The crown prince of darkness vs. the clown prince of barkingness

David Cameron’s future as Prime Minister is looking even less secure than the Labour party’s control of Glesca Cooncil. At least Labour will probably hang on to a majority until the May local government elections next year, it’s quite likely that Davie boy will be gone by then. I’d do a wee dance to celebrate, but chances are he’s going to be replaced by someone else from the same narrow and highly restricted social circle. That would be nightmare characters from the Twilight Zone.

It’s likely that Davie’s successor will be either Boris Johnson or George Osborne. Celebrating that would be a bit like celebrating because a pig bothering Frankenstein’s monster had been replaced by an even worse nightmare, so it’s not quite time for a pitchfork parade. Everyone knows that clowns are really scary and creepy, you only need to look at Boris Johnson for proof of that. His sole qualification for the job is that he could give Donald Trump a run for his clown shoes in a contest to win an immigrant scaring fright wig. As for George Osborne, he’s a fully paid up member of the gimpish bloodsucking undead. There are coprophagic lizards which are cuddlier and more warm blooded.

With the possible exception of Boris Johnson’s ego, our old Etonian Prime Minister’s epic sense of entitlement is the only thing in the United Kingdom that’s bigger than the national debt. Although to be fair to Boris, he had a long hard think about what outcome was best for the country in the EU referendum and then decided to do what was best for his career. For Davie it’s all about getting through the next month. The EU referendum on 23 June isn’t just a referendum that will decide Britain’s EU membership, it will also decide the fate of Davie’s career with George Osborne hovering in the background like the crown prince of darkness. Will Davie be forced into an early and humiliating resignation by a triumphant Boris, or will Davie get to go at a time of his choosing, handing over the baton of leadership to George Osborne who can then let a dominatrix spank his bottom with it while he whips all of us. At least with George humiliation is a lifestyle choice, just not our choice. We get a choice between the crown prince of darkness or the clown prince of barkingness. Watching the Tory party in action is to see a demonstration of the dictum that he who knows least knows loudest.

The truth is that either of the main two Tory players in this referendum campaign could just as easily have been on the other side had circumstances been different. Neither of them particularly care whether the UK leaves the EU, and neither of them are particularly in favour of remaining in it. It’s just a convenient battleground for the pair of them to settle a schoolboy spat with George as the wee pal of one of the bigger bullies. The fact that they are putting the entire future of the country at risk doesn’t enter into the equation for them. It’s all an exercise in cynicism. All that matters is which one of them comes out on top. The likes of you and me are screwed whoever wins.

British politics has been reduced to a beauty contest between three ugly public schoolboys all of whom come from rich and privileged backgrounds and this demonstrates that Britain is going backwards. This is the kind of leadership contest that Victorians would have been familiar with. They’d also have been familiar with blaming the poor for their own problems, the fact that so many depend upon private charity in order to keep food in their stomachs, and the glorification of the military in order to distract the public from problems at home.

Boris Johnson was described over the weekend as a nicer version of Donald Trump. That’s what you call damning with faint praise, as there are creatures which crawl out from underneath rocks in Victorian horror novels which are nicer than Donald. Victorian horror novels about creatures from the dark are like documentaries in comparison to the works of fiction which utter from Donald’s gob, and that is something that he does share with most of the British Tory party whether it’s the Boris backing part of it or not.

Boris and Donald do share much in common. Boris might not want to build a wall to keep migrants out, but that’s only because Britain is an island. He does want to convert the English Channel into a moat. Both have bad hair, both are self-obsessed, both make promises that they won’t be able to deliver, and both live in a fantasy world where their career ambitions vastly exceed their capabilities. There are significant differences between them however, Donald demonises Mexicans and Guatemalans, whereas Boris demonises Turks and Romanians.

Dave doesn’t just have to win the referendum, he has to win it convincingly. If he loses the referendum he’ll be out on his ear as Prime Minister in approximately the same amount of time that it takes a Scottish Republican to reach for the TV remote control when Nicholas Witchell comes on the telly. If remain wins the referendum very narrowly, losing in England but winning overall on the back of votes in Scotland, there will be an almighty constitutional crisis, Scottish independence supporters would laugh uproariously saying where’s yer English votes for English laws noo, and Davie would still be forced out of office by embittered Eurosceptic MPs who would now be extremely keen to see Scotland leave the UK. If there’s a very close result but remain manages to scrape to victory in England, Davie’s job is by no means safe. All the bile and bitterness of the referendum campaign will be thrown back in his face by angry backbenchers who will be itching for revenge. Only a large and decisive victory will ensure that Davie is safe, yet all the opinion polls show that it’s too close to call. Whichever side wins, the question won’t be settled.

Dunno about you, but I’ll be getting out the popcorn to watch the Tory party tear itself apart and biding my time until Scotland gets another chance at a referendum in which victory will ensure that we never get governed by Old Etonians again and that never again will Scotland be held hostage to the vanities of rich and over privileged public schoolboys.


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The drugs of Britishness don’t work any more

We live in a topsy turvy universe, or at least the Caledonian parts of it. Legal mind altering substances have now been banned, but here in Scotland political reality is warped on a daily basis without any pharmacological assistance. If you want to warp your brain and corrode your synapses with altered states of irreality all you need to do is read the Scottish Unionist media, which is pretty much most of it.

Unlike the banned kind of mind alteration, the Unionist variety comes with the recommendation of the state and the establishment. In fact it’s compulsory to pay for the drug of BBC Great Britishism if you want a TV, or soon perhaps if you just want a computer or a smart phone. With the drug of Union Scotland will tune in turn on and drop off the edge of the planet. It’s not a high, it’s the world’s most effective downer.

This is a country where the party that came a very distant second in an election campaign is hailed by an increasingly desperate press as the victors, where the leader of an irrelevant grupuscule which came fifth in the same election and who only got his seat due to the benefit of Unionist tactical votes remains a figure of national importance even though he’s not even the most famous person on his own bus route, and where the fact that an SNP MP isn’t being investigated by the polis is headline news.

It’s now eight months since Michelle Thompson MP withdrew from the SNP following an onslaught in the Scottish media over her business affairs. Yet all these months later and despite the press holding its collective nose like it was dealing with the stench of corruption we now discover that the MP has never been approached by the police. It was the manufactured outrage from the Scottish press that allowed a Lib Dem to win the same constituency at the recent Holyrood election. Every little helps eh?

It was also manufactured press outrage over the online activities of the SNP candidate that helped Labour’s Ian Murray become the MP for Red Morningside in last year’s Westminster election. Some comments from the SNP candidate were twisted and distorted in the press in a concerted campaign of character assassination and we had Ian’s surprise victory as a result. You don’t need any more evidence that our distorted media landscape distorts our democracy. They warp, they misrepresent, they distort and they malign, and when they do shameful things they insist that they’re only doing their duty. Duty to whom? It’s not their duty to you or me. But then the Unionist media, like any inveterate hypocrite, generally has two reasons for doing something, one that sounds good, and the real one.

The condemnation from the press is inversely proportional to the seriousness of the political crime. Tony Blair took the country into an illegal war yet he’s still walking free and earning large amounts of money by whoring himself to Central Asian dictators. The war in Iraq was the greatest British political crime of this century, but Tony preserves his privileges and his wealth and his influence intact. This weekend we’re told that the great liar is warning that a Corbyn government would be a recipe for war, but there was no greater recipe for war than Tony’s ego and his desire to out-Thatcher Thatcher.

We never hear the end of the condemnation of the independence referendum for its supposed divisiveness, yet it was a campaign marked by mass activity that politicised and engaged hundreds of thousands who had previously been alienated. Now we’ve got another referendum, one characterised by negativity, fear, hyperbolic scare stories which risks the future of Britain in Europe, and all so that the UK decides which one of two over-privileged over-entitled public schoolboys gets to be next Tory leader and the next Prime Minister. The very same people who decry the divisiveness of the Scottish campaign are strangely silent as they rip seven shades of shite out of one another in a political campaign which has alienation as its goal.

Stewart Hosie stole some kisses from a woman who wasn’t his wife and his career was strangled by the media moral outrage. The Conservative party stole an election with illegal expenses and the media moral outrage is strangled. It’s potentially the most serious breach of election law in British history since Universal Suffrage was introduced, but you’ll search the media in vain for a detailed account. They’re far too busy tutting about the amorous activities of an SNP MP. Democracy is drowned in a puritan puddle while the establishment ocean of sleaze overwhelms us.

There’s little mention in the papers of the Channel 4 investigation into Conservative election expenses, even though the police are involved, even though if the allegations are true then this UK government would have won its majority only by breaking electoral law and so is illegitimate, making it quite literally a bastard Tory government. But the media doesn’t care because it’s controlled by bastard Tories too. Wrongs aren’t wrong when they’re committed by those the papers look up to.

This is the inside outside upside down universe of the British state, where wrong is right if carried out by the right people and right is wrong if carried out by the wrong people. You and me, we’re the wrong people. Little people, they’re the wrong people, the poor, the marginalised, the sidelined and the disabled, they’re the wrong people just by virtue of their existence. The right people write the headlines and make the news, the right people tell us what’s right, and what’s right is what benefits the right people.

And yet despite the onslaughts on our senses, the constant deception and the diet of lies, there are hundreds of thousands of us who look in the hall of mirrors of the British state and its media and refuse to recognise what it tells us is reality. We’ll make up our own minds, and our minds are made up that this is no state to be in. The drugs of Britishness don’t work any more.

This post was edited because I’d mistakenly said it was Ruth Davidson who won in Edinburgh West, in fact she won in Edinburgh Central.


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Deciding the route of the number 17 bus

Wee Wullie Rennie is desperate to be noticed. When you’re the leader of a moribund party which came in fifth behind the Greens, and you only managed to get your seat at the expense of 40 odd lost deposits you must feel the need to justify your existence. There’s only so much mileage in bus timetables in Kelty after all. Now he’s upset because his role in the Remain campaign is being eclipsed by Alex Salmond, although to be honest the moon like face of Wullie could be eclipsed by a party balloon. But that’s not a nice thing to say about Tavish Scott.

Last night the Eck was speaking at a BBC debate, a debate that most people ignored because a) it’s about the whole EU referendum thang and no one in Scotland is really that interested in a Tory beauty contest when they’re all just different shades of ugly, and b) because it was a debate held by the BBC which is guaranteed to be more shouty than Ruth Davidson at Furst Meenister’s Questions. When Scotland wasn’t being patronised by the corporation, Alex Salmond stated that if the UK voted to leave the EU but Scotland voted to remain, there would be a clear justification for another independence referendum and that referendum would be held within two years. This is what got Wullie more upset than discovering that his favourite bus is to be replaced by a Lib Dem tandem, and they’d still struggle to fill the seats.

Speaking through the medium of a press release to a Scottish media that’s so desperate for some SNPbaddery that it even pays attention to Wee Wullie, the driver of Lib Dem fortunes and the number 17 bus from Cowdenbeath has demanded that Alex Salmond ought to withdraw from the Remain campaign. Not that Wullie is in a position to demand anything mind, except possibly demanding that passengers move down the bus to make room for people wanting to get on at the stop in the High Street, but that rarely stops him. Wee Wullie’s afraid that because his Eckness is warning that Scotland will hold another independence referendum if the UK votes to leave, he makes it more likely that the UK will in fact leave. Let’s explore the logic of that, because clearly in his haste to indulge himself in some SNPbadding Wee Wullie hisnae.

Scotland is the most pro-EU part of the UK according to opinion polls, by quite a considerable margin. Anyone who disputes that Scotland and England don’t have different political cultures only needs to look at the respective public attitudes in the two countries to our European neighbours. Scots are constantly decried by yoonatics for being parochial, insular, and xenophobic, but we’re far more likely to embrace the whole continental croissant café culture shtick, even though our weather is mingin.

Wullie claims to be afraid that independence supporters who otherwise want to remain in the EU would vote to leave as part of a cunning ruse to get Scotland to vote to leave too. It’s hard to see what he’s getting at there, but then this is Wee Wullie we’re talking about and any illogical and contradictory proposition will do as long as it enables a Unionist politician to score an SNPbad point. It doesn’t take a mental giant to work out that if Scots vote to leave the EU along with the rest of the UK then there wouldn’t be any justification for another independence referendum. So he’s clearly not thought that one through, which wouldn’t be the first time that Wullie hasn’t thought something through. No one has ever accused Wullie of mental gigantism, and it’s press releases like this one which are the reason why.

Alternatively, Wee Wullie is feart that Alex Salmond’s presence in the Remain campaign and his reminding voters that Scotland has a right to act in its own self-interest every bit as much as England does, will lead people in the rest of the UK to vote to leave in order to provoke another independence referendum and get rid of Scotland. Which means that Wullie wants Scotland to remain a part of a UK in which he thinks that there’s a very good chance that most people hate us. Wullie wants Scotland to play gooseberry and sit between Middle England and Nigel Farage when they want to go out on a date together to watch a movie about how horrible foreigners and Scottish people are. That might be good for Wee Wullie, as it means that the Unionist media will still pick up on his asinine press releases, but it’s pretty crappy for the rest of us because there’s no way that Nige is going to pass us the popcorn. Mind you, Wee Wullie has built an entire career on not thinking things through.

The remnants of Better Together want Scotland to forget all the promises and commitments that they made during the independence referendum. They want us to forget that they swore blind that they only way that Scotland could remain in the EU was to vote against independence, they only want us to remember the personal opinion of Alex Salmond and make it binding on an entire nation. They have no intention of making their own promises binding upon themselves. Alex Salmond reminded them of their promises on Thursday evening, and that’s what’s got Wullie’s goat.

The Unionists demand to control the narrative. They want the story to be that there’s no appetite for Scottish independence, and no obligation on the Unionists to fulfil their own commitments. They want to pretend that they won the Holyrood elections even though there is still a majority for independence in the parliament. They want to frame the EU debate as a one in which Scotland will do what Westminster tells it. They don’t want us to realise that Scotland’s hands do not have to be tied by decisions made elsewhere.

Alex Salmond has reminded them that there are other stories to tell, other paths to tread, and that what the independence referendum of 2014 really established wasn’t that Scotland has a burning desire to remain a part of the UK. What it really established is that Scotland is now the master of its own destiny. We put the Union on notice that September, no longer will Scotland passively sit in silence while Westminster makes decisions that are contrary to our interests. That’s what’s really upsetting Wee Wullie Rennie. The 17 bus to Kelty could turn out to be a bus to independence, and there’s bugger all he can do about it. He doesn’t get to determine the route.


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Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

The permagordiegasm

There’s been an inturrvenshun, which is the only thing that the Scottish media love more than a murrdurr or a wee cute kitten, although it does still come quite some way behind the fitba. Who needs quantum states when you’ve got Gordie Broon, who can simultaneously intervene for the very first time even though he never bloody stops intervening, and is simultaneously the most influential politician that the Labour party possesses and a complete non-entity. In one of the alternate universes accessible only in a quantum state there’s a Gordie Broon who intervenes while stabbing someone while carrying a kitten at a fitba match, and a Scottish media that’s in a state of permanent Gordiegasm. Although to be honest the one in this universe makes a very good attempt at being in a state of permagordiegasm too.

Gordie Broon has been pacing the carpet for the very first time again, this time he has used a speech to the European Parliament to warn the Tory government that it’s terrible bad for them to be so negative in their campaigning in the EU referendum. That’s Gordie for you, watching the Tories attack one another and pull the limbs off each other like a psychopathic child pulling the legs off of flies is the only pleasurable part of this entire sorry excuse for a referendum campaign. It’s highly amusing to watch Tories make the realisation that Tories are durrty lying basterts, a fact that the rest of us have known for a very long time. Gordie wants an end to all of that. He wants more discussion of endogenous growth theory and jaw clamping. Trust Gordie to suck the joy out of everything, and it’s not like there’s a lot of joy to go around in the UK. In no small measure we have Gordie to thank for making it so bloody miserable.

Being negative is not how we won the Scottish referendum for the Tories, said the man who spent the indyref telling people who need transplants or blood transfusions that they’d be left to a slow agonising death even worse than the one we all have to suffer from having to listen to Gordie’s pontification. Clearly putting the bejeezus up pensioners with the threat that they weren’t going to get their pensions any more if Scotland became independent wasn’t negative scaremongering, it was merely offering information.

The fact that it was lying, manipulative, and deceptive information is neither here nor there to the Gordosaur. The fact that it was a complete invention and as much of a fantasy as his estimation of his abilities and achievements didn’t bother him either. Gordie never lies, he’s quantum, what he says is perfectly accurate in one of the alternate universes that only exist inside his own ego. If that’s good enough for Gordie and the Scottish media it ought to be good enough for the rest of us too. Besides, Gordie’s ego is perfectly capable of containing an infinite number of contradictory propositions because it’s so vast that they never have to collide with one another or with reality.

Gordie’s inturrvenshun proves yet again that he’s incapable of remembering what he said and did the last time. That’s why he has a clear conscience. It’s very easy to have a clear conscience when you’ve suppressed the memories of all the lies you’ve told. He reputedly has a stupendous capacity for facts and a photographic memory, it’s just that there’s no film in his camera and no pointer in his moral compass. The only thing that he’s capable of remembering reliably is who he holds a grudge against. However it’s unfair to say that our one-time leader is a complete idiot, some of his parts are missing. Those would be the parts resonsible for modesty, self-awareness, good grace, and charm.

Gordie’s entire life is a lesson in the folly of rampant ambition at the cost of everything else. It’s all very well having a ruthless determination to get to the top, but you need to have some idea of what you’re going to do when you get there. Gordie spent decades plotting, sulking, and backstabbing his way into the Prime Minister’s office, and when he finally got there he had no clue about what to do next. It wasn’t that he had any great vision for office, he was just jealous and upset that other people had the office and he didn’t. This is not a man that should be held up as an example to anyone. The fact he’s a hero to large sections of the Scottish Unionist media tells you a whole lot more about the Scottish Unionist media than it does about Gordie Broon.

If you believed the Scottish Unionist media, and with every passing day there are fewer and fewer who do, the people to listen to on Scottish matters are Gordie, wee Wullie Rennie, and Ruth the Action Krankie. Kezia Dugdale would normally have been included on that list, but not even what’s left of the Labour party listen to her. Collectively they have less influence on Scottish life than the buffalo that Ruth likes to use as a prop for her photo ops. Although to be fair Wee Wullie is highly influential when it comes to bus timetables in Fife. That gives him more power and influence than Gordie Broon has.

The Scottish media have to make the most of the Gordosaur because he was the last Scottish MP to become Prime Minister, and he’s going to be the last. There will never be another Scottish Prime Minister, it’s a concept which is as extinct as the dinosaurs or as Labour MPs representing Scottish working class communities. Davie Cameron has ensured there won’t be another Scottish PM with his English votes for English laws which mean a future Scottish Prime Minister wouldn’t have a vote on key policies of their own government. But as long as the Unionist media have Gordie they can pretend that Scotland still has influence in the Union, and by extension that the Scottish Unionist media does too. It’s the self-deluded seeking validation from a fantasist.

 


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The BritArt school of conceptual politics

Tony Blair, who is to great politics as Chris De Burgh is to great music, has been opining again about the state of British politics and how it’s rubbish now because no one likes him any more. The former Prime Minister was speaking to an invited audience in London at an event for Prospect magazine, because an uninvited audience would only have thrown rotten vegetables, booed, hissed, and demanded that he was hauled off to stand trial at the Hague. Tone prefers not to engage with the public at all, it’s far more profitable to be engaged by dictatorships in Central Asia who can help him with large amounts of money to keep growing his property portfolio.

Blair was a creature of the 90s, the founder of the BritArt school of conceptual politics, which consisted of fancy sounding and pretentious ideas that signified nothing attached to a hauf arsed piece of dreck. It was a confection which served as a means for an artist bereft of talent or skills to get very rich while creating absolutely nothing of note or value, whose only lasting legacy is an emptiness of the soul and the draining of the ocean of public credulity. All that Blairism left behind it is a dry seabed of cynicism. Although to be fair Tony did have one very great talent, it’s just that his talent was for lying and manipulation and turning the Labour party into a pale imitation of the Tories. No wonder Maggie Thatcher hailed him as her greatest achievement.

Blair did manage to achieve something that Thatcher could never aspire to, he demonstrated that it was actually possible for working class people to despise a politician even more than we despised Thatcher. With Thatcher you got what she claimed to be, a triumphalist populist right wing Tory, who made no bones about the fact that her aim was to beat working class communities and their institutions like the trade unions about the head with a police baton full of rusty nails. And that’s exactly what she did.

Blair claimed to represent the aspirations of the working classes, and then he beat us about the head with a stick full of rusty nails on behalf of the bosses and the banks while he told us mournfully that doing so hurt him more than it hurt us. He turned the Labour party from the party of the trade union movement into the party of managing the trade union movement on behalf of the British establishment and the banks of the City of London. Then he got on with the serious business of making himself seriously rich, a business into which he has thrown himself with far more enthusiasm than he ever demonstrated for the supposedly progressive politics he claimed to espouse.

Tony’s the creator of the politics of the Westminster that we see today. The politics of fear and vapidity, of hyperbole and stupidity, where politicians compete to see who can hold the public in the greatest contempt. The EU referendum where where all we have are different shades of Tories vying with one another to scare the public the most is devoid of anything positive or meaningful because Blair destroyed the capacity of the Labour party to pose as a force for moral good. Labour can’t take the moral high ground when Tony’s still camping on it with his dubious justifications for a war of aggression and the smoking ruins of Baghdad are blocking the path.

Having failed to learn the lessons of the last war, now he wants another. In his presentation for Prospect he raised the appalling prospect of another war. Tony likes his wars. Wars mean no one is demanding an investigation into how he got so wealthy because in war you can demonise your opposition for its lack of patriotism. Wars are very useful for politicians like Tony. He called for Western troops to get involved in Iraq again in order to defeat the demon that is ISIS. But it was Tony who unleashed the demon to begin with, and he still refuses to accept his culpability. You don’t rectify a crime by repeating it.

In his speech on Tuesday he complained that there is no longer any centre ground in British politics, but he’s only got himself to blame for that. Tony took the centre ground and set fire to it, he scorched it with lies and booby trapped it with deceit. He taught the public that in British politics occupying the centre ground meant attempting to face both ways at once, and now he’s upset because the public don’t trust either of his two faces.

There is a real and lasting achievement of Tony Blair and his successor, the only man in Britain whose ego matched his own. Between the two of them they finally put to rest the myth that kept the Labour bandwagon on the British Parliamentary Road to Socialism. They came into office having realised the impossible dream of the Labour movement, that crushing majority which meant that the party could at long last, after so many decades and so many disappointments, finally set about the reforming agenda it had been preaching to our parents and grandparents. Then they set about about going back on every promise that they’d made.

The promise of proportional representation was quickly ditched because it meant that Labour wouldn’t keep getting its large majorities. That deception is one of the reasons why they’re now nowhere near getting any sort of majority for the foreseeable future. The promised reform of the Lords turned out to mean reforming the Lords into the only possible thing worse than a chamber whose members inherited their seats, a chamber whose members got their seats for life due to favouritism and patronage. The promise of devolution was only kept grudgingly, after watering down the powers of the new Scottish parliament and foisting tax raising powers on it that were designed to be impossible to use and an electoral system designed to keep Labour and the Lib Dems in power. How has that worked out for them eh?

Tony Blair taught us a valuable lesson. He destroyed the centre ground of British politics with his lies and deceit. He proved finally and without any question or doubt that the British state and the Westminster parliament are incapable of meaningful reform. He demonstrated that if we want to live in a country which values its public services, which seeks to ensure that every citizen has a decent standard of living, all that is left is for Scotland to leave the UK and build that country for itself. When you strip away the hype from the BritArt school of conceptual politics, all that is left is Tony’s empty promises and an unmade bed of lies.

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BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

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To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer.

The sightlines of the prams

So here we are, a month out from the Tory Leadership Referendum with its potential side effect of taking the UK out of the EU, there’s the possibility of legal action against the Conservatives over driving a coach, literally, through election expenses laws which could result in the government losing its majority, there’s the distant rumbling of the Chilcot Report which should, if there’s any justice, see Tony Blair and Jack Straw named and shamed for taking the country into an illegal war. There is no shortage of news stories which ought to boil the blood of anyone who retains a couple of functioning neurones, and yet if you look at the papers, the most important events today are who Stewart Hosie has been shagging, a fitba match that took place two days ago, and the competition between George Osborne and Boris Johnson about who can tell the scariest story. The only responses from a sane person are respectively, don’t care, don’t care, and get a bloody grip. No wonder our media is going down the toilet.

The tale of Stewart Hosie shagging someone who wasn’t his wife has dominated the Scottish press for the past week. You’d think that we’d been teleported back to the 1950s. Compare and contrast the treatment received by Stewart Hosie with that of Tory John Whittingdale MP, the minister in charge of press regulation and broadcasting. Whittingdale had an affair with a dominatrix whom he took to official functions on expenses, yet he’s still in office. If you look up double standards in the dictionary, you’ll find a wee note telling you to refer to the British press.

Whatever has gone on with Stewart Hosie and his sex life is a matter for him, his wife, and possibly his urologist, yet according to our newspapers it’s the most shocking political story since Watergate. Unless there is evidence, and there most certainly isn’t, that he’d been paying for prostitutes using government funds, or that he’d been engaged in drug fuelled binges with underage hookers, none of the rest of us have any interest. He’s broken no laws, he’s abused no expenses, he has not lied or cheated to his constituents. They didn’t marry the guy, he didn’t promise to be sexually faithful to them. Yet he’s been subjected to a barrage of stories in the papers that have led to his resignation. Funny that Whittingdale didn’t receive similar treatment eh.

You and me and the tabloids or the wannabe tabloids of the supposedly serious Scottish press have not been damaged, hurt, diminished or affected in any way by what Stewart Hosie has been getting up to in his time off. It’s no business of mine or yours what Stewart Hosie does with the hosie in his underpants. All that the story proves is that our media is irredeemably immature, and that if they keep being immature eventually they’ll hit a target successfully and end someone’s career, which just encourages them to continue to be immature. All the Stewart Hosie affair affair tells us is that the Scottish media is going to continue its journey down the toilet and round the U-bend of irrelevance. No wonder their readership statistics are getting flushed away.

The Scottish fitba establishment are spoilt little children with a vast sense of entitlement. In fact their sense of entitlement is inversely proportional to their competence, which makes it pretty vast indeed. The entire known universe isn’t large enough to contain it. The developing field of quantum computing relies on quantum states existing simultaneously in a myriad of different universes, and it’s only being developed in order to to calculate the sizes of the egos of Scottish football clubs. Anyone who has spent more than five minutes in this country knows that, and they also know that the sense of entitlement at the top of fitba translates into bad behaviour from fans who likewise think that 22 millionaires kicking a leather ball about and ruining a perfectly good lawn is more important than finding a cure for cancer. Although many of the rest of us wish that someone could discover a cure for fitba.

There was more immaturity on display on Saturday when Hibs fans invaded the pitch after winning the cup, some Rangers fans invaded back, and there was a wee spot of bother which it appears mostly involved some spitting and a couple of highly payed people getting shoved a bit, all to the accompaniment of sing-a-long-a-sectarianism. It’s now been transformed into the greatest scandal to hit Scotland since Stewart Hosie discovered that he has a functioning penis. If our media devoted a little less time to the egos of boys playing games, then perhaps they wouldn’t behave quite so badly. Just a wee suggestion there. The rest of us would certainly be a whole lot happier.

Today we had the latest episode in the European Union referendum saga, for anyone who hasn’t yet pulled their duvet over their heads and isn’t rocking back and forward in the fetal position banging their heads off the headboard. The Treasury has issued a report claiming that there are only two possible outcomes if the UK leaves the EU, utter ruin and devasation, or utter utter ruin and devastation. Meanwhile in a cunning conflation of anti-immigrant racism with Scottophobia the Leave campaign has claimed that if we remain in the EU then an army of Turks the size of the population of Scotland is going to invade the UK in order to make sure that the only job your kids will be able to get will be a zero hours contract in a call centre on the minimum wage, and destroy your health service. Although that’s pretty much what the Tories are aiming to do whether we remain a part of the EU or we leave it. Naturally all this is being reported in the UK press in calm and measured tones, or at least it probably is in one of those other universes accessible only to quantum bits in a quantum computer. Because it sure as hell isn’t happening in this one.

The vast bulk of the population remain steadfastly unaffected by the media’s hysteria and their immature views. It was claimed during the Scottish referendum by the selfsame Unionist media that Scotland was too immature to become an independent nation. We’re not. It’s our media that’s immature and infantile. There are babies who get a more balanced and grown up view of the world from the sightline of their prams.

The e-edition of Barking Up the Right Tree is now available for Kindle and other electronic reading devices. Click here to buy it now on Amazon for just £4!

Vagabond Voices are presenting an evening with Jim Sillars at the Yes Bar in Glasgow on Tuesday evening from 7pm. All welcome.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

The two volumes of the Collected Yaps are in stock again. See below for order details.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer.

Tony Blair’s tombstone teeth

The Chilcot Enquiry has been going on so long that it has given its name to a geological epoch. It’s seen mountain ranges rise and erode, continents move across the face of the planet as the tectonic plates dance on magma, and the mass extinction of much of Iraq spreading across the Middle East and North Africa. And all the while Tony Blair of the tombstone teeth, deliverer of deception and disturber of the peace, has profited from the chaos he created by offering his dubious servicing of sanctimonious sleaze to assorted dictators and strongmen.

His former foreign secretary Jack Straw, who never saw a back that he wouldn’t stab, is also going to come out of the report badly. Which is fair enough because he went into it badly. Jack Straw never saw a conspiracy that he wasn’t up to his neck in. It has been said that when an event can be explained either by cock up or by conspiracy, it’s invariably the cock up that happened, except of course when Jack Straw is involved. Jack’s idea of diplomacy is to give a person a hole in their head and calling it an open mind.

Now, if reports are correct, what’s left of their shabby reputations is about to be left in shreds by the Chilcot Enquiry. They took Britain into a war because Tony had decided in advance with George W Bush that there was to be a war to avenge the attacks of September 11 2001. It didn’t matter that the target of their warmongering wasn’t involved in that attack. All that mattered was their own desire to strut the world stage and act as avenging angels. Then they spent the next few months and years contriving every possible excuse in order to bring war about. Blair and Straw followed the advice of a man who once said, “the people don’t want war. But … all you have to do is tell them they’re being attacked and denounce the pacifists for a lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” That man was Hermann Goering.

Blair and his pals set out to manipulate and deceive public opinion, with dodgy dossiers and 45 minute missiles. They cited weapons of mass destruction that were as mythical as Tony’s honesty. They took us to war on a lie and decried those who protested.

The Chilcot Enquiry was set up under the auspices of Gordie Broon, a man who was the second in the UK government when Tony made his decision to go to war, who funded that war and defended it. Sir John Chilcot was chosen to head the enquiry despite his cosy relationship with many leading figures in Blair’s government, and has apparently bent over backwards to give Blair, Jack Straw and head bummers in the British military establishment the chance to get their retaliation and excuses in first. The entire sorry process has dragged out longer than the war it set out to investigate, allowing those involved to slink off into well renumerated retirement.

Yet despite all these factors in their favour, and despite the traditional reluctance of the British establishment to blame the British establishment, according to the Sunday Times their reputations will be beyond recovery after the Chilcot Report has been published. If this is what it’s like for them after fifteen coats of Ronseal have been applied, after every benefit of every doubt has been granted, after it’s been scented and prettified by experts in turd polishing, just imagine how nasty the unvarnished truth must be. The stench of decay surrounds the corpse of Blair’s reputation like flies flying round body parts in a Baghdad street.

Warmongering is bad enough. An aggressive war is a crime against humanity. But worse than that Blair and Straw, aided and abetted by the rest of the Labour cabinet, and supported by the Tories, took the UK into a war that they had not properly planned or prepared for. All they wanted was the quick fix of a short war and the gushing headlines of a grateful press. They didn’t want to bother their vanity with the hard work of rebuilding a country that they chose to shatter. That’s boring, that’s dull, that doesn’t have the glamour of a video shot from a drone, blowing up a bridge in a land far away.

Blair and Straw have the same attitude to international diplomacy as a gang of weans who put fireworks through a neighbour’s letterbox and run away giggling when they hear the bangs. Then they claim that the fact the house burned down was nothing to do with them. It was going to burn down anyway, no really. Nothing to do with them throwing a lit match into a mountain of dry tinder because someone else entirely had mounted a terrorist attack in the USA. All because they wanted a pretty bang and flashing lights that would light up their names in the press. Look at us, we’re doing something. The fact they were doing the wrong thing wasn’t relevant to them at all. Never mind that, just look at the headlines in an adulatory press.

We’re still suffering the consequences. We count it in lives lost and limbs lacerated. We count it in the wars that go on to this day. So-called Islamic State only gained traction because Bush and Blair were the midwives of chaos in the Middle East. They started a war and thought that it was over once they’d destroyed the fabric of Iraq, without a single thought about what might replace it, without caring about or understanding the tensions and divisions that were already there.

The Chilcot Report is due to be published early in July, but it’s not enough that Blair and his cronies are criticised. They have to be castigated too, they have to suffer the consequences, they have to pay the price of justice. If no action is taken against them, it will be the final admission of moral bankruptcy from a British state that is nothing more than the Pentagon’s whore. If the rich and the powerful don’t face justice we no longer live in a state that has any right to call itself a democracy. The people of Iraq and Syria and Libya bear the cost of Britain’s self importance in blood, in the tears of the old woman on the Turkish shores while Tony Blair smiles with his tombstone teeth.

The e-edition of Barking Up the Right Tree is now available for Kindle and other electronic reading devices. Click here to buy it now on Amazon for just £4!

Vagabond Voices are presenting an evening with Jim Sillars at the Yes Bar in Glasgow on Tuesday evening from 7pm. All welcome.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

The two volumes of the Collected Yaps are in stock again. See below for order details.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer.