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.


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17 comments on “The fart of the deal

  1. Mark Russell says:

    Fart doesn’t come close. More like pungent seepage from a prolapsed bovine rectum.

  2. […] via The fart of the deal […]

  3. Seems to me that this Theresa May deal, is the deal Hitler would have forced on the UK, if Germany had won the Battle of Britain. It’s very ironic that the British Establishment Party, the British Conservative Party, is going to allow 27 foreign Governments to make laws and rules for the UK, with the UK having to follow them with no input and no choice. Again, it’s a very similar deal, to the deal Vichy France had to accept.
    How is it possible, that there are so many conservatives backing such a deal? Yes, it’s unlikely to go through, but where’s the outcry from the Media? A media, which could howl from the rooftops when a new ruling on eggs came from Brussels. Britain a rule taker from 27 foreign countries and not a rule maker. They’re so unbelievably sanguine about the whole thing, it’s very strange.
    Is it just that the British Lion, which was once so fierce, has now just become old and worn out? It’s once mighty and ferocious bite, just a gumsy suck?

    • Just occurred to me, that I didn’t mention any outrage coming from Purr Majestie’s Opposition. That’s because there isn’t any. Nothing at all, is coming from what must be the most useless opposition party in history.

  4. Thepnr says:

    Your articles yesterday and today are a joy to read. I know that we’re having to go through is painful because we voted No in 2014 but being able to smile through it helps lessen that pain.

    These articles do make me smile, just wanted to say thanks. There’s a place for you in an Independent Scotland as it’s top columnist, here’s hoping so anyway. Cheers.

  5. Macart says:

    Yeah, weary of the Christine Jardines of this world telling us what she finds unacceptable. I find Ms Jardine unacceptable, though tbf I find her entire party of hypocrites and serial fibbers fully capable of falling into that category. The Libdems, Santa’s little helpers so far as politics is concerned. Enablers for the powerful, dissemblers, hypocrites, proven liars and all round bad eggs, but still the middle way apparently. One of the reasons why we are where we are today is thanks to the actions of Santa’s little helpers and their practice of politics. So yes, I’m pretty sick and tired of them too.

    But let me tell you what I’m really sick of. I’m sick and tired of Z-List politicians who sold us into this shitstorm on a ticket of better togetherness, pooling and sharing, equal partnerships and lurve bombing telling us that we should get behind their system of government. I’m sick of the architects of poverty and misery in the UK telling us to get behind and get on with Brexit. I’m sick of people being deported because they’re not the right sort. Because they married the supposedly wrong person five fucking decades ago, or because their skin isn’t the right shade of gammon. I’m sick of seeing people, friends who do us the honour of choosing our country to live in, singled out for the latest in a long line of kneejerk immigration policies.

    I’m sick of the growth of food bank culture and watching its creators smiling as they place a tin of fucking beans in a basket for a photo op at Christmas. I’m sick of politicians using Brexit as an excuse to scapegoat the innocent and slide blame for their biblical omnishambles onto those who had fuck all to do with it. I’m sick of seeing people homeless and starving on the streets of 21st century Scotland because life took a wrong turn for them and those we paid WELL to care for them turn a blind fucking eye in their hour of need.

    I’m sick and tired of a Conservative and (sick laugh) Unionist party that is clearly anything but capable of any unity, empathy, care or even competence, telling people who is and who isn’t fit to live in their world. A Labour party that isn’t a party of the people, still playing pretend that they give a shit or are anywhere near ‘kinder or more caring’ and as for honest? Do NOT make me laugh.

    THAT’S what I’m sick and tired of.

    Frankly, we have better things to do and a better country to build without them in our lives. I think they’ve done enough by this point.

    • Albis says:

      God save our precious land
      From London’s malicious hand,
      God save Scotland!

      Please God un-Tory us,
      That would be glorious,
      None to rule over us,
      God save Scotland!

      (You all know the tune!)

    • That’s a helluva sick note, Sam.
      well said.

      • Macart says:

        I was in a grumpy mood. Huh! So seems Mr McDonnell is sharing his pearls of wossiname in Scotland today. Promising all sorts of stuff Labour could have delivered at ANY time (let’s be generous) during their previous stint in office.

        They could have done a lot of things they’re promising to do today, but they didn’t and still won’t. It’s what they are and this is no longer their playground for placeholder MPs. Mr McDonnell knows the road back across the border. We’re done with Labour and their empty promises. We also have a better offer on the table.

        We give ourselves ALL of OUR powers, control over OUR economy, Our resources, OUR politics, OUR tax and spend to meet OUR needs, OUR choices and OUR futures.

        It’s unlikely (especially given Labour’s track record on ‘VOWS’ and delivery) that Mr McDonnell’s Labour can match that offer.

    • I’ve said it before and i’m gonnie say it again, when Paul and Sam are angry, naybody can touch them.

  6. James Mills says:

    Thank God for David Mundell ! Just imagine the sort of s*it we as a country would be in if we didn’t have the strong leadership and support of the Scottish Secretary in the Cabinet fighting for Scotland !

    A weekend away , all expenses paid , if anyone can tell me what is wrong with the above statement . Take your time – it’s a tricky one !

  7. I found it more than ironic( I laughed my head off) when the panel on QT last night kept referring to the ‘impasse’ in WM as the immovable object of Hard Brexit met the irresistible force of Remain, while the EU 27 seemed to be just getting on with life without England.
    I joked about ‘a fit of pique’, and ‘chagrin’ on here t’other day, and that pink blob of denim shirt, who used to be one of Thatchers’ Hatchet Men, Michael Portillo, son of a Spanish Immigrant, smirked on Brillo Neil’s juvenile late night SMIRK, that he did not know the French word for ‘schadenfreude’ when they tittered about Macron’s battle with the Gilets Jaunes over fuel and energy price hikes in Froggie Land.
    Now a Blue Tory MP suggests that England starve Ireland into submission, and threaten Scotland with ceasing to trade with us if we opt for Indyref 2.
    Meanwhile the Scandinavians have vetoed any notion of England joining their EEA Deal with the EU.
    I wonder why?
    Because they don’t trust the lying back stabbing basturds?
    Mundell got hounded out of Dumfries by an ‘angry mob’ because he failed miserably in his attempt to visit a Food Bank, a sick heartless cynical stunt clearly thought up by Blue Tory Central Office to coordinate Blue Tory MP’s visits to their local Poor Peoples’ Supermarket in an effort to ‘normalise’ food banks as part of Government Policy, as an extension of Welfare Payments to the Great Unwashed.
    I still can’t get my head around CAB selling out to the Blue Tories and acting as ‘partners’ of DWP.

    John McDonnell is in Scotland and Gary Robertson is acting as his PR Man announcing that Corbyn will take £70 billion from his Islington Constituents and ‘give’ it to Scotland if only we would vote Red Tory next time, and stop the SNP Austerity cuts.

    You couldn’t make this fucking shit up; Oh, wait, they just did.
    The French word for ‘schadenfreude’, is ‘schadenfreude’ of course.
    They’re all desperate to get to the Christmas Break, aren’t they?
    Speaking of a fortnight’s holiday at Christmas, is Larry Flannigan really going to cry ‘everybody out’ in Govanhill classrooms in January.
    In what Planet do some of our salaried pensioned classes live?

    Toilet rolls in my local supermarket have gone up by 50p according to a fellow middle aged female shopper the other day.
    Shit less for Britain!

  8. Malcolm says:

    Brilliant article Paul. I can’t believe that Macdonnel is in Scotland making those promises that they will never keep. Nobody will ever believe them. The Labour party is so weak they should be nailing the Tories just now. Can you imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. What has happened to the supposed suspension of the leading tory after they were forced to disclose the letter from the Attorney General. They should be climbing all over the Tories at the moment and calling for a vote of no confidence.

  9. Macart says:

    Oh. My. Lord!


    • It’s all going to plan, Macca.
      They really are a bunch of Anglo Centric fascists, all 560 of them.
      Corbyn’s USSR Socialism is as racist, dictatorial, and so 1984, as their Blue Tory Counterparts.
      They may join forces yet and vote through May’s Mish Mash , just to spend the next two years watching it fail, and demanding a UKGE.
      Ireland and Scotland are more than self sufficient in food andboth are in export surplus.

      Fuck England: let’s stop ‘trading’ with them.

      Of course when we leave the poor sods so that they have to fend for themselves, they’ll have to get by on corned beef from Argentina and 12 moth old Texas steroid steaks, and Kentucky bourbon at £30 a jug.

      They really are a simple minded bunch of idiots.

      Not long now.
      Before I said ‘over by October’; they’ve managed to spin it out until Christmas when England and Schools (wee dig) shut for a fortnight.
      Heads in the sand.
      Maybe Europe will have disappeared by the time they get back to the Members’ Bar in January.

      It is easily the biggest political farce since Profumo or Suez.
      They anticiape log jams at ports for 6 months, but are only stocking medicines and essential supplies for six weeks.

      They are not very bright people, are they?

      They haven’t a clue which way to turn, and that suits the Tax Dodgers no end.
      The ‘Famine Song’ will get big licks tomorrow, no doubt.

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