A matter of self-respect

Another day, another dying of democracy in the House of Commons. What’s the point of parliamentary votes when the government, a minority government at that, feels free to ignore them? But that’s where we are now. Remember, all this mess was created by people who claimed that they wanted to restore the sovereignty of the British Parliament, yet we have a government and Prime Minister which ignore parliament and press on with what passes for their plan. That would be a plan to make us all poorer, a plan to restrict our civil rights, a plan to strip us of our European citizenship. There’s no agreement on anything in the House of Commons, except that this is absolute chaos, that what remains of the UK’s international reputation as a stable democracy has been resoundingly trashed by the UK itself, and that David Mundell has not resigned.

The first amendment to be voted on today instructed the government to ask for an extension to Article 50 in order for there to be another referendum on the EU. Labour decided that it was not going to support this amendment, following on from Corbyn forgetting to mention his party’s support for another referendum after the government was defeated the other day. So if you were looking to the Labour party to rescue us all from this Brexit mess, think again. All Labour is fit for is abstention. As the amendment was voted upon in the Commons, the vast majority of Labour’s MPs sat firmly on their benches – because that’s the only way that they can cover their arses.

As expected due to the failure of Labour to back it, the amendment was defeated. This doesn’t mean that there can’t be another EU referendum, but the magnitude of the defeat gives a boost to the Brexists. Jacob Rees Mogg took to social media to self-congratulate himself on the death of a second referendum, but Jacob’s gloating is premature. You’d think he would recognise when something is undead, but apparently not. The chances of another EU referendum are less than they were, but they’re not entirely gone yet.

Then the House voted on whether to take over control of business from the government. That amendment was defeated by the narrowest of margins, allowing Theresa May the slimmest of lifelines. That just left Labour’s amendment, and the government’s own amendment. Labour wanted the House to agree to ask for an extension of Article 50 beyond the 29th of March in order for Parliament to try and find something it could agree on. Labour’s amendment didn’t specify a time limit. It was defeated by 16 votes.

That only left the government’s own amendment, which sought to ask the EU for an extension of Article 50 until 30 June for the purposes of passing the necessary legislation – assuming that Theresa May’s deal has passed. This amendment passed by a large majority.

So that’s where we are now. The government has pledged to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50 even though it’s been swearing blind for the past two years that it wasn’t going to do so. It’s entirely within the gift of the EU to decide whether to grant an extension, and they may very well decide that there’s no point in extending the Article 50 process until 30 June when it’s obvious that there is more squabbling within the UK than there is at a serial adulterer’s will reading. Some figures within the EU have noted that it’s pointless to grant another extension unless there is some credible justification from the UK for what the extension can achieve. The EU doesn’t see much point in granting extra time to the UK just so that the UK can continue to disgree with itself. On the other hand there is talk in some EU circles of granting an extension, but only a much longer one. Despite the text of the government’s amendment that a longer extension would require the UK to participate in May’s EU elections, this is not necessarily the case.

Thank god we’ve got a strong and stable British government eh. Just imagine the chaos and confusion if we didn’t.


We’re now just two weeks away from Brexit day, and the UK has been reduced to begging the EU for extra time so that it can try to sort itself out, but still without any clear idea of how it’s going to achieve that. All we hear is the “will of the people” from politicians who are determined to ensure that the people never get to express what their will is, because apparently the referendum of June 2016 was the final word in democratic expression which trumps everything else for all time. It’s a democratic expression from voters in the rest of the UK which grants the British government carte blanche to overrule the will of the Scottish people, because it seems that only some voices count in this Mother of a Parliament.

At every turn, we have seen the will of the people of Scotland marginalised, sidelined, and ignored by a British government which eagerly leapt upon the Brexit vote of June 2016 as a mandate to destroy our employment and civil rights, and to undermine and hollow out the devolution settlement. Even if by some miracle Brexit can be avoided, this sorry episode has only illustrated the utter contempt in which Westminster holds the people of Scotland and their elected representatives. This is not the UK that we were promised in 2014, and that all by itself counts as a material change in circumstances which justifies another Scottish independence referendum. It is fundamental to democracy itself that a people have a government which treats the people with respect. Scotland doesn’t have that as a part of the UK.

All we have are sneers, the snide insults of Michael Gove, a spineless Scotland Secretary who puts his own career first, and a Prime Minister who speaks about a precious union without having the slightest concept of what a union actually entails. The UK and its institutions are unfit for purpose. Democracy is based on respect, and there is none for Scotland within the UK. That means that independence is a matter of self-respect.

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26 comments on “A matter of self-respect

  1. Daisy Walker says:

    Brilliant, as usual. Thanks Paul.

    Time for this. All together now. To the tune of ‘what a friend we have in Jesus’

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when claiming their expenses
    Then these troughers know no shame

    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a socialist amongst them
    Sold out for the House of Lords.

    What’s the point of voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Red and Blue the stand together
    Red and Blue they are the same

    They blame the poor and the disabled
    They blame the migrants at the docks
    But most of all, when all else fails them
    They blame it on the bloody Jocks

    What’s the point in voting Labour
    They will only just abstain
    Except when voting for their Pay Rise
    Then these troughers know no shame

    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a socialist amongst them
    Sold out for the House of Lords.

    What a friend we have in Corbyn
    Keeping trident on the Clyde
    And where he stands on good ole Brexit
    Is with the Tories side by side

    They were only flipping houses
    They were only starting wars
    Not a socialist amongst them
    Sold out for the House of Lords.

    • Kenzie says:

      Excellent, but shouldn’t the first line of the last verse be “What a fraud we have in Corbyn”? 🙂

      • Welsh Sion says:

        In keeping with the musical theme, please turn to page 340 in your hymn sheets.

        19, (of 20.) Onward Labour lemmings

        Onward Labour lemmings,
        Marching o’er the cliff,
        With the mark of Leonard,
        Leading them skew-whiff.
        Dick, the chief of numpties,
        Heads his band of woe;
        Forward into hist’ry:
        See those bampots go!


        Onward Labour lemmings,
        Marching o’er the cliff,
        With the mark of Leonard,
        Leading them skew-whiff.


        [With acknowledgements]

        Songs for the New Politics

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug A matter of self-respect Another day, another dying of democracy in the House of Commons. What’s the point of […]

  3. CATHY says:

    a friend who lives in Paris messaged me after the vote saying EU are fed up with UK and wish they’d just go! Like me he supports Scottish Independence and hopes we’ll achieve that. How do you think another EU Ref is not ruled out? Could EU impose this as a condition of extending article 50?

  4. Albawoman says:

    Thank you WGD and Daisy…..I did enjoy your song Daisy…..fairly cheered me after listening to M Hancock the Health Minister defending the indefensible along with declaring that Britain has a robust democracy…whit…eh?

    • Daisy Walker says:

      Thanks – I keep hoping it will have a short shelf life, (I penned it in 2014) but no, the Labour party have been consistently abstemious.

      • Kenzie says:

        Daisy, apropos nothing very much but did you know that you have used one of the only two words in the English lexicon where all the vowels appear in alphabetical order? The other is facetious.

        • Daisy Walker says:

          No, I didn’t … but now that I do, I suspect I had better become abstemious about using it… or friends and family will disown me.

          Like it though. Thanks.

  5. Bibbit Blair says:

    “Then the House voted on whether to take over control of business from the government. That amendment was defeated by the narrowest of margins, allowing Theresa May the slimmest of lifelines”.
    What I find most brain numbing is that if 6 Labour MPs had not voted with the DUP and Tories, or just abstained, The Tories would have lost that vote!! We are witnessing the ‘gutterdammerung of the clods’.

    • J Galt says:

      Maybe they didn’t fancy being thrown out on their arses by their Brexit voting constituents!

  6. Lizzie55 says:

    I agree with everything you say and I hear the same from many sources. How hard done to we are and we are, how we are ignored and how we are lied to cheated and made a complete fool off. I agree. It’s been like this for so long now we have lost the will to fight back.

    I know I may not be popular for saying this ,but what is the government in Scotland doing. This is the government we gave a triple mandate. This must be the most redundant mandate ever. Well they are highlighting the awful Westminster Tory government and its complete disregard for Scotland, it’s people and parliament and I agree, but that’s it! We are no further forward to independence than when A50 was triggered and let’s face it we knew them that the chances of it being revoked were close to nil and as time advanced the nil developed into -nil.

    When, if ever, will this Scottish government, who we have all our faith in because they are the only ones who can get us out of this mess, likely to make a move. I believe it’s possibly too late, certainly too late to keep a modicum of self respect never mind our jobs, economy and society.

  7. Macart says:

    At this point it’s not about the protection of populations (if it ever was), but the survival and protection of party interests and a system of government. The blame game will hit full spin regardless of outcomes.

    The buck stops with successive Conservative and Labour governments, their stewardships, their practice of politics and their narratives.

    You either govern in the interests of all of the peoples in your care, or you’re fit to govern none.

    • Daisy Walker says:

      ‘protection of party interests and a system of government’

      With respect Macart, I don’t think it either of those things, they are Her Majesties Government and she and her family (along with all the other billionaires) have centuries of assets to protect in the Tax Havens.

      By comparison – Scotland’s hydrocarbon wealth – both past and future are minor, compared to the asset stripping of entire continents over 100’s of years. A houseful standing next to a mountain.

      I don’t think they ever govern in the interests of the peoples, just every now and again a few of the cleverer ones decide a scorched earth policy is not so good long term and throw out a few bones.

      These are the 1% – by and large – who presided over both world wars and sent a whole generation to their deaths.

      In their minds – threaten their powerbase/wealth and you threaten the nation.

      And in one respect it threw up a spanner they had not foreseen. In WW1 the toffs believed their own propaganda – and died cheek by jowl in the trenches with the lower classes – that was not foreseen.
      And less than 20 years later WW2 – the blitz brought the war to the family homes, and the women had to ‘fight’ cheek by jowl – all classes mixed together.

      It inevitably brought down barriers and after that – they could not in all conscience fail to provide a Social Security System or a Health Service. Probably the most radical thing to happen within the UK system of Governance ever.

      The fright the British establishment got at nearly losing Scotland in 2014, makes the risk of pursuing Brexit at this time, beyond mad. And realistically they were just as likely to win the next GE as Corbyn even if they dropped the Brexit Ref promise. That would have been small potatoes now, given what we’ve been seeing – a change in leader would have ridden that one out.

      Labour’s lack of opposition, incompetence and (tonight) deliberate scuppering of a PV – it may look like a cl@£str duck but never forget – Labour are the left cheek of the establishments arse.

      It is unlikely to be a coincidence that the 2 Labour persons who did the scuppering – Kier Stammer and (from the PV Team) Alastair Campbell are both supposedly ardent PV supporters… just not when it could come/win before 29/3/19.

      The driving force for Brexit has been the Tax Haven legislation and the strict timescale of implementation that goes with it.

      None of the other supposed reasons for Brexit hold water.

      Kind regards

      • ArtyHetty says:

        Brilliantly put Daisy, well said. I really like your poem/song, thought you’d just written it, but yes, same Labour party as thy were five years ago, and for years before that, at least since Blair. Red Tories, utter troughers, taking the p**s out of the voters, unforegiveable.

        Great article from Paul as usual. Thank you.

        • Welsh Sion says:

          And another song for you all:

          14. (of 20.) “Our Way”

          And now, the end is here.
          And so Labour faces the final curtain.
          My friend, I’ll say it clear:
          I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
          They’ve lived their life, now it must end;
          They troughed on each and ev’ry highway
          And more, much more than this, they did it their way.

          Regrets? No – they have none, that’s very true.
          Nor a conscience, not worthy of mention
          They served themselves and saw it through, without exemption
          They planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway,
          And more, much more than this, they did it their way.

          Yes, there were times, I’m sure you knew
          When they bit off more than they could chew
          But through it all, when there was doubt,
          They gorged themselves – kept nothing out
          They were in it all, stood for themselves and did it their way.

          They’ve troughed, they’ve laughed and lied.
          We’ve had our fill, our share of losing.
          And now, as tears subside, we find it all so amusing:
          To see Labour falling apart.
          And may I say, not in a shy way,
          “Oh, no, no, no longer them – we’ll do it our way!”

          For what is a man, what has he got?
          If not himself, then he has naught.
          To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels:
          The record shows we took the blows and will do it our way!

          Yes, it will be our way!

          [With acknowledgements]

          Songs for the New Politics

      • Macart says:

        Not that it isn’t a good post Daisy, but you’re probably aiming it at the wrong bod.

      • wm says:

        Well delivered Daisy, I have been saying since their referendum this is about the 1% who need to hide their ill got gains in the said Tax Havens before the EU legislation is implemented.

  8. JockG says:

    Re Tory MP Luke Grahams claim that one of his constituency staff was threatened. Have any reporters tired to find out if the matter been reported to the police? Has anyone tried to interview the victim to get a description of the perpetrators or confirm when the incident took place?

    • Robert Graham says:

      I was surprised the speaker allowed this what was a totally political statement , it was nothing to do with security , these incidents are for the police to investigate ,how or what the speaker was supposed to do about it is pretty baffling .

      I hope this is followed up , let’s get all and any evidence out and inquiries be made as the real motivation behind this Tory MP raising this in the House of Commons because it stinks to high heaven .

  9. “Beware the ides of March” the Soothsayer warns Julius Caesar as he jostles for position to become Roman Dictator.
    Today, the 15th March 2063 years later, the Establishment media are organising their very own Backstabbers Ball, a big Toga Party.
    It seems that the modern day Conspirators have had just about enough of the ‘Ideas of May’.

    Boris has been on a diet, and trimmed his hair.

    Way back then, Caesar knew that something was up; The Roman Senate weren’t too pleased that Caesar had ‘crossed the Rubicon’ in triumph with his army, a big No No in Republican Rome in those days.
    He was strutting around town mob handed, and dismissed the Backstabbers:

    “Let me have men about me that are fat,
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep a-nights.
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look,
    He thinks too much; such men are dangerous”.

    He liked fat lazy men around him, like Marcus Mars Barus Francois, or Jacksonus Ruddius Carlwus.

    Boris, formally the Fat Owl of The Remove, has slimmed down; he is a clever educated man: he is nobody’s fool.
    He plays to the Little England Empire 2 gallery.
    The xenophobes and Battle of Britoners love him.

    He has a lean and hungry look about him these days.

    Gove as a modern Brutus will be the first to plunge his gladius into May’s back, and Amber, and Phil, and Dominic will plunge in once it kicks off.
    The Ides of March marked the first full moon of the new year in Ancient Rome.
    Traditionally debts were settled and a lamb was sacrificed to appease Jupiter.
    The full moon is of course associated with all things evil from werewolves to madness.
    The word ‘lunatic’ is from Latin, ‘lunaticus’, or ‘moonstruck’, from ‘luna’ the moon.

    England’s Empire One is approaching the End of Days, and they are gathering in secret meetings to plot May’s Downfall.
    Pick your analogy: she has kicked the can into a cul-de-sac; she has run out of rope; she is a lame duck PM; she’s toast.
    There’s a Monty python Dead Parrot sketch in there somewhere.
    We now face staggering out of Europe in two weeks’ time with No Deal, No Clue, no hope.
    The EU 27 have been preparing for No DEal ‘third country’ UK for 18 months now.
    Their economy is 7 times that of Merrie England.
    They’ve had enough of Anglo insults and indolence.
    Next week in a panic, 70 odd MPs may relent and back May’s Deal.
    I doubt it.
    In either scenario, Scotland is well and truly ‘dinged’.
    (‘Ding’ is my alternative to ‘F%*&ed’, the mere sight or sound of such profanity which so upsets our wee precious Dead Tree Scroll Hacks.)

    Now is the time, Nicola.
    Tempora est nunc.

    Ring the Freedom Bell and let’s start the road to Independence now.

    • I’ve since heard the news of the slaughter of innocents by a Right Wing white supremacist in New Zealand.
      Strike my semi whimsical post above.
      We must halt this madness now.
      May they rest in peace.
      There are no words….

  10. Dave tewart says:

    Like you I have the hope that these citizens of the world rest in peace.
    What makes some person think they are so superior to others, the only thing I can think of is propaganda, quiet and underneath lots of media coverage.
    Messages twisted and spun, where poison is spread.
    Read today that Rees Mogg is a supporter of the same group that the gunman supports. Don’t know the truth of it.
    Doesn’t take away from your critique of westmonster and the house of common chancers.
    In it for the cash which is just worthless without life with health.
    You’re correct there are no words……

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Read today that Rees Mogg is a supporter of the same group that the gunman supports. Don’t know the truth of it.

      Further info, Dave tewart:

      Read today that gunman is a supporter of Trump. Don’t know the truth of it.

      “The 28-year-old suspect was described by Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison as an ‘extremist right-wing violent terrorist’.

      The suspected gunman posted a 73-page manifesto to Twitter before the killings, predicting a ‘terrorist attack’.

      In the manifesto he praised President Trump as ‘a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose’.”

  11. Andy Anderson says:

    Here is a surprise

    The E.U. has looked at the U.K. tariffs plan if a no deal Brexit and said it is illegal under WTO rules.

Comments are closed.