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.

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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.

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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

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

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

It’s time for a Scottish public service broadcaster

Well that’s it Scotland. You’re not getting your own hour long news programme on the BBC. Even the prospect of an hour of Jackie Bird has been deemed too dangerously separatist by the BBC’s mandarins in London. A report in this week’s Sunday Herald says that the idea of an hour long Scottish based news programme combining Scottish news, UK news, and international news has now been definitively ruled out by the BBC. You’d have thought they’d have relished the idea of a Reporting Scotland on steroids telling us all how crappy the Scottish NHS is, how rubbish Police Scotland are, and with the opportunity to give twice as long to reheated Labour press releases as the usually do, but apparently depriving us of 30 minutes of news about the English NHS and the travails of the England cricket and fitba teams has been deemed as being unconducive to the United bit of this United Kingdom.

In a way, we should be glad. The idea of a Scottish Six news programme was always only a sop to distract us from the real issue. The real issue is the shameful lack of a dedicated Scottish public service broadcaster. An extra half hour of Jackie Bird, murrdurrs, wee cute kittens and fitba is not what Scotland needs. What Scotland needs is a national channel of its own. Catalonia has it. The Basque Country has it. Even tiny Gagauzia has it. But here in Scotland we’re told that even an extra 30 minutes of news is a dangerous step too far. A Scottish public service broadcaster is totally beyond the pale of acceptable public discourse, certainly on the BBC.

It’s not remarkable to expect Scotland to have its own public service broadcaster, what’s remarkable is that Scotland doesn’t have one already. What’s even more remarkable is that this shameful lack of respect for Scotland by a Westminster which greedily reserves control of news, current affairs and cultural output to itself isn’t more of a political issue than it is. Because it’s a national disgrace. What’s most remarkable of all is that certain Scottish journalists and commentators argue against even having a Scottish Six news programme, never mind a Scottish national broadcaster.

There are Scottish journalists who actually argue against promoting Scottish journalism. Just think on that for a minute. You’d think that Scottish journalists would welcome all and every initiative which boosts the profile of Scottish journalism, and which allows it to reach the widest audience possible within Scotland. But this is Scotland, where for too many the Cringe is a substitute for a backbone.

Scotland is appallingly poorly served by the BBC. The Corporation includes such typically Scottish programmes as Question Time and Mrs Brown’s Boys in its “Scottish output” statistics as a way to pretend that Scotland gets more in the way of TV production than it actually does. Real Scottish programmes are rare indeed.

Back in the 1990s, during the discussions about setting up a Scottish parliament, the devolution of broadcasting within Scotland was one of the powers that supporters of devolution wanted and expected to be devolved to Holyrood. The power was removed by Tony Blair and his supporters and control of broadcasting was included on the list of reserved powers. One of the effects of this was that after the UK signed up to the European Charter for the Protection of Minority and Regional Languages and signed a treaty commitment to giving Scottish Gaelic the same degree of protection as Welsh, a predominantly Gaelic TV channel became a legal obligation. Because broadcasting is reserved to Westminster, that meant that the House of Commons and assorted Tory MPs who wouldn’t be able to distinguish the Scottish Gaelic language from Slovene or Hungarian had more of a say on setting up a Scottish Gaelic channel than Scotland’s own parliament.

The consequence of broadcasting being reserved to Westminster is that voters in Scotland end up hearing more about the health service or education in England than they do about those in Scotland. It means that when some public service is mired in crisis and confusion that Scottish news outlets are driven to publish similar stories about the equivalent in Scotland. It means that during elections Unionist parties can conflate devolved and reserved issues because the electorate are unclear which is which.

The people who object to a Scottish Six, who would object even more vociferously to a Scottish national public service broadcaster, all too often do so on the grounds that such a service would be nothing more than “SNP TV”. Yet these are the self-same people who claim that the BBC is completely impartial and unbiased when it comes to reporting on Scottish politics and current affairs. They never explain why a Scottish public service broadcasting corporation which would presumably be set up with the same safeguards and structures that allow the BBC its lofty neutrality would be little more than the propaganda arm of the independence movement, whereas its British equivalent is studiously above any such bias. They can’t have it both ways. The same structures which guarantee BBC neutrality and lack of bias would operate in the exact same way in any Scottish Broadcasting Corporation.

The truth is that the refusal of the Unionist parties and their supporters to countenance the establishment of a Scottish public service broadcaster on the grounds that it would be a propaganda service for the SNP are tacitly admitting that the BBC is indeed biased and subject to the political influence of Westminster. The real reason they object to a Scottish public service broadcaster is because the BBC was instrumental in flooding our airwaves with pro-British propaganda during the first independence referendum, and the Unionist establishment expects it to perform the same service for Britain in the second.

The argument has progressed beyond asking meekly for a 30 minute consideration from the BBC. It’s time that the Scottish Government, the SNP, and other pro-independence parties started to point out that Scotland doesn’t just suffer from a democratic deficit under Westminster, we suffer from a broadcasting deficit as well. A devolved nation having its own public service broadcasting service is the normal state of affairs in Europe. It’s Scotland which is the shameful exception. It’s time we had a Scottish television service that was worthy of the name, because we’re not getting it from a BBC that doesn’t even think Scotland is worthy of a news programme of its own.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-19th-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

Weaponised Brexit

In decades to come, if Donald Trump hasn’t set off WW3 or condemned us all to the collapse of civilisation due to rampant global warming or appalling hairstyles, historians will look back on 2014 as the great lost opportunity of the United Kingdom. 2014 was the year when the UK narrowly avoided losing one of the two constituent kingdoms which had created the Union and ceasing to be a united kingdom. 2014 was the year when the British establishment could have chosen to ensure that it kept Scotland firmly within the embrace of the British state. But that’s not what happened.

What happened was that the morning after Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK, the UK’s main political parties decided to play party political games. They were going to use their victory as an opportunity to attack the SNP, not treat it as a shot across their bows from a constituent part of the UK that was prepared to give the Westminster parliament one last opportunity to introduce the Scottish home rule that it had promised. But the Unionist parties thought that none of the promises or commitments that the Unionist parties made in order to win the vote needed to be honoured, because they believed that Scotland had no leverage with which to make them comply. They arrogantly ran roughshod over an entire country, and chose instead to slap Scotland in the face. It’s bad enough being slapped in the face, but Scotland got slapped in the face by David Mundell, which is even greater national humiliation than getting your arse kicked by Paddington Bear.

This week Ruth Davidson is in her spiritual home in London, where she’s gone to worship at the feet of her masters and mistresses in the Tory party. Ruth is so influential in the Tory party in Westminster that they think she’s called Ruth Harrison. Possibly because they believe she’s related to Keith Harrison, the Orville the Duck guy. Easy mistake to make, one puppet is much like another and after all Scotland is represented in the UK cabinet by an actual stuffed toy. We all know who is pulling the strings.

Ruth wants to tell anyone who is listening, which is mainly the right wing British press, all how awful that SNP is, for daring to complain about Brexit and how wrong it is of them to point out that being taken out of the EU and into a dystopian future where we’re besties with Donald Trump is not what Scotland signed up for. They’re weaponising Brexit! She cried. How dare they! How dare those vile Scottish nationalists complain that the fact that Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against its will is the exact opposite of what we told them would happen if Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK.

The threat to the Union is real, she said, which when put through a translator for English Tories who have a deaf ear to Scotland really means, “You lot have seriously screwed things up for Scottish Tories and my chances of more photo opportunities with buffalo and dead fish.” And then she added that the SNP is weaponising Brexit.

The only people who have weaponised Brexit are the Tories themselves. They’re hell bent on using the Brexit vote as a weapon which they can use to blow up the tattered remnants of the post-WW2 settlement that gave us the NHS, state pensions, and the social security safety net. The Tories call calling them out for their destruction of social care, the NHS, employment and civil rights, and their mendacious disregard for their own promises to Scotland “cranking up the grievance machine”. Because it’s wrong for us to complain when Tories lie, cheat, and dissemble. It’s even more wrong for us to seek redress. It’s most wrong of all for us to strive for a situation where we can protect ourselves from them.

The new free trading Britain that’s striding the globe doing deals with everyone and anyone, but mainly with dictators and orange skinned xenophobes with incredibly tiny hands, won’t do any deals with Scotland. It’s a sign of just how divorced from reality that the Tory party has become, as Ruth insists that Scotland will face trade barriers with the rest of the UK, her boss insists that the rest of the UK will be able to trade freely with the EU. Britain is leaving the EU so that it can make trade deal without hinderance, except it won’t want a trade deal with Scotland, its largest export market.

Ruth’s threat is far more damaging to the rest of the UK than it is to Scotland. Since Scotland is thinking about leaving the UK precisely because the UK is leaving the EU and Scotland wants to stay, that means that any trade barriers between the rest of the UK and Scotland will also be trade barriers between the rest of the UK and the EU. The Tories can’t have it both ways. But that doesn’t stop them pumping out one message for people south of the border and a different one for those of us to the north of it. Tory propaganda rests upon the belief that the population of Scotland have heads that button up the back.

The Scottish Tory leader promises that the UK is a Union that’s changing, that’s dynamic. She’s got that bit right. It’s changing into a unitary state in which the views and opinions of its contituent nations are trampled over and count for nothng. It’s dynamically pushing Scotland off a cliff and onto the rocks of Brexit. We heard during the 2014 referendum that the UK was changing, that a No vote was a vote for safer faster better change. Instead we got English votes for English laws, second class Scottish MPs, tax powers for Holyrood that the Secretary of State openly boasted were a trap for the SNP, and a Sewell Convention that isn’t worth the legal paper that it’s printed on.

The people who are pushing Scotland off the Brexit cliff are complaining that independence would be a leap in the dark. When Ruth Davidson complains that the prospect of a second independence referendum is a “grim possiblity” she means that it’s a grim possibility that her party might be held to account. Because she’s more than happy with the current situation in which the views and votes of Scotland mean nothing. The only way Scotland will get safer faster better change is to rejoin the family of independent states. That terrifies Ruth more than anything, because a Scotland that decides its own path in the world is a Scotland that won’t go down the path Ruth wants. No wonder she’s terrified. Her Brexit weapon has turned itself on the Tory party and the Union. The Tories weaponised Brexit and it has blown up in their faces.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-14th-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

Turning the hysteria up to eleven

If Scotland votes to become independent, the very next day the SAS will abseil down the side of your local branch of Morrison’s and make everyone in the checkout queue turn out their pockets and confiscate their money, because Scotland won’t be allowed to use the pound. It’s true. Unionists on Twitter say so. They also tell us that Scotland will have to sign up to Schengen and the Euro even though we won’t be allowed to join the EU and won’t have any currency. And Spain will veto us. Mariano Rajoy is the saviour of the UK. Mind you, if you are pinning all your hopes on Mariano Rajoy to prevent the break up of the UK you’re as well going home now and consoling yourself with a bowl of cold paella.

There is still no official independence campaign, no notification of a referendum, but already the Unionist extremists on social media are ramping the hysteria up to eleven. They scream mutually contradictory scare stories without pausing to reflect on how they undermine their own argument. People who are hell-bent on taking Scotland out of the EU against its will try to scare us with the threat that Scotland won’t be allowed to join the EU. Which means, although they’re blind to it, that they’re actually admitting that not being in the EU is a bad thing.

What they’re really trying to do is to assert that being outside the EU and negotiating our own trade deals is far far scarier than being out of the EU and having our trade deals negotiated on our behalf by Liam Fox. There are in fact fewer things in this universe that are scarier than anything to do with Liam Fox. He’d cheerfully negotiate a trade deal with the monster from the Alien movies to rent out the bodies of the low paid to vile blood sucking parasites from another planet. Which is pretty much what his government has got in mind as a model for the British economy after Brexit. They call it tax incentives.

Hard core Unionists are being forced into hysteria before the referendum has even been called because the reality of a Tory ruled Brexit outside the EU and with our employment and civil rights trashed is far far more frightening than anything that an independent Scotland has to offer, even in the dystopian nightmares of Tom Gallagher. Well, OK, maybe not. Tom has the kind of dystopian imagination about an independent Scotland that other people can only acquire after having their brains extracted via their nostrils with a bill hook, put in a blender with the Ladybird Book of Scary Tartan Monsters and a report from a focus group made up of Orange Lodge members and ninety year old Ukippers with advanced syphilitic dementia – otherwise known as a Question Time audience from Glasgow – and then poured back into their body through a funnel stuck up their backside.

But even Tom’s froth filled ravings are starting to seem mainstream compared to some of the stuff that’s coming out of his Unionist pals these days. Ruth Davidson is warning of fratricide, and she’s one of the calmer ones. But Ruth habitually talks in metaphors of war. On Monday she was warning that the Scottish government is seeking to weaponise Brexit in order to boost support for independence. But the truth is that it’s the Tories who have weaponised Brexit. They’re using it as a weapon to destroy the social support networks, the NHS, social security, employment rights and civil rights that have been hard fought for and won by generations. They took the vote in England and Wales to leave the EU and have chosen how to interpret it. They’ve chosen to interpret it as an all out assault on the social compact that Britain established in the post-WW2 era. They’ve chosen to interpret it as an opportunity to destroy social cohesion and compassion.

It’s Ruth’s own party which is destroying the UK. That’s why the Unionists on social media scream and howl, because they don’t want to face up to that hard reality. The Britain that they claim to love is being killed, and it’s being killed by the parties that claim to champion it. That’s some tough karma there. It’s far easier to blame someone else for your own shortcomings, so they blame Scottish nationalists instead.

The Unionist extremists are warning of people being set against one another, of families being torn apart. Some are demanding that independence supporters suffer legal penalties. Because in the world of the überyoon it’s all the fault of independence supporters when neo-fascist Unionists get violent. It’s the Scottish constitutional equivalent of blaming rape on women wearing short skirts or saying that animal cruelty is the result of marching band uniforms getting covered in cat hair.

What they’re really trying to achieve with their hysteria and warnings of violence is to dissuade people from engaging with the arguments about independence. They want to put the blame for their own violence and lack of restraint on people who make peaceful and good natured arguments for independence. It’s a tactic to delegitimise the campaign for independence. It’s a tactic to claim the moral high ground while wallowing in the sewer. Then when another group of Unionist thugs attack peaceful independence supporters like they did in George Square in the aftermath of the first independence referendum vote, there can yet again be headlines on the BBC saying “Clashes between Yes and No voters” as though there’s some sort of moral equivalence between the two. It’s like describing an execution as a dispute.

You’d almost think that despite turning the hysteria up to eleven, their insistence that no one in Scotland wants another referendum, and that even if there is another referendum it’s going to return a massive majority in favour of presenting our arses to the Tories for a serious rogering, that they’re not so sure that they’re going to win. And that’s because they’re not, and they know it. They know they’re on the wrong side of history. They know that we’re living in the last days of the British Empire. As the British ship of state sinks below the waves in a storm that it brought on itself, the unionist extremists will only howl even louder, but their howls will be blown away in the gale of their own making.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-13th-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


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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

The crumbling wall

Another day, and another Scottish Unionist EU lie. Wings Over Scotland has already explained the desperate mendacity and lies of a Scottish Unionist media which sees the writing on the UK wall, but it’s worthwhile going over it again for the obdurate. Jacqueline Minor is the EU Commission’s representative in the UK, which is a bit like being a climate change scientist trying to explain reality to Donald Trump. Being the EU Commission’s representative in the UK is a virtual guarantee that anything you say will be taken by the British media and spun 180 degrees opposite of what you actually meant.

This week Ms Minor explained that it’s perfectly possible that Scotland could get a fast track entry into the EU, pointing out quite reasonably that Scotland is already in compliance with EU membership requirements, unlike most of the other states which have applied to join. She also noted that new member states are obliged to sign up to membership of the Euro, but noted that there is no timescale for this and that a country could quite easily indefinitely postpone membership of the single currency. All of this is exactly what supporters of Scottish independence have been saying since way back in 2011 when Alicsammin (remember him?) was elected as head of a majority SNP government with a manifesto commitment to holding a Scottish independence referendum.

Yet here we are, six years on, and the Scottish Unionist media is still blaring out the same auld EU pish that it always has done. Who needs fake news when you have the Express, the Mail, and the Hootsmon? Scotland, they tell us, would have to join the queue for EU membership, failing as ever to point out that this is not a queue in which membership applications are dealt with on a first come first served basis. Scotland, they want us to believe, won’t even have its EU membership application looked at until Albania has sorted out its corruption problems, Turkey has become a properly functioning democracy, and Daily Mail journalists are able to locate Moldova on a map.

This shouldn’t need to be explained yet again, but here we are. Eligibility for EU membership is not determined on a first come first served basis. There is no ‘queue’. States are admitted to the EU as soon as they achieve compliance with the many and detailed conditions required for membership.  Scotland is already there.

No country can be forced to join the Euro. It’s amazing how otherwise apparently sensible people assert otherwise. Joining the Euro is not like being conscripted into the army. It’s a complex process involving a number of discrete steps, one of the most important of which – the decision to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism – is entirely up to the judgement of the member state concerned. A country can quite easily delay signing up to the ERM indefinitely. No ERM, no Euro. It’s that simple.

Despite what you’ll read in a UK press that insists that the EU is obsessed with the straightness of bananas, the EU isn’t interested in forcing member states to adopt the Euro if they don’t see it as being in their interests to do so. But then, if you believe the likes of the Daily Mail, being a member of the EU is not unlike being a member of the Wehrmacht and being ordered to invade Poland. Or rather, ordering Poland to invade Portsmouth.

The conditions of EU membership include amongst other things that a country is a properly functioning democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of the press – and this includes the freedom of the press to tell lies and systematically undermine the current government. Despite the spectacularly mendacious attempts of Unionist journalists to argue otherwise, Scotland is a fully functioning democracy with press freedom. In Scotland right wing Unionists are so censored that they have to resort to double page spreads in the Daily Mail. It’s not exactly a samizdat – which for those of you young enough not to remember the Soviet Union is a clandestinely printed and distributed publication which is banned by the state. Unionism in Scotland is so censored that it has to make do with every single newspaper except one daily and one Sunday. It is so censored that it’s able to print untruths on a daily basis.

Scotland is already a member of the EU by virtue of being part of the UK, and therefore is already in compliance with all the varied conditions of EU membership. However according to the Unionist press, we’d have to wait for Macedonia to resolve its naming dispute with Greece before anyone would even glance at our EU membership application. It’s such a ridiculous pile of nonsense that it’s amazing that those printing it can do so with a straight face. The truth is that the EU is open to the idea of a fast track for Scottish membership.

The real blow that the Unionist media doesn’t want to talk about is the blow to the chances of the UK remaining a single state. Ms Minor pointed out in her comments that the UK government shows no sign that it is disposed to negotiate a special deal for Scotland. The Unionist media describes this as a set back for Nicola Sturgeon, but really it’s a set back for attempts to keep the United Kingdom together. That’s the real story, that an independence referendum is increasingly likely, and it’s becoming increasingly likely because of the intransigence and short sightedness of the British state. But rather than point out the dangers of this path, the Unionist media act as cheerleaders in the reckless destruction of what they claim to hold dear. It’s not Scottish nationalism which is destroying the UK, the British government is doing a grand job of that all by itself, and all that the Unionist media does is wave a fleg and put up the red white and blue bunting.

Here we are, six years on, and the Unionist media is still spouting the same lies, the same half-truths, the same misinformation, all in an attempt to scare and browbeat the people of Scotland into submission. They’re coming out with the same old lies, lies that have already been challenged, debunked, and dismissed, because they’ve run out of ammunition. It’s a sign of their desperation and the bankruptcy of their argument.

There are times when it feels like challenging this turd torrent is like banging your head off the proverbial brick wall. But the hard truth for the Unionist media is that their flood of falsehoods isn’t working. Support for independence continues to rise. In 2011 we went into a referendum when only 28% of Scotland supported independence. Now we’re going into a second referendum with 49% support. When you keeping banging against the brick wall of Unionism, it’s the Unionist wall that crumbles. It won’t take much more for the entire sorry edifice to come crashing down.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-10th-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