Ten other things I hate about Westminster

1. Zombies
Michael Forsyth has a seat in the House of Lords and influences Scots laws and policy despite the fact that he’s so much of a loser that the English rugby team look down on him. Forsyth lost his seat in the Commons in 1997 when he was the leader of the Scottish Tories. He didn’t just lose his own seat, he lost every single Tory seat in Scotland. In any other line of work there are consequences for such devastating failure. If he was a doctor he’d have killed all his patients and would be struck off. If he was a teacher all his pupils would be unemployed drug addicts and the parents would have got a court order banning him from approaching 300 metres of a school. If he was a bungee jump operator he’d have been slung off a cliff with a snapped elastic. But he’s a Westminster politician, and Westminster rewards political death with a seat in the Lords. It’s the zombie plague of politics.

2. Elective dictatorships

The first past the post system of voting produces huge majorities for parties which achieve just 36% of the votes cast. Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair never secured a majority of votes cast, but they ruled for decades with massive majorities – the result was the devastation of industrial communities, wars, privatisation, and the enrichment of a tiny minority. But that’s exactly what the first past the post system is designed for, not to reflect the votes of the people, but to produce a “strong” government – which is Westminster code for a government that can do what it wants and not what the people want. The UK isn’t a democracy, it’s an elective dictatorship.

3. Sovereignty of parliament

Under the Westminster system, the people are not sovereign, the parliament is. In normal democracies, the people are the ultimate authority, in the UK it’s the Westminster parliament. This means that the British state isn’t run for the benefit of its people, but for the benefit of its political establishment. Westminster is the fount of all power, and it’s not keen on sharing it. It’s the myth of the sovereignty of parliament which means that real devo max or full fiscal autonomy is a non-starter, even though this is probably the constitutional settlement which most Scots could support. Under proper devo max, Scotland would be responsible for all its own income and expenditure, and would transfer an agreed amount to Westminster for shared UK responsibilities in defence and foreign affairs. But this would mean that Scotland held the power in relationships between Holyrood and Westminster, not the Westminster parliament, because Scotland could decide – for example – it wasn’t going to transfer funds to Westminster to pay for one of the many wars that Westminster is prone to going off on. Scotland isn’t going to get devo max or a federal settlement because it’s a direct challenge to the sovereignty of Westminster. Westminster isn’t going to let that happen.

4. Duck moats and posh boys
Ducks are cute. Tory politicians with duck moats aren’t cute. Tory politicians who expect the public to pay for their duck moats are taking the duck pee. Screwing expenses is a Westminster sport, as is leaving politics and sailing into well paid consultancies and directorships on the back of the contacts politicians made while in office. There’s no come back, there’s no oversight, because the people doing the oversight are other politicians from the same narrow social group playing the exact same game. It’s not against the rules, they bleat, because they’ve written the rules in order to benefit themselves. A lack of accountability breeds arrogance and incompetence, and those are the only two qualities which Westminster has in abundance.

5. Tories
We spend far too much time bewailing Tories, moaning about Tories, railing furiously at Tories, and hating Tories. In a normal country, the Tories would be marginal figures of fun whose extremist views were derided and mocked by the mainstream. But although Tories are derided and mocked by the mainstream of the public in Scotland, they’re not marginal in political or media influence because we don’t live in a normal country. We live in a country where the government is elected by the neighbours, and far too many of the neighbours like voting Tory. Because of the Tory hold on the neighbours, Scotland is blessed with a media where the number of Tory voices is ridiculously disproportionate to the number of Tories in the general population. Scotland doesn’t have a dialogue with itself, there’s a monologue from the bar bore next door and our interjections are rarely heard.

6. The British Parliamentary Road to Socialism
The most pernicious myth of British politics is the foundation myth of the Labour party which believes that if only a socialist party can gain control of the British state by achieving an absolute majority in the House of Commons, then all wrongs will be righted, all ills cured, and no one would ever have to see Katie Hopkins ever again. 100 years and counting on from the foundation of the Labour party, it has enjoyed several decades in power, and we’re no closer to the end of the journey on the British Parliamentary Road to Socialism. Meanwhile the road has turned into an overgrown dirt track covered in undergrowth in which lurk Blairite monsters. Jeremy Corbyn has promised to attack the undergrowth with machetes, but he’s already got stuck in the potholes of petulance from the Blairite faction. His chances of making progress and pretty much zero. The truth is that for the left in Scotland, the Corbyn project is a distraction, the only way we’ll make real progress is through independence.

7. Devolution
A power devolved is a power retained. The word devolution was invented by Westminster politicians because it implies the opposite of evolution. In their infinite kindness, they were prepared to loan Scotland some of Westminster’s powers, but the term devolution makes it plain that the ultimate power remains with Westminster and they can take back the devolved powers whenever they please. Westminster begrudges any loss of power, even a “loan”, and fights tooth and nail to preserve its overweening influence and control. Even when faced with an existential threat in the form of a Scottish independence referendum, Westminster still couldn’t bring itself to offer the Scottish people meaningful and substantial self-government. All we got was control of road signs and some half-arsed tax and social security powers which are designed to aid the Tories politically, not to answer Scotland’s needs. The devolution of broadcasting – an essential prerequisite for any self-governing territory or nation – isn’t even on the table. The Westminster parties use devolution as a political tool with which to beat up the SNP and each other. Scotland gets sidelined and ignored. Real self-government and self-determination comes from the people, not from politicians. We’re never going to get that from Westminster.

8. Doing whatever the establishment wants
Britain has no written constitution. What we do have is a load of practices, customs, and laws scattered about in various statutes, and what passes for a constitution means that the British establishment can do what it pleases. Customs and practices don’t spring into being because the constitution fairy waved her magic wand, they arose because a previous government did it and got away with it. Modern governments make up their own customs, practices, and establish their own precedents in the British Doing Whatever the Establishment Wants. These never further democracy. What we’ve ended up with is no separation of powers between branches of the government, giving the Prime Minister effective control of everything. The two main parties show no inclination to change things because they’re holding out for their turn in charge. The result is stagnation and decline and it’s never going to get any better. The only way to get a proper written constitution which spells out the powers and responsibilities of government, and the people’s means of gaining redress, is Scottish independence.

9. The moronisation of politics

Watching Prime Minister’s Questions is like sticking your genitals into a food processor because someone told you it was juicy. You can actually feel your neural synapses give up the ghost and die when you watch a debate in Westminster. It’s a guarantee that the MP for Safeseatshire will pop up and ask an entirely irrelevant question, especially when Scotland is the topic. Although to be fair when Scotland is the topic the Tory and Labour benches are usually empty, except when a vote is called when the Dishonourable and Disreputable Members ooze out of the bars and into the voting lobbies. Let’s be honest here, backbench MPs are not there to debate or to get to the bottom of complex issues on behalf of the people. They’re not elected to think, they’re unthinking lobby fodder for the party whip. We’re governed by morons who know nothing about us and care even less.

10. The Long Goodbye
Scotland is leaving the UK. That’s a prediction, an inevitability, a certainty. It’s not a question of if, but of when. In the meantime we’ve got to put up with all this asinine crap while we wait for No voters to realise that the promises they were made are as worthless as an intervention in a Scotland Bill debate from an inbred Tory posh boy. But the penny is slowy dropping. Scotland will get nothing from Westminster, and Westminster will never change.

The only consolation is that we at least have an escape route.

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39 comments on “Ten other things I hate about Westminster

  1. mumsyhugs says:

    Jeez! This is brilliant Paul! You should start putting these out as broadcasts on the likes of YouTube!🙂 You never know, it might lead on to bigger and better things – and you’re right easy on the eye and ear too!

    Hugs tae the dug🙂 xxx

  2. […] Ten other things I hate about Westminster […]

  3. […] Source: Ten other things I hate about Westminster […]

  4. Absolutely incise, dissection of the neighbours from hell. I just hope that Scotland has something left of our beautiful country before the Moronic Tories destroy it all and our people.

  5. Cag-does-thinking says:

    I did read today that the son of Lord Lucan is trying yet again to get him presumed dead, not so he can put all that nasty murder in the family stuff behind him, but so that he can do the essential things in life like take his fathers peerage and seat in the Lords. How we have missed his contribution to democracy. Honest.

  6. Bill Hume. says:

    I await the next “ten other things”………………you are, after all, spoiled for choice.

  7. mary docherty says:

    Phew !! That was a belter !!!

  8. Pam McMahon says:

    More good stuff. Have never been able to get my head round the sovereignty of parliament in England as juxtaposed with the sovereignty of the people in Scotland. Do Scottish MPs abandon their allegiance to that ancient precept that the people are sovereign when they enter Westminster and make their wee sweary-ins? I guess they must do.

    So, how does that work? The sovereign people of Scotland send people to an establishment which believes IT is sovereign, not them and can overrule them whenever it wants to? We should maybe stop sending Scottish MPs to Westminster, bolstering this incredible system. It’s not as if it matters whether they are there or not.

    • Yup, I’ve ofen thought about that Pam. Immediately they take the oath at Westminster, due they become members of the establishment?
      I’m also sure that our 56 don’t see it that way. In other words, it’s better to be inside the tent.

      • Many of the SNP MPs talk of ‘coming home’, old and new. They don’t relish being there, they are there to strategise, and see what works to the ultimate goal.
        I admire them for having to be stoic.

        • hektorsmum says:

          I certainly do not want them being down there to be corrupted a moment longer than is necessary. I do not think they will be, but looking at the rest of them, comfortable chairs and all that.

      • Pam McMahon says:

        We are still being pissed on, whatever side of the tent we are sitting. As soon as we elect a Scottish MP to Westminster, we are part of the establishment, and accept that THEY are sovereign, and can treat us as urinals.

        We, the people of Scotland, are sovereign in Scotland, and not the English parliament.. I fully accept that the SNP members we have sent there are competent and willing to fight the cause from inside the tent, but they are being pissed on as well, from INSIDE the tent.

        My question would be, why are we sending more targets to Westminster to be pissed on when we, the people of Scotland, are soveregn,in our own right, and can decide who governs us?

  9. macart763M says:

    Oh that’s a belter!

    That should be made into one of those plaques you see in craft shops, y’know like these house rules?

    Just about had a fit at No.9. A prime example of ‘its funny cuz its true.’😀

  10. Brian Powell says:

    Labour doesn’t believe this, they are going to save folks all over the UK by not doing anything for their own constituents or voters, except continue saying, Vote for Us.

    • Saor Alba says:

      This is covered by Paul’s statement:

      “The two main parties show no inclination to change things because they’re holding out for their turn in charge. The result is stagnation and decline and it’s never going to get any better. The only way to get a proper written constitution which spells out the powers and responsibilities of government, and the people’s means of gaining redress, is Scottish independence.”

      • Patience is a Virtue says:

        Point 8, Free Scotland, is indeed the heart of ‘the problem’ and is a matter of great concern.

        Any Government prepared to countenance the removal of the Human Rights Act against the express wishes of the Scottish people – you would like to believe it is ignorance of matters to the north of the North – but it is not- and whose current (Borg-like) tendency is to acquire other Parties’ policies, is one to be watched closely. You may soon find a ‘Conservative’ agenda ‘Constitution’ forced on the hapless inhabitants of all these islands.

        i therefore put this (draft for discussion) out there as a possible first Article of a Scottish Constitution (or Covenant)…

        1. Protection under Law and assistance to the poor, the infirm, the sick and to any person claiming or to be, or adjudged to be persecuted, so that their plight may be remedied.

        Assimilate that.

    • hektorsmum says:

      That and protecting the Party, all Labour worry about, hence McDonnell and his sudden withdrawal from agreeing with Osborne, to save the Party in Scotland, shouldn’t have bothered they wrote their own death sentence a long time ago.

  11. fillofficer says:

    you would have thought that getting 56 out of 59 MPs at the last election would have signalled divorce proceedings, as mrs thatcher actually said SHOULD happen. i just cant accept that my people wanna stay put & take pocket money from the neighbours, its just so wrong. i think the NS speech was a demand to the people to mobilise so that we can get the numbers up consistently for indieref2. she needs help. only WE can do that. desperate !!

    • Saor Alba says:

      They pay no attention to what Thatcher said in the past or to what any other Unionist politician (G Brown etc) may have promised in the past. You are absolutely correct fillofficer, it is very wrong and is one of the very many reasons why we need Independence.

      Unionist politicians in Scotland are lazy and politically inept. They just want to have the positions and authority without having to do anything to justify their existence. They simply want to follow ‘Big Brother’s’ party line, for an easy life and to pick up the money. The branch offices simply do NOT think, they utter statements which they are expected to make. Where is the dignity in this?

      The SNP Government at Holyrood, on the other hand, have shown that they know how to govern and that they have an appetite to govern for the benefit of the people in Scotland. Our 56 representatives down South have shown an integrity and professionalism which is sadly lacking in Unionist groups. The professionalism, dignity, debating abilities, work ethic and behaviour have been commented on very favourably by such as the House of Commons Speaker and the very well balanced, dignified and intelligent Jacob Mogg-Rees, the Conservative backbencher who is much admired by his opponents and is a thorn in the side of his own party, because he has integrity.

      Alba gu brath.

      • jdman says:

        “They pay no attention to what Thatcher said in the past or to what any other Unionist politician (G Brown etc) may have promised in the past. ”

        True but they expect us to follow the Alex Salmond’s “only chance in a generation” comment like it was written on tablets of stone and handed to him directly from God himself!

  12. Angry Weegie says:

    “Scotland is leaving the UK……… It’s not a question of if, but of when.”

    Hopefully, when we finally get the keys to the Scotland Office, we don’t find a note saying “Sorry,the money’s all gone.”

    • The modern asset stripping of Scotland, leaving aside what has happened over the last 308yrs, has already begun. Personally, and I am well aware of what Nicola said at conference, the fact that No voters condemned my great-grandchildren to live in a country governed by another, still sticks in my craw. Whether I will live to see an independent Scotland I don’t know, but I’ll be back on the streets tomorrow, trying to convince as many people as possible that the only way for future generations to prosper is with us becoming an independent country, starting with the S.N.P winning all the constituency seats in next year’s Scottish elections..

      • Angry Weegie says:

        Having spent the time finding out the truth about what’s going on, I find it hard to understand the attitude to independence of many of the no voters. I understand the concerns of the pensioners frightened by unionist politicians and MSM and even those who used the vow as an excuse not to take the risk, but why so many are happy to continue to be ruled by a bunch of toffs from another country is beyond me.

        Like you, I thought that this was something that was going to happen in my lifetime. Now I’m not so sure. Despite the increase in support for the SNP, polling shows support for independence remaining stubbornly low. However, all we can do is to keep trying to convince and that, combined with those who now see what they voted for and regret it, will surely get enough Scots to see the light.

      • Jan Cowan says:

        And we must all, Alex, follow your good example.

        Your writing, Paul, must somehow be made available to all those “no voters” who are still in the dark. Reading your clear explanations would, without a doubt, change many minds.

  13. Alan R says:

    Paul you should defo start posting on youtube.

  14. Saor Alba says:

    “The truth is that for the left in Scotland, the Corbyn project is a distraction, the only way we’ll make real progress is through independence.”

    This is a gem of a statement amongst so many other gems.

    Many thanks for another astonishingly good piece Paul.

  15. Jim Walker says:

    This is the best comment WGD has ever posted. It deserves to be retweeted, forwarded and advertised to everyone, everywhere. Reading James Barr’s, A Line in the Sand confirms everything you say.

    We live in a world carved up by the Eton and Oxbridge elite. It is Nightmare on Elm Street starring the public school system. Why can’t the stories dismantle that rather than the social security and health systems? Who the f*** needs it?

    Can Scots just wake up to this crap – thank you social media – and get us out of this hell before I die? PLEASE.

  16. Jim Walker says:

    I was going to correct “stories” into “Tories” but the autocorrect has maybe got it right.

  17. benmadigan says:

    No 3 . sovreignty of parliament –
    ” real devo max or full fiscal autonomy is a non-starter”. DevoMax/FFA is what was offered to ireland in the Govt of Ireland Act (1921). By 1949, even with an intervening world war, Ireland was a Republic. Westminster won’t make the same mistake again!!!! As you said!

    No 8. Doing whatever the establishment wants
    “Britain has no written constitution”. That’s one of the reasons why there can never be a “federal” settlement between the nations in the dysfunctional UK family . https://eurofree3.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/squaring-the-circle-what-no-means/

    No 10. The Long Goodbye
    Scotland is leaving the UK. it is indeed. When and how are not yet clear to us yet. But in a certain sense Scotland has already gone

  18. Guga says:

    The supreme authority in Scotland is the Scottish people,
    acknowledged by Lord Cooper as Lord President at the
    Court of Session in 1953: “The unlimited sovereignty of
    Parliament has no counterpart in Scottish Constitutional Law”.

  19. BampotsUtd.wordpress.com says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  20. northbritain says:

    Ducks are unusual in the bird world in that the males have penises. (Most bird species don’t have a penis.) What’s more their penis is corkscrew shaped. Some species of duck have a very long penis (in comparison to their body size) indeed.

    The North American species [but introduced to Scotland (and UK)] Ruddy Duck – a very small randy and aggressive duck – has a penis of about 25cm length. It spread widely and quickly and threatened the breeding population of the very similar but rare White Headed Duck in continental Europe. That prompted a controversial cull of the population in Scotland (and UK).

    As a result there are only 2 male ducks left in Scotland and no females. It is proposed that these males die off naturally.

    That number is similar to Unionist MPs. With the bother surrounding Carmichael and his tissue of lies to his constituents during the General Election ending up with him appearing at the Court of Session; soon the no. of Unionist MPs in Scotland might equal the last lonely Ruddy Ducks in Scotland.

    That’s a wee bit of a shame, I think. The Ruddy Duck is a colourful and comical looking bird and despite it’s renown for inter-species hanky-panky should in no way be compared to Unionists.

  21. Just back from a wee break in Blackpool when I read this masterpiece of a blog.

    Holy fuck Paul, looks like:

    War declared and battle come down!

    This is surely the start of the fightback.

    Fucking priceless!

  22. ArtyHetty says:

    Excellent Paul.

    I do wonder how we get the info and message out regards the ongoing horrendous situation that Scotland is in being shackled to wm.

    We need to get info out there about what the Scottish government are doing to alleviate the cruel and unnecessary austerity attacks from wm. We need to ensure that as many as possible know exactly what ‘devolution’ means for them. Many do not understand the system and the difference between what we can do and what we cannot do, in terms of making our country a more forward looking, life affirming one.

    Exactly which powers are devolved, how wm can revoke them anytime and have done so, and how they could also dismantle Holyrood if they really wanted to.
    When you say this to people in Scotland they do believe it is the case, they think you are mad!

    So, I will be gearing up to canvassing when feeling up to it physically and mentally, we have to get out there, to secure a win win for the SNP in 2016.

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