior in Ukraine?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ji Xiang said...


"Syphilis and issues with methylamine tend to affect the memory."

You are obviously a really nasty person (and perhaps a little unhinged), getting personal in this way.

I also think that publishing my photo on your blog is extremely out of order (by the way I'm not a US citizen. Don't know where you got that from), and even threatening. Luckily your crappy blog seems to have very few readers.

In any case, I am through with you. I'm never dignifying you with my attention again.

Gilman Grundy said...

@KT - Have to agree with Jixiang here, copying someone's photos and posting them on your blog is a bit creepy. KT, do yourself a favour and take them down.

Hell, if you want a picture of someone toting guns, I've got some photos of my last trip to the range in the Czech Rep. that I can post. I'm not a gun-nut, and would be very happy for private gun ownership to be limited to gun ranges and those who absolutely need a gun. Simply having a picture taken with a gun in your hand doesn't mean anything either way.

@Jixiang - You're not an American? Have to be honest and say I'd always just assumed you were, but am happy to be corrected.

Ji Xiang said...


Nope, I'm half British and half Italian. Never had any connection with the US. Interesting you assumed I was American.

The pic with the gun was taken when I went on trip through the jungle in Guanxi. My local friend's uncle is a hunter, so he had a gun and let me hold it to take a photo. At the time I'd just started my blog. I would never post photos of myself now. It's clearly not a wise idea, with all the creeps in the blogosphere....

Gilman Grundy said...

@Jixiang - I've come through the whole being worried about psychos on the internet thing, into the other side where you realise that the vast majority are pretty harmless and there's little to actually fear (so long as you're not living in a police state, that is!).

Ji Xiang said...

Right, I notice that your twitter page has your photo on it.

I am living in a kind of police state, although not nearly as bad as the police states I mention in my last blog post.

Having said that, my blog is inaccessible without a VPN here, and I think that's an excellent thing.