Nae fish and yer passport is French

For the rest of the UK, and particularly for those people in England who voted to leave because they really believed in the myths of British exceptionalism, the entire Brexit process must be very like discovering what it feels like to be the Scottish fitba team. There they were, chanting Eng-er-land Eng-er-land and looking forward to the sunlit uplands of free trade deals and all those countries who would be flocking to the UK’s door to do business, and instead it’s just one humiliation after another and the abject failure of the British negotiating team to score. And they still haven’t got to the end game where they’re put out by Germany on penalties.

The UK government is trying to pretend that they negotiated a deal with the EU, but really what happened is that they agreed to everything the EU demanded of them. Now there is no need for the EU to give any more ground. They’ve already got everything they wanted. They have guaranteed access to British markets and full access to the fishing grounds. There’s plenty more British humiliation still to look forward to.

This week we’ve had the betrayal of the fishing industry. It was the one job that the Scottish Tories gave themselves that wasn’t about SNPbaddery and saying no to another independence referendum, and they failed spectacularly. They took a situation that they said was intolerable for the Scottish fishing industry, and they made it even worse. Now Scottish fishing communities will still be subject to the full rigours of EU fisheries policy, only there will be no UK involvement in setting fish quotas and no UK presence in any of the discussions. The Tories swear blind that this situation will only last until the end of the transitional period, but then they also swore blind that the Scottish fishing fleet would be free of the EU fishing policy by March 2019. There is a cichlid floating upside down at the top of a fish tank that’s got more life in it that a Conservative promise to the people of Scotland. Despite Tory protestations to the contrary, it is highly likely that the Westminster government will continue to allow the EU access to Scottish fishing waters as part of the trade deal they hope to negotiate. They have previous for selling out Scottish fishing communities. They’ve done it twice already, they won’t hesitate to do it a third time.

Being humiliated by a dead fish is bad enough, but the passport debacle is the ultimate humiliation for Brexiteers. Vote Leave and you can get your proudly British blue passport back, they insisted. However it now transpires that their proud new British blue passports are going to be printed and manufactured by a Franco-Dutch company, and may very well be printed in France. Take back control Britons, and get a French printed passport. It doesn’t really have much of a ring to it as a Brexit slogan does it, but it’s closer to the truth than anything that they ever put on the side of a bus.

Having made the decision to change the colour of its passports in order to please the Jacob Rees Moggs of this world, the British government had no option but to put the contract out to tender, because it has no state controlled printer capable of doing the job. It used to, but the Conservatives privatised the printing arm of HMSO in 1996. The French government retains its state owned printer, because it believes that the printing of passports is a matter of national security. Britain is taking back control so that it can have its passports printed abroad.

What makes the entire affair even more humiliating for Brexiteers is that it was always utterly pointless. Even though it was more black than blue, and even though there was absolutely no reason why the UK government couldn’t have retained blue / black delete as appropriate passports if it had wanted to. There is no EU rule saying that the passports of member states have to be burgundy. Croatian passports are still the same black colour that they were when Croatia joined the EU, even though Croatia is making ready to join the Schengen Zone, something that the UK never agreed to. Croatia expects to join the Schengen Zone early next year, there are no plans to change the colour of Croatian passports. The UK could have retained its blueish black passports all this time if it had wanted to.

The change in passport colour was always symbolic. It was always symbolism of a particularly inane variety because the colour of a passport is meaningless. The format of passports is agreed internationally, which is why we now have biometric passports, and that’s not going to change. The UK is not taking back control of the contents of a passport or its international validity. The entire Brexit passport affair is a literal example of judging a book by its cover.

It is of course wrong and childish to gloat, particularly when it’s ordinary punters who’re going to suffer Brexit’s consequences and not the Empire Loyalist Tories who are driving it, but you know : gloat emoji. There isn’t, at least to my knowledge, an official gloat emoji, although I’m scarcely an expert in things that get down wid da yoot. Until a few days ago I though instagram was a company running photo booths for those ugly mugshots for passports and thought snap chat was what kids talked about when playing cards. And every time I hear someone being described as “woke”, I internally correct it to woken because woke is a past tense and not a past participle. Bah humbug, young people today. They’re not bloody woke enough to know what grammar is.

Oh god I’ve turned into my English teacher from secondary school, the one who once threw a kid out of a window for sleeping in class. That was him woke. Well, it was the 70s, back when casual violence, racism, and homophobia were a way of life and there were no words in any Scottish language for a father to say I love you son. Anyway, I digress. If there were a gloat emoji it would certainly look like Jacob Rees Mogg being slapped in the face with a wet fish carrying a blue British passport printed in France. Take back control for Britain they said, and what you’ve got from them is nae fish and yer passport is French.

The Wee Ginger Dug has got a new domain name, thanks to Indy Poster Boy, Colin Dunn @Zarkwan. You can now access this blog simply by typing 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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33 comments on “Nae fish and yer passport is French

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Nae fish and yer passport is French For the rest of the UK, and particularly for those people in England who voted to […]

  2. Excellent post, as always. My UK Passport is going to expire soon and I think I shall hold off renewing it until I can apply for a Scottish Passport! I’m going to take Canadian citizenship as soon as I am eligible because it bugs me not to have a vote in the country where I now live … but it will be a case of Scottish AND Canadian, not either or!

    • astytaylor says:

      Yes, get that Canadian citizenship under your belt, A’bh NicCoinnich. I got my first Canadian passport last year. My UK one expires in 2020. I question the sanity of renewing a UK passport now, which will be non-EU. I would love to have a Scottish passport though. There are many people in a similar situation. Incidentally, it is interesting reading the inner cover of the respective passports. Canada requests free passage for the bearer, whereas the UK requests and requires free passage for the bearer. I wonder how many years Her Majesty the Queen has left? And does Charlie boy really want the King job? And what would it say on the inside cover of a Scottish passport? So many questions…

      • Aye, Asty, I will … just as soon as my 5 years are up. As for the longevity of our esteemed monarch … her maw made it past the century in spite of aw the gin .. so who knaws? 😉

    • My U.K. passport expired two years ago. I have no intention of renewing it. I could get an Irish one but it’s hard getting near a birth certificate for my Irish granny when I know so little about her!

  3. Gavin C Barrie says:

    Joined up Thinking: Manning a Scotland the Brand stall today I offered a leaflet to a lady who first shied away and as I explained the message of the leaflet she then accepted it saying “By the colours on your table I thought at first you would be, y’know, SNP, however I’m all for protecting Scottish produce identity”. I opted not to develop the discussion on which party is protecting Scottish branded products, she can think that through, hopefully all by herself.

    • I’m sure she could think it through for herself, but it’s highly unlikely that she will, Gavin. Some people are just too damned lazy to spend any time connecting the dots! Why should they when the BritNat media is only too happy to connect the dots for them, even though the picture thus produced is patently false?!

    • Andrew says:

      Ace. #keepscotlandthebrand is fantastic campaign

  4. Marconatrix says:

    “… the Jacob Rees Moggs of this world” ???
    I don’t honestly think that JRM belongs to this world, at least not in this century 😉

  5. As good a slogan as any for indyref2, would be – Take Back Control. Not original of course, but it certainly worked for the Leave side. Could it work for us?

  6. Afannyonahorsey says:

    > I’ve turned into my English teacher from secondary school, the one who once threw a kid out of a window for sleeping in class
    Big Gnasher. Who could ever forget him. I wonder what he’d think of your writing, now, Paul. 10/10.

  7. Macart says:


    And this isn’t the worst week they’re going to have.

  8. macgilleleabhar says:

    As regards oor fisher fowk whether you harvest from land or sea you reap as you have sown as is also the case in voting. If you vote Tory what do expect back in return but Tory policies. One North east skipper recently even stood as a Tory candidate so it would be reasonable to expect them to know what they were voting for.
    Talk about turkeys and Xmas!
    Never the less it must be said that in the history of the human race there has never been a more deserved shafting.

  9. Alba woman says:

    Farmers are next for the great betrayal….

    Before that…….

    farming guys and gals please think calmly and rationally about how you wish to be treated and what responsibility you have to your homeland…..

    got to keep trying folks.

  10. Graham says:

    ‘Woke’ is ridiculous contemporary America-speak. Please don’t give it credence over here by talking aboot it. All slang and language coming out of America now is utterly ludicrous, meaningless, and often sneering.

  11. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Darne it, there are plenty more fish in the sea, so this shanny take long.

    There was a topknot article in the National today about several thousand people making their voices heard at the Scottish Parliament in defence of the same… but was no plaice for the MSM.? ne’er but a sole.

    I’m not quite sure what to mako the Conservative Party’s performance in recent weeks. They have made a tunny mistakes and I shall shagreen skate over these, only to say that on a scale one to ten, their performance would appear to equate to little more than a diminutive goby.They appear as if washed up on the beach, where the sand smelt … well, as perhaps a common or even giant goby had met with a sorry end.

    A greater weever of false promises to our fisher-folk you could not countenance, indeed a lesser weever of such tales might take long rough dab or comber their beard and wonder, when will the next bass act unfold.

  12. Macart says:


    Carles Puigdemont detained in Germany.

    • This is really worrying, Sam. Why aren’t the EU taking action against Spain’s relapse into Fascism? And what does it bode for Scotland’s aspirations?

  13. Marconatrix says:

    Not quite sure where I should post this, but anyhow, here’s a link to an article on where Brexit leaves devo in Wales, but with some Scottish parallels, concerning the ‘power grab’ etc. Worth a read IMO if you’ve the time :

    “Last week, the Welsh Government published its rather prosaically named Law Derived from the European Union (Wales) Bill, and it has this week started its journey through the Senedd. Its main purpose is to enable Welsh Ministers to create a body of law called ‘EU derived Welsh Law’, which will come into force on leaving the EU. In doing this, it will in effect preempt the so-called power grab by Westminster. It also will give Welsh Ministers the powers to ensure that Welsh legislation keeps up with developments in EU law post-Brexit and guarantees a place for the Charter of Fundamental Rights in the context of EU derived Welsh law. If it becomes law, the challenge will be there to the UK Government to repeal it. The same, of course, is true in respect of the equivalent Scottish bill. Interestingly, the Llywydd [~presiding officer~] has confirmed that the bill is within competence while her Scottish equivalent has taken a different view about the Scottish Bill. The race will now be on to get the Bill passed. Here, the unicameral nature of the Assembly will help. It will be treated as an emergency bill, which can pass through all stages in virtually no time. It is likely that if passed, the UK Government will challenge its validity in the Supreme Court on the ironic ground that it is not compatible with EU law.”

  14. wm says:

    Having experianced Tory govs most of my life, the fishing industry is only getting what all others industries got throughout my time, false [promises]. The only time they ever told the truth was when they said they were closing a shipyard,factory,Pit ect. Farmers beware don’t say you were not told..

  15. In just over 12 months’ time, on All Fools Day 2019, I shall be forcibly stripped of my European Citizenship against my express wishes, and against the democratic will of 62% of my fellow Scots citizens.
    It all hinges on us being part of this Union, don’t you know?

    The phrase, ‘the democratic deficit’ got big licks during Indyref1.

    The argument for Self Determination ran that we Scots were always going to be ‘outvoted’ by the 85%, that in the main we would be governed from London by a party for whom we didn’t vote.
    Devolution was supposed to quell the savage Celtic beast; give them a wee pretend parliament with some ‘devolved’ powers, skew their elections by introducing the d’Honte system, so that no party will ever have overall control, and the Union Parties will always govern in some form of Coalition, which, given the Yoons’ Branch Office status Up Here, meant that London, and the English politicians would always call the shots.

    You may recall that McConnell readily gave back over a billion to the English Treasury because he couldn’t find anything to spend it on. He’s now Lord McConnell of course.

    But Brexit is the deal breaker, and the SNP had the prescience to include Scotland being forced out of the EU against the democratic wishes of the Scottish People, as a material change which could trigger Indyref2, if WM refused to take into account the specific needs of the Scottish citizens as expressed by our democratically elected Scottish Government.

    If we do nothing, and Holyrood stands meekly by and allows The Darling Duds of May to destroy our economy, society, and condemn us to virtual House Arrest, barred from travel work or resettlement abroad by England’s Homeland Security, then our children’s children will be astonished that we allowed it to happen.

    The Union is dead. We must activate the Escape Pod, Indyref2, right now within the next 12 months window when the 184,000 EU citizens, and our 16-17 year old will have a vote.

    Can anyone reading this believe that we shall simply give in, that Mundell, Davidson, and Tomkins, who have no mandate in Scotland, will force us into colony status with England as our Overlords?

    We cannot allow another Easter Parliamentary recess, and then a 3 month summer recess go by, with politicians disappearing to their holiday homes for months on end, in this possibly most vital year in the history of Scotland.

    Rise up.
    Paul, a lovely piece.
    I observed before; can we seek political asylum in Europe?

    • astytaylor says:

      The Union is absolutely dead.
      I sent a letter to my Dad the other day, and underneath Scotland on the address I wrote, in brackets (UK). Then after a wee bit of reflection, I put a line through (UK). In fact, I scribbled it out altogether. (I didn’t want the letter going to Ukraine, or wherever.)

  16. Robert Graham says:

    Indy car Gordon Ross making a very valid criticism of our imperialist media ,

    Fridays non event News blackout is as bad as I have ever seen , a total disgrace akin to the worst Facist State dirty tricks playbook ,

    As far as I can see half of Scots are in the dark and totally blissfully unaware of what is going on in this country .

    The people who support this blatant manipulation of the media because it’s their side that’s doing it ,so it’s ok , are very short sighted because the same tactics can and will be used on them if they stray from the official line .

    The events on Friday won’t be reported because the Imperialist supporting media act as one , Russians used to laugh at Pravda because they knew it was all fantasy but it’s unnerving that still so many here believe the BBC in Scotland , closely followed by the recent recruit STV , all friends together, they must be worried if it’s all hands on deck and action stations called for .

  17. Where will our new passports take us? We could have border control in Europe.

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