The time to decide is coming

So how’s that security and stability of the United Kingdom working out for everyone? The UK is a state which makes a mass temper tantrum at a toddler’s party seem like a plan for order and calm. Actually, anything at all that could pass for a plan would be a vast improvement on what’s happening in the UK right now. When the UK narrowly voted for Brexit in 2016, everyone in Scotland who isn’t one of those spittle flecked anti-indy posters in the comments sections of Scottish newspapers knew that this was going to end badly. But no one expected that it would go as spectacularly badly as it has done.

What is happening now is worse than even the direst expectations of 2016. Brexit was expected to be bad, but no one seriously expected the prospect of crashing out without a deal, the alienation and exasperation of the entire EU, the potential collapse of the Irish peace process, the undermining of the devolution settlement, the total paralysis of British government, and the reduction of the UK to the laughing stock of the world.

It is so bad that the idiotic Andrea Leadsom, who – heaven help us – is a senior figure in government, was twittering on the Andrew Marr Show on the BBC on Sunday that a no-deal crash out of the EU would not be “so grim”. It would just be a bit grim then. It would only be grim for poor people and people who aren’t hedge fund managers, disaster capitalists, and members of the British establishment. So that’s OK then. Andrea thinks that moving to WTO rules would be just fine, however Pascal Lamy, a former director general of the World Trade Organisation described leaving membership of the EU single market and moving to WTO rules as being like leaving the first division in order to play in the fourth. WTO rules, he said, are the lowest common denominator between Bangladesh and Canada.

British government has descended to a place where one of its senior figures is promoting a policy which she knows and everyone else knows would be bad for everyone, and has descended to a place where such an intellectually inadequate person is a senior figure in government in the first place, and moreover fancies her chances at a shot for party leadership. That’s not rain outside your window. That’s the gods weeping.

On Sunday afternoon, Theresa May released a video statement on social media. It was filmed as she sat on a sofa beside a large glass of gin. A large glass of gin that most people in the UK were wishing they could down in one in order to numb the utter futility of whatever it was that Theresa was about to say.

The video was entitled “Let me explain what’s happening with Brexit” as though we didn’t already know what’s happening with Brexit. We know it’s a disaster. We know that the government has taken a poor decision founded in a campaign of lies and deceit and has made it infinitely worse. We know that we’re in this mess because of the inflexibility, instransigence, and obstinacy of a Prime Minister who at every turn has prioritised the needs of her own party, and who now wants to preach to us about the national interest.

The video was shaky, amateurish, and more badly produced than a twelve year old’s upload to YouTube. So it was very much a metaphor for the entire Brexit process then. The Prime Minister warned that the UK needs a deal or Brexit might never happen. She said that like it was a bad thing. Her wee speech was accompanied by grimaces, twitches, ughs, and smiles that looked as though she had learned about smiling from a book. This was a woman trying to look comfortable and relaxed while perched on a hotplate studded with drawing pins. Panic? Oh no. No panic here. Apart from in her eyes. It was like watching a hostage video, only without the same production values.

The Prime Minister appeared to acknowledge that she has no chance of getting her deal through Parliament. She also acknowledged that the only thing that the Commons can agree on is that it doesn’t want the no-deal that Andrea Leadsom doesn’t think would be so grim. She clearly doesn’t want to say outright that we’re heading for a long extension to Article 50, because that would destroy what’s left of her government, but that seemed to be the gist of it.

Since she’s obviously incapable of reaching an agreement with her own party, she spoke about the need to reach an agreement with the other parties. Something that she ought to have tried almost three years ago. That was the purpose of this video, her justification for holding talks with the Labour party and her attempt to excuse herself from blame for the failure of her strategy since she became Prime Minister and decided to ignore remainers, to ignore the narrowness of the vote, to ignore the illegality surrounding the leave campaign, and to focus on achieving a hard Brexit that might appeal to the Brextremists of the ERG.

She said that both she and the Labour party had some common ground on Brexit, and the first thing she mentioned was that both agreed on the need to end freedom of movement. This will come as news to the large number of Labour voters who want to remain. There was however, no indication from her about what compromises she was prepared to make. Crucially, there was no mention of a customs union. Clearly, her fetish for ending freedom of movement remains as bright a red line as ever, her xenophobia remains central to her politics. As does the principle that compromises are for other people.

It remains possible that the UK will crash out of the EU on Friday without a deal. It only takes one EU member state to have so lost patience with this dysfunction that passes for a British government to make that happen. However it’s more likely that a much longer extension to Article 50 will be agreed, the so-called flextension mentioned by Donald Tusk last week. This would extend Article 50 for a year but would allow the UK to leave earlier as and when our chaotic and unfit for purpose political system manages to agree to some deal or other.

That means that the Scottish government now has a chance to press for another independence referendum while we still remain a part of the EU. It has reignited the hope that Scotland can achieve independence while we are still an EU member, and so ensure continuity of the benefits of EU membership for Scotland. The only political guarantee in the UK is the continuation of uncertainty and chaos. The chances are very high that the government will collapse as a result of a lengthy extension to Article 50, and so we are heading for an early UK general election. We are almost certainly facing European elections within a few weeks.

The question of the right of Scotland to choose its own path must be front and foremost in any election campaign. The SNP cannot and must not try to shy away from the independence issue. It needs to own it. It needs to scream from the rooftops that Brexit has taught us that British governments have zero interest in what is good for Scotland, for what Scotland wants, or what Scotland needs. Brexit has taught us that the precious union is a lie, that there is no partnership, no family of nations, within the UK. The failure of the Brexit process has taught us that the UK that Scotland was told it could be a part of in 2014 was a fiction.

These elections need to be fought on the basis of highlighting the shortcomings and inadequacies of the UK, of the threat that the British political system represents to our civil rights, our employment rights, and our futures. They need to be fought on the basis of establishing the right of Scotland to determine its own place in the British Isles, in Europe, and the world. These will be the elections which pose the question to Scotland, are we a country, are we a nation, or are we a subordinate region of a unitary British state. We either define ourselves, or we will be defined by Conservative PMs and governments which know little about us and which care even less. The time to decide is approaching.

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31 comments on “The time to decide is coming

  1. msdidi says:

    Here is a wee clip of Andrea Leadsom predicting of “where we’d be now” made in 2016!

  2. Margaret Noakes says:

    Well said.The last 2 paragraphs in particular.Time to stand up for our own country.

  3. bedelsten says:

    For those of you who have unfortunately, or not, missed the maybot’s recent attempt at a vblog, she has uploaded it

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug The time to decide is coming So how’s that security and stability of the United Kingdom working out for everyone? […]

  5. Terry callachan says:

    I still think another vote will take place, yes a change in the detail of what is being proposed has to take place first because Theresa’s deal has had its three lives , I believe there will be such a change, perhaps it might even be proposed by Labour.
    I don’t see a no deal crash out of the EU.
    I don’t see a long 12 month extension to A50.
    I reckon there are too many MP,s that would be against both of these.
    Theresa Mays deal with a slight change is what I suspect will be successful within the timescales required.
    This avoids EU elections.
    It has not been possible to predict brexit arrangements over the last couple of years ,this was not accidental it was part of the plan whatever that plan may be, just remember Westminster rarely makes mistakes it just appears to be making mistakes but in reality there is always a reason why it takes the path it does.
    Don’t underestimate Westminster .
    They will do brexit.
    I think they will do it this year too.
    Looking back at all the big changes made by Westminster over the last few decades the ones that were thought by many to be crazy ,they were forgotten in time as people moved on with their lives.
    That’s what will happen with brexit.

  6. AndyMak says:

    It’s time to go for it before Holyrood is neutered. Loved the metaphor that’s not rain outside your window, that’s the gods weeping.

  7. If the UK does crash out of the EU next Friday, we must hold EU elections in Scotland regardless so that we have our MEPs ready and waiting to go. I believe the Europeans would look favourably on a request for our MEPs to have observer status so they can participate in the debates without the right to vote – perhaps Alyn Smith has laid the groundwork for that.

    The May EU elections are the closest scheduled elections ahead of us. They could and should be used as a proxy for an independence referendum. I leave the maths of the electoral system to the experts, but we know that all the votes will be counted, barring any electoral skulduggery.

    Even if no EU member State pulls the plug on the Westminster regime and the whole UK does in fact hold EU elections in May, we should still use those elections as a proxy for an independence referendum, because the prospect of another year lunacy, idiocy, bile and sewage from the Westminster regime is just too awful to contemplate.

    • Aucheorn says:

      That sounds very sensible, but as Scotland is not a “Member” can the EU legally hold or help us to hold the election of MEPs even of Observer status.

      • If we are out of the EU, the EU could not and would not have anything to do with organizing elections to the European Parliament within the UK, but then we Scots are perfectly capable of running elections all by ourselves: we don’t have outside help running any of them now. We would, of course, use the exact same methods prescribed for such elections.

        The question then becomes one of recognition of the elections as free and fair, and for those so elected to be recognized as such in whatever capacity, MEPs or observers. That is a question which would be up to the European Parliament – and again, if the UK is out of the EU at the time there would be nothing the Westminster regime could do or say about it.

        Any challenge to such elections would have to come from Westminster under UK law, via the Supreme Court, presumably – and attempting to prevent or annul democratic elections is not a good look. It looks especially bad if you are also trying to quash the holding of an independence referendum as well, in violation of the United Nations Charter.

        It would all smack of those abusive husbands who tell their wives that no, they can’t have a divorce, and no, they can’t go and join a women’s self-defence club either.

        It’s not a good look internationally, but then this putrid regime evidently doesn’t care how stupid or laughable or obnoxious it looks to reasonable people everywhere. But we absolutely must have our people ready and waiting to take their seats in the European Parliament; apart from anything else, it would serve as a very powerful statement of both national will and political intent.

  8. Douglas says:

    I just hope that you are right Paul.
    An Independence Referendum while still within the EU would be great but there is so much malice, delusion and destructiveness. It’s like they want to drag us all into the abyss with them if they can’t get their own way.
    We’ve got to get out quick. I hope the SNP are not going to hesitate.

  9. Absolutely, brilliantly spot on. Like AndyMak, I particularly loved the sentences, “That’s not rain outside your window. That’s the gods weeping.” And well they might!

  10. Welsh Sion says:

    I stand (as regular readers also know) together with the majority of readers and contributors to this blog in wanting independence (for both countries whose national parties I belong to, and agree that ‘it can’t come to soon.’ I do however retain my confidence in both my bosses – Adam and Nicola – that they know what they are doing, although I accept that being in the position of power as First Minister that she has, Nicola has a bit of a head start on Adam.

    What concerns me is the tightrope that us indepentistas are walking. We see a favourable opportunity to make our own way – and within Europe – whilst the UK parties commit self-immolation. No tears shed by me for such behaviour – as WGD (almost) says, “… they have zero interest in what is good for that outside the Great Orbital, for what the rest of us want, or what Scotland and Wales needs.” They never have.

    Yes, they’ve made use of our resources (coal, iron, steel, tin, water, oil, people etc) and trousered the profits therefrom, casting the occasional crumb back in return. And then consider we should be grateful for such crumbs and that they subsidise us.

    So, yes, a window of opportunity is undoubtedly there. And yet. And yet. Part of me wants to think that a Tory Leadership election which results in a Johnson Premiership and a Cabinet made up of Really-Smug, Govey, Loathsome, Duncan Smith and other Brextremist chancers would be an even better proposition in pushing “Soft Noes” into our camp? But would it be too late by then – and would we have to endure the deprivations of these charlatans and little Englanders, and suffer a nuclear winter outside the EU? I shiver with cold and fear already at such a thought.


    PS I have no intention of watching the Maybot’s fireside chat with G&T,


    A petition to the Scottish Parliament to revoke the Treaty and the Act of Union has been launched. It’s not yet available for signing but will be soon. Everyone living in Scotland is encouraged to sign. The Scottish Parliament has the legal right under International Law to revoke the Treaty and the Act of Union.

    • Welsh Sion says:

      William Steele,

      For the sake of the petition’s ‘purity’, are we outwith Scotland disqualified from signing the petition when it becomes ‘live’? Be reassured if so, that you will still have the ‘ghost’ of my signature, and a good many other Welshies, too!

  12. Thepnr says:

    Great writing Paul and I wish it could be on the front page of every newspaper in Scotland. Pity.

    Never mind, like you I’m convinced things are ready to happen soon and we all need to stick in and stick together, the starting gun will be fired soon enough. Get on your marks.

  13. Reblogged this on It's shite being Scottish and commented:
    On the button again:

    “Brexit has taught us that the precious union is a lie, that there is no partnership, no family of nations, within the UK. The failure of the Brexit process has taught us that the UK that Scotland was told it could be a part of in 2014 was a fiction.”

  14. We are running out of ways to say that their ‘precious’ Union died with Brexit and Scotland must go its own way, now, Paul.
    Gordon Brewer couldn’t get a Red Blue or Yellow Tory to appear on his Sunday Brunch today, so we were treated to two old warhorses, ‘Dame’ Anne McGuire, and Peter Duncan to give us their pearls of …
    5 days until we are expected to form an orderly queue and be led out of Europe and Mundell, Laird, or even Wee Willie Winkie are not available to face Scotland.
    They’re cowering behind their couches until it all blows over.
    Any argument that Scotland hangs about until a SGE in 2021 and use the suffering and hardship imposed on us by Johnson Gove Rees Mogg and Fox as the platform for Indyref2 is long gone.
    Retribution will be swift once England ‘takes back control’
    Our NHS, Education, Law and Order, will be quickly ‘merged’ with England and Wales.
    Weep not for me, but your children, and your children’s children, right enough.
    Great writing as per, Paul.
    The thought that any Labour Politician would back scrapping FoM beggars belief.
    Come on, Neil Findlay, international Socialist, comments?
    Who would vote labour Up Here now?
    The Red and Blue Tories have morphed into the Brown Tories?

  15. ScotsCanuck says:

    …. your pen (or more precisely keyboard) is on fire again with this post, Paul.

    Excellent observation, comment & analysis …. mair power tae the dug.

  16. Robert Graham says:

    Eh getting quite good at these billboard designs Paul , you should copyright your ideas .

    As for Dear Andrea ,my God we missed a bullet with that one ,

    if you thought Mrs Mayhem was baffling this nut job takes it to a whole new level , a good interviewer would have nailed her on all her contradictions , because her interview with Marr was littered with them .

  17. Grafter says:

    As one writer above states “they are dragging us into an abyss”. The confusion and mayhem (pun) caused by Brexit is in my opinion slowly eroding the vote for Independence where the voting population are enfeebled by the uncertainty as to the outcome of these developments. Do not think a General Election is the way to go. Once again we will be playing by their rules. The SNP will continue to be marginalised as other issues take over the political chatter.

  18. William Habib Steele says:

    Welsh SIon, I think only residents in Scotland will be eligible to sign. I live in Wales for the sake of may family and deeply regret that I can’t sign.

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