Critical Unionist toss

Has anyone worked out what Britain’s stance on Brexit is yet? Because if they have could they please inform the Conservative government and the Labour party. Conservative ministers brief and counter brief against one another. David Davis disagrees with Phil Hammond. Phil Hammond disagrees with Liam Fox. Liam Fox disagrees with Boris Johnson. Everyone disagrees with Michael Gove. Although to be fair everyone has always disagreed with Michael Gove. Meanwhile the Labour party leadership issues one vague statement on Brexit after another, dancing around the question of membership of the Single Market like a horny 18 year old male virgin who keeps walking past the newagents but is too feart to go in and look at the top shelf magazines in case a friend of his granny sees him.

All that your average member of the public is seeing is an inchoate and bad tempered mess, which is indeed pretty much what members of the government and the Labour leadership, not to mention the EU, are seeing too. We’re now almost 15 months since the EU referendum vote, and seven months since Theresa May triggered Article 50, formally informing the EU of the UK’s intention to leave, and starting the big scary countdown clock. The countdown clock is ticking, but this mob can’t even solve the simplest Countdown conundrum: EW’RE UFCKED.

Remember how they told us in 2014 that Scotland would be much safer and more secure by relying on the broad shoulders, expertise and prestige of the United Kingdom? Oh how we laugh. A hollow bitter laugh, a laugh that covers for the hysteria and panic. Let’s face it, the United Kingdom couldn’t negotiate its way out of an empty car park with a man with a flag walking in front of the car. It has the expertise of a bill-less duck in an accountancy exam. It has all the prestige of a blow up sex doll in a convent. The United Kingdom bears as much relationship to a halfway decent and competent government as a 1970s DJ does to a much loved and respected celebrity. Waking up in this United Kingdom makes you want to pull the duvet over your head and hope that you’ve just been having a deeply unpleasant and surreal dream.

This week Westminster has been debating the Conservative government’s Brexit Bill, otherwise known as the “We’re Going to Take All Power But Have No Clue What to Do with It” Bill. The Bill is packed full of some very dodgy provisions that Del Boy Trotter would have a hard time putting a decent gloss on. There’s the infamous Henry VIII powers, which give this bunch of incompetents the legal authority to make primary legislation, which is a bit like giving a wayward toddler a box of matches, a can of petrol, and a shed full of explosives. As the name suggests, the provision dates back to Henry VIII, a time before the United Kingdom existed. If you needed an illustration of how the so-called Union is really the incorporation of Scotland into the unitary state of Greater England, there’s your proof right there.

Another more realistic title for this Bill would be the Shafting the Devolved Administrations Bill. The Labour party in Wales is pretty upset about what the Conservatives in Westminster are proposing to do to the devolution settlement, the Labour party in Scotland not so much. The Labour party in Scotland doesn’t think that it’s its job to oppose the Conservatives in Westminster, what with them being the government of this glorious union and all that. It’s not that the Labour party in Scotland doesn’t have a spine, it’s just that they sold it for funding for the Better Together campaign. These days Ruth Davidson uses it as a perch for her photo opportunities.

The only people more spineless and supine than the Labour party in Scotland are those Conservative backbenchers who support Remain. One after another in the debate in the House of Commons they stood up to voice their concerns and regrets about the shortcomings of this bill and the damage that it might create, but none of them were concerned enough to vote against the government. But even they seemed like resolutely principled martyrs in comparison to the two Labour MPs who abstained. Caroline Flint and Frank Field didn’t oppose the Bill on account of the fact that it would be a betrayal of the referendum result to insist on a Brexit that’s not a complete and utter disaster that destroys the economy and diminishes the power of a parliament the protection of whose sovereignty was a key part of the leave campaign. The people voted for red white and blue coloured unicorns, and Frank and Caroline don’t think it’s their job to tell their constituents that unicorns don’t exist.

The Bill passed by 36 votes. Scotland’s Conservative MPs, every single one of whom represents a constituency where a majority voted to remain, voted with the government. That’s the Scottish Tories for you, you can always rely on them to stand up and do what is needed, what’s needed by a Conservative Government that is. Who cares what Scotland needs, the Conservatives certainly don’t. On Tuesday the Scottish Conservatives said that they were willing to enter talks with the SNP and the other Scottish parties to discuss changes that could be made to the Bill in order to ensure that it gains the support of Holyrood. The Tories had their chance to speak up and insist on changes to the Bill in Westminster on Monday, they refused to take that chance.

This Brexit Bill is a naked and opportunistic power grab on the part of the Westminster Parliament. The Conservatives intend to rip up the devolution settlement. Whereas the previous assumption underlying devolution was that all powers are devolved except those which are specifically reserved, this bill turns that assumption on its head. All powers will return to the Westminster Parliament, and then it will decide which, if any, it’s going to restore to the devolved administrations. Since Holyrood doesn’t have the legal power to change some of the laws in devolved areas in competencies which are currently exercised by the EU, the bill actually represents an increase of Westminster’s power over Holyrood. And the Tories still have the utter gall to claim that Brexit means that Scotland will get more power. When the countdown clock finally ticks down, Westminster is going to discover that the Critical Unionist Toss of the Brexit Bill is a countdown conundrum for Constitutional Crisis.


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55 comments on “Critical Unionist toss

  1. Jim Graham says:

    Another good one Paul

    So how legal is it for the Westminster parliament to use a law, against Scotland’s interests, based on a declaration by an English king some 168 years prior to the union. Surely that proclamation by Henry has no weight in law in the Kingdom of Scotland and cannot be used by ministers to pass primary legalisation affecting Scotland. Perhaps somebody more versed in the Treaty and Act of Union could have a look and see if there is a get out clause. A “We are leaving now” clause would be even better.

    • Bill Purves says:

      As the treaty was signed between the two governments, there is nothing to stop either one rescinding the treaty. This has been done worldwide over the centuries.

      • Jim Graham says:

        No Scottish government would do that unless backed up by a successful referendum result.

        • Tatu3 says:

          I know nothing about the law but if this was possible, can the Scottish government not do this in the best interest of Scotland and it’s people? They were voted in to act on our behalf. And a large majority voted to stay in the EU.

  2. To all those who voted for British Nationalists at the GE, is this what you had in mind?
    Scotland ceased to exist as a country yesterday; or so Mundell and Co think.
    There will be blood, metaphorically speaking.
    Traitors one and all.

  3. Dan Huil says:

    Holyrood must vote against this arrogant britnat legislation. And they/we must make as much noise about it as possible. Time to make a stand.

  4. It is 1933 Germany.
    Low taxes for the rich and big business, smash the unions, drive the poor into low paid low skilled zero hours contracts, persecute minorities like gypsies and ‘foreigners’, and mount the greatest campaign of hate lies and threats known to the civilised world against the enemy of the state, in this case pro Independence Scots. WE are to be ground underfoot?.
    IF indeed there are about a million ‘colonists’/’settlers’ Up Here who will cling on to their precious Union at any cost, and there are still 43-45% Yes voters then it is going to get very sticky indeed.
    A family cannot refuse a zero hours contract, and face having their UCS stopped if they do not join the slave economy of Ruth Davidson’s New Britain.
    By April 2016, the Fourth Reich will be well underway.
    Scottish Labour. what the fuck are you thinking about?

  5. bringiton says:

    Since our referendum,the Tories have been acting as if there are no devolved administrations,only one nation under Westminster.
    The test of this will be how they react when Holyrood refuses to pass their legislation into Scots law.
    Passing a Tory law which enables the colonial governor to do this?
    Or,given their recent track record,simply ignoring Scotland until some future date when it becomes necessary for them to act.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Mayhems actions in delegating contact with the first minister to fluffy the tea boy ,The great high heed yin can’t be seen conversing with anyone below her status and rank , This gives a almighty up yours to Unionist and Independence supporters alike, she makes no difference between them .

      Time for Unionists to pick a side, do they allow themselves to be urinated on from a great height, or will they get off their knees , Mayhem & Co care as much about them as they care about Independence supporters, North of the border it’s all just Jockland we are all the same, Do you think we should tell them and burst their balloon. Nah f/k them all , one day it will hit them , and there will be no one around to wipe their tears .

  6. Brian Powell says:

    Well, you know, people looked to the Westminster MPs for leadership then discovered they just live there.
    However, Nicola Sturgeon does have a plan.

  7. Bob p says:

    This situation has now gone beyond a bad joke,and is becoming completely f****ng unacceptable.

  8. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

    Don’t say you weren’t warned folks. Brexit was NEVER about sovereignty or bringing powers home, or taking back control.

    It was ALWAYS about Tory power struggle, centralizing legislative power, and control of your rights. This site and many others highlighted the inherent danger in the Great Repeal Bill and the Henry VIII clause. Highlighted the threat posed by the runaway narrative created by the UK government and spread (willingly) by the UK media.

    ‘Told you so’ isn’t going to solve the problem or make it go away. The Scottish Government can’t do it either. Not on their own. The only thing the Scottish government can do is give you the opportunity to do it for yourselves. Only YOU can stop a Tory hard Brexit. Only YOU can prevent a Tory government from undermining your parliament and ultimately destroying your democracy.

    Your rights aren’t a serving suggestion. Your democracy too hard won. You use them. You care for them. You protect them… or you lose them. Do NOT be under any illusions. As of last night’s vote, all of this is on that table which Camo and Jezza keep telling us about.

    So are we done with Bettertogetherness yet? Are we done with broken pledges, hostile media assaults, constant denigration, demonisation, economic, societal and political chaos. Or would we prefer think about it a while longer?

    Whilst you’re thinking. It may be worthwhile considering that some day your kids, or their kids might need those rights and the freedom to choose.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      A couple of months back I put in a poem written about the loss of freedom. That poem was written in reference to what happened in Germany pre 1939. Its words reflected exactly what we are seeing now, a continual loss of freedom by drip drip nationalism of a very black kind. A nationalism based on dogma by a few.

      As Paul highlights this is allowed to happen by the spineless representatives of the people. Shame on them. Will they ever smell the coffee? Who knows, I expect not.

      The poem states that freedom is fluid, it leaks away like water from a bucket with a hole. It must be fought for. We I feel are nearing that fight as we near a big constitutional stramash.

      • Macart says:

        ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it’ is a quote which springs to mind quite often these days.

  9. grizebard says:

    I just wish I knew what SNP policy on Brexit was as well. We had the SG’s attempt (fair enough) to offer a compromise “we’ll stay in the Union if you’ll just give us EEA/EFTA”. That went well.

    Nicola started off reassuring EU citizens that they were valued and would be welcome to stay, and telling it straight during the UKGE that the SNP stood for Scotland in the EU, That was refreshing. A rare thing – a politician of principle. But now some people in the SNP are piping up that it has to be EEA/EFTA instead. (Not least those who are still MPs, or until recently were such, who seem strangely keen to be biding there.) FGS, haven’t we had enough of 2nd class citizenship in the UK?

    After a summer of passivity, now this additional confusion. It’s all looking way too rudderless and uninspiring.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      The uk government keeps moving the goal posts where as the snp government here has to work with what it has even if the hand is a useless pile of shite

  10. C avery says:

    Michael Gove was hated when he was a journalist at the P and J and was banjoed a couple of times then… so I heard.

  11. Gavin C Barrie says:

    @ grizebard; Macart answered your concerns before you asked them.

    We, the people need to mobilise. Don’t look/wait for the SNP to lead you,they have to concentrate on the “day job”, according to our Unionist Scots politicians. Join your local Yes group. If there isn’t one local to you, then start one.

    This Henry VIII stuff is ludicrous, and worse, insulting –

    rules are for the guidance of the wise, and the obedience of fools – democracy?

    laws must be adapted to circumstances if they are to maintain order – Tory Speak?

    “Corruption and hypocrisy ought not to be the inevitable products of democracy, as they are today”.

    Gandhi

    “Scotland, we have a problem”.

  12. Joan Campbell says:

    It seems the Scottish government has a trick up their sleeves. They can apparently pass a number of bills faster than normal while we still have the EU component. I don’t know how this will work but the Tories seem to be feeling the fear and offering to discuss the situation with John Swinney and Mike Russell. Jackson Carlaw and Adam Tomkins are the two to be sacrificed and Westminster is arranging a meeting for mid October. What has Nicola done to rattle their cages? If they thought she was just issuing empty threats like they do, I think they are going to get a shock.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      I don’t know but Nicolas on the attack for once about time sick of her playing defense with the unionists attacks

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Joan do you have any references I can read to inform me what you mention in more detail. What is SG doing that is worrying the British Nationist branch members in Edinburgh?

  13. Alba woman says:

    I feel as if my devolution coat has been removed from its shoogly nail. I am being being run by my coat collar out of Europe and into a much darker place.

    Excellent summary of what is going on WGD. The energy expended on cover ups by the Tories would light up the UK.

  14. Stevie says:

    “The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.”

    ― George Orwell

  15. If the Westminster Government (and I use the term government loosely) can “take back control of our country” from the EU by repealing the Treaty which made the UK a part of the EU – with a miserable 4% majority of the vote for a mandate – then why cannot the Scottish Government “take back control of our country” from Westminster by repealing the Treaty of Union – having a 24% majority of the vote in favour of remaining in Europe?

    There was no “Act” of Union, although it is often referred to as such, it was merely a treaty between two supposedly equal Governments. This being the case, and the fallacy of a “Union of Equals” having now been demonstrated beyond doubt, the Treaty of Union is LONG past its “sell-by” date and Scotland needs to withdraw from it forthwith.

    Every ‘Yes’ supporter should write to Nicola Sturgeon, and to their own MSP, DEMANDING that the Treaty of Union be repealed without delay. We MUST make our voices heard before it is too late. No more “softly, softly, catchee monkey” – no more Mr & Mrs Nice-Guy. It’s time to oil the wheels of the tumbrils and sharpen the guillotine – if that is what it takes to free us from this monstrous hegemony!

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Agreed. However if SG did this now there would be an uproar of anger. Hence the need to take people with you by a ballot.

      • Tatu3 says:

        But we can’t wait till everyone in Scotland is on board with the Scottish government. That’ll never happen. Surely making the majority (62% voted to remain) happy is what a good government is about. Hopefully afterwards most of the 38% will end up agreeing once they see how much better Scotland is independent?

  16. AnnieM says:

    A couple of very apt Ronald Reagan quotes at the moment:

    “No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.”

    “The scariest words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the Government and I’m here to help’.”

  17. One_Scot says:

    It really does make you wonder, could the Tories and the unionists forever lie to, deceive, con, damage and repress Scotland to any extent they wish and Scotland will always accept it, or is there some point at which we would say enough is enough.

    To be honest, if we do not have the sense to leave now, when we are on the verge of being dragged into a black hole, not sure we ever will.

  18. darthtimon says:

    I absolutely love this post. As an Englishman I am trapped by whatever happens with Brexit, with no foreseeable escape plan (unless perhaps one day Scotland waves goodbye completely and I have relocated my loved ones to the Highlands). I’ve said it elsewhere – I hope Brexit works out – I am not confident that it will.

  19. J Galt says:

    The Scottish Tory MPs are there to collect their salaries and for no other reason.

    Their only questions in parliament will be to the whips “what do you want us to do?”

    “Sic a parcel o’ shite in a Nation” – to paraphrase the main man!

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      Lest ye ever forget…

      ‘Scotland’s Conservative MPs, every single one of whom represents a constituency where a majority voted to remain, voted with the government.’

      And lest ye forget… Every contituency in Scotland , every one, including the ‘Guardian of Scotland’s’ constituency voted to Remain in the EU… where is Electorate’s representation in Parliament? if you voted to Remain.

      It is clear for all to see in what regard the interests of the People of Scotland are held by those that take their seats representing the Conservative Party.

      When an entire Country votes to Remain in the EU.(that is Scotland by the way) .. perhaps the entire Country (at least those who voted for and want to Remain) should directly apply for continued EU Citizenship direct to the EU, if our elected MPs are going disregard our democratiic wishes.

      and if anyone tells you ‘the UK as a whole voted to Leave’ … lets have a discussion about how having 50/50 representation in this ‘equal’ Union…. is long overdue (rather than a tenth) and watch them run for the hills…. its time the playing field was levelled … and Scotland has a system fit for the modern Democratic age, where your vote actually counts……………. Independence.

  20. AnnieM says:

    This is starting to get really scary now. The Tories have obviously noted how well Scottish renewables are doing!

    http://newsnet.scot/archive/fury-after-unelected-peers-strip-power-from-scotland/

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Bastards

    • Annie, we have had a bunch of Robber Barons clinging on to vast tracts of Scotland since they sold us down the river to England 300 years ago.
      The House of Lords is as immoral and vile as China, the USSR, and North Korea, yet, not only are we ‘ruled’ by this bunch of British Nationalists, we are expected to take it in the chin every time they steal yet another piece of our land, wealth, and resources.
      Come the Revolution, and we are talking Velvet Revolution now, it is essential that this bunch of Powdered Wig Chancers are stripped of their entitlement to land which their forebears stole from us by butchery and slavery.
      It is a nonsense that in a land of 5.4 million souls, we are crammed together in little pockets of the country, while millions of acres lie underdeveloped, as Grouse moors, stag hunting estates, and golf resorts.
      It is time that we banished the hierarchy from Scotland all together, and outlaw ownership of our land to a few hundred of the so called ‘nobility’ and wealthy as Grand Theft.
      I’m oiling the wheels of my tumbril and beginning to knit my winter scarf.
      It is an absolute farce that we bow down before any man or woman in this 21st Century.
      We are taking back control.
      I see that Boris Johnson has been despatched to the Tax Havens to make sure that the Oligarchy’s Safety Deposit Boxes have not been looted in the storms.
      I am sick fed up of this notion that Scotland stands meekly by while England invades, and their resident collaborators asset strip.

    • Ealasaid says:

      Annie, that article is dated 4th December 2013. It cannot be the result of recent events.

  21. AAD says:

    Ever since the Henry VIII clause was mentioned I have been asking how this could be applied to Scotland since Henry VIII was never King of Scots and the Union of the Crowns didn’t take place until 1603 and the Union of the Parliaments was in 1707.

    I sincerely hope that Ms Sturgeon and the Scottish Government does have something in mind.

    I am not a young person but I feel like taking to the streets over this. I am raging at SLAB for not standing up for Scotland and hell slap it into those who voted Tory in Scotland in the recent GE. Hypocrites all.

  22. Iain Ross says:

    I can not belief what is happening here but all I see s a pretendy nation where the bulk of the population do not seem to give a toss. Soul destroying if I am being honest. What has happened to people in Scotland?

    • AnnieM says:

      Looking at the video of around one million Catalonians on the streets of Barcelona in an entirely peaceful rally for independence brought tears to my eyes and the thought, ‘If only the Scots could reach this level of enthusiasm”.

      Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could even get 100,000 people on the street in Edinburgh singing Flower of Scotland.

  23. Muscleguy says:

    The media, sections of it anyway are intermittently full of articles saying ‘maybe Brexit won’t happen’ or ‘we can have an EFTA like relationship’ which means a lot of No/Remain voters in Scotland have not made up their minds. They are hoping against hope that ‘something will come up’ or it won’t be all that bad. The Scottish governments noises about managing the Brexit, Salmond flying the kite for EFTA as though we hadn’t voted so strongly to REMAIN in the EU is the reason why the support for Yes has not, yet, risen.

  24. The New Statesman gives Blair McDougall (remember him?) a platform to spout the most hysterical nonsense I’ve read in a while.
    This is a quote;
    ‘The role of good journalism in reporting the facts and offering clear-headed analysis is an anathema to them.’
    ‘Good journalism?’ Spot the edit lapse.
    He attempts to align the British Nationalism of the Brexiteers with the Scottish Independence Movement, and compares Leadsom’s attack on the BBC as being ‘unpatriotic’ by supporting the ‘Remoaners’ view of Brexit, with the Yes Movement’s accusation of MSM bias and pro UK Unionist propaganda tsunami during Indyref 2014.
    He refers to Nick Robinson’s spat with the First Minister as taking place in a hall full of pro Independence supporters.
    What mind altering substance was Big Mac on when Salmond held that particular Press Conference?
    He gets a wee dig in about his fellow Rotund, Stephen Daisley being hounded out of STV by vindictive Nat MP’s and poor Jackie Bird queen of the BBC North British Colony is described as being harassed by the nasty Nats.
    This big blob of a New Labour Failure still gets column inches to churn our this Better Together Project Fear tosserie.
    ‘Give me men about me who are fat, men who sleep o’ nights.’ right enough.
    Mr McDougall, your precious wee Union is dead, your Labour Party is being destroyed by 21st Century Marxist Militants. It no longer exists Up Here.
    You speak with no authority or mandate at all. Yet the MSM give you column inches to pervert history.
    Scotland will be Free, and England and Wales will suffer at the hands of your New Labour Red Tory Pals Down There. No immigration, no single market, customs, tariffs, Texas hormone fattened beef and chickens bathed in Domestos.
    What a neurotic jumble of nonsense this man’s ramblings is.
    Haud yer wheesht, Mc Dougall, and let the rest of us get on with taking Scotland, this wonderful, proud, wealthy, resourceful nation forward into a bright and positive future free of grubby wee Labour Lib Dem and Tory British Nationalists.

  25. AnnieM says:

    I don’t know how our SNP MPs put up with the sneering and smirking at them in WM. I’m not sure how much more of it I can take before my blood pressure goes through the roof!!

    I’ve always thought that the antics in London were like a primary school playground, but it seems to be even more pathetic since this Brexit nonsense.

    Is there really any point in having SNP MPs when the PM can, in all seriousness, come out with the statement that we are lucky to have 13 Scottish Tories to look after our interests?

    • I’ve been asking myself the same question AnnieM. Perhaps our MPs efforts would be better directed if they withdrew from Westmonster (a la Sinn Fein) and concentrated on withdrawing from the Treaty of Union altogether.

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