Doing it for ourselves

Following the news that the police have now formally charged Glasgow East MP Natalie McGarry, the infamously litigious George Galloway has announced his decision to stand as a candidate for the Westminster seat of Glasgow East. According to the Herald a source close to the Gorgeous One said that the lycra clad cat impersonator and praiser of the indefatigability of dictators was planning to stand “should there be a by-election”. Nice to see you’ve not pre-judged Natalie there George. Not that he has of course, oh no. George is well aware of the perils of casting aspersions seeing as how he’s the only person in the country more likely to run to a defamation lawyer than JK Rowling.

I don’t want to say too much about the troubles in which Natalie McGarry is mired. I have no inside information, I know no more than has been reported. Like a lot of independence supporters in the East End I campaigned for her election and am saddened and troubled by recent developments. I supported her because the down trodden and neglected communities of this part of Glasgow where I was born and brought up and where I still live deserved better than the carpet bagging neglect that Labour MPs have subjected them to for generations. I’d have given the same support to any pro-independence candidate. And I will do again.

Now while the wheels of the legal system slowly turn we can only wait and see what happens. Those of us in the East End who campaign for independence very much hope and trust that she’s cleared, for her own sake, and also because no one likes to see the faith they’ve placed in an individual shattered and discarded in the ashes of disappointment. But I also know that whatever happens to an individual, the hope and faith that the people of the East End have put into the dream of independence will remain shining and pure.

The only way that we will ever tackle the poverty and deprivation that blight our communities is to achieve a government that is answerable to the people of Scotland and no one else. We learned that during the summer of independence of 2014. The natural born cynics of the East End who learned young that hope was something for other people learned to hope again. We learned that it was possible for us to aspire for something better for our communities. And we liked it. It lit our hearts and warmed our souls battered and bruised as they were by the cold dark fear campaign of the Unionist establishment. Meanwhile George tried to warn us that Catholics should be afraid of an independent Scotland while the Orange Lodge campaigned for the Union.

What I do know, what remains unshaken, is the belief that Glasgow East is not and should never be a mere springboard for personal ambitions. The people of Shettleston, Parkhead, and Easterhouse are not a platform for career progression. We are not stepping stones to publicity for a fame seeker. The friends I had who died of drug abuse before reaching 21, those who succumbed to alcohol as a means of numbing the bleak hopelessness which was all they could see in their future, they deserved better. Those of us alive today deserve answers. We deserve hope. We won’t get those from George Galloway and his otiose orotund oratory. All there is is a man who defends the unity of the UK and the primacy of Westminster while dressing it in the clothes of his own particular brand of radical socialism that Westminster will never espouse. You can gild a turd all you like, but it will forever remain a turd. George says that he wants to stand because the SNP can’t out left him. Pity that his credibility out and left him a long time ago.

This week a report was published showing that younger people have half the assets that people born a decade or so earlier had acquired by the same age. We’re getting poorer and poorer. The economic and political system of the UK is weighted against working class people and increasingly concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few. And it’s only going to get worse. Brexit is looming, and it’s going to be ugly. The people who are going to suffer will be the people of places like the East End of Glasgow. People who don’t have the financial resources, the assets, or the connections necessary in order to cushion themselves.

George tells us that he’s no nationalist. And I believe him. He defends a viciously nationalist state in the name of internationalism. He tells us his flag is the red flag. And I believe him. Yet George hates nationalism so much that he wants us all to remain with the red white and blue so that he can wave his red flag and tout the false dream of a British parliamentary road to socialism that ends in the tears of an Easterhouse mother who can’t feed her weans because she’s been sanctioned.

Unless there’s a mass conversion of the population of the UK to George’s political viewpoint, and there’s far less chance of that happening than there is of me becoming the next fashion model for a shampoo company, then voting for George will only condemn us all to generations of Tory rule, of continuing disappointments, of lost generations and a future where drug and alcohol medicated hopelessness substitute for dreams and plans. But George will again have a political platform that will allow him to get on the telly and that makes it all worthwhile. Glasgow East doesn’t need a personality. It’s got plenty of personality of its own, what it needs is a hard working MP who will put the interests of Glasgow East before anything else. We won’t get that with George. We’ll never get that with Westminster. We’ll only get it by doing it for ourselves.

There is no by-election planned for Glasgow East, and I hope and trust that there won’t be one. But there is a need for socialism in the East End of Glasgow. There is a need for a politics that prioritises the aspirations of communities which have had aspiration battered out of them for generations, where the only aspiration it was possible to realise was an aspiration to escape. But it needs to be an organic socialism, a socialism born of the communities that make up one of the most deprived parts of Scotland. It needs to be a socialism that’s born in the struggles of those communities and which knows how to articulate them. The East End of Glasgow has its own socialist voices, it doesn’t need George’s.

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

End of. Full Stop.

Isn’t it funny how things change in a couple of years. A couple of years ago the merest hint from European leaders that they’d prefer no changes to the existing settlement were spun into massive threats to veto Scottish membership of the EU. In fact even when those European representatives were talking about something else entirely, as was the case with the Croatian ambassador talking about the hurdles his country faced in gaining membership of the EU as it recovered from war and communist rule, it was still presented to us by Unionist politicians and media as a death blow for independence hopes. Yet here we are two years later, and now even explicit statements from EU leaders that the UK is kidding itself on if it thinks it can get special treatment from the EU post-Brexit are airily dismissed by our Tory masters. Because Britain is special. Britain is great. Normal rules of common sense don’t apply.

This week the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said that if the UK wants full access to the single market, then it has to accept free movement of people. He added it would be impossible for British citizens to have more rights than citizens of other countries outside the single market. However Fluffy Mundell, who is the Tory governor general of Scotland when he’s not doing his day job modelling fashion accessories for Paddington Bear, waved away what the Italian PM had to say with a flick of his polyester fibre stuffed paw. According to the Fluffmeister, who’s now an expert in international geopolitics as well as being the Tory McDictator General and Maymessage Bot, the Italian PM was just sounding off.

One after another EU leaders have lined up to tell the British government that it’s not going to get a preferential deal. Malta’s PM said recently that any deal secured by the UK needed to be worse than remaining a part of the EU. The Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said that Europe would make sure that any exit from the EU would be very painful for Britain. That’s Malta and Slovakia, a tiny island of a few hundred thousand people, and a landlocked central European country of a few million poeople, both of which now have considerably more influence in determining the future of Scotland than the people of Scotland do. That’s what happens when Scotland is dragged along as a part of the UK into things we didn’t vote for. We’re now subject to small countries who have more power and influence than Scotland does, yet during the indyref we were constantly told that Scotland couldn’t have any power or influence as an independent country because we’re a small country. The truth is that it’s as a part of Britain that we have no power or influence. Instead we have Fluffy Mundell.

Meanwhile, according to the Guardian, German officials mutter that Mutter Merkel is getting less and less impressed by May by the day. Germany is rapidly coming to the conclusion that it’s not that May is guarding her negotiating position closely, it’s that she doesn’t actually have one. And in the vacuum of official UK policy we get hard right clowns like Liam Fox mouthing off instead. Mind you, Liam Fox is a vacuum all by himself. In this mess of a Brexit, Britain is heading for the worst of all possible outcomes, no access to the EU single market, no freedom of movement of people, trade tariffs with the EU. There’s a very real prospect that you might have to apply for a visa to go to Spain for a holiday, not that you’ll be able to buy much once you’re there because the arse will fall out the pound once the big financial institutions desert the City of London because they’ll have lost their passport to trade freely with the EU. Fluffy Mundell says all this is sounding off, as he waves his stuffed arms. Because Britain is special. Britain is great. Normal rules of common sense don’t apply.

The Tories are more concerned about those of us who’re seeking a realistic path out of the shambles of Brexmess that they have created than they are in finding solutions to their own disaster. How dare that Nicola Sturgeon try to use Brexit as an excuse for another indyref, said Fluffy, and Big Ted and Little Bear nodded in agreement as they sat down for tea in their red white and blue scarves. There’s not going to be another indyref, they chorused. End of. Full Stop. Because when you end your Tweets with End of. Full Stop. that’s a definitive end to the argument that supercedes any other facts or opinions.

Remember how during the EU referendum campaign Michael Gove said that it was possible that Scotland could control aspects of its own immigration policy post-Brexit. That’s now been definitively ruled out. Scotland getting a special deal within the UK in order to remain a part of the EU once the rest of the UK has left looks as likely as Fluffy taking off his wellingtons and his duffel coat and covering himself in marmalade during an interview with Gordon Brewer. How things change in two years, remember when the Tories were assuring us that Scotland’s voice would be respected, that we’d be a leader in this most perfect partnership of nations. Now we know that the reason they were saying stay with us Scotland, was so that they can take Scotland to places where we’ve told them that we don’t want to go.

The options for respecting the Scottish result of the recent referendum are growing increasingly narrow, yet Fluffy is appalled that anyone might consider the only option that can actually keep Scotland within the EU, a second indyref. If his own party had kept the promises that the Better Together campaign made to the people of Scotland during the first independence referendum campaign, then there would be no one asking for a second independence referendum. He’s only got his polyester fibre stuffed lying government to blame. End of. Full stop.

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

Who’s laughing now

The UK’s Brexit plans are starting to make CoCo the Clown look like a serious minded bean counter who ran away from the circus to join a firm of chartered accountants. There are paradoxes mused upon by ancient Greek philosophers which are clear cut and straightforward in comparison to the UK’s Brexit strategy. Zeno famously argued that an arrow can’t move because at any given instant in the arrow’s flight no time has elapsed in which the arrow can travel. And it seems that the Conservative government’s Brexit strategy can’t take any steps forward because at any given instant Boris Johnson, Liam Fox, and David Davis can’t extract their feet from their mouths.

This week Guy Verhofstadt, the EU parliament’s lead negotiator on Brexit, took to Facebook to mock Theresa May’s three stooges. The UK government claims that it doesn’t want to say anything about Brexit because it doesn’t want to reveal its hand, but when the guy leading the negotiating team you’ll be facing takes to social media to rip the pish out of you, it’s pretty much a safe bet that he’s got every confidence that the only cards in your hand are jokers. Then you look at Boris, Liam, and Davie and you realise he’s right. And then you stare wide eyed sitting bolt upright in your bed at night when you remember that these idiots are deciding your future, your kids’ future, and the futures of generations yet to be born.

Boris has been in Turkey this week, hoping that the Turkish leader won’t remember that poem that Boris wrote about him a few years ago. He promised to do all he could to help Turkey join the EU, which is a bit like a drunk guy who’s just been ejected from a nightclub for peeing on the stage after he’d grabbed the mic in order to regale the crowd with a racist ditty about the Turkish guy outside promising to do all he can to get the Turkish guy past the bouncers. Amazingly, Erdogan smiled and nodded, although he’s got his hands full these days imprisoning journalists for disrespecting the Turkish state. Boris has never been more grateful that he didn’t inherit Turkish citizenship from his Ottoman great-grandparent. The ottoman in question was an empty vessel, an attribute that Boris has inherited in full.

Meanwhile Liam has been touring the world with his pal Adam Werrity, trying to flog trade deals with the UK like a pair of encylopedia salesmen who’ve never heard of Wikipedia. He wants Britain to leave the single market, because he thinks other markets are more important, but he still wants the UK to have full access to the EU. Liam is the guy in a shared flat who helps himself to the contents of his flatmates’ shelves in the fridge but labels his own cornflakes and puts a padlock on his tin of chocolate hobnobs. People like Liam are the reason that when the UK voted to leave the EU, there was no great effort to get us to remain, instead half of Europe sighed with relief.

Britain is opposed to any moves in the EU to create a common defence policy, and continues to block and put up obstacles, even though the UK is leaving. Then the same defence minister who’s blowing up Europe’s plans announces that the UK wants a closer and deeper defence relationship with the EU after Brexit. There are leaders of the Labour party in Scotland who show greater consistency. Not that Labour cares. The party didn’t debate Brexit during its party conference.

Labour doesn’t care about Brexit, and it sure as hell doesn’t care about Scotland either. Jeremy Corbyn’s speech saw fit to mention only that his party has won three council by-elections in Scotland, showing a staggering ignorance of how Scotland’s local authority voting system works. Labour actually lost votes and continues to lose them. You won’t get free Scotland in a speech by Jeremy, but it will be Scotland-free.

Jeremy gave an English speech for an English party. A rebirth of socialism in England’s green and pleasant land. It’s all very fine and noble, but as long as Labour remains divided and its representatives more interested in attacking each other then it will remain unelectable. Which may be just as well, as the right of the party decided to criticise the speech for not being rivers of blood enough. That’s the driving issue in English politics these days, a narrow minded nationalism that’s set on turning its back to the world while demanding that the world accede to its every demand. Because Britain is special. We had an empire you know. Forgetting that the tense in that sentence is past, and Britain’s capacity to bend other states to its will has gone the way of Tony Blair’s reputation.

The UK is the Jerry Springer guest of Europe. Increasingly nasty, increasingly fractuous, Britain is the trash with an attitude who swaggers across the European stage screaming “You don’t know me!” while demanding that everyone else puts up with their bad behaviour. Everyone else has to accommodate Britain’s demands, but no one is allowed to demand anything in return. The problem the UK government has is that the other governments of the EU know it all too well.

Like the guests on the Jerry Springer show the UK is going to discover that it won’t solve its problems by shouting, screaming and stamping its foot. Instead the United Kingdom is in for a painful lesson in national humiliation. There will be no free access to the single market without freedom of movement of people. The Tories only want freedom of movement for their money. Shambling, incoherent and inarticulate, and the agent of its own misfortune, Britain will fall off the European stage to the accompaniment of the jeers and boos and derisory laughter of an unsympathetic audience.

But they’re not laughing at a Scotland that wants to remain a part of the EU. They’re not laughing at a Scotland that’s doing all it can to reassure EU citizens and to remain a part of the European family. They’re going to welcome us with open arms. Guy Verhofstadt is mocking Westminster, but he’s taking Holyrood very seriously indeed. Scotland was told by scoffing howling British nationalists that we were too poor, too wee, too weak and that Europe wouldn’t want us. Who’s laughing now?

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-28th-sept-2016

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

Drawing a Gaelic map of Glasgow makes you a fascist

I’ve had a fun day on Twitter, blocking and muting Unionists. Over the past day or so I’ve discovered that I’m a demagogue, a blood and soil nationalist, and a fascist, all because I’ve had the temerity to produce some detailed Gaelic maps. I’ve been called jingoistic, by a Scots Tory with a Union fleg no less. No one has been injured in the production of these maps, no one has been asked to contribute financially to their production, no one is being forced to look at them, but for some reason they’ve brought out a horde of frothing Unionists who for some bizarre reason seem to be terribly threatened by a language that they claim is dead.

In my spare time over the past four or five years I’ve been working on a wee project to produce some detailed Gaelic maps at a scale of 1:100,000. It’s involved a lot of research, trawling through place names books to discover the Celtic etymologies of Scottish place names, and translating English and Scots names, in order to turn them into a form of Gaelic that’s acceptable to modern speakers of the language.

There are a couple of reasons for doing so. Firstly there’s producing maps that are usable by modern Gaelic speakers. Gaelic might not be spoken nowadays in many parts of Scotland, but that doesn’t mean that Gaelic speakers won’t ever want to mention those places or discuss them. This project was sparked off in part when reading a Gaelic news report many years ago of a road accident in Ayrshire, and though the accident happened in a village with a Gaelic name (the name of the village escapes me now), it was given in English. Only the modern English name is accessible to Gaelic speakers because there are no Gaelic maps.

Another reason for wanting to produce Gaelic maps is because Scotland has three national languages. English, Scots and Gaelic are all equally national languages of all of Scotland, and as such are the cultural property of everyone in Scotland. Yet our maps are in English. There have been a couple of previous attempts to produce small maps of Scotland in Gaelic, but no detailed coverage of regions – especially Lowland areas. We’ve got our own languages, but have been taught to view Scotland through the medium of only one of them – English.

buteBut the third reason is more personal. When I was a child I discovered that the place names all around where I was brought up actually meant something in languages that people used to speak in my home area. Auchenshuggle, Barrachnie, Daldowie, Carmyle, Drumpellier, Gartcosh, they’re not just collections of nonsense syllables. They actually mean something. Achadh an t-Seagail The Rye Field, Barr Fhraoichnidh The Heather Ridge, Dail Dubhaidh The Black Meadow, Cair Mhaol The Fort on the Bare Hill, Druim Peildeir The Ridge of the Stakes, Gart Cois The Farm of the Hollow. That fascinated me, and sparked off an obsession with language and linguistics which remains with me to this day. The first thing I asked for when I found out that these names meant something was to ask for a map of my local area in Gaelic, only to discover that there wasn’t one. So I’m doing it myself.

I’ve now got a number of detailed large scale maps close to completion. There are maps of Glasgow & Inverclyde, Kintyre Arran & Bute, Ayrshire, Fife, Islay & Jura, and Mull which I hope to get published in the New Year. There are also a few other maps, Aberdeen, Dundee, and Central Scotland, which need some more work. I released a few snippets on Twitter, and by and large the response has been extremely positive. Most people who responded are interested and excited by the prospect of seeing Gaelic language maps of their own part of Scotland.

But not everyone. According to Tom Gallagher I’m a nat demagogue who is artificially Gaelicising Scotland in order to make a lot of money (I wish). Other Unionists have accused me of blood and soil nationalism, of fascism, of wasting time and money. They’ve demanded to know why anyone should waste time on a “dead language”. Without a shred of self-awareness people with Union flags in their avatars have accused me of narrow minded nationalism.

eastendThey’ve insisted that Gaelic was never spoken in places which have Gaelic names. But no one in Edinburgh / Fife / Dumfries ever spoke Gaelic, they say, oblivious to the fact that all of those places contain significant numbers of Gaelic place names which prove that Gaelic was indeed once spoken there. In Scotland Unionist ignorance of Scottish linguistic history is touted as good sense and erudution. The truth is that Fife was at one time solidly Gaelic speaking, that Gaelic was still spoken in Dumfries and Galloway until the 18th century, and that there are plenty of Gaelic placenames in Midlothian created by Gaelic speakers who once lived in Edinburgh.

Scotland’s languages belong to everyone in Scotland, irrespective of their political views. However maps are about possession and ownership, and by producing a Gaelic map you’re also saying that Scotland is its own country. You’re saying that Scotland can look at itself and discuss itself without reference to English. That is a political statement, but it’s even more politicising to deny that usage to any language that isn’t English.

Scotland’s languages are the ground zero of the Cringe. The existence of Gaelic and Scots is an affront to those who claim that there is no basis to Scottish nationalism other than an atavistic hatred of the English. Gaelic and Scots prove that Scotland does have a culture and identity of its own, and therefore they must be diminished, disparaged, and destroyed. Their existence is a threat to the glorious unity of the UK, and any attempt to let them out of the folkloric box into which they’ve been confined is an insult to the sensibilities of our more zoomy Unionists. Don’t dare attempt to use them like proper languages. Only English is allowed that role in this perfect partnership of nations.

And yet these are the very same people who claim that attempting to use Scots or Gaelic like any normal language is “politicising” the languages. These are the nationalists who insist on the primacy of English and the sole use of English yet are blind to their own cultural nationalism and who revel in their ignorance of Scottish culture and history. Scotland is one of the few places in the world where some deluded people actually believe that their ignorance is erudition. It’s sad and pathetic to hate your own country’s heritage so much. It’s demented to be threatened by a minoritised language. But that’s what the Union has done to so many in Scotland. Thankfully the rest of us have the cure.

The maps still require further checking and corrections. All going well they will be due for publication sometime in the New Year. I’ll keep you posted.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-27th-sept-2016

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

The clear and consistent miracle that is Kezia Dugdale

Saturday was a day of wonder and portents, of omens and miracles, at least for the Labour party. First off there was the second coming of JC, which was rapidly followed by Kezia Dugdale’s miraculous conversion on the road to a press release. Kezia’s now so autonomous that she’s autonomous from things that she said just five minutes previously. Even things that she got written down.

The great Parliamentary Labour Party coup ended up being so successful that its intended victim Jeremy Corbyn ended up being re-elected by an even larger margin than he was the first time round. And that was despite the assorted machinations the plotters had engaged in in order to deprive likely Jezzamites of the right to vote. There’s Labour and its respect for democracy for you. And now the big boys and girls of politics, the people who kept telling Scotland’s indy movement that politics ought to be left to the professionals, have shot themselves in the foot and hoist themselves by their own I’m Voting Owen placards. But at least they did it professionally.

Jeremy Corbyn is now unassailable as party leader, at least for the membership. He’s still not capable of leading the Parliamentary Privilege Party, which is the party that most Labour members who get elected to Westminster automatically gravitate to. He promises a new politics, a different politics, a politics of change – although not where Scotland is concerned. The problem is that most of his MPs are quite happy with the way things are, thank you very much, and they’re not inclined to change their ways just because the membership says so. The muttering, the back-stabbing, and the undermining will continue, and the PLP will do all they can to ensure that Jeremy Corbyn remains unelectable while claiming that the reason they’re undermining him is because he’s unelectable. And all the while the Tories will run roughshod over our civil rights and take us out of the EU into a dystopian future of Bake Offs and Strictly and Olympic medallists because watching the telly is all that will be left to us.

The day after the Jezzaclysm the Labour right has been reduced to trying to make political capital out of the fact that Jezza’s left hand man Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell said something unkind about a former Tory cabinet minister who built a career out of tipping disabled people out of their wheelchairs and kicking their crutches away. They prefer to attack one of their own over a question of tone and inappropriate verbal imagery that might cause mild upset to a rich and powerful and well connected Conservative, instead of attacking Tories who cause actual physical and mental distress to the vulnerable. Perhaps if they devoted just 10% of the energy and enthusiasm they display for attacking their party colleagues to attacking the Tories, then the Labour party just might be electable after all. You’d think that would be clear.

It’s not clear or consistent whether Kezia Dugdale thinks that Labour is electable, although Kezia is a model of consistency and clarity. She’s consistent in her ability to hold mutually contradictory ideas simultaneously. That’s what makes her leadership material. Jezza both is and is not capable of winning another election. The Labour party in Scotland both is and is not totally autonomous. Kezia wants elections to Labour’s UK shadow cabinet but not to her own Scottish shadow cabinet. Labour is both listening to the people of Scotland while simultaneously sticking its collective fingers in its ears and going lalalalalaSNPBad. There’s no inconsistency there and Kezia is absolutely clear about that.

The one thing that it’s clearly and consistently impossible for a Labour politician to admit to is the fact that they might have changed their minds. She once said that it wasn’t inconceivable that she could support independence if Scotland was taken out of the EU against its will but now claims there’s no reason for another indyref. Kezia wants us to accept that when she changes her mind she’s actually being totally consistent. It’s not Kezia who’s changed her mind, we’ve just changed our understanding of what she said.

She clearly and consistently pointed all this out to Gordon Brewer in an interview on the Scottish Politics Show on Sunday morning, where she expressed her disbelief that Gordon couldn’t understand what it was that Kezia clearly and consistently couldn’t understand while she pointed out that up is down, black is white, and James Kelly MSP is witty and engaging. It was like watching one of those cringe making YouTube videos where a skateboarder attempts to skate down a railing on a long flight of stairs only to land heavily on his bollocks, and then fall flat on his face writhing in agony, whereupon a wee dug pees on him and some guy steals his skateboard. Kezia would describe that as a consistently successful manoeuvre and then offer him a place in the shadow cabinet as her spokesperson on policy presentation and negotiating stairways.

Anyway, she continued, deciding to wade on through the quicksand rather than extricate herself from it, Jeremy said that after his reelection he wanted to wipe the slate clean, and that magically makes everything I’ve ever said up until this point disappear. So there. This is perfectly clear and consistent Gordon, and I’m not sure what your difficulty is. Whatever it is, it’s entirely your own fault, and not mine. I hope I’ve made that clear. Oh look, there’s a skateboarder with bruised bollocks who has just been elected to the National Executive Committee. He’s got a video on YouTube.

Kezia is also consistently clear in her view that no one is allowed to point out that she’s not always consistently clear, because doing so is abuse. Anyway, she is correct in one vital point. Kezia claimed that Jeremy Corbyn can’t unite Labour, and it’s perfectly true to say that he can’t unite all of Kezia’s contradictions. Not even the original JC is capable of that, walking on water and feeding the five thousand with a tin of sardines and a pan loaf from Asda is a breeze in comparison to making sense of what Kezia says. Her chances of raising Labour in Scotland from the dead however, are as near zero as makes no difference. Kezia is a miracle maker, let’s watch her make Labour disappear.

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

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-25th-sept-2016

 


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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

A sock, a pile of ooss, and a lost vote

Poor Kezia. There she is, getting all ready to vote with the Tories because the Labour party hates the SNP even more, and then she gets into a bout of snarking with an SNP MSP who was slagging her off for supporting the party that’s wreaking malicious havoc on the Scottish working class communities that used to vote Labour. And she got so caught up in the snarkback that she didn’t vote with the rest of her MSPs and allowed the SNP to win. Oops.

That’s Labour in Scotland’s new autonomy for you, Kezia is so autonomous that she’s even autonomous from her own party. She’s seceded from the obligation to vote the way that she instructs her colleagues to vote. She’s now trying to lay the blame on mechanical failure, and this would be true. It’s a failure of the mechanical response of Labour to attack the SNP instead of the Tories they were elected to oppose. Maybe if Kezia wanted to regain the support of those working class voters who deserted Labour en masse in favour of the SNP she’d be a bit more successful if she got back to voting against the Tories.

Of course it’s quite possible that the reason Kezia is seeking more autonomy for Labour in Scotland from UK Labour is because she wants more freedom of movement to ally with the Tories instead of opposing them. Opposing the Tories is a dangerously Corbynite idea after all. Once Labour in Scotland achieves its autonomy from UK Labour then Glesca Labour can cheerfully go into coalition with the Conservatives in order to maintain their failing grip on the city. Mind you, they’d cheerfully go into coalition with them anyway, and then tell us that it’s only Labour that can protect us from the depredations of Thatcher’s latest generation of hell-spawn.

Kezia won’t admit that she just forgot to vote, because that speaks of a level of incomptence that makes Jackie Baillie seem numerate. This is a really serious issue, said Kezia speaking after the event, with that sad eyed face she does when she knows that she’s in deep doo doo and can’t handily blame it on the SNP. I did so vote, and there needs to be an investigation. That will usefully deflect criticism for a while, or at least for long enough for her pals in the Unionist media to have found something else to attack the SNP for. Maybe she could just save us all the bother and accuse the SNP of being responsible for her own screw ups. After all, that seems to be Murdo Fraser’s tactic for the Tories. Murdo wants to know what the SNP are going to do to ensure a successful Brexit, which is a bit like a drunk driver demanding that the pedestrians he’s just run over do more about road safety.

Anyway, being kind hearted souls, we should give Kezia the benefit of the doubt when she claims that it’s not her fault that her vote wasn’t registered. Perhaps the dog ate it. There was a fire, an earthquake, or a flood. It’s entirely possible that her vote vanished due to the evil SNP vote stealing fairy, the same one that’s been responsible for causing Labour votes to vanish across whole swathes of Scotland over the past few years.

After a proper investigation all those votes will be found lurking down the back of the washing machine with a pile of ooss and a solitary black sock with a hole in the big toe. The ooss will be nominated for election as the next Labour cooncillor for Lanarkshire North, but will be rejected because half the party is suspicious of anyone that’s dangerously intellectual and the other half thought it was already serving as the Tory Secretary of State for Scotland.

Meanwhile the sock will be considerably more useful than anything Labour in Scotland has said or done over the past few years. Someone from the British establishment will use it as a puppet and it will become the next leader of Labour in Scotland after Kezia’s had her turn. And no one will notice the difference. Because, let’s be honest here, that’s pretty much how the leader of the Scottish branch office has operated for as long as anyone can remember. The sock will of course be hailed by the Unionist media as the next great saviour of the Union and they’ll earnestly inform us how the nats are secretly really terrified and those guffaws you hear are in fact nervous laughter.

The point being of course is that losing votes is not Labour’s fault. It’s not Kezia’s fault that she forgot to vote. It’s not the Labour party in Scotland’s fault that their traditional voter base doesn’t want to vote for them any more. Labour is the People’s Party, and those who don’t vote for them are obviously not the People. They’re brainwashed drones who’ve fallen under the influence of vile cybernats. All Labour needs to do is to keep on doing what it’s always done and eventually the infection will wear off and Scotland will get back to normal. Labour operates on the principle that a change of political views is a bit like a bad case of food poisoning. The voters will get over it eventually, once they get it out of their systems.

The problem is that Scotland changed during the independence referendum campaign. Labour didn’t. The Scottish Tories didn’t. They expected that once they’d won their No vote that things would go back to normal. But things won’t go back to the way they were. Scotland has wised up. We’re alive to the tricks and the lies and the promises that go unfulfilled. We’re aware of the vows that aren’t worth the newspaper they’re printed on. It’s not just the SNP that should be held to account. It’s Kezia and Ruth and their pals too. Welcome to the new normal.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/a-sock-a-pile-of-ooss-and-a-lost-vote-wee-ginger-dug-22nd-september-2016

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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

A man with no plan

It’s been a fun filled fantastist week for Scotland’s not so merry band of Unionist politicians as they rush to deny that there can possibly ever be another referendum, except an EU one in the case of the Lib Dems, but in the meantime they’re getting on with Project Fear Mk II just in case. This week’s big scare is that in the event of independence there will be a hard border with England that will make the Berlin Wall look like the hedge that Fluffy Mundell is dragged through on a regular basis. You won’t be able to go to the Metro Centre in Newcastle without being strip searched by those big burly men that Ruth Davidson is always warning about. You know, the ones that only exist in her own imagination. Scotland will have a hard border imposed upon it, but Ireland won’t. Because, reasons.

Mind you, after a hard Brexit you won’t want to go to the Metro Centre in Newcastle for your shopping, because goods and services in rUK will be a lot more expensive than they will be in Scotland, what with the tarrifs that will be imposed on Westminster’s trade negotiators – that would be Liam Fox. Most countries would cheerfully impose a tarrif on Liam in an effort to discourage him from bringing Adam Werrity along. On the other hand, the pound sterling will by that time be trading around about parity with the Albanian Lek, which will make rUK really cheap for Scottish shoppers. So you know, swings and roundabouts.

The whole thrust of a Unionist scare campaign is that there’s only ever negative consequences for and independent Scotland. The rest of the UK sails on blissfully unaffected. But that’s not what would happen in the real world. If there is to be a hard border between an independent Scotland that’s a part of the EU and an rUK that isn’t, the party whose interests are going to be most prejudiced by that arrangement is the rUK. Because it also means a hard border between the rUK and the rest of Europe and woeful effects on the economy of the rUK.

No freedom of movement of people, no freedom of movement of goods and services, the EU has been explicit on that point. There will be no negotiations on access to the single market without free movment of people. Westminster can stamp its foot all it likes, but it’s not the one with the strong hand. A hard border means no passporting of financial services that the City of London depends on to do business with Europe, and that will put an end to London’s position as one of the world’s leading financial centres. All that will be left will be laundering money for Mexican drug cartels and hiding the ill gotten gains of Russian oligarchs. Which to be honest, isn’t hugely dissimilar from what’s going on just now.

Scotland may very well do most of its business with the rUK for now, but after a hard Brexit and trapped behind a hard border with trade tarrifs and a plummeting pound the economy of the rUK is not going to thrive. That will provide a shrinking and weak market for Scotland. We’d be fools to tie ourselves to that. The rUK comes off far worse in the threats that the British establishment makes against us, but it’s only ever the negative effects on Scotland that we’re invited to consider. The truth that Project Fear Mk II doesn’t want us to think about is that it’s even more in the interests of the rUK to avoid a hard border.

Meanwhile, over in Toryland, Murdo Fraser has been demanding that the SNP come up with a plan to make the best of Brexit. It’s a bit like a dog owner who allows their mutt to crap all over your doorstep then chaps on your door and demands to know what you’re going to do about cleaning up the mess. The real reason that he’s wanting to know what the SNP plan is for making the best out of Brexit is because the Tories don’t have one. Murdo’s a man with no plan. There is an SNP plan however, it’s just that it’s a plan that the Tories don’t like. That plan would be to gain independence and leave Westminster to stew in its own dysfunctional juice.

Labour in Scotland does have a plan. They announced this week that they’re going to become the most autonomous Labour party in Scotland in the history of autonomy. You know, what they told us that they already were back in 2013, then again in 2014, then there was that wee relapse with Johann’s branch office moment then they were back to being autonomous again with Jim and then Kezia. Labour in Scotland wants itself to have more autonomy than it’s prepared to allow Scotland to have, which is a peculiar position for a party which was prepared to allow the least amount of devolution possible during the Smith Commission negotiations – even less than the Tories. There’s a word for that sort of thing, and that word is hypocrisy, and that’s one of the reasons why Labour’s support in Scotland is flatter than a hedgehog on the M8.

Kezia’s new found enthusiasm for Labo-Max if not Devo-Max is probably not unrelated to the fact that Jeremy Corbyn is about to be reelected by party members. And the signs are he’ll be reelected with a crushing majority. His supporters will then have their eye on deselecting MPs who were seen to be disloyal. One of whom is Kezia’s ally Ian Murray. Kezia’s autonomy proposals have a whole lot more to do with ensuring Kezia has autonomy from Jeremy Corbyn than they do about giving Scotland greater freedom of movement. You might call me cynical for thinking that, but then I’m nowhere near as cynical as the Labour party.

Even the Lib Dems have been at it this week. Not that anyone’s really noticed, or indeed cared when they did notice. The want another referendum on the whole EU thing, because that’s totally different from wanting another referendum on independence. Or something. Truth is, I wasn’t really listening. The problem for the Lib Dems is that no one else was either.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-21st-september-2016

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.


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


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