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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35 comments on “It’s a dog’s life

  1. Still Positive. says:

    Aye, you’re spot on there, Paul.

    Look forward to your page in The National tomorrow.

  2. […] It’s a dog’s life […]

  3. Albawoman says:

    Thanks for your excellent article.

    The joke that is Reporting Scotland continues with its “award”. I am so looking forward to the day when folk can have a fair and balanced media discussion of how best to live in Scotland. Until then we must rely on folk like yourself. Thank goodness that such folk exist.

  4. Thepnr says:

    The timing of another Referendum will be when we WILL win another Referendum. It’s that simple.

  5. les hunter says:

    The Hunterian dictionary definition of an expert, in particular anyone who has decided, in their expertness, that they can tell us how long we have to stay in the corner wearing a pointy hat, is an individual who has devoted their life to a particular subject, exploring and researching, learning more and more about less and less until, after many years, they know everything about sweet fuck all.

  6. macart763 says:

    Well said Paul. It appears they still believe the referendum was a party driven issue. I don’t think they quite understand yet y’know, the concept of a ‘People’s Referendum’.

    So during the election we had the leaders making big noises about denying Scotland’s electorate another referendum. Since the election we’ve had DC and his pet meeja repeating the same message, but y’know somethin’? We’ll take it under advisement, then we’ll wait and we’ll watch how our partners fulfil their promises and treat their electorate.

    Y’ see, not DC, not his clique, not all the policy wonks, nor all of the Westminster establishment can prevent the settled will of the Scottish people being enacted. Four years ago we voted for a party that would enact such a referendum. Last year we narrowly conditionally voted to retain the union and if those conditions are not met, or some other constitutional change occurs which we disagree with, that same act of will can choose to repeat the democratic process as often as it wishes.

    That’s the beauty of retaining your own distinctive cultural identity, geographical and historical border and a separate system of law. The Scottish electorate is a partner in a treaty, a partner with basic rights and interests under international law and if those interests or their will is compromised, a sovereign nation is waiting to happen at any time of THEIR choosing.

  7. Guga says:

    It is really refreshing to read the truth on Scottish matters; something we very, very rarely see in the English owned and English controlled media (e.g. the EBC, The Hootsmon, the Record etc. etc.

  8. wilhugs says:

    Great article as always Paul. My view of the 55 is that they never existed. I think it was more like 35. We can never prove that though, despite the evidence gathering post indyref. My hope was to have the first one declared void due to vote rigging, and for a YES to be declared. Pie in the sky, I know, but I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m afraid if we have another indyref they’d rig it too. How would we stop them? I’d go down the Thatcher road “Scotland doesn’t need a referendum, they only need to send a majority of MPs to Westminster”. I know that was before devolution, so my guess is if we get another landslide in HR elections next year, we can go. All pro Indy parties need to do is make sure their manifestos are clear. “If you vote for us you’re voting for Independence”.

    • Janis says:

      I also believe the vote was rigged. There were many ways to do this and even if half of them had been deployed it would have made the difference the WM government needed. I don’t think we should ever have another referendum, it’s just not trusted. We need another route to independance.

    • James Morris says:

      One element for future success in another referendum would be to persuade people not to register for a postal vote, and make polling day a national holiday so that everyone is free to get to their polling station.

      • WRH2 says:

        I absolutely agree with that James. I’ve never been keen on postal votes. We can never be sure the person whose name is on the paper is the one who actually voted. Then there’s the elderly in residential care. What safeguards do we have in place to ensure they put their individual Xs on the paper? If going to the polling station is too difficult for them, then we need to have polling stations in those places so the voting can be properly checked and monitored. A public holiday or weekend voting, as happens in lots of European countries, so there are volunteers available to help people get to the polling stations and serve as monitors would go a long way to dispel the vote rigging fears.

        • Jan Cowan says:

          Yes, I’m in total agreement. Forget postal voting and a public holiday would make it possible for voters to ensure an honest count the next time. With activists posted strategically we’ll win hands down!

  9. Steve Asaneilean says:

    So Reporting Scotland is getting pelters left, right and centre for poor quality journalism and a lack of balance/neutrality and suddenly it’s the best thing since Woodward and Bernstein.


    • Brian Powell says:

      That award is in the same category as bankers bonuses, and Idi Amin awarding himself the Victoria Cross (which he really did!).

  10. Shagpile says:

    Are these “experts” aware of the constitution? Seven years is the period of time which must pass before NI can hold another “constitutional teferendum” or “Border poll”; I believe it is termed. This is stipulated in the NI Act. Although laws can vary in different parts of the UK, I find it weird that the constitution can in a unitary state. Our unwritten constitution streaches to many pages and volumes of text including precidents and Acts of the Westminster parliament. So, could the naesayers change the timescale of this period of time? I seriously doubt it as it would require the consent of the ROI, the other signatory to the international treaty aka The Good Friday Agreement.

  11. broadbield says:

    We need to get organised for another referendum. We can’t afford to fail, because as each day dawns yet another instance of Tory nastiness rears its ugly head – claw back “pay” from illegal immigrants merely the latest of a long pipeline. It’s great to have an alternative media but we need to gather it together under an internet portal where it will be much more accessible to many more people – and then get the news about a “one stop shop” out there.

    We also need an independent Communication and Economics Think Tank to propagandise and counter the lies from the Unionist side and their cronies in the MSM and other neoliberal think tanks.

    • Ealasaid says:

      A ‘one stop shop’ would make it very easy for MI5 or other attack, would it not? Most sites provide links to other Indy sites, as does this one. See above, right hand side.

  12. Clive Scott says:

    Excellent post Paul. It really is astonishing that the elites and self regarding experts keep repeating this nonsense about Indyref2 being in their gift. If we want to be an independent country then we should act like one at every opportunity. So the line from a majority SNP at Holyrood should be when the Scottish Government assesses that there is an evidence based majority demand for Indyref2 then that is when the demand will be tested in a democratic referendum. So it will be when it will be – 5 years, 10 years, 15 years, maybe even never if more than half the electorate are determined to self harm. Nothing to do with “lifetimes” or “generations” but all to do with the will of those who live, work and die here and make Scotland their home. Each week that pass the obituary columns are weighted with “the 55”. My personal opinion is that it will be 10 years or thereby – I don’t thing the 2016 0r 2017 EU referendum will have England voting to leave as they will vote with their wallet in mind.

    On another point I would support a change of SNP name to Sovereign Will or something along those lines so that over time the Nationalist Nazi insult will look and sound as silly as it is. The eventual Scottish currency after the interim UK pound or euro could be called the Sovereign so denying the Britnats use of “groat”, “bawbee” etc.

  13. Nigel Mace says:

    Excellent and spot on. The RTS ‘award’ has escaped me and yet again demonstrates that the present establishment have passed beyond the possibility of satire.

  14. Mrs Topp says:

    It seems to me that when Alec Salmond made the remark about a ‘once in a life time opportunity’, he was reflecting on his own life. He had been fighting his corner before the 1979 referendum, which was when he realised that there was a very dirty tricks department in Westminster.

    The 2014 referendum was thirty-five years on from then and that’s a lifetime.
    This Question Time programme from 1992 is worth watching again with the benefit of hindsight.

  15. I am so glad your writing exists and that it has a platform to be read.
    On this and on your article in today’s National, I really think we are looking at one big long con.
    I look forward to the eventual day when the big green curtain is drawn back to reveal none other than some conservative snivelling that they didn’t really mean to manipulate and subjugate a whole nation with their endless propaganda and other state mouthpieces such as BBC Jockland.
    I look forward to the day that Jackie Burd’s referendum interview with Alecsammin will be shown in a documentary about the demise of the BBC and Ms Burd’s demeanour and crass rudeness will be greeted with howls of disbelief by the viewers much akin to looking at footage of The Black and White Minstrel Show. Un-fucking-believable.
    And so it is with Trident. It’s a con. And we are the mugs paying for it. It’s made of (very) hot air.
    Long live the dug.

  16. mealer says:

    Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland Mr Mundell said the other night on TV that there will be another referendum if the people want one,and that the people will make it known if they want one.Thats the way it is.How can they stop a referendum? Arrest the Scottish government and put tanks outside our parliament? I don’t think so.The people of England don’t really want us to stay THAT badly.

  17. gavin says:

    As the old saying has it—-
    “You cut a stick when you see it “………..else it will be gone……………
    If a window opens for a new referendum we can win, then we should grab it.
    If London and those who serve London’s interests don’t like it—tough !

  18. hektorsmum says:

    Well they know very little about Mongrel dugs now do they Paul, because I have known many to out strip 15 years, in fact I have a friend in the States with a pure bred but rescued Pug who is now on his 16th year and looks like to be making 17.
    Ah, experts, so close to their subject they know nothing. Those with the political will shall decide when Scotland will have it’s Referendum, that is folk like us who will make it clear. Given another five year term for the Tories it may be sooner than later.
    I too think the result was fiddled and I think time to end Postal Voting except in very exceptional circumstances, disability and being abroad, otherwise you go to the poll and vote. A weekend vote would be good, somewhere to go on a Sunday. Well that is what they do on the Continent and it seems to work. Only in this backward neck of the European Woods does anyone vote on a Thursday for heaven sake.

  19. lastchancetoshine says:

    Just like to point out that when Jim was elected leader He actually said “A New Generation is in Charge” (Guardian 14th Dec 2014)!!

    By that logic (and literally) we do actually have a “New Generation” of MPs. So errr… we’ll decide. Though i’d rather be sure first.

  20. Gavin C Barrie says:

    My money is on the SNP MPs finally walking out of Westminster in disgust, as the Irish did many years back. The unionists will delay, prevaricate,cheat and lie. It’s just in the way they are, it’s in their DNA that they must have more than their share.

  21. Brian Powell says:

    We have to remember the ‘experts’ invested their whole careers and reputations on producing ‘expert opinion’, or shite as the rest of us know it.
    They must move quickly to use their ‘expert’ position in society to cover up the complete waste of time in their life”s work.

  22. macart763 says:

    You’ve obviously seen this Paul:

    Any thoughts?

    This is a bit of a major embarrassment for the government and unionist parties who jumped on the bandwagon at the time.

    As for Branch manager elect Ms Dugdale’s conduct over the issue?

    Oh dang! No farmyard produce required I think, there’s enough egg on face.

  23. Saor Alba says:

    Ms Dugdale’s conduct in this matter was absolutely disgusting and she could not wait to throw mud, even though she did not know of its veracity or otherwise. It sums her up.
    Wee Wullie Rennie’s part in this was equally disgusting. He was only too ready to pitch in without the use of any evidence and, like his party, he is a total irrelevance. Like Murphy, these two are careerists, lack leadership and dignity, and are willing to pursue any avenue to further their own interests, even if it involves avoiding the truth.
    Carmichael’s apology is an insult. His action was not a misjudgement, it was dishonourable. He lied, got caught and only then decided to apologise. How can anyone possibly believe anything this character says now. The investigation cost the taxpayer £1.4 million. Why should the taxpayer be liable for this? Carmichael should pay this back to the taxpayer.
    Unionist parties are totally untrustworthy in my opinion.

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