The tide that washes away Ruth’s line in the sand

On the anniversary of the independence referendum the leaderene of the Scottish Tories informed us that she has a vision. Ruthie’s had a dream, a bit like Martin Luther King’s but without the imagination, the humanity, or the inspiration. Some leader’s dreams are grand dreams, dreams of a better nation, dreams that inspire a people, but Ruthie’s dream is a small dream, more of a dwam really. It’s a dream of a shortbread tin wrapped in a Union fleg. Ruthie doesn’t ask for much, or more precisely, she doesn’t ask for much from the Westminster establishment. From the Scottish people she asks a great deal, she asks for us to put up and shut up and eat up whatever stale cereal we’re served, without complaint.

Ruthie is still bumming up the hauf-airsed powers of the new Scotland Act as proof that the British establishment takes Scotland seriously, even those those powers were gleefully described by her own stuffed toy Scotland Secretary as a trap for the Scottish Government. Look, she says, look at all the fabulous things we get due to the generosity and goodwill of the UK Government! Scotland can even have control of road signs, at least as long as you don’t put them in Gaelic because then Jackson Carlot is going to complain.

It’s perfectly reasonable for the Tories to complain about any public manifestion of Scottish culture and they’re doing so because they’re proud Scots. After all it’s a well known fact that road signs in Gaelic cost ten million quid per letter and have to be accompanied by a harpist, and that’s really dangerous on a narrow road with passing places like the A9. Besides, if people in Scotland realised that we have languages and a culture of our own, then they might just start imagining that we’re more than just a region of North Britain. And that would never do. Scotland striding into a future confident and self-assured in the knowledge of its own nationhood creates uncertainty, the sort of uncertainty that Tories don’t like. That would be the kind of uncertainty that makes it more certain that Scotland won’t ever be governed by Tories.

Scotland’s facing a future of uncertainty and that’s a bad thing says Ruth. Although it’s just the uncertainty caused by the prospect of independence that’s a bad thing. The much greater uncertainty caused by a Brexit that’s the fault of a selfish Tory party and that Scotland doesn’t want is merely a potential. That’s good uncertainty, because it’s the kind that makes it more certain that Scotland will still get Tory governments irrespective of the fact that all Ruthie’s posing on a buffalo that’s driving a tank still can’t make her party into a potential Scottish Government.

Anyway, the modern Union is a partnership, says Ruthie. It’s a partnership between a Scottish population that refuses to vote Tory, and a Tory government in Westminster which we didn’t vote for that tells us what to do. What we have now is a modern partnership, totally different from the bad old days of the 1980s when we had a Tory government in Westminster which we didn’t vote for that told us what to do. That’s why Brexit isn’t a cause of uncertainty even though that Tory government in Westminster still doesn’t have a plan A. Because it’s a partnership. It’s an opportunity to forge a new Scotland in partnership with a Tory government that we didn’t vote for telling us what that new Scotland is going to look like, a Scotland where our civil and employment rights depend on authoritarian Conservatives unconstrained by any opinions originating from the Scottish electorate. How anyone could possibly confuse that with the bad old days when Scotland didn’t have any say in its own future is quite beyond Ruth. It’s a flexible and loose fitting Union she says, as Scotland is strangled by a xenophobic and isolationist Tory ideology that a large majority of people in this country hold in contempt.

This is a modern and forward looking partnership where the people of Scotland make their views clear at the ballot box, and Westminster shrugs its shoulders and says suck it up. Then they lecture us for daring to create uncertainty. The future that Ruth looks forward to is a future where Scotland is forever condemned to constitutional navel gazing while we beg for crumbs from the Westminster table. This Tory government that we’re in partnership with doesn’t even think that Scotland merits a pissing hour long news programme of its own, and yet we’re expected to put all our faith and trust in it to determine our life chances and opportunities and those of our children and grandchildren.

Ruth’s vision is as contentless and substance free as the Vow that was signed by her boss back in September 2014. She’s promising nothing, just vague waffle that will convince no one. She claims the Union is evolving, but constitutional evolution in Scotland within the Union consists of Scotland’s demands remaining unmet. It consists of the Unionist parties perverting the democratic aspirations of the Scottish people into short term party political gain. That’s the arrogance and hubris that destroyed the Labour party, and it’s the same arrogance and hubris that ensures that the Tories will forever be a minority who only enjoy prominence because they have support in the rest of the UK.

Anyway, argues Ruth, there’s no mandate for another referendum. The fact that the SNP clearly spelled out in its manifesto just a few months ago that a Scotland being dragged out of the EU against its will would be a trigger for a second indyref, then went on to become the largest party by far, and that together with the Greens there is majority support for the policy, that’s all irrelevant to Ruth. It’s wrong of Scotland to seek to hold the Tories to account.

There’s a line in the sand here. Says Ruth. No, here. No it’s back here now. Oh wait, no, it’s just over there. But it’s definitely a line in the sand and there can be no crossing it. There will be no second referendum in this modern partnership, because one side in it gets to dictate what the other side gets.

Then the tide of a new referendum comes in and washes Ruth’s line in the sand away, and there’s nothing she can do to prevent it. Ruth isn’t presenting a vision, she’s telling us her fantasy.

Audio link to this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984

If you’d like me and the dug to come and give a talk to your local group, email me at

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

If you’d like to make a donation but don’t wish to use Paypal or have problems using the Paypal button, please email me at for details of alternative methods of donation.

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 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 Price just £21.90 the pair plus P&P. Copies of Barking Up the Right Tree are available from my publisher Vagabond Voices at 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.

26 comments on “The tide that washes away Ruth’s line in the sand

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The tide that washes away Ruth’s line in the sand […]

  2. Has she apologised for getting NHS England and NHS Scotland mixed up yet? Anyway, this “no appetite for a second referendum” thing… even if it were true, a lot of people will change their minds if the Europeans start demanding visas, because at about £50 a pop, that adds rather a lot to holidays on Lanzarote for Ma, Pa and the weans. Especially if the Europeans decide to do a spot of reciprocal diplomacy and put it up to £100 to mach the cost of a Brit one. If folk can’t afford to go to the Costa del Ambre Solaire because the visas cost too much, I have a feeling that all those Tory lines in the sand are going to be wiped well away by the rising tide.

  3. Phyl says:

    Carlot – hahaha. Sheer genius!

  4. Paul, the repetition of a Hemingway, my boy! The message is worth repeating again and again, and again.
    No matter which way we vote, the English parliament will tell us what we are getting, or more precisely, not getting.
    A brilliant filleting of this pretentious self aggrandising woman.
    I find it stunning that our hacks continue to paint her as some sort of political rising star. She clearly has the intellectual depth of a fruit fly’s belly button.
    We must repeat the message loudly, publicly, and often.

    The Red Blue and Yellow Tories are the Parties of Cuts.

    Clegg Miliband, Cameron, Dugdale, Davidson and Rennie, fought the UK GE and SGE on a manifesto of massive cuts to Health, Education, Welfare, Police and Emergency Services, LA spending, and tax breaks to the filthy rich.

    They were, and still are, Better Together collaborators, hell bent on destroying Scotland ‘s civic society, and smothering any notion that we are equal partners in this discredited Union of theirs.

    Davidson lied to Parliament last week; yet she gets away with it, and has wall to wall coverage for her State Of The Nation Anniversary Speech.

    Doubtless she will be crowned Politician of the Year soon.

    She, her party, and their policies, are immoral, and they have no principles other than dog eat dog, Iron Heel Oligarchical rule and dominance.
    What they have done, and will continue to do to Scotland if we let them, is unpardonable. They almost physically disgust me now.
    Darling Rowling Rennie and the Scottish Branch of the London Filthy Rich Establishment gathering in Edinburgh to rub the poor’s faces in the left overs of their five star meal just about sums it up for me.
    They don’t give a fuck. They are rich, they hold the power, they control the media. Our X on the ballot must seem an amusing concept to them.
    Our day is surely at hand.

  5. Macart says:

    Neatly done Paul and hope you had a good, if soggy, day out yesterday.🙂

    Anyroads, worth repeating that Ruth Davidson is quite well known for, how do they political types put it? Mis-stating facts? And it goes without saying, (but I will anyway), Ms Davidson is an arch hypocrite.

    Firstly her claim that Alex Salmond and our current FM Nicola Sturgeon pledged on behalf of the Scottish government and the independence movement that an independence referendum was to be a ‘once in a generation’ event.

    NO THEY DID NOT and indeed they could not. No politician can limit the will or the rights of the Scottish electorate. Both our current FM and her predecessor expressed their personal belief loudly and often, but I do not recall any front page ‘VOWS’ written on fake parchment and undersigned by either Alex Salmond, or Patrick Harvie or indeed anyone else from the independence movement making pledges they had no right to make and no intention of delivering. There was one group however who made such pledges and then failed to deliver…. now wasn’t there?

    Secondly, the whole no appetite meme. I’ve got bad news for Ruthie and it pretty much falls into the same category as her first mis-statement of fact. Ruth Davidson does not speak for ALL of the electorate of Scotland, a majority of whom, have on two occasions made their mandate quite clear on just who does. There have been significant material changes and events in the past two years to the current constitutional status and baldly stating that no appetite exists among the electorate to address those changes is bordering on childish foot stamping denial. At the very least, the public mood must be accurately guaged and their opinion must be sought before stating who wants what. Kinda why the SNP have engaged the public directly with a massive survey. Making a claim based on a result two years, several national ballots, a constitutional clusterfuck and several changes of head office leadership out date, seems a bit presumptious of Ruth to say the least.

    Mind you we’re talking about the individual who recently tried to credit the SNP with the ‘meltdown’ of the NHS, without clarifying that said ‘meltdown’ was essentially taking place in England’s NHS. Forgetful, careless, or merely deeply dishonest?

    Then there is the hypocrisy of the tank commander and her cadre of rejected benchwarmers. These ‘mis-stating’, empathy free zones on a free ride, wouldn’t know responsibility, respecting democratic will or the honouring of pledges given if those self same principles jumped up waving their favourite fleg and bit their collective disingenuous arses. When Better Together or HMG actually fulfill their pledges to the Scottish electorate, folk may, just may, pay their soundbite drivel some heed. Near as I can see the only folk who have respected the decision of the day and been dragged through the crap for their pains, have been the Scottish Government.

    But then that’s how it works in their world. Don’t do as I do. Do as I say.

    Not for much longer – tick tock.

  6. The Scottish Play says:

    Was there not once a very foolish Cnut that thought the tide could be held back?

    • gerry parker says:

      Yes, and King Canute proved to them it couldn’t be, even by a King.

    • Epiphyta says:

      No. There is, however, a legend about Cnut the Great in which he had his throne moved to the shore and commanded the waves to stop; when they continued to soak his feet, he rebuked his flattering courtiers for making so much noise about the power of secular kings. This is generally cited as a sign of his deep Christian faith — though considering the brutality that put him on the throne and kept him there, the lavishness of his generosity to the Church in Rome (who not incidentally provides most of the historical information about him), and that he maintained a handfast relationship with Ælfgifu of Northhampton while wedding Emma of Normandy, the shape of the “devotion” is open to interpretation.

  7. Annie Martin says:

    I will not have any vote in Indyref2 because I now live in Spain, but I, and all the other expats here, wish you the very best in getting the right result this time. We read this blog avidly and love Paul’s witty and informative posts. My brother in Scotland is a staunch SNP supporter and has been for very many years. He is convinced that Scotland will have it’s independence in his lifetime and I very much hope that he is right.

    Alba gu brath!!

  8. […] Source: The tide that washes away Ruth’s line in the sand […]

  9. Tinto Chiel says:

    Another absolute stinger, Paul. I wonder if Ruthie reads your blog? Think she’ll take a reddie? No, me neither.

    Can I turn this in an unexpected direction and ask what British Labour in S——-d are feeling just now? Are they happy to be three in a bed with Ruthie and Willie Rennie (grue)? Apologies to the sensitive trying to digest their tea, btw.

    Surely there has to be a time when the BLiSsers ditch Kezia in a desperate act of self-preservation and come out for Indy if only to save their Toom Tabard arses?

    Or am I being a Silly Billy?

    • JohnEdgar says:

      Labour in Scotland will go for Indyref 2. It is their only hope of being a force in Scotland.
      They swallowed, they were forced by Harold Wilson to go down the revolution, ( sorry) devolution route to preserve Labour majorities at Westminster. That is now passé as Labour is finished at Westminster and there is one Labour MP in Scotland along with the Tories and The Libdems. With EVEL, no Scots MP can vote on English issues, so Slab MP cannot be of any use. Hence, expendables.
      So what is left? The next step go for Indyref2. They have not made the SNP disappear, as George Robertson thought – the man who called his country a minor entity in North Britain. His party fit that bill now!! Ironic! We never hear of him at the HoL.
      So, independence is the only way. The writing wad on the wall for Slab when Glasgow voted Yes in 2014 amd not one tv punter and the yoon msm deduced what that meant.Labour voters in Glasgow moved to vote yes!!
      So Slab will go down that route. Even the Libdema in Scotland have a motion to make Kelty Willie rethink the constitutional issue. And they are in an even worse position north and south of the Tweed, but it has not registered with them yet.
      So Slab, find your Scottish roots again and ditch the Union which is going for Brexit and isolationism.

  10. Robert Graham says:

    Good article paul and i hope you had a good time on sunday with the various “YES” events I was following on Indi Live on Livestream not the same as being there but all I could manage.
    While i was watching the “YES” events the TV in the background was showing the Tennis usually for me a enjoyable experience , after a few minutes watching what i can only describe as the biggest vomit inducing example of over the top display of in your face Colonialism i have ever witnessed on TV , a truly sickening example of we are in f/n charge see our flag what are you going to do about it Jocks ? , the over the top promotion of this flag has made me f/n despise the sight of that f/n symbol of occupation for thats what is its the same flag that was used when jolly old blighty conquered the world , and this “support the brits” pish on matching T Shirts -Hats – and placards , this was a display not annoy the Argentine team , but their way of saying in graphic detail Get It “Right Up Yeas Jocks” .
    The arseholes who thought up this wee bit of propaganda continue to make the same bloody stupid mistakes , it was the same with their use of the print media shite day after day after day until most people became immune to it , it’s the same with this over the top flag junk ,i have never heard so many people say what’s with this bleedn “union jack” thats started appearing everywhere, feckin idiots they are doing our job for us and they dont realise it , and they will really get pissed off when their flag slowly begins being removed from all public buildings ( wear and tear ) you see and no replacements available due the fact so many have been used elsewhere shame eh ,oh well not to worry just imagine there’s a bit of red in it , just like we are expected to imagine there’s a bit of f/n blue in theirs , The arseholes haven’t got over losing their f/n empire yet .

  11. BillyT says:

    Sublime. You have just nailed it.

  12. Jan Cowan says:

    Poor Ruth. She behaves as if she’s still in her teens. Incidentally, what was the final outcome concerning her rummaging through the postal votes before the referendum? I seem to remember the police were involved……..or was that just wishful thinking?

  13. David Agnew says:

    To me it doesn’t matter what guff they come up with and lets be honest it is 100% guff.

    They let George Osborne come to my country, my nation my home and declare that Scotland lives off UK charity and has done so for 300 years. More than any other wretched and hate filled bile better together came up with – this was the crowning turd in that bowl of steaming shit these worthless yoons have trying to force feed us with since the 1st indyref began.

    It was something I will never forget. It is something I will never forgive. From that day onwards, the union was dead. Technically we’re in a union. But actually part of it? Part of the UK? No. We are not. More importantly, we never can be. Not because of anything we did, but entirely down to the way they trashed their own nation and its people for the benefit of the UK.

    The day they let Osborne make that speech was the day that Scotland would no longer be able to stand tall in this cherished union of theirs. This unseemly joy at seeing their nation humbled and humiliated by the UK fills me with revulsion. The pride they have in pretending to be something they have to be paid to be…is not something I can respect. If they cannot even respect themselves in the union, why should I respect them?

    The Union for me is now one of the most vicious and cruelest hoaxes ever perpetrated on a nation and its people. Its flag is a badge of shame and the yoons with their proud Scot but diatribes are its most wretched apologists.

    • Hear, hear, David.
      The arrogance of Darling, Balls, Osborne and Danny Alexander was such a bad call for the Unionists.
      It is our pound as much as England’s, and we knew that they knew that.
      Darling’s ‘ you won’t be able to use the pound’ lies earned him his Earldom.
      Next time, we shall be ready.

  14. hettyforindy says:

    Great article and comments. We need to get angry, and the people of Scotland have a right to be angry. No more of the UKOK bulls**t, the britnat flag is everywhere it is embarrassing to say the least.

    As many have said, here and on WoS we need to be scrupulous about the voting, and counting this time, because the britnats will do anything to keep Scotland shackled, before and during the independence referendum.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s