The sands in the hourglass

It’s not even two years since the independence referendum whose date most of us can remember, and here we are, talking about indyref 2. Few can have imagined during the depressing day when Magrit Curran danced and clapped and Conservatives grinned at the death grimace they fondly imagined to be on the face of Scottish state that just a few short months later that the sands of Union would still be tumbling through the hourglass. That rattle we heard wasn’t the jewellery of the Lords as the celebrated their continuing rule over us, it was the death rattle of Union. It’s rattling still.

All of Scottish politics revolves around the independence question. Even the European referendum is viewed through the prism of the independence debate. In an interview on Tuesday with Channel 4, businessman Tom Hunter asked how it was that Nicola Sturgeon could be so opposed to the Union of Parliaments, but so in favour of the European Union. He couldn’t understand it, he said, expressing the wish that someone would put the question to her. It’s a question, or rather a non-question, that supporters of Brexit frequently ask. Not that I’m suggesting Tom Hunter supports a Brexit. I have no idea which way he’s going to vote in June, and to be honest I don’t really care. I’m sure he has an equal lack of interest in how I’m going to vote, which is fair enough.

However the question is most often associated with those who seek an exit from the EU, people whose prime representative in Scotland is David Coburn, and no one is going to confuse him with a deep thinker. It’s perfectly consistent to be opposed to the Union of Parliaments but in favour of the European Union, because the only thing that the two have in common is the word union. Comparing the two is like wondering why someone want to get as far away as they possibly can from an abusive control freak of a partner but they insist on retaining membership of the bingo club and the gym.

The European Union doesn’t set Scotland’s budget. It doesn’t get to tell us how much the Scottish government will have to spend in any given year. Westminster does that. Westminster might have grudging conceded a few tax powers to Scotland, but they still control the purse strings. That’s true despite Huw Edwards’ dubious assertion on Tuesday’s BBC news that the Scottish Parliament is the most devolved legislature in the world.

Strictly speaking, what Huw said is true. Scotland has the most devolved legislature in the world. But then since the entire concept of devolution exists only within the UK, that’s really not saying much. You could just as easily say that Scotland has the most George Foulkesiest and Michael Forsythiest legislature in the world since the pair of them sit in the Lords and still lord it over us. So as a statement of Scottish constitutional strength it is equally true, and equally informative, and certainly considerably more embarrassing. Although, come to think of it, it also explains a great deal about how Scotland is habitually screwed over by Westminster. You won’t find Huw telling you that on the 6 O’Clock News though. I’d rather have the unelected bureaucrats of Brussels than the unelected embarrassments of the Lords.

Saying that Scotland has the most devolved legislature in the world is certainly not the same as saying that Scotland has the most powerful legislature short of independence of anywhere in the world. That’s certainly what Huw was trying to imply. It’s certainly what Scotland’s Unionist establishment would like us to believe. It’s also not true. To pick one example almost at random, Greenland’s legislature has far more control and power than Scotland’s, and there’s only 57,000 Greenlanders. Presumably Inuit people are genetically programmed to self-government. Must be all the fish in their diet. The 5,300,000 inhabitants of Scotland have barely more self-government than a Danish municipality.

But back to Europe. The European Union doesn’t regulate Scotland’s broadcasting. It doesn’t fill our televisions with nauseating hours of sycophantic coverage of how Jean-Claude Juncker loves horses and wildlife even when he’s blowing it to buggery with a twin bore rifle. We have the Westminster controlled BBC and the British royal family for that. Huw knows a lot about that, since he’s one of the main voices of royalist and monarchist sychophancy polluting our airwaves. Honestly BBC, if I wanted to know all about Harry and Will visiting the set of Star Wars or the Queen’s love of horses there’s a very easy way you could tell. I would just have a lobotomy and sit gibbering in my own drool.

The EU doesn’t tell Scotland that we must invade some far away country that most people would struggle to find on a map. It doesn’t tell us that we must have weapons of mass destruction capable of evaporating the entire country based down the road from our largest population centre. Westminster does that. Westminster loves going to war. Punching above our weight, they’re pleased to call it. They like their wars in far away places. It lets them feel important. It’s the viagra for an impotent ex-empire.

This week the Labour party in Scotland have announced, in a piece of window dressing that makes bugger all of a difference, that they’re opposed to the renewal of Trident. That’s all very well and good, but as long as the Labour party in Scotland insists that Scotland must be subject to the Westminster Parliament then they are telling us that Scotland cannot have an opinion on whether we want nuclear obscenities based in our country. Westminster will decide, and Labour’s protests will be token. Then they’ll tug their forelocks and knuckle down. There’s only one way to get rid of Trident for good, and it’s with independence. In or out of the EU, with the UK we’re stuck with it.

The biggest difference is that we can still hope that the EU can be reformed to make it accountable, to make it work in the interests of ordinary working people and not as an instrument of the elites. There is no hope of reforming the British state.

If Scotland was independent we’d have our own voice in Brussels. Right now we have no voice at all. Scotland is represented at a European level by Davie Cameron, and he understands Scotland even less well than Huw Edwards. In just over five weeks we’ll find out whether the UK is going to remain a part of the EU or it’s going to leave. One thing is certain though, whichever way the rest of the UK votes, Scotland is going to remain a part of the EU. The only thing that the EU referendum is going to tell is just how much sand is left in the UK’s Scottish hourglass.

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23 comments on “The sands in the hourglass

  1. Paul, These unelected mandarins of the EU only craft legislation to the elected parliament MEP’s for approval or rejection. This is no different for Westminster mandarins – they can’t pass legislation either. In fact there is no parallel to the House of Lords in Europe, and these guys *ARE* unelected.

  2. Morag says:

    awe WGD! you excel yersel again and again. Keep up the guid blog, love it!

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The sands in the hourglass […]

  4. Onwards says:

    The way I see it is that the EU is a union of real nation states.
    Sharing some sovereignty to enable the world’s biggest common market of 500 million people.

    No real comparison with the limited devolution Scotland has within the unequal UK union.

    For most EU nations, it looks similar to the situation Scotland would have been in after independence – with a common currency for ease of trade with the rest of Britain.

  5. […] Source: The sands in the hourglass […]

  6. Macart says:

    For me? Everything you say is true, but more importantly everything is about time and place. Whilst one union ‘acts on our behalf’ as representation to the other, there is no point in Scotland having a national discussion on the subject. Everything is seen through the lens of that first union. Long and the short of it, I’d rather we had that discussion when Scotland was talking to the EU on its own behalf, face to face and able to look at the pros and cons from its own direct relationship.

    So until we’re independent and able to have that convo, I’ll be voting to remain. Once we’re independent and have a little time to get on our feet and see how relations develop, how the land lies as it were, then we can have a proper and serious discussion.

  7. Black Rab says:

    What an excellent idea……..a lobotomy which enables one to sit in one’s own drool and lovingly appreciate the cretins of the royal family fanny around in front of cameras in exotic locations all over the world. It’s really good……… really is. Hey, I could also go for a game of dominoes in the Bristol Bar……..fantastic!

  8. Black Rab says:

    Another good post. Thanks Paul.

  9. Guga says:

    I want to be rid of the foreigners in the House of Common Thieves and the House of Lards who continue to treat us as “natives” and only want to hang on to their Scottish colony to steal our money and resources. I also want rid of the corrupt and unelected foreigners that run the EUSSR for what they can steal from it (their accounts have not been signed off for 21 years). Moreover, I want rid of the German monarchy as they are a costly irrelevance to Scotland. Going on from that, I want an independent Scotland which is not a member of NATO (The North American Terrorist Organization) which only exists to increase the huge profits to the American arms industry.

    Regarding the question of another referendum on regaining our independence, I want that as soon as possible. And as for these Tories (Red and Blue) and the assorted Quislings that say we can’t have another referendum, they need to be told, again and again, that, according to international law, we have the absolute right to self-determination, and that we will get our independence whether they like it or not.

  10. Good piece again, Paul.
    I’m so glad I got rid of my telly; the snippets of Royal sycophancy I do catch are nauseating enough. The BBC is so bad, I even listen to the radio less to avoid the prop… news bulletins!
    Stuck here in Englandshire I’m contemplating voting to leave in order to precipitate that breaking point for the UK. It would also help bugger up Soros and Legarde’s unpleasant schemes.

    • gerry parker says:

      Radio as you say is just as bad. Classic FM is full of the 90th birthday guff.

      Lord if I was woken up every morning,
      clothes for the day chosen for me, helped to dress. Breakfast prepared and served, led throughout the day and ferried from place to place in luxury transport, an army of servants to look after my every need, then I’m sure I’d live to 90 too.

      Not that I’d want the job.

  11. Al Manny says:

    The attempt to lobotomize the population is ongoing. For arguments sake let’s call it it Lobotomedia; lobotomy by a corporate media headed up by the surgeon general, the BBC.
    The good news is that lobotomedia unlike a surgical lobotomy can be reversed. Once done it can never infect you again.
    The cure is simple, read a wee blue book, a wee black book, the wee dug and WOS and hey presto the scales fall from your eyes never to return.

  12. Albawoman says:

    The removal of Trident would be a major achievement. I would love to live to see all the subs sailing out of Scotland.

    Why is it in any way acceptable that our children are so exposed to this horrendous risk?

    Are their lives cheaper than children iliving in other parts of this Island? Seems so.

  13. Tinto Chiel says:

    “Labour’s protests will be token.”

    How did you get access to the one-line BLiS manifesto so early, Paul?

    Gerry, if classical’s your thing, Radio 3 has only two short news bulletins during the day, so you’re pretty much insulated from the UKOKian whine, although once I was caught up a ladder painting and Giles Brandreth was a guest interviewee. Weasels rip my flesh!

    Now playing, TC’s Lament: “Oh, how I wish to be foreign.”

  14. Kindagood says:

    If what you said about Greenlands parliament is true, then surely that means Scotland isn’t the most powerful devolved parliament in the world, because I am pretty sure Greenlands power is devolved from the Danish parliament, and if so perhaps a complaint should be made to the BBC about being factually inaccurate

  15. Dan Huil says:

    The people of Scotland can decide on EU membership after Scotland regains its independence.
    First things first: SNP x 2

  16. Macart says:

    As expected, Nicola states that the power and timing of the next referendum lies with THE PEOPLE.

    Wait for it, after months of accusing the FM and former FM of plotting a referendum date, the headlines will be STURGEON BACKS DOWN.😀

    Not, SNP HONOURS PLEDGE, or THE PEOPLE DECIDE, but mainly SNP baaaad. Let’s see those politicians and their media assault and harry the public to name a date the way they’ve assaulted the Scottish Government.

  17. Harry Scott says:

    It’s not even the most devolved parliament in the British Isle, As a Crown Dependency, The Manx parliament has as much devolved power as Holyrood, plus full power over tax, financial regulation, currency (tied to sterling by choice), capital spending, civil defense and social security. Only limited foreign policy and defense powers retained by Westminster.

  18. kailyard rules says:

    SNP x 2……SNP x 2

  19. Marconatrix says:

    So the UK will go out, not with a bang but with a whimper? Fitting, I suppose😉

  20. John Edgar says:

    Brexit, or more appropriately, Engxit, is the crisis of the Westminster set up. Identity is mixed up, a ruritanian ” monarchy” dressed in odd hats and 19th century uniforms waving to the cottars and performing meaningless openings of things and getting their names linked to them like some magic fairy dust.
    It is ironic that the English Parliament of Cromwell that overthrew the monarchy and abolished the House of Lords on its day,albeit, that the ” aristocracy” did it, the political class of the day, should end up with the constitutional mêlée of today. The Americans were on the right path in 1776 when they said they were taking the “Glorious Revolution” of 1688/89 a stage further. The remaining UK relapsed into repression and Victorian adulation culminating in imperialism ending in a Commonwealth, meaning decline and denial. And so the circus goes on issuing obe’s mbe’s, where b e means “British Empire”. And the peasants get into a tizzy when receiving them. Willsn’Kate were in India as “tourists”. Will’s ancestor was Emperor of India!
    In Scotland, when the English Windsor circus with its royal standard bearing the English quartering “rolls-royces” in, it changes into brigadoonery with idiotic overtones. At the Braemar Games, the peasants and the media do not which members of the Windsors will arrive.
    These esoteric, little nonsensical whims and ” traditions” are cringe worthy, yet the peasants revel in them, or ,at least, made to chatter them to the bedazzled onlookers.
    The decline of the UK parties in Scotland is symptomatic of the change taking place in Scottish perceptions within civil society. All the msm and its hangers-on see is SNP baaaad with more and more “a’s”. It does not ask why is this taking place. It is detached and operates along subconscious Westminster paradigms which I sees as universal truths revealed.
    Inderef 2 will take place when people and future generations are ready and come to rely on their own innate strengths and not on the myths of the UK past.

  21. gerry parker says:

    Tinto Chiel,

    Thanks for that, tuning in to it now.

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