First steps in Gaelic imperialism

A while ago I announced on this blog that I was working on some Gaelic maps.  Although the overwhelming response from readers was positive and enthusiastic, for my pains frothing Unionists on social media called me a fascist, a blood and soil nationalist, and insisted that Gaelic had never been spoken in X, Y or Z, where X Y Z invariably turned out to be towns or villages with decidedly Gaelic names.  And one particular spittle flecked frother memorably claimed that promoting the Gaelic language as a national language of Scotland was indistinguishable in intent from inciting the Rwandan genocide.  That’s just how hysterical and desperate to claim victimhood status that certain Scottish Unionists are, that they can, without any sense of their own ridiculously breathless hyperbole, liken English speakers in Scotland to victims of genocide.

Some took to Twitter to explain at great length how they, and everyone they knew, and the granny and the dug of everyone they knew, didn’t care about Gaelic, in the process spending so much time and energy that they were unwittingly doing an extremely good impression of someone who cared a great deal.  Others ranted about the needless cost of it all, seemingly unaware or not caring that I’m doing these maps in my own time, and without any funding from them or the Scottish government.  They’re not being asked to contribute in any shape or form.  Others huffed and puffed about Gaelic names being imposed upon them, although they’re not being compelled to buy any of the maps when they’re published, and there is indeed no way that people who’re not interested can be made even to give the maps so much as a glance – nor would I want to anyway – which is a strange definition of forcing something on someone.

Frothing yoon extraordinaire Tom Gallagher took particular exception to the project and said that it was nothing more than Gaelic imperialism.  So for no other reason than to annoy him, and to annoy all those people who know bugger all about the linguistic heritage of Scotland but are still confident enough in their ignorance to proclaim that Gaelic was never spoken in some particular place, I present you with a Gaelic map of Edinburgh.

For the avoidance of any doubt, Gaelic was once present in the Edinburgh area as a mother tongue. There are numerous Gaelic place names in Edinburgh and Midlothian which were created by local Gaelic speakers when Gaelic was spoken natively in the area. That doesn’t mean that Gaelic was once the only language of Edinburgh, the local variety of Northumbrian Middle English (which later gave rise to Scots) continued to be spoken in the district.

The Gaelic and other place names of Edinburgh and the surrounding area are detailed in a study of Midlothian place names by Norman Dixon in 1947 as a PhD thesis.  This Gaelic map of Edinburgh draws heavily on his work. Click on the image to see the full sized map. The full sized image is a high quality high resolution image which can be fitted into an A4 sheet and printed out on glossy paper on your printer if you want a good quality copy of the map which you can frame and keep.

duneideann

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-20th-feb-2017

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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It’s time for a Scottish public service broadcaster

Well that’s it Scotland. You’re not getting your own hour long news programme on the BBC. Even the prospect of an hour of Jackie Bird has been deemed too dangerously separatist by the BBC’s mandarins in London. A report in this week’s Sunday Herald says that the idea of an hour long Scottish based news programme combining Scottish news, UK news, and international news has now been definitively ruled out by the BBC. You’d have thought they’d have relished the idea of a Reporting Scotland on steroids telling us all how crappy the Scottish NHS is, how rubbish Police Scotland are, and with the opportunity to give twice as long to reheated Labour press releases as the usually do, but apparently depriving us of 30 minutes of news about the English NHS and the travails of the England cricket and fitba teams has been deemed as being unconducive to the United bit of this United Kingdom.

In a way, we should be glad. The idea of a Scottish Six news programme was always only a sop to distract us from the real issue. The real issue is the shameful lack of a dedicated Scottish public service broadcaster. An extra half hour of Jackie Bird, murrdurrs, wee cute kittens and fitba is not what Scotland needs. What Scotland needs is a national channel of its own. Catalonia has it. The Basque Country has it. Even tiny Gagauzia has it. But here in Scotland we’re told that even an extra 30 minutes of news is a dangerous step too far. A Scottish public service broadcaster is totally beyond the pale of acceptable public discourse, certainly on the BBC.

It’s not remarkable to expect Scotland to have its own public service broadcaster, what’s remarkable is that Scotland doesn’t have one already. What’s even more remarkable is that this shameful lack of respect for Scotland by a Westminster which greedily reserves control of news, current affairs and cultural output to itself isn’t more of a political issue than it is. Because it’s a national disgrace. What’s most remarkable of all is that certain Scottish journalists and commentators argue against even having a Scottish Six news programme, never mind a Scottish national broadcaster.

There are Scottish journalists who actually argue against promoting Scottish journalism. Just think on that for a minute. You’d think that Scottish journalists would welcome all and every initiative which boosts the profile of Scottish journalism, and which allows it to reach the widest audience possible within Scotland. But this is Scotland, where for too many the Cringe is a substitute for a backbone.

Scotland is appallingly poorly served by the BBC. The Corporation includes such typically Scottish programmes as Question Time and Mrs Brown’s Boys in its “Scottish output” statistics as a way to pretend that Scotland gets more in the way of TV production than it actually does. Real Scottish programmes are rare indeed.

Back in the 1990s, during the discussions about setting up a Scottish parliament, the devolution of broadcasting within Scotland was one of the powers that supporters of devolution wanted and expected to be devolved to Holyrood. The power was removed by Tony Blair and his supporters and control of broadcasting was included on the list of reserved powers. One of the effects of this was that after the UK signed up to the European Charter for the Protection of Minority and Regional Languages and signed a treaty commitment to giving Scottish Gaelic the same degree of protection as Welsh, a predominantly Gaelic TV channel became a legal obligation. Because broadcasting is reserved to Westminster, that meant that the House of Commons and assorted Tory MPs who wouldn’t be able to distinguish the Scottish Gaelic language from Slovene or Hungarian had more of a say on setting up a Scottish Gaelic channel than Scotland’s own parliament.

The consequence of broadcasting being reserved to Westminster is that voters in Scotland end up hearing more about the health service or education in England than they do about those in Scotland. It means that when some public service is mired in crisis and confusion that Scottish news outlets are driven to publish similar stories about the equivalent in Scotland. It means that during elections Unionist parties can conflate devolved and reserved issues because the electorate are unclear which is which.

The people who object to a Scottish Six, who would object even more vociferously to a Scottish national public service broadcaster, all too often do so on the grounds that such a service would be nothing more than “SNP TV”. Yet these are the self-same people who claim that the BBC is completely impartial and unbiased when it comes to reporting on Scottish politics and current affairs. They never explain why a Scottish public service broadcasting corporation which would presumably be set up with the same safeguards and structures that allow the BBC its lofty neutrality would be little more than the propaganda arm of the independence movement, whereas its British equivalent is studiously above any such bias. They can’t have it both ways. The same structures which guarantee BBC neutrality and lack of bias would operate in the exact same way in any Scottish Broadcasting Corporation.

The truth is that the refusal of the Unionist parties and their supporters to countenance the establishment of a Scottish public service broadcaster on the grounds that it would be a propaganda service for the SNP are tacitly admitting that the BBC is indeed biased and subject to the political influence of Westminster. The real reason they object to a Scottish public service broadcaster is because the BBC was instrumental in flooding our airwaves with pro-British propaganda during the first independence referendum, and the Unionist establishment expects it to perform the same service for Britain in the second.

The argument has progressed beyond asking meekly for a 30 minute consideration from the BBC. It’s time that the Scottish Government, the SNP, and other pro-independence parties started to point out that Scotland doesn’t just suffer from a democratic deficit under Westminster, we suffer from a broadcasting deficit as well. A devolved nation having its own public service broadcasting service is the normal state of affairs in Europe. It’s Scotland which is the shameful exception. It’s time we had a Scottish television service that was worthy of the name, because we’re not getting it from a BBC that doesn’t even think Scotland is worthy of a news programme of its own.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-19th-feb-2017

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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Weaponised Brexit

In decades to come, if Donald Trump hasn’t set off WW3 or condemned us all to the collapse of civilisation due to rampant global warming or appalling hairstyles, historians will look back on 2014 as the great lost opportunity of the United Kingdom. 2014 was the year when the UK narrowly avoided losing one of the two constituent kingdoms which had created the Union and ceasing to be a united kingdom. 2014 was the year when the British establishment could have chosen to ensure that it kept Scotland firmly within the embrace of the British state. But that’s not what happened.

What happened was that the morning after Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK, the UK’s main political parties decided to play party political games. They were going to use their victory as an opportunity to attack the SNP, not treat it as a shot across their bows from a constituent part of the UK that was prepared to give the Westminster parliament one last opportunity to introduce the Scottish home rule that it had promised. But the Unionist parties thought that none of the promises or commitments that the Unionist parties made in order to win the vote needed to be honoured, because they believed that Scotland had no leverage with which to make them comply. They arrogantly ran roughshod over an entire country, and chose instead to slap Scotland in the face. It’s bad enough being slapped in the face, but Scotland got slapped in the face by David Mundell, which is even greater national humiliation than getting your arse kicked by Paddington Bear.

This week Ruth Davidson is in her spiritual home in London, where she’s gone to worship at the feet of her masters and mistresses in the Tory party. Ruth is so influential in the Tory party in Westminster that they think she’s called Ruth Harrison. Possibly because they believe she’s related to Keith Harrison, the Orville the Duck guy. Easy mistake to make, one puppet is much like another and after all Scotland is represented in the UK cabinet by an actual stuffed toy. We all know who is pulling the strings.

Ruth wants to tell anyone who is listening, which is mainly the right wing British press, all how awful that SNP is, for daring to complain about Brexit and how wrong it is of them to point out that being taken out of the EU and into a dystopian future where we’re besties with Donald Trump is not what Scotland signed up for. They’re weaponising Brexit! She cried. How dare they! How dare those vile Scottish nationalists complain that the fact that Scotland is being dragged out of the EU against its will is the exact opposite of what we told them would happen if Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK.

The threat to the Union is real, she said, which when put through a translator for English Tories who have a deaf ear to Scotland really means, “You lot have seriously screwed things up for Scottish Tories and my chances of more photo opportunities with buffalo and dead fish.” And then she added that the SNP is weaponising Brexit.

The only people who have weaponised Brexit are the Tories themselves. They’re hell bent on using the Brexit vote as a weapon which they can use to blow up the tattered remnants of the post-WW2 settlement that gave us the NHS, state pensions, and the social security safety net. The Tories call calling them out for their destruction of social care, the NHS, employment and civil rights, and their mendacious disregard for their own promises to Scotland “cranking up the grievance machine”. Because it’s wrong for us to complain when Tories lie, cheat, and dissemble. It’s even more wrong for us to seek redress. It’s most wrong of all for us to strive for a situation where we can protect ourselves from them.

The new free trading Britain that’s striding the globe doing deals with everyone and anyone, but mainly with dictators and orange skinned xenophobes with incredibly tiny hands, won’t do any deals with Scotland. It’s a sign of just how divorced from reality that the Tory party has become, as Ruth insists that Scotland will face trade barriers with the rest of the UK, her boss insists that the rest of the UK will be able to trade freely with the EU. Britain is leaving the EU so that it can make trade deal without hinderance, except it won’t want a trade deal with Scotland, its largest export market.

Ruth’s threat is far more damaging to the rest of the UK than it is to Scotland. Since Scotland is thinking about leaving the UK precisely because the UK is leaving the EU and Scotland wants to stay, that means that any trade barriers between the rest of the UK and Scotland will also be trade barriers between the rest of the UK and the EU. The Tories can’t have it both ways. But that doesn’t stop them pumping out one message for people south of the border and a different one for those of us to the north of it. Tory propaganda rests upon the belief that the population of Scotland have heads that button up the back.

The Scottish Tory leader promises that the UK is a Union that’s changing, that’s dynamic. She’s got that bit right. It’s changing into a unitary state in which the views and opinions of its contituent nations are trampled over and count for nothng. It’s dynamically pushing Scotland off a cliff and onto the rocks of Brexit. We heard during the 2014 referendum that the UK was changing, that a No vote was a vote for safer faster better change. Instead we got English votes for English laws, second class Scottish MPs, tax powers for Holyrood that the Secretary of State openly boasted were a trap for the SNP, and a Sewell Convention that isn’t worth the legal paper that it’s printed on.

The people who are pushing Scotland off the Brexit cliff are complaining that independence would be a leap in the dark. When Ruth Davidson complains that the prospect of a second independence referendum is a “grim possiblity” she means that it’s a grim possibility that her party might be held to account. Because she’s more than happy with the current situation in which the views and votes of Scotland mean nothing. The only way Scotland will get safer faster better change is to rejoin the family of independent states. That terrifies Ruth more than anything, because a Scotland that decides its own path in the world is a Scotland that won’t go down the path Ruth wants. No wonder she’s terrified. Her Brexit weapon has turned itself on the Tory party and the Union. The Tories weaponised Brexit and it has blown up in their faces.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-14th-feb-2017

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

Turning the hysteria up to eleven

If Scotland votes to become independent, the very next day the SAS will abseil down the side of your local branch of Morrison’s and make everyone in the checkout queue turn out their pockets and confiscate their money, because Scotland won’t be allowed to use the pound. It’s true. Unionists on Twitter say so. They also tell us that Scotland will have to sign up to Schengen and the Euro even though we won’t be allowed to join the EU and won’t have any currency. And Spain will veto us. Mariano Rajoy is the saviour of the UK. Mind you, if you are pinning all your hopes on Mariano Rajoy to prevent the break up of the UK you’re as well going home now and consoling yourself with a bowl of cold paella.

There is still no official independence campaign, no notification of a referendum, but already the Unionist extremists on social media are ramping the hysteria up to eleven. They scream mutually contradictory scare stories without pausing to reflect on how they undermine their own argument. People who are hell-bent on taking Scotland out of the EU against its will try to scare us with the threat that Scotland won’t be allowed to join the EU. Which means, although they’re blind to it, that they’re actually admitting that not being in the EU is a bad thing.

What they’re really trying to do is to assert that being outside the EU and negotiating our own trade deals is far far scarier than being out of the EU and having our trade deals negotiated on our behalf by Liam Fox. There are in fact fewer things in this universe that are scarier than anything to do with Liam Fox. He’d cheerfully negotiate a trade deal with the monster from the Alien movies to rent out the bodies of the low paid to vile blood sucking parasites from another planet. Which is pretty much what his government has got in mind as a model for the British economy after Brexit. They call it tax incentives.

Hard core Unionists are being forced into hysteria before the referendum has even been called because the reality of a Tory ruled Brexit outside the EU and with our employment and civil rights trashed is far far more frightening than anything that an independent Scotland has to offer, even in the dystopian nightmares of Tom Gallagher. Well, OK, maybe not. Tom has the kind of dystopian imagination about an independent Scotland that other people can only acquire after having their brains extracted via their nostrils with a bill hook, put in a blender with the Ladybird Book of Scary Tartan Monsters and a report from a focus group made up of Orange Lodge members and ninety year old Ukippers with advanced syphilitic dementia – otherwise known as a Question Time audience from Glasgow – and then poured back into their body through a funnel stuck up their backside.

But even Tom’s froth filled ravings are starting to seem mainstream compared to some of the stuff that’s coming out of his Unionist pals these days. Ruth Davidson is warning of fratricide, and she’s one of the calmer ones. But Ruth habitually talks in metaphors of war. On Monday she was warning that the Scottish government is seeking to weaponise Brexit in order to boost support for independence. But the truth is that it’s the Tories who have weaponised Brexit. They’re using it as a weapon to destroy the social support networks, the NHS, social security, employment rights and civil rights that have been hard fought for and won by generations. They took the vote in England and Wales to leave the EU and have chosen how to interpret it. They’ve chosen to interpret it as an all out assault on the social compact that Britain established in the post-WW2 era. They’ve chosen to interpret it as an opportunity to destroy social cohesion and compassion.

It’s Ruth’s own party which is destroying the UK. That’s why the Unionists on social media scream and howl, because they don’t want to face up to that hard reality. The Britain that they claim to love is being killed, and it’s being killed by the parties that claim to champion it. That’s some tough karma there. It’s far easier to blame someone else for your own shortcomings, so they blame Scottish nationalists instead.

The Unionist extremists are warning of people being set against one another, of families being torn apart. Some are demanding that independence supporters suffer legal penalties. Because in the world of the überyoon it’s all the fault of independence supporters when neo-fascist Unionists get violent. It’s the Scottish constitutional equivalent of blaming rape on women wearing short skirts or saying that animal cruelty is the result of marching band uniforms getting covered in cat hair.

What they’re really trying to achieve with their hysteria and warnings of violence is to dissuade people from engaging with the arguments about independence. They want to put the blame for their own violence and lack of restraint on people who make peaceful and good natured arguments for independence. It’s a tactic to delegitimise the campaign for independence. It’s a tactic to claim the moral high ground while wallowing in the sewer. Then when another group of Unionist thugs attack peaceful independence supporters like they did in George Square in the aftermath of the first independence referendum vote, there can yet again be headlines on the BBC saying “Clashes between Yes and No voters” as though there’s some sort of moral equivalence between the two. It’s like describing an execution as a dispute.

You’d almost think that despite turning the hysteria up to eleven, their insistence that no one in Scotland wants another referendum, and that even if there is another referendum it’s going to return a massive majority in favour of presenting our arses to the Tories for a serious rogering, that they’re not so sure that they’re going to win. And that’s because they’re not, and they know it. They know they’re on the wrong side of history. They know that we’re living in the last days of the British Empire. As the British ship of state sinks below the waves in a storm that it brought on itself, the unionist extremists will only howl even louder, but their howls will be blown away in the gale of their own making.

Audio version of this blog article, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-13th-feb-2017

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

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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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

The crumbling wall

Another day, and another Scottish Unionist EU lie. Wings Over Scotland has already explained the desperate mendacity and lies of a Scottish Unionist media which sees the writing on the UK wall, but it’s worthwhile going over it again for the obdurate. Jacqueline Minor is the EU Commission’s representative in the UK, which is a bit like being a climate change scientist trying to explain reality to Donald Trump. Being the EU Commission’s representative in the UK is a virtual guarantee that anything you say will be taken by the British media and spun 180 degrees opposite of what you actually meant.

This week Ms Minor explained that it’s perfectly possible that Scotland could get a fast track entry into the EU, pointing out quite reasonably that Scotland is already in compliance with EU membership requirements, unlike most of the other states which have applied to join. She also noted that new member states are obliged to sign up to membership of the Euro, but noted that there is no timescale for this and that a country could quite easily indefinitely postpone membership of the single currency. All of this is exactly what supporters of Scottish independence have been saying since way back in 2011 when Alicsammin (remember him?) was elected as head of a majority SNP government with a manifesto commitment to holding a Scottish independence referendum.

Yet here we are, six years on, and the Scottish Unionist media is still blaring out the same auld EU pish that it always has done. Who needs fake news when you have the Express, the Mail, and the Hootsmon? Scotland, they tell us, would have to join the queue for EU membership, failing as ever to point out that this is not a queue in which membership applications are dealt with on a first come first served basis. Scotland, they want us to believe, won’t even have its EU membership application looked at until Albania has sorted out its corruption problems, Turkey has become a properly functioning democracy, and Daily Mail journalists are able to locate Moldova on a map.

This shouldn’t need to be explained yet again, but here we are. Eligibility for EU membership is not determined on a first come first served basis. There is no ‘queue’. States are admitted to the EU as soon as they achieve compliance with the many and detailed conditions required for membership.  Scotland is already there.

No country can be forced to join the Euro. It’s amazing how otherwise apparently sensible people assert otherwise. Joining the Euro is not like being conscripted into the army. It’s a complex process involving a number of discrete steps, one of the most important of which – the decision to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism – is entirely up to the judgement of the member state concerned. A country can quite easily delay signing up to the ERM indefinitely. No ERM, no Euro. It’s that simple.

Despite what you’ll read in a UK press that insists that the EU is obsessed with the straightness of bananas, the EU isn’t interested in forcing member states to adopt the Euro if they don’t see it as being in their interests to do so. But then, if you believe the likes of the Daily Mail, being a member of the EU is not unlike being a member of the Wehrmacht and being ordered to invade Poland. Or rather, ordering Poland to invade Portsmouth.

The conditions of EU membership include amongst other things that a country is a properly functioning democracy with freedom of speech and freedom of the press – and this includes the freedom of the press to tell lies and systematically undermine the current government. Despite the spectacularly mendacious attempts of Unionist journalists to argue otherwise, Scotland is a fully functioning democracy with press freedom. In Scotland right wing Unionists are so censored that they have to resort to double page spreads in the Daily Mail. It’s not exactly a samizdat – which for those of you young enough not to remember the Soviet Union is a clandestinely printed and distributed publication which is banned by the state. Unionism in Scotland is so censored that it has to make do with every single newspaper except one daily and one Sunday. It is so censored that it’s able to print untruths on a daily basis.

Scotland is already a member of the EU by virtue of being part of the UK, and therefore is already in compliance with all the varied conditions of EU membership. However according to the Unionist press, we’d have to wait for Macedonia to resolve its naming dispute with Greece before anyone would even glance at our EU membership application. It’s such a ridiculous pile of nonsense that it’s amazing that those printing it can do so with a straight face. The truth is that the EU is open to the idea of a fast track for Scottish membership.

The real blow that the Unionist media doesn’t want to talk about is the blow to the chances of the UK remaining a single state. Ms Minor pointed out in her comments that the UK government shows no sign that it is disposed to negotiate a special deal for Scotland. The Unionist media describes this as a set back for Nicola Sturgeon, but really it’s a set back for attempts to keep the United Kingdom together. That’s the real story, that an independence referendum is increasingly likely, and it’s becoming increasingly likely because of the intransigence and short sightedness of the British state. But rather than point out the dangers of this path, the Unionist media act as cheerleaders in the reckless destruction of what they claim to hold dear. It’s not Scottish nationalism which is destroying the UK, the British government is doing a grand job of that all by itself, and all that the Unionist media does is wave a fleg and put up the red white and blue bunting.

Here we are, six years on, and the Unionist media is still spouting the same lies, the same half-truths, the same misinformation, all in an attempt to scare and browbeat the people of Scotland into submission. They’re coming out with the same old lies, lies that have already been challenged, debunked, and dismissed, because they’ve run out of ammunition. It’s a sign of their desperation and the bankruptcy of their argument.

There are times when it feels like challenging this turd torrent is like banging your head off the proverbial brick wall. But the hard truth for the Unionist media is that their flood of falsehoods isn’t working. Support for independence continues to rise. In 2011 we went into a referendum when only 28% of Scotland supported independence. Now we’re going into a second referendum with 49% support. When you keeping banging against the brick wall of Unionism, it’s the Unionist wall that crumbles. It won’t take much more for the entire sorry edifice to come crashing down.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-10th-feb-2017

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

Theresa’s secret plan to save the Union

The dug has managed to find a top secret copy of Theresa May’s contingency plans for a second independence referendum, which were being used to line the kitty litter tray of the Downing Street cat. The plan details the strategy that Better Together Mark II is going to use to ensure the continuation of this glorious family of equal partner nations in which Scotland gets to do as it’s told.

Scotland is far too small. It’s terribly tiny. You only need to look at the BBC weather map to see that. Scotland is in fact so small that it is dwarfed by Iain Duncan Smith’s heart, and the size of Iain’s heart is a standard unit of measurement for sub-atomic particles. That’s how small Scotland is. It’s too small to negotiate membership of the European Union because it would get lost down the back of a Brussels sofa along with a chip that’s plastered in mayonnaise. Scotland is so small that you Jockish types should consider yourselves lucky that us busy and important people in Westminster can notice you long enough to tell you how small you are.

Now of course, you might tell yourselves that there are other countries smaller than Scotland which seem to manage perfectly happily as independent countries. Just in the EU alone there’s Malta, which is only the size of Arran but which has got far more influence in Brexit negotiations than Scotland does. There’s Estonia, with its population smaller than that of greater Glasgow, but with voddie instead of Buckfast. There’s Denmark, with its terribly fashionable hygge and being all smug and Scandinavian noirish. But what all these countries have in common is that they’re not Scottish. It’s being Scottish that’s your problem you see. Being Scottish automatically disqualifies you from being a normal country, because we’ve done our utmost over the centuries to ensure that you’re disqualified from being a normal country. You should thank us really.

Anyway, you won’t be in the European Union. We won’t let you. The fact that it’s got nothing to do with us isn’t relevant. We’re British and you’re just Scots. Everyone does what we tell them because we’ve got David Beckham and JK Rowling. You’ve only got that woman off Rab C because there are no famous Scottish people. When they become famous they’re British. Except when they lose a tennis match.

Besides, that Rab C show needs subtitles in Gillingham, never mind Genoa. There’s your problem right there, even if you could get into negotiations with the EU, they won’t understand a word you’re saying. Because you’re Scottish. You’ll be there shouting “Eleven!” at the top of your voices and nothing will happen. That’s one of the many reasons you need us. You lot don’t even speak English but Boris Johnson speaks French as well you know, because he’s watched loads of episodes of ‘Allo ‘Allo.

Then there’s Spain. The Spanish hate you. All of them. They really do. They hate you because you give the Catalans and the Basques ideas even though you’re terribly small and insignificant and no one notices that you exist, except when they’re hating you. The Spanish hate you even more than they hate people who protest about bull fighting. They hate you loads more than all those drunken expats who vomit all over the promenade in Benidorm but who aren’t migrants because they’ve got a St George’s flag tattoo. They don’t hate them because they’re British. They care far more about Scotland than anything else, even Gibraltar. But then that’s reasonable as it’s difficult to care much about Gibraltar because it’s sort of a cross between Magaluf and Morecambe. What it boils down to is that if Scotland gets independence then Spain will be in the embarrassing situation of having to explain how a Scotland that’s achieved independence legally and constitutionally has got nothing to do with a Spanish constitution that forbids independence referendums. Imagine how mortifying it will be for the Spanish government to explain to its people that Scotland is not in fact a part of Spain and Spanish laws don’t apply there. You can appreciate their difficulty.

They also hate you because they love eating fish and you’ve got it all the marine resources. So they’re jealous. You need us to make deals for you to sell your fish. Of course you’ll get filleted in the process, but that’s fish for you. You can’t do it yourselves because you’re too small. See above.

But despite Scotland being so teeny tiny, it’s got a national deficit larger than Donald Trump’s empathy deficit. Sad! Your deficit is bigly! Your deficit is larger than Donald thinks his hands are. That’s really big. Bigger even than Theresa May’s estimation of how much the European Union is going to pay heed to her demands in Brexit negotiations. You might think that Scotland being an economic basket case after 300 years of Union isn’t a good argument for continuing Westminster management, but you’d be wrong. You can’t manage for yourselves because you’re Scottish. You need to send us all your skilled people, your resources and your capital so that we can invest it sensibly in things that really benefit the people of Scotland. Like a high speed railway from London to Birmingham, London infrastructure, and those Trident missiles that are a vital ego massage for auld imperialists who can’t accept that the Empire is over. And then we reward you with a mountain of interest repayments on our debt so we can tell you how big your deficit is. But you do get a half hour of Jackie Bird and some murrdurrs, fitba and cute kittens that prove how bad the SNP are, after the proper news where we are but you aren’t, so it’s not like your needs are not being attended to. You should be grateful.

All your pensioners are going to die cold and lonely without a pension. The morning after a Yes vote the pounds in your pocket will instantly turn into dust. They’ll be worth even less than the pound will be worth after Brexit, and you won’t be able to have a currency of your own because you’re Scottish. Where are you going to get the capital you need to back up a currency eh? Well OK, you’re due a share in the UK’s assets, but we don’t plan on mentioning that bit when we phone up people over 65 and tell them that they’re going to be left outside the hospital and suffer because the Tories have blagged all the incontinence pads for use for when the Brexshit hits the fan.

You can’t trade with anyone. All your trade is with us, except for sending a couple of packets of Tunnocks teacakes to your auntie in New Zealand. And teacakes are British anyway. After Brexit happens the rest of the UK won’t want to trade with an independent Scotland even though we’re so desperate for trade deals that we’ve got our tongues firmly lodged up the backside of Donald Trump and will agree to flood the country with chicken meat that’s had a chlorine bath and will open up the NHS to US health corporations. So you’ll be screwed. Admittedly not as much as the rest of the UK is going to be screwed in trade negotiations with the EU, the USA, China and the rest of the world, but we’re only interested in telling you about your difficulties here. We’re British so we won’t have any.  We’ll always have Strictly, and you’ll have nothing but reruns of River City.

We won’t be making any vows this time because we all know what happened the last time and the evil nationalist Scots will just laugh at us. You need to remember that nationalism is vile. Nationalism is what you get when you’re foreign, and we all know that being foreign is bad. Bigly bad. Nationalism is the same thing as nazis, and painting the Gaelic for Police Scotland on the side of a helicopter is exactly the same as a Hutu radio broadcaster inciting people to take machetes to their neighbours during the Rwandan genocide. That’s true, because nationalism is bad, and borders are bad. Except British borders of course. They’re taking back control, which is a good thing when it’s done by anyone who isn’t Scottish. And besides, British nationalism isn’t nationalism at all, because it’s not just about the government of England, it’s also about the government of England telling Scotland what to do.

So that’s our plan. It’s going to be plastered all over the BBC and the pages of Unionist newspapers from now until the referendum. It’s much the same as our plan the last time, only this time we’re going to cut out the Labour party middlepersons and do it ourselves, because we’re Conservatives and our plans are always well thought through. Just look at Brexit.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-8th-feb-2017

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

Or click HERE

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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

The Union is a lie

Are you feeling the lurve Scottish people? Are you feeling wanted and respected as an equal partner in this most perfect family of nations? Are you feeling that your voice is being heard and the views of Scotland are being taken into account by the mother of parliaments? No. Me neither.

I watched parts of what was supposedly a debate in the House of Commons, only to switch off in disgust at the arrogance and contempt which met the views of all the representatives of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Some Unionists like to claim that it’s not Scotland which is held in contempt, it’s just the SNP, and that’s perfectly fine with them. But last night in the Commons it wasn’t just SNP MPs whose views were dismissed out of hand. What we saw last night were the representatives of Tory England laying down the law to the representatives of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

Michael Gove got up to speak, and put on a stronger Scottish accent in an attempt to sound hard. This failed miserably, because he’s Michael Gove. There are innovative jam trifles which are harder than Michael, and they’re certainly a whole lot more palatable too. It was the most Scottish thing about the entire sorry exercise that has become for Scotland a humiliating travesty of democratic representation. Just two MPs representing Scottish seats were called to speak, just one from Wales and one from Northern Ireland. All were cut short and in total the non-English parts of this supposed union of nations got just five minutes of speaking time in a debate which went on for most of the evening. English Tories got to speak. Brexit supporting Labour MPs from English seats got to speak. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland got the equivalent of a footnote in a Russian novel, one of those tragedies where the leading character inadvertently kills off the love of his life because he didn’t realise and didn’t care that his arrogance and selfishness were driving her to despair. Until it was too late.

It’s too late now. Watching the farce of Westminster makes you wonder what the point is of Scotland sending MPs to Westminster. They can easily be outvoted, even on topics which directly affect Scotland, by non-Scottish MPs. Those would be the same non-Scottish MPs who won’t allow Scotland’s MPs to have a vote when it comes to issues that they deem to be non-Scottish. All that Scotland’s MPs do is to lend legitimacy to a system which ignores and traduces our country, they are a fig leaf of representation covering the dickish behaviour of pricks with no respect.

You can have a Union, or you can have a unitary incorporating state. Westminster’s denizens, both Tories and Labour, have made it very clear that they expect the latter. A Union demands that the parts of that Union have a clearly defined constitutional role, that they really are equal partners in fact and in law and not just in rhetoric. That’s not what we’ve got. What we’ve got is a state in which it makes no difference what Scotland, or Wales or Northern Ireland, wants, we get what the largest part of the supposed Union decides that it wants. There is no negotiation, there is certainly no compromise.

The British state as it is currently constituted is a creature of English nationalism, pure and simple. And that means that there is no Union. There is only the agency of English nationalism which uses Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as colourful window dressing to disguise its true nature from itself and from its supporters in the non-English parts of the UK. That means that those amongst us who declare that they are proud Unionists believe in a comforting delusion that exists to deceive us all.

If you believe in the Union, you believe in a lie. You believe in something that the British state will never allow to exist. If there was a real Union, then Scotland would have a constitutional right to be consulted. If there was a real Union, it is incompatible with the English nationalist fetish of the absolute sovereignty of the Westminster Parliament. If there was a real Union then Tory MPs who know nothing about Scotland and who care even less would not be able to impose the most reckless, xenophobic, hard right Brexit on a Scotland which has voted for something else. A Union implies equality and respect, what we’ve got right now is the subordination of Scotland to a nasty and inward looking right wing English nationalism.

This isn’t about Scotland versus England. England has a long and proud tradition of radicalism and progressive politics. But the point is that at this juncture in history England has fallen in thrall to the other side of its political coin, the insular side, the island side, the side that sees itself as exceptional and special and with a god-given right to rule. Within this so-called union there’s nothing that Scotland can do to protect itself from it, and there is no point or gain in Scotland sacrificing itself on the altar of Tory xenophobia in solidarity with the English left. Real solidarity gives hope, and the best way we can give hope to the English left is by building an alternative in a sovereign Scotland.

So the question is where do we go from here? If we send representatives to a parliament in which they are arrogantly dismissed, in which they are second class, and in which they are a permanent minority who will always be out-voted and bayed down when the interests of English nationalism are at stake, we need to ask ourselves what is the point of them being there. Do they serve any purpose other than legitimising the rule of a parliament which has not the slightest interest in taking Scotland’s views into account, and in maintaining the fiction of a Union that’s not a union.

Today in Bella Caledonia Mike Small argues that the time has come for Scotland’s MPs to withdraw from Westminster and set themselves up as a Constituent Assembly. I’m not sure the time for that is just yet, but he’s right that it’s drawing close. The time to withdraw from Westminster is when the second independence referendum has been called. We need them there right now to highlight the hypocrisy of a British establishment that’s hell-bent on depriving Scotland of a voice.  Once the referendum is under way then Scotland’s MPs could withdraw from Westminster to form an alternative body which can hear from all interests and groups in the country and begin the process of creating a Scottish constitution, a constitution that’s fit for the 21st century, that’s fit for the democracy that right now we don’t currently have.

A second referendum is coming soon, and yesterday’s antics from the English nationalists who call themselves unionists have only made it sooner. The Union is founded on deceit. That political reality is what will bring about the restoration of Scottish sovereignty. Scottish independence will come about because of the actions of so-called Unionists, not Scottish nationalists. It will come about because the Union is a lie.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wee-ginger-dug-7th-feb-2017

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

Or click HERE

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.

Get your copy of Barking Up the Right Tree Volume 2 by placing an order on the Vagabond Voices website. Just click the following link.

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