The federalism fairy flaps again

We’re living in strange days. This is widely described as the greatest political crisis in the UK since WW2, and it’s entirely self-inflicted. Things in Ukania have got so bad that Scottish newspaper editorials have, on occasion, been forced to get through 1000 words without finding the time to slag off the SNP. The Conservative party is on the verge of meltdown. Labour is riven with internal disputes, factions, and threats of division. The civil wars within both parties are so intense and bitter that even the Herald has had to become distracted from its usual insistence that it’s only the SNP which is falling apart.

The government’s central policy lies in tatters. Theresa May has been reduced to making a humiliating tour of EU capitals to beg for concessions while her party is in open rebellion in the Commons. It is still possible that the UK will crash out of the EU without a deal on Friday, our fate is entirely with the patience and forebearance of the other 27 members. So much for taking back control. So much for sunny uplands. So much for the easiest deal in history. So much for possessing all the cards.

However it is more likely that the EU will give the UK a much longer extension to Article 50 than Theresa May wants. The UK will have to take part in the European elections which she has sought so hard to avoid, and it is likely that the UK will have to submit to a series of humiliating tests and suffer restrictions on its rights as an EU government because the other EU states have lost all trust in the goodwill and good intentions of the British. The rest of the EU wants to ensure that Brextremist wreckers can’t block the EU budget or other EU measures that the 27 decide to adopt for themselves. We have become the ASBO state of Europe, with an electronic tag on our ankle to ensure our good behaviour.

All this is entirely the fault of the Conservative party, which has consistently put its own short term party interests before all other considerations. This disaster is many orders of magnitude greater than any SNPbad story to grace the pages of the Scottish press, and it’s a Great British Mess, made by and 100% the property of the British political establishment. This is not the UK that Scotland was sold in 2014. It’s not a union. It’s not united. It’s not safe, stable, and secure. It’s declared that it doesn’t want to be European. It has trashed its international reputation. The UK is a joke without a punchline, it exists purely as a cautionary tale to fledgling democracies. Even banana republics have bananas and nice weather. The UK can’t even manage that much.

But never mind about any of that. The federalism fairy is flapping again! And this time she comes waving the red flag. This is because the latest set of fanciful federalism proposals which will never see the light of day are being developed by Baroness Bryan of Partick, who is apparently a Marxist peer. A Marxist peer is a real thing in the UK, like a vegan butcher, a minimalist hoarder, or an atheist pope, and all by itself the existence of such a concept in this universe tells you just how dysfunctional the British state has become. The proposals, from the left wing Corbynista group Red Paper, got a glowing write up in that bastion of the British establishment, The Times newspaper. So they must be really worried about the impending reality of Scottish independence.

These days it’s hard to read any new proposals for a federal UK without either laughing, crying, or thinking it’s a typo for feral. I am quite sure that their advocates sincerely believe in their shiny new plans for a better Britain, but that is no guide to the likelihood of them ever seeing the light of day. You’d be as well proposing that we could solve poverty by making sure that everyone in the UK wins the lottery. It’s a nice idea, but it’s not going to happen.

The truth is, at it always was and shall always remain, that proposals for a federal UK appear and are consumed despite possessing zero calorific content. Then they pass through the body politic as quickly as a dose of prune juice and with similar intent. Effectively, the sole purpose of proposals for federalism is to crap on the Scottish independence movement.

In the real world, there is zero prospect of a federal UK ever coming into being, for the simple reason that there is no demand for it in England and no motivation there to solve a problem which isn’t England’s. There’s less chance of a federal UK than there is of Theresa May saying, “You know, quite a lot of things have changed really,” and admitting that the Brexmess is largely the fault of her own intransigence. It’s just a bauble to distract us from the truth that Scottish independence is the only realistic escape route from the constitutional collapse of the British state. It’s a bauble which is tattered, battered, and has long since lost any shine it may once have possessed.

Those who believe that there’s a federal fairy at the bottom of the British constitutional garden are correct in their understanding that British politics and the British constitution are fundamentally unfit for purpose. Brexit has illustrated that. We’re in this mess because British politics grants all power to the victor, no matter how narrow the victory, no matter how many are disengaged from the entire process.

The tragedy for those who believe in the federalism fairy is that the UK is incapable of reform. No matter how hard they wish, no matter how strongly they believe, the bottom of the garden of British politics is going to remain federalism free. Not even the existential crisis of the independence referendum, so hard fought, so narrowly won, made the British state change its ways. Once this Brexit crisis is resolved, one way or another, Britain’s political parties and political establishment will go back to business as usual. For Scotland, and for anyone in the UK with a modicum of sense and maturity, all that stretches before us is decades of aching embarrassment, humiliation, and ignominy.

These latest proposals from allies of Jeremy Corbyn combine the federalism fairy with the equally fantastical belief in the British Parliamentary road to socialism. Labour has had over 100 years, and despite decades of majority Labour governments during that time, it still hasn’t managed to abolish the House of Lords. Instead it’s given us Marxist peers. Electorally speaking, the British Parliamentary road to socialism and the federalism fairy are just two delusions in search of the deluded.

Back in the real world, if Scotland expects reform, we have to do it for ourselves. No one else is going to do it for us.

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22 comments on “The federalism fairy flaps again

  1. Donald anderson says:

    Federalism with big bad Westmonster has often been on the agenda of HM “Revolutionary” left for too wee North Britain.

  2. benmadigan says:

    I wrote this back in the day – to show UK federalism was a pipe dream

  3. deelsdugs says:

    Bloody brilliant Paul.

  4. Alba woman says:

    Notions of A Federal Lazarus has been risen again by the fantasists of Labour …mild diversion from the grim realities of their views on Scottish Independence

  5. Terry callachan says:

    A Marxist Lord in the House of Lords ? as if ,that place where the millionaire Lords are still sponging £300 a day in wages plus travelling expenses hotel expenses and all the other free gifts that the poor people really really insist they must have so that we can benefit from all the great wisdom they offer us .
    To be honest I think anyone at all could offer the same wisdom if they were paid £300 a day with all the expenses and free gifts these Lords get especially when allowed to snooze your way through the working day ,it’s allowed you know, snoozing at work, oh yes it’s allowed, it’s captured on tv every day, snoozing lords deep in thought dreaming up great thoughts of wisdom such as the old fairytale of federalism.

  6. Sheila McIntosh Rae says:

    One of your best WGD. Incisive, and witty

  7. “We have become the ASBO state of Europe, with an electronic tag on our ankle to ensure our good behaviour.”

    I think the UK has been that for a wee while now. The difference being that the EU has now been given the chance to do what it has always wanted to do – grab the UK by the short and curlies and tie it to a post with its pants down. The entitled self-important idiots of the ERG and their ilk will never notice though, precisely because:

    “British politics grants all power to the victor, no matter how narrow the victory, no matter how many are disengaged from the entire process.”

    Which is of course entirely right, natural and good in this class society.

    I love the way the word Marxist has come out of retirement recently, almost as if somebody on high issued a memorandum suggesting the word be sneaked into as many soundbites as possible.

    I guess they must be still assuming that being a Marxist is a baaaaad thing.

    But Corbyn? A Marxist? Aye right enough. If it were not so utterly laughable, it would be scary.

    I wonder if all this is a prelude to the formation of a House un-British Activities Committee? With IDS in the chair and Gove clyping.

    Aye …. very strange days.

    Thanks for another crisp analysis wrapped in a happy rant. Lovely stuff.

  8. Dave tewart says:

    Loved the idea of the actual Marxist Baroness fae Pertick. sitting in the HoLords.
    Didn’t we have a agnostic Archbishop a few years back?
    Stark Stairn mad.
    The can has been kicked into the long grass, short delay whilst we look for it, meanwhile we can have some EU elections but nobody needs to go and pick up their place.
    We pay these people but have little say in their selection.

  9. chicmac says:

    Ah! The F word raises it’s ugly head again.

    The umpteenth viewing of ‘Waiting for Gordo’ ( he’ll be along in a minute) the play where nothing ever happens.

  10. indyman says:

    Marx was the first to say “Follow the money” which is why the Tories and their lickspittle media can’t stand him.

  11. bringiton says:

    British Labour supporters in Scotland will have to accept that the UK/England is a Tory state whose personality is that of authoritarian centralised London rule.
    That is the core of the UK state and will never change for as long as it doesn’t have to.
    They have also made it absolutely clear that they have no truck sharing power with anyone else and it is their way or the highway.
    Federalism is the same as The Vow and will go the same way once the ship steadies back on course.
    That is the nature of the beast and if that is what Scottish Labour supporters want,then more fool them as they will continue to be treated as sheep by the London establishment and corralled in the Westminster pen for ever and ever,amen.

  12. You forgot to mention the” we must respect the will of the people” rubbish when the idiot brexiteers continually screech about the overwhelming majority in favour of leaving the EU. It was not 52% in favour, it was 52% of those who voted which works out at 37% of the electorate. Not exactly the majority of the people as touted by the MSM idiots I. This figure is never ever quoted in any debate or political programme.

  13. Muscleguy says:

    What seems like forever ago I was a DevoMaxer, but only because the Fib/Lab coalition administrations (I shan’t call them governments) at Holyrood convinced me the Scottish political class wasn’t ready to run an independent country and we would need DevoMax first as a stepping stone to Independence.

    Then in 2007 the SNP came into government and competence, sheer technocratic competence was plain for all but the most blinkered to see and I changed my mind (circumstances had changed). The SNP (with Green consciences) would be a fine government for iScotland.

    I have not resiled from that view, yet. Though the OBFA thing with the Greens cooled me to them and SNP timidity and the sense of settling into well paying jobs, let’s not rock the boat managerialism is raising its head.

    But I’m willing to change my mind on that and my appetite for Independence is dimmed not one femtowatt.

  14. Welsh Sion says:

    So, they have succeeded in taking the first photograph of a black hole located in another galaxy, many million miles away from Earth.

    They needn’t have bothered.

    We are being sucked into a black void outside Europe by this inept UK ‘government’ in order to appease those constructed out of ‘dark matter’, like the Rees-Moggs, Johnsons and Fosters of our own world.

    Beam us up, and outta here, Scotty! Before it’s too late.

  15. It’s not just you, y’know?

    The website of the ‘Institute of Welsh Affairs’ (a cosy coterie of centrists, centralists and other moochers off the gullible) seldom goes a month without publishing an article by someone no-one has ever heard of outside of the Kerdiff cocktail set saying what a wonderful idea ‘British federalism’ would be, even to the point of sometimes calling it ‘British confederalism’ (they’re right with the ‘con’ bit, but with nothing else).

    No attempt to demonstrate to them that a state like Greater Gammonia can never be federal (due, for one thing, to one party to it being five times greater than the sum of the other parties combined) ever seems to impinge upon their comforting colonialist self-delusion. For that is what it is: a desperate attempt to extend the wretched life of a state in terminal decay, with all that that implies for the damage done (and still being done) to the non-English parts of the so-called ‘union’.

    As I believe you say up there, “Hell mend them!”.

  16. Welsh Sion says:

    Off topic – but a worrying development from my constituency back home in Cymru.

    [Translation GT and WS]

    Vandals target Plaid Cymru office, Caernarfon

    10 April 2019 at 12:19 Updated at 16:42

    North Wales Police are investigating after graffiti was sprayed on the front door of a Plaid Cymru office in the town of Caernarfon.

    A spokesperson has confirmed that the first to see the word ‘SCUM’ sprayed on the door in Castle Street were workers arriving at 8am today (Wednesday, January 10).

    The belief, said the police, is that the vandalism happened sometime on Tuesday night.

    Some Plaid Cymru staff have been sharing photos on social media, and the MP, Hywel Williams, has defended his staff’s right to be able to come to work without feeling threatened.

    According to Hywel Williams, the graffiti is an “act of vandalism”, and the police are treating the incident “with the seriousness it deserves”.
    “It is quite likely that this is an act of meaningless vandalism, but I am assured that the police are treating it with the seriousness it deserves.

    “My staff deserve to work free from any threat and fear – just like everyone else. It is not acceptable to expect them to face such a threat.”


  17. […] that debate becomes a battle for whose opinion is best, about who wins the debate game. As the weegingerdug put it recently, “British politics grants all power to the victor, no matter how narrow the […]

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