What a Priti fine mess voting No got us into

So, do you remember that bit in the Better Together pitch to the people of Scotland in 2014 when they told us that Scotland needed the heft and credibility of the UK to represent us on the world stage? See if you swallowed that. See the Brexit negotiations. See Boris Johnson. See Priti Patel. Are you not pure dead mortified now? Whit a riddy. The only notable thing about Britain striding the world stage is how many pratfalls it makes. British diplomacy is a laughing stock.

Britain notoriously doesn’t do a great deal to help those of its citizens who get into trouble while abroad. That’s one reason why the former BBC world affairs correspondent John Simpson used to travel to war torn regions using his Irish passport. Simpson said in an interview with the Guardian that the Irish government would be far more likely to help get him out if he was arrested or kidnapped.  The Irish actually give a toss about their citizens who get into difficulties abroad, but it’s also true that all too often Britain is one of the reasons a region is war torn in the first place. However you’d imagine if you were a British citizen who had been arrested by a foreign government on trumped up charges that the very least that the UK could do would be not to make things even worse for you. But Britain can’t even manage that.

The British-Iranian journalist Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested and jailed by the Iranian authorities when she was on a private visit to the country with her infant daughter, visiting her parents. She’s now serving a five year sentence in an Iranian prison for a supposed crime whose details have never been revealed to her. Her young daughter has been denied an exit visa, and her English husband denied an entry visa, separating the child from both her parents on top of everything else. Her husband has persistently pressed the British Government and the Foreign Office for help, without much success.

Then along comes Boris Johnson with his big mooth and his even bigger ego. Boris confidently asserted to a parliamentary committee that Nazanin was in Iran in order to teach journalists, contradicting everything Nazanin, her family, and her employers have been telling the Iranians. Shortly after he made the statement, Nazanin was hauled out of her jail cell and into an Iranian court where she now faces an additional five years on top of the sentence she’s already serving. Iran claims that the Foreign Secretary’s remarks provide evidence that she was agitating against the Iranian regime.

Not even a grudging apology could be dragged out of Boris Johnson, he actually tried to deny that he had claimed Nazanin was teaching journalists even though his words had been recorded by both the committee minute takers, and by the TV cameras which were present. The most he would concede was that he “could have been clearer”. But he was perfectly clear, and he perfectly clearly said something incorrect that risks keeping a British citizen years longer in an Iranian prison. Boris has a big mooth, he has a bigger ego, but he’s an irrelevant little man with big pretensions representing a irrelevant little country that imagines it’s still important.

Priti Patel, the international development secretary, went on holiday to Israel. I don’t know about you, but when I go on holiday to somewhere warmer and sunnier than the UK, which is most places, all you want to do is laze about in the sunshine, eat and drink too much, and take in the local sights. For Priti the local sights included the offices of senior Israeli politicians, including the Prime Minister Netanyahu, the former finance minister, and the public security minister. She also met with officials from the foreign ministry and with representative from a number of other Israeli organisations. In a holiday lasting less than a fortnight, she managed to fit in 12 meetings with government representatives and politicians. That’s not just a degree of workaholism that really needs the intervention of a 12 step therapy programme, it was also both breathtakingly stupid and arrogant because Priti forgot to mention any of this to the British Foreign Office, the British embassy in Tel Aviv, or her boss Theresa May. Worse, when the story first came to light she tried to claim that the Foreign Office knew all about it, when in fact she hadn’t notified them in advance at all. She hadn’t really meant to do anything wrong. If she had met with Benjamin Netanyahu is was just because she was the 3 millionth tourist in Israel this year and he wanted to surprise her.

Brexiteer Priti wanted Britain out of the EU in order to restore full sovereignty to the Westminster Parliament, but she changed her plans about an official trip to Africa and got an earlier flight so that she wouldn’t have to face questioning in the Commons. Which is just as well, at least for her, as it now transpires that she held another two undeclared and undisclosed meetings with senior Israeli officials since she got back from her holidays.

It turns out that Priti wanted to send British government aid money to the Israeli army for projects in the Golan, a Syrian territory which Britain and the international community regard as being illegally annexed by Israel. She came to an agreement with the Israelis without clearing it with the Foreign Office, the Prime Minister’s office, or the British embassy in Israel, all of whom would have told her that she was overstepping her authority by holding meetings without clearing them in advance, and that it’s a breach of international agreements entered into by the UK for the British government to send aid money to the Israeli army for spending in occupied territories.

Worse than that, it transpires that a lobbyist from the Conservative Friends of Israel group was present during some of these meetings and had a role in arranging them. Breaches of the ministerial code don’t come much clearer. Either Priti Patel didn’t know what she did was a breach of the ministerial code, in which case she’s too inept and incompetent to remain in office, or she did know and did it anyway, in which case she’s unfit for office.

In a normal world, Boris and Priti would both have been sacked immediately. But this isn’t a normal world. This is Brexit Britain which has a Prime Minister who is too weak to keep her idiot ministers in check, and they’re too weak to force her out of office because they fear that bringing her down risks another election in which they’d have to face the voters and be held to account for their rank incompetence.

At the time of writing, Priti Patel was on a plane, having been ordered to cut short her official trip to Africa and return to London for a meeting with the Prime Minister. It is quite likely that by tomorrow, Priti Patel’s formal title will be the Digraced Former Minister Priti Patel. But just like her colleague, the Disgraced Former Minister Liam Fox, who was very keen to defend Priti over the past few days and to downplay her actions, the chances are that she’ll serve a wee while on the backbenches, and then crawl back into government like nothing had happened. That’s how justice works for the powerful in the UK.

Look at Boris and Priti, look at a Theresa May who heads a government that’s as chaotic and stable as a paralytic drunk on roller skates, and considerably less clear headed. This is what the broad shoulders of the UK look like. This is the security and stability of the UK that Scotland was told it relies upon. There is no certainty in the UK except that the UK is an international embarrassment which is only fit for providing tax avoidance schemes in its overseas territories for the super-rich. The sooner Scotland escapes from its clutches the better.

We couldn’t possibly do any worse by being independent. At least we could hold our heads up high and if a Scottish goverment behaved even a quarter as bad as this mob in Westminster, we could boot them out of office. As part of the UK, all we can do is hold our heads in our hands and watch as the clowns destroy our futures. It’s a Priti fine mess that voting No has got us into.


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21 comments on “What a Priti fine mess voting No got us into

  1. Macart says:

    Priti much bang on (Couldnae help it). 😀

    Going back to the last thread slightly. This is what the likes of a Tom Gallagher would have you believe is the kind of government we should support. Indeed many of the British Nationalist backing choir would have you believe its the only kind we deserve.

    I suspect Mr Salmond has the right of it about now though, when alluding that there’s never been a weaker or more chaotic Westminster government. I personally can’t remember any UK government being so dysfunctional.

    Corrupt, venal, cruel, greedy, self absorbed, arrogant and ignorant, hell yes. Broken, chaotic and shambolic to this degree though? I suppose its a case of chickens coming home to roost, or Karma doing what it does best right enough, but jinkies they’ve managed it in quite spectacular fashion.

    Indyref fallout, Brexit omnishambles, austerity ideology, snap GE facepalm, sex scandals, ministers collapsing like nine pins and going off reservation, cabinet splits, foreign office gaffs and international embarrassment. It’s going off in all directions and all at the same time. Yet they’re looking for backing, unity and loyalty from the populations of the UK THEY have manipulated, betrayed on almost every conceivable level and catastrophically failed.

    If you took this premise, this scenario, as a book to a publisher less than ten years ago, you’d have been laughed out of the room. Today? Like I’ve said before, you’d be brave to state that this is as mad (or as bad) as it gets.

    Getting directly back to Ms Patel though. If I were to go behind my gaffer’s back and pledge the funds from my business and its shareholders (that would be us mainly) without their permission or knowledge, I’d pretty much expect a damn sight more than a mere sacking. It’d be considered an act of theft and naked treachery on my part surely?

    If indeed Ms Patel acted without the clearance of cabinet or PM, then the difference between my hypothetical act and Ms Patel’s is… what precisely?

    That’s rhetorical (cough).

  2. john 58 says:

    Excellent work Paul, These two incompetents are the proverbial ” Tip Of the decaying iceberg ” but I ” Shudder ” to imagine what is below the waterline .

    John.

  3. hettyforindy says:

    Excellent article Paul. So called great Britain, and that term seems to be being used all over the place, when posting stuff, signing petitions etc, we are all British, like it or not, is a squalid, nasty little britain for sure.

    Just one wee thing it says ‘Priti wanted Britain out of the UK’ I presume you mean the EU. Tho if we could take britain out the yookay and the yookay out of britain things would be no less topsy-turvy, ie a total freaking mess.

    Scotland, escape or be forever shackled to this dysfunctional, corrupt UK which is looking ever more nasty, and complicit in dodgy regimes’ inhumanity to anyone who they don’t like.
    The so called UK, is also looking more inept and pathetic on the world stage as each week goes by.

    • weegingerdug says:

      Typo fixed now, thanks

      • Graham Fae Fawkirk says:

        Freudian slip because of how your mind now deservedly thinks on this matter. Chuckling here. Enjoyed seeing the sleepy wee ginger dug at the SIC at the Usher Hall (worst and most uncomfortable seating arrangements in the world! Seats built fir malnourished 19th century Dickensian orphans!) last Saturday. The whole thing (with a few teethgrinder exceptions) was a real pleasure.

        I lived in Chicago from July 2005-March last year. Discovered your excellent writings oot there randomly, and they were a real link to hame. I liked it a lot when you were more humourous, and much more full of wordplay and puns, cos you’re an incredibly talented writer and linguist, but I understand why you have toned yer work doon. People like you and Stu Campbell are real assets to Scotland, Paul. You are a credit to Scotland. Your efforts will not be forgotten, and are tremendously valued.

  4. Graham Fae Fawkirk says:

    Priti Patel is an evil woman. Amazing how the children of immigrants have to try and how how ultra-right-wing they are, like converts to any new religion, the loudest and proudest and prudest. A vile, hateful woman. As Tory usual. Sad and disgusting.

  5. TSD says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    …a government that’s as chaotic and stable as a paralytic drunk on roller skates…

  6. Andy Anderson says:

    It must be hard for our PM to sleep at night with mega numptie ego’s in her cabinet.

    Pity you could not lock this cabinet, throw away the key and then heave it in the Thames.

  7. I shall be so thrilled if and when this repellent excuse for a human being is booted out of office. A fine apprentice to her former master, IDS! She and Boris are both utterly loathsome.

  8. Robert Harrison says:

    Typical English always make things worse

  9. It’s all gone quite in Ruthland, hasn’t it? No scandals in the rankis at Edinburgh. Was Old Nicholas F a one-off?
    This grubby little scandal makes House of Cards look like a model democracy.
    Paul, Sam, what you said, in spades.
    You may recall that I observed after the UKGE disaster that the Blue Tories were a sex scandal, an expenses fiddle and a heart attack away from losing their majority?
    Jeez, there’s tempting fate and tempting fate, Jack.
    Surely to god there will be mass resignations now?
    The solution of the (women0 reformers is to up the price of the booze in the HoC Members bar, and that will stop all this tomfoolery, so there.
    In any other walk of life, if I squeeze a colleague’s bits, I would be sacked, and possibly face criminal proceedings.
    But not in WM. They are immune from the l;aws of this land, and it’s the drink that makes them behave like sex perverts/?Aye, that’ll be fucking (I stuck that in for Pro Gallagher who I know reads all these nasty Nat blogs for material for his Twits) right.
    It’s not just an unnamed Tory MP who is being pissed on from a great height.
    Yet Prof Gallagher and Torrance, and Cochrane and Brian Taylor’s pal ‘Sevvie’ will defend this corrupt little global laughing stock of a Union.
    Pure evil and corruption permeate the English body politic now, and the State BGroadcaster and Billionaire Dead Tree Scrolls prop it up.
    Billions are spirited away from the UK while tens of thousands die of state engineered poverty.
    Fuck them all.
    Fast forward a few years when Scotland is Independent. Roll on the day.
    What a disgusting little mob the Brit Nats are.

    • Check out my typos. That’s how really pissed off I am with all of this.

      • Jamie MacDonald says:

        Spitting vowels Jack! Nae wonder, what a galactofuck right enough.. You’re not goannie get a break at this rate Paul, no complaints but – luvvin it! Keep biting Ginger!, cocking yer leg and pissing on them with impunity, and daein that wee squatting walk ye dae before (ye listnin Tom?), a big TOLEY.. There’s a few o them comin’ soon methinks.. (chortle, bloody chortle!)

  10. Jim says:

    Priti herself was a member of CFI (Conservative Friends of Israel), was she not? If not a member then certainly supportive: https://cfoi.co.uk/cfi-parliamentary-reception-2016/

    Thank you for another great piece of writing. Much appreciated.

  11. Ron Birrell says:

    Sorry,I don’t buy the ‘no-one knew’ line. It is much more likely that there was a grubby little plan for Ms Patel to sound out the Israelis about some wheeze that Johnson and May were cooking up. Can you turn up in Israel on holiday and get to meet Netenyahu, even if you are a UK Cabinet Minister? It is much more likely that May hung her out to dry when the goings-on were discovered. No doubt promises have been made to Ms Patel about her future prospects if she refrains from repeating her claim that Johnson and the Foreign Office knew all about her actions – or indeed planned them.

  12. Allowed tae resign – given a lovely erse licky letter fae Theresa accepting her resignation, which made her sound so feckin’ wonderful you started wondering if she wis actually being promoted, not resigning at a’

    Why bring Ugly Patel a’ the way back fae Africa tae let her resign ? Because what they’re saying in the Jewish Chronical is right enough ? That Tories did send her on a jolly tae visit Uncle Bibi but noo the lox & bagels huv hit the fan & someone’s got tae fake a Hari kari fur the team ?

    And where’s the saviour of the universe, he came second in the election folks which in Scottish politics means he won – the one, the only – Jeremy Corbyn ??? Anyone heard from him yet ? No ? Right 🙄

    Worst.Government.Ever.

    If you tolerate this Scotland………hell feckin’ mend ye

  13. I swear, as I originally attempted to type this, it defaulted to the BTL screen, when I typed in a certain phrase.
    ‘Some may argue, but not me lest somebody with lots of money wants to sue me and ruin me financially for my temerity. that this resignation farce merely means that her Pritiness may parachute into her post political sinecure with Rotheschild’s or JP Morgan or some such Banking Giant prematurely as a Non Exec Director, or bag carrier, as she joins a long line of Red Blue and Yellow Tories who are for some unknown reason in a wee club tying their loyalty to Israel, ‘Friends of Israel’.
    I’m going to form a ‘Friends of Bermuda’ clique.
    There might be a wee freebie ‘holiday’ to the sun in it.
    Nobody falls on their sword in London.
    There is no shame in corruption or perversion nowadays.
    The land of Sod ’em and Tomorrow is another graft day.
    Some may observe, but certainly not me, M’lud, that Patel has done her Master’s bidding, and will be duly rewarded.

    • Les Bremner says:

      Thank you for ‘The land of Sod ’em and Tomorrow’. Pillars of salt would be good incarnations, at least that would be useful.

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