The crazy you get when opinion becomes fact

opinionfactBrexit has been pretty much defined by batshit insanity, but this week has seen a development that is way out there in the far reaches of gibberage even by the standards of a campaign which hails Jacob Rees Mogg and Boris Johnson as heroes. Someone whose grasp on reality is even more tenuous than a Daily Mail leader writer has started a petition to the Westminster parliament, calling on the Republic of Ireland to solve all the problems of the backstop by returning to British rule. Yeah. You read that right. This is a real thing. At the time of writing the petition had attracted over 2500 signatures of presumably grown up people who have at least as much wherewithall as it takes to use a keyboard.

The petition calls on Westminster to offer “full UK membership so they can rejoin the Union”. In other words, he thinks that the British government should ask the Irish if they want to be represented in the British cabinet by a Tory mouthpiece who isn’t representative of Irish opinion and who won’t resign even though he or she signally fails to stand up for Irish interests. We know that because it’s what Scotland has got. This is what “full membership of the UK” entails. It entails being sidelined, marginalised, and ignored. It means being sacrificed on the altar of British nationalist exceptionalism.

But hey, who needs an independent government able to make it own alliances and agreements with other countries in order to protect its interests when you can have David Mundell who hasn’t resigned yet. It’s a remarkable propostion, but what is most remarkable of all is that the originator of this petition thinks that the Irish might say, “OK, we’ll go for that.”

The assumptions underlying the thought processes of the person who began this petition, a certain Scott Packer, deserve to be examined more closely. If only so that we can point and laugh at them, assuming that is that Scott is genuine and not some genius of political surrealism. Mind you, it’s hard to tell the difference these days, since the entire Brexit process is so unmoored from reality that it counts as an exercise in Dadaist performance art all by itself.

The most obvious is why is he petitioning Westminster at all? It’s not up to them whether or not Ireland becomes a part of the UK. That would be up to the Irish. Surely he should be petitioning the Dáil. Scott seems to suffer from the delusion that the only thing that prevents the Republic of Ireland from coming back under Westminster rule is the forgetfulness of a Westminster which hasn’t thought to ask it to come back. But in the world of the Brexist the only parliament which matters is the Westminster one, at least when it’s not trying to put obstacles in the way of the great Brexit unicorn chase that is.

If Ireland was a member of the British family it was a beaten and abused one. The Plantations, the Famine, the forced emigrations and dispossession, the lesser legal status of the native Irish, the partition, the wars, the institutionalised sectarianism of the Northern Irish statelet, none of that matters. Ireland’s true place is to make sure that the English nationalists who drive Brexit get what they want.

All of this would just be the online silliness of some random punter if it were not for the fact that the sentiments the petition expresses appear to be shared quite widely amongst the unicorn herders of Brexit. Just a few days ago, the veteran BBC presenter John Humphries asked the Irish Europe Minister Helen McEntee why Ireland didn’t throw in its lot “with this country”. He was apparently serious.

Last May, there was an article in the supposedly serious right wing digital magazine ThinkScotland, which is edited by Scotsman contributor and former Conservative MSP Brian Monteith. Entitled Is it not time for Ireland to come home? This article, quite incredibly, managed to blame Sinn Fein for the Partition.

The piece articulated the same sentiment as Scott’s petition and mused upon how great it would be for Britain and Brexit if Ireland stopped staying out late with the Germans, the French, and the Italians and “came home” to Westminster, where it could enjoy being told what to do and having no control over its money. Although if it was a very good and well behaved island, Westminster might give it some pocket money.

Well I say the article articulated the same sentiment as the petition, it was more like being hugged by an abusive drunk in a bar who kept saying, “I really lovesh you. Honesht,” even though it wasn’t that long ago that he had beaten you up, stolen your rent money, and thrown up all over your good shoes, and then he had blamed you for it. So not so much ThinkScotland as InsanelyDeludingYourselfScotland.

But all of this crazy is very much in line with how the Brexit process has developed. Brexit is a process of delusion, a species of self-deception. It’s founded upon the principle that the UK is special and uniquely kind and generous and that one of the most rapacious empires the planet has ever seen was motivated purely by altruism.

All these delusions are fed by the British press. It’s a media which doesn’t present news, but rather views, and it’s a media which is controlled by a small cabal of right wing multimillionaires. It’s a media which propounds false views, like the established truth of austerity, or that there is a trade deal bonanza to be had once the UK leaves the EU.

When confronted by one person insisting that it’s raining outside and another who claims that it’s dry and sunny, the British media insists that balance means presenting both claims equally. It doesn’t believe in giving the truth and explaining the facts. It doesn’t believe in looking out of the window. So Brexit is mired in claim and counter claim, in fictions which are given as much credence as fact.

The presentation of opinion as fact by the British media means that people end up believing that any sort of counterfactual nonsense is a serious and credible possibility. So they believe that Ireland deciding to submit itself once more to the Westminster Parliament is a realistic prospect. They believe that the UK is oppressed by Brussels. They believe that there is such a thing as a good Brexit. Or they believe that Scotland with its embarrassment of resources, its highly educated populace, and its diverse and strong economy is too poor to be a successful and prosperous independent nation. That’s the crazy that you get when opinion is presented as fact.

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50 comments on “The crazy you get when opinion becomes fact

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The crazy you get when opinion becomes fact Brexit has been pretty much defined by batshit insanity, but this week has seen a […]

  2. iain rough says:

    If our UK is a partnership of two equals and a precious union, shouldn’t Scotland be consulted in this matter. If you have a business partnership of two and you want to have another partner join surely the two current partners have to agree!! No MSM comment.
    It’s like the bribe being offered to Labour MPs in the north of England to support TM and we’ll give more money to your constituency. That’s what it is a bribe and therefor illegal!! No MSM comment.

  3. Margaret E says:

    A Swedish friend of mine, who I know is very well read, said the same thing to me about a year ago. I have been working very closely on EU projects with Irish partners since 1992, and visit Dublin a minimum of 4 times per year, so I do know the present situation quite well. She was aghast when I told her that she really didn’t know what she was talking about. She kept on insisting that it was only logical and sensible. I made some of the points made in the article above, literally to no avail.
    On another issue, I cannot access the wingsoverscotland site. Is this a problem for others or i it only me? I am at present in Crete and am blocked from the National with no possibility of being unlocked, apparently because of hackers. Can anyone out there help? I am working in Crete for the next two weeks and now find I can’t access any reliable news at this most tense of moments.

  4. diabloandco says:

    It beggars beiief to think anyone with a functioning brain would even voice the idea let alone set up a petition . Have they no knowledge of History at all?

    They certainly have no idea how well ‘loved ‘ they are for their ‘tolerance’ and ‘generosity’

  5. JockH says:

    This seemed comical at first but after reading the ThinkScotland website it’s actually quite frightening. What a bunch of batshit crazy fantasists. Check out the Tom Gallagher piece.

    • Kangaroo says:

      That is a very accurate summary of the ThinkScotland article. Embarrassing that Scotland is in any way associated with such a piece of drivel(me being kind).

  6. markrussell20085017 says:

    Perhaps we could lodge a new petition, demanding Westminster return the six counties to Ireland and repatriating the Unionists to England. A new town will be required – I can’t think of a better site than Windsor Estate, so a compulsory purchase from the Crown Estates will be necessary. With a little financial incentive, the prospect should warm the cockles of every Orangeman – a new hoose near Lizzie and the future King Billy. Maybe even their Scottish brethren could be persuaded, particularly if independence was favoured.

    We’ll need another petition demanding a wall from Solway to Tweed. And we will need a wall….

    • Millsy says:

      A ”Wall ”? I know a man in the USA who is desperate to build one – maybe we should get him involved ? He’s batshit crazy too , so he is up for anything !

    • Kangaroo says:

      Saxe Coburg Windsor Estate sounds good to me, however just to really make their day let them pay rent to their feudal landlady.

      A wall sounds great too, with a walkway and guardtowers and a water filled ditch. I have my excavator ready on the back of my truck. Just waiting for the word.

      Keep the underwater boats just change the delivery address of the packages.

  7. helywelly says:

    First ever post I put my name to the petition as l would love to hear that debate in Westminster, I’d even watch it, the yoonies have taken over the asylum,
    I can’t access wings today although Stu has twittered no problems at his side.

  8. Andy Anderson says:

    Lack of historical knowledge by the so called “educated” political pundit is a worry is it not.

    I am on holiday this week getting some winter sun and listening to our English neighbours chat about England. Regrettably lack of knowledge appears to be very common.

    • Robert Graham says:

      but their entitled Andy other folk need to know their place , much the same as shouting louder to the Spanish waiter , oops that should have been ” shouting AT the Spanish waiter ” , I tried once to explain to an American Lady that we dont use the Dollar a blank look ,and then well what do you use for money then ? , a true story .

  9. Robert Graham says:

    After the folk in Ireland stop laughing they should study the business plan and prospectus being offered , now thats when the real laughter starts , best of luck selling that load of *hit boys .

  10. We’ll not look back on all of this and laugh.
    The idea is to portray Ireland as a significant little backwater, like the Falklands, Guernsey, or Gibraltar.
    May is Over There overnight trying to sound convincing is assurances that there will be no Backstop, there will be a backstop, the GFA is safe in her hands, and an electronic solution will be found to stop Guinness lighters being smuggled into Arlene’s Brit Colony.
    The madness is out of control now.
    Ireland is and always was a member of the EU, and the EU 27 will not ‘blink’.
    Nisssan have ‘blinked’ and have ceased investing in Merrie Olde England. So have Jaguar/Land Rover, and Barclay’s.
    Our own prime Minister Sturgeon is getting on with the day job, over the pond, setting records straight in the US Colony.
    Even if May bought every MP a new house and a Jacuzzi and WM voted for her New New Withdrawal deal with no backstop, then the EU 27 will continue to ‘disent Non’.

    It’s about to get very ugly indeed.
    The ERG are mounting a coup d’état Down There, and succeeding.
    England and Wales will crash out with No Deal.

    • benmadigan says:

      “may trying to sound convincing about an electronic solution” – as cut-outs punctuated her speech and press conference. The Irish Gods work in mysterious ways!

      • mogabee says:

        Hahaha I noticed that and ‘wondered’ how fortunate!

        Much more searching questions fired at TM than she is used to from tame British press.

    • Jan Cowan says:

      No, we’ll certainly will not look back on all this and laugh. I’m not Irish yet I felt deeply the tremendous insult thrown at Ireland by these ignorant people. Ireland is free. Thankfully our time is coming soon.

      • Jan, I dipped into the BTL comments in The Scotsman and the Herald today.
        Two questions: who is moderating their BLT comments? It is clearly the work of a small cadre of organised Brit Nat trollers spouting out Exceptionalist Brit Nattery now.
        And how can these two Dead Tree Scrolls still survive with only a few thousand nut jobs buying these Iron Heel Oligarchy sponsored English Empire propaganda mouthpieces.
        The money from BBC to pay reporters?

        The EU reiterate today, ‘Mo way, Jose, yet May is flying to Brussels tomorrow, for what?
        Ireland is a wonderful rich European country, not England’s prisoner.
        \there is deep trouble ahead here, and in the North of Ireland.
        We have run out of patience.
        Like Tusk, I’d imagine that the devil has set aside a place for them.
        I refuse to give up my European identity and become an English colonial slave in my own country.

  11. There isn’t a solution to the border problem. The Tories immigration hostile environment ban foreigners politics requires passport checks somewhere after Dublin Airport. Furthermore Brexit Bulldogs are suddenly remembering that the old empire thing made them feel good only when they had plenty of colonies to fleece. Scotland is their last colony

  12. Marconatrix says:

    Maybe we should be inviting Calais to come back into the UK fold, after all wasn’t that name written on a certain monarch’s heart? Think of all that extra space for lorry parks just for a starter …

  13. deelsdugs says:

    You really couldnae make this up…the arrogance and the ignorance is a heidshak n a hauf…

  14. Thepnr says:

    Re the memes, I’ve just tried tweeting only the link to the page and it works fairly well but is a bit wider than twitter can handle to get all the text in. Take a look here.

  15. Thepnr says:

    Sorry wrong link lol.

  16. Thepnr says:

    This is very strange, the link I’m trying to post is just coming out as a date but is the correct link? Won’t let me post the actual link address for some reason. Sorry.

  17. There’s no good news in Scotland according to Donalda MacKinnon’s wee Brit Nat propaganda current affairs and news team at the Pacific Quay Stockade..

    Tonight Jackie fronts the nightly dose of Scotland is Shite.

    Headline:- The trains and cancellations.

    Then GP shortages from Caithness.

    Then college lecturers going on strike.

    Then Glenn Campbell inexplicably in Brussels spouting the same twisted Backstop Brexit nonsense that we get from Marr Kuennsberg and Cohan and their BBC Masters in London.

    May in Belfast, and will come up with an alternative to the Feckin’ Backstop according to Glenn..

    NS gets a mention, with Campbell reporting that she will announce Indyref timing in a few weeks when Brexit is clear, to which Loyla Brit Glenn opines, with an old fashioned groan, that since it will take two years to negotiate Brexit, then there will be no Indyref for at least two years.

    Then an Alec Salmond update, and his ’14 charges’ reiterated by Toodle Oo The Noo ,on the back of a non news item that the Red and Yellow Tories are objecting to an SNP MSP chairing the internal enquiry.
    Keeps the scummy little smear going, doesn’t it?

    Then a breakthrough in a ‘gangland execution’ The BBC has gone all Daily Record, describing a cold blooded murder as an ‘execution’.

    Then Ex convicts writing songs for Celtic Connection as therapy.

    Then Women’s Fitba and the call for parity wi’ the men, then the weather.

    And that’s Scotland The Shite Today.

    Imagine being a Japanese tourist sitting in your hotel bedroom catching the news before venturing out into the February night to catch a bite to eat.

    They’d wedge the dressing table up against the bedroom door and make do with a tea bag, a wee carton of UHT milk and the wee packet of complimentary shortbread.

    It is all deliberate of course.

    Scotland is a backwater, and everything is going wrong under the EssEnnPee.

    Thank the Chief that we have the ‘broad shoulders’ of Boris Jacob and Treeza to steer us through these stormy Brexit waters.
    At least we know where Campbell’s sympathies lie. Scotland as a colony of his ‘precious’ England.
    Spitting teeth I am.

  18. American here. I guess it will be our and Canada’s turn next.

  19. Illy says:

    Something I’ve been hearing a lot is the “Scotland gets more money per head than England from Barnett”.

    Does anyone have a snappy way to say: “That’s the wrong question. The right question is: How much of Scotland’s income gets spent in Scotland?”

    • robert harrison says:

      The English always say that crap then why they so against us going free then if any of that bollocks was true.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      I usually answer this by explaining Barnett takes into account geography to cover costs of supporting rural area etc. However I also mention that we are a net financial contributor to the UK treasury. The only part of the U.K. that has since 1980. Scotland has a positive balance of payments which most area of England are not.

  20. Millsy says:

    The lunatics haven’t just taken over the asylum – they want to open a branch office in Dublin now ! Where next ? India back in the fold , Canada , New Zealand – f*ck me , they’ll be wanting to print new maps with Pink all over place again !

    • benmadigan says:

      They’d need to cope with Indians like my friend whose grandmother actively supported Ghandi. Dyed in the wool republican, convinced India is making great progress in throwing off the shackles of colonialism – which is not an easy thing to do, as Scotland well knows

  21. Utterheb says:

    I cannot remember any Irish history being taught during my time in school, – and very little of the root causes of the Irish ‘troubles’ ever getting a proper airing in the mainstream UK media.

    I was in Dublin early last year and visited the replica famine ship ‘Jeannie Johnson’ in Dublin, the museum in Kilmainham jail, and spent a morning at an exhibition of carvings by Kieran Tuohy made from bog oak in commemoration of the famine – ‘An Gorta More’.

    I can only surmise that the suggestion that Ireland would even want to consider rejoining an English run ‘United Kingdom’ has come from the arrogance of the political class that chooses to see the world from a wildly unbalanced viewpoint… lets hear it for England, the country that invented the concentration camp!

  22. Guga says:

    It is truly amazing that many of the English are so self-deluded that they think they are still living in the days of Empire and the Raj. To even imagine that the Irish people or the Irish government would consider coming back into the fold of the Empire and the Raj makes normal people think that they must be doing that imagining through a drug induced haze. These same people must believe that things like the Black and Tan were a type of care package for the Irish, or that hanging and shooting Irishmen who stood up for freedom was a kindly act to ease the pain of people who had lost their reason.

    Scotland will never be free till we can rid ourselves from the shackles of English imperialism, and they, the English, will fight against Scotland regaining its freedom so long as they can continue to bleed Scotland of its money and resources. After all, how can they pay for such things as the M25, Cross Rail or the HS2 railway, etc. etc. The loss of money and resources stolen from Scotland would leave England as a bankrupt and failed state.

    At my age, I want to die in an independent Scotland, not in a miserable English colony, so the sooner we have another independence vote, the better as I don’t have that much time left.

  23. Interpolar says:

    I like the meme at the head of this article. It communicates a very strong criticism of our temporary media.

  24. Joanne McIntyre says:

    I’m one of the people who signed that petition, I think a lot of other signatures on there were also Irish people like me who were looking forward to watching Westminster debate the issue.

  25. JGedd says:

    Apart from the nonsensical petition, it has become quite astonishing how much the British establishment wilfully misunderstands the Irish position and thus the EU position. Still we hear on a daily basis the opinion from politicians that the EU might be amenable to some kind of ‘creative thinking’ on the question of the backstop, helped, of course, by their friendly media commenters who constantly drip feed little hints of EU equivocation. Coy little gobbets of information are slipped in about this or that ‘source’ being sympathetic to looking again at the problem of the backstop.

    The fact that the Irish have a VETO is apparently not mentioned in all this time-wasting speculating.

    The mindset of UK politicians is that they easily overrule Scotland and Wales and NI so assume that the EU should be able to do this with Ireland. They are quite exasperated that the EU doesn’t, but they should really know how a veto works. After all, isn’t that what in effect they are having to work around with the DUP?

    It is kind of satisfying, though, to see the UK caught in a trap of their own making – and all the Irish pigeons coming home to roost are beginning to look like birds of prophecy returning to punish old sins.

  26. I see Iain McWhirter is tweeting that ‘now is not the time’ for Indyref2: the Lessons learned from Brexit is that the YES Campaign needs to be ‘better informed’ before the dash for Freedom is undertaken.
    Aye, right. Look around the open plan Herald Office, Iain. Can you spot Tom Gordon, Mike Settle, Paul Scoop Hutcheon, and David ‘II’ Leask hunched over their laptops?
    Of course these redoubtable hacks will ‘inform’ us all. won’t they?
    I suspect that McWhirter is being a bit naughty here. It worked, we’re all talking about him now, rather than Europe declaring once and for all NAW!!!!
    I see that it is reported in some unscrupulous rags that Ross Thomson was allegedly turfed out of the Strangers Bar late last night for being under the weather.
    Dead drunk on a Tuesday night with work to go to in the morning?
    There was mention of ‘sexual touching’, allegedly, reportedly, I can only comment on sketchy Dead Tree Scrolls offerings, I am accusing nobody of absolutely Nuchin’.

    Well that should provide the gutter ‘press with seven of eight weeks of lurid copy, surely, maybe, perhaps not?
    I’m trying to imagine what would happen to any ordinary working stiff who made the morning headlines for being drunk and ejected from a bar by the polis late at night in the middle of the working week, and ‘sexual touching’ was suggested.
    Our feet wouldn’t touch, and rightly so.
    I’m sure the truth will out, perhaps on ‘Distorting Scotland’ tonight?

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