Living in a 1970s concept album

Meet the new plan, the same as the old plan. Even though the Prime Minister has been utterly humiliated, she keeps going on. Theresa is missing the shame gene. It is now clear that Theresa May is giving the UK a lesson in masochism. It’s about the only sense in which the UK is able to punch above its weight. Or in this case, punch itself repeatedly in the groin.

Despite a historic defeat of 230 votes, the official policy of the British government is still to chase the pot of gold under the rainbow. The consultations with other parliamentarians has turned out to be talking to the extreme Brexist faction of the Tories and the DUP. The new deal is the same deal with some tweaks to the Irish backstop that the EU has already ruled out. The Irish government has said that it’s a non-starter. Dublin has categorically refused to consider a bilateral treaty between the UK and Ireland and refused to accept a five year time limit on the backstop, because they know that Albion is perfidious. The UK cannot be trusted to keep its word. We in Scotland know that all too well.

Yet Theresa May is still chasing after alterations to the Irish backstop that she cannot achieve. She’s trying to knit herself a parachute although she’s already jumped out of the plane. On Monday the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas agreed with his Irish counterpart, saying, “I am completely with my Irish colleague. He has already said what he thinks of it, which is nothing.” Theresa could manage to cobble together enough support from the DUP and Rees-Mogg’s European Research Group, she could cajole, bribe, and threaten enough of her own MPs to back her, but it’s all for nothing if what she gets through the Commons is unacceptable to the EU. It’s as pointless and futile as finding a black cat in a darkened room when there is no cat.

Under normal circumstances a blind headlong rush after a fairy story would merely be an irritation which could be solved at the next general election, but in this instance the rainbow in question sits off a cliff with some very nasty rocks below.

Even now, even at this late stage, even as a no-deal looms, Theresa May is still far more concerned about keeping her own party together instead of trying to work with other parties in the greater interest of the UK as a whole. She talks about her precious union, but it’s evident that she means precious in the exact same sense as Gollum called the ring precious. As something to covet, to possess, and to control. She has no interest in what she can do for her so-called precious union, it’s all about what her precious union does for her.

There are fairies at the bottom of the Brexit garden, but the Scottish press is only interested in which side of the SNP civil war they’re on. Because that’s the real story here, right? Whatever is going on between Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon it is as nothing compared to the bloodletting and mutual sabotaging taking place with the Conservatives, the party of the British government, the party inflicting Brexit upon us all.

There is a very real and very bloody civil war going on within the Conservative party. The party is desperately trying to avoid an early general election because there is no manifesto that the Tories could stand on which would not result in one large faction or another splitting from the party. So instead the government is preoccupied with unicorns and leprachauns while the orcs of Brexit circle. It’s like we are all living in a very bad concept album from the 1970s, one created by people who have consumed industrial quantities of pharmaceuticals.

On Monday the BBC announced that Theresa May now says that the devolved administrations will have an “enhanced” role in the next phase of the Brexit discussions. It’s very easy to promise an enhanced role when the bar is set so low, up to now the concerns of the devolved administrations have been ignored and traduced. The British government has used Brexit as a weapon to undermine devolution. The Prime Minister is due to meet with Nicola Sturgeon and Mark Drayford, the new First Minister of Wales, in the coming week. Theresa has made promises like this before, but the delivery always falls short. She promised she’d listen to the devolved administrations in 2016. She didn’t. She promised she’d listen to the devolved administrations in 2017. She didn’t. She promised she’d listen to the devolved administrations in 2018. She didn’t. And here she is again promising to listen to the devolved administrations. She lied before and she’s lying now. In Theresa’s own words, nothing has changed. Nothing has changed. Precioussssss will be controlled.

We can be pretty certain that Theresa’s discussions will be framed in a similar way to the announcement made last week by David Mundell, who hasn’t resigned yet. David promised that everything was on the table for discussion, except those things that most voters in Scotland actually want. There will be no talk of another referendum, whether an EU one or a Scottish independence one. There will be no talk of suspending Article 50. There will most certainly be no talk of not having Brexit at all. There will be no talk of alterations to Theresa May’s red lines. Theresa is going through the motions of making like she’s busy, making like she’s consulting, but only in order to stall some more. She wants concessions from Holyrood, but has no interest in making any of her own.

The English author Samuel Butler said that the truest characters of ignorance are vanity, pride, and arrogance. All three are richly on display in Theresa May’s government. The bombast, vanity, pride, and arrogance of British nationalism is leading to its own destruction. It’s time for Scotland to prepare the lifeboat.

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32 comments on “Living in a 1970s concept album

  1. Fairliered says:

    Some of the best 1970s concept albums were by ……. Yes!

  2. Brian Lucey says:

    Meanwhile today Ireland celebrated 100y of parliamentary independent democracy.
    Just, saying…

  3. hoplite39 says:

    I ‘be always said that TM was a shameless chronic failure and liar.

  4. I observed on a post in response to Joanna Cherry’s excellent summation of Where We Are now, her article reflecting your roast of a piece here, Paul, that the citizens of the North of Ireland can apply for Irish/EU citizenship as a right; ‘the best of both worlds’, with dual UK and EU citizenship.
    They won’t have to complete a Right To Remain form as ‘EU citizens’, if they retain their UK Passport.
    Equally, they’ll be free to travel, work, holiday, and settle anywhere in Europe.
    This unique arrangement will remain no matter what form of Exit May brokers.

    Meanwhile Mundell believes that he can block his fellow Scots from opting to take back control of our country, and also, if we choose, opt to Remain in Europe.
    I wonder if we Scots can play the Celtic Connection card and apply for Irish/EU citizenship?
    Ian Paisley Jnr is now an Irish citizen. His father will be spinning in his mausoleum.

  5. Welsh Sion says:

    Very good piece as usual from the wee ginger one.

    This looks interesting – apologies for the BBC link.

    And, just a wee point of order, though: the Welsh FM is Mark Drakeford not Drayford.


  6. Patience is a Virtue says:

    Plan A = rejected by 230 votes, Now behold …..Plan B, where B = A

    a2 – b2 = (a – b)(a + b)
    (a+b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2
    a2 + b2 = (a – b)2 + 2ab
    (a – b)2 = a2 – 2ab + b2

    Time to solve the Gordian Knot of Brexit – with an intervention any time now by Gordon?

    ‘Vote No’ – its the only way to ensure you stay in the EU…. come on Gordon where are you? .. we need you.

    Maybe we could have a re-run the Independence Referendum and we all vote No which will definitely ensure (this time) we stay in the EU?

  7. Joe. says:

    The more this brexit situation drags on the more her mps.will end up backing her and the . D.U.P.will back may no matter what at the end of the day happens.its that lot that has kept the power.

  8. I came across this:-

    “EU countries now buy more than half of Scottish exported goods, according to the HMRC’s Regional Trade Statistics.

    The value of Scotland’s annual goods exports increased by 6% to £29.6 billion of which goods to the EU are up 18% to £15.7bn. Oil and gas exported to the EU is 37% higher at £7.8bn.

    Speaking from Hamburg, where he is discussing further growth in Scotland’s trade with Europe, Trade Minister Ivan McKee, said total exports are growing at a greater rate than the overall UK figure of 4% and the highest percentage increase of any UK country.

    “The figures show just how important trade with the EU is,” said Mr McKee. “They demonstrate in pounds and pence the competitive disadvantage Scotland will suffer compared to Northern Ireland under the UK Government’s current proposals.

    “They also show the importance of Scotland staying in the single market and customs union, which is eight times bigger than the UK market alone, because trade with the EU makes up more than half of Scotland’s exports.”
    That would be our Ivan ‘getting on with the day job’ then?

    So, now that HMRC has finally put paid to the lie peddled by the Brit Nat ProudscotButs notably Rennie, Davidson, Carlaw and Leonard, that ‘Scotland trades 4 times as much with rUK as it does with the EU’, will Brewer, Campbell, Ponsonby, McKay, and Toodle Oo The Fuckin’ Noo now pull the Brit Nats up when they continue to lie and demean their own country, Scotland?
    I note on twitter that Wes Streeting, Red Labour MP Darn Sath, smirks that if we think Brexit is damned difficult, what would it be like for Scotland to break out of a 300 year Union?

    It is heartening to read the many quite sensible replies debunking this notion.

    Of course if Oor Wullie, That Dick Leonard, and Mumsie Davidson are co-opted on to our negotiating team, it would be like the Smith Commission with bells on.

    As one wry comment observes, they’ll have to pay for our oil, gas, electricity, whisky, beef, wood, fish, and Smokies, rather than just take them.
    Now that we know for certain that May’s Plan B is Plan A with the backstop rejigged in consultation with 10 religious fundamentalists who believe that dinosaurs and homo sapiens roamed the Earth at the same time at the planet’s creation 4000 years ago, that God made Eve from one of Adam’s ribs to give him a bit of company, and that Kafflicks are the AntiChrist what can go wrong?

    Scotland is dissolving the Union, Wes.
    We’re allowed to do that, without your permission.

    Every day the frantic ravings of the Loon Yoons gets more and more unhinged and desperate.

    WE might take Cumbria and Northumberland with us.
    we’re gonna need auto engineers when Toyota relocates to Coatbridge and Springburn.

  9. Malcolm says:

    I think now is the time for all under one banner to organise marches in all of Scotland’s towns / cities to show support for getting shot of Wastemonster. The crunch time is nigh !!!

  10. Macart says:

    No deal still looking the odds on fav then.

    Treeza is running out of can kicking room and there is no consensus to be had, either in or out of parliament. It’s going to be a 6% disaster, or an 8% catastrophe. Them’s the choices on offer (they haven’t altered a jot for yonks now, you know) and both mean massive hardship for the majority for decades.

    All that’s required is the official notice. The decision.

    At this point, a cynical soul might have to imagine that the can kicking is becoming about the country that must never be mentioned. Pretty telling she’s had more contact with S******h government representation in the past fortnight (at her request) than at any time (other than a courtroom to steal stuff) over the past two years. S******d. Say it vewy, vewy, quietly.

    UK politics is currently collapsing at an alarming rate. An already fractured and overly manipulated society, is polarising into very distinct camps. The devolved nations are getting fractious and none more so than the UK’s significant other signatory (that’d be us, the country that dare not be mentioned on telly). Some S******h citizens are beginning to believe they made a fairly grievous error a few years back. They might be right you know.

    Whatever the outcome of the next 8-10 weeks? The UK will be a name only kinda thing. The Conservatives and Labour have pretty much killed the concept of joint government and joint parliament stone dead between them. Well done them.

    As for how they unite the populations they broke apart? Unite society as a whole after what they’ve done? I don’t think they have it in them tbh. Basically they’ve forgotten, (see under – deliberately buried deep in a hole), that governing a population means service to the WHOLE population. If you govern, you don’t get to choose or other. You serve all and you reflect the will and the needs of all. A majority might put you in power (which is where the current practice of manufacturing same and manipulating electorates came from), but the day job is to care for all without fear or favour.

    Neither of the current incarnations of the Conservatives or Labour are fit for the job. They need their divisions, their demographics, their triangulated voter bases. They don’t deserve the duty of care for a population. Or in this case populations. They do however deserve the contempt of populations for bringing us to this pass.

  11. Stephen Barclay, the Great Blue Tory Hope as next leader, was on BBC Brexit this morning, a zombie boneheadedly repeating May’s mantra.
    Honest, the Blue Tories will not alter our Employment Rights or scrap the HRA after March, and the 3 million Johnny Foreigners will not have to pay for being forcibly registered as lesser Aliens with the English Homeland Security.
    Barclay will consult with his ‘DUP Colleagues’ and come up with a magical solution to the backstop that may involve threatening the Remoaners with a plague of locusts, a drought, a famine, boils on the cattle, and the End of Days, while exiting with No Deal if the 432 (not 230, BBC Brexit) do not fear the Wrath of Arlene’s vengeful Proddie God and just give up.
    Barclay summarised for the sleepy heads over the corn flakes: May’s deal or No Deal, there is no other choice, because I’m ‘Enery the Eight, I am.
    No balance, no opposing views; just a message from Big Sister to the proles.
    England is in flames now, and now is our time.
    Great measured chronicle of events, as per, Sam.

    • Macart says:

      Yes, Mr Barclay’s statements are nonsense. There is no squaring this circle Jack. It’s where it’s been headed for around the past twenty years.

      Half of the populations of these islands will never forgive the political class for making them do this and who can blame them? As for getting on with the other half of the population(s)? Only time will tell. Westminster’s political class and system have already failed. The only damn thing holding it together at all is the piss poor media. When enough folk have hit the buffers over this latest idiocy? They’re going to be looking for those responsible in order to ask some pointed questions. (shrugs)

      • The logic goes, that if we don’t go ahead with May’s Eurmageddon, then there will be ‘civic unrest’ as the 52% rise up and stop paying their rates, and letting the library books overrun return dates; whereas, we remaining Yessers are a placid lot, and will not rise up if May gets her way?
        England has gone mad, simples.

  12. J Galt says:

    The consensus of the above comments appears to be that a “Hard/No Deal/WTO rules” Brexit is going to be a disaster for the British State and that Scottish Independence will almost inevitably follow.

    This may well be correct – who knows? I certainly don’t.

    In which case should the SNP not be following (at least privately) Napoleon’s dictum, “never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake”?

    Maybe they are?

    There are a lot of people saying things they don’t really mean at the moment.

  13. Millsy says:

    Plan A + was revealed yesterday by the PM – threats of social unrest ! Rather unsubtle , but hey , she’s fighting for her life .
    Now we know why all those soldiers were put on standby .
    ”Do what I say or I will set about you !” Martial law next ?

    • Tut,tut, Millsy.
      May explained that the reservists had been called up to replace regulars on guard duty, that’s all.
      Of course she didn’t explain why she was freeing up 3,500 battle hardened Regulars from passive peace time duties.
      Draw you own conclusions.

  14. Robert Graham says:

    Even MPs from her own party have rumbled whats shes up to ,shes stalling for time in order to get what this tory lot wanted in the first place , the ability to blame those pesky Europeans .

    I remember Nicola Sturgeon being asked after a meeting with Mrs Mayhem how it went ?, the reply was well you are as wise as i am , after all the discussions i can honestly say i am no wiser than i was when i walked through the door of No 10 an hour or so ago , This time she should make it crystal clear Mrs Mayhem is taking the Piss ,she has absolutely no intention of changing anything she has said over the last two years .

    One thing has been settled at least the European negotiators now realise what its like trying to deal with this Tory government , its akin to having a discussion with a brick, the difference being at least the brick in the end will serve a useful function .

    • wm says:

      The faceless Tory’s plan from the start has been NO DEAL, they will then put their own plan together to make London and the south into their very own financial heaven.Never underestimate them, they don’t give a F**k about the rest of us.

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