Up in smoke

It’s only after you break a bad habit that you realise just how bad it was for you. Like giving up smoking or voting Labour in Scotland. That’s been a vicious addiction that hundreds of thousands have given up, and which they have no intention of returning to – it’s been much easier than giving up smoking. Labour produces nasty bile and shortens your life span. Vote Labour and get cancer of the body politic.

That’s now over two weeks without a ciggie and I’m feeling increasingly confident that this time I’ve given up for good. From time to time I still think about how much I’d love a smoke, but the cravings are not strong and far less frequent than they used to be. I don’t ever think that I’d love to vote Labour, I never wistfully wonder what it would be like to have a wee sly drag on Jim Murphy just for old times sake. But Ed Miliband wants us to sook on Jim Murphy so he doesn’t have to. It’s a very easy temptation to resist, like the temptation to lick a turd or the temptation to have a wet dream about Ed Miliband.

Labour’s appalling polling figures continue to plunge to new depths. A poll for STV this week shows that they’d do even worse in a Holyrood election than the unprecedented thrashing they got in 2011. The poll showed that they’d get just 23% of the vote share, well down from the 31.7% they managed in 2011. By an eerie coincidence, 23% is also the proportion of Scottish adults who still smoke – and that’s falling too, although not quite as quickly as Labour’s vote share. Labour’s the fag-end party, the only thing left about it are doubts and a lingering smell. Their prospects of re-election have gone up in smoke.

Labour is increasingly resembling a Cheech and Chong movie, 1980s comedies beloved of those who are too stoned to notice that the jokes are rubbish and the plot is rehashed. If that’s not enough to drive you to drugs then probably nothing is. This is why the party organ is the Daily Record, with its reading age of seven. Labour has the concentration span of a goldfish on speed. The party would have to study for a week for a urine test, and they’d still fail. Now they want us to believe that reality is an illusion caused by a lack of Jim Murphy and Kezia Dugdale, this is because Labour is a gateway drug – that explains how it’s ended up in Narnia. However there is an essential difference between people who get stoned on a regular basis and Labour politicians. Labour politicians don’t inhale, they just suck.

What didn’t go up in smoke was an effigy of Alicsammin in Lewes in Sussex, in the heart of Toryukip Ingerland, as opposed to Lewis in the Western Isles. One of these places is barren, far from civilisation and inhabited by narrow minded bigots with 19th century attitudes, the other is an island off the West Coast of Scotland. Or maybe the effigy did go up in smoke, reports on the subject have been as confused as Labour’s attempts to find some coherent policies. Some people on Twitter and social media were claiming that at least one of the effigies was burned after all. Anyway, Lewes is somewhere that few in Scotland had heard about and even fewer cared about right up to the point where we heard that they were going to set fire to a papier mache effigy of Alicsammin and Nessie as part of their Guy Fawkes celebrations. Because burning Catholics just isn’t offensive enough.

It’s all just a bit of fun of course, and only humourless nats get offended by this sort of thing. I have no particular objection to burning an effigy of Alicsammin – it’s just a tasteless tradition which the non-PC residents of a town I’ve never visited and am never likely to visit indulge themselves in each year. They’re previously burned effigies of Angela Merkel and other European politicians as well as effigies of Cameron and Clegg. It’s a tradition not unlike the Catalan tradition of caganers, when every Christmas they exhibit an effigy of a public figure dropping a jobby. It’s supposed to be ‘naughty’, and to provoke a giggle in the likes of people who go to golf clubs in Sussex and vote UKIP. It’s a joke for the kind of people who think Jim Davidson is funny. And to be fair, those of us who voted Yes do want to bring down the Westminster Parliament – even though it’s in an entirely peaceful and democratic manner. We are modern Guy Fawkeses. We certainly put a rocket up the arse of the British establishment during the referendum campaign.

What is interesting however is the non-reciprocal nature of the humour. It’s always just a bit of harmless fun when the English indulge in offensive stereotyping of Scottish people. It’s not a bit of harmless fun when Scottish people indulge in offensive stereotyping of English people, because this points to something dark and evyle lurking at the very heart of the Scottish psyche. There is a persistent English racist stereotype that the sole definitive feature of Scottish culture is a hatred of English people. Being Scottish is all about the English, apparently. So it’s not the burning of an effigy of Alicsammin that annoys me. It’s the double standards. We saw it all the way through the referendum campaign, from Steve Bell’s cartoons to the hysterical editorials bewailing the anti-English racism that is supposed to stalk every street in Scotland.

Imagining the reaction if Scottish people burned an effigy of David Cameron isn’t quite a reasonable comparison, because if Yes voters had made a Guy Fawkes night effigy of Cameron, half the voters of England would have come to Scotland with matches – in fact half the Conservative party would have supplied cans of petrol and napalm. Instead – imagine the reaction from the anti-independence parties if Yes voters had burned effigies of Alistair Darling, Gordie Broon, and Jim Murphy. Would anyone be telling us then that it was just a joke and where’s yer sense of humour? The polis would have been called before anyone could say egg-flinger.

So the response from outraged Scots isn’t really about burning an effigy of Alicsammin – or even an effigy of Nessie – what’s outraging them is the fact that others are being indulged in behaviours which they can’t do in response. It’s the non-reciprocal nature of what is considered “harmless fun”. That’s what’s unfair, that’s what’s offensive, not the effigy of Alicsammin.



48 comments on “Up in smoke

  1. Kenneth Shaw says:

    Excellent summation . Everyone should calm down as this little satirical gem from Sussex
    will be quickly forgotten when the Lewes cock-fighting and dancing bear festival starts .

  2. panda paws says:

    aye it’s the hypocrisy that gets on my wick! Alex Salmond’s response was well judged. He’s a public figure and rolls with the punches. What I found distasteful was the 45 wooden spoon and the Yes badge. They aren’t just attacking Salmond with that, they are attacking me and 1.6 million others.

    When they told us we were the family of nations, they forgot to mention it was a Jeremy Kyle type disfunctional family with a big brother bully.

    • scotsgeoff says:

      Exactly – the Yes badge & the 45% is two fingers up to a nation (or at least half the nation; region if you are a BritNat).

      I asked the question on Twitter – I wonder what would happen if I parked up outside Buckingham Palace and burned an effigy of the Queen along with Union flag and St George’s cross flag?

      I think we know the answer. Protestors in London a few weeks were having tarpaulins ripped off them by police and arrested ffs.

    • Andrea says:

      Thought Alex salmond’s Po-faced response was worth bottling! heheeh..

  3. Again, Paul, you are right on the money. As fir the fags, I think you’ve cracked it, but it’s not the present you hiv to worry aboot, it’s six months fae noo, cause then you think I could hiv wan and stop again. Trust me, (I lernt the hard way) yie cannie!

  4. lastchancetoshine says:

    I had an Interview in Lewes once, I even got offered the job which, with hindsight, I should have taken. It was very nice in a kind of wicker man kind of way.

  5. vronsky says:

    Well, in retaliation we could burn effigies of somebody English. Except it’s boring, silly and not interesting, so we won’t. And there’s the difference between us and Lewes.

  6. jimnarlene says:

    A few mental pictures there, re Murphy, that my minds eye needs gouging out for.
    As for the little englanders (no capitalisation required) jolly jape, I really don’t care, except for the 45 spoon; let them laugh, for now.

    I agree with “The Tree of Liberty”, never touch a cigarette again. I once stopped for 5 years, got offered one; during a prolonged drinking session, 10 years later I finally chucked them.

  7. CapnAndy. says:

    Please. Be fair to Cheech and Chong. I honestly found ‘Up In Smoke’ very funny when it was first released. (Giving away my age there.). ‘Sister Mary Elephant’ has amused generations of teachers.

  8. Congratulations on continuing your walk without tobacco. Cheers for the article. Indeed, there are desperately vile double standards going on. The good news is that as we witness all this gobshitery, we have a fantastic opportunity to be cool and dignified and be better for it. Let them play with their matches and fire. It is clear that we are more measured, more insightful and fuller as people.

  9. macart763m says:

    Heh, I’d dearly love to visit Lewes when we overturn September’s result in what could be the not too distant future. Imagine the wailing and gnashing of teeth (or is that privatised falsies), when they suddenly find a 10% tax hike added to their woes and the value of their coin of the realm drops off a cliff as Scotland declares for its own currency and central bank. Blue rinses would turn more natural grey overnight and the sound of golf clubs being drawn would send a shiver down the average Tory MPs spine. The locals would be out for blood and the first port of call would be their MP for not doing something more radical to those rowdy democratic heathens in north Britain.

    OK I’m grumpy and not feeling charitable or neighbourly right now, but everyone has their off days. 🙂

    Nice one Paul.

  10. Pam McMahon says:

    I used to work in E Sussex and visited Lewes a few times (when my sat-nav went down and I got lost, usually) on my way to Brighton.
    It is a profoundly boring place, with a profoundly boring populace, and their wee bonfire comprises the only social event of their tiny lives.
    I nearly said “community” event, but E Sussex is a county that doesn’t really do the concept of community, believing as it does that people living 5 miles down the road from them are “foreigners” So, if Eastbourne is a foreign enclave so far as your Lewes parochial world view is concerned, and Brighton is inhabited by aliens from Alpha Centauri (some of them might be, to be honest) you can imagine how we Scots are viewed.
    You are correct, of course, that it is not a reciprocal arrangement, but that is probably as much because Scots have always travelled more, emigrated (whether they wanted to or not) have had families, friends and contacts in other lands and cultures for many generations and have been more open to new ideas, beliefs and civic development, throughout our long history as a nation. I don’t think it would occur to many of us that we would take the insular approach which small town England sees as an acceptable hate-fest.
    We will continue to be afflicted by this media-engendered bias until we have an unbiased and unaffiliated broadcaster in Scotland.

  11. liz says:

    I’ve mentioned before that I have a staunch labour supporting friend who did vote Yes.

    The surprise however is that she is an angry Yes.

    We had a conversation recently which was bizarre, where she said that the media gives the SNP to easy a time, starting talking about the inequality associated with the freeze on council tax, how would I feel if it had been a Yes and the No’s refused to accept it, poor Ed all the media are against him etc etc.

    Well as you can imagine the discussion became quite heated and what eventually became clear is that she is furious about Labs plunging support in the polls.
    So there are a number of folk out there who are still addicted to SLAB

  12. Dunkie says:

    While we are on about insulting behaviour, am I the only one here who finds BBC Radio Scotland’s pathetic little jingle just before programmes start, every hour of the day – “In a year like no other from a programme like no other” – to be a totally cynical and a deliberately calculated jibe/insult to the YES folk. Everyone on this blog knows that Radio Scotland is a programme like no other – a programme that daily insults the aspirations of the country which it is supposed to serve. Is there another national radio broadcaster anywhere in the democratic world that sets out to undermine the spirit of its own people?

    We see what is happening right across the media now with the London establishment’s desire to set up a quisling regime right here at the heart of our body politic in Scotland as Murphy gets the Farage treatment like the light will shine out of his arse and brighten all our futures. Anas Sarwar moves over to a new post on the front bench. There is a disgusting smell about the whole well planned affair and the BBC is right in there among it. How long has this been in the planning and how committed is the BBC to the skulduggery?

    Now tell me their little jingle is not from the same poisoned mindset that operates through all these cynical machinations. Better Together is right behind the Smurph’s campaign. So his candidacy is larger than simply Labour. This is an establishment move. They really do think they can do whatever they like including sticking two fingers up to us and give us the “na nana na na” treatment now that they have their NO vote. There is no attempt to do things covertly now, it is all intended to be so in your face now for the YES voter. At 45% of the voting public here, it is no small part of our population they are insulting

    For God sake waken up if you voted NO and look what they are doing to you – from the farcical VOW to tedious wee insulting jingles it’s all part of the same diabolical game. Surely it is staring you in the face that they are rubbing your nose in it whether you voted YES or NO. The establishment does not really care who they insult now – we are collectively the biggest joke going among the rich and powerful.

    Let them believe that at their peril. I think the Scots have more back bone than they have show up till now and the more they insult us the better as far as I can see. NO voters have pride and self esteem too. When the shit hits the fan this time it is going to be a helluva lot more than 45% who want independence. So keep up your sad little game Westminster we won’t need Guy Fawkes to get rid of you. Scotland will be so much more resolved to go its own way after this present minor hiatus.

    • Capella says:

      Nobody who voted NO is reading this blog (except to gather ammo). The R Scotland jingle doesn’t bother me for the simple reason that I never listen to BBC anything now. I get my news and comment from RT and many other online resources. The Keiser Report is particularly addictive if you’re looking for an alternative to BBC rubbish (and fags). So save yourself the angst of listening to propaganda. Switch it off!

      • Dunkie says:

        There is an argument that somebody needs to keep an eye on what is going on with the propaganda machine and anyway there is excellent stuff still on Radio Scotland that we would be cutting our own throats to ignore. I thoroughly recommend listening to Stuart Cossgrove and I think the other guy is called Eamon O’Neil who do a media review of current affairs on a Thursday around ten past one – clever guys in nobody’s pocket. Then when they finished, at one thirty Billy Kay has currently an excellent series at the moment reviewing Scottish literature. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04jmqfd

        There is no point in sticking our heads in the sand. You just have to be very selective to stay strong if you venture into enemy territory.

    • nigel says:

      “When the shit hits the fan this time it is going to be a helluva lot more than 45% who want independence”

      Much as I would like to think so, Dunkie, I don’t believe it will be much higher than the present 45%.

      I’m age 70 now, and I don’t see my fellow citizens mindset altering at all.(Don’t ask me why)

      They apparently are totally immune to being patronised, bullied,shat upon, insulted by their neighbours etc etc.

      That, compounded by the fact that I believe many of them to be thick (sadly), and lazy, they do not wish to be in the position to have to make decisions, and are apparently happy for other nations to do this for themselves.

      Independence WILL come one day, of that I am certain- It will be a case of chip, chip, chipping away at our nations ignorance of how their country is actually run, by means of blogs similar to this, hopefully lifting away the cloud of doubt from their eyes.

      In addition, the most dyed in the wool Scots older unionists will happily be off to meet their great maker in the sky without too much delay, thus allowing the younger and more pliable Scots the chance to make their own decisions, which would have been denied had the older Scots have their bigoted way.

      Just sayin’ like……………

      • scotsgeoff says:

        Well said Nigel. Respect.

      • Cuilean says:

        Or perhaps the 2.2 trillion UK debt will one day implode, just as the Weimar Republic did in 1933, and then the comfortably off Scots will have to trundle their life savings in a wheelbarrow to buy a loaf, as the Germans did way back in the 30s! THEN they’ll wish they had voted YES.

        I say 2.2 trillion deliberately, as Westminster (et al) always leave out the debt money ‘lent’ to the City of LOndon for its casino banking, which, HELLO, it’s still employing casino banking! And just when are they repaying us back?!

        But I like your well thought out comment very much.

        By the way all the octogenarians in my family voted YES – indeed my mum’s oldest friend, an indomitable lass, aged 97, said 18th September was the one free-est day in her life, and her proudest. She was a landgirl during the second world war – ploughing fields with big shire horses. She’s hoping for another pop at freedom before she’s 100! Take care, young ‘un!

      • Dunkie says:

        Hi Nigel, I don’t know whether you will ever see this since time has moved on since you published your post which I have just found. I am in fact older than you. Not that that matters a toss in the present discussion and no pretensions of prestige are intended. But you and I can think the way we do as can the 97 year old mentioned by Cuilean below, so us auld yins are not all totally selfish basket cases beyond the reaches of the Zeitgeist, the spirit of the age.

        However I do thoroughly recognise the picture you paint of many of our contemporaries and it certainly scares me that they should be so in the power of Thatcher/Blair neo-liberal concensus and the establishment media which upholds it.

        Yet I think the tectonic plates of that particular Zeitgeist are shifting big time and that there is plenty evidence that that consensus is falling part dramatically quickly not only in Scotland but across many states (Catalonia, and Podemus in Spain for example). A new spirit of the age is being born which wishes to challenge the obscenity of extreme wealth and power in the hands of so few across our planet and wants to care for our planet and its resources. I find this bloody exciting and I am a teenager again in my aspirations for a better way as was Cuilean’s 97 year old on the 18th September. It is great to be part of this.

        I ken it will be a sair fecht to throw off the stranglehold of the powerful/wealthy few but at least there is a growing will to do it.

        But the spirit of the coming age will not be denied. It is too viral for that; even the auldies will be infected with it before long and their poisoned media will not contain it. We can collectively do this and there are several political/social hurdles coming up for the UK establishment over the next 3 years or so that potentially offer us the crack in the system that we need.

        Let’s believe – like we were kids again.

  13. Iain says:

    Don’t get ‘English’ bonfire night. When I was old enough I asked what is this all about and was told that it was a celebration related to an attempt to blow up Parliament. When I was a bit older I asked the another question, I thought we had our own Parliament then, so why are we taking part in this celebration? Older still, why are they burning the effigy of someone of a different faith? Lost all interest after that, must have been about 14!

  14. mary says:

    Funny but insightful post as usual
    Thanks Paul

  15. Brilliantly uplifting post as usual ,had me chuckling away goodstyle.
    Well done on giving up the fags,the longer you keep it up ,the easier it’ll get.
    My thoughts on the Lewes bonfire effigy thing was that the fire of Independence ain’t going out anytime soon.

  16. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Forgot Lewes – it’s a free country. If they want to project a negative and hostile image of their community (dressed up as satire) let them get on with it. Don’t give their bonfires the oxygen of publicity by way of passing comment.
    As for Radio Scotland – I have a large network of reasonable, educated pals and i don’t know one of them who listens to Radio Scotland. So again just metaphorically turn your back and walk away and let them prattle down their microphones to an empty ether.

  17. Vince Diaz says:

    Sorry Paul but a second effigy was exploded and burnt using fireworks. See the Courier for “exclusive”

  18. They were all set to burn an effigy of Mary, Queen of Scots at the Carlisle fireshow last week until a few Scots kicked up a shitstorm.
    I also note that the site of Rory’s cairn at Gretna, ” a long lasting tribute to the bond of our countries”(sic) has been cleared.
    Mission accomplished; Rory and his pals have new rockeries etc at public expense no doubt…
    Incidentally the old Town Hall in Carlisle has a nice clock tower. With clocks on the south, east and west faces.
    They left the north one off so we couldn’t see the time.
    There a funny lot here in the border city. Very Right Wing and not terribly well disposed to their neighbours.
    I think the close proximity of Scotland and the large Scottish genetic signature in the City’s population makes them feel very insecure about their nationality so they over compensate by painting their houses in over all St George’s flag livery and voting BNP/UKIP/Tory.
    You’ll often hear the ditty about it still being lawful to shoot a Scotsman within the City walls too. Admittedly that’s sometimes said in jest. 😉

  19. Jan Cowan says:

    Yes you’re right, Paul. It’s the fact that their behaviour is not only offensive but also unfair. That’s what boils the blood! You certainly know what you’re talking about.

  20. Cuilean says:

    Where did all the love go, Lewes? Remember you wanted us to ‘stay with you’, six weeks ago? Last night you showed your contempt, (bordering on hatred) of all things Scottish: the 45% (1.6m fellow citizens), YES symbol, tartan, whisky, oil, shortbread, kilt, fishing industry, the thistle, all included in your lovely effigies. Make no mistake, this was not just Alex Salmond being sent to the pyre, it was Scotland, it was you, it was me, it was my Mum, it was your Mum, it was my Auntie Jean, it was my wean, your weans: it was our culture, our national dress, our symbols of national identity and our pride, even our legends and myths, our hopes, our dreams, were incinerated, blown away in the wind, by the crassly gloating.

    Now, if we had only voted YES, the lovely people of Lewes would today be bickering with the rest of England, as to where to put their actual fireworks, ie their slightly more explosive NUKES. But hey, Lewes, we Jocks are just a butte for casually offensive ‘jokes’ & are your convenient nuke dumping ground.

    To burn one effigy of Scotland was bad enough, but to burn two, well woops, the cheap veneered mask of ‘Better Together’ just cracked, like the brittle toffee on a Hallowe’en apple. Remember, remember the 5th of November, Scotland!

    Roll on May 2015. If Scotland returns 40 plus SNP MPs then it will be impossible for Westminster, in a hung parliament, to vote in favour of renewing Trident in Scotland. This political message must be circulated to every home in Scotland, along with pictures of the Lewes’ effigies, just to remind us all of the populist feelings held by many against Scotland, Scots, Scots culture and Scots aspirations; in short your enmity at our democratic right to think differently and be ambitious for our people, ALL of our people living in Scotland, of whatever ethnicity, including the thousands and thousands of English-Scots who stood up with us against Westminster and voted YES.

    Who are the parochials and who the internationals? Certainly the latter does not seem to apply to the good folks of Lewes, who, I suspect, will be returning a UKIP MP in May.

    Tread softly, Lewes, for you tread on our dreams…

  21. Elizkintyre says:

    Umm, I wonder if all the fuss about Eck has distracted from the burning crosses and No Popery signs? Not a Catholic but I find the anti Catholicism which is the basis of the Lewes shindig much more unsettling and, surely, illegal? Can you imagine that lot in Glesca? What Would the BBC have said then?

  22. Brian Fleming says:

    “Labour politicians don’t inhale, they just suck.” Absolutely brilliant. Just as well I’ve not fetched my coffee yet. Thanks Paul!

  23. mogabee says:

    Great stuff. Still on fire as far as I can see, but glad you are resisting the “big smoke” ..well done !

  24. Muscleguy says:

    The thing about Lewes is this burning/exploding of effigies thing on Nov 5 is a serious and serial endeavour. I think there are 5 bonfire societies. Only two of the 5 did Salmond effigies this year, so it’s a minority pasttime in terms of Salmond and when you have to come up with an effigy every year it must be difficult sometimes and you latch onto top stories with some glee. Then the more scatological elements suggest the details.

    We don’t indulge simply because we don’t have those traditions. But by dog if we did we would defend our right to it just as hard. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

  25. hektorsmum says:

    Hypocrisy rules here in Britain, only one set of native baddies, the Scots, and certainly the further you go South the worse it becomes. Glad to hear that you are off the smoke, good for you and keep it up, soon you will be like us and hate the smell.

  26. Marconatrix says:

    Lewes and Lewis are at opposite corners of the UK, and in different countries, in every way. Go to Lewes (I’ve been) you’ll see it’s all different; architecture, climate, history, culture, outlook, economy, politics … Moreover Scotland is a long way away. And generally ignored by the media. The referendum was a pretty much a nine-day wonder in the English press. So seen from Lewes, Scotland is a far off country of which they know little, and care even less. When something is far away it seems small and insignificant. So to Lewes folk, whatever they call themselves, independence for Scotland seems about as ridiculous as home rule for the Isle of Thanet. So to them AS appears to be a rather vain and silly man, worthy of a piss-take. They’re not worth getting cross about, they simply don’t know any better.

  27. VikingsDottir says:

    I think a substitute effigy was burnt.
    You’re right about the press throwing up their hands in horror at the thought of the Jocks going it alone, and blaming it on ‘anti-Englishness.’ It’s all an act, believe me. It’s another aspect of non-reciprocity.
    The Lewes Guy Fawkes brigades burn an effigy of the Pope every year and have ‘No Popery’ banners up all over the toon. Not much modern thinking there, then.
    The big mannequins are just an extension of a part of English culture: the dressing up in eye catching costumes to express the alter ego: Morris Dancers are the best example, and anyone remember the Crazy World of Arthur Brown? He used to light a fire on the top of his head! There’s a certain group of Yorkshire folk who spend Saturday jumping on and off trains, dressed as Dinosaurs or Space Men or Mr Blobby, aiming to have a drink in a pub at every station on the country lines, then when they’ve had more than a few, jumping fearlessly on to the tracks in front of the trains to give the driver a coronary heart attack. Flagrant dressing up and showing off is a cultural norm down there. In this case it has two functions. The first is the dressing up by default, which comes with the bonus of showing off. The second, in this instance, is to practise a bit of fly racism against folk that are not covered by the Race Relations Act: the Scots. Best ignored, I’d advise. Salmond took the right attitude.

  28. Alabaman says:

    Paul, regarding giving up the “weed”, try when you get time, go for a brisk long to longish walk, and ask yourself at the end of it, could I have done that whitest on the weed, and would I have enjoyed the walk as much?

  29. yerkitbreeks says:

    SE English humour is generally related to the mocking of ” other ” – this could as easily be a Brummie or Geordie as a Scot – and regarded as the height of culture.

    I know this – I lived not far from Lewes for 30 years !

  30. johnmcgurk66 says:

    Paul you are doing great I bet your food is now starting to taste better ,but watch the waist line .
    If somebody wants to send you up in smoke does it not mean you are now famous?

  31. MBC says:

    I agree with what Nigel says. I’m a veteran of ’79, and like Nigel, I’ve been in this fight a long time. The Numptie factor in Scottish politics is mainly what keeps us back now. The Numptie factor is what has bound Scotland to Labour for generations.

    Educate, educate, educate. That’s the only solution to eradicate the Numptie factor.

    Scottish aspirations have been deliberately managed so as to keep them low. We have to keep building the vision that a better Scotland is possible, we have to stir complacency and challenge mediocrity.

    We have to act so as to retain that section of the population that is now politically educated, and awake. I worry that young politically awakened activists will leave the country if they cannot find the means of a future, leaving the old and the Numpties behind to stagnate. Every year 40,000 young people aged 16-24 leave Scotland to seek better pastures. This has been happenning in every generation. In 1707 we were 1/4 of the UK population; now we are 1/12.

    Thankfully I think the Scottish Parliament has acted to raise expectations and improve prospects.

    But this recovery of national spirit is fragile and has much further to go before we can reach a super-majority for independence.

    • macart763 says:


      This time round we’re starting from a much higher benchmark and the trick will be to keep a steady momentum. The one thing the unionist party political system fears is political engagement of the electorate. Or to be more precise political engagement that they have no control over, that they cannot direct to their own ends. This is where I believe a continuance of the YES Scotland grass roots movement will be most vital and most effective.

      Creating a thirst and engagement for politics where the public hold their parties to account, make them listen to their wants, needs and intentions. An all party and no party movement where we come together, educate each other and the next generation about our politics, our governance and our constitutional rights.

      Create expectation in the public by giving them the knowledge of who they are and what powers they wield or have access to. The buggers who govern over us have no power but what we give them and what we give them, we can also take away. 🙂

      Education is the key.

  32. handclapping says:

    Well done on the fags young man. I bet Ginger loves you for it!

    I can’t comment on the English bit as I am one 🙂 and as for the murph I’d rather not. 9 fee free years and no degree … , … there just like you I can give up if I want to 🙂

  33. domhnall ruadh says:

    Have to say say that I am quite unmoved in any way about the version of. Wicker Man that East Sussexers like to amuse themselves by. Best ignored, for the health of the mind. But…

    Speaking as a Lewis man, my guess is that the average effigy-attending Lewes man, on the other hand, probably is even less familiar with the events of 1605 than I am – & will be quite unaware that the parliamentary bombers’ crucial and driving motivation in the first place was the anti-scottish one, and the invasion of the English royal household by James and his friends. This will have given AS a chuckle, no doubt.

  34. Steve Asaneilean says:

    O/T Spare a wee thought for Cataluyna as today is their big day…

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