Pwned and poonds

Monday was a bank holiday, so it was a slow news day. We got treated to mair pish from the Guardian, another jokey wee article spunkily poking unfunniness at the audacity of provincials who think they can make grown up decisions. From the publication which gave us 76 reasons to make snide pretend apologies to Scotland, it’s suggestions for a new name for a new Scottish currency from Tim Dowling, an American journalist now living in London. Snide remarks about buckie, bawbags and boak filed under politics. Seeing as how he’s American, he thinks being told his copy is spunky is a compliment. In Scotland we know that means it’s the product of a wank.

Spunky Tim clearly didn’t get the memo, we’re going to use the pound. Scotland was playing a game of currency chicken with Westminster, and they blinked first. That gemme is already a bogie son. It was a major splash in the Guardian, you’d think he’d have read his own paper. Mind you, Scottish correspondent Sevvie doesn’t read it either, he seems to think the publication is neutral on the subject of independence. Bless.

The pound won’t need a new name, unless Westminster does by some miracle ensure that Scotland can’t use Sterling – possibly by sending in the SAS to swoop down on the checkout queue in Asda, forcing pensioners to pay for their messages in buttons and euro cent coins found down the back of the sofa. But in that unlikely event the rUK will no longer have North Sea oil to use as collateral, Scotland will have told the Treasury to stick its Bank of England issued credit notes up George Osborne’s gimp suit, and it will be the pound which needs a new name. It will be known as “worthless”, while its new German language name will translate as “bet you wish you’d joined the Euro”.

And while we’re on the topic, memo to Steve Bell, another Guardianista with a tin ear for funny where Scotland is concerned. If you want to write cod Scots dialogue in yer cartoons, at least get it right. It’s not a “poond”, it’s a punn. It’s even got a joke in the name. Just how easy do you want us to make this for you people? And you still can’t raise a laugh in Scotland. Jesus wept.

It’s just a bit of banter when an English publication mocks Scotland. When Scots mock anything English, it’s both a symptom of a deep atavistic cancer eating away at the Scottish psyche, and the only culturally distinctive thing about us. The UK media presents a caricature Scotland defined by its supposed hatred of England. And so a resolutely non-ethnic civic nationalism which includes many thousands of English people amongst its supporters is defined as anti-English and racist. No matter how carefully a criticism is phrased, how accurately it is directed, it is interpreted as “Scotland hates the English.”

I can’t not get angry about being called a racist because I want independence. Homophobic UKIP supporters telling me I’m a bigot tends to have that effect. I spend most of my time and energy caring for an English man with dementia. I thought I was doing it because I love him, but apparently I’m merely extending his life out of badness so I can watch him suffer. I’m torturing him with comfy cushions and cake. It’s all very Monty Python isn’t it? So why am I not laughing.

Because the independence campaign has so far refused to provide the requisite amount of anti-English hatred, a new wannabe meme has sprung up. Quite possibly a product of the very same people who brought you the grassroots Vote Nob Orders campaign. It’s that the word Westminster is just an evil fascist cryptonazi dog-whistle for “English”.

This is an obvious nonsense. Westminster is Scotland’s sovereign parliament too. Westminster is not an imagined “other” – yes we’re looking at you David Aaronovitch – its influence reaches into every area of Scottish life, and its decisions are the final ones. All other political decisions in Scotland are conditional upon its power and authority.

So when independence supporters say “Westminster”, we mean Westminster. Westminster is not England, we understand the difference even if some of the Guardian’s more irritating hobbyist unionists don’t.

Thankfully at least one UK media figure seems to have got it. Jon Snow published a decent piece on his recent trip to Scotland to report on the referendum campaign, and described the visceral hatred for Westminster that exists in the country. Scotland’s independence debate is largely driven by Westminster, only not in the way that Westminster had hoped. Now that’s funny, Guardian take note.

Jon understood that the term Westminster was not code for anything. It’s the Cuprinol of Scottish politics, only on the list of ingredients on the back of the tin it says “Careerists, militarists, liars, idiots, nuts.” There’s also a sell by date of 1900.

Jon was impressed by the level of political debate in Scotland. But Scotland’s own Unionist commentators are not so impressed, though this may not be unconnected with the fact that they’re losing the argument. And badly at that.

David Torrance had a bit of a stropette in the Herald, and blew his cover as a sort of Unionist chase-me chase-me and make me yours. He was moaning that pro-independence blogs and websites, and Wings Over Scotland in particular, aren’t doing the Unionist media’s job for them. We should be criticising Alicsammin too.

Sorry Davie love, I can’t speak for anyone else, but it’s just that Westminster’s basterts are much bigger basterts, and you know, you don’t go cleaning up a bit of spilt milk in the kitchen when there’s a steaming pile of turds in your living room. At least those of us who can’t afford cleaning staff, which excludes most of those at Westminster.  So I’ll concentrate on getting rid of the turds first, then decide on domestic catering arrangements, if that’s alright with you.

The thin piece was just an excuse to get a menshie in for his forthcoming booklet, pamphlet, leaflet, whatever, pressing for a federal UK. Davie didn’t say who was going to deliver federalism in the UK. The federalism fairy perhaps. It’s certainly not going to be the Westminster parliament. It’s taken them over four years to devolve powers over airguns to Holyrood. You’d think a politics geek would have known that.

I shouldn’t talk though. I’m only posting this blog piece to announce that I’m going to write a novel about a politics geek who lives in Narnia with his imaginary federal friends.

Davie then got pwned by Stu Campbell, which was highly amusing. Apparently pwned is a gaming term for getting your arse handed to you on a plate. It’s pronounced poond, which may be the source of Steve Bell’s confusion. But the best laugh was Davie praising the CBI for their honesty in apologising for the “honest mistake” that some nameless minion had apparently made without authorisation.

He should write more for the Guardian. They need some decent comedians.


42 comments on “Pwned and poonds

  1. Thomas Canmore says:

    A Positive Case For The Union.

    Last week I cycled from Polwarth to Broxburn along the Union Canal.It was beautiful,happy people walking in the sunshine,no litter,gorgeous barges and the thrill of The Kelpies if you had the legs to go far enough.Five minutes out of Edinburgh and it’s like another world.


    Oh,THAT union.

    Naw,that one’s shite.

    Also I’ve been browbeaten and verbally bullied by my unionist Tory dad my whole life,so much so that it’s impossible to even have a conversation with him.That’s how I feel about the independence movement.

    They don’t even want to talk to us let alone come to some civilised arrangement.

    Thanks for your blog chief,it’s a lifeline.Tom.

    • Toots Capoot says:

      Good post Tom. It’s such a pity that there are those who simply will not engage, just no willingness at all to really look at things. Got chatting in a shop the other day about the referendum and was met with the usual “oh, but we can’t this and can’t that …” blah blah blah. I just tune it out now as it’s impossible to have any respect for those who are so satisfied by their own ignorance.

    • jimnarlene says:

      Nearly choked there, I’d love a canal holiday.

  2. diabloandco says:

    That one’s got bite right enough!

  3. macart763m says:

    Very well said and very well put Paul. Wish I could express emotion with intellect in written form anywhere near as well.

    You’ve hit the nail squarely on the head, yet again.

  4. […] Monday was a bank holiday, so it was a slow news day. We got treated to mair pish from the Guardian, another jokey wee article spunkily poking unfunniness at the audacity of provincials who think t…  […]

  5. Thomas Barrowman says:


  6. Sheila Rae says:

    First thing every morn, oer a cup o tea, is look to your blog. I smile ear to ear and oft guffaw. Thank you for your witty insights.

  7. Spot on, as usual. The meejia should remember that we are equally angry with the people we elected to Westminster, not just those serving English constituencies. We’re angry with Westminster as a symbol of failed democracy and a home to self-serving individuals who don’t care about the electorate other than as a way to get on the gravy train.

    • Nigel Mace says:

      Actually, I’m even angrier with the contingent of Scottish MPs – especially those so-called ‘Labour’ ones with a blend of yellow and Tory blue running down where their spines used to be. Jimmy Maxton wouldn’t be able to believe what his party has become.

  8. Mosstrooper says:

    Liked your Poond punn pun. Value for money indeed as you don’t get much for a punn except perhaps a pun. I suspect this comment will get a pounding or poonding or punnding. Upun my word, time for coffee.

  9. Alex Taylor says:

    Outstanding, witty and erudite writing. Great stuff.

  10. Capella says:
    To get really angry about Westminster, it’s a good idea to watch the Scottish Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Ian Davidson, pretend to interview David Mundell on the Bedroom Tax (but not for too long, it’s a bit soul destroying).

  11. jjameskay says:

    Aye, there’s nae punns ony mair … Its a’ kilograms.

  12. DonnyWho says:

    On the cuprinol joke, you forgot the warnings ” induces vomiting” …. Does exactly what it says on the tin! Make a good cartoon I think!

  13. WRH2 says:

    I didn’t think of Davie’s piece in the Herald as a stropette just another in that very boring series that he’s been writing, “Another moan about Alecsammin, number zillion and one”. I know before I start reading any of Davie’s uninteresting guff that Alecsammin is going to be the big, scary baddy central character. And he doesn’t even manage to scarfe the piece in well. The supposedly surrounding narrative is alien to the central reason for the writing, namely to have another go at Alecsammin.

  14. Les Wilson says:

    Paul,you clearly have an ability to put across your points in a refreshing witty way, unlike any other I have yet came across. More often than not, I get a good laugh at the way you put your analysis, of specific situations. You are indeed a breath of fresh air!
    Keep it going and never let them of the hook!
    I look forward to much more from you.

  15. Doug Daniel says:

    Good stuff, although I would pronounce “pwned” as “pawned”!

    (It comes from people mistyping “owned”, in case folk are wondering…)

  16. Murdo Fraser says:

    Excellent keep up the good work!🙂

  17. Helena Brown says:

    Read my daily fix earlier today but unable to respond, had to go walk the apricot dug. I would say that it is those of the Unionist persuasion and their fellow travellers of the fourth estate who will have lost the Union They forgot that the internet exists these days and you cannot say one thing to one group and another to the other as they did saying to the Scots that they were too poor to manage as an independent country because its started the rot and sadly some of the bad feeling, with some English people believing them.
    We here in Scotland all know someone who comes from England and who we regard as friends, some are married to people who we are being told will be foreigners, how my Sister in Law feels coming as she does from Thailand, we think she is family.
    David Torrance is a bore, and only someone willing to be bored by him reads him. I don’t, not interested in what he has to say.

  18. liz says:

    Yes thanks for that Paul.

    I read that Guardian article re currency and was pissed off but couldn’t think of anything to say that didn’t sound like a moan.

    I didn’t know that ‘funny’ article was written by an American – he would have been writing that for an English audience as he was obviously brown nosing them.

    Something similar happened on HIGNFY, when a Canadian comedian, who actually had a better idea of Scotland retaining the £, when she saw that the rest were scathing about it, she changed tack and joined in.

    I’m afraid I have a complete humour bypass about articles like that because they are not funny but totally insulting.

  19. Liz Quinn says:

    Paul I just want to echo that last comment by Les,.I, too look forward to your common sense and entertaining writing. More power to you.

  20. Nigel Mace says:

    Thanks for the rubbishing of the now poisonously semi-racist Guardian – particularly that miserable little biggot, Steve Bell whose anti-Scottish cartoons have become insulting at a Farage level of prejudice.

  21. Alex Smith says:

    This wee ginger dug’s got big sharp teeth!

  22. The btl comments on the Guardian have become increasingly rabid too, wee dugs with rabies. As far as I can see they’re chasing readers away, but then the media seems to have decided, despite plummeting sales, that this is the road to take. Great to read your inimitable take on it.

  23. yerkitbreeks says:

    Paul, maybe you can enlighten me ? I have lovely English in-laws and recently the topic of Indyref came up and with it the Scots’ ability to ridicule themselves ( deep fried Mars bars ). I think English irony is hilarious ( who can forget Noel Coward’s comment when he heard someone he didn’t like had committed suicide – ” how did he do it ?” Reply – blew his brains out. ” Must have been a terribly good shot ” ).

    Anyway I asked how they’d laugh at themselves. Answer ” deep fried muslims “. This can’t be right from folk that would assist you if you were in trouble. What’s the explanation ?

    • weegingerdug says:

      Well unless your English in-laws are Muslim, I’d say that they seem to have misunderstood the meaning of “laughing at yourself” – as well as displaying a worrying bit of racism.

      English humour and comedians are some of the best in the world. Eddie Izzard is an extremely funny man. I don’t agree with his stance on the Union, but he didn’t come to Scotland and make jokes at our expense – because Eddie has a feel for comedy and he knows what’s funny and what isn’t. Unlike the Guardian’s writers.

  24. Alba4Eva says:

    The Dugs bollocks… thats the highest of compliments by the way.

    Great article. 🙂

  25. […] the 19th of September 2014, the joke’s over. And not a moment too […]

  26. tartanzen says:

    Blisterin form there WGD… could hear the verbal slap aw the wye fae Edinburgh!

  27. JPJ2 says:

    I could say that post was brilliant, but I would not be doing it justice.

  28. […] Monday was a bank holiday, so it was a slow news day. We got treated to mair pish from the Guardian, another jokey wee article spunkily poking unfunniness at the audacity of provincials who think t…  […]

  29. jimnarlene says:

    Seeing as how he’s American, he thinks being told his copy is spunky is a compliment. In Scotland we know that means it’s the product of a wank. Mibbie that’s awe he wis, bit his maw got’n the road.

  30. Toots Capoot says:

    “… a novel about a politics geek who lives in Narnia with his imaginary federal friends …”

    I think you’d make a wondeful job of this WGD. I could easily see you producing something in the style of Jasper Fforde, for example.

    Narnia = since this lot of unionst belters couldn’t find their way out of a wardrobe literally, much less metaphorically, it would have to dumb down and become yet another news title caught in its own banality loop.

    Political geeks / news hounds = minus the actual politics and news, natch.

    So, in the style of craven toadying, within the diabolical vortex of Waste Monster mendacity and bad panto, Narnia brings to its readers a claustrophobic view of the whole huffy buffet by its resident ramble chihuahuas.

  31. David Agnew says:

    The no campaign is a wilful cognitive dissonance by people who think their shit don’t stink. Darling talks Osborne into coming up to Scotland and be a Tory nob for the day…Because you know…reasons. Ruth Davidson feels she can shit on Scotland by saying 8 out of 10 households contribute nothing to the UK – Only with tried and trusted Union Bleach is this crap acceptable. Monckton of Monckton who is more Scotch and the Scots, tells us that the only time we don’t whine like trampled bagpipes is when we get our next fix of English money. Anas Sarwar thinks old folks should suffer cause some poor folks don’t live long enough in the UK to be poor old folks. Lamont thinks means testing and raising coonsil tax enriches the poor. Wee wullie rennie thinks bedroom tax is a swell idea. Murdo Fraser celebrated the English paying for Scotland groceries. Vince Cable thinks crisps and ginger would be too dear in an Indy Scotland. One lib-dem spokesperson thinks women in Africa will endure the hell of rape just because Scotland is independent. George Robertson thinks the forces of evil will have a street party when we become Independent.

    between these idiots, they have done more to undermine the UK and damage the Union, than Salmond could ever have dreamt possible – if indeed that is what he intended, rather than a peaceful winding up of an institution that has long since outlived its usefulness. Bettertogether’s only achievement has been to stoke intense anti-Scottish sentiment. It has trashed Scotland in the eyes of the world and ruined its reputation within the union. They have not got anything that could ever reconcile anyone who voted yes, should the no vote win. And their stupidity will ensure that no one who votes no will find “Britishness” a comfortable fit ever again.

    Nothing is ever going to be the same again. Just as the SNP winning in 2007 & 11 changed the landscape in Scottish politics, this referendum has done the same for the UK. Yes or no – the union loses.

  32. AllyBally says:

    A guy goes in to a shop. “Three punn o’ tatties” he says.
    The shopkeeper (how auld ah’m ah) says “It’s kilograms noo.”
    “Well gie’s three punn o’ kilograms then”

    By the way where I come from its pown money and punn weight. No s on the plural like sheep.

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