Labour still hasn’t found what it’s voting for

Wee Dougie Alexander, the political patron saint of holy wullies, has got himself a new job after being booted out by the voters of Paisley at the last election. The Guardian described Wee Dougie’s debacle as a shock defeat for the Labour party, but the only people shocked by it were Wee Dougie and the Westminions. The rest of us didn’t think it was shocking, we thought it was comedy karmic come-uppance.

After spending a few months avoiding a work assessment interview with the jobbie centre, Dougie has now been appointed as a poverty sermoniser for the only man on the planet with a bigger ego than your average former Labour shadow foreign secretary. Bono of U2 is paying Dougie a very large amount of money in order to allow Bono to believe that he’s a serious spokesperson on world poverty, and not just an ego with sunglasses and a back catalogue from the 1980s and 90s, which is the last time that U2 were relevant. Coincidentally the 1990s is also the last time that the Labour party were relevant, so you can see where the mutual attraction lies.

Dougie likes giving sermons, and Bono likes preaching, so it’s a match made in marketing heaven. Now Bono has another member of his entourage to take on the two planes he needs when he jets into a developing nation to hug an elderly person with a lip plug. One plane is required for Bono and his hangers on, the other is for the sunglasses and the hat. Although to be fair, Bono has listened to the critics who have pointed out the hypocrisy of jetting in on a private plane in search of a photo opportunity about poverty, and from now on the sunglasses and the hat will be flying economy.

Bono is the only person in the music business that even Chris Martin of Coldplay can feel superior to. He has a famously big ego. It is said in Ireland that the only difference between God and Bono is that God doesn’t wander around Dublin imagining he’s Bono. Although that’s a bit cruel, as Bono doesn’t wander around Dublin imagining he’s God, he’s got a luxury car with a private driver.

You’d also think that he might actually manage to find what he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for if he took off those pissing sunglasses. But at least he did finally explain why it is that he always wears sunglasses and a hat, even indoors. It’s because he’s a tit. Bono’s only redeeming feature is that he isn’t a middle aged man who calls himself The Edge. A middle aged wealthy man is as Edgy as a platinum credit card and a reservation in a posh restaurant. As edgy in fact as a former Labour foreign secretary with a penchant for writing pseudo-intellectual articles in the Scotsman about Scottish philosophers in which he manages to spell all the philosophers’ names wrongly.

It’s quite an appropriate appointment really. U2 are infamous for their tax arrangements, and Dougie was infamous for arranging tax laws so that very rich groups like U2 could avoid paying much tax. Then the two of them can get together and bewail the poverty and deprivation that’s caused because very rich people don’t pay their fair share of tax. They both made poverty history, for themselves. Bono can sing a wee song about it and get tons in royalty payments from Apple, and Dougie can jet off to a conference in a lovely hotel in an exotic location, and everyone is happy except the auld guy with the lip plug.

Now we can look forward to a range of Labour inspired songs from U2, like I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Voting For, How To Undismantle an Atomic Bomb, or Stuck in a Manifesto Commitment You Can’t Get Out Of. And if you’re exceptionally unlucky, the next time you buy an iPod, Apple will very kindly preload it with Dougie’s speeches to the General Assembly of the Kirk of Scotland.

It’s a bit of a come down, from being the man hailed as the next foreign secretary to becoming the man hailed as a groupie. Wee Dougie is the world’s most implausible rock chick. Sadly for the planet he’s got little option except helping to give Bono a donor boner after Dougie’s proposal to start a tribute act to the Carpenters failed to get off the ground when his sister told him that he’d have more success Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft than in getting her to work with him again.

It’s not entirely clear what expertise Wee Dougie has in reducing world poverty. You might think that if he’d been marginally more successful in reducing poverty in Paisley then he might have kept his job as an MP. But Dougie was more concerned with striding the world stage with very short legs and masterminding a disaster of a campaign for the Labour party. Completely screwing up what had been perceived as an excellent chance for the Labour party to get back into government might not seem to you or me to be a passport to a six figure salary, but clearly Bono thinks differently.

Likewise the BBC seem to believe that John McTernan is a political expert, which is true because he did after all mastermind the campaign that delivered the Labour party in Scotland its greatest defeat ever. That’s got to count for some sort of political expertise, even if only in reverse. And Jim Murphy, who is capable of starting a fight in an empty building and then nursing a grudge about it for decades, has been appointed as a peace envoy in the Caucasus.

The one sure fire way to end poverty is to have an unsuccessful career as a Unionist politician. At least you’ll never have to worry about your own personal poverty. Westminster politics is a career where the consequences of failure are indistinguishable from the consequences of success, and that is why our political system is in such a sorry state. Even when politicians are held to account at the ballot box, they just land some cushy post somewhere courtesy of the contacts they made during their time in office, or they get appointed to the House of Lords and continue to wield their baleful influence on our public life.

We might never be able to escape Bono’s ego, but there’s an escape route from Westminster, and it’s getting more attractive with every passing day. Labour might still haven’t found what it’s voting for, but the rest of us have. And it’s not Labour.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper. You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.


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. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

Great British double standards

There are two kinds of people in the United Kingdom. There are those who divide people into two kinds of people, and there are those who don’t. If you’re one of the former you can also divide people in the United Kingdom into two kinds, those who are allowed to level accusations of Nazi behaviour at members of the Labour party, and those who are not. It’s a bit like terrorism really. You’re only a terrorist if you have a brown skin or are of a left wing or independentist persuasion. If you’re white and have far right wing views – you know, an actual Nazi – then you’re not a terrorist, you’re just an extremist like the not-terrorist who shot up the family planning clinic in Colorado. It’s all part and parcel of the Great British Double Standards.

Great British double standards mean that if you’re a supporter of Scottish independence, you are most definitely not allowed to claim that Labour politicians are quislings, fascists, or gauleiters, because that makes you an evil cybernat and the papers will print articles for weeks demanding that Nicola Sturgeon comes round to your house to berate you personally on the doorstep while criticising your dress sense and your taste in curtains and insisting that you never vote in favour of independence ever again. This is because in the absence of a positive case for the Union, it’s only by casting Yes voters out into the utter darkness hiding behind closed poor taste curtains can the Unionist media ensure that there will be a majority for the Union the next time we have a referendum.

Remember when Unionist politicians were forever promising that the positive case for the Union would be along any minute? Ah the nostalgia. Now what passes for a positive case is Ian Murray finding new things to abstain on, Labour ganging up with the Tories to find new ways to screw over the Scottish Government, and the public presentation of Trident’s weapons of mass destruction as a job creation scheme. But I digress.

The only people who are allowed to call Labour politicians Nazis are other Unionist politicians. Then it’s perfectly OK and not bullying at all. This is because in the United Kingdom it only counts as bullying when the insult issues from the mouth of someone who doesn’t actually hold any position of power or influence, like when a granny with an internet connection in Fife tweets that a Labour politician is a quisling. Then it’s terrible bullying and abuse, and the Daily Mail will demand that Nicola Sturgeon pay a visit to Glenrothes to make a negative assessment of the state of the granny’s net curtains. The affrontment.

However if you hold an elected post, or put more accurately, an elected post or a position of responsibility for a Unionist party, people actually have to kill themselves before anyone is going to call you out for bullying or insulting behaviour. And even then it’s by no means guaranteed. The persons allegedly responsible for bullying the young Tory activist who killed himself had a boss in Grant Shapps who turned a blind eye to the multiple accusations made against them over the course of a lengthy period.

It took over two years for Grant Shapps to resign despite a mounting catalogue of shifty behaviour and multiple identities. He used the name Michael Green to flog a get rich quick scheme online, but the only person who was granted any benefit was Grant. He also went by the name Sebastian Fox, which sounds like the writer of cheap pulp novels, which is appropriate as Grant is a master of fiction. Then he invented a totally ficticious middle initial for himself, and went by the name Grant V Shapps. It’s not clear whether the V stood for vain, vacuous, vapid, vegetable, venal or vulgar. Personally my money is on venereal, which is descriptive of a sick wee knobend.

That said, it’s unfair to claim that the UK’s political establishment operates double standards as two sets of standards aren’t enough for them. Grant Shapps has at least three, one to go with each of the identities he created for himself. What we can be sure of however, is that if any one of Grant’s personalities had called Jeremy Corbyn a Nazi, he wouldn’t be called on to resign for it. This is precisely what a Labour MP did this week, and the person deemed to be in the wrong wasn’t the Labour MP, it was the guy who got called a Nazi.

John Spellar MP, formerly a minister of state under Tony Blair, claimed this week that Jeremy Corbyn was acting like a fuhrer for opposing British military action in Syria. It’s possibly the first time in the history of invective that someone has been called a fascist for not wanting to invade Poland. In the UK nowadays the dangerous people aren’t the ones who are ready to rush into carpeting far away countries with bombings and tracer bullets and drone strikes, they’re the ones who demand that all peaceful measures are exhausted before we go to war. John Spellar supported Tony Blair in his rush to bomb and blast, and that didn’t exactly end well, but it’s not John’s judgement which is questioned, it’s Jeremy’s. Great British bombs are better bombs it seems.

We’re asked to put our faith in the judgement of people who rush to make accusations of bullying and abuse, and then indulge in precisely the same behaviour themselves. We’re ask to trust the judgement of politicians who see warfare as a first option and not a last resort, and who campaign for war without any clear idea of how to create peace.

Spellar and another Blairite MP are calling on Jeremy to resign, because they don’t like the policies of the party that they belong to. You’d think that in a normal universe they should leave that party and go and find one which is more congenial to their politics, like for example the Tories. It’s not the politicians who are wrong, it’s the ordinary party members. It’s not the powerful who bully and abuse, it’s the powerless. It’s the peacemakers who are dangerous, not the warmongers. But we don’t live in a normal universe, we live with Great British double standards.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper and is being published by Vagabond Voices press, who also publish Jim Sillars. The dug is in exhalted company. None of the articles collected in this book have appeared on this blog.

You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.


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. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

A fatal fart bomb in a trance

We live in a country where policy is decided on the basis of appearance and not substance. In UK politics it’s not the Christmas present that’s important it’s the shininess of the wrapping on the big boxes under the tree. Only they contain nothing but air that’s been warmed up by a passage through the bowels of a spin doctor. The Christmas spirit is nowhere to be seen, lost in the fog of farts.

This week we’ve witnessed more examples of big shiny boxes filled with farts. The first was the UK government’s surprise U-turn on tax credits, a move made not out of any great concern for the ill effects of austerity cuts on the low paid, but rather an attempt to wrong foot the Labour party. While it’s a good thing that the income of the lowest paid isn’t going to suffer a swingeing cut – at least for now – so that big corporations can continue to evade their tax bills, that wasn’t the motive for deferring the cuts. In the UK, scoring a cheap political point in the pantomime theatrics of the Commons is worth far more than protecting the poor and the vulnerable.

Labour’s Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell tried a bit of fartery of his own. But in the words of Chairman Mao, the running dogs of capitalist imperialism fart louder than the proletariat. And in the words of the great Lennonist, if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow, most certainly not with the UK media. McDonnell’s quip was obviously a joke, but when your opponents already believe that you’re a card carrying member of the international proletariat revolutionary brigade, quoting Mao is a bit too meta for the raw meat eaters of the media and the Commons. All that happened was that Labour lost the initiative and the focus was placed on John’s red face and not on Osborne’s embarrassing U-turn. Meanwhile the poor and the vulnerable in Britain are used as political scorecards, starving on the sidelines while the powerful jeer at one another and lob fart bombs across the floor of the Commons chamber.

Some of the British establishment’s fart bombs are factually fatal. This week the Conservative government and its Labour supporters want to take military action in Syria. David Cameron wants to ensure that he’s got a majority in the Commons before risking another vote. Losing the vote would be a victory for ISIS he claimed, because apparently in the UK in 2015 wanting peace is the same as supporting terrorism while wanting to bomb things means you’re opposed to violence. It’s all clear in the fog of farts, and boys get to play with toys and look important while reporters eulogise a new war.

It’s not that anyone thinks that British military involvement will actually make any difference, that’s not the point. It’s never been the point. The real point is that the British establishment is afraid of some other things even more than they’re afraid of the murdering terrorists of the so-called Islamic State of Islamic Apostates who’ve measured off a part of the infinite and who call it god. A part of the infinite that doesn’t include compassion, empathy or kindness. A part of the infinite that doesn’t include the realisation that if god is all-powerful, omnipotent and almighty then he or she doesn’t require assistance from a 20 year old with a grudge and a suicide belt. ISIS is fearsome in its ignorance and its violence, but it’s not what really frightens the British state. The British state has measured off its own part of the infinite too, a part that doesn’t include common sense, realism, or much in the way of self-awareness.

What really terrifies the British establishment is that Britain will be seen to be what it really is, not the great power of politicians’ pretensions, but a small European state whose glory days are long in the past, a useless appendage to the Pentagon whose only role is to provide a figleaf of internationalism to US military action. Britain is past it, a power in its own living room but nowhere else, and it’s desperate to cling on to what it once was because otherwise it’s faced with the realisation that it’s perfectly average and unremarkable. The British establishment is terrified of normalcy.

In the factory of international affairs, the UK is the guy with the clipboard who rushes about trying to look busy while never actually doing anything useful. A bombing campaign in Syria will produce more civilian casualties than it will damage ISIS. It’s more important to produce a fusilade of fatal fart fog, hiding the impotence of the UK. The fact that innocent civilians are likely to die in the cross fire is of no importance when the public image of the British establishment is at stake.

The bottom line is that British planes joining in the bombing campaign against ISIS will not make a shred of difference to the outcome. The Americans, and now the French, have been bombing ISIS for over a year, but there has been no real difference to the picture on the ground. ISIS has been driven out of some areas in the Kurdish north, but has made gains in Palmyra and other places.

It has already been reported that the US planes which are bombing the so-called Islamic State often return to base with their payloads complete because they can’t find any more targets to bomb. Adding a few more British planes isn’t going to change that any. ISIS won’t suddenly start putting targets in the open just to give the RAF something to hit. What British involvement does do however is to give the British media something to talk about, and allows the UK establishment to pretend that it’s doing something useful as it scooshes about the Middle East with a clipboard of destruction deploying the politics of fantasies. We don’t have a foreign policy in this country, we have a fatal fart bomb in a trance.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper and is being published by Vagabond Voices press, who also publish Jim Sillars. The dug is in exhalted company. None of the articles collected in this book have appeared on this blog.

You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.


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. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

Apocalypse vow

So you remember all those things that were going to be safe only if Scotland voted No last year? How’s that all working out then. It would appear that the infamous vow wasn’t so much of a vow as a serving suggestion with ingredients that Scotland wouldn’t be allowed to eat on account of us having to make do with the crumbs from the Westminster table. The vow has been called a lie, but that’s unfair to lying. Telling the weans that if they’re good then Santa will bring them lots of nice prezzies is a lie. That’s a cute and cuddly sort of lie, but if you think that Gordie Broon is cute and cuddly you’re probably the sort of person who coos at the sight of slime and snuggles with snotters. So George Osborne then.

What the No campaign did was to tell Scotland that if we were good then Santa Westminster would give us lots of power prezzies. But Santa Westminster didn’t deliver, so that was a lie and if things were left to lie there then all it would be would be a lie. Only Santa Westminster didn’t just fail to deliver, he also came and took the Lego, smashed the Playstation and hid the TV remote control while telling us that the real message of Christmas was that Scotland should be excluded from voicing opinions on the North Pole. As if that wasn’t enough he made Rudolf into a venison casserole he served up to the bankers at the Mansionhouse dinner, and then slashed the incomes of the elves and other people on zero hours contracts.

This week another broken promise joined the increasingly lengthening list of broken promises of things we were assured would only be safe if we voted No, so Scotland voted no to discover that they weren’t safe after all. We were told loudly and often that the only way that the Royal Navy would commission ships to be built on the Clyde would be if Scotland voted No. Scotland voted No but the ship building is a no too. The Royal Navy isn’t going to commission the promised 13 new frigates after all, the order is to be cut to eight, and even that number isn’t certain. 3000 jobs on the Clyde are being put at risk so that Westminster can afford to pay for its weapons of mass destruction. The reduction is because the cost of Trident has soared by £6 billion, so real skilled jobs on the Clyde are to be sacrificed for the fantasy jobs at Faslane that only exist in Jackie Baillie’s imagination. The UK isn’t keeping Scotland’s jobs safe, it’s costing us jobs, it’s making us unsafe.

The UK is like a late middle aged man with impotence. He still strives for the glory days of his youth so he spends on expensive toys that he can’t afford and lets the kids go hungry to compensate for the fact that he can’t get it up any more. This is a country which is about to go to war yet again, not because British military intervention would actually make any real difference. A few more bombs from the handful of planes that the RAF can spare won’t change the outcome of the war in Syria. The reason that the UK is going to war is because it allows Davie Cameron to pose as an international statesman. It allows an aged superpower that’s no longer a power in its own living room to pretend that it still matters in a world where it’s long since been an irrelevance. The only thing that the UK can still get up is the Prime Minister’s tongue up the backside of the US President. It would be laughably pathetic if it weren’t for the fact that people are going to die.

Last week it was the closure of the steel works which were supposed to be safe if Scotland voted No. Then it was the closure of tax offices costing hundreds of jobs, the very same tax offices that we were told needed the UK to keep alive. And the scare stories told to pensioners about the risk to their pensions if Scotland voted Yes have turned out to be true, because Scotland voted No. Scotland’s budget is being slashed. The new powers are responsiblities without power. How many more promises will unravel before Scotland realises that we were had last year. But then the Unionist parties never had any intention of fulfilling any of their promises, they were promises and commitments in the exact same way that a junkie swears blind that they’re going to change when they’re faced with the prospect of their drugs being taken away.

They’re creating a wasteland and calling it a Union. Westminster’s strategy is to weaken and impoverish Scotland so that Scots will fear that we’re incapable of making our own way in the world. But it’s not going to work. We know who has their hands on the levers of macro-economic powers, we know who’s responsible for setting overall budgets. We know who has made Scotland’s MPs second class representatives. We know who has replaced good governance for Scotland with scare stories and fear campaigns. And we know it’s not Scotland or the Scottish government. But don’t worry, we’re still going to get control over road signs.

So it’s not technically correct to say that the vow was a lie. It was a farrago of fibs wrapped up in a tissue of tall tales, marinated in mendacity, fricasseed with fabrications, then delivered with a side order of cant and served up with larceny and an assault on common decency. They can tell us until they’re red white and blue in the face that they’ve delivered the vow, but we can see what’s being delivered for ourselves. It’s job losses. It’s the loss of influence in a parliament that is still Scotland’s too. It’s impoverishment. It’s war. It’s benefit cuts and poor wages. It’s insecurity and debt. It’s Apocalypse Vow. But it’s not an apocalypse for Scotland, it’s an apocalypse for the Union.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE BOOK LAUNCH in Edinburgh on 24 November at 6.30pm in Power Press Bookshop in West Nicolson Street. Come along and meet me and the dug and get a signed copy!

Barking Up the Right Tree has now been published and is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper and is being published by Vagabond Voices press, who also publish Jim Sillars. The dug is in exhalted company. None of the articles collected in this book have appeared on this blog.

You can submit an advance order for the book on the Vagabond Voices website at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993

Price is just £7.95 for 156 pages of doggy goodness. Order today!

A limited number of signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps is also still available. See below for order details.


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. Get your order in today – an ideal Christmas present!

A short blog break and a book launch

I’m going to have a short break from blogging because I’ve got a visitor coming from the USA and my services as a tour guide will be required. Peter is a very special friend, we’ve chatted online for 18 years but had never actually met until I visited Boston over the summer. When you chat with a person for that length of time you know that you’re going to get on, but neither of us expected what happened when we finally met – let’s just say there was a Grangemouth’s worth of chemistry. This is Peter’s first trip to Scotland, and I hope that he’ll fall in love with this small damp country of ours as much as he seems to be enamoured with me! Normal blogging service will be resumed after the 23rd of the month when he goes back to America.

BUTRT cover front(1)Meanwhile the launch of my new book Barking Up the Right Tree will be on Tuesday 17th November at the Yes Bar in Drury Street in Glasgow. The launch starts from 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend.  I’ll be there with the dug signing copies of the new book and it will be great to see you there.  You can meet me, and more importantly Ginger the Dug – who loves attention and will happily pose for photos in return for a doggy treat.

Published by Vagabond Voices, the book is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper and can be purchased in all good bookshops or online on the Vagabond Voices website or on Amazon for the bargain price of £7.95. There’s also going to be an Edinburgh launch, probably on 24th November at Word Power books in West Nicolson St, details to follow when they’re confirmed.

Signed copies of the two volumes of the Collected Yaps are still available for £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Contact me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com for ordering details.

Matron Dugdale’s Bide-a-Wee Mitigation Care Home

This week’s word is mitigation. It was last week’s word too, and it will be next week’s as well, and the week after that, stretching ahead into a depressing future where it doesn’t matter if you take the red pill or the blue pill – you’re always going to wake up with the Tories. In the nightmares past and the nightmares still to come Labour doesn’t cease with its demands that the Scottish Government mitigate the damage done to public services and the low paid and the vulnerable by bastert Tories looking to mitigate the tax bills of rich people and large companies. Mind you, Labour is a whole lot less keen on doing anything to prevent the need for mitigation in the first place. Labour is the party of respite care, not the party of cure.

Being force fed red pills and blue pills means that periodically Scotland comes down with a bout of the Tories. We live in a country whose body politic is sick and ill, infected by the disease of Toriness giein us the gyp and the humph. Symptoms include weakness, depression, raging anger, and projectile vomiting whenever Fluffymundell comes on the telly and does his colonial governor act. It’s a raging epidemic, when we’ve got one of our regular attack of the Tories thousands of people aren’t able to go into work, because they discover that they’ve been made redundant.

In order to get over the last long lasting attack of the Tories, Labour innoculated itself with the Thatcher virus and stopped being the workers’ party. It became the party of managing the expectations of the workers on behalf of the bosses. Now it makes no difference whether you vote Labour or you vote Tory, you get Tory. Take the red pill, same as the blue pill, they’ll both make you boak.

Labour didn’t vote against the latest round of cuts that the Tories are diseasing us with, they abstained. Then Labour’s peers in the Lords voted down a Lib Dem motion to send the tax credits cuts back to the Commons and instead voted for a motion to delay the effect – but to make them worse in the long term. It’s a bit like saying you’ve helped a family in debt by arranging a bigger loan at a higher rate of interest to pay off the loan that they were struggling with in the first. Vote Labour, get wongapolitics, and pay through the nose for Tory cuts. This is Labour’s definition of voting against the cuts – by voting for deeper cuts later on.

Then having failed dismally to vote against anything, Labour’s miserable shower of maliciously incompetents finally decided it was time that they did something. So they voted against devolving tax credits to the Scottish parliament. After all, who wants the power to stop a mad Tory axeman chopping off your legs when you have Labour to mitigate the damage with some uncosted bandages.

But never fear, Labour in Scotland is organising a national day of action on Saturday against the Tory cuts. They’re going to come to a shopping centre near you for an hour or two and hand out some leaflets, because that’s really going to put the shiters up George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith. No, say Labour, we’re not actually going to do anything to protect you from the Tories, and we’re not going to allow you to protect yourself from them. But look, isn’t this a lovely leaflet. Labour’s Walter Mitties and their mitigation are the methodone of politics, and they’re lost in a reverie where they’re actually relevant.

Now stepping out of the haze comes Gordie Broon, the man who worked his little ex-prime ministerial socks off, pacing up and down church halls in front of tiny invited audiences of media people up and down the land to make sure that Scotland would remain at the mercy of the illness, is terribly upset about how unwell we’ve all become. Labour is more concerned about the hypothetical virus of nationalism than they are about the very real contagion of Conservatism, and by denying us the cure they’re part of the disease.

Scotland wants a cure, not a wee trip to Matron Dugdale’s Bide-a-Wee Respite Care Home, but Labour and the Tories voted down a proposal to give the Scottish Parliament the power to choose when or if Scotland should have another independence referendum. Red pill, blue pill, both stick in the craw. But the red pill and the blue pill pushers don’t want us to stop taking the medicine that makes us sick. You can’t cure yourself, said Labour, you can have some of our mitigation medicine instead. Take this red pill, it comes with a cost to your self-esteem and your self-confidence. Take a dependency trip and we’ll put a bandage on the cuts that the nasty Tories inflicted. But we won’t let you escape from them. Labour needs the Tories to keep harming us all so Labour can pose as the angel with the red lamp, whoring Scotland for electoral profit. All for the myth of mitigation.

It’s not even like our illness is self-inflicted. England suffers from bouts of the Tories too, but in their case they bring it on themselves due to their unhealthy diet of Daily Mails and Telegraphs. Scotland may come under a barrage of criticism for our supposed love of deep fried food, but at least we don’t vote Tory. And now we won’t vote Labour either. Their games are transparent, their lies are obvious. For them politics is a buggin’s turn of pill popping that keeps us all sick and dependent on them. You’d think that the results of the General Election in May might have shaken some sense into them. But no, they’ve got worse. So we’ll just have to do the same in May next year. Mitigate that, Labour. Mitigate yourselves. Mitigate your own oblivion.

When the mitigation medicine is part of the illness then it’s time to cure yourself. We’ve already started to purge ourselves of red pills and blue pills. It’s only a matter of time before we get them out of our system and flush them away for good.


BUTRT cover front(1)BARKING UP THE RIGHT TREE

My new book is due to be published on 23 November. Barking Up the Right Tree is an anthology of my articles for The National newspaper and is being published by Vagabond Voices press, who also publish Jim Sillars. The dug is in exhalted company. None of the articles collected in this book have appeared on this blog.

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