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MichaelMcGuire

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Member since: Sat Nov 12, 2011, 01:37 PM
Number of posts: 1,684

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The 'murder and mayhem' squad: Shocking new revelations.........

The 'murder and mayhem' squad: Shocking new revelations by former undercover soldier who carried out 'shoot first, ask questions later' attacks on IRA terrorists for the British Army

A former British soldier who belonged to an undercover unit in Northern Ireland has claimed he and his colleagues resorted to ‘murder and mayhem’ during a secret campaign against the IRA.
Simon Cursey was a member of a 30-man team which would ‘shoot first and ask questions later’. They shot at least 20 terrorist suspects and breached the British Army’s rules of war.
In support of his allegations, he has provided The Mail on Sunday with detailed descriptions of some of the most controversial killings in Northern Ireland’s recent history.

Cursey says these shootings were carried out by the Military Reaction Force (MRF), a clandestine Army team sent into Republican neighbourhoods to eliminate IRA gunmen.
His accounts are being studied by detectives from the Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Historical Enquiries Team (HET), which was set up to re-examine suspicious deaths over the course of ‘The Troubles’. More than 2,260 cases are on its books.
Cursey’s devastating disclosures include the claim that he never once cautioned a terror suspect or fired a warning shot before himself engaging with lethal force. He said he and his colleagues shot at least 20 men, though he could not say how many died.

The revelations come a week after a damning report into the 1989 death of pro-Republican lawyer Pat Finucane that revealed shocking levels of collusion between British agents and Protestant paramilitaries.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2252237/The-murder-mayhem-squad-Shocking-new-revelations-undercover-soldier-carried-shoot-ask-questions-later-attacks-IRA-terrorists-British-Army.html

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:18 PM (0 replies)

The NRA proposals in effect.

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:03 PM (7 replies)

If there is to be peace in the world.



(FB)
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sun Dec 23, 2012, 04:01 PM (0 replies)

"The Trials of Bradley Manning." By Amy Goodman

Award-winning journalist and Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman records a podcast in conjunction with her weekly column, which you can read here: http://bit.ly/QBC5S

December 13, 2012

Read this week's column by Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan:

Pfc. Bradley Manning was finally allowed to speak publicly, in his own defense, in a preliminary hearing of his court-martial. Manning is the alleged source of the largest intelligence leak in U.S. history. He was an intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, with top-secret clearance, deployed in Iraq. In April 2010, the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks released a U.S. military video of an Apache helicopter in Baghdad killing a dozen civilians below, including two Reuters employees, a videographer and his driver. One month after the video was released, Manning was arrested in Iraq, charged with leaking the video and hundreds of thousands more documents. Thus began his ordeal of cruel, degrading imprisonment in solitary confinement that many claim was torture, from his detention in Kuwait to months in the military brig in Quantico, Va. Facing global condemnation, the U.S. military transferred Manning to less-abusive detention at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

As he now faces 22 counts in a court martial that could land him in prison for the rest of his life, his lawyer argued in court that the case should be thrown out, based on his unlawful pretrial punishment.

Veteran constitutional attorney Michael Ratner was in the courtroom at Fort Meade, Md., that day Manning took the stand. He described the scene: “It was one of the most dramatic courtroom scenes I’ve ever been in. ... When Bradley opened his mouth, he was not nervous. The testimony was incredibly moving, an emotional roller coaster for all of us, but particularly, obviously, for Bradley and what he went through. But it was so horrible what happened to him over a two-year period. He described it in great detail in a way that was articulate, smart, self-aware.”

Continue reading here: https://soundcloud.com/democracynow/the-trials-of-bradley-manning
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sat Dec 15, 2012, 09:31 AM (18 replies)

Silent Majority

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Mon Dec 10, 2012, 04:02 PM (0 replies)

UK Arms Exports: Killing In The Name Of

The UK state, and the arms industry it cherishes, are complicit in these events, these human rights violations, these atrocities. Westminster fuels the fires of North Africa and the Middle East. That is why the following information matters to the pursuit of global justice and to the choice that Scotland faces in 2014. We must seek military-industrial Independence.

History Repeats Itself / History Repeating

Between 1978 and 1999, Hawk aircraft, Scorpion tanks and Stormer armoured personal carriers were sold to Indonesia. These weapons were unleashed in East Timor. British Aerospace Engineering (BAE) Hawk jets were used in the ‘encirclement and annihilation’ campaign which enforced acts of mass violence. Impoverished concentration camps were established without access to food aid. Starvation ensued. Torture (electro shock and psychological manipulation) was based upon the Kubark manual and the ‘research’ of The University of Glasgow’s Ewen Cameron. 200,000 people are estimated to have been murdered during the 20 year occupation. Amongst this horror, the United Kingdom provided weaponry to Indonesia: fuelling the fire. It did so until East Timor’s liberation in 1999. A review of export sales was promised.

Complicity in genocide did not sour the UK’s appraisal of arms exports. Here are six recent cases.

1) Israel

In 2008-09 Israel bombed Gaza in ‘Operation Cast Lead’. A UN investigation concluded that Israel had deliberately targeted civilians with 350 children among those killed. UK arms exports were “almost certainly” used, according to the Government. A review of export sales was promised.

2) Sri Lanka

In 2009 Sri Lanka’s final offensive against the Tamil Tigers involved the deaths of 7,000 Tamil civilians. David Miliband was among those who called for a war-crime investigation. UK arms exporters had sold £13.4 million of armoured vehicles, machine gun components and semi-automatic pistols to the Sri Lankan Government in the previous three years.

3) Yemen

Saudi Arabia carried out air-strikes on Yemen, 2009-10. While the Foreign Office stated that it was “deeply concerned about the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia”, Amnesty International reported that UK arms exports were used in the attacks and perhaps in war-crimes. Yemen continues to be bombarded. (see this Al Jazeera report on current U.S. drone attacks) Saudi Arabia has expanded its regional aggression and continues its internal repression.

4) Bahrain

The Arab Spring uncovered further connections between dictators and UK arms exporters. In 2010 tear gas, crowd control armaments and sniper rifles were sold from the UK to Bahrain. In 2011 the arms exports were turned upon their people. Saudi Arabia was ‘invited’ to help quell the pro-democracy demonstrations. Its army procured armoured vehicles from BAE Systems Land Systems Division in Newcastle for this task. Bahrain protesters were in effect shot twice with British bullets.

5) Egypt

Mubarak’s regime in Egypt was similarly supplied, while it tortured its people and suppressed protest. Although the army joined the demonstrations, there remains an unsteady transition from military to democratic rule to manoeuvre.

6) Libya

This cannot be said of Libya. The 2005 ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ between Tony Blair and Gadaffi gave the green light for UK arms sales and BP’s oil investment. In that year the UK soared from 0% of Libya’s EU arms imports to 82%. Good business for some. Sales continued, as in the horrors of East Timor, until the regime cracked and NATO began arming the rebels for balance. UK Tear gas, crowd control armament, sniper rifles and armoured vehicles were sold and then ‘applied’ to target and control civilians.A review of arms sales was promised.

This heavy description of recent events is a sad but necessary precursor to begin a discussion on the UK arms industry. The ethical challenge stems from this violence and oppression.

On Whose Hands? United Kingdom: Profit, Sleaze & War

As Libyan protesters fell dying on the streets of Tripoli, David Cameron accompanied UK arms dealers on his Middle East business tour. Thatcher – whose Government sold arms to Argentina prior to the Falklands War – would have been proud. He was, in her most British of fashions, ‘exerting influence abroad’ and ‘standing up for business’. What business is this exactly?

The Stockholm International Peace Institute’s 100 largest arms sellers is dominated by the Anglosphere. Similar to total military spending there is an overpowering American dominance; by extension the arms table also contains 10 UK corporations. Most have a heavy reliance upon Pentagon and Ministry of Defence contracts. BAE – by far the largest British based multinational – received £4 billion from the MoD in 2011 alone.

War makes big profits. Armaments sold to Indonesia, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are not merely condoned by the UK state, they are facilitated and incentivised. This is corruption of human dignity. That the UK state promotes profiteering from violence is the worst indictment of its political system. The expenses scandal or manifesto deceits shrivel in stark contrast to the humanitarian tragedies of the arms industry. Its leaders are enveloped within the culture and finance of Whitehall – in the UKTI DSO, which facilitates arms exports, and through arms subsidies which incentivise them.

The UK Trade and Investment: Defence and Security Organisation exists to sell British arms abroad by whatever means necessary. Within the Business, Innovation and Skills department, arms exporters hold a disproportionate influence. The DSO staff is over 150 – more than that of every other UKTI export sector combined. Arms exports are a mere 1.5% of the UK total. The Department is a free-for-all. Sales have little accountability (in 2010, 10,850 licenses were accepted; with only 230 refused). It has full access to the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy for arms demonstrations. These performances revolve around ‘Arms Fairs’ including the notorious, bi-annual DSEi held in London for the world’s militaries – the foul and the foulest. Their “Brochure” is available at this linkunder ‘related documents’ for any interested buyers out there.

Such militarism doesn’t come cheap. Despite their status as private corporations – and their reliance upon state procurement programs – arms exports are subsidised by the taxpayer. Recent analysis, also by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, measured this subsidy as £2.1bn over the past 3 years. This is accrued through research and development funding and export credits. BAE Systems ploughed nearly £100m of research funding into 18 UK universities. (the University of Glasgow refused to comply) The Government pays the bills while BAE reaps the rewards of research and profitable arms sales. Such generous funding co-exists with a sycophantic political will. Political will is often short-sighted and damaging. With arms exports at only 2% of UK manufacturing, the state support is staggering. The downgrading of renewable energy in Westminster adds to this incredulity.

It is no surprise that an industry with such influence harbours corruption. Similar to the echelons of other corporate sectors, there is a revolving door between the military, politics and arms company boards. The arms sector – by its size, complexity and secrecy – is particularly hard-wired for corruption. In July the UN failed to agree to a treaty to regulate the industry. The most notorious case in the UK concerns BAE Systems and Saudi Arabia. The Serious Fraud Office investigated BAE from 2004-06 until the Government heavy handedly halted investigations. Only minimal charges were ever heard in London. In Washington, BAE pleaded guilty to “conspiring to defraud the U.S.”resulting in a $400 million fine – one of the largest in the history of U.S. fraud cases.

Among this structure of power, profits, and fraud there is profit from violence: that is inherent in the industry’s purpose. On the UK Government’s part, however, there is hypocrisy.

In 2010 the Foreign Office identified 26 “countries of concern” within its human rights report. In that same year the UK Government supported arms deals to 16 of those countries. The Guardian provides an excellent info-graphic for arms exports to ‘countries of concern’ in 2011. The UK state cannot promote both arms and democracy; yet David Cameron swaggered from his photo-op at Tahrir Square – raising a Bullingdon toast to democracy – before firing to his security enclosure to sell weapons to sadists. Vince Cable raised concerns, but William Hague shot him down. A review of export sales was promised.

This is the UK state. James Foley’s pamphlet The Internationalist Case For Independence makes the case that arms deals form a fragment of a wider imperialism. The UK, the author claims, is an accomplice within the ‘American Order’ of capital and militarism. Britannia is the Athens to America’s Rome, as ‘damp squib’ Niall Fergusonwould have us believe.

This recognises the second answer to ‘Killing in the Name Of?‘. There is profit – as drove Halliburton to $17.2 billion from Iraq, BAE to a ‘urgent’ influx of £400 million from Afghanistan, and concerns the industry today when “Peace is bad for business.” And there is UK ‘cultural exceptionalism’. That was the attitude which led Ernest Bevin to say of acquiring nuclear weapons, “We’ve got to have this thing over here, whatever it costs…We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it.” The mythology of this state is invested in conflict and weaponry. Only within the bunkers and towers of Whitehall can they justify the £2.1 billion spent on arms research and development, 10% of total output. The methods of UK power and coercion are inescapable; military prowess demands exploitation in word, funding and deed. Attlee’s Government failed to escape it; and each successive Government since has clung to the military, to war, to Polaris or Trident. Arms deals help to disguise the political impotency of Britain’s imperial decline One day it will end, perhaps with a thud.

Until then Scotland sinks in a cultural malaise – unable to recognise the most regressive and violent aspects of the UK state. Iraq. Trident. Arms sales. Where is the true union? Perhaps it is found in Abu Dhabi where UKTI DSO, General Dynamics UK and the Libyan Army united at the IDEX Arms Fair. In unison, the UK Government, the arms industry and the British Embassy in Tripoli campaigned to cement the deal with the ‘mad dog’ of North Africa. By July 2008 there was celebration: communications systems for Gaddafi’s tanks were sold. In DMA News (Defence Manufacturers Association) the Government heralded “a first step towards further Industrial Partnerships with Libya”. There weren’t many more steps. Soon the Government spoke of Gadaffi going ‘door-to-door’ in Benghazi. British technology meant Gaddafi knew where to go. The desert shook under the weight of our expensive technological warfare. Yet, for the sun-struck militias, there was nothing to fear: NATO’s Tomahawk missiles were coming for humanitarian purposes. Where blood shines upon the sand, Britain will be there. That is our Union.

As individuals we have distant views of the world’s bloodshed, yet the UK Government still holds power in the Middle East and North Africa. The problem is that it is a destabilising power. War, occupations and arms exports are all aggressive forms of power. As National Collective point out in this excellent editorial, the referendum is between “two very different ideologies of power”. The power to coerce is less and less relevant to the modern world; with the mushroom cloud of war appearing increasingly outdated in a post-Cold War world. The power of Scotland to promote universal education, clean energy, and nuclear disarmament is truly significant in contrast. That is the underlying message of the UK arms industry – its destruction and its growing irrelevance – from which Scotland can gain true military-industrial Independence.

Michael Gray
National Collective
thoughtsfromthekelvin.wordpress.com

Source: http://nationalcollective.com/2012/12/07/uk-arms-exports-killing-in-the-name-of/

For more information on Campaign Against the Arms Trade visit http://www.caat.org.uk
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sat Dec 8, 2012, 10:10 AM (2 replies)

The world's top 10 sexiest accents revealed

"Does a French tongue do it for you? How about a buttoned-up British voice, or a sexy Southern American drawl?

All these hit the top ten list of sexy accents released by News.com.au today.

They waxed lyrical about the Irish lilt of the likes of Colin Farrell and Andrea Corr, which is apparently 'irresistible in its lightness and breathlessness. It can swing from vulnerable to threatening, restoring your faith in the world.'

The Spanish got a look in too: 'A smouldering accent, the words don't matter: if it comes from Spanish lips, it sounds sexy.' as did the Italians:

"Firey and romantic, the Italian accent keeps listeners hanging on through the long, drawn out words and the rapid-fire syllables. Its cadences make it fascinating and irresistible."

Fortunately the Brits hit the top tn too, largly thanks to the plummy tones of Hugh Grant, Sienna Miller. Apparently, 'proper, dignified and scholarly, the Oxford British accent promises upward nobility. Sexy from the mouths of Hugh Grant, Jude Law and Kate Winslet, just avoid thinking of the Queen or the Duke of Edinburgh when you hear it.

This is the full list (not ranked in any particular order)

Argentine

Thai

Trinidadian

Brazilian Portuguese

US Southern

Oxford British

Irish

Spanish

French

Italian

What do you think? Any smouldering accents been left off the list?"

Well sadly Scots didn't make it to the list which is pretty messed up. Irish get my vote. But otherwise a wee Scottish lassie should be right up there!

Her accent isn't too strong, Mines strong.

Like Swedish, Jamiacan are good ones too



Read more: The world's top 10 sexiest accents revealed - TNT Magazine
Follow us: @tntmagazine on Twitter | tntmag on Facebook
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Sat Dec 8, 2012, 06:45 AM (71 replies)

China prepares to grow vegetables on Mars

Chinese astronauts are preparing to grow fresh vegetables on Mars and the moon after researchers successfully completed a preliminary test in Beijing, state media reported.

Four kinds of vegetables were grown in an "ecological life support system", a 300 cubic metre cabin which will allow astronauts to develop their own stocks of air, water and food while on space missions, Xinhua news agency said Monday.

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/china-prepares-grow-vegetables-mars-050303251.html
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Tue Dec 4, 2012, 01:09 PM (5 replies)

"A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground...."

Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:21 PM (1 replies)

Jimmy Reid SNP working class hero "rat race speech"

Alienation is the precise and correctly applied word for describing the major social problem in UK today. People feel alienated by society. In some intellectual circles it is treated almost as a new phenomenon. It has, however, been with us for years. What I believe is true is that today it is more widespread, more pervasive than ever before. Let me right at the outset define what I mean by alienation. It is the cry of men who feel themselves the victims of blind economic forces beyond their control.

It’s the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision-making. The feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel with justification that they have no real say in shaping or determining their own destinies.

Many may not have rationalised it. May not even understand, may not be able to articulate it. But they feel it. It therefore conditions and colours their social attitudes. Alienation expresses itself in different ways in different people. It is to be found in what our courts often describe as the criminal antisocial behaviour of a section of the community. It is expressed by those young people who want to opt out of society, by drop-outs, the so-called maladjusted, those who seek to escape permanently from the reality of society through intoxicants and narcotics. Of course, it would be wrong to say it was the sole reason for these things. But it is a much greater factor in all of them than is generally recognised.

Society and its prevailing sense of values leads to another form of alienation. It alienates some from humanity. It partially de-humanises some people, makes them insensitive, ruthless in their handling of fellow human beings, self-centred and grasping. The irony is, they are often considered normal and well-adjusted. It is my sincere contention that anyone who can be totally adjusted to our society is in greater need of psychiatric analysis and treatment than anyone else. They remind me of the character in the novel, Catch 22, the father of Major Major. He was a farmer in the American Mid-West. He hated suggestions for things like medi-care, social services, unemployment benefits or civil rights. He was, however, an enthusiast for the agricultural policies that paid farmers for not bringing their fields under cultivation. From the money he got for not growing alfalfa he bought more land in order not to grow alfalfa. He became rich. Pilgrims came from all over the state to sit at his feet and learn how to be a successful non-grower of alfalfa. His philosophy was simple. The poor didn’t work hard enough and so they were poor. He believed that the good Lord gave him two strong hands to grab as much as he could for himself. He is a comic figure. But think – have you not met his like here in the UK? Here in Scotland? I have.

It is easy and tempting to hate such people. However, it is wrong. They are as much products of society, and of a consequence of that society, human alienation, as the poor drop-out. They are losers. They have lost the essential elements of our common humanity. Man is a social being. Real fulfilment for any person lies in service to his fellow men and women. The big challenge to our civilisation is not Oz, a magazine I haven’t seen, let alone read. Nor is it permissiveness, although I agree our society is too permissive. Any society which, for example, permits over one million people to be unemployed is far too permissive for my liking. Nor is it moral laxity in the narrow sense that this word is generally employed – although in a sense here we come nearer to the problem. It does involve morality, ethics, and our concept of human values. The challenge we face is that of rooting out anything and everything that distorts and devalues human relations.

Let me give two examples from contemporary experience to illustrate the point.

Recently on television I saw an advert. The scene is a banquet. A gentleman is on his feet proposing a toast. His speech is full of phrases like “this full-bodied specimen”. Sitting beside him is a young, buxom woman. The image she projects is not pompous but foolish. She is visibly preening herself, believing that she is the object of the bloke’s eulogy. Then he concludes – “and now I give…”, then a brand name of what used to be described as Empire sherry. Then the laughter. Derisive and cruel laughter. The real point, of course, is this. In this charade, the viewers were obviously expected to identify not with the victim but with her tormentors.

The other illustration is the widespread, implicit acceptance of the concept and term “the rat race”. The picture it conjures up is one where we are scurrying around scrambling for position, trampling on others, back-stabbing, all in pursuit of personal success. Even genuinely intended, friendly advice can sometimes take the form of someone saying to you, “Listen, you look after number one.” Or as they say in London, “Bang the bell, Jack, I’m on the bus.”

To the students I address this appeal. Reject these attitudes. Reject the values and false morality that underlie these attitudes. A rat race is for rats. We’re not rats. We’re human beings. Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement. This is how it starts, and before you know where you are, you’re a fully paid-up member of the rat-pack. The price is too high. It entails the loss of your dignity and human spirit. Or as Christ put it, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul?”

Profit is the sole criterion used by the establishment to evaluate economic activity. From the rat race to lame ducks. The vocabulary in vogue is a give-away. It’s more reminiscent of a human menagerie than human society. The power structures that have inevitably emerged from this approach threaten and undermine our hard-won democratic rights. The whole process is towards the centralisation and concentration of power in fewer and fewer hands. The facts are there for all who want to see. Giant monopoly companies and consortia dominate almost every branch of our economy. The men who wield effective control within these giants exercise a power over their fellow men which is frightening and is a negation of democracy.

Government by the people for the people becomes meaningless unless it includes major economic decision-making by the people for the people. This is not simply an economic matter. In essence it is an ethical and moral question, for whoever takes the important economic decisions in society ipso facto determines the social priorities of that society.

From the Olympian heights of an executive suite, in an atmosphere where your success is judged by the extent to which you can maximise profits, the overwhelming tendency must be to see people as units of production, as indices in your accountants’ books. To appreciate fully the inhumanity of this situation, you have to see the hurt and despair in the eyes of a man suddenly told he is redundant, without provision made for suitable alternative employment, with the prospect in the West of Scotland, if he is in his late forties or fifties, of spending the rest of his life in the Labour Exchange. Someone, somewhere has decided he is unwanted, unneeded, and is to be thrown on the industrial scrap heap. From the very depth of my being, I challenge the right of any man or any group of men, in business or in government, to tell a fellow human being that he or she is expendable.

The concentration of power in the economic field is matched by the centralisation of decision-making in the political institutions of society. The power of Parliament has undoubtedly been eroded over past decades, with more and more authority being invested in the Executive. The power of local authorities has been and is being systematically undermined. The only justification I can see for local government is as a counter- balance to the centralised character of national government.

Local government is to be restructured. What an opportunity, one would think, for de-centralising as much power as possible back to the local communities. Instead, the proposals are for centralising local government. It’s once again a blue-print for bureaucracy, not democracy. If these proposals are implemented, in a few years when asked “Where do you come from?” I can reply: “The Western Region.” It even sounds like a hospital board.

It stretches from Oban to Girvan and eastwards to include most of the Glasgow conurbation. As in other matters, I must ask the politicians who favour these proposals – where and how in your calculations did you quantify the value of a community? Of community life? Of a sense of belonging? Of the feeling of identification? These are rhetorical questions. I know the answer. Such human considerations do not feature in their thought processes.

Everything that is proposed from the establishment seems almost calculated to minimise the role of the people, to miniaturise man. I can understand how attractive this prospect must be to those at the top. Those of us who refuse to be pawns in their power game can be picked up by their bureaucratic tweezers and dropped in a filing cabinet under “M” for malcontent or maladjusted. When you think of some of the high flats around us, it can hardly be an accident that they are as near as one could get to an architectural representation of a filing cabinet.

If modern technology requires greater and larger productive units, let’s make our wealth-producing resources and potential subject to public control and to social accountability. Let’s gear our society to social need, not personal greed. Given such creative re-orientation of society, there is no doubt in my mind that in a few years we could eradicate in our country the scourge of poverty, the underprivileged, slums, and insecurity.

Even this is not enough. To measure social progress purely by material advance is not enough. Our aim must be the enrichment of the whole quality of life. It requires a social and cultural, or if you wish, a spiritual transformation of our country. A necessary part of this must be the restructuring of the institutions of government and, where necessary, the evolution of additional structures so as to involve the people in the decision-making processes of our society. The so-called experts will tell you that this would be cumbersome or marginally inefficient. I am prepared to sacrifice a margin of efficiency for the value of the people’s participation. Anyway, in the longer term, I reject this argument.

To unleash the latent potential of our people requires that we give them responsibility. The untapped resources of the North Sea are as nothing compared to the untapped resources of our people. I am convinced that the great mass of our people go through life without even a glimmer of what they could have contributed to their fellow human beings. This is a personal tragedy. It’s a social crime. The flowering of each individual’s personality and talents is the pre-condition for everyone’s development.

In this context education has a vital role to play. If automation and technology is accompanied as it must be with a full employment, then the leisure time available to man will be enormously increased. If that is so, then our whole concept of education must change. The whole object must be to equip and educate people for life, not solely for work or a profession. The creative use of leisure, in communion with and in service to our fellow human beings, can and must become an important element in self-fulfilment.

Universities must be in the forefront of development, must meet social needs and not lag behind them. It is my earnest desire that this great University of Glasgow should be in the vanguard, initiating changes and setting the example for others to follow. Part of our educational process must be the involvement of all sections of the university on the governing bodies. The case for student representation is unanswerable. It is inevitable.

My conclusion is to re-affirm what I hope and certainly intend to be the spirit permeating this address. It’s an affirmation of faith in humanity. All that is good in man’s heritage involves recognition of our common humanity, an unashamed acknowledgement that man is good by nature. Burns expressed it in a poem that technically was not his best, yet captured the spirit. In “Why should we idly waste our prime…”:

“The golden age, we’ll then revive, each man shall be a brother,

In harmony we all shall live and till the earth together,

In virtue trained, enlightened youth shall move each fellow creature,

And time shall surely prove the truth that man is good by nature.”

It’s my belief that all the factors to make a practical reality of such a world are maturing now. I would like to think that our generation took mankind some way along the road towards this goal. It’s a goal worth fighting for.
Posted by MichaelMcGuire | Mon Dec 3, 2012, 12:18 PM (1 replies)
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