The alarm clock is ringing


The weekend was marked by the idiocies of Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary who decided to commission a ferry service from a company which had less experience in ferries than a pizza delivery guy who occasionally goes to Rothesay on holiday. You might think that this represented peak stupid from the Tories, and that’s a hard thing to achieve considering the competition.

We have Chris, and we have Andrea Leadsom, whose sole contribution to politics has been to allow us all to ponder the philosophical question of whether it’s sexist to point out that a deeply stupid woman is in fact stupid. We have the Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley who didn’t realise that sectarianism is a thing in Northern Ireland. We have Dominic Raab and his belated realisation that Britain is an island. And then along comes Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson saying haud ma coat. That slapping sound you hear is millions of faces palming.

Gavin, who always wanted to be Defence Secretary because when he was a boy he demonstrated his military prowess by pulling the wings off flies for fun, has announced that all is well in Brexitland. Leaving the EU, he affirmed, will “enhance the UK’s lethality”. And this is true. After Brexit the UK will be a lot more lethal if you’re dependent on benefits, you’re disabled, or you have a chronic health condition. Conservatives have always been considerably more successful at killing off British citizens than they have been at terminating terrorists. Although if you’re a Tory then you do consider poor people to be enemies of the state, so by that token they’re a huge success.

Gavin’s macho pose would be somewhat more convincing if he didn’t bear a startling resemblance to Frank Spencer of the 1970s sitcom Some Mother Do ‘Ave ‘Em. Like Frank, Gavin is best known for his hapless incompetence, his self belief, and his high pitched squeaky voice. All we need is for the Defence Secretary to turn up for his next big announcement about how Great Britain, and by extension Gavin, is on roller skates and being towed by a Routemaster bus. And there’s a reference that millenials won’t get. The roller skating behind a bus would at least have the merit of being worth watching, which is a quality that Gavin has always sadly lacked.

His pose would be more convincing still if the Conservatives hadn’t run down the armed services in the same way that they’ve run down all other public services and the defence budget wasn’t £7 billion short of where it needs to be in order to fulfil the Ministry of Defence’s 10 year equipment plan. Although perhaps when Gavin spoke about unleashing swarms of drones he was referring to Conservative MPs. They are also, on all the available evidence, unthinking and robotic. There’s certainly little evidence of joined up thinking from Ruth Davidson’s Scottish Conservatives™, unless you count confusing men’s groins with items of furniture. Allegedly.

“We should be the nation that people turn to when the world needs leadership,” said Gavin. With a straight face. This UK. The one that’s currently shooting itself in the foot and the face and is the laughing stock of Europe – and the only reason it’s not the laughing stock of the entire world is because of Donald Trump. Sure, people around the globe will look to the UK for leadership when they want to know how to turn a successful democracy into a low rent tax haven with bad weather and food. They’ll look to the UK for lessons in maintaining the veneer of democracy while stripping it of meaningful content. But most of all, they’ll look to the UK when they want to understand how it is that people of the calibre of Gavin can get to the highest levels of government. If nothing else, he’s an inspirational role model for delusional idiots.

This is, let us not forget, the Defence Secretary whose strategy for dealing with Russia consisted of telling Putin to go away. Whenever I look at Gavin I can’t help but think of the nasty wee placeholder who gets killed off first in a low rent thriller movie.

Now he wants to send an aircraft carrier that won’t be operational for another two years and which doesn’t have any planes off to the South China Sea where it has no business being, so it can be a sitting target for the Chinese. And this at a time when it’s vital for the UK to make trade deals so that it retains some semblance of a functioning economy after Brexit. The only positive thing that you can say about Gavin’s leadership of the Ministry of Defence is that the man is a weapon.

Gavin’s embarrassing jingoistic willy waving muppetry is however, precisely what Brexit is all about. It’s harking back to the days when Britannia ruled the waves and could waive the rules with impugnity. It’s the fantasy of little boys who lost themselves in Commando comics and dreamt about getting one over the Bosch. We have a Defence Secretary who has wet dreams about gunboat diplomacy. We have a Trade Secretary who said he’d bestride the world making favourable trade deals, but who’s only ever managed to trade on his favours in the Conservative party. We have a Prime Minister who says she’s listening but who only ever listens to herself.

Brexit was always an exercise in fantasy and wishful thinking. It’s a dream of a Britain that never was, refracted through the misty eyed myth making of years of fetishising WW2. In 2014 supporters of Scottish independence were accused by British nationalists of basing their politics in romance and daydreams, of seeking a country that never was. But now we see that it’s Scottish independence which is based in a hard nosed reality, while British nationalism loses itself in the dreamscape of Brexit. Their dreams are dangerous. They’re going to sleepwalk us off a cliff and into a nightmare where the British state will prove its lethality by depriving the poor, the weak, the disabled, and the marginalised of the means of a dignified living. It will prove its lethality by stripping the NHS to the bones and privatising what’s left. It will prove its lethality by getting rid of employment rights and consumer protections.

It might be too late for Britain to wake up from its Brexit nightmare. It’s not too late for Scotland. The independence campaign is the alarm clock ringing to wake Scotland up to reality.

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49 comments on “The alarm clock is ringing

  1. grumpydubai says:

    Great input as usual, WGD.

    Talking of ‘great’ minds (my wife is, by the way and, anybody who says otherwise is duly ‘claimed’)

    My wife was telling me today that another ‘great’ Tory by the name of B. Johnson supports a substantial cut in foreign aid.

    Will that not endanger our myriad of new trade deals we are doing with the rest of the World, particularly those who may want to include foreign aid as part of the deal?

    • douglasclark says:

      Och! We could just do that with gunboat – delayed – imperialism. As we will be unable to equip or outfit our carrier with planes until 2021 or thereabouts, we threaten China with a show of force? Meanwhile we try to do a trade deal?

      This is verging on insane.

  2. john mclaughlin says:

    Another excellent and concise report. Surely the people of Scotland will twig that the Union is dead and beginning to smell really badly .

  3. Wish they’d hurry up. The stench doon here is giein’ me the boak!

  4. crabbitgits says:

    To be perfectly frank, I can’t help thinking that we’ve slept in.

  5. Andy Anderson says:

    They are simply incompetent.

    UK as seen from overseas:
    No aircraft for Navy
    No friends anywhere
    No growth in economy
    No foreign aid
    No respect for devolved parliaments
    No functioning democracy
    No cabinet shared responsibility
    Colossal debt

    We need to leave.

  6. benmadigan says:

    On a lighter note – time to break free! Chimps from belfast Zoo show the way!

  7. Tol says:

    OMG. STOP! STOP jumping at every “dead cat” Westminster throws out?

    Mocking every crazy Government pronouncement takes oxygen from the train wreck that is hurtling at you. HECK…Westminster may not have planned food or medicine….but they have planned military on the streets and apparently is also stockpiling body bags. WTAF!

    The issue is don’t get sucked into their crazies….Westminster is well versed at sucking energy out of campaigns and diversion….(even May’s leak of a May2 election is to sow the seed of doubt…that little seed that everything will continue as normal after Brexit)

    The issue is that Westminster is happy to strip rights and dignity from its own citizens….That line is moving rapidly and arbitrary… one is safe when governments willingly abandon large parts of its population….Windrush / Chagossians / the3million / UK nationals living in the EU / Northern Ireland / Poor / Disabled /…..

    Don’t fall for arguing the detail…only use each Westminster “dead cat crazy as another example of how Westminster is not fit for Scotland…and no longer suitable for Scotland to align its sovereignty with in a Union.

    If Scotland wants it….it is now time to say it and say it loud

    • weegingerdug says:

      Fair enough. You prefer to wail. I prefer to laugh at the lunacy.

      You also appear to suffer from the misapprehension that there is a limited supply of “oxygen”. There isn’t. I think my tactics are successful in getting through to people – not all of whom are as convinced of the need for independence as you are – because I entertain them. If that’s not to your tastes, other blogs are available.

      • Tol says:


        Apologies if my wording does not appear to be as clear as it could be. I was trying to say don’t go down the rabbit hole they create. Instead each dead cat distraction is just added as another example of their unfitness to be in a Union with as you continue on to your destination. But yes…on the inside I am laughing at the crazy on show- as I expect is the same for most,.

        Just as an example of avoiding the rabbit hole….
        I think the masters of this were the EU in the negotiations. Each time Westminster threw out one of their white papers – wanting the EU to start the Irish border discussion from random technical details in isolation – the EU didn’t take the bait and only worked from their overall principle of the GFA and no hard boarder. Leaving it to the UK to find a solution if it thought there was one.

        Westminster wanted to drag the EU in to a dead-end where the EU had acknowledged one detail and then by inference that there could be a (non-existent) solution and then charge the EU with finding it as the EU would have acknowledged it existed.

        On the other hand, maybe you are correct in your reading of me, I am just so scared YES is running out of time.

        • weegingerdug says:

          I honestly don’t think that people like Gavin Williamson are deliberately trying to distract us. He really is just stupid, and it’s that stupidity which is both worthy of mockery and an important reason why Scotland needs independence. As things stand, we are governed by fools and Scotland alone can’t vote them out of office.

          • Tol says:


            I agree “He really is just stupid”. But I think the Government has unleashed all its crazies deliberately. This is happening too consistently to be random chance. Governments are typically more circumspect about hiding their loose cannon MPs. Just like we try to keep our own crazy hidden on first dates.

            So, its either the Government has lost control….or its deliberately letting the hounds loose. Normally I would go for the loss of control. However, if that were the case, the government would not have been so organised on reversing devolution, emergency powers, and Henry VIII powers.

            I just hope…really hope you are correct and this is just incompetence…but I would say the things that they have actually been organising suggest the opposite.

          • Tol says:

            Just to share some good vibes. Here is Scotland running its own race…and in doing so cutting all the critics to the core while never actually acknowledging them.

            I don’t think there is another country that could make that video at the moment.

          • douglasclark says:

            Personally, I think your approach to politics is sometimes satirical and sometimes deadly serious.

            I like it.

    • Margaret Barrie says:

      Couldn’t agree more, Tol. Summed up perfectly. The opportunity of a lifetime lasts only for the lifetime of the opportunity.

  8. Gavin C Barrie says:

    @ crabbitgits: There are +45% of us awake, and on the deck of the Titanic shouting the alarm, meantime the -55% balance are complacently asleep in their cabin bunks, thinking that they are alright, peevish at the noise we are creating out on the deck.

    Yesterday I had a git on Twitter asking me “what currency would an independent Scotland use?”. So tired old Better Together, snuggled up in his Titanic cabin bunk wondering what’s keeping his breakfast. Brine, served icy cold, coming up.

  9. Neil Anderson says:

    “Keith Joseph smiles and a baby dies. In a box on Beasley Street.” There’s another one the millennials won’t get. It’s John Cooper Clarke youngsters, go and google it. You won’t be disappointed.

    I think your being too kind to Gammon Willieson. Frank Spencer had, at least, a modicum of talent for being gormless. I’d say he looks more like a Bad Walton (perhaps Billy-bob Walton, or Vlad Walton – no offence to Putin). A 1970’s bland non-entity, put up as some kind of celebrity. Where do these cardboard cut-outs come from? Is there a factory in Willesden churning out the politicians of the future? Can we expect uncountable episodes of the Great British Cardboard Cut-out? I think we can, unless we start to really resist.

    I’m growing really tired of all of this; all of this impotent rage, all of this keyboard ranting.

    What’s happened to the soldiers on our streets? I thought they were meant to be here yesterday? “By the 10th of February, soldiers will be deployed to guard against the hordes.” Sure I read that last week.. Or maybe it was the week before..? I so looked forward to challenging those bastard Tommy’s when they appeared on Renfield Street! Oh well, everything is such a disappointment these days, I suppose I’ll have to wait for the next round of scaremongering before I pluck up the courage to get to fuck away from it all.. But, I suppose I’m just as big a shitebag as the rest of us. Sigh.

  10. Contrary says:

    We HAVE to ban public schools.

    Is it possible public schools also have a special inbreeding programme?

  11. J Galt says:

    What happens if we wake up on the 30th of March (46 days hence) and Brexit has happened on WTO rules GATT article 24 and there is no catastrophe?

    I know that it may be a controversial outcome, however with Napoleon’s dictum “expect the unexpected” in mind, should we, for the sake of efficiency to our cause of Independence, at the very least, consider it?

    • Shagpile says:

      WTO rules and GATT Article 24 (whatever your impression) are not a given. UK has no WTO Schedule and GATT Article 24 has never ever been used as it requires both parties to negotiate an outcome and must agree to negotiate in the first place.

      WTO means a hard border between UK and EU on the island of Ireland.

      WTO rules means EU are under no obligation to negotiate with UK under Article 24.

      29th March all EU Treaties cease to apply to the UK, save the details of whatever deal is made on withdrawal. Future trade deals between UK and EU can only take place when the UK is a third country.

      Whatever tariffs/quotas (under WTO) the UK apply to many thousands of goods to one state, must apply equally to all states (with the exception of a bi-lateral trade deal). On 29th March, the UK will have zero trade deals. The tariff/quota the UK applies to any given product on 30th March will be open to challenge by any one of the other members of the WTO. A long and costly drawn out process. Services, of course are another ball game altogether.

      If you thought TTIP would have been bad for the UK (EU/USA trade deal), just think how much worse a UK/USA trade deal would be given that the UK will be in a far more inferior position than the EU were. In fact, the EU had the stronger position over the US, which is why Trump withdrew from it. To compound the weakness of the UK position… the UK is madly desperate for any but any trade deal.

      But yes… it might turn out OK. 😉

      • Cubby says:

        Slight correction – rollover of the EU existing deal recently agreed with Switzerland.

        • Shagpile says:

          Thanks for that Cubby, missed that one but (there’s always a but)…

          “The deadlock over EU-Swiss trade arrangements also has implications for the UK ahead of its formal exit from the EU on 29 March.

          In late December, Swiss Federal Council approved the text of a trade agreement with the UK aiming to roll-over its existing economic and trade relations with the UK after Brexit. But neither the Swiss or UK government have given any detail on the substance of the accord other than that it would mirror existing trade relations “as far as possible”.

          Replicating the existing EU-Switzerland arrangements would also involve continued freedom of movement between Switzerland and the UK, an arrangement which the UK has vowed to end with the EU.

          The lack of clarity has prompted concerns among MPs who say that Theresa May’s government has failed to guarantee that the near 40 trade deals that the UK is currently party to via its EU membership, will be rolled over after Brexit”.

          More on this:

          • Cubby says:

            You are correct to point out your but. What an unbelievable mess this whole leaving the EU is turning out to be. A real Westminster omnishambles.

    • The EU, have to agree to using WTO Article 24 with the UK. There’s as much chance of that, as Nigel Farage becoming President of the EU.

      • Shagpile says:

        Exactly. They will not compromise on their four freedoms now. They will not when the UK is a third country. Even if they did, any WTO member can and may object.

  12. Illy says:

    Could we stop calling Social Security “benefits”.

    That’s a bit of language designed to demonise and “other” the poor, disabled and others who rely on them, with the eventual aim of getting rid of them.

    Calling it Social Security reminds everyone what it actually is.

    • Contrary says:

      I agree. Do you think ‘welfare’ is acceptable? I can’t decide.

      I am becoming increasingly infuriated by charities being used as a kind of extra tax as well. Charities are becoming a booming business, primarily because the uk government refuses to run the country properly. And things like army veterans need to be looked after when required through charity instead of by their previous employers -us- . It seems to be becoming a huge (neo)liberal con to get us to pay for the welfare state twice – why are we paying taxes again? I want my taxes to go directly to the Scottish government, now.

      • Illy says:

        I would say “welfare” is still othering in a way that Social Security isn’t.

        I had an Erskine Trust guy come to my door a couple of years back, and I actually said to the guy: “Why isn’t the government taking care of them?” He didn’t have an answer.

        Who was it who said they wanted a foodbank in every town again?

        • douglasclark says:


          The need for a foodbank nowhere ought to be an ambition rather than a negative. There is absolutely no reason that this government couldn’t tax income and wealth to a sufficient level to make this the equivalent of child sweeps.


          Sweary words ought to follow right around about here.

  13. mogabee says:

    Some wonder why there are so many incompetents ‘in charge’ in Westminster. It’s really quite simple.

    The Tory party has run out of smart operators mostly due to their own shrinking demographics. They have always relied on voters of a certain age to keep them in power and with fewer replenishing the Tory youth clubs they became ever more reliant on shady donors and secretive organisations.
    That left them with major challenges to have enough new blood for elections. Cue letting the dregs of the gene pool take up positions of MP’s, councillors etc. I mean, how many scandals have there been due to sex pests, frauds and other creeps in the Tory party over the last year or two?
    (Okay, okay, more than usual.) 😀

    Yep, if BRexit doesn’t finish off the Westminster ‘elite’ I don’t know what will apart from a meteorite but that would be too coincidental as that is what killed off the dinosaurs the first time!!!

    Also, social media is full of the new incarnation Better the gethers recently. Accounts set up years ago with few comments and those set up fairly recently. Strange dontcha think? I think the Tories are shit scared that the Westminster ediface is crumbling, in more ways than reality, and we don’t need to push too hard for it all to fall over.

    It’s game on…

  14. Millsy says:

    ” The only positive thing you can say about Gavin’s leadership of the Ministry of Defence is that the man is a weapon .”
    I must disagree , Paul . I see him more as a tool …

    • diabloandco says:

      Hear! Hear!

      I understand the young man who is making a fool of himself was a fireplace salesman – am I wrong? Maybe he has a streak of pyromania which he thinks qualifies him for his post.
      The boy has obviously missed the rest of the world tittering and pointing at us.
      As for the ‘go away Russia’ I’m sure they are more than willing to oblige – UK devoid of friends , devoid of sense, devoid of everything but bluff and bluster and self importance.

  15. Me says:

    Not sure is Bosch is a hilarious white goods joke, or a misspelling of Boche. Either way, Williamson is the idiots’ idiot in a veritable ocean of stupidity.

  16. Brian Powell says:

    Sadly, Labour and LidDems in Scotland want to stick us with Brexit Britain.

  17. Marnie says:

    Not finding much funny at the moment but this helped

  18. Macart says:

    Ooooooo! New graphicy things.

    Also? Between the time up with family and a parlous dose of the lurgy (man flu). I’m thinking the duvet and massive amounts of whisk… medicinal toddies, not such a bad thing about now.

    Brexit clustermageddon going terribly well then. (*pours another medicinal tincture*)

    • I to am pausing for breath, Sam.
      England has gone mad.
      Get well soon.
      Keep taking the mal..medicine.
      Paul, as usual, you don’t miss and hit the wall.
      Valentine’s Day tomorrow.
      Love to all Duggers.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        England has always been insane it’s just the mask is off the face now jack and the whole world can see the madness that England has been hiding.

  19. Davie Oga says:

    It’s not good enough to own an alarm clock. You also have to set the alarm. If you don’t then you are in danger of sleeping in and missing the opportunities that the day presents.

  20. Charlie Moore says:

    Brilliant as usual. Just one thing. It’s spelt “Boches” which is a French variety of cabbage. Bosch is a tool – so perhaps you were referring to Gavin again?

  21. Andy Anderson says:

    Looks like May’s trip to Brussels yesterday was as successful as all the others these last three months.

Comments are closed.