Having a Scottish voice, or swallowing the bitter Brexit cereal

We live in a land where delusion has taken over from policy. Theresa May is going to save the Union. Stop laughing at the back there. She began her first speech as Prime Minister by remarking that not a lot of people know that the full name of her party is the Conservative and Unionist party. And the reason is that while the Tories like to describe themselves as Unionists they don’t behave as though the UK was a Union, they behave as though it was a unitary state. Theresa May wants Scotland to pretend that we didn’t just vote to remain a part of the EU, and swallow our Brexit medicine like obedient little North Britons.

Our new handbagger in chief is coming to Scotland tomorrow to ‘reassure’ Scotland that our place in the Union remains secure. By which she means that Scotland is going to get dragged out of the EU despite the fact that a substantial majority of Scottish voters elected to remain a part of it. That’s not so much a reassurance as it is a threat. Doubtless she’ll try to sweeten the bitter Brexit cereal by promising vague and unspecified extra powers over vitally important things like pigeon ringing and road markings, but Theresa May will not be coming to Scotland to inform us that we will be able to remain in the European Union even though the rest of the UK has voted to leave. That’s not the Union that she’s concerned about. She’s going to come and tell us why, yet again, Scotland needs to swallow its democratic vote and do what the Tory voting parts of the UK tell it.

The fact that one of her very first acts on becoming Prime Minister is to visit Scotland and give us a stern lecture is because while our new Evil Overlord may be many things, she’s not actually stupid. She knows that the outcome of the EU referendum has driven Scotland far closer to the brink of independence than ever before. She faces the prospect of Scotland going into a new independence referendum campaign in which the independence option is leading from the start. Theresa May is the second female prime minister of the UK, she doesn’t want to be the last prime minister of the UK. But that’s what’s likely to happen. The Union she wants to reassure Scotland about has been shattered and traduced, and it’s been shattered and traduced by Theresa May’s Tories.

Britain is a laughing stock around the globe, and the world is laughing because of what’s been done to this country by clueless Tories who arrogantly insult and abuse the rest of the world without having the foggiest notion of how they’re going to proceed with governing the UK. Is this really a place we’re better together with? The broad shoulders of the UK that have no head on them.

If Theresa May believes that she can fly into Scotland, lay down the law, then bugger off back south and we’ll cease all this independence agitation nonsense, she’s as delusional as those Tory commentators who insist that Boris Johnson is perfectly suited as Foreign Secretary and he hasn’t pissed off half the planet at all. Oh no. But then Theresa May was the one who appointed him in the first place, so chances are that she is pretty delusional.

It’s not just the Tories who are delusional. Labour is also quite sure it’s going to save the Union, apparently by pretending that the EU referendum didn’t actually happen. Labour in Scotland wants the rest of the UK to pretend that they didn’t vote to leave the EU so that Scotland can continue to be a member of both Unions. That’s as likely to happen as Scotland suddenly deciding that Boris Johnson really is a great choice for Foreign Minister.

The Lib Dems do accept that there’s been an EU referendum and that the remain cause lost it. So the best way to proceed is for the UK to immediately hold another EU referendum so that the next time we can all get the result that the Lib Dems prefer. Meanwhile Wullie Rennie insists that the outcome of the 2014 independence referendum needs to be respected. The best you can say about this position is that it’s not actually delusional, just hypocritical. But then Lib Dems were never strangers to hypocrisy.

The notion that following a UK wide vote to leave the EU that Scotland would be able to remain a member of both the EU and the UK was always a highly dubious proposition. In order for it to work it would require the active cooperation of both the EU and the UK. It would mean Scotland occupying the UK commissioner’s seat in the EU, and so Scotland would have a voice in how the rest of the UK accessed the single market and could overrule Westminster. The Tories were never going to allow that to happen. The complications and concessions that are required in order for Scotland to maintain its membership of both unions are such that we’d be as well just becoming independent.

Even before Theresa May has come to Scotland to presumably make vague noises about all the lovely devo goodies that lie in store for us if only we reject the evil separatists, her Chancellor has ruled out any possibility of Scotland remaining a part of both Unions. Fluffy Mundell has claimed that the UK government is open to the prospect, but then Fluffy has as much influence in UK policy making as Boris Johnson does on the US State Department.

The truth is that the default assumption is now that the UK can no longer defend or represent Scotland’s interests, and the onus is on those who wish to maintain the UK to prove otherwise.  Labour and the Lib Dems are going to have to face up to the hard reality that they cannot get what they want. They cannot have a Scotland that is simultaneously a member of the EU and the UK. Neither the UK government nor the EU wants that. Neither of them are going to cooperate to make it a reality. The UK wants Scotland outside the EU. That’s not what Scotland wants. The time is approaching when the Labour party in Scotland and the Lib Dems need to decide where they stand. They can’t pretend they live in a magic Scotland where they can have it both ways. Either they stand for Scotland to have its own voice in the world, or they swallow the bitter Brexit cereal.

Audio version of this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/having-a-scottish-voice-or-swallowing-the-bitter-brexit-cereal-wee-ginger-dug-14th-july-2016

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36 comments on “Having a Scottish voice, or swallowing the bitter Brexit cereal

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Having a Scottish voice, or swallowing the bitter Brexit cereal […]

  2. Thepnr says:

    The Labour party in Scotland have no longer a leg to stand on.

    The Right leg, Kezia Dugdale is on an all expenses paid brainwashing trip to the home of capitalism in good old USA while the Left leg has been stranded at home without a shop counter to mind. The right leg doesn’t trust the left leg you see.

    Meantime, the UK Labour party set fire to themselves and Boris Johnson laughs while scrunching back copies of his own mutterings in the Telegraph and pushing them under both legs of the UK Labour party. Soon they too will be leaderless as well as legless.

    Still, all was of their own making. Who’d be a Labour activist now? Other than Ian Smart and Hothersall of course I’ve no idea. Goodbye and thanks for the fireworks as you evacuate Scotland.

  3. Jon in Chicago says:

    Wow, Friday’s going to be one helluva day. You get Mamma May coming to put you in your place, and we find out who is stupid/pathetic enough to be Il Douche’s running mate. Can the “special relationship” survive the drinking required to get though this?

  4. John Edgar says:

    Translate for the Brexiters!!

    • Campertess says:

      Not taking away from the fact that the wee ginger dug hasn’t as usual wrote another fantastic piece because he has, but, the film about the worlds largest model railroad and the man who built it is amazing. Thank you jimnarlene for posting it.

  5. Macart says:

    Is it time to practice the evil laugh yet?

    I’m sure Mayhem’s visit will go down well. Right wing Tory PMs always receive a warm welcome in Scotland. 🙂

  6. David says:

    Not as funny as the stuff you usually write but I fully understand why. We are reaching that time where the no voters of 2014 will have to decide which of the two unions they value most and the 2016 brexit voters in Scotland will have to decide which of the two unions they most want to leave behind.

    For some it is a no brainer but for many others it will be a much more careful evaluation leading to an intelligent compromise and in the end I truly hope that a huge majority put their cross in the same box on the ballot paper.

  7. Scots Wa Hey says:

    I said to a No voting friend you are going to have to choose between Scotland free or perpetual Tory Rule

    I will sink with the UK rather than Scotland independent

    Don’t ya just love those “proud” Scots

    • Fin says:

      Yep I know a few of these. Not interested in any of the arguments. Brexit is the best thing to happen to us, no matter what the cost. I’ve had to admit that some folks will never see the light.

    • Iain Ross says:

      Yep heard that already as well, along with other regulation statements about being too poor to survive. At the end of the day you can’t reach everybody, 300 years of indoctrination leaves its mark. Still really gets my goat when they claim to be “proud Scots”, always bite my tongue but one of these days I shall just end up blurting out, ‘yeh just not proud enough though…’

  8. It is clear that England will not countenance Scotland brokering a separate EU deal; Hammond more or less said that today.
    Boris’s pound spent in Crawley which he somehow thinks would eventually trickle down to ‘Strathclyde'(sic) seems to be working a treat. 1000’s Scottish HMRC civil servants sacked, and a shiny new HQ built in Crawley with 1000’s of South East jobs for South East workers.. There will be dancing in the streets of Strathclyde when that news filters through.
    They don’t give a damn about the citizens of Scotland. It’s our wealth, our land, and seas that they covet.
    Mundell hasn’t the decency to be embarrassed; he actually believes that out FM should come before him as a supplicant, with her ‘workaround’ solution to keep Scotland in the EU but part of the UK. Presumably so that, like the 100 odd amendments to the Scotland Bill submitted by the SNP , he can dismiss her ‘proposals’ out of hand, because he can.
    He doesn’t get it. NS is not seeking his or May’s approval for her actions. She has a mandate from the citizens of Scotland. She needs no largesse from our bigger neighbour to the South to do as she’s doing, actively tackling the EU question head on, now, for the good of the citizens of Scotland..
    The Tories do not have a clue how to approach Brexit negotiations with the EU, yet this jumped up little upstart, or should that be ‘downfinish’, thinks that he is the Almighty Ruler of Scotland, the Northern Territory. He actually thinks that his word is law. If he says no, we all crawl back into our box. Idiot.
    You are correct , Paul.
    Independence, and continuer state status in the EU is the only way forward.
    It won’t be much of a Project Fear Better Together Team either.
    The Big Unionist/ Little Englander Guns will be trained on Brussels, in vain, trying to get Free Market status, but no freedom of movement, which as we already know is a deal buster for the 27 member states.
    Bring it on.

  9. pwest9 says:

    The Tories are desperate for Scotland to toe their line as an independent Scotland in Europe would expose England as the non entity it is. The events after the referendum have shown how fragile the economy is and how corrupt and undemocratic the political system is. A recession is on the way and May spouting her lies from Downing Street will not make blind bit of difference. Appointing Johnson as Foreign Secretary is a prime example of a country in decline and in search of their lost Empire. Can the people of Yorkshire and the North of England please come with you.

  10. stewartb says:

    Perhaps it should come as no surprise, but Scottish Labour’s position on Scotland and Brexit confuses me, given how it campaigned

    During the EU referendum, Labour Party posters stated: “Labour IN for Scotland”. Notably, they did not just state “Labour IN” or “Labour IN for the UK”, but deliberately “IN for Scotland”!

    So after a clear majority of the Scottish electorate supported Labour’s “IN for Scotland” plea, what is the North British branch of Labour, its leader and its MSPs now going to do for those voters that followed its advice and did vote IN FOR SCOTLAND?

  11. John Edgar says:

    Will there even be a Labour party dahn sath!?
    Whatever happens, (S)Lab is in a quandary.
    Which side of the split do they follow? I suppose they would wait to be told?!
    I suppose Kezia would try to be part of both splits saying she would bring them together!!
    We await the next circus from Westminster.
    The first circus is underway with Boris leading the Brexit charge into the EU valley .
    The new Cabinet, made up of Tory flotsam and jetsam, is a strange sight to behold.
    Outwardly incoherent and an inwardly alien hybrid cloned together.

  12. Ann Rayner says:

    Thank goodness for you and other alternative media giving Scotland a voice. During all this chaos and mayhem, Scotland 2016 and Scotland Tonight have been marked absent, off on their hols I presume.

    Not that I have much time for either but at least they show someone down south knows Scotland exists. Meanwhile we have to make do with London-based Newsnight and unrelenting tedious waffle if we want any comments on the post Credit mess. Will they discuss tonight Salmon’s astute question on whether or not Boris J will be boss of David Davies and Liam Fox? Not holding my breath.

  13. TInto Chiel says:

    “Still really gets my goat when they claim to be “proud Scots”, always bite my tongue but one of these days I shall just end up blurting out, ‘yeh just not proud enough though…’”

    Which is exactly what my wife said to one of her relatives when that line was trotted out, Iain. It really hit home and we have not seen them since. They were Tories anyway and complete Cringers and were going to leave Scotland in the event of a Yes in 2014.

    I’ve stopped skirting around the topic of independence any more just to avoid an awkward situation. For example, when people tell me Scotland is too poor, I tell them that’s what 300 years of Union has done to our country. That can be rather effective at making them see things the right way around.

    • maxi says:

      Tinto ,we all have friends and relatives who are a a bit backward or intellectually challenged, and i say to them that why don’t you start paying for your medical prescriptions and your families education if you feel that we are better together. And thats just for starters.

  14. Steve Asaneilean says:

    It’s no longer complicated. The fog has lifted, the haar has drifted, the options have been sifted.

    The last 3 weeks have distilled our future into a crystal-clear binary choice – Yes or No (but this time for real and for the foreseeable).

    The Tories have said it and the EU have said it – stay in the UK and we are out of the EU – no ifs, no buts, no mibbies. And on top of that we are guaranteed a right wing Tory government that will retain ultimate power and control over us for perhaps a generation or more.

    Or we can finally takes matters into our own hands, stand on two feet and decide for ourselves what our European future should be.

    Forget the LibDems and (Not) Labour – they have long since conceded any right to influence this choice or to have any relevance in Scotland whatsoever.

    This is now Yes versus the Tories.

    So reignite and rejuvenate your local Yes group. Get the local Yes shop and café up and running once again. Don’t wait for the agenda to be set for Scotland – make sure Scotland sets the agenda itself.

    It really is now or never.

  15. Theresa May has just published her first policy statement on Scotland prior to her visit to Scotland tomorrow, please see below:-
    How to destroy a Free Independent Country
    Deprive people of their private conscientious,
    Treat them as a tribe and not a nation,
    Dilute their national pride,
    Do not teach their history,
    Propagate their language as inferior,
    Imply they have a cultural void,
    Empathise their customs are primitive,
    And dismiss their independence as a barbaric anomaly.
    Written by
    Reinhart Heydrich Nazi Propagandist 1933
    Theresa May 2016 British Prime Minister
    Reinhart Heydrich Wikipedia Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reinhard_Heydrich

  16. Marian says:

    I thought I’d seen it all but Boris Johnston for Foreign Secretary really takes the biscuit.

    All he needs for his version of the job is a red nose, very large shoes and a cone shaped hat on his head.

  17. Paul Immelman says:

    Paul once again an excellent piece I’m torn between waiting to have all the answers to the unionist onslaught or simply seize the moment and go for indyref2 sooner rather than later. On balance I think we should go for a quick referendum riding on the current uncertainty over brexit. I’m sure Nicola and her team have been given the green light from our EU brothers and sisters.

    Brexit has effectively played right into our hands, let’s not waste the opportunity..

    • hettyforindy says:

      Inclined to agree with you on a quick indy ref, things are certainly not going to improve for Scotland with the whole brexit shenanigans, it will only get worse, and become more precarious and unstable financially, and for our international, EU relations etc.

      May will have something up her dirty sleeve, we will not fall for her lies, a wolf in sheeps clothing, if that’s poss for she is no timid sheep.

    • Macart says:

      We can’t afford to screw this up and so its ‘wait until you see the whites of their eyes time.’

      One thing we can be certain of and that is May’s visit today to ‘save the union’ won’t be a pleasant visit. Olive branches and doves won’t be the order of the day. She’s here to threaten or bribe the SG and I’m betting more threat than bribe.

      May is in a bad place and she knows it. She also knows that the Scottish Government have a very strong hand. Her natural instinct will be to put the rowdy barbarians in their place, but she can’t go that far without provoking an immediate and deeply unfortunate response. So I’m guessing some sugar topped sweeties along the lines of significant devolved powers would be the opening gambit, perhaps a promise to make an easy road during a postponed indyref? If those fail then threat it is. Who knows what shape they may take? So much to choose from. Strip powers, end Barnett, impose the BBR in Scotland first as a trial, make life even more miserable for our representatives via process and media, put roadblocks in the way of an indyref.

      Make no mistake, May has come up here with a definite set of goals in mind. She wants a face to face with our FM. On one front its all about setting out the ground rules personally. On the other its about securing the union treaty and access to our goodies before going into Brexit talks with the EU.

      • Marconatrix says:

        May above everything else needs time, time to figure out a way to water down or ideally reverse the clusterthingie that is Brexit. So she can promise to take as long as it takes to seek a solution to the ¨Scottish Problem¨ a problem, namely how to keep Scotland in both the EU and the UK, which she knows full well is insoluble. Hence it gives her as long as it takes to kick Brexit into the long grass. It also conveniently avoids having to face the even more fraught ¨Irish Problem¨.

        Maybe she promised NS a deal along the lines of ¨help me now and you´ll get your indy ref. once I´m off the hook¨ or just more devo powers, who´s to say. Whatever I´m sure Nicola will play it weel cannie 🙂

  18. Les Bremner says:

    Do not underestimate the opposition. Please look at this Facebook site. https://www.facebook.com/SMASH-the-SNP-106070869728615/

    The venom and hatred are palpable. I questioned two of their items, my comments existed for a while then they were deleted and my ability to post anything was removed. That is what we are up against – closed minded snarling bigotry with censorship of those who seek to reason with them.

    • Andimac says:

      Checked it out, Les – A rather bitter cocktail: equal measures of red, white and blue with, I’d say, just a dash of orange.

  19. Macart says:

    ‘Course there could also be another reason for May’s visit. Its entirely possible that Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit. It could be that May will be proposing the Norway option in order to keep trade and free travel open. If she could guarantee to deliver that option the case for an immediate indyref could be theoretically off the cards.

    Remember, the FMs remit is to ensure free trade for our businesses, open border travel for same and the population in general as basic. The only fly in that ointment is that Scotland voted for seats in Brussels, full participation, not simply the Norway deal.

    How May would sell such an option to the Brexit voters though should be interesting. How the FM handles such a hypothetical places her in a pretty tough place too.

    Popcorn and choccy raisins out today I think.

  20. Dan Huil says:

    May, like all her two-faced vow-vending cronies, will lie and lie again in order to try a save their so-called united kingdom. We won’t be fooled again.

    • They are tories Dan, so lying is part of their D.N.A. I just hope you’re correct about the “we won’t be fooled again”. Personally speaking, I can’t wait to get back on the street, knocking doors, and hoping this time for a victory.

      • Dan Huil says:

        May has just come out with another lie: that the so-called united kingdom will not leave the EU if Scotland is unhappy with the deal. She expects us to believe that?!

        • John Edgar says:

          That is a version of Brown’s “vow”.
          How is that to be implemented? A other referendum? Consulting Scottish MPs? ( all bar three are SNP).
          Consult Holyrood and let it vote, ie veto the whole thing?
          Where does Evel fit in”
          Independence is the answer.
          No May No Westminster No fluffy types. No Lords. Mo Foulkes and his ilk

  21. kat hamilton says:

    the last few weeks developments have crystalised the complete disarray of the uk govt and the right wing future we face with may and her cohorts…if it doesnt convert/persuade or filter through to the uneducated to vote yes to indy 2 then its game over…it truly is last chance saloon now and hopefully indy 2 proceedings will commence whilst this maelstrom is still giving us ammunition for our cause…go nicola

  22. Macart says:

    “I have already said that I won’t be triggering Article 50 until I think that we have a UK approach and objectives for negotiations – I think it is important that we establish that before we trigger Article 50.” T.May

    Looks as though she really doesn’t want to go near that EU negotiation table without nailing down Scotland first.

    Who knew?

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