Bow down before your Imperial masters

The House of Commons has a committee which scrutinises Scottish legislation – yeah! Scottish scrutiny for Scottish laws – yeah! And it’s even chaired by thon guy that used to be in RunRig – yeah! Mind you, the committee has almost as many English Tory MPs as it does Scottish MPs – because that’s what we voted for at the last election, wasn’t it? I distinctly remember Paddington Mundell counting for almost as much as the rest of Scotland’s MPs combined, the BBC seems to thinks so. So the fact that the Scottish Affairs Committee is made up of four SNP MPs and three English Conservative MPs is totally fair and balanced right? It’s fair in exactly the same way the Iain Duncan Smith’s benefits reforms are fair, like Job Centre sanctions are fair. You know, Michael Gove’s definition of justice. And he’s Scottish, so we can’t complain or we’re just racists who hate the English.

Anyway, the Tory MPs are outnumbered by the SNP ones, so there’s no room on our shoulders for chips. But not to worry, just to make sure that the non-Scottish MPs aren’t outnumbered on a committee devoted entirely to Scottish matters and nothing else, it’s got three Labour MPs as well, and they are all representing English seats too. It’s the flip side of English votes for English laws – it’s English votes for Scottish committees.

So in line with the democratic principle of English votes for Scottish affairs, Scotland’s MPs are going to be outnumbered on Westminster’s only purely Scottish committee by six to four. Still, at least that’s not quite as bad as being outnumbered by 600 odd – some of whom are extremely odd, I mean have you seen Michael Fabricant’s hair? – to 59 which is what happens in the rest of the parliament. This represents a huge advance for Scottish rights and representation, because now we’ve only got six imperial masters to bow down before, instead of bowing down before 600, which really does play havoc on the knees.

So who are our Imperial masters who control our destiny but who were foisted upon us without Scotland having any say in the matter? Och silly us, thinking that we should get a majority say on matters that only affect Scotland. Who are these savants who know more about Scotland than any MP who might actually represent a Scottish constituency and have been given their job by voters in Scotland?

Christopher Chope is the Tory MP for Christchurch in Dorset. He’s not Scottish, although rumour has it that he did once mistake a grouse beater in Morayshire for a grouse. Christopher’s hobbies include scoffing at poor people, revelling in his sense of entitlement, and demonising benefits claimants. So fairly typical for a Tory then. Chris spent the Thatcher years introducing the Poll Tax, so he’s got previous experience at opinionating on laws that no one wants and no one voted for. In a previous incarnation he was a colonial governor, just like he is in this one. Chris is in favour of hanging, conscription, and keeping developing countries in hock to banks.

David Anderson is the Labour MP for Blaydon, which is in Tyneside so that’s practically in Scotland isn’t it? Geordies say things like “doon the toon” so it’s more or less the same as being Scottish. And some small parts of David’s constituency are actually on the northern side of Hadrian’s Wall, so as far as the Daily Mail is concerned that makes him a raving blue face painted Braveheartist. In the real world, he’s at best lukewarm on the subject of further devolution for Scotland.

Jim Cunningham is the Labour MP for Coventry South, but he ran away to the bright lights and bustling opportunities of Coventry from Coatbridge. So he is actually Scottish, a Tom Clarke who couldn’t make the mark. Jim cares so much about his former homeland that he’s been absent from most votes in the Commons on Scottish devolution since 2010 and on the occasions when he has been arsed enough to vote, he’s voted against extra devolution almost as much as he’s voted in favour. And this guy is the only Scot who’s been drafted in to make up numbers.

Stephen Hepburn is the Labour MP for Jarrow, which is also in Tyneside. There’s clearly a theme here. It is perfectly possible that no one in London appreciates the difference between Tyneside and Scotland, and thinks that Newcastle is a suburb of Edinburgh.

Dan Poulter is the Tory MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. But Suffolk starts with the letter S, and so does Scotland, so this qualifies him as an expert in all things Caledonian. He may have a Scottish granny. Then again he may not. No one really cares, just like no one really cares about Dan’s opinions on matters Scottish. He may have gone to Inverness on holiday once, if that’s a help. He’s only on the committee to make sure the SNP are outnumbered.

Maggie Throup is the Tory MP for Erewash, which I always thought was one of the kingdoms of Middle Earth, but apparently it’s in Derbyshire. Maggie may or may not be an elf, but we can be sure that her contribution to Scottish debates won’t be magic. Maggie was chosen for the committee because Derbyshire was the most southernly point that the Jacobite rebels reached in the 18th century, and Davie Cameron is hoping that Maggie will turn around the Caledonian hordes with her magic wand. Her Wikipedia page says “Maggie Throup is the Conservative MP for Erewash” and practically nothing else, that’s how great her dedication to Scottish matters is.

So these are the people that Westminster has chosen to have a majority on the only committee that will scrutinise legislation and ensure that it’s in tune with the desires and needs of the Scottish electorate. They’d probably have stood a better chance of finding people more representative of Scottish public opinion if they’d made a random selection of backing singers from Croatian entries to Eurovision from the past decade. But then representing Scotland isn’t what a Westminster Scottish Affairs Committee is all about. It’s about ensuring that Scotland’s affairs are dictated by Westminster, and about making sure that we don’t get any notions that we get a choice in the matter.

Can we have another independence referendum now please? This isn’t funny any more.

Update: It’s worse than I thought. There’s 11 of them, not 10. And there’s the same number of Tories as SNP MPs. The extra Tory is John Stevenson who represents Carlisle. Carlisle used to be a part of Scotland until the 11th century, but we really don’t want it back. They vote for folk like John, who was educated in Aiberdeen but had to go to Carlisle in order to find people who’d vote for him and his brand of old fashioned homophobia. John doesn’t like the idea that gay people can get married, but then most gay people – and a hell of a lot of straight people – don’t really like the idea of John either. So there’s some balance.

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50 comments on “Bow down before your Imperial masters

  1. Aucheorn says:

    How many “Material” or “Significant” Changes do we need. An option for a Referendum MUST be in the SNP manifesto. I know some are counselling patience but, my worry is that people are getting angry and somebody is going to do something stupid.

    • Bamstick says:

      Agreed. I keep thinking about lots of ways I could be really stupid. The more they take the pish the longer my list is getting.

  2. Nana Smith says:

    I can’t find my chuckle muscle either. I guess it is really difficult for our mps right now.

  3. Bamstick says:

    Read your piece in the National today and agreed with every word.
    This is not funny at all.
    I am trying not to read too much about this as my blood pressure, anxiety levels and every other thing that gets me going are way off the scale.

    And to make matters worse, reported on the BBC weather tonight were 19,000 streaks of lightning, worse in the North east of England:: Turns out 15,000 were actually in Scotland……………………….report came from the NE of Eng…. but I suppose it is near Scotland………….

    must away and calm doon………………..

  4. David Agnew says:

    In the end who can say they were surprised? Did we really think we would be respected in anyway? The plan had been to vote SNP get labour in and use our vote to try and keep labour honest, as far as Scotland’s interests were concerned.

    I am surprised only by labour allowing itself to be continually played and ultimately punked by Cameron. I have no second thoughts concerning my vote for the SNP. If I had to do it again, I’d still vote SNP. The SNP were not responsible for labours inability to win. Its labours fault that it lost to Cameron. No party has failed so comprehensively as labour did in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK. Its austerity lite message was never going to convince true blue tories to switch to them, but just repellent enough to scare off enough of its old core vote. Labour has convinced itself it simply wasn’t tory enough. Home court advantage counts for a lot. Labour are never going to out tory the tories. Embarking on this plan is going to cost them dear. It cost them Scotland and ensured that they would not have enough votes to win in England. The irony is that they going to become irrelevant chasing a couple of million right wing votes, when they should be trying to reengage with their core that could have seen them win on may 7th.

    Most No voters are very angry right now. They know as we do that this is how the union ends. They blame us for not voting labour. Oh labour would have lost but losing as part of the union shows solidarity don’t you see? It was just as important to lose, but still in the union as it was to win.

    Now its conservative and SNP divisive politics that will end the UK. It was the SNP plan all along. Let the Tories win and then end the union in cahoots with the conservatives. This is partly idiotic. One, the labour party lost important core “English” votes pursuing Tory policies. The tories don’t actually want to end the UK. Scottish labour lost Scotland largely because of how it behaved in the indy referendum. It wasn’t just being in bed with the tories that killed them, it was their lack of appreciation of how many labour voters in Scotland wanted independence. It practically gifted these votes to the SNP. The union will end because British politics has failed in Scotland. Forget the 55%/45% indy ref result. The indy ref was not an election it was a gauge of public mood and the end score is no more a vindication for the Union that it was for independence. It clearly showed that constitutionally the issue was far from settled and practically split the nation down in two. It was really up to the Unionist camp to address this issue and build bridges and reconcile yes voters to being British. They failed…utterly.

    The union will end because the tories are making the same mistake that thatcher made all those years ago. A narrow win leading them to believe that Scotland could be ignored and marginalised. Cameron is going one step further. He thinks he can humiliate the SNP and bully the Scottish electorate into backing a UK party again. He is so far in the corner of wrong on that one it should be made illegal. He is utterly failing to address the main concerns that led to the collapse of British politics north of the border. They think that they can hold Scotland’s vote to ransom as Miliband tried to do that fateful night when he said he’d rather let Cameron win. Thats why the union is going to end. For Thatcher, her party and its politics were the only things that got burned. This time it will be the whole Westminster system in the firing line. Its going to be an ugly, nasty and squalid death. It should have been a velvet divorce.

    • jimnarlene says:

      “Now its conservative and SNP divisive politics that will end the UK. It was the SNP plan all along. Let the Tories win and then end the union in cahoots with the conservatives. ”

      Whit a load o’ pish, that statement is. The rest of your comment, not so bad.
      This is not a cybernat attack, just my opinion.

      • David Agnew says:

        context jimnarlene context – that statement is the sort of thing I hear regularly and i did identify it as idiotic. Its not some cunning plan between two parties as there is no cunning plan. I apologise if what preceded it and what followed it, did not make it clear enough.

        this is also not a cybernat attack, just a clarification.

    • Jab64000 says:

      Well said David – I couldn’t agree more!

  5. […] Bow down before your Imperial masters. […]

  6. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  7. gavin says:

    When you become a colony, there are two ways to go. Accept your status and let the MP for Ersewash and her chums rule over you or,…………run your own affairs.
    First up, declare the Scottish Affairs Committee undemocratic and a constitutional disgrace.
    Resign immedietly and leave it to the non-Scots, anti- Scotland Committee to justify their English Votes for Scottish Laws nonsense.
    At the end of the day, EVAL+EVSL= independence.

  8. smerral says:

    Terrific post David Agnew – spot on!

  9. […] Bow down before your Imperial masters […]

  10. Gray says:

    John Stevenson (Con.) MP for Carlisle was also elected to the Scottish Affairs Committee according to the blurb on WOS.

    Not sure why he keeps being overlooked as he brings the Tories up to the same number of representatives as SNP.

  11. I want a second indy ref too!

    I remember the 1979 rigged Devo Ref; McCrone;Thatcher. The latter is tame compared to this ruthless, Old-Etonian Praetorian Guard.

    I genuinely feared the consequences of ‘NO’. Many scoffed saying ‘good ol’ blighty’ would respect our aspirations and I was letting my imagination run away from me. Ha! Good ol’ blighty’s contempt is palpable and this is worse than I imagined.

    We were within sight of the promised land but walked back into the wilderness and the Pharaohs are hunting us.

    My country; you are a motherless child and a long way from home, a long way from home.

  12. Fiona Brown says:

    I enjoy your insights thank you. You may be contributing to my retaining a vestige of sanity in this Looney union. May you eat well always.

  13. Jab64000 says:

    Well done David Agnew I couldn’t agree more!

  14. Daisy Walker says:

    Hello Folks,
    WGD – glad your back from your holidays and had a good time. Been reading all the comments here and on wings… completely understand the feelings.
    I was there a while back, now, well, now its time for THRAWN! And no-one does thrawn like us.

    John McLean – the fighting dominar, a whole book in itself.

    Between the wars, it was in the Highlands that the people started up a way of funding community healthcare – it formed the model for the NHS.

    After WW1, when the death rate for Scottish Regiments had been 26% compared to rUK’s 12%, and our wee country had provided the highest number of soldiers per head of population (there was one other – think it might have been Lithuania), what did we do? We saw the injustice of Fascism in Spain, not only did we provide the most volunteer soldiers, but the length and breadth of the country the women and the socialist movement started fundraising, sending food and medical aid – and nurses… and the Labour Party told everyone to keep quiet on the topic.

    Matt McGuinn – because he was brilliant – and if you’ve never heard of him, well lets just say BBC bias is nothing new.

    After 1979, while most of the country was crushed, behind the scenes, some never gave up, they worked the diplomatic circles in Europe, our Devolved parliament is their work, they backed Blair into a corner he could not get out of.

    And now? Two years ago I was in a minority and would only speak of my true aspirations for the future of my country in safe company.

    Now, it’s 45 n’up, and 56 and more, its Women for Indie, its Crowd Funded lawsuits against lying b’tards, Its Wee Ginger Dugs and Wings Over Scotland, Wee Blue Books and internationally recognised political engagement. Its twitter feeds ripping the absolute pish out of their nonsense, with wit and style by the bus load, it’s tin hats and high heels. And none of these groups are going to forget what’s been learnt and climb back in a box.

    Dig in folks, this was always going to be a long haul, dig in and get thrawn, after all, we are the latest in a very long line of people who never gave up.

    And most of all, especially at its darkest, remember, Independence is state of mind.

    Peace, Scotland for Peace, its own peace and nae-bodie else’s.

    Best wishes to all.


    • macart763 says:

      X right back at you.πŸ™‚

      Well said.

    • Scot in Sweden says:

      Inspiring words and rekindling of the spirit now and again keeps the focus on the goal

    • Alison Hardie says:

      You’re absolutely right

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      Good post Daisy. The only quibble (abd only because it’s a hobby horse of mine) the Highlands and Islands Medical Scheme on which the NHS was modelled actually launched in 1913, though true to say it didn’t hit 6th gear till after the First World War.

      I am glad you raised the roll of Scots in Spain. When I was a young boy I got friendly with an old retired miner from Airdrie who had fought in the Spanish Civil War. These were the days when the left in Scotland put their words into actions.

      Ten years later it was Tom Johnston bringing “power to the glens” in the face of bitter opposition from Highland lairds.

      You just can’t see either of the leadership candidates for (Not) Labour in Scotland holding a candle to these kind of people. And folk like the old miner or Tom Johnston would scoff at what the Labour movement has become.

      But I digress. I agree with Paul’s post and the comments but my worry is how do we get the message out there to enough folk to ensure success in a future referendum and not just talking to ourselves?

  15. macart763 says:

    Nice one Paul.

    The committee is a sham, but its a useful one, if used correctly. Of course they are deliberately goading again, they’re looking to provoke a response from either the 56 or indeed us. Just remember there are some very experienced heads leading our representation and they know what they’re about. Also remember all of what’s been done and what’s being attempted, and to paraphrase a wee bit o’ Burns, ‘gathering your brows like a gathering storm, nurse your wrath to keep it warm’.

    Business as usual, point and laugh or clinically dissect.

    • The Scottish Play says:

      Hubble bubble toil and trouble……..

      Lord Smith said: “But we intend this to be written in such a way that a plague of boils or something will break out if anyone in the future ever decides to prorogue, or whatever you call it, this Parliament.

      “So it will be said in as strong language that it is possible to be.

      He added: “But you are absolutely right, nothing is permanent because future governments, democratically elected, can change those things.”

  16. David Smith says:

    Holy fcuk! The honourable member for Carlisle onthe Scottish affairs committee? That’s like putting Eugene Terreblanche on the Executive committee of the ANC…

    Bow to the Imperial Masters? Like shite I will!πŸ˜‰

  17. Papadox says:

    The English Tory MPs are trying to rile us into giving them an excuse to bring out the big stick and use it, until we bend the knee and hang our heads in fear and do as they say.

    We have very shrewd people in the English Parliament and they are all as keen as mustard and very well led by some of the most astute politicians in the business.

    I am very angry but I will Waite for the time and the hour.

    Remember good people of Scotland, the darkest hour comes before the dawn.

    Then we will see who is laughing

  18. David Smith says:

    If they bring out a big stick, I’ll bring out a fcuking claymore…

  19. arthur thomson says:

    Thanks as always Paul. Thank you too Daisy. You are spot on.

    It is so hard for me and I guess others to keep a rational perspective on all of this. We have achieved so much in so little time. There are so many gains that we have made in terms of resuscitating Scotland. I won’t list them but I do want to say that I am more and more impressed by Nicola and her team.

    In the face of immense odds they are maintaining the dignity of Scotland. To be measured, intelligent and dignified in the face of a full on onslaught of blood and soil British Nationalism is a huge achievement. The cynicism and delusions of superiority of the Brits is truly breathtaking – when they have the whip hand. In the ‘mother ****** of all Parliaments’ , with odds of 11 to 1 they are calling the shots. They like to ‘strut and stare and all that’. Their arrogance is not pleasant to behold.

    But they are up against an honest body of people and they are going to be so upset when they realise that Nicola and her team are unafraid and are going to expose their mythical British values for what they really are.

    That will be an important step in the pursuit of our goal. We have to stand fast and be patient.

  20. jdman says:

    “Maggie Throup is the Tory MP for Erewash, which I always thought was one of the kingdoms of Middle Earth, but apparently it’s in Derbyshire.”

    Cumon pull the other one,
    of course Erewash is in in middle Earth,
    next you’ll be telling us wee Davie ISNT a Hobbit

  21. jdman says:

    The constant stream of petty attacks on Scotland by Cameron and his cohorts are a tissue thin attempt to force Sturgeon into declaring “material changes” and then he’ll do what he did the last time and “engineer” the result mi5 want,

    Im… struggling… to hold in the thought… UDI
    there I said it!

  22. Scot in Sweden says:

    I read somewhere that it was the Icon of Anti-Scotland Thatcher who said that all Scotland needed to become independent was a majority of independent minded MPs at Westminster. Perhaps that is over simplified but surely this cannot be too far from demonstrating the will of the Scottish people.
    If so then surely there are minds out there who can create a time line for things to happen so the whole state broadcaster, media, establishment and intelligence services machine can be neutered and the correct outcome can be achieved.
    Anyone expert at constitutional changes?

  23. Iain says:

    A maggie throup sounds like a euphemism for something you might catch on a long weekend in Magaluf. Erewash sounds like what you get on prescription to cure it. “Hoy, Danny! Is your thoup still a bit maggie?” “Aye but I’m taking the Erewash.”

  24. mary docherty says:

    Thanks for your great piece.Had that wee tingle of fear rising but reading the comments Ifeel much better.Aye choose yer battles wisely.Cheers All !!

  25. Thanks for the mention in the article Paul!


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