From Psycho-Linguistics to the Politics of Psychopathy. Part 1: Propaganda.

Originally posted on Politics and Insights - kittysjones :

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1. Propaganda Techniques

Metacognition: We need to be mindful of how  we think as well as what we think.

While the term propaganda has acquired a strongly negative connotation by association with its most manipulative and jingoistic examples (e.g. Nazi propaganda used to justify the Holocaust), propaganda in its original sense was neutral, and could refer to uses that were generally benign or innocuous, such as public health recommendations, signs encouraging citizens to participate in a census or election, or messages encouraging people to report crimes to law agencies, amongst others.

So the exact definition of propaganda is constantly debated, and no specific definition is completely agreed. Some argue that any persuasive communication is propaganda, whilst others hold that propaganda specifically alters political opinions. However, it is doubtless that propaganda is material which is meant to manipulate or change public opinion, and though it may vary in form and technique, it always…

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After Scotland’s Independence Referendum- A Socialist Republican Perspective

Originally posted on 107cowgate:

Allan Armstrong speaking at JCS event at James Connolly's birthplace, 107 Cowgate, Edinburgh.

Allan Armstrong speaking at JCS event at James Connolly’s birthplace, 107 Cowgate, Edinburgh.

By Allan Armstrong

A Movement-in-the-making

The campaign for Scottish independence has been the largest movement for popular democracy seen in these islands since the Irish War of Independence. In terms of electoral participation it was unprecedented. Voter registration was 97% and voter turnout was 85%.

The ‘Yes’ alliance faced the biggest ruling class offensive, backed by the UK state, since the Miners’ Strike. Only this time it brought together the combined Tory/Lib-Dem/Labour ‘Better Together’ ‘No’ alliance, UKIP, Ulster unionists, the Orange Order, other Loyalists, British fascists, the BBC, the Pope and the Free Presbyterian Church, and the US and Chinese governments!

The ‘Yes’ alliance still won 45% of the vote, and badly rattled the British ruling class in the last two weeks before September 18th. Cameron had only conceded the referendum, and signed the Edinburgh Agreement back…

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What Scottish Government could do about fracking even without Independence.

Originally posted on biggarideas:

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The UK Government have recently opened up new areas of Scotland where companies can bid for licences for fracking and other unconventional gas extraction. Some of these licences have already been sold e.g to Ineos, owners of the Grangemouth plant. Because Energy Policy is not devolved at present the UK Government was able to do this without getting permission from the Scottish Government.

However, just because the licences have been issued doesn’t mean that there aren’t steps which Scottish Government couldn’t take to make unconventional gas extraction in Scotland very unattractive using the powers which it currently has on planning and environmental regulation. These could be used to put in place a really strong regulatory framework which could effectively stop this unconventional gas extraction. Scottish Government have used a similar approach to prevent the development of any new nuclear power stations in Scotland, and there is no reason why…

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The Devo Files

Originally posted on A Wilderness of Peace:

OK, this wasn't fair - there's no way the Vow's out there.

The truth is out there…

Before I embark upon a more in-depth appraisal of each Scottish MP’s record since 2010, I thought it expedient to simply list every vote they made in regards to further devolution to Scotland. Included are 58 MPs’ votes on the 13 discussions in regards to further devolution. Because I might be a bit biased in my interpretation of the votes, I also included Public Whip’s Agree/Disagree percentage system, as I feel it still gives the jist. The only difference, I feel, is that it interprets one vote (the rejection of the second reading) as a pro-devolution vote, whereas I feel it’s arguable: similarly, at least two amendments are for greater responsibilities, not greater powers. Yet even with those issues, the amount of Scottish MPs who are as likely to vote against further devolution as for it is illustrative of my central problem – that…

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Beware of a Movement which Smiles

Originally posted on McTavish:

The greatest weapon in the independence arsenal lies within ourselves.

1937429902When Scotland voted No to independence on 18 September 2014, one would have expected a party atmosphere, cheering, laughing, singing and dancing in the streets. A time of celebration would have been the expected reaction to the result.

That indeed is what has happened. But that party atmosphere has not come from the No voters, but rather from the Yes camp. If aliens landed in Scotland today, they could be forgiven for being mistaken that the referendum had gone to Yes.

The amazing scenes in Glasgow’s George Square, more recently outside of the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh, and elsewhere in Scotland have shown a Yes movement which has taken a serious knock, who have picked themselves up and dusted themselves down. We are bloodied, but we are unbowed.

And where are the celebrations of the No camp? There have not…

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A Way Forward

Originally posted on independence - autonomy - self-determination:

banksy_blind_follow_your_dreamsBy Robin McAlpine

OK, even by my standards this is a rather rapid run-throughof how we can pursue the twin-track approach of making Scotland a better place for its citizens and showing them in the process why independence will enable us to do even more. So let me write it down.

I do so with a couple of caveats. I cannot stress enough that things are still falling (it’s not even two weeks since the result) and we need to see where they land. Strategy should always change according to circumstances and we do not yet know all of the circumstances. The second is that anyone who thinks they alone have all the answers is a fool. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the last two weeks but there will be wonderful thinking out there I’ve not yet heard so I know I have much personally to…

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Fracking Scotland

Originally posted on independence - autonomy - self-determination:

Laura Eaton-Lewis explains how Westminster has literally sold the ground from under your feet.

Ye’ll have had yer Democracy, then?

Oh Edinburgh. It was all looking so good for you for a while.

Your high property prices, your comfortable financial services, your beautiful scenery, your controversial masonry, and now… this.

For various reasons, this good people of this city put its trust in London to make decisions for us. They voted not to take our own decisions here in Scotland.

Oh, but would they have seen one little map, they might have felt a little differently about that.

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This little map from the Crown Office with the big red circle right around the whole of the centre of Scotland, shows exactly where the UK government are currently selling off licenses to energy companies to drill under your homes to get at that pesky gas and oil trapped in the shale down…

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