The General Discussion Thread

[Publish Date updated to restore to front page]

Okay as an experiment here it is. Discuss your favourite generals here!

Well perhaps… Really this is simply the place to post news-items, fun-items or whatever takes your fancy. In short just post what you want here.

It’s just another wee experiment – comments welcome.

Squonk.

[Image: General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (Stephen Fry)]

13,077 thoughts on “The General Discussion Thread

  1. Meet Clan Malcolm chief Robin Malcolm, 19th heir to a slave trade fortune. His clan motto is “he tried hard things”. His clan has a tartan, a badge and a crest. And a castle with a ghost! But when we say his clan we mean his family has a castle. And yes, he’s still farming sheep on the land his ancestors cleared of “their people”. He has been a Councillor, a Judge and a “Vice Lord Lieutenant” (whatever the fuck fiddle that is – no doubt all you “common” Scots have been one too). He was educated at Eton. He loves the highland games.

    Don’t mention 1848, plantations or aborigines.

    Let’s hear it for clan boss Maclcolm! Yeh Scottish heritage!

    Don’t make me laugh. Look at him For Fiddles Sakes. He is a living symbol no different to those wearing ermine in London: https://plus.google.com/+StoneMountainHighlandGames/posts/TNq3U8Xxb7p

    By embracing nationalist nostalgia you embrace your own oppression.

  2. “So Brian, or anyone else of course, answer me this: what do you consider the reason(s) to be that makes Scottish nationalism “inclusive”?”

    I don’t see how people who march with a banner saying “TORY SCUM OUT” at the head of their procession can claim to be inclusive Phil.

  3. “TORY SCUM OUT”

    There is a clear difference between a mind set and an inescapable attribute. A person can choose to stop being Tory but a person cannot choose to stop being a non-caucasion, or gay, or having been born in Warsaw.

    One is a political choice. “Tory scum out” is a purely political message. Whereas “black scum out”, “queer scum out” or “Polish scum out” are something else. They are bigotry.

    Personally I have no problem with “tory scum out”. Nor “SNP scum out” nor “anarchist scum out”. Although they are a bit sweary. 😉

  4. So you would have no problem with “Catholic scum out” or Protestant scum out” then.

    A judge has just ruled that Scottish Nationalism is a religion, and the ex-wife of an SNP minister has likened them to a cult.

  5. I think a Lord Lieutenant is supposedly the monarch’s protector in some given region, eg. my landlord, the Lord Petre was Lord Lieutenant of Essex for a few years recently, and he’d drive past my house all dressed up in an ornate uniform complete with sword. Ceremony etc. these days.

    Phil posed this question on the previous page:

    “A quick search will remind you of [Craig Murray’s] posts invoking both Culloden and tartan which is explicitly tied to voting SNP. It’s nationalist nonsense. It’s dangerous nonsense.

    – Why dangerous? I have a good argument as to why you see German flags at your nationalist demos and how that could easily change to something quite the opposite to your inclusive, friendlier nationalism – if you are interested in hearing it.”

    I have a whole load to say about this, but I was waiting for other’s conversation on the matter first.

  6. Fred

    No I wouldn’t be OK with protestant or catholic. I was making a simple point about the tory example raised. I didn’t manage to define a rule that covered every possible group we could come up with. This is approaching the old ‘Muslims aren’t a race’ argument.

  7. Maybe the thing with religions is that they’re indoctrinated more than politics is, so there’s less choice involved. They also tend to be more of a family thing.

    There’s lots of hostility in politics. It think that’s a shame, and also counter-productive, because it tends to drive the less aggressive away from acting politically. Politics seems to me to resemble sport. People support some team, and jeer at rival supporters and call them names. It’s like lad culture.

  8. “No I wouldn’t be OK with protestant or catholic. I was making a simple point about the tory example raised.”

    You was redefining the word “inclusive” to exclude people you don’t like you mean.

  9. Fred
    “But you still don’t explain how that can be described as “inclusive”.”

    I’m not saying it is inclusive. I never have. So I do not understand why you are asking me to explain something I didn’t say.

  10. The only thing I said about it was that an organisation marching under that banner can’t claim to be inclusive.

    So what are we arguing about?

  11. Fred
    “So what are we arguing about?”

    I’m really not sure. But you seem to be expecting a nationalist organisation to include unionists. Which is bizarre.

    In this sense no political organisation can be said to be “inclusive” because by definition it will not include those who disagree with it. However, this has little to do with the claims of the Scottish nationalists here who, as I understand, are not claiming their organisation is inclusive. They are claiming that the Scotland under their control will be “inclusive”.

    So I suspect you and I might be agreeing but on different subjects and for different reasons. It’s confusing.

  12. Come on JOML. Universal values and sentiment are meaningless when trying to explain political policy. Even the nazis considered themselves welcoming hosts.

    But very interestingly you say:
    “e.g. live of the fruits of their labour and control their own till.”

    My argument is that is exactly what nationalism does not provide. It is the con of nationalism that makes this false promise. In an independent Scotland it will still be the likes of Chief Malcolm enjoying the fruits of your labour. It will still be the likes of Chief Malcolm calling the shots. The lie of nationalism is that your interests are the same as the interests of multi millionaire landlord Chief Malcolm. They are not. The lie of nationalism is that your interests are the same as multi millionaire banker Alex Salmond. They are not. There is no such thing as “Scotland’s interest”. By this they mean the interests of the ruling class of Scotland.

    Set your mind free brothers and sisters – burn your kilts!.

  13. Yes, great news, Ben. My brother-in-law spent the last 10 days waiting for results for a potential cancer test. All good today, so it’s amazing how quickly worry disappears with relief.

  14. Phil, the MSM have consistently been telling me all my life that Scotland does not generate the wealth it spends and that England subsidies Scotland – that’s why I focused on fruits of labour and the till.
    You appear to be very much against Scotland leaving the UK, on the grounds the Scottish ruling classes are the same as the English ruling classes. From my perspective, I don’t think that’s a reason to give up. Why should Scotland not be a country, similar to other small European countries, inside and outside the EU? Scotland’s current situation is shit and it has been for a very long time e.g. from canon fodder throughout the wars to a current day dumping ground for nuclear WMDs.

    Anyway, here’s a stereotypical wee tune to defend our right to wear the kilt and not be totally dominated by the Morris Dancers!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=t6qoQ7UvEBk

  15. JOML

    Please do not put words in my mouth mate. I am not against an independent Scotland. I have always said the opposite. You go for it if it’s important to you. You will be quickly disappointed.

    I do not have a particular problem with Scottish nationalism. I have a problem with all nationalism. Flipping heck, you should hear what I say to English nationalists. My position is an internationalist. Workers of the world unite. Smash the nationalist states.

    I am arguing the nationalist agenda is a con. You are being mugged. Nothing will change for you. Only some of the rich in Scotland will benefit.

    If you think Jacob Rees Mogg is the problem but not Chief Malcolm you are crazy. They both are.

    I wish you to fight for a world where you really could enjoy the fruits of your labour and you really could hold the till. All this time you’re wasting fighting for a nationalist delusion that will benefit the likes of Chief Malcolm and Alex fucking Salmond. That’s what I rail against.

    How are those land reforms, promised by the SNP, going? Really. We all know they are not going to happen. FFS. You are being conned.

  16. Phil

    I do apologize for giving probably a false impression Re flags.

    We do Have Vast numbers on our Marches.. Many Nations on display.. I want to fly the Japan Flag.. Yemen.. Venezuela, NO One Will Question it..

    The only time I have been questioned is actually by the same guy.. because I had a Palestine flag.. in George Square Glasgow ” Did you know Palestinians Murder…” Me ” this is the second time you have approached me ” ” No.. No ” ” Aye it is.. Now, Fuck off ”

    There are Several reasons I want Independence.
    But I don’t buy the crap that we can’t get along thereafter.. in peace.

  17. Brian
    “We do Have Vast numbers on our Marches”

    All those people fighting to enrich the likes of Chief Malcolm and Alex Salmond. It makes me want to cry.

    Brian, those vaunted land reforms promised by the SNP – how exactly are these reforms progressing? How are they going? Come on, be honest. We all know they have been binned. You were conned.

    F**k the nostalgia industry. Free yourself – burn the kilts.

  18. Brian
    “Burn Kilts?? Wow.”

    Yes mate, free your mind. The kilt, the tartan, the pipes, the castle with a ghost, these are all your masters garb. They celebrate age old power structures with you at the bottom. These symbols of nationalism are a vice holding you in subservience. Unburden yourself from mental penury. Then penury.. Free your mind, burn your kilt.

  19. OK, it looks to me like an explanation is needed. Phil’s an anarcho-syndicalist. I think. He definitely opposes all power structures, and I think he opposes the very existence of money. You’ve been discussing at crossed purposes because you didn’t know what perspective Phil was arguing from. No states, no laws, no police; people organise by gathering and discussing, and everyone ends up with everything they need by sharing. It requires a huge amount of self discipline from everyone involved.

    Most people don’t identify their political objectives as anarcho-syndicalist, or anything remotely anarcho-communist. It’s not something most people have seriously thought about because it seems so distant from the sorts of societies people are familiar with.

  20. Phil
    Not sure how to reply as I agree with much what you say. However, I do hope Scotland would be closer to the internationalist goal through independence, despite the ruling classes here. Billy Bragg came North in 2014 and I was lucky enough to be in the audience – you didn’t know the speakers in advance – and here is Bragg’s thoughts on Scottish independence and the positives he hoped it would bring England…
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6Ps2gnY6mLU

    I like Bragg and go along to his gigs when he’s on tour. Not sure how effective he is in instigating change but he does seem to have some influence – but probably just preaching to the converted.

  21. Phil, I need to explain to you, too. The recent surge of political activism in Scotland didn’t start as “nationalism”, and the SNP wasn’t central to it. OK, by strict definition the recent movement was nationalism because it implied Scotland becoming a nation separate from the UK, but what people wanted was independence from the Westminster government. I met loads more people who wanted that independence than who supported the SNP. They thought Scotland could be run better from Scotland, and loads of them wanted to separate from Westminster’s militarism and violent foreign policy.

    The SNP were always campaigning for Scottish independence, of course, and Alex Salmond was always an important figure, but the SNP surged to importance after the No result and the subsequent Westminster elections. But that was a reaction by the movement to losing the referendum.

    The independence supporters were entirely correct that the people in Scotland would do better if independent from Westminster. It’s not exactly a high bar, is it? The UK has to be the worst run country of the core EU members, and it’s the only one that gets involved in every US war going.

    Phil, people were looking for improvement, not a revolution. This wasn’t a revolutionary movement. And it wasn’t a nationalist movement in the commonly used sense of nationalism; that’s just a propaganda term that was stuck onto it because nationalism is rightly regarded as scary and horrible. But strictly the independence movement is nationalism, so the movement came up with terms like “civic nationalism” and “inclusive nationalism” because strictly, the label was accurate so they couldn’t be rid of it.

    What a sorry tale.

  22. Phil’s anarcho-syndicalism sounds to me like a great way to live, but I’m an engineer at heart, so I immediately wonder – would it be stable? You can try building any manner of regulatory systems, but only some of them are stable.

    Achieving stability is a matter of getting the feedbacks right. Negative feedback produces stability, but if its too effective you get stasis and unresponsiveness, like a vehicle that keeps a nice straight line but won’t go round corners. Positive feedback amplifies small changes, which is great for producing sensitivity, but systems with positive feedback have an inherent tendency to zoom off to one extreme or the other of their range of variability, like a vehicle that’s highly manoeuvrable but consequently requires split-second attention to prevent it from veering into the tightest turn it’s capable of.

    Typically, you engineer a subsystem with positive feedback to give it sensitivity and rapid response, within a larger system under negative feedback to ensure overall stability.

    What worries me about anarcho-syndicalism is that it might not have enough negative feedback. An individual or group within it might start accumulating power (possibly covertly), and this has a positive feedback – gaining a bit of extra power imparts the means to gain more – and by the time enough people have noticed – and managed to organise an ad-hoc meeting, and come up with some plans, and chosen which one to try, and worked out who’s prepared to try doing it – the rogue group has gained a decisive advantage and it’s too late to stop it.

    Having larger, preconfigured organisations like local and national governments, a police force etc. means that the rogue group has to grow a lot more before it could overwhelm the existing power structures. The global negative feedback can contain sudden positive feedback blips.

    Don’t even get me started on an engineering analysis of Westminster; it’s an absolute kludge.

  23. Sorry JOML. Do you mean Billy Bragg the multi millionaire English country mansion landowner who kisses the Queen’s ring in the Daily Mail? That Billy Bragg is who you listen to? https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-487796/How-Queen-charmed-pants-Confessions-old-Leftie.html

    Rees-Mogg, Chief Malcolm, Bragg, Salmond. The rich have different interests to us. They benefit from the status quo. They want to keep the status quo. They cannot be our guides to a better fairer world. It’s not hard to grasp.

  24. Clark

    Thanks mate but I don’t understand why you felt the need to explain my position. I am clearly a gobshite capable of talking for myself. Unfortunately you mis-cast me and get my politics wrong. Hey ho.

  25. To repeat my best point today before bed. I really mean this Brian:

    The kilt, the tartan, the pipes, the castle with a ghost, these are all your masters garb. They celebrate age old power structures with you at the bottom. Unburden yourself from these symbols of your penury. Free your mind, burn your kilt.

  26. Because you didn’t explain it and and still haven’t explained it yourself, Phil. Well you did, a bit, but it’s pages and pages back. And the conversation was obviously at crossed purposes.

    I really can’t see what’s wrong with kilts and pipes; you may as well burn your trousers. Castles always symbolise power, obviously, and so do churches, but you know, they’re there now, there’s no use getting pissed off about them.

  27. Clark

    My trousers do not proclaim my allegiance to a power structure that oppresses me. The kilt, tartan, Culloden, castle with a ghost etc nostalgia industry is an emotional trap. It normalises oppression under the delusion of a shared national interest.

    In England the culture is to blame immigrants. In Scotland the culture is to blame English rule. These are both just variants of blaming others to distract from those who are really benefiting from your labour, the ruling class. It’s classic distract and divide and rule. Do not wave the saltire or union jack. These are the bosses flags.

    Anyways, I am repeating myself now. These last few days I have failed to do some transcribing/editing that I need to do. I keep sitting at the PC and coming here cause it’s more fun than transcribing. See you all in a few days. Peace and all that.

    Edited to add:
    Free your mind, burn your kilt. 🙂

  28. Phil. If they were to take all the wealth in Britain and share it out equally among the people at midnight tonight I guarantee by mid day tomorrow some people would be paupers and some will be billionaires.

    The cry of “the upper classes are oppressing you” of the Communist doesn’t sound any different to “the English are oppressing you” of the Nationalist to me. It’s a way of controlling people’s emotions, making them feel aggrieved, if you control people’s emotions you can control their actions.

  29. Phil, in case you look in, I agree with your point but there’s another aspect; things can mean more than one thing, and often, the ruling class had merely misappropriated the cultural icons previously. Yes there is an aspect of “blame English rule”, but I found a much more prevalent aspect of rejection of the Westminster government.

    Is revolution and uprising the only way? Certainly, people should push, be stroppy, object. Is such steady pressure doomed to failure?

    Happy hacking Phil.

  30. Don’t you love former Vice President Dick Cheney chewing out the current one because of Trump not being more aggressive internationally, especially with the use of NATO.

    Remember Cheney was a key player in taking over American foreign policy while Carter was still POTUS during the October Surprise with Iran over the Yank hostages, and so scared the USSR over the NATO-led assassination of Sweden’s Olof Palme during its Anchor Express Exercise that Moscow threw in the sponge over the Cold War.

    Cheney is a crazy traitor who will stop at nothing for the US to regain world domination.

  31. Phil, free yourself, don’t pay your massive council tax bill, do not pay rent and do not take part in any elections, they are unfair and disproportional, always have been, further the two main parties know and have their way with cheating, so do not trey and reform this class ridden activity.
    Sometimes it feels as if lefties do like nothing more than a good argument/discussion/debate, regardless of outcome, a resulting action is not the goal, the goal is to be seen to be right, to have won the argument.
    Maybe its old age that is beginning to turn me off politics, maybe its the chaotic nature, but I suspect that gardening and actual actiovities have something to do with it.
    An increasingly unemployed future with many good brains festering between four walls unable to engage themselves in meaningful activities, this grand argumentation will become more excessive, more important for some to project themselves and strive for some pathetic 15 min. of frame, resulting in strife and more argument somewhere else, a perpetuation of misunderstanding and righteousness that leaves the real surmountable goals of a sustainable future and living behind us, out of focus, despite our children screaming in our ears.

    don’t discuss…..

  32. Hello Nevermind. Yes, politics is a mess; UK politics is more of a mess now than I’ve ever seen it before. I find it so disappointing that people treat it like a sport; they seem to enjoy the clash of opinion, but it seriously affects people’s lives. Enjoy your gardening.

  33. Yes, Phil, and Bragg mentions his house in that clip – saying, that’s what socialism gets you!
    Whatever your politics here in Scotland, it looks like the DUP has more power over our destiny at the moment than all our MPs put together… so, we’ll need to rectify that ridiculous situation first through independence, before embarking on the higher goal of helping and joining others across the world.
    That said, as discussed with Ben a while back, this earth could do with a lot less of us, parasites that we are. That’s the biggest challenge of them all.
    PS. Hope you’re making inroads into your real work!

  34. “..this earth could do with a lot less of us”

    I think human impact upon the environment is much larger than it need be and could be softened immensely by using less aggressive and more diverse farming methods. I searched on the following term using Google:

    global biomass by species

    The simplest answer was a short article, a popular science publication’s answer to an e-mailed question:

    https://www.sciencefocus.com/nature/what-animal-collectively-makes-up-the-largest-biomass-on-earth/

    What animal collectively makes up the largest biomass on Earth?

    – You sometimes hear very large estimates for the biomass of certain animal groups, like ants or nematodes, but these consist of thousands of different, specialised species. The single species with the largest global biomass is likely to be amazingly prolific in one area, or extremely widespread.

    – Among the most widespread animals are humans. 6.9 billion people averaging 50kg each equals roughly 350 million tonnes. Staggeringly, cow biomass exceeds 650 million tonnes (1.3 billion cattle conservatively weighing 500kg each).

    – The only wild species in the running is Antarctic Krill. A 2009 global estimate gives 379 million tonnes fresh biomass, but unknown aspects of this shrimp’s ecology make it hard to be sure. By comparison, blue whales (with their krill-based diet) comprised about 35 million tonnes pre-whaling, and about half a million tonnes in 2001.

    The one scientific paper I looked at seems broadly consistent with that; total livestock biomass exceeds human biomass, but both make up a relatively small portion overall, and plant matter outweighs everything else enormously. This paper looks at the total carbon content rather than overall mass:

    https://www.pnas.org/content/115/25/6506

  35. “Whatever your politics here in Scotland, it looks like the DUP has more power over our destiny at the moment than all our MPs put together”

    Here in Scotland the Greens have more power than all the unionist MSPs put together.

  36. Yes, Fred, but these Greens were voted in by the Scottish electorate, whereas the DUP are from Northern Ireland. I know MPs are elected UK-wide… and my DUP comment was purely in a Scottish context, although you could say the same about the DUP in a Welsh or English context. We all could do with doing our own thing!
    PS. I shared your Runaway Trains link with a couple of hungover friends on Sunday – good stuff, cheers.

  37. Fred, are you complaining about the Greens because you don’t like the wind generators that have been installed in your area?

  38. No Clark. I am pointing out that we have exactly the same situation in the Scottish government, where a minority government is propped up by a relatively small party giving the small party a disproportionate amount of power for their numbers, as is the situation with the DUP in Westminster which JOML was complaining about.

  39. The chaos in the UK can be traced back to A. V. Dicey who so endorsed referenda like Brexit, put so much emphasis on the rule of law instead of parliamentary conventions and customs, and was such a wild supporter of Ulster unionism which has destroyed Theresa May’s government.

  40. I thought that the Scottish Greens’ policies were roughly aligned with the SNP’s.

    No party can be aligned with the Westminster Conservatives because the latter are split.

  41. “I thought that the Scottish Greens’ policies were roughly aligned with the SNP’s.”

    So what? No bugger voted for them, they didn’t get one constituency seat yet in exchange for backing the SNP budget they get to call the shots.

    What a bunch of fucking hypocrites. When it happens at Westminster it’s all wrong but when the exact same thing happens at Holyrood it’s “oh but that’s different, nothing wrong with it if it’s Nationalists doing it not Unionists”.

  42. Fred, there are 73 constituency MSPs and 56 regional MSPs in total. The Greens received 150,426 votes to gain their regional MSPs. If you wanted to do away with the regional list, that would leave you with the SNP having 59 (80%) of the 73 constituency seats.

    You know the fundamental differences between the elections for Holyrood and Westminster – and comparing the two systems is like comparing apples with pears – so I don’t think I’m a “fucking hypocrite”

    Anyway, how’s your knowledge crop rotation? We might be more likely to find common ground there!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=12W34XWIQwU

  43. JOML, but it’s still the exact same situation as at Westminster as how you wriggle and squirm. It’s still a small party getting disproportionate power by doing a deal to prop up a minority government.

    If you think one is bad and the other good then what the hell does it make you?

  44. Fred, you know I am talking in a Scottish context and so I’ve no concerns over the Scottish Greens having an influence in Scotland. However, I do have concerns over the DUP from NI having a direct influence over Scotland, bizarrely having more influence than the Scottish MPs (of all parties). I suppose this situation is similar to the ongoing issue of the English Tory MPs having more power in Scotland than the Scottish MPs over the decades.
    Therefore, on reflection, we’re back to the set up of the UK rather than how people are elected – which we know we can agree to differ.
    PS. I knew we should have switched topic to crop rotation..,

  45. Brian – congratulations to the parents… and grandparents… looks a lovely and healthy baby. Hope when the baby grows up the world is a better place but, in the meantime, I’m sure you’ll have to wet the baby’s head! Slainté

  46. So Fred’s “No bugger voted for them” turns out completely untrue. No surprises there. It looks like the Greens got about 2.5 % of the vote, but under 1% of the MSPs.

    Brian, congrats all round.

  47. Clark, last I heard we had 129 MSPs 6 of which were Green.

    So it turns out your claim of “under 1% of the MSPs” is completely untrue. No surprises there.

  48. Sorry Fred, I used the wrong figures; it looks as though their representation is roughly proportional to their share of votes. Care to retract “no bugger voted for them”, or are you over-interpreting some opinion poll about voting and sexual preferences?

  49. Would you like to quote the entire sentence so people can see what I said in context? They got half a percent of the constituency vote and no constituency MSPs yet they get to decide government policy because they prop up a minority SNP government.

    For fucks sake trying to discuss anything with the fanatical cult is like swimming through treacle.

  50. Long-shot technical question!

    I have some long audio files recorded over VOIP. The connection was not good and the files contain short bursts of silence breaking up the speech (presumably as the packets catch up). The speech is not lost, it’s all there, but it has lots of little bits of silence inserted every few seconds.

    I am able to manually edit out the silences but it is taking ages. There must be a better way.

    Clark, Fred, Squonk, anyone – any idea how I could automate removing these silences? Are you aware of any software/plugins (hopefully for Linux) that will do this?

  51. Audacity has a sound activated recording setting Phil, I’ve never used it myself but it’s supposed to do what you want.

  52. Thanks Fred. The files are already recorded so that recording feature is not going to work.

    What I need is very similar but acting on an existing recording. Something that removes the portions of a file where the level falls below a threshold (the bits I want to remove are really silent, nothing).

    This must surely exist. I can’t be the first person wanting to use audio like this for a podcast. I assume I am jut searching for the wrong terms but I can’t find it.

    Another route – are their any audio softwares which allow macros to be written. Combining a gate and cut functions is all that is needed.

  53. Got it – audacity has a truncate silence function which seems to do exactly what I need. Cheers Fred.

  54. You can set Audacity to use your sound card as input Phil, you can play your recording in another application and record it in Audacity.

  55. Ah, that’s a good idea Fred. But not needed as the audacity truncate silence function is working like a dream. Thanks.

  56. Fred, I really don’t know what you’re whining about. The SNP got by far the most votes, and hold by far the most seats of any party:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_Parliament

    The Conservatives are the second largest party with exactly half as many seats, but ideologically they’re miles from the SNP:

    https://www.politicalcompass.org/uk2017

    Labour’s policies, under Corbyn, are ideologically close to the SNP’s, but – well, I don’t know the situation in Scotland, but the Westminster Parliamentary Labour Party is still full of Blairites, whose ideology is very close to the Conservatives, and of course Labour are anti-independence, so the SNP wouldn’t ally with them. The next two are the Greens with six and the Lib Dems with five. So the SNP has teamed up with the largest party with which it is ideologically compatible.

    None of this is remotely like having a Eurosceptic Northern Irish party propping up a Euro-split minority Conservative party in the middle of the Brexit proceedings for the whole UK.

    I don’t know why you’re moaning about a “minority SNP government” when proportional systems rarely produce overall majorities, nor why you regard constituency members as somehow invalid. It seems you’re really attached to Westminster and its model, despite it being a decrepit shambles.

    It’s obvious that the UK should break up. Then the stunningly ignorant English electorate could have their Brexit without messing up everyone else, and maybe even learn their lesson eventually.

  57. “Fred, I really don’t know what you’re whining about.”

    I made a factual statement, nobody voted for any of the Green MSPs in the Scottish parliament.

    You said that wasn’t true, I’m telling you it is.

    That’s not whining.

  58. A quick summary of the 737-MAX problem.

    An automatic protection system can be fooled by one single faulty Angle of Attack sensor . Even if the other one is working the system ignores it and tries to prevent a stall which doesn’t exist by pointing the nose down.

    The automatics will repeat this and try to crash the plane for 10 seconds, pause and then try to crash again after another 5 seconds and so on – all this while the stall warning stick shaker is going off.

    If the pilots are lucky enough to figure out the automatics are trying to kill them and, after over-riding the plunge to the ground with greater than 45Kg exerted on the column, they then hit the MCAS Trim cutout switch, the plane will still be trimmed down and the Boeing recovery procedure can still lead to a crash even if followed to the letter.

    A monumental design flaw not present in earlier 737 variants. Crash plane mode is actually built in based on just one faulty sensor.

  59. Fred, OK, I understand. You’re concocting a fake scandal out of the way the List System works. 150,426 people voted Green, and so they got 6 MSPs from the Green Party. But those votes didn’t go to those candidates personally, so you can claim “no bugger voted for them”. It’s just another of your stupid wind-ups, and I can just see you grinning with mischevious pride.

    Actually, trolling is nothing to be proud of.

  60. “Fred, OK, I understand.”

    No Clark, you don’t understand and you never will understand as long as you base reality on what you want to believe not what you believe on reality, for as long as you say “he must hate them because” or “he must be telling lies” or “he must be trolling” instead of “maybe he is right”.

  61. Just to be pedantic, but factually correct, Patrick Harvie contested the Glasgow North seat in 2017 and came 4th with 3,251 votes. Thereafter, he won a regional seat, with the Greens receiving sufficient regional votes.

  62. JOML, our comments crossed. Thanks. So 3,251 also equals zero. But by Fred’s new “reality maths”, anything can equal anything, and Fred enjoys papal infallibility:

    If we assume that a false proposition is true, we can prove anything (ex falso quodlibet). Bertrand Russell, so the story goes, once mentioned this in class. A student raised his hand and challenged: in that case prove that 1=0 implies that Fred’s the Pope. Russell promptly obliged:

    False Proposition (Eq.1): 1=0

    Theorem 1: Fred is the Pope.

    Proof: Add 1 to both sides of (Eq.1): then we have 2 = 1. The set containing just Fred and the Pope has 2 members. But 2 = 1, so it has only 1 member; therefore, Fred is the Pope.

    QED.

  63. So you’re saying the people of Glasgow North rejected him and there were three other people they would rather have as an MSP than him?

    Isn’t democracy wonderful?

  64. No Fred. You’re saying that “the people of Glasgow North rejected him”. Ten percent of the people of Glasgow North selected him, as their primary choice. You are saying that that large minority should have no representation, ie. a tyranny of the largest minority.

    Look, it’s perfectly simple; just retract “no bugger voted for them”, like I admitted using the wrong figures. But you can’t, can you?

  65. The labour candidate got 35% of the vote, just 3% less than the winner, she didn’t get to be an MSP.

    A strange democracy you support, where the candidate with least votes wins.

  66. Fred, Harvie became a MSP through the regional vote, not through the votes for him in the constituency vote – these were wasted, as were the ones for the Labour candidate.
    Harvie was deemed important enough to be high up on the Greens’ list of regional candidates, whereas Labour didn’t deem their constituency candidate to be important enough to be high on their list. That’s the democratic set we have here.
    Honestly, Fred, trying to discuss anything with you is like “swimming through treacle”, as a fanatic once said! (Sorry this blog doesn’t allow winking emojis…)

  67. British babble these days reminds me of what Spanish Admiral Sidoma, who had carried out unsuccessful maneuvers in anticipation of the sailing of The Armada, said” “We sail in confident hope of a miracle..”

  68. Harvie was deemed important enough by who? It obviously wasn’t by the electorate of Glasgow. They preferred the Labour candidate to Patrick Harvie, they even preferred the Conservative candidate and in Glasgow that makes him slightly less popular than Hitler. Yet there he is an MSP.

    No Green MSP was ever elected, they have never won a constituency seat yet by doing a deal to prop up the SNP they have more power than the MSPs people actually voted for

    How is that democracy?

  69. Oh, Fred, that’s a lot of treacle there… Are you really telling me that you are unaware of how MSPs are elected on the regional lists? Have you not voted in the Holyrood elections? Do you prefer the first past the post system?
    To answer your question (again), the Green Party seemed Harvie important enough to have him at the top of their list, securing him a MSP slot on the back of the 150,426 people who voted Green on the regional ballot.

  70. Yes I know how it works. Candidates who were rejected by the electorate end up with more power than MSPs who are there because people actually put a cross next to their name.

    I know exactly how it works.

  71. Boy you guys sure know how to Party. 🙂

    AA et al:

    Saw the neurologist today. He’s cerebral but has trouble communicating. Very quick mind on hearing me but I am slow to understand him.

    But it was better than our first conversation. I suspect we would have come to blows had it been facetime versus phone.

    We came to a good place today in terms of understanding even though he said, I quote: “I’ve no clue what the trigger for her event might be”… to my question as to trigger

    He’s reluctant to even say ‘seizure’ because of his conservative approach. That’s ok with me.

    I prefer it to some physician who makes an errant diagnosis to an unseen but suspected seizure by implanting a Pacemaker because something must be done.

    Holy Fuckamole..

  72. BTW..my presentation with posters and whistles blowing did nothing for the Chinese neurologist .

    She presents most of the symptoms of Spinal fluid leaking from the base of the skull (cerebral spinal fluid leak)

    The fluid leaks out either though the ear canal or nose. She has issue with both….

    He has referred us to a seizure clinic of some renown…LOMA LINDA UNIVERSITY.

    We continue to endure. 🙂

  73. Fred – “I know exactly how it works”

    You seem to know it well enough to misrepresent it. Own up; you just hate the wind generators don’t you? That’s all this nonsense is about. You don’t mind fracking or the drilling rig and its flare-offs next door, but you object to wind generators. But then you’re not going to have to live with the consequences of global warming, and your best friend is a denialist and right wing talk radio conspiracy theorist, and who cares what happens to folks after you’re gone?

    JOML, forget it. Fred has his own treacle well.

  74. The West is just procreating Brenton Tarranr/Anders Brevik types by calling on the results to fight its terrorist wars against Islam.

  75. So explain it to me Clark.

    In what way is the DUP propping up a minority Tory government at Westminster different to the Greens propping up a minority SNP government at Holyrood?

    Other than that people actually voted for the DUP MPs by putting a cross next to their names I mean.

  76. (sigh) That’s already been explained Fred; overall majorities are not usual or expected under systems of proportional representation. This is how modern parliaments work all over the world; you’re complaining that Holyrood isn’t an anachronism like Westminster is. No one’s “propping up” the SNP, finding consensus is the norm in modern parliaments, and the Green MSPs represent the voters’ wishes in proportion to the Green vote. And none of this is like the DUP overriding the much greater SNP at Westminster.

    Now, what’s your opinion of the wind generators in Caithness?

  77. “(sigh) That’s already been explained Fred;”

    (sigh) No it hasn’t.

    Why do you think the Greens propping up a minority SNP government is good yet the DUP propping up a minority Tory government is bad?

    What is the difference apart from the DUP comprising of people who were actually elected?

  78. Fred, in an attempt to bring this to a conclusion, I’ll try and cover all perspectives…
    1. If you identify yourself as ‘British’ first and foremost, then there is no difference between the DUP and the Greens supporting minority governments – I suspect this is your perspective.
    2. If you see yourself as ‘Scottish’, etc. then I already covered that perspective above.
    3. As a neutral, you could compare the policies of the Greens with those of the DUP, then arrive at a preference.

    Finally, it is the exception that voters vote for the individual rather than the colour of the rosette. Wish there were more prominent and principled candidates (remember Dennis Canavan being kicked out of New Labour?). Therefore, I doubt very much if there is a difference between a candidate vote the DUP and a regional vote for the Greens I.e. both would have been a blanket preference. However, I’d be happy to be corrected, should you know of any DUP MP who stands out from their party.

    Hope all is well with everyone – and enjoy your weekend. I’m in Dundee for some culture and excellent Chinese food.

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