The Great British Pseudocracy

Theresa May is currently engaged in a competition with Donald Trump to see which of the two of them can get away with the most lies. If she is in a competition with Trump, she’s narrowly in the lead. It’s the only plausible explanation for the Prime Minister’s curious lack of attachment to reality. It’s either that or she’s a sociopathic liar who has as much respect for the truth as Jacob Rees Mogg does for thrash metal music. Still, at least no one could accuse her of being secretly an agent for the Kremlin. Just being an agent for the Daily Mail, which is arguably worse.

Welcome to life in the UK in the 21st century. Welcome to this British state where Scotland was assured it would be respected and valued as an equal partner in the most perfect union of nations in the history of the multiverse. Only it has turned out that the British state and its political establishment are the world’s leading exponents of pseudocracy, government by lying. Because, sadly and tragically, Theresa May is by no means the only leading figure in the British political establishment for whom truth is at best a serving suggestion, she’s just more fluent at it than the rest of them.

Her lies are so frequent that for the most part they pass unnoticed. She lies so often that it’s highly likely that she no longer knows what truth means. For Theresa, the truth is whatever happens to have issued from her lips most recently. We are expected to have forgotten what she told us only a few weeks ago. So now a no-deal Brexit would be, according to Theresa and her government, an utter catastrophe. Yet it wasn’t that long ago that she was repeatedly intoning the mantra that no deal was better than a bad deal. She told us that Brexit was all about restoring the sovereignty of the British Parliament, yet she’s fought tooth and nail against allowing that Parliament any say. She said she wouldn’t call a snap election, yet she did just that because she thought she could increase her majority. She only lost her majority yet she’s continued as though nothing has changed.

On Monday morning she lied yet again. Theresa gave a speech in a ceramics factory in the Midlands of England. She stood in front of what looked like a big pile of chanties, clearly put there in readiness to receive the epic quantities of pish that were about to utter from her gob. Wouldn’t it have been awful, averred the Pee M, if politicians in the House of Commons had disrepected the results of Scotland and Wales’s devolution referendums. That’s why it’s so important that the result of the EU referendum needs to be respected too. There were referendums in Scotland and Wales in 1997 to establish devolution, and all parties respected the result. And she said it all with a straight face, which is one of the many faces that the great pseudocrat Theresa possesses.

In fact Theresa May herself voted against that referendum result that she claims she respected. She voted against the establishment of a Welsh Assembly after the referendum returned a narrow vote in favour of one, and then she supported the 2005 Conservative manifesto which promised the people of Wales another referendum in order to overturn the result of the first one. You know, what she’s currently claiming that the people of Scotland can’t ever get to do and what it would be a betrayal of democracy to do with respect to another EU referendum.

Interestingly, given that the outcome of the Welsh referendum in 1997 was so narrowly in favour of devolution and the mandate it produced was so fragile, then Welsh Secretary Ron Davies, together with other leading devolution proponents in Wales, including Peter Hain and Win Griffiths, set out to reach out to their opponents and build a cross party consensus. They realised that they had to bend over backwards to build consent for the new Assembly amongst those who had previously been opposed, as well as amongst those who hadn’t voted at all. This approach wasn’t always perfect, but it was successful. Two decades later opinion polls in Wales show that at most only about 15% of voters want to abolish the Welsh Senedd.

This is in very marked contrast to Theresa May’s hard Brexit takes all approach to dealing with the outcome of the narrow vote in favour of leaving the EU. She completely ignored remainers, the Scottish Parliament, and everyone who wasn’t a fully paid up member of the swivel eyed xenophobe wing of the Conservative party. Yet if she had embarked upon a conciliatory and inclusive cross party approach to Brexit as soon as she secured the Tory leadership, she wouldn’t currently be mired in the mess that she, and the rest of the UK, currently is.

Scotland has been betrayed and traduced multiple times by the Great British pseudocrats. There’s the infamy of 1979 when Scotland voted in favour of devolution by a margin almost exactly the same as the margin by which the UK as a whole voted in 2016 to leave the EU. The House of Commons had no great difficulty or remorse in deciding to over-rule the Scottish electorate on that occasion.  Some referendums and some electorates are more important than others.

More recently Theresa May has used the Brexit decision as an excuse to undermine Scotland’s devolution settlement that was overwhelmingly approved by the electorate of Scotland in the referendum of 1997. She has displayed a marked lack of concern for the sensibilities of the Scottish electorate in the way in which she’s marginalised Scotland’s large pro-remain majority, the Scottish Parliament, and the result of that 1997 referendum. A result which was, let us not forget, confirmed and reinforced in 2014 when the opponents of independence assured us that there was no status quo, that by choosing to remain within the UK Scotland would be voting for stronger, better, and more powerful devolution.

We have in fact witnessed the exact opposite. This is a government which so frequently decides to over-rule the democratic will of the people of Scotland that it passes unremarked by that pro-British Scottish media which is theoretically standing up for Scotland within the UK. Although of course if it’s a story which doesn’t involve saying how bad the SNP is, it’s difficult to get the Scottish media interested. In the BBC’s lunchtime Scottish news they managed to report on this episode without seeing fit to mention Westminster’s unilateral overturning of the devolution settlement.

Whatever happens in the febrile House of Commons this week, we can be pretty sure that the British political establishment will continue to lie and dissemble, that Scotland will continue to be marginalised and ignored, and that the British nationalist media in Scotland will continue to focus their attention on SNPbad instead of highlighting anything that might risk producing an increase in support for independence. Welcome to the Great British Pseudocracy, where the truth is whatever suits the leader of the day, and the Union isn’t a union at all.


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43 comments on “The Great British Pseudocracy

  1. Millsy says:

    British attitude to Scotland – same as it ever was ! You’ll have had your Devolution , then ?

  2. patricknelson750 says:

    Nice observations, although I think you are wrong about Theresa May wanting a hard Brexit. I’m pretty sure that she is trying to keep the UK in the EU by hook or by crook, no matter what she claims.

    The dominant influence of SE England is toxic to nearly everywhere in the UK that isn’t in SE England. Imperialist attitudes are ingrained in that part of the world across the parties – as was shown when Jeremy Corbyn declared that he would force abortion on Ulster against the wishes of its voters. In one statement he clearly showed that even the left of Labour had no respect for devolution at all.

    Given the ongoing outcomes of neoliberalism London will one day play “Panem Capitol City” to the rest of the UK’s “Hunger Games” (if it isn’t already) unless the regions can escape London’s grip.

    One thing is clear and that is that Westminster has never done (and will likely never) accept meaningful devolution of power to Scotland, Wales, N.Ireland or any other place unless it has no choice but to agree to it, but escaping to “independence” within the EU would be just jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.

    Independence within EFTA (or rather less likely in a truly federal UK) are the only options that would give Scotland or any other UK region that chose to break away from Westminster meaningful freedom.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Utter rubbish. That is all.

    • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

      Scotland isn’t a region, Scotland is a joint signatory to the Treaty of Union, that’s the Treaty that created the United Kingdom, but even without that particular gaff, the drivel comparing the UK to the EU was utter rubbish.

      • patricknelson750 says:

        “Scotland is a joint signatory to the Treaty of Union, that’s the Treaty that created the United Kingdom”

        You mean the same treat that said: “That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England, shall upon the 1st May next ensuing the date hereof, and forever after, be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain”

        Sorry to burst your bubble, but as log as the UK exists its constituent countries will continue to exist as regions of the UK, rather than as true states. The treaty of Union dissolved the existence of Scotland and England as separate states and created a new state called the UK.

        If Scotland gets independence within the EU, it will eventually become a zone or zones within a unitary European state if the planners at the EU get their way.

        There are ways that Scotland can be a free country again but the EU is not one of them unless it goes into major reform and adopts Federalism as opposed to its dominating culture of ever closer union.

        • You’re a bit mixed up, the treaty of union was between the Parliaments of Scotland and England. The country was the then to be known as Great Britain. The union of the crowns took place 100 years before. The United Kingdoms was a separate entity.

        • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

          Ok, you can read, whether you understand what your reading is open to question.
          A country or Kingdoms boundaries are designated by legal jurisdiction. Neither England or Scotland became a region because both Kingdoms constitutional law was enshrined in the Treaty of Union and both the Acts of Union passed by Scotland and England as forever separate.

          You need look no further than legislation passed by Westminster using English law, requiring thereafter separate legislation in Scots law to make it lawful in Scotland.

          I refer you to the 1746, Wales and Berwick Act, which defined the limits of English jurisdiction.

          Also, I would remind you that the Lockerbie bomber was tried under Scots law, the Court at the Hague was designated temporarily as Scots territory. Although vigorously contested by Westminster and the USA who claimed jurisdiction, the International court ruled that the crime was committed in Scottish airspace and therefore came under Scots jurisdiction.

          At the time of the Treaty of Union, England’s Territorial jurisdiction encompassed Wales and Ireland( now NI), it still does.
          No need to apologise for bursting my bubble, you didn’t.

          Just for clarity, you were answered only to ensure that anyone reading your comment didn’t confuse your pish with reality.

          • patricknelson750 says:

            “At the time of the Treaty of Union, England’s Territorial jurisdiction encompassed Wales and Ireland( now NI), it still does.”

            I don’t think you read a word I said.

            For a start whoever said anything about English jurisdiction over Scotland?

            • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

              Nope, I read every word, neither country or Kingdom was dissolved. International law defines a country’s boundaries or borders by its legal jurisdiction, which is the point of my previous post. Just for the avoidance of doubt, Scotland and England are in a political union, neither country ceased to exist, pooling administrative governance.

              • patricknelson750 says:

                I never said that England or Scotland were dissolved or ceased to exist.

                The clear meaning of what I said is that they ceased to exist as sovereign states.

                Scotland, England, Wales and N.Ireland exist as countries in various cultural, legal and administrative ways, but the state is the UK.

                If you don’y like it change it, but it doesn’t help anyone to just pretend that this isn’t the current situation.

  3. Lovely,Paul.
    I wonder how many Scots citizens would vote to close Holyrood?
    Surely the ‘best of both worlds’ Brit Nats Up Here would vote for continued devolution with no tuition fees, bridge tolls a truly Publicly Owned Health Service and so on, while voting Brit Nat Red Blue and Yellow Tory in UK GEs, safe in the knowledge that the Scottish Government will always fight for Scots rights, first and foremost, but will always be trodden on when it comes to the Big Ticket Items like Defence, Foreign Policy, Finance, Immigration,and Grouse Shooting?
    There is a rebel inside me fantasising about the SNP resigning en masse and forcing a SGE.
    It really is make your mind up time for Brit Nats Up Here.
    I listened to Brian Taylor and that luvviblebiglunk, ex rugby star, John Beattie, two big lumps of men, on the car radio, briefly, spinning out the ‘drunken bedroom sex romps’ smear on BBC Radio Jordanhill.
    They are getting desperate. The smears and the lies are the best recruitment sergeants the YES Movement could ask for.
    You make a serious error of judgement attacking Nicola Sturgeon, Taylor and Beattie.

    • Dave tewart says:

      Jack

      Would you be talking about the Brian Taylor, EBC scottish political commentator, who seems to have only had one input into the EBC website for the Scottish region is :-
      The FM seems not to know who MSP MAson is.
      Not much work done in a Month as that’s how long it has been on the site.
      Not political commentary more just tittle tattle for which he seems to be well overpaid.

      • Och, Dave, it’s a nice game played slow.
        Taylor was on tonight reporting on a ‘smear campaign’ against the FM before perpetuating the smear campaign against NS.
        What a grubby wee channel it has become.

  4. Andy Anderson says:

    No integrity, no morals, no truthfulness, no historical memories, no bloody good.

    Just summarised your article about the Brit Nat government.

  5. Macart says:

    It was a dead giveaway.

    Her lips moved. 😎

  6. bringiton says:

    As far as Westminster is concerned,Scotland ceased to exist in 2014.
    The unelected HoL is apparently about to produce a new Act of Union bill which will define a “revised” constitution for the UK,probably ending up looking like the Spanish one,where the UK is declared indivisible for all time so that they can continue to collect £300 a day plus expenses.
    Will Scotland’s sheep realise what is actually happening before it is too late?
    Probably not.

    • bringiton, tonight on the 6 o’clock EBC, they had a mock up of the HoC benches to illustrate that May doesn’t have a majority.
      317 Blue Tories, against 10 DUP plus the Red Tories and…and?
      The 35 SNP MP’s didn’t get a mention, nor the Lib Dems or the Green member.
      The BBC has airbrushed Scotland out of Britain.
      And they are about to launch Hoots Mon BBC TV?
      They now know that they have lost Scotland.

  7. hoplite39 says:

    May is not only a very poor PM, she is a very poor politician. She makes no attempt to establish and maintain a base of allies, which after all is what politics is really about. She betrays and lies to everyone she meets. She attempts to force everything through by pure stubbornness. She makes Cameron look like a supreme statesman.

    I’m a percentage man. Six months before the indyref I was about 60/40 in favour of the Union. Four weeks before Indyref, I was about 70/30 in favour of independence. Directly after indyref I was 80/20. Now I am 95/5.

    Not that it matters, as I don’t live in Scotland. I live in the soulless commuter belt wasteland. There is no true country here. Perhaps that is why so many voted for Brexit: To create the fantasy that a country exists when it doesn’t.

  8. Tol says:

    SNP are being sucked into the English centric blackhole….the current fight appears to only be about the English mandate.

    SNP has a Scottish mandate. If the English create a disastrous condition that splits the Union and advances independence, it is not the SNP’s job to stop them…it’s their job to say thank you, and take that gift horse and work their way to the exits..

    If you save the English from themselves…there will be no thanks. Once a bully is off the canvas they are still a bully…only now more dangerous as they have to re-instill fear in their prey. (P.S. it is England’s right to leave…just as it is Scotland’s right to remain…isn’t that the whole point of the Scottish independence argument)

    This is the problem with the Union…at no point are Scottish MPs able to fight for or about a Scottish mandate. It’s not the lies, it’s not the disrespect…it is entirely a brutal democratic deficit that is veiled under parliamentary games.

  9. ArtyHetty says:

    Great article once again. On the subject of the act of union, it’s going through to next stage this week. This was linked to via WOS.

    Extremely sinister, if you read the last bit. It was written before this date was set for next stage, but obviously very much relevant.

    https://seneddresearch.blog/2018/11/21/an-act-of-union-bill/

    Been seeing people mention the ‘constitution’ as well. The UK, cesspit that it is, does not have a written constitution. Some old ‘unwritten constitution’ means bugger all. Anyway, in English law, don’t agreements need to be in writing to be legally binding?

    • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

      There is a written constitution in the UK, its the Treaty of Union. Scottish Constitutional law and English Constitutional law are enshrined in the Treaty through the respective Acts of Union passed by both the Scottish and English Parliaments.

      It’s why May felt able to include parts of the Henry the VIII Law into the Withdrawal Bill, but, and its a big but, it has no place in Scots law. You can imagine the uproar in Westminster if the Scottish Parliament brought into force the 1704 Act of Security and replaced the current Monarch with someone else and then tried to make England accept our choice. But that is basically what the current withdrawal bill is trying to do.

      • Stuart Mcnicoll says:

        Also, regarding this new Act of Union, this is sheer desperation, final throw of the dice type of action. Stupidly they have brought into play the Treaty of Union, (the SNP have almost studiously avoided mentioning the Treaty)by stating that Westminster has the right to change the Treaty. No it doesn’t. If I was waiting for something to take to the International courts, that would be it.

        • Liz g says:

          It’s a smoke and mirrors effort…
          They are trying to portray an ” New Act of Union” as a new Treaty of Union.
          It isn’t and it cannot be.

          The TREATY of Union is what gives the ACTs of the UK Parliament the force of Law.
          Any new Acts Westminster passes will indeed be Law in Scotland.
          Only for as long as the TREATY is still a live document.

          The Lord’s and/or the Commons cannot make a NEW TREATY.

          Partly because the 1706/7 Treaty is the founding document of the UK Parliament itself and the UK Parliament cannot do anything to dilute it’s power… And a gap between the old and “so called” new Treaty would do exactly that…
          Also it’s an International Treaty.. ie Between at least TWO countries,not between the two Houses of the UK Parliament
          But mainly because…

          A New Treaty of Union would need to be signed by the parties to said Treaty..
          Who will sign for England?
          Will the First Minister sign for Scotland?
          What would give the TO of Scotland the Authority to sign?
          Will Holyrood agree this time?
          Will the people of Scotland let Holyrood agree this time?
          Will the Scots who are being asked to approve a NEW TREATY of Union,want some input into what’s in the TREATY or will they be content to let Holyrood just sign?I
          This is why….

          The current Treaty IS the reason the UK Parliament can’t have a written Constitution.

          No they are not talking about a NEW TREATY at all just a New Act and trying to pretend this changes things.

          A vote for Scottish Independence is a vote to end/strike down/dissolve the 1706/7 Treaty itself don’t let anyone be fooled into thinking any ACT of the UK Parliament changes that!

  10. Macart says:

    Ian Blackford’s speech from 14.37 onward.

    https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Event/Index/27d512b5-9b1d-43a4-80dd-371b0c5c1a5e

    He didn’t beat about the bush. 🙂

    • He couldn’t have been clearer, Sam.
      If a Customs Union, Freedom of Movement at least in Scotland, and a Trade Agreement are not on the table, we Scots have the Claim of Right, and the Scottish Government the mandate to launch Indyref 2.
      It is to Blackford’s credit that he is still attempting to get cross party support for a second People’s vote, to save the countries on these islands from crashing out of Europe, with concomitant job losses, erosion of living standards and Europe’s borders and job opportunities closed to us.

  11. James cheyne says:

    The treaty of union was / is illegal, At no time were the sovereign people occupying,living and working Scotlands land for millennia ever asked their opinion or to vote on joining the kingdom of Scotland to the kingdom of England. The people who sold Scotlands land in a a business deal to England (and received money in return) were not chosen as representatives of or by the people/nation/country of Scotland,they were self elected elite. As I mentioned on an earlier blog, to sell an item that does not belong to you is THEFT and if you do not have the permission of its owner/s who were the rightful owners by sovereignty of the people on that land for millennia then the illegal sale of the said real estate can and should be contested, and the sovereign people of Scotland protested the illegal deal at the time (its on the records)However the poor could not afford lawyers in 1707,and England surpresed the protest with an army.we are in a very different position nowadays and should challenge wether or not the original treaty of the union was legal,
    We as sovereign people of the country/nation of Scotland were not asked to vote or sign anything in 1707.we did not sign our sovereignty away and AS sovereign people did not sign our country away.imagine we had a business in England and our business started losing money,so as a financial solution we sold england to japan or Denmark let’s say for the sake of argument ,and did not ask the people of england if this was ok with them,that is the equivalent.
    There are many ways to end the treaty of the illegal union of 1707. We do not need to be political and we do not need to ask permission from Westminster.and we don’t need udi.lets do it legally.there are many areas within that so called treaty that have since been reneged on through the centuries.
    We have been fighting to gain independence for as long as I can remember and by asking the wrong questions since 1707 and latterly by asking the wrong region.let us all look forward to ending the treaty of the union.

  12. Lizzie55 says:

    Can you imagine if we had gone for Indy when article 50 was pressed. It would have worked……article 50 was a clear sign the tories were going for a hard brexit. We had a mandate to go for Indy if we were being taken out of the EU against our will. That was what article 50 represented. But, we tried to compromise and we tried to discuss alternative plans to brexit. That didnt work, backfired spectacularly. After the years of learning, mostly the hard way, not to trust Westminster, especially a Tory government we were stupid enough to listen to “now is not the time” and we though we could cage Westminster’s approach to brexit. The focus of all snp mps and msp’s should have been to get us out of this utter mess before it hits our people. That’s worked well for us as brexit approaches at breakneck speed. Redundancies are now a result of brexit and business confidence has plummeted. Our mps were to busy helping Westminster get out of the mess. Earth to snp…..Westminster treats Scotland and especially the snp like crap…it’s not going to change anytime soon.

    If we had started campaigning and pushing for independence when article 50 was pressed, like we should have, we would now have the numbers to pass a yes vote without any problem, before the 29t March 2019. I could see that then and can now. Why couldn’t the snp. I can see no clear way for Indy now, especially with the snp trying to save the very lot that caused the problems in the first place. I’m utterly disgusted at the whole snp approach. I keep thinking they will make a move and then nothing. I won’t have a job if brexit goes badly, I probably won’t have a job it we continue to have a Tory govt.

    It could have and should have been so different.

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