The land that we live in

We’re living in a land which has gone insane. We’re living in a land where people defend a government that demands that women give proof of rape in order to receive tax credits for a third child, a land which treats the decision to have children as a private investment and not as an investment in the future that benefits the public good. We’re living in a land which discourages low paid families from having children while at the same time demonising the immigration that low birth rates will demand in order to maintain the economy. We’re living in a land where it’s the poor who are condemned, not poverty. We’re living in a land where it’s considered normal that working people don’t earn enough to feed their families and have to resort to foodbanks while the richest who profit from their labour get ever richer. We’re living in a land where the refusal of the EU to concede to every demand of Theresa May is condemned as threats and bullying. We’re living in a land where all these cruel insanities and more are defended by otherwise rational people because they’re part and parcel of the precious Union. We’re living in a land where people defend the Union but don’t care what sort of Union they’re defending.

I am genuinely afraid for the future. Genuinely depressed about what’s in store. The bleak and dark decade and a half of Thatcher and the desolation and despair her government generated is seared in the memory. The memory of friends who succumbed to desperation and self-medicated on alcohol and drugs will always live in the heart, because they’re no longer living in life. They never survived the ravages of a Tory Britain that didn’t care whether they had a future or not. Friends who died in their 20s, died of despair, died of hopelessness, died because there was nothing to live for so they numbed themselves on heroin, sleeping pills, and tranquillisers in order to get through the long barren nights where there was no dawn to look forward to. I see the teenagers gather in the park, and laugh and shout the way that teenagers do, and wonder how many more of our young people will sacrifice themselves the same way, sacrificed on the altar of a government that’s strong and stable in its greed and inhumanity.

We live in a land where people who campaign peacefully and democratically for a better Scotland are decried in the same breath as terrorists who bomb and kill. We live in a land where those who do the decrying the British nationalists who glorify military might and who has a fringe of violent extremism of their own. We live in a land which demands unity but which offers no compromise or concessions to those who have a different opinion. We live in a land where the past is exhalted and lauded because the future offers nothing to welcome. We live in a land where there are no checks or balances, no written constitution, because strength and stability it said to come from a Prime Minister who can do as she pleases and whose power is unconstrained and unconfined. A Prime Minister whose grasp on reality is increasingly tenuous. A Prime Minister who refuses to be held to account, who speaks in soundbites and never answers questions. We’re living in a land which has gone insane.

The story of Britain is a story of war. It’s a state that defines itself by its conflicts, a state that substitutes military parades and royals in uniforms bearing medals they never earned for a sense of national purpose. Smart uniforms and shiny medals to cover the reality of blood, of death, of maiming. In the 310 years of Union there have been scarcely 70 years of peace. The United Kingdom has only ever been united in warfare. That’s the normality that Westminster offers. Those kids in the park can join the army, serve, be used up, then cast onto the streets. Britain views everything through a prism of violence. We won the war you know, and so Europe must be eternally grateful and give Britain everything it demands. Within days of triggering Article 50 to leave the EU, and the British right wing is once again threatening war, once again Britain is their plucky little island assailed by numerous enemies. Enemies that have been created due to the intransigence and arrogance of British nationalism. The only future we have to look forward to is a future of wars. It’s punching above our weight you know.

We live in a land which heaps wealth upon the rich and hoards power for the powerful. We live in a land where the Prime Minister turns herself into a dictator, elected on a skewed ballot, elected with wholesale fraud and contempt for the checks and balances of the electoral expenses system. We live in a land where the space for democracy is diminishing and decaying. We live in a land where the media doesn’t challenge but cheerleads. We live in Tory Britain. We live in a land whose government is strong in its avarice and stable in its vindictiveness. We live in a land which has gone insane.

I’m fed up with a Scotland that’s impoverished by successive Westminster governments. A Scotland which Westminster and its apologists demand must apologise for the poverty that Westminster has created. I’m fed up with a Scotland which cries in the wilderness and which is never heard. I’m fed up with a Scotland which is treated as a satrapy by a state which promised partnership. I’m fed up with a land which is blessed with an embarrassment of resources, of natural wealth, of human talent, being told that’s poor and incapable by a British state that looks upon it as a reservoir to be drained.

We could live in a land which has potential. We could live in a land which can offer a future to its people. We could live in a land where hope can flourish. We live in a land where increasingly the scales are falling from the eyes of the deceived and the downtrodden. We live in a land where we are learning that the way out of the insanity is to defeat the Tories. We live in a land which can be better than this. Let’s live in a better land. Let’s defeat the Tories.

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105 comments on “The land that we live in

  1. What he said, every word of it….

  2. Graham Fae Fawkirk says:

    Spot on, man, as ever. It’s coming.

  3. “We live in a land where people who campaign peacefully and democratically for a better Scotland are decried in the same breath as terrorists who bomb and kill.”

    Can you give examples? They may well be familiar to most of your readers, but I have been preserving my sanity by ignoring the shortly-to-be FUK (former United Kingdom) General Ejaculation.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The last couple of speeches Theresa May has given she’s mentioned terrorist extremists in the same breath as “separatists who want to break up our precious Union”.

      • Got it; “We want to ensure that Britain is a more secure and united nation – that means acting against the extremists who want to divide us but it also means standing up to the separatists who want to break up this precious union of nations.”

        A well-crafted smear, with ambiguity and deniability built into the word “extremists”.

        I will now return to my guilty pleasure of ignoring every word that Theresa May says.

      • Blair referred to pro independence supporters as insurgents recently.
        I am an insurgent in my own land/
        Paul simply sublime article. We live in a land that will soon be free. It’s comin’ yet for a’ that.

  4. Talking abut medals I’d like to give you one myself for this post.

    • Marconatrix says:

      A gong in honour of this man’s sheer duggedness, his ability to look depression in the face yet not become depressed, to face down pure evil whilst inspiring continued hope … etc. etc. Whit wad we dae wi’out him? 🙂

  5. MI5 Troll says:

    Possibly the best yet Paul. Stunning piece! I will be thinking of this as I walk proudly into the booth once again, to put down a cross for Independance. (I admit though I will have to look up “Satrapy” in my old school dictionary.) Cheers all and lets hope we’ll be celebrating tomorrow.

  6. Robert Graham says:

    nothing to add Paul your post sums up the whole sorry state , i am lost for words what is wrong with people in this country have they all lost their bleedn marbles , or swallowed a stupid pill , lets hope this stupidity wears off when they go to vote .

    • maxi says:

      I watched the unionist mob the day after the referendum in George square this morning on youtube, and I could not believe the level of subhuman intellect that they were displaying with their intimidating behavior.
      These vacuous morons are such an embarrassment to all of Scotland and it was plain to see they were being controlled by hidden hands manipulating their peanut sized brains. This lot will never come around to independence so we will have to hope that they and their kind will eventually die out and hopfully never return from the ashes.

  7. […] Wee Ginger Dug The land that we live in […]

  8. wm says:

    Fantastic Paul you only get better every post.

  9. Edward Black says:

    Paul, I take my hat off to you sir….You’ve just put into words so eloquently that I could only dream off….I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve posted some extracts on my facebook wall as I believe you need a wider audience…

  10. John Edgar says:

    I like your comment about a media/press which “does not challenge but cheerleads”.
    That suns it up. Its attitude to Scotland is to act as WBC – Westminster Broadcasting Corporation.
    We will keep hearing these snarling Downing Street Monologues from MayBot.
    However, a reality check is round the corner. The anglo-centric sense of entitlement euro-wide is about to get its long expected entitlement, the boot.

  11. Paul, I can feel your anger in every word, please, please stay angry until we’re out this mad house.

  12. Gordon Miller says:

    Another brilliant article – probably the best to date. Emotional!

  13. KlokTok says:

    I wish this was shouted from the roof-tops. This needs to be a speech, broadcast in to every home, quoted in every paper – but, sadly, the charlatan cheerleaders will not entertain balance and free speech.

  14. Bill McDermott says:

    What you could add Paul, is the total abrogation of responsibility by the BBC/ITV/Sky to give us the retirement of the Duke of Edinburgh at 96 instead of news about what is going on in the world. It was wall to wall this morning. Another example of the London centric media.

    • Robert Graham says:

      exactly has the whole of Europe shut down today , or are only fed what they want us to hear .

  15. My dilemma today was where to rank SLab, Ukip and the Tories. Since I despise what Labour in Scotland has become and detest Ukip it only took a few extra moments to place the Tories last. Job done. Great piece Paul.

  16. […] Source: The land that we live in […]

  17. arthur thomson says:

    Brilliant.

    The Tories are intent on getting their geriatric army onto a war footing. Germany is to be public enemy number one. Anyone who doesn’t agree will be a traitor.

    Scotland needs to be out of it.

  18. How I wish there was a way to ensure that Unionists, as well as supporters of Independence, would read this piece. Needless to say, I agree with every word and would love to hear those who ‘believe in the Union’ answer this in logical terms rather than the usual sarcasm, abuse and flag-waving, drum-beating, so-called patriotism (which as one of their own remarked “has been the last resort of the scoundrel down the ages”.) Thank you for being our voice, Paul. I only wish that more people would take the time to hear it.

    • JgrahamF says:

      I quite like the Union, Ocklety. But I am a Scot living in SW England, and the Union is all I have known. As for Weedug thinking it is only ‘Scotland being impoverished by successive Westminster governments’ he should realise the the UK in general suffers the same. I was sitting in the high street of Weston super mare yesterday and saw every kind of hardship walk by. It’s speculative to regard yourself as Special and different, which is probably why the last referendum got a NO majority. I do think that some Scots have a blind spot in that regard and there is some confusion between Independence and Inprovement.

      • Ealasaid says:

        Surely it is England that has the blind spot from what you say. Why do they keep voting for these Westminster Governments? – or abstaining by not voting? Why do they not vote for something better? We no longer vote for them and are looking for a better option and improvement. England just seems to vote for the same old same old.

      • diabloandco says:

        But our wee country has to save itself , it sure as hell can’t save anyone else at least until it is independent.
        We’re no daft up here , we are well aware that deprivation is not only suffered in Scotland but in every town and city across the UK , but we remind ourselves that much of the deprivation is caused by the two parties which have enjoyed power in Westminster.

      • Toni says:

        I was born in Somerset, in Taunton. I’ve lived in Edinburgh for 57 years now. We know in Scotland that we are not the only part of the UK to suffer under Westminster. I’m aware from family in Somerset and friends in Yorkshire, how much the parts of England which are not the South East or London, are deprived so that the richest part of the country can prosper further.
        We in Scotland have the advantage of having a decent government to protect us from the worst excesses of Westminster, but you in England have to vote differently if you want to improve life for your own people.

        • Saor Alba says:

          I hope you read the comments in reply to yours JgrahamF. We are well aware, as is WGD, of the deprivation elsewhere. However, what puzzles me is that you state that you quite like the Union with its predilection for the deprivation of its poorest people. So glad you are comfy with that.

          • JgrahamF says:

            Like I said the Union is all I have known. Nothing is perfect. Little is comfy. I was trying to be logical as Ocklety suggests, rather than ‘abusive’, ‘sarcastic’ flag-waving’ etc etc try not to make it personal Saor.

            • JGedd says:

              You were slyly insinuating that we should simply put up with things as they are. Just because you are content with the union, your point – such as it is – would seem to be that we should refrain from using democratic means to escape from what the union has become. Yours is a policy of defeat. Do you know the story of the crabs caught in a bucket, in which one tries to climb out and save itself only to have the others drag it back?

              By the way, the union is all any of us have known, unless you happen to be over 310 years old. What on earth is your point again?

            • Al. says:

              The Union is all any of us have known, unless your over 310.
              From around 16 ( 1977 ), I have been aware of how that union operates, and I am not impressed.
              England has been overwhelmingly toryfied ( I have lived in Berkshire area for 32 years – more than half my life ), while Scotland has not. The bribery of right to buy has been extremely successful, and is well documented. I know people who idolise Thatcher, even though they are too young to have had any real grasp of what that government was doing.
              The bottom line is : Scotland never votes for a tory government, but regularly gets one. I have always wanted the Scottish electorate to be governed by a government that they voted for.
              Seems perfectly reasonable to me.

            • I have to be brutally frank here and say that I can see no decent, humanitarian reason why this notional ‘union’ should continue to exist.

        • Well said, Sir! I couldn’t have put that better myself. (And I did try!)

      • I think that there is little hope of a change of government in Westminster and that this will condemn everyone in the UK to 5 more years of misery. “Improvement” for Scotland is not possible under a Tory government in Westminster and we therefore have no alternative but Independence, since Labour now appears to be a busted flush, the Lib Dems have shown themselves to be unprincipled and untrustworthy and, as yet, The Greens do not have enough support / members to be considered a part of the mix. Yes, I do consider Scots to be special (and I should add that I was not born a Scot but became one on my marriage) – not better than anyone else, perhaps, but different and therefore ‘special’. There is an openness, an inclusivity and an innate sense of social justice in almost all of Scotland which I have not found as prevalent in the rest of the UK. No-one would be happier than I if the Tories received their marching orders in June, but “I hae ma doots”. And in the event of another Tory government and another 5 years of misery for all, then in my opinion, Independence is the only option for Scotland.

      • grizebard says:

        What you seem to have missed is that we are “special”, in the sense that we are a nation that entered into a Union with another, and that status has constitutional effect, as formally acknowledged as recently as 2016 by The Scotland Act of that year. We are not constitutionally equivalent to some English county.

        Furthermore, it is becoming clearer by the year that the body politic of England is becoming increasingly divergent from the body politic of Scotland. It’s just a fact, whether you like it or not. Scotland has attempted to have the UK recognise that fact by an increased degree of autonomy within the UK, but despite assurances it would happen, nothing significant has been delivered and it’s clear there never will be. So we are going to leave.

        It’s tough for people in England too, I acknowledge that. But there’s nothing we here can do about it for you. We have even been told that we are not entitled to interfere, for it would be the “tail wagging the dog”. It’s your country by your own choice, and your right to choose together whatever direction it takes. And you then have to live with the consequences of your choice. Just quit trying to drag us half-heartedly into it too.

      • Marconatrix says:

        Regarding the state of other outlying parts of the UK, this report, especially the first part from Camborn is depressingly instructive :

  19. Paul Immelman says:

    I too can feel your pain Paul and I too dismay at the prospect of another 5 years in which the tories will destroy the whole uk. I hope and dream of a better more egalitarian free Scotland. Saor Alba

  20. Puzzled Puss says:

    Everything you say is so true. I too wish it could reach a wider audience.

  21. Guga says:

    What can I say other than excellent as usual.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Excellent link and the sad thing is thats exactly where we are , i wonder what the reaction would be if this was printed in a English paper ha ha .

      And no google spellchecker i dont want to substitute a perfectly good “A” for bloody “AN” this piss is cropping up everywhere probably a import from down south no doubt .

  22. Robert Harrison says:

    And the torys repeated that people dying of despair with the benefit sanctions as over the 6 years of tory prime minsters over 100 000 people committed suicide due to the dwp benefit sanctions

  23. Graeme Timoney says:

    Wow! I stood up and applauded that Paul. That was so powerful and emotional. Thank you.

  24. Andy Anderson says:

    My thoughts as well. I have been thinking about most of your points Paul. I cannot believe so many Scots cannot see through all this mush and deceit in the papers and from the yoon politicians.

    Keep up your good work Paul in your blog and at your many public talks.

  25. I often feel despair when I read or listen to Unionist rantings. Your article was balm to my soul Paul. Thank you from the bottom of my-not-so-sore heart.

  26. Margaret says:

    Until the Scots get up off their bloody knees we have nothing better to look forward to

    I despair and have done so since 18/sept/2014

  27. A paddy in fife says:

    Powerful and brilliant as per usual, if not your best it’s up there in the top one. What about David Hayman doing the podcast. Keep up the good work

  28. Vronsky says:

    Siguro. But the suicide pilots are out in force and a popular pistol now is the one that blows your own foot off. Trying to be optimistic in a very dark way, perhaps we should permit the Tories to murder all the stupids. And then we talk.

  29. heathermclean19 says:

    Passionate and powerful – one of, if not the best piece you have written Paul!
    I wish there was a way for everyone in Scotland to hear your words!

    • Saor Alba says:

      Totally agree. Brilliant and inspiring stuff Paul. Straight from the heart.

    • Absolutely, Heather! “Preaching to the choir” is all very well, but Paul’s brilliant pieces should be required reading for all!

      • Toni says:

        I have Unionist friends who are on facebook, to which I always share Paul’s blog. I hope the message is slowly getting through.

        • That’s very brave of you and I sincerely hope they read what you share. I gave up sharing The Dug with my Unionist ‘friends’ – the reactions were everything I hate about British Nationalism and I found myself parting company with friends of long standing as a result. Very sad.

  30. Sheryl Hepworth says:

    Paul…. applause, applause!! Please say we can print this off and use at leafletting for the GE??? It is wonderful and says what so many of us feel and think but can’t articulate as well as you have. Big pats and hugs to WGD and you! X

  31. Contrary says:

    I agree with every word you have written here, and beautifully written it is.

    Well,,, I am never sure of the meaning of the word satrapy, but I am sure I will agree with it once I get round to looking up the definition.

    That so many people seem hell bent to vote themselves out of a democracy is beyond belief, horrific,,, to hear people talk about the Tories as though they are rational people is astounding,,, that anyone still believes that supporting the UK Union is somehow a rational ‘viewpoint’ is astonishing. That so few people now seem to be aware of the destruction to culture and society caused by Thatcher is bewildering. And depressing.

  32. uno mas says:

    Ctrl p

  33. Macart says:

    A great post Paul.

    Very well said.

  34. Kupo says:

    Brilliant, Paul.

  35. Melvin Penman says:

    Hi Paul

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes ,crying for our people who have been lied to for generations and suffer from Stockholm syndrome. No more blood will be spilled for this British union. In May there is a perfect example of British attitudes to Scotland. Scotland belongs to England and always will so shut up and eat your porridge . We need to declare independence as the British will never grant it once we leave the EU. They will send in the troops if they have to to quell the ” sepratisits” it’s how they treat their colonies. Fantastic work Paul you will be recognised in the future as a father of the nation.

  36. Melvin Penman says:

    I also want to say beautiful words crafted with love and desire for a better world.

  37. Thepnr says:

    I’m with you there brother and will stay with you every step of the way.

  38. hoplite39 says:

    The worry is not just for this land. The right-wing populist vote seems to threaten everywhere. Not just here. The sad thing is that normal people will end up facilitating their own exploitation.

  39. Brian Powell says:

    I’m fed up with a huge swathe of Labour politicians who don’t care what happens to people in Scotland, and the MSM that feeds them and on them.

  40. David says:

    Thanks for a great blog.

  41. David Agnew says:

    Amen brother.

  42. Patience is a Virtue says:

    ‘We live in a land where there are no checks or balances, no written constitution…’

    It is interesting that in America, a ‘Republican’ President is having some difficulty in imposing Presidential decrees – these are routinely resisted by the legislature and by a ‘Republican’ Senate,

    America benefits from a written Constitution, forged from its struggle for Independence – the Rights defined within this are to America’s credit and a beacon of hope to all.

  43. Hector says:

    Paul, ALL your posts are moving and inspiring but this is a very special one, even for you. One, I think that deserves to be a speech, filmed and circulated on You Tube. When the history of this period is written, you are definately our Bard. A more than worthy successor to Our Rabbie. You are very, very special to our movement. Unique.

  44. Alba woman says:

    A beautiful piece of writing. I get by on ‘No evil lasts forever’

  45. Lymphad says:

    If this gets through the gate, let us look at this line by line:

    We’re living in a land which has gone insane. – agreed.

    We’re living in a land where people defend a government that demands that women give proof of rape in order to receive tax credits for a third child, a land which treats the decision to have children as a private investment and not as an investment in the future that benefits the public good.

    – the rape clause is unworkable. The intention is less controversial: If I have not enough to support all my children, should i expect my neighbour to pay for my incontinence? If there is no consequence, there is no responsibility. Nobody would avoid saying to a middle manager with six children that they were a risk-taker or chronically incontinent, so why not of those who subsist (for good reason) on benefits?

    We’re living in a land which discourages low paid families from having children while at the same time demonising the immigration that low birth rates will demand in order to maintain the economy.

    – true, but a mismatched premise. Fewer immigrants who are not full-time parents are unwaged. How many Polish families do you know who do not have at least one wage-earner~?

    We’re living in a land where it’s the poor who are condemned, not poverty.

    – yes, but where does responsibility begin?

    We’re living in a land where it’s considered normal that working people don’t earn enough to feed their families and have to resort to foodbanks while the richest who profit from their labour get ever richer.

    – A mixed answer here. To quote the FT (Germma Tetlow 11.12.2016): “Since 2008 income inequality has declined because higher income households were hit harder by falling earnings and asset returns during the recession. At the same time the value of benefits received by lower-income families was largely protected. At least amongst the “poorest” 95% of the population income inequality is no higher than it was 25 years ago.”

    We’re living in a land where the refusal of the EU to concede to every demand of Theresa May is condemned as threats and bullying.

    – we are in a phase of rhetoric, mastodon roaring unto mastodon over the primeval swamp: it is not a vicarage tea party. where we look for political civility, let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

    We’re living in a land where all these cruel insanities and more are defended by otherwise rational people because they’re part and parcel of the precious Union. We’re living in a land where people defend the Union but don’t care what sort of Union they’re defending.

    – this is logically, as well as factually, wrong. There are Unionists that support insanities, therefore all Unionists are supporters of insanity. Reverse the terms and you see how absurd the assertion is, even in the context of political rhetoric.

    I am genuinely afraid for the future. Genuinely depressed about what’s in store. The bleak and dark decade and a half of Thatcher and the desolation and despair her government generated is seared in the memory.

    – were you alive when it took six ,months to get a telephone line? When nationalised industries not only drained the treasury but also the national psyche? I was, and it was bloody.

    The memory of friends who succumbed to desperation and self-medicated on alcohol and drugs will always live in the heart, because they’re no longer living in life. They never survived the ravages of a Tory Britain that didn’t care whether they had a future or not. Friends who died in their 20s, died of despair, died of hopelessness, died because there was nothing to live for so they numbed themselves on heroin, sleeping pills, and tranquillisers in order to get through the long barren nights where there was no dawn to look forward to. I see the teenagers gather in the park, and laugh and shout the way that teenagers do, and wonder how many more of our young people will sacrifice themselves the same way, sacrificed on the altar of a government that’s strong and stable in its greed and inhumanity.

    – drugs and drink are always a choice. Many are weak, like me, and will succumb, in one way or another. None of us is untouched by suicide, drink- and drug-related deaths. Rich and poor alike are vulnerable. To imply as you do that this is particularly the province of the “poor” is do devalue them as people. Stress of whatever sort fuels the hedge-fund coke habit as it does the unwaged young man’s yearning for release. Both maladies can be attributed to environment, but can equally be attributed to inner emptiness, lack of self-worth.

    We live in a land where people who campaign peacefully and democratically for a better Scotland are decried in the same breath as terrorists who bomb and kill.

    – really? Specifics, where there is no element if implied threat.

    We live in a land where those who do the decrying the British nationalists who glorify military might and who has a fringe of violent extremism of their own. We live in a land which demands unity but which offers no compromise or concessions to those who have a different opinion.

    – this is unsustainable. The UK has widened deep devolution from Northern Ireland to Scotland and Wales more deeply than almost any other nation in Europe. The demand for more comes from the separatists, who categorise all resistance as “no compromise”. Hoiw about a “reasonable” demand for return of certain powers to Westminster? Would resistance to that be categorised as “no compromise or concessions to those who have a different opinion”?

    We live in a land where the past is exhalted and lauded because the future offers nothing to welcome.

    – only if you choose to see everything negatively. Admittedly, both Brexit and Independence bring deeply uncertain consequences, and it is not difficult to find black prospects in both, but there are (they say) positives, whatever they may be.

    We live in a land where there are no checks or balances, no written constitution, because strength and stability it said to come from a Prime Minister who can do as she pleases and whose power is unconstrained and unconfined.

    – so wrong it would not get past a first-year college essay. Checks and balances there are aplenty (who was it but the courts that told the Scottish Ministers their legislation in agricultural tenancies was unlawful?). The PM’s powers are more confined than you think, as are those of Government generally. Could it be that you do not approve of the use being made of those (lawful) powers? If so, say so, rather than vainly attacking the powers themselves. After all, even if they ere open to greater Parliamentary scrutiny, a majority would secure them …

    A Prime Minister whose grasp on reality is increasingly tenuous.

    – subjective. Evidence? Exclude Brexit, as it is wholly terra nova, so not subject to precendent.

    A Prime Minister who refuses to be held to account, who speaks in soundbites and never answers questions. We’re living in a land which has gone insane.

    – as much held to account as any other, one could even say more so, because of increased media (mainstream and other) scrutiny.

    The story of Britain is a story of war. It’s a state that defines itself by its conflicts, a state that substitutes military parades and royals in uniforms bearing medals they never earned for a sense of national purpose. Smart uniforms and shiny medals to cover the reality of blood, of death, of maiming. In the 310 years of Union there have been scarcely 70 years of peace.

    – so what? We are not Switzerland. We have got the wealth we now enjoy by many means, some frankly shameful, such as slavery. But it is wrong to judge your parents by the standards of today. It is alsop wrong to minimise the good we sought to do and did do in many places. Who was it, after all, that tool the lead in suppressing the slave trade, not only in the Atlantic but also the Indian Ocean? Suttee, anyone?

    The United Kingdom has only ever been united in warfare. That’s the normality that Westminster offers.

    – and Mrs Sturgeon, like Mr Putin, offers peace with Westminster, but intends perpetual war.

    Those kids in the park can join the army, serve, be used up, then cast onto the streets.

    – the United States offers a far better supported and transformative life for servicemen, and veterans: our efforts are puny and should be better. Nevertheless, do not denigrate the motives and achievements of servicemen, active and retired.

    Britain views everything through a prism of violence. We won the war you know, and so Europe must be eternally grateful and give Britain everything it demands. Within days of triggering Article 50 to leave the EU, and the British right wing is once again threatening war, once again Britain is their plucky little island assailed by numerous enemies. Enemies that have been created due to the intransigence and arrogance of British nationalism. The only future we have to look forward to is a future of wars. It’s punching above our weight you know.

    – Right and wrong. As a country (Scotland and England both) we are still obsessed with the identity-creating myth of WW2. There is much good in this. It was a great achievement that, with our Soviet and U.S. allies, we defeated a gross and inhumane Nazi ideology and the Japanese attempt to dominate the Pacific for themselves. Had it not been for a Unionist leadership (Socialist and Conservative but not, at the outset, Communist), we would have given in at the outset. However, a silly harking back to past glories is, I agree, unhelpful.

    We live in a land which heaps wealth upon the rich and hoards power for the powerful.

    – that is why the “outs” want to be “in”: they want to make the pips squeak, and also to get their paws on the moneybags. Vide Aneurin Bevan passim

    We live in a land where the Prime Minister turns herself into a dictator, elected on a skewed ballot, elected with wholesale fraud and contempt for the checks and balances of the electoral expenses system.

    – really? any more or less than any other? Why the silence of the other parties on the issue?

    We live in a land where the space for democracy is diminishing and decaying.

    – on the contrary, this sort of debate would not exist if the ‘space’ did not exist. Does “space for democracy” actually mean “I can’t persuade the rest of the people that I should have what I want?” It is the nature of a democracy that the majority of the electors will not get what they want, most of the time; not that most people will get what they want, most of the time.

    We live in a land where the media doesn’t challenge but cheerleads.

    – where do you find your news? We can all find things we agree with and disagree with. Sometimes it is a bit riling to find that our oen views are not universal.

    We live in Tory Britain.

    – No. There is a huge hole on the Left in UK politics. Both the SNP and the Conservative party have benefited from this immeasurably in the last quarter century. The hole is there because there is no coherent left-wing consensus, such as came out of WW2 and the Beveridge Report. All those whose lives were affected by WW1 and wartime service in WW2 have gone. They had learned the hard way the value of social cohesion, whether in the school of Social Democracy or of Disraelean Conservatism plus war.We are left with Joe Sparts and grunge on the left, and Labour and SNP parasites masquerading as leftists-but-not-leftists-because-nobody-will-vote-for us.

    We live in a land whose government is strong in its avarice and stable in its vindictiveness. We live in a land which has gone insane.

    – no more than usual, except for the circumstances.

    I’m fed up with a Scotland that’s impoverished by successive Westminster governments. A Scotland which Westminster and its apologists demand must apologise for the poverty that Westminster has created. I’m fed up with a Scotland which cries in the wilderness and which is never heard. I’m fed up with a Scotland which is treated as a satrapy by a state which promised partnership. I’m fed up with a land which is blessed with an embarrassment of resources, of natural wealth, of human talent, being told that’s poor and incapable by a British state that looks upon it as a reservoir to be drained.

    – Oh, for goodness’ sake! Scotland, like much of the UK, suffers from post-industrial syndrome. The satrapy, if there has been one, has been socialist and nationalist in colour, one that lives and feeds off a victim culture. There are financial realities to be recognised: we are no Denmark or Holland. We do not want to be Ireland. We Love the money we get from the UK and EU. The National Party has a far easier time of it as an underdog than it would have as a national government.

    We could live in a land which has potential.

    – we do. Stop whining and get on with it.

    We could live in a land which can offer a future to its people.

    – we do. Ditto. Markedly better opportunities than in England and Wales. Look to Europe (but, sorry, and Scottish Government is pathetic at promoting language skills, so our excellent businesses are unable to do anything but buy a beer in Spanish, German or French. When did your business last but anything from a person who did not speak your language? Ask the blessed Norwegians.

    We could live in a land where hope can flourish.

    – it will if you want it to.

    We live in a land where increasingly the scales are falling from the eyes of the deceived and the downtrodden.

    – erm .. if we believe them, they have been doing so for several centuries without revolutionary effect, but society has managed to improve, still.

    We live in a land where we are learning that the way out of the insanity is to defeat the Tories. We live in a land which can be better than this. Let’s live in a better land. Let’s defeat the Tories.

    – yes, there is always better. Defeat the Tories? Unlikely. Even if Labour succeeds, the National Party will find no happier home. There is a crying national need to look to the real and substantial, beyond the chimera of Brexit and indyref2. Its chickens are already coming home to roost. It could do so much better, if it did not always set itself in opposition to any views not emanating from its own fold!

    • weegingerdug says:

      Well done. In considerably more words than the original piece, you manage to miss its point entirely, and your solution to the problems it highlights appears to boil down to “stop whining”.

      • Doug Porteous says:

        So who is this mysterious Lymphad a poster with a heraldic pseudonym so unique that it should be easy to track down his other posts? However, he or she doesn’t appear to have a Facebook presence nor on Twitter, a search using Google turns up nothing relevant unless your interested in Scottish heraldry. Paul it may just be possible that your being trolled by a member of Scotlands nobility who has taken this name just to try and rubbish your very well written piece, if that is the case Lympad has singularly failed. http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/snd/lymphad

      • Deelsdogs says:

        And I think it’s ‘Lymphad’ who is doing the whining…

        Brilliant post Paul.

        The days of Thatcher were horrendous.
        And pre EU, you never saw anyone out and about enjoying life on a Sunday.

      • JGedd says:

        From a quick skim through, I think I recognise the style of your commenter. I think he is one who used to prowl the threads of Bella Caledonia with similar long-winded and bombastic rants. He changed his pseudonym several times in order to entice new commenters into replying to him. I recall one of these pseudonyms was Big Clunking Fist or something…. He’s actually a Great Big Yawn.

    • Irma says:

      Away and bile yer heid!

    • Macart says:

      No. I think I’ll carry on complaining thanks.

    • mogabee says:

      Patronising insanity…Gee, thanks for that but tell us what you really think!

    • GCHQ has spent it’s money poorly, on you.

    • Daisy Walker says:

      Hmmm…. frothy.

    • Alex Waugh says:

      D’ye ken whit..I was actually considering taking apart this nonsense line by line but life is too short to waste my fingertips on a)someone who will never get the point or b)a troll. So have a nice life and keep taking the tablets -but not the yellow ones, that’s what’s causing the problem (in memoriam Eric Morecambe).

  46. Ghillie says:

    Thank you Paul = )

    This is a very powerful piece, heartfelt and true.

    I too would like to see this available to a much wider audience.

    Would you maybe also consider sending this out as hard copy to all our MSPs or at least the leaders?

    Your words could mibee even thaw the heart of our wee lost soul Kesia.

    As we can see above, there are few Tories left who’s hearts can still be found. Those your words would touch have mostly already found a new path. Sadly Miss Davidson is I think now lost to the realms of decency.

    Scotland is well on it’s Road to Independence = )

    Thank you for the words that pave our way = )

  47. There’s a reason you’re just about my favourite blogger, Paul.

    This post is just about the best reason yet.

    We truly do face the starkest of choices, folks so make it the right one; I’ll need somewhere to run to when it all goes Pete Tong down here.

  48. Jane Russell says:

    Thank you. I’m old, and I’m tired, but youngsters like you give me hope for the future because, above all, you care.

    • Alex Waugh says:

      I’m getting old too and I also am surely tired. Tired of having to subsidise my daughter because, despite her and her man both working full time, her ordinary wee family struggles to make ends meet. Tired of being lied to and insulted by the Unionist media. Tired of the people who keep voting for the Tories in the face of years of evidence that they are heartless, thieving, lying bastards. I’m tired of so many things but above all I am angry. I am angry that my birthland, my people are treated as less than worthy by a bunch of elitist, criminal sociopaths. Angry that the Labour party, supposedly the voice of the working class, has so totally abandoned all its principles. Angry at the existence of foodbanks in one of the richest countries in the world. Angry at injustice and cruelty and arrogance and greed disguised as government. Angry at the festering ulcer of corruption upon the body politic that is Westminster. If I can send one message to the electorate of the UK it is this. Stop. Voting. Tory. They are not your friends – they are nobody’s friends but their own. If you are a Scot, put no trust in the Labour party – they will betray you, as they have done since Blair. Time for every decent human being to get good and angry.

  49. Lanark says:

    It appears to be the case for many our fellow citizens that it doesn’t matter how much of a hellhole we are in, as long as it’s a British hellhole.

  50. emilytom67 says:

    As Robin McAlpine of Common Weal said forget the die-hard Unionists they would prefer hell to independence and there is around a solid 40% of them so that only leaves us around 10% in which to target,no room for error there,as results are coming in to-day labour voters voting for Tories in droves Shettleston/Calton/Feegie Park/Ravenscraig though that,s not a surprise as it,s a prominent Orange Lodge area but the others??.

  51. Graeme McAllan says:

    Excellent article AGAIN Paul which, sadly, has me convinced that in Scotland we’re actually only free to do what we’re told 😦

  52. Rae Jardine says:

    Just read the “The Land We Live In” and was blown away. It is one of the best articles I have read and deserves the highest praise. If reading this master piece does not change a unionists opinion on Scottish Independence nothing will.

  53. Stewart says:

    WHAT THE ELECTION WILL BE ABOUT

    Britain’s coming Election will be the greatest test in our history of the judgement and common sense of our people.

    The nation wants food, work and homes. It wants more than that – it wants good food in plenty, useful work for all, and comfortable, labour – saving homes that take full advantage of the resources of modern science and productive industry. It wants a high and rising standard of living, security for all against a rainy day, an educational system that will give every boy and girl a chance to develop the best that is in them.

    LABOUR MANIFESTO…. 1945 or 2017? (1945 !)

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