The bridge over troubled waters

August is traditionally a slow news month. August is usually the month that those of us who write and blog about political developments get to put our feet up, eat junk food, and watch crap on the telly, while complaining that Impossible is a whole lot crappier than Pointless and adding it to the ever lengthening list of things that pisses us off about the BBC. But not this week. This week has been a newsmaggedon.

This week we’ve had the annual GERSmas festivities of North British mediocrity, an occasion traditionally celebrated on Scottish social media with the production of a graph showing that Scotland is somewhere behind Zimbabwe in the economic competence leagues. A graph which equally traditionally fails to point out that it’s the UK Parliament which has its paws very firmly on the economic levers that have led to this situation, if in fact it were true.

We’ve had the mounting calamities of the Trump presidency. This week saw court convictions of close associates of Donald Trump. It saw immunities granted to some of his other close associates in return for cooperating with prosecutors. And it saw the Big Orange Cheeto’s belated realisation that the quickest and easiest way to get Hillary Clinton locked up would have been just to have given her a job in his campaign staff.

We’ve received the news from a heavily sweating Dominic Raab that the British government’s plans for a no-deal Brexit tell us that the UK won’t be easily able to keep importing sperm from the EU and so the UK is going to need even more wankers than it’s already got. Which considering that the Conservative party is already amongst the world’s leading suppliers is going to be very difficult.

And then there’s the allegations made against Alex Salmond and his decision to mount a legal challenge over the way that the matter has been handled, much to the distastefully salacious lip-smacking glee of the British nationalist press in Scotland which is always in search of something to criticise the SNP for and now thinks all its SNPBadmasses have come at once. There’s a lot going on.

With all that to keep us occupied, it would be forgivable if you’d missed a speech given by Jacob Rees Mogg in which he suggested that the issue of the Irish border could be easily resolved, by inspecting people crossing it the same way they were subjected to checks during the Troubles. Jacob clearly thinks that the Troubles were so called because their onset coincided chronologically with that Simon and Garfunkel song about a bridge over troubled water, and not because they were, you know, troubled. But no matter, in Jacob’s mental universe the Irish border issue which bedevils Brexit can be easily solved with a song; like a bridge over troubled waters, I will subject you to searches by armed soldiers. Because that will really ensure that the Troubles are kept in history.

In reality, Jacob is probably aware that the reintroduction of border checks would run a serious risk of reigniting the Troubles. It’s just that he doesn’t care too much. The concerns of the natives in a distant province are standing in the way of what Olde Englande wants, and that will never do. He’s probably vaguely aware that the UK has an international treaty obligation to keep the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic open and checkpoint free. It’s just that he doesn’t care too much. Treaties made by the British with lesser breeds only need to be adhered to as long as it suits Great Britain. Because Britain has Great in its name, and nowhere else does. Except Great Neck in Long Island in New York state, which is so called because it was settled by one of Jacob’s ancestors. Donald Trump has property there.

It’s remarkable how nonchalant the Conservative and Unionist party are about throwing the “unionist” bit under the Brexit bus when it suits them. Or at least it’s remarkable, or should be remarkable, if you are a Conservative and Unionist in one of the non-English parts of the UK. The rest of us already knew that the Conservative party has a definite hierarchy of interests. First there’s what’s good for the Conservative party. Then there’s what’s good for Conservative supporting newspapers. Then there’s what’s good for the City of London. Then there’s what’s good for the south east of England. Then there’s what’s good for Conservative constituencies elsewhere. What’s good for those parts of the UK that are covered by the “unionist” rubric doesn’t even figure.

“Unionism” only ever existed in the first place in order to provide a non-nationalist figleaf for English nationalism, and can be discarded whenever it’s convenient, leaving us the naked glory of Jacob in full Rule Britannia mode. It’s only those who still call themselves Unionists in Scotland and Northern Ireland who haven’t realised that as far as the British establishment and the Conservative party are concerned, they are as disposable as a used nappy. And indeed, serve much the same purpose.

Even arch-Unionist Edward Carson, the architect of the Orange statelet of Northern Ireland, eventually came to that realisation. Writing in 1921 about his political beliefs and deeds of the previous thirty years, he said, “What a fool I was. I was only a puppet, and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power.” Almost 100 years later and nothing has changed. Scotland and Northern Ireland remain the political playthings of the Conservatives.

For all that has happened this week, for all the crowing, the preening, the gloating and muck raking, that essential truth about the nature of the British state remains the same. Scotland, just like Northern Ireland, just like Wales, just like working class communities in England, exists only in order to serve the needs of a British Conservative political class that doesn’t care much for us and which knows us even less. No crowing headlines in the Daily Record alter that truth. The independence movement is all about a bigger prize, the prize of self-respect. It’s the bridge over the troubled waters of British nationalism.

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47 comments on “The bridge over troubled waters

  1. Calum MacKinnon says:

    Superb. Without doubt one of, if not, THE, best things you have written, (And that is saying a lot.) Thank you.

  2. Thepnr says:

    Thanks for the reminder of who the enemies of Scotland are, the Rees-Moog’s of this world are enemies of all except their own kind. I won’t forget now.

  3. Electric blue says:

    How do you stay so optimistic and balanced?

  4. Independent says:

    Probably your best ever Paul.
    Encapsulates the whole reason for the Tory Party.
    Greed is good and F**k the rest of you.
    Can we weaken The rest of England outside the M25 / BBC Bubble

    • robert harrison says:

      I doubt it those lot want a comfortable existence even if it’s false they don’t want truth when the lies more comfortable to live with honestly the population of England might as well be stoned out of there minds because that’s how they act especially when it comes to politics.

  5. Fillofficer says:

    Fabulous Paul
    But they’ve been doin it for centuries, nobody can compete with their utter magnificence at exterminating any dissent.
    It’s the dumb lackeys I will never forgive.
    Them bliarites (deliberate) corbynites, brownites, faux fkn socialists who have led us up the garden path for decades, only to be draped in faux fur as their treacherous reward
    I sincerely hope that in the near future all the wrongs will be righted & the tractors will be banished from our wonderful free country

  6. Independent says:

    Waken Spell checker

  7. […] Wee Ginger Dug The bridge over troubled waters August is traditionally a slow news month. August is usually the month that those of […]

  8. chicmac says:

    Well, when you say Moggy doesn’t care too much about the Irish border I’m not so sure that is entirely true. His company continue to move funds to Dublin (just to show faith in Brexit).

  9. Yes indeed, Mr Carson. Yes indeed WGD- we are manipulated, with absolute cynicism, for the greater good of those who believe they were born to prevail, to rule, and to exploit at will. To that end, they also frowned upon education of the masses.Scotland was the first- and is still the last- colony. This must surely come to an end soon.

  10. scotsmanic says:

    I am coming more and more to regard the second indyref scenario as a comfort blanket myth we use that will never happen, I don’t want to think like that, I really don’t. I really had the wind taken out of my sails a couple of months ago. I asked a friend I have known since high school (I am 48) if he thought another indyref was likely. This man was, in his youth, one of the staunchest Scottish nationalist you could ever meet; would have put the old McGlashan comedy character to shame. His sorrowful answer was that he didn’t think so, as London would never let it happen as it would be increasingly reliant on Scottish resources post-Brexit.

    And I can’t help but agree with him…kind of. I want to keep some hope alive. But this man is one of the most intelligent people you could ever meet. He said he gave up interest in Scottish matters on September 19th, 2014. And I, sadly, believe him. So where IS this indyref? What are the SNP DOING? Can we just kick it off without them? I don’t trust them, to be honest, though I did vote for them at the last election to not split the vote. I am just so damned weary from the unionist lies morning, noon and nightmare in the media, and sickened by the Scottish unionists who don’t know anything about politics, and…I could go on, but you’ve heard it all before. It’s a sair fecht, indeed.

    Fuck it.

    • Thepnr says:

      “I want to keep some hope alive.”

      Doesn’t really sound like it after reading your post

      “What are the SNP DOING? Can we just kick it off without them? I don’t trust them, to be honest”

      Would the SNP trust you? Ask yourself that.

      “I did vote for them at the last election to not split the vote”

      Sadly, I don’t understand your point. In other words I haven’t a clue what an Independence supporter is talking about when he talks of voting for “them”? Who’s “them”?

      Your own blog looks like it needs some attention so why spend time here trying to depress me?

    • FM says:

      One of my children is severely disabled. I have fought nothing but war over the last decade regarding my child and last week it kicked off again. Giving up is not an option.

    • I can just imagine you at Bannockburn, whispering in Robert the Bruce’s ear. “Eh Robert, do you think this is such a good idea? We’re heavily outnumbered. They’re professionals, they’ve got masses of archers and cavalry. We’ve got farmer’s boys and spears. Let’s go down the pub, and forget about Scottish matters”.

    • Les Bremner says:

      Scotsmanic, please do not give up.

      I have close contacts in the Independence movement, and there is optimism and, indeed, humour. At last weekend’s march at Dundee I was with 16,000 optimistic people of all ages. At the SNP barbecue on the front at Millport yesterday, the surplus burgers were offered to the public by one member with a second one with a donations box. People donated without taking a burger and two Labour supporters bought burgers.

      However, to be utterly serious, I am in no doubt that there is work going on. I am finally getting through to those who matter that, unless the voting process is tightened up, we will lose the next referendum. This change takes time, and we must not proceed with the system as it is today.

      Do not give up.

  11. Molly McC says:

    Aren’t You A Little Ray of Pitch Black?!

    Cheer Up man. If you can, go on the next March…or the one in Edinburgh.. Get in wi yer ain folk.

    The Light is filling up the Tunnel!

  12. susan says:

    The elite are back in control and dismantling the hard fought for social security system. When future historians look back they will write that the welfare state era was just a blip, as England reverts to type.

  13. iancaisteal says:

    In these dangerous times not only have you shown us a bridge but made many aware of the danger around.
    There will be more to come as we journey to a new independent Scotland which should be more successful than the Irish Republic.

  14. Aikenheed says:

    ‘What a fool I was. I was only a puppet, and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland, in the political game that was to get the Conservative party into power.” Almost 100 years later and nothing has changed. Scotland and Northern Ireland remain the political playthings of the Conservatives’.

    Quote of the year Paul. A big weel done for giving that the light of day.

    Talking of light – what can London do to stop us having any referendum we like?

  15. Dave Albiston says:

    Rees-Mogg may have given the game away. All the bluster about having a technological solution to the Irish border question ignores the elephant in the room. They can introduce the tightest immigration controls at Dover and the airports but if people can travel to the Irish Republic and then pass through to Ulster without any checks then they have not gained control of their borders.

    If Brexit continues then they will have identity checks in Ireland and therefore there will be no agreement with the EU. A hard Brexit is unavoidable. Which, of course, is what Rees-Mogg wants.

  16. Macart says:

    Yeah, clocked the Rees Moog idiocy and thought ‘that’ll end well’. Establishment ignorance and arrogance. If you could bottle it, Rees Moog’s kisser would be all over the labelling. The epitome of the empathy free vacuum. ‘Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of law’ is somewhere in the family motto I’m sure.

    Given the nature of the Brexit we’re seeing unfold on a daily basis and knowing also the nature of the people who are the driving force behind it? Does anyone, ANYONE, really believe that being a part of their United (laughs) Kingdom is a good thing? Does anyone really believe that they’ve driven the populations of these islands to this place for the good of those populations?

    Farage, Johnson, Mogg, Fox, Gove and yes even a hopelessly divided Labour has its pro leave dream team. That’s your Brexit Britain political spectrum in waiting that is. To be absolutely crystal clear?

    Brexit Britain is for the few not the many. It’s about greed you know. It’s about monopolizing politics and the corporate world. The flow of wealth and the control of resources. It always is and always has been. It’s about the few using that monopoly to dismantle your hard won civic and human rights. Just so you know.

    Their tools of choice (and there are a few tools out there), are well known by this point. False patriotism (the last refuge of the scoundrel), fear, intimidation and instilling hatred of the other. The other being who they and their media decide it is. Frankly? They really couldn’t give a shit about patriotism of any kind, but given they do so love to instill fear and division within their opposition, having some folk at street level and who’ve bought into their definition of ‘unity’ and ‘Britishnezz’ is a big help. That some, if not most, of those folk are going to suffer along with the rest of the people on these islands is deeply regrettable to them I’m sure. However, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few etc. Survival of the fittest and all that. Also? Peoples’ lives are cheap… apparently.

    Mibbies just me, but mainly I don’t feel like giving up my rights today. And mibbies I’d like to have say in how I define myself and the nature of the country I want to live in.

    Worth a thought.

  17. A look at the history of Northern Ireland since the sixties reveals the treachery of the Tories to the ‘union’.
    It was the Tories who removed the unionist government in Stormont in 1972 & entered into immediate secret talks with their enemies in PIRA, flying them secretly to London for talks with Whitelaw.
    These secret talks continued on & off over the next 30 years under the Tories (not so much Labour) while they lied to the unionists about ‘no deals with terrorists’. Thatcher negotiated with PIRA during the Hunger Strikes in 1981 while denying it.
    In 1985 it was the so-called arch unionist, Thatcher, who did a deal in secret with the Irish government called the Anglo Irish Agreement, enraging unionists.
    Given this track record, it is certain the Tories who will stick the knife in the unionists again just as soon as they can get free of the DUP.
    Yet ask unionists which party they prefer in government Labour or Tory, they will unanimously tell you the Tories.
    Figure that one out!

  18. Robert Graham says:

    Totally o/t I just watched on u/tube wait for it.

    Yep Nigel Farage on LBC ,his show 26th August This should be required viewing for all Union supporters in Scotland .The love and affection about the SNP and Nicola Sturgeon voiced by almost every caller will really restore their faith in their Union , yes the English nationalists are right behind them.

    I doubt if I have ever heard so many instances of twisted facts and misinformation on one show not just trivial things but real outrageous lies presented as facts.

    I suppose it was like the week before the 2014 Vote, when the English media finally woke up to the possibility of a YES vote , the shock and horror of this actually happening baffled many English people , how did this happen ? , how did the politicians let it get to this stage ? were the questions being asked ,

    Well this show was like Deja vu on stilts, the English people are so out of the political loop it’s frightening how little they know about what is happening up here , led by the nose ,by that master of deception Farage , one of the callers from Stirling even managed to squeeze in the immigration bit , a favourite of UKIP .

    Maybe we are taking the hard route in trying to convince fellow Scots of independence ,when the volatile English nationalists are so easily wound up , and their media have been playing the scrounging Jock card for years , it won’t take much to tip them over the edge, Just a Thought .

  19. I feel a bit foolish this morning. A little bit naive. Here was me, for the past 20 years, believing that the Scottish Government had its own Civil Service. Turns out we don’t. They are controlled by the UK Government. Now I know that after Indyref 1, UK civil servants were given awards for their work in keeping Scotland in the UK. So, although they are supposed to be impartial, aye right, we knew where there loyalties lay. Now through the Alex Salmond allegations, I learn that there is no Scottish Civil Service. There never has been a Scottish Civil Service. It is a reserved matter. I have followed Scottish political matters closely over the past 5/6 years and never came across this fact before
    So although some people may say these civil servants allegiance is to the Scottish Government, is this reality? Their recruitment methods, will be UK Civil Service recruitment methods. Individual Civil Servants will rely on the UK Civil Service for promotion.
    It was also revealed through these allegations that the woman Leslie Evans is Scotland’s top civil servant. Born in Northern Ireland and educated in England, she invented a new procedure, to permit these allegations on Alex Salmond. Her controller and boss is Sir Jeremy Hayward. Sir Jeremy is the top civil servant in the UK You know Sir Jeremy. He’s the one who wrote the Queen’s lines. “I hope people will think very carefully about the future”, in the run up to the Scottish Referendum. He’s also the chap who warned the Guardian that he would send in “our guys” from British Intelligence, about the newspaper’s involvement with Edward Snowdon. Jeremy is also Cabinet Secretary, to be found in 10 Downing St just about everyday, working with Theresa May. Yeah, you know Sir Jeremy. He was the one who Alex Salmond accused of leaking information about RBS having plans to move their headquarters out of Scotland. This was also in the period of Purdah, just before the vote.
    Sir Jeremy stood down temporally, for health reasons in June 2018. He was replaced by Sir Mark Sedwill. Sir Mark was the UK’s National Security Advisor. Yes that’s right. The UK’s National Security Advisor.
    The most important part of Sir Mark and Sir Jeremy’s remit is protecting the interests of the UK state. The SNP is a substantial threat to UK’s interests. They would be failing in their remit, if they did not use all the power and resources of the state to undermine the SNP.
    Most people, I would guess, know by now that the UK Government do not want what is best for Scotland, or the Scottish Government. I think Brexit, apart from anything else, makes that clear.
    Here we have though, through the UK Civil Service, the perfect opportunity to undermine and discredit the Scottish Government. These Civil Servants are sitting in on meetings on the most important matters, relating to the Scottish people. Are they to be totally trusted? Matters like Indyref 2. How can one talk about that, unless one has total trust in the Civil Service, not to leak or pass on information on confidential Scottish Government decisions to their bosses in Downing St?
    As a side matter, it is often mentioned that the GERS figures are accepted by the Scottish Government. I never understood that. Now however, I see that the terminology being used for the Civil Service in Scotland is the Scottish Government. That is a different matter. That is in fact the UK Civil Service, accepting there own figures.
    Taking the positives out of these Alex Salmond allegations, it just shows how desperately we need Independence.

    • Robert Graham says:

      I voiced the same point on Paul’s previous post about Alex Salmonds ongoing difficulty , the makeup of government in Scotland is a little confusing , the award given to the civil service for work done during the 2014 referendum raised questions of who were these people are employed by and who ultimately do they take instructions from.

      I believe the SNP have been manoeuvred into a position and they haven’t quite grasped the real significance of end game until maybe now , these leaks are meant as a fishing trip for further complainers ,maybe those with a grudge to surface, perhaps the evidence is not as watertight as they thought and further backup is required , hence the Daily Record insinuating having sight of statements.This information doesn’t just appear it’s intentional.

      This distancing of Alex by the SNP is troubling , Michelle Thomson never convicted of anything but dropped immediately because the media went after her was not a good show of unity or support from those who should have been at her side while a totally unnecessarily long Police investigation was being played out in public by a hostile media, Alex is getting the same treatment and by the looks of it sadly the same support .

  20. EnglishScot says:

    And the prize of self-respect will not abate because we live every day according to those shared values! Incredibubble Paul! We shall continue in the knowledge that our ‘prize’ will take us all the way to a hop,skip and a jump along the bridge to an independant country, leaving below the frothing bubbles of self hatred and turmoil.

  21. Macart says:

    A Q.E.D. moment.


    And yes, completely in line with my previous post. This is the sort of … person… that is driving Brexit, and this is how he regards the concerns of the general population.

    Get yer YES badges on!

  22. Macart says:

    They want your vote… Huh!


  23. Robert Graham says:

    o/t – and The Nationals Daily Bulletin straight to your in box today it is , ” Shinty ” well i hadn’t noticed it was so popular , ah well you learn something every day i suppose ,

  24. Robert Harrison says:

    Well looks like if the rumours Gordon Ross said on his latest indy car video that we are the majority now at 51.2% support for independence it would explain a bit the britnats probably think we can not continue without alex how they would be and there latest poll would show it to them a poll they’ve not bothered reporting.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Wrong target, and a totally wrong approach, and as usual the way over the top insinuations by Unionist mouthpieces , Labour demand this, Tory demand that with Wullie coming up at the rear , all we need is Patrick sticking his oar in , all this going on while every Unionist party are up to their necks in stalled investigations about their own party officials , I believe the Tories have managed to lose whole files about thirty or more of their MPs , but the SNP must be held to a greater degree of moral standards than any other party on the Planet .
      Same * hit different day.

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