Let’s do what the Tories don’t want

I’ve not blogged for a few days. I consumed something that turned out to be extremely disagreeable and then was stuck on the toilet pan with no energy or enthusiasm and feeling like my guts were making more contorsions than Theresa May in an attempt to cling on to crap. At first I thought it was food poisoning, but then I realised it was a metaphor for the United Kingdom. I’m feeling a bit better now, which is a lot more than can be said for the United Kingdom.

Possibly even more nauseating than food poisoning, over the past week we’ve had the less than delightful sight of Ruth Davidson strutting around like a Russian tank commander after the Kursk Offensive. Offensive being the operative word there. She’s been banging away with the narrative that she won the election in Scotland by virtue of coming a very poor second, and she’s got the unmitigated gall to demand that all and any prospect of a second independence referendum is dropped in the name of stability.

We’ve been hearing a lot about stability of late, mostly from the greatest agents of instability, the Conservative party. We are where we are now, in the most uncertain and insecure times possibly since the end of WW2 because the Conservative party put its party interests above the interests of the country. And they did that not once, but twice. Firstly they brought about an unnecessary EU referendum purely in order to placate their own right wing and shore the barking faction of the party up against Ukip, and then after having spent decades stoking up racism and fear of immigration they ran a pathetic campaign of economic scaremongering and allowed the leave campaign to play the migrant card.

The result was a narrow vote to leave the EU and a vindicated and strengthened extreme right. The ultimate responsibility for the rise in hate crimes, in assaults on migrants, ethnic minorities, Muslims, and on members of the LGBTI community lies squarely with the Conservative party. It’s the actions of the Tories, for their own party political interest, which have emboldened the far right. In Scotland, Ruth Davidson’s Conservatives, as they are now apparently called, hypocritically claimed that the independence movement was divisive while the Tories stoked the fires of sectarianism and chose a slew of candidates for the council elections who had links to sectarian and far right organisations.

And then having created this perfect storm of hate, of fear, and of division, Theresa May compounded it by insisting that the narrow vote to leave the EU was for her to interpret and her alone. She decided to interpret it in its most extreme, most uncompromising form. We wouldn’t just be leaving the EU, we’d be leaving the single market, the customs union, and leaving behind European standards of human rights, all in the name of demonising immigration.

You’d think all that would have been enough. But no. The vindictive arrogance of the Conservative party is one of the few commodities which the United Kingdom has in abundance. Despite having a majority, despite having stated on no less than seven occasions that she wasn’t going to call an early general election, Theresa May did just that. The reason she did it was to bolster her own position within the Conservative party, to crush the remainer Tory MPs, and to destroy the Labour opposition. Theresa May is a politician who thinks that opposition is treason, that disagreement is unpatriotic, that dissent is a threat. She is arrogance personified, brittle and cold. She struggles with the basics of democracy, and thankfully the voters of Britain saw through her, and punished her with the loss of her majority.

Now the Tories want to press on as though nothing has changed, by doing a deal with the swivel eyed misogynist climate change denying homophobic sectarian bigots of the DUP. Ruth Davidson said that she’d made representations to Theresa May and had received assurances that any deal with the the DUP wouldn’t affect LGBTI rights in Britain. LGBTI rights in Northern Ireland can go hang presumably. Then Theresa showed just how much influence Ruth Davidson really has by appointing David Lidlington as justice secretary. Lidlington has an appalling record on LGBTI rights. He voted against civil partnerships. He has consistently voted against equal marriage. He voted to maintain the nasty discriminatory Clause 28. He consistently voted against equalising the age of consent for gay men with that of heterosexuals. He blocked proposals to appoint a specialised LGBT rights envoy.

So for all that Ruth Davidson buckles her swash and makes like she’s got the ear of the UK government, the truth is that she’s only got their ear insofar as she serves their interests. That’s the reality of a Scotland under the Tories, that’s the reality of voting for a Tory in Scotland. You’re voting to serve someone else’s interests, not your own. Over the next few years that will become clear.

It’s now more important than ever that the independence movement does not allow these chancers, bigots, self-servers and careerists to set the agenda. It’s more important than ever that we don’t lose momentum. Let’s remember what we’re doing here. We’re campaigning for national self-determination. That’s not going to be a story of unopposed progress, of ever upwards gains. It’s a hard slog. There will be reverses, just as there are always reverses in any campaign for civil liberties, for equality, for self-determination. Winning independence for a country isn’t something that happens without opposition, there are strong and vested interests who are going to do all they can to put obstacles in our way. It’s important to remember that obstacles are not insurmountable, and that reverses merely mean we need to think of a better strategy.

A reverse for the SNP is not the same as the end of the dream of independence. For the wider independence movement this means we need to demonstrate that we’ve not gone away, that we won’t go away. That means we need to get organised. Get active. Get engaged. Get your local Yes groups up and running. What we learned during the independence referendum campaign in 2014 is that democracy is a participatory process. That’s precisely what the Tories don’t want. They don’t want ordinary people to be involved, to be active, to be engaged. Let’s do what the Tories don’t want.

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74 comments on “Let’s do what the Tories don’t want

  1. AnnieM says:

    Another good piece Paul and, for me, the best sentence is, “A reverse for the SNP is not the same as the end of the dream of independence”. I’ve been shouting this at the tele and anyone who will listen for days now!

    The independence movement is not the SNP so the wider movement needs to make some noise and let people know this.

    Now that Alex Salmond and Angus Robertson are no longer MPs and therefore not constrained in what they can say, why don’t they lead the charge from the front?

    • Ian McGeechan says:

      Nicola has never stopped saying that MPs and MSPs will not initiate nor stand in the way of a second referendum, but that the people of Scotland will decide if and when there is to be one.

      Let’s make sure that when the day comes, no-one is in any doubt that Scots are clamouring for indyref2.

    • Lynne Ferguson says:

      Yes , loving it❤️

  2. douglasclark says:

    I kind of think, you can argue with the idea that I can think, but no matter.

    This is the start, not the end of Scottish independence.

    We now see just how desperate the Tories are when it comes to alliances. It would be astonishing if there were not ‘break points’ quite soon between the DUP and the glorious Tory Party.

    I’d give it a few months, or alternatively some Tories finding it ‘enough is enough’ as they get told that creationism is on the curriculum, that a woman’s right to choose an abortion or not is not her sovereign right but that of the state, etc, etc…

    Anyway, it just ramps up the independence vote.

    I’d suggest, I have not seen this elsewhere, that the next General Election should categorically claim our right to independence. No if’s, no but’s. Time to make up your mind. A vote for the SNP and (hopefully) for the Greens means separation.

    I think, correct me if I am wrong, that the independence side would win.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agreed Douglas. The SNP has won the last three elections and if there is a fourth then we should vote for Independence not yet another approval for indyref2. The only negative issue is that people vote differently in a GE as we have just seen. Also we need at least 6 months to get a campaign flying etc etc.

      • douglasclark says:

        Andy.

        Thanks. I thought I was alone in that.

        The timescale for another election is outwith our hands. I suspect that the DUP / Tory alliance will collapse quite quickly, perhaps within the 6 months you (and I) would like.Though that depends, I suspect, on just how much Theresa May could have led the DUP in another timeline. I suspect that their ideas and hers’ are not that far apart..

        Nevertheless, we have to go onto a forward foot and be ready to take the radical step of saying that a majority of SNP MP’s in the next Westminster elections is ‘game over’.

        Well, that is my thruppence worth…

  3. Andy Anderson says:

    I get the impression Paul, stop me if I am wrong, but I do not think you like the Conservative and Yoon party.
    Please you have managed to escape from the loo at last. Sounds a bit of Noro virus to me.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I can’t think what might have given you the impression that I prefer the norovirus to the Tories …

      • ockletycockletywitch says:

        Maybe the fact that most of us would prefer a dose of Noro virus to the Tories, Paul! There is a prescribed treatment for the former and it only lasts a few days as a rule – neither of which can be said of the latter!

  4. douglasclark says:

    And, should we lose, unlikely as it might seem, keep it on the agenda forevermore.

  5. Dan Huil says:

    The SNP won again. Independence comes ever nearer.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      According to labour today that’s not what happened on Thursday even though we all saw it clearly snp had a disaster night yet took 35/59 seats on there own if that was indyref2 it be yes 55% no 45%

      • hettyforindy says:

        yep and tht is what the panic is about. Looking at what Eng could lose in terms of exports re brexit, it is so not good, thy need Scotland, they shld be extra, extra respectful to Scotland, because we really are their only saviour if a hard brexit goes ahead.

  6. I think a bit part of May going for GE17 was specifically to crush the SNP or, at least, fatally damage it to the point where they would be forced to take IndyRef2 off the table. May just doesn’t understand Scottish politics, which isn’t surprising given that she’s being advised of them by Roofy-babes who hasn’t much of a clue of them either.

    May understood that, with IndyRef2 still on the table, it would be very difficult to strike a deal with the EU that included Scotland’s resources. The EU can now simply remind here that Scotland’s resources, at the end of the Brexit talks and a deal is done, might not actually be in her gift to deliver as Scotland could become independent and take its resources with it.

    So not only did May not get IndyRef2 off the table, she f#cked her own majority into the bargain and is weaker than she was before she went down this road.

    Thinking of having another snap election, Treeza-doll? F#cking bring it on!

    • Saor Alba. says:

      Nail head, hammer, BANG! Good aim proudcybernat.

    • hettyforindy says:

      Absolutely. The yoons might play really dirty next time though, it really is a game of strategy, especially with the might of the yoon media to contend with. Not to mention those in higher places, and in places further afield.

      One step ahead, nevermind keeping apace Scotland. Peace to all in this process. The unionists can surely be modern and civilised, it is after all 2017. 🙏😺

  7. TheStrach says:

    Good to have you back Paul. Nothing has really changed other than the Tories are even weaker than before the election. The Scottish Parliament has already voted for a referendum and this GE was not a single issue election. Even if it was, the SNP won the election by a landslide.

    Tory and Labour voters in Scotland will soon realise that they voted for parties which support a hard Brexit. We need an escape route and the SNP and Greens have ensured we have a mandate for one.

    I’m all for getting the band back together and making the case for independence which is certainly bigger than the SNP.

  8. Robert Harrison says:

    Exactly independence isn’t about the snp time to show these imperial asshats how stupid they are being

  9. […] Wee Ginger Dug Let’s do what the Tories don’t want […]

  10. it’s the ‘lavvy pan’.

  11. Kat hamilton says:

    Ruth and co trying to drip, drip, feed the electorate they don’t want indy 2…keep harping on ad nauseum, with compliant BBC…they want to extinguish the flame, shit down debate and make indy a dirty word that shouldn’t be spoken…tell the masses it’s divisive, unwanted, toxic and make it toxic…they’re in full mode, time the scots showed up and said no deal…why the voters can’t see the falsehoods and lies god knows..the poll for indy 2 was disheartening ..43 pc..is this accurate…

    • AnnieM says:

      According to the Daily Record (OK, I accept not the best of sources!), although SNP support is less, 57% of Scots would prefer an independent Scotland in the EU to a dependent Scotland in a Tory UK.

    • Saor Alba. says:

      The only divisive, unwanted and toxic waste is May, Davidson and the Blue Tories aided and abetted by the equally divisive, unwanted and toxic Dugdale and friends in the SLab Red Tory party, which has NOTHING in common with the Labour Party of Mr Corbyn.
      They lack any integrity and have no idea what democracy is.

  12. Jan Cowan says:

    Sorry to hear you’ve been unwell but happy to have you back in your usual good form.
    I see the Tories have been up to their old tricks in England…….vanishing postal votes etc. etc. With luck Corbyn won’t let them away with their crookery. And surely he has seen through K Dugdale’s strange behaviour……enough to realise she’s not to be trusted and that many, many people in Scotland do most certainly want independence.

  13. Indyvids says:

    The anti-independence narrative behind the Tory campaign had two purposes, The first was to attack the idea of independence and the SNP. The second was to deflect attention from their appalling record in office. Benefit sanctions related deaths, massive increase in national debt etc etc etc.

    They had a powerful story, stop the SNP and all this independence nonsense which nobody really wants. Labour also had a powerful story, for the many not the few. The SNP were caught on the hop and could only say things aren’t as bad as they could be with us in charge.

    Stories matter, they connect with people, the stories get through where pages of statistics don’t. The Tories know this and spend a lot of time and money concocting them. They employ highly paid experts to devise their stories, people who have honed their skills in the advertising industry.

    There is a powerful story that could be told about Scottish independence and if the indy movement has any sense they will get together across party boundaries and try and figure out what it is and how to get it across.

    • Kate says:

      I think that’s actually being done now, Indyvids, in that Robin McAlpine, and CommonSpace have something along the lines you suggest, in the pipeline… some sort of professional campaigning strategy. I agree with you. The tories have the money to get in professional campaigners who have studied what makes voters , well… vote, the way they do. It’s expensive to do that and I’m thinking the SNP didn’t have that kind of money. But it would seem CommonSpace has got over that somehow. It doesn’t give all the info you want AT THE MOMENT but it encourages optimism. 🙂 You might want to have a read…

      https://www.commonspace.scot/articles/11155/robin-mcalpine-what-indy-movement-needs-do-next

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agreed 100%

  14. Mi Robertson says:

    Totally agree and yet another great article Paul. Also really enjoyed your talk down at the Elgin hotel tonight. Even better I got to clapp yer dug and won the raffle…result.😀👍😀

  15. Robert Harrison says:

    And it depresses me how some people swallowing the shite from the likes of the bbc with there anti snp propaganda like it’s the damn bible because there are those who consider anything to not be bbc reported as down right lies makes me sick that those types rather not think for themselves while claiming to want things to get better at the same time

    • hettyforindy says:

      Yep, just dont get it. Many are of that mindset, if you read it on the internet, lol, more fool you! As if the bbc or Stv, or any state controlled rag has a divine right to be believed. Ah, in fact, it is like a religion, a doctrine. Brainwashing is an age old tactic and it still works, sadly.

      Though only with some, indoctrinated!

  16. The Scottish Play says:

    Glad to hear your recent troubles are behind you….

    ‘As cannons overcharged with double cracks,
    So they doubly redoubled strokes upon the foe’

  17. steelewires says:

    Thanks for your insights, Paul! I just watched a video from Democracy Now about how to resist what Trump is doing in the USA. I think that it is useful also for Scotland, and the other countries that make up the English dominated Empire called the UK.

  18. Kestralflight@hotmail says:

    Time to think outside the box

    Snp have been so ahead of the game on some things ie understanding the effects of brexit on a population who didn’t see it happen the day after the vote when they had been told the world would collapse, it didn’t ,but snp know and lived in the world of their knowledge, of the effects of brexit

  19. Kestralflight@hotmail says:

    Time to think outside the box

    Snp have been so ahead of the game on some things ie understanding the effects
    of brexit on a population who didn’t see it happen the day after the vote when they had been told the world would collapse, it didn’t ,but snp know and lived in the world of their knowledge, of the effects of brexit

    Anyway kowing the past is irrelevant too the day unless you learn from it

  20. Kestralflight says:

    So here is a slogan for debate, for in marketing they would die for a company that has done as well as the snp

    IMAGINE A SCOTLAND WITHOUT THE SNP

    …….’

  21. ockletycockletywitch says:

    A cracking piece, Paul. Thanks for giving us all a shot of optimism and enthusiasm.

  22. Rookiescot says:

    Might I suggest next time you are, cough, indisposed, that you take the Ipad into the thunderbox with you?
    It would prevent breaks in your quality blogs which many of rely upon in these times of political insanity.

  23. m boyd says:

    It’s worth checking election results from 2017 and compare them to 2010 backwards. If you treat 2015 as an anomaly you can see a trend whereby the SNP either hold a seat or are firmly entrenched as the opposition. The point i’m making is that the SNP may have lost some seats but unlike the Germans at Kursk they have plenty of reserves and a firm defensive line for the next advance .

  24. Michael Portillo on This Week last night predicted that May would go before the Tory Conference in October, and that there was only one candidate, Ruth Davidson.
    Liz Kendall who garnered 2% of the votes in the Leadership Contest when she, Andy Bingham, now Mayor of Manchester, and Yvette Cooper, offered the Labour Party Tony New Labour Blair Hobson’s Choice, and Corbyn emerged from the pack to become leader, gushed that Davidson was a ‘genuine’ politician who believed what she was saying, and had stuck to her policies, unlike Big T.

    You couldn’t make this up.

    Davidson, who has had more U Bends than the bathrooms in a 100 bedroom hotel, is now being touted as the ‘strong and stable’ alternative to TM.

    It did not occur to the pair that Davidson is not a WM MP. Baroness Davidson soon?

    Yesterday at FMQ the Usual Suspects screamed demands for our FM to scrap any notion of Indyref 2, yet when NS demanded of Ruth Davidson the UK’s Government’s position on the eve of Brexit negotiations on the single Market, free movement, the fate of EU workers in the UK, she ‘did not answer’, to quote Nick Robinson.

    She did not answer, because she is not privy to the tactics or policy of May and her inner cabal; she is a political nobody, a ‘tenement dwelling semi educated retainer who craves social status’ to paraphrase John Cleese.

    She’s now touting a warped version of the SNP EU Plan and calling for devolved nations and other UK parties to be involved in the low level negotiations, as though it were her idea all along.

    Davidson will join the clamour for May’s head any day now.

    Paul, I’m trying my best to avoid the urge to crack jokes and puns scatological.
    The Brexshit is about to hit the fan.

    We need only sit back and wait,

    The Independence Movement is as strong as ever, and will grow as the DUP/ Blue Tory Alliance collapses and it becomes clear that May couldn’t win third place in a Theresa May lookalike competition with only 4 entrants.

    I cannot comment on the Towering Inferno yet.
    The Council Leader is now trying to blame the residents.

    Ruth Davidson as leader of the WM Tories?
    If there is a god, please make it happen.

    • I’ll qualify my ‘I cannot comment on the Towering Inferno yet’
      I am incandescent with rage at the moment and can barely type.

      I’ve just clacked this in reply to ‘Davy’, on Bateman’s ‘Public Service Announcement’ piece over on his excellent blog, where he argues yet again that there is no organised anti-Independence conspiracy in the Unionist backing BBC Fort Pacific Quay.

      “Davy, there is a conspiracy of silence around the number of fatalities in the Tower Block inferno.

      It is clear that loss of life is tragically high, and may even number in the hundreds; of children, whole families, ethnic minority poor working class workers ghettoised in a tower block to service the otherwise incredibly rich and affluent borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
      It appears to a have been a council engineered army of ‘live in’ servants and lackeys in working class jobs on low wages essential to collect refuse, maintain neatly trimmed parkways, maintain the street lighting, wash the dishes in posh restaurants, provide domestic staff, serve exotic wines and spirits in trendy wine bars, and generally be on hand to cater for their rich and famous neighbours.
      London is such a bloated rich City that low paid workers could not afford to commute into Kensington to change street light bulbs for the Beckhams and the Camerons who it is reported have pads in the stricken borough.
      Of course costs were cut. After all, it’s the servants’ quarters we are talking about.
      The BBC has stuck doggedly to the ’17 dead’ twaddle for as long as possible.
      There is no doubt that the authorities know the death toll by now.
      To announce it at this juncture could spark riots, and weaken May’s Austerity 40% cut in LA spending government even more as she shambles into Europe on her EU Exit expedition.
      Heads must roll; already ‘corporate manslaughter’ is being bandied about.
      No named individuals; nobody goes to jail for this. Just a hefty fine, and back to business as usual.
      Just like the banks, or RFC. Nobody will go to jail.

      • ockletycockletywitch says:

        This is my great fear, Jack. That those ultimately responsible for the deaths at Grenfell Tower will emerge unscathed and live to socially cleanse another day.

        The rapper Akala has nailed it when he says that this panelling was installed for appearances sake only, because the residents of the wealthy part of Kensington and Chelsea were tired of looking at the eye-sore where their servants were housed.

        The despicable exercise in “blame the victims” attempted by Nick Paget-Brown on Newsnight tells us what we can expect from now on. He explains that residents were more concerned with heating and hot water than with sprinkler systems, so the Council chose not to bother with the latter. He does not appear to be aware that what the Council SHOULD have done was address ALL the needs of the residents of Grenfell Tower, including their safety.

        I am sick to my stomach at the sight and sound of wealthy councillors, politicians and building contractors attempting to exonerate themselves and blame anyone, including the victims, rather than accepting that they have been caught red-handed and are as guilty as sin!

        There is talk of rioting and whilst I do not – cannot – support this, I can wholly understand it.

      • Andy Anderson says:

        Exactly Jack.

        Closer to home who was pilloried for the Edinburgh trams disaster, the schools that fell down? No one because councils build legal barriers with ‘in between’ companies. How can they hide prosecution? I mean the council and no one else is responsible for building standards in the latter case and financial management in the first case. There needs to be a crime called ‘gross mismanagement of public funds’ and also ‘Incompetence in project management’. This latter would have meant David Steel going to jail for the parliament building, he was in charge of the team.

    • m.boyd says:

      I have to be frank i’m not convinced that an openly gay politician and a Scot to boot would be selected to lead the Tory party any time soon.But lets hope so.

  25. AnnieM says:

    This from the EU Citizens for an Independent Scotland FB page. Interesting to hear the views of someone from the EU side.

    Richard Bijster
    The Clock Is Ticking…
    As an ex pat from Broughty Ferry that’s been living in The Netherlands for 20 plus years and has full Dutch citizenship, I’d like to give you all a big reality check. First of all though, I’ll say that I have nothing but sympathy and understanding for every single person that voted to stay in the EU, whether they be Scottish, Welsh, English or Northern Irish.
    Let me remind you all; Brexit negotiations begin on the 19th of June. That’s in less than 2 weeks. EU citizens, like myself, who live in the 27 countries that will be negotiating, will not accept any delay with these negotiations. The fact that the Conservative Party decided to hold a completely unnecessary and opportunistic General Election is completely irrelevant to us. The 24 month Brexit negotiaton timeline was set in stone once Article 50 was triggered. It comes across as very disturbing that UK politicians and political media pundits, on TV, radio and in the printed press, find discussing percentage of votes cast, which incidentally has no relevance whatsoever to a first past the post voting system, to be more important than discussing and sorting out the countries biggest blunder, Brexit. After all, wasn’t Brexit meant to be what this entire UK General Election was all about?
    As you are aware, the UK government has already triggered Article 50 and that 24 month clock is now ticking loudly. The current internal UK political crisis, constitutional or otherwise, does not interest us on The Continent. As opposed to the UK media, it’s not headline news here and hasn’t been for a while. The UK voted on Brexit and, unfortunately, it got Brexit. As far as the EU is concerned, the UK has already left. Since the Brexit leave vote, the EU has already financially calculated in the UK leaving. From an EU citizen standpoint, all that is now left to do is allow the UK to depart in an amicable manner.
    Hard or soft Brexit? I find it amusing that the UK government and pro Brexiteers think they are the ones who single handedly get to decide on what type of Brexit the UK is going to be offered, even before negotiations begin. What foolish arrogance that seems from this side of the Channel. They, aided by most of the anti EU UK media, are selling snake oil to UK citizens. Have they forgotten that there will be 27 countries on the opposite side of the negotiating table? None of our EU leaders will dance to the post colonial delusions of the current UK government. The days of the UK thinking it can tell others in Europe what to do are now over, any power or political influence that the UK government might once have had within the EU has completely evaporated with Brexit. It’s totally gone.
    Of course the UK can leave the EU. What the UK cannot do is decide to leave and then try to cherry pick all the bits of EU membership that are economically advantageous to the UK. We, as EU citizens and voters in our own countries, will not accept it. Furthermore, the idea held by pro Brexiteers that the UK is in some way holding all the cards is also completely delusional. As you’ll be more than aware, any deal made will never be as good as the one the UK already has as being part of the EU. The UK economy is already slowing down, the pound is falling and companies are already starting to leave. We EU citizens will not allow our economies to suffer because the UK starts, or tries to start, dragging its heels over Brexit negotiations. Our recovering economies are far too important for that, and, we will never allow our governments to accept it.
    However painful it may sound, the UK decided to leave, we in the EU didn’t ask it to leave. Brexit is the biggest self inflicted, loss of trade deals own goal a country has ever brought upon itself in modern history. The political folly of the Conservative Party and UKIP has turned the UK in to a complete laughing stock. Since the General Election on the 8th, the UK now comes across as a country running around like a chicken with its head cut off. Looking at it from this side of the North Sea, the so-called ‘United’ Kingdom looks anything but ‘united’, and, I can assure you, the country does not come across as being, by any stretch of the imagination, ‘strong and stable’. Theresa May and her current negotiating position really seem to be wishing the worst on their own citizens with no deal and the possible introduction of WTO trading rules. Let’s be honest, no amount of selling home made jam and cakes to former completely oppressed British Empire colonies, that incidentally don’t want them, is going to save the UK economy after a bad Brexit deal. Watching the ‘natives’ wave a Commonwealth flag and buy a Battenberg Cake isn’t going to cut it when it comes to financing the NHS post Brexit I’m afraid.
    Scotland, however, may still have one escape route, once the terms of Brexit start to become clearer. That escape route is independence, with either a return to full EU membership or joining EFTA. Scots must have more faith in their own capabilities. Self determination is only possible if we all truly believe in it. Setbacks like the General Election happen, it’s getting back on your feet, going forward and believing in the achievable goal of independence that will allow the pro independence movement to finally hit the back of the net. The option that the UK as a whole has left, is to throw Brexit completely overboard and stay a full EU member. The question here though is, can Article 50 be revoked once it has been delivered? The current legislation would seem to indicate that it cannot.

    • Thanks for this abstract from Richard Bijster, Anne.
      It echoes what any right minded person in Scotland, be they left, right, or middle in their political thinking, is now saying out loud.
      Brexit will be a disaster to rival The Deluge.
      Scotland has a Get Out Of Jail Card. Not a ‘Free’ card, but a card nevertheless.
      Already the Bank of England is considering upping interest rates to 0.5% since forecast inflation of 2% is set to reach 3% and the ‘Magic Money Tree’ of last August’s £60 Billion QE and £10 Billions a month in bonds by Carney to cushion the blow of the June Leave vote has run its course.
      The £ now buys you 1.13 euros. It may reach parity by August when England empties for the Summer Hols.
      This year we are not apparently off to sunny Spain. We can’t afford it.
      I can only imagine the dent that this madness has made in the value of your UK Pension in Spain.
      It must be a sobering thought that you are May’s ‘bargaining chip’ on Monday the 19th.

      • AnnieM says:

        You’re right Jack. I’m glad to be in the ‘sunny’ part of Spain at the moment (temps in the high 30’s), but our combined pensions have taken a severe beating in the last year. We are lucky that the cost of living is much lower here because our income over the tax year (1st Jan-31st Dec in Spain) reduced by €4,500.

        • Simply outrageous, Anne.
          Our thoughts and support are with you always, as you know.
          There will be the softest of Brexits, a trial separation, rather than a decree nisi. following a GE in October.
          I cannot see any other way out of this self imposed booboo for the London Establishment.
          Keep on truckin’, girl.

    • Macart says:

      Pretty much what many of us have been saying for weeks Annie. The ex pat is not wrong.

      A50 HAS BEEN TRIGGERED. The clock started the second that letter was delivered. It’s a matter of legal process, action and consequence. Twenty seven nations will NOT put their democracies and economies on hold because of the UKs problems. They have their own populations needs to deal with.

      They aren’t the bad guys. They didn’t initiate this process. They didn’t ask the UK to leave. They didn’t stop the UK from voting either. BUT they do have a very real say in how the the outcome affects them and they’re not about to let their populations and economies suffer because of a choice the UK made.

      This isn’t like Scotland dissolving the treaty of union where negotiated settlement is achievable and assets can easily be identified, cross border arrangements negotiated and so forth. That is a single process with a completely different legal and constitutional basis and bears only a surface resemblance. This really was an open membership with both responsibilities and advantages/rights of membership clearly defined and non negotiable. The foundation principle of the four freedoms underlines the EU.

      The leaving settlement has already been decided. What happens after Brexit has been concluded, the ‘new’ relationship with the UK’s continental neighbours, is a completely different process altogether.

  26. Abulhaq says:

    Independence movements elsewhere in the world have been more eclectic and diverse than ours. They have focussed on such things as language revival, cultural regeneration, infrastructural development, education, architecture, natural resources, land use etc. Paradoxically, in the days when the SNP had no parliamentary footprint those were the hot themes in nationalist circles. Independence offered a hope-filled prospect of a renewed Scottish society. It fuelled and fire the imagination with its boldness. The westminsterization of the National party has led to a narrowing of vision and perhaps also to a loss of direction. The notion that ‘It’s the economy stupid’ has subordinated everything to its mundane concerns; effectively tearing the beating visionary heart out the project.
    Economics is obviously important but the very idea that we Scots would only want independence provided we got it at a bargain price and with the bare minimum of personal discomfort is just too much of a self-parody.

    • AnnieM says:

      Good post. Although politics has to come into it, independence is just so much more. It’s about who we are, what we are, and how we want to live in the future. National identity if you like, not whether we vote SNP, Tory, Labour or whatever.

      • Abulhaq says:

        Exactly, we may just be getting to point where we are learning this thing is much bigger than party political, sectional and factional interest.
        It begins with the cry first and foremost ‘I am a Scot and I’m a citizen of the World’ not I’m SNP, Labour, Conservative, Green etc.
        Unionism or rather neo-unionism is reactionary. Clear on what ‘we’ cannot do but dishing up cold porrage when it comes to what we may do. Unappetising fare compared to what we offer. If only we could get the marketing right!

        • Abulhaq,
          as Macart points out, every scare tactic, lie, and false promise thrown at us by Project Fear and the MSM Big Money, Big Busienss, and the Establishment, have been shown to have been a tissue of lies.
          They have nothing left with which to threaten, cajole, or mesmerise us.
          I particularly relished Blair Mac Dougall’s humiliation the other week.
          On Monday we are seriously expected to believe that T May, Davis, Fox, and Johnson will turn up in Brussels fully prepared to negotiate Brexit.
          Yet incredibly many Scots citizens still voted for Unionist Exiteers.
          What do they think is going to happen to Scotland if we bend over and let them kick us in the ass?
          It is beyond belief that the MSM are not on top of this.
          We face the fight of our lives; one we must win.
          That’s about the size of it.

          • Abulhaq says:

            Yeah, trust me I’m a politician! Surprisingly there are some who wouldn’t find that amusing.
            We may, in the current system, need professional politicians but we don’t have to let them get on with it, unchecked. Take your scrutiny away and they may do something foolish.
            Continental Europeans are more cynical. They know the power of ‘the streets’. We’d be well advised to bin the rosy spex and get comfortable footwear.

    • ockletycockletywitch says:

      Very well said! There is so much more to the notion of “A Nation” than mere money. The trouble is that so many of the general population have been so effectively brain-washed into believing that the economy is all that matters! It must be our job, now, to make them aware of what it means to be a self-determining nation, over and above the bottom line!

  27. Macart says:

    You know, if two and a half years ago you’d painted a picture of the UK as it is today in the midst of the indyref debate, you’d have been called a liar, an alarmist, a zoomer of the first water.

    Wages in the longest period of stagnation for 70 years. The pound falling of a cliff. The UK facing Brexit and penury. The Uks politics in a state of anarchic chaos, it’s international reputation and standing in tatters and viewed by the international community as at best, a laughing stock. At worst, an isolationist and intolerant state.

    Scotland’s settlement alone from two and a half years ago has not, to date, been fulfilled. No Devo Max. No broad shouldered aid in times of economic hardship. No job boom or job security. (indeed thousands in the past two years may have something to say about that last pledge) No ships for the Clyde. No equal partnership on evidence, point of FACT a great deal of evidence to the contrary. Without let up, 24/7, 365 a year establishment political and media bombardment of the Scottish government and population. No constitutional security with overseas partnerships and trade (see under Brexit) and artificially induced divisions brought about by those sworn to care for and protect their populace.

    The UK 2017.

    Imagine, just for a moment, YES Scotland painting that picture in the summer of 2014. What would have been the reaction of Better Together, the UK media and HMG? Yet here we are.

    The only constant. The only protection for Scotland’s electorate have been the gatekeepers of our right to choose a different path. Now I don’t care whether you support the SNP as a party or not. I’m not fussed whether you are left of centre radical or right of centre business minded. I don’t care whether you like long walks in green, clean countryside or love the smell of deisel in the morning.

    You better thank your God that the current Scottish government are still exactly where they are and that they HAVE the mandate to offer you a choice. I doubt that choice would be forthcoming from anyone else.

    Independence is NOT and never has been simply about the SNP. It’s not conditional and it’s not a serving suggestion.

    It’s about YOUR governance, YOUR rights, YOUR freedoms, YOUR needs, YOUR aspirations as mandated by YOU, to a government of YOUR choice.

    P.S. Think very, very carefully about throwing that right to choose away.

    • Well said, Sam. more and more are beginning to realise this.
      We wait, but not for much longer.
      I am not a member of the SNP, but where would we have been without them?
      A government of the people of Scotland, elected by the people of Scotland, and accountable to the people of Scotland.
      There can be no argument now.

      • Macart says:

        People better be sharpish about choosing who to trust Jack. The window of opportunity is narrow and narrowing by the day.

        Who has actually put them in harms way and who has been constantly asked to mitigate and offset that harm?

        Simple questions which so few seem willing to ask themselves, let alone contemplate the inescapable answer. The answer would bring their belief system, their world view crashing down around their ears you see. So, no. They find it far simpler to be spoon fed their opinion via the media and hate others in blind ignorance.

        They’d rather watch their communities sink to rot and ruin and their society fracture beyond repair. They’d rather fiddle while Rome burns.

        Let’s make it simple. We need to set aside the petty differences which others use mercilessly to foment, to manufacture unbridgeable division and get our collective shit together. Look to what unites us and bury what divides. Lose the hate, the resentment, the petty bitching, the personal agendas the ‘I’ll only vote for indy if’ bullshittery.

        We’re human beings. All colours. All creeds. All parties and no parties. All points of origin.

        ALL SCOTS.

        We know the KIND of country we want to live in already.

        We better start acting like it before we lose the opportunity to make that country happen.

    • ockletycockletywitch says:

      What an excellent rallying cry! It makes me want to come home forthwith and “fight the good fight”! Thank you!

    • AnnieM says:

      Yes, I was reading this one this morning. It’s completely beyond comprehension that anyone could think that this will all turn out well for the UK, but so many still do!

      I posted it on a forum here in Spain and even some expats who live here think that Brexit is a good thing!

      • Andy Anderson says:

        It must be so good they are not rushing home Annie. Proves that most people are thick when it comes to politics.

    • Exactly, Macart. The English Commentariat take nine months to catch up with WGD, yourself, and others on this superlative blog. They get there eventually, but only when ‘it’s out of control, and heading your way.’ (q.v.)
      Davidson has already sharpened her gladius as she lines up to stab Big T in the back.
      It is bubbling up as predicted.
      Hubble bubble, toil and trouble.

  28. AnnieM says:

    Aye right! I don’t know how they did this, but this from The Last Leg on Channel 4 is good for a smile.

    https://mobile.twitter.com/Channel4/status/875780306502131713/video/1

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