The real alternatives

There are resounding successes, and then there are Labour party in Scotland annual conferences. What was supposed to be Kezia Dugdale’s big break and her chance to re-re-relaunch Labour’s ill-fated federalism fairytale was instead dominated by all the wrath at Khan for his ill-advised speech. That was the speech in which London mayor Sadiq Khan said that Scottish nationalism wasn’t racist, it was just exactly the same thing as racism. He then tried to clarify his remarks by saying that he just meant that Scottish nationalism was divisive in the same way that extreme far right racist organisations are divisive, but that doesn’t mean that Scottish nationalism is in any way similar to extreme right wing racism except in those ways that it is. So that’s OK then and we’re grateful to Sadiq for the clarification.

Meanwhile all sorts of unlikely Labour sympathisers came to Sadiq’s defence. Sympathisers who themselves have more than a touch of the right wing about themselves, and who were strangely silent when Sadiq Khan was subjected to a racist dog-whistling campaign at the hands of the Tories in the London mayoral elections. You know that Labour has got a problem in presenting itself as the sole voice of left wing progressive politics in Scotland when one of its fiercest supporters is a rabidly right wing website written by a former Daily Mail journalist. But then Labour’s own strategist is a former Daily Mail journalist so we shouldn’t be too surprised.

The crap that’s being poured on the independence movement already is a small harbinger of the tsunami of British nationalist diarrhoea that is heading our way once the second independence referendum has officially been called. We’ve seen all this before, remember when someone threw an egg at Jim Murphy and all of a sudden there were anguished articles in the British media about how Scottish nationalism was all but indistinguishable from terrorism. Meanwhile the very real violence meted out by Unionist thugs went unremarked.

The controversy over Sadiq Khan’s nonsensical and ill-advised speech distracted from the message that Labour was hoping to present. To be honest however, Kezia Dugdale ought to be grateful for the distraction, because the message that Labour in Scotland wanted to present was incoherent, poorly thought out, and doesn’t enjoy the support of her bosses in London. Let’s have a new form of federalism! Was the battle cry from Labour, despite the fact that they had promised exactly that in 2014 but as soon as the No vote was safely in the bag Labour forgot all about its promise of a new form of Home Rule and instead played devolution jenga with the Tories, each one of them competing with the other to remove as many powers as possible from the Smith Commission proposals. They didn’t do it in 2014 when they had the chance, and now that Labour has one MP in Scotland and zero credibility there’s even less chance anyone will believe them this time.

Labour’s proposals for federalism are even more spectacularly ill judged than Argyll and Bute’s new campaign to attract inward investment and tourism by plastering an image of a nuclear submarine all over its new brochure. It’s an interesting tactic to encourage tourism, come and visit Dunoon or we’ll nuke you. Come to Argyll and stand outside a barbed wire fence and get arrested for spying if you try to take photies. Who needs swimming with dolphins when instead you can swim with a nuclear sub which the Royal Navy is going to rename HMS Flipper? And unlike swimming with a dolphin swimming with a radioactive submarine bearing nuclear missiles really will leave you with a warm glow. And infertility. The entire idea is as sterile as Labour’s plan. The cooncil must have been advised by the same people who planned Labour’s federalism strategy.

On Sunday, while the party was still reeling from being the ground zero of Sadiq’s idiocy, we got some more idiocy in the shape of Jeremy Corbyn. Scotland’s too poor to be independent, he told us, while Labour MSPs tweeted that you can’t eat a flag. Unless it’s the red one that Labour likes to pretend is its flag. That would be the red flag that Labour can only get to wave as long as the rest of us have to have the red white and blue one.

Jez isn’t too keen on Kez’s plan for federalism. He doesn’t want a new Act of Union, and he’s really not keen on devolution for the English regions. The truth is that there is no more appetite for English regional devolution now than there was back in 1997 when it was first mooted as part of the Blair government’s plans. Without English devolution any federalism plan is dead in the water as Scotland will still be outvoted by England’s representatives. Labour in the rest of the UK isn’t very interested in the idea, the Tories are dead set against it. Kezia’s great hope to save her party with a constitutional convention is dead in the water. The only people who’ll be coming to her pity party are her own dwindling band of supporters.

Labour claims that independence isn’t an escape from Brexit. It isn’t an escape from the Tories, and it’s not an alternative. Independence is all three of those things. In an independent Scotland we will be able to remain a part of the EU, so it is an escape from Brexit. In an independent Scotland we will be able to introduce better and more humane immigration laws so it will be an escape from the xenophobic migrant phobic future that the Tories have in store for us. It will be an escape from the Tories, because in an independent Scotland we will only have a majority Conservative government if an absolute majority of Scottish voters are foolish enough to vote for one. In the UK Scotland gets a Conservative majority government when we only return a single solitary stuffed toy Tory and due to first past the post it’s only supported by a minority of voters in the rest of the UK. Independence is an escape from that, an escape into democracy. Independence is an alternative. It’s an alternative to the politics of a UK. It’s an alternative to the madness of Brexit. It’s an alternative to the selfish mendacity of Theresa May. It’s an alternative to the fantasy politics we saw at Labour’s conference in Perth. The fact Labour can’t see that goes a long way to explaining why it’s at 14% in the polls. Nothing they said or did at their Perth conference is going to help them recover.

Labour voters, Labour supporters, it’s time to deal with reality. Do you want a nasty right wing xenophobic Tory Britain, or a progressive social democratic independent Scotland. Those are the real alternatives. I know which I prefer.

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

Journey to Yes, N° 5

Shetland based journalist, writer, and broadcaster Tom Morton wrote some searing articles during the 2014 referendum attacking the Yes campaign and supporting a No vote.  Tom believed that the interests of social justice and solidarity were best served by Scotland remaining a part of the UK.  Following Brexit and the self-immolation of the Labour party in Scotland and in the UK as a whole, Tom has now reconsidered his previous position and will now be backing a Yes vote for independence in a second Scottish independence referendum.  In the latest instalment of Phantom Power’s Journey to Yes video series, Tom sets out the reasons for his change of heart.

 

The wrath at Khan

I’m fed up, seriously fed up, fed up with metropolitan Londonsplainers coming up to Scotland and informing us that we’re a bunch of divisive racists for wanting independence. The real fascists in Scotland, the real blood and soil nationalists who hate immigrants, Muslims, and who espouse xenophobia as their policy of choice are far more likely to be found waving a Union fleg than a Saltire. The only people who were convicted of offences of violence related to the independence referendum were supporters of the Union, not supporters of independence.

The actual paid up members of fascist and extreme right organisations in Scotland are overwhelmingly opponents of independence. The people on social media who are most prone to telling others that they can’t be Scottish unless they were born in Scotland to Scottish parents are overwhelmingly opponents of independence. Those who want to remove EU citizens from the ballot are overwhelmingly opponents of independence. Those who hate on immigrants and long for an isolationist little country that harks back to a fantasy golden age where everyone was white and heterosexual are overwhelmingly opponents of independence.

Those metrosplainers who condemn the independence movement for its supposed divisiveness and racism never ever notice the great big beam in their own eye marching around their cornea with an Orange sash, a Union fleg, and a fascist salute in defence of Britain. Try and point out to them that of the two sides in the Scottish constitutional debate the one which has the real problem with xenophobia, intolerance, racism, homophobia and sexism is the Unionist side, and you will be met with howls of outrage at your utter gall in suggesting that supporting the Union makes you a bigot. How very dare you insinuate that ordinary supporters of the Union are creatures cut from the same cloth as members of Britain First or the Orange Lodge.

Yet the very same people will cheerfully slander the entire independence movement on the basis of an anecdote about an English person who went into a pub in the Western Isles and suddenly everyone started talking about him in Gaelic. Everything negative ever said to any English person in Scotland is evidence of a deep dark cancer that lurks at the very heart of the Scottish psyche, but the same remarks made in the English media about Scots are just banter, and it’s typical of thin skinned nationalists and their grievance mongering to take offence.

What Sadiq Khan has just done with his tired unthinking comments is to give succour to the real racists and bigots, allowing them to dress their xenophobia and hatred in a veneer of tolerance that doesn’t really exist. He’s given the real bigots an excuse to point at someone else as the problem instead of addressing their own behaviour. He’s excusing Unionism of its sins and distracting it from its own shortcomings.

The Unionists claim that the movement for Scottish independence is based upon anti-English racism because they have no substantive arguments. Instead they resort to stirring up the ancient prejudice and stereotype amongst some people in England that Scotland’s cultural distinctiveness begins and ends with a hatred of English people. All they’re doing is further weakening the last frayed bonds that tie Scotland to this dysfunctional state. They’re destroying the very thing they claim to be defending.

Anas Sarwar seized on Sadiq Khan’s words to demand what he called an end to Scottish exceptionalism. Yet no one is claiming that Scottish people are on the whole better than anyone else. The only people who say so are Unionists seeking a straw man to attack. People aren’t better than one another, Scottish people are not better than English people or anyone else. But the choices that people make can be better. And I will defend to the death the belief that choosing tolerance, choosing acceptance of difference, choosing to celebrate diversity is a better choice than choosing xenophobia, choosing insularity, and choosing isolationism. It’s British nationalism which chooses the latter, it’s the Scottish independence movement which chooses the former. That’s the choice that faces Scotland, and it’s not exceptionalism to want Scotland to make the better choice. It’s a matter of survival of everything that’s decent.

Wanting Scotland to make the better choice is racist and divisive according to the apologists for the racism and division of Brexit.

Obviously the way for the Labour party to regain its lost ground in Scotland is to insult everyone who has voted SNP. They’re polling a paltry 15% in the polls and having lost almost all their MPs they’re now facing the loss of all the councils they control. In an attempt to extricate himself from the very big hole he dug for himself, Sadiq Khan later clarified that he doesn’t think that supporters of Scottish independence are racist. It’s just that they’re indistinguishable from racists. So that’s OK then. Must be thon big beam in his Unionist eye getting in the way of his clarity of vision then. So how’s that wooing voters back from the SNP thing going for you Labour?

Labour continues to cling to its dreams of a Britain that will never come to pass, saying its ritual prayers of exorcism against its imaginary demons while the real demons devour it. Labour is talking with the Tories about forming coalitions in certain councils in order to keep them out of SNP control. They dance with the devil rather than face up to the realities of Scotland’s choices. They tell us that we can chase the federalism fairy when its own leadership has no interest, never mind the other UK parties. Labour in Scotland insist that Scotland can remain a part of the UK and the EU while their own party leadership in Westminster has surrendered any pretence of representing the interests of those who voted to remain and the Tories run rampant with their xenophobic plans to rip up the post-WW2 settlement and destroy the welfare state.

Then some clueless Londoner comes up to lecture and insult ordinary Scots on how we’re doing politics all wrong because wanting independence is the same as racism, and gives Labour in Scotland a convenient distraction from real ways in which it can get out of the mess that it’s made for itself. No wonder there’s so much wrath at Khan.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-25th-feb-2017

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

Or click HERE

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

Journey to Yes

The fourth instalment in the estimable PhantomPower’s video series Journey to Yes, featuring lawyer and activist Mike Dailly who campaigned for a No vote in 2014 but who now has joined the SNP and will be campaigning for a Yes vote in indyref2.

Putting Scotland on the map

I don’t use this blog for commercial purposes. I don’t generally blog adverts for third parties, and I never post sponsored content. You may occasionally see adverts on this blog, but they come from WordPress, the blog hosting company, and have nothing to do with me. I get no revenue or earnings from them. However today I am going to blog about what is essentially an advert for a commercial venture, although I stress that I’m doing this for free and am not getting any financial benefit in return. I’m not receiving any commission or pay, I am doing this because I love this venture, think it’s a great idea, and it’s something that I believe that readers of this blog will also enjoy and will want to support.

Edinburgh based mapping company XYZ Maps got in touch after seeing my wee Gaelic map of Edinburgh the other day. They produce wall maps and digital maps, in English as opposed to my Gaelic maps. They’ve recently issued a couple of maps which readers of this blog and independence supporters in general are going to love. They’re maps which show Scotland as an independent country already. These are maps that show the world the way it ought to be, and the way in which it very soon will be.

The company has already published a world map showing Scotland taking its rightful place amongst the independent nations of the world, and a political map of the British Isles which shows the independent states of Scotland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom of England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. They are maps which any independence supporter would be proud to display on their wall.

Following a commission from a company in Germany, XYZ Maps are about to publish a new map of a post-Brexit EU which shows an independent Scotland as an EU member with the rest of the UK outside. The new map will shortly go on sale in Germany and Austria, and demand for the new map demonstrates the huge public sympathy that there is in mainland Europe for an independent Scotland which is a part of the EU. Contrary to what the Unionist parties and their supporters might tell you, most people in the rest of the EU are massively supportive of a pro-European Scotland and want to see us both independent and a fully participative member of the European family of nations. That’s a family in which Scotland really will have an equal voice, and not the do-as-you’re-told and shut up and get back into your shortbread tin which passes for Scotland being an equal partner in the supposed family of nations that makes up the UK.

Here are some snippets and lower quality versions of their existing maps. These images are © XYZ Maps www.xyzmaps.com Click on the image to see a larger version.

image001

image002

image003image004

If you’d like to purchase the full sized versions, go to the following URLs.  Wall maps are for sale for £24.99 for the world map, or £29.99 for the British Isles map.  These maps are laminated so are hard wearing.  Digital copies for your computer, tablet or other device are available for US$4.99. If you don’t already have it then then buying the digital version will also install the Avenza Maps app that is needed to display the map. This does things like showing where you are with a big dot and will keep the map pointing at North amongst other things.

Here are the links to purchase the wall maps

Scottish world map https://www.xyzmaps.com/large-scottish-world-political-wall-map-1-30m-scale
This map is at a scale of 1:30million and is 1380mm x 950mm (54.3″ x 37.4″). Price £24.99

Political map of the British Isles https://www.xyzmaps.com/scottish-british-isles-political-large-1-1m-wall-map
This map is at a scale of 1:1,000,000 and measures 914mm x 1105mm (36″ x 43.5″). Price £29.99

2019 Scottish European Union Post-Brexit political map https://www.xyzmaps.com/scot-brexit-eu-political-large-1-4m-wall-map
This map is at a scale of 1:4,600,000 and measures 1190 mm x 840 mm (36″ x 43.5″). Price £23.99

Here are the links to purchase the digital maps.  Each is available for the price of US$4.99.

Scottish world map https://www.avenzamaps.com/maps/89833/

British Isles political map https://www.avenzamaps.com/a/2dy1kvb

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

Or click HERE

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

Putting a price on love

We often hear anguished cries from die-hard Unionists that Scottish independence would put a border through families. During the last independence referendum Labour’s then Shadow Scottish Secretary Magrit Curran went on telly to bewail how she was opposed to independence because she didn’t want her children in London to become foreigners to her. Because being foreign is obviously bad. Funny how it’s always the Unionists who accuse independence supporters of being blood and soil nationalists, but it’s typically Unionists who think that being foreign is a bad thing.

There are in fact three reasons why Magrit was talking nonsense. Well OK, four if we include the reason that anything that issued from Magrit’s gob whether during the independence campaign or at any other time was likely to be self-serving nonsense. The first reason is that Magrit’s weans, wherever in the world that they live, will be entitled to Scottish citizenship because they have at least one parent who is a Scottish citizen. So Magrit’s weans won’t be foreigners to her because, like her, they will be Scottish.

The second reason that Magrit was talking nonsense is that we’re all British citizens at the moment, and unless the British government changes its citizenship laws after Scottish independence, we’ll all still retain the right to British citizenship. During the last independence referendum the British government had no plans to change its citizenship laws in the event of independence. If they did, the likes of Liam Fox who’s negotiating trade deals for a Brexit-Britain will find that he’s no longer a British citizen and will be out of a job as would several Conservative MPs who were born in Scotland but who represent English seats. Admittedly getting rid of Liam, Michael Gove and Alberto Costa is a very good reason for the British government to change their citizenship laws, but in the real world they won’t. Doing so would create chaos, as hundreds of thousands of people who are currently UK citizens residing the rest of the UK would find they were no longer citizens and would have to apply to regularise their position. Under current laws, the only people who would lose their right to British citizenship after Scottish independence would be the children of children born to Scottish people in Scotland after the event of independence. In other words, a generation of Scots who won’t be born for many years to come. So Magrit’s weans won’t be foreigners to her because like her, they will have the right to British passports.

The third reason that Magrit was talking nonsense is of course that if you sincerely believe that you’d be estranged from your children because they possess a different passport from you and would be foreigners, that’s not an argument against Scottish independence, that’s an argument that you are seriously in need of family therapy and counselling.

In fact the UK government is extremely good at separating families and dividing relatives from one another without any assistance from Scottish independence. This week a married couple took the British government to court because they are unable to live together in the same country. When a British citizen marries a citizen of a non-EEA country, the British citizen has to prove that he or she has an income of more than £18,600 annually before they are allowed to bring their foreign spouse into the country. When the couple have a child, that figure increases to £22,400 annually, then increases by £2400 for each subsequent child. Campaigners claim that 15000 children in the UK are separated from one of their parents because of the rule.

It doesn’t matter if your foreign spouse earns more than you do. It doesn’t matter if your foreign spouse would be able to find well paid work in the UK. If the British citizen in the couple doesn’t earn at least £18,600 a year, the foreign spouse is not allowed to reside in the UK. It’s the strictest, the most heartless, immigration regime in Europe. This week the Supreme Court ruled that the law as it currently stands doesn’t violate human rights legislation, but that the needs of children are not being taken into account and that alternative sources of income also need to be considered.

As someone who is engaged to an American citizen, and who is a self-employed blogger earning a precarious living, this rule could seriously affect my chances of being able to live in my own country with the man I love and want to wed. And I’ve got Theresa May to thank for that. She introduced the rule in 2012 when she was Home Secretary. If you’re rich, if you’re lucky enough to come from a family with wealth, if you are the likes of Theresa May, you have no problem. It’s only the poor, the low paid, and self-employed people who scrape a living that the British state tells that they cannot live with a foreigner as a married couple.

Love and marriage isn’t enough to allow a person into the UK. The right to a family life isn’t enough to allow a person into the UK. Britain puts a price on love. This is the land where a political party has a £ symbol as its party logo. It’s a nasty xenophobic island which knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. It’s the land of the hard face of an immigration policy that divides families, that reduces a marriage to late night Skype conversations and longingly touching a computer screen instead of touching and hugging the person you love in bed beside you.

41% of employed people in this country earn less than £18,600 a year. They are effectively barred from living with the person that they love and want to marry if that person is not the citizen of an EEA state. After Brexit, it’s possible that the current rules could also apply to citizens on European states too. Thousands more families and couples will be divided and separated by the uncaring barrier of Theresa May’s wealth wall.

Yes, it’s reasonable to ask that a person coming to live in the UK doesn’t become a burden on the state. But it’s not reasonable to refuse to consider the earning potential of people who are married to a British citizen. Britain isn’t interested, because due to the pressure on the Tory party from the frothing spittle flecked xenophobes of Ukip, controlling immigration has become a fetish.

Britain divides families. Scottish independence can unite them. With Scottish independence we have the opportunity to introduce more humane, more human, more compassionate immigration rules. We have the opportunity to allow Scottish citizens to live together with their families and their spouses irrespective of where in the world their spouses come from. We can show the world that Scotland is a place which welcomes new citizens, where becoming Scottish is something that anyone can achieve. And to do it, all you need is love.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-22nd-feb-2017

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

Or click HERE

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

First steps in Gaelic imperialism

A while ago I announced on this blog that I was working on some Gaelic maps.  Although the overwhelming response from readers was positive and enthusiastic, for my pains frothing Unionists on social media called me a fascist, a blood and soil nationalist, and insisted that Gaelic had never been spoken in X, Y or Z, where X Y Z invariably turned out to be towns or villages with decidedly Gaelic names.  And one particular spittle flecked frother memorably claimed that promoting the Gaelic language as a national language of Scotland was indistinguishable in intent from inciting the Rwandan genocide.  That’s just how hysterical and desperate to claim victimhood status that certain Scottish Unionists are, that they can, without any sense of their own ridiculously breathless hyperbole, liken English speakers in Scotland to victims of genocide.

Some took to Twitter to explain at great length how they, and everyone they knew, and the granny and the dug of everyone they knew, didn’t care about Gaelic, in the process spending so much time and energy that they were unwittingly doing an extremely good impression of someone who cared a great deal.  Others ranted about the needless cost of it all, seemingly unaware or not caring that I’m doing these maps in my own time, and without any funding from them or the Scottish government.  They’re not being asked to contribute in any shape or form.  Others huffed and puffed about Gaelic names being imposed upon them, although they’re not being compelled to buy any of the maps when they’re published, and there is indeed no way that people who’re not interested can be made even to give the maps so much as a glance – nor would I want to anyway – which is a strange definition of forcing something on someone.

Frothing yoon extraordinaire Tom Gallagher took particular exception to the project and said that it was nothing more than Gaelic imperialism.  So for no other reason than to annoy him, and to annoy all those people who know bugger all about the linguistic heritage of Scotland but are still confident enough in their ignorance to proclaim that Gaelic was never spoken in some particular place, I present you with a Gaelic map of Edinburgh.

For the avoidance of any doubt, Gaelic was once present in the Edinburgh area as a mother tongue. There are numerous Gaelic place names in Edinburgh and Midlothian which were created by local Gaelic speakers when Gaelic was spoken natively in the area. That doesn’t mean that Gaelic was once the only language of Edinburgh, the local variety of Northumbrian Middle English (which later gave rise to Scots) continued to be spoken in the district.

The Gaelic and other place names of Edinburgh and the surrounding area are detailed in a study of Midlothian place names by Norman Dixon in 1947 as a PhD thesis.  This Gaelic map of Edinburgh draws heavily on his work. Click on the image to see the full sized map. The full sized image is a high quality high resolution image which can be fitted into an A4 sheet and printed out on glossy paper on your printer if you want a good quality copy of the map which you can frame and keep.

duneideann

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-20th-feb-2017

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

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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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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