Cruel Britannia

Theresa May keeps telling us that this is the most important election in her career, sorry, her lifetime. And so it is, just not for the reasons she thinks it is. This election is important because it’s the election in which the Conservatives seek to lock the UK, and Scotland with it, into an extreme right wing future in which the last dregs of the post WW2 consensus will finally be flushed away in a sewer of Tory triumphalism.

The good news is that the UK polls are narrowing, and it no longer looks so certain that the Conservatives will attain the overwhelming majority which was predicted just a few weeks ago. It was the prospect of that crushing majority which caused the Maybot to call the election in the first place, even though she’d spent the previous months insisting that she wasn’t going to. The polls are narrowing as a Tory candidate is charged with expenses fraud during the last General Election. It raises the very real possibility that the Tories won the previous election illegally and illicitly. The Tories may have cheated their way into power in 2015 and in 2017 they demand our absolute trust and loyalty.

What her selfish drive for a fresh election demonstrated, amongst other things, was that the promises of the Westminster Parliament are utterly meaningless. We saw that with their promise to enshrine the Sewel Convention in law and to place the position of the Scottish Parliament beyond the reach of a hostile Westminster government, a promise which turned out to be worthless. We saw it with the breaking of every single commitment made to the people of Scotland in order to secure a No vote in the referendum of 2014. And we saw it with the casual disregard for the fixed term parliaments act when Theresa May decided that it was in her personal and party interest to call an election just days before the country is due to begin Brexit negotiations with the EU. If the Tories win their crushing majority in next week’s election they will use it to crush the disabled, the poor, the unemployed, the low paid, the migrants, the Scots, and the remainers. Back in the 1990s before we were disillusioned by New Labour people talked about Cool Britannia. With Theresa May it’s Cruel Britannia and we’re disillusioned in advance.

This week the world was angered and horrified when Donald Trump pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Agreement. World leaders queued up to condemn Trump’s selfish stupidity in the strongest possible terms. All except Theresa May who refused to sign the joint letter of condemnation supported by every other European state. Theresa just said that she was disappointed by Donald, as though she was speaking about a teenage child who’d gone to a party despite telling their parents they were going to study in the library for an upcoming exam. The man-child Donald is threatening to destroy the futures of all our children and grandchildren, to condemn the globe to potential catastrophe, to wipe some island nations from the map, and Theresa is “disappointed”. Just what would it take for Donald to do for her to be “a tad upset”?

But she’s got to suck up to the White House man-child because her government and her policies have burned bridges with just about every other country in the world. The Britain of Theresa May is a Britain that’s friends with the orange pariah in the White House and arms suppliers to Arab dictators. That’s Britain in the early 21st century, the friend of torturers and liars, the ally of people who look upon the magnificent vista of an unspoiled wilderness and calculate how much money they can make by destroying it. Theresa May makes me ashamed to hold a British passport.

The Tories in Scotland are trying to make this election about one topic and one topic only – about resisting a second independence referendum. They seek to persuade the people of Scotland that Scotland somehow exists in a vacuum, that the policies of the Westminster Union which they are so desperate to defend have no effects or influence in Scotland. So they bang on endlessly about another independence referendum and are silent when it comes to Westminster policies which have a direct impact on the poorest and the most vulnerable in our society. In their most recent party political broadcast that’s all they spoke about. Saving the Union while their pals in Westminster destroy everything that once made the Union worthwhile. The Scottish Tories have nothing to say about the tearing away of financial support from the disabled. They are closed mouthed on their English colleagues’ destruction of the NHS and their mismanagement of English eduction. They say nothing concrete about how to protect Scotland from the looming disaster that is Brexit. They want to make this Westminster election about fighting back against a party which isn’t in power in Westminster. They want gesture politics at the expense of the vulnerable. They’re treating the people like fools, and they’re aided and abetted by an all too willing Unionist media.

Theresa May will stand or fall by the outcome of this election, an election that she chose to call and that she chose to make all about herself and the questioning that she chose to hide herself away from like an arrogant bullying coward. She tells us that the EU will find her a “bloody difficult woman” during negotiations, but they’ll be doing well to find her at all, the voters sure as hell can’t. The only places Theresa ever appears is in front of a wee group of Tory activists waving placards. Theresa May doesn’t want an election, she demands a coronation. If she gets her way it will signal the rise of Cruel Britannia, a hideous perfidious Albion, a Hate Britain, and a disunited Kingdom in which social divisions pull society apart as homelessness rises, as the poor grow ever more impoverished, the just about managings fail to manage, and a tiny minority of the extremely wealthy and well-connected enrich themselves. That will be the theatre of Cruel Britannia that Theresa May has in store for us, and that’s why resisting her does make this the most important general election in decades.  Vote to keep the Tories out, your future, your children’s future, and your grandchildren’s future depend on it.

Audio version of this blog post, courtesy of Sarah Mackie @lumi_1984 https://soundcloud.com/occamshaver/wgd-2nd-june-2017

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42 comments on “Cruel Britannia

  1. Diane says:

    I’ve just had a horrible thought. With the polls closing in on the Tories they might just scrape a majority with Tories elected in Scottish constituencies thanks to Ruthies total unionism/anti SNP campaign. This thought makes me feel quite nauseous 😝😝😝

    • Cairnallochy says:

      Might be a sobering thought for any Labour voters considering voting tactically for the Tories, to keep
      out the SNP. Ian Murray among others should be careful what they wish for …..

    • John Edgar says:

      Yes, if that happens Labour are really finished. You can imagine how the Tories will crow and thank Dugdale for being a help! And to rub it in ask Slab to merge and be true Union Loyalists.
      They will be laughing at Slabbers alright!

  2. Weechid says:

    Looking forward to hearing you on Saturday night in Dumfries. Am I allowed to bring a treat for the dug?

  3. I too am ashamed to be a British Passport holder under this despicable government. I’d be willing to do whatever it takes to be rid of them once and for all – not just in Scotland but in the rUK as well. Far, far too many vulnerable people on both sides of the border have been ignored, marginalised and oppressed for far too long by the policies of Westminster Tories. Let’s make sure they are thoroughly routed.

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug Cruel Britannia […]

  5. JGedd says:

    Depressingly awful and lacking in empathy as the Tory politicians appear to be , surely I’m not the only one who finds those prepared to vote for them even more frightening? For every Tory politician there are thousands prepared to vote for them – in every generation. By the time you get to my age, it begins to seem like an eternal battle of human nature.

    • I agree, JGedd! I have friends, some of them since my schooldays, who grew up the same places as I did, who had the same education as I did – one of them even has a disability (as I do), and yet they are bound and determined to keep voting Tory. They aren’t wealthy and they have no likelihood of ever becoming wealthy while the Tories hold sway. When you talk to them, they have the most stupid, nit-picking reasons for voting Tory – one was in the entertainment industry (a managing agent) whose business took a slight turn for the worse when they banned smoking in pubs and required any establishment offering live music to have an entertainment licence. This he blames on a Labour government in Westminster and has voted Tory ever since! Another was a police officer (but a Labour voter) until a Labour MP spat at him on the picket lines during the miners’ strike – he vowed never to vote Labour again. Both of them have now become rabid Unionists and blinkered, flag-waving Tories. No reasoned argument about issues can reach them. It’s as if a switch has been flipped in their brains which makes them immune to logic. Bloody scary!

      • Robert Graham says:

        Totally blinkered to what the tories are doing and what they have done ,recently in these TV debates the moment that is guaranteed a outbreak of hysterical laughter is when a tory any tory says judge us on our record , thats the last thing they should mention , Ruth davidson has managed it quite well with the the ever helpful bbc in scotland , she is never pressed on the tory record while Nicola is always questioned on anything that is not even close to this election ,that the tories called , every reserved matter under the sun is dragged out , i guess the bbc havent quite got to grips with what holyrood actually does , or what they can do ,
        Or probably they do , and are activly playing on the fact most people here dont ,so they set to intentionally confuse , the ever helpful bbc eh ? . never miss a wee dig at the SNP it’s in the blood . Whats the betting they have the numbers (low) even before the march starts today .

        • I think we would find, that these people read the right-wing Britnat rags. Eg Mail, Express, Sun, Times, Torygraph etc. In my opinion, that’s where they get a new charge of hate and bile everyday.

          • I think that’s spot on, Malron McBrand! It leaves me speechless that people with more than one functioning brain cell could (a) read this Tory Twaddle in the first place and (b) believe what they read! How do people become so brain-washed? And how can they not SEE that they are being manipulated? It is beyond me …

          • Guga says:

            All the major newspapers, and most of the minor ones in Scotland are English owned, English run and English controlled, and that includes the Hootsmon, the Glasgow Herald and the Daily Retard (though I believe that the latter is still owned by the right wing retard, Murdoch). To add to the foreign MSM control we also have the EBC (Engllish Broadcasting Corporation) and who knows how many local radio stations. The only one we have that has an independent viewpoint is the National.

  6. AnnieM says:

    I’ve been hoping and praying that TM’s snap election would backfire on her, but never dreamt that it could do so as spectacularly as it very well might – mainly through her own actions (or lack of them)!

    • With you there, AnnieM! Like most people, I was expecting a Tory landslide. Now I see a light at the end of the tunnel that isn’t an on-coming train – and it’s all the Tories own doing. However, we mustn’t get complacent … “a week is a long time in politics”!

    • Kenzie says:

      Shades of Ted Heath in 1974 with hopefully, the same result.

  7. Robert Graham says:

    Well thanks Paul you fairly cheered me up and just when I was hitting the hay .
    If there is a god let’s hope he isn’t bloody fishing or away on a jolly on Thursday.
    I can see no good if Mayhem is elected, in fact for a lot of people no future. Let’s hope Labour voters here don’t again fall for a Tory trick, I mean surely they remember what happened the last time, or does their hatred run that deep .

  8. Mark Russell says:

    Indeed! It feels just like a messy divorce. This was deleted earlier today on youtube and FB. Not quite as melodic as Captain Ska but just as relevant..

  9. Roibert a Briuis says:

    Well Labour voters the ones that have not smelled the coffee and been upset at what Labour have obviously become and visibly so, excluding those who have joined or voted for the SNP are I believe unlikely to vote for the Tories. My Partner an Ex Head Teacher in {well lets not name the LA} met with two other ex teachers the other day for lunch, BOTH are Labour through and through. One is marred to an Ex Labour MP when I said to her are they thinking of voting SNP my partner indicated NOT while they still breathe. When I mentioned the Dug {the other one the branch manager} she said makes no difference they would vote for a chimpanzee wearing a Red Rosette. When I tried to interject saying these are educated people she said educated or not they are blind to the realities of the Scottish ‘new’ politics and what the Labour party has visibly morphed into RED TORIES

    So from that little chat, I cant see many dyed in the wool Labour people voting for Ruth’s ‘person’

  10. Macart says:

    I don’t think it gets any more important than this vote personally. This ballot is every bit as important as the question we were asked a little over two and a half years ago and for exactly the same reasons. It goes directly to the heart of who we are and who we want to be.

    Two and a half years ago and by a slim majority, the Scottish electorate chose poorly. We’ve paid dearly for that choice every day since. In my opinion the only thing which has slowed the onset of the full effects of Tory legislation has been the nature of the Scottish government and our representation in Westminster. That whole offset and mitigate clause our ‘betters’ insist is the day job kinda thing.

    People are angry, frustrated, they’re feeling the effects of years of political manipulation and media assault, cuts, enforced hardships, misery and desperation. They’re driven from pillar to post, their trust in our institutions undermined daily by the ruthless and the mercenary in the name of furthering corporate and political agenda. To many, so far as they are concerned, the SNP aren’t stopping this misery, are barely slowing it and so should be held equally as accountable as those who truly are the source of it all. Why not? They have all this rage and it needs to go somewhere.

    There’s a problem though with mindless rage and frustration. When people want to lash out blindly in their pain, the wrong people tend to take advantage of your rage. Worked out well for the UK over Brexit and for America since Trump was elected, yes?

    How do you think those appalling results and the ongoing omnishambles of their respective fallouts happened?

    By all means, people should be angry. They should remember their pain and they should hit back, but do it the right way, for the right reasons and make damn sure you focus your frustrations on the right people.

    Something for people to think about. The SNP and the First Minister have pretty much had more than their fair share of frustration you’d think. You’d also imagine they’ve had their fair share of reasons to be angry too by this point. They are, after all, just people and they’ve been front and centre taking the brunt of the worst political and media assault I’ve ever seen. The personal pressures (on top of the day job) must be pretty damn close to appalling.

    Y’know, being just people and on the strength of the news output of the past few years and the ever more mental statements from supposed party leaders and public representatives of the establishment parties, I’d say most normal folk would have a ready response after years of such abuse.

    Walk out. Walk away and tell your opposition to get on with it. Tell them they could have their union. Disband the Holyrood parliament. Forget decades of effort attempting to bring democracy to the people. Let Westminster enact any legislation it wanted and allow the population to feel its full unabridged, undiluted effects.

    Let the corporations rob the public blind, frack the bejebus out of the central belt, empty the oceans of fish and fossil fuels. Send our human and civil rights back to the stone age if they will. Remove every benefit and service at point of need and allow them to balance the books they themselves wrecked on the backs of the aged, the infirm, the poor and basically anyone who hasn’t the strength or a voice to complain.

    When you hear barking mental cases tell you they’d fight to protect something which has catastrophically failed those its supposed to serve, govern and protect in peace and safety. When they would raise their hands against their own people, their own communities, then you know reason, ethics, morals and simple human empathy are well beyond them. They don’t apply in their world view.

    That there are those who actually do choose to stand for public office in the face of such injustice is a miracle. That they put up with everything the media and the political class throw at them and attempt to stem or mitigate the shit storm of disastrous legislation, misplaced anger, deceit, criminal negligence, ignorance and arrogance and go back for more, because it’s the right thing to do?

    I don’t honestly know what that would take.

    What kind of dedication, belief or courage. Knowing what you’re going to walk into every day you’re in office and exactly what you’re up against.

    It’d be a shame to appreciate their efforts only when they’re gone and you don’t have them watching your back anymore. Be a shame if when you needed protecting, there was no one you could count on or call upon.

    Maybe some readers could and should think about that. What if there were no SNP, or Greens, or YES movement? Do people truly believe Scotland would be a better place right now?

    • Tony L says:

      Fully agree. In an ironic way I think the ability of the SNP to prioritise how they spend the taxes returned to Scotland has protected people from the worst of the austerity and other policies of Westminster governments. Scots (it seems to me) have not understood just what the alternative would have been if, say Holyrood was still run by a LibLab coalition.

      The media of course send out a message every day on how awful the SNP Government is, and I think this does have an effect. “Repeat the lie and people come to believe it”.

      There’s a small part of me that thinks the SNP should stand down and pass the mantle to the Tories/Labour coalition government and let people REALLY see what happens if you have a government that doesn’t care about you. The SNP have been too good for their own preservation. I hope I am wrong. But it seems too many people just don’t want to acknowledge the good tings the SNP have done.

      As you say, this might well be a far more important vote than any in our recent history. I have a bad feeling about this – hope I’m wrong

    • AnnieM says:

      You are so spot on with that post! I decided to watch Nicola on the Ask the Leader half hour last night and to be honest, it was like watching FMQs these days! It’s right and proper that the Scottish government should be held to account if things like education and the NHS are not doing well, but this is a Westminster election, not a Holyrood one!!!

      How can folk not see that next Friday the Scottish government will still be the same, but if they allow the Tories to get a big majority, without lots of SNP MPs, how long do they think we will continue to have that Scottish government?

      I don’t know how Nicola remains so calm in the face of such hysterical opposition, but thank goodness she does, bless her!

      • markrussell20085017 says:

        “This is a Westminster election not a Holyrood one”

        Given the exposure of Dugdale, Davidson et al on the BBC you would think they were standing themselves – are Murray and Mundell too busy chappin doors…

      • Lizzie55 says:

        I think it would be better if the first minister made the point that this is about uk polices and not Scottish government polices. Angus Robertson had a far better chance in the debate he took part in to put the uk polices centre. Every time the FM is in a debate it’s a free for all to pin devolved policies on her. I know Its a disgrace that the MSM have this obsession about making this election about devolved matters, but it’s also up to our snp and greens to make the point as many time as possible that it’s not about devolved policies and I really don’t see that happening often enough. FM should really start talking tough about what really matter in this election and it’s not devolved matters. Too much at stake for her not to now!

        • Robert Graham says:

          yes she sometimes seemed apologetic last night , the BBC should by now know what devolved issues are but time after time they bang away , this must be the fourth time they have pulled this stunt it’s about time Nicola put them right , Then again the pressure she must be under fielding these bloody repetitive sometimes weird strange questions on a daily basis must be soul destroying but she keeps it up , personally i would loose it , You all want money spent on this and that fine no problem , the debt left to us by previous administrations PPI is draining one quarter of the budget any bloody suggestions of how we work round that little gift left by Labour , how about the BIllion pounds wasted on the edinburgh trams , the parliament building 10 times the estimated cost and you lot sit on yer arses and bloody moan that it’s our fault,
          You want labour and tory fine you’re welcome carry on lets see what happens im off f/k you all .
          Ha Ha or words to that effect , you get the gist I am amazed she dosnt lose it and give them both barrels , tories first them useless labour and for good measure Wullie that tosser .

      • Robert Graham says:

        Agreed i started to watch the BBC inquisition masquerading as ask the leader ,one look at the smiling faces told me even with the sound muted what was to come , whats the chances of two teachers being in a audience of probably 15 or so i didn’t count as the scowling faces put me off.Then it was off to the races every devolved matter under the sun was aired , i give up .

        • AnnieM says:

          If I, as probably the least politically educated person you could find, can see this, why can so many people not? I know, there’s no answer to that, but it’s just soooooo frustrating!!!

    • Agreed with every word, Macart. I don’t know how the likes of our honest, decent SNP MSPs and MPs can stand it when at every turn they are either blamed for problems which come as a result of Tory policy or else tarred with same brush as the self-serving, greedy “politicians” against whom they are our last bastion. Thankfully, they are made of sterner stuff than I and keep coming out slugging!

      • Macart says:

        Hopefully it’s made a few of the non commenting readership have a think and it’s worth thinking about.

        What would life be like in a Scotland which had no protection from the legislation of central government? Bedroom tax, rape clause, prescription fees, direct control of the NHS and therefore open to the same cuts and sell offs as England. No free bus travel or care for the elderly, or how about them tuition fees? No guaranteed apprenticeship schemes either for that matter. Just direct rule and legislation from Westminster.

        The bullshit line from Truthless and Ms Dugdale is crisis across all institutions and services in Scotland. CRISIS?!? They haven’t a f**King clue what true crisis is, but let them have their way and the rest of us will soon see it up close and personal.

        • Absolutely. “Crisis” is what is happening in health, education, social care and everything else south o’ the border – and what will happen in Scotland unless we take VERY good care to prevent it.

  11. John Edgar says:

    He Ry McLeish in the National, today Saturday, is anguishing again.
    He just needs to take a simple step. Support LabourforIndy2! No need to join the SNP to get independence or rid of the Westminster Tory scourge.
    This is his third in heart rendering long articles about the Tories in Scotland!
    By making the shift it would put him out of his misery. At least he is away from the federalist jaunt. That still keeps Scotland incorporated into England , which is what the 1707 union is in reality. It was NOT a union of equals! Let us “scotch” that misnomer once and for all.
    Scotland has been in denial about that ever since. Gordo cooks only refer to himself as a North Briton, he should have said North Englander!

  12. Wullie says:

    The Scottish unionist voters should put their money where their mouth is. It appears to me that they want a society just like England’s. They do not want anything for free. So may I suggest that they operated in Scotland as the people have to in England. Start paying for everything, visit the doctor PAY, PAY for prescriptions, eye tests,busses,elderly care etc etc .
    Go on you know it’s what you want.

  13. Andy Anderson says:

    Like all of you my frustration levels have been high these last few weeks at the media. I think that many people are confused about the whole farce. I am not one bit religious but if I was I would be praying to every God I could think of for a hung parliament doon the road and at least 50 SNP seats.

    • Guga says:

      Every time I think about a hung (English) parliament, it conjures up images of rope and lamp-posts.

    • Mark Russell says:

      Don’t think anyone could have envisaged the prospect of a coalition government with Labour, Greens, Lib Dems and the SNP taking places on the government benches – with the electorate in England and Wales voting tactically in preference of candidates willing to work under that banner and removing the remaining Blairites from the Labour ranks at the same time. Whilst that would be remarkable, I can’t help feel it would put the SNP is an unenviable position – whether to push for independence or become a material player in saving England from their very own Darien Scheme..

  14. douglasclark says:

    What is it they say about evil? It only needs…

    Here is yet another example of evil being inserted into our lives, largely, in this case because no-one knows about it.

    I would myself quite angry that, to the best of my knowledge, this is not widely known. Best to start at about 1’30”

  15. FM says:

    “the magnificent vista of an unspoiled wilderness and calculate how much money they can make by destroying it.” OUTSTANDING. That is all.

  16. marymtf says:

    Everyone goes on about the Paris accord, but it seems to me that the developing countries are exempt, that China needn’t do anything for a decade, that India wants a lot of money to even consider things. Whenever my friend comes back from visiting relatives in China, her asthma is always worse.
    Surely if we’re serious about doing something about climate change no one should be exempt from doing their bit. We need to campaign against Overpopulation , we need to stop plane travel, go back to horse and buggy travel.

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