A bad boy done it and ran away

Never in the political history of the United Kingdom has the phrase “a bad boy done it and ran away” been more appropriate. Boris Johnson, who leapt on the EU referendum as a bicycle booster to his hopes of leading the Tory party, has looked upon the EUrine stained wreckage he has wrought and decided to spend more time with his lucrative column in the Telegraph.

Boris will go down in history as the first man ever to be slaughtered by a goldfish. His leadership hopes were shattered after erstwhile ally Michael Govefish decided to stand against him. A commentator on Sky News, economist Dr Pippa Malmgren, spoke up in favour of the Govefish, saying that as a Scot he could unite the country and prevent Scottish independence. An entire nation chortled as she spoke. There’s less chance of finding support for Michael Govefish in Scotland than you would for finding Nemo.

Boris’s decision to run away has left Home Secretary Teresa May as the favourite to take over from Davie Cameron. Teresa is a sort of 21st century Maggie Thatcher, only without the warmth, humanity, or sense of humour. She’s confident that she can give the country what it wants during this time of national crisis, mainly because she’s snooped on everyone’s mobile phone messages.

Teresa is no stranger to post-truth politics, she once stood up before the Tory party conference and told them the entirely ficticious tale of a Bolivian who couldn’t be deported because he had a pet cat. She’s the Home Secretary responsible for the vans bearing the racist “Go Home” adverts patrolling our streets. She’s made no secret of her antipathy towards the European Treaty on Human Rights. Teresa is adept in the politics of right wing dog whistle racism.

It’s not just the Tories and Labour in Westminster who have been caught out by Brexit and left without any plans on how to proceed, the Tories and Labour in Holyrood are in the same rudderless boat. Although to be honest Labour in Scotland haven’t had a plan since Jack McConnell got the builders in and asked for a quote for new windaes for John Smith Hoose.

Ruthie looked lost and forlorn at Furst Meenister’s Questions on Thursday. She’s discovered that this holding the SNP to account business is a lot harder than she expected after her own party has been responsible for the greatest implosion since a black hole formed at the centre of the galaxy. It’s certainly sooked in any chance of Ruth There she was just a few days ago, sitting on top of a photogenic tank surveying the political landscape and imagining that she was going to lead the massed ranks of SNPBadding for the next five years, conveniently raising her profile for a nice Westminster constituency in Torysafeseatshire and a post in the cabinet. And now Wullie Rennie isn’t even willing to give her a seat on his bus to Kelty.

Ruthie got into parliament on the back of a promise to stand up for the Union. Just not the European one. Her view on protecting Scotland’s place in the EU, voted for by a significantly larger majority than voted to remain in the UK, is to shrug her shoulders and say it’s a shame that Scotland can’t get what it wants. In the few short weeks since what the Unionist media hailed as a stonking victory by the new champion of Scotland in Britain, support for independence has soared. According to a series of opinion polls there’s now a clear majority in favour of independence, and a majority in favour of holding a second independence referendum. How’s that protecting the place of Scotland in the UK going for you Ruthie, eh?

She sat stony faced as Nicola Sturgeon told her that the Tories had recklessly brought the country to the edge of disaster, which was a bit unfair. The Tories have brought the country right into the very middle of disaster and don’t have the foggiest notion of how to get out of it apart from blaming it all on immigrants. Ruth Davidson claimed that she was standing up for Scotland, but now her own party has brought Scotland to the brink of leaving the EU against the will of the Scottish people, Ruth is running away from the Scottish people and into the arms of her Westminster pals. Ruth doesn’t stand for the interests of Scotland in the United Kingdom, she stands for the interests of the United Kingdom in Scotland.

In an attempt to retake the initiative, Ruth demanded to know which UK cabinet ministers Nicola has been talking to in the past week, instead of going off to make Scotland’s case to Europe. She just forgot to mention that most of those cabinet ministers have been AWOL all week as they put the interests of the Tory party ahead of the interests of the country. Even if Nicola could find a Tory cabinet minister willing to discuss Scotland’s future in the EU, the chances are they’ll be reshuffled and out of a job next week.

Adam Tomkins has been reduced to plaintively tweeting that Brexit means huge new powers for the Scottish Parliament which require Holyrood’s consent and wondering why Nicola is really going to advise we withhold that. Well Adam, it might just be that she prefers the much huger powers that we’d get with independence over the grudging and meagre concessions from Westminster. Just a wee guess there. It’s unfair to describe Westminster’s devolution process as hauf-arsed though. It’s not got that much bottom.

Back in London there was yet more bad boys and girls doing it and running away. After deciding that the priority for the Labour party during a time of national crisis was to plot a coup against Jeremy Corbyn and paralysing the official opposition to the Tories just as they’re screwing the country and screwing themselves, the Parliamentary Labour party won’t be mounting a leadership challenge after all. Far better just to wreck your own party then run away. Seems to be the theme for the day.

That’s the story of Westminster. Bad boys and girls create an almighty mess, then they run away.


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.

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frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

The bucket of crabs

Britain is continuing its not so stately descent into madness. The thing about collective madness is that when everyone else around you is behaving like a crazy, then that legitimises craziness. That’s how you end up with a situation where Boris Johnson is tipped as next Prime Minister, Nigel Farage is a respected elder statesman, and the Parliamentary Labour party thinks that it can ditch Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and expects the grass roots membership not to immediately vote him back into office again. Polls strongly point to ordinary Labour members doing just that, meaning Jeremy will lead a party where almost 80% of MPs and Labour’s entire cohort of MEPs have voted to get rid of him.

The most surprising thing about this entire disaster is that there are still people who honestly and sincerely believe that Scotland is best served being governed by Westminster. Collective insanity strikes again. Seriously, in a crisis who do you want to govern you? Someone who is trying to find a path out of the crisis, or people who are preoccupied with internal party politics while the country goes to pot around them and the economy goes down the tubes? It’s such a no brainer that even a single celled organism ought to be able to grasp the point.

We’re now several days on from the UK pushing the big red Brexit button, and we’re still no wiser about what’s happening to the country. With the exception of the Scottish Government, no one has a plan for Brexit, and there’s still no prospect of either of the two main UK parties having a plan for Brexit any time soon. Meanwhile the UK media is doing all it can to rubbish the Scottish Government’s attempts to seek some clarity in the mad Boris fog into which the UK has been plunged. The UK has turned into a giant bucket of crabs and the Unionist media will do all it can to pull Scotland back down and keep us at the bottom of the bucket.

Over in Europe, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is naturally indulging himself in his usual sulk at the possibility that an independent Scotland could end up as a member of the EU. It has been reported in the press today that Rajoy has stated that the EU has no right to negotiate with Scotland, and that if the UK leaves the EU then Scotland must leave too. This has been reported by the usual suspects as a massive slap in the face for Nicola Sturgeon, which is a bit like claiming to be surprised that Dracula refused the vegetarian option at brunch.

If Rajoy concedes that a Scotland which is still a part of the UK, and which hasn’t held an independence referendum and decided to leave it, is able to negotiate its own EU membership with Brussels, then he opens the door to Catalonia embarking on its own negotiations with the EU. He’s never going to permit that. If the EU enters into formal negotiations with Scotland under current circumstances, then any sub-state entity could formally negotiate with the EU irrespective of the attitudes or policies of the state to which it belonged. That counts as meddling in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

Much as it pains me to say it, Rajoy has a point here. The EU cannot negotiate potential membership with a Scotland which is still a subsidiary part of a UK which has voted to leave. We cannot be regarded as a potential member state as long as constitutionally we remain a part of another country, moreover a country which has just voted to flounce out of the EU in a massive anti-immigrant huff.

What this means is that if the preferred option of Kezia Dugdale and Wullie Rennie is to come to pass, a Scotland which remains a part of the UK while also remaining a part of the EU, then we’re going to have to rely on a Boris dominated Westminster and a Parliamentary Labour party in meltdown to negotiate that for us. We’ll be held hostage to the fortunes of Westminster parties which are more concerned about their short term party positioning than they are about the fate of the UK. Scotland’s fate comes a very very long way down their list of priorities.

The only potential way in which it could come about would be for a reinvigorated Labour party to fight and win a snap general election on a platform of retaining freedom of movement within the EU even though most of the UK has left Europe. The Tories aren’t going to do that, and the Tories will not concede a Scotland which is inside the EU while the rest of the UK has left. It’s going to be a nasty and bitter general election, and it’s quite likely that a resurgent UKIP will hoover up Labour votes in the working class communities of the North of England and South Wales which voted heavily in favour of leaving the EU during the referendum. We could find ourselves with the nightmare scenario of a UK government formed of a coalition between the Tories and UKIP, with Labour reduced to an ineffective minority, although how different that will be from the ineffective minority they currently consist of is a moot point.

Rajoy’s statement that if the UK leaves then Scotland leaves is more of a threat to the aspirations of those who want a twin track UK half-in, half-out, than it does to those who want an independent Scotland. If Scotland leaves the UK before the Brexit negotiations are concluded, then Rajoy’s objections no longer apply. Scotland will be in the unique position of being a country heading for independence which is already an EU member.

The only option for Scotland to ensure that we retain our EU membership is for us to hold an independence referendum and vote for independence before the UK pulls the Brexit trigger. Then, and only then, will be be able to make our case heard effectively in the corridors of Brussels, and then and only then will Scotland be able to argue that we should be treated as the continuing state in the same way that England and Wales would have insisted they were the continuing state had Scotland voted for independence in 2014. Then the question of vetoes from other EU member states will not apply, although I’ve already argued why Spain would not veto Scottish membership even if we did find ourself in the position of applying to the EU as an entirely new state.

In times of uncertainty it’s vital to act decisively. Westminster isn’t going to do it. Only Scotland can. As the Borisfog lingers, a second independence referendum is the beacon which illuminates the way out.


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.

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frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Don’t let Scotland down now, part 2

Right, where were we? Oh aye, we were spinning our heids trying to keep up with what’s going on and failing miserably. There have been a whole load of new developments in the few short hours since the last post. Probably by the time I actually manage to get this blog post finished and published there will have been lots more and my heid will have exploded.

First up was the debate in Holyrood this afternoon. It made a very pleasant change to watch the different parties in the Scottish Parliament all gang up on the Tories. ToriesBad has a much nicer ring to it than SNPBad, don’t you think? Besides, there can be no dispute whatsover that the responsibility for this EU galactofuck lies fairly and squarely with the Tory party. The Bullingdon Boys decided it would be a jolly jape to use the arguments about the EU as a proxy to settle internal disputes within the Tory party, and now the entire thing has blown up in their faces and the stars of the Tory party leadership, both Brexiteers and Remainers, have vanished up a black hole of their own creation. It’s not in a constellation though, because no one wants to be anywhere near them.

The motion being debated was to give the Scottish government the mandate it requires to speak to other devolved bodies within the UK, the UK government, Gibraltar, other European countries, and the EU itself in order to find a means of permitting the democratic will of the Scottish people to be respected. Scotland, as everyone who hasn’t been sooked into the black hole of Torydom knows, voted to remain a part of the EU.

The debate was kicked off with Nicola Sturgeon stating emphatically that this motion is not simply an excuse to get another indyref. The Scottish government and its team of expert cross party advisors will examine all and any scenarios which will allow Scotland to remain a part of the EU, including the Labour party’s idea of a federal Britain in which Scotland and Northern Ireland are a part of the EU but the rest of the UK isn’t. Nicola made a strong and impassioned speech, stating repeatedly that this isn’t about independence, and was her speech was followed by Ruth Davidson.

Ruthie’s conciliatory and cooperative tone lasted approximately 45 seconds. After saying how much she regretted the result of Thursday’s vote, she came over all ProudScotBut and couldn’t stop going on about independence. And how she wishes the whole idea would disappear up the same black hole that has so recently consumed the careers of Davie Cameron and George Osborne. Ruthie’s big idea is for Scotland to knuckle down and do what Westminster tells us. We make a lovely tartan doormat for Westminster to wipe its feet on, said Ruthie. Well she didn’t really, but that’s what it boiled down to. So that was as useful a contribution as the one that Nigel Farage made to the EU parliament this morning.

Kezia was up next, and instead of playing her usual SNPBad tag team games with the Tories, she gave Ruthie a rocket up her arse which pretty much managed to send Ruthie into orbit about that black hole. I don’t say this often, in fact I don’t say it at all, but Kezia done good. How’s that defending the Union working out for you? Kezia asked. Ruthie glowered in silence. Admittedly Kezia is still clinging to the vain hope that it will be possible for Scotland to remain a part of the UK while simultaneously remaining a part of the EU, but the poor thing is still working her way through the stages of grief, so we should be gentle.

Kezia was followed by Patrick Harvie, who pointedly reminded Ruthie of the promises that the Better Together campaign had made during the indyref in 2014. There was more glowering. Ruth by this time had a face that could fry a pund of mince in an Edinburgh butchers all the way from the black hole she’s in orbit around.

But her torture was not to end. Even Wee Wullie Rennie took time off his bus route to have a go. Which is a bit like being savaged by a slightly moist ball of cotton wool, but still. Wullie wants all of the UK to remain in the EU, and Scotland to remain as well. This is the man who’s spent the past two years demanding that the outcome of the 2014 Scottish referendum needs to be respected, but now he thinks that the outcome of an English one needs to be overturned because he doesn’t like it. No one pointed out to him that that was terribly Scottish nationalist of him, because with the exception of Ruthie, everyone was being nice to everyone else today.

The result of the motion being passed by a large majority in the Scottish Parliament is that Scotland is now pursuing an independent foreign policy. We are negotiating with and speaking to other European nations and the EU on our own behalf, without the intermediaries of Westminster. We’ve ditched Whitehall’s rusty auld modem and we’re building a high speed broadband to Europe of our own. That fact all by itself is pretty big news, and that’s before we even come to consider what it is that Scotland is talking to other European nations about.

Over the coming few days, Nicola has meetings lined up with the President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz, and the President of the EU Jean Claude Juncker. Despite the fact that Juncker also stated today that the EU will not enter any negotiations with the UK government until they trigger Article 50, he’s made it equally clear that his door is open to Scotland. I think that tells us all we need to know about the EU’s attitude to keeping Scotland within the EU.

Meanwhile, dahn sarf, politics continued to meltdown. Actually it melted down a few days ago, but it still hasn’t stopped its descent into the levels of Hell where Dante said the criminally insane reside. I think that’s Labour and Tory party HQs. Jeremy Corbyn has suffered a huge defeat in a vote of confidence, with over 170 Labour MPs voting against him, triggering a new Labour leadership contest to go with the Tory leadership contest that we’ve already got to look forward to. Well I say look forward to, I mean that in the same sense that you look forward to root canal treatment without an anaesthetic. Jeremy Corbyn now only has the support of a mere 40 MPs, but he’s determined to remain as leader and will stand in the leadership contest. What Labour is going to do once the grass roots membership give him their backing is anyone’s guess.

Oh, and we still don’t have a shadow Scotland Secretary, although there are apparently rumours that Corbyn is going to appoint the Labour peer Mike Watson, Baron Arsonist of Hotel Curtains. So that’s not inflammatory or anything.

Have I missed anything? Almost certainly I’ve missed lots. The UK is a dysfunctional madhouse, and we need to get into the lifeboats as soon as possible. Thank the gods the Scottish government has a plan, because no one else does.


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.

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frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Don’t let Scotland down now

It’s only lunchtime and I’m still trying to catch up with the events of this morning. The gods alone know what will have happened by teatime. The only thing that I’m sure of is that it’s looking increasingly likely that the UK’s tea is oot.

There was a fun morning in the European Parliament. For once Sky News and the BBC actually showed the debate going on there. If they had done that before on a regular basis it’s just possible that we might not be in the situation we are at the moment. But really they were only transmitting the show in order to broadcast Nigel Farage’s grandstanding.

First up we got to see Guy Verhofstadt, former Belgian PM and currently the president of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, pointedly congratulating Boris Johnson on becoming the Prime Minister of the dual kingdom of England and Wales. It was a sign that things in Europe are not necessarily going to develop to Nigel’s advantage, but that they very well might develop to Scotland’s.

Nigel, as you might expect, gave a speech in which he proceeded to insult the rest of the European Parliament, displaying that peculiarly British nationalist arrogance which holds that normal rules don’t apply to the United Kingdom, or rather, to England, because it’s a special snowflake. Nigel is the English football team in political form, the same arrogance, the same sense of entitlement, the same sourness when things don’t go his way, and the same deep rooted belief that everyone else ought to make allowances for him. Poor Nigel, he still thinks that Britannia rules the waves even though it lost to the crew of an Icelandic fishing trawler.

After serially abusing the entire European Parliament, Nigel then demanded that the UK gets a special deal from the EU to allow it to get all the bits out of Europe that it wants to keep but to reject the bits it doesn’t want. Nigel is one of those who thinks that British citizens should have freedom of movement in Europe, but EU citizens shouldn’t have freedom of movement in the UK. His speech was received with boos and heckles.

Next up was SNP MEP Alyn Smith, who was accidentally broadcast by a BBC which thought it was broadcasting yet more racist sub-Dad’s Army ranting from Nigel. Alyn made an impassioned speech, reminding the EU Parliament that Scotland had voted by a large majority to remain a part of the EU. Scotland has not let you down, he said, and pleaded with the Parliament, do not let Scotland down now. There was a standing ovation from MEPs from across the continent and across the political spectrum. The contrast with Nigel was very clear. Scotland has friends and allies in Europe. We’re not alone, we are going to receive a very sympathetic hearing from the EU, and I get the feeling that the rest of Europe is going to bend over backwards in order to find a way of accommodating Scotland. Meanwhile what’s left of Britain is Nigel gurning like Billy No-Mates on the naughty chair in the corner.

Closer to home, the Labour party is still without a shadow Scotland Secretary. We’re in the middle of the biggest constitutional crisis in Scottish history, and Westminster Labour have nothing to say and no one to say it. That’s dereliction of duty. All Westminster Labour is interested in is the attempt by the Blairites to remove Jeremy Corbyn. It’s very clear where Scotland figures in their concerns – nowhere. If Scotland wants someone to stand up for it, we’re going to have to do it ourselves, because there’s going to be bugger all help from the Parliamentary Labour party.

The Labour party in Scotland are having one of their existential crises. Certain prominent Labour figures have said that they will support a yes vote to independence in a second referendum if that is the only way to ensure that Scotland can continue as a member of the EU. Their support is to be welcomed. However the party leadership is pinning its hopes to a fantasy that in a fully federal UK Scotland will be allowed to remain a part of the EU even though the rest of the country has left it. That’s going to depend on the consent of Westminster, and the consent of Brussels. Neither of those is likely to be forthcoming. Labour has to work through its stages of grief. Currently it’s at stage 3, bargaining. That will be followed by depression, although to be fair it’s always depressing when you have to listen to James Kelly MSP, and will be followed by the acceptance of the inevitable. Independence.

However the Labour party, along with the Lib Dems and the Greens, is supporting the motion put forward by the Scottish Government which will be debated in Holyrood this afternoon. To their credit, and I never thought I’d say this, they’re not letting Scotland down now. The motion calls on the Scottish Government to negotiate with the EU, the British government and anyone and everyone who can help to assure Scotland’s continuing membership of the EU by any means. It makes no mention of independence, it makes no mention of another independence referendum. The fact remains that it’s looking increasingly likely that that’s what it’s going to take if Scotland is to preserve its EU membership. It’s also looking likely that we’ll get the support of the EU to do so. Indyref2 is going to be a very different affair from indyref1.

Ruth Davidson has put forward an amendment to the motion that the Scottish Parliament will be debating this afternoon. Ruth wants to strip out the contents of the entire motion and replace it with one saying that the Scottish Government will respect the Brexit majority in the UK as a whole, will do what Westminster tells it, won’t consult with anyone except the UK Government, and won’t seek another independence referendum even if that’s the only way Scotland can remain in the EU.

So that’s the Tories for you, going full on Loyalist. While Alyn Smith is pleading with the European Parliament not to let Scotland down, and getting the support of what seemed to be a clear majority of MEPs from across Europe, Scotland’s own Tories are letting Scotland down at home. Sure, say the Scottish Tories, we’ll fight Scotland’s corner, but only if Westminster says it’s OK, we blindfold ourselves, tie one hand behind our back, and stand on one leg jumping up and down when Boris tells us to. I wonder if her constituents in Edinburgh realised when they voted for her that when she said she’d be holding the SNP to account what she really meant was that she’d be doing her utmost to ensure that the Tories in Westminster couldn’t be held to account.

Ruth’s motion is going to get flushed. And so, sooner or later, but probably sooner, is the Union. The United Kingdom is broken Ruth, your party broke it. It’s your Tory fault. Scotland is leaving and there is nothing you can do to stop it.


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.

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frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Let’s get organised

Does anyone have any idea yet of what’s going to happen to the country over the coming weeks, even the coming days? Because the British government and the official opposition sure as hell don’t. They’re more concerned about their own parties and their own careers than they are about Britain’s impending flouncing off from the EU, Scotland becoming independent, the Northern Irish peace process being sacrificed on the altar of Tory selfishness, or an economy that’s as threatened with extinction as the rhinoceros. It’s easier for them that way. When you’re facing with a catastrophe of unthinkable proportions, it’s a lot easier to argue about the colour of the wallpaper in the Cabinet meeting room than to try and wrap your wee heid around the enormity of the flustercluck that you’re responsible for.

Vote Leave wiped out the hopes of a generation, wiped out the United Kingdom as a union, and wiped out any chance of an open tolerant and inclusive country, and now they’ve wiped their website too. They don’t want anyone reminding them of all the lies they told and the dubious promises that they made in order to win the EU referendum. Uncomfortable promises like the one they made to invest £350 million a week in the NHS, promises that they’re now frantically trying to deny that they ever made in the first place. They’ve managed to break Davie Cameron’s previous record for backtracking on commitments made during a referendum when he stood up the morning after the Scottish referendum and announced it had really been about England all along.

On Monday morning chancellor George Osborne finally crawled out from under the rock where he’s been hiding to make a speech in an attempt to calm the markets. He succeeded in much the same way that that annoying guy in Jurassic Park succeeded in giving a velociraptor a severe case of indigestion, and indeed George managed to look like he was about to be devoured by the press and the markets. Which he was. Jurassic Park has now gone on to reopen its doors three times, and despite a record of unmitaged disaster somehow manages to keep getting public liability insurance. But no one is opening their doors to George Osborne any more. The markets are not prepared to insure Britain’s decision to throw itself to the dinosaurs of the Tory right. Britain has just lost the prized Triple A rating that was the hallmark of a leading economy.

The Labour party is incapable of taking advantage of the Tory disarray and putting forward a positive vision of a Brexit in which workers’ rights are protected because they’re far too busy with yet another of their interminable civil wars. They make Game of Thrones seem peaceful. This time the Blairite tendency on the shadow cabinet hasn’t bothered merely to stab Jeremy Corbyn in the back, they’ve stabbed him in the back, in the front, sideways, and dropped the dead weight of Ian Murray on top of him for good measure.

Corbyn has been forced to appoint a whole slew of non-entities to the shadow cabinet to replace the non-entities who have just left. At the time of writing there wasn’t a shadow Scotland Secretary amongst them. Labour only has the one Scottish MP, and he’s just demonstrated that his zeal to get rid of his boss is greater than his desire to tackle the Tories when they are weaker and more divided than they’ve been at any time in living memory. So Scotland has no voice in the official opposition, has Fluffy Mundell as the voice of the Tory cabinet in Scotland but not the voice of Scotland in the cabinet, we’re about to be taken out of the EU against our will, and there’s no one in either the UK government or the official opposition who is fighting Scotland’s case.

It’s not like we didn’t know already that Westminster doesn’t give a toss about Scotland. Amidst all the upset over Westminster’s breaking one of the main promises it made to Scotland in order to ensure we’d stay a part of the UK, another of their promises was sunk today too. The MoD has announced that it’s not after all going to go ahead this year with the construction of eight Type 26 frigates on the Clyde. Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has said that he’s not going to sign off on the deal until he receives reassurances that it’s good value for money, although that never appeared to be a consideration for the MoD when it decided it wanted to renew Trident. So there you go, are there any promises that Westminster made to Scotland during the independence referendum that they’ve actually kept?

Let’s face it, Scotland currently has all the disadvantages of independence with none of the advantages. There is absolutely no one in any position of power or influence in the UK government who is fighting Scotland’s corner. There is no one in the official opposition who is putting the case for Scotland. All we’ve got is the Scottish government and parliament and the unofficial opposition of 54 SNP MPs. The fight to put Scotland’s case, to make Scotland’s voice heard, comes from within Scotland. We’re getting no help from anyone in the British establishment. Scotland looks at Westminster and its parties and asks itself, “What is the point of you?” There’s no answer.

We have no need for a Westminster which is holding us back, holding us down, and taking us in a direction in which we’ve expressly said that we don’t want to go. Today as Westminster debated the Brexit vote, Angus Robertson spoke for many in Scotland when he said that Scotland voted to remain a European nation, and we will not be ripped out of Europe against our will. Westminster’s little men and women with their red white and blue imaginations and their delusional vanities of British exceptionalism can do as they please, but the days when they could drag an unwilling Scotland about against our will are over. Scotland will not consent to Brexit.

Scotland’s independence movement is currently the only organised political force in the United Kingdom. Let’s get started. Let’s get going. We’ve got a lot of work to do. I’m up for it. I know you are too. Independence is on the horizon.


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.

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frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

Fine dining with Donner party Britain

Like most of the rest of the country, I’ve been struggling to keep up with developments as Britain discovers that Boris Johnson, that famous scholar of the Classics, failed to explain before the referendum that Brexit was actually Ancient Greek for “ohmygod, I don’t have a clue what to do now”. To put it briefly, the entire political establishment in in meltdown, except for viewers in Scotland who have their own programme. Once which for once doesn’t involve Dougie Donnelly and indoor bowling from Coatbridge. Scotland is now the proud owner of the only part of the British state whose political leadership haven’t descended into gibbering madness, are in hiding, or are too busy knifing one another in the back in order to do the job they were actually elected to do.

Our Prime Minister and his Chancellor have been in hiding since Dave appeared briefly before the press on Friday morning to say he was resigning. Osborne may in fact be tied up in a terrible bondage game gone wrong, and the rest of the country is feeling much the same way. We know we’ve all been screwed. There are Loch Monsters and alien visitors who are easier to find than George Osborne over the past few days, and there are squashed hedgehogs on the A9 with a higher public profile. Which is fair enough, because it’s certainly true that Davie and George’s careers are now impossible to distinguish from roadkill.

Davie and George didn’t have any contingency plans for what to do if the vote went against them, because they believed that their own arrogance was all that they needed to carry the day. The last couple of days have shown up the elite of the British establishment to be culpable of the most tragic display of ineptitude since the Donner wagon train en route to California decided to take a short cut through Death Valley and ended up becoming a byword for cannibalism. There are gibbons swinging through the trees in Borneo who demonstrate a higher level of forward planning than Davie and George. Gibbons at least ensure that they have a branch to cling onto. Davie and George don’t even have a withered fig leaf. If they were bus drivers they’d be arrested for dangerous driving and putting the public at risk.

Meanwhile the Leave campaign has been revealed to have been an annoying cat all along. For the past few years it has been pawing at us repeatedly in order to get the door opened, and then when the door does open it just sits there and stares vacantly into space, refusing to budge. It’s become clear that Boris and Michael Govefish have had as much of a Brexit plan as their former pals in Downing Street. It was all just a jolly jape substituting for a Tory leadership contest, they didn’t really believe that anyone would take them seriously. Only now they’ve won the referendum and have as much an idea what to do next as a budgie whose swing has been tied up. All they have left is staring at themselves in the vanity mirror.

What degree of selfish entitlement does it take to lead an entire campaign to take the UK out of the EU, and not to have a clue about what to do once you get the result you campaigned for? I’m not entirely sure, but that’s because I never went to Eton. Boris doesn’t bother his tousled head about little details like what comes after a vote, about ensuring that policies are in place, because that would be work, and he has always had staff for that sort of thing. Often immigrant staff. Like Michael Govefish, or Adam Werrity’s pal Liam.

The mass ranks, which were mostly rank it has to be said, of the British press hounded the SNP for months over its plans for independence in 2014. Presented with a thick doorstopping volume of Plan A, the media took it apart to the subatomic level. Then they demanded a Plan B to stick into the Large Hadron Collider so that they could smash it until the quarks bled, and if that wasn’t enough there would be calls for Plans C through Z-squared. Boris and his risible Leave campaign presented a plan on the back of a fag packet saying “We’ll work it out as we go along, eventually, but only after we’ve dealt with more serious issues, like Boris’s career”, and the bulk of the British press went, “Oh that will do nicely.” Davie didn’t have a Plan B, and Boris had no plans at all. If the British media had subjected either of them to one tenth of the scrutiny that they subject Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP to, we wouldn’t all be in the mess that we’re in now.

Over in the Labour party, at a time when the Tories are rudderless and leaderless and have as much idea of where they’re headed as a kitten in a sack on a canal side, you might just think that the People’s Party would be poised to step in as the voice of reason and the defenders of the working classes. But instead they’re far too preoccupied with playing stick the knife into Jeremy Corbyn. This attempt at a Blairite coup may or may not be related to the uncomfortable fact that the Chilcot report on the Iraq war is due to be published in a fortnight. So my money is on may. That’s the Labour party for you, whenever there’s a crisis you can rely on it to step up to the plate and kick another Labour politician in the nads.

Then on a special edition of BBC Question Time this evening, a slew of Tories and Brexit apologists queued up to explain why the Leave Campaign’s slogan Take Back Control came with terms and conditions attached. Those terms and conditions being that the offer wasn’t valid north of the border. Scotland isn’t to be allowed to take back any control of its own, and the terrible unfairness of England being subject to policies it didn’t vote for isn’t such a terrible unfairness when it’s England subjecting Scotland to policies Scotland didn’t vote for. But that’s terribly divisive of me to point that out. How dare Scotland resist the decisions made for it by people who love it and care for it and know better than Scottish voters do what’s best for Scotland.

The only politician in the entire country who has any plan, who has the remotest idea of how to get out of this sorry and entirely unnecessary mess is Nicola Sturgeon. A whole load of former No voters now agree with her. There’s been one of those major shifts in public opinion in Scotland. There is no future for an outward looking, progressive, social democratic Scotland in a Britain in which Nigel Farage is a national hero and Boris Johnson is tipped as the next Prime Minister. We need another independence referendum, and we need to get out of this dysfunctional state where internal party politics are more important than the national good. Britain has no idea, no clue, no plan, but Scotland does. We don’t have to follow the Donner Party Britain into its fine dining. We have an escape plan, let’s take it.


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


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.

An argument as rank and rotten as a two year old fish

We’re having a bit of a drama. Not the kind like you get on the X-Factor where the outcome depends on a talentless and shallow chancer with bad hair whose ego is inversely proportional to his abilities, but an actual crisis, where the outcome depends on a talentless and shallow chancer with bad hair whose ego is inversely proportional to his abilities. Scotland stands on the precipice and looking down into the chasm below us we see a Brexit Britain ruled by Boris Johnson. We’re looking at a Borisexit, a nightmare land where workers’ rights are curtailed, where immigrants are demonised, and where the UK government is headed by a man who once claimed that a pound of government spending was better spent in Croydon than in Crieff. That’s the fate that awaits us if we don’t do something about it.

Some of the auld bogeymen from the last indyref have reared their ugly heads again warning us not to do anything about avoiding the Borisexit. That didn’t take long did it. Already certain Unionists dahn sarf are musing that Scotland will not dare hold another independence referendum because we’ll have to reapply to join the EU, we’ll have to adopt the Euro, we’ll have to join Schengen, and in any event Spain will block our accession so as not to give the Catalans any ideas.

The entire point of a second referendum is precisely so that we don’t leave the EU. We are, for now, members of the EU and a large majority of Scots have said that they want to remain so. The Scottish government is about to embark upon negotiations with an EU which has just told the UK government that Britain will not be getting an amicable divorce from the EU. The EU and its member states are not disposed to do Westminster any favours, unlike the last independence referendum when Brussels was highly reluctant to do anything which could be seen as prejudicing the interests of a UK which was very much a member state. This time they are quite likely to be more than happy to use Scotland as leverage, as a means to beat Westminster over the head and to make the UK’s exit from the EU as difficult and as painful as possible. That gives Scotland a huge advantage.

There is no reason in theory why the EU cannot allow Scotland to continue as a member of the EU as the inheritor of the UK’s membership. In fact it would be no skin off the EU’s nose to allow Scotland to continue to enjoy two of the UK’s opt-outs, the opt-out on the Euro and the opt-out on Schengen. Allowing Scotland to do so would not cost the EU anything, and would make any pro-EU deal that the Scottish government puts to the people at another independence referendum a whole lot more attractive. It lays to rest three of the Better Together’s scares from the last time. Scotland won’t be forced to adopt the Euro, won’t be forced to join Schengen, and there will be no question of a Spanish veto because Scotland will not be acceding as a new member state and so be subject to a potential veto. Scotland will go into the next indyref as an EU member that wishes to continue as an EU member and it will be an independence vote that guarantees our membership.

In any case, the Spanish wouldn’t veto Scotland this time for the exact same reasons that they wouldn’t have vetoed Scotland’s membership of the EU if we had gone for independence in 2014. Anyone who understands the fundamentals of Spanish politics knows that, and it was to the immense shame of the UK media that they didn’t bother to explain it or report on it in 2014.

The fact is that Spain would not veto Scottish membership of the EU because by doing so the Spanish government would destroy its own argument against Catalan independence. The Spanish constitution does not permit any part of the Spanish state to become independent unless there is a referendum on it in the whole of Spain. That clause means that Madrid will not allow Barcelona to hold a referendum on Catalan independence within Catalonia. Spain likewise refuses to recognise the independence of Kosovo because the Serbian constitution forbids Kosovan independence, and so Serbia argues that Kosovo’s independence is unconstitutional. The Catalans claim that this is mere waffle from Madrid, and the truth is that Madrid just refuses to recognise the right to self-determination.

However Scottish independence, when it comes about, will be entirely constitutional within what passes for a UK constitution. It would be recognised by the Westminster government and the independence process would be carried out in accordance with the British constitution, just like it was in 2014. For Spain to veto the accession of an independent Scotland to the EU just to spite the Catalans would give the Catalans the proof they require that Madrid’s refusal to grant a Catalan referendum is in fact because Spain doesn’t recognise the right to self-determination after all. And by blocking Scotland, Madrid will have destroyed its own legal case against Catalan independence and given the Catalans the excuse they require to internationalise their dispute with Madrid. So for that reason alone, Madrid will recognise Scottish independence and will not block Scottish accession to the EU.

The argument about constitutional legitimacy is the main reason Spain won’t block Scottish membership of the EU, even if Scottish accession was to be subject to a potential veto, which it won’t be. However there is another reason closer to the heart of the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that Spain won’t block Scottish accession to the EU. Interestingly, during the last independence referendum Rajoy was asked three times in an interview with El Pais newspaper whether he would veto Scotland, and three times he refused to reply. He refused to reply because he didn’t want to encourage Scottish independence by telling the truth.

Mariano Rajoy comes from Galicia, and represents the city of A Coruña in the Spanish parliament, the Cortes. The mainstay of the local economy is the fishing industry, and big fishing interests are the main funders of Rajoy’s own local party. The Galician fishing fleet depends on its access to Scottish waters in order to feed Spain’s enormous appetite for seafood, and any attempt by Spain to veto Scottish membership of the EU would threaten that access. Rajoy would then find that his local party’s bank balance was as empty as the fish counter in a Spanish supermarket. He’s not going to let that happen.

So don’t believe anyone who tells you that Spain will veto Scotland’s membership of the EU. It’s an argument that’s as rank and rotten as two year old fish.


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


frontcovervol3I’m now taking advance orders for Volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps. For the special price of £21 for both volumes plus £4 P&P you can get signed copies of the new books if you order before publication, scheduled for mid-July. Covering the immediate aftermath of the independence referendum until the Yes campaign’s destruction of the Labour party in the 2015 General Election, it’s a snarling chronicle of Scottish history.

To reserve your copies, just send an email to weegingerbook@yahoo.com giving your name and your postal address and how many copies you wish to order. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P.


Signed copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=1993 price just £7.95 plus P&P. The E-book of Barking Up the Right Tree is available for Kindle for just £4. Click here to purchase.