Let’s be nice

Let’s all be nice. Let’s all be beacons of tolerance, understanding, and empathy. Let’s bend over backwards to appreciate the points of view of others. Let’s receive anger but send out love. Let’s preach peace and civic responsibility. Let’s never utter a harsh word. Let’s not slag off James Kelly MSP for being the most grey and boring individual on the face of the planet since former Prime Minister John Major pulled his Y-fronts over his head. Let’s gaze upon the xenophobic and plain nasty deeds and actions of Theresa May, Liam Fox, Boorish Johnson, and David Davis and resist the urge to hurl abuse, however well justified it might be.

We could do all that, the Scottish independence movement could behave like paragons of virtue and good behaviour that would make a Buddhist monastery look like a drunken brawl at an Orange parade, and there would still be headlines in the Daily Express and the Daily Mail about vile cybernats and how repugnant supporters of Scottish independence are.

I’m certainly not saying that we should give the Unionist media, particularly its more lunatic fringe, any ammunition. But the fact of the matter is that the Scottish independence movement is and always has been overwhelmingly peaceful, inclusive, and democratic, and yet it’s always been stigmatised in the Unionist press. That’s not going to change any.

Scotland had an independence referendum which was characterised by mass participation, by ordinary people getting involved in political debate and discussion for the first time in their lives, and overwhelmingly they did so animated by hope and in a spirit of constructive and productive engagement. That’s the real character of the Scottish independence movement, but according to the UK Unionist media, all those people who were discussing how to create a better future for Scotland and for everyone who chooses to live in this country were in fact motivated by an atavistic hatred of England and the English.

We see rampant anti-Scottish racism dismissed as banter, and in the absence of an equivalent outpouring of hate language from Scotland, Unionists are reduced to claiming that the word Westminster is code for England. It’s not. It’s code for Westminster. That would be the Westminster which is the sovereign parliament of Scotland yet it routinely dismisses the views of the Scottish people. Or they say the word Tories is code for England. It’s not. It’s code for the Tories who govern Scotland despite the fact they have little support here. When you’re reduced to redefining your opponents’ clear words as code for something else, you’re admitting that your argument is based in fantasy.

The claim that Scottish independence is motivated by anti-English sentiment is a lie. It was a lie during the first independence referendum. It is still a lie. It will be a lie during the second independence referendum. It is a lie without foundation. It is a lie without substantive evidence to support it. But it’s a lie that keeps getting repeated.

The reason it keeps getting repeated is because the Unionist establishment wants to prevent the people of Scotland from engaging with the debate about independence, because once they do they start to question things. They start to wonder why it is that although Scotland is blessed with an embarrassment of resources and potential, we’re supposedly poor and dependent. They start to wonder why we submit to Conservative governments that enjoy the support of a small fraction of the Scottish population. They begin to realise that expecting a country to be governed by people who actually live in it and who are elected by people who live in it and who are responsible to people who live in it, isn’t such a ridiculous idea after all. It’s just normal.

In order to prevent people from making that realisation, the Unionist establishment throws its weight behind attempts to demonise and delegitimise the Scottish independence movement. It’s one of their most important tactics, and no matter how well behaved independence supporters are, they’re not going to stop demonising us. From their perspective the possibility that a part of the UK could break away and become a different state is a repugnant idea, and therefore anyone who espouses that repugnant idea is also repugnant, no matter how well behaved, polite or civil they might be. They want undecided voters to think we’re repugnant too.

So we see hysterical and counter-factual articles like those which litter the pages of the Daily Express. In the view of the Express, the peaceful group of pro-independence supporters in George Square in the aftermath of the referendum result who were viciously attacked by pro-Union fascist thugs became participants in violence who bear the moral responsibility for the wounds, the hurt, and the pain inflicted upon them by supporters of the Union.

When die-hard Unionists engage with you on social media, they’re not open to persuasion, and they’re not looking for honest debate. They’re only trying to provoke you. So block them and move on. Save your efforts for where it can make a difference. Don’t get into pointless fights, don’t lose the rag. Don’t give the Unionist media any ammunition.

We’re about to embark on a second independence referendum campaign, and no matter what we do we will still be demonised by the Unionist parties and their media. But that’s all the more reason why that as a movement we must be self-disciplined and united. Self-disciplined and united doesn’t mean we all sing from the same song sheet. It certainly doesn’t mean we all subscribe to the SNP’s view of an independent Scotland, or the Greens’, or Rise’s, or anyone else’s. Our diversity is one of our strengths.

What it means is that we refrain from attacking one another, we concentrate on making the case for an independent Scotland. We don’t allow our opponents to portray us as divided. What it means is that we put into action the aspirations that we have for an independent Scotland, that we demonstrate the tolerance and acceptance and good grace that characterises our vision of this country. What it means is that we don’t provide the Unionist media with ammunition to use against us, because then when they do attempt to demonise and delegitimise the independence movement and its supporters it will be easier to unmask them as the kind of divisive, manipulative fantastists who populate the likes of the Daily Mail and the Express. It means we can occupy the moral high ground. And that it turn makes it easier for us to discredit them. And then we will win.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-16th-oct-2016

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


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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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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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 past belongs to the Union, the future belongs to independence

You can’t have a second referendum Scotland! Respect the result! You had a vote two years ago and you lost, get over it! End of. And so on and so on, ad nauseum. These are the usual responses of diehard Unionists to the prospect that the Scottish Government is considering holding a second independence referendum if Scotland is wrenched out of the EU against its will, and contrary to the assurances of the Unionist establishment during that referendum two years ago. But of course in Unionist Britain it’s only the losing side in a referendum that has to comply with any promises made during the campaign, the winners get a carte blanche and can do exactly as they please, up to and including ripping up all the vows that they made in order to win. It’s a peculiar perversion of democracy, but it’s Great British democracy and we’re ordered to respect it.

Unionist no-no-never sayers believe that they’ve got an ace up their sleeves. Theresa May won’t allow you to have another independence referendum, they claim, wheeching out the card like a trump, one which is equally abusive and orange tinged. Because that’s exactly what it would be if ever it was played, an abuse of democracy. The people of Scotland elected a pro-independence majority to Holyrood just a few months ago. That was a vote that the Unionists lost. They should accept the result and get over it.

Scotland didn’t just vote for a pro-independence majority, the voters of this country voted overwhelmingly for a government party with an explicit statement in its manifesto that should Scotland be faced with the prospect of being taken out of the EU against its will, that would be a justification for another independence referendum. Some people refuse to accept that this clause exists, even though it was clearly there and written in simple English. But intransigence doesn’t stop it from existing. It only demonstrates that the person doing the denying is no longer dealing with a full deck of cards.

The Scottish government is still saying that a second independence referendum isn’t an inevitability, they’re giving the UK government enough rope to hang the idea of Scotland staying in the UK. By the time that the indyref button is pressed, it will be clear to everyone that the British Government does not have the slightest intention of respecting Scotland’s position, allowing Scotland to have a different Brexit deal, or even of permitting Scotland to have any significant input into the Brexit negotiations. Well, I say everyone, with the obvious exceptions of Ruthie, Kezia, Wee Wullie, and everyone on Twitter with a WATP avatar who ends their tweets with End. Of.

Mind you, you’d imagine that Rangers fans ought to be the very last people to complain about independence coming back again. They should be quite comfortable with the notion of independence being back on the table after being dead and buried a couple of years ago, what with the same thing having happened to their team.

Once a bill for a referendum is presented to the Scottish Parliament, there is absolutely nothing that the anti-independence parties can do to prevent it. Ruthie said this week that there will be no second independence referendum if she has anything to do with it. So it’s a terrible shame for her that she doesn’t. That’s democracy, her party lost. Get over it. End of.

That leaves just one glimmer of hope that the Unionist parties have of blocking a second independence referendum, and that’s if Theresa May’s government blocks it. In theory, there’s nothing to stop them, but in theory there’s also nothing to stop them passing a bill saying that all red haired people have to report to a detention camp. Mind you, they’ve recently proposed drawing up lists of all foreigners, so that’s possibly a bad example. The point however is that what is theoretically possible isn’t the same as what is politically possible.

Let’s suppose that after every single attempt to preserve Scotland’s position within the Single Market and to keep at least a modicum of our EU rights has been rebuffed by an intransigent Westminster, which looks very like the dark tunnel we’re heading down. An independence referendum bill will be presented to the Scottish Parliament, and passed by it, as a last ditch attempt to save Scotland from the looming disaster of a chaotic Brexit. While this is going on, the UK government will be engaged in negotiations with a deeply unsympathetic and increasingly hostile EU.

So let’s assume that Theresa May is stupid and short sighted enough to block the second independence referendum. She’ll be faced with a constitutional crisis to go along with the Brexit crisis she’ll already be dealing with. She will enrage Scottish opinion because she will have overruled the Scottish Parliament which had just voted on a manifesto commitment of the governing party. She’ll anger the EU that she’s negotiating with. And most importantly of all, she will not have blocked a second independence referendum for good. All she’ll have done is delayed it, and will have made it even less likely that she’ll win it when it is eventually held. Because all that will happen is that the subsequent Scottish parliamentary elections will become a de-facto independence referendum.

Westminster will see Scotland elect a pro-independence majority with a clear mandate to seek independence and to negotiate directly with the EU on Scotland’s behalf, because the Unionist parties will have to fight that campaign on the basis of defending a Westminster which has just overruled a democratic vote which it lost. They lost, but they won’t have got over it. They won’t have respected the result.

The biggest problem that the Unionist parties have is that they still imagine that they speak from a position of power and are able to call the shots. But Brexit has changed everything. Westminster is weak, it has few cards to play, it is staggering towards its own destruction. And its biggest weakness of all is its arrogant refusal to face up to the reality of its own debility. A Westminster veto of a second Scottish independence referendum won’t prevent that referendum from being held. It just delays the inevitable, and it just makes it even more likely that Scotland will vote for independence.

Meanwhile the Unionist parties keep looking back to the previous vote. But independence supporters are looking to the future. The past belongs to the Union. The future belongs to independence.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-14th-oct-2016

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


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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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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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 path we’re walking

The sluagh ghairm of the second Scottish independence referendum is ringing from the hills and glens of the country. All across this ancient land, an anguished people cry out, “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for Pot Noodle and Marmite, which no honest man gives up but with life itself.”

The descent into Brexmess continues with Tory xenophobia and lists of foreigners, a plummeting pound and empty supermarket online shopping carts. Brexshit means 1970s Soviet shopping opportunities and the welcoming attitude to non-citizens last found in 1930s Germany, along with a pound that will soon be trading on a par with the Zimbabwean dollar.

Many voted for Brexit because they wanted to return the UK to some mythical glory day long in the past. Well they got their wish. The pound is now trading at a historic low, on a level not seen since the 1840s and we’ve got soaring levels of poverty and inequality that wouldn’t be amiss in Victorian times. At this rate if we wait a bit longer Westminster will take us all back to 1706 and Scotland won’t need to bother with another independence referendum.

Still the Tories must be happy. A plummeting pound, an economy in the toilet, a future that’s bleaker and more barren than Iain Duncan Smith’s soul, and xenophobia as public policy is a perfect way to keep immigration down. The centre ground of British politics is now a right wing blood and soil nationalism that even Margaret Thatcher would have thought was a tad on the extreme side.

The pound is predicted to fall even further. It’s a far cry from 2014 when sterling was touted as the gold standard of currency stability and Scotland was threatened that if we became independent we’d have to adopt the euro with all its uncertainties and risks and warned us that we’d not be allowed to keep the pound. How things change, during the next independence referendum, Chancellor Philip Hammond is going to come to Scotland and threaten us that we’re going to have to keep the pound. Or as it’s now known, approximately 68p.

At the SNP party conference on Thursday, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced that she’d be introducing a draft bill for a second independence referendum which will go ahead if the Westminster government doesn’t protect and respect Scotland’s expressed desire to remain a part of the European Union. Scotland didn’t choose to be here. Scotland wouldn’t be standing on the edge of another independence referendum if the Unionist parties had kept the promises that they so solemnly vowed back in 2014.

Sure, those of us who truly believe in independence would still be arguing for it, but the difference is that few would be listening. They’d be pointing to how Scotland’s membership of the EU was safe. They’d be saying that we still had the pound and how it was a great advantage instead of a millstone around our necks. They’d be noting how the permanency of the Scottish Parliament was enshrined and absolute, they’d be marvelling at all the shiny new powers it had been granted. They’d be listing the jobs that were safe and the new opportunities that were being created. Instead here we are, wondering whether to stock up on Marmite with a currency that will soon be less than the euro while hoping that our jobs will still exist in a few months time.

So the ball is in Theresa May’s court. It’s up to her to prove that the Tories will do all those things that they promised Scotland that they would do. Where’s the respect for Scotland? Where’s the promise that Scotland would be a valued equal partner in this Union? Where’s the commitment that there needed to be a UK-wide agreement on Brexit before it could proceed? If Westminster won’t protect the interests of Scotland, then Scotland has every right to take whatever steps necessary to do it ourselves. The Scottish government is publishing this bill for consultation, and then it will be presented to Holyrood, unlike Theresa May’s Brexit which is being done by fiat without parliamentary scrutiny.

Ruth Davidson took to Twitter to accuse the SNP of creating division. Ruth certainly knows a lot about creating division, her party is responsible for most of it. There won’t be a second independence referendum if I have anything to do with it, claimed Ruthie. To which thousands retorted, “But you don’t have anything to do with it, and you can’t stop it.” There’s a pro-independence majority in Holyrood and All Ruth and her wee band of converts to the cause of Brexit can do is complain on the sidelines. Funny how converts are often far more zealous. Ruth opposed Brexit, but now that the Tory party in England has espoused it wholeheartedly, Ruth’s recanted her previous views and the woman who leads the party that’s created the greatest divisions and the greatest risks and the greatest uncertainty rails against those who seek to put an end to the malignity that she and her colleagues have created.

Ruth can complain all she likes about a second independence referendum, but her party’s abject failure to protect and respect Scotland is the reason we’re having it. Ruth should go and do what she’s good at. Posing for whacky photo-ops with farmyard animals, otherwise known as Tory list MSPs.

Independence is the radical notion that the people who live in a country should have the right to decide how that country is governed. It’s the dangerous idea that a government is best made up of people who live in that country and who are elected by the people of that country and are answerable to the people of that country. Scottish independence is about one thing only, that it’s for the people of Scotland, wherever we came from, to choose the path that this country takes. Because it doesn’t matter where you were born. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity or race you belong to, all that matters is that we walk together on a journey to a better Scotland. Our path is an inclusive path, a path of tolerance, a path of peace, a path that leads to a more just and fair society. That’s the path to Scottish independence. And we’re walking it.

Audio version of this blog, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-13th-oct-2016

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


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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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 Minister of State for Toys-R-Us

Fluffy Mundell, the only member of the UK cabinet who is lower ranking than the Downing Street cat, has been meeting with MPs to purr about Brexit. Scotland ought to stretch out on Liam Blofox’s lap and roll over to have its belly rubbed, insisted Theresa May’s pet Scotsman, otherwise you’ll all get thrown to the sharks. Admittedly Scotland, along with the rest of the UK, is going to get thrown to the sharks anyway, because that’s the UK’s new economic policy after Brexit, but if I can get you to stop complaining about it there’s a slight chance of being promoted in the cabinet and actually getting a slice of lemon drizzle cake instead of being served last by the tea-trolley and having to make do with a stale bit of Peek Frean shortcake.

He coughed up a hairball. Oh look, he said, there’s an example of the new powers that Scotland could maybe perhaps possibly potentially gain after Brexit. See, it’s really not so bad after all. There are far worse things in life than Brexit you know, like being stuck in a lift with Boris Johnson after he’s had to apologise to the Turkish ambassador. Thankfully he doesn’t know who I am, so I got off lightly all things considered.

Boris doesn’t know where Scotland is either, so it wasn’t much of a surprise. He mistook me for the tea trolley, which was very flattering as it represents quite a considerable promotion and just goes to prove that Scotland is a much valued partner in this United Kingdom. It would have been very embarrassing to disappoint him, but luckily I was able to supply him with a couple of biscuits from my beard. He didn’t look very impressed, as he had wanted some scones with innovative jam, but we all have to make the best of this situation.

Anyway, Fluffy went on, as he dug his claws into the back of the sofa, Brexit is a marvellous opportunity for Scotland to climb onto Liam’s lap and to enjoy the sort of view that previously only Adam Werrity has been able to benefit from. I promise that next time I’m allowed to speak in a cabinet meeting I’ll ask Theresa May if she’d like milk in her tea and once I’ve got her attention I’ll slip in a wee hint that she might consider giving me a slightly bigger plaque for my office door. Well, I say office, it’s really a cat litter tray. That will give Scotland the status within this glorious Union that it truly deserves. And if you’re not happy with that then all I can say is that it’s just nationalist grievance mongering.

I’ll do my best, I’m away down at the far end of the room, so she can’t usually hear me over David Davis ranting about how he’s going to stick the boot into that EU Commission. She won’t allow me on her lap, she’s allergic to cats and to Scotland. Oh look, I’ve just found a Gypsy Cream in my beard.

Carol Monaghan, MP for Glasgow North West asked Fluffy if he could stop licking himself for five minutes and be a bit more specific about which of the powers currently controlled by Brussels that the UK government is going to devolve to Scotland after Brexit.

Well clearly, replied Fluffy, devolution was established on the basis that the UK was a member of the EU, and after it leaves the devolution settlement is going to change. That’s my job you know, to state the bleedin obvious. These things are going to be subject to debate and negotiation. Well I say debate and negotiation, what I really mean is that no one who actually has any real power and responsibility has told me yet. After all the job of the Downing Street Cat for Scotland isn’t to speak up for Scotland in the British cabinet, it’s to purr whenever anyone notices my existence and then go to the toilet in Scotland’s shoes. I’m sure that at some point they’ll let me know what their plans for Scotland are, and I promise that I’ll be sure to tell you all about them just as soon as I’ve read them in the pages of the Daily Express. What I can certainly tell you is that immigrants cause cancer, the EU will cave in to our every demand, and there’s some lovely new photies of Princess Di looking sad.

Pressed on whether Westminster would take powers back from Holyrood as a result of the decision to leave the EU, the Secretary of State for Toys-R-Us stated that no powers would be taken back as a result of leaving the EU, which isn’t quite what the question was. Westminster might very well take powers back before the UK leaves in order to prevent Holyrood making Brexit more difficult, but let’s not think about that. Look, there’s another hairball of potential new powers.

Besides, he went on, it’s a bit much to ask what Brexit means for Scotland when my esteemed colleagues are still at the Brexit means running around screaming and swearing in a blind panic stage while the pound plummets faster than Donald Trump’s reputation as a radical feminist. What we can say with some certainty however, is that Brexit means whatever the EU is going to tell us it means, and then after we’ve had our red white and blue arses well and truly kicked by the 27 EU member states we’ll tell you that we’ve ensured that Britain has got the very best deal possible and we’ll wave some Union flegs and get Willnkate to go on walkabout in somewhere rainsoaked like Greenock.

Only a divisive nationalist could be unhappy with the fact that since tiny little countries like Estonia and Malta are going to be represented in the EU negotiations with the UK that they have more influence over what happens in Scotland than Scotland does. After all, Scotland voted decisively in 2014 to have me as an ornamental politician. Scotland is leading the UK, not leaving it. We’re leading the UK in the same manner that a teddy bear tied to the grill of a bin lorry that’s heading off a cliff is leading the way. And as Scottish Secretary of State, I am honoured to be that stuffed toy. Makes me proud to be British so it does.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/the-minister-of-state-for-toys-r-us-wee-ginger-dug-12th-october-2016

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


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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.

On the one hand, on the other

At least we can’t complain any more that we don’t know what Brexit means. It means xenophobia and a dangerous dalliance in the foothills of fascism. It means secret lists of foreigners. It means a plummeting pound. But mostly it means telling different people different things in the hope that they don’t actually communicate with one another. The UK government’s attempts to square the circle on Brexit consist largely of pointing at a circle and swearing blind that it’s a square. It is so a square, even though it’s as round and vacant as Boris Johnson, it just has an infinite number of very tiny corners.

Within the past few days on the one hand we’ve had the Fluffmonster Mundell telling Scotland that if we go for independence there’s going to be a border that’s harder than the look on Ruth Davidson’s face when she’s told that the buffalo she’s sitting on for a photo op is going to vote for independence, while on the other hand Northern Irish secretary James Brokenshire has been claiming that there will be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the south because the UK and Ireland will share data to stop migrants entering the UK via the Republic. Obviously this won’t apply to an independent Scotland because, just like our infamous inability to operate TV cameras, we’re too stupid to cope with computers.

What we’ve discovered as a result of this episode is that when the Brexiteers said that they wanted to take back control of Britain’s borders, what they really meant was that they wanted to sub-contract control of the borders to the Irish. This shouldn’t come as a great surprise, because when they said that they wanted to take back control for the sovereign British Parliament, we now know that what they actually meant was for all control to be vested in a sovereign Theresa May and parliament isn’t going to get any say in the matter at all.

For their part the Irish have reacted to the idea that they’ll become the border police for British xenophobes in much the same way that Nigel Farage would react if he discovered that he’d be getting an Irish speaking Eritrean refugee as a lodger. Ireland has already got rid of British nationalistic xenophobes once before, it has no intention of inviting them back in. The attitude in Ireland is that it’s British intransigence and stupidity which has caused this problem, it’s up to Britain to fix it.

The point however, is that the only clear Brexit strategy that the British government has got is telling different things to different people in the hope that it won’t get found out. Scotland gets told that we’ll have to have a hard border complete with barbed wire and Ruth Davidson’s burly men, while Ireland gets told that there’s no need at all for border controls and checks and the existing open border can continue. The British government is like a drunk guy at a party shouting loud abuse and thinking that people on the other side of the room can’t hear him.

You might imagine, having stamped their wee red white and blue shod feet and ensured that Scotland gets to enjoy the same Brit bedecked telly as the rest of the UK without a Scottish national channel of our own, that our Unionist masters might have realised that Scottish viewers get to see the same news as the rest of the UK. So when a British government minister threatens Scotland with something dire that will happen in the event of Scottish independence, but another British government minister says the exact opposite to someone else, there is no except for viewers in Scotland to ensure that Scots aren’t going to learn about it.

This doesn’t stop them. When they’re not telling different things to different people, they’re saying something different to what they were saying a short while ago in the hope that our memories are shorter than a goldfish’s, or the career of a UKIP party leader. When the pound fell slightly just before the Scottish independence referendum, this was a sign of impending financial armageddon and supporters of independence ought to be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for creating economic uncertainty. However when the arse fell out of the pound following the Brexit vote, and now when commission is taken into account it one pound won’t buy you one euro, this is a good thing because it’s a marvellous opportunity for British exporters and not a catastrophic instability at all. It’s just a shame that Britain is a net importer then isn’t it.

We were told during the indyref that we needed the stability of the pound and were threatened that we’d have to sign up to the euro, which at the time was mired in crisis. That threat looks pretty hollow now. The euro has stabilised, but it’s the pound which is crashing through the floor, and there’s no guarantee that it won’t fall further. Scotland doesn’t need the pound, we can have our own currency, but the pound needs Scotland. If Scotland was to leave the UK the pound would go into freefall.

That security of the world’s fifth largest economy isn’t looking so secure after all, especially not after Theresa May’s speech at the Tory party conference when she boasted that the UK was the world’s fifth largest economy, and the financial markets looked at what was going on in the UK and it promptly dropped to the sixth largest. There are more Guardian politics editors with a grasp of what’s going on in Scottish politics than there are Tories who can provide security and stability to Scotland. The only security the Tories can provide us is the security of being handcuffed to a narcissistic xenophobic bigot with an entitlement complex. Our job is to make the xenophobes feel like they’re really internationalists because Scotland’s a part of the family of nations that does as it’s told.

We’re going to be in for a lot more of this over the months ahead. There will be threats, there will be hypocrisy, there will be promises of invisible jam. There will be a lot of telling different stories to different people in the hope that they won’t be found out. But we’ve heard it all before. Next time it’s not going to work. They’ve been found out.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-10th-oct-2016

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


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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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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.

A song of migration #WeAreScotland

There was a hashtag trending on Twitter yesterday, #WeAreScottish. It was Scotland’s response to the xenophobia, racism, and British exclusionism of Thrasher May and her government of pygmy minds. Ordinary Scottish people took to social media to state our rejection of the inward looking Brits-first ideology of the Conservatives and to affirm that our Scotland is accepting, tolerant, and multicultural. We are Scotland says that a Scot isn’t just a person who was born in Scotland, a Scot is someone who makes Scotland their home, who chooses to be Scottish, who chooses to identify with Scotland. A Scot isn’t just a person who is Scottish by the accident of birth, it’s also a person who is Scottish by design and Scottish by adoption.

Being Scottish is a state of mind. It doesn’t matter where you were born. It doesn’t matter where your family comes from. It doesn’t matter what religion you espouse, or none. Scottishness is blind to race. Scottishness doesn’t depend on ethnic origin. We are all Scottish. Scottishness means you live in Scotland, you identify with Scotland, you choose Scottishness. It means you strive to make Scotland a better place for all who live here. Scottishness means you’re part of the journey that this country makes, that you share in its story and you become one of its story tellers. The modern Scottish shennachies who tell tales of Poland, of Africa, of Syria and weave them into the fabric of this land.

The Tories say that foreigners must be registered, and Scots register their protest and solidarity with migrants. Scotland is a country with a long history of emigration. Hundreds of thousands of Scots left this country because they sought to make a better life for themselves. Hundreds of thousands left because they were dispossessed and had no choice. Many left because Thatcher and her minions had blighted Scottish communities with unemployment and hopelessness. So Scotland knows what it’s like to have to leave. And we know how important it is for emigrants to find stability, security and acceptance in their new home. That’s why we know how important it is for modern Scotland to make that same offer to those who have honoured Scotland with their choice to come and make their lives here, those who bless Scotland with their talents, their skills, and their experiences which enrich this country even more. They come here and they become us, and they say “We are Scotland.”

Sadly there were the voices of small minded and large mouthed Unionist critics. How long will that hashtag make nats feel good about themselves eh? carped those who didn’t see fit to complain about the Tory xenophobia which the hashtag was a response to. It’s just sanctimonious rubbish, said people who were silent when EU citizens were being terrified and threatened by Conservative bullies intent on using human beings as bargaining chips. Because in modern Scotland, for many Unionists it’s more important to complain about those who resist the ordure into which the Tories are plunging this country than it is to resist the Tories who are causing it. They are the people who cannot allow a Scotland whose people can feel good about themselves, who thrive on the misery of Westminster, whose self-esteem rests upon the rest of the country being too wee too poor and too stupid, because they’re too wee too poor and too stupid in spirit and would feel diminished by a small country with a big heart.

Some of them even welcome what the Tories are doing. But they are Scottish too. It’s just up to the rest of us to demonstrate that the small minded net curtain twitchers, the bigots and the billy boys, those whose wallets are more important than their hearts, are a small minority. They are part of Scotland but do not speak for it. We’re bigger than that.

Yet others are victims of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis, which states that your view of the world is shaped by the language you speak. Because English uses the same word nationalist, to refer both to those who seek independence for their country and who reject ethnic nationalism and exclusion, defining citizenship as a matter of choice and self-determination of the self, and those who have an independent country but seek to aggrandise it at others’ expense and who define citizenship in narrow exclusionist terms, they wrongly believe that the two concepts are the same thing. They’re not the same thing at all.

Scottish nationalism is not nationalism in the second sense, it’s independentism. Scottish nationalism is the radical belief that a country is best governed by those who choose to live in it, that a government of a country should be elected by the people who live in that country. It’s the belief that citizens aren’t just those who were born Scottish, but those who choose to become Scottish. British nationalism is nationalism of the second sort. British nationalism is exclusionary, parochial, and inward looking, harking back to a golden age of an empire that’s long past, an empire that was built on blood and oppression. Scottish Unionists prefer to perpetuate the confusion. It suits their Tory masters.

Scotland is a land which belongs to all of us who live here, those who choose to move here, those who decide to make their homes here, every bit as much as it belongs to those of us who were born here. Migration is the story of Scotland, from Fergus Mòr Mac Earca and his forty ships who brought the Stone of Destiny from Ireland, to the English refugees who fled from William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North, to the Syrian refugees who have made their home on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. The songs of Scotland have always been sung by immigrants and emigrants. Scotland’s song is a song of migration. Migration defines us, it makes us who we are. It’s a song which the Tories in Westminster want to silence. Let Scotland respond with a chorus of voices, singing a song of self-determination.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984, https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/a-song-of-migration-wearescotland-wee-ginger-dug-8th-october-2016

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


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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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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.

Labour, mair shite than maist

A few months ago just before the Holyrood elections I passed a Labour canvasser in the streets of the East End of Glasgow, trying to persuade a young woman to vote for his discredited party. “Nae chance,” said the woman, “youse are mair shite than maist.”

Labour’s keeching itself about next year’s council elections. They see the writing on the wall, and the writing says, “See youse, youse are mair shite than maist.” This week we learned that the Labour controllers of Glesca Cooncil won’t authorise any more pro-independence rallies unless each is policed by five hundred stewards and fulfils the same obligations required of Orange Walks and fascist demonstrations. Labour wants to place the entirely peaceful and trouble free independence events into the same category as events which are invariably associated with public order offences, because the independence movement is a huge threat to the order that’s presided over by Labour. And besides, there were martyrs to the cause of saving the Union, Jim Murphy’s shirt needed to be laundered and that was a thousand times worse than the rampaging Unionist fascists in George Square in the aftermath of the indyref.

For decades Labour has gripped Glasgow as the symbol of its God given right to rule over Scotland. On Thursday there was a by-election in the city, in a ward which at the last election had given 60% of votes to Labour. And Labour lost. There have been a number of other by-elections recently which were technically Labour gains, but in all those the party actually saw swings against it. Even in North Lanarkshire where the local SNP is almost as dysfunctional as Labour is, there was a significant swing towards the SNP from Labour.

Local elections in Scotland have multimember constituencies. A by-election is caused when one of the members elected for that ward resigns or passes away. That means that the party which garnered the largest amount of votes in the original election has an advantage in the by-election. So if an SNP councillor resigns or passes away, Labour is most likely to take the seat in the subsequent by-election if Labour had taken the largest number of votes in the previous multimember election. And this is what happened in recent by-elections described as Labour gains. Labour won the seat even though they actually lost votes. Labour and its allies has tried hard to paint these gains as a sign that the party is on the road to recovery, but the truth is that they are pointers to Labour’s continuing decline. Sometimes when you win you’re really losing.

On Thursday night Labour’s decline became a rout. Not even the fact that they had a large majority of votes in the last council elections in the ward was enough to save them. The party lost what had been the second safest ward in the city for them. Because the people of Glasgow look upon the creature that Labour has become, and they think to themselves, “mair shite than maist”. Labour was, and remains, a party that’s incapable of change, incapable of seeing the error of its own ways, incapable of doing anything except repeating the same old discredited tactics in the hope that eventually they’ll produce a different outcome. It’s not the fault of Labour that they’re losing votes, it’s the fault of the voters.

We had an example of Labour cooncillor demonstrating the obtuse and wilful stupidity of Labour the other night on social media. Labour cooncillor for North Ayrshire Alex Gallagher is quite convinced that the SNP has recruited supporters and votes on the basis of appealing to anti-English racism. He’s equally convinced that if Scotland votes for independence this will be terrible, because we will turn our relatives in the rest of the UK into foreigners. In Labourlalaland being foreign is a bad thing, but it’s the SNP which is racist.

There is of course no evidence to Cooncillor Gallagher’s view that the SNP are motivated by anti-English racism. There’s only his own political prejudice, one which conveniently plays into an English racist trope about the Scots – that we have no culture or identity other than an atavistic hatred of the English. We aren’t defined by the content of Scottish culture, but rather we are defined by our relationship to England. It’s a dangerous road to go down, as it fosters the very real anti-Scottish prejudice that lurks not far below the surface of English right wing politicians. You’d think Cooncillor Gallagher should know that, but then he’s clearly not blessed with the ability to do much in the way of joined up thinking, as is amply demonstrated by his remarks about how how relatives in England and Wales would become foreigners to us.

The obvious immediate rejoinder is to ask what sort of a person believes that if their relatives in England have a different passport from them then it must negatively affect their family relationships. Why, that would be a person who is an anti-English racist. It would be a fool who put paperwork before family ties. It would be a shallow idiot who believed that citizenship was more important than love. It would be a Labour cooncillor from North Ayrshire who’s seeking to score a cheap political point but who merely illustrates that he paddles in the shallow end of the intellectual pool. If you sincerely believe that your relationships with your family will be negatively affected because they hold a different passport, then that’s an argument for family therapy and counselling. Because it means that you have some sort of deep rooted emotional difficulty.

The truth of course is that your family in England will not become foreigners to you after Scottish independence. They won’t become foreigners because the chances are that they too will be elegible for Scottish citizenship. They won’t become foreigners because unless the rUK government decides to make radical changes to British citizenship laws, Scots will remain entitled to British citizenship after independence. The only people who might lose their right to British citizenship will be a generation of children born in Scotland after independence to people who were themselves born in Scotland after independence – and they’re hardly likely to care. Everyone currently alive, and their children, will retain their right to British citizenship, unless Westminster decides to strip us all of it. We’d just get a Scottish passport too.

Meanwhile we’re all being stripped of our European citizenship, and Labour has nothing to say. Instead they prefer to complain that the SNP are anti-English racists while they themselves play on a fear of foreigners. And as the most right wing Tory government in memory stirs up the fires of racism and xenophobia, Labour in Glasgow considers doing a deal with them in order to cling onto power. And that’s why they’re going to lose their grip on Glasgow just as they’ve lost it on Scotland. Labour needs to listen to the more sensible voices within its diminished ranks in Scotland, the ones that say that the only way back is for Labour to embrace independence. Because if it doesn’t the party’s epitaph is going to be “They were mair shite than maist.”

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


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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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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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 two states of quantum Ruth

Ruth Davidson is a living breathing example of quantum theory, a living demonstration that it is in fact possible to be in two states simultaneously. And in that respect she is the very embodiment of Scottish Unionism. There she was just a short time ago, basking the adulation of the Foreigners Are Bad party in Birmingham, telling anyone who’d listen that the Scottish government doesn’t speak for Scotland. Although if she’d thought to follow her own train of reasoning to its logical conclusion she should have realised that she was also arguing that the Tory government doesn’t speak for Britain. It sure as hell doesn’t speak for Scotland. But then neither does Ruth. Ruth speaks for a small minority of Scottish voters and her fans in the Scottish media.

But thankfully everyone in attendance was far too busy to worry about that, being fully occupied throwing Polish people under buses and devising plans to give British born boy scouts and girl guides badges in being a doctor so that they can replace foreigners. First they came for the migrants, and the Tory party roared with approval. Ruth just took the plaudits, took the glory, and bathed in the red white and blue light of the UKIPifaction party like a lizard in the morning sun. I’m going to be the next First Minister of Scotland, she said with her darting tongue. And I’ll be a proper English language First Minister, nane o thon Furst Meenister nonsense in my North Britain. Oh no. The Tories applauded, as the only have experience of Ruth as a photo op in a fawning newspaper and haven’t quite grasped that most people in Scotland loathe them even more than they loathe foreigners.

And then Ruth came back to Edinburgh, fresh from her triumph of the will, only to discover that not even Wullie Rennie was willing to join with her on an attack on the SNP. At least not this week. Everyone was far too horrified at the bloodsucking vampires that the Tories had become, with their new found resolution that Brexit actually means deportations, putting EU citizens on special lists, and hating foreigners. You know that you’ve fallen pretty far from grace when even Anas Sarwar is able to talk down to you. Instead of feeling like Nigel Farage sucking up the applause of his acolytes, Ruth was suddenly feeling like the attendee at a UKIP party meeting who’d been punched in the gob. One after another MSPs lined up to tell her, all your pals are bastards. The Tories aren’t just the nasty party any more, they’re the disgustingly foul sewer of rancid bile party. And you’re one of them, Ruth. Frankly, you smell bad.

But that wasn’t me, squeaked Ruth, who’d suddenly changed from tank girl to tanked girl and looked around franctically for a buffalo on which to sit for a cutesy photo op, finding only the bovine hide of Jackson Carlot who no one, not even his mother, could describe as cute. I love foreign people me, so I do, said Ruth with a hurt expression on her face. I said that they could stay here. I campaigned for us to stay in the EU, although I’ve now changed my mind what with important career considerations and everything.

Admittedly I also campaigned ferociously to ensure that no one in the Scottish parliament could have any influence over whether foreigners get to stay here or not, but the fact that the Tory party has morphed into a version of the National Front with nicer suits and more hair is nothing to do with me at all. Oh no. I just support them wholeheartedly, me and Big T are like sisters, so we are. And am I not my sister’s keeper? Eh? Says so in the bible. Now can we please get back to saying how bad the SNP is? No one told me that the holding to account thing cut both ways when I took this gig. It’s so unfair. I blame Nicola Sturgeon for turning Wullie Rennie against me. It’s probably a foreign plot. Now let’s talk about how the SNP don’t want to allow fracking. That’s really bad so it is.

We’re not talking about fracking today, replied Nicola Sturgeon with the weary resignation of a nursery teacher who’d spent the afternoon explaining the difference between small and far away. Today we’re talking about coal gasification. It’s a different thing. You’re a Tory Ruth, you ought to know about expressing gas.

Even wee Ross Greer got laid in, and when you get your arse kicked by a Green it’s pretty much time to concede defeat and crawl away and hide under a rock. Ruth pouted, and tried to deflect the criticisms back onto Nicola Sturgeon, where all criticisms rightfully belong in Toryland. Isn’t it the case, said Ruth, that the Scottish government needs to do a whole lot more to promote Scottish products abroad. She waved a report from the Fraser of Allander Institute, which said, and I paraphrase, that the Scottish economy is going to be absolutely gubbed after Brexit. Rather like Ruth was being gubbed at FMQs come to think of it. Isn’t this report evidence that the Scottish government needs to do more, she pleaded, and not in fact evidence that the Tory government is responsible for an economic disaster? Because if you pee all over someone’s carpet you have the moral authority to demand what they’re going to do about the smell.

Her balloon was burst as soon as Nicola Sturgeon gently and kindly, like explaining to a small child why peeing on the carpet only embarrasses themselves, that it was Ruth herself who railed constantly against the Scottish government having any sort of presence abroad at all. Yet there she is now complaining that it doesn’t have enough of a presence abroad. Could she please make her mind up. But the truth is that there’s not much of a mind there at all. All there ever was were photo opportunities and snarky tweets.

Poor Ruth, never has there been such a mismatch between the hype and the actual delivery since the release of the Matrix sequels. You’re doing pretty badly when even Keanu Reeves gives a more convincing delivery of his lines than you do. Outside Scotland quantum Ruth is a political collossus, inside Scotland she’s a lost little girl. If Ruth is the great saviour of the UK who’s going to lead the campaign to keep Scotland in the Union, independence is definitely a certainty.

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


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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.

In the darkness of the storm, we can see the rainbow

You might think that with a Brexit vote supported by just 52% of those who voted that the Tories would go slowly and carefully on their plans to take the UK out of Europe. You might think that they’d be concerned to ensure that they gained the support of the whole country. You might think that they’d be careful not to antagonise other EU countries which hold most of the cards in Brexit negotiations and which are concerned about the fate of their citizens who live in the UK. You might think all of these things because you’d be a sane, rational and reasonable person. Which means you’re not a Tory.

The Tories have instead chosen to use the Brexit vote as an excuse to go full on fuck the foreigners. They want companies who employ foreign citizens to list them, so that the companies can be shamed. In Britain in 2016, newspapers carry headlines saying that companies have to register their foreign born staff in order to be castigated. They say British jobs for British workers. They say that the Prime Minister has “the liberal elite” in her sights. They are headlines that wouldn’t look out of place in a middle European country in the 1930s.

It’s no longer that the storm clouds are gathering on our future. The storm clouds are already here. The papers spent months investigating anti-semitism on the left, and now the right openly vomits naked racism on the body politic and the same papers applaud. Welcome to the storm. Welcome to the tempest. Welcome to the hurricane that destroys what remains of what is good about Britain. And it’s crying bitter tears.

Amber Rudd wants to crack down on the numbers of foreigners who come to Britain to study. All that foreigners can learn from Tory Britain is that they are not welcome here. There is no tolerance. There is no acceptance. All there is here is tattered bunting on a royal parade and a fifteen year old being taught to march and use a gun and salute his superiors. This is the Britain that thinks it’s still a global power, that imagines that the world will defer to us because we once painted a third of the globe in the blood red of empire. This is the country being created in the image of the former Home Secretary who gave us the racist van campaign. The whole country is now trapped in the van of her racism.

Liam Fox defends the refusal of the British government to give any reassurances to the hundreds of thousands of EU citizens who have chosen to make their homes here. They’re one of our strongest cards, he quipped. They’re not humans who deserve respect and consideration, they’re just hostages to the fortunes of the Tory party. Foreigners.

The Tories want to reduce the number of foreigners who work in the health service and encourage them to leave in a few years time. It was announced on Tuesday that foreign born doctors will be allowed to stay until extra “home grown” medics are trained. And meanwhile British medical students will be penalised if they choose to work abroad. It’s the effective conscription of medical workers, while working class kids will experience a more direct form of militarisation as army cadet units are rolled out in more and more state schools. Waving the red white and blue is to be complusory in this new Britain. But it’s Scottish independence supporters who are the divisive nationalists.

And while the Tories trumpet their hatred and disdain for everyone who’s not a Union fleg waving Brit, where’s the Labour party? Where’s the party that sees itself as embodying the liberal soul of Britain? Why, it’s issuing press releases saying that the Tories haven’t kept their promises to reduce immigration and implying that Labour would be even tougher. In the UK politics have become UKIPised. The British state has embraced Nigel Farage as its spiritual mentor. And all this has happened on the anniversary of the Battle of Cable Street, when East Enders in London in 1936 fought back against a march of Oswald Moseley’s Blackshirts. Those anti-fascist campaigners are looking down from the heavens and are weeping. What has become of this place?

These are frightening times. These are bleak and nasty times. This is how fascism is born. This is what it looks like. It looks like a Prime Minister who preaches patriotism. It looks like a Home Secretary who demands that foreigners are registered. It looks like a Trade Secretary who speaks of humans as bargaining chips. This is the red white and blue tempest that has come down upon us to strip away all that we hold dear.

Our visions of tolerance, our dreams of internationalism, our aspirations to grow through openness, all are threatened by the caustic rain of British racism. Yet we will nuture the flame of hope and keep alive the knowledge that things do not have to be this way. They will be the torch that lights the way out to a better land. Because there is a path out of the madness. There is a route to escape the dark forest of despair. There is a garden of sanity, and it is within reach. All we have to do to get there is to hold true to our better selves, to trust in our powers of persuasion, to keep faith in our abilities to create a better world.

It’s clearer than ever that there is no place for a civic Scotland, a European Scotland, a tolerant and outward looking Scotland, within this failing state. We must take the path out of the forest. It’s time for Scotland to seek its own destiny. The stakes have never been higher.

Let’s stand together, born Scots, Scots by choice, Scots by accident, Scots by design, linking arms, shoulder to shoulder. And we say no to the madness, we will not acquiesce, we will not consent. We will build a better land, and we will be the owners of our own destiny. In the darkness of the storm, we can see the rainbow.

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


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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.

A jam of its own creation

Isn’t Brexit great? It’s creating loads of job opportunities for Britain’s young people. Now your kids can aspire to do all those minimum wage backbreaking unskilled agricultural labouring jobs that East European migrants used to do. Isn’t that marvellous? You thought that little Katie might go into engineering, but no, her country needs her to pick the fruit for all that innovative jam instead. You know, the jam that Liam Fox’s department thinks that the French are going to need, so they’ll cave in to all of Britain’s fruitiest demands.

But it gets even better, because we’ll be having none of that pesky interference from Brussels, we can have good old fashioned racist jam with ethnic stereotypes on the label. On a personal level I’m delighted with this news, as it means I’ll be able to secure a meagre living of some sort picking raspberries, since satire in the UK has been overtaken by reality and the biggest raspberry of all is the one that the Tory party is giving the people of Scotland.

The EU is giving all young EU citizens a free railpass so that they can experience the culture and diversity of the continent, they have the right to work and study in 27 countries. In the UK working class kids will get a bucket and will walk doubled over down a row of potato plants howking totties, doing the sort of jobs that their ancestors did over two hundred years ago before the industrial revolution and then returning to a rented hovel. Neo-serfdom, it’s the new British civil right in a country that works for everyone, or rather, works everyone into the ground.

According to our fruity masters, the neo-serfs are going to be involved in the design of the new patriotic British passport. That’s the one that’s going to say entry denied to any British citizen that’s hoping to live, work or study in Europe. I suggest a red circle with a white bar across it surrounded by a border of barbed wire. No welcome for foreigners into Britain, no escape for British citizens abroad. Little Britain in its glorious isolation stewing in its own racist jam.

Just a few weeks ago our unelected PM told us that the Union was precioussssss and she wouldn’t consider triggering the Brexit process until there was a UK wide approach. Theresa May herself told the Scottish Tory conference in 2012 that Scotland and England were equal partners in the Union. Now she’s triggering Brexit and bugger what the Scottish government and the Scottish people think. There’s that respect and affection that Westminster has for Scotland right there, stuffed in a jar with some rotten fruit. It’s a peculiar definition of equality.

A second indyref is now a certainty. There is as much chance of the so-called reverse Greenland as there is of Ruth Davidson actually conceding that her party has failed to deliver any of their promises made to Scotland during the independence campaign. It’s only the Scottish government that is expected to respect the result and the commitments made. Ruth thinks that the 2014 indyref gave her party a free pass to do as it pleases in perpetuity. Material changes of circumstance don’t come any more material than a Scotland that voted to remain a part of the EU by a considerably larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK being dragged against its will into a hard Brexit. We are where we are because of the historic failure of the Unionist establishment to deliver on what they promised Scotland. We are where we are because Unionism has failed and has been shown to be incorporation and abnegation. If Scotland really was an equal partner in a free Union of nations none of this would be happening.

It’s time for the Labour party and Lib Dems to face reality. There is only one way that Scotland can maintain its EU membership. There is only one way in which the democratic will of the Scottish people to remain engaged with Europe can be fulfilled. It’s time for Labour and the Lib Dems to stop playing fantasy politics and to allow those of their members who choose to do so to campaign freely and openly for an independent Scotland. It’s time to grow up. It’s time to take responsibility. Stop posturing, stop claiming that you can deliver the impossible. It’s either a modern outward looking civic Scotland that engages with the rest of the world and works to build social equality and justice at home, or it’s decades of authoritarian Tories taking an axe to your rights and consigning your kids to a future of unskilled labour. That’s your choice. No other options are available.

May has announced a start to Brexit, and has given away her bargaining chips with the rest of the EU. All the Tories have is jam and all Labour has is Jerusalem. All the cards are in European hands, all the power rests with Brussels. The EU has no need to negotiate a trade deal with the UK with anything like the urgency that the UK needs to negotiate a trade deal with the EU. The Tories claim that Europe needs British goods and services, but the truth is that Europe would be more than happy for those companies to relocate to an EU country after Brexit. The EU will be happy to block the UK from the single market if the UK insists on no freedom of movement, it will create jobs for workers in other EU countries.

The only way for Scotland to preserve its status a modern European nation is to make a break from a Westminster which is unfit for purpose. Westminster is careening headlong into an economic and political catastrophe that will last for generations. But Scotland doesn’t have to follow it over the cliff edge. We can be that other EU country that British companies relocate to. It’s time we left the UK and left Westminster in a jam of its own creation.

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


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 weegingerbook@yahoo.com 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 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.