Talkin’ bout Kezia’s genertaion

Labour’s holding its Scottish party conference this weekend, and no one cares, not even most of the Labour party. Despite all the big words, some of which have been spelled correctly, the conference won’t change anything. Labour is the junkie child who has promised to mend their ways so often that no one believes them any more. And like many addicts, Labour insists that it’s going to mend its ways while insisting with equal vehemence that none of it is their own fault. It’s all the fault of bad people, bad influences, SNPbad making Labour a poor defenceless victim. Labour lives in a permanent Halloween, where the SNP bogey man lurks behind every corner but there’s never any sweeties. Delegates to the Labour conference scare one another shitless by sneaking up behind each other and yelling SNP!

The truth is it no longer matters what Labour promises. On Thursday evening Scottish branch office manager Kezia Dugdale made an appearance on the BBC’s Question Time programme. Kezia announced in what was obviously a pre-rehearsed speil that very soon her party was going to have singing policies, dancing policies, Scottish policies. We’d be rushing back to the Labour church like atheists who’d just witnessed an apparition of the Virgin Mary manifesting itself in the pages of a Richard Dawkins book. All sorts of goody wonderfulness is about to happen to Labour in Scotland and those who vote for them, so much so that Mary Poppins will appear like a hard bitten cynic in comparison. Kezia’s spreech – a cross between an oration and a scream for help, in case you were wondering – reached its crescendo, lifted aloft on her hopes and dreams and carefully crafted sentences from the press office and all that was missing was Jim Murphy’s halo … and then came the silence that sucks out the soul.

No one clapped. No one jeered. No one harrumphed. There was no laughter, no derision, just the cold silence lost in the depths of space far from the warmth of any sun that says we’ve heard all this before. It was the silence of a nation cleaning its fingernails, the silence of a country that was wondering why there’s a greater grasp of political nuance on the Jeremy Kyle show, the silence of a nation looking embarrassedly at its watch in the hope that the torture of seeing a young woman make a fool of herself live on TV might end soon.

Sadly Kezia’s embarrassment didn’t end there. While her appearance on Question Time, recorded early in the evening, was being broadcast, she was also appearing live on STV in a car crash of an interview in which her attempts to explain how the Labour party in Scotland really was autonomous this time honest dissolved in the acid bath of mild enquiry. Incapable of answering the simplest question on how exactly her own proposals were going to work in practice, Kezia attempted to deflect, dodge and blame the SNP. Welcome to the new politics, same as the old politics.

The following day a Labour campaign video was released online, pitching Kezia – who’s spent her entire adult life as a policy wonk – as da voice of da yoot. It succeeded marvellously , if succeeding marvellously is defined as proving that Labour in Scotland is going to be completely autonomous from the rest of the Labour party when it comes to spelling. Kezia’s campaign video was talkin bout my genertaion. It was a trivial matter, but it compounded the image of an out of touch party going through the mtoions. What was more significant was the promise made in the video that Kezia aspired to be the leader of a strong oppostiion. Labour has pretty much admitted that it’s not going to be in power for a very long time.

The conference itself spent more time attacking the SNP than it did attacking the Tories. The promise to debate Trident and perhaps pass a resolution against renewing it was undermined by another resolution adopted by the Labour conference that Trident renewal represented a way of protecting the steel industry. Although I thought it was lead plate that was needed to protect ourselves from the radioactive fallout.

Jeremy came and promised sunshine. In Scotland. He also claimed that the SNP government was a grevious threat to human freedom, by which he presumably meant Labour’s freedom to reign unchallenged. Jezza and his pal John the shadow chancellor spent far more time attacking the SNP than they did the Tories.

Kezia’s big policy announcement was a promise to reverse the cut in tax credits, which Labour will pay for by not implementing any cut to Airport Passenger Duty, by raising the income tax rate to 50p for the highest paid, and by “resisting Tory plans to raise the threshold for the 40p tax rate from the current £42,385 to £50,000 by 2020”. The first two aren’t going to bring in anything like the revenue required to make up for the income taken from the pay packets of the poor by the Tories, and the last measure isn’t within the power of a Holyrood government. Meanwhile Labour in Westminster thinks it can resist the Tories by abstaining.

Jim Murphy, Kezia’s erstwhile boss, fought the Westminster election in Scotland on the basis of Holyrood promises. Kezia wants to fight the Holyrood election on the basis of Westminster promises. Labour’s still attempting to get back into power on the basis of confusing the electorate, but when you’re dealing with one of the most politically aware and sophisticated electorates in Europe, that’s a strategy with limited traction – especially when we’re faced with the prospect of Jackie Baillie as finance secretary.

We’ve heard all this before so many many times. It was a lie then, it’s a lie now. Kezia’s problem isn’t a shortage of policies, it’s a shortage of trust. When people can’t even be bothered to heckle, it’s because they’re no longer listening to a party that doesn’t know how to listen. It’s because Labour stopped caring and so did we. It’s a relationship that foundered on the rock of a party that refused to budge from its privilege and entitlement. So Scotland ditched the sinking ship of Labour and watched it disappear beneath the waves of contempt and disdain. Kezia would be as well to yell from the bottom of the sea. No one can hear and no one cares. Labour is drowning in its own irrelevance.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

Aye robot

In the absence of anything positive to put forward in the way of policies, suggestions, or even pleasantries about the weather, Kezia Dugdale has decided that the way to restore the fortunes of the Labour party in Scotland is to insult all the people who used to vote Labour but don’t any more. That’s folk like me, and quite possibly you. According to Kezia we are “robots that are given a chip and told what to think”. Kezia knows a lot about chips, what with Labour’s definition of well balanced being to have a chip on both shoulders. Or in the case of certain Labour MSPs, a rancid sausage supper drenched in bitter sauce. It does not compute.

Driven to distraction by her weekly drubbing from the Hive Queen in high heels, there’s nothing left for the branch manager of Labour in Scotland except insults. By giving up on the Labour party supporters of independence have also ceased to be properly human, we’ve become microchipped robotic followers of the SNP without the power of critical thought. We’re the cybernats, the Aye Robots. And just to prove the point, hundreds of Twitter users individually sent messages to Kezia with the identical comment: “How dare you say SNP members are robots given a chip and told what to think?!”

Kezia’s definition of critical thought is to constantly criticise the Scottish Government for absolutely everything. What she doesn’t appreciate is that it’s her constant carping that produces a closing of ranks on the aye side. None of us intend giving Kezia the opportunity to go off on one, not when she’s already proven herself so good at finding entirely spurious reasons to do so all by herself. Kezia Dugdale wants to find reasons to criticise the SNP, the Scottish Government, or the independence movement in general, and she’s got a bit of a cheek complaining that yes supporters aren’t doing her job for her.

Kezia’s comments prove only one thing, that the Labour party in Scotland has finally had its chips and has exterminated itself. There’s a country hiding behind the sofa whenever Kezia appears at FMQs, hiding in embarrassment. The new Scottish cringe is the Unionists at Holyrood, they’re embarrassed by their own country and are an embarrassment to it. There are Daleks with a finer grasp of nuance than Kezia Dugdale, there are more sensitive Cylons, Borgs that are better at banter. After screaming SNPbad in a Dalek voice for the past decade and a half, no one is listening any more. Kezia is just voicing her frustration that yes supporters aren’t providing her with SNPbad accusations that might stick. Unfortunately for the Labour party, Scotland’s yes voters have learned that resistance is fertile.

The very same day that Labour was spending FMQs complaining that no one is listening to their complaints about the SNP, a Labour MP was up on an assault charge. Marie Rimmer, Labour MP for St Helens in Merseyside – and former leader of her local council – has been accused of kicking a woman outside a polling station during the independence referendum vote last year. Despite facing a charge of assault, Ms Rimmer is a member of the Justice select committee in Westminster. Ms Rimmer denies all the charges, and is innocent as she has not been convicted of any charge. Our media is treating her appropriately, as an innocent person whose case is yet to be heard before a judge.

There is however a very big but. Despite all the acreage of press coverage devoted to the Michelle Thompson affair, there were no allegations that any illegality had taken place. Yet here we have a Labour MP who is actually up before a judge for allegedly having carried out a violent attack on a woman, and the story scarcely figures in the press. If it had been an SNP MP who was facing a charge of assaulting a No supporter outside a polling station, the story would be the lead item on Reporting Scotland and the headline news in the papers for months to come. It would be cited repeatedly as proof that all independence supporters are violent.

Irrespective of what Kezia Dugdale and the Labour party might like to think it’s certainly not the case that the failings of the SNP are not given prominence in the media. The problem for the Labour party is one of overkill and a lack of balance. When all you hear are the deafening screams that one party is the most evil organisation since SMERSH, and then it turns out that nothing illegal happened, while the party doing the screaming has to face legal charges which get reported in whispered voices, you stop listening.

The only redeeming feature that Kezia possesses is that she’s not Wullie Rennie. Wullie in his wisdom – that’s wisdom in the sense of Norman – decided make the claim that the Scottish Government had broken its promise on student financing, because the Lib Dems have never ever done anything like that. Oooh Mr Grimsdale.

SNPbad is a drug to which Scotland’s voters have become habituated. It doesn’t work any more. SNPbad is Unionist heroin and they’re forced to inject more and more of it into the body politic in the vain hope that it might produce a hit. There’s as much chance of getting a high out of the British state as there is that George Osborne might share whatever it is he’s been taking before making one of his somnambulant appearances in the Commons.

I for one welcome our new robot overlords. The SNP have many faults, but whatever their failings they’re a vast improvement on the sorry bunch of burnt out microchips that pass for brains in the Labour party. Because it’s not like we have no experience of what Labour does when it’s in power – we have Glesca and North Lanarkshire cooncils for that, and last I heard no one was holding them up as shining examples of great government.

The party which lacks humanity is Kezia’s. For too long they’ve practised the politics of positioning like unfeeling robots serving a state that doesn’t care about its people, and now they’re paying the price.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

Welcome to Cairnstoon

Video of the first of two book launches of an anthology of Chris Cairns’ wonderful cartoons. The second launch is this evening at Freespace bookshop in Easter Road in Edinburgh. Me and the dug will be in attendance.

The book will be available in all good bookshops and online at www.cairnstoon.com

The video is by Phantom Power (@PhantomPower14 on Twitter), who also produced the Altered State documentary. Part 2 of Altered State is due out soon.

Constitutional necrosis

It’s been a strange week in the Ruritanian kingdom of Ukovia, where politics is a game played by rich people and Lords and Ladies dripping in ermine who debate austerity. The elected government, elected that is by 24% of those eligible to vote, decided in its wisdom that it’s unfair that the poorest paid workers receive such a pittance from their employers that state intervention is required to allow the lowest paid a basic standard of living. You’d imagine, in a normal country in a normal universe, that this undesirable state of affairs would lead the government to increase the minimum wage so that it really was a living wage, and not a sum that won’t cover the essential expenses. But we don’t live in a normal country, we live in Ukovia.

The basic Ukovian principle concerning the austerity that determines our lives because rich people say so is that in order to increase productivity the rich must be rewarded but the poor must be punished. This is a kindness, by cracking the whip on the low paid they’ll become more strivey. Rich people don’t need whips cracked, because they have staff who can be whipped instead. Rich people need to be incentivised to become more strivey by being given more for less striving. This principle is what has made Ukovia great, and made this country a world leader in patriotic baking programmes and commemorations of long gone wars. There’s no country as great as Ukovia for celebrating the past because most of its citizens have no future.

And so, municifently, the Tories have graciously decided to axe the payments to the low paid in order to send a signal to the rich employers who fund the Tory party. And that signal is that by cutting the income of the poor, the government can now cut taxes for the rich, thus maximum Tory striviness is achieved.

But this is terribly unfair, cried a whole bunch of unelected peers who get £300 a day in expenses simply in return for turning up to strive without actually having to do any striving. We’re going to take strong and decisive action, they resolved, so there. And there was much huffing and puffing throughout the land, or at least in the pages of the Daily Mail. And so the poor peasants of Ukovia found themselves looking to an electorally illegitimate chamber to protect them from the bastards in the elected one.

The Tories immediately went into full on outrage mode, disgusted that the unelected bunch of placepersons, donors, and has beens whose undeserved privileges the Tories did so much to preserve might choose to exercise those privileges in a way that the Tories don’t like. It’s a constitutional crisis, they cried. Ukovia has seen no threatened crisis like it since Theresa May said that a Labour government backed by the SNP would be the worst crisis since the abdication. In other words, a crisis is when the Tory establishment thinks that it’s not going to get its own way. They’re the rulers of Ukovia, and nothing must stand in their way, not Scottish people, not poor people, not even their own House of Lords. The only thing that never provokes a constitutional crisis is opposition from the Labour party, but that’s mainly because Labour opposition consists largely of abstaining.

If the Lords dare to challenge us, threatened the Tories, we’ll pack the Lords with even more Michele Mones than we have done already. Michele came from a hovel but dared to dream that she could escape it, and also to make sure that others couldn’t escape so that her dream remains hers alone. The Lords harrumphed like toads in a pond in an amphibian orgy. Davie Cameron called up Andrew Lloyd Webber and told him he was wishing you were somehow here again. So Andy flew in first class from New York at taxpayers’ expense so that he could join Michale and vote against poor people who might think I dreamed a dream.

The Lib Dems sponsored a motion in the Lords that would have sent the cuts to tax credits back to the Commons. Labour didn’t like that idea, because that would have meant that the authority of the Lords might be damaged by the retaliation that the Tories would take. They’ll pack the Lords with even more bums to warm seats than they have done already and that would totally undermine the legitimacy that it’s not got. Instead Labour decided to oppose the Tories by not opposing them at all.

So Labour bravely opposed the Tories’ evil measures by abstaining. They stood up to the Tories by cowering in a corner and pleading not to be hit. That’ll teach them, said the Labour lords. The cuts to tax credits are still going to be introduced, but they’ll be implemented more slowly. Instead of tipping the poor into a vat of boiling oil, Labour’s going to lower them in gradually. It’s a kindness. The poor will still be fried, but Labour gets some headlines and can pretend it’s done something useful. And it has, it has usefully protected austerity for the Ukovian establishment. It’s the Ukovian way. Isn’t it great? Huzzah! Hooray!

Despite a stance from Labour that was as principled as an email from a Nigerian prince who needs your help to release £10 million from a bank account, the Tories are still going to retaliate. The Tories have always resisted any attempts to reform the House of Lords, they’re certainly not about to abolish it, not when it’s a pension plan for Tory MPs. It’s not so much the £300 a day in expenses they get, but a nice title is always a big help when it comes to getting a cushy directorship on the board of an international arms dealing company. Now Davie Cameron and George Osborne have an excuse for sharing that love with even more of their chums.

Labour could have done something about the Lords in 1997 when they were elected with an absolute majority. They chose to replace the hereditary principle with the only thing that was worse – the appointment of their pals. Now we’re all dealing with the consequences of successive governments acting in their own short term interests. The Tories are about to repeat that, and another little bit of what passes for democracy withers and dies. What we’ve got right now isn’t so much a constitutional crisis as a constitutional necrosis.

If you want a proper constitution there’s only one way you’re going to get one. It won’t be in Ukovia.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

Westminster’s nineteenth nose-job

The cost of the Trident replacement have reportedly soared to an eye watering £167 billion, a figure wildly in excess of the excessive amount we were told it was going to cost in the first place. Britain needs Trident like Caligula needs a horse, like Norma Desmond needs a close up, or like the Scottish media needs an SNP bad story. Britain needs Trident far more than a low paid worker with kids needs tax credits, and far more than a disabled person needs dignity. We’ve got to get our national priorities right you know. Our austerity needs to be kept safe from long range missiles that North Korea doesn’t have.

£167 billion is an awful lot of money. Even Bill Gates would notice that amount going out of his bank account. It would fund the entire NHS across the whole UK for almost three years. It would purchase 198 new hospitals the size of the new Southern General Death Star. It would pay for enough Curly Wurlies to stretch half way to Mars, or to the Moon and back 163 times – and that’s without considering the savings you’d make with the wholesale price.

We wouldn’t need a space programme, we could just construct an enormous tower out of chocolate covered toffee bars and the job would be done. Best of all, no one would die of radiation sickness, just obesity. And we’d still have enough left over to pay Bruce Willis and a crack team of mavericks and misfits with unresolved daddy issues to redirect the orbit of an asteroid so it was on a collision course with the Kremlin, an option which would conveniently avoid the need to base nuclear missiles on the Clyde. All these things, even the Curly Wurly space defence programme, are infinitely more sensible than Trident.

Blowing up hundreds of thousands of innocent people is what Trident is for, that and for condemning hundreds of thousands of others to slow lingering and painful deaths from radiation sickness and disease. It’s a weapon of genocide. It’s not the likes of Putin or Kim Jong-il that it’s directed against, they’ll be safe underground in the deepest of bunkers with enough Curly Wurlies to last for decades. The ones who will die will be punters like you and me.

Tory MP Crispin Blunt – although when you’ve got an MP called Crispin it’s probably superfluous to tell you he’s a Tory – said that £167 billion was too high a cost to be rational or sensible. Presumably in the mental universe of Tory MPs there’s a dearth of Curly Wurlies but there’s clearly a price at which it is rational and sensible to blow up the planet and reduce the straggling survivors of humanity to a Mad Max dystopian future. We don’t need Trident for that, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith are doing a perfectly good job of dismantling civilisation as it is.

Despite the fact that 57 out of Scotland’s 59 MPs are opposed to Trident, and this most certainly isn’t an English only issue, the people of Scotland are going to get the Trident renewal imposed upon us. We’ll be outvoted by Tories, and by Labour and Lib Dems who are indistinguishable from Tories when it comes to the aggrandisement of the British state. There’s no price too high for the British state’s pretensions to great power status. Trident renewal is like installing a jet engine on a Lada and entering it in a Formula One race. Only there’s no steering wheel – because that remains with the Pentagon. Even though the MoD wants us to believe that Trident is a completely independent UK nuclear weapon, the Americans keep control of the targetting system. Trident isn’t even the UK’s missile, it’s a branch office of the USA’s – and one that British politicians eagerly sell us into penury to pay for. We’d be better off with the souped up Lada.

Trident serves no meaningful defensive purpose. It has a political purpose, and that purpose is to allow UK politicians to make like they’re important on the world stage. The UK pays through the nose for Trident to indulge the Great Power fantasies of the British establishment but for the British establishment Trident renewal is like Michael Jackson’s nineteenth nose job. The British establishment looks at the man in the mirror and sees a world class performer at the top of his game, everyone else sees a wasted and deluded has been with a dodgy record on child protection who is trading on past glories. Punching above our weight means punching ourselves on a false nose.

Despite the election of Jeremy Corbyn – whose anti-nuke credentials are impeccable – as leader, the UK Labour party still managed to sneak a commitment to the renewal of Trident through their party conference. Labour in Scotland may or may not decide to adopt a policy opposing renewal, although even if they do Scotland will still get weapons of mass destruction imposed on the Clyde. The truth is that we live in a Unionist state whose politicians are so out of touch with ordinary people that we had to hope that a bunch of unelected has beens, bishops, barons and bungers would slap them down on the issue of tax credits. But all that happened was just a slap on the wrists, thanks to Labour.

Labour peers abstained on a Lib Dem motion which would have killed the cuts. The tax credit cuts live on thanks to Labour. The vote in the Lords introduces a three year delay in imposing them on those who already receive them. New claimants will experience the cuts immediately. This is the kind of protection that Labour offer to the hard working striving families that they eulogised before the election. Even Michael Jackson’s nose was more authentic than Labour’s pretensions to defend the working classes.

If the Tories and Labour are so remote from everyday life that they don’t care about making the low paid strivers and hard working families pay for tax cuts for big businesses, they’re not going to care about imposing the Union’s fetish toys on Scotland. There’s only one way we can defend ourselves from Trident, only one way we have a chance of ensuring that the poor don’t pay for the sins of the rich. That way doesn’t run through the Westminster parliament.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

A fart in a hurricane

It was the Scottish Lib Dem conference this weekend, held in the big cupboard off the upstairs back room of the Bus Driver’s Arms pub in Kelty. Once the buckets and spare mops had been moved out of the way, and the cleaner had found somewhere else to put the toilet paper that wasn’t being used to write speeches on, the packed delegate got down to the serious business of saying how bad the SNP is. It’s very very bad, in case you were wondering. The SNP divides the country by having policies that they put to the people for a democratic vote and then allowing them to debate them and choose whetherr they want to support them. Shocking behaviour, dividing people with their vile democracy and participation.

The Lib Dems are outraged that nearly half the polis in Scotland are pissed off with their jobs, although they’re not so keen to admit that the reason the polis aren’t happy is because of the changes to pensions introduced by Danny Alexander. Danny used to be an MP, now he’s a ministerial car-less has-been in search of a past to have had. The Lib Dems also think that there are not enough women Lib Dems holding elected office, although to be fair before you can have women MPs or MSPs you really need to be able to win some elections. Danny Alexander has a lot to do with that, perhaps they ought to take it up with him.

The highlight of the conference, that’s highlight in the same way that a plook is a prominence on an arse cheek, was Wullie Rennie’s speech. The leader of the party in Scotland made a keynote speech to the light switch because no one else was listening. The light switch wasn’t listening either but was too polite to turn off. The speech was a heartfelt plea for Scottish people not to keep discussing all the things that Wullie doesn’t want to talk about, like independence or Alistair Carmichael or why the party hasn’t paid the polis for protecting them from the wrath of the public when they were fully fledged Tory enablers. Wullie’s been feeling left out of the national conversation on account of the fact that the nation pays about as much attention to the Lib Dems as Sepp Blatter does to the opinions of Roy of the Rovers on corruption in fitba.

Wullie has the solution to the fact that the electorate of Scotland care as much about the Lib Dems as the BBC weather department cartographers do about equal area projection. The Lib Dems can become relevant again if everyone else in Scotland changes their mind about what’s important and agrees with what Wullie and the Lib Dems think is important. Then the Lib Dems can keep on being the same. This is the sort of insight and strategic thinking that led to Wullie getting the gig as leader of the party in the first place, that and the fact that there was no one else left.

Scotland should really be talking about other things, Lib Dem things, Wullie Rennie things, like the SNP being bad, the timetable of the number 17 from Cowdenbeath, and Alistair Carmichael being a poor put upon sowel who’s being unfairly subject to a witchhunt just for smearing slurring and lying through his teeth in order to influence an election result. If only Scotland could stop talking about how we’re being screwed over by a Tory government that only a tiny minority of Scots voted for, about how our MPs have been made second class, and how the poor are being made to pay for the sins of the rich. If only Scotland could stop discussing how the Labour party under Jeremy Corbyn and Kezia Dugdale is as effective a protection against the depredations of the Tories as a burst condom at an orgy. We cans solve these problems with independence, but Wullie wants Scotland to stop having these conversations, then we can get back to listening to him. It’s like being told our problem isn’t the hurricane that’s destroying our homes, it’s the beans we had for dinner making us fart.

The only interesting thing about the Lib Dems is what they don’t want us to talk about. And that’s the impending court case which Alisdair Carmichael is going to have to face. His defence is that while he may be a liar liar with his pants on fire, it’s only his political pants that are combustible, and that makes it all perfectly OK. Anyway, he’s apologised for it, so we should just move on. This is another interesting feature of politicians, they’re allowed to tell political lies, and when they’re caught out it’s us who are in the wrong for expecting them to take responsibility over and above a grudging partial apology hedged around with qualifications.

Tony Blair is attempting this trick at the moment, as he makes a partial apologetic non-apology for everyone else being more to blame for Iraq than he is. Tony is making this apologoid in the hope that by the time the Chilcot Inquiry findings are published, the public will have accepted his contrition and will have moved on. Although by the time the Chilcot Inquiry findings are published continental drift will have pushed Australia into collision with Asia, the ice caps will have melted, re-frozen, and melted again – but the Labour party in Scotland still won’t have evolved intelligence, or indeed a spine, and the Lib Dems will still be as irrelevant as Wullie Rennie popping up at the end of Furst Meenister’s Questions like the and finally segment at the end of the news.

The only useful thing about the Lib Dems is to act as a warning to other political parties about what happens when a political party loses its relevance and its purpose. The Labour party in Scotland should examine them carefully, that’s their future, staring at them in Wullie Rennie’s pleading eyes. The Lib Dems were once the dominant party across much of Scotland, they were the establishment, a power in the land. Now they’re a pathetic remnant, farting in a hurricane.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

A rapidily disuniting kingdom

Welcome to second class citizenship, Scottish people. You now live in a country whose elected representatives no longer have the same rights as representatives from other parts of the UK. You now live in a country which has no say over the determination of its overall budget. You now live in a country where representatives from another member country of the UK can vote on your laws, but your representatives cannot vote on theirs because some nations are more equal than others. Welcome to the rapidly disuniting Kingdom.

During the independence referendum, Westminster vowed to Scotland that if we voted No we’d be voting for safer and faster constitutional change. And that’s exactly what’s happened. There’s safer and faster constitutional change for England. There’s safer and faster constitutional change for the Tories to screw you over. There’s safer and faster constitutional change that means Scotland is legally a second class part of the Union. That’s the only way in which the vow has been fulfilled. And there goes the Union, fulfilled safer and faster down the toilet.

The American Revolution was fought on the basis that the greatest tyranny is taxation without representation. This is a bit hyperbolic. A greater tyranny is taxation without representation and a crappy BBC weather map. The American revolutionaries didn’t have to put up with a weather map that showed the USA smaller than Belize, but even so they were so annoyed that they flung all the tea into Boston Harbour. Although to be fair that was probably because they’re Americans who think tea can be made by dunking a teabag briefly into lukewarm water. We’ve got the taxation without representation, the weather map, and on top of it all we’re governed by a man whose sexual role play is literally and not figuratively hammy.

So what happened on Thursday was that the Tory government in a fit of pettit lippedness said that it was terribly unfair that 59 Scottish MPs can gang up on 533 English MPs and pass an opinion on English legislation. Scottish MPs can’t actually impose any laws on England, all they can potentially achieve is to swing a vote for one side when the opinion of English MPs is fairly evenly divided. This is a fundilimundellly law of arithmetic which has seemingly escaped the attention of the Tory government and the massed ranks of the right wing press. What Scottish MPs can’t do to England is what English MPs can and do do to Scotland.

This is the same Tory government which has got just one MP from Scotland, which has packed the Scottish affairs committee with English MPs and which voted down every amendment to the Scotland Bill proposed by Scotland’s MPs. Scottish MPs from opposition parties having a minority influence on English laws is unfair, but English Tory MPs having a majority say over Scottish laws is the British way.

Ian Murray, the Honourable Member for Red Morningside, is really pissed off about it. He’s so angry that he didn’t even abstain this time. There was him last year, all dressed up in a Union fleg suit, campaigning for the right of the Tories to rule Scotland, and the Tories go and reward him by making him a second class MP and giving Michele Mone more rights to vote on legislation than he’s got. Ruth Davidson wasn’t so displeased, although it’s hard to say as she spent Thursday putting out tweets about Justin Bieber.

The changes mean that no Scottish MP can ever become Prime Minister, or hold one of the major offices of state. Scottish MPs will not be able to vote with their government on crucial issues which are deemed England only and you can’t have a Prime Minister who is unable to vote for his or her own government. If a Prime Minister isn’t legally allowed to vote on government policies, then that Prime Minister can have no right to determine those policies in the first place. Scotland is now a country whose elected representatives have no right to become senior members of the government that sets Scotland’s budget, that decides whether Scotland goes to war, that determines our taxes, that negotiates with foreign powers on our behalf. At a stroke Cameron and the Tories have removed the basis of the Treaty of Union. There is no Union anymore, there is only the Scotland catch’d by England and clasped tight in an asphyxiating embrace.

Even though this is the most important constitutional change since the introduction of devolution, BBC Scotland doesn’t really want to talk about it except to point out that the SNP is really bad. It was covered on the main 6 O’Clock news, where Eton school mate of Davie Cameron James Lansdale described it as an SNP grievance. It was quickly glossed over on Reporting Scotland as they already had an SNPBad story so it was squeezed between their NHS SNPBad story and something about fitba. There may have been an item about a cute little animal, but these days most of those run away and go into hiding whenever a Tory appears.

Several years ago I told a friend that Scotland will not become independent because it’s the settled will of the Scottish people. Scotland will become independent because the Westminster parties are incapable of dealing with the UK constitution in any way other than what’s in their short term party interests. The EVEL proposals have little to do with Scotland in reality, and a whole lot to do with the Tories ensuring that the Labour party will not be able to form a UK government. They’re quite prepared to ride roughshod over their precious Union in order to achieve that. All those UK media pundits moaning about a one party state were moaning about the wrong party and the wrong state.

Despite the constitutional earthquake of EVEL, this is still not the material change of circumstances we need for an indyref2. There’s only one material change of circumstances we need for that, and that’s the certainty that we’re going to win a second referendum. EVEL brings that a whole lot closer because another swathe of Scottish opinion will see that there is nothing in the Union for Scotland. The Tories will be the agents of their own constitutional misfortune. They want to solve the West Lothian Question? Scotland will solve it for them with independence.

Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button

Order the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug Vols 1 & 2 for only £21.90 for both volumes. A limited number of signed copies is still available, so get your order in now! P&P will be extra, approximately £3 per single volume or £4 for both sent together. If you only want to order one volume, please specify which. Single volumes are available for £10.95 per copy.

To order please send an email with WEE GINGER BOOK ORDER in the subject field to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name, postal address, and email address and which volumes (1, 2 or both) you wish to order. I will contact you with details of how to make payment. Payment can be made by Paypal, or by cheque or bank transfer. There is a limited number of books in stock, so get your order in today!