Ignoramuses guide to Independence

How I change from a No voter to Yes

I’m getting fed up with this.

A Wilderness of Peace

Humpty DumptyIt’s easy to see why this might be seen as an inflammatory gesture (ho ho). Just seven weeks after 1.6 million people had their hearts utterly broken, East Sussex City Council saw fit to promote an effigy of the democratically elected First Minister of the Scots, brandishing a 45% spoon, wearing a Yes badge, and accompanied by Nessie wearing a Tam O’Shanter. Which is to be incinerated in a mass conflagration in Lewes. (UPDATE: not this one! See updates below)

So, predictably I fear, I’m rather annoyed about this. But I think it’s important to put forward why, and I think there are quite a few layers to it.

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Photographs of the Old Closes and Streets of Glasgow – Thomas Annan


Thomas Annan Old Closes of Glasgow

The Victorian era saw an unprecedented urbanisation of society as the draw of factory work (and the promise of supposed riches) lured millions of the young and hopeful away from the backbreaking despair of the countryside. Britain established the model for industrial development that is being used today in China.  Throughout the nineteenth century, industrial cities such as Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and Glasgow to name a few became the centres of heavy industry and a source of massive wealth for a small group of people. Most of the unfortunates who actually did the heavy, dangerous and backbreaking toil for a pittance were consigned to slums of shoddily built houses with no sanitation, running water or basic amenities. For the dubious privilege of living there landlords charged massive rents to already exploited people.

Thomas Annan Old Closes of Glasgow

In Victorian society marked by strict hierarchical division based on class and the appearance of outward respectability, the…

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I would rather be an honest sinner than a lying hyprocrite

Owen Jones on the Middle Class Domination of the Houses of Parliament

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

I posted a piece this morning on early trade unionist campaigns to get the vote for the working class and working men into parliament and the local authorities. This was in response to the way working people have become increasingly ignored and excluded by the political class, to the point where many feel disenfranchised.

Owen Jones in Chavs describes the way parliament has become overwhelmingly upper and middle class in its composition:

We’ve seen that prominent politicians manipulated the media-driven frenzy to make political points. Like those who write and broadcast our news, the corridors of political power are deominated by people from one particular background. ‘The House of Commons isn’t representative, it doesn’t reflect the country as a whole,’ says Kevin Maguire. ‘It’s over-representative of lawyers, journalists-as-politicians, various professions, lecturers in particular … There are few people who worked in call centres, or been in factories, or been council…

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Cometh the hour, time for a party

If only it were true!

Mike Sivier's blog


A new political party has been launched – on International Workers’ Day – to represent the interests of people whose opportunities in life have been restricted because they earn low wages.

The Underpaid People’s Independence Party – UPIP – will campaign for better pay, better rights and a better say on behalf of all those who currently earn less than they need in order to pay their own way.

The new party has announced several policies already:

  • A living wage for every working person, ensuring that the overburdened benefit system does not subsidise greedy corporations
  • A guaranteed ‘income floor’ for all British citizens, ensuring that those who do not work because of illness or unemployment are able to live with dignity
  • The guarantee of employee benefits including sick pay, holiday rights and both lower and upper limits on the number of hours worked
  • Strengthened – and rigorously-enforced – health and…

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