The unwitting midwives of independence

Do you know your place yet Scottish people? The media and the Tories would like you to believe that the Scottish government was slapped down by the UK Supreme Court this week. The Court struck down important parts of the Scottish Government’s EU Continuity Bill, passed with the support of all parties except the Tories, so that’s youse telt, Jocks.

Only it’s not quite as simple as that. Despite the best efforts of Adam IT’S THE LAW Tomkins and the massed ranks of apologists for the British state in the social and traditional media to claim otherwise, the court ruled that the Continuity Bill had indeed been within the competence of Holyrood. That is until the UK Government retrospectively changed the rules to ensure that it wouldn’t be. Between the time of Holyrood’s Continuity Bill being referred to the court and the judgement, Theresa May’s government passed its own bill, and that included a provision that Holyrood could not alter the European Withdrawal Act. Remember that promise that Westminster wouldn’t ever do anything to alter the powers of Holyrood without the consent of the Scottish Parliament? That’s worth as much as a ticket for a night of comedy, anecdotes, and entertainment with James Kelly MSP or an appearance on Mastermind by Ross Thomson.

What has happened is a bit like deciding to buy a new car, but your evil fairy godmother Theresa tells you that you can’t afford it. You press ahead anyway because you know you have the money in the bank, but your evil fairy godmother casts an evil spell which empties your bank account and deprives you of your own money. Then she crows at you that you can’t afford the car and she was very clear about how right she was all along. Not only that, but she tells you that you had no legal right to a car in the first place.

There’s that precioussssss union for you. We’re being told that we are better together with thieves who steal power from the people of Scotland in order to force Scotland into the Brexit that Scotland never wanted. What the Supreme Court ruling makes absolutely clear is that contrary to the protestations of David Mundell Who Hasn’t Resigned Yet Westminster has indeed used Brexit as an excuse to grab back powers from Holyrood. Westminster has indeed been using Brexit to give it cover as it undermines the devolution settlement. Westminster has indeed been citing the need to respect the result of the EU referendum to traduce the result of not one but two Scottish referendums.

All this is bad enough. All this is proof positive of the bad faith of the British Government and the contempt in which it holds the people of Scotland. However what’s even worse is that this same Supreme Court ruling found that Westminster was perfectly within its power to do so. Yet again we see that the United Kingdom, this so-called most perfect union of nations, no zero constitutional checks and balances, no legal protections, no effective means, of protecting Scotland from the baneful effects of an exceptionalist English nationalism. We’re not in a union. The Tories, the soi-disant champions of unionism, have destroyed any pretence otherwise. In a real union, the largest partner doesn’t possess an effective veto over the wishes of the smaller partners.

Don’t you dare imagine that you can get above your lowly station, Scotland. If you try you’ll be slapped down, and you’ll be told you never had the right to do things that you previously had the right to do. And the ProudScotsBut think this is an embarrassment. Well they’re not wrong there. It is indeed an embarrassment, just not the one they think it is. It’s an embarrassment that Westminster is so pathetically welded to its power that it will undermine, destroy, and diminish the devolution settlement to ensure that nothing can stand in the way of its English nationalism wrapped up in a Union fleg. It’s an embarrassment that the ProudScotsBut are happy to see their own freedoms, their own rights, their own protections, destroyed in order to score a point against Thatessempee. “That’s one in the eye for Nippy!” they crow as they’re led blindly off the Brexit cliff.

The Conservatives can’t be trusted with devolution. They are venal, dishonest, and fundamentally immoral in their dealings with the people of Scotland. Nothing that they say, nothing that they promise, can be relied upon. The second that they decide that it serves the interests of their party better to shaft Scotland, that’s exactly what they’ll do. And their supporters will claim this is getting one over the SNP and not a political attack on Scotland as a whole. They rejoice in the subjugation of Scotland while telling us how proud they are to be Scottish. If Scotland’s freedom of movement is to be restricted, they want us to beleive that it’s only for our own good. We’re not really a grown up nation, you see.

They project their inadequacies and inferiority complex on to the rest of us, and tell us that they’re being realistic. Because the defining characteristic of those who suffer from the Cringe is to make the rest of us suffer.

This destruction of the devolution settlement and traducing of the will of the Scottish people is all in pursuit of a Brexit deal that entails cherries, an ever renewing cake, and a sense of entitlement that even Ruth Davidson would blush at. Well maybe not. That would involve the possession of a sense of shame, even a rudimentary one. There’s not much evidence for that amongst the Conservative contingent in Holyrood. They’re MSPs in a Parliament which they’re doing their best to undermine, diminish, and reduce in power and influence. Apparently that’s standing up for Scotland and getting the best deal for us within their imaginary Union. Well who knew.

The Tories have destroyed the post-war settlement which was the biggest argument for Scotland remaining a part of the UK. Now they’re embarking on the destruction of the devolution settlement, and the destruction of the UK itself. They say that those who love you are those who hurt you the most, that was never more true than it is for the Scottish Conservatives and their precious so-called union. The Conservatives will be the unwitting midwives of Scottish independence.

And finally : Twitter is a toxic environment. I left Twitter because I don’t wish to get sucked into the carping, the infighting, and the general nastiness. So don’t email me about your Twitter disputes and infighting. If you do, your email address will be blocked.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

That’s a fine forfochten fanklefyke the Tories have got us into

Yesterday the story could have been Labour’s to tell. Jeremy Corbyn could have stamped the Labour party’s mark on Brexit and alongside the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, and the Greens he could have brought forward a motion of no confidence in the government and shown that there is substantial and principled opposition within the UK to the selfish insanity of a Conservative Brexit. He might very well have lost that vote, but it would have been close, and today Labour would be commanding the news agenda, demonstrating that sense and reason is possible in British politics.

They blew it. They blew it for the exact same reason that Theresa May blew it. They lacked the courage to take it to a vote. They lacked the understanding of symbolism in politics. They lacked vision. Now no one is talking about how the Labour party can seize control of the Brexit narrative.

Today the Tory leadership contest is the only show in town and British politics has turned into a forfochtin fanklefyke of galactic proportions. Because clusterbourach just doesn’t cut it any more. The requisite number of letters from disgruntled Tory MPs has been received by the Chair of the 1922 Committee, and a leadership election will take place if 158 MPs vote against Theresa in a secret ballot which is due to be held on Wednesday evening. If she wins, she’ll be safe in her job as the rules of the Conservative party prevent another leadership challenge for a year. If she loses, she will not be permitted to stand in the leadership election that will then be triggered. We will be told the result by around 9pm on Wednesday evening.

Yet again, the Conservative party has put the interests of the Conservative party first and foremost. There’s only a few short months left to go before the Brexit clock ticks its sorry last, and a substantial section of the Conservative party thinks that this is the ideal time for it to indulge itself in its internal battles. Let’s get this straight here. The Tories voted for Theresa a couple of years back, but now they think that voting for her wasn’t such a great idea and they want another vote. This seems like a good idea that could be implemented successfully elsewhere.

If Theresa May doesn’t manage to get the support of half the eligible Conservative MPs, there will be a leadership contest which is likely to take weeks to conclude. The new leader would be likely to be a Brexiter, who will take the deal back to the EU and who won’t get anything from the EU that Theresa with her fixation on ending freedom of movement wasn’t able to achieve. Dominic Raab C Brexit, David Davis, and Arlene Foster of the DUP have apparently teamed up to campaign for a “better deal”. This apparently entails magic technology, invisible borders, and lots of cake with cherries. But what do you expect when a woman from a party which doesn’t believe in dinosaurs teams up with a dinosaur. The truth is that if there was going to be a better deal on offer, someone would have come up with one by now.

However the chances are that Theresa May will win the vote this evening. This is what counts as reckless and foolhardy bravery in British political commentary these days by the way, making a prediction about what could happen in a couple of hours.

Winning the support of more than half of Conservative MPs isn’t necessarily enough by itself to ensure that an ailing leader remains in their job. If sufficient MPs vote against the leader, previous leaders have still felt the need to stand down out of a sense of principle. But then we’re talking about Theresa May here, a woman whose only principle is the inability to distinguish between being resolute and being stubbornly delusional. Conservatives don’t do resignations on points of principle any more. Just ask David Mundell.

Even if she scrapes home by just one vote she’s quite likely to hang on repeating her soundbites about getting on with the job and nothing has changed. Theresa May is the limpet of politics. Although that’s unfair to limpets as they have a greater understanding of their environment than Theresa does and a more highly developed central nervous system. The mess, the confusion, the political stalemate, is only going to continue. Clinging on as leader doesn’t make it any more likely that she’ll get her deal through the Commons when she does decide to put it to a vote. Clinging on as leader doesn’t make it any more likely that she’ll be able to cobble together some proposal that will enjoy the support of a majority in the Commons.

So, Better Together, are you still there? Are you listening? Although you’re almost certainly not because what we’ve learned over the past few sorry years is that nae bugger in the British establishment listens to Scotland. But on the offchance that you are – about that security and stability that you promised us …

However, even if she does win, Theresa May will preside over a party that’s divided and at war with itself. There will most certainly be a substantial number of her MPs who will vote against her, and they will have no incentive to get behind her leadership. They’ll be sullen, uncooperative, and will continue to plot, conspire, and put obstacles in her way. And even worse than that, we’ll have a Prime Minister who has learned that sticking her fingers in her ears and going la-la-la I’m not listening is a successful tactic.

The UK is enmeshed in a forfochten fanklefyke with no clear means of untangling itself. Everyone outside the Conservative party is looking on with dismay. Everyone outside the UK is looking on incredulously and with increasing frustration. Remember when Scotland was told that by remaining a part of the UK we’d be able to punch above our weight? Well it turns out that all it meant was that we’d be able to punch ourselves in the balls far more forcefully than we would have if we were left to our own devices.

If having a vote is good enough for Tory MPs, it’s good enough for Scotland. The difference is that a Scottish vote would actually solve the problem once and for all.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

Knowing our place

According to the BBC political editor Nick Watt, a senior Conservative spoke to him about his frustration at the way Brexit has been going. What this Tory grandee was specifically upset about was the amount of power and influence that Dublin has had in the Brexit negotiations. Dublin has been able to lay down the law to the UK, to insist that the UK abide by the terms of the Anglo-Irish treaty and the Good Friday Agreement, and to ensure that a backstop arrangement is put in place which prevents the UK’s exit from the EU re-imposing a hard border in Ireland. The senior Tory is not at all happy that the Irish government has the power to ensure that the consequences of Brexit are dealt with by the British, and not by the Irish. “The Irish really should know their place,” he told Nick Watt.

The lesson is clear. From the point of view of the red cheeked British establishment, the Irish are an uppity little minor part of the British Isles which ought to return to its rightful place. That rightful place is being told what to do by its betters in London. That was how it was for centuries. Ireland said it wanted something, and the RoastBeefs said no. So Ireland rebelled, and Britain got its way at the point of a rifle.

It was in order to ensure that the interests of Scotland, Wales, or Ireland could never come before the interests of England’s ruling class that the English state embarked on a policy of conquest and control over the non-English nations of these islands. Nothing was to interfere with England’s ruling class’s freedom to do as they pleased, and if that was going to have negative consequences on the other nations of these islands, well that was unfortunate. But it wasn’t going to be unfortunate for the ruling classes of England. The lesser nations could suck it up. It has always been thus. It’s the natural order of British things.

This is the lesson that the ProudScotsBut have never learned. It’s the lesson that they choose to ignore because it speaks an uncomfortable truth. What the ruling classes of England, those who define the British state, those who speak for the Union Fleg, what they think of Ireland and the Irish, they think of you too. You’re accepted as a North Briton, a proud British Scot with your union fleg bedecked bagpipes, because you know your place. You’re not an equal, but you’re allowed the delusion of telling yourself that you are. You’re not a partner, you’re a possession, but you can pretend to yourself that we’re a part of a Union and not a piece of real estate that’s disposed of as someone else sees fit. You know your place. You think the bars on your cage are there for your own protection.

Reconciling those two realities, the nationhood of Scotland with its subordinate place within a British state that treats it as a possession, that’s what creates the cultural cringe. It’s responsible for the belief that Gaelic roadsigns cause potholes, the conviction that Scotland has no culture or identity of its own other than an atavistic hatred of the English. It’s because the North Britons are afraid to confront the reality of their own ProudScotBut submission.

It’s what comes from telling yourself you come from a country that can’t act as a country. It’s what comes from telling yourself that you go your own way in a land whose path is chosen for it. It’s what comes from telling yourself that you’re better than Ireland because Scotland isn’t a colony, it’s a partner in a Union.

It’s a strange Union which works in the interests of only one of its members. The myth of the Union is the comfort blanket of North Britain. It’s the cosy insulation that protects ProudScotsBut from the truth that the contempt, the entitlement, the disdain, that the British establishment has for Ireland is exactly the same as what they feel about Scotland. Know your place Jocks. It was a UK vote. England with its 85% of the population chose for you. That’s democracy in this Union. Scotland will do as it’s told.

This Conservative government can’t wrap its head around the fact that the EU regards Ireland as a member state whose interests must be defended. Britain’s attitude to Ireland has always been that if the ruling establishment in London wanted something, then Ireland could get shafted. They think that about Ireland. They think that about Scotland and Wales. They think that about the working class in England too. The politics of the UK are the politics of being told your place and accepting it. But Ireland didn’t accept it, and now Scotland won’t either.

It tends to be forgotten in the British press that what they are pleased to call the problem with the Irish border isn’t really a problem with the Irish border. It’s really a problem with the British border. The international frontier that winds its way across the north of the island of Ireland is an artificial construct imposed upon the island by the British, in an attempt to retain control over as much of the island of Ireland as possible even after it became clear that Ireland’s independence was unstoppable.

It’s a great irony that the British state is now being taught the limits of its power by Ireland, and Ireland is using an instrument of British control in order to do so. That’s because Ireland knows its place. Ireland’s place is an independent member state in a free union of states, a union where Ireland has the same rights as the other parts of that union. Ireland’s place is to have a seat at the top table. Ireland’s place is to be listened to and respected. Ireland’s place is to treat Westminster as an equal.

Compare and contrast how Ireland has shaped and defined Brexit. Ireland has ensured that Irish interests will not be overlooked. Ireland has forced an unwilling Westminster to deal with Irish concerns. Ireland has a voice. Ireland has a say. What does Scotland have? Scotland’s government hasn’t even been informed about the progress of Brexit, never mind consulted, and certainly hasn’t been allowed to shape the UK’s negotiating position. That’s because those Tories who insist that Ireland should know its subordinate position are confident that Scotland is contained within its shortbread tin.

It’s time for Scotland to know its place like Ireland knows its place. Its place as an independent state. Its place at a negotiating table dealing with Westminster as an equal. Its place as a country with a voice. That’s our place. It’s time we took our seat at the top table too.


 

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

A bit of a corbyn

So does anyone know what’s going on? Nope. Me neither. There are just 63 working days left for Parliament before the Brexit clock runs out, and British politics isn’t just broken, it’s been reduced to its constituent atoms, sucked into a black hole, and squeezed out the other end into an alternate universe in which supposedly serious reporters stick a microphone in Ross Thomson’s face and ask him for his considered opinion. You’d be as well asking a balloon animal. And to be fair the BBC has tried that. Liam Fox is being interviewed on Newsnight as I type.

Absolutely everything that Theresa May has promised has turned out to be wrong. She is consistently and reliably wrong. There’s been no one in the history of British politics who’s been more wrong than Theresa May. Except John McTernan. On Monday morning Theresa’s little helpers were still trotting round the tellyland studios to assure us all that the vote was going to go ahead, until by early afternoon it became clear that it wouldn’t.

The vote was postponed. Postponed until when exactly, Theresa wasn’t for saying. Presumably it’s postponed until such time as she can come up with something that might allow her to keep her job and keep her party together. Since there’s precious little prospect of that, and the EU has made it clear that they’re not going to renegotiate the existing deal, the postponement is just a desperate attempt to delay the inevitable. Theresa’s going to do a tour of EU capitals anyway, begging for something that she’s already been told she’s not going to get. There’s that punching above your weight that the UK was so proud of. Not so much Brexit means Brexit as Brexit means that the people who told Scotland that it was too small to become independent are now reduced to desperate pleading for some concessionary crumbs from the Irish Republic, Estonia, and Malta.

The headline in the Guardian at the time of writing this blog article is “Desperate May reveals her plan B: to buy more time.” Which is a headline that could have appeared in any newspaper at any time since June 2016.

The only thing that this sorry excuse for a government cares about is the internal party politics of the Conservative party. Nothing else matters. We got the Brexit referendum in the first place because of internal Tory party politics, and internal Tory party politics have driven the entire Brexit process ever since. And we have to listen to this bunch of hypocrites telling us that they’re working in the national interest. Now the whole of the UK is being left to dangle on the Brexit noose until some unspecified time in the New Year, when Theresa might, just might, have come up with a formula that the different factions of her party can agree to. But the chances of her finding one are as remote as the chances of David Mundell finding a principle to resign over.

The only thing that the most ineffective Prime Minister in living memory has got going for her is that she’s up against the most ineffective Opposition leader in history. It is a source of amazement, a wonder of miraculous proportions, a record breaking performance that story tellers will be recounting to wide eyed children around the campfires of the post-Brexit apocalypse, that even when faced with incompetence and venality on the scale of Theresa May, Jeremy Corbyn still can’t command a substantial lead over her in the opinion polls. Hell, never mind substantial, any lead at all would do.

In generations to come the word corbyn will enter the dictionaries as a noun meaning something or someone which is unfit for the task you hope to use it for. As in, “I tried to put together that new flatpack wardrobe, but I needed a screwdriver and I only had a chewed up nailfile that was handmade by a Bolivian peasants’ collective. So that was a bit of a corbyn.” Or as a verb meaning to refrain from action on the basis of some unrelated principle. As in, “Well I was going to save the cows from the fire in the cowshed. But I’m a vegetarian and don’t believe in meat-farming. So I corbyned them. There’s some cooked steaks in the fridge. A bit overdone mind.”

Labour isn’t calling for a no-confidence motion in a government that has pretty much abdicated any attempt at governing. After slagging off Theresa May for not holding a Brexit vote because she didn’t think it was going to be successful, Labour is now refusing to move a motion of no-confidence because they don’t think it’s going to be successful. And if the SNP, Plaid, and the Lib Dems move a no-confidence motion instead, well you can always rely on Labour to abstain.

No one knows where we’ll be tomorrow. So much for the supposed stability and security of the UK. Will Brexit happen? No one knows. Will this Conservative government last beyond Christmas? No one knows. Will there be a Brexit deal? No one knows. Will the UK manage to stay in the EU after all? No one knows. The only thing that anyone knows is that Scotland will continue to be marginalised and ignored and that Scotland’s interests will never figure in the calculations of a Westminster government. This isn’t a union. It’s a farce.

What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union that doesn’t even acknowledge Scotland’s existence? What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union which treats Scotland and its concerns with contempt and derision. What’s the point of being a part of a so-called union whose masters and mistresses play games with one another and as as detached from reality as a bad acid trip. Theresa May, she’s a bit of a corbyn.

A poll over the weekend found that 53% of voters in Scotland think that independence would be better than a negotiated Brexit, and a whopping 59% think that independence would be better than a no-deal Brexit. The events of Monday can only have reinforced the impression amonst the electorate in Scotland that Westminster is a confused dystopian soap opera which isn’t fit for purpose, and in which Scotland isn’t even a sideshow. The events of Monday in Westminster, and what may transpire the rest of this week, is only going to increase the conviction of people in Scotland that independence is better than this.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

The Bumper Book of British Brexit

brexitbus


cake


emmaandjohnny


jackandjill


jeremyandcharles


karen


kevin


marekandagneta


mrsmith


norway


peter


priti


timmyandjessica


Scotland


mrjohnbull


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag

It was St Andrew’s Day last week. According to East European tradition, vampires are most active around the time of St Andrew’s Day, and there was indeed a confirmed sighting of one in a leather factory near Bridge of Weir just before St Andrew’s Day. Although only very briefly.

Not to be out-done, this week the Labour party has sent someone up from London in its own attempt to suck the lifeblood out of the independence movement. This time it’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who is promising that if Scotland votes Labour and there’s a Labour government, then we’ll be rewarded in the shape of tons of money and a shedload of new powers for Holyrood. Here’s a lovely photo of some unspecific jam you could possibly have at some unspecified time in the future. Because we’ve never heard that sort of thing from Labour in opposition before. Oh no.

John assured us that all the SNP has done in Holyrood has been to pass on Tory austerity, conveniently forgetting to mention that the Labour party fought tooth and nail to prevent Holyrood getting substantive powers over tax and welfare, even the Tories were in favour of devolving more power to Holyrood in the Smith Commission. And now here he is, promising extra jam. Or more precisely, suggesting the prospect of the possibility that there could perhaps be some extra jam. This is what counts as a promise from the Labour party.

John also said that a Labour government would consider proposals on a new indy referendum, which isn’t quite what the Labour in Scotland branch manager has been saying. Richard Leonard is quite insistent that a Labour government would categorically refuse to consider another Scottish independence referendum. Sadly for Richard, vampires lure their victims with their glamour and charisma. Unfortunately he possesses all the charisma of a discarded plastic bag flapping uselessly in the branches of a tree, so no one pays him much attention. His sole notable quality is that he could manage to make James Kelly seem like the life and soul of the party.

They contradict themselves on Brexit, and no one really knows what their true position is, and they contradict themselves on Scotland and no one really knows what their true position is. So let no one say that there is no consistency in the Labour party.

Of course Labour’s lack of consistency and its inability to develop coherent policies is only an issue if it’s going to be the party of government any time soon. We are faced with the most incompetent, useless, evil and vile, morally bankrupt, and chaotic Conservative administration in living memory, and yet Labour still can’t get a decent lead over them in opinion polls. Jeremy Corbyn’s fans claim that this is because the media is vile and out to get him, and this would be true. But as a supporter of Scottish independence all I can say is, welcome to my world. The right wing media in this country is part of the political landscape we have to deal with.

The chances are that if there is the early general election that Labour is so keen on, they’d only lose it and England would vote Tory again. It would solve absolutely nothing. The message for Scotland is don’t rely on the Labour party to save you from the Tories, and don’t rely on the Labour party to deliver what you hope they’ve promised you, because they’ve promised the opposite to someone else.

Meanwhile Priti Patel, the Conservative MP for the Irish Famine, has called on the government to use the threat of food shortages in Ireland in order to browbeat the Irish government into a position that’s more amenable to Tory Brexiteers. If you wanted an illustration of the moral bankruptcy of the Conservative party, you couldn’t do much better than that. Here’s an English MP threatening Ireland with food shortages if England doesn’t get its way. She’s either ignorant of, or more likely doesn’t care about, the history of the Irish famine, when Britain’s economic and political interests were instrumental in compounding the disaster of potato blight. Then that same British government sat and did nothing while millions of Irish people died or were forced into emigration. The population of Ireland has never recovered. Now senior Conservatives are actually suggesting to threaten Ireland with starvation in order to pursue their insane dream of Empire 2.0. Labour promises jam, but the Conservatives actually deliver. It’s just a shame that they only deliver bile.

These are the same Brexiteer muppets who have also suggested that one way that the UK’s Irish backstop problem can be solved would be for Ireland to return to UK rule. And if that doesn’t tell you how deluded they are, nothing will. They fancy themselves as the big beasts of British politics, but if they really were big beasts, the zookeepers would be shooting at them with tranquilliser darts.

On Friday, the Scottish government revealed that the Conservatives are blocking the Scottish government’s proposals to pay the £65 Brexit Tax that the Tories are imposing on EU citizens. The Scottish government had announced its wish to pay the so called “settled status fee” for EU citizens working in Scottish public services. Around 13,000 EU citizens work in the NHS and social care in Scotland. However the UK government has said that “third parties” will not be allowed to pay the fees, meaning that EU citizens in Scotland will have to find the money themselves. The Scottish government had offered to pay the fee as a gesture to EU citizens in Scotland in an attempt to staunch the loss of much needed EU citizens from public service jobs. There’s already been a drop in applications for nursing jobs from EU applicants. There’s not much that the Scottish government can do to ameliorate the UK’s “hostile environment”, so paying the extra fee that EU citizens would incur because of Brexit was never much more than a gesture of goodwill. The Conservatives aren’t even allowing that. They’re not just the nasty party, they’re the petty and nasty party.

As long as Scotland remains a part of this dysfunctional state, we’ll be trapped. Trapped between vampires and a flapping plastic bag. It doesn’t have to be like this. There’s another option, a Scottish option.


You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

The fart of the deal

Today, Thursday, there was a cabinet meeting that the cabinet office assured Sky News wasn’t a cabinet meeting. There was the usual carcrash of Conservatives pitching up at Number 10. Liam Fox was there, looming like bit player actor auditioning for the part of Lurch in the Addams Family. Andrea Leadsom showed up, grinning from ear to ear, which is either because she’s realised that had she not lost the Tory leadership contest to Theresa May it could have been her neck that was on the line, or possibly because she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on. With Andrea it’s more usually the latter. Michael Gove appeared, looking terribly smug and pleased with himself. Although to be honest that’s how he always looks so it didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know.

One who didn’t turn up was David Mundell. Or to give him his full title, the Scotland Secretary Who Has Not Resigned Yet. David Mundell Who’s Not Resigned Yet was not invited, presumably because alternative catering arrangements had been made and they already had a tea boy. No one in the cabinet cares what Scotland thinks, but since David’s role isn’t to represent Scotland in the British government but to represent the British government in Scotland, there’s no point inviting him to cabinet meetings until the British government has decided on something new to say.

David gave a wee speech in London on Thursday during which he assured the assembled press – well, I say assembled. There was someone there from Reporting Scotland – that Theresa May understands Scotland’s opinions because “she was there last week”. I recently spent three hours in Dublin airport, where unlike the Prime Minister’s three hour trip to Scotland, most of which was spent at the airport with a brief excursion to a leather factory in Bridge of Weir where she grimaced at the staff before heading back to London, I actually conversed with people. This clearly makes me an expert on Irish public opinion, and so I am in the perfect position to assure Theresa May that Ireland thinks that she’s as woeful as Scotland does.

This morning Theresa did an interview on Radio 4 which apparently had the aim of persuading the public. It was typical Tory pals together chat you might expect from John Humphries, and Theresa still made a complete and utter hash of it. She banged on about the will of the people, which might have sounded marginally more plausible if it came from a politician who had a reputation for listening. Theresa May has never knowingly listened to anyone in her entire life. Her insistence that her deal is a good deal just comes across like the pub bore who insists that the Moon landing was a hoax.

The only thing that the public could have been persuaded of having listened to this embarrassmess of an interview was that Theresa is scarcely fit to order a curry never mind steer a Brexit deal through the Commons. She was incoherent, stumbling, and babbled the same sound bites repeatedly. It was an interview from another universe, one where her government hadn’t been found in contempt of Parliament, one where the European Court of Justice hadn’t ruled that the UK can unilaterally halt Brexit, one where there are no options other than her deal or no-deal, one where she’s going to get a majority for her deal in the Commons.

Theresa thinks that she’s being strong and resolute, but she doesn’t understand the difference between resolute and a refusal to accept reality. When you’re that delusional you don’t present an image of strength, you present an image that’s ridiculous. In that respect at least, Theresa is the perfect representation of the UK to the rest of the world.

Some on the Tory and Labour benches are pinning their hopes on striking an exit deal that keeps the UK closer to the EU, the so-called Norway option. However now it turns out that the Norway option won’t be very Norwegian after all. Meanwhile Norway has sent a very polite message to the UK in the shape of a letter from Ole Erik Almlid, the CEO of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. Ole’s letter spells out Norway’s reluctance to see the UK elephant trampling its way into the cosy little EFTA club and suggesting that the UK makes it own arrangements. What it boils down to is, we don’t want you because we don’t trust you. We’ve got a nice wee gig going on here where we’re all terribly Nordic and consensual and none of us thinks we’re special. Please go away and deal with your gammon flavoured national nervous breakdown elsewhere. Tusen tak, Norge.

The Scottish Parliament has voted overwhelmingly against a no-deal Brexit, and against Theresa’s May deal. For all the heed that the Conservatives will pay to Holyrood. It means absolutely nothing to Westminster. Brexit has killed the twin lies that Scotland is a valued member of a union, and that Scotland’s voice can be heard within the UK. The UK offers Scotland no protection at all from English nationalism.

The Scottish Conservatives used the occasion to claim that if the UK falls out of the EU with no deal, it will be the fault of the SNP, the fault of Labour, and the fault of the Lib Dems. So it most definitely won’t be the fault of the party of the UK government which held the EU referendum in the first place in order to tackle its own internal divisions, and which has spent the two and a half years since arguing with itself. It won’t be the fault of the architects of Brexit. It won’t be the fault of the exceptionalism of British nationalism. It won’t be the fault of the party which has refused to listen to Scotland, or to take on board any of the concerns of those who voted to remain. It will be everyone else’s fault. Mostly it will be the fault of the SNP. The only thing at which British nationalists are exceptional is audacity and sheer brass neck. After Brexit they’re going to have to make the brass neck the new currency, because the arse will fall out of the pound.

Today, Christine Jardine, the Lib Dem MP, tweeted that she was sick and tired of the SNP using Brexit as a tool to achieve independence. Which if nothing else proves that Theresa May isn’t the only delusional British politician. Christine wants Scotland to stay in the UK and in the EU. Which is nice. I want to win the Euromillions and buy a private island Christine, and that’s as likely to happen as the UK Federalism Fairy waving its magic wand. Just how crap do you think Scotland must be if you still believe that we’re Better Together with this mob of incompetents and that Scotland couldn’t do better as an independent country.

The past two years have taught us a few lessons. One of which is that opposing Scottish independence doesn’t give you a free pass from nationalism. Another is that you can have the EU, or you can have the UK, or you can have neither, but you can’t have both. And a third is that if Scotland wants its voice to be heard, it needs to learn from Ireland and Norway and have an independent government standing up for its interests, because the British government sure as hell won’t. All that we’re offered is Theresa’s fart of a deal.


 

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into Paypal.com and send a payment to the email address weegingerbook@yahoo.com. Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at weegingerbook@yahoo.com and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.