The voice of the somersault-right

Over the weekend we had a welcome bit of offensiveness from the Scottish government. Usually it’s the Tories who are offensive, but then being offensive is a synonym for Tory in much the same way that populist is a synonym for fascist and alt-right is a synonym for white supremacist with body odour who blames feminism for the fact no one wants to shag him. Nicola Sturgeon wasn’t offensive though, she just told Ruth Davidson a few home truths. Ruth is a hypocrite who isn’t standing up for her own constituents and who is selling out Scotland’s interests in order to further her own narrow party political career.

Ruth campaigned for a remain vote in the EU referendum, but despite swearing blind that she was going to stand up for Scottish interests, the moment the Tory party morphed into Ukip, Ruth was there out-faraging the neo-faragistas. From assailing Boorish Johnson in an EU debate and claiming that the advantages of EU membership categorically outweigh any disadvantages of being part of the EU, Ruth has turned into a hardline Brexiteer who isn’t remotely interested in campaigning for any special treatment for Scotland. And not one of the fawning group of Scottish media fanboys who collude in her amusing photo-ops on the backs of dumb beasts has questioned the volte-face, not so much alt-right as somersault-right. The real dumb beasts in Scottish politics are the ones who allow the Tories to get away with their lies, deceit, and who’d never dream of pressing them for the Brexit plan that they clearly don’t possess.

Alt-right is a synonym for right wing extremists who can’t get laid, somersault-right is a synonym for right wing extremists who’ll do whatever their Unionist bosses tell them to. There are single celled organisms without a central nervous system with more of a backbone than the Scottish Tories, and with a more evolved sense of morality and principle too.

The Scottish Tory leader says that she wants an end to the divide in Scottish politics, but she’s doing her utmost to maintain it with her own intransigence and unthinking support for the policies of a right wing Tory government that enjoys the support of only a small minority in Scotland. Ruth is the very last person who’s going to reach out to those who don’t support her position and attempt to reach a compromise or accommodation with them. When she says she wants an end to the divide what she really means is that she wants independence supporters and those who voted to remain a part of the EU to shut up and acquiesce in the new Ukippoid dispensation. Shut up and do what you’re told is never going to heal any divisions. It’s only making things worse. That’s one of the many reasons why Ruth is a hypocrite. She wants to end division in the exact same way that the most belligerent aggressor in a war wants peace. What they mean is a crushing victory and the annihilation of their enemies.

Ruth likes to pretend that’s she’s the moderate caring face of a moderate caring Tory party. She’s the modern gloss on ancient prejudice, the 21st century face to 19th century attitudes. The presentation is modern, the politics are as repressive and regressive as they ever were. Scratch the photo op of the middle aged lesbian grinning on the back of a buffalo and underneath is the rank oppression that the Tories have always stood for. Ruth has just turned 38, that’s her party’s collective Emotional Intelligence Quotient. They failed dismally on the score for empathy and compassion. The purpose of Ruth is to allow people to vote for bigotry and xenophobia, to vote to oppress the poor and the disabled, without feeling like they’re bigots and xenophobes, without caring that they’re oppressive and hateful. Ruth’s sexuality is the veneer that covers the hatred that lurks beneath, because for Ruth the entire campaign for LGBTI rights only existed so that people like her could prove that gay people can be as bigoted and narrow minded as anyone else. I don’t even remember Thatcher, get over it, she simpers. Well some of us who are older than Ruth do remember Thatcher, and some of us remember the sacrifices that lesbians and gay men had to make in order to allow Ruth to occupy the position of privilege that she enjoys today.

The Tories in Scotland claim that they stand for the best deal for Britain, even if that’s not the best deal for Scotland. They care more for the Union than they care for what’s best for Scotland. Ruth is somersault-right, and she leads a party that’s assault-right, an assault on Scotland, an assault on the poor, an assault on the low paid. It was bad enough when the Tories put party before country and dragged us into an EU referendum and then out of the EU, but now the Tories are putting the right wing of the Tory party before country and have decided to out-Ukip Ukip. And from the supposedly, modern and progressive Ruth, there’s not been a word of complaint, not a syllable of disquiet about the direction in which her party is going, not the slightest sign of concern that the Tories are taking Scotland down a path which just a few months ago Ruth claimed would lead to ruination. Because when you’re the leader of the somerault-rightists you do whatever it is that your Westminster bosses tell you to.

We don’t get leadership from Ruth. We don’t get a moral compass. All we get are tweets which lack self-awareness as she calls on people to lighten up when they point out the suffering and hardship that Ruth’s party’s policies inflict. Lighten up, have a mince pie, says the woman who should be force fed humble pie. To be the voice of the somersault-right is to live with winter in your soul. Nothing good or nourishing grows there. She’s going to be the face of the Union in a second independence referendum, and that’s why the Union, just like Ruth’s principles, is as good as dead.

This will be the last blog post from me for two weeks as first thing Thursday morning I am off to the USA for two weeks’ holiday. I’ll be back, refreshed and ranty as ever, just before Christmas. In the meantime the highly capable and talented Sam Millar (Macart) will be keeping you amused.

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


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frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The rights and wrongs of apathy

I’m an atheist. Well no, that’s not strictly true. Some atheists can be a bit shouty and Richard Dawkinsish. I used to be an atheist when I was young, mainly because I enjoyed winding up the priest and the RE teacher when I was at Catholic school. I’ve mellowed a lot now and converted to apatheism, which is the most laid back religion. Apatheism means you don’t know if there’s a god but can’t be bothered enough with religion to give a toss anyway.

There’s no formal conversion process when you become an apatheist, it just happens one day when you overhear people arguing about religion and realise that you’d far rather do some ironing. And I really hate ironing. Ironing is possibly the only thing in the universe more tedious than the nexus between fitba and religion and having to listen to Celtic and Rangers fans arguing about the relative merits of their fitba teams. Although Rangers has been cited by some as evidence of divine intervention, because the team proves that it’s possible to come back from the dead. Although not for tax purposes.

But you don’t even have to iron to be an apatheist. One of the great beauties of the faith is that no one cares what you wear, or indeed whether you wear anything at all. Although to be honest nudity isn’t recommended on a cold dreich day in Dalmarnock. The central ritual of apatheism involves having a long lie in on a Sunday followed by a fry up as you hurl abuse at the Scottish politics programme on the telly. But no one really cares if you don’t bother.

But sometimes I do wish there was a god, one of the vengeful and wrathful variety beloved of the Old Testament, prone to raining down plagues of frogs and inflicting boils on the private parts of hypocrites and evil-doers and people who pronounce wrath as though it were spelled wroth but they’d never dream of pronouncing path as though it were written poth. Because if there was such a god then right now the Tory party and the Parliamentary Labour party would both be skidding on amphibians as they rushed to the chemists for some ointment for their inflamed genitals.

On Friday Paisley MP Mhairi Black introduced a private member’s bill to the Commons to reform the benefits sanctions system. The benefits sanctions system is an exercise in capricious cruelty. Its underlying theory being that poor people need to be punished in order to motivate them. This is 180 degrees opposite from the government’s methods of motivating the rich, who apparently need to be rewarded. But if you’re poor then the British government is very much of the plagues of frogs and boils persuasion. Only unlike a wrathful deity Tory policies don’t offer any chances of redemption even if you do follow the rules. They only offer the damnation of poverty and deprivation.

Mhairi Black’s bill proposed to introduce new rules forcing Job Centre staff to take a claimant’s personal circumstances into account when deciding whether to impose sanctions. Right now they don’t. Right now there are abundant tales that Job Centre staff have sanctioning quotas to fill, although the Job Centres deny that. Back in 2011 a whistleblower revealed to the Guardian newspaper that staff in the Job Centre where he worked were given a target of imposing three sanctions a week. There are accounts of people losing their benefits because they were a couple of minutes late for an appointment at the Job Centre, because their bus was caught in heavy traffic. Yesterday in Parliament one MP even recounted the tale of a constituent who was sanctioned because instead of attending a Job Centre interview he was attending the birth of his child.

You’d think that since sanctions are theoretically supposed to teach people the discipline of the workplace that they’d apply the same standards as a workplace. Instead they apply the standards of the workhouse. No one in normal employment would be expected to be at work when their child was being born. No one in normal employment would lose 3 months wages because their bus was late one morning and they arrived five minutes late for work. But grossly disproportionate punishments are the norm in the benefits system, and no account is taken of the personal needs of circumstances of the claimant. The Job Centre staff wield absolute power.

Mhairi Black’s bill aimed to address this. It was an attempt to introduce a small amount of humanity into an inhumane system. It was of course opposed by the Conservatives. As Mhairi explained how many claimants were fearful and afraid when they attended interviews at the Job Centre, one arsewipe Tory MP called out that the only thing the unemployed fear is getting a job. Middle class wankers who think not having enough money means not having enough for their daughter’s pony and a skiing holiday have no compassion for those who when they say they have no money mean they have two copper coins in ther pocket. And that’s the most disgusting thing about Britain today. We’re governed by people for whom compassion, empathy, and understanding are a sign of weakness and not a sign of humanity.

We expect that from Tories, because if you look up the word Conservative in a political dictionary it’s defined as “selfish bastard”, but Labour didn’t even bother to turn up for the debate. That’s Labour, defending the interests of the poor and the weak by not being arsed enough to care. It’s fine to be apathetic about religion or football. It’s not at all fine to be apathetic about poverty and deprivation. But Labour won’t support any motion proposed by the SNP, even if it’s a good and worthwhile motion that will help the constituents of Labour MPs. Because it’s far more important to the Labour party to play pathetic party political games. But it’s not a game when you’re playing with a person’s chances of putting food in their stomach. It’s not a game when you’re playing with the life of a child who returns from school to a cold dark house with no heat or light and bare kitchen cupboards.

Scottish anti-poverty campaigner Mark Frankland has started a fundraiser for clients of the foodbank he runs in Dumfries. Mark recently had a client who has been sanctioned for three months, despite the fact he has learning difficulties. For the next three months this man faces being in a cold dark house, reliant on cold food from the foodbank. Mark has started a fundraiser to raise money to help pay for a bit of warmth and light and Christmas cheer for clients like ‘Donald’ (not his real name). It’s worth contributing. Some things we should never be apathetic about.

Link to fundraising campaign https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Frankland1

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.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709

The sour Tory milk of human unkindness

Can Scotland get a special Brexit deal? Can Boris Johnson survive the Brexit process without pissing off a major European country? Can the adolescent supporters of the alt-right ever actually get laid, and will they ever realise that masturbating in front of internet photos of Pepe the Frog doesn’t really count as a sexual encounter? Can Tory MSP Adam Tomkins get through an entire week without Tweeting anything else as stupid as his thought that companies shouldn’t pay tax because they don’t get a vote? Will the British state stop driving Scotland into a second independence referendum? These are questions to which there is no firm and definitive answer, except we all know that the answer to each is “probably not”.

Phil the Hamster was in Scotland this week to tell us why … Well to be honest it wasn’t exactly clear what he was here to tell us, seeing as how the government that he represents is about as definite as a fart in a trace about what’s going on. Only that’s a bit unfair to trance like farts, which do at least have some sort of definite shape to them and that is a whole lot more than can be said for the UK government’s Brexit strategy. However we can at least be certain that Phil wasn’t in Scotland to tell us that we’d be far better off without relying on a government that can’t negotiate its way out of a wet paper bag and was insisting that we’re a lot better off sitting inside the wet paper bag along with a moist Nigel Farage. If nothing else, it’s a huge assistance to Nigel in his new career as Donald Trump’s wetwipe.

It tells you a lot about how dysfunctional and crapulous the British government has become that Phil is considered to be its calm voice of reason. Phil’s the guy who when he was defence minister refused to allow the Red Arrows to trail blue and white smoke when they put on a display for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. And then during the referendum campaign he visited Scotland to warn us that if we became independent we’d be defenceless against alien invasions. Although he clearly didn’t want us to realise that without independence we’re wide open to invasion from the reptilian extraterrestrials who comprise the British Conservative party, who come from a planet where empathy and compassion are alien concepts.

Anyway, while he was in Edinburgh Phil was asked whether Scotland could get a special Brexit deal, and he replied that it wasn’t realistic. It’s not realistic for Scotland to expect to get the same treatment as the City of London or Japanese car manufacturers. It’s not realistic for Scotland to imagine that it can remain a part of the European single market after the rest of the UK has left. However shortly after he said this he told representatives of the Scottish government that all proposals would be considered, although presumably what he meant by this was that the Tory government would consider all proposals then consider that it had already ruled them out and refuse to consider them further.

Scotland won’t get to remain in the single market when the rest of the UK leaves. Phil wasn’t very clear about much, but he was as transparent as Fluffy Mundell’s attempts at a trap on that point. Only some Scottish referendum results need to be respected, and those would be the ones which suit the Tory government and the Unionist parties. Scotland’s vote to remain a part of the EU doesn’t fall into that category. We were asked in a referendum, we gave the wrong answer, and so we can be ignored. There ye go Scotland, you’ve been fully consulted now shut up and choke on your Brexit cereal served up with the sour Tory milk of human unkindness.

Being an equal partner in this most perfect family of nations means Scotland does as it’s told. It means being powerless and silent as the UK punishes the poor and the disabled for the crime of being poor and disabled. It means being unable to intervene when the British government uses EU citizens as bargaining counters. It means crying tears of frustration as Britain rejects allowing child migrants into the country even though they’re fleeing from wars which Britain has profited from by selling arms to nasty regimes.

The British government is playing a high risk game. They might not have the foggiest idea about what they want from Europe, but they’re very clear about what they want from Scotland. They want our natural resources. They want us as a reservoir of skilled labour. They want us as a place to site their nuclear viagra. They want our obedience and acquiescence. They want us to shut up and do as we are told. They want a tame Scotland that doesn’t rock the British ship of state as it sinks majestically to the bottom of the ocean.

They’re playing a high risk game because they want everything, and if they can’t have everything they’ll risk having nothing. They’d rather run the risk of losing Scotland for good than fulfil the promises and commitments that they made to the voters of this country during the last independence referendum campaign. Because if they’d kept their word then we wouldn’t be here now. The way that they’re behaving now tells us that they never had the slightest interest in doing what they promised Scotland that they would, that Britain is a sham state built on lies and deceit.

By refusing to admit that Scotland has a case, by refusing to accommodate Scottish interests, the Conservatives are themselves those who are doing most to dismantle what they claim to defend. Every time some Tory cabinet minister rules out some way, any way, of Scotland being able to protect its interests in the EU while remaining a part of the UK, a second independence referendum not only becomes more likely, it also becomes more likely that Westminster will lose it. The Tories have already lost the plot, it’s only a matter of time before they lose Scotland too.  And it will all be due to the sour Tory milk of human unkindness.

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.


frontcovervol3barkingvol2coverSigned copies of the Collected Yaps of the Wee Ginger Dug volumes 1 2 3 & 4 are available by emailing me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Price just £21.90 for two volumes plus P&P. Please state whether you want vols 1 & 2 or 3 & 4. You can also order signed copies of all four volumes for the special price of £40 plus £4 P&P within the UK.

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.

You can get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 for the special advance order price of £1 off the cover price and free P&P within the UK by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

http://vagabondvoices.co.uk/?page_id=2709