We’re in the Scottish money

We’re in the Scottish money. Or at least we’re going to be if Scotland becomes independent. The Sunday Herald is reporting that the Scottish Government is studying plans for a separate Scottish currency in the event of independence. This immediately removes the Westminster veto threat which blighted the last independence referendum, their insistence that Scotland would not be ‘allowed’ to use the pound sterling, and which reduced the debate to the utterly inane Unionist claim that Scotland would be the only country on the planet which was unable to have any sort of currency at all. Cue the usual sneers about the groat or the bawbee.

The truth is that there’s absolutely nothing to prevent Scotland from using the pound if that what we chose to do. It’s not like after independence the rUK government is going to be able to send squads of SAS to the checkout at Morrisons to demand that we all empty our pockets and turn over illicit sterling. Using a currency unilaterally wouldn’t be the best option for an independent Scotland, but there’s bugger all that Westminster could do to stop us if that’s what we chose to do. That the nonsensical claim that Scotland wouldn’t be ‘allowed’ to use the pound ever gained any traction at all is simply evidence of the fact that the assertions of the Better Together campaign were not subject to proper scrutiny by Scotland’s predominantly Unionist media.

It takes a very small mind, a breathtaking lack of imagination, to believe that somehow Scotland would be uniquely incapable of establishing a currency of its own. The sneers and dismissiveness of those who crack unfunny jokes about the bawbee are a reflection of their own shortcomings, not of Scotland’s.

Even much smaller states with smaller populations and fewer resources are able to start their own currencies. Estonia has a population of just over 1,300,000 and far fewer natural resources and a much weaker economy than Scotland, which was additionally burdened by the immense difficulties and pain of transitioning from the decayed command economy of the Soviet Union to a modern European economy. Yet despite these massive disadvantages and challenges which Scotland doesn’t face, Estonia was able to establish its own currency which it was capable of keeping stable enough for long enough for Estonia to go on and join the Eurozone. Estonia joined the Euro because it chose to sign up to ERMII. Scotland doesn’t have to choose that path. Being forced to adopt the Euro is a Unionist myth just like the myth that Scotland could be prevented from using sterling.

But Scotland won’t be able to do even as well as Estonia, according to the non-functioning neurones of the Unionist hive-mind. A stable Scottish currency wouldn’t be possible. Just, you know, because reasons. For generations Scotland has been told it’s poor, it’s unimportant, it’s incapable, and they’ve internalised that message on a deep level. Then they project their own inadequacies onto Scotland, and demand that the rest of us respect and accept their ‘realism’.

The argument from the indy side was that the pound sterling was an intangible asset of the UK and therefore Scotland had a right to it in the same way that we have a right to our fair share in the tangible assets of the UK on becoming independent. Deny us assets, and Scotland has every right to tell the UK treasury that it can stick its UK national debt up its arse. If Scotland isn’t getting the assets, then we’re not taking on the debt. And let’s not forget that this is debt with the UK treasury’s name on it. Scotland has no legal obligation. No financial institution anywhere in the world possesses an IOU saying “We owe you squillions and squillions. Pinky promise to pay you back. Love, Scotland.” If Westminster wants Scotland to take on a share of the UK national debt, they’re going to have to play nice.

Some have argued that Scotland has a moral obligation to take on a share of the UK debt, and this may very well be true. Scotland, they say, would be hammered by the credit agencies for not acting morally. But show me an international lending bank which operates on the principle of morality and I’ll show you a Disney cartoon full of fluffy talking bunnies. Actually you could equally argue that the reverse was true, that Scotland would be hammered by the credit agencies for taking on debt which was not legally ours. After all, how confident can you be as a lender that you’re going to be repaid if the person you lend to keeps taking on debts that belong to other people?

Unionists denied that the pound was an intangible asset, clearly never having heard of the concept of “brand identity”. When a business changes hands, a portion of the price paid by the new owners is a payment for intangibles like brand identity and customer loyalty. Denying Scotland access to the pound sterling means denying Scotland its share in the brand identity and customer loyalty built up in the stability of the pound sterling, a stability and brand identity to which Scotland has contributed. If Scotland is going to give up its right to use the pound sterling, since Westminster made it perfectly clear last time that they’re not going to tolerate our right to do so, then they’re going to have to pay. The decision to start a new Scottish currency means that in future independence negotiations Holyrood will no longer have to plead with Westminster for cooperation in a currency union, now Westminster will have to plead with Holyrood about how much of Westminster’s debt Scotland is prepared to take on.

Mind you, next time we won’t want to use the pound sterling, on account of the fact that when Brexit bites the rUK pound will be on a par with the ginger bottle. Scotland will be doing itself no favours at all to tie itself to a currency that’s plummeting in value and as hard as wet toilet paper.

The reality, the real reality as opposed to the sneers of diehard Unionist trolls, is that Scotland is perfectly able to establish its own currency, a currency which will be stable and serviceable. Scotland will also take on a share of the UK national debt, although since we’re not going to be using the rUK’s pound sterling an independent Scotland’s share of the UK’s national debt will be reduced accordingly. Scotland is going to establish its own currency, and it’s going to be more stable than sterling. Watch and see. Scotland will be in the Scottish money.

Audio link to this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/in-the-scottish-money-wee-ginger-dug-17th-july-2016


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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

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


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

Writing a prescription of our own

All over Scotland on Saturday there were demonstrations against Trident renewal. In over 30 Scottish cities and towns, people marched in opposition to a nuclear weapons system which has the potential to destroy the entire country. If there were to be a serious accident involving Trident, just a few miles down the road from Scotland’s largest centres of population, the kill zone encompasses most the country. It would make Fukushima look like a road closure, and render the entire Central Belt uninhabitable for generations.

Trident has the potential to end the existence of Scotland. It could potentially make us extinct as a nation. Entrusting that kind of power to the hands of the serial incompetents who brought us the Iraq war and the farce of Brexit does not contribute to our safety, it does not help us rest easy in our beds at night as the nuclear convoys rumble through our streets in the dark of night. It’s the stuff of nightmares. It’s because we wish to rest easy in our beds that so many went out on the streets on Saturday to protest.

The House of Commons is due to debate renewal of the monstrosity on Monday. There’s little doubt that the House will vote to foist nukes on Scotland yet again despite the fact that the number of Scottish MPs who support renewal can be counted on the fingers of Captain Hook’s claw. And once again the claw grab is going to reach down to the Clyde and rip away any pretence that Scotland has any influence in this denighted Union. For the second time in less than a month a decision that Scotland doesn’t want and refuses to accept will be imposed upon us against our will, and as long as we remain within this supposedly most perfect union there is bugger all that we can do about it.

Trident is the viagra of an impotent British Empire, and there’s no way that the pricks of Westminster are not going to vote to renew their prescription. It’s the toxic phallus that guarantees the UK a place at the top table, even though it’s a clapped out middle ranking power which was on the edge of Europe before it voted last month to drop off. With their precious nuclear drug, the faded and forgotten stars of the world screen in the era of silent movies can still tell themselves that they’re deserving of a close up in the 21st century.

But think of the jobs! That’s the usual defence of Trident’s supporters. Well mainly Jackie Baillie, the MSP who is unclear on the difference between a weapon of mass destruction and a job creation scheme. Using the same logic you could argue against the criminalisation of burglary because it’s put thousands of burglars out of work. The figure for the number of jobs created by Trident is as inflated as the British governments estimation of the military effectiveness of the weapon, but the MoD was forced to admit that a mere 520 civilian jobs are dependent on the naval bases on the Clyde. Trident is going to cost the UK £205 billion, that works out at £390 million per job.

If the government was to spend £10 million per worker instead, it could give every one of those workers £1 million each and invest £9 million per worker in the local economy. The total amount spent would cost a tiny fraction of the amount spent on Trident and as a bonus Scotland wouldn’t be a prime target of Russian nuclear missiles or a risk of a nuclear accident that could render the country uninhabitable. The workers could retire comfortably, and there would be over £4.6 billion to invest in the local economy. It would be a whole lot more cost efficient, and there would be an economic boom in the Clyde instead of a nuclear bang. Everyone would be happy, except Jackie Baillie. You might say this is a fantasy, and it is, but so is the idea that Trident actually contributes anything to the defence of the UK.

Trident is not about creating jobs. It’s not about defending the UK. Trident is a weapon belonging to a distant age and answers a military need that has long since receded into history. Trident is really about creating the impression that the British Empire is still a force in the world. It’s about the vanities of Westminster politicians, not the security of the state or the economy of the Holy Loch. All that Trident defends is the ego of the likes of Liam Fox.

We’ve been going on marches and demos against Trident for as long as I can remember, since before I was born. Over 30 years ago I marched and protested, but here we are all these decades later and nothing has changed. I don’t want kids being born today to still be going on marches against the nukes on the Clyde when they get to my age. That’s how it is for Scotland within the UK, a story of protests that go unheard, a tale of opposition that goes ignored, a history of demonstrations that achieve nothing.

Scotland is supposedly a valued partner in the Union, but what sort of partnership is it when one partner dictates and the other has no choice but to shut up and obey? We suffer the imposition of Trident, we suffer the imposition of Brexit. But not for much longer. There is a way to stop this happening, to derail the crushing wheels of the British state. I’m fed up with protests, sick of demos, have had enough of petitions. I want action. I want change. And there’s only one way that we’re going to get it.

After over 60 years of British nuclear weapons we should know by now that it’s a waste of time hoping for a Labour government to get rid of nuclear weapons. Only a Scottish government in an independent Scotland is going to evict the obscenity from the Clyde. The MPs’ vote on Monday to renew Trident is another vote that destroys the UK and sets Scotland further down the path to self-determination.

Let’s demonstrate for independence, let’s campaign for it, let’s channel our anger into a strategy that’s going to work. Let’s make a real difference for a change. It’s time we wrote some prescriptions of our own.

Audio link to this blog, courtesy of @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/writing-a-prescription-of-our-own-wee-ginger-dug-16th-july-2016


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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

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


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

My preciousssss…

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


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button


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

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


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

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


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button


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

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


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

The UK, it had a future once

Bye then Davie Cameron, he was the future once. It must be something to do with not speaking ill of the walking dead, but Davie Cameron’s last PMQ’s was remarkably free of people telling him begone, you worst prime minister in living memory. It was all terribly jolly. Tory and Labour MPs united to stand in applause, and there was us thinking that clapping in the House of Commons was a worse breach of social etiquette than pulling down your trousers and sticking your wullie in a dead pig. He was clapped out of the Commons after leaving the UK clapped out, so it was quite appropriate really.

The usual suspects, that would be Scotland’s suspiciously large contingent of Tory journalists, were shocked and appalled that SNP MPs failed to join in the Davie Cameron applauding love-in. They were more shocked and appalled than they were about Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will. They were more shocked and appalled than they were about millionaire cabinet minister imposing draconian cuts on the incomes of people with disabilities. They’re professional media people and they have their finger on the pulse and their noses firmly up the backside of a Tory establishment, because let’s face it, if they had to rely on the Scottish public agreeing with their views they’d be worse off financially than the disabled people whose benefits are being cut.

Scotland has a huge surplus of Conservative journalists, who are over-represented in the media to the same extent that Tories are over-represented in positions of power and influence in Scotland considering that they’ve only got the one Scottish MP and he’s a stuffed toy. These would be the same journalists who were shocked and appalled when SNP MPs applauded in the House of Commons last year. Obviously the SNP need to learn the rules and traditions of the House and are just showing themselves and Scotland up by not knowing what they are. It’s perfectly simple, it’s an obligation to applaud a Tory MP or a Labour MP, especially when like Hillary Benn they’re calling for the country to go to war, but it’s wrong wrong wrong for anyone to applaud anyone for the appalling crimes of being Scottish and calling for social justice.

Cameron always was the Keanu Reeves of prime ministers, he looks the shiny well polished part in still photos but as soon as he opens his mouth you realise he can’t act, can’t think, and can’t plan. Although that’s a bit unfair, as Keanu Reeves did at least have a couple of decent movies, but the Cameron administration was like living through the Matrix III. He will go into the history books as an even worse prime minister than Gordie Broon, and that’s quite a remarkable achievement.

He was destroyed by his own Etonian arrogance. Davie will be remembered for losing a referendum that took the UK out of the EU and led to the end of the United Kingdom, and for the allegations about the pig thing. He won’t be remembered for soaring levels of poverty and the mushroom growth of foodbanks. He won’t even be remembered for the assaults on the poorest and the increasingly precarious employment of the low paid. That’s all set to get a whole lot worse as Brexit bites and the Tories complete their longed-for transformation of the UK into a cold and damp Singapore with worse food.

At least by that time Scotland will have broken free and for that mercy we should be immensely grateful. David Cameron is the unwitting and unwilling midwife of Scottish independence. He even had George Osborne to supply the towels.

There’s already been the start of desperate attempts from the Conservatives to put a sticking plaster on their amputation of Scotland and the EU, although funnily enough we’ve heard no more of Michael Gove’s recent claim that a post-Brexit Scotland could have control over its own immigration rules. Fluffy the Stuffed Toy, minister of state for speaking down to Scotland from the cabinet office, has said that he’ll ensure that Scotland will get the best possible deal out of Brexit. Which is a bit like saying that he’ll try and make sure that Hannibal Lector takes some imodium after consuming us so we’ll pass through his digestive tract more smoothly. We’re still going to get eaten.

Other Tories and diehard Unionists are still deep in denial. Scotland voted No in 2014, so it has to leave the EU along with the rest of the UK, they assert. We all knew that an EU referendum was on the cards – although the difficulty that they have with rewriting history is that the rest of us were actually paying attention during 2014 and we knew no such thing. What we do recall quite clearly is Ruth Davidson assuring us that only a No vote would ensure Scotland’s membership of the EU, and saying that she was highly doubtful that her party could win an overall majority in 2015. In fact no one knew the Tories were going to win an absolute majority in 2015 until the General Election was over.

But we should be kind to the diehards in their time of distress. It can’t be easy absorbing the knowledge that Scotland was very firmly a part of the UK until the so-called defenders of the Union decided to destroy two Unions in order to further their own careers, and did so without a Plan A never mind a Plan B. Meanwhile the Labour party, who fancy themselves as the good guys, are engrossed in a civil war that may result in the party splitting and leaving what’s left of the UK at the mercy of the Tories with UKIP looking over their shoulders for decades to come.

The UK is broken and it was the Unionists who broke it. They exposed their own arrogance, and a level of incompetence that’s criminal. So let’s spell it out clearly for the denialists – Scotland is going to remain in the EU even if it take independence in order to do so, and there’s not a thing you can do to prevent it. The UK is ending, and it’s entirely the fault of those who swore to defend it.

In his final words as he left Downing St on his way to tender his resignation to the Queen, Cameron spoke about how he wanted success for this country that he loved so much, this country that he’s broken. The UK, it had a future once.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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

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


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

We can do this

Everyone else seems to be doing it this week, so I thought I’d have my own shot at a blog post saying how – in my opinion – we can win the next independence referendum. It’s now looking highly likely that we’re going to have one, a whole lot sooner that anyone expected. I’m no more privy to the inner thoughts of the Scottish government than anyone else, but if pushed to make a guess about it, I’d say that the indyref2 will be called shortly after our new caring and sharing Tory PM cares to press the Brexit button and shares the UK’s excision from Europe with us. That could mean we’re looking at indyref2 as early as next spring or summer. Eek.

It’s still not outside the bounds of possibility that we won’t have another independence referendum. It may just be possible for some deal to be wangled that allows Scotland to remain a part of the EU and the UK, but that’s as likely to happen as the Labour party becoming a united happy force, dedicated to opposing the Tories and not each other. The so-called reverse Greenland would require the active cooperation of both the Conservatives and the EU, neither of whom have shown themselves disposed to look kindly on the idea. The recent comments from the office of the French PM clarified that – that the UK must leave the EU, although France is open to the possibility of an independent Scotland remaining a member. The official position of Labour in Scotland is a hopeful fantasy, but the rest of us need to deal with the real world, and in the real world there’s another independence referendum on the horizon.

First off, we need to remember who the targets are. It is deeply counterproductive for parts of the independence movement to attack other parts of the independence movement for its supposed lack of ideological depth / snarky Bathdom / not being sufficiently left wing or working class / whiney rapperness / smug diminutive reddish caninity / etc etc (delete as appropriate). The only people who benefit from such attacks are the Unionist establishment.

The targets of an independence movement are those in power who oppose independence, not those who have a different vision of what an independent Scotland should look like – those are arguments for having after the event of independence. If you still aren’t able to get to the playground, arguments about who gets first dibs on the swings are irrelevant. So let’s focus ourselves on the British Unionist establishment which blocks the democratic will of the people of Scotland. That’s what independence is all about after all, unchaining the unicorn and unleashing that democratic will. Leave attacking other independence supporters to the Unionists, that’s their job not ours.

The next indyref will be quite different from the last one in some important ways. Next time we will not face a phalanx of 50 Scottish Labour MPs telling us we’re better together with their dysfunctionality. Next time what’s left of the Labour party in Scotland is likely to take a more nuanced position on independence. Next time it’s even possible that some of the mainstream media outlets which opposed independence may be more positive and open to the idea of Scottish self-determination. But we’re still going to face the concerted opposition of the British establishment and the BBC. In fact we may well be looking at an even more hysterical Project Fear campaign next time, as the British establishment knows as well as we do that indyref2 is more likely to produce a vote for independence.

There are lessons to learn from the last campaign. The last campaign was too closely associated with specific policies of the SNP. The independence campaign ended up getting bogged down in arguments about proposals to reduce corporation tax, about NATO membership, and about retaining the monarchy. These are not arguments either for or against independence, they are simply possibilities of independence just as raising corporation tax and ditching NATO and the monarchy are equally possibilities of independence.

An independence referendum campaign is not a party political event. It’s a national event. It cannot be the property of any single political party. Party politics has got us to the point where we can have another indyref, but it’s not going to win it for us. So we need to fight the next indyref on the basis of principle not policies. The principle that whatever happens in Scotland comes about as the result of decisions taken by a government elected by and accountable to the people of Scotland. Independence means that the people of Scotland are sovereign in our own land, nothing more, nothing less. What we decide to do with that sovereign power is for the people of an independent Scotland to decide.

That said, we do have to address some of the specific policies of the last campaign which contributed to the failure of the Scottish national movement to break the chains. The issue of the currency looms large. I’m no economist. I’m no politician either. But it seems to me that irrespective of the economic rights or wrongs of the proposal to enter a currency union with the rUK, selling it to the people of Scotland relied upon the Westminster government agreeing to cooperate with an independent Scotland prior to the event of independence. They’re never going to do that. We cannot go into the next indy campaign being seen to seek favours from Westminster. That means we start from the position of setting up a Scottish currency, and then Westminster requires Scotland’s cooperation in taking on a part of the UK’s humungous national debt. If it was up to me, I’d say, let’s set up our own currency and you can stick your UK debt up your arse. Which is why I’ll never be First Minister.

We need to go on the attack ourselves. We need to point out the disadvantages and uncertainties of remaining a part of a United Kingdom outside the EU where the Tories look like being in power for the foreseeable future, and possibly for decades to come. We need to point out that the economic argument against independence is in fact an argument that Scotland has been impoverished and economically damaged by the UK Treasury and the British state – it is not an argument against independence, it is an argument that we need to get away from those who are causing Scotland such damage as quickly as we possibly can.

The indyref will not be won on social media. Much as it might be fun to argue on Twitter with someone whose ID describes them as NoXXXX on the list of Stu Campbell’s Zoomers, engaging with them is a waste of time. You’re not going to change their minds. The way to change minds is to engage with real people in the real world, and in order to do that successfully we need to produce information in formats that can be absorbed by people who don’t use social media. Some groups and sites have already made valuable contributions there. We need more of it. Social media is immensely valuable. It gives the independence movement a means of communicating, enthusing its supporters, and spreading ideas and knowledge. But we have to take that out into the real world.

Organise. Organise. Organise. Let’s get the band back together. If there’s not a Yes group in your area, start one. Join the SNP, the Greens, Rise, whatever party you feel most aligns with your beliefs and dreams of a better Scottish future. Because independence will only be won through our own work, our own determination, and our own capacity to make our dreams a reality.

Three hundred years ago as the parliament of an independent Scotland was closed and merged into Westminster, it was described as the end of an auld sang. It’s time to sing again, in our many and diverse voices. We can do this.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

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

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


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

Good days and bad days

It’s been another one of those days. On Monday we discovered that the Tory leadership race had turned into a coronation, only without the bunting, and the next Prime Minister of the UK is going to be Theresa May. She’s also going to be the last Prime Minister of the UK, because by the time she leaves office there won’t be a UK any more because Theresa is a One Nation Tory, and that nation is England.

Andrea Leadsom made the surprise announcement at lunchtime that she wasn’t going to continue with her leadership bid because everyone was being beastly and nasty to her. That was unfair, because it’s the Tories who are supposed to be beastly and nasty to everyone else. Especially poor people, migrants, disabled people, LGBTI people, and people who aren’t mothers except for Theresa May. Andrea withdrew from the contest in order to spend more time with her prejudices, leaving the field clear for Theresa and her dalmatian hunting minions. Andrea was the last Brexiteer standing, so much for taking back control.

After Gordie Broon was crowned leader of the Labour party and took over as Prime Minister from Tony Tombstone Blair, Theresa was one of those who complained the loudest that there needed to be a General Election and that Gordie had no democratic mandate. That’s the Theresa who has just become the Prime Minister without any sort of a vote at all, and who gets to be the Prime Minister of Scotland even though she’s got the support of just a single stuffed toy of an MP.

There won’t be an early General Election. The Tories will only get an extra year out of it, and besides, they’d rather wait until the constituency boundary changes come into effect which gives them an even better chance of screwing over the country in perpetuity. That’s not until 2018, and the way the Labour party is going it’s not going to be in any much better shape in 2018 than it is just now.

We got a speech with sub-Thatcher platitudes about working on behalf of ordinary people, but Theresa May has voted against the interests of ordinary people at every opportunity. She voted to raise VAT, a tax which the poor and the low paid feel disproportionately. She voted against tackling increasing energy bills and the profiteering of the privatised energy companies. She said she was going to tackle tax avoidance, but just a few weeks ago she voted against beefing up the powers of the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority to deal with dodgy tax schemes.

And now Theresa May is going to get to implement her right wing Thatcherite vision unconstrained by the European Human Rights legislation that allowed a challenge to the bedroom tax. She’ll have free reign to introduce her snooper’s charter giving the state access to your web history. She claims to value freedom, but she pushed for the snooper’s charter because the security services wanted it, and she didn’t bother to ask why or what they intended to do with their powers over the people. Theresa only wants the state to have information about citizens, she doesn’t want citizens to have information about the state. She supported the Iraq war, and consistently opposed any investigations into how the decision to go to war was reached or how the war was conducted. She’s happy to wave flags and glorify the British military, but she’s consistently voted against strengthening the military covenant that obliges the British state to care for servicepeople and ex-servicepeople. She’s always voted against raising benefits in line with prices, and in favour of reducing spending on social security. And she has always voted against any extra powers for the Scottish parliament.

Theresa’s good day is a bad day for the rest of us. The future in the UK is theatre of cruelty, where compassion is treated like an unwanted migrant, where tolerance and acceptance is a sign of weakness. These are the people who preach to us about the superiority of British values, but the only value they hold true to is hypocrisy. Theresa May is the woman who invented the phrase the Nasty Party for the Conservatives, and she is its living embodiment. The new Prime Minister of the UK is a woman who neither understands Scotland nor cares for it.

Theresa had a good day, but her former opponent Andrea Leadsom had a bad day, reduced to hoping that Theresa will reward her with a cabinet position as a wee thankyou for clearing the path for her. The only person who had a worse day than Andrea Leadsom was Labour leadership challenger Angela Eagle. Her press conference was upstaged by the news from the Tories, leaving her plaintively asking the press for questions only to discover that the press had buggered off and weren’t that interested. Then her own local constituency party called for her to be deselected. Only a couple of hours into her leadership campaign and it seems that she’s got nothing to lead.

On Tuesday Labour’s National Executive Committee will meet to decide whether Jeremy Corbyn can stand in the leadership election without requiring the nominations of 51 Labour MPs and MEPs. Even before the meeting has happened it’s descended into open arguments and disagreements and whoever loses is bound to take legal action. The Tories are getting their nasty on, while Labour is mired in in-fighting and confusion. A formal split in the party is looking ever more likely.

This is the state we’re in. This is what we’re supposed to be better together with. These are the broad shoulders that support Scotland and allow us to punch above our weight in the world. On one side there’s chaos and selfishness, and on the other there’s nastiness and selfishness. The leaders of the so-called United Kingdom stand exposed as small minded little men and women who are interested only in their own careers and their short term gains. Meanwhile the country drifts along in a fog of uncertainty towards the Brexit cliff. It’s never been clearer that Scotland needs to take to the independence lifeboat. The day we do will be a good day for Scotland, we’re not going to have many good days as long as we remain a part of this dysfunctional mess of a UK.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button


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

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


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

The Eagle is stranded

You can always rely on the Parliamentary Labour Party. You can rely on it to abstain when the Tories are attacking the poor and the disabled. You can rely on it to troop into the same lobby as the Tories when Trident is being renewed or the country is going into another war of dubious legality. And you can rely on it to turn on itself in a bout of vicious in-fighting during a time of national emergency, giving the Tories a clear run at power for the next decade and a half. Thank all the gods that the working classes have the Labour party eh? How’s that British Parliamentary road to socialism working out for you?

Over the past few weeks, the Tory party has imploded, the Prime Minister has resigned, George Osborne has folded the towel on his leadership plans, and Boris Johnson’s had a stick stuck in the spoke of his bicycle. There’s no effective government, no one in the Tory party has the foggiest idea on how to plan for the Brexit other than hope fervently that it will all go away, and have decided instead to occupy themselves in a leadership contest between a nasty right wing authoritarian with no respect for civil liberties who goes to a Tory conference and repeats UKIP lies about migrants who can’t be deported because they’ve got a cat, and a nasty right wing authoritarian with no respect for civil liberties and who takes liberties in her CV writing. But she’s a mother, so that’s OK then.

You’d imagine that any official opposition worth the wee bag of salt in a packet of crisps would seize the opportunity to hammer the Tories. You’d think that they’d use the weakness and disarray of the Conservatives to give them the opportunity to put forward an alternative to austerity, to neoliberalism, and to the ugly xenophobia that won the Brexit vote. You’d think that an official opposition would strive to create unity and ensure that EU citizens living in the UK know that they are safe and welcome. But no, this is the moment that the professional politicians of the Parliamentary Labour Party think is the ideal time to settle their scores with Jeremy Corbyn. There you have it, proof that a packet of crisps would make a more effective opposition than the Labour party.

It seems that we are doomed to repeat the 1980s, only this time without the punk, ska, and new romantic bands. Back in the 80s Labour’s right was so consumed with its hatred for Labour’s left that it split the party, flounced off to form the SDP who later merged with the old Liberals to form the Lib Dems, and created a divided opposition to Thatcher that allowed her and the rest of the Tory party to handbag the nation for a decade and a half. Once again Labour’s right runs the serious risk of splitting the party and giving Britain the prospect of Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom in power until 2030. So thanks for that.

Some within Labour are reportedly in secret talks with some of the Remain factions of the Tory party, hoping to form a new ‘centrist’ party, a sort of Frankenstein’s monster party. It’s probably going to be called the Labouratory party, because it will be an artificial creation concocted out of dead parts. Or they might decide to adopt the recent plaintive call for federalism as the last gasp attempt to stop Scottish independence and call themselves the Federal UK Unity Party, because they’re a bit of a FUKUP.

In order to get rid of Corbyn, the plotters are hoping that Angela Eagle’s candidacy will be unopposed. They’re hoping that they can pauchle the party rule book in order to insist that Corbyn must gain the support of at least 51 of the party’s Westminster and EU parliamentary contingent in order to stand again in a leadership contest. Corbyn’s supporters claim that this provision only applies to challengers, not to incumbents, and point to the fact that Corbyn was elected by a large majority of ordinary party members not a year ago. So the question is, is the Parliamentary Labour Party the servant of the Labour movement, or is the Labour movement the servant of the Parliamentary Labour Party? It’s pretty clear that Labour’s Parliamentarians think that the entire purpose of the Labour movement is to keep them in a job.

So either the plotters will manage to ensure that Corbyn is kept off the ballot, and the party membership will rebel and split. Or Corbyn will be on the ballot and will win the support of the party grassroots again, and the Parliamentary Party will rebel and split. There remains the outside chance that Corbyn will stand in a leadership contest and lose, but most serious observers of the party think that’s about as likely to happen as Theresa May voting for Andrea Leadsom in the Tory leadership contest. Whatever happens, Labour is in for a bitter and divided few months, and at the end of it may not even survive as a single party.

While all this is going on, the sword of Brexit hangs over the country’s head, which sounds like an episode of Game of Thrones. And probably it will likewise include emasculation, downtrodden masses, and oppression. But Labour doesn’t care about that, it has far more important things to consider, like finding a leadership perch for the Eagle that’s stranded. The parliamentary party is deeply upset that Jeremy isn’t playing ball, he should have stood down quietly when they told him to. And then they could get on with the serious business of abstaining whenever the Tories wanted to beat up on benefits claimants, and supporting them when they want to renew Trident and go to war with some country that your average Labour MP couldn’t find on a map. That’s what real government is all about in the Disunited Kingdom.

Real government is about answering to the will of the people. Real government is putting the interests of the country before the interests of the party. Real government is about politicians being accountable to those who elect them. We don’t have real government in the UK and we never will. All Labour’s infighting tells us is that Britain is facing a future in which the Tories will be allowed to reign supreme, and that’s a Britain which has no place for Scotland. Our only option is to become independent, then and only then, we might have a place for proper left wing politics.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button


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

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


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

We’re not going to suck it up

This week we discovered that the Chilcot report found Blair guilty of taking the country to war even though it was very far from being the last option. We discovered that most of the Parliamentary Labour Party are venal careerists who put their place in the Commons before the good of the country. We discovered that even the Tories think Michael Govefish is a treacherous wee sleazebucket with the morals of a mantis.

And what’s the big story this weekend? It’s the mother of all arguments between Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May over Leadsom’s comments about who has the better uterus. Because apparently the state of your reproductive organs makes all the difference to your ability to become the most reactionary right wing authoritarian Tory leader that the country has ever seen. It’s the only organised labour that they approve of.

Andrea Leadsom thinks that being a mother is so important that she wants to strip other mothers of their maternity rights. The May supporting half of the Tory party are furious about the comments. Not the ones about removing maternity rights, they’re quite happy with anything that puts money in the pockets of businesses and makes working people weaker. They’re unhappy with the implication that Theresa May being less suited to be Prime Minister because of her lack of children.

Theresa May’s lack of children has no impact whatsoever on her ability to be Prime Minister, Theresa May isn’t suited to be Prime Minister because of her lack of humanity and basic decency. Andrea Leadsom isn’t suited to be Prime Minister because her CV is even more ficticious and fanciful than the Da Vinci Code, although that never stopped Iain Duncan Smith. IDS claimed he’d been to the University of Perugia when what he actually meant was that he’d visited there one weekend and had an icecream in the piazza with his missus. Andrea Leadsom is really fed up with all the criticisms of her CV. She didn’t have to put up with any of that when she was on tour with the Beatles.

It’s not just her inventiveness with her CV that makes Leadsom a frightening prospect as PM. She’s on record as stating her unhappiness with gay marriage. She wants to remove most employment rights. She also thinks that Scotland is a land of subsidy junkies, yet she’s determined that we sould continue under Westminster rule. After spending the last few months campaigning for the UK to leave the EU because she didn’t want to keep subsidising the rest of Europe, Andrea wants Scotland to remain a part of the UK so that she can keep subsidising us. In her dreams, at any rate. Her comments about motherhood are possibly the least objectionable thing about her.

Ruth Davidson tweeted that she is also childless, and like all childless people she has an equal stake in this country’s future as those with children. And Ruth would be entirely correct, although those same Tories like Ruth who were angered by Leadsom’s comments didn’t seem too upset when the Better Together campaign made similar comments during the last independence campaign about the childlessness of Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon. It was perfectly OK for spokesreactionaries of the Better Together campaign to make snarky remarks that neither Alex Salmond or Nicola Sturgeon had a stake in Scotland’s future because they were childless. Ruth didn’t put out any angry tweets condemning the tactic. Funny that.

Theresa May’s supporters are positioning her as the moderate candidate. This is like claiming that Hannibal Lector is a moderate cannibal because he hasn’t devoured as many people as Sawney Bean. May would be the most right wing authoritarian leader of the Tory party ever, but then so would Andrea Leadsom. Whichever of the two wins, the UK is heading towards a nasty xenophobic right wing future, one in which it’s increasingly clear there is no place for Scotland except as a source of skilled labour, energy, and capital for London, and as a place to store the UK’s nuclear weapons.

Some in the Tory party, that would be Murdo Fraser, have published a paper saying that Britain needs to become a federal state in response to Brexit. Apparently we’re already the most devolviest country in the history of devolving, but now it seems that we can be devolved even more. This proposal is Better Together Mk II getting the Vow Mk II in early because the last one worked out so well for Scotland. Scotland would still be taken out the EU against its will. We’d still be dragged into illegal wars. We’d still be hosts to the UK’s nuclear dick waving missiles.  Tories don’t believe in federalism, only feudalism.

While the Labour party consumes itself with an attempted coup by the entitlement faction of the Parliamentary party, Davie Cameron (remember him?) has decided to bring forward a vote on the renewal of Trident. The economy is tanking, the pound is plummeting, millions face a precarious future because of the damage to the economy caused by a Brexit which no one in the Tory party had a plan for, but we’re still going to spend £200 billion on weapons of mass destruction just so British politicans can maintain the fantasy that they are important and influential actors on the world stage.

If Scotland remains in this dysfunction that passes for a Disunited Kingdom we’ll be nothing more than a glorified carpark for weapons of mass destruction. Labour wouldn’t be in any position to oppose it even if they were disposed to. So if Scotland is under constant assault from an uncaring Conservative government, and when the Labour party is willing to protect us they’re unable to do anything, and when they are able to do anything they’re unwilling, then just what is the point of remaining a part of the UK?

Labour always used to tell Scotland to suck it up and suffer under Tory rule, reminding us that in a few years time we’d have another General Election and a chance to get rid of them. But Labour is going to be as useless in five years as it is now, and Brexit is forever. We’re not going to suck it up, and we’re not going to suck up Trident either.


Donate to the Dug This blog relies on your support and donations to keep going – I need to make a living, and have bills to pay. Clicking the donate button will allow you to make a payment directly to my Paypal account. You do not need a Paypal account yourself to make a donation. You can donate as little, or as much, as you want. Many thanks.

Donate Button


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

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


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

Shades of crazy under the comfort blanket

Just when you think that the UK has reached peak crazy you discover that the intelligence services were apparently relying on a guy who’d watched too many Nicholas Cage movies when they reported that there was information that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. We can only hope that Scotland gets independence before M15 launches Trident because a Whitehall informant has gone to see Independence Day Resurgence and mistakes it for indyref2.

What we learned from yesterday’s crazy was that Tony Blair and most of his government were largely responsible for the deathly debacle of Iraq, but it’s highly unlikely that any of them are going to face prosecution. They’ll still get to enjoy their peerages and their privilege. We’re living in a country where you will face more onerous consequences for turning up late to an interview at the job centre than you will for taking the country to war when war wasn’t necessary and setting off a chain of events which have led to the deaths of as many as a quarter of a million people and the maiming and displacement of millions more. Doesn’t it make you proud to be British eh? No. Me neither.

Today’s craziness comes in two main parts. Tory crazy, and Labour crazy. The Tories have whittled down their short list of five reactionary authoritarians to just two reactionary authoritarians. Earlier this week they got rid of Liam Fox, who will now have more time to spend with Adam Werrity, and they got rid of Stephen Crabb, who no one had heard of before the vote but who managed to raise his profile to such an extent that now a tiny minority of politics geeks have heard of him. And today the Tories finally got shot of Michael Gove, the bastard offspring of Margaret Thatcher and a goldfish, who has achieved his lifelong dream of never becoming prime minister.

We’re left with two candidates. One of them knows what the country wants because she’s read all your emails and will cheerfully force hundreds of thousands of EU citzens to live in uncertainty because she wants to use them as bargaining counters in EU negotiations. Teresa May is to civil liberties as Vlad the Impaler is to lawn ornaments. Meanwhile Andrea Leadsom is opposed to gay marriage and wants to strip maternity rights from women who work for small businesses, but she’s very big on freedom, as long as by freedom you mean the freedom to rip foxes apart with dogs and the freedom to believe that CV writing is form of creative fiction. The only positive thing you can say about her is that she makes Teresa May seem warm and cuddly. The Tory party has now given the country the choice of acid bath it wants to bathe in, or rather it’s given its members the choice. The rest of us have no say in the matter. We just have to melt with the result.

But they’re both women so that’s terribly forward looking and progressive. We’ll get to revisit the 1980s only with more far reaching surveillance and even worse employment rights, and can look forward to getting handbagged by Thatcher’s mini-me’s as we knuckle down to a UK where our civil rights are chipped away in the name of the security of greater glory to Great Britain. By way of compensation there will, without any shadow of a doubt, be bunting, military parades, and royals in medal bedecked uniforms to distract us from our zero hour contracts and from a pound that’s on a par with monopoly money, so you won’t be going on a foreign holiday any time soon. It will be a sub-Ruritanian horror show with no escape from the rain.

Labour’s crazy shows no sign of ending. At least you could argue that the Tories are power-crazed. Labour’s just crazed, and have as much prospect of attaining a position of responsibility as a 1970s BBC DJ has of being put in charge of a girl guides troop. The plotters have decided to take their plot to get rid of Corbyn off the boil for the time being, mainly because he’s refusing to leave and they’ve belatedly realised that they have no plan B, which appears to be something of a theme for Westminster politicians.

Having come to to realisation that the world is a cruel and pitiless place which has no respect for the ambitions and plans of Labour politicians, the Westminster parliamentary party and its Holyrood equivalent have taken refuge in a fantasy world where they’re still relevant and influential. Kezia Dugdale announced today that her party is the only party that is still committed to keeping Scotland in both the EU and the UK. She’d be as well announcing her commitment to retaining ties with the Roman Empire, because that’s as much a part of ancient history as her commitment to keeping the UK in the EU. The UK is going to leave the EU. No amount of foot stamping and dummy spitting is going to change that political reality.

European leaders, in the shape of Mariano Rajoy, have made it very plain that Scotland cannot remain in the EU if the UK leaves, but Kezia and her wee band of Unionists were too busy crowing about how Rajoy’s words were a blow for Nicola Sturgeon to notice that he’d actually put the kybosh on the Labour party in Scotland’s wish to retain membership of both unions. And since the UK has already voted to leave the EU, and the UK is governed by a Tory party with two leadership candidates who are vying with one another to implement Brexit, that leaves only two options. Those options are remaining a part of the UK and leaving the EU with May or Leadsom deciding our fates, or becoming independent and remaining a part of the EU, giving ourselves the option of leaving at some time in the future on our own terms if that’s what we decide to do, free from the nightmare risk of a Tory Brexit. There are no other choices available, no matter how much Kezia and her supporters skweam and skweam and skweam until they’re sick.

Scotland can either retreat into Labour’s shades of crazy with Kezia’s fantasy world, or we can take adult decisions based upon the realities before us. We can seize this opportunity to become, at last, an adult country in charge of our own destiny, or we can crawl under the comfort blanket with Kezia and pretend that none of this is really happening. I vote to be a grown up, I vote for Scottish independence.


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

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


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