Lifelinking's Blog - blog by lifelinking


Living our lives without dogma and superstition. A blog created for the purposes of discussion and debate, and for the promotion of knowledge and understanding of humanism.


A rogue, however you parcel it

Posted 04-Oct-2013 at 04:25 PM (16:25) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 04-Oct-2013 at 06:29 PM (18:29) by lifelinking

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont recently said in a speech referring to the Independence debate, that Nationalism is a “virus that has affected so many nations and done so much harm” (as quoted in the Telegraph of 22 September). I remember Lamont being interviewed after the last election which saw the SNP sweeping in with an overall majority in the Scottish Parliamentary elections. Her demeanour was not reflective, but arrogant and combative. In ‘Lamont world’, Labour had done nothing wrong,...
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Enough with the shortbread tin stereo-types already

Posted 02-Oct-2013 at 10:57 PM (22:57) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 02-Oct-2013 at 11:05 PM (23:05) by lifelinking

I have noticed some folk, most likely with the best of intent, have been producing referendum related websites and social-media posts replete with pipe-skirling, kilt-swinging tartanalia. From what I have seen, this has mostly been in support of the ‘Yes campaign’. Well, whatever ‘biles yer egg’ I suppose. Some people genuinely like this stuff, others seem to be getting caught up in pre-referendum...
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Scotland badly needs an effective political party of the centre-right

Posted 01-Oct-2013 at 10:12 PM (22:12) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 04-Oct-2013 at 12:09 AM (00:09) by lifelinking

The Conservative Party has been marginalised in Scotland for some time now. Mainly due to a chronic and deep rooted loathing for the Tories that has become ingrained in the Scottish psyche and left them largely unelectable. This is not healthy for our democracy. This lamentable political position is a poisonous legacy of Thatcherism which the Scottish Tories have never been able to free themselves from. In 2001, 2005 and 2010 only one Conservative MP was returned to Westminster for a Scottish...
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What future Scotland?

Posted 28-Sep-2013 at 12:25 AM (00:25) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 29-Sep-2013 at 11:17 PM (23:17) by lifelinking

What future for myself and my loved ones, for my friends and colleagues, for the city my native place (the wonderful Glasgow), for my home town and for communities the length and breadth of my wee country?

I want a future where the mechanisms of government and public institutions are secular, where the system of representative democracy is properly and consistently representative of and responsive to the aspirations of the people. An inclusive place where the voices...
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Why would a UK national newspaper fail to publish an article about Scotland, in Scotland?

Posted 20-Sep-2013 at 12:58 PM (12:58) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 06:35 PM (18:35) by lifelinking

An article by Simon Heffer appeared in the Daily Mail yesterday with the title Why the Scots MUST vote for independence! It'll save the rest of us a fortune, says a very provocative SIMON HEFFER, but not in the Scottish edition. Simon Noon published this rebuttal to some of the factual errors in the Heffer article today. Seven points from the Heffer article are responded to as follows:

1. “I believe that an independent Scotland would soon find itself unequal to the struggle
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The Great Coalition Con-Trick

Posted 17-Sep-2013 at 09:36 PM (21:36) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 06:38 PM (18:38) by lifelinking

Under the guise of reducing the national debt and with the 'we are all in this together' lies of shared austerity ringing increasingly hollowly in our ears, it is clear that our coalition government prides itself on having slashed the social security budget during its period in power (for many Conservatives the cuts have been done with alacrity - they only wish they could go further).

The 2013 New Economics Foundation report Surviving Austerity: Local Voices and Local Action in England's Poorest Neighbourhoods ...
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There should be no room given to legislation like this

Posted 15-Sep-2013 at 11:11 PM (23:11) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 06:50 PM (18:50) by lifelinking

Under the so called ‘bedroom tax’ changes introduced under the Welfare Reform Act 2012, people have been subject to benefit cuts if they are deemed to have a spare bedroom in their council or housing association home. The 'justification narrative' for this is that by punitively withholding benefits from the target group they will...
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Time to come down off the fence

Posted 15-Sep-2013 at 02:14 AM (02:14) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 29-Sep-2013 at 12:14 PM (12:14) by lifelinking

When answering the ballot question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’ I will be voting

The current coalition government in the United Kingdom is the most destructive and divisive that I have ever had the misfortune to see in action. Aye, I did work and live through the Thatcher years and yes, I was wide awake at the time. I stand...
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A Titan of the past - and a symbol of aspiration for the future

Posted 07-Sep-2013 at 05:11 PM (17:11) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 15-Sep-2013 at 02:20 AM (02:20) by lifelinking

You could be forgiven for missing a little snippet of news that did the rounds the other week, telling us that the Titan Crane in Clydebank had been designated an ‘International Historic Civil and Mechanical Engineering Landmark’.

Photo by Morven Fik - taken from within the ‘fitting-out’ dock.

The Titan was already a ‘Grade A’ listed building and since 2007 has been open to the public...
Posted in General
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To play, or not to play ...

Posted 12-Apr-2013 at 04:25 PM (16:25) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 07-Sep-2013 at 06:12 PM (18:12) by lifelinking

A great deal has been written about the death of Margaret Thatcher, and I don’t intend to add much to it. Two people have pretty eloquently summed up the legacy of the ‘Iron Lady’ for me.

Glenda Jackson speaking in the UK Parliament, which you can view below:

Then this, from Billy Bragg’s Facebook page:

This is not a time for celebration. The death of Margaret Thatcher is nothing more than a salient
Posted in General
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Rating: 7 votes, 4.86 average.

It's a date

Posted 22-Mar-2013 at 05:05 PM (17:05) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 07:00 PM (19:00) by lifelinking (amended paragraphs to re-word opening section and section beginning 'From what I have seen')

The date for the referendum on Scottish Independence was announced yesterday by Alex Salmond. It is going to be:

Still over a year to go folks. With tongue set (mostly) in cheek, here is a 'rogues gallery' together with occasionally irreverent commentary from yours truly featuring some of the main players among our professional politicians, which I will add to...
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The Guardian's Scottish Independence Blog

Posted 29-Dec-2012 at 06:12 PM (18:12) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 29-Dec-2012 at 06:30 PM (18:30) by lifelinking

Can be found here.

As yet there are only two pieces on it, both posted by the Guardian's Scotland correspondent Severin Carrell.

Brussels is hostile to Scottish independence 'because it is weak'


Sturgeon sharpens independence debate as a battle for centre-left

I found the latter piece particularly relevant to me, as generally this is where I would describe myself as being situated politically.

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Disagreements surrounding the status of an Independent Scotland in Europe - A rough timeline

Posted 18-Dec-2012 at 12:03 AM (00:03) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 17-Feb-2014 at 05:09 PM (17:09) by lifelinking

4 March 2012
First Minister Alex Salmond is interviewed by Andrew Neil. You can view the interview here. Part of the interview has subsequently been claimed by critics of the SNP to prove Salmond in a lie. In particular in an exchange where Mr Neil asks Mr Salmond in the context of Scotland’s future in Europe, if he had "sought advice from your own law officers".

Mr Salmond replied "we have, yes, in terms of the debate" and went on to say the advice can...
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The view from the fence

Posted 23-Nov-2012 at 02:33 PM (14:33) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 15-Sep-2013 at 02:33 AM (02:33) by lifelinking

James Wood's short eared owl on a fence in Scotland - link from BBC

As we approach the Scottish independence referendum, those of us not yet entrenched on one side or the other are in an important and advantageous position. Sitting on the ‘as yet undecided’ fence can give a pretty clear view of things, for a number of reasons. Not least of these is that from up ‘on the fence’, there...
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Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

IFS report on the fiscal implications of Scottish Independence

Posted 20-Nov-2012 at 08:18 PM (20:18) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 29-Sep-2013 at 12:23 PM (12:23) by lifelinking

The Institute for Fiscal studies report:

Johnson,P. and Phillips,D. (2012) Scottish independence: the fiscal context, IFS Briefing Note BN135, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

can be downloaded in full here.

See this news article with analysis from Brian Taylor for some of the main points.

Douglas Fraser at the BBC provides a pretty decent and more detailed analysis of what the report says here.

Brian Ashcroft's article about...
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The'Yes' and 'No' campaign websites and a word of caution

Posted 19-Nov-2012 at 05:03 PM (17:03) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 06:47 PM (18:47) by lifelinking (Changed title for clarity)

The 'yes' campaign in favour of Scottish Independence launched in May of this year.

The 'no' campaign is called 'Better Together' and launched in June.

The official website of the 'Yes' campaign can be found here.

The official website of the 'Better Together' campaign can be found here.

In a word of caution, those surfing the net for information might stumble across a page called 'Scotland says no!' on the website of an organisation...
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The Scottish Independence Referendum 2014

Posted 19-Nov-2012 at 04:20 PM (16:20) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 28-Sep-2013 at 06:45 PM (18:45) by lifelinking

Last month First Minister Alex Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron signed an agreement which empowered the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on the subject of Scottish Independence.

This is a pivotal moment in the history of our little country, and I must confess to as yet being unsure which way I will vote.

I thought it might be of...
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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

The Good Giraffe

Posted 16-Nov-2012 at 01:16 PM (13:16) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 16-Nov-2012 at 01:36 PM (13:36) by lifelinking

Now and then, a media piece comes around that stops you in your tracks and make you smile. Take this article from the BBC about a fellow Glaswegian called Armstrong Baillie. Armstrong, pseudonymously 'The Good Giraffe', periodically dresses up as Giraffa Camelopardalis (in a suit his mother made, apparently) and takes to the streets where he performs random acts of kindness....
Posted in Uncategorized
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Drinks companies 'lawyer up' in bid to overturn public health measure

Posted 24-Oct-2012 at 07:32 PM (19:32) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 24-Oct-2012 at 08:57 PM (20:57) by lifelinking

A number of crucial developments are unfolding in Scotland with regard to the implementation of legislation that would introduce alcohol minimum pricing. The Alcohol (Minimum Pricing) (Scotland) Bill was passed on 24 May this year and received Royal Assent on 29 June. The law was intended to come into effect in April next year.

You may recall that the Scottish Government had previously...
Posted in Uncategorized
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Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Gobbing off à la Godwin's Law

Posted 16-Oct-2012 at 12:33 AM (00:33) by lifelinking (Lifelinking's Blog)
Updated 18-Oct-2012 at 11:54 PM (23:54) by lifelinking

What a couple of weeks we have had for heated hyperbole and histrionics in which Nazism has been invoked, in one way or another to add (or perhaps more likely to detract) from the strength of what somebody has been asserting. I get the distinct impression that people in some walks of life are more prone to this sort of thing, and seem to be doing it more and more. But perhaps I have just been sensitised a little into noticing it, having recently blogged about Bishop Joseph Devine who had justified...
Posted in Uncategorized
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