Scotland and the rest of the UK are a very special Union, according to Theresa Dalamatian Shoes. It’s preciousssss, and in the same way that Gollum covets the ring and wants to hide it away from the rest of the world, Theresa covets Scotland and wants to hide it away from the rest of the European Union. It’s a very very special special union. So very very special that Scotland has no say in what happens in it and can be overruled by the big boys and girls of the Westminster Parliament who are still struggling their way to a Brexit plan A. That’s pretty damn special. It’s a union that’s so special that it is indistinguishable from a colonial possession.
But rejoice, be glad, sing hip hip hooray, for it is indeed a glorious Union. Theresa won’t be stamping her feet on the Brexit button until there’s a “UK approach and objectives for negotiation”, whatever that means exactly. And while it might not be possible to define what it means, it’s pretty easy to define what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean that Scotland is going to be permitted to remain a part of the EU as long as it’s still a part of the UK.
The special deal that Theresa May is offering to Scotland is that we can shut up and swallow the nasty Tory medicine. It might be dressed up with a few vague and unspecific hints that there could be extra powers for Holyrood, but only once Westminster has carefully pondered the pros and cons of course. But mostly the cons. This time Project Fear is getting its Vow in early. If the Tories get their way, Scotland will be leaving the EU along with the rest of the UK so that we too can suffer the trade deals negotiated on our behalf by Liam Fox, trade deals that are going to make TTIP look like the Communist Manifesto.
We’ll maybe get some token extra powers, but not enough to mitigate the havoc that the Tories are going to wreak on our civil rights, our employment rights, maternity rights, social security, or health service. The UK is going to become a bleak, xenophobic, and unwelcoming place. But hey, Scotland will have a special place in it, specially the target of Tory commentators who fill the pages of the press with anti-Scottish racist bile in the guise of banter.
Fluffy Mundell, our stuffed toy Secretary of State, assured the media that there’s no appetite in Scotland for another independence referendum. Fluffy has his finger on the pulse of Scottish opinion, or at least his finger on the pulse of the other stuffed toys that make up the Tory party in Scotland – which to be fair is the same thing in the packing material that passes for his mind. Yesterday the beardy one was quoted in the papers saying that he was open to the idea of Scotland having a separate Brexit deal, today he’s saying that the notion of Scotland remaining in the EU while the rest of the UK leaves is fanciful. His boss must have had a word with him.
There’s going to be no double remain, no reverse Greenland, no second EU referendum. The EU has not shown any interest or enthusiasm for the idea, and now the Tory government has explicitly ruled it out. It’s time that Scotland’s Labour and Lib Dem parties realised that and start to deal with the realities of Scotland’s current position, rather than their fond hopes and foot stamping. It’s all very well for Kezia Dugdale to say that she doesn’t want to have to choose between two unions, but that’s the universe we live in. I don’t want to have to do to the dentists, but when I have toothache that’s what I have to do. We don’t always get what we want, and Kezia’s going to have to choose which one of her union teeth is going to get pulled. The rotten UK tooth, or the EU filling. There is no other option.
Having ruled out the favoured option of the Labour party in Scotland and the Lib Dems, the only way that Scotland can remain a member of the EU is for us to vote for independence in a referendum before the Brexit negotiations are completed. But having a second independence referendum would be irresponsible, say the people whose irresponsible EU referendum created this disaster. The Tory line is that they’ve made this shithole of a UK, and Scotland going to be drowned in Brexit sewage whether we want it or not. There’s special for you.
If Fluffy and his Tank sitting pal Ruth had the slightest bit of common decency, their sole message to Scotland right now would be, “We’re sorry. We’re terribly sorry. This catastrofuck is entirely our party’s fault. We’ll keep quiet now and when the rest of you work out a way to stop the ship sinking, we’ll help with the buckets. Did we say we’re sorry?” Instead we’re getting lectures and demands from the people who created the mess, insisting that we all have to make the best of the crap that they’ve deposited all over the good rug in the Scottish living room. It’s not so bad all that crap, say the Tories, why look, you can make it into a commemorative bust of Liam Fox that you can sit on the mantlepiece in case you get a visit from Adam Werritty.
Theresa came, Theresa went. Her visit was designed more to reassure the rest of the UK that she’s an active PM who is going to keep England’s colonial possessions in check than she intended to give Scotland reassurances. The option that Theresa May’s Tories offer us is a Scotland that’s dragged out of the EU against our will into a mid-Atlantic Singapore with poor workers’ rights, a xenophobic tax haven off the coast of Europe where the interests of big business reign supreme.
The need for an independence referendum has never been more pressing, and the consequences of remaining a part of the UK have never been more starkly negative and depressing. May has given Scotland no reassurances at all, except the reassurance that if Scotland wants to have its democratic will respected, if Scotland wants a future that’s prosperous and secure, we’re going to have to leave the UK and build one for ourselves as an active and cooperative member of the European family of nations.
Audio version of this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/my-preciousssss-wee-ginger-dug-15th-july-2016
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