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Monday Message Board

September 15th, 2014

It’s time for another Monday Message Board. Post comments on any topic. Civil discussion and no coarse language please. Side discussions and idees fixes to the sandpits, please.

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  1. September 15th, 2014 at 12:39 | #1

    As a comment of mine at Crooked Timber’s Scottish independence thread is held up in moderation, I thought I would also post it here and at Ken Macleod’s similar thread:-

    What I’ve fundamentally got against the current Scottish Nationalist thrust for independence is just precisely that it is disregarding the whole cultural identity thing that shows up among the Welsh (and Irish) – and that’s even before looking at the certain cost and the doubtful benefit, which should never be counted among the reasons for or against but should always be reckoned as to whether they allow achieving ends that are desired. Traditionally, Celts get their identity from connection and affiliation, not from location like England and continental Europe (e.g. only Yorkshiremen born could play cricket for Yorkshire, for a very long time); hence Buchanan’s work on Scots Law being described as “… regni apud [emphasis added] Scotos”, “… of the kingdom among the Scots”, and why it was “Mary Queen of [emphasis added] Scots” but “Queen Elizabeth of England”. (That is also why, despite my being born in London to an Irish mother and a Scottish father, my mother could say that she was proud I was British and not English.) There is the odd quirk that, although union never fused the lower and middle classes, the upper classes of Britain and Ireland really did merge – though that of the latter was never truly accepted as their own by the Irish, the Ascendancy being “English to the Irish and Irish to the English” on the back of affinity versus location ways of looking at things; ironically, the Duke of Wellington’s rebuttal to an Englishman who called him Irish was “Jesus Christ may have been born in a stable but that didn’t make him a horse”, something which struck me as so natural a way of looking at things that it took me years to realise that it was an Irish point of view that Wellington held, and not an English one at all. This fusion may deceive outsiders into not realising that about half of the British Prime Ministers of the last century were Scots of this fused sort (Campbell-Bannerman, Balfour, Macmillan, Douglas Home, Blair and Cameron) as well as a couple of more obvious Scots (Keir Hardie, Brown); the union has not short changed Scotland, nor will it for so long as it does not dissolve Scottishness.

    But Salmond’s effort is not only geographically based, omitting Scots in England (or here in Australia), who are more likely to have self selected according to the other, greater whole, approach; it is also likely to manufacture an identity along non-Celtic lines, a right little, tight little Scotland analogous to the goals of the “little Englanders” of a century ago. It has no place for George MacDonald Fraser – or for the Scottish Nationalism of Sir Compton Mackenzie, since each was English by that shrivelled reckoning. In due time, that independence would dissolve Scottishness.

    There is an irony: polling suggests that support for this independence is weaker among the old and among the young; it is not a case of “tomorrow belongs to us” unless the Salmonds of today can seize the day and manufacture that tomorrow. But they can only do it on the back of a manufactured people; where politicians mostly elect a new people by instalments by promoting immigration, that old fish is more likely to do it in Scotland by promoting the leaving of those who follow a different banner, with the methods of Mayor Cooley of Boston. Scotland will be made poorer, and the Scots as a whole will too, but those who remain within the newer, smaller land will be more and more concentrated and perhaps even better off per fewer head, like raisins shrivelled into sweetness by losing the full fruit; non regnum apud Scotos sed terra Scotulorum. Look around; has not Salmond already pushed abroad more and more Scots who were not of his persuasion?

    So, yes, there should be a Scottish independence – but not this independence which is a mere mockery of English ways and so much less than Scots, but rather there should be something of fuller flower, quite possibly within a larger, fairer and confederal Britain.

  2. Brett
    September 15th, 2014 at 13:06 | #2

    I got to thinking about Thatcher and the privatizations/breaking of the British state-owned coal industry. If you were trying to privatize the industry, but wanted to dump all the hard decisions on the people involved while making them feel responsible for doing them, would you privatize the company as an employee-owned firm?

  3. September 15th, 2014 at 13:30 | #3

    Hi everybody

    The Australian Climate Summit is being held this coming weekend in Brisbane http://www.climatesummit.org.au

    I’m doing a snapshot presentation on the Sunday and the organisers have asked us all to spread the word. As quite a few of you are in Queensland I believe, you might be interested in coming. The program’s at the link above. It looks interesting and pretty dynamic.

    At the moment I’m at home with a lousy cold and my brain feels like mush, so I dunno how I’ll go, plus I chose an extremely uncatchy title for my presentation, but hopefully it will be fun and we’ll all learn something. There’s a March on Sunday as you probably know.

    Cheers, hope you can make it.

  4. Ivor
    September 15th, 2014 at 19:34 | #4

    It is now clear that Keynesianism (of all types) leads eventually to “no-growth, inflation-ridden” disaster.

    At least this is the message coming out of a real life experiment – Japan.

    See: http://www.tinyurl.com/pw6oxnc [Need ad-blocking extension on your browser]

    Inflation is doing what it was always expected, and annualized Q GDP growth looks like a “dead-cat bounce”.

    The problem here is that any capitalist alternative is the right wing version which will only make matters worse.

    We need – cooperatives and regulated profits.

  5. September 15th, 2014 at 21:54 | #5

    P.M.Lawrence :
    … about half of the British Prime Ministers of the last century were Scots of this fused sort (Campbell-Bannerman, Balfour, Macmillan, Douglas Home, Blair and Cameron) as well as a couple of more obvious Scots (Keir Hardie, Brown)…

    Erratum: for “Keir Hardie” read “Ramsay MacDonald” (brain fart).

  6. Tom Skene
    September 16th, 2014 at 00:44 | #6

    was Balfour ever a UK PM ? I think not

  7. TerjeP
    September 16th, 2014 at 05:58 | #7

    Brett :
    I got to thinking about Thatcher and the privatizations/breaking of the British state-owned coal industry. If you were trying to privatize the industry, but wanted to dump all the hard decisions on the people involved while making them feel responsible for doing them, would you privatize the company as an employee-owned firm?

    If it had zero chance of being viable without subsidies then setting it up for failure in this way would be more reckless than just winding it up. I think privatising firms by turning them into mutuals is worth considering but you can’t ignore viability. And I’d also question why the employees should be gifted the assets when they have already been paid for their contribution. It seems like an unearned windfall. It would be better to gift shares to taxpayers.

  8. rog
    September 16th, 2014 at 12:11 | #8

    A look at base load power, and myths pertaining to.

    http://decarbonisesa.com/2014/09/14/the-myth-of-the-myth-of-baseload/

  9. rog
    September 16th, 2014 at 12:14 | #9

    @P.M.Lawrence Yes, the exclusion of non resident Scots and inclusion of non Scot residents from the vote questions this particular definition of independence.

  10. Mitcheldut
    September 16th, 2014 at 12:58 | #10

    Hey Guys,
    and Girlz 😉

    Sorry if little off topic
    I found this awesome new site today.
    I literally waisted like 3 hours of my life looking through
    thousands of amazing pics and gifs.
    When you mouse over the gifs it magiclly lets you control the animation.
    anyways…
    it’s on imagegrid.com

    Good luck trying to stay away.
    and share with your friend if you like it.

    Have Fun!!
    I’m out…

  11. Donald Oats
    September 16th, 2014 at 19:42 | #11

    Australia’s treasurer, Joe Hockey, has another go at wind turbines being a blight on the landscape. Big mother mining pits, and Tasmanian hills denuded of forests–well these are just enhancements to our landscape, on the other hand. On ya, Joe, good one.

  12. September 18th, 2014 at 07:35 | #12

    The latest in the slow-motion collapse of Australian coal exports to China: a new Chinese ban on high-ash and high-sulphur coal imports. Not yet a disaster, and the new standards can apparently easily be met, at additional cost, by washing. But the message is clear. The Chinese must have drawn their conclusions about Tony Abbott when he visited them in April.

  13. Fran Barlow
    September 20th, 2014 at 12:04 | #13

    This image is sad if it really is what it appears to be:

    http://twitter.com/Deprogrammer9/status/512781355491414016/photo/1

    RW libertarian paradise ..,

  14. J-D
    September 23rd, 2014 at 18:43 | #14

    @Fran Barlow

    Yes, if that really is what it appears to be, it would be very sad.

    On the other hand, if it is not really what it appears to be, it would have to have been deliberately faked, which would also be very sad.

    So it’s very sad either way. Unless it was intended as a joke, I guess.

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