The dreadful prospect

Theresa May has, finally, told us that she’s going. Well sort of. She’s told Tory MPs that she’s going to go if her deal gets passed by the Commons, although that wish of hers remains as elusive as her reputation for human warmth and conviviality. Some of the Jacob Rees Mogg fanboys and girls have reluctantly decided to back her because they fear any sort of Brexit is slipping from their grasp. Jacob Rees Mogg said he’d back the deal if the DUP either backed it or abstained. But the DUP are still not keen and have let it be known that they’d prefer a long delay to Theresa May’s deal, they’re going to vote against. Others in the ERG remain as impacably opposed as ever. Steve Baker told a meeting of the ERG that he’d prefer to see the Palace of Westminster bulldozed into the Thames. So much for restoring the sovereignty of the British parliament.

Meanwhile any attempt by the Prime Minister to bring her deal to yet another vote depends on the Speaker, who is still blocking any attempt to bring about a third meaningless meaningful vote unless there is a substantial change to the offer presented to Parliament. There’s no such change in the offing, certainly not from a Prime Minister as bereft of influence and imagination as the dead career of the woman who currently occupies Number 10. She changes her mind constantly while claiming nothing has changed, yet she’s consistent in her refusal to allow the electorate to change its mind. She says another vote would destroy the public’s faith in British democracy. That ship has already sailed, hit the iceberg, and is now dead and lifeless on the ocean floor.

So Theresa May has promised to go, but she’s going to remain in place. Nothing has changed. Nothing has changed. What we do have is an assurance from a woman whose word counts for nothing that she will not lead the next stage of the Brexit process, the negotiations between the UK and the EU on the future relationship. She’s surrendering that to her successor, who is likely to come from the hard right Brexcrementalist wing of the party.

Theresa May came to power in the wake of the Brexit decision and promised to listen. She promised to fight against injustice. She promised a bold new confident role for the UK in the world. She promised to cherish and respect her precious precious union. She has failed on every measure. There has been no Prime Minister in living memory whose failures have been so conclusive, so overwhelming, so total. She combines the self-righteousness and lack of compassion of Margaret Thatcher with the emotional intelligence of a block of wood.

Foodbanks spread across the UK, trying to put a plaster on the gaping wounds of a social security system that is no longer social and no longer secure. The rich continue to get richer while working people struggle and the poor and disadvantaged remained marginalised. Hedge fund managers sprout while working people wither. Instead of a bold and confident new UK we have the humiliation of becoming the laughing stock of Europe and have a political class who are consumed by party interest and whose contempt for the electorate is inversely proportional to the number of times that they mention respecting the result of the EU referendum. We have a political system which is unfit for purpose, sclerotic, self-serving, and which congralutates itself on being the mother of parliaments while it condemns mothers and their children to poverty and social exclusion.

Worst of all, Theresa May has done absolutely nothing about the frustrations, the inequalities, the anger and the alienation which produced the Brexit vote in the first place. Her so-called precious union has been revealed as a comforting myth told by British nationalists who cover themselves in the fig leaf of a Union flag in order to pretend to themselves that they’re not nationalists at all. At every turn she ignored the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament, she used Brexit as an excuse to undermine the devolution settlement. Brexit has revealed the truth that there is nothing in this supposed union to protect the other nations of the UK from the baneful effects of English nationalism, and so the UK is not a union at all.

The one principle that Theresa May has consistently put before all others is her desire to keep her party together. Everything else, the fate of the UK, the economy, the jobs of hundreds of thousands of workers, the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in the EU, all of it has been sacrificed on the altar of the tinpot gods of the European Research Group in an effort to propiciate the unpropiciable and keep the warring factions of the Conservatives together. Yet Theresa May hasn’t even succeeded in doing that.

The promise to step down came as the Government lost control of Parliament and MPs took charge of business in order to vote on a series of indicative votes. The result of which Theresa May has already signalled that she may not respect.

The results were delayed until Parliament’s staff could sort through the various options selected by MPs and ensure an accurate count. The Speaker John Bercow announced that he’d suspend the sitting until the results were ready, and left the chamber. Then various Conservative MPs objected because the mace remained in place which usually means that the sitting is still on-going, and tried to raise points of order to an empty chair. Now they know how the rest of the country feels trying to get Theresa May to listen.

When the results came in, MPs voted against everything. It was like that line from Bohemian Rhapsody. No. No. No. No. No. No. Mama mia. There is no agreement in the House of Commons except for the agreement that no one can agree. The one small consolation was that the proposal to leave with no deal was rejected by the largest margin.

Ross Thomson voted against every motion except that one, and the motion to call on the government to seek preferential trade agreements with the EU. He was the only Scottish MP to vote for no deal. Way to go to protect the interests of your remain voting constituency there Ross. 68% of voters in Aberdeen South voted to remain. That vote is going to figure prominently in the next election in Aberdeen South. We’ll make sure of it.

Three of his Scottish Conservative colleagues abstained. The MP for Angus (52% remain) Kirstene Hair, and her colleagues Douglas Ross of Moray (50% remain) and John Lamont of Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk (Remain 57%) all abstained on a no deal. Thanks for your support in protecting your constituents’ interests guys.

David Mundell abstained on all the options, as government ministers didn’t vote. Falkirk’s MP, the SNP’s John McNally, was absent due to a family bereavement.

Every one of the eight different options put before the Commons was rejected. But it was worth noting that two of the options, the proposal to agree to Theresa May’s deal subject to a confirmatory referendum with remain as an option, and Kenneth Clark’s proposal for a customs union, got more votes than Theresa May’s deal did. The proposal for a confirmatory referendum was rejected by 27 votes. 27 Labour MPs voted against it.

The UK continues its stagger into the unknown. There’s no plan, no direction, only the certainty that whoever succeeds Theresa May will be every bit as bad for Scotland. We’re facing the very real prospect of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, or Michael Gove, or Jeremy Hunt, or Dominic Raab. The next phase of negotiations with the EU, the negotiations on the future relationship, the part we were always told was going to be the hard bit, will be headed by someone even worse than Theresa May. That’s the dreadful prospect facing a Scotland that doesn’t opt for independence. It’s a future of paralysis, of being marginalised, of seeing our public services being trashed.

In the referendums of 2014 and 2016 there was no option on the ballot paper for Scotland to scream uselessly from the sidelines while being ignored and traduced. But that’s what we’ve got. The UK doesn’t deliver for Scotland. We need to do it for ourselves.

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41 comments on “The dreadful prospect

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug The dreadful prospect Theresa May has, finally, told us that she’s going. Well sort of. She’s told Tory […]

  2. Donald Anderson says:

    “Steve Baker told a meeting of the ERG that he’d prefer to see the Palace of Westminster bulldozed into the Thames. So much for restoring the sovereignty of the British parliament.”

    The best option yet. All those in favour say aye.

  3. Interpolar says:

    So that’ll be your day job then, London-style.

  4. Janet says:

    Three commentators on the BBC Shortbread website this morning, instead of the usual two. Strange. Now have Sarah Smith. Something’s up!

  5. Eilidh says:

    What a shambles. UK is now laughing stock of the planet. DUP’s Arlene Foster is now holding the whole of the UK to ransom. Nice to know she cares more about her preciousssss union than the future of the people of the 4 nations in it. 😡😡😡The sooner Scotland becomes Independent the better

  6. Davy says:

    Cant argue with one word of that.

    If you read the Sarah Smith bbc Scotland article, you will note the anti-SNP tones wafting throughout her piece. its the bbc’s way of trying to say the SNP are wrong for standing up for Scotland and its right to be heard over brexit.
    the shithawks.

  7. Derick Fae Yell says:

    Just for info

    John McNally MP was absent due to a family bereavement yesterday

  8. Wee Chid says:

    I beg to differ with your final paragraph Paul but, as you know, many of us who voted Yes in 2014 knew that if the country voted No this is exactly the kind of treatment we were voting for and we tried our best to warn people. Never expected anything other than this from WM.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      Yes we all saw this English politicians are so predictable it was the same with leave as well the conservatives usurping the vote for there own ends I tried to warn as many English as I could voting leave was handing more power to the conservative party but just like there politicians they refused to listern so screw them and there country time to leave it’s long overdue in my book.

    • Yes indeed but the shamelessness and cold-bloodedness of the Tories towards Scotland , particularly from Theresa May and David Mundell, are still shocking and very repulsive. Nightmare stuff.

    • Craig P says:

      Fully agree Wee Chid. It’s just taking some people longer than others to realise that.

  9. Contrary says:

    Did you see the Donald Tusk speech (short) mentioning the revoke article 50 petition, and the march in London for a people’s vote? I’ve only seen the clip below, but I have a feeling Guy Verhofstadt was getting a telling (the camera sweeps over his grumpy visage!). If the EU takes notice,,,

    Ian Blackford really has developed into a good leader of the third largest party in Westminster, his speeches are really quite good, clip via Twitter below from yesterday.

    If you haven’t signed the petition to revoke article 50, link for it below (will make economic arguments for independence much easier if England is still in the EU).

    Donald Tusk re revoke article 50 petition

    Ian Blackford speech – indicative votes (SNP on revoke article 50)

    Revoke article 50 petition

    • Patience is a Virtue says:

      Proud Cybernat on WoS advises: ‘The SNP’s Revoke A50 motion lost by 109 votes but let it be known that 110 Labour MPs abstained.’

  10. IZZIE says:

    I have repeatedly contacted Kirstine Hair’s office to get clarification on her voting intentions and reasons. She is repeatedly ignoring me.

  11. endrickwater says:

    For information, Stephen Kerr (C., Stirling, 68% remain) voted against no deal (as well as against 6 other propositions) but voted for remaining within the EEA and rejoining Efta but outside a customs union with the EU.

  12. Millsy says:

    Private Frazer ( Dad’s Army ) was highly prescient when he gloomily intoned ”We’re doomed ! ”

    All that remains to be seen is how doomed , depending on which of the coven of Tory ne’er do wells is elected .

    But if Boris or Cove is the chosen one – then we’re not only doomed but we’re F*cked as well !

  13. mogabee says:

    It’s quite the challenge not to alternatively shout out loud or laugh out loud. I seem to have done both in varying degrees recently.

    Listened FMQ’s in car today. FM firing on all cylinders fair put a smile on my fizog but really, how long before we have some opposition parties worthy of the name!

    Oh well, not calling the outcome as it’s still all up in the air but feel a wee bitty more confidant that the end of the union is close.

  14. James Cheyne says:

    I declare, That as recognised by the treaty of Arbroath and by the claim of right,that I choose to govern myself and as a member of the sovereign people of Scotland in the country of Scotland hereby wish to elect a sovereign people’s of scotland representative parliament to govern me in the future.
    It is the people that have sovereignty not the parliaments,when are people going to wake up,its the people that have to declare their sovereignty first and foremost even Nicola sturgeon has indicated this.
    All parliaments will walk all over its people unless it’s held accountable to its people,
    Sorry to go of topic,but we can moan all day about what our governments and parliaments are doing, and yes a government can not go rouge and declare udi as it is accountable and tied into uk and eu laws,
    But we the people are already recognised as sovereign,if we march on the streets,if we moan about injustice,s from our columns, if we wait for someone else to call a referendum or to say aye to it,if we wait for the outcome of other people’s decisions,such as brexit, then we are given our sovereignty to others to own and for all that we speak about it with our voices, and while our feet march, our eyes and minds are betraying us as we search for a leader,
    Put your personal declaration out there in the open,in public view about your individual sovereignty,photo copy it and declare who you wish to govern you and how, when you are all ready send your declarations to Hollyrood to inform them your sovereignty has spoken.

    • Welsh Sion says:

      ” … for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive and posting on WGD and WoS, never will we on any conditions be brought under Westminster rule. It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom – for that alone, which no honest man or woman gives up but with life itself.”

      There you go, James Cheyne. Updated it for you. (Just in time for the 700th Anniversary.)

      • James Cheyne says:

        Thanks for your lovely reply,for long enough I have felt it in my heart,what my head is now joining together . I lived in Llanymawddy,north wales for four years and found the welsh people had a very close connection in a multitude of ways to the Scottish people, my family were warmly welcomed, I wish the same independence for you and your country one day,

        • Welsh Sion says:

          Thank you, too, James. warm words appreciated. As an activist, sometime author, professional linguist, and missionary for Plaid Cymru and SNP and Yes to independence of both our countries here in Bedfordshire, it’s nice to relate to someone who appreciates what we are trying to do. Not everyone is as open.

  15. Welsh Sion says:

    Off topic, but in the cause of solidarity …

    Same old, same old, I know – but just another pointer of BBC Anglocentricity, bias and (willful?) ignorance.

    They had a vox pop feature in Aberystwyth, mid Wales (and one of the Welshest of towns with regard to nationalist history, student numbers and also very Welsh-speaking. And the Beeb decides to interview two blow-ins who think that ‘important’ things like health and education should be being dealt with by the government – not this melodrama that is Brexit. Obviously, neither were aware that health asnd education are devolved to Cardiff (and the Government of their ‘new’ country rather than Westminster). But did the BBC enlighten them or inform them (and viewers similarly unaware of this fact? No, of course not.

    I’m still working on a Welsh equivalent name as you have for BBC Shortbread. How about BBC Daffodil?

    Tros Gymru / For Scotland

  16. grumpydubai says:

    I understand Mr. McNally’s absence was due to a family bereavement.

  17. Graeme says:

    To Welsh Sion

    I don’t post often but I’m a regular reader of this blog and others like it in support of Scottish independence and I’ve read many of your posts and you come across to me as true patriot not only for Welsh Independence but universal self determination

    I wish there were more like you in the valleys, I’ve never been to Wales but I hope to remedy that one day hopefully an independent Wales

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Thank you, Graeme. I have to inform you however that I’m not your ‘typical Valleys boyo’, not least coz I’m a native Welsh speaker with my family background in North West Wales (where English speakers call ‘Snowdonia’) and a hamlet of 59 people. I defy you to locate it anywhere outside Google Maps!

      At the risk of self-promotion, I’d invite you to follow the hyperlink on my name here (that’s why my colour is brown, unlike your black) if you want to know more about me. (It’s my LinkedIN profile.) However, it’s good to know that I am read in part in Scotland, and my tapping into the ether is not in vain.

      Yours, in the spirit of Cymro-Scotto friendship, and for the (soon) independence of our two great countries,

      • Welsh Sion says:

        Oh and please do visit my country. You’d be very welcome to do so. And if in my neck of the woods when I am, let me know so you could have the benefit of a native who knows one or two things about his homeland – and that for free, too. What’s not to like? 😉

      • Saor Alba says:

        You are not only well read, Welsh Sion, but well appreciated too. I’m enjoying you dialogue with James. You both are a breath of fresh air.
        Indeed I hope that the Independence of both our countries comes soon.

        • Welsh Sion says:

          Saor Alba, appreciated with thanks, too.

          You recall my catchphrase?

          – “Lawyer by training (LLB. (Hons.) English Business Law;
          – “Linguist by profession (MA Celtic Studies + Qualified Translator, Editor and Teacher in 3 Languages) and
          – “Nationalist by conviction” (Member of SNP and PC.

          Oh, and some time parablist and composer of songs for indy.

          Will that do ya for now? 😉

  18. markrussell20085017 says:

    “So, Theresa May has promised to go….”

    Away you go! Haven’t you seen the leaked video yet?

  19. Steve ashton says:

    So…. Are we leaving tonight? UK law was clear that 11.00pm tonight was the leaving date. The EU granted an extension but the UK law needed a changing to permit that. Have I missed the bit where treez laid the revised timetable and mps voted to approve? Or is it due to be brought in all the turmoil expected today in the House? Hope someone can point me in a sane direction… Thanks!

    • Steve ashton says:

      Thanks for that… Still not seeing anything in the msm coverage! Mind at rest (for a while anyway). Thanks

  20. Dave tewart says:

    Isn’t is strange the the LAW in westminster can be changed in such a short time.
    A quick QI through the commons, quick change to standing orders in the lords and hey presto.
    But you can’t do a quick referendum to decide.
    Listened to the EBC in full goebbels mode, a quote from the muddel, as if he actually spoke in the parliament.
    Rabb will vote for the government tonight as he wants out, this is the man that didn’t realise that the British Isles are actually , Islands.
    Time for a Guy Fox to turn up.
    Liz Roberts to the mogg, the ERG are allowed to change their minds, pity he doesn’t allow the people to change theirs.

  21. Like the Grey Man John Major who ‘rose without trace’ to replace Mad Mags, my money’s on Stephen Barclay who appears to have the intellect and political nous of a left over Greggs sausage roll.
    Mundell was on BBC Radio Jordanhill earlier urging MPs to vote for Treeza’s in ‘the national’ interest, his idea of a ‘nation’, being England and its other ‘parts’, which in his eyes includes North Britain, since Scotland ceased to exist in 1707.
    This little man has dodged about for a few months now, hiding in dark corners, under beds, and behind sofas.
    He is the most disgraceful SoS ever foisted upon us.
    Get the knitting out. His days are surely numbered.
    Where’s Ruth now that her Best Pal Big T is in the shit?
    Doing what she does best; when the going gets tough Ruth and Kezia are nowhere to be seen.
    The madness continues.

  22. Macart says:

    ‘Back Brexit deal or open ‘chasm of distrust’ Fox tells MPs’

    Oh Jeez! He’s a bit late for that. 🙄

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