Rebranding a tin of turds

A group of Better Together activists have launched a new Unionist party because the existing Unionist parties aren’t Unionisty enough for them. Upset that staunch Unionists are splitting their votes between Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems, the activists have decided to start a new party and split the Unionist vote even more. Funny how Unionists are always staunch, like Rangers fans or flute players. Supporters of independence are never described as staunch, possibly because indy supporters are mad cultist types who get their instructions via neurolinguistic programming.

According to its founders, a new Unionist party is required because the wishy washy policies of the existing Unionist parties and their devolutionary antics just don’t cut it any more and are clearly none too popular with the voters. It’s not enough to say No, you have to say No more loudly and vehemently. You can just stand on a tank and say No, you have to point the gun turret at the devolved settlement and say you’ll blow it up. This mob are drawing Ruth Davidson’s line in the sand and this time they really mean it. No more powers for Holyrood if they get their way. You’ll have had your devolution, Scotland. You’re not getting any more, and because you keep demanding more, you’re going to get sent to bed without any devolved supper. It’s back to the future with Unionist purity.

What the new party will do however, is to get the Scottish government to sign an agreement with Westminster calling for ever closer union, just like that clause in the EU treaty that the Tories are desperate to get out of. Apparently we can’t trust Europe, but we can trust the Tories. They also want to restore the royal coat of arms to all Scottish government pronouncements, because what’s really wrong with Scotland is that we’re not royalist enough and a dose of the lizzies is required to cure us. We need more royalism and cleaning for the queen. I always pick up the dug’s crap and put it in the bin, but the title of that campaign makes me want to pick it up and post it to Buckingham Palace.

Called, imaginatively enough, the Unionist Party, this is a party for that small minority in Scotland that didn’t want any devolution in the first place. So that would be unreconstructed Tories, swivel eyed UKIPists, those of an Orangey hue, and that part of the Labour party which has forgotten how traumatic the 1980s were. Since Scotland isn’t showing itself to be well disposed to parties which surrender Scotland to Westminster, the new party’s founders think that the solution to this difficulty is to surrender even more. It’s a bit like claiming that the cure for the flu is to infect people with typhoid and hide the sudafed. It’s clearly self-defeating and the new party looks like having about the same success in winning a place in the affections of the Scottish electorate as Nigel Farage on an Edinburgh pub crawl.

Scotland’s Unionist parties are not in a death spiral because they’re not Unionist enough. They’re in a death spiral because the Union that they stand for is unfit for purpose. You can come out with any old guff you like about the Union, and the mainstream media frequently does, but what it boils down to is the proposition that Scotland does better by having a minority voice in a corrupt parliament than it could possibly do by looking after itself. The Union isn’t about Scotland and England. It’s about the Westminster parliament. Supporters of the Westminster parliament may like to obfuscate, because it’s in their interests to do so, but the people of Scotland can see the difference quite clearly. Westminster is not Scotland, it’s not England, but it is the Union and it’s irredeemably corrupt. Getting back to Unionist purity just means washing your hands of your individual will and handing yourself over on a plate to a parliament that doesn’t give a damn about anything other than the profits of the financial sector in the City of London and the good health of defence contractors. That’s not a recipe for solving Scotland’s problems, it’s a recipe for sticking your head up the arse of a Tory government and pretending that the view is lovely.

Unionism in Scotland is suffering from its final illness. It’s terminal and there is no cure. There isn’t even any pretence these days that there’s such a thing as a positive case for the Union. Making such a case would mean demonstrating how Scotland is better off under the rule of Davie Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith and their party which managed a mere 14.5% of Scottish votes. A party that has taken us into yet another war, has given the bankers free rein again, has demonised the poor, has learned absolutely nothing at all. It’s crony business at usual at Westminster. Not even a Hotpoint automatic frontloader could spin that one.

The positioning has started for the Scottish elections in May but the Unionist parties have already more or less acknowledged defeat. Labour’s best hope is that it can stave off collapse enough for it to stay the second largest party. The Tories’ best hope is that their long decline into irrelevance will be slow enough to allow Labour to overtake them on the way to the abyss. And no one cares about the Lib Dems except the BBC, which still thinks that they’re a far more important party than the Greens.

The Unionist parties and their media hangers on still labour under the misapprehension that if they can only prove that the SNP is as crap as Labour or the Tories then people will go back to voting Labour or Tory. The SNP are far from perfect, although I’m not going to detail my dissatisfactions for the simple reason that if I do Unionists will pounce on it in an attempt create another SNPbad story. It’s enough that they’re competent, and that alone makes them leagues better than Labour.

Unionist journalists can do their own work, I’m not doing it for them. They’re still playing their traditional game of short term political advantage, but independence supporters have our eye on a long term prize. We’re not playing the same game any more. That’s why the SNP and the Greens will be the big winners in May, and why nothing that the Unionists do will make the slightest bit of difference no matter how many times they try to rebrand themselves. A tin of turds is still a tin of turds, no matter what it says on the label. Post it to the Queen.

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

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 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!

44 comments on “Rebranding a tin of turds

  1. Dan Huil says:

    “Upset that staunch Unionists are splitting their votes between Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems, the activists have decided to start a new party and split the Unionist vote even more.”

    Are they serious? You have to laugh. Maybe they’ll set up a new daily newspaper called… The Stench? Sorry, The Staunch?

  2. Francis Mooney says:

    Paul, I don’t know whether it’s your new found happiness but your this and your last have been outstanding.

  3. Thepnr says:

    That another vote splitting party among those still supporting the Union have entered the fray makes me smile and I wish them good cheer. The more the merrier.

    Not quite sure what they hope to achieve other than the proverbial 15 minutes of fame. I’m as happy as a Tory with a 1000 redundancy notices in his hands and share options in Royal Mail. Hopefully they will steal many, many votes from the “big” three and end up with nothing.

    Let them have their 15 minutes, I’m in for the long haul.

  4. macart763M says:

    Nah, I’d better not.

    Mrs M gets upset if I start throwing stuff.

    Union, unity, togetherness. Time we took those words back, because the current users aren’t fit and clearly do not understand the concepts.

    Nice one Paul.

  5. Itchybiscuit says:

    Perhaps they should concentrate on staunching the haemorrhage of votes suffered by the unionist parties instead?

    Here’s a wee hint, policies follow criticism as in; ‘The SNP are shite in this area of policy and (ta-da!) we’d replace their failures with this shiny new policy of our own’.

    Think they’ll listen? Nah, me neither.

  6. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Now this is even beyond the looking glass threshold.

    Have they got a brain virus?

    I go to my happier tonight. Thanks Paul for that.

  7. andygm1 says:

    I haven’t commented recently because, let’s face it, a constant round of, ‘This post is fantastic!’ gets a bit samey.

    By the way, this post is fantastic.

  8. xsticks says:

    That was crap Paul. You really need to pull your socks up (see what I did there andy?)

    Happy New Year to you. Hope you have a really good one.

  9. Soar Alba says:

    Happy new year to you and the dug, Paul. Another great post. Ta!

    I wonder which group the so called “new party” will attract.

  10. dinnatouch says:

    I take it the new party’s supporters will go marching to the polling station singing songs about an item of apparel their fathers wore?

  11. Ronnie says:

    So now we have the acronym ‘UKOKUP’?

    HNY PK.

  12. Patience is a Virtue says:

    This is all very confusing!!… first we’re told we are free to choose to support West Ham.. or is it Aston Villa.?.. and there is now apparently another (new) Scottish Unionist Party? .. correct?? -what happened to the old Conservative and Unionist Party?…. so in May… we can therefore vote for (in no particular order) …

    the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party,
    Scottish Green Party,
    Liberal Democrats,
    Scottish Socialists,
    Scottish National Party,
    Labour Party,
    Independent candidates and,
    other former Labour splinter parties?..

    and now this new Scottish Unionist Party….

    …all very confusing in this ‘so called’ one party state.

  13. Albawoman says:

    The new unionist future is orange methinks!

  14. “That’s not a recipe for solving Scotland’s problems, it’s a recipe for sticking your head up the arse of a Tory government and pretending that the view is lovely.” Oh that’s a keeper. Brill.

  15. Marconatrix says:

    Clearly this a dastardly scheme set in motion by undercover agents of the Big Bad One Party State, designed to throw the enemy into disarray, to split their ranks and set them quarrelling amongst themselves.

    Maybe this is how to deal with the irreducible 15% (or whatever it is) of dyed-in-the-wool NO voters. Line them all up with banners and all the trimmings, behind a brass band, and march them over a cliff Pied-Piper style …

  16. Helena says:

    Excellently put. Might we see even more parties setting up? As has been said, what with so many to choose from on the ballot, Scotland must be heading towards becoming a one party state!

  17. Angry Weegie says:

    Disappointed. I thought this would be a story about Tunnocks tea cakes.

  18. barpe4 says:

    First this, then some teacakes coming on Wednesday – you are doing us all proud, young man. More power to the elbow!!

  19. punklin says:

    Thank you – have always liked your style and stance but I think this blog now stands out politically because you focus on the Union being “irredeemably corrupt” and this simple truth:

    “Unionism in Scotland is suffering from its final illness. It’s terminal and there is no cure. There isn’t even any pretence these days that there’s such a thing as a positive case for the Union.”

    I think this is a winning argument, both theoretically and practically unanswerable – as long as we fight for a better alternative as well.

  20. bedelsten says:

    Spooling mistook?
    “you can (can’t) just stand on a tank”

    Otherwise, a good start to my day. Thanks.

  21. Luigi says:

    Ach, this new unionist party must be a cunning separatist’s ploy. They are already hopelessly divided. It must be a nat ploy, there can be no other sensible explanation. Surely even the britnat brigade cannot be that stupid. Or could they? They are a bit desperate and panicky right now, so I suppose old Hanlon’s razor may well be in operation!

    Happy New Year, Y’all. 🙂

  22. hektorsmum says:

    Hey I thought we were a one party state, now we seem to have another party wanting to stand for election and being allowed to. Irony seems to be a far too clever concept for these Yoons.

  23. Will Easton says:

    What we really need is Tunnock’s to produce Independence tea cakes, but you won’t get them, no chance, we’ll have to settle for our nice old independence yum yums. Mmmm

  24. Gordon Murray says:

    This Unionist party, not the party that almalgamated with the Conservatives in the mid 70s to form the Conservative and Unionist party of Great Britain that us Scots hold so dear?
    Or mebbes an attempt to reanimate the Unionist Movement so beloved of those true blues that infected Freedom Square on the 19th Sept 2014?

  25. Jan Cowan says:

    Are they really that stupid? I wonder what’s up the sleeve…… I just don’t trust them.

  26. Janet says:

    Before we fall in love with the Greens, please bear in mind that Westminster is likely to perceive such votes as being in favour of the environment rather than constitutional change!

    The Greens are lovely but they are not all Indy types!

    The job is not yet done: this May make it SNP / SNP. Put it right up Westminster where they don’t like it.

  27. Johnny come lately says:

    I can just see it now if they ever won power (stupid I know).
    All children of school age having compulsory flute playing lessons and must sing Land of hope and Glory at morning assembly. Union Jack bunting adjourning all city center streets. Compulsory Pictures of Betty Windsor to hang in all public Buildings and schools. All flagpoles to be made twice as high on public buildings so the union Jack flags flies gloriously above all other flags.
    St Andrews day to be renamed “Better together day”. St Andrews day and Burns night to be celebrated using publicly funded Morris dancers. Pipebands and pipers must apply for a permit from their local council and will be banned from playing outdoors. Shortbread, haggis, Irn bru, scotch pies and many other delicacies banned in an effort to eradicate obesity. Instead, beef Wellington, cream scones and cucumber sandwiches will be promoted as healthy foods.

  28. J Galt says:


    Do you have friends in the unionist MSM you’re not telling us about Paul?

  29. Kev Murray says:

    WGD agree with this blog, but I sincerely believe that we shouldn’t criticize them too much from the sidelines, maybe we should quietly sit back and let them fracture the unionist vote further, possibly concentrate on tearing the established unionist parties a new one, hopefully allowing the greens to rise up the list system resulting in a greater possibility of getting a few more independence minded list msp’s, the hardcore Labour/Tory voters will remain loyal, the lunatics on their fringes however(and there does appear to to be a significant sections within them)just might swing the balance in the greens favour, jus sayin like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s