Internalised Scottophobia and self-inflicted rhinectomies

The Labour party has expelled a member in Glasgow because he said on social media that he intended to vote SNP at the election. That’s fair enough you might think, when you join a political party you should support that party and not tell folk you’re going to vote for someone else. Otherwise it would be like working for a sweetie shop and telling potential customers that soor plooms are really bad for their teeth and their health and they ought to munch on some healthy alternatives instead. In fact it’s exactly like that, as it is also true that voting for Labour’s Scottish soor plooms makes us toothless, and in excess can lead to a political diabetic coma. So it really is just as well that Scotland opted for the politically healthy alternative.

Anyway, this isn’t going to be one of those hand wringing articles about what Labour needs to do in order to win back voters. Although we’ve really not had enough of those had we? No, this is just a blog for pointing and mocking, because I’m one of those nasty and divisive nationalists that Daily Mail journalist Chris Deerin greets about in his offensively nasty and divisive articles. Deerin and his pals in the cosy wee testosterone driven clique of the Scottish media pack are now greeting that another journalist, Derek Bateman, has broken the omerta and has called him out for it. Apparently it’s wrong to criticise what a journalist writes, even when that journalist writes keech.

I’ve gone way past wanting Labour to get its act together, now I just want it gone for good, which in Deerin’s world probably makes me an enemy of freedom of speech. But then I understand that while freedom of speech gives a journalist the right to say offensive things, I also understand that it also gives everyone else the right to tell that journalist that they’re being a dickhead.

Chris Deerin writes articles that no English journalist could write because they would – rightly – be accused of racism, but just because you’re Scottish it doesn’t give you a free pass and automatic immunity from spouting anti-Scottish racism. It just makes you an Uncle Tam. Some of the most offensive homophobia has originated from the mouths and pens of people who are themselves gay – it’s called internalised homophobia. When you live in a society which denigrates and demeans gay people, you can take on those attitudes yourself. Social norms are contagious. Clearly you can get internalised Scottophobia as well, and it manifests itself in abundance in the tortured scribblings of the Unionist Scots of the UK media, living and working as they do in an environment whose social norms require that Scotland and its inhabitants are regularly demeaned and denigrated. They should be more objects of scorn and pity than of anger.

But back to Labour’s dickheads and the institutionalised self-harm that passes for internal Labour party politics. Apparently without any attempt to allow the expelled party member to have a say, a letter was sent to an individual in Glasgow South telling him he was out of the party because he’d stated on social media that he was going to vote for “the Scottish Nationalist Party”. The letter came from Labour’s “compliance officer” in Newcastle, who was clearly unaware that the name is Scottish National Party. And there was us thinking that Scottish Labour was totally autonomous and self-governing. Is that not what Jim Murphy assured us during the election campaign? But now we find out that members are expelled on the say-so of a compliance officer in UK Labour – and without any opportunity to defend themselves.

It’s certainly the case that party members shouldn’t be advocating support for other parties during an election campaign. The SNP wouldn’t look kindly upon a party member who was telling people to vote Labour instead of SNP. But there’s a big but, a butt that’s bigger even than some of the Scottophobic airses who write for the Daily Mail or the Telegraph. During the election campaign there were prominent Labour members who were urging people to vote for the Lib Dems or even the Tories in order to keep out the SNP. There was even a wee group of Labour canvassers in Perth who were assisting the local Conservatives. There were Labour candidates in these seats. Have those Labour people received letters from the compliance officer too? You can put money on the likelihood that they won’t have. It’s only SNPBad that is capable of provoking Labour’s knee jerk condemnation.

You’d think that a party that was losing its life blood more quickly than an extra in a Hammer Horror movie would look for a Dr Van Helsing instead of lying in a pity bath and slashing its arteries. Just how many members does Labour have left in Scotland? It’s not like they can afford to expel the few they have left. After the leadership election which lumbered us all with Jim Murphy, the party refused to release the actual number of members who had participated in the vote – and our supine and spineless media refused to pursue them on the matter. That would be those journalists who are immune from criticism. Instead they accepted at face value Jim Murphy’s insistence that the party has “around 20,000” members. And they had straight faces at the time.

Just a few days after Labour’s catastrophic performance in the General Election, Ian Bayonetting the Wounded Davidson stated in an article in the Scotsman that many Labour members in Scotland were not really members at all, and added that the real membership figures were “so low as to be embarrassing”. So it’s obvious that Labour needs to be engaging with its diminishing membership and discovering why they’re not inclined to vote for the party. Instead it just wants to indulge in a bout of self-inflicted rhinectomy to teach its face a lesson.

Meanwhile the Scottish media, if it wants to retain any credibility at all, must press the party to reveal its real membership statistics when it announces the result of its next leadership contest. But that’s about as likely to happen as Labour getting over its knee jerk SNPBadness and embarking on a collaborative and constructive opposition to the real threat – a Conservative government. Scotland has chosen the SNP to oppose the Tories, and now we’re choosing to build a new media as well.

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Apres moi lied the stooge

So he’s still there. Aliestair Koalamichael hasn’t resigned and shows no inclination to accept the proper consequences for his wrong doings. He’s doing his damnedest to keep out of the public eye, with the exception of a tweet saying that it will all blow over. He’s going to keep out of the public’s way until it does. He’ll be a very long time hiding then. It won’t blow over for Aliestair and it doesn’t matter how long he tries to hide. The smearer has smeared himself, he’s stained his reputation indelibly. This is all he’s ever going to be remembered for, the only notable event in his undistinguished career.

Today Orkney and Shetland residents lodged legal papers at the Court of Session challenging his election, having received sufficient funds from public donations to enable them to start legal action. The fundraiser is still short of the total required however, so keeping donating.

Taking legal action is the only way that the people of Orkney and Shetland can get their say. For all the cant in the media and from politicians that the only opinions which are important are those of Aliestair’s constituents, the only way they can express their opinion is via the ballot box at a byelection. It’s Aliestair who is denying them the chance to do that. He says he wants to be judged on his record as a constituency MP, but it’s not up to him to decide what he gets judged on. That’s for the electorate of Orkney and Shetland.

But Aliestair doesn’t want them to judge him at all, he just wants to accept the power and the paypacket, he doesn’t want to pay the moral bill. He wants to sit as a legislator and tell the rest of us what the rules are, and what the consequences for breaking those rules will be – but he himself thinks he should be beyond them. That’s why his electorate have started their fundraiser, and that’s why today they’re lodging a case at the Court of Session.

The case may not succeed. The law is stacked in favour of the legislators. But even if Aliestair does survive the legal action, it still won’t blow over for him. From now until the day he dies, Aliestair will be the smeary lie guy. That’s what he’ll be known for, and what his obituary will say. In years from now when academics discuss the death of the Liberal Democrats and Aliestair’s role in it, his smear, the lie, and Aliestair’s refusal to accept that he should have to pay the price is all that will be mentioned.

His legacy is a lie and his reputation is a smear. He’s the Septic Bladder of Orkney. He’ll be the man who took the power but not the responsibility, which is the prerogative of the harlot through the ages. He’s the chancer who took the benefits but who refused to accept the cost. He’s the smug arrogant face of the ancien regime whose defenders claim that he should be allowed to remain in post as he’s all that stands between Scotland becoming a one party state – apres moi, lied the stooge.

Aliestair may yet survive, but this will never blow over for him. He has now attained the quite remarkable status of being the only politician the public take less seriously than Wullie Rennie. Everything he says in future, every public statement, every opinion piece, every intervention in a Parliamentary debate or contribution to a committee meeting, will be heard through the amplifier of his hypocrisy and deceit. All that will be heard is – “I’m a liar and a smearer.” The people of Orkney and Shetland are now effectively without a representative, as their representative only represents the reprehensible. Every time he makes a speech, every time he tries to make a point, it can be countered with one simple statement – “But Alistair, you’ve already admitted that you’re a liar.” No one need ever believe anything that he ever says again. The Northern Isles deserve better than that.

Because of Aliestair’s refusal to accept the consequences, he’s tainted what is left of his party and signed death warrant for the shattered remnants of what was once a proud Scottish political tradition. The Lib Dems are in an even worse shape than the Labour party, and things are pretty desperate when you realise that you are an object of Kezia Dugdale’s pity.

The party hasn’t helped itself with its attempts to defend him. Malcolm Bruce’s defence is that everyone lies so it’s fine for us to lie too. What they don’t seem to have realised is that it’s because they all think it’s fine to lie that we voted them out of office in May’s General Election. And since they’ve not learned yet, then there will be a further price to pay. Tavish Scott seems to have grasped that point now, with his attempts to distance himself from Aliestair by telling us how angry and upset he is. But not angry and upset enough to call on Aliestair to resign.

Tavish Scott may lose his seat in Shetland in next year’s Scottish elections, and wossisface might lose in Orkney – the MSP who is the nonentity’s nonentity. There are submarine trenches with a higher profile than Liam McArthur. Tavish tells us that Aliestair told him on the Sunday following the election that he’d been responsible for the leak. Tavish didn’t think to tell the rest of us or to tell the official investigation. Why did it take so long for the investigation to release its findings anyway?

Despite the British state, the Lib Dems, and much of the UK media rushing to his aid, Aliestair’s career is as good as dead. It’s not so much that they want to protect him as an individual, but the possible loss of Orkney and Shetland to an SNP MP deals a devastating blow to one of the Unionists’ favourite arguments against Scottish independence – the claim that Orkney and Shetland would prefer the tender mercies of Westminster and would reject Scotland. There has never been any evidence to support this claim, and should the islanders ever elect an SNP MP the scare would finally die an overdue death.

But in rushing to defend Aliestair they only make it more likely that the pissed off voters of the Northern Isles would return an SNP representative at the Holyrood elections next year, and in terms of destroying Westminster’s claim that the Northern Isles would secede from Scotland, that would be far more significant than a Westminster byelection in the islands. As has been constantly repeated by the SNP, the General Election was not about independence and did not provide a mandate for independence. That might not be the case with the next Scottish elections.

Public anger at the Lib Dems is growing with every day that Aliestair remains, and that makes it increasingly likely that the Northern Isles will vote for an SNP representative who is standing on a mandate for an independence referendum.

Donate to the Orkney and Shetland fundraiser so that the people of the islands really can get their say.

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A parp in a bin and clapping chagrin

Fluffy Mundell, the original Scottish political panda, was proving as evasive as the fluffy black and white variety on Wednesday as he avoided giving a straight answer to a simple question. His attempts to avoid the question were clear to anyone who listened, because Fluffy is not exactly as sharp as a pin, he’s more a parp in a bin. Paddington Mundell thinks sleight of hand means waving a roof tile, so he’s having very little success in deflecting awkward questions about his role in the infamous memo leak. He’s standing on the roof and looking like a target.

So far Fluffy has managed to avoid questions by being invisible, but he couldn’t avoid the cameras on the day of the Queens Speech, what with him being the only government MP in all of Scotland. It’s a lonely job at the Scotland Office when all he’s got are his teddy bears for company. Asked whether he knew anything about the infamous memo leaking, Bumfluffy replied that the enquiry said it was all down to Aliestair. He didn’t say “No, I knew nothing about it”, which is what you might expect a person who knew nothing about it to say.

Ali and Fluff have been playing Scotland Office tag team for the past five years, and it’s not like it’s an enormous office with thousands of staff and a hugely demanding work load. By all accounts the pair sat opposite one another in the same office. What Ali knew, Fluffy would have known too – unless he was taking the bin out at the time. But Fluffy stuck to his repetitious line that the enquiry had only found Aliestair to be at fault, which was a bit like Ronnie Kray saying that the courts had only found Reggie guilty. Fluffy shifted uncomfortably and the Scotland Office bin lid visibly lifted as the faint whiff off lie-fart was released.

Scotland is famously or infamously the land where I kent his faither, the traditional way of saying that in Scotland we don’t have six degrees of separation, it’s more like one or two. I don’t ken Aliestair Carmichael’s faither, but I know someone who did, someone who has known Aliestair since he was a wee stuffed teddy. This friend says that they were shocked by the leak and smear and Aliestair’s role in it, because it’s so out of character for him. I believe my friend.

My friend also said that they couldn’t understand why Aliestair had done it, since he didn’t stand to gain personally from it. And this is true – out of all the Lib Dem MPs in the UK, it was widely believed by one and all that if the Lib Dems would cling on anywhere, it would be in Orkney and Shetland. Despite an SNP tsunami that was even greater than the SNP had hoped or the Lib Dems and Labour had feared, Aliestair did indeed cling on to his seat. He could have avoided any smearing and underhand behaviour, and he’d currently be a respected figure, the noble survivor like the last of the Mohicans. Instead he’s hounded and hiding and his career may not survive.

So why did he do it? Did someone put him up to it, and what was he promised for doing it? Did he really put his career on the line in order to save Danny Alexander and Jo Swinson’s skin without there being anything in it for him? The enquiry restricted itself to identifying the source of the leak, and our mainstream media shows no great appetite for getting to the bottom of these questions so it’s unlikely we will ever know. We only know that the guy who looks like the creepy janitor did it, but we’ll never know who put him up to it. It’s not a very satisfying conclusion to a cartoon, even if we do manage to get him to stand down. Where’s Scooby Doo and Mystery Inc. when you need them?

The UK media is occupied with far weightier issues than trying to find out who tried to pauchle a democratic election and piss off the French. The SNP clapped in the House of Commons, and the massed ranks of Daily Mailesque commentaries are showing their chagrin. Clapping is unparliamentary behaviour and only goes to show that Scottish people can’t be trusted off a Unionist leash. Next thing you know they’ll be being stereotypical on Dennis Skinner’s bench. You can lie, you can smear, you can abuse public office for party gain, you can cause a diplomatic incident, you can pauchle your expenses, you can cover up the activities of well connected paedophiles, you can cheat, you can start an illegal war that causes the deaths of hundreds of thousands. Just don’t clap, because that’s beyond the pale.

In the House of Commons the approved means of showing approval is to bray like a public schooldonkey by uttering a strangulated heeyah heeyah. The House of Commons likes strangulated because that’s how they treat dissent. But there are no laws which say that upon being elected to the House of Commons you have to forget the social norms of the people who elected you and start acting like you’re a privately educated person from Rightupyerainarseshire. It’s merely a social convention, and the really interesting thing about a social convention is that if you break it often enough and persistently enough, then the social convention gets quietly rewritten.

So the SNP should continue to clap when they want to show approval. They should continue to act like normal people, like the people who elected them. Then they will rewrite the social conventions of Westminster so that they represent the people who put those MPs there instead of those MPs becoming bent out of shape by the norms of Westminster. I want an MP who will force Westminster to be representative of the people, not an MP who becomes representative of Westminster. I want an MP who knows that it’s OK to clap, it’s not OK to lie, cheat, smear, pauchle expenses or start illegal wars.

I know which is more offensive, and it sure as hell isn’t clapping.

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Malkied by Malkie and primed by Primula

So Aliestair’s still there, clinging onto the face of Scottish politics like a particularly obstinate plook despite the increasingly intense squeezing of ordinary Scottish punters who are not enamoured that one of our elected representatives got his comfy well padded seat into a comfy and well padded seat on the basis of lies and smears. In Scotland the conduct of the Unionist parties, their sense of entitlement, their arrogance, their self-interestedness, was the real issue of the recent General Election, and Scotland squeezed them out of office and wiped its face with the Clearasil of electoral oblivion. One spot was out of reach, and it was only after the election that we discovered just how pustuliferous it is.

The urge to squeeze it is overwhelming, and we’re not resisting the urge. Scotland’s voters set out to clean up Scotland’s politics, only now we discover that a nasty smell remains because it was disguising itself behind a delayed release air freshener. One of those expensive ones it bought with our money.

But opening the windows to clear out the smell is a witch hunt, because it’s the punters who are doing the pursuing, and that makes it borderline fascist and the harbinger of a one party state. However when pretty much the entire UK media hound an SNP politician, it’s investigative journalism and evidence of the robust good health of British democracy. Just so we’re clear on the hierarchy of hounding, they’re a press pack, we’re the hounds of hell and the curse of the curs. We’re the self righteous priggish pugs of Michael White’s disapproving tuts.

The story refuses to die, despite the news breaking on a Friday before a bank holiday when it was hoped that attentions would be diverted by diversions, despite the disapproval of the Guardian’s Michael White. It was kept alive over the holidays by social media, up against the rapidly waning interest of most of the traditional media. It was only a little lie, not a big lie. A little lie is of no concern to the big men, little lies only bother little people. How dare we be bothered, we should look at their faces. Are they bovvered? They’re not bovvered.

The on Tuesday the Lib Dem’s Malcolm Bruce attempted to put the story to rest by ramming a rocket up its arse and sprinkling it with the sparkly dust of incomprehension. We should forgive and forget because all politicians tell lies, said Malcolm, smoothing down the ruffled feathers of public trust by walloping them with a ball pin hammer and rubbing them with sandpaper. Why, he said like it was a bad thing, if we got rid of every politician who had told a lie then there would be no one left in Westminster. You don’t say, said the public, as it gazed upon the Westminster seats that were once occupied by Danny Alexander, Magrit Curran and Jim Murphy.

And now, Malkie harrumphed, the SNP are trying to bully poor Aliestair out of office, because the poor wee lambie abused his position of power to act like a bully. It’s just so terribly unfair. How dare ordinary people express an opinion. How dare they say they don’t want to be represented by a liar and a smear merchant. The next thing you know they’ll be demanding that their MPs are accountable – and where would we be then. We’d be living in a democracy, perhaps.

It has seemingly passed Malkie by that the reason we malkied his colleagues in the recent General Election was because we had discovered that they’d been telling us lies, and we’re fed up with it. Lib Dems more than any party ought to realise the electoral consequences of telling lies to the electorate. It’s a lesson that’s flown over the top of Malkie’s head. He can’t even blame the ruinous cost of student fees for his inability to grasp the lesson, even though it’s one we’ve given his party for free.

Malkie’s maulications have reignited the story. Aliestair must be grateful that he’s got such helpful friends. But then, coming over the hill like the Seventh Cavalry comes Michael White of the Guardian, bewailing the prigs of the SNP. Not being a middle class southern English person, I’ve never been entirely sure what a prig is, so it’s a strange insult to hurl at working class Scottish people. The first rule of invective is to make sure that your barbs are felt by their recipients and they are duly wounded by them. I always thought a prig was someone who was excessively prim and proper, clearly not. But then Michael is only a little prim, he’s Primula – because he’s White, cheesy, and smeary.

In a jaw dropping opinion piece, the supposed bastion of liberal Britain allowed Primula to defend the right of politicians to lie to the public. From his lofty position floating above the little people in his Westminster bubble, Primula know that we’re all Lt Kaffees in Westminster world, we can’t handle the truth. In Primula’s universe it’s more important to protect the lying Lib Dems from the electorate than it is to protect the electorate from lying Lib Dems. The only people who should judge Aliestair should be the people of Orkney and Shetland, said Primula primly, but without allowing them any mechanism for doing so. Out in the real world in the Northern Isles, a campaign is underway to raise funds to start a court case to force a byelection. So that the people of Orkney and Shetland can judge Aliestair for themselves. If you haven’t donated yet, it’s well worth giving a quid or two.

But mainly Primula defends the lie because the lie is better than the alternative – at least when the alternative is the SNP. Aliestair must be allowed to remain as a point of principle, and that principle is SNP bad, SNP very very bad. Bad SNP bad. Primula knows that the SNP is bad because everyone who is anyone in the Westminster bubble says so. Westminster’s definitions are the only definitions allowed. We’re not allowed to think for ourselves, we’re not allowed to define ourselves. And we’re certainly not allowed to hold liars and dissemblers to account.

Aliestair must be crapping himself as he wonders who is going to stand up for him next.

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Westminsteritis and hyperkenezia

So the dishonourable Aliestair Koala has told the BBC that he’s got no intention of resigning his seat and allowing voters in Orkney and Shetland the chance to decide whether they want a liar and smear-merchant to represent them in the House of Commons. He thinks he should be judged on how he’s been as a constituency MP for the past 14 years and not his actual sins, which is a bit like a 1970s BBC radio DJ telling the judge to sentence him based on his work for charidee. How dare people want to judge him for his duplicity and underhand dealings. Aliestair doesn’t seen to realise that he doesn’t get to be his own judge and jury. He’s suffering from Westminsteritis. The only cure is to separate him from his privilege.

But then Aliestair doesn’t believe he’s really told a lie at all. When he told reporters that the first he knew about the memo was when a reporter asked him about it, what he really meant was that it was the first time he’d read the entire text in full. Which is like claiming you have no part in a robbery because you only planned it and drove the getaway car but didn’t set foot in the bank vault. Sadly for the Lib Dems and their Labour fences, Aliestair drove the getaway memo off a cliff, more the Italian Job than the French one. He only told them to blow the bloody diplomatic corps off.

However this raises more questions than it settles. Does Aliestair really think it’s a defence to claim that he authorised the leak of something which he hadn’t read? Is he trying to claim that he leaks things without knowing their content? The last time anyone leaked so indiscriminately they were immediately referred by their GP to the continence clinic.

It’s not exactly a surprise that the last Lib Dem crawling has acquired a moral compass as mythical as the compassionate conservatism that was supposed to be a hallmark of the coalition that killed the party. Wee Wullie Rennie, who has made a career out of calling for people to resign, still can’t understand what all the fuss is about. That’s not really a surprise either. This is not unrelated to the fact that Wullie is so slow on the uptake that it will be the end of July before he realises that there’s been a General Election. Wullie still can’t understand why no one gets on his bus anymore.

Wullie is aided in his amnesia by much of the Scottish media, which is currently in full on move along now nothing to see here mode. They don’t want to talk about Aliestair any more. Aliestair is boring, he’s dull, although of course we already knew that anyway. He’s yesterday’s story, the fish wrapper of politics and only those with chips on their shoulders still throw salt in the Lib Dems’ wounds. Let’s move on, there must be an SNP bad story along any minute now. Business as usual in North Britain.

Compare and contrast with how our supposedly free and fair Scottish media would be screaming if it was an SNP politician who’d been caught smearing in the same way. Glenn Campbell, who went to the same school as Aliestair, would be off in France filming a special programme for BBC Scotland, doorstopping random French people to ask them whether Scotland’s reputation had been damaged grossemente, beaucoup, or totalemente. He’d currently be in a bistro in Marseilles greeting into a croissant about how Aliestair had made us all ashamed to be ecossais.

Neil Hay, the unsuccessful SNP candidate for Edinburgh South, was subject to more condemnatory column inches and airtime aspersions for tweeting a link to a BBC Scotlandshire article, which the media spun into a full on attack on the entire No voting public. Which only goes to prove that the Scottish media is itself an enthusiastic participant in smearing and therefore scarcely has the moral right to call on a politician to resign for behaving like a newspaper.

Meanwhile, there’s also an attempt to go back to North British business as usual over at the Labour party in Scotland. Ken Macintosh has claimed that the party machine is bullying his supporters in order to sew the leadership election up for Kezia Dugdale. Does Labour have a machine left? It was last seen lying rusted and broken in a field in East Renfrew, where it has been used, none too successfully, in order to harvest Conservative votes for Jim Murphy. Accusations of bullying and intimidation are par for the course with the dysfunctional Labour party in Scotland, the difference between the Labour party in Scotland and a cybernat is that Labour do it professionally.

It probably makes no difference whether Ken wins or Kezia wins, they’re both most noted for their insistence that it’s all the fault of the SNP. Ken is an ally of Jim Murphy, and Kezia was Jim’s deputy. It’s tweedlemurphken and tweedlemurphkeez. They could save everyone a lot of bother by standing as a joint candidate and make like a celebrity couple and call themselves Kenezia. Then the Scottish media can hype them up like they always hype a new Labour leader and we can have hyperkenezia, which sounds very like a medical condition involving uncontrolled tics and spasms and a slow and lingering demise. So it’s really quite appropriate for the Labour party in Scotland then.

Some want Labour in Scotland to split from the British party and set itself up as a new autonomous party, possibly to be called the Pity Party. Then they could invite Aliestair Koalamichael to join. He’s the only other person in Scotland who’s in as much denial as Labour is.

It’s only a couple of weeks since the election but they’ve already proven that when it comes to feeling sorry for themselves, Aliestair and Labour’s surviving politicians are even more expert than all those other Lib Dem and Labour MPs who actually lost their seats. It looks like they are all suffering from hyperkenezia and their condition is terminal.

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The dishonourable dissembler for porkies and scrote-lying

The Dishonourable Dissembler for Porkies and Scrotelying is still occupying his ill gotten seat, the one the representative for the Northern Isles got by misrepresenting himself to the Northern Islanders. Anyone with a shred of common decency would have resigned by now, but then anyone with a shred of common decency wouldn’t have abused a government position and created a diplomatic incident in a crude attempt to smear an opposing party during an election campaign. So we should take it as a given that Alistair’s title of “honourable” is meant ironically.

Apparently referring to a lying bastert as a lying bastert counts as unparliamentary language even when the lying bastert has admitted that he’s a lying bastert. So any SNP MP who has to refer to Aliestair or address him in the Commons in future should call him their “Cough cough honourable um friend – oh are you still here then?” And learn how to pronounce honourable in quotation marks. But they should cut him out and refuse to acknowledge his presence unless it’s absolutely necessary. He’s there on false premises and he is illegitimate as an elected representative. People in Orkney and Shetland didn’t know they were voting for a liar.

The Dishonourable Dissembler isn’t being faced with a barrage of calls for his resignation from certain persons who seemingly make a weekly call for someone to resign. Which is odd. The leader of the Lib Dem groupuscule Wullie Rennie doesn’t feel he’s done a week’s work unless he’s called for the head of someone or other, preferably during an interview on BBC Scotland. It’s the only way he can reassure himself that he’s still alive and still has some sort of purpose, just imagine how depressing and pointless it would be to be a Lib Dem politician otherwise. It’s as null pointery as a UK Eurovision entry, but without the self-knowing campery or the sparkly frocks. Mind you, Tavish Scott did once grow a beard, but no one was ever going to mistake him for Conchita Wurst.

Over the course of this Scottish Parliament, Wullie Rennie has called for the resignations of Alicsammin for being the head honcho of SNP badness, Justice Minister Kenny Macaskill also for assorted SNP badness, head of the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations Martin Sime for being – according to Wullie – too indulgent of SNP badness, and Chief of Police Scotland Stephen House for stopping and searching people who might not have been SNP supporters. He’s called on several other individuals to resign too, generally for SNP badness. You can probably spot the theme.

The only person Wullie hasn’t called on to resign so far is a man who has actually admitted to lying, admitted to abusing public office, and admitted to attempting to cover it all up so he could deceive the electorate. It’s entirely coincidental that that man is also a Lib Dem isn’t it. On Wullie Rennie’s bus if it’s not SNP badness it’s not sufficiently bad for him to tell you to get off.

But Wullie is keeping very quiet in case people ask him precisely what he knew about the leak and when he knew it. The chances that he didn’t know it originated from the office of the blubbering Scottish Secretary are about the same as the chances of the Lib Dems being wiped out if there’s a by-election in Orkney and Shetland. It would be interesting to know what senior Labour figures knew about the origin of the smear too, seeing as how they were suspiciously well prepared when the story first broke. But then they all lost their seats in the election, so no one cares any more. It’s just one more duplicity to add to the ones they’ve already been punished for. Aliestair however, is still clinging on. Maybe BBC Scotland will hound him until he resigns eh?

BBC Scotland is quite keen on calling for resignations too. The BBC hounded the former transport minister Stewart Stevenson to resign for SNP badness, too much SNP snow, and looking like a separatist version of Father Jack. But they don’t seem hugely bothered by the Koalamichael. The difference is that even though Stewart Stevenson wasn’t directly responsible for the snow it was SNP snow, whereas although Aliestair called up the blizzard of lies and deceit surrounding him all by himself it’s not SNP snow. In the Pacific Quay news management department that’s quite effective at clearing things up and they can ignore the heatwave of public protest that’s melting Aliestair’s career.

The snow storm clouds are gathering, despite the best efforts of the Lib Dems to hide under a snow blanket and make like they’re purer than the driven snow. According to the Guardian, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards is set to investigate. Apparently they do have standards at Westminster, news which comes as a great surprise to most of us. Clearly they are not very high standards, but even with the bar set so low that it exonerates the expenses fiddlers of the Commons, the Dishonourable Dissembler is unable to clear it.

The new rules against lying to voters, introduced during the last Parliament at the insistence of Nick Clegg – now there’s irony – state that if an MP is suspended from the House of Commons for longer than ten days then the electorate in his or her constituency can force a by-election. All it requires is for 10% of voters in the constituency to sign a petition to that effect and the MP in question can face the judgement of the voters even if he or she declines to do the honourable thing. So get collecting those signatures, Orkney and Shetland people.

The gravity of the offence committed by Aliestair is such that it’s considered highly likely that he would be suspended from the House for longer than ten days. If that happens, his career is as good as over. He won’t be missed.

But let’s give the last word to the Dishonourable Dissembler himself. In an article penned for the Shetland Times after Labour MP Phil Woolas was stripped of his victory and the courts ruled that there had to be a by-election because Woolas had smeared his opponents, the Koalamichael wrote:

“The right to freedom of speech is a fundamental one but it does bring a responsibility with it to tell the truth. The right to smear an opponent is not one we should be defending.”


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These things happen

Not even Rona can help him now. The last shreds of Alistair Koalamichael’s credibility have gone the way of Danny Alexander’s career in politics, shot down in the flames of public disgrace. Although Danny Alexander did at least manage to salvage something that could pass – from a distance – as dignity. Alistair can’t even do that, reduced as he is to writing apologetic letters to Nicola and the French ambassador begging for his career to continue.

The last Lib Dem standing, or at least crawling, has finally blubbered out what most of us had suspected, that he was responsible for leaking a memo which claimed Nicola Sturgeon wanted the Tories to win the General Election. The Dishonourable Member for Lying Gobshite only admitted it because he got caught, after an official investigation which cost the taxpayer almost £1.4 million – even though everyone knew all along that Alistair bears a startling resemblance to the creepy janitor in Scooby Doo, and it’s always the creepy janitor who’s the guilty party.

The thing about flinging crap is that it leaves you with shit on your own hands. The SNP have taken over from the Lib Dems as the third party, leaving the Lib Dems with just being the turd party. With the disappearance of his aiders and abetters with the near extinction of the Lib Dems and the Labour party in Scotland Alistair has now been left to juggle jobbies all by himself. Since he’s clearly deficient in the crap coordination department, it is now raining down on his head, and on the heads of the media which gleefully reported the original smear. They’d hoped that they’d found the dam to stem the rising tide of the SNP, but they’d forgotten that you can’t build a strong barrier on a foundation of shite. That’s a lesson that Better Together would do well to remember after their campaign to save the Union.

In an attempt to make reparations, or at least buy himself some time in the hope that the problem will go away, Alistair has tendered a virtual resignation. The former Scottish Secretary has said that he’d have stood down from the job that he no longer has, the job he no longer has because his party was wiped out at the polls for telling lies. In other words he has pretended to make amends in the hope that he’ll be forgiven for real. That’s a bit like a bank robber offering to pay back some Monopoly money after spending the real ill gotten gains on securing a nice wee pad in the Northern Isles. Naturally Alistair has no intention of giving up the cosy wee corner he’s acquired for himself in the Northern Isles, the one he got on the back of claiming to the voters of Orkney and Shetland that unlike the rest of his lying party he wasn’t a durrty lying bastert. Mind you, if he did announce that he was going to step down, no one would believe him.

Alistair has also said that he won’t accept the severance pay he’s due for losing his post as a Government minister, some £16000. He should be made to repay the entire cost of the investigation, although perhaps there needs to be an investigation into the investigation – and Alistair should pay for that too. Why did it take the best part of six weeks and around £1.4 million to discover that Alistair dunnit when his dirty crap smeared paw prints were all over the memo in the first place? When the investigation was announced he admitted that he knew who did it, so why did it take so long – and more importantly why were the findings of the investigation not released until the election was done and dusted?

The outcome of the investigation was clearly going to have a bearing on how people would have voted, and you can bet a stuffed koala that if it was likely that the investigation was going to discover that Nicola had indeed said what was alleged then the Lib Dems and Labour would have been screaming for it to conclude and publish long before May 7. But we all knew that it was going to finger a Lib Dem as a liar, and no one in power was about to do the SNP – or the voters of Scotland – any favours.

Mind you, they have previous for expecting Scottish voters to make their minds up on a prospectus that’s a lie. This is why we’ve lost all faith in them, and is precisely why hundreds of thousands who’ve never voted SNP before voted SNP on May 7. A leopard can’t change its spots, and a Unionist politician can’t change their verbal diarrhoea. If you lie in court you can go to jail, if you lie to affect the outcome of an election you get a seat in the Commons and an expense account.

You can have a grudging respect for an underhand, ruthless, and Machiavellian self-serving manipulator. But not when they’re also inept, transparent, and clueless. Alistair wanted to wield a stiletto, but he got mixed up between the wee Italian knife and the high heels. Unlike the guy in the Money Supermarket advert, who also has a well upholstered arse, Alistair teetered and fell off and twisted his ankle. Now he’s lying face flat on the floor, desperately hoping that he can get back on his feet before his arse is trodden into the shag pile of public disgrace. The weekend is dominated by calls for him to resign his seat amidst claims that he was elected on a false premise, that false premise being that he’s not a lying manipulative underhand excuse for a balloon.

It’s not clear if there is any mechanism by which Alistair can be held to account. Clearly he has no sense of shame, otherwise he’d never have embarked on a pathetically transparent smear campaign in the first place. It’s possible that he may have broken electoral law – but if a politician could be held to account for not telling the truth we wouldn’t have a Conservative party and Jim Murphy would never have existed.

There’s now a petition demanding that Alistair stand down so there can by a by-election in Orkney and Shetland. 97% of those who have participated in online poll by the Shetland Times want him to go. Coincidentally, 3% was the size of his majority, so it now looks like only 800 voters in the Isles want him to remain as their MP. He might hang on to his job, but the 56 SNP MPs are going to make the next five years very uncomfortable for a man who may very well turn out to be the last Scottish Lib Dem MP ever.

These things happen, eh Alistair.

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It’s a dog’s life

According to Wednesday’s Herald, a group of “experts” on devolution have said that there should not be another independence referendum for at least fifteen years. So that’s us telt then, the experts say no. Mind you, at least one of the experts was a fully paid up member of the nawness faction during the referendum, so the fact he’s saying no again counts as consistency, not as news per se. The reason that the period of fifteen years was chosen was because that’s a generation as measured by teenage pregnancy, or the approximate life expectancy of a mongrel dug. It is immensely flattering that unionists think a wee ginger dug made such a contribution to the independence debate that they want to make sure he’s popped his clogs by the time there’s another. But this dug is going nowhere.

The whole generation thing originates in an off the cuff remark made by Alicsammin. Since the UK media and Unionist parties persuaded themselves that Scotland was really voting for alicsammin in September 2014, they feel it’s only right and proper that everyone else in Scotland ought to suffer from the same delusion. They fondly believe that the country rejected alicsammin by 55% to 45% and so the Unionists are quite determined that Scotland shouldn’t have a chance to vote for alicsammin again until alicsammin’s asbo has expired. However since the rest of us thought we were voting for or against independence, a large number of us don’t feel bound by alicsammin’s conversational comments.

I certainly don’t – no one asked me if I was agreeing not to want another independence referendum for a whole mongrel. I don’t recall placing my X in a wee box marked YES in answer to the question: “If it’s a No vote to alicsammin do you agree to shut your gob and tug your forelock until your dog has died and then at such time as a Tory government deigns to allow Scotland to have another referendum because by participating in this referendum you are conceding any rights to an opinion?” I’m sure that wasn’t the question.

The basic principle here is that it’s not for Davie Cameron to be telling Scotland when we can have another referendum, we’ll be telling him. That’s what this democracy lark is all about after all. And let’s not hear any of that guff about respecting the will of the 55%, because as I have previously argued – if there’s going to be another referendum it will be because there is no longer a 55% whose will must be respected.

The truth is that while we may quibble with the experts’ timing, we shouldn’t have another independence referendum for a good while yet, for simple tactical reasons. If we have a referendum too soon, and without a material change in circumstances, the Yes side would lose, and that really would set back the cause of independence for a generation. A proper generation and not just a teenage pregnancy one like you get on all the poverty porn programmes on the telly. That said, Scotland should definitely have another independence referendum – but only when the Yes side knows we’re going to win it. In the meantime, with a majority Tory government, we’re in for a dog’s life.

A week is famously a long time in politics. Fifteen years is an aeon. Fifteen years ago a modem was the height of internet speediness, we had animated gifs instead of video streaming, Facebook and Twitter hadn’t been invented, and social media meant putting an advert in the classifieds in the Evening Times. There was no alternative media in Scotland and we relied almost entirely for our news on Reporting Scotland and the Daily Record. Not surprisingly Labour was utterly dominant, people didn’t giggle every time a Liberal Democratic MSP was interviewed on telly, and idea of independence was the preserve of a marginalised SNP which was struggling to find a place for itself.

All sorts of things could change between now and 2030, none of which will be reported on Reporting Scotland if they’re any good for Scottish independence. Although by then the Tories will have privatised the BBC and outsourced Scottish programming to Serco and we’ll get getting wall to wall reality shows about poorly paid security guards in hi-viz jaikets chasing shoplifters, and an investigative programme in which the last person in the country who hasn’t had their benefits sanctioned is hunted down with hounds – so pretty much like the telly is just now then. However if there’s still a Reporting Scotland in 2030 you can be sure that it will still be doing a sterling service telling us about the important things that happen in Scotland, that would be the murrdurrs, the fitba, something about waiting times in hospitals and how it’s all the fault of the SNP, wee cute kittens and mair fitba.

Back in the present day, the programme has just won an award for being the best Scottish news programme. No seriously. Reporting Scotland has won the RTS Scottish TV award … Aye that’s what I said too … It’s really the “Thank fuck Scotland voted No” award. And they wonder why the traditional media is rapidly losing credibility. Perhaps the RTS has a category for news programmes that try to present the Daily Record in video form, or the best presentation of Labour press releases. Or maybe it’s because you can now get an award for finding new and inventive ways to say SNP bad. Someone ought to tell Kezia Dugdale.

A whole lot of things can change long before the fifteen years are up. There’s the EU referendum looming, there’s the impact on Scotland of five years of durrty Tory basterts. There’s the still unanswered question of a devolution settlement. And there’s a Scottish Parliament election in a year’s time. Scotland can’t tie its constitutional hands for an arbitrary period of time just to keep discredited politicians happy. It’s not for them to be telling us, it’s for us to be telling them. And we will tell them when we’re good and ready for another independence referendum.

We’ll be good and ready for one when Yes is certain to win it. It will be when Scotland is sick of the dog’s life we live under the Tories and a British Labour party determined to ape them. We’ll be good and ready for it when the 55% is no longer a 55%. That’s not yet. But the clock is ticking on the dog’s life.

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Sitting uncomfortably

Are you sitting comfortably? This past week has given us a few significant news stories. There’s the Royal Navy whistle-blower who has revealed that weapons designed to blow up half the planet and turn the other half into a radioactive wasteland are a disaster waiting to happen. In another example of rank insanity the Labour party in Scotland continues on its descent into self obsessed madness, although it had snapped the elastic band of nutjobbery quite some time ago. Now it’s twanging the ends on its forehead thinking that Ken Macintosh is the great new idea. Meanwhile the Tories are about to embark on an all out assault on our civil and human rights, introduce a snoopers’ charter and cut off the legs of the unemployed in order to teach them to stand on their own two feet. What passes for business as usual in this Great British northern province then.

So what’s the big story that has got the metrocommentariat appalled and disgusted? Dennis Skinner had to get an SNP person to budge along a bench. It’s an outrage. He’s a pensioner. The SNP upset an old man. The basterts, setting their beach towels on House of Commons benches like German tourists. Uppity Scottish people demanding front row seats and wanting to be noticed. Where do they think they are? They should stand at the back of the chambers in reverent silence while the lizard aliens who are in charge make all the decisions. It’s always worked like that before.

Mind you, if Davie Cameron really is a lizard alien you do have to wonder why he chose that face for his human form. He should have gone for something less shiny and smug and more believably human. Although to be fair, he was comparing himself to Boris Johnson and the dead fish eyes of George Osborne, and by those standards he’s really done rather well.

But back to seating arrangements. Dennis Skinner is 83 and still sits as an MP. The only other people who continue in their jobs at that age are popes and African dictators. No one could ever accuse Labour MPs of infallibility, although many have accused them of kleptocracy – but never, it must be pointed out, Dennis Skinner. Dennis is a good man, but he’s condemned himself to a fate worse than political death. He thought he was breaking the rules, but the establishment just rewrote the rules so that Dennis and his toothless yelled protests became a part of them.

A long time ago, back when there was still a Labour party in Scotland, Dennis used to be a real radical and a proper rebel with a yell. Then he became a Labour MP and over the course of the decades evolved into a tame pet of the British establishment. Dennis has taken upon himself the invaluable task of representing a peculiarly British safely contained and institutionalised awkwardsoddery. He has become the kind of revolutionary that revolves nothing except a children’s roundabout of ritualised protest, it goes nowhere and serves only to amuse those who think they’re the grown ups.

Dennis sits on a front bench in the House of Commons and shouts out protests which allow the establishment to feel like they’re really democrats and that freedom of speech is alive and well in the United Magic Kingdom of austerity. But everyone knows that Dennis has no sparkly wand and that nothing ever changes. That’s how he can be described as a national treasure. He’s become a faded red thread in the fabric of the cloth he once wanted to rip up. When a rebel has his own recognised place in the institution he’s rebelling against he’s no longer a rebel at all, he’s just a species of court jester with worse jokes. He becomes the subject of the cruellest taunt you can make at an auld rebel: “The sowel, he means well.”

It’s because Dennis is a token rebel who changes nothing that he’s now the darling of the British right wing press. When the Daily Mail is leaping to his defence you know he’s no real threat to the established order but instead is a part of it. The British establishment is using Dennis as a stick to beat up on a group of MPs who really do threaten to change things. That’s a bit of a come down – from the Beast of Bolsover to the neutered pet of the Tory press.

Dennis Skinner sits on his front seat bench as a warning to the 56 SNP MPs. Dennis in his special place railing against the institution that has institutionalised him should act as a permanent reminder of the fate the SNP’s 56 need to avoid. They must not become co-opted and their protests ritualised and neutered. They must avoid becoming the tartan trimming in a Great British pageant. Westminster subverts those who seek to subvert it by demanding adherence to its rituals and its ancient traditions which were for the most part invented by Victorians in a fit of archaistic window dressing.

The SNP’s MPs should sit wherever they damn well please, they should clap and cheer and have no regard for the childish and silly social rituals that underpin Westminster, because otherwise they become co-opted by them. They become Dennis Skinners, a part of an institution that isn’t fit for government and a justification for things remaining as they are. They must never forget that they are not there to become a part of the Westminster furniture, they are there to act as a Scottish noise up in a cosy British establishment old boys club. They are they to annoy, to upset, to be a permanent thorn in the pink and flabby flesh of the lizard people.

But far more importantly Scotland’s MPs must never allow the real issues to be swept under the Great British tapestry. Things which, it shouldn’t need to be pointed out, are far more important than fox hunting or seating arrangements. They are there to shout and scream that the fabric is rotten and is woven out of the threat the Tories pose to our human rights, the demonisation of the poor, the axe that’s being taken to the benefits of the vulnerable, the dangers of a nuclear missile programme mismanaged by muppets, the permausterity of government by the bankers for the bankers.

Scotland’s MPs are there to resist and to point out that alternatives are possible. They are there to weave a new story. They are there to make sure that none of the representatives in that parliament are ever sitting comfortably.

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Unleashing the dogs of woe

It says a lot about the priorities of our Tory overlords that one of the first votes in the Commons is to be a vote to legalise the barbaric cruelty of tearing apart creatures they don’t control with creatures that they do control, taking blood stained pleasure from pain, and garlanding themselves in the entrails of entitlement. It’s not just the intrinsic repulsion that anyone with a basic capacity for empathy feels towards the braying proponents of ritualised cruelty to animals, fox hunting is a metaphor for the Conservatives’ view of the lower orders. Davie Cameron’s government seeks to unleash the dogs of woe on all of us, and that has a lot to do with why fox hunting excites such strong passions. We are all foxes now.

Over the past few days there’s been a lot of will they won’t they about whether the SNP will oppose the Tories’ attempts to reintroduce fox hunting in England. It’s the classic example of an England only issue, and was even cited as such by Nicola Sturgeon during the election campaign when she was explaining why the SNP would vote against privatisation in the English NHS. Currently the SNP is the only party which is taking a party line on the issue of fox hunting. All the other parties treat it as a personal vote, and allow individual MPs to vote according to the dictates of their own consciences. The SNP should do exactly the same.

A majority Tory government puts far bigger issues at stake than the rights of foxes, like for example the rights of human beings, the assault that is about to begin on the poor, the disabled, and the disadvantaged. But fox hunting is the traditional pursuit of the British upper classes and their implacable belief that they are born to rule, that they have the right to ride roughshod over anything and anyone which gets in their way. Fox hunting symbolises all of that, and that is what makes it such a powerfully emotive issue.

Standing up for foxes means standing up against the right of the Tories to ride roughshod over humans too. Good politics means recognising the power of symbolism. The SNP stands for an alternative to austerity, for opposition to Trident, for a new way of doing things. Opposing fox hunting is a symbol for that. It means standing up for the powerless against the powerful. Opposing fox hunting sends a message to the left in England that Scotland hasn’t abandoned them, that we’re not just looking out for ourselves. That we care. It’s the symbolism of solidarity with a small ginger canine.

It doesn’t matter that ripping apart foxes with the teeth and claws of dogs is a hoary old British tradition. It’s torture, and torture is not culture. There are no great constitutional issues at stake here, although the Tories and their allies will try to pretend otherwise. What passes for a British constitution is a set of practices and precedent which the ruling classes make up as they go along in order to advantage themselves. Scotland’s representatives in the House of Horrors should do exactly the same for Scotland’s advantage. And defending the rights of foxes in England does bring advantage to Scotland – because it makes us friends and allies on the English left.

Nicola Sturgeon said during the election campaign that Scotland would work to bring progressive politics to the entire United Kingdom. This is a cost free way of achieving that, a small sign that Scotland will make its mark. We’re all in this Union together, and it does Scotland no favours to be in a Union with a country whose legislators don’t understand the difference between torture and culture. As long as we are in this Union, as long as Scots travel the world and are confused with “the English” because the rest of the world doesn’t appreciate the difference between England and the UK, then Scotland has a moral duty to prevent the Conservatives from making England a laughing stock and an affrontment in the eyes of the world.

The SNP have yet to make a decision on how their 56 MPs will vote on the matter, but it won’t be long before Cameron introduces his bill to prevent Scottish MPs from voting on English only issues. He’s already announced his intentions to introduce legislation soon, so what does Scotland stand to lose by taking a moral stance on fox hunting while Scottish MPs still can? If the SNP abstains, the chances are that the barbaric practice will be legalised. However if they vote against there are enough Tory rebels to give the foxes a running chance of escape.

If the SNP were to vote against the legalisation of tearing living feeling creatures limb from limb with a pack of dogs, Fleet Street would scream in unison that the party was interfering in English affairs, like it was a bad thing to be opposed bone crushing bloody pain and gratuitous cruelty to animals. Daily Mail editorial writers would have apoplexy, although to be honest that’s normal for them, the Torygraph would thunder its disapproval, the Times would tut furiously, and the Guardian would be crushed between the weight of their last remaining liberal sentiments and their instinctive hatred for the SNP.

Scottish voters would look on the ensuing collective harrumphment of outraged outdated unionism and say, “Ha ha. Good!” Ensuring that fox hunting stays banned, upsetting the Tories, and pissing off the UK media all in one move, that’s a result. That’s a good day at the office that is. They have their blood sports, and we have ours. Ours are a lot more fun, and don’t involve ripping living creatures apart – except metaphorically. Making the Tories angry and upset is, in part, what we elected all those SNP MPs for. The 56 are not there to make life easy for the defenders of barbaric traditions and the UK’s OK yahs of privilege. So let’s make things uncomfortable for them. I want to see Jacob Rees Mogg cry. Let’s unleash the Scottish dogs of woe on him and the other upper class proponents of pain and privilege.

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