This week the only de jure sovereign body in the UK is debating the Brexit bill, that is, those parts that the de facto sovereign body, which would be the cabinet, lets them have an influence on. They’re debating this because Brexiteers MPs insisted that the EU referendum was fought in order to ensure that the House of Commons was the only sovereign body in the UK because that would be democratic, but those same Brexiteer MPs are now determined to ensure that the House of Commons doesn’t get a say on Brexit because if they did it would be deeply undemocratic. If you’re confused don’t worry, because you’re a whole lot less confused than the government.
MPs didn’t decide on a great deal, except that they did decide – and by a very large margin – that consent for Brexit shouldn’t be required from the devolved administrations. You’ll have had your self-determination Scotland. Remember all that stuff about Scotland being an equal and valued partner in a family of nations? Remember when all those MPs took a train up from London to come to Glasgow to tell us how much they loved Scotland and wanted us to lead within the UK? Looks like those MPs have very short memories. Scotland can lead within the UK, but only in the sense that Westminster can shove us off the cliff first using a cattle prod.
Are you feeling loved and valued? Mind how we were told that if we voted no in the independence referendum then we’d be in the privileged position of a wife who was going to leave her husband but had changed her mind so was now able to call all the shots in the marriage? How’s that working out then? There’s a fair bit of calling the shots going on here, but none of it is coming from Scotland. We’re being told we don’t even have a right to an opinion, never mind a veto.
MPs also debated the really important and crucial stuff. Getting the consent of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland doesn’t count as important, which is why telling us that our consent is not required was passed with a minimum of discussion by a humungous margin of MPs who don’t represent Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Incidentally, Scotland’s cohort of Tory MPs voted for Scotland not to have a say. So that’s them standing up for Scotland’s interests. We should consider ourselves lucky they did that much, but then there weren’t any football matches needing a referee that day.
Far more crucial and important was the exact time of Brexit. Theresa May wants it to be written into the Brexit bill, because having it enshrined in an inflexible law is going to give Britain the flexibility it needs to negotiate. Or something. Asking for logic where Brexiteers are concerned is a bit like expecting a wooden bread board to have all the functional abilities of an Apple iPad Pro because both of them are rectangular. Brexiteer MPs have the same approximate shape as rational human beings, but that’s as far as it goes. At least the wooden bread board was once a part of a living, breathing, and vital system, which is a hell of a lot more than you can say for your average Tory MP. The only reason the date and time is being put into law is to provide a weak PM with some protection against the frothier Brextremists on her back benches.
Labour MP Frank Field intervened to insist that when you buy a house you have a completion date, so we need one for Brexit too. Although he was a bit upset that we’re going to be leaving the EU at midnight Central European Time 29 March 2019, because that seemed dreadfully unpatriotic. Britain invented time, damn it. Brexit means Brexit means Greenwich Mean Time. We’re going to exit the EU at midnight Central European Time 29 March 2019 at which point the clocks will be turned back two centuries so Jacob Ree Mogg will seem cutting thrust and modernist. There hasn’t been a bigger useful idiot than Frank since the Labour party in Scotland decided to side with the big drinks companies and oppose minimum pricing on alcohol. That’s Labour in Scotland, determined to stand up for your right to get pished and sing sectarian songs at fitba matches. Although right now they have other issues to fill their shot glass. I’m eagerly awaiting Jackie Baillie’s demand that Alex Rowley stand down as an MSP.
Anyway, the thing about buying a house is that before you buy it at the very least you make sure that it’s got access to the rest of the world. No one except an idiot commits to buying a house without first making sure that there’s a driveway, or at the very least a door, through which supplies and services can get in and out. Oh wait, there’s our problem right there. We’re being governed by idiots. MPs like Frank, who really should just save everyone the bother and become a Tory, want us to commit to buying this house even though we don’t know if there is any access to it, we don’t know if it will provide adequate shelter, and we have strong grounds for believing that the running costs are going to be ruinous.
Yet the Brextremists are still popping up in Parliament to claim that after Brexit Britain can reduce costs by slashing all those tiresome regulations that are so expensive. You know, regulations like those about having more expensive fire-resistant cladding on social housing. Despite their claims that Brexit isn’t about reducing workers’ or employment rights, the Tories are remarkably reluctant to accept any of the amendments to the Brexit bill which ensure that workers’ and employment rights won’t be affected. Funny that.
According to reports there are now 21 Tory MPs who are prepared to vote against the government’s insistence that the time and date for Brexit must be enshrined in law even before we have a clue what sort of Brexit it’s going to be. However it’s a terrible attack on democracy to question Brexit or to try and ensure that it doesn’t turn out to be an epic act of self-harm. The Telegraph says that this makes you a mutineer, and your photie will be plastered all over the paper like one of those wanted posters from the Wild West. How quickly Brextremists and their pals in the press forget that it wasn’t so long ago that an MP was shot and killed by a right wing terrorist. Democracy in this country is at serious risk, but not from those who question Brexit. It’s a risk from the Brextremists and their cheer-leaders in the media.
Phantom Power sent me the latest instalment of his Journey to Yes series last week, although for some reason his email ended up being caught by my spam filter so I’ve only just seen it. You may have seen this video elsewhere by now, but if you haven’t it’s well worth a viewing. I met Bryce in Fife a few months ago when I was doing a talk in Charlestown.
Bryce says Yes. Bryce believes true independence for Scotland can only be achieved for with a commitment to abolish the British monarchy who he sees as an unaccountable and undemocratic institution that isn’t fit for the purposes of a modern progressive society. The breaking Paradise Papers scandal that exposes the questionable financial practices of Prince Charles and the Queen only serves to underline the point. Bryce is also one of approximately 60 thousand people living with autism in Scotland and his experience has left him disgusted with the inhumane Tory welfare reforms. Bryce backed Brexit but is open to a reformed Europe and believes Scotland should decide on its relationship with the EU after independence. Some may remember Bryce from his appearance on the BBC Scottish Leaders Debate during GE17 . He gives his impressions of the show and his memorable encounter with Ruth Davidson.
Bryce is a member of Republic UK:
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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