The politics of d’oh

A worried Davie Cameron appeared at a podium outside Downing Street on Tuesday to make an appeal to voters to save his political skin. He didn’t quite utter the famous words from the Simpsons, “Will no one think of the children?” but he came close enough and the sentiment was much the same. Mind you British politics descended into a cartoonish farce a very long time ago. It’s the politics of D’Oh. We’ve even got an evil capitalist Mr Burns, actually, we’ve got lots of them. It’s the only thing there’s no shortage of in the politics of austerity. Funny that, and not in a ha ha way.

Davie claims he’s confident that the vote is going to go his way on Thursday, because making a last minute emotional plea to the electorate and begging them to think of their weans grandweans is exactly what a politician does when they’re convinced that they’re going to win. Brits don’t quit, quipped the Cameroid, his brow sweating with the realisation that they might just do exactly that. There’s nothing like a meaningless content free slogan when you don’t have anything approaching an argument. Do it for the wean, he added, by way of an extra plead. It’s just unfortunate that in this case the wean in question is Davie’s heir apparent George Osborne, whom Davie wants to take over the reins of government after he’s slinked off into a well deserved obscurity. So it wasn’t so much Do it for the Gipper as Do it for the Gimp.

It’s not really that Davie thinks that George Osborne would be a fantastic Prime Minister. No one thinks that George Osborne would be a fantastic Prime Minister, although rumour has it that he’s very good at towel folding and getting into a full body rubber suit. It’s just that it would stick too much in Cameron’s craw to see the job go to his arch-rival Boris. Then we’d have a UK out of the EU governed by a posh Donald Trump, same clownish politics, same bad hair, same massive sense of entitlement. That’s as opposed to a UK within the EU governed by George Osborne. Same clownish politics, same bad hair, same massive sense of entitlement. We don’t have a political system or a constitution in the UK, we have a public school playground where posh boys settle childish scores and don’t care about the consequences for the rest of us.

The remain campaign has been utterly risible and driven by fear and negativity. People who started off as keen supporters of staying a member of the EU have had all the positivity sucked out of them by a disgraceful campaign that’s taken all the worst aspects of Better Together’s project fear. The only person who’s still enthused about the prospect of a remain victory is astronaut Tim Peake, who has spent the last six months in space and hasn’t had to listen to the fever pitch of scaremongering. That’s only because in space, no one can hear you scream.

The speech was met by lots of angry Tory Leave supporters whose campaign has been a production line of lies and closet racism complaining about what seemed to be the use of the apparatus of government in order to punt one side in a highly divisive campaign just two days before the vote. Most of those doing the complaining were perfectly happy when the UK government used the entire apparatus of the British state in order to batter the Scottish Yes campaign about the head in the last frantic week of the indyref. That’s been the real story of this EU referendum for viewers in Scotland. It’s a tale of two standards, two faces, and rampant hypocrisy.

We’ve had the ludicrous spectacle of Brexiteer Unionists who were perfectly happy for Scotland to be ruled by politicians that we don’t elect and can’t get rid of complaining that it’s unjust for a country to be governed by politicians that it doesn’t elect and can’t get rid of. We’ve had Michael bloody Forsyth of all people, pontificating about how unfair it is that our laws are made by unelected and unaccountable politicians that we’re stuck with no matter how we vote. You don’t say, Mikey, you don’t say. We’ve had the nauseating sight of Iain Duncan Smith on the one side, and George Osborne on the other, posing as the champions of the poor. It’s like the 17th century Hungarian mass murderer Elizabeth Bathory who tried to fend off ageing by bathing in the blood of virgins claiming that she was only offering Transylvanian peasant girls an opportunity in the beauty industry.

Remember the heady days of the Scottish referendum when Unionist politicians complained that the political process was cheapened and devalued when it was left to the plebs? Well this EU referendum is what politics looks like when it’s left to the Unionist professionals. This is a Unionist roadshow on both sides, and it reflects Unionist tactics and concerns. It’s a campaign which treats ordinary people like fools, which plays to base instincts, which portrays your wallet as your worth. There are no great principles in British politics any more, except how much you can get when you sell your house. Give me the amateur passion, the enthusiasm and the joy of the Scottish referendum any day of the week over this shoddy excuse for a debate.

The one good thing about this entire miserable farce that’s passing as an exercise in democracy which has been top down and top led from the very beginning is that the Tory party is now as divided and bitter as Labour. Given that the polls are too close to call, neither side is going to win a resounding victory. That means that the losers are going to spend the rest of this parliament nursing their grievances and seeking revenge.

Anyone who is confident about the result on Thursday is as delusional as the leaders of the Remain and Leave campaigns who think that they’ve fought a principled and honest campaign. It could go either way, I’m not going to attempt to predict the outcome. All I will safely predict is that as long as Scotland remains a part of this dysfunctional state, we’ll continue to suffer from the cartoonish politics of d’oh. Our only hope is that Scotland votes to remain and the rest of the UK votes to leave, then we’ll have an excuse to make an exit of our own. And that’s the only reason why I’ll be voting to remain.


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.


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


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.

A campaign reported by journaloids

Well it’s all over now. Decided. Minds made up. No need to say a syllable more. JK Rowling backed up by her island of lawyers has pronounced upon the EU referendum with a Harry Potter reference and it’s all over the papers. JK and Harry Potter and want us all to remain a part of the EU, in case you were wondering. Although if you’re a regular reader of this blog it’s a pretty safe bet that you weren’t. Discovering you’re on the same side of an argument as JK Rowling isn’t generally regarded as being a sure-fire signal that you’re doing the right thing, at least not in this household, and I am quite sure in many others.

It’s not that authors of fantasy fiction for young people have no right to express an opinion. Of course she does. She has every right to pronounce upon any topic that takes her fancy, and she frequently does. It’s what we all aspire to. When I become a grown up writer I want to write a series of books for young adults, sell the rights to Hollywood for a series of blockbusting movies, become a billionaire on the royalties, and then sit on Twitter threatening people with defamation. That’s living the high life that is.

It’s just a bit wearing that every time JK Rowling indulges herself in a Harry Potter reference on social media about something serious and non-fictional that’s going on in the world it’s plastered all over the front pages of the newspapers as though it were the latest addendum to the tablets of the ten commandments which were handed down by God to Moses Potter on Mount Sinai. Which is apparently somewhere near Hogwarts and only accessible via a special camel train on Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross station. The publicity her views receive is probably not unrelated to the way in which a claque of journaloids hang on to each of her 140 characters as though they were holy writ. It saves them from having to do any proper work.

Journaloids, in case you were wondering, are people who give the outward appearance of being employed as news gatherers without actually gathering anything newsworthy, and who prefer to collect fluff from the navels of celebrities which they write up without any semblance of wit, originality, or skill. If you read through the lightweight tripe they produce you could be forgiven for believing that the search for some weighty news was as difficult and technical as the search for gravity waves.

It’s not as if JK Rowling’s intervention is going to alter the outcome in any way. Most people who possess IQs in at least double digits are not swayed in their political opinions by celebs. No one hangs on to Rylan’s words of wisdom on the debt crisis in the Mediterranean, although to be fair he probably thinks it’s got something to do with a shortage of sun loungers. No one cares about Kim Kardashian’s views on Syria, although Kanye probably thinks that it would all be solved if only he had a starring role. The reason, the only reason, we get some much of our newspapers filled up with the vacuous views of entertainers is because it saves the newspapers from having to do any proper work, and in saving themselves from proper work they’re not doing their job of holding the powerful to account.

Both sides in this EU referendum campaign have been indulging themselves in dishonesty and lies on a truly epic scale. I want Scotland to remain a part of the EU, but our intelligence is insulted by the hyperbolic scaremongering of the remain campaign just as most people are revolted by the racist dog-whistling of Nigel Farage for the leave campaign. Actually it’s not even dog-whistling, it’s audible to one and all. Amidst all the screaming in the dumbed down hysteria that passes for an EU referendum campaign you can’t hear any truth or sense. And instead of clarifying and simplifying things for the public, the media is screaming the most. You only need to look at the headlines in the press to be overcome by a feeling of nausea and despair. All you’re going to learn is that both sides in this campaign think that the public have less intelligence than a wannabe Rylan who has fried their brains on a sunbed.

Right now as I type this, leave supporter Michael Forsyth, Thatcher’s former bagman in Scotland who presided over the annihilation of his party but who still gets to sit in the House of Lords influencing our laws, is pontificating on an EU referendum debate on BBC Scotland about how important it is for a country to be governed by people that it votes for and the injustice of laws being made by politicians who are unaccountable. That’s right, a man who was utterly rejected by voters and whom we can’t get rid of thinks it’s wrong that other people influence laws without being directly accountable to the voters. It’s fine as long as it’s Tories like him though. Self-awareness was never one of Mikey’s strong suits. Thankfully an audience member has asked him whether the phrase pot, kettle, and black means anything to him. It takes a punter to ask the questions that the media won’t ask.

One person screaming is a ranter, it takes two to create a rammy. This is a campaign which is dominated and led by Tory men, in which Conservative concerns are the only ones which get an airing, and in which the tone is set by the Tories. When the nasty party holds a referendum, it’s going to get nasty. The tone we see just now is how the Conservatives conduct their politics. You’re going to get an incoherent and bitter campaign when it’s run by a party which sees no problem in governing Scotland despite the fact that their support is confined to a small minority of Scottish voters, which cheerfully stuffs the unelected House of Lords with placepersons like Mikey Forsyth, and then preaches about how unfair it is that the popular will is ignored.

There is a serious and thoughtful debate to be had about the European Union, about its structures and its goals and the place of the United Kingdom and Scotland within it. This is not that debate. We’re not going to get it as long as we have a media which is more interested in reporting the opinions of celebrities than it is in asking difficult questions of the Palace of Westminster. This is a campaign reported by journaloids.


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.


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


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 swearword missing between ‘Mother’ and ‘of Parliaments’

Following a pause for breath due to the killing of Labour MP Jo Cox, the gloves are off again. Thankfully there’s only a few days to go now until this entire sorry mess of an EU referendum campaign is over. Neither side has any claim to the moral high ground, neither has any claim to deceny, honesty, or truth. Whoever wins on Thursday, British democracy is the big loser. One side has slung racist smears scaremongering on immigration, the other has threatened economic armageddon. One side’s fantasy figures are matched only by the nightmare numbers of the other side. Where one side has treated the public as fools, the other have treated them like idiots. Both sides have lied, misrepresented reality, and diseembled as they mendaciously mud-wrestled in the gutter. And this they tell us is the politics of the Mother of Parliaments. There’s obviously a swear word missing between Mother and of.

We’ve witnessed the ludicrous sight of Conservative politicians who have been presiding over a vicious and ideologically motivated austerity which has eviscerated the poor, the chronically ill, and the disabled, pretending to be the champions of the poor. It’s the Sherrif of Nottingham telling us he’s really Robin Hood. It’s as sickening to watch Iain Duncan Smith cry crocodile tears about the NHS as it is nauseating to listen to George Osborne preach about how he’s seeking to protect the poor. It’s as hypocritical of the leave campaign to claim that it’s not trying to play on racist fears as it is sanctimonious of the remain campaign to swear blind that it’s not trying to make political capital out of the murder of Jo Cox.

After a few days of swinging to Leave, the polls now appear to be swinging back to Remain, but only someone with access to a Tardis would care to predict the result on Thursday. It could go either way. Whatever happens on the day however, there is one certainty. We’re now in a United Kingdom which doesn’t have a functioning opposition as the Labour party has been all but invisible as it’s far more preoccupied with its internal divisions, and now we don’t have a functioning governing party either as the Tories inflict wounds on one another that are going to take decades to heal, if they ever do.

British politics are now a synonym for dysfunction. We’ve got dysfunctional politics in a dysfunctioning state and the only thing that functions efficiently is the way in which the low paid and the poor get ripped off while the rich continue to aggrandise themselves and their wealth. The British state might be bugger all use for helping you if you’re long term sick or disabled, but at least Philip Green took delivery of a new private jet this weekend.

The mud slingers and the strangers to truth on both sides of the EU referendum campaign are the same hissing venomous serpents crawling in the tangled undergrowth of lies who told us that the Scottish referendum was divisive and unnecessary. As they ramp up the fear and compete to out-lie one another with increasingly ridiculous childish nightmares instead of principles and policies, public faith in the political system is scarred and battered.

Whoever wins on Thursday, one side in this pathetic spectacle of lies and deceit is going to take the result as vindication of its deception and dissembling. The only consolation is that the squalid squabbles within the Conservative party have left it unfit to govern, even though it will struggle on in am embittered aftermath. What we do know is that feelings have been raised to such a pitch that nothing is going to be resolved on Thursday, neither side is going to achieve the victory it requires to send the other side packing. For the foreseeable future the politics of England will revolve around the question of the EU and the fallout from a bitter and angry referendum.

Davie Cameron only called this vote in the first place as a means of settling internal disputes within the Tory party. We might not know who is going to win on Thursday but we already know that he’s failed spectacularly in laying to rest the Tory party’s internal demons. All he’s succeeded in doing with it is to spread the rancour far and wide. This referendum was only ever about saving Davie’s career in the first place. If Leave wins by a narrow majority on Thursday Davie’s career is toast. If Remain wins by a narrow majority then the sniping from the Tory back benches is only going to continue as the Conservative right licks its wounds and pointless political vandalism becomes a substitute for governance.

Meanwhile Labour is preoccupied with its internal warfare between Blairites and Corbynites. It’s been paralysed during this EU referendum, incapable of speaking truth unto power because it’s implicated in the crimes of power itself. The Blairites think that morality is the same as getting elected.

While all this is going on Scotland will get to look on from the sidelines, ignored and forgotten as Labour and the Tories rip themselves apart in a quest for power that neither knows what to do with once it gets it.

I’m sick of this farce that passes for the politics of the supposed big boys and girls of Westminster. Chimpanzees throwing poo are engaged in more subtle and nuanced political strategies than this mob. Democracy lies bleeding and bruised in abusive propaganda. Truth is a stranger to the lips of politicians and a media that is complicit in their lies instead of holding them to account. This entire campaign, on both sides, has been conducted with all the moral fibre and basic human decency of Attila the Hun on a cocktail of viagra and crack, and I only wish to all the gods that neither side could win.

Maybe Thursday’s events will be the trigger for another indyref. Maybe they won’t. But irrespective of the outcome of the EU referendum this entire shoddy exercise in mendacious deceit only confirms the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Westminster and its political parties. The edifice is rotten, the foundations are on sand, it’s only a matter of time before it comes crashing down. Even if there is no trigger for a second indyref on Thursday, the EU referendum campaign has brought us a bit closer to a United Kingdom that Scotland has no place in and wants no part of.


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.


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


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.

Thumbs down to Westminster’s Colosseum

On Thursday, before the tragic and brutal murder of Labour MP Jo Cox in a shooting incident suspended campaigning, the EU referendum campaign reached further down into the gutter than it has gone before. Mind you it’s been in the gutter and rolling about in the filth pretty much since it started. Saying that the EU referendum campaign has produced a disgusting new low is a bit like saying that someone managed to be offensively undignified in a bare-arsed shit-slinging contest, but Nigel Farage’s unofficial leave campaign poster managed it.

The poster took the prejudice and racism of far too many in the UK, and put it into pictorial form. It depicted a line of Syrian refugees stretching out into the distance, with the slogan “Breaking Point, the EU has failed us all. We must take control of our borders.” Britain already has control of its borders within the EU. Refugees from the world’s war torn regions, which are too often war torn because the UK has cheerfully been selling weapons to some dictatorship or other, don’t have access to the UK as it is. That’s why there’s a refugee camp full of desperate people just across the Channel near Calais who are being driven to attempt crossings of the dangerous waters in inflatable boats, or trying to hitch a ride hiding in the back of an articulated lorry. It’s got nothing to do with Britain’s place in the EU. It just plays on the fear of people from the Middle East.

If those refugees in Nigel’s poster were able to enter the UK, a UK which is still very much a member of the EU, there would be no Calais Jungle. The poster seeks to conflate two very different issues into a miasma of fear, scaremongering which appeals to latent racism. But as Nigel would no doubt say, better latent than never. The tragedy is that Nigel’s disgusting and dishonest tactics have a very good chance of succeeding.

The choice we have is being a part of a UK which is dominated by a racism that denies its racist, a xenophobia which seeks to take us out into a mid-Atlantic dystopia where workers’ rights are denied and traduced, or a UK in which the elites feel free to lie, dissemble and cheat in order to retain their grasp on power. The best an ordinary punter can hope for is a two month contract in a call centre between appointments at the job centre.

That’s why there is little public excitement about the EU referendum in Scotland. This is not our referendum. It’s only happening in the first place because David Cameron was arrogant and stupid enough to believe that he could use the question of Britain’s EU membership as a proxy to settle divisions within his own party.

Cameron wanted a short snappy campaign, and then in his arrogance he thought that the question would be settled once and for all and he could go back to his patrician politics as usual. But that’s not what’s going to happen. Irrespective of who wins next week, British politics have fractured. The Unionist continually harp on about the divisions caused by the Scottish referendum, but those are mere cracks in the glazing compared to the Grand Canyons of alienation created by the Unionists themselves. And far far away on the other side they can just about make out the spirits of honesty, decency, and truth, waving goodbye. Those are on Scotland’s side.

From dire warnings of economic meltdown and World War Three to threats that we’re going to overrun by people who speak foreign languages and whose foreign food will take over shelving in Tesco, this referendum has been the nastiest and most unpleasant exercise in democracy since a Roman emperor asked the crowd in the Colosseum to give a thumbs up to killing some Christian kids. If anything illustrates the utter moral and intellectual bankruptcy of the United Kingdom and the Westminster political class it has been the way in which this supposed exercise in public consultation has been cynically sucked dry of anything approaching intelligence, wit, warmth, humanity and compassion.

Anyone who compares the nastiness, negativity and noxiousness of this EU referendum campaign with the Scottish indyref is only contributing to the lack of principle and imagination which characterises this EU referendum on both sides. In comparison the Scottish referendum was a joyous and positive affair. Where Scotland had wish trees and Lady Alba’s witty songs, Westminster’s EU referendum has covert racism and the imaginative brain power of tree slime on tranquillisers. The only wish tree is the one that says we wish it was all over. If you could plant a sapling in the soil of the EU referendum campaign, the only thing that would grow would be poisonous.

Whereas there was at least one side in the Scottish referendum which attempted to be positive, there’s none of that in the top-down campaign for the EU referendum. There is no mass public engagement, at least not in Scotland, and there’s no mass participation. While the Scottish indyref electrified a nation and sparked a flowering of democratic activity, Scotland sits on the sidelines of the EU referendum as a passive observer at the Colosseum. We don’t even get ringside seats as British democracy throws itself to the lions of hatred and fear and cynical manipulation. This is not a referendum, it’s a howl of impotent rage. This is what happens when the elites ignore the people and take them for granted. The people decide to destroy everything because they have nothing left to lose.

What this referendum tells Scotland is that there is no place for Scotland in what passes for British political discourse, if you can call two sides screaming at one another in contempt a discourse. Our only remaining role in the UK is as a hairy legged bogey man that the establishment can use as a threat in an attempt to scare Middle England into line. Scotland needs to give a thumbs down to Westminster’s Colosseum. We need an arena of our own. One in which we can star.


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 you 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.


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


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.

New books! The Collected Yaps volumes 3 and 4

frontcovervol3Last year I published the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 and 2, covering the period from when this blog first started in October 2013 until the independence referendum of September 2014. The books sold amazingly well, so well in fact meant that it meant I didn’t need to do an official fundraiser in order to keep doing this blog as my full-time job. There’s always the donate button at the bottom of each blog entry, at least those I write myself, and donations are always welcome. Although some people are incredibly generous, and earn my eternal gratitude, I can’t keep going on donations alone.

It’s that time of the year again, and once again instead of doing an official fundraiser I’m publishing volumes 3 and 4 of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug. That way you’re getting something concrete for your cash as well as allowing this blog to keep going.

Volume 3 covers the period when the independence movement regrouped and regained its strength and sense of purpose, while volume 4 covers the Westminster General election of 2015 and its aftermath. Each volume is over 300 pages long and after publication will retail for £11.95 each, or £23.90 the pair, plus £4 P&P. That’s over 600 pages of doggy wit and wisdom that you can read in the bath safe in the knowledge that if you drop it in the water you’re not going to electrocute yourself.

frontcovervol4The books are currently at an advanced state of pre-publication and I intend to self-publish them in July. In order to get some idea of how many copies to order from the printers I’m now taking pre-publication orders for the bargain price of £21 the pair plus £4 post and packaging. All copies will be signed by yours truly, and stamped with the Dug’s paw print. Or if you want a rare and collectable unsigned copy, just say so!

Signed copies of volumes 1 and 2 are still available for £25.90 per pair including P&P. All four volumes are available for the bargain price of £40 for the four plus £4 P&P, a total of £44. Also still available is Barking Up the Right Tree, the anthology of articles for the National which is published by Vagabond Voices publishers. Details on how to order that book are given below.

Please do not send any money just now via Paypal (although donations are always welcome). To submit an advance order just send your name, address, and details of which volumes you wish to order and how many copies to weegingerbook@yahoo.com. I will keep your details on file and will send payment instructions when the published books have been received from the printers, which all going well ought to be early to mid July. You will be able to pay by Paypal, cheque, postal order, bank transfer, or cash.


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


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.

Voting against being the sacrificial chicken

Boris Johnson, who has his finger on the pulse of Scotland in the same way that a dad-dancer is dahn wit da yoot, has assured us that there’s no demand in Scotland for another independence referendum if the UK votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to remain. Boris knows this to be true because he speaks to Scottish people like Michael Gove and Liam Fox. He knows it to be true because didn’t that wee Buffalo Rider win the last Scottish elections? It said so in all the papers.

Well when I say “assured us”, what I really mean is that Boris has been assuring Middle Englandshire that there’s no demand in Scotland for another independence referendum if Scotland ends up facing being taken out of the EU against our will. Boris doesn’t really give a toss what Scotland wants, neither does the Tory party, and neither does Middle Englandshire. That above all else is why Scotland needs independence more than it needs to be taken out of the EU as a by-product of a Tory bun fight. If Brexit wins next week Scotland will be left to the tender mercies of a resurgent Tory right with an exhultant UKIP cheering it on. They’re not going to do us any favours.

This is a Tory referendum, fought for reasons which have nothing to do with Scotland and in which Scotland’s interests and opinions are a hall of mirrors sideshow in which Scottish reality is distorted beyond recognition. That’s why Boris can blythely claim that there’s no demand for another indyref if we’re taken out of the EU against our will.

I’ve argued this before, but it’s worth restating. Even if you support an independent Scotland outside of the EU, if you live in Scotland and you support Scottish independence you still need to vote remain in this referendum. Our best chance for a second indyref comes from Scotland voting to remain in the EU but the rest of the UK voting to leave. That not only provides us with the best chance of getting another indyref, it also creates conditions which neutralise many of the scare stories and threats used the last time by the Unionists.

It’s going to be a whole lot easier for an independent Scotland to leave the EU than it is to leave the UK. The priority for independence supporters is to establish and make concrete the principle of Scottish sovereignty. The polls show that Scotland is heavily inclined towards a remain vote, supporting the exit of Scotland from the EU even though only a minority of Scots want it would be a denial and a perversion of Scottish sovereignty.

Scotland should only leave the EU if and when there’s a referendum held by a sovereign Scottish state in response to the demand for one from the people of Scotland, and the exit negotiations should be carried out by a Scottish government on behalf of the Scottish people to ensure that Scotland gets the best deal. If you want an independent Scotland that’s outside the EU, then campaign for one. But you can’t piggy back on a Tory Brexit and then complain that the Tories have no mandate to rule Scotland.

There are many things wrong with the EU. It’s imperfect. It’s infuriating at times. You might well think that the TTIP trade deal treaty being negotiated between the EU and the USA is the nearest thing to devil worship this side of a chicken sacrifice, but consider the post-Brexit alternative. Do you honestly believe that a right wing post-Brexit Tory government headed by Boris Johnson aided and abetted by Iain Duncan Smith and with Nigel Farage grinning over their shoulders is going to negotiate a trade deal with the USA which is a fluffy bunny package of respect for workers’ rights and protection for our public services? If you vote for that, you’re voting to be the chicken which is going to be sacrificed.

I have more faith in the French parliament to block TTIP than I have that Boris and his pals will negotiate something better. Just last month the French president said he’d reject TTIP, and without the approval of all 28 EU states the treaty is dead in the water. Outside the EU, a Brexit Britain will have to rely on the Tory dominated Westminster to block an unfair trade deal between the UK and the USA negotiated by the arch-Atlanticists and privatisers of the Tory party, people who want to exit the EU precisely because they want to turn the UK into a cold and damp Singapore, where business rights reign supreme and workers’ rights count for nothing. Within the EU we have 28 chances to block an unfair trade deal, outside it we are consigned to the tender mercies of an increasingly right wing and xenophobic Westminster.

Compared to Scotland’s position in the UK, the EU is a paragon of accountability. Decisions like TTIP have to be approved by the European Parliament and by national governments. Within the UK Scotland has no means at all of ensuring that the UK government is accountable to the people of Scotland. We’ve got a Tory government even though we have a single Tory MP, and that Tory government is holding this EU referendum because it wants to settle internal disputes within the Conservative party and in an effort to see off the challenge from UKIP. Scotland’s interests do not enter into the equation at any point. Yet as a sovereign member of the EU the Scottish Parliament could block TTIP.

If the UK votes to leave the EU next week but Scotland votes to remain, we have the best chance for possibly a generation in securing and winning a second indyref. Even if the UK votes very narrowly to remain, but the rest of the UK votes narrowly to leave and the decision is swung by Scotland, there will be an almighty constitutional crisis as the Tory right and UKIP fall over themselves to expel Scotland from the UK. We will still have an excellent chance of securing Scottish independence. But in order for either of these scenarios to play out, Scotland needs to vote to remain in the EU.

Voting to remain in the EU next week is not a vote for Cameron. It’s not a vote for Osborne. It’s not a vote for Westminster. It’s a vote for Scotland. It’s a vote against being the sacrificial chicken.


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Bubble from a goldfish’s mouth

Remember during the heady days of the independence referendum campaign when we actually had a referendum that people were interested in? Scotland is responding to this EU referendum in much the same way as we respond to invitations from Nicholas Witchell to pop along to M&S to get in our supplies for a street party to celebrate the non-achievements of a member of the royal family. We silently turn over and watch something else on telly instead while the piles of bunting and the royal memorabilia are as avidly sought after as an EU referendum leaflet bearing the grinning mug of Boris Johnson.

I’ve never been entirely sure why we are always being called upon to celebrate the royal family, as the royals are extremely good at celebrating their own non-achievements without any input from the rest of us. Very much like Boris Johnson, come to think of it. You only needed to look at the chest-load of medals worn by Prince Edward at his maw’s birthday bash to realise just how good the royals are at giving themselves undeserved pats on the back. He was in the Royal Marines for barely more than a fortnight and he still managed to be awarded more decorations than George Square at Christmas.

During the independence referendum the future of Scotland was the main topic of conversation in pubs, amongst friends, amongst families. People were interested and engaged. The future of the UK whether within or outwith the EU has got people interested and engaged too, but only to the same extent that they are interested and engaged in wondering how it is that Prince Edward managed to accumulate more bottletops on his chest than you’ll find in an entire branch of Oddbins despite having a military career that consisted of turning up for basic training and then phoning his maw in tears. Actually, probably less interest and engagement, if we’re going to be honest.

The reason for the lack of engagement is because this referendum is seen as a bun fight between different factions of the Tory party. On the one hand it gives us the sight of George Osborne attempting to pose as the champion of the poor, which is as convincing as Dracula posing as an advocate for veganism. On the other we have arch-privatisers like Boris Johnson trying to make out that he’s the champion of the NHS, which is like asking John Wayne Gacy for his views on child protection.

It’s not so much that Scots have no interest in the outcome of the referendum, whether we remain members of the EU or are taken out of it is a pretty big deal, but there’s little popular engagement with the campaign in Scotland because people know that however Scotland votes will make little difference, if any, to what happens once the results are in. The vote will be decided elsewhere. Scotland as always gets to sit at the back of the bus while other people argue about which cliff they want to drive it over. That’s what it’s like being Scottish within the UK, powerless to influence your own fate.

Our role in this referendum, insofar as Scotland figures at all, is as another scare for the remain campaign to threaten middle Englandshire with. If the rest of the UK votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to remain, we could end up with another independence referendum. The truth is that voters in the rest of the UK give as much of a toss about that threat as Scots do about the recent invitation to host a royal themed street party. And that’s what I really don’t understand about Scottish Unionists, they want us to remain a part of a polity in which we’re not only unimportant, but one in which no one cares about us, no one is interested in our opinion, and in which there is in fact considerable hostility towards us.

In this heady mix of utter lack of interest steps Michael Gove, the Tory party’s half man half goldfish, who had to run away to the south of England in order to find people who’d vote to give him a career in politics. Now he’s poked his head north of the border in order to try and gee up the flagging support for a Brexit campaign that’s the bastard offspring of the Tory right and UKIP. In a re-run of the highly dubious promises made by the Better Together campaign during the indyref, Mikeyfish is telling us that in the event of a Brexit Scotland ‘could’ get more powers over immigration which ‘could’ allow families like the Brains to remain in Scotland. The Brain family are facing deportation to Australia because the Home Office changed the scheme which allowed families to remain in the country on work-study schemes, a scheme in which the Scottish government had a limited amount of input.

But we’ve heard all this kind of thing before. Scotland ‘could’ be allowed some powers over immigration in the same sense that Davie Cameron told us that Scotland ‘could’ get devomax if we voted to remain as a part of the UK when he swore blind that nothing was off the table in terms of devolution options.

Scotland ‘could’ get more control over immigration right now, but Mikeyfish and his Tory pals actually took away what little control Scotland had. The Brain family are facing deportation because the Tory run Home Office took away what little leeway Scotland had in considering immigration cases. It has nothing to do with the EU. The idea that a triumphalist British nationalist right that has just won a referendum to leave the EU is going to concede anything at all to Scotland is as plausible as George Osborne’s newly found incarnation as St Francis of Assisi with his vow of poverty and his commitment to the poor. The only vows of poverty you can believe from Tories is that working class people are going to be impoverished. Although to be fair you can also believe that Unionists will vow absolutely anything to Scotland when they’re hoping a vote will go their way, and you can also believe that as soon as they’ve got the vote that they want Scotland will go back to being ignored and sidelined. There’s as much substantive content in Michael Gove’s and Unionist promises as there is in the bubbles from a goldfish’s mouth.

Meanwhile Scotland’s future is uncertain and at risk, and there’s bugger all we can do about it. That’s what we face as long as we’re a part of this United Kingdom.


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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.

Wild-eyed mutants in the rubble of Europe

We’ve only got a week and a half to go before the EU referendum, if we can survive that long. It’s not the threats of terrorist atrocities in every high street from the Brexit campaign that will do us in, nor the dire warnings of impending apocalypse from the Remain campaign, by Thursday of next week much of the country is likely to have commited suicide by battering their heads off the nearest brick wall at the sheer bloody stupidity and inanity of the claims and counter claims of both sides. And these people, let us not forget, are those we were constantly told during the Scottish independence referendum who were the big hitters of Westminster with galactic intellects and statespersony experiences which knocked our wee Scottish representatives into a cocked glengarry.

Many families who lost relatives in the homophobic Orlando attacks still haven’t been officially informed of the loss of their loved ones, and the Great British Brexit campaign has already leapt on their corpses like a political vulture intent on ripping a morsel of advantage from the bodies. The campaign to leave the EU is constantly harping on about Great British values, but clearly good taste and respect for the bereaved don’t feature amongst them.

This morning some pin-eyed pinchface in the leave campaign thought it would be a great idea to out-Trump the Trump in the tastelessness stakes and released a tweet claiming that the free movement of Kalashnikov rifles in the EU helps terrorists and we need to vote to leave the EU or risk seeing an Orlando style attack in the UK. It’s not merely tasteless and lacking in respect for the dead who haven’t yet been formally identified never mind buried, it’s wrong. Factually as well as morally. There is no free movement of Kalashnikovs between the EU and the UK as it is. There are already border controls between the UK and the rest of the EU. Voting to leave the EU won’t magically put up a force field which will make it any harder to obtain weapons in the UK than it already is. We already have quite enough angry young men as it is who are attracted to the message of religious extremism. The bombings on the London Underground in July 2005 were carried out by British citizens. Whether we leave the EU or remain a part of it, the risk of terrorism remains the same.

The leave campaign is attempting to conflate the fear of terrorism with warnings about immigration. They want us to believe simultaneously that leaving the EU means that the UK will be able to restrict immigration while at the same time the UK will continue to enjoy unfettered access to EU markets. They want the free movement of goods, but not of people. You can’t get one without the other.

Meanwhile over on the other side of the EU divide, the Polish president of the European Council claimed that the exit of the UK from the EU could lead to the eventual destruction of western political civilisation in its entirety. So that’s not hyperbole at all. Oh no, no exaggeration there at all. Vote to leave the EU and within a few years all that will be left will be wild eyed mutants crawling about in the rubble of Europe reducing everything to a base level of idiotic inanity. Although to be fair, when you look at Davie Cameron and Boris Johnson making their daily pronouncements you realise that that’s happening anyway.

Tusk’s comments are the scaremongering cherry on the top of a fright cake. We’ve had warnings of world war three, economic collapse, massive job losses, plunging house prices, a pound that’s going to be on a par with Monopoly money, and just about everything short of an invasion of tentacle legged mouth breathing barbarians from an alternate dimension. And the only reason that they haven’t threatened us with that is because they’re currently in Marseilles.

This week Gordie has been intervening again for the very first time. I’m not sure how many interventions for the first time that is, but Gordie inserts himself into things with the frequency and zeal of a social inadequate with a fistful of viagra and a watermelon with a hole in it. And with much the same result. The only person who gets anything out of the process is Gordie himself.

Gordie’s the man with the plan, and this time his plan is to reform the EU to make it more attractive. When it’s the UK’s turn to take the presidency of the EU in 2017, Gordie wants Britain to take action to tackle tax avoidance, better employment protections for workers, and the creation of 500,000 jobs. It’s much the same thing as he did in the fag end of the Scottish referendum campaign, promise all sorts of goodies without having the authority or ability to ensure that any of these goodies would actually make it off the pages of the Daily Record and into reality. Can you see Davie Cameron and George Osborne enthusiastically signing up to Gordie’s plan to protect workers’ rights while putting the hems on the tax avoidance industry? No, neither can I.

There’s been a mind numbing torrent of fear and insult on the one side, countered by a mind numbing torrent of fear and insult on the other. And they said that the Scottish independence referendum was divisive. At least in the Scottish independence referendum one side talked about hope, about opportunity, about how things could be better, about how we could relate more effectively to the rest of the world. There’s none of that in the Westminster big boys’ and big girls’ debate, only fear smear and invective.

This sorry and miserable excuse for a debate is only happening in the first place because the entire future of the UK has been put at stake by the Conservative leadership so that they can settle internal Tory divisions. That’s what passes for statespersonship in the UK today. We live in a country where the only considerations are short term ones, and as a result the country lurches from one crisis to another. Scotland’s role in this sorry mess is to look on helplessly while decisions are made elsewhere by people who don’t care about us. The outcome of this EU referendum may or may not be the spark that lights a new independence campaign, but the short term thinking of the wild-eyed mutants of the Westminster Parliament is going to crash and burn eventually, and when it does, we’ll be ready.


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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 indyref2 guide to voting in the EU referendum

Some Unionist commentators are trying to spread some murk around the best way for Scottish independence supporters to vote in the EU referendum. Apparently it’s all terribly confusing, and there was me thinking it was perfectly transparent, as transparent as a Unionist journalist’s attempts to sow discord where there is no need for any.

It’s very simple, so simple that even the most obtuse Unionist journalist ought to be able to grasp the concept. The fact that they are seemingly unable to grasp it means one of two things. Either they are immensely stupid and cannot wrap their wee heids around political strategy, and this would not be surprising from a bunch of bitter enders who firmly believe that political strategy consists of whining SNP bad as loud as their lungs allow and at a pitch that gets higher and higher with every passing day. The alternative is that they are attempting to create disagreements and divisions within the independence movement, although this does mean that they suffer from the delusion that people in the independence movement not only pay attention to what unionist commentators say, but that they also act on their advice. So they are either stupid and arrogant, or arrogant and stupid. Although admittedly those are not mutually exclusive categories.

So here it is, the independence supporter’s guide to voting in the EU referendum. If you believe that the most important question in the EU referendum is whether the UK ought to remain a member of the EU or not, then vote the way you believe. If you want the UK to remain a part of the EU, vote to remain. If you want the UK as a whole to leave the EU, vote to leave. If you wish to approach this referendum as a vote on the status of the whole of the UK, including Scotland, within Europe then the only advice anyone can give you is to vote according to your own conscience and according to what you believe to be best. You should vote to remain if you want all parts of the UK to remain part of the EU, irrespective of what happens in the future with another Scottish independence referendum.

The UK lurches from one political and moral crisis as it is. Even if the UK as a whole votes to remain in the EU and this EU referendum doesn’t create a trigger for another independence referendum, something else will come along sooner or later. Probably sooner, given the ramshackle mess that passes for a UK constitution and the shower of self-serving incompetents who lead British political parties. If the UK as a whole votes to remain in the EU, then Scotland will have dodged that particular British bullet, but then Scotland’s future as long as it remains a part of the UK is going to be one of bullet dodging. Bullets shot at us by a government that only a tiny minority in Scotland voted for.

But if your main consideration is how best to bring about Scottish independence and you’re not overly fussed about the status of the UK as a whole within the EU, and you believe that the EU referendum is best approached as a proxy referendum which can help bring about a second Scottish independence referendum, then you should vote to remain if you live in Scotland, and vote to leave if you live elsewhere. That’s perfectly simple. If you don’t care that much one way or the other who wins in what is, to be honest, a sorry spectacle of a referendum campaign that’s a proxy for a Tory leadership contest, then vote according to the way which is most likely to produce a second indyref. That’s going to be with a remain vote in Scotland, and a leave vote in the rest of the UK.

Even if you believe that an independent Scotland ought to leave the EU, then you should still vote to remain if you live in Scotland, because the best way to bring about a second independence referendum is if the rest of the UK votes to leave but Scotland votes to remain. After all, if Scotland votes to leave along with the rest of the UK then we have no trigger for another independence referendum. The trigger for another indyref isn’t the result of the referendum per se, it’s the difference in results between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Theoretically there would also be a trigger for another indyref if Scotland voted to leave but the rest of the UK voted to remain, but given the very persistent patterns of the opinion polls over the past few weeks that’s about as likely to happen as a Unionist journalist actually grasping an independence supporter’s motivations for voting in the EU referendum.

If you believe that the sovereignty of the Scottish people is hopelessly compromised by EU membership and you want an independent Scotland that is outside the EU, then you’re also going to believe that the question of Scotland’s EU membership is a matter that should be decided by the people of an independent Scotland. It should be up to the Scottish people and a Scottish Parliament to decide whether or not Scotland remains within the EU or leaves it. We shouldn’t be taken out as a side-effect of a Tory leadership contest and a Middle Englandshire turf war between the Conservatives and UKIP. It should be a Scottish government which negotiates Scotland’s terms of exit from the EU, in order to ensure that Scotland gets the best deal.

If Scotland is taken out of the EU as a result of this Westminster inspired referendum what will happen is that Scotland will be taken out of the EU by the Westminster Parliament and under terms negotiated by a Conservative party which is seeking to appease the Tory right and UKIP, and those terms are vanishingly unlikely to be favourable to Scotland. The prospect is pretty awful.

So even if you want an independent Scotland to leave the EU you should vote remain in a UK wide referendum as that brings about the best chance of Scotland getting another bite at the indyref cherry. It maximises the political distance between a Scotland which will vote to remain, and the rest of the UK which may vote to leave. It’s that political gap which will provide the moral justification for another independence referendum. If we can ensure that Scotland votes to remain in the EU by a larger margin than we voted to remain a part of the UK, and the rest of the UK votes to leave the EU, we have an unanswerable case for a second independence referendum.


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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.

Born to drool

According to the BBC news, the only thing of note that happened today was that an obscenely wealthy 90 year woman with access to the best health care money can buy hasn’t died yet. All across the country there are elderly women and men turning 90, many of whom have had to live in poverty and survive lengthy NHS waiting lists, but that’s not news. It should be news that elderly people in this country are struggling in poverty, but they can’t afford a street party so the BBC doesn’t give a toss. It’s only news that it’s the Queen who has just turned 90, in case you haven’t noticed, and the BBC and the rest of the British media are doing their utmost to make sure that you can’t not notice.

Actually, she turned 90 in April, but she gets two dibs on birthdays because one set of presents for the wealthiest woman in the country isn’t enough. And none of that cheap tat from the Pound Shop either, except maybe the bunting. One can never have enough bunting. This is the Queen’s official birthday, as opposed to her actual birthday. Her actual birthday was a quiet family only affair, so Prince Harry can be invited to the official one.

Nicholas Witchell gushes about the non-achievements of those born to rule because he was born to drool. He has been greasing all over our TV screens in ecstatic sycophancy as he reports on the events in the manner of a North Korean state broadcaster only without their grounding in common sense and reality. Nicholas got his current job after impressing BBC bosses with his dedication and the thorough nature of his preparation. He licked his way through an entire sub-post office worth of stamps so that he was well versed in getting his tongue up the monarch’s back side.

But let’s not be churlish, Nick is a highly skilled reporter, and is able to fill minute upon interminable minute of air time with gushing praise for tiny non-achievements. The royals rarely if ever do anything of real note, and only manage non-achievements only because the media refuses to report on just how obnoxious and entitled most of them are. We don’t hear much about Prince Andrew and how he’s pals with dictators, rich businessmen convicted of procurement, and how he flies around the world playing golf at public expense. We don’t hear much about WillnKate with their non-jobs, part time playing at helicopters and full time vapidity. Just look at the bunting, isn’t the monarchy marvellous! It’s like listening to a very posh nursery school teacher going on at us for over an hour about how wonderful it is that little Sebastian has managed to get through fifteen minutes without picking his nose even though little Sebastian is sitting there with his index finger on one hand jammed very firmly up his nostril and the other scratching his bum.

Scotland on the whole seems to be immune to the dubious charms of the Windsor clan and their media tribute acts, because no one in this country is convinced that rich people putting on kilts and blasting Highland wildlife with shotguns on a private estate that’s almost the size of a small county actually counts as empathising with Scottish culture. The chances that we’ll get a referendum on the future of the monarchy from the Westminster parliament are as near to zero as makes no difference. The only referendums that Westminster offers concerning the pretensions to rule of upper class idiots with a sense of entitlement are those about Boris Johnson’s hopes of leading the Tory party.

Boris got his arse handed to him on a plate last night by Nicola Sturgeon in the ITV EU debate. The only plates that the media offers concerning the monarchy are the printed tat cheesy variety that will appear on a future edition of Bargain Hunt when an auctioneer tuts and says it’s not even worth the price of a cheeseburger.

According to a poll on Sky News this week 70% of people in the UK want to retain the monarchy. We’re going to be stuck with the world’s most highly paid benefits claimants for quite some time to come, yet oddly Channel 5 is bereft of programmes shaming them for their oversized social security claims and multiple cooncil hooses. Although to be fair you can’t shame the Windsors on account of them being utterly shameless. You can’t shame people who have been born and brought up with the unshakable belief that the world really does owe them a living. After all, the head of the family’s head is on the money, so it must be theirs by right. The rest of us just get to borrow a little bit of it occasionally.

The existence of the monarchy at the apex of the class system is what justifies the entire class system and which allows balloons like Boris Johnson and Davie Cameron to imagine that they have an entitlement to rule over us. We have an etonianocracy because of the monarchy. It’s the monarchy which provides the justification for the democratic obscenity which is the House of Lords. There can be no justification for appointees who have their posts for life if it were not for the existence of an unelected head of state who has their post for life. The monarchy symbolises that the UK is founded upon the privilege of the few and the entitlement of the rich. This is a country in which unfairness is a foundation of the constitution.

This is the god-knows-how-many-th royal sycophanfest we’ve had occupying our telly screens this year. It won’t be the last. We’re stuck with this intelligence insulting charade as long as Scotland remains a part of the United Kingdom, a convenient bunting bedecked distraction from the real issues that this country faces. Why worry about the yawning chasm between the haves and the have-nots when you can wave a Union flag and coo isn’t she marvellous. Well it’s not marvellous, and the sooner we can put an end to this circus the better. If you’re a republican, only an independent Scotland offers you any prospect at all of living in a country where we’re all equal and where we don’t have an upper class that’s born to rule and a media that’s born to drool.


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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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.