British History, Culture & Sports, History of Freedom, Heroes, Inventors, Brits at their Best.com, English country scene

September 25, 2014

Ancient music resounding

Anew.

Thank you, Christopher Hogwood.

Ave atque Vale.

September 19, 2014

Scotland with us!

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We are thrilled the Scots are staying.

We look toward a constitutional convention where Brits from all elements of the kingdom develop a fairer, more representative government than the government they have today.

September 18, 2014

Melancholy, defiant, hopeful, and patriotic

In words and in music.

September 17, 2014

A force for good

The United Kingdom - England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland.

Another force for good - Alistair McConnachie. He has been working harder than anyone we know to keep the Union united.

THINGS YOU CAN DO
1- Getting our "Nos" to turnout and vote is critical. If there is only a very small percentage drop in No numbers bothering to vote, then we risk losing. Therefore, can you help people get to the polls? Do you have elderly "No" voting friends who are likely to need a lift? Do you have a "No" voting friend who hasn't voted – please remind them tomorrow.
2- Can you stand outside a Polling Station with a Union Jack? It gives heart to people entering to see the flag of the UK and to know that there are others who think like they do. It emboldens the switherers who may be toying with "Yes" - because they haven't seen any physical symbol of the UK and have almost forgotten it exists!

Please note, the Polling Station perimeter begins at the pavement entrance. For example, if the Polling Station is a school, then the Polling Station begins at the school gates, not at the entrance to the building. You are not allowed to campaign anywhere inside the Polling Station (unless you are an officially registered "Polling Agent"), but you can certainly stand outside the Polling Station perimeter, on the pavement with a flag. Do you have a group of friends who can take turns with this activity throughout the day?

3- If you have a postal vote which you have forgotten to put in the post, you can take it to the polling station, or your council referendum office, tomorrow.
4- In the event of a medical emergency, you can get an emergency proxy vote from your council, up until 5pm tomorrow.

DEVOLUTION PROVES ITS DANGER
We were at a No rally in Glasgow on the evening of Monday 15 September at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow. One of the speakers, the former Labour MP, Brian Wilson, pointed out that if there were a Yes vote then there would be two disappointed sides. There would be the No side, but there would also be the Yes side because it would become extremely obvious, very quickly, that the Yes side had been led up to the top of a hill and led back down again.

They would, he said, "be looking for scapegoats because they couldn't accept it was their own fault." He appeared genuinely distressed when he described the situation we are facing as "an awful scenario" and "a total mess, but the only conceivable way to get out of it is by voting No."

(He also exclaimed puzzlement at how we had got into this situation. We did not point out that it was the Labour Party which devolved powers to a state which already had a significant separatist movement waiting ready to exploit such powers for its own ends. How the Labour Party honestly thought this would end up differently is the real question! The SNP may be firing the guns, but it was the Labour Party which provided them with the rifles and ammunition!
See our article, "The Danger of Devolution in the Context of an Aggressive Separatist Movement" http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/devo/dm3 )

WHY IS THE VOTE SO CLOSE?
How can a situation have developed in Scotland where a 70% majority for the United Kingdom can be reduced to a 50/50 stand off? Well, there are several reasons how this has come about in the last 2 years and we will list them in a future article, which we are compiling presently.

For now, we can point out that how a matter is "framed" for people to see and consider, is crucial to ultimately determining the decision that people will make. There are too many people thinking about voting "Yes", often on a whim, because too much of the debate has been conducted within a Scottish nationalist frame which focuses on Scotland alone, and not enough on the relevance and importance of the UK as a nation…a nation which is of immense value to us all, and to the world.

We wrote about this in our article "Love the UK Day and the Importance of Framing".
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/strategy/unityref

COUNTING AGENTS
Thanks to those of you who responded to our appeal for Counting Agents in our last Update. We have appointed 42 of you in 9 of the Counting Areas.

8 ARTICLES ADVERTISED ON FACEBOOK
We would like to thank our supporter who donated £500 to ensure that we could advertise 8 of our best articles in the run up to the referendum. Below, we have listed the 8 articles which we have chosen and the write-up which we constructed for the advert.

They will continue to be advertised until close of play on Thursday, and so far the ads have collectively been viewed 274,064 times. For £500, this is exceptional value for money. Imagine the people we could have reached if 2 years ago we had managed to secure several thousand pounds of funding for Facebook advertising alone!

Here are the links to the 8 we advertised, and the write-ups for them>

Article 1. It's about Service to Humanity, not "Freedom from the English"
The United Kingdom is an infinitely precious creation. During this referendum debate, not nearly enough attention has focused on its inestimable value not only to ourselves but to the world. Consequently, the polls are far too close because too many of us are forgetting the big picture of Britain. This article helps to remind us. It emphasises the huge value of the United Kingdom to the world, and reminds us of the global vision of service to others, which has always been central to the British ideal.
Please Share this inspiring article.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/vision/service

Article 2. Being British: Some Practical Benefits and Spiritual Elements
"I don't want to leave the UK. I like being British!" We heard that recently and it sums up a Heart-felt emotion and attachment to the United Kingdom as a nation, which has not been emphasised enough in the politician-led referendum campaign.

One of the reasons why the polls are so close is because the big picture of Britain – and the value of our United Kingdom itself and to the world – has tended to get relegated. People have been overly encouraged to contemplate their Scottish navel, outside of the bigger context of Britain!

This speech helps to put some Heart back into the idea of "Being British".

Please Share this remarkable document – which includes footage of "Family Portrait", the 1951 film which developed the idea of Britain as a Family.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/shared/british1

Article 3. Scotland gets the Government it Wants at Westminster, Two out of Three Times
Being part of the UK gives us Scots 1 - a Greater Democratic Say and 2 – Wider Political Representation – that is, a better chance of being represented by a government which we voted for. Under separation, our democratic say and our political representation would diminish.

For example, as this article states, right now,
1 - us Scots have a democratic say over what happens in Scotland and the rest of Britain, via our two Parliaments. After independence we would only have a say about what happens in Scotland! Why throw away two Parliaments to get only one, and have less say? How is that a democratic improvement?

And right now,
2 - everyone in Scotland who voted Tory, Lib Dem or SNP has a form of government which they voted for. They are all politically represented in government. After independence, only those who voted for the party running Holyrood would have a government they voted for. How is that a democratic improvement?

This article also destroys the SNP and nationalists' false claims that Scotland "never gets what it votes for". It demonstrates, impeccably, using House of Commons statistics, that in the 18 General elections since 1945, Scotland has got what it voted for 12 times measured by the popular vote on the day. Two out of three times is the same number of times as England!

Please Share this article which utterly slays the nationalist nonsense, and makes the powerful and unarguable case that democratically we are far better off in the UK.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/debunk/vote1

Article 4. Scotland is Better able to Control its Future as Part of the UK
Scotland is better able to control its future as part of the UK. This is because we continue to have a say over the direction of the entire UK. However, outside of the UK, we will be impacted by the remainder of the UK economy, and affected by its greater political power on every single significant issue, from foreign affairs to defence. Yet, we will have thrown away our right to have any say over its direction.

Not only would separation be practically wrong, it would also, as this article says, be morally wrong. It would be saying, "We don't recognise you people outside of Scotland, you English, you Welsh, you Northern Irish, as having any legitimate say over what we do up here. And furthermore, we don't want to have any say over what you do." In the context of our small group of Islands, that seems not only short-sighted, but also small-minded.

So please Vote No to ensure we maintain our democratic say over the direction of all of Britain. It is the right thing to do, practically and morally. Please share this material, which includes a video presentation.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/v1

Article 5. 10 Reasons why it's Great to be British
The British identity is a very useful identity which - contrary to what the separatists will try to tell us - is dependent upon shared political, social and cultural institutions far more than the mere incidental fact of geography.

If our shared political intuitions were to break up, then the social and cultural fall-out would be considerable. Indeed, we see it already. This referendum debate has got people obsessing about their "Scottishness" or their "Englishness" where previously many people were happy to just "be British" – an allegiance which allowed them to mesh seamlessly with their fellow citizens in whatever part of the UK they happened to be living.

This article helps to promote the value of the British identity especially to those who may not have considered it, or have forgotten it, or who don't know why it should be appreciated.

Please Vote No to ensure the British identity continues to act as a common bond – a way to bring us together regardless of where in the UK we live, and regardless of what part of it we identify with.

And please Share this article which lists 10 obvious facts that we don't normally see written down!
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/10reasons

Article 6. Our Dual Identity is a Massive UK Positive that Nationalists want to Negate
A dual identity – being able to be both Scottish and British – is a Great thing. It enables anyone to feel he or she belongs at home anywhere else in the United Kingdom.

For example, a person from Scotland will find it easier to merge in social circumstances in England via their Britishness. Similarly, a person from England who is in Scotland – can find that being British helps to smooth away any "differences" there may be.

Our British identity is a social, cultural and historical construction which is dependent upon shared political institutions. Yet nationalists will claim that, we can "still be British" after separation.

However, these are the same people who don't respect, and hardly accept, the symbols of the British social, cultural and historical Union right now - while we are still part of the UK!

So what on earth will these people be like if Scotland were to separate – and people like them work to dismantle that historical sense, and our social and cultural bonds?

Let us never find out. Please Vote No and enable us to keep our wonderful dual identity.
Please Share this article.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/positive/iden1

Article 7. Believe in Britain and Vote Standing on that Rock of Principle
There is a big difference between principles and policies. This referendum is about the principle of the United Kingdom, and maintaining the UK into the future as a valuable and relatively harmonious political structure for the benefit of all its people and for the world. This referendum is not about policies we don't like.

Politicians from both sides, who concentrate on temporary policies - rather than the permanent principle of the United Kingdom - are only confusing and misleading people.

On the 18 September please don't vote standing on the temporary sands, forever shifting, of policies you happen to like or dislike. These can and will change with whatever government happens to be in power.

Instead vote on principle for the United Kingdom; for all it is, and for all it can be. If we vote standing on that permanent rock of principle then we cannot go wrong!

Please Vote No and please share this relevant article. Photo: A section of HMS Queen Elizabeth passes Dumbarton Rock; The Rock of 'The Fortress of the Britons'. http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/strategy/principle1

Article 8. Five False Premises of Scottish Separatism: And why they make it Impossible, Impractical, and indeed Immoral for Scotland to Split
This extensive speech, from 2 years ago, nicely destroys 5 false premises often heard from those who would break up our country and set our Islands on a path of social and cultural division.

It concludes that we should embrace our inter-dependence within the United Kingdom, and accept that our destiny is to be bound intimately with each other throughout these Islands!

Indeed, we are very lucky to be able to live in such a close relationship which allows us to benefit, and to have all our civic structures already established, which largely work fine and don't need to be replicated.

Of course, all relationships have their problems. Nothing is perfect. But the alternative - to break away, yet to try to hold onto all the best parts because it suits us (which is what we would almost certainly end up doing) - would be utterly dishonest and immoral. It would result in years of quarrelling and anger between the people of these Islands.

Practically and morally, whether or not some of us like the fact, or want to accept it, we are bound intimately. The best way for us just to get along, is to maintain and improve the United Kingdom - the home, the family home, we already live in, and are so lucky to have.

Please Share this article and please Vote No and avoid the heartache and the inevitable quarrelling which would result from separation.
http://www.aforceforgood.org.uk/debunk/uk11

September 16, 2014

Sending a message to the Scots

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Trafalgar Square yesterday evening. Thousands of citizens of the United Kingdom--many of them young--send a message to the Scots. We love you. We're better together. Stay with us!

September 14, 2014

Trafalgar Square, 6 pm Monday night

Don't let our Union go!

September 12, 2014

Devolution - Excellent!

Daniel Hannan writes -

The best outcome for Scotland is surely full autonomy within the United Kingdom. Holyrood should control transport, education, welfare, health, and the bulk of taxation, leaving Westminster to oversee defence, foreign affairs, immigration and monetary policy.

. . .The solution, surely, is to devolve equivalent power to England’s counties and cities. (I’d devolve power from Edinburgh to local councils, too, for what it’s worth, but that’s not up to me.) County and metropolitan authorities should assume – or reassume – control over education, transport, taxation, welfare. Some of them have larger populations than have some US states, yet those states run everything from criminal justice to social security. Are my constituents in Hampshire less capable of local self-government than their cousins in New Hampshire?

England used to have proudly autonomous municipal authorities, but is now – at least as measured by the percentage of revenue raised locally – the most centralised country in the EU after Malta.
We could do better. We could have pluralism at local level, with the freedom to innovate, to trial new ideas, to copy best practice. We could have tax competition, leading to downward pressure on rates. We could restore honour and purpose to local democracy, attracting a higher calibre of candidate. And then – a delicious bonus – we could let the House of Commons become a part-time assembly of citizen legislators, meeting for no more than 40 days a year, its MPs compensated for their time rather than paid salaries.

Delicious, indeed. By the way, Hannan's new book Inventing Freedom: How the English-Speaking Peoples Made the Modern World is interesting and important.

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