Government and Society  Comments Off on COMMON SENSE ADDRESSED TO THE INHABITANTS OF AMERICA by THOMAS PAINE. eBook £1.00
Feb 042016

CommonSensesmallIn Common Sense, (eBOOKSHELF) Thomas Paine argues eloquently for American independence from autocratic rule from London Whitehall, an argument that begins with more general, theoretical reflections about government and religion, then progresses onto the specifics of the colonial situation. It is also an argument that has some bearing on the current ongoing movement for Scottish (as well as Catalan and Basque…) independence.

Distinguishing between government and society, Paine argues that the latter is all that is constructive and good that people join together to accomplish. Government, on the other hand, is an institution whose sole purpose is to protect us from our own vices. Government has its origins in the evil of man and is therefore a necessary evil at best. The sole purpose of government, he says, is to protect life, liberty and property, and that a government should be judged solely on the extent to which it accomplishes that goal.

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 Scottish Independence  Comments Off on TOWARDS SCOTTISH SELF-DETERMINATION James Kelman
Feb 112014

JamesK1I have not voted through the ballot box or taken part in any sort of electoral process for years. My politics belong in an alternative tradition. I stand with the anti-parliamentarian left. It is a solid part of the wider socialist movement. A great many share this position throughout the world. In Britain people are less aware of this alternative tradition. State propaganda pushes the anti-parliamentarian left somewhere to the outer limits. We are asked to believe that all shades of opinion are included in its own political process. What a lie! It is so brazen. It says we can all be accomodated within a political framework that is in essence hierarchical, so much as so that it includes an extremely large extended family each of whose members we must address as “your majesty”, pay to them huge sums of dough and grant them lands and general riches.

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James Kelman — Why I Withdrew from the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference

 British radicals, Essay, News, Scotland  Comments Off on James Kelman — Why I Withdrew from the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference
Aug 132012

The British Council and the Edinburgh Writers Conference

On a recent Sunday the Herald had a twenty page full colour supplement in association with the Scottish Tourist Board. Stories from the land that inspired Disney Pixar’s Brave. That’s us. The land “Where Legends Come to Life”. People wonder why we get irritated occasionally. It isn’t to do with the movie itself. I havent even seen it. The storyline involves loveable indigenous aristocrats, which is familiar: the kind of shite favoured by Scottish politicians, cuddly comedians and cuddly actors, cuddly rockstar rebels, millionaire sportstars and, of course, the cuddly ruling elite. This particular movie has a royal daughter hero rather than a royal son, which appeals to some as a blow for female emancipation, apparently.

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