The British barbed wire that surrounds Scotland’s heart

If you don’t want to blow up buildings, if you don’t want to wreak havoc and destruction, if you want to seek a peaceful resolution to conflict – then you’re a terrorist sympathiser. If you don’t want to go to war, if you seek to broaden debate, if you believe that fighting for peace is like shagging for virginity – then you’re a fascist. If you want talks not violence, if you seek consensus not victory, if you refuse to fetishise force – then you’re guilty of disrespecting the armed services. Welcome to British values in the 21st century, a century born in war and continuing in war, a country where the peacemakers are condemned as extremists and attack is defined as defence. Welcome to British values, where you support the armed forces by sending them to die in foreign lands where they have no business being.

Scotland is going to war in Syria. Even though just two of our elected representatives support the dubious case for conflict and 57 oppose it. Scotland doesn’t get to choose whether it goes to war, Westminster decides that for us. The Tories we didn’t vote for decide whether Scottish soldiers will fight and die in a foreign land, just like the Tories we didn’t vote for will decide whether our poor and disabled will be able to pay for food in their stomachs or will have to rely on charity and handouts.

Now Scotland is bombing Syria, getting involved in a war that’s as knotted and convoluted as the barbed wire strangling our hearts as we weep helplessly for the mess that the world is in. A mess we did not create, but it’s a mess that our young men and women will die in, a mess their deaths will do nothing to clear up. A mess we are being dragged into despite our better judgement. The SNP are opposed to war, and our media would rather criticise the SNP for its supposed one-party state discipline and attack Labour for its divisions and disputes than examine the basis of the case for conflict. British bombs are good bombs, British bombs are better bombs, British bombs will magically avoid civilians.

The war in Syria has more sides than Cameron has faces. The dodgy dossiers of Tony Blair have been replaced by the phantom forces of Cameron. There are no ground troops despite Cameron’s claims to the contrary. There are no moderates in the Syrian bloodbath. The Kurds have no interest in conquering lands inhabited by Arabs, lands which will never become a part of a future Kurdish state. Many of the other Syrian militias are motivated by Islamism exactly like ISIS, they just disagree on minor points of theology. It’s like saying you’ll support the Britain First against the fascists of the BNP.

We’ve been here before, rushing to bomb and blast without any clear idea of what happens afterwards, getting involved in someone else’s war for the sole reason that the UK Goverment is embarrassed that the French are taking military action but Britain is not. The UK is like the gang member in the playground who is desperate to get involved in any fight that’s going because otherwise his mates will think he’s weak. It’s not about bringing peace to Syria, just like it wasn’t about bringing peace to Libya or Iraq. It’s all about the ego of the British establishment, always has been, always will be. And the result is chaos and death and families who flee across the sea in leaky boats. The cost of the British establishment’s ego is a hundred drowned children on a Turkish beach. That’s a price the UK is happy to pay for strutting the world stage as the Pentagon’s pals.

Britain is going to bomb targets that other countries have already bombed, creating nothing but more death and destruction, doing nothing to bring about peace or to secure a final settlement for Syria. Scotland’s role in this deal is to pay for Westminster’s vainglorious ambitions with its resources, with its taxes, with its youth. We don’t get any say in the matter, we just have to pay for it, we just have to weep helplessly on the sidelines while the powerful decide our fate. That’s Scotland’s role in this Union. That’s why this country voted No. Voted to be ordered by the officers of Eton. Voted to be dismissed for speaking out of turn. Voted to be cannon fodder. Yessir Nossir three bags empty as you march to the foodbank.

The debate in the Commons on Wednesday proved that the only opposition to the Tories is the SNP. Labour displays more cracks than a nudist beach, the party is so divided, so riven with internal disputes, that it’s incapable of coming up with a coherent policy on the most important issue facing the country – the decision to go to war. The words of the song – War what is it good for? Absolutely nothing – apply equally to the Labour party too. Say it again. Most of that sorry bunch of excuses for socialism are just as keen as the Tories to bolster the balloon like braggadocio that passes for a British presence on the world stage. Meanwhile the party’s Scottish MSPs who are opposed to the war are more interested in attacking the SNP for agreeing with them than they are in opposing the war, and the Scottish media won’t press Kezia Dugdale on what her position is.

How many times does the UK have to bomb a Middle Eastern country before it learns that all we create is chaos and casualties, death and darkness. We create a hundred thousand broken lives, we create the grief and anger that leads to screams for revenge. We make the monsters of ISIS and then we run around pointing out the monsters. And the whole sorry saga repeats itself, in a cycle of cynicism and cemeteries.

It’s time to break the cycle. It’s not going to happen in the British state. With every vote in the Commons, with every undeserving party donor or self-publicist appointed to the Lords, the UK’s sham of democracy shatters ever more. A country that goes to war so it can, in the words of Lib Dem leader Tim Fallon, “stand tall”, is a country that Scotland is damaged by being a part of. Let’s break the cycle. Let’s break the British barbed wire that surrounds Scotland’s heart.

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48 comments on “The British barbed wire that surrounds Scotland’s heart

  1. Bill Dale says:

    Another great post Paul. Just one thing, it is not an accident that the neo-cons take every opportunity to go to war. War provides arms manufacturers with more business, promotes new weapons (check BBC propaganda for “British” bombs that don’t kill civilians) and generates a certainty of more disaffected people who can form an enemy of the state in the future, thereby providing the rationale for ever increasing security and surveillance.

  2. Thepnr says:

    Great post Paul.

    Learn from your mistakes does not seem to apply to the ruling classes, quite the opposite. A waste of time strategically but an absolute disaster with every British bomb that lands in a Syrian town for those so far that have been unable to flee.

    Listened to Call Kaye today, what an abomination that program has become. Kay literally shrieked at those opposing air strikes “WELL WHAT WOULD YOU DO THEN?” “WHAT WOULD YOU DO INSTEAD?” Totally lost it with more than one caller.

    I doubt very much that any Scot opposing starting bombing in Syria is a “terrorist sympathiser” no, they have more common sense than that and realise bombing will achieve absolutely nothing.

    • macart763M says:

      I suspect they don’t see this as a mistake Thepnr. I suspect those ruling classes are perfectly at ease with their geo political strategy. Its business, greed, prestige, what all wars boil down to in the end. The powerful wage wars and the poor suffer, fight and die in them.

  3. Lizzie56 says:

    Having listened, at length, to the ‘debate’ I have come to the conclusion that this is not a debate it is mostly a process of statements from MP’s who have a need to justify their vote, long before the debate is over and long before they have listened to all speeches. The SNP, through Angus Robertson, are the only credible opposition, putting excellent arguments to the PM, which the PM was unable to answer. The whole debacle is so politicised it’s a disgrace that this political process is what will send us to war. I would urge people to try and watch what our mp’s are doing and saying. Most are liars and scaremongers. Alex Salmond was really good, so fervent that he was shaking with anger when talking about PM’s suggestion that we were terrorists sympathisers. Great post Paul, as always.

  4. macart763M says:

    The past year at the hands of HMG, Conservative policy and the media has been grim, but this?

    THIS is the reality of September 2014 Paul.

    When you go to that polling booth you authorize a government to act in your name. Thousands unemployed, more under threat. Our representation denigrated and our culture dragged through the media sewer on a daily basis. Now? Now we’re headed for another war.

    Next time you find yourself in that booth, you need to be sure the government/system of government you underwrite with that vote actually gives a shit what you think.

  5. On Queen Victoria’s pink maps, the British Empire’s territories were carved up the aristocracy in feathered hats by drawing straight lines across peoples and sands. Why do today’s Flashman Brits never realise this is their legacy? – Because they need to feed the war machine. They are beyond contempt, the whole fucking lot of them.

  6. […] Source: The British barbed wire that surrounds Scotland’s heart […]

  7. Albawoman says:

    Social care is in crisis even for the dying. How is it that many billions can be found for war and the killing of children.?

    Nothing changes if nothing changes . We have to find the ways to change this war drive.

    • Saor Alba says:

      The ONLY way is for our wee country to be fully independent and able to act in its own name.
      These b******s who voted for this ugliness did not do so in my name and that of many others.
      However, here are some amongst us who are gleeful about warmongering and it may come back to haunt them.

    • Jim Morris says:

      The answer to your question is covered by the Official Secrets Act. The section about how much money really is stolen from the people of Scotland. My personal guess/estimate is £5trillion per year.

  8. hektorsmum says:

    I strongly feel that we are living in a nightmare, people in this country so poor they cannot feed themselves or their children but the Ruling Class can waste money on bombs and planes to bomb other poor people into dust thus ensuring that those who manage to survive will come for revenge.
    Ever since the Victorian era Politicians have moved further and further away from those they rule they have used their fear of terrorism to keep it that way.
    Civilians are more likely to die in a war these days that those in uniform and bombs dropping from the sky ensures it will happen, there are no smart bombs just as there are no smart Conservative Politicians, and you can add those so called Blairites to that tally.

  9. Wullie says:

    No doubt all those voting to bomb Syria will be heading off to the theatre of war so that they can lead from the front. They will make sure to place their nearest and dearest in to the combat zones. They will tackle the terrorists head on, fight them hand to hand, they will fall apron the enemy with their flabby fat bodies and beat them with an empty spirit or wine bottle. They receive six bottles of spirits and thirty bottles of wine per month courtesy of the stupid British taxpayer, so plenty of ammo.

    • Ealasaid says:

      I am really scared that the making jobs scarce and no benefits for the under 25s is just a precursor for conscription. After all it was admitted today that those 70,000 boots on the ground do not exist.

      • Helena says:

        my thoughts too with their invisible 70k on the ground talk, this is a dark day for us because of being shackled to ukok, disgusting pro war gits.

      • Sandra says:

        This has been a fear of mine for a while now, that conscription will return for my grandkids. Yesterday’s decisions seems to bring it closer. I say again, this is so wrong and does nothing to secure peace in our times

  10. jdman says:

    This is one of those landmark posts that make it important for people to stand up and say, I’m here and I’m with you,
    we need to stand together and say strongly and firmly

  11. 59cats says:

    Great post. We live in dreadful times where feeding and caring for people is considered of less value than amassing weapons and killing. What legacy do we pass to those who follow on?

  12. Cyril Wheat says:

    I enjoy your posts and in this one you excel yourself. It expresses exactly my feelings and is very moving. The truths expounded here are in stark contrast to the debate in Westminster with notable exceptions. Salmond, not my favourite politician, stands taller than Fallon’s pleas and gives us hope that there is at least a voice of sanity in the debate. I will share this post as the views need to be widely shared. Thank you for your efforts, I appreciate it.

  13. Margaret says:

    I have cried many tears watching coffins being carried from planes and can imagine the same happening again

    Every time I hear someone say boots on the ground I could scream they do not seem to realize for every pair of boots there are two feet belonging to some mothers child We then have to watch those who sent these young people to their death standing up in parliament and saying they will never forget them I’m sure they could not remember any one of the names a week after

    How I despair and will go to bed tonight with a heavy heart

    • Naw, sixty seconds would be more like it Margaret. And even then I think I’m being generous. And to think we had the chance to divorce ourselves from these self-serving killers of the innocent.

  14. Sandra Stewart says:

    Excellent piece Paul and you sum up my sentiments and my outrage eloquently. Cameron’s language was designed to whip up enthusiasm for bombing. I personally feel less safe in my country if it engages in war. And by the way let’s stop talking about the defence budget, it is an attack budget. I am a pacifist get me out of this Union.

    • daibhidhdeux says:

      Thank you, Sandra. Agreed. One point of divergence though: I would be a pacifist, too, but the violent BritNat establishment and their sociopathic attack dogs who would savage an innocent at the drop of a war-mongering excuse, prevent me from being so.

      Otherwise, well said.


  15. Steve Asaneilean says:

    If you voted No this is what you asked for – no excuses.

    You cannot have rights without responsibility.

    If you voted No you were explicitly stating that you were quite happy to have Scotland ultimately ruled from Westminster where decisions such as this are inevitable as the last three centuries have demonstrated.

    You can’t just turn your back and walk away. You wanted to remain part of the UK and this is the reality of that desire.

  16. David Thomson says:

    Thats a great post. I thin we agree on a great many issues. Hope you dont mind me posting this here. It looks like we will be bombing Syria, but lets make sure it is not the end of the debate, but the start of a broader debate! Lets encourage the SNP to get right in thheir and expose them! Have a blast at my Open Letter. This went out to every elected member of the SNP. I have had some encouraging replys.

  17. David Thomson says:

    Thats a great post. I thin we agree on a great many issues. Hope you dont mind me posting this here. It looks like we will be bombing Syria, but lets make sure it is not the end of the debate, but the start of a broader debate! Lets encourage the SNP to get right in thheir and expose them! Have a blast at my Open Letter. This went out to every elected member of the SNP. I have had some encouraging replys.

  18. This is EXACTLY the sort of situation anyone of normal level intelligence saw coming on the back of a NO vote. Right now, all I feel is disgust, hidden in contempt, wrapped in revulsion. Even the sight of the Butcher’s Apron stirs nausea in me today and living in England that’s pretty much a perpetual state of nausea these days. I am beginning to think UDI is a highly attractive proposition as I wish nothing to do with this enterprise and the hypocrites that promote it. If they do try to force conscription on Scotland’s youth, I will encourage them to leave this land or refuse the call-up. “Do not give yourself to these unnatural men; machine men!”
    I honestly wonder at times if we have somehow gone back to an alternative 1915.
    John McLean must be birlin’ in his grave that a century on, the same evil bastarts are in power and playin’ their same fkkin game!
    Never speak to me again, No voters; you and your collective moral cowardice disgust me more than any words can convey!

    • daibhidhdeux says:

      Summed up, sir.


    • Helena says:

      Absolutely disgusted by tonights outcome and the laughter in the HoC while many were in tears in their living rooms.
      Any mention of conscription and my sons will be on the 1st flight to their second home, NZ.

      As for the naw voters, my once were friends, who voted for ukok actually cut me off, quite recently in fact which says something! Rather happy not to be associated with them after tonight.

      Oh and we get the butchers apron on nearly everything too, even E Lothian sprouts! I always enjoy getting the scissors out.

      • Brian Fleming says:

        Helena, i had the same experience a couple of years ago with someone I’d considered a friend, when i criticised the BBC. And he claimed I was the ‘fanatic’. As Dougie MacLean put it: “Lost some friends I needed losing, found others on the way.”

  19. daibhidhdeux says:

    “British values in the 21st century”?

    21st century?

    Away and bile yir heid (joking).

    These murderous fuckers have been at blind slaughter since their get go.

    Never such a shower of arrogant, self-entitled, finger-snapping, start-a-fight in an empty house vile bullies have I met in my 30 years away from Scotland than the Anglo-Brit brigade in “foreign” climes – utterly appalling thugs for the most part who would chib an innocent in the back for the fun of it or an imagined bawbee of gain whilst chorally chiming ENGERLUND! ENGERLUND! ENGERLUND! HERE WE GO (OO)!

    Or, and in parallel, whine on monotonously like a broken record about the “locals” not living up to their their imagined Estuary English standards of valour, honesty (wouldn’t grasp the concept if it upped and nutted them in their mouthy gobs), and cuisine out of a tin re-heated.

    “British values” equal zero moral, mass murderous content well historically evidenced globally (the other artificial, “great” European nation state powers not much better but with a smidgeon of humbler saving grace as expressed by their inhabitants overseas).

    The “aristocratic” sell-outs who signed away our sovereignty for “English gold” to re-line their sporrans need to be outed in the Halls of Eternal Infamy; their pro-Union successors, the same for sustaining this British cycle of on-going evil inflicted on innocents: Syria being the next kick-off point in the Brit lengthy reign of terror.

    I trust the FM, MSPs, and SNP MPs at WM will abrogate the Union Treaty post Holyrood elections and get us to fuck out of this filthy miasma.

    PS To the pet Jock poodles of the Britishers, time to step up to the plate and square your consciences with your intellects (to paraphrase the dominie, John MacLean).

  20. Sooz says:

    This motion was predicated on there being 70,000 ground troops available to go in after a bombing run to secure the area. It was meant to be presented as a kind of team effort.

    But of course, you can’t trust a Tory warmonger further than you can chuck an elephant up the stairs. During Angus Robertson’s excellent speech in which he repeatedly challenged anyone to come up with a breakdown of the numbers of that 70,000, and failing, he gets an intervention that tells the House that the actual figure is 10-15,000 – and that’s not guaranteed because they’re disparate and spread across Syria, many guarding areas that they’ve managed to seize back from Daesh.

    That puts the whole exercise on the back burner for the time being, right? No ground troops means that a bombing run won’t have any effect in securing the area it bombs, right? So the Tories need to go away and have a rethink. Right?

    Wrong. Now that the ground forces are revealed as virtually non-existent, and despite bombing being pointless if there are no ground troops, we now get a succession of flag-waving, jingoistic quackings from MPs who still want to see bombs rain down on Syria, dammit. It’s giving them an erection, this whole war thing. They might go down in history. They might be mentioned in history classes in 50 years time. Goddammit, they’ve got the chance to send people to war on their watch and by Christ it’s exciting. They even cheered long and loud when the amendment was voted down, as though they’d won a football match.

    Forget that by now the whole exercise is doomed to failure. Forget that a concerted onslaught on Daesh’s web, financial and oil support lines would paralyse them whilst saving Syrian lives, and wouldn’t involve heavy ordnance or the death of innocent children. Forget that according to Chatham House, not only is military intervention not specifically required but the legality of this exercise is questionable, and forget that attacking Daesh’s support structures would have been far more helpful to our allies than sending more planes into an already busy sky over Syria and Iraq.

    Yes we should support our allies. We have the means with which to paralyse Daesh on all fronts without killing a single Syrian. And MPs chose to bomb, maim and kill, instead.

    Sick to the heart.

    • Saor Alba says:

      Wow Sooz – brilliant stuff!
      Your last paragraph is the rapier thrust and is what Mr Salmond so eloquently and courageously pointed out in his speech today.

  21. Saor Alba says:

    I am bristling with pride for Alec Salmond after listening to his fervent and heartfelt speech tonight. This is a real politician who knows how to represent.

  22. Guga says:

    An excellent post WGD.

    AS for Porky Camoron, he can take his Butcher’s Apron and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.

    The actions about to be taken, with the support of the Blue Tories and the Red Tories are not being taken in my name. Camoron, like his hero Bliar, is a war criminal.

    It will be of interest to see how many innocent women, children and old men are murdered by his actions.

    NOT IN MY NAME Camoron, you arrogant, slimy puppet of the Americans.

  23. benmadigan says:

    felt sick when i heard vote had gone through though i was not really expecting anything else.

    Excellent heartfelt post Paul
    Have cited bits here

  24. scotsgeoff says:

    I wonder if the Chilcot report would have changed any of these MPs’ minds?

    Probably not.

    It is like watching the words ‘Rule Britannia’ being acted out in real life: a worn-out, self-centered, ‘aren’t I great’, irrelevant mantra used by people of that ilk.

    Cheering and clapping a decision that will mean more people, more children will die.

    Sick to the stomach.

  25. Who are the “Medieval monsters”, now, Dave, as you all whoop and cheer for the death of innocents?

    • Luigi says:

      And so the next crusade begins. Like all previous crusades against those nasty, “medieval ” muslims, it will end in tears. They will come back with their tails between their legs, bankrupt, in denial and blaming anyone but themselves. History repeats.

  26. Sharnor says:

    Great post. “The UK is like the gang member in the playground who is desperate to get involved in any fight that’s going because otherwise his mates will think he’s weak.” Exactly – I never understood what Britain could possibly add to this conflict and you hit the nail on the head.

  27. Sue de Nymme says:

    There are certain people in England who see war as duty, as sacrifice, as their contribution to a better land. I do not. But then, I am a Scot and Scotland has been long seen as a colony for these people, these people who embrace war.

    They think not a thought for those whom they mutilate, deform and kill. They think nothing of the parents who hold their dying child. Those on the other side are nothing because they are not on their side, the others count for nothing, they are not human.

    This poem by Rupert Brooke says it better than I ever could.

    If I should die, think only this of me:
    That there’s some corner of a foreign field
    That is for ever England. There shall be
    In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
    A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
    Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
    A body of England’s, breathing English air,
    Washed by the rivers, blest by suns of home.

    And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
    A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
    Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
    Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
    And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
    In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

  28. Illy says:

    “How many times does the UK have to bomb a Middle Eastern country before it learns that all we create is chaos and casualties, death and darkness. We create a hundred thousand broken lives, we create the grief and anger that leads to screams for revenge. We make the monsters of ISIS and then we run around pointing out the monsters. And the whole sorry saga repeats itself, in a cycle of cynicism and cemeteries.”

    When was the first crusade?

  29. arthur thomson says:

    We have to take a deep breath and determine to do whatever we can to remedy this abhorrent situation.

    We know that children are going to be traumatised, maimed and killed in Syria because of the decision that has been imposed on us. Not least in their name we have to work to create an independent Scotland that can stand up and refuse to play any part in the evil that is being perpetrated in our name.

    • Sue de Nymme says:

      When these traumatised, maimed and bereaved children grow up into testosterone fuelled adults they will, predictably and understandably, seek revenge. Les.

  30. Gordon Murray says:

    So the big pull on the heartstrings: France has been attacked, how could we live with ourselves if we don’t join the French in bombing Syria?
    Did nobody in Germany or Spain and Portugal Belgium or the Netherlands ask that question?
    As far as I can tell its Britain and France…and that’s it!
    No other nation bordering France or even in the EU is joining in the bombing.
    Attack one you attack us all!
    Mebbes aye, mebbes naw?

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