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.
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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