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.

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53 comments on “A rapidily disuniting kingdom

  1. Does Cameron, who is no fool, actually want Scotland to split off, giving the Tories hegemony in the largest fragment of the FUK (Former United Kingdom)?

    • diabloandco says:

      Not too sure about the PM being no fool – I am very sure that our WGD is spot on in his assessment.

      Hope the ” man flu” is better Paul .

      • Cameron is 1st Class Honours graduate in Politics, Philosophy, Economics, from Oxford. You don’t get Oxford Firsts without being smart (I was there). His special subject was UK political history in the 1920s, and his destruction of the LibDems shows how well he learnt the lessons. The Tories’ use of language (“reform” for destruction; “charter” for straitjacket, “Bill of Rights” for abolishing Human Rights Act) shows skill of a high order.

        It is a big mistake to underestimate your enemies.

        • Ian Rae says:

          Coming out of the EU Human Rights fiasco and implementing a UK one is hardly abolishing it?
          Or do you think spending millions of pounds trying to expel a racist preacher wanted or terrorist charges is a good idea, it was the EU that stopped us doing that?

    • benmadigan says:

      i suggested that as an option at the end of this post

      It’s certainly one view. The other is – it’s just the cheapest way to try and resolve the West Lothian Question (no need for an extra layer of government etc) – .

      But it doesn’t solve the Question which has been going on since the Irish wanted Home Rule in the 19th century.

      The UK has always fudged it because solving it would mean taking on board issues they will not consider and which cannot be resolved within the current framework – or even a federal set-up – without widespread changes that the UK govt is not prepared to – and indeed dare not – contemplate or implement


  2. Melvin Penman says:

    HI Paul

    This is to be expected in an oligarchy that the UK has become.Democracy was never the intention in Westmonster only domination of the working class by “rich Elites” This situation is a gift to the Independence movement. I can see the polls move to 60% before the end of 2015. Dust down the yes banners cause the British star is now the English state. P.s I guess the Secretary of State for Scotland now welcomes his second class ,ministerial status. He gets the ministerial Reliant robini instead of the Jag.

    • Phil McCavity says:

      Don’t be too hard on Fluffy, this hasn’t done his chances of becoming Prime Minister any good at all.

      • hektorsmum says:

        Well thank goodness for that, the thought of Fluffy being anything is absolutely terrifying.

  3. Fillofficer says:

    Fan bloody tastic. Mon the revolution. Power !!

  4. The Scottish Play says:

    Be not a niggard of thy speech! … Brilliant summation of the state of the Union.

    Yes, this is clearly a minor news item for the MSM, nothing in the reviews of the papers either.. a bit of a shame after 308 years…..maybe the National has something on it tomorrow.

  5. scotsgeoff says:

    With the Unionists controlling the media I can’t see how people will even find out about this or its seriousness; much in the same way that the UK Government legal opinion that Scotland was ‘extinguished’ by the Act of Union ‘by merger either into an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state’ – 11/02/14 was kept quiet.

    If the legal opinion about a country being ‘extinguished’ had happened anywhere else on the planet the respective media would be in absolute uproar followed by that nation’s public (same with EVEL really).

    But this is Scotland and our media is foreign owned and will not report news in a factual, unbiased way.

    This anomoly really makes me doubt where a 60% majority will come from so I really can’t ‘celebrate’ this new development in any way.

    • Neil Gr says:

      very much my own sentiments. There are plenty of events that would fill a bumper edition of the Reporting Scotland and outrage a majority of Scots, but we know that’s not going to happen. Yes made headway because of street and community activism: door chapping, leafleting, meetings in community halls.

    • Eventually the news will get out mate. We’ve got so far despite the state broadcaster and we’ll go the extra mile. It will take a little longer, granted, and it’s frustrating I know, but we’ll get there. The truth cannot be hidden forever.

    • scotsgeoff says:

      Should read 11/02/13 (shaking with rage/fear)

    • Dougie says:

      Its a mystery why yes did not use the ruling
      For clearly a No vote could not be patriotic for it validated Westminsters legal opinion ” that Scotland ceased to exist on signature of the Union, there is no doubt”
      And then goes on to state “there is no doubt like Wales,Scotland was absorbed by its greater neighbour England”

  6. What next? The annexing of Orkney & Shetland to Londonshire? Folk are getting angrier by the day oer the arrogance of these Tory despots. How much more are the Scottish people’s going to take? Saor Alba Gu Brath

    • They have already set up a front group to attempt to do that very thing. Google “wir Shetland”. These people will have less than 10% support from the people. But the unionist media will promote them all they can.

  7. I need to sell my hoose in Carlisle and get back pronto! Anybody in Dumfries got a job to spare me? 😉

    • James Patterson says:

      I hear Tom Morton,a well known Carlisle (born-and-bred) man may be the chap you’re looking for…….. oh,wait a minute….apparently he’s a “not uncritical Labour party member” who spends his time living in the “Zetlandic Archipeligo” where his wife chairs the local Red Tory Party and he spends his time writing pro-union,anti-Independence ditties which he uploads to youtube for his multitudinous worshippers’ delight. As a formerly decent broadcaster,it’s very dissappointing to see,or hear,how his foolish political hatred & prejudice against his adopted nation poisons his reputation. Still,he doesn’t have any financial concerns; he’ll still have plenty of cash to afford the goose-fat roasted potatoes and all the upper middle class trimmings to go with his Great British Bake Off turkey (or maybe guinea fowl,he wouldn’t want to be too common now, would he ?) etc. with not a moment’s concern for the thousands of lower orders who may be lucky to afford the ingredients of a cheese sandwich. As long as the man can afford his pretentiously named,stupidly expensive,now sadly unusable,touring bicycles – lets hope he can be happy and live a long and satisfying,rewarding life.

    • garles says:

      Well get to Gretna, Building jobs will be at a premium building guard towers

    • MBC says:

      We need every Scot in the Borders that we can get. Come home!

    • benmadigan says:

      know how you feel max – have a sister in Stirling – and envy her with what’s going on. Heady times indeed!

  8. Marconatrix says:

    So is EVEL what it says on the tin or actually ‘Englandandwales V for Englandandwales L ?

    I ask because I was just reading how the draft of the Welsh Bill to give more powers to their Assembly has just been published, and First Minster Jones is not at all amused. Seems in exchange for being a good ‘Labour’ doggie and wagging his tail in Scotland for BT he/they were promised all kinds of goodies, but when the pie was opened … well he’s saying that there are more stings attached to the ‘powers’ than are found on a Welsh triple harp.

    You’d think by now the Welsh would have observed events here in Scotland and realised what a dead weight ‘Labour’ was, but they still vote for them, and the Tories too. It really does make you wonder.

    My fear is than once Scotland finally breaks free, the full force of BritNat frustration will be unleashed on a Wales too weak to resist, by which time, Scotland as a ‘foreign’ country will have no right or inclination to interfere in the internal affairs of England-and-the-other-bit-to-the-west.

  9. macart763 says:

    That needed saying Paul.

    This is what better together feels like – second class. Be interesting to see the headlines in today’s titles up here in Seconclassland. For one thing it’ll let folks know, without a shadow of any doubt, just who they can and cannot trust to act in the electorate’s best interests. Now in any ‘working’ democracy, an independent Scottish press should be up in arms kicking up hell on the front pages. They’d be informing the people of their new status within our better together union. They’d be explaining the import and the impact yesterday’s vote will have on their lives, their votes, their democratic rights. They would be right in the faces of Conservative and Labour politicians demanding answers on behalf of their readerships…

    … in a working democracy.

    More importantly, such an independent Scottish media would get behind its readerships and attempt to redress the situation in their name.

    Ah’ll mibbies not hold my breath. Its going to come down to people, just ordinary folk, to make this right.

  10. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Actually I am not complaining too much as I think this nonsense will back fire and bring us closer to our goal.

    I have no doubt that the first time a piece of legislation is deemed “English only” when it has clear implications for the rest of the UK then there will be a legal challenge and it will become unworkable.

    The SNP need to be on their collective toes and highlight and challenge every discrepancy as soon as it becomes apparent.

    In a broader sense when are we going to see the SNP biting back against the current media onslaught?

    • Seanair says:

      I agree with your last sentence. I remember in the Blair days John Reid was on the BBC practically every day defending any attacks from oppositions or Tory newspapers. That’s what we need right now, but the ones who might “do a Reid” (eg Alex Neil)are tied up with their existing jobs.
      Any suggestions?

      • scotsgeoff says:

        Have you seen the links to the BBC Labour has (particularly in Scotland)?
        Of course Reid was on ‘every day’…

        Getting an SNP/Solidarity/SSP politician on Question Time is rare enough, they won’t be ‘allowed’ airtime on the News. (Not having a go at you btw Seanair)

        • Seanair says:

          Well scotsgeoff I imagined SG INSISTING on a rebuttal on radio/TV. How could the BBC/STV turn it down? Papers would be harder I know.

      • MBC says:

        From what I hear they can’t get a word in. John Reid was Labour, and had a lot of Labour buddies the press willing to give him a hearing. Not so the SNP. The same Labour buddies are intent on keeping the SNP out of the airwaves.

    • macart763M says:

      As suspected Steve, the only front page carrying the story? The National.

      There was a small box on the front page of the Scotsman, but nowhere near any real prominence given.

      As for the rest of the ‘Scottish’ titles? Well we know where we stand on who to trust with public welfare and our democratic rights don’t we?

      The SNP have given a pretty fair layman’s explanation on their own site, but since the meeja won’t give them the time of day its going to be up to our new media and the voting public to spread the word. Not for the first time ‘our’ media have failed their readerships/viewers.

  11. Jim Morris says:

    Hong Kong enjoyed Westminster rule for 105 years without every needing to vote for anything, local or international. What if we re-negotiate the Act of Union?

    • gerry parker says:

      That seems a reasonable request. After all, Cameron is re negotiating the EU membership agreement. Might be an idea for a petition to the Scottish Parliament.

      • Patience is a Virtue says:

        I agree it is a reasonable request. Whilst it may seem like a ‘reasonable’ request, the Act of Union is ‘Indissoluble’ and all the more credit due to those who made the Referendum vote happen in the first place. Having a mechanism for periodic review e.g. every 10 years in the Mother of Parliaments (but that has turned out to be a bit EVEL) and voting on it in/out e.g. every 50 years was a proposal I submitted (it seems so long ago now) to the Smith Commission, but to no avail.

        Indeed it has transpired, as we all know, but many will not admit (or do not see!) that Nothing, not even the permanence of the Devolved Scottish Parliament -as warned by Smith himself, has been delivered by the ‘listening to Scotland ‘ Westminster, now ‘English only’ 10:1 majority EVEL Parliament.
        Also lost (and overlooked by the MSM), just as the EVEL was absent this morning in today’s papers (the most important news in 308 years! for all in these Islands) was the various Bills put before Parliament in recent month/Scotland Bill etc was one to have a ‘Constitutional Covention’ (voted down, steamrollered also). I reckon this was the last chance to save [and address the failings of] the Union.

        The ‘Union could possibly have been saved at this point -as to continue with iniquity of a 10:1 bias, as evident by almost the entirity of Scotland being represented now by SNP MP’s yet no real power, as always voted down by this inquitoius majority ….and of course the abstaining /absent/and currently talentless and ineffective Labour MPs – but they are yesterday’s news now… the future is now logically with Scotland.

        The Act of Union it is an ancient and completely out of date document for the modern world – [Scotland’s contribution to the Union has of course been enormous ] it could/might have been possible with broad thinking reopresentatives in Parliament to genuinely address the various issues we have endured and we face today- but the evidence to date is that (the Conservative Party) have achieved all they set out to do in their grand plan, and more, at the onset of the Independence Referendum. … including the destruction of the Labour Party (in Scotland and England), an overall majority in Parliament and now an ‘EVEL one’ where it s even easier for their caring policies to be enacted on our hapless inhabitants (in England) as well as all those other second class places as well.. not forgetting the attempted subjugation of Hope.

        The absence of the ‘EVEL news’ on this Realm on this morning’s newstands (except of course the National) is a damning indictment on the state of the Union and what is purported to be a Democracy (and as for the state of journalism in the those papers not carrying the most important news in 308 years) is .. well ….I let all you ‘No voters’ …. who may take a sneaky peak here… and who probably did not think you were voting for this [or maybe you did want to be formally made second class citizens? via EVEL) to ponder on… assuming of course this news reaches you!

        I have a clear conscience… as I voted Yes ..and will at every opportunity, no Fear.

  12. gus1940 says:

    With next week’s QT coming from Edinburgh it will be interesting to see who will be on the panel and just how much if any time Dimbleby and his masters allow for discussion of EVEL.

    How can Labour avoid having FiFi on the panel – what excuse can they possibly come up with to avoid her inevitable self destruction if she appears.

    • Sandra says:

      Having read some of the statements she has made over the weekend, as reported by Wings over Scotland, I think she would be well advised to decline any invitation to appear before she makes herself look even more ridiculous. Her tirades in the press and MSM this weekend, have shown her to be not only unacquainted with truth and delusional as to her own power within Labour Party, but also as completely patronising to her Dad and the thousands of us who researched thoroughly before reaching the decision to support independence as the only sensible outcome for Scotland. Having said that if she does take part, Dimbelby will quickly cut off anyone who slips through the net and challenges her

  13. gn2 says:

    The english votes for english laws idea would be perfectly reasonable – in a devolved english parliament.
    Labour are a joke, the SNP are deemed second class and the tories are completely out of control.
    We need to leave, so there’s a lot of work for us all to do, convincing no voters to change into yes voters.

  14. Lollysmum says:

    If ever a piece of your writing needed to be on the front of the National-this is it.

    No-one is going to even hear let alone understand what EVEL means to them unless they can see it for themselves.

    It makes me so angry & ashamed to be English. Roll on 2017 when I can remove myself from England to Scotland where I should be.

    • macart763M says:

      Don’t be ashamed Lollysmum, this isn’t down to English folk. They’ve been had big time and unfortunately that’s only going to be brought fully home as and when we finally bury the now utterly devalued political union.

      No they’ve been brainwashed by our chums in media at the behest of the establishment. For the most part they only know what their media tells them about us. We’re somewhere very far away y’know. 🙂

    • Don’t be ashamed of being English. You’re good people who were sold a pup by your leaders. That makes you their victims too. Take me with you when you jump the fence! 🙂

    • Steve Asaneilean says:

      As Macart and Maxstafford say don’t be ashamed.

      Despite attempts by Better Together and their backers to portray Yes supporters as racist,fascist death eaters the Yes campaign was never about being anti English.

      Whilst there may have been some anti-English supporters of Yes (and it would be naive to assume there weren’t) this does not reflect the Yes movement at all and I never came across it.

      Yes was always only about the desire of an ancient nation to govern itself completely. And it was always about welcoming anyone who shared that goal – regardless of race, nationality, or ethnicity.

      So do please come and live in Scotland – you don’t have to wait for independence to be welcomed.

  15. Pam McMahon says:

    Nobody seems to be grasping the fact that the people of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have been disenfranchised by EVEL. Our votes are worth less than the voters of England, because our MPs are not able to vote on the same bills and standing orders as English MPs.

    EVEL is a good dose of Bromide, to render us impotent in Scottish politics. We seem to be sucking it up without protest.

  16. sandra says:


    This is a gift……….

    we get to be part of the final vote
    we get to see the battle plan before we fight the fight
    we get to know who and more importantly why (to convert undecided)
    we get to decide which battles to fight, and which battles to distance ourselves from
    we get to sock it to those who thought they had won out of this, but have only opened up their people to more disappointment

    because we have the ability to vote down what they approve, they only have the ability to vote down what is raised in their own country

    we have the ability to scream if they try to do anything that would affect us without representation, they only have the ability to try to defend that action

    we are already winning with the point about Scots being unable to hold positions of power

    tell me when England wishes to leave the union, will they be allowed to keep the pound 😉

    or when they wish to eject us…….will not our position be stronger…….not my fault you want rid of us, but if you do I want want want

    AS is tonight smiling to himself

  17. “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.”

    Every bit of this is wrong. EVEL does not stop Scottish MPs from voting on anything that goes through the commons. All it does is introduce an extra committee stage for issues deemed by the Speaker to be “English only”. If the bill makes it to the final reading everyone in the Commons, including Scottish, Welsh and NI MPs get to vote on it.

    A PM or minister with a Scottish seat will not be able to sit on the English only committee but they’ll certainly have an English MP on to do their bidding, and then be able to vote with everyone else at the final stage of the process.

    I’m no fan of Westminster or EVEL but the lies that are being bandied about by the pro-indy camp are truly shocking. If you want to learn the truth about EVEL try reading this, from an intelligent, informed and honest SNP supporter: http://lallandspeatworrier.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/what-does-evel-actually-do.html

  18. Katie Izat says:

    Just a test reply to see if I can stop the wee ginger dug emails going to my Junk mail in future!!

    Wife of X-sticks

    Sent from my iPad

    • Lollysmum says:

      If you go into your junk mail folder & right click on the WGD message, it should offer you the option Not Junk. If you select it then it should ask you if you want to trust mail from WGD. Select OK & they won’t go into junk mail again

  19. […] Ginger Dug is lucid as ever in pointing out certain media’s seeming disinterest in this constitutional earthquake. Iain […]

  20. The Scottish Play says:

    Lennox: The night has been unruly; where we lay,
    Our chimneys were blown down, and as they say,
    Lamentings heard i’th’air, strange screams of death,
    And prophesying with accents terrible
    Of dire combustion and confused events
    New hatched to th’ woeful time. The obscure bird
    Clamoured the livelong night: some say the earth
    Was feverous and did shake.

    Macbeth: ‘Twas a rough night.

    Lennox: My young rememerance cannot parallel
    A fellow to it, ..some say an hour of daylight will be lost from this very day, and that in the catalogue of evels that have recently befallen this land, that snow has even fallen in October in the high hills and …’tis undoubtedly all the fault of the baaad SNP.

  21. Liz S says:

    The Tories laid the foundation of their evil EVEL on 19th September 2014 confident in the knowledge that it would .be perceived by the English people as addressing the imbalance of justice they felt.and also ensuring that the backlash be visited upon the Labour party, their partners in BT, with the Scots.

    The Tories were shrewd indeed to suppress their EVEL intentions, to be implemented in unison with the supposed extra powers ( Ha! ) to the Scottish parliament, throughout the referendum BT campaign.

    They also outplayed Labour pre General election by pandering to the English people’s fears with their posters showing Ed M in the pocket of Alec Salmond, a strategy targeted at the English voter ( Not the pocket of Sturgeon, who some English people liked, and who was the the actual SNP leader, but Salmond , as the perception was that he was disliked and distrusted by the English people ) only.

    One could be forgiven for thinking that subsequent announcements post referendum and post General election that it is England who has benefited more via BT what with the Northern powerhouse and HS2 announcements and also the use of the UK parliament as the devolved parliament of the English.

    And as for Ian Murray’s jokingly tweeting two pictures of the front page of the national , one showing the real National front page with all of the SNP MP’s and words 2nd class and the other picture by him showing same front page ( Jokingly , not funny !!! ) a multitude of pictures of him with the wording 1st Class . Now that to me represents everything about the ineffectual and disrespectful style of politics Labour represents to scots voters. It is contemptuous and totally inappropriate but very much par for the course with the response we get from Labour to the Tories unending injustices .

    Perhaps Labour should abstain from politics altogether as their ineptitude is staggering and I for one would not trust a party who so desperately seeks power more than presenting a united front against the Tories . They have displayed both an ineffective and demotivated opposition against the Tories.They are to blame for EVEL as much as the Tories as they helped pave the way.

    Corbyn’s Labour same as old new Labour same as Tory party.

    Better Together , Nah , much much Better Apart .

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