Three little words

If you wanted to sum up everything that’s wrong with the United Kingdom but had to do it in a three word phrase, you’d be spoiled for choice. There’s “Scottish democratic deficit”, “Nicholas Witchell reporting”, “Foreign Minister Johnson”, “Ant and Dec”, or “Simon Cowell’s X-Factor” just for starters. But there’s one phrase that perfectly sums up the moral and intellectual bankruptcy of Britain like no other, a phrase that encapsulates how Scotland and the rest of the UK aren’t merely different countries post-Brexit, but are increasingly on different planets separated by the vast airless gulf of the mainstream media, and that phrase is “Lord Nigel Farage”. It’s a phrase which on first being heard is immediately followed by another three word phrase, and that other phrase is, “What the fuck?” Said repeatedly while you bang your head futilely off the press that prints the Daily Mail.

The British government has refused to rule out the possibility that Nige might be granted a peerage for his services to British public life. That would be destroying our relationship with the European Union, hastening the end of the United Kingdom (OK, we’ll give him that one), causing – albeit indirectly – the Conservative party to morph into Ukip, and helping to spark off an outbreak of racist and homophobic attacks because the nutjobs of the extreme right now feel vindicated and empowered. Nigel has taken a state that was already characterised by a drift into right wing nastiness, and pushed it over the cliff of intolerance. We’re taking back control as Torukip spins and twists on our descent.

Nigel’s the grinning face of the new British populism, the millionaire public school stockbroker with the pint and the fag who says he’s standing up for the little guy. He represents the England that’s even smaller than the Little one. He’s standing up against the establishment by strengthening the powerful and empowering the strong. He’s protecting the weak by taking an axe to their support networks and shredding their safety nets. He’s blaming the problems of Britain on those who suffer most from them. He’s the village pond darling of the Alt Right, the frog prince of the neofascists.

The Ukip leader is a new way of voicing old prejudice, just like the Alt Right. Alt Right is the expression of ancient hatred in a digital format. Because it’s high tech it can express low sentiment and claim that it’s edgy and subversive while it seeks to bolster the old establishments. The worst possible crime is political correctness, because it’s offensive to offenders that they’re no longer allowed to offend.

Nige is the hero of the most oppressed people of all, those middle class right wing white men who’re upset that their privileges are no longer to remain unquestioned. Because to an oppressor equality feels like oppression. Nigel needs a reward for his services, because Nigel speaks for oppressed right wing middle class white men. Nigel needs a platform so he can speak with authority on BBC Question Time and influence our laws without having to trouble himself with getting rejected at the ballot box. Nigel needs a title other than the one he’s already got, the title of Buffoon in Chief for Little England and Shit Stirrer Extraordinaire. The Ukip ascendency, just like its Trumpist equivalent over the other side of the Atlantic, won’t challenge the establishment, won’t tear down the elite. It’s a creature of that very elite.

The continuing existence of the House of Lords is bad enough. It’s an insult to democracy, an excuse for legitimised patronage in a political system that likes to claim it’s above the sort of favouritism that marks the politics of lesser breeds. In Britain there’s no need for the secretive and undercover patronage that blights other countries, in Britain it’s institutionalised and dressed up in fancy costumes. There’s no hard evidence to suggest that Farage might be in line for a peerage, other than Theresa May’s refusal to answer a direct question on the topic, but the point is that we live in a state where a peerage for the likes of Farage is a distincy possibility. The anti-elitist warrior will be happy to pose in ermine and lord it over us, and even happier to draw expenses on the public account.

Britain was already a dysfunctional state with a dysfunctional political system. Nigel and Ukip made it worse. They took the good aspects of British society, its willingness to tolerate difference, its acceptance of diversity, and they said that the only things that saved Britain were sinking it. If Farage gets a peerage he’ll be Baron Farage of Dailymailshire, the Lord of the Whinge.

There are still those who argue for a better British state. The mirage of federalism floats in the democratic desert, as out of reach and unreal as it ever was. But it’s just a distraction. Any proposal that relies upon the Westminster Parliament to willingly surrender its power, any idea whose success depends upon limiting the absolute privilege of a British Prime Minister, is doomed to failure. They’re distractions from the real goal, last ditch attempts from a discredited system to save itself by offering pretty baubles that it will never allow us to have. There’s only one way to change things.

It’s clearer now that it ever was that Scotland is on a different path from the rest of the UK. We’re not better people than those in other parts of the UK, but we’ve poured our political energies into the dream of an inclusive and open minded Scotland, a tolerant Scotland, a diverse Scotland that engages with the world. And we’ve done that because we’ve sought to differentiate Scotland from a Britain that’s growing increasingly intolerant and insular. Britain can have Nicholas Witchell oozing sycophancy all over the telly whenever some minor royal waves at a pleb. Britain can have its Brexit. It can have its Lord Farage. It can have the Ukipisation of its politics. It can have its growing metropolitisation of the economy. But it can’t have the Union too. We’ve got three little words of our own “Scottish independence now”.

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There won’t be any new blog posts for a few days as I’m off to Skye tomorrow to do a talk for Yes Skye. If you’re in the area come along and meet the dug and me at the Sligachan Hotel in Sligachan, Skye on Saturday 19 November between 11am and 1pm.

Audio version of this blog, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-17th-nov-2016


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57 comments on “Three little words

  1. Davy says:

    Well they made Danny Alexander a f’ing Knight, that erase Darling became a manky Lord, you can put money on it Farage will get a Lordship.

  2. I agree with every word and sentiment of this excellent piece except for the phrase Buffoon in Chief for Little England being attributed to Farage. That title belongs to Boris Johnson the other Little Englander.

  3. Trump draws up on his personal jet to address a crowd of his supporters gathered in the hangar. This man speaks for ‘the little guy’?
    I dare anyone to make it compulsory that I declare my religion or none on an official record.
    You’re correct, Paul.
    ‘Scottish Independence now.’

  4. Guga says:

    Your spelling is not too good WGD, Witchell oozes sickophancy. I almost throw up every time he opens his mouth about these German benefit scroungers.

  5. Dan Huil says:

    Everything about this so-called united kingdom makes me boke.

  6. Macart says:

    Oh good grief! Seriously?

    Well why not? It certainly puts the icing on the cake and our better togetherness would be complete.

    FFS!

  7. Ian says:

    A really low point must be reached before a downward trend can be reversed. This particular patronage, if it happens (seems likely), might just be that low point, in a series of lows, from the 2014 Indy Ref, through to Trumps election. Hope so.

  8. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    While this proposal, as with many proposals relating to ‘elevation’ to the peerage, is risible and deserving of ridicule, we have to recognise the fact that this man has effected a successful revolution in Britain. Of course, he did not do it on his own, having wealthy chums and a supportive media. But, the fact remains that he and his party have won the votes of significant numbers of voters across England and Wales, who, looked at from a simple economic perspective have voted against their economic interests. These are people whom the Labour Party once represented and on whose support and loyalty the Labour Party could count for close on 100 years. And it is a little over 100 years since Robert Tressell wrote ‘The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists’, and, if ever there was a lesson for our times it is contained in that magnum opus.

    Too many on the ‘left’, on the ‘progressive’ side, of a ‘liberal persuasion’, etc. are seeking solace in head shaking incredulity at this turn of events here, in the United States, and possibly in various parts of Europe. It is not enough.

    Mr Kavanagh has written many very good and insightful articles, often with a wicked and scabrous tone, which have got to the heart of the duplicitousness of the ‘right wing’ arguments and has put forward a number of plausible alternatives.

    The people who were ‘supposed to vote’ for Labour or for Mrs Clinton, but have not are not fools – I know many of them, I come from that background. They know that Mr Farage is posturing and that Mr Trump is a billionaire bully and robber baron, but they are saying the things that these voters want to hear and, to some extent believe. Some of it is racist, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Muslim and is unequivocally to be condemned, but clearly, Messrs Farage and Trump are striking chords which resonate. Concerns which would have been voiced, discussed and clarified in trade union meetings, in Labour Party meetings, in church halls, etc have not been addressed by the leftish parties in any meaningful way, except by a few individuals.

    And yet, as the support for Jeremy Corbyn and Bernie Sanders shows there is a very large constituency out there. We saw it during the independence campaign and, to a significant extent the people who live in Scotland have understood the nuances. But, we need to do more. We need to get the SNP government and the Greens to do more to establish a different hegemony and to deliver quick and clear benefits for the people of Scotland.as well as the longer term structural ones which can come from land reform, education and participative and empowered and financed local communities.

    There are good people in the Labour Party and in the Lib Dems, despite the mediocrity and shallowness of many of their MSPs and Councillors. There are, indeed, many decent people who vote Conservative, who are disappointed by the EU result, by the indecisiveness of the May Government and by its efforts to by pass the legal and democratic processes. Many are small business people who are being squeezed by the unchecked power of big finance, and by a Westminster Government and Civil Service substantially the handmaidens of the City and global interests. They need the kind of economy that can give their enterprise scope to bear fruit, without exploiting others.

    It must be remembered that the groups in the ascendant at the moment are NOT the majority, although the media propagandistically, present this repeatedly (we are in the ‘post-truth’ society, remember?!) There are alliances which can be made across the political spectrum, of decent, fair minded, humane people, which can get a consensus that an independent Scotland can do things differently.

    And to do this, we must realise the limits of the knockabout scabrousness and reject the careless stereotyping of particular groups, such as ‘the elderly’ (I am 70 next year), ‘those without educational qualifications’, people in Morningside, etc.

    Wee need Mr Kavanagh to keep barking in his multilingual way, but we also need the more nuanced insightful dialogue on key issues like pensions, currency, relations with England, fishing and farming, housing, etc.

    • hettyforindy says:

      We do need alliances and we definitely need to be independent as soon as possible. It seems that the people in the driving seat in the UK government are out of control. They also have their dirty rotten fingers in so many pies, it is nigh-on a corrupt regime now. Regards trump and farage striking a chord as you say, they are also rich and as you point out have wealthy chums. Money talks, usually via the state run media as we see every day.

      If you want a different take on things to the excellent WGD, there are equally excellent sites out there like Wings Over Scotland. If you want info on what the ScotGov are actually doing to counter the effects of the horrendous westminster rule, their plans for pensions, fishing, farming, housing etc, they have plenty on their website.

      Relations with england? Simple, why on earth do they want Scotland in their union when they say constantly that we are too poor and a burden to them?

      I was at a talk by Robin MacAlpine earlier, on economics in Scotland. Some interesting stuff. You can see what his take is on things at Commonweal.

      What have we had, 9 years of the SNP, having been ruled by destructionist unionist parties for a tad longer before that, so it may take a bit longer to mend Scotland. The will is there, the support is there, not however the big bucks, but slowly slowly, catchy monkey, as they say in Scotland.

    • Lovely read. Thanks, Alasdair.
      You are spot on. Once Self determination is achieved, politicians Up Here may divide along Party Lines, or none.
      Within a decade of Rebirth, the SNP group will have done their bit, and with the gratitude of all fair minded people ringing in their ears, disband, or rebrand themselves; the Scottish Social Democrats?
      It is with not a little disappointment that we anticipate the same old, same old, Left, Right, and Centre factions emerging as it this were the Natural Order of things.
      I am ahead of myself.
      Some of my dearest friends are conservatives, a couple Libs, and lots of the Lost Labour Tribe wandering in the Desert of Labour’s own making.
      We can do things differently, Alasdair.
      I too am 69, a Baby Boomer.
      Let’s pray we live to breathe the fresh air of Free Scotland.
      Peace, sir.

  9. Brian Powell says:

    As pointed out above we had Danny Alexander,appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury, A Darling to the lords, add Alistair Carmichael, SofS for Westminster in Scotland.
    Will Farage as lord cause a reaction? Doubtful.
    The docility of a huge chunk of the Scottish population is to me a phenomenon worthy of a study. There must be a 3 volume treatise in there for some PhD student, or psychiatrist.
    In a country supposedly left leaning, where 75% of the voters share political beliefs, the 25% or so who still vote Labour, seem set to support the 20 something% who vote Tory and stick us with a Tory Gov and the likes of Farage in the lords.
    I have come to the conclusion that British Labour is the worst thing that ever happened to the ‘working class’. It stifles change.
    I was always puzzled when going abroad, why Holland, Germany, Denmark etc was so much better off than here. The cities and amenities, the roads etc just that much sharper. The people healthier and better dressed. Yet Britain had enormously powerful unions who were charged with improving the lives of ordinary people.
    After all the years I supported Labour I came to the realisation all they did was stay in the trenches, they were engaged in a war that had no end. That became the whole purpose.
    The desperation in the obstruction of change in Scotland and the message of get back in the Labour trench is something to behold.
    I can’t work out what Labour think will happen now, and they seem incapable of saying what that would be.

    Yet there are many in Scotland who still can’t or don’t want to engage in what is happening even when alternatives are shown.

    I saw this the other day and it is quite a lesson on where we are heading:

    ” Nice people made the best Nazis. My mom grew up next to them. They got along, refused to make wave, looked the other way when things got ugly and focused on happier things than “politics”. They were lovely people who turned their heads as their neighbours were dragged away. You know who weren’t nice people? Resistors.” -Naomi Shulman.

  10. And with todays news that the largest victims group involved in the Westminster paedophile inquiry have withdrawn, calling it an “unpalatable circus”, is surely shows us, as if we need one, one more reason to get out of this cesspit. This coupled with the Lord Janner inquiry being “delayed”, means in all probability that the victims of these perverts will never face justice, such as it would be.
    Why oh why we didn’t take the chance to distance ourselves from this pile of odour, is to me at least, unfathomable, and I’m afraid that the consequences of that decision will haunt us for many years to come.
    Even when we gain independence, it will take us years to disentangle ourselves from this sorry mess, even to rid ourselves of my pet hate, Trident.
    As for the House of Lords, it, is merely a symptom of an of a system that has its roots in the Monarchy, which, in my opinion, is an outdated institution which ought to be abolished. That along with ludicrous “honours” for those and such as those, sometimes resulting in so-called “socialists” being elevated to a position where they can decide the future of our country, and its people, despite never having a mandate to do so.
    If anybody ever asks me why I’m out on the streets, at my age, campaigning for Scotland to be an independent country, I merely direct them to Wee Ginger Dug, or W.O.S, and ask them to read the great articles, and comments, posted on these sites. Without their, your, help we would be a lot poorer, and in a far worst place, so keep up the good work and we will eventually get to our rightful destination.
    That’s if there is anything worthwhile left after the unionists have completed their “asset stripping” of their cash cow that is Scotland.

  11. Alastair Gunn says:

    There are more than a few Conservative members (and doubtless UKIP members too) who are sincerely convinced that Farage deserves a peerage for, as they see it, his efforts that resulted in the referendum. Equally there are those who would go “WTF?” at the very concept …

    So given the rather thin nature of Theresa May’s majority it’s possible that the reason she’s ducking the question is that she knows whichever answer she gave it would annoy a substantial chunk of the people who might otherwise support her.

  12. And now one of the richest families in the world are getting £369m of our money to do up their main shack. That’s you and I folks paying for this out of our pockets.So while the most vulnerable in our society go without, ex-service dying without heat or light, or being turfed out of their squat, and as a consequence one of them, an 82yr old died of pneumonia.
    I know that I will lose the argument if I get angry, but I am finding it increasingly difficult to control my temper when I see abuses such as this. Doesn’t bode well for the 2017 cavassing if a unionist gets to me with their “better together” propaganda.

    • You should have issued a health warning, Sam.

      “The SNP and the Indy voters are essentially mouth breathers who think Braveheart is a historical document, and actually believe that they can have their cake (free prescriptions , tuition etc etc) and eat it.”

      This is a typical sample from the below the line comments, and honestly reflects the tone of the contributors.
      Why do I get the feeling that ‘Jester80’ is white, male, English, longs to return to the Good Old Days, the slap of leather on willow, a cricket match on the village green in Flaming June, warm beer and cucumber sandwiches lovingly prepared by the Club Captain’s wife, while the Red Arrows screech across a cloudless blue sky leaving red white and blue slip streams in their wake, and the plaintive sounds of the church choir rehearsing ‘Jerusalem’ fill the still-again air with their sweet harmonies.
      There are those in this country, Scots born, who subscribe to this sense of ‘Britishness’, and who refuse to acknowledge that the land of their birth is a nation, distinct from England, or Wales, or God help them, riven Northern Ireland.
      British first, Scottish second, and genuinely proud of it.
      They are immutable, even in the face of the financial and social tempest which awaits us, if we stand by and do nothing to temper the Right Wing zealots Down There.
      Many are comfortably off, in the professions, or retired.
      They have had as challenging lives as those ‘lower down’ in their version of the social ladder, and no doubt work as hard as a shelf filler in Asda on minimum wage, zero hours, ephemeral contracts,
      Their number is sizable, and they will resist ‘separation’ with every fibre of their being.
      Unless.
      How resolute will they be when Brexit becomes a reality?

      Borders erected in 27 European countries. Trade tariffs, visas to work, study, resettle, holiday, in the EU.

      Many of course will adopt a lantern jawed Jack Hawkins stiff upper lip stance, and come what may, weather the storm because after all , there will always be an England/Britain.
      Our task is to convince enough folk that Scotland, an independent nation still within the EU would still have strong ties with rUK, and paradoxically would retain our ‘Special Relationship’
      with our Southern neighbours.
      We can but try.

      • Macart says:

        That was just a small reaction to yesterday’s news as it broke. It went down hill from there.

        The meeja and their followers – an empathy free zone.

        Who knew?

  13. Dodgy Originals says:

    ‘Lord’ Farage is merely another sad element in the ghastly construct that is Fantasy Island. A mis-managed deficit-laden mound of ordure that incidentally now proposes to spend £370million to patch up Buck House whilst more and more of its citizens become homeless. On the defence front, it can no longer afford missiles for its Type 45 and Type 23 warships yet is now committing itself to pay around £200billion for a Trident ballistic missiles and submarines that are intended never to be used and will in any case probably be countered by emerging underwater drone technology before the boats are even finished. And will only work if the US let’s us have the target data….

    We could start by reforming or, probably better, abolishing the House of Lords. Its so-called checks and balances against the Commons look set to be legislated against by unelected PM May because it might dare to challenge her ‘Brexit means-what I want it to mean’ Alice in Wonderland view of political philosophy. Shades of the GLC and Margaret Thatcher there…..

    The UK could do with a proper constitution, a voting system that actually reflects how the electorate voted, and getting a modest head of state like Germany at a fraction of the cost of our own bloated multi-million pound Windsor dynasty. Never forget that Germany has managed to export vast amounts to China whilst a) being in the EU, b) being in the Euro, and c) not having a royal yacht – which some Ruritanian delusionists seem to regard as essential for a ‘new’ style UK, floating rudderless on some Brexiteering fantasy voyage into a pseudo-Imperial past…

    The madness of even considering that ghastly egomaniac for a seat in the legislature proves that the political culture in the UK is in some kind of death spiral with idiots at the controls and the Daily Mail navigating. Farage has helped to get the UK out of the EU under false pretences – and being demonstrably unelectable as an MP – whilst continuing to trouser cash – and look forward to a nice pension – from the EU that he hates so much. At least David Cameron has had the marginal decency of slinking off into obscurity – and a legacy that will see him derided as a toxic political failure – after having trashed the country Bullingdon-style for his own selfish ends.

  14. gavin says:

    Another three little words—*Sir* Oswald Mosley.
    He kept his knighthood despite his views. Truth is, he had many admirers in the ruling classes.
    Ask yourself how he would do these days?
    I think he would fit right into the political scene down south, leader of UKIP, maybe a Brexiteer in either Tory or Labour Party.—probably on Question Time and the Daily Politics on a regular basis.

  15. Pam McMahon. says:

    I guess he needs a new route to taxpayers money when he brexits the European parliament and loses his MEP’s salary, expenses and subsidised food and drink.
    No doubt the reciprocal part of the deal will be to smooth the way for the Tory government for their “special relationship” with Trump.
    Good article, WGD

  16. Mark Russell says:

    Uncharacteristically uncharitable, Paul. He has, after all, progressed the cause for Scottish independence to a greater degree than any other English politician of late. Best place for him with all the other loons.

  17. bedelsten says:

    While the Farage balloon being offered a lordship seems an affront to humanity, or at least from our perspective, we should not ignore the hypocrisy than can exist amongst us blue painted barbarians. President-elect Trump was granted an honorary degree by the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen. While the other university (as each is referred to) in Aberdeen had, in 1990, Robert Maxwell striking the first brick in the wall of its, then named, Robert Maxwell Conference Centre.

    However, yet again, AutoMay seems unable to provide a simple answer to a simple question and, even if an answer is forthcoming, the recipient is left none the wiser. This is symptomatic of the Eliza virus, possibly picked up from the Downing Street Sneakernet when AutoMay was upgraded to No. 10. Once alerted, the symptoms are easy to spot; the answer to any question will contain part of the existing question as a deflection. For example: Would the AutoMay confirm or deny that plans for Brexit exist? Answer: The right honourable member asks what plans for Brexit exist and I tell the right honourable member that I have Brexit in the morning, Brexit the afternoon and Brexit at night. Question: Will the AutoMay guarantee the rights of UK citizens living in the EU post Brexit. Answer: The AutoMay hopes that the issue of rights of UK citizens living in the EU etc.

    Unfortunately, after the No. 10 upgrade it is almost impossible to reboot into safe mode and clean out the Eliza virus. What looks like a shutdown is some form of hibernation and the slightest nudge, Boris doing one of his party farts for example, will result in eyes wide open and the BSOD – the Blue Stare of Death. However, the scientists currently locked out of the Heedrum Hodrum Collider, as seen elsewhere on a different web site, have been working on the problem and think they have a solution – the recursive GOTO question, long since banned in an oops but not my problem environment, but possibly effective here. The trick is to cause a buffer overload by asking a question to which the answer is another answer. For example: Should a castrated male sheep be left out in the rain? Answer: Whether the wether would weather the weather would weather… bzzz bzzz unfortunately the AutoMay has stopped working, pull the pinky to abort or pull the other one to shut down.

    Should this be a successful strategy, expect it to be expanded to other cabinet-bots, the AutoGreening could be asked, for example, should my daughter become a tree surgeon, a software developer or buy a sailing ship, which might produce a recursive answer along the lines of, the bark being worse than the byte being worse than the barque…

  18. Macart says:

    O/T, but Jings!

    Just done the rounds of some of the more…. colourful sites. It seems there are some deeply disturbed individuals out there.

    The Beeb site article alone on the supreme court ruling is running at over 1900 deeply unhappy comments. As for the rags taking an interest? Take a wild guess at the tone.

    Y’know its almost as if some folk didn’t realise they were in a union of equals with several nations interests at play. Spooky I know, but there you go.

    So for the hard of thinking and grumpy paying this site a visit here’s the skinny. It could of course be said that Scotland voted not once, but three times before the EU referendum even took place to ensure its continued membership of the EU.

    The first vote was our own indyref where the Scottish electorate were assured, in fact guaranteed, that continued membership of the EU could only be secured by voting no to independence. This was in a LEGALLY BINDING referendum and therefore you’d assume the result constitutes a LEGALLY BINDING outcome, yes? The Scottish electorate then voted for a pro EU party by landslide in the 2015 GE, not yer Tory parties (plural) and finally, again by landslide, voted in May of 2016 for the same pro EU party in the Scottish parliamentary elections. That’s a pretty clear, fair and democratic mandate by anyone’s standards.

    Now, if Scotland were independent I’m sure the EU question would be revisited and debated amongst ourselves at some future point. Hopefully with a damn site more detail and a damn site less outright barking, batshit fibbery and dog whistle meeja involved. One can but hope.

    How and ever, as it stands currently, including the overwhelming remain vote in yer EU referendum (Tory pissing contest), which the Scottish electorate did not vote for in the first place, that would be four (count them) four back to back votes which would ensure retained EU membership.

    It was not the Scottish electorate, nor the Scottish government which reneged on the LEGALLY BINDING outcome of the 2014 indyref. Oh and that legally binding bit which pro union politicians like to remind the Scottish government about? As Ms May has just found out, that goes TWO WAYS.

    That’s not all of it of course in terms of treaties, constitutions and such, but it’s enough to be getting on with. The UK government reneged on its assurances and guarantees to a nation partner which constitutes yer material change in circumstances.

    So yeah, the Scottish Government do have grounds to have their opinion heard.

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      Indeed!…and who knew?.. Scotland has a different legal system,..even gets a mention in the Act of Union..

      News from the Supreme Court today…

      Response (on the application of Miller & Dos Santos) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, 5-8 December 2016
      ‘The Supreme Court has today confirmed that the following applications to intervene in the above case have been granted:

      •The Lord Advocate, Scottish Government
      •The Counsel General for Wales, Welsh Government
      •The ‘Expat Interveners’, George Birnie and Others
      •The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain
      Additionally, the Attorney General for Northern Ireland has made a reference to the Court regarding devolution issues relating to that jurisdiction. Permission to intervene is therefore not necessary.

      Counsel for the Scottish Government and for the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain have been invited to address in their skeleton arguments the relevance of points of Scots Law, so far as they do not also form part of the law of England and Wales, to the determination of the present proceedings.’

      • Patience is a Virtue says:

        Today’s National outlines the case the Lord Advocate will likely take….extract reads as follows:-

        …. the Lord Advocate will argue that triggeribng Article 50 in the way that Prime Minister May wants would be a breach of the 1707 Act of Union itself.

        Article XVIII of the Treaty of Union states that ‘no alteration be made in laws which concern private right, except for the evident utility of the subjects within Scotland.’

        It is likely that the exact nature of ‘private right’ and ‘evident utility’ will be considered by the 11 judge Supreme Court when it hears the case over four days early next month.

        The Lord Advocate will also argue that triggering Article 50 using the Royal Prerogative is unlawful because it would ‘result in a fundamental alteration of the constitutional arrangements of the United Kingdom, including the constitutional arrangements applicable to Scotland, by removing it from the EU and by affecting a significant change in the current devolution settlement.’

        …..interesting times ahead.

  19. emilytom67 says:

    Our biggest problem is and always will be,we have many far to many living in this country and not believing in it,not believing that we are a country at all,how do you get past that,I can,t see it.

    • Andimac says:

      Emily,
      Here’s something I put up as a comment on a previous post of WGD – no-one responded, either for or against:
      I couldn’t agree more that Scotland needs to be independent, but I’m not at all confident that an Indyref2 will achieve that anytime soon. If we have learnt anything from the results of Indyref1, the Brexit referendum and the Trump’s victory, it is that large sections of the electorate, majorities in fact, voted for policies and people which are repellent, retrograde and frankly against their own actual long-term interest. They do so, I believe, from mixed motives of fear of change, narrow self-interest, real ignorance of the issues involved and, not least, in the belief that they are somehow sending a message to the “establishment”. Their views, of course, are encouraged, even fomented, by a morally bankrupt mainstream media and by self-seeking politicians. I know a number of people who, whilst bemoaning Brexit and appalled by the election of Trump, have no intention of voting for Scottish independence. On this site and on similar others we are. so to speak, preaching to the converted. I think you’ll find that, generally speaking, those opposed to or indifferent to Scottish independence still get their news, comments and “facts”from the despicably partisan mainstream media. Also, I don’t think we should underestimate the capacity of huge swathes of the electorate to be thrawnly stupid. Believe me, I take no pleasure in expressing these opinions: I fervently believe in an independent Scotland. I hope I live to see one. It will not be easy to achieve. The fact that you want something badly does not mean you necessarily get it, even after great effort. And to those who would counsel being confident – ensure your confidence is not misplaced: recent electoral decisions really don’t give cause for it.

      • Andimac says:

        Sorry, hit the post key before I’d finished –
        I sometimes think we’re becoming cheerleaders for the ideal future – i.e. independence – it’s just not going to be that easy – even with the multi-million refurb of Buck House just approved – too many fearties still to be convinced.

        • hettyforindy says:

          Sadly Andimac I think you are right, but I still wonder whether the indy ref was all legit regards votes, irrelevant now, and conspiracy theory, but still lots of questions in my opinion.

          After the Brexit vote I heard that some no voters had changed to yes, but how that transpires we won’t know. Regards the gits at the helm in WM, we all know they are incompetent as hell, but they have big money, control of the media and an immense amount of arrogance mixed with a sense of entitlement.

          Regards brexit and the court ruling, I worry that some leave nutcases may get violent, really hope not.

          We just have to keep going, stay positive, keep talking, support each other and writers like WGD.

        • Macart says:

          Understandable and reasonable doubts to be sure. However, as in this case, events and necessity can make a nonsense of considered or gradual progress.

          Sometimes you don’t get the opportunity and time of your choosing, it chooses you.

          Personally, I’d have preferred a full parliamentary term of steady progress and debate before the YES movement and the Scottish government set foot on the campaign path again, followed by another half to full term of legislation and official campaign. Basically a political generation of a ten year period. Time enough to win hearts and minds, build confidence in a gradual and measured manner which would have near ensured a less fearful and more informed electorate approached the issue for a second time as we did once before on the issue of a devolved assembly.

          However, no one foresaw just quite how catastrophically and rapidly Westminster government, the system and practice of politics or its relationship with the general public would proceed to its current horrendously fractured state. That it was always an inevitable outcome given their decades long narrative and practices was not in doubt. That they allowed this failure of their system to occur so rapidly through infighting, greed and self seeking internal power struggles before securing their Pyrrhic victory was.

          After 2014s result they had the UK to win. All they had to do was keep a few promises, stop stabbing each other in the back for a few years, settle the various populations down basically. But their nature being what it is, I suppose they couldn’t help themselves. The establishments own long dormant and festering internal divisions. Their own power struggles, self interests, arrogance and ignorance were given full vent and all at once.

          I suppose in their ‘relief’ and false belief that the rowdy Jocks had been given a bloody nose, certain elements in the political class saw what they thought was an opportunity to gut their political rivals through naked betrayal and make a grab for power in both 2015 and 2016 ballots. It didn’t for an instant occur to them that even as they made a mad rush to damage each other in their race for the big chairs and prizes that the fracture lines within their own parties were widening, or that their short-termist narrative of societal division had created a monster beyond their control. The half wits even decided to continue using their ‘Jock bashing’ narrative to further their own ends. A bad error of judgement on their part.

          The rest, as they say, is history and what has led the nations of the UK to a constitutional and economic cliff edge. We didn’t want it this way. We didn’t ask for it to be this way, but it is the situation we find ourselves in. As I said above though, events and necessity.

          Second chances to right a wrong in your life don’t come by too often and mostly not at all, but its fair to say the same rules could apply. If events, necessity and shear chance conspire to provide you with that opportunity the question then becomes will I ever get a third opportunity?

          • The wee cheeky imp in me observes that if there is a ten year gap between Referendums, the Old Guard, folks my age who voted for the status quo out of fear, genuine conviction, or because they believed the anti Scottish Project Fear lies, will have mostly gone over to reap their heavenly rewards, and another crop of youngsters will become eligible to vote.
            Since the stats demonstrate that the young ( and me and thee, Sam, and Andy, and..) overwhelmingly voted Yes, the ‘once in a generation’ trope might come back and bite Mundell and co., on the bum.
            Time is on our side; we can afford to sit back and watch while the Unionist Brexiteers (they’re all backing it now) make a right coo’s erse of the Leave Negotiations.
            Tick, as they say, tock.
            I note Frank McAveety’s gonna repair all the potholes in Glasgow. There must be an election coming up.

            • Macart says:

              Yes we can sit back.

              Been banging that drum since the day after indyref too. Allow Westminster to be Westminster and let them do all the heavy lifting. I never had any doubt that this insane and anti democratic construct would consume itself.

              The trick to any worthwhile endeavour is learning the patience to wait for the right opportunity to act and the wisdom to recognize it when it presents itself. IMV the time is not ‘quite’ yet, but almost. I reckon a few more dominoes need to fall in terms of UK budget, article 50 and public polling thereafter. Some will happen inevitably, others (smaller stuff), will require an element of luck (shrugs).

              Right now its about being ‘steady in the line’ I reckon and however frustrating, working on that patience bit.

            • Guga says:

              Jack, Don’t blame it all on the geriatrics amongst us. Most of the ones I know are, like myself, believers in regaining our freedom. On the other hand, many of the younger ones I have spoken to are either unable, or unwilling, to educate themselves on the evils of English rule, or how they have systematically robbed us blind over the years. Many of them seem to be incapable of prising their fingers from their smart phones, tablets or MP3 players. The only thing many of them know is who the latest crop of so-called celebrities are, and what meaningless, mindless and inconsequential activities they are involved in.

              In view of the above facts, we can accept that the geriatrics are all getting ready to fall off the wall, and that we need to concentrate on educating the young and, for that matter, many of the middle age that are among us.

              • Guga, I am basing my admittedly piece of whimsy on the official breakdown of voting patterns by age, gender and so on.(from memory).
                I have no doubt at all that crusty ol’ silver backs like me voted yes in numbers.
                I apportion no blame on any particular group. Honest.
                Where’s Prof Curtice when we need him?

  20. pollyd says:

    The evil establishment

  21. emilytom67 says:

    Andimac it defeats me as to how clever rational people just won,t countenance change under any circumstances,my in-laws are the salt of the earth,the father being a trade union representative and as straight as a poker just will not listen to or take part in the pros and cons,they are of the protestant tradition though not in anyway religious and had links to the Orange order,not that they take any active part nowadays it is still under the surface.The only thing I can come up with is that their fathers/forefathers fought for the British Empire and feel empathy to it more than they do for their own country and are therefore secondary Scots,they have no real feel for Scotland and you just won,t overcome this,we are taught the history of the “great” British Empire but very little of our own unique history/culture one of the tools of all colonialists,this should be addressed as soon as possible.

    • Anne says:

      Who are you to label people ‘secondary scots’ ? Your comments are insulting ,generalistic and dismissive of hardworking men who were sent to war to give you the right to call them names.

      • Graeme Timoney says:

        Anne I do not believe that the term secondary Scots was meant to be insulting ,but rather as a way of describing someone who would describe themselves primarily as a member of the UK rather than Scottish

        • Anne says:

          It’s hardly an inclusive term, is it? Reminds me of Hillary calling millions of Americans ‘deplorable and irredeemable’.Look how well that turned out.Now the leader of the free world is Donald Trump for God’s sake!

  22. I’d venture that nothing would change this man’s mind. He would willingly go down with HSS Britannia and ‘die for’ his country, Great Britain.
    There is nothing that can be done, sadly.
    I ask, will he up sticks and move to England come Self Determination?

  23. I wish people on here could be a little bit more positive. 30 years ago the position we are in at the moment would have been unthinkable. Fortunately, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon et al. never gave up. Although they were very small in numbers and faced bitterness, derision and hate from the massed ranks of the huge and powerful (at that time) unionist parties.
    Remember, against massive odds we gained 45%. Finally and importantly, the betting odds are now 2/5 on winning independence. 7/4 against. All through the first indyref the bookies odds were very much against Yes.
    While we campaign for Yes in indyref2, we can also sit back with our popcorn during the Brexit negotiations. We can enjoy the spectacle of the unionists running around with their underpants on their heads shouting flubalub. I rest my case.

  24. Mark Russell says:

    Three words that encapsulates the British establishment: Lies and deception

    Blair, Brown et al. should hang for their murderous dishonesty. Lockerbie, Dr David Kelly and now Chilcot.

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/20/chilcot-inquiry-designed-to-avoid-blame-secret-cabinet-office-documents#comment-87832625

  25. emilytom67 says:

    Anne what I should have said is that Scotland is secondary in their train of thought a long long way second,to me this is undeniable,my father was one of the hard working men that went to war,for what?

    • Anne says:

      I think you said exactly what you meant.What kind of country will we have if our ‘scottishness’ is going to be rated? Are those who don’t agree with you about something less Scottish?There are many who want independence but there will still be many differences on policy and the direction the country should go after it is achieved.

  26. emilytom67 says:

    I don,t know who you talk to Anne but I can assure you that very many of them DO NOT consider themselves Scottish first but British and by a long way,how do you propose we get the message across to them?

    • douglasclark says:

      There are people that wrap themselves in the Union Jack. The chances of persuading any, or even a very few of them, that they should walk away from that is next to zero.

      Fortunately, we don’t have to

      In a putative future referendum you will be the core of the Unionist vote and pretty insignificant.

      Do you really think that we should waste a moment of our time engaging with folk that will never see another point of view?

      Really?

  27. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Just to say if any of you have not heard WGD speak make sure you do.

    Get him along to your local group – you will not be disappointed and you will be uplifted and inspired.

    “Just do it”

  28. Anne says:

    Talking down to others,not listening to how they feel or what their fears are, questioning their values, always presuming you are right and therefore they must be secondary scots……..all ways to make sure they will tune you out.This is getting boring hen, aw done for now.

  29. John Edgar says:

    The British state, regime? What next? Farage in the HoL?
    To put him there is to acknowledge that the Windsorama tacitly supports the racist, anti-furriner sentiments which Farage and Co has stoked for years.
    Farage, the covert establishment figure kidding on he is for the underdog.
    Brexit will lead to the break up of GB. The windsorama will disintigrate after the passing of the present encumbment. A lady who grew up during the Raj, whose father was Emperor of India.
    The relics of that past will fade away just as the declining Empire faded after the surrender at Singapore.
    The “E” in the honours stands for an empire that no longer exists. Living in the past !!

  30. Macart says:

    How to deconstruct falsehood and misrepresentation of the facts.

    THIS

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/whats-left-out/

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