The pot plants of Brexit

We’re at that phase in the Brexit talks where the EU has realised that further rebuffs of Theresa May would be very like repeatedly kicking a small and particularly dense puppy which persists in doing Jackie Baillies all over a very expensive rug. Any more kicks and the puppy is likely to expire, and then the Conservative party would only go and replace it with an incontinent creature with the attention span of a goldfish and the destructive instincts of a teething rottweiler which has swallowed ten grammes of amphetamine. Hence the rest of the EU decided that the latest dinner for EU leaders was to be Theresa May’s very own pity party.

Still, being patronised because she’s so weak and the Tory party is so hopeless made a nice change from the last time when no one wanted to talk to her. This is what constitutes progress for the UK in Brexit negotiations and heralds a whole new chapter in Britain’s brave buccaneering Brexit. We’re going to make fantastic trade deals with the rest of the world by making everyone feel sorry for us. Britain’s future can be secured if only we turn into a shambling ex-boxer who once was a contender for the title, but now is brain damaged and bankrupt. Still, look on the bright side, there’s already considerable evidence of brain damage in the Conservative cabinet and the hysterical right-wing British press. We’re halfway there already, and bankruptcy is looming too. Succexit!

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned on Friday that the second stage of the Brexit talks, the trade negotiations, are going to be a lot more difficult than the divorce talks. Since the supposedly easier part of the negotiations hasn’t exactly moved forward with anything you might call speed, this doesn’t bode well for the second stage if and when the EU ever agrees to move on to it. The pot plants which Theresa May stared forelornly at as she waited for the meeting to begin have more agility than the Brexit negotiations. You could tell she was pissed off. The plants get fed a diet of crap but at least they manage to look attractive. No amount of crap that Theresa feeds the British public can make Brexit look good. But at least the pot plants managed to get on the table and to sit there looking pretty, the trade talks look like they’ll never get on the table in the first place and even if they do they’re going to look very ugly.

There’s an important lesson here for the British government and the Conservative party. If the UK replaced David Davis, Liam Fox, and Boris Johnson with a spider plant, a busy lizzie, and a knobweed, the Brexit negotiations would be considerably further forward than they currently are and then instead of threats of a hard border we could be talking about a herbaceous one. This idea isn’t as ridiculous as it might first sound as there is already a precedent. Since 2010 Scotland has had an ornamental cabbage as its Secretary of State. Although on second thoughts there’s no real need to replace Boris Johnson with a knobweed because he already does a very good impression of one. There’s no reason to replace the much touted Jacob Rees-Mogg with a plant, because he’s already a fossil. Mind you it’s not like there’s much point in offering this advice to the Tory party, because even though many people speak to plants, there’s absolutely no evidence that vegetables in the party are going to listen.

French President Emmanuel Macron accused the turnips of the Tory party of bluffing on the question of the UK leaving the EU without any deal. Theresa May has never raised the possibility of the UK crashing out without a deal during her trips to Brussels to stare forelornly at the pot plants on the table, and he slapped down David Davis by pointedly remarking that the UK negotiator was operating under Theresa’s authority. Or at least he is for now. The problem here is that Macron fondly imagines that the UK government is halfway functional, when in fact the only reason Theresa retains a veneer of authority is because the party wants her to grasp the thorn of Brexit so she’s the one that’s poisoned by it.

It took the EU leaders all of 90 seconds to decide that there hasn’t been sufficient progress so far, and they’ll wait until December to revisit the question of whether enough progress has been made to allow the UK to move on to the trade talks. That 90 seconds included the usual pleasantries being translated into 25 languages. The last time a decision was reached that quickly was when Reporting Scotland came across a news story about how yet another of the promises of the Better Together campaign had turned to dust and decided to broadcast something about how bad the SNP is instead followed by fifteen minutes of fitba and something about a murrdurr.

In the meantime the EU will discuss a possible trade deal, but they won’t discuss it with the UK, they’ll just discuss it amongst themselves in the same kind of way that you make sure that a really annoying relative is no longer in the room before you start to talk about them. But it did mean that Theresa could return to London with something like a victory which will help to bolster her position against the triffids in the cabinet. She can now present them with a firm commitment from the EU that in a few months time it will consider looking at whether there’s been enough progress . And expectations are now so low that that counts as progress all by itself.

It’s still all about the money. Reports are that the EU is insisting on something in the region of €60bn which the UK will have to cough up to settle its financial obligations to the EU before it will consider moving on to trade talks. That’s considerably more than the €20bn which Theresa May has offered, and considerably more than the red white and blue cabbages in the Tory party are prepared to countenance. They still fondly believe that the UK is the stronger party in these negotiations, but the truth is that it’s the EU which possesses the pruning shears and the weedkiller. The reality of Brexit is that Britain is going to end up with what the EU is prepared to leave us with, and that’s going to leave us much worse off than before.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

The only way out of the darkness

If you’re old enough, you might remember the fall of the Berlin Wall, and then several years later the election of a Labour government after long and dark decades of Tory rule that crushed the soul, took a blowtorch to hope, and destroyed communities. The 90s were when many people really did have reason to believe that things could only get better. A brighter future beckoned, a Europe at peace with itself, a Britain in which the rampant greed and selfishness of the Thatcher era had been replaced with a kinder and gentler country which cared for the weak and provided for the have nots, a Scotland that had some control over its own destiny and a say in shaping its economy, its society and its fate. And here we are twenty years later, surrounded by the ashes of dreams. Things only got shittier.

The future has never looked bleaker. If you are a young person, the chances are that you will spend more on housing than your parents or grandparents, but you will have only a fraction of the chances that they enjoyed of ever owning your own home. You face a future of insecure housing, of precarious employment, of debt. When you do find yourself falling out of work, as you invariably will at some point, there will be no social security net to catch you. There will be no state pension waiting for you when you get old, you’ll be working until you drop and juggling each pay cheque as you pay off your debts. You won’t even be able to dream of saving up enough to retire to a sunny life on a Mediterranean shore, because Europe’s doors will be closed to you.

Embrace the grey sky, learn to enjoy the rain as you trudge to the foodbank. You’ll get what you’re given and you’ll be grateful. Promises made to you don’t need to be kept because you’re a nothing and there’s nothing you can do about it. The future is no longer bright, it’s dreich, it’s depressed, it’s debt-ridden. The future is a letter from the DWP to your elderly self as you struggle with arthritis, poor eyesight, a heart condition, and diabetes, telling you that you’re fit for work. You’re a burden.

Meanwhile the minority who enjoy inherited wealth will continue to get richer, they will continue to hoover up the best jobs and the best opportunities. They’ll go to private schools and move seamlessly into lucrative employment thanks to mummy and daddy’s contacts. They’ll tell themselves that what they’ve got they got entirely on their own, and then they’ll preach to us that this country is a meritocracy. They’re the Iain Duncan Smiths and the Jacob Rees Moggs. People like them will be our masters in this isolated island of Brexit cut off from the world. They suck up the wealth and value created by the sweat of the poor and they call the poor a burden on society. They blame those they’ve victimised for the victimisation. That’s the future of Britain. It’s a Daily Mail headline as policy. When they tell us that Britain is taking back control, they don’t mean that the likes of you or me will have more control over our own lives.

Things are so god-awful that many people are left hoping that Theresa May clings on to power because any Tory who might replace her is going to be even worse. There’s yet another Brussels dinner, yet another last ditch hope that something might be rescued from the wreckage of Brexit, yet another realistic assessment that there’s nothing new on the table. No hope. No future. No chance. The only thing that the UK is good at is delivering doubt, manufacturing fear, and trading in nostalgia and xenophobia. So much for Scotland needing the safety, security and stability of the UK. This is not the future that was promised to us in 2014.

This is not the country that we were told that Scotland was to be an equal and valued partner in. It’s a damned peculiar definition of partnership. It’s the partnership of a gagged and bound masochist with a sadist. It’s the partnership of a lamb being taken to slaughter and the farmer who will profit from its meat. It’s the partnership of despair with exploitation. It’s the partnership of the zero hours contract worker who struggles to work on an empty stomach and subsists on a poverty of options and the boss who rakes in a salary in the millions and who fills their boots with stock options. It’s the partnership of sit down Scotland, shut up and do as you’re told.

This week we witnessed the crumbling of yet another of the hollow promises made to Scotland in order to keep us a part of this farcical theft of opportunities that’s called the UK. Vote No and 13 type 26 frigates plus a number of cheaper type 31s would be built on the Clyde for the MoD, became eight frigates and maybe five type 31s, became three type 26s and maybe another five later on with the chance of an unspecified number of type 31s. And now it’s become three type 26 frigates and no type 31s at all. The silence deafens. There are no howls of protest. The same people who screamed their outrage at baby boxes are silent as one of the key promises of the Better Together campaign turns to dust. But they still blame the SNP for the MoD’s mendacity. This is Scotland in Union, hopes and promises slowly dying one by one and those who kill off our dreams blame those who offer an escape into a brighter land.

But it’s not too late. We can still wrest our future out of the hands of the selfish minority. We can still create a Scotland that’s a place where we can all live dignified lives. We can take our destiny into our own hands. We can think independently, we can act independently, and we can create an independent Scotland. It’s now clearer than ever that a Scotland that chooses its own future is the only way out of the darkness.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
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Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

Ruth’s soggy bottom

Well that’s it. Time to give up and go home. I don’t mean the independence campaign, Scotland needs it more than ever now. I mean serious political commentary – although thankfully this blog has never specialised in the serious. How can you be serious when the biggest piece of political news in Scotland today is that Ruth Davidson is going to appear on Bake Off? That’s it. That’s Ruth’s Scottish Conservative contribution to the pressing issues of today, she’s going to go on Channel 4 and swap double entendres about soggy bottoms with Sandi Toksvig.

The Scottish Tories are like the Life of Brian what have the Romans ever done for us sketch in reverse. What have the Scottish Tories ever done for us since their amazeballs breakthrough (TM the Scottish Unionist Media) and supposed detoxification? Bugger all, except to prove that they’re really still as toxic as they ever were, an excuse for sectarian dog whistles hiding behind a douce net curtain in a middle class suburb, to which they’re now adding some Great British Bake Off double entendres about how stiff you can whisk your cream. Their achievements in Parliament have begun and ended with the demonisation of the travelling community and a call for more Union flegs at Last Night of the Proms.

An effigy of Bungle the bear from Rainbow made out of moist toilet paper would be more effective at standing up for Scottish interests in Brexit than our cohort of lamentable Scottish Tories. Although it is entirely possible that an effigy of Bungle made out of moist toilet paper is in fact our current Secretary of State. It’s certainly difficult to tell the difference. The Tories haven’t even managed to remove VAT liability from the Scottish emergency services, the only ones in the UK who have to pay VAT. They’ve been silent on Brexit, the biggest issue facing us today, content to roll over and insist that Scotland must comply with whatever their bosses in the cabinet decide.

What is the point of the Scottish Conservative party? Oh yeah, it’s willfully confusing devolved and reserved issues during election campaigns, and having no policies whatsoever except saying that they’d oppose a referendum even if a large majority of the electorate voted for parties which supported one. The only difference between Ruth Davidson and Mariano Rajoy is the cheery photo opportunities. Both have the same lack of respect for democracy, and both put their own party interests before those of the country. Rajoy doesn’t want a Catalan referendum because he’s happy to create chaos as a distraction from the many and varied corruption scandals that are engulfing his party. Ruth doesn’t want a Scottish referendum because she knows that opposing one is a convenient distraction from the truth that her party have nothing to offer Scotland except a damaging Brexit that Scotland rejected and a return to the sectarian and xenophobic politics of the 1950s.

There are two reasons why this self-publicist with no policies has a reputation as one of Britain’s freshest and best politicians. The first reason is that Conservative politicians are so woeful that Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg count as towering intellectuals for the sole reason that they know that people in Latin America don’t actually speak Latin. So it’s not difficult for Ruth to stand out from the crowd. When the crowd consists of Andrea Leadsom, David Davis, Michael Gove and Liam Fox, even one of the Seven Dwarfs would stand head and shoulders above them. The Tory party do have seven dwarfs of their own – Sleazy, Lazy, Greedy, Kooky, Grubby, Loony, Shameful, and Schlock. All of them are junior ministers in the Brexit Department. When you’re up against a shower of nasty weirdos all you have to do is to appear halfway normal and you’re already well ahead of the game.

The second reason is the pisspoor nature of the British press. Any investigative journalism that we do have in this country is drowned out in the tidal wave of right wing boosterism. The British press is widely regarded as being the worst in Europe, and regularly comes at the bottom of European wide polls asking people how much trust they have in their media. The Scottish press is if anything even worse than the British media as a whole. Ruth Davidson used to be a BBC journalist, and when she embarks upon yet another of her cheery cheesy photo opportunities she’s facing a press pack largely made up of her pals.

She’s rewarded with one free ride after another. When the SNP had their conference recently, it was Ruth who was invited onto the telly to discuss it. Well I say discuss, what I really mean is that she was given yet another opportunity to explain to us all how very very bad the SNP are and how no one wants another referendum. On the very rare occasions when she is subjected to the kind of rigorous questioning that’s de rigueur when it’s an SNP politician, she falls to pieces. But then Ruth rarely has to face anything more penetrating than making jokes about the filling in a sponge cake on Bake Off.

But you can only go so far with a photo op. The regular gallons of Jackie Baillie which is spouted by Tory MSPs and MPs is an embarrassment of such a degree that it’s even starting to embarrass the brass neck of Ruth herself. And that takes some doing. The party remains mired in third place in the opinion polls, and the Scottish party is privately panicking about the poor calibre of many of their elected politicians. Your average Tory MSP is a person who firmly believes that Gaelic road signs cause pot holes, and doesn’t seem to understand that you can’t ask parliamentary questions about your business interests.

That’s what you get when you select your candidates on cronyism and their personal allegiences to Ruth’s career progression while your sole answer to every single question about policy is to say that Scotland doesn’t want another referendum. No amount of glossy press presentations can hide the fact that there’s precious little content, and that content that does exist is as nasty and antithetical to Scotland’s interests as the Tories ever were. The Tories like to crow that Scotland has reached peak nat, the truth is that Scotland has reached peak Tory. The only way forward for Ruth is down. A career on light entertainment on the telly might await her, but she’s got as much chance of ever becoming Scotland’s First Minister as soggy bottom from Bake Off.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

The fantasies of a trailer park government

The UK government apparently knows more about the effects of Brexit than it’s prepared to reveal. This isn’t a good sign. If the effects were going to be just absolutely wonderful they’d be plastered all over the pages of the Tories’ favourite pro-Brexit propaganda sheets. According to a former aide to David Davis, the Brexit Secretary, the government has researched the economic effects of Brexit, but is refusing to reveal its findings. According to the former aide, Scotland and the North East of England will be the worst affected parts of the UK. The government has refused a Freedom of Information request from opposition MPs asking for the research to be published. This government, that is supposed to represent and defend our interests remember, is refusing to confirm or deny that any such analysis exists.

It’s like that show Catfish on MTV in which a person involved in a long distance internet romance with a beautiful but strangely elusive young woman far away who comes up with a series of increasingly implausible excuses when ask to commit to a meeting or even a video call. The show helps the unrequited lover to track down the object of their affections, only to discover that the person they thought was a lithe and glamourous 21 year old with a successful career in sophisticated Los Angeles is in fact an unemployed overweight balding middle aged man with a scratch card addiction who lives with twenty flea-bitten cats in a rubbish strewn trailer in rural Alabama, typing away on his laptop as he sits in his stained underwear. The closest he’s ever come to sophistication and glamour was when his neighbours appeared on the Jerry Springer Show. Mind you, the closest the British government gets to sophistication and glamour is Michael Gove, so the trailer park guy does have one up on us there.

In response to the Freedom of Information Request, the UK government gave its reasons for refusing to confirm or deny the existence of the research. Apparently telling us the truth would undermine the Brexit negotiations, and would risk a “reactionary” response from people north of the Border. This is like the guy in the Alabama trailer park refusing to confirm or deny that he’s an unemployed overweight balding middle aged man with a scratch card addiction who lives with twenty flea-bitten cats in a rubbish strewn trailer because the people that he’s told he’s really a glamourous 21 year old woman are going to be severely pissed off with him.

The purpose of withholding this information isn’t for our benefit, it’s for the UK government’s. They have just told us in not so many words that if they did tell us the truth about themselves we’d be angry with them. And they’ve got the gall to imply that we’d be the ones in the wrong for being angry. We’d be “reactionary”. Hell yes we’d react. It’s an unwittingly revealing comment. It proves that we are ruled by incompetents who expect, indeed demand, that they should suffer no consequences for their incompetence because we might “react” when we discover the truth. When you unpack their constant refrain “respect the results of the referendum”, that’s what it really means, “We demand not to face any consequences for our incompetence, malignity, and selfishness.”

At least the guy in the Alabama trailer park does have a legitimate claim to his dreams of wealth and a luxurious lifestyle. You can actually win a fortune on scratch cards. Admittedly there’s a greater chance that you’ll be struck by lightning. It’s a tiny chance, but it is quantifiable and real. The chances that the Brexit that this government has in store for us is going to benefit Scotland are less than the chances that David Mundell is going to stand up for Scottish interests in the UK cabinet.

The probability of either of those two things happening in this universe are significantly less than the chances that you can open a portal to an alternate universe where they do happen using a roll of duct tape, a used battery, and a plastic tub containing the remains of last night’s curry. Coincidentally you can find these things in that trailer park in rural Alabama, which explains a lot about the British government’s negotiating strategy. To be honest, even if you could open up a portal to the infinite alternate universes in the multiverse, you’ll still never find one in which David Mundell ever stands up for Scottish interests. If got a plastic tub containing the remains of last night’s curry in my bin, it’s far more likely to stand up for Scottish interests than David.

The British government’s response does tell us quite a lot though, and none of it good for the British government. It tells us that the Conservatives hold us in contempt. It tells us that they have a sense of entitlement that makes the people who appear on Made in Chelsea seem like Trappist monks who’ve given away all their possessions to help alleviate poverty and have taken a vow to dedicate themselves to sharing the deprivations of the poor. It tells us that they think we’re stupid.

If the Scottish media really did stand up for Scotland in the way that they claim to, they would be hounding the government until this research was published. But with a handful of honourable exceptions, the Scottish media is the mouthpiece of the British establishment. It is no more likely to stand up for Scotland than David Mundell is.

Despite the disingenous attempts of the British government not to say one way or the other, it’s certain that this research exists. We may have a government which is headed by selfish and incompetent idiots, but they are not everyone in the British civil service. It would have been a pretty stupid civil service which hadn’t done some basic research into the economic effects of Brexit on various parts of the country. And besides, a guy who was once highly placed in the relevant UK government department has admitted that it exists. For the UK government to try and deny it only confirms the very worst fears about what the research contains. It’s not good news for Scotland. Brexit is going to shaft us, a Brexit that we didn’t vote for. We’ve got a government that sits in its stained underwear in a metaphorical trailer park in Alabama, trying to sell us its masturbatory fantasies of Brexit glamour and sophistication.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

Brexit the Movie

A new movie has been released, Blade Runner 2049, which depicts a dark and dystopian future. It’s basically post-Brexit North Lanarkshire with Harrison Ford and special effects and some really high tech. The dystopia is already here. It’s just that there’s bugger all that’s artistic or Oscar worthy about it, and the most technically complex thing that will be left once the Tories have wrought havoc with Brexit will be a pencil sharpener.

Our descent into dystopia continued this week with the news that Britain has now got its very own post-Brexit Board of Trade. It all sounds terribly exciting, although far less glamourous than anything involving sex androids, because the only robotic performances we’ve got are those from members of the Conservative cabinet. It becomes even less exciting once you discover that this new trade board has got precisely one member, and that member is Liam Fox. Or to give him the proper title about which he is so insistent – the Disgraced Former Secretary of State for Adam Werrity’s Lobbying. So it’s not really a trade board and more of a trade bod.

At least the new Board of Trade has the advantage that it will be able to make decisions very quickly. Liam will make a presentation to Liam, who will send it to Liam for consideration, and then Liam will weigh up all the alternatives that Liam has brought up and come down on the side that’s favoured by Liam and will then communicate that decision to Liam. The only problem is that it won’t be able to make any decisions because the UK won’t be allowed to make any trade deals of its own until after the country has left the EU, and probably not until after the end of the transitional period that Liam’s boss is desperate to arrange because otherwise the economy will plummet faster than Harvey Weinstein’s reputation.

The Board of Trade was originally set up to regulate the despoilation of the colonies and the running of slave plantations. It wasn’t set up to reach fair trade deals, it was originally set up by the rich in order to apportion the swag from their systematic theft of land, resources and wealth from people poorer and weaker than themselves. So pretty much like a Conservative plan for privatisation then. The original terms of reference of the Board of Trade is not an unfair assessment of what the Tories are planning to do with the rest of us once they’ve achieved their wet dream of a hard Brexit. Liam can’t negotiate any trade deals just now, so effectively he’s got a non-job, and has been reduced to setting up this Board of Trade in order to justify his self-aggrandising existence to the rest of us. If you look up the phrase “waste of oxygen” in a dictionary of political terminology, you’ll find that it’s defined as “Dr Liam Fox, the Disgraced Former Secretary of State for Puffing Up His Own Ego.”

He doesn’t have anything else to do, so apart from setting up a Board of Trade that he’s the sole member of and which can’t negotiate any trade deals anyway, he fills his time – according to Private Eye – with using government premises to host the launch of a new hard Brexit think tank headed by his pal the gollum like Daniel Hannon. This is apparently against the rules, but what are rules when you’re the man in charge of trading in Liam’s massive ego. If it were possible to monetise Liam’s estimation of himself, the UK would be the richest nation on the planet and we could do away with austerity. Unfortunately no one is in the market for Liam.

The sole member of the new Board of Trade thinks that political instability is a dreadful threat to economic security. To which anyone looking upon the epic unfolding disaster that is Brexit with its Tory backstabbing and its cluelessness can only say “No shit Sherlock”. However Liam thinks that the greatest threat to his free trade orgasmatron is Scottish independence, so it is incumbent upon us all to do all we can to bring about Scottish independence as soon as possible. It’s now a matter of morality. It’s independence or Liam. One of the chief proponents of Brexit claiming that the prospect of Scottish independence is the greatest source of instability facing the UK is a bit like Sawney Bean looking at raw fish and seaweed sushi and going, “Eeeeuww, how could anyone possibly eat anything as eeeky as that?”

Although we must recognise that from the perspective of the rest of the UK Liam has got a point. Without Scotland they’re screwed. Without Scotland the arse would fall out of the pound. Without Scotland they’d have nowhere to put their nuclear viagra and would lose their seat on the UN Security Council. Because if you honestly believe that Scotland is an economic basket case and is only kept afloat because, uniquely, the Tories like to throw billions of pounds at us out of sheer altruism, you probably also think that Liam is a huge credit to East Kilbride.

We’ve got a totally useless new Board of Trade, which trades in nothing but Liam Fox’s self-promotion, but back in the real world the Brexit talks have become mired in what the EU’s chief negotiator has described as a disturbing deadlock. Michel Bernier is disturbed, and that’s without even having to look at Michael Gove or listen to Liam Fox. Because no progress has been made, he’s unable to recommend that negotiations begin on the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. So that’s Liam twiddling his thumbs for the foreseeable.

We’re getting closer and closer to the once unthinkable prospect of falling out of the EU without any deal being done at all. The Conservatives are still more interested in falling out with one another, manoeuvering for personal position, and blaming everyone else for their own shortcomings. When they come to make Brexit The Movie, they’re going to need some pretty good special effects to represent the monsters of the Tory party, but the dystopian wasteland, the Conservatives are creating that all by themselves. It’s the rest of us who will have to suffer its consequences.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


gingercartoonWee Ginger Donations & Speaking engagements

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Just click the donate button.
Donate Button

Or you can donate by making a payment directly into a special bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information. Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

Many thanks.

Hypothetical situations

It’s not getting any better for Theresa May. It’s not getting any better for the rest of us either as Theresa and her not so merry band of Tory malignities drive us all closer and closer to the inevitable precipice, but at least we can enjoy a spot of Schadenfreude at Theresa’s difficulties along the way. Our Prime Minister is blessed with an unerring capacity to find a swamp to get mired in, and usually it’s one that she made for herself.

It was supposed to be easy. It was supposed to be a nice wee cosy chat with a friendly face. You know, the sort of penetrating and hard hitting interview that Ruth Davidson favours when she’s posing with a kitten in front of the cameras as her pals in the Scottish press ask her to explain just how god-awful the SNP is. There was Theresa, trotting along to have a nice wee chat with that lovely Iain Dale on his LBC radio show. That’s the Iain who was once a Conservative party parliamentary candidate. So Theresa was expecting a comfortable and cosy fireside chat, allowing her to indulge herself in her true political love, which is using as many words as possible to say nothing very much in particular, and reestablish her authority over her restless party after the debacle [cough cough] of her speech to the party conference.

Mind you, her wee chat with Iain was going to involve taking questions from the public, but these could safely be dealt with by Theresa’s usual tactic of answering an entirely different question to the one that had been posed. They were only punters, and could be cut off. If only she could do the same with the rest of the Conservative party, her life might be slightly more bearable. A woman called to ask how Theresa was going to guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK in the event of there being no Brexit deal with the EU. Theresa assured her that she was looking for the best deal, even though in parliament the previous day she had aired the possibility that there might be no deal at all. She was going to guarantee the rights of EU citizens by not telling them what their rights might be. So that was all clear then. At least to Theresa’s satisfaction if to no one else’s. She was being very clear. You always know that Theresa is being vague and evasive when she makes a point of telling you how clear she’s being.

Iain suddenly ceased being the cuddly Conservative offering a fireside chat, and started to poke Theresa with a red hot poker. Or at least a metaphorical one. Three times he tried to press her to give a reply, and three times she talked about something else entirely. After a soul destroying few minutes for any EU citizens listening, and indeed for anyone who actually possesses a soul – which discounts most members of the government – she finally conceded that no EU citizen was going to be thrown out. By which she meant that she herself was not personally going to send round the deportation teams to round them up and ship them out of the nearest ferry port, but if they wanted to leave of their own accord after losing many of their civil rights and being turned into third class human beings, Theresa wasn’t going to see that as her problem. This is one of the ways in which Brexit is going to make us all proud to be British, like the Opium Wars, or the theft of the marbles from the Parthenon, or anything that ever comes out of Piers Morgan’s mouth.

Then the poker came in for the kill. Iain pointed out with the poker that Jeremy Hunt has changed his mind on Brexit. Previously Jeremy opposed Brexit, but now he’s in favour because George Osborne’s dire predictions haven’t come true yet. So, Iain asked, how would Theresa vote if there was to be another EU referendum? To be fair, being told that Jeremy Hunt thinks Brexit is going just dandy isn’t much of a recommendation. After all this is the guy who’s ruined the NHS in England but still claims it’s in robust good health. Being asked to agree with Jeremy Hunt is a bit like conceding you don’t know the difference between a mild head cold and the Ebola virus.

Faced with the prospect of having to agree with Jeremy’s judgement, Theresa repeatedly refused to give an answer. It was a simple yes and no question, but this put her in the position of not being able to give a simple answer to a simple question. I’m not going to deal with hypothetical situations, she pleaded unconvincingly.

She could have lied, and claimed that she was now confident in her own policies and so would vote to leave. Or she could have told the truth and said that she was a remain voter, but the British people had their say in the EU referendum and as a democratically elected politician it was more important for her to do her duty and attempt to deliver the magic unicorns, fairy princesses, and golden egg laying geese that they’d voted for.

Theresa voted remain in the EU referendum, albeit none too enthusiastically, but now she’s the woman who is taking the UK out of the EU, who is leading negotiations and is planning the country’s future, one which she’s always telling us is going to be a rip roaring buccaneering free marketing success. By refusing to answer the question, she was telling us all that even she has no confidence in the policies that she’s trying to sell to the rest of us. By avoiding the question she’s only decreased what little confidence remained in her, and decreased the little confidence that remained that she’s able to produce a Brexit that’s not going to create huge damage to the country.

Today the Conservatives are out telling the media that of course Theresa was correct to refuse to answer the question. There’s not going to be another referendum so the question is purely hypothetical, they said in her defence. But Theresa deals with hypothetical situations all the time – like the hypothetical situation that the Conservative party is united and there’s no challenge to her leadership. Or the hypothetical situation in which Boris Johnson manages to get through a week without talking Jackie Baillie about some foreign leader. Or the hypothetical situation in which the British government is halfway competent and Brexit isn’t going to be an unmitigated disaster.

 


 

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The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


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The worst panto ever

We’re lurching ever closer to the precipice, crashing out of the EU with no deal being struck. Theresa May claims that the ball is now in the EU’s court. The EU looks back and says, “Eh, no. Your problem. You fix it. The ball is in your court.” It’s a whole load of balls as the UK and the EU tell one another, your court, no your court, no your court. This is what all the fine words and grand promises of the Brexiteers have come down to, the batting back and forth of oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is, oh no it isn’t. It’s like the worst panto ever, and I’ve been to one with the Krankies in it.

The UK is desperate for the EU to say that enough has been done in the preliminary negotiations to allow talks to move on to the post-Brexit settlement and a trade deal. You know those people that you see at a nightclub with a pained expression on their faces as they do a wee dance outside the toilet in the hope that they’ll be able to keep it in long enough. They’re less desperate than the UK. Nightclubbers in need of a quick Jackie Baillie only run the risk of peeing themselves and embarrassing themselves in a dark venue which they never need to visit ever again. The UK runs the risk of crapping all over the economy and embarrassing itself in front of the entire world. There’s no close it can pop up and disappear from public view for a short while. The mess is going to be seen and smelled in every British household.

The EU is in no hurry. It’s not the EU which faces the looming deadline of March 2019. The EU has the perfectly reasonable point of view that it was Britain which caused these problems, so it’s up to Britain to come up with a solution to them. Anyway, as former Taoiseach John Bruton pointed out on Monday, it’s not like the EU knows who it’s negotiating with. It’s not really that clear who is in charge in the UK just now. One half of the Tory party wants Theresa May to sack Boris Johnson. The other half of the Tory party wants Theresa May to sack Philip Hammond. The only thing that they can agree on is that none of them much like Theresa May, although they’ll put on one of their many faces and say otherwise in public because none of them want to be standing next to the fan when the Brexshit hits it.

The Tories have as many positions on Brexit as they have faces, and Labour is only managing to look coherent because they’re carefully avoiding saying anything much at all. There is so much uncertainty in British politics just now that the EU has no guarantee that any agreements reached at the moment will be adhered to by whoever it is that’s in power in the UK in a year or two’s time.

John Bruton’s comments came as a report by the Irish government on the Irish border post-Brexit was leaked to the press. To save you reading it, it essentially boils down to “feck feck feck feck”. It describes the UK claim that it is possible for the UK to both leave the Customs Union and have a customs free border with the Irish Republic as “somewhat naive”, using the same patiently exasperated tone of voice that you use to a selfish and very spoiled six year old who tells you that for their birthday they want you to get them a magic flying unicorn that craps chocolate buttons that give you the power of invisibility. Britain is hoping that some combination of wonderful new computer technology will allow it to have its Brexit cake and eat it, but this is a state which has all the technological competence of a drunk man wearing boxing gloves trying to text his girlfriend for a lift home.

Britain wants contradictory things from Brexit, and it’s hell-bent on dumping the responsibility for achieving them on everyone else. There is no magic unicorn, there is only Boorish Johnson and Jacob Rees Mogg, both of whom are easy to confuse with mythological creatures in a poor light. In a good light you can see quite clearly that they’re the stuff of nightmares. Let’s be honest here, this country is an utter utter embarrassment. Johnson is cringe making as foreign secretary, and Rees Mogg is just cringe making, and yet these dangerous fools are being seriously touted as the next Tory leader for no other reason than their apparent ability to quote Latin tags. In nomine hominis parvi. That’s Latin for “in the name of the wee man”.

Scotland’s role in this epic political farce led by a Widow Twanky and a Boris Balloon who’ve got as much chance of making a success of Brexit as finding a goose that lays your actual golden eggs is to look on helplessly from the sidelines. We might have chosen the option in two separate referendums that we were told would keep us in the EU, but we’re not merely leaving anyway, we’re not even being consulted in the process. We’re scarcely being kept informed. Scotland voted explictly for a reinforcement of devolution. Scotland voted explicitly to remain a part of the EU. But we’re being taken out of the EU by a government which is determined to use Brexit as an excuse to undermine and weaken the devolution settlement. Apparently this is democracy and if we complain we’re not respecting the referendums. Well that’s just a whole barrel full of rancid Jackie Baillie that is.

For the independence movement, the priority just now must be to organise ourselves, to get ready. The end game for the UK is approaching, and we need to be prepared for it. The only way out of this mess for Scotland is through independence, we need a broad based non-party and all-party campaign that is making the case for it. Other people got us into this mess, but it’s going to be up to ourselves to get out of it.


weegingerdug.scot

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. http://www.indyposterboy.scot/ You can now access this blog simply by typing www.weegingerdug.scot into the address bar of your browser, the old address continues to function, the new one redirects to the blog. The advantage of the new address is that it’s a lot easier to remember if you want to include a link to the blog in leaflets, posters, or simply to tell a friend about it. Many thanks to Colin.


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Many thanks.