Being irrelevant

Yeah! We’re irrelevant again. So we had this wee referendum thingy and Scotland scared the shiters out of the Westminster establishment – which was a lot of fun – and the UK media and political classes have gone back to ignoring us in the hope we don’t go away. Now they’re far too busy talking about UKIP, English devolution, and starting World War Three to bother themselves over much about Scotland. And there was me thinking that George Robertson had told us that it would be Scottish independence that started that. I must have missed something. Anyway, Scotland now gets to sit unobtrusively at the back of the class watching World War Three start without it being our cataclysmic fault, and we can plot how escape the clutches of the Westminster system without anyone paying us too much attention, which is pretty much the situation we’ve been in for the past 30 years.

So, you may recall – because the UK media doesn’t – that a vow was made. It was a lovely vow, splattered all over the front page of the Record like one of those fake manuscripts you can buy at the market that assures you in wedding invitation lettering that everyone possessing your surname, like Kavanagh, Krisztowski or Kapoor, is a direct descendant of Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, and that guy that invented asphalt. Printing it like that just showed how serious the vow was, like a vow Buddhist monks make, only without any of the troubling obligations demanding self-denial, telling the truth, and not copping bad karma from the electorate. The one about the orange bedsheets is strictly observed however, because they can be claimed on expenses and you can get lovely Egyptian cotton ones from John Lewis.

I did say during before the referendum that I never knew independence campaigns could be such a laugh, and we really needed to have more of them. Looks like I’m going to get my wish. Pity it has to involve killing people. But hey, they’re Middle Easterners. Perpetual warfare and killing Middle Eastern people is a British tradition, like bunting, royal babies, and swearing a lot whenever Nicholas Witchell comes on the telly. If Westminster had made a vow to Scotland to take military action against Nicholas Witchell instead of some Middle Eastern country I’d probably have voted No.

But back to the death, devastation, hubris, bleeding, weeping, and suffering, or the ‘action’ as the testosterone fueled commentators on the telly refer to it as though it was a species of video game and not the destruction of human life. Yes, it’s the Tory party conference.

The conference started today in Birmingham. Far from strutting the stage as the saviour of the Union, poor wee Davie is having to fight off defections to UKIP and a sex scandal involving some minister no one has ever heard of. It’s not even a very juicy sex scandal, as no fishnet stockings, orange segments, orgiastic encounters with a Guardsman in Regents Park, or regimental goats played any part in it. It used to be that apart from kicking the working classes in the balls – but that’s a given – the one thing you could rely on the Tories for was juicy sex scandals. They can’t even do those properly any more and it’s really not good enough. At the very least they could make sure their sex scandals involved shrubbery. It’s just tiresome sleaze these days, and we can get that from the British Labour party.

But the sex scandal is the very least of Davie’s woes. Despite their rubbish sex scandals, the Tories have still managed to screw themselves, and look set to do to themselves in England what British Labour has managed to do to itself in Scotland – pissing off their core voters to such an extent that they desert them in droves. In the Tories’ case, the pissing off has been done with the force of a watercannon, and not that of a flaccid wee dick – although I promised not to say that about Ed Miliband. Voters in England have been driven in their desperation into the welcoming arms of the grinning Nigel. Another Tory wonder that we all wonder who the hell he is has defected to Nige’s mob. At least in Scotland we have something noble to vote for instead, and many of us have the fake vellum manuscript from the market to prove it.

Just over a week after the referendum, and the Tories have joined British Labour in the waiting room for the express train to perdition. Divided, fractious, and trapped between the conflicting demands of the electorates in Scotland and England, the only reason they’re still hanging around is because they privatised the railways and the service is as rubbish as the sex scandals.

British Labour in Scotland is equally too busy for vows, as it is currently preoccupied with in-fighting between those giants of Scottish politics, Johann Lamont and Jim Murphy, who are fighting over the chance to be chief undertaker in a party of corpses.

Johann’s contribution to Scottish public life was eloquently summed up in a Tweet from Sean Bell, honest the cheque’s in the post: Every time I see Johann Lamont in action, I’m reminded there’s a Scotmid somewhere without an assistant manager.

And then there’s Jim, the hero who bravely faced down an egg and shouted at old ladies. As a dedicated Blairite, Jim’s chances of advancement within a shadow cabinet headed by Gordie Broon’s former henchpersons are about as good as Magrit Curran’s chances of ever actually swallowing that wasp, so all of a sudden he’s remembered Scotland exists as an opportunity for him to build a power base within the party for himself. Johann’s determined to organise the staff rota so Jim’s on permanent back shift. Jim has the advantage here, as he makes a more convincing looking undertaker. And as a big fan of Tony Blair and an enthusiastic supporter of the war in Iraq – both the last one and this one – he’s got previous experience.

The vow drops rapidly down the list of important things-to-do that fill the lives of our political leaders. It’s now dropped below devolution for Yorkshire and reform of the 1863 Regulation of Mechanical Tin Plate Sex Toys Act, and is currently plummetting below “should I buy the orange sheets or the peach coloured ones”. Though it has to be orange, that’s the colour that really suits Labour and means they’ll match the only friends they’ve got left in Scotland.

Meanwhile, us lot, the defeated, the hauden doon, and the beaten, the ones who are supposed to be bewailing our lot, rending our clothing and tearing out our hair, as we sit in the gloom besmeared with the ashes of our dreams, we’re not following the script at all. Scotland has seen the membership of the SNP soar through the roof to over 70,000 and rising, membership of the Greens more than double, that of the SSP treble, and proposals are floating about to create a new Yes Alliance to hoover up the rest of the Yes voters and ensure a pro-sovereignty majority of Scottish MPs in 2015. So much for bayonetting the wounded then. The wounding of the British Labour party and the Tories has only just begun.

Dunno about you, but I’m feeling pretty smug already. The Unionist parties are the ones who are heading straight to irrelevance on a one way ticket. See – we told you so. It’s the new national catchphrase.


I’m feeling pretty positive and upbeat and would like to thank everyone who has contacted me privately to express their concern or to offer a shoulder to cry on after the personal events of the past few weeks. I’ve not had time to contact everyone individually. But I’m OK, honest, and am doing far better than I had anticipated.

The big news is that I’ve bought a new flat, and – fingers crossed – the contracts will be exchanged next week and I can move to the new place. It’s a bigger flat, still in the East End of Glasgow, a short walk from my parents place and close to a train station. So I have loads to do in order to organise the flitting and won’t be able to keep this blog updated daily until things settle down. That’s where you come in. I’d like to publish more guest posts over the next few weeks. Please send your text to me at weegingerdug [at] (replace the [at] with @ when you email).


54 comments on “Being irrelevant

  1. WRH2 says:

    Just knew you would be writing today and a great piece at that. I have to admit I feel pretty upbeat as well and watching the problems of the Naw lot with great satisfaction. Headless chickens comes to mind but that’s probably not fair to chickens. Good to see you back even if you’re going to blog a bit less until you’ve moved etc. All the best with the move.

  2. Pam McMahon says:

    Thanks for this. I’m starting to look up again now, because my shoes are quite boring, and don’t have Bambi heels. It’s a hard place to get over, when you’ve been there upteen times before, since the 1960s, but I guess when we’ve been there before and kept on fighting, we can do it all again.
    We need to get rid of all the pocket-lining unionist MPs and their sad absentee-landlord mates in the House of Lords. Some kind of Yes Alliance would be a good way of doing this. We are infested up here in the Highlands and Islands with Lib Dem MPs. as are parts of rural Perthshire and the Borders. The cental belt is the Labour blood bank. Let’s band together to target these leeches and get rid.

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Glad to have you back on fighting form Pam and agree with you 100%.

    • Hi Pam I’ve never been here before but just want to reiterate what you said about the lib dems up north. We need to get rid of these leeches. Scotland is a beautiful country,we are known for our hospitality and party spirit,even when things don’t go our way,just ask any Scottish football supporter. Aye we’ve been down but we always get back up, and this fight is not over, not one bit. Lots of no’s are coming over down here(n.Lanarkshire area)even though we were a yes region.we just need to keep educating and calming down the fear factor. SNP,SSP and Scottish Greens are better together. We could claim that as our motto(tongue firmly in cheek) cos so many of us are looking out for each other,with more donations to food banks and still an air of hope within is all.

  3. Mrs Topp says:

    Ah! There you are Paul. Good to hear about the new flat. Here’s to some plain sailing and continued duggie, catty banter.

  4. macart763 says:

    Good to know you’re picking up a bit Paul.

  5. Iain Hill says:

    I wonder if they had said to voters “Vote No and you could be at war next week”, would that have influenced the No vote? Probably increased it.

    Talking of world wars, can you imagine the conversation of young pilots over Germany in 1940:

    I say old chap, there are no targets here to bomb!

    Then what the f— are we here for?

    Labour is going to focus on the NHS for 2015. Doing so on a UK basis will be more difficult for them. In England they can rally round resisting privatision, but in Scotland what can they do since privatisation was/is merely an SNP fantasy? Send for Gordon, no one can make out what he is saying anyway!,

  6. Nice to see you back, even if it is intermittently…

    Good luck with the move..

  7. Gonzologist says:

    I’m really glad you’re doing OK.

    You’ve got to laugh, haven’t you? If they’d agreed to run a straight campaign and respect the result of the outcome there would have been a majority for Indy and they could have negotiated an amicable settlement with an Independent Scotland, shared currency, open borders and everybody could have remained friends more or less.

    As it is they have triggered the biggest political cockup since god knows when. I am so glad that you are not taking this lying down. Westminster has completely misread the situation North of the border and it will bounce back and bite them in the arse big time.

    There’s an old Sufi saying that when the the Gods wants to destroy something they put the wrong people in charge. This is so obviously the case in England now, I mean how any sane person can look at Farage and not want to vomit is completely beyond me. The UK is not the country I grew up in, it has become the embodiment of a rotten corrupt state, and the example you are setting North of the border will provide ideas, hope and inspiration for the rest of us.

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      And what is really heartening is that the young folk (I.e. the future) get it. My 21 year old said to me on the phone today without any prompting “The UK really is a broken state isn’t it?”

  8. aitchbee says:

    I really have the impression that Cameron, Milliband et al, have studied the rules of draughts and thought they were pretty good at it, only to be sent to play chess against Grand Master Alex Salmond, with the inevitable result 😉

  9. liz says:

    Glad to see you back, Paul. Was missing your blog.

    I suppose once you’re settled you will be getting involved in the media campaign which we need otherwise we will get nothing.

    I float between feeling upbeat, followed by feeling down but I’m more willing than ever to being committed to change.

    Hope all the No voters who were in the ‘I’m all right Jack’ division have woken up to possible fracking under their properties

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Yes, Liz, that ought to make them sit up.

      Paul and WGD, it’s great to see you back……..and in such good form. I look forward to your permanent return once your move is sorted out. We have to get this Yes Alliance in place. Success is bound to be coming our way soon!

    • Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Great feary project.

      Sink holes in Morningside and Kelvinside.

      No more Mr Nice Guy.

      Retaliate first.

  10. JimnArlene says:

    Good to hear you’re OK. Good luck with the new flat and all that means.
    We were all a bit downhearted, but now we are back fighting fit; ding ding round two.

  11. Sean McNulty says:

    “Every time I see Johann Lamont in action, I’m reminded there’s a Scotmid somewhere without an assistant manager.”


    “a pro-sovereignty majority”

    This is an essential point. Why can’t *Sovereignty* become the new umbrella under which not just the SNP, Greens and SSP gather, but anybody among the 55% who believes that sovereignty (i.e. final authority) should lie with the Scottish people and not with Westminster?

    Popular, as opposed to parliamentary, sovereignty is the case in the US and many other countries around the world. Why not Scotland? It’s well-established now that popular sovereignty was the Scottish tradition prior to 1707.

    So why don’t the SNP, Greens and SSP run on the promise of a consultative *Sovereignty* Referendum, with the view to returning sovereignty to the Scottish people?

    When Westminster sovereignty has been denied in such a referendum, as it surely would be, its denial of another indyref becomes much easier to ignore.

    Then just call another indyref whenever the time is right.

  12. Marion Scott says:

    Lovely to have you back Paul. Great to hear you are doing well. We are all rallying nicely and soon will be fit for the next phase of the struggle.

  13. So good to know that you are joining with the rest of us in dusting ourselves down, squaring our shoulders, and letting Westminster know we’re still here, still determined.

    And, according to the papers, those nasty business people, who pre referendum were so against change, have now decided that devo max needs to mean what is says on the tin — the devolution of significant and meaningful powers to the Scottish Parliament. Their first priority is to grow the economy, and guess what? This can’t be done with a bit of tinkering with tax rates, but requires much more.

    So on the 18th we lost the referendum, but it looks as if we may yet win the future.

  14. mary says:

    Great post Paul, have lost none of your withering wit AYE 😎
    Good luck with the flittin’

  15. Good to see a new post from ‘The Dug’, Paul. I’m continually surprised by the positive mood that is prevailing in spite of the referendum result and all the other baggage in its wake. Sometimes I get a bit angry at the latest revelation from Westminster but checking up on the growth of the pro indy parties and noting the continued conversations that have in no sense diminished soon converts .that anger into something more productive.
    I read one of Greg Moodie’s posts on Facebook today. “I give it five years.”, he said and you know what? I agree with that. The one major tool we lacked before was a conventional media on our side, Sunday Herald excepted. It’s now wholly obvious that next time it’s going to be very different.

  16. Nana says:

    Great to hear you are moving on up. Your writing is as ever brilliant.

    Good luck with the new flat and new beginnings.

  17. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Yes good luck with the move. And take as long as you need to get back into the groove. But do come back – my life would definitely be duller without your musings.

  18. Sheila Rae says:

    You have been missed. In great voice, as ever. I made it to the rally at the Parliament yesterday, late but in time to hear from the young speakers, still full o fire. The ambience subdued understandably but a wide range of ages and comforting in that I have not been mourning alone for this beautiful country of ours. Look out for any rallies in your area as my sadness has turned to a quiet determination. Living in the Border’s I have been shouted at (wearing a YES) badge. You would think they would be happy Unionists but we must still be a thorn in their sides. Loosing anyone with a longterm illness although heartbreaking is also liberating. Glad you are moving on.

  19. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you as always. I will try to be patient and look forward to hearing about you getting your personal needs sorted out. Scotland needs WGD. It has been an important element of the independence movement. What I think WGD does is bring it all up to earth. The continued political education of our people is vital but so too is the smile that you have put on worried faces. That has carried people forward in difficult times. Those smiles have become the hallmark of pro independence Scots and those smiles are an essential component of what we want to be the best wee country in the world.

  20. Morag Frame says:

    So glad your back wee Dug….the Unionist stump needs a watering.

  21. Mick Pork says:

    Great piece Paul.

    “Better Together” is going to do to the westminster parties what “We’re all in this together” did to Cameron and Osborne.

    We will hammer them mercilessly with their own “Better Together” propaganda slogan as the grim and terrible irony of it turns to deep and lasting anger for the scottish public. Iraq is only the beginning. This useless bunch of westminster incompetents can and will make a complete arse of almost everything they touch from now on.

    Don’t really agree on Murphy though. I just can’t see him settling for anything less than a return to the shadow cabinet. The Eggman would see taking over from Lamont as a severe demotion and not the ‘reward’ he thinks he’s due. Murphy’s westminster through and through. Ed Miliband still gave wee Dougie Alexander a prime job and Dougie was Murphy’s partner in crime among the Blairites.

    • liz says:

      Re Murphy- possibly because that might be part of their new plan.

      • Mick Pork says:

        It’s an interesting read and I thank you for highlighting it.

        However, I would gently point out that they seem to be taking quite a bit from mere hints from Murphy about what he “might” do. They also seem to think that 2016 is far too late yet I still don’t see the Eggman leading the charge despite Lamont being eviscerated at the Labour conference. The time for Murphy and his allies to strike was then, IF he really wanted it. I also think talk of what Brown is going to do for them is also pretty far fetched. Brown will tell THEM what to do not the other way around or they simply don’t know Brown. Besides, Brown looks very like someone with his foot already well out the door heading for more lucrative things elsewhere just like Blair did.

        Fact is there were lots and lots of grand plans made after the 2011 SNP landslide for a “root and branch reform” of ‘scottish’ labour. It simply didn’t happen. Instead they got worse. Guess who was in charge of that reform? Murphy, and he could barely be bothered to even visit ‘scottish’ labour most of the time.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        Looks to me like a very strong Argyll Tory element showing the Red Tories how things have always been manipulated by the rulers of the British Empire. Once upon a time the masters of the empire were (willingly) penned in a reserved enclosure at the Oban Games. Perhaps the custom is still continued to this day. I don’t know as I haven’t attended the games for many year.

        Thanks, Liz. It gives a good idea of what we have to overcome……..which we most certainly will do, in the not too distant future.

  22. Dinna_fash says:

    Good to see you back and in fighting form. Really missed your words this past week.

    Not so good to see Krankensteins bride and Lurch lined up together on page 18 of the Herald, but hey you can’t have everything.

  23. kininvie says:

    “Why are you all going about acting as if you had won, when you didn’t?”

    …ah, but we did win. You just don’t know it yet.

  24. Yes, we lost the referendum but will win the future.

    The Holyrood pool would cramp Murphy’s style, too constricting and not much room for soap boxes — even girders styled ones. Holyrood doesn’t need or want Westminster Labour MPs. It needs to develop more of a style of its own, free from the accepted but rotten ways of Westminster. A whole different type of democracy is envisaged, one suited to the 21st century, free from knee breeches, John Lewis lists, and black rods, where people and their needs and aspirations matter. We have a vision of a better country, better apart from Westminster, and that vision is not going to dim any time soon.

    • cirsium says:

      Going by the way Mr Murphy has milked the Westminster expenses system, the Holyrood pool does not offer enough cash nor does it offer such a lucrative future (board member/consultant/adviser to multinationals, banks, membership of the HoL,etc).

  25. Capella says:

    Great to hear you’re fighting fit and on form. Good luck with the move. I trust the dug approves.
    The next few weeks are going to be very interesting indeed. I’ve pulled up a ringside seat and got notebook and pen handy.
    Dispatches from the Tory conference will be fun. I look forward to your analysis in due course!

  26. Donna says:

    Good luck in your new flat 😊

    Sent from my iPad


  27. johnmcgurk66 says:

    All the best to you in your new move , keep up the good work you cheer everyone up and give us the will to see this YES movement through to the end . Paul I have thirteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren and I do not intend to let them down without a marathon struggle.

  28. J Galt says:

    Assistant Manager at Scotmid?

    You are joking? The place would be a shambles by dinnertime!

  29. hektorsmum says:

    Glad you have decided to make a move, will be good for you and glad that you are picking up a wee bit. Hope Ginger approves the move, as long as you are there they normally do.
    I felt so bad after the result I gave up, but always had this nagging doubt that I could. Well I couldn’t and it would appear nor has anyone else.
    Thorn in their flesh and their days are numbered.

  30. Steve Asaneilean says:

    So much for democracy:

    “Unhappy at Spain’s refusal to give Catalans more powers, protesters have been energised by Scotland’s recent independence referendum, and many also waved the Scottish flag”.

    What can we do to support them?

  31. Gonzologist says:

    Wonder why we didn’t hear more about this before the Indyref?

  32. Pam McMahon says:

    Just read a brilliant comment on Kevin McKenna’s Saturday article in the Observer/Grauniad “Labour in Scotland is dying. Does Anybody Care?”

    “The Labour Party in Scotland is not history, it is geology.” Sorry, I can’t do links, but am really looking forward to stamping on the embedded fossils.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Fossils are created when layers and layers of sediment are deposited on a corpse. British Labour in Scotland still doesn’t realise just how much we’re going to deposit on them – from a very great height.

  33. yesguy says:

    Great to see you back fighting fit Paul.

    Your a tower of strength to all. I am still hurt we lost and in serious need of a lift. Take your time tho. get yourself settled and back to business as soon as you are ready.

    Seeing labour go the way of the tory’s in Scotland would be the icing on the cake for me. independence would be a stroll without those liars.

    Great to know your still here buddy.


    • weegingerdug says:

      Just look around you – look at all the happy Yes people, and all the miserable Naw folk and the Unionist parties running about like heidless chickens. If this is a crushing defeat, I think I could do with a few more of them. As Jingsandthings pointed out above – they won the referendum, but we are winning the future.

  34. Johnny come lately says:

    The booing of Salmond, the reaction by the right wingers in George Square after the referendum, the reaction by lamont to Salmonds comments, about other routes to independence, the continuing propaganda from the BBC, the continued bitterness and nastiness of the naws and the spike of britnat posters on indy sites spouting abuse is very telling. The so called winners are behaving as if they have lost the referendum! Their actions are still driven by fear. It tells me that deep down they know their cause in the long run is lost.

  35. Reblogged this on Alyson Dunlop's Blog and commented:
    Well-written and very humorous article on the aftermath of the IndyRef.

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