Enough gilding the red white and blue turd

I wasn’t going to blog again before leaving for my holidays, but today’s events in the Supreme Court can’t pass unremarked. Let’s be perfectly blunt here, Fluffy Mundell is a liar. He stood before the people of Scotland and he brazenly and openly lied to us. He’s a disgrace to Scotland. He’s the voice of an unrepresentative Conservative government in Scotland and he doesn’t even pretend to represent the interests of Scotland in that government. If he had the slightest self-respect he would hang his head in shame. But he won’t do that because he can’t bend that brass neck of his.

In the UK Supreme Court on Tuesday, British government lawyers argued that when the Sewel Convention was written into the Scotland Bill that it doesn’t actually have any legal force at all. In the eyes of the British Government the permanence of the Scottish Parliament is as permanent as a snowman on a sunny day. Government lawyers insisted that the law that says that the Westminster Parliament will not alter, change or interfere in the powers of Holyrood without the consent of the Scottish Parliament isn’t a law after all. It’s a serving suggestion that the UK government can overrule and override whenever it sees fit. It’s a guarantee of bugger all.

According to the British government the Sewel convention might be enshrined in law, but it’s merely a self-denying ordinance, it can be ignored whenever Westminster sees fit. Westminster’s attitude to power is a bit like the attitude of a heroin addict to their drug of choice. They can give it up any time that they want to. It’s just that they don’t want to. All those promises that Scotland was made by the Unionist parties in the summer of 2014, all those vows, all those commitments, they were exactly the same as the junky pleading for one more chance, one more opportunity, one more shot to prove that they had changed. And as soon as they got it they went and stuck it in a collapsing vein in their arm, then passed out in a pool of their own urine. Only with Westminster it’s Scotland that’s had the piss taken.

So when Mundell stood before the House of Commons, when he asserted in innumerable interviews afterwards, that he had delivered on one of the key promises of the infamous Vow of 2014, he was in fact being as truthful as Tony Blair’s Iraqi dossier. That’s a much bigger dereliction of duty than anything Humza Yousaf ever did. The Scottish Unionist media have spent weeks hounding Humza for the failures of Network Rail, an organisation wholely owned and controlled by the Conservative Government in Westminster, but they’re strangely silent on the duplicity and mendacity of Fluffy Mundell on an issue which is central to devolution and central to the place of Scotland within the United Kingdom. We can now look forward to a fortnight’s worth of headlines on Reporting Scotland hounding Fluffy until he resigns and apologises for lying to us all, can’t we. Oh. wait.

Now everyone ought to know what those of us who were cynical to begin with wondered about when the Scotland Bill was published. Why was it including the weasel word “normally”? Westminster will not “normally” legislate on reserved matters without the consent of Holyrood. Oh no, said the Unionist parties and their allies in the press. You’re just showing sour grapes, the Vow has been delivered. But the cynics were right.

But we all know now what normally means. It means that normally Westminster reserves to itself the right to decide what’s normal. Normally Westminster decides what Scotland has to do. Normally Scottish votes and Scottish democracy can be overridden. Normally means that the Scotland Bill is as fit for purpose as Michael Gove’s Brexit plans. Normally means that the permanence of the Scottish Parliament and devolution is a sham. Devolution has nothing to do with the democratic will of the people of Scotland, and everything to do with what is in the interests of Westminster and the Unionist parties. Do what you’re told Scotland, shut up, sit down, and be grateful that you’ve got a back seat as the British coach of state drives us all off a cliff.

And what we get in return for surrendering our self-respect is the chance to entrust our future into the hands of clueless morons with a sense of entitlement that encompasses a galaxy. You thought that Theresa May couldn’t descend any further into an intelligence insulting meaning free zone with her insistence that “Brexit means Brexit”, but she actually managed to be even more gob-smackingly inane than that on Tuesday when she told the press that she wanted a red white and blue Brexit as she stood on an airport runway in an oppressive Middle Eastern state to which she hopes to flog some weapons. Brexit means waving flegs. You might not be able to spend much with your post-Brexit pound that’s worth less than the dollar. You might not be able to travel anywhere without having to apply for a visa. And you might not be able to think about going in the first place because you will have lost your job. But you’ll be able to wrap yourself in the red white and blue and Britain can sell guns and bullets and tear gas to oppressive regimes in the Middle East. Huzzah!

There is no polite way to put this. There is no glossy lipstick to put on this pig to make it attractive even to David Cameron. There is no gilding that can be placed on this turd. The United Kingdom is a dysfunctional mess which is governed by fuckwits who don’t have the foggiest idea what they’re doing. The realisation that these balloons represent us to the rest of the world is an utter cringe making embarrassment. This is a country where greed and stupidity are elevated to the highest office, where selfish intolerance is regarded as a virtue.

This is not Scotland. We are better than this. We deserve better than this. We can be better than this. But the only way we can be better than this is to do things for ourselves. Britain is finished. Let’s start to work on building a better Scotland, an independent Scotland. Enough of gilding the turd, it’s time to flush it away.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The voice of the somersault-right

Over the weekend we had a welcome bit of offensiveness from the Scottish government. Usually it’s the Tories who are offensive, but then being offensive is a synonym for Tory in much the same way that populist is a synonym for fascist and alt-right is a synonym for white supremacist with body odour who blames feminism for the fact no one wants to shag him. Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t offensive though, she just told Ruth Davidson a few home truths. Ruth is a hypocrite who isn’t standing up for her own constituents and who is selling out Scotland’s interests in order to further her own narrow party political career.

Ruth campaigned for a remain vote in the EU referendum, but despite swearing blind that she was going to stand up for Scottish interests, the moment the Tory party morphed into Ukip, Ruth was there out-faraging the neo-faragistas. From assailing Boorish Johnson in an EU debate and claiming that the advantages of EU membership categorically outweigh any disadvantages of being part of the EU, Ruth has turned into a hardline Brexiteer who isn’t remotely interested in campaigning for any special treatment for Scotland. And not one of the fawning group of Scottish media fanboys who collude in her amusing photo-ops on the backs of dumb beasts has questioned the volte-face, not so much alt-right as somersault-right. The real dumb beasts in Scottish politics are the ones who allow the Tories to get away with their lies, deceit, and who’d never dream of pressing them for the Brexit plan that they clearly don’t possess.

Alt-right is a synonym for right wing extremists who can’t get laid, somersault-right is a synonym for right wing extremists who’ll do whatever their Unionist bosses tell them to. There are single celled organisms without a central nervous system with more of a backbone than the Scottish Tories, and with a more evolved sense of morality and principle too.

The Scottish Tory leader says that she wants an end to the divide in Scottish politics, but she’s doing her utmost to maintain it with her own intransigence and unthinking support for the policies of a right wing Tory government that enjoys the support of only a small minority in Scotland. Ruth is the very last person who’s going to reach out to those who don’t support her position and attempt to reach a compromise or accommodation with them. When she says she wants an end to the divide what she really means is that she wants independence supporters and those who voted to remain a part of the EU to shut up and acquiesce in the new Ukippoid dispensation. Shut up and do what you’re told is never going to heal any divisions. It’s only making things worse. That’s one of the many reasons why Ruth is a hypocrite. She wants to end division in the exact same way that the most belligerent aggressor in a war wants peace. What they mean is a crushing victory and the annihilation of their enemies.

Ruth likes to pretend that’s she’s the moderate caring face of a moderate caring Tory party. She’s the modern gloss on ancient prejudice, the 21st century face to 19th century attitudes. The presentation is modern, the politics are as repressive and regressive as they ever were. Scratch the photo op of the middle aged lesbian grinning on the back of a buffalo and underneath is the rank oppression that the Tories have always stood for. Ruth has just turned 38, that’s her party’s collective Emotional Intelligence Quotient. They failed dismally on the score for empathy and compassion. The purpose of Ruth is to allow people to vote for bigotry and xenophobia, to vote to oppress the poor and the disabled, without feeling like they’re bigots and xenophobes, without caring that they’re oppressive and hateful. Ruth’s sexuality is the veneer that covers the hatred that lurks beneath, because for Ruth the entire campaign for LGBTI rights only existed so that people like her could prove that gay people can be as bigoted and narrow minded as anyone else. I don’t even remember Thatcher, get over it, she simpers. Well some of us who are older than Ruth do remember Thatcher, and some of us remember the sacrifices that lesbians and gay men had to make in order to allow Ruth to occupy the position of privilege that she enjoys today.

The Tories in Scotland claim that they stand for the best deal for Britain, even if that’s not the best deal for Scotland. They care more for the Union than they care for what’s best for Scotland. Ruth is somersault-right, and she leads a party that’s assault-right, an assault on Scotland, an assault on the poor, an assault on the low paid. It was bad enough when the Tories put party before country and dragged us into an EU referendum and then out of the EU, but now the Tories are putting the right wing of the Tory party before country and have decided to out-Ukip Ukip. And from the supposedly, modern and progressive Ruth, there’s not been a word of complaint, not a syllable of disquiet about the direction in which her party is going, not the slightest sign of concern that the Tories are taking Scotland down a path which just a few months ago Ruth claimed would lead to ruination. Because when you’re the leader of the somerault-rightists you do whatever it is that your Westminster bosses tell you to.

We don’t get leadership from Ruth. We don’t get a moral compass. All we get are tweets which lack self-awareness as she calls on people to lighten up when they point out the suffering and hardship that Ruth’s party’s policies inflict. Lighten up, have a mince pie, says the woman who should be force fed humble pie. To be the voice of the somersault-right is to live with winter in your soul. Nothing good or nourishing grows there. She’s going to be the face of the Union in a second independence referendum, and that’s why the Union, just like Ruth’s principles, is as good as dead.

This will be the last blog post from me for two weeks as first thing Thursday morning I am off to the USA for two weeks’ holiday. I’ll be back, refreshed and ranty as ever, just before Christmas. In the meantime the highly capable and talented Sam Millar (Macart) will be keeping you amused.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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.

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frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The rights and wrongs of apathy

I’m an atheist. Well no, that’s not strictly true. Some atheists can be a bit shouty and Richard Dawkinsish. I used to be an atheist when I was young, mainly because I enjoyed winding up the priest and the RE teacher when I was at Catholic school. I’ve mellowed a lot now and converted to apatheism, which is the most laid back religion. Apatheism means you don’t know if there’s a god but can’t be bothered enough with religion to give a toss anyway.

There’s no formal conversion process when you become an apatheist, it just happens one day when you overhear people arguing about religion and realise that you’d far rather do some ironing. And I really hate ironing. Ironing is possibly the only thing in the universe more tedious than the nexus between fitba and religion and having to listen to Celtic and Rangers fans arguing about the relative merits of their fitba teams. Although Rangers has been cited by some as evidence of divine intervention, because the team proves that it’s possible to come back from the dead. Although not for tax purposes.

But you don’t even have to iron to be an apatheist. One of the great beauties of the faith is that no one cares what you wear, or indeed whether you wear anything at all. Although to be honest nudity isn’t recommended on a cold dreich day in Dalmarnock. The central ritual of apatheism involves having a long lie in on a Sunday followed by a fry up as you hurl abuse at the Scottish politics programme on the telly. But no one really cares if you don’t bother.

But sometimes I do wish there was a god, one of the vengeful and wrathful variety beloved of the Old Testament, prone to raining down plagues of frogs and inflicting boils on the private parts of hypocrites and evil-doers and people who pronounce wrath as though it were spelled wroth but they’d never dream of pronouncing path as though it were written poth. Because if there was such a god then right now the Tory party and the Parliamentary Labour party would both be skidding on amphibians as they rushed to the chemists for some ointment for their inflamed genitals.

On Friday Paisley MP Mhairi Black introduced a private member’s bill to the Commons to reform the benefits sanctions system. The benefits sanctions system is an exercise in capricious cruelty. Its underlying theory being that poor people need to be punished in order to motivate them. This is 180 degrees opposite from the government’s methods of motivating the rich, who apparently need to be rewarded. But if you’re poor then the British government is very much of the plagues of frogs and boils persuasion. Only unlike a wrathful deity Tory policies don’t offer any chances of redemption even if you do follow the rules. They only offer the damnation of poverty and deprivation.

Mhairi Black’s bill proposed to introduce new rules forcing Job Centre staff to take a claimant’s personal circumstances into account when deciding whether to impose sanctions. Right now they don’t. Right now there are abundant tales that Job Centre staff have sanctioning quotas to fill, although the Job Centres deny that. Back in 2011 a whistleblower revealed to the Guardian newspaper that staff in the Job Centre where he worked were given a target of imposing three sanctions a week. There are accounts of people losing their benefits because they were a couple of minutes late for an appointment at the Job Centre, because their bus was caught in heavy traffic. Yesterday in Parliament one MP even recounted the tale of a constituent who was sanctioned because instead of attending a Job Centre interview he was attending the birth of his child.

You’d think that since sanctions are theoretically supposed to teach people the discipline of the workplace that they’d apply the same standards as a workplace. Instead they apply the standards of the workhouse. No one in normal employment would be expected to be at work when their child was being born. No one in normal employment would lose 3 months wages because their bus was late one morning and they arrived five minutes late for work. But grossly disproportionate punishments are the norm in the benefits system, and no account is taken of the personal needs of circumstances of the claimant. The Job Centre staff wield absolute power.

Mhairi Black’s bill aimed to address this. It was an attempt to introduce a small amount of humanity into an inhumane system. It was of course opposed by the Conservatives. As Mhairi explained how many claimants were fearful and afraid when they attended interviews at the Job Centre, one arsewipe Tory MP called out that the only thing the unemployed fear is getting a job. Middle class wankers who think not having enough money means not having enough for their daughter’s pony and a skiing holiday have no compassion for those who when they say they have no money mean they have two copper coins in ther pocket. And that’s the most disgusting thing about Britain today. We’re governed by people for whom compassion, empathy, and understanding are a sign of weakness and not a sign of humanity.

We expect that from Tories, because if you look up the word Conservative in a political dictionary it’s defined as “selfish bastard”, but Labour didn’t even bother to turn up for the debate. That’s Labour, defending the interests of the poor and the weak by not being arsed enough to care. It’s fine to be apathetic about religion or football. It’s not at all fine to be apathetic about poverty and deprivation. But Labour won’t support any motion proposed by the SNP, even if it’s a good and worthwhile motion that will help the constituents of Labour MPs. Because it’s far more important to the Labour party to play pathetic party political games. But it’s not a game when you’re playing with a person’s chances of putting food in their stomach. It’s not a game when you’re playing with the life of a child who returns from school to a cold dark house with no heat or light and bare kitchen cupboards.

Scottish anti-poverty campaigner Mark Frankland has started a fundraiser for clients of the foodbank he runs in Dumfries. Mark recently had a client who has been sanctioned for three months, despite the fact he has learning difficulties. For the next three months this man faces being in a cold dark house, reliant on cold food from the foodbank. Mark has started a fundraiser to raise money to help pay for a bit of warmth and light and Christmas cheer for clients like ‘Donald’ (not his real name). It’s worth contributing. Some things we should never be apathetic about.

Link to fundraising campaign https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Frankland1

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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.

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If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The sour Tory milk of human unkindness

Can Scotland get a special Brexit deal? Can Boris Johnson survive the Brexit process without pissing off a major European country? Can the adolescent supporters of the alt-right ever actually get laid, and will they ever realise that masturbating in front of internet photos of Pepe the Frog doesn’t really count as a sexual encounter? Can Tory MSP Adam Tomkins get through an entire week without Tweeting anything else as stupid as his thought that companies shouldn’t pay tax because they don’t get a vote? Will the British state stop driving Scotland into a second independence referendum? These are questions to which there is no firm and definitive answer, except we all know that the answer to each is “probably not”.

Phil the Hamster was in Scotland this week to tell us why … Well to be honest it wasn’t exactly clear what he was here to tell us, seeing as how the government that he represents is about as definite as a fart in a trace about what’s going on. Only that’s a bit unfair to trance like farts, which do at least have some sort of definite shape to them and that is a whole lot more than can be said for the UK government’s Brexit strategy. However we can at least be certain that Phil wasn’t in Scotland to tell us that we’d be far better off without relying on a government that can’t negotiate its way out of a wet paper bag and was insisting that we’re a lot better off sitting inside the wet paper bag along with a moist Nigel Farage. If nothing else, it’s a huge assistance to Nigel in his new career as Donald Trump’s wetwipe.

It tells you a lot about how dysfunctional and crapulous the British government has become that Phil is considered to be its calm voice of reason. Phil’s the guy who when he was defence minister refused to allow the Red Arrows to trail blue and white smoke when they put on a display for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. And then during the referendum campaign he visited Scotland to warn us that if we became independent we’d be defenceless against alien invasions. Although he clearly didn’t want us to realise that without independence we’re wide open to invasion from the reptilian extraterrestrials who comprise the British Conservative party, who come from a planet where empathy and compassion are alien concepts.

Anyway, while he was in Edinburgh Phil was asked whether Scotland could get a special Brexit deal, and he replied that it wasn’t realistic. It’s not realistic for Scotland to expect to get the same treatment as the City of London or Japanese car manufacturers. It’s not realistic for Scotland to imagine that it can remain a part of the European single market after the rest of the UK has left. However shortly after he said this he told representatives of the Scottish government that all proposals would be considered, although presumably what he meant by this was that the Tory government would consider all proposals then consider that it had already ruled them out and refuse to consider them further.

Scotland won’t get to remain in the single market when the rest of the UK leaves. Phil wasn’t very clear about much, but he was as transparent as Fluffy Mundell’s attempts at a trap on that point. Only some Scottish referendum results need to be respected, and those would be the ones which suit the Tory government and the Unionist parties. Scotland’s vote to remain a part of the EU doesn’t fall into that category. We were asked in a referendum, we gave the wrong answer, and so we can be ignored. There ye go Scotland, you’ve been fully consulted now shut up and choke on your Brexit cereal served up with the sour Tory milk of human unkindness.

Being an equal partner in this most perfect family of nations means Scotland does as it’s told. It means being powerless and silent as the UK punishes the poor and the disabled for the crime of being poor and disabled. It means being unable to intervene when the British government uses EU citizens as bargaining counters. It means crying tears of frustration as Britain rejects allowing child migrants into the country even though they’re fleeing from wars which Britain has profited from by selling arms to nasty regimes.

The British government is playing a high risk game. They might not have the foggiest idea about what they want from Europe, but they’re very clear about what they want from Scotland. They want our natural resources. They want us as a reservoir of skilled labour. They want us as a place to site their nuclear viagra. They want our obedience and acquiescence. They want us to shut up and do as we are told. They want a tame Scotland that doesn’t rock the British ship of state as it sinks majestically to the bottom of the ocean.

They’re playing a high risk game because they want everything, and if they can’t have everything they’ll risk having nothing. They’d rather run the risk of losing Scotland for good than fulfil the promises and commitments that they made to the voters of this country during the last independence referendum campaign. Because if they’d kept their word then we wouldn’t be here now. The way that they’re behaving now tells us that they never had the slightest interest in doing what they promised Scotland that they would, that Britain is a sham state built on lies and deceit.

By refusing to admit that Scotland has a case, by refusing to accommodate Scottish interests, the Conservatives are themselves those who are doing most to dismantle what they claim to defend. Every time some Tory cabinet minister rules out some way, any way, of Scotland being able to protect its interests in the EU while remaining a part of the UK, a second independence referendum not only becomes more likely, it also becomes more likely that Westminster will lose it. The Tories have already lost the plot, it’s only a matter of time before they lose Scotland too.  And it will all be due to the sour Tory milk of human unkindness.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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.

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If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

British Mortification

At long last we finally know what the hitherto meaningless phrase Brexit means Brexit means. Thanks to some Tory aide who wandered out into Downing Street clutching some briefing notes which were accidentally, or possibly accidentally on purpose, on show, the world has discovered that what we all thought all along is actually true. Brexit means Brexit means that the British government wants to have its cake and eat it, and that the refusal of Theresa May to reveal her strategy is indeed because she doesn’t want to weaken her position during negotiations. But that’s only because her negotiating position would be seriously weakened if it became known that she doesn’t actually have a strategy at all.

It’s embarrassingly obvious now that not only does the Conservative government not have a strategy for Brexit, but some of its leading figures don’t even have a clear idea of how the European Union works. David Davis thought that the UK would be able to negotiate a trade deal with Germany before the UK leaves the EU, only for it to be pointed out that this would be illegal. Fluffy Mundell struggled to answer when asked whether he knew the difference between the European Single Market and the European Customs Union. He refused to answer the question, because he didn’t know the answer.

Essentially the customs union means that the members agree to have no customs duties on trade between member countries, and a common system of tarrifs and duties on non-members. The single market means harmonising rules and regulations so not only goods but services, people and investment are free to move within the area. The harmonisation of standards allows for the free movement of goods and services such as electrical installations or plumbing. There ye go, you now know more about the working of the EU than the Secretary of State for Scotland. Although that’s not saying much as a stuffed teddy in a shop window knows more about it than he does. Stuffed teddies are subject to single market rules on toy safety. We’re governed by idiots and fools. Those broad shoulders of the UK bear the head of a small and none too bright child with an entitlement complex. Yet we’re supposed to put our faith in balloons who don’t understand how the EU works to negotiate the best deal from the EU for us.

There are four year olds in nursery education plotting how to take over the doll’s house and mount a coup de teddy who have a firmer grasp on strategy than the British government. Historically Britain has never been very good at strategy, relying instead on bullying. This worked out just fine when Britain was an empire and one of the most powerful countries in the world, but now the UK has turned into a nasty and antisocial old bastert who hates all the neighbours and is despised by them in turn yet relies on them to go to the supermarket and maintain the house. Britain might think in its delusion that it can boss everyone else about and get exactly what it wants, but the truth is that the neighbours are planning to pack Britain off to the Bide-A-Wee-Brexit-Home where it’s going to sit in the glorious isolation of its own rank mess and no one will ever come to visit.

And this brings us in turn to one of the most pressing and important reasons for independence. The United Kingdom is, to put it bluntly, an utter embarrassment. In Scotland we talk a lot about the cringe, and how historically we’ve been taught to be ashamed of Scottish language and culture, to diminish and disparage them. Scotland still has a long way to go before it gets over its national cringe, but we’re making progress. Britain on the other hand, is going backwards into an idealised vision of a 1950s that never existed.

The realisation that we have nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about with Scottish culture is increasingly being replaced by the realisation that the United Kingdom is an affront to decency, common sense and good taste. The Scottish Cringe is being replaced by the British Mortification. Scotland builds a grass roots political movement that informs, engages and motivates a people who have learned that unless the people participate then democracy dies. Britain is descending into reactionary senility where poppy parades and royal correspondents substitute for popular engagement in the democratic process, where newspapers print lies because the truth doesn’t suit. Britain is where hatred of foreigners is stirred up by demagogues who call it patriotism. Britain is where Theresa May gets to decide all by herself what the decision to leave the EU means and where those who campaigned for the sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament froth in anger when some insist that that parliament must have a say.

How can any sane person with a functioning set of neurones not look on Boris Johnson and Liam Fox and curl up and die inside? These clowns represent us to the world. We might try and distance ourselves from them in Scotland, and disavow that they have anything to do with us, but as long as we remain a part of the UK they are the face that Scotland presents to the planet. The shellshocked moronity of the Boorish one and his backstabbing pal Gove as they stood open mouthed and empty headed the day after the Brexit vote is the perfect illustration of the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the British state. Silly little boys playing party political games with our futures.

Meanwhile the Scottish Government is due to reveal Scotland’s options for Brexit. The only administration in the entire UK with a plan for Brexit is the Scottish one. The only government in the UK which has a plan is the one in Edinburgh. The only country in the UK that Europe is taking seriously is Scotland. The only leader from anywhere in the UK who can go and address the Parliament of another EU state and receive a standing ovation is the Scottish First Minister. The days of the Scottish Cringe are over. The days when we needed to be ashamed by Scotland are done. It’s Britain that is embarrassing. Britain is cringe making. Britain is the class clown of Europe. Britain is a state that desperately tries to cling on to the dignity of the past because its got a future as the drunken jaikie in the European street, shouting racist abuse and god save the Queen. Britain is a state that Scotland needs to escape if its to retain any self-respect.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

Westminster occupation therapy

The Unionist parties have been having a rough week. Admittedly that’s a bit like saying that Nicholas Witchell has a brown stain on his nose, or that Donald Trump has contradicted himself again, so it’s not exactly news. This week it’s become clearer than ever that there’s no positive case for the Union, all there is is the threat that after Scotland has had its legs chopped off by a serially incompetent and malicious Westminster, it’s too poor to stand on its own two feet. This is not, despite the fond imaginings of certain bellignorant proponents of waving the red white and blue fleg who aren’t nationalists at all, oh no, a good argument for remaining a part of the UK.

A few days ago Common Weal published an analysis of the infamous GERS figures and showed that while the UK has left Scotland in a challenging financial situation, Scotland’s not quite the economic basket case that certain people who are pleased to describe themselves as patriots would have us believe. You could hear the howls of wounded outrage from the top of a Trump tower. The supposed economic basketcasery of Scotland is the only argument remaining to the Unionists, and they’re not at all happy when someone demonstrates that the basket is pretty shoddy and poorly made. The point of weaving baskets in occupational therapy is to prove to the patient that they have skills and to increase their self-esteem, the point of weaving baskets for the advocates of Westminster occupation therapy is to tell Scotland that it has no skills and to destroy its self-esteem. Sadly their arguments hold as little water as the baskets they try to weave.

We don’t hear much these days of the other props of the Unionist case. It’s a bit difficult trying to argue that Scotland is a loved and respected equal partner in a family of nations when we’re being ripped out of the EU against our will and Theresa May is threatening to ride roughshod over the Scottish Parliament. It’s even harder trying to maintain that there’s a positive and progressive Britain which an independent Scotland would be turning its back on when Britain’s politics are dominated by right wing politicians who boast about compiling lists of foreigners and who vie with one another to hoover up Ukip votes. And trying to argue that Scotland needs the stability and security of the pound sterling is now as much as a joke as Boris Johnson’s diplomacy. We’d be a whole lot better off using Yapese stone money as a currency. Money which consists of huge big circular chunks of stone with a hole through the middle is at least solid, which is a whole lot more than can be said for the pound sterling.

Since they’re not able to defend any of the above, the Tories in Scotland have instead decided to concentrate their ire on trying to get Scottish transport minister Humza Yousaf sacked for the failings of Scotland’s rail network. Those are failings that are in large part due to problems caused by Network Rail, which under the hauf-airsed system of privatisation introduced by the Tories and kept by Labour remains entirely under the responsibility and control of the UK Department of Transport. The Tories and Labour could if they had wanted devolved control of Network Rail in Scotland to Holyrood, and allowed Scotland to develop its own rail strategy, but they chose not to do so. So instead we’ve got Tories demanding the resignation of a Scottish minister for problems caused by an organisation in the charge of a Conservative minister at Westminster. That would be Chris Grayling, the man who was responsible for introducing English Votes for English Laws to the Commons.

I’ve yet to see Tory MSP Adam Tomkins tweeting an amusing picture of a natural disaster that took the lives of dozens of people and blaming it on the Tory administration that created the problem in the first place. Instead they prefer to blame Holyrood for a cock up caused by Westminster. It’s yet another example of the Unionist modus operandi in Scotland. After all, their entire economic basket case schtick relies on blaming Scotland for the financial incompetence of Westminster, so it’s only reasonable to expect them to go down the same track with trains.

Meanwhile Kezia has a very bold strategy on the constitution. That’s a very bold strategy in the same sense that it’s a very bold strategy to run naked down Sauchiehall Street with a tin foil hat on your head screaming that reptilian aliens have subjected you to an anal probe. Others in Labour want the party leadership in Scotland to distance itself from Kezia’s blind Unionism and support home rule instead. You know, the thing that they said that they were in favour of during the independence referendum only when push came to shove in the aftermath of the independence referendum we discovered that it consisted of powers over road signs, but only as long as they’re not in Gaelic.

While it’s all very welcome that sections of the Labour party want to distance themselves from knee-jerk Unionism, they’ve so far not been able to define exactly what it is that they’re in favour of and how it would work in practice. Even more importantly, they’re unable to tell us how exactly we’re going to get to the mystical magic kingdom of federalism. So we’re being asked to put our faith in an ill-defined slogan with no clear idea of how any of it can come about when there’s a resurgent and triumphalist Tory party that looks set to demolish what’s left of Labour in the rest of the UK should there be a snap General Election. The calls for Labour to distance itself from Kezia’s Unionism all sound suspiciously like Gordie Broon’s vow.

Blame Scotland for problems created by Westminster, and make us vague promises of a better future without committing to a realistic path in order to get there. That’s how you undermine a country’s confidence, that’s how you keep us in thrall to a British establishment that’s only interested in our resources, creaming off our skilled labour, and using us as somewhere convenient to park their nukes. That’s Westminster occupation therapy. But it’s not working any more. Scotland’s rediscovering its self-esteem.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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.

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If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

Malvados cibernaces and a blow for Ruth Davidson

The problem for the Unionist media when they try to big up some comments from a right wing Spanish politician as a major blow for Nicola Sturgeon is that it only encourages the malvados cibernaces. That’s evil cybernats who speak Spanish, in case you were wondering. Because rather than take the word of publications like the Daily Telegraph or the Express, those of us who speak Spanish, y somos muchos (and there’s a lot of us), are instead highly motivated to go and search out what those self-same Spanish nawbags have been saying to a domestic audience. Invariably what we find is far less cosy for the British Unionist establishment and far less of a blow to Nicola Sturgeon than what its tame press has been telling us.

I blogged earlier today about a report in the Telegraph about some comments made by the Spanish Partido Popular MEP Estebán González Pons and how they were really not very much of a blow for Nicola Sturgeon after all. They were in fact a blow for the hopes of the Wullie Rennies and Kezia Dugdales of this world who are still clinging to the faint hope that Scotland might get a special deal and be able to preserve some of its access to the EU and the single market while simultaneously remaining a part of the increasingly dis-United Kingdom.

Following that blog post a reader sent me a link to an article in the Spanish online news site Dignidad Digital, which is based in Asturias in the north of Spain and is an outlet for the more religiously minded tendencies of the Spanish right wing which campaigns against a woman’s right to control her fertility, gay marriage, and everything else which they think is going to bring about the destruction of civilisation. Which the Spanish right wing defines as their right to keep receiving bribes in brown envelopes without anyone complaining about it. Dignidad Digital has published a rather more detailed report on the views of Estebán González Pons, in which he shows himself to be considerably less friendly to Westminster than the “We’ll always be besties with Britain” views reported by the Telegraph.

Here’s a link to the original Spanish language article. http://www.dignidaddigital.com/noticia/gonzalez-pons-han-decidido-que-se-van-adios-amigos-buena-suerte-y-cuanto-antesbr-51000.html

Speaking in Valencia González Pons said of Britain and Brexit, “They’ve decided that they’re going, bye friends, good luck, and as soon as possible because lengthening this process can only damage all of us.” He went on to assert that the EU won’t support Scotland or Northern Ireland if they want to have a referendum in order to remain a part of the EU, but that comes under the category of “well he would say that wouldn’t he”. The Partido Popular opposed the last independence referendum too, and they opposed it far more energetically and vigorously than they will in future. But the important point to remember is that González Pons doesn’t speak for the EU any more than the SNP MEP Alyn Smith does. González Pons speaks for the Partido Popular in the EU Parliament, and saying that the Partido Popular won’t support a Scottish or Northern Irish referendum is news in the same way that it’s news to say that Ruth Davidson is against independence but is very much in favour of having her photie taken while she’s posing in shellfish processing plant with an invertebrate. But that’s not a nice thing to say about Adam Tomkins.

It was what González Pons went on to say that was a whole lot more interesting. He said, “If Great Britain has problems because England and Scotland think differently, from this moment on those are the problems of a third country.” The reason that this is interesting, and is a blow for Ruth Davidson although you won’t be reading that in the pages of the Scotsman, is because as I pointed out in the previous blog post González Pons was instrumental in organising a pan-European right wing opposition to Scottish independence during the first independence referendum campaign. He met with Ruthie and other Scottish Tories in order to plot how to undermine the case for Scottish independence at a European level. The rotten fruits of this campaign were borne out all throughout the campaign as we witnessed a series of European politicians associated with the Partido Popular’s grouping in the European Parliament making statements against Scottish independence which were plastered all over a grateful British media as independent and objective contributions to the debate, when in fact they were worm filled poisoned apples that had been arranged in advance.

What González Pons just said in Valencia is that this isn’t going to happen the next time. There will be no pan-European alliance of anti-independence parties to campaign for the Union and against independence in Scotland’s indyref2. There will be no assistance to the Tories from the Spanish right. The British Government is now on its own as far as its difficulties with Scotland are concerned.

González Pons went on to say that the British decision had been traumatic and had caused a lot of damage to the EU, but that it had left Britain “broken in two” politically and economically. He said that he wanted the process of Article 50 to proceed as quickly as possible in order to minimise the damage to the EU, and laid the blame for the entire debacle very firmly at the door of English nationalists, saying, “Basically, what we are facing is not a decision of Great Britain to leave the EU, but rather we’re facing a decision taken by English nationalists to drag the United Kingdom out of the EU.” The EU is facing one of the worst crises it’s ever had to deal with, and in the view of the Spanish ruling party it’s entirely the fault of English nationalists, not the Scottish independence movement which had previously been in their sights.

Spain is not about to do the British Government any favours at all, and the next time there’s a Scottish independence referendum, which looks more and more likely with every passing day, Spain will not intervene to prop up the United Kingdom. There will be no assistance from EU politicians organised by the Partido Popular to help out their Tory pals.  Ruth and the Tories will be on their own.  There was a blow for someone’s referendum hopes coming from Spain this week, it’s just that it was a blow for the Tories.

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com


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

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for details of alternative methods of donation.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709