Some thoughts on the exit poll

This is just a quick blog before the proper results from Scotland start to come through. The exit poll, which was pretty accurate at the last General Election, is predicting that the SNP will practically sweep the board in Scotland, and will end up with 55 seats. It’s not clear to me whether this number includes Kirkcaldy or not. It’s a stupendous result if it comes to pass. If it does, keep well clear of Loch Ness as Ruth Davidson – in a desperate bid to remain relevant – has promised to go skinny dipping in the loch if the SNP end up with over 50 seats. There’s really no need Ruth, Loch Ness already has a slimy reptile.

However it also seems that the electorate in the rest of the UK have given Boris Johnson the thumping majority that he was seeking. It proves that you can lie, lie, and lie again and if you’re a right wing British nationalist populist you can still be elected. The poll predicts that the Conservatives will end up with 368 seats, an increase of 50 on their 2017 result. Labour will be left with a mere 191. I could weep. The UK is full of arses who would vote against their own interests because “get Brexit done”.

Scotland is a different country. It’s a country which has rejected Boris Johnson, rejected his Brexit, rejected his lies and his deceit. The United Kingdom is no longer sustainable, although it’s certain that Johnson will use his majority in the Commons in order to try to thwart the democratic will of the people of Scotland.  He might succeed in the short term, but Scotland cannot and will not be denied forever.  The UK died this evening.

In the short term we’re in for a world of pain. We’re going to get Tory neo-conservatism unleashed without anything to restrain it. But if this poll is true, then it also means that Scotland has very firmly and unequivocally demanded its right to decide on its own future. The momentum for another independence referendum, and for independence itself, will be unstoppable. We’re in the darkness of An Dùbhlachd, the Gaelic word for December which literally translates as the gloominess, but the dream of independence is a beacon shining a light on the path to a better country. The next year is going to be huge for Scotland, for the independence movement. This General Election is the General Election that spelled the end of the UK.


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GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


The oven ready chicken hiding in a fridge

borisactually2
Rejoice! Today the incredible happened. For a short period of time, Boris Johnson wasn’t telling any lies! We had to wait until the very last day of campaigning, but it has actually happened. I know, I scarcely believe it either. Amazing isn’t it. Admittedly it only happened because he was hiding in a fridge at the time, but still.

Boris Johnson hid in a fridge while on a visit to a milk business in Yorkshire in order to avoid being interviewed by Piers Morgan. When the Prime Minister was approached by the Good Morning Britain producer Jonathan Swain who asked if Johnson would do the interview, Johnson’s press secretary Rob Oxley – formerly of the obscurely funded Taxpayers Alliance – was clearly heard telling him for fuck’s sake and then pushing him out of the way. “I’ll be with you in a second,” lied Johnson, who then went off to hide in a fridge. Jonathan Swain should at least be grateful that Boris Johnson didn’t steal his phone first.

Now it does have to be said that under normal circumstances, it would be perfectly normal, indeed laudable, for a normal human being to say fuck off and hide in a fridge in order to avoid Piers Morgan, but Boris Johnson is not a normal human being under normal circumstances. He’s an aspiring Prime Minister who avoids all attempts at serious scrutiny because that will expose his lies, his deceit, and his mendacity. He’s an oven-ready chicken hiding in a fridge. Suddenly the phrase nuke the fridge has taken on a whole new meaning. Perhaps Johnson thought he was channelling Indiana Jones, but he was really just starring in the shittiest version of Frozen ever seen. The light went out when he closed that fridge door. It went out across the whole UK and won’t come back on again as long as he’s anywhere near power.

Boris Johnson has always fancied himself as a modern day Churchill. I don’t think the UK’s wartime leader was ever known to say “We shall fight them in the crisper, we shall fight them in the ice cube compartment, never have so many owed so much to a probiotic yoghurt.” This is the guy who the Tories told us was fantastic with the media, a great performer, unbeatable in his ability to connect. And now it comes to this, hiding in a fridge in order to avoid Piers Morgan.

There are even headlines saying that Boris Johnson was “accused” of hiding in a fridge. There’s no accused about it. We saw him physically scurry into a fridge in order to avoid being held to account. We saw him do it, lying leg movement by lying leg movement. There’s a video. If you vote for a guy who hid in a fridge in order to avoid a toilet, you deserve everything that you’re going to get. The problem is that the rest of us will suffer the consequences too. Of course this incident, which is the perfect metaphor for all of Boris Johnson’s many and manifest character flaws, was the lead story on the BBC news. Hahaha. Sorry. Just pulling your leg there.

Of course that didn’t happen. The incident wasn’t mentioned at all. No one who watched the main news bulletin on the BBC at 6 pm will have learned that the man who wants to be Prime Minister is an oven ready chicken who hides in a fridge. And neither will they have learned that their political editor Laura Kuenssberg is trending on social media because people are calling for her to be investigated for an alleged breach of electoral law when she revealed live on TV information about the results of postal votes.

But then there’s a lot which hasn’t happened during this election campaign. The media never held Johnson to account, and never ensured that the consequences of him avoiding scrutiny were worse for him than doing the interviews and debates in the first place. Because that’s the only way to hold a power hungry sociopath to account. They legitimised his cowardice, and ensured that he’ll continue with the same tactics, because they colluded in making it a beneficial strategy for him.

What didn’t happen in this campaign was for Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston to reveal who it was who had lied to them about the punch that never happened. Unlike many, I am not going to blame them for tweeting that it was alleged that an aide of the health secretary Matt Hancock was punched by a left wing protestor. Because if that had indeed happened that would have been news. But it didn’t happen. It was fake news, fake news designed to distract from the real news that Tory health cuts had resulted in a very ill four year old boy being left lying on a pile of coats on a hospital floor. But what I do blame those senior broadcasters for is not revealing who it was who had lied to them. That simply means that those same people can continue to lie, can lie in future, and can do so without facing the consequences.

What didn’t happen was the media going to town on the incredible and unprecedented fact that a former Conservative Prime Minister, a former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, and a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer have been urging voters not to vote Conservative because of the many and varied character flaws and lies of Boris Johnson and his pursuit of a damaging Brexit. This has never happened before, ever. In a normal media in a normal country this would have been a seismic event in an election campaign, as though George Bush had told voters to support a Democrat in a US presidential election. But it scarcely figured. As much if not more publicity was given by the media to some Labour party nonentities saying that they wouldn’t support Jeremy Corbyn.

What didn’t happen was any attempt by the UK media to acknowledge the fact that the UK is not England and that the UK doesn’t have a presidential system. It’s a product of the parochialism and monoglot English speaking nature of so much of the UK that their only model for election coverage is what they see in America. So we saw the largest party in Scotland being sidelined and ignored in TV debates, an inexusable move which is likely to have a direct effect on the election outcome in Scotland. But then that was the intention all along.

We’ve gone from die in a ditch to hide in a fridge. That’s the course of British politics in this election. God help us all if this creature is given a majority. In no small measure that lamentable outcome will be due to the failure of the British media to do its job properly. When it comes to the Conservatives, the British media are oven ready chickens hiding in a fridge.

This is the last post before voting starts.  I’ll leave comments open, however please don’t do a Kuenssberg and post anything about how voting is going in your area or about the results of postal voting if you are at the count.  While the polls are open it’s illegal to publish an exit poll or anything that could be construed as an exit poll.


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Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


The battered coffee cup

batteredcoffeecup

We’re almost there now, staggering to the end of the least inspiring, most depressing General Election in living memory. And that includes the experience of Theresa May’s robotic performance in May 2017. It’s not just the punters, even the parties don’t appear to have their hearts in it this time, certainly in my part of the world. Here in the East End of Glasgow I’ve seen one single solitary election poster in someone’s windae – an SNP one. I’ve had just two pieces of election material through the door, both from the SNP. There’s been nothing at all from Labour, the Tories, or the Lib Dems. This is a marginal constituency which Labour needs to take if it is to prove that it’s on the road to recovery in Scotland, yet the party is invisible locally.

Yet despite the boredom, the ennui, the exhaustion, this is a vitally important election. This is the election when Scotland decides who gets to decide the future of this country. Is it to be Boris Johnson, or is it to be the people of Scotland? Are we content to sit back and watch passively, silently, as foodbanks burgeon, as homelessness spreads like a cancer, as in work poverty blights more and more families, or do we say that enough is enough. This election is fundamentally a choice between Conservative selfishness or an assertion that there has to be a better way.

It’s fine to speculate about what might happen next, about the precise mechanism by which Scotland can wrest an independence vote from a reluctant Westminster, but the fundamental truth remains that the vital first step is to ensure that the only pro-independence party which can win seats tomorrow wins as many as possible. It’s imperative that independence supporters are motivated to get out and vote. It’s only by returning a large majority of SNP MPs tomorrow that we can take that first step that leads to a referendum that leads to independence that leads to something better, because if the party falters now, then all is lost.

I was in town yesterday, in the rain and the cold I lost count of the number of young people sitting in a puddle of hopelessness, a battered disposable coffee cup in front of them collecting their pennies of relief. They’re everywhere. Even in streets in the East End where you never saw homeless people before. We are now a society where all that some of us have to hope for is contained in a disposable coffee cup. The Tories did this. With their destruction of the social security system, their decimation of drug programmes, their callous disregard for social housing, Tories did this to those young people. The Tories have done it to all of us.

Every time I go into town I keep a few pounds in my pocket to place in a coffee cup. I don’t judge what it’s spent on. If the person who happens to be the first one that is stumbled across chooses to spend it on alcohol or drugs, don’t judge. Who are we judge how another person copes in a situation that those of us who are more fortunate don’t have to face. Who are we to judge what it takes to get through a long dark cold and wet night of desolation of body and soul. Who are we to judge how to cope without hope. And then I pass another battered coffee cup, and another, and another, and there are no pounds left in my pocket.

The Tories create callousness in all of us, because we can’t individually help every single person in need. We need to turn a blind eye, to walk by in our warm dry clothes towards our warm dry homes while the coffee cups are empty on the streets. The Tories tell us not to care, because it’s the only way that we can cope with the overwhelming nature of the problems that their greed has created. We need to make all of society to care, to make government care, to make those with power care. We can’t solve the problem of homelessness with a few coins in a cup, we can only solve it together. That means electing people who care, and rejecting those who don’t. It means voting out the smug arrogance of a Boris Johnson who lavishes handouts on the rich, on banks and big businesses.

Not all poverty is visible. There’s the poverty of the mother who huddles with her children under a pile of coats in the bedroom, because she can’t afford to pay her gas or electricity bill. There’s the poverty of the couple who trudge to the foodbank in the rain because their social security payment has been sanctioned. There’s the poverty of the man who sits in a van while an app controls his life, hoping for a little bit of work to put food on the table. There’s the poverty of a lifelong struggle, that has caused poor health and illness, that gives men in the area where I live a lower life expectancy than Mexico.

None of this was inevitable. The Tories just want you to think it was. None of this was necessary. The Tories just want you to think it was. None of this needs to be this way. The Tories just want you to think that it must. All this is a result of deliberate choices by a British government, a British government that the people of Scotland don’t want. They can inflict poverty, illness, and marginalisation upon us, because we don’t matter to them. And that is why it is important that we do not allow hopelessness and despair to overtake us, because when those of us who have the strength do not speak up, when we don’t say enough, when we don’t say that there is a better way, we become complicit.

Tomorrow we have a choice. We can choose not to be complicit. We can assert that there is a better way. We can demand that the empty coffee cups are a sick abomination in one of the richest countries in the world, a result of deliberate choices made by a government that doesn’t give a shit. Well we give a shit, and tomorrow is our chance to make sure that Boris Johnson hears that. There’s only one way to teach him, and that is to ensure that there are as few Conservative MPs in Scotland as possible, to ensure that Scotland insists that the people of this country have the absolute right to determine the path that this nation takes. And that is a path that will not be littered with huddled bundles of despair. It’s a path that will not lead to foodbanks. It’s a path that leads to empathy, to compassion. Vote SNP tomorrow. Vote for a future that can’t be contained in a battered coffee cup.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
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If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Boris Johnson is 88% lies, the rest is just nasty

borisactually1

The BBC is at it again. Today there’s a story on the BBC news website entitled “General Election 2019: Adverts are indecent, dishonest, and untruthful.”  The article tells us that a non-partisan body has been fact-checking the truthfulness of political advertising in this campaign by the Conservatives, Labour, the Lib Dems, and the Brexit party.

What the research found was that 88% of the Conservatives’ Facebook adverts featured claims which were either incorrect or not entirely correct. The comparable figure for the Labour party was 0%. Meanwhile the Lib Dems featured hundreds of potentially misleading unlabelled graphs claiming that only the Lib Dems could defeat Labour, the Tories, or the SNP “in seats like yours”.

A fairer headline would have been – Almost all of the Conservative online adverts are lies. Instead the BBC preferred to run a headline which implied that all parties are equally guilty when in fact the Conservatives are responsible for the vast majority of the fake stories, fake reports, and false claims made in online political advertising. It’s a dangerous false equivalence, leading to the widespread anger and disatisfaction with politics and causing the public to be disengaged. That attitude of tiredness and scunneration only benefits the Tories. The fact is that not all politicians are just as bad. Not all politicians are like Boris Johnson. It just suits him for you to think that they are, because that legitimises and disguises the true unacceptability of his behaviour.

Although to be fair, this week the Conservatives did something truthful, albeit unintentionally. It tells you something about the Tories that the only time that they’ve managed to do something truthful and accurate in this campaign is when they’ve done so by accident. They released an online video of Boris Johnson based on a scene in Love Actually. In the advert, Johnson loiters in a dark alley at night in order to send covert messages to a married woman, while telling her to keep the fact she’s seeing him a secret from her husband. It’s the first believable image of his campaign. Although what the Tories might not wish us to remember is that in the movie, the woman chooses her husband, not the creepy stalker guy who stands outside her house with placards.

The placards didn’t say, although they should have, that 88% of what Boris Johnson says is a lie, and the rest is racist abuse. They didn’t say, “I might be your dad.” Neither did the placards proclaim that the deliberately tousled one is a habitual liar who hides from proper scrutiny, although that would have been true. They didn’t say that the forty new hospitals are as mythical as the £350 million extra a week for the NHS that was written on the side of the Leave campaign bus. They didn’t say that there would indeed be customs checks between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. They didn’t say that Brexit won’t get done by the end of January even with a majority Tory government. They didn’t say “Don’t tell Andrew Neil that I’m here.”

The SNP is missing a trick if they don’t do a version of Bob Dylan’s Subterranean Homesick Blues, the famous video – one of the very first music videos – in which he stands in an alley with the lyrics to his song handwritten on placards. They could do a version fact checking all the many and manifold lies of this Conservative campaign. Although realistically a three minute long song is nowhere near long enough to cover all of them.

The UK politics are a moral cesspit in which lying has been normalised and compassion is dismissed with contempt. This sorry state of affairs has been brought about by a political system in which there are no adequate checks and balances on the power of the executive. The UK prime minister is effectively an elected dictator, moreover one elected on a ballot which is deliberately designed not to be properly representative. The result is that a prime minister can wield this almost unlimited power with a crushing majority in the House of Commons despite the fact that their party has received less than 40% of the popular vote.

In such a system the role of the media becomes even more important than it is in those democracies where the voting system is designed to produce a result which mirrors the voting preferences of the electorate, and in which there are effective checks and balances on the powers of the various branches of government in the form of a written constitution. Yet the media in the UK most commonly acts as cheerleaders for the reactionary, the right wing, and the xenophobic. Meanwhile the publicly funded BBC appears to believe that its role is to defend the status quo instead of calling out lies from the powerful.

You might have thought that in a General Election campaign where one of the most important issues is the trustworthiness of the main parties and their leaders, the remarkable finding that 88% of the Conservatives’ online advertising is a lie would be a news story worthy of having been plastered all over the headlines. You might think that it should have figured as the lead story on the BBC’s Six O Clock news, or at the very least it should have been one of the most important stories covered in today’s bulletin. Yet it didn’t even rate a mention. You might think that it would especially merit coverage as one of the most important stories in the main BBC news bulletin given the lies which the Conservatives have been spreading about Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s special advisor being punched in the face – an incident which did not in fact happen. That story was manufactured in order to deflect from the scandal of the four year old boy left on the floor of a hospital due to Tory cuts. Likewise the story being spread on social media that the incident involving the four year old was invented left wing propaganda was also unmasked as a lie.

So Tory lies are very much in the news today, but instead the BBC went with yet another attack on the Labour party. The lead story was the leaking of a private conversation with a Labour shadow cabinet member in which he expressed doubts about whether his party could win. Of course that’s a story, but the BBC chose to focus on that and entirely ignored the issue of Conservative lying.

One of the great ironies of this election campaign is watching Labour party supporters complaining about media imbalance and bias. Welcome to our world, here in Scotland we’ve had to deal with this for a very long time. In Scotland the imbalance is even worse. Out of 38 or so daily and Sunday newspapers in a country where the population is divided approximately half and half on the question of independence or the UK, only The National and The National on Sunday back a position supported by half the population. The BBC in Scotland sees its job as attacking the SNP and the cause of independence at every opportunity, and not holding to account those governments in Westminster that the people of Scotland didn’t actually vote for. Scotland is a twilight democracy, our democracy lives in the shadows, kept in the dark.


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If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


Johnson’s lies and deceit will ultimately deliver a better Scotland

Boris Johnson, fresh from stealing a mobile phone live on TV in order to avoid gazing at a photie of a wean left on the floor of a hospital because his party has screwed over the NHS for the past nine years, has been at the outrage again. The deliberately tousled one gets at the outrage like an alcoholic gets at a bottle of cheap wine. It’s his rocket fuel, it’s the wee pick-me-up that he needs to get himself through the day. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

This time it’s to claim that EU migrants have for far too long treated the UK like it’s their own country. Imagine the audacity of those EU migrants, coming over here, paying taxes into our system, treating our weans in NHS hospitals after they’ve been left on floors because of Tory cuts, caring for our elderly, serving in our hotels and restaurants, raising their families here and contributing to our society, having the utter nerve to think that they’re actually at home.

Imagine an SNP politician had made the same remark about the English in Scotland. You’d be deafened by the collective howls of anger, calling for the anti-English bigot’s head on a plate. Quite possibly one served up to you in a restaurant by a waiter from Poland. But it was just Boris, what is he like eh eh, ammarite? Just a lovable rogue and his cosy racism.

It also came to light this week that in 2004 Boris Johnson published a novel which contained anti-semitic tropes and used racist stereotypes. In the obscure novel, Seventy Two Virgins, which was published when he was a Conservative backbencher, there’s a reference to Jewish control of the media. But not merely content with indulging in anti-semitic references, the book also manages to be insulting to black people, Muslims, Kosovan Albanians, and members of the Travelling community. The words used are those of the writer of the novel, Johnson’s own words, and not those of a character within the story.

Obscure individuals, people that you and I have never heard of, are having their reputations destroyed and their chances of public office wiped out because of offensive comments that they’ve been alleged to make. These are people who are aiming to become backbenchers, most of whom get elected and then spend the next five years in total obscurity. Boris Johnson is seeking to become the Prime Minister, a position of immense power in the shoddy and creaking set of conventions which passes for a British constitution.

You might imagine that he would therefore be held to a far higher set of standards than someone who seeks to become a mere backbencher. Yet despite the fact that what Johnson has said is more blatantly racist, more offensive, and far more copious in its quantity than anything any of those aspiring to become a backbencher – from any party – have said, he sails on regardless. His racism, misogyny, and homophobia is laughed off by many as buffoonery, as a loveable rogue, as clownishness which only serves to endear him.

The other candidates can make their apologies, and can in most cases claim that the comments were errors on their part, that they genuinely hadn’t noticed or realised that the remarks they were sharing were anti-semitic. This is the excuse proferred by the Labour candidate for West Dumbarton who shared a message on a Whatsapp group which claimed that the BBC’s Nick Robinson gave Johnson an easy time in last week’s debate because Robinson is of Jewish heritage. Jean Anne Mitchell has apologised for sharing the message and claims it was a genuine mistake because she hadn’t read the post all the way to the end before sharing it. Boris Johnson can’t make that same excuse. He can’t make it because the instances of his offensive remarks are so numerous, and he can’t make it because he himself is the author of the remarks in question. He didn’t just share them, he wrote them.

Then there are the lies. They too are copious, numerous, and well documented. The entire Conservative election campaign is founded upon the lie that they will get Brexit done when what will happen in reality with a Conservative majority is yet more fraught negotiations with the EU stretching out into the future, and an end state of Brexit which will leave large parts of the UK’s population deeply unhappy. The subject of Brexit is not going to be done and dusted with a Conservative majority.

Yet despite the manifest shortcomings of a man who is clearly unfit to be granted a licence to own a dog, Boris Johnson is likely to become Prime Minister. Despite the widespread anger and disdain that he provokes in Scotland, this is the man who will most likely have the legal authority to make decisions that affect Scotland, who will refuse to allow Scotland to choose its own future even though it is also most likely that Scotland will return an increased number of SNP MPs in this election.

Brexit isn’t going to go away, and the clamour for independence in Scotland isn’t going to go away either. The Conservatives might insist that they will refuse to allow another independence referendum, but they cannot continue to resist forever. The more that they resist, the more that they refuse the democratic choice that the people of Scotland keep voting for, the more likely it becomes that when that independence vote does come about, as it most certainly will, they will lose it. Their refusal is a symptom of their desperation and panic.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Nothing that is good and right comes without struggle. Nothing that you dream of ever comes true without difficulties and reversals along the way. The path to Scottish independence is a rocky one. Yet the election of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister will make Scottish independence inevitable in the longer term. Just as the election of Margaret Thatcher in 1979 converted Scotland’s equivocal support for devolution into the settled will of the Scottish people, Boris Johnson will do the same for independence. His lies, his deceit, his racism, his contempt, and his entitlement will drive forward the demand for a better kind of politics, a kind of politics we can only ever achieve in an independent Scotland. Boris Johnson’s lies and deceit will deliver a better Scotland.


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Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


The BBC is the big loser in this election

In this election there have been several candidates in Scotland who were suspended by their parties for allegedly making anti-semitic or racist comments or for allegedly inappropriate behaviour. There have been a number of Conservative candidates, a number of Labour candidates, and an SNP candidate. Guess which one BBC Reporting Scotland decided to headline on Monday and to doorstep? Why yes, it was the SNP one. There was no mention at all that other candidates in other parties have been suspended. Fancy that.

By far the worst of these allegations concerned the Conservative candidate and former MP Ross Thomson who was suspended from the party and his own constituency chair refused to sign his nomination papers after he was accused of a sexual assault – which he strenuously denies – on another MP. Yet from BBC Reporting Scotland this evening, not a word.

Around the same time that Neale Hanvey became the subject of allegations of anti-semitism, the Labour party suspended their candidate in Falkirk, Safia Ali, after it came to light that she had posted allegedly anti-semitic comments on Facebook. If you were waiting for Glenn Campbell to hare about her constituency looking for her, you’d have been disappointed. If you were waiting for Reporting Scotland to even mention that she had been suspended, you’ll still be waiting.

Ali wasn’t the only one. The Labour candidate Kate Ramsden was forced to quit in Aberdeenshire following a row over anti-Semitism. Ramsden was forced to stand down from the Gordon constituency where she had been a contender after the Jewish Chronicle published a blog which she had written which compared Israel to an abused child who went on to become an abusing adult. No mention of that in this evening’s Reporting Scotland hatchet job on the SNP.

Another Scottish Labour candidate, Frances Hoole, was dropped after she shared a meme on Twitter which called for her SNP opponent, Joanna Cherry to be sprayed with bleach and which referred to Joanna as a TERF, which is widely considered to be a term of abuse for women who are gender-critical. Glenn Campbell went to town on that story. Oh no. Silly me, of course he didn’t.

Meanwhile, on Monday of this week the Politics Home website claimed that Labour’s West Dunbartonshire candidate Jean Anne Mitchell had shared an allegedly anti-semitic comment about the BBC’s senior political editor Nick Robinson to a Whatsapp group. The comment was alleged to have claimed that Robinson gave Johnson an easy ride in Friday evening’s leadership debate because Robinson has Jewish heritage. During the indyref, BBC Scotland went to town on independence activists who had the temerity to challenge Robinson’s impartiality – a challenge which was founded in video evidence about Robinson’s behaviour and which in no way referenced his heritage or background. Naturally Glenn Campbell was all over this breaking story about an allegedly anti-semitic verbal attack upon one of the BBC’s most prominent journalists. Oh wait. No. He was off in Fife looking for Neale Hanvey.

The Conservatives have lost as many candidates as Labour. As well as Ross Thomson, the Conservatives have been forced to suspend several other candidates in this election – some of whom were using language which was far more egregious than Neale Hanvey or some of the suspended Labour candidates. Flora Scarabello, the Tory candidate for Glasgow Central was suspended for allegedly using Islamophobic language. Meanwhile the Conservative candidate in Aberdeen North, Ryan Houghton, was suspended for allegedly indulging in the bigotry hat-trick, and making a series of posts to an online forum which were allegedly anti-Semitic, Islamophobic and homophobic. Glenn Campbell was hot in pursuit of all three of them. Oh wait. No. They weren’t mentioned on Reporting Scotland at all.

Neale Hanvey isn’t hard to find, yet the report constructed a faux narrative that a man who is out and about in his constituency in the middle of an election campaign is somehow in hiding. Despite the fact that he has been suspended from the party and cut off from all SNP support, and that Nicola Sturgeon has personally called on SNP activists not to campaign for him – which has earned her the oppobrium of many independence supporters – Labour’s Lesley Laird was given airtime to assert unchallenged that Neale Hanvey was still being supported by the SNP. The report left the viewer with the clear impression that the SNP is the only party with a problem in Scotland, and that it was winking and turning a blind eye to allegations of anti-semitism.

I am not going to get into the rights and wrongs of what any of these suspended candidates is alleged to have said or written. That’s not the point here. Now we have a different issue, one which clearly illustrates how the broadcast media in Scotland scarcely makes any attempt to fulfil its commitment to neutrality, which tells us exactly what we can expect from BBC Scotland in a future independence referendum.

What we witnessed this evening on Reporting Scotland was a ridiculously biased and one sided report which would have left any fair minded observer with the impression that it was only the SNP which has an issue with candidates who have been alleged to make inappropriate comments. There was not even a token mention at the end of the piece that other candidates in other parties had been suspended for alleged anti-semitism, islamophobia, or homophobia. It appears that BBC Scotland has deliberately and consciously set out to tell the Scottish voting public that it’s only the SNP which has a problem here. That’s indefensible. It’s inexcusable.

This happened on the very day that ITV’s Robert Peston and the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg have been accused of spreading fake news propagated by the Conservatives. It was alleged by unnamed “senior Tories” and the story spread by Peston and Kuenssberg that the Conservative Health Minister Matt Hancock was assaulted by a protester outside the hospital in Leeds where a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia had been left lying on a pile of coats. The story was not true. But as the saying goes, a lie has gone around the world by the time the truth has got its boots on. Now the story isn’t just about how Boris Johnson refused to look at a photo of the child, it’s about how the Conservatives invented a lie about the aftermath and that lie was propagated by a media which is all too willing to give the Conservatives the benefit of the doubt – despite their constant and repeated lies.

Whoever wins this election on Thursday, the big loser is what is left of trust in our public broadcaster. The BBC, and BBC Scotland in particular, is unfit for purpose.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
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If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com


The lies that will consume the Tories

conlogo

Thanks to voters in the rest of the UK, the Conservatives might win this General Election, but in the long term they’re going to lose. They’re going to destroy themselves as a party, and they’re going to destroy that so-called precious union that they keep banging on about. Within a couple of years of their victory, if not sooner, they will face a backlash of disgust, odium, and contempt from the very people who vote for them on Thursday. If the Conservatives win a majority on Thursday, it will signal the death warrant of the UK.

The Tories are a party who are running on empty. In the rest of the UK they bang on with the single message of getting Brexit done. In Scotland they are monomaniacal in their opposition to another independence referendum. Apart from that, they are content free in this election, yet even those two key promises that they’re making are promises founded upon lies. In this election the Tories are the zombie party. They’re still walking, still moving about, but they’ve long since become brain dead and are starting to rot.

The Conservatives cannot deliver on getting Brexit done. The phrase implies a finality, a promise that if the deliberately tousled liar is returned to Downing Street with a majority, that the UK can put Brexit behind it and return to some semblance of normality. You know, like when the most notable thing that happened in British politics was when David Cameron was accused of shagging a dead pig’s head. But get Brexit done is a lie. It’s a lie because Brexit is not merely the process of leaving the EU, but the end state of being outside of it. Brexit isn’t over on 31 January. It’s only just beginning. It’s a lie because the Tories are telling people to vote for them in order to get a resolution to Brexit, to get Brexit done and dusted, to make it go away and stop it from being the topic which dominates British politics. But that’s not going to happen.

Assuming that there is a Tory majority, the 31st of January merely signals the start of complex negotiations on the final relationship between the UK and the EU. They will dominate the news all next year, there will be the same dramas, the same approaching cliff edge. There will be an even higher risk of no deal, as there will be nothing to restrain Boris Johnson as he seeks to appease the swivel eyed free market Brextremists who now dominate the Conservative party. 2020 will be characterised by Brexit and arguments about Brexit every bit as much as 2019, as 2018, as 2017, as 2016. Brexit will deform UK politics for years to come.

In this election the Conservatives are playing the mirror image of the same linguistic trick that is played by the likes of Scotland in Union when they refer to independence as separatism. It’s like saying that emigrating to another country is all over and done with as soon as you pass through the queue at the airport. Only in the case of Brexit the final destination is a dysentry infested cess pit where you’ll have to pay through the nose for health care and the only job you’ll be able to find is on a zero hours contract, and as you go to your job which offers you no employment rights or protection, you’ll pass foodbanks, young people begging on the streets, and bailiffs on their way to evict tenants from private rented accommodation that they can no longer afford.

The reality of Conservative rule was unwittingly revealed by Boris Johnson when ITV’s Joe Pike showed him a photo of a four year old with suspected pneumonia who was left lying on the floor on a pile of coats in an A&E department in Leeds. Johnson waffled on about getting Brexit done, and – carefully out of camera shot – put the reporter’s phone in his pocket. It was only when he was challenged on camera about putting the reporter’s phone in his pocket that he was forced to confront the issue. And then we just got more waffle, more waugh fnaugh fnaugh waugh, more hums, haws, and getting Brexit done. In this brief episode Boris Johnson managed to demonstrate something that had previously been thought to be impossible. He showed that he was even more robotic and lacking in basic humanity than Theresa May.

If you’re a Conservative in Scotland, you’re voting for the end of the unionism you profess to hold dear. A Boris Johnson majority government will create anger and disgust in Scotland equal or greater to that generated by Margaret Thatcher, and you know how that ended for you. When Margaret Thatcher first came into power, Scotland was pretty much evenly divided on whether it wanted devolution. By the end of her rule devolution was the settled will of the Scottish people. Boris Johnson came to power when Scotland was pretty much evenly divided on whether it wanted independence. His government will transform the desire for independence into the settled will of the Scottish people. Be careful what you wish for, Scottish Tories. Enable Boris Johnson at your peril, because by doing so you are signing the death warrant of traditional Scottish unionism.

Vote Conservative if you don’t care about the truth. Vote Conservative if you are OK with public services being chronically underfunded while the rich get tax cuts. Vote Conservative if you don’t mind stepping over a teenager sleeping rough in a shop doorway. Vote Conservative if you’re fine with disabled people suffering cuts to their already meagre incomes. Vote Conservative if you think it’s a good thing that people have to go hungry and trudge to foodbanks in the cold in order that a charity can give them food for their kids. Vote Conservative if you are happy to see more children living in poverty. Vote Conservative if you have no social conscience. Vote Conservative to enable the cruelty and lack of compassion of the entitled posh boy who lies to you and refuses to be held to account. Vote Conservative if you want to reward a lack of empathy, compassion and humanity. Vote Conservative if you’re a turkey voting for Christmas. Vote Conservative for a lie that will consume you.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.


newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free. You can order here –
https://www.vagabondvoices.co.uk/rants/barking-up-the-right-tree-2019

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to weegingerbook@yahoo.com, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email weegingerbook@yahoo.com