By Derek Bateman
I was in an international city at a world class facility expertly run with smart connections today to see a major sporting event. It didn’t seem like Glasgow but it was and when I stepped off the train at Dalmarnock, I thought I was in Berlin or Copenhagen, not the east end of the city.
About three years ago I turned up there on a rainy Thursday with a BBC film crew to show the rotting tenements and grubby streets that would be swept away for the Games.
I made a mini movie for Newsnight and remember standing in a dark doorway, hat dripping water and picking up an empty Buckie bottle and using it my piece to camera to illustrate what level of social existence was the norm here. A cliché of course but nobody could disagree.
Today those streets are no more, erased and replaced with landscaped areas, clean streets and an astonishing full bhuna fuck-off sporting arena that blows your socks off. You now get a full-on view of the front of Celtic Park which adds lustre and with the sun shining and an army of helpers with quality food stalls, autobanks and merchandising, this is a serious top class venue and sports hub.
I was dead proud. I could get there by public transport through gleaming stations with enthusiastic helpful staff and inside the Emirates was cool, wide and family friendly.
We mingled with folk from Seychelles, Ghana, Malaysia and many from England. This felt like the Commonwealth Games should, in a real international centre.
All achieved under the Union.
Except that all those other countries are independent and I liked the section in Wikipedia… ‘No one government in the Commonwealth exercises power over the others as is the case in a political union’…in our case of course that is absolutely untrue…there is no other host nation which has power exercised over it by others – except us.
‘Rather, the relationship is one of an international organisation through which countries with diverse social, political, and economic backgrounds are regarded as equal in status and cooperate within a framework of common values and goals.’ Doesn’t that sound like the Union we should have? Equal, cooperative with common value and goals?
The Games are paid for by Scots…Scottish taxpayers and Glasgow taxpayers – Hang on! That’s me, I’m playing twice AND I bought the tickets….
London doesn’t contribute directly to any of it. So this is something we can do ourselves and get it right and do ourselves proud.
It is the inescapable concrete and living proof that this country can achieve. Can welcome and embrace. Succeed and enjoy. And pay the bills.
The SNP have shown we are already better off and would be about 14th wealthiest of the world’s countries. What stops us from moving on to the next stage? Ignorance is key. We really haven’t explained to Scots just how wealthy they are and how much better off they could be. It’s a no-brainer once you see the figures.
The people who campaign against releasing Scots from Westminster budgeting and planning to unleash our full potential are mostly from the elite who benefit from the current system.
The No campaign is run by former Labour spin doctors who will depart south when it’s over. This is a just a gig for them. As Rob Shorthouse, one of their staff said, this referendum for him is all about paying his mortgage.
Labour MPs and their Minnie-me MSP mates are getting fat from the gravy train. Alistair Darling has earned £250,000 in outside earnings by prostituting himself to the corporate world since the campaign began. (I suggest you read that figure again and work out how it relates to your income. Meanwhile the Member for Edinburgh South West fails to turn up for votes on policies towards the poor).
He lectures companies who want to privatise our health service, speaks for £10,000 a time to the finance houses who steal our money, he takes massive donations from people who run morally dodgy operations that hire known killers to do their business and who dodge their taxes.
He himself fiddled his expenses to pocket your money by flipping his houses four times. When he got caught he used your money to pay for a tax consultant. Knowing he was bang to rights he resigned from the Faculty of Advocates before they could find him guilty of bringing them into disrepute.
When Labour lost the election, his first thought was to sell the story. He did a deal with a publisher to make money from the downfall of the British economy and to blame others for the meltdown although he was the man in charge.
His loathing of Gordon Brown knows no bounds and it is reciprocated. Remember his wife Margaret quoted in the Guardian when Brown turned on Darling in yet another round of Labour internecine warfare…f***ing c**ts!!
These are the people who want to stop Scots taking control and running their own country according to their own values not those of self-seeking troughers who use grace-and-favour homes to rip off the taxpayer and who sell themselves to the highest corporate bidder. Why isn’t an MP’s salary good enough for Darling to live on? Many of our fellow Scots rely on food banks to live including children so why does Alistair need a banker’s salary on top of his public earnings?
Comfortable with that, you Labour voters who read here but have no critique of your own? Want to get in touch and applaud Darling’s Blairesque crawling after business bucks? Think he’s entitled do you? Think it’s morally acceptable for a ‘Socialist’ to trouser vast sums when his constituents go hungry, lose their jobs and their homes?
Can’t see how your Labour champion is just another self-seeking Tory loaded with cash, oblivious to working class needs and working hand-in-glove with UKIP and the BNP? Is that why you joined Labour? Darling is Cameron’s proxy – do any of you disagree – and will fight working class Scots to the death for his right to make money and stay in the British elite.
Darling and his chums are terrified of what might be about to happen, not because they care about you – no man earning the cash he does as extra earnings could care less about real voters – but what it means for him and his class. He might even have to get a real job although obviously not as a lawyer having had to resign from the Faculty to save his face.
This is a country that can be world class – Glasgow is showing how. But we need to take control from the selfish and the self-obsessed who see us as a meal ticket for a comfy life and who insult the intelligence and allegiance of real Labour people while they do so.
Come on, Scotland…the medal podium is waiting.
Courtesy of Derek Bateman