Saying what really matters

Theresa May is scared. She gave an interview to Reporting Scotlandshire and instructed us to forget about another independence referendum and told Nicola Sturgeon to concentrate on the day job. Which is pretty rich coming from Theresa May. Nicola Sturgeon manages her day job rather well, presiding over a government which manages – on the whole – to achieve what it has been tasked with achieving. A government which is united and focused on the job at hand. Theresa May on the other thinks that her own day job largely consists of going to war with other parts of her own party and making just enough in the way of concessions to one or other of the warring factions in order to keep her in her post.

In the Gospel According to the Unsaintly Theresa, delivered unchallenged to the BBC’s Department For Keeping the Jocks In Order, the issue of Scottish independence was definitively decided in 2014. Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK, and that’s that. Only that’s not that. Some of us were paying attention in 2014, and some of us who were paying attention object to the selective rewriting of history by the likes of Theresa May. Yes indeed, Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK in 2014, but those who were campaigning for a No vote were unequivocal in their assertions that Scotland was not voting for the status quo. There was no status quo, they told us.

So for example on 9 September 2014 the Guardian newspaper informed us that, “Even with a no vote, the status quo isn’t an option.” On the 14th of that month, just a few short days before the referendum vote, Alistair Darling the leader of the Better Together campaign wrote in the Scotsman newspaper that choosing to stay in the UK didn’t mean voting for the status quo. “Saying No Thanks does not mean no change,” he wrote. “It means faster, better and safer change.”

That faster, better, and safer change has turned out to be the discovery that the powers of the Scottish parliament can be removed by Westminster at its whim, the undermining of the foundations of the devolution settlement, the ripping up of the Claim of Right by Richard Leonard, and being wrenched out of the EU into a chaotic Brexit without any say, without consultation. Scotland is facing the most uncertain and insecure future it has ever faced in peacetime, thanks to the collective failure of the British nationalist parties.

Back in 2014 in that Scotsman article Alistair Darling wrote that it was “beneath contempt” that supporters of independence were arguing that only independence could protect the NHS from privatisation. Earlier this month we discovered that the hard line Brexiteers in the Conservative party plan to open up the NHS to US health companies after Brexit. The European Research Group, which is linked to Liam Fox and Michael Gove, seeks to open up the NHS to foreign companies, and to trash consumer and environmental regulations. The only contempt here is the contempt with which the British nationalist parties have treated every promise made by the Better Together campaign.

Since Scots were not voting for the status quo in 2014, having been told by the opponents of independence themselves that there was no status quo to vote for, then it’s only fair and reasonable that those same opponents of independence be held to account for the difference between what they promised and what they have given us. We have the right to say “No thanks” to what the British parties have actually delivered. If an electorate has no means to hold politicians to account, then there is no democracy.

Theresa May doesn’t want us to hold her to account because she is afraid of what we’ll tell her.  To her, Scotland is a trivial northern province whose expectations can be managed and ultimately ignored. We figure as a minor distraction in her day job, which is pursuing the internal warfare within the Conservative party. She tells us that the SNP should focus on the issues that matter to the people of Scotland.

Well speaking as one of the people of Scotland, Theresa, what matters to me is that you and your party are held to account for the promises that you made to Scotland, promises that you have trashed. What matters to me and to other people in Scotland is that Scotland has a voice and a say in saving itself from the madness of the Brexit that you are imposing upon us without our consent. What matters to me and to other people in Scotland is that it’s us, the people of Scotland, who decide the path that this country takes. Not you. Not your Conservative party that knows little about Scotland and which cares even less. Don’t you dare to presume to tell me what matters to me. Because I will be the judge of that, not you.

And together with five million other people in Scotland, we will be the judge of you Theresa. We will be the judge of the ruin and the mess and the upset and the uncertainty that you have created in pursuit of your narrow party interests. We will be the judge of the alienation that you have created with our neighbours in Europe.  One way or another, Theresa, the people of Scotland will have our say, and we do not take kindly to being told what does or does not matter to us by someone whose actions and politics have made it abundantly clear that Scotland doesn’t matter to her. Do not tell us what matters, Theresa. We’ll tell you. What matters to us is that we’re no longer subjected to you and your arrogant ignorance.

We were promised stronger devolution with less risk by the proponents of the UK. Instead we have weaker devolution and greater risk. There’s only one way Scotland can get more powers with less risk. That’s with independence. Then Scotland can choose its own path and its own destiny, and we will not be at risk of governments which we didn’t vote for, at risk of the delusions of British nationalists who have never got over the loss of empire, or at risk of having all our public services privatised by free-market ideologues. And most of all, we will no longer be at risk of being told what matters to us by politicians to whom we do not matter at all.

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34 comments on “Saying what really matters

  1. Frank Gillougley says:

    Amen. Succinctly put. This history should really be engraved in stone. Fortunately, I never saw the bot and spared myself the projectile vomiting.

  2. Lindsay says:

    The UK should not leave the EU, but England should have the option to leave both>

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug Saying what really matters Theresa May is scared. She gave an interview to Reporting Scotlandshire and instructed […]

  4. Interpolar says:

    To accuse Theresa May and the Tories of pursuing narrow party interests is to lavish undeserving praise on them, while in fact each and everyone has been pursuing the pettiest idiosyncratic personal goals with abandon. If only they were pursuing narrow party interests, there might yet be some honour to be found in them, but what we have is a dispairingly pathetic charade of conspiring and backstabbing, and a Loyal Opposition that hasn’t a clue what they’re opposing let alone have the ability to build a coherent policy for ordering a lunch menu.

  5. Macart says:

    Well said Paul.

    Yes, they did lie about the nature of the UK going forward. No, they didn’t deliver on either their pledges or assurances. To be fair, some were so outrageous? They really couldn’t have delivered them even IF they ever intended to. (shrugs)

    Why should a population find that acceptable? Because they won a vote on the day? Is that it? A vote which must never, ever be held again because… reasons and you didn’t have to believe. You had a choice. You chose poorly, now get over it and get back in your box.

    Mmmmmmm… NO! No, that’s not how democracy works.

    Firstly, democracy isn’t a one off event. As circumstances change. As events reveal the reality of outcomes. PEOPLE CAN AND ARE ALLOWED TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS. They are also entitled to make their feelings known on their change of opinion. Just sayin’.

    Secondly, Ms May doesn’t get to define what democracy means. It’s not a serving suggestion.

    Finally, victors and losers in any ballot are responsible for the pledges, assurances and outcomes agreed. Just as the FM of Scotland has been expected to jump through bloody hoops for the past four years, so to are the PM of the UK and government formed by the Conservative party. In fact more so as the mandated winner of the ballot. (course they had their very willing little helpers in both Labour and the Libdems)

    Four years. FOUR YEARS of the most appalling political and societal upheaval. FOUR YEARS of an equally appalling media assault on the Scottish government, the independence movement and pretty much all things Scotland. FOUR YEARS of what has become a punishment exercise unleashed upon the population of Scotland for simply daring to consider a question. FOUR YEARS of ignorance and arrogance heaped upon our mandated representation.

    No attempt made to hide the above either. No attempt to find common ground, offer olive branches or win their peace. Just abuse from the ground up to the highest office.

    So Ms May can stamp her kitten heels and scweam and scweam until she’s wossiname. Scotland’s population WILL have its say on the current state of the UK. I’m sure folk are about ready to show their appreciation of the treatment meted out to them over the past four years.

    That’s democracy.

    • Anne Martin says:


      No Sam, this doesn’t apply to people who want Scottish independence. Apparently everyone else can change their minds as often as they like (and they do) because …….. reasons. 😡

  6. Steve Ashton says:

    Hear hear sir! Well said!

  7. Therapymum says:

    Bravo! 👏👏👏👏👏👏

  8. susan says:

    The UK is built on lies, by liars. I despise it.

  9. Brilliantly expressed on behalf of us all. Mayhem is hallucinating if she thinks that telling the Beeb we should shut up and get back in out box is going to change a damned thing!

    • Anne Martin says:

      I loved Nicola’s reply:

      Nicola Sturgeon
      11 hrs ·
      In last two days alone The Scottish Government has delivered a pay increase for police, put dignity into disability assessments, shown that we are building affordable houses at faster rate than UK, and more…but always glad to hear from our single issue Brexit PM.

  10. Bruce MacDougall says:


  11. Tol says:

    MAY is nothing more than empty bluster.
    If no parliament can bind a future parliament


    No voters can bind a future electorate.

    • Tol says:

      For demonstrating such ignorance, Theresa May deserves nothing more that mocking .

      Again she continues to act like a spoilt child in a time that calls for adults. Just like that annoying child, she is so glass-jawed that at any challenge she only has one trick – throw a weak and powderpuff tantrum in the attempt to hide behind false hubris.

      Theresa May has not changed since her foolish “Crush the saboteurs” on show in her failed election campaign.

  12. Romanus non sum.
    Yet it was ‘the settled will of Populus Britannicus’ in about 55 BC to surrender to the might of the Roman Empire under Claudius.
    The Lairds of the time argued that the revenue from trading with Britain was more profitable than forcing taxes and tithes on us.
    From Roman Times the Brit Establishment has been at the ‘For the Few, Not the Many’ .

    When it comes to the Elite selling out, there is nothing new under the Sun, except the stone from which Rod Liddle crawled last night to appear on yet another QT where Scotland was not mentioned, and Ian Lavery fresh from his Red Tory conference call to ‘kill off the Nationalists’ shared the podium with Jacob Rees Mogg, Polly McKenzie, introduced as somebody important in yet another Think Tank, ‘Demos’, who was a , former SPAD and Policy Advisor to Nick Clegg during the Coalition Sell Out, and a Scot, Ayesha Hazarika, a ‘stand up comedian’, who was also a SPAD back in the day to Harriet Harman and Ed The not so smart Miliband brother.
    Last night’s effort was beamed from Bishop Auckland, with more than a fair share of gammon faces demanding that the Government should just ‘crack on’ (Rees Mogg’s exhortation) and Make Britain Great again.

    Norn Irn and the backstop got a fleeting hurried muffled mention; mention of Scotland and Wales, there was none.
    WE do not exist.
    We are a colony, and have no say in the matter.
    ‘Britain’ means ‘England’ to Dimbleby and Co.

    An hour later, with not a hair out of place, that old Anglo Scot Faithful Retainer Andrew Neil and his ‘This week’ guests talked about ‘Engexit’; Britain meaning England.

    We have been put back in our box.

    Sally Magnusson fronted the Ministry of Truth broadcast from Big Sister at teatime.
    It is as farcical to assert that we are citizens of ancient Rome, as to argue that a plebiscite in 2014 binds us Scots to England for another 200 years.
    We did warn the No-ers.
    You signed away your birthright.

    The main news where we are this morning on the 3 1/4 hours News From England headlines with a 35 year old murder of an Aberdeen Taxi driver followed by a report on a woman murdered in Drumchapel earlier this week.
    Scotland; the land of Murders and NHS/Police/Rail Travel/SNP Shite.

    I reiterate: Donalda, just fold up your tents, close the Pacific Quay Stockade, and fuck off back to London.

    Paul, you write as we all feel; with dignity and quiet rage.

    By Christ, when the Referendum Campaign begins, we must hold the MSM to account, by the hour, the day, the week.
    In the meantime, I wonder what Romanus Breakfastus TV-us is saying about Ronaldo being fit to face Man U?

    • Jan Cowan says:

      Thanks, Jack. I was really angry while reading Paul’s superb article and realising that anger is what’s needed. Then your description of the Anglo Scots and final order to Donalda had me laughing out loud. Also good, after so many, many years out of school, to be able to translate three words of Latin!

      Great to see the tables turned, Paul.

      • grumpydubai says:

        Well said to all here today.

        Congrats to WGD again. He has been on fire this week.

        That is indeed what we need Fire brought about by anger due to injustice – but never violence.

        Often wondered why the YES people in 2014 never took Better Together and its minions to task when it seems to have clearly intended we would not be returning to the status quo, what exactly we were going to have – no, surely not just the ‘Vow’!?

        Surely if they had been called on this, the eventual No voters, excluding Britnats, might have paused to consider such implications. Unfortunately at that time I was not in Scotland, so could not appreciate the to-ing and fro-ing of both sides.

  13. Orri says:

    Thon numpty eating his tea cake, and it’s only called that in Scotland, did raise one issue.

    Independence Day in the USA is only called that because it’s when they established themselves.

    The same goes across he globe.

    If the anniversary of indyref1 is to be called Union Day then it highlights the fact that that’s the first time Scotland was given a say in whether it wanted to be part of a union at all.

    If he’s right then rather than a glorious 3 centuries this union has been around for 4.

    4 years since Scotland chose between independence and being part of the UK. Since which the UK has opted to bail out of a union it’s been in for 10 times as long.

    Said union having had at least one previous vote for discontinuance.

    And it’s not as if things haven’t changed. It’s just that having finally agreed to be part of the UK we get the same treatment, in fact worse, than Remainers. Sit in the back, STFU and don’t mention the iceberg or that a slight change in course could keep the ship afloat.

    Not to mention how quickly they dropped the commemoration of the First World War into the background as it reminded us just how self destructive pride and jingoism can be.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I like the Independence day idea. So here is a maybe time line
      No clause 30
      Indy ref2 May 20
      Yes 60%
      They still say no
      May 21 GE
      Massive yes vote
      Fight and negotiations.
      Independence day 1 May 2023.

  14. Andy Anderson says:

    Gutted that I missed the unsaintly Theresa’s dictate to our country. Mind you that ensured blood pressure levels stayed normal.

    Eating and drinking with friends at a Northumbrian Inn was much better.

    Good article Paul. Hope your blood pressure has returned to normal.

  15. Robert Harrison says:

    And yet they not helping dugdale who did more for the conservatives than charmichael ever did in her vs wings case all 3 UK party’s banded together to help charmichael against the Orkney 4 yet not lifted a finger for dugdale who let’s be honest helped give them 13 mps and cost Corbyn the snap general election last year typical English nationalists won’t lift a finger unless they see something in it for them.

  16. grafter says:

    And the Butchers Apron continues to fly from Aberdeen’s Townhouse on this bright sunny day. All is well under the guidance of our colonial masters. Behave yourselves and get on with your day jobs.

  17. Macart says:

    This thread:


    The reality of austerity UK government, which is about to be kicked into Brexit overdrive. THAT is the UK going forward.

  18. bringiton says:

    The major problem that Westminster and the Irish/Scottish unionists have is that in 2014 the principle of Scottish self determination was clearly accepted by London and more importantly,accepted by the global community.
    All that the independence referendum established was that,for now,Scots were content for our state representation to remain at Westminster,nothing more.
    Cameron was warned by the SG that ignoring Scotland’s wishes prior to calling his Tory Brexit referendum would have consequences but he chose to go ahead anyway.
    Since then,the policy at Westminster has been to pretend that Scotland as an entity doesn’t exist,because without that,their “United” Kingdom Brexit will fall apart.
    Scots can now see that their state representation does not exist with the present Tory government so are going to have to decide what they are going to do about that.

  19. chicmac says:

    Mother Theresa from the Smother of Parliaments.

    If she had concentrated on her day job and listened to the SNP we could have avoided the dister which is about to befall the UK.

  20. Welsh Sion says:


    Plaid Cymru leadership contest: Adam Price wins

    In his victory address, Mr Price said Plaid would form the next Welsh Government in 2021.
    “This election shows we are ready to lead again,” he said. “Our time has come.”

  21. Julia Gibb says:

    “BBCs dept for keeping the jocks in order”

    An excellent descriptor! 🙂

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