DURING a family holiday to Devon in the late seventies, we met a lady and her two children from Berwick, she had a distinct Scottish accent and I assumed she meant North Berwick.
I was surprised when she informed me she came from Berwick on Tweed. I said “You’re English then,” she replied, a bit irate, that she was Scottish and I replied that Berwick on Tweed is in England. “That’s just a formality, I’m Scottish,” she declared.
Later on we met her husband who was working on the new motorways being built down there at that time. He was of the same opinion as his wife regarding his nationality.
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I wondered for a long time if they were the exception to the rule or if more than a few people in Berwick-upon-Tweed think of themselves at Scottish. Could the time be right for the SNP to test the waters and see if Berwick on Tweed could be repatriated?
And, if so, what about the Scottish Government doing something about consolidation. I’m referring to the Shetlands the Orkneys and the Western Isles.
They are as much a part of Scotland as the Borders, the Lowlands and the Highlands.
The Scottish Government build toll-free bridges and roads for us on the mainland, what about giving the Islanders travel passes that allow them free travel from the islands to the mainland and back again?
The Tories will scream about the expense and Labour will scream even louder, they won’t know what they’re screaming about but they’ll scream anyway.
If they do the Government will know they are on the right track. It will keep the pot boiling. Repatriation and consolidation could be the new solidarity .
ONCE again we have a tinkering, useless Budget of the type we have witnessed decade after decade. The UK is pouring vast resources into an industry which has a devastating impact on human and international security.
UK-made weapons have been used in Israel’s attacks on Gaza, and to repress democracy movements across the Middle East.
We armed both Russia and Ukraine – and supplied all sides in Libya’s civil war.
The wars we’ve waged, such as those in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan, have caused devastation and fuelled further conflict.
Arms sales don’t enhance security, they fuel conflict, support repression and make the world a more dangerous place for all of us. We all pay the price. We’re subsidising arms companies by hundreds of millions of pounds a year to export misery and destruction around the world and, at home, the Government is spending billions on military technology we do not need, while vital public services are being cut.
There is another vision – one which guarantees highly skilled manufacturing jobs that will be there in the future – and which creates the kind of future we might want to see. Real security involves tackling the causes of problems.
The vile and filthy arms sales trade shows the 19th-century mindset of our politicians, supporting the utter stupidity of Trident, a completely useless weapons system that can never be used but lines the pockets of the rich and powerful vested interests.
We have in 2017, not 1817, food banks, poverty, homelessness, educational wildernesses, shortage of apprenticeships, poorly paid jobs, a crumbling NHS, etc. Really! Over £100 billion for an underwater boat and missiles that cannot be used. No wonder the powerful vested interests are laughing themselves silly at our gullability.
THE latest Register of Member’s Interests list shows former Conservative chancellor George Osborne MP earned £786,000 for 14 speeches abroad as well as travel, accommodation, wining and dining all paid for.
He also earns £650,000 a year plus shares for 12 days work a quarter with BlackRock investment Institute.
The next MP on the alphabetical list is East Renfrewshire SNP MP Kirsten Oswald who earned nil outside her MPs salary. George Osborne is a self-serving career politician and Kirsten Oswald is getting on with the day job by representing her constituents.