Shear the sheep don’t fleece the people

Remember all those promises that the Better Together campaign made to Scotland during the independence referendum campaign? All those tax office jobs that would be safe, all those EU memberships that would be secure, all those pensions that would be guaranteed, and all those steel workers who were going to stay in work, all thanks to the wonderous graces of the fabulosous United Kingdom. Not so much a political union as a beneficent charitable scheme for indigent northern nations. Those kind hearted people in Westminster doing all those things for us out of the kindness of their hearts, giving us jobs and money and saving us from our own base Caledonian nature.

The tax office jobs are going, EU membership is looking increasingly dubious, you’ll be working for a pittance until you collapse into the grave, and the owners of the steel works want rid of the plant and the jobs that go along with them. Even if we are supposed to assume nothing but the very best of intentions from the Westminster government, their milk of human kindness would struggle to fill a teacup in a doll’s teaset. Mind you, they’re very good at filling their boots with proceeds stashed away in the tax havens of British overseas territories.

We’re supposed to believe that this UK government is going to be the most transparent ever, that it’s going to crack down on tax avoidance by big corporations and rich individuals, when the head of that government has himself been a beneficiary of tax avoidance schemes set up offshore by his dad, and most probably will be a benficiary in the future. Asked a carefully worded question about whether his family had benefited in the past or will benefit in the future from his father’s offshore holdings, Davie obfuscated and answered a different question that he wasn’t asked.

Meanwhile social security is slashed and public services cut to a bone that’s had its marrow sucked out and we’re all told to tighten our belts until we snap at the waist, while Davie Cameron smiles and waves and tells reporters his father’s Panamanian dealings are a private family matter. And he’ll get away with it too, because this is Britain.

And because this is Britain, the ones who will be condemned, the ones who will be called haters and extremists, are those who point out the avarice and greed of the rich and the powerful. That’s because screwing over the little guy and pissing in the public pot isn’t an action of those who are beyond the social pale, it’s central to the way that the UK works and the economy is structured. In the land of the robber the honest are despised.

None of this is new. None of this should be surprising. None of this should make us raise our hands in astonishment. We’ve all known for years that the despoilation of the world’s wealth has been going on, that a tiny minority enrich themselves on the back of the poor and the marginalised.

British governments both Tory and Labour have bowed down before the might of the robber barons of the City of London and prostrated a country before them. The Panama papers aren’t a story of the dirty dealings of foreign kelptocrats, of bribery in far off places, of corruption in distant lands. They are not the tale of the downfall of the prime minister of a small Nordic nation whose citizens are repulsed by his greed. They’re the story of how the British economy works, drawing in the ill-gotten gains of the corrupt and the dishonest and hiding it in British overseas territories that Whitehall doesn’t supervise. They’re the story of how Britain has become the money launderer to the world’s despoilers. They ought to be called the Square Mile Papers.

All over the UK people are as repulsed as the Icelanders about the rules for the rich that don’t apply to the poor, but unlike in Reykjavik there will be no political consequences for the British hypocrites who tell us that we’re all in this together. Better together with hypocrisy and cant, better together with deceit and deception. And there’s nothing we can do about it within the British state.

The United Kingdom isn’t a united kingdom at all, it’s a city state with colonies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. Much of the London is owned by the super rich through shell companies registered in British overseas territories. They pay no taxes here but inflate the London property bubble, inflate the importance of London at the expense of the rest of the UK. All those promises that Better Together made to Scotland during the independence referendum were about preserving London’s pole position as the go-to city for the super rich, where few questions will be asked and few demands will be made of them. The oligarchs don’t pay for the public services that keep the value of their property empires buoyant, we do.

The rich are as skittish as sheep on one of the vast Highland estates owned by a brass plate on an office block in the Cayman Islands. Stability is all, and Scotland making its own way in the world threatens that cosy world of secret deals and handshakes. Scotland might want to do something about land ownership, might want to ensure that the super rich pay their way.

I want to live in a land where the rich abide by the same rules as the rest of us. I want to live in country where politicians have to resign for hypocrisy and lies. I want to live in a country where the voices of ordinary people are heard, where government isn’t a scheme for the rich to get even richer while blaming the poor for their poverty. I want to live in a country where the super rich skittish sheep are coralled and shorn instead of the people getting fleeced.

That’s not going to happen in the UK, because the UK’s raison d’etre is robbing the poor to pay the rich. It’s only going to happen in an independent Scotland where the government is close enough to the people so that it can be held to account like in Iceland, where it’s the sheep that get shorn and the people don’t allow themselves to get fleeced.

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28 comments on “Shear the sheep don’t fleece the people

  1. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    “The United Kingdom isn’t a united kingdom at all, it’s a city state with colonies in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. ”

    I think this the most profoundly correct thing you have ever said in the WGD blog.

    You need to go to the USA every other week-end as it seems to made you move up a gear.

  2. diabloandco says:


    On another subject – eternal war – it seems that Russia , China , North Korea precede terrorism as a threat in the minds of those in Washington . I doubt there will be a world left in which Scotland could be independent.

  3. Dawn in NL says:

    Agreed! Well put. And what BtP said.

  4. Angus Skye says:

    Your comment regarding the City State of London and the Colonies is so true. (A bit like a real-life “Hunger Games” set-up!)

    In the not too distant past politicians and their parties told lies to be elected. We, the electorate, suffered from political dementia and forgot this the next time .. and the next time .. and ..

    With this huge change in the way we now scrutinise government and parties, through WGD, WOS, Bella and the many other great sites and blogs, we will not forget. It is crucial that we line up every lie that was spun by the Naesayers in 2014 and show them for what they were, and still are.

    The road to independence will be paved with the Truth.

  5. jamescaine709 says:

    Reblogged this on Jim's space.

  6. fermerfaefife says:

    Bare with me. At our athletics club the other night one of our parents picked up a javelin for the first time in his 45 years. This lad chucked it miles with no coaching whatsoever. He is one whose hidden talent has passed him and us by. Just think what he could have achieved if he’d been discovered in his prime.
    like that lad I think in Paul kavanagh we have accidentally thru the indyref we have discovered one of Scotlands most talented writers. Just think that the magnificent post above would never have seen the light of day. The difference between the javelin guy and Paul is that I think we have got him in his prime. Please Paul carry on with your brilliant posts and maybe the wider population will get woken up to your wonderful writing and wit.

  7. Lizzie56 says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with all and indeed all that you have written in today’s Narional. I get every rotten and so obvious lie and fear tactic done to Scottish people and indeed the majority of uk people. But to start changing from this state of limbo to independence we need action. I know many are advocating patience and I understand their reasons, but feel if we don’t start and it is start to actively change the minds of no voters we will miss the opportunities we have now. The opportunities that are massive and now. People have a short memory and indignation does not last long. Just look at bankers bonuses. Not making much headlines now. It would have been good to see a continual campaign to turn the no voters to yes. This is not happening and if as the SNP say it’s up to the people and they are using the opinion polls and given the recent many many reasons to turn no votes to yes the opinion polls are staying the same. It takes a campaign to enlighten, educate and persuading the no voters who really don’t care about politics or what’s going on to change their minds. I hope that as Nicola Sturgeon suggests a campaign will start after the forthcoming election and fear if this does not happen the great opportunity we have now will be missed. People are suffering now and I feel great opportunities are being missed. We need an ongoing educating campaign and we need it soon.

    • AAD says:

      I am out on the streets campaigning at the moment on a weekly basis, as well as having conversations on a casual basis with people in bus queues, etc. I challenge misconceptions whenever I can. And I think I wake up some of the people I talk to .
      It is up to all of us to work as individuals talking to individuals to change minds.
      I would like the SNP to be more vocal on these sorts of issues but until that happens I will do it myself.
      If enough of us do this it would effect change at the grass roots, voting level.
      (Practical note: have a stash of slips of paper with WOS and Wee Ginger Dug web addresses ready to hand out.)

  8. Tinto Chiel says:

    What Bugger (the Panda) said.

    That brilliant quotation sums up the whole rotten situation of Better Togetherdom. I’m just amazed it’s accepted so passively in non-Londinium England. Mind you, when you see the state of their Press….

    They don’t have an angry wee dug, and a subversive reverend, do they?

    Sleepers, awake!

  9. Macart says:

    *THIS*, with knobs on. Absolutely nailed it Paul.

    The United Kingdom is basically a lie, a mirage and worse yet, an excuse. Even the peoples of the English regions are considered nothing better than a resource to be tapped.

    Capital cities are expected to have a disproportionate degree of importance and pull in any country. Makes sense really. They’re traditionally the seat of government for a country after all and where the decisions get made, but what are you when you are not a single country? What are you when the turnover of your state is reliant on financial services centred in a single geographic location? What we have, I’d say, is essentially UKPLC, a state machine run like a megacorp which uses an unwritten constitution to control the resources and tax base of the nations and crown protectorates within its charter.

    Like any huge corporate entity, it doesn’t exist to serve its workers, or even its management. No, it exists purely to provide profit and mainly for the shareholders (see under those and such as those). The peoples of the UK don’t have a government, they have owners and sitting in that big hoose on the Thames, a board of directors.

    In a country, a government exists to serve the people. In a corporation, the people exist to serve the shareholders. To the shareholder, when profit is threatened for any reason, the people become disposable dontchaknow.

    In a country, when times are hard, that’s when a government protects the people.

  10. […] Shear the sheep don’t fleece the people […]

  11. Oneironaut says:

    Much of the problem is that these days the people (or at least the vast majority of them throughout the world) ARE the sheep…

    As long as they can follow around the rest of the herd, getting their latest iPhone and watching their reality TV shows, they don’t seem to mind too much getting fleeced on a regular basis.
    Not to mention led to the slaughterhouse when they’re no longer of use.

    Still they continue to put up with this.

    I don’t think I’ll ever understand people. And recently, I decided there’s no point in trying to understand them any more.

  12. Mike Fenwick says:

    @Paul … first I can only ask that you take me on trust.

    And perhaps by way of establishing that trust I should say that thanks to Mike Small at Bella I have been given funding to take forward a project, and have been making contact with some of the Yes Groups and the Anti-Austerity Groups explaining what I have in mind, and so far the feedback is positive.

    Amongst the results the Project would produce are these:

    – radical direct action to challenge the sanctions regime with the funds to help those affected by it

    – demonstrate how to tax the rich to help alleviate poverty

    – act as a positive demonstration of Scottish Independence, of both mind and action to those who voted NO

    Now an apology – I can’t find a way of contacting you on the site – but you have my e-mail address per my post, can you contact me and hopefully we can arrange a meeting so I could explain what is involved.

    Mike …

  13. MI5 Troll says:

    Paul, as ever you catch what so many of us are thinking and get it summarised with your unique way with words. Independence could still be a bit down the road so please Dug,keep on being a nuisance and keep worrying the lying sheep.

  14. arthur thomson says:

    Thank you for this post Paul, as others have said it is truly frustrating that your words aren’t accessible to the vast majority. Who knows what circumstances might change that in the future.

    I don’t know what Nicola has in mind in terms of a campaign to promote support for independence. I hope to be able to support it whatever it is.

    My view is that what is most important is to raise the self-confidence of the Scottish people. We need to inform but not to try to persuade. We need a campaign of positivity about Scotland and whenever possible to counteract the deliberate negativity of our opponents. An essential part of developing that self-confidence is for us to communicate to all Scots that we have confidence in them to ultimately understand and support independence. It won’t be a road free of obstacles and frustration but a new Scotland inhabited by sheep is not my goal. To succeed in this venture Scotland needs a population of informed citizens, not people who have been browbeaten into reluctant acceptance.

    In my opinion the SNP is adopting the right approach. At the same time I value every attempt by other organisations to genuinely promote independence in the way they think best – though I don’t see a lot of evidence of it. Unfortunately, I am certain that there are organisations and groups out there whose goal is to use the movement for independence for their own ends – to be discarded as soon as they think they can safely do so. The enlightenment of the people and allowing them to reach their own conclusions is not part of their strategy. They seek only to herd people for their own ends.

    I want an independent Scotland inhabited by adult people who will not be led by the nose. How to achieve that?

  15. We need to become like the Icelander’s and take the fight to these bastards.

    Definitive analysis from the top drawer in your inimitable style Paul,hits the nail on the head for the thousandth time in the most poetic manner.


  16. Bill Dale says:

    For those posters wanting ammunition to persuade No voters of the case for independence, can I suggest Wings’ Wee Black Book.

    This is available for download on the WOS site and will soon be on the streets in hard copy format. It gives chapter and verse on the broken promises of the U.K. State all backed up with hard evidence.

    It is a perfect complement to Paul’s inimitable invective.

  17. […] Shear the sheep don’t fleece the people […]

  18. I’ve just caught up with this excellent ‘I’m mad as hell. and I’m not going to take it any more.’, piece, Paul.
    If we throw them out on their ear in May, and rid our Councils of the corrupt Unionist coalition of chancers in 2017, will they still deny that their time is up, that we are taking government of our own country back into our hands?

    You bet they will.
    It occurs to me that, say, Annabel Goldie was never elected to Holyrood, but slipped through on the list vote, and attained the high office of leader of the Blue Tories Up here, failed at that miserably, and was ‘rewarded’ with an unelected berth in the House of Lards.
    We have never voted her into office, yet she is part of the Ruling Elite.
    We’ll never get rid of them until we declare Independence.
    And so to bed.

  19. hettyforindy says:

    And this from a poster on WoS yesterday, ‘Just this week, yet another announcement was made that the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC) for the entire UK is being moved from Kinloss, Scotland to Hampshire, England’.

    Better together eh.

    • Yup – says it all really. Some people seem to have lost sight of the fact that what matters most is independence first and foremost because it is only through independence that we can then forge the nation we desire.

      So don’t waste time and effort on whether or not the SNP needs to be more radical (for me the answer is “of course they do”) at this stage. Instead hold fast to the notion that what we need above all else is the right to determine our own destiny.

      Without that we are left with whatever crumbs UK Gov decides to throw us and i fail to see how that achieves anything.

  20. bettyboop says:

    Paul has a way of describing the legendary impotence of citizens of this UK, something known to raise my BP, which should be writ large on billboards everywhere.

    This piece is one of the best amongst a plethora of excellent comments on the state of our society. Share far and wide.

    I have little to add considering most of my thoughts on this subject have also been included in prior comments; just this, keep pounding that keyboard.

  21. The Scottish Play says:

    ‘I think our country sinks beneath the yoke.
    It weeps, it bleeds, and each new day a gash
    Is added to her wounds.’

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