Writing our own future

The big scientific news this week is that researchers in the USA have succeeded in restoring some brain function to the brains of decapitated pigs which have been dead for several hours. This is the best news that the British government has had for quite some time, as it means that Theresa May will now be able to find some Conservative candidates for the slaughter that her party is going to face in the forthcoming European elections.

It’s looking extremely likely that the UK is going to have European elections on May 23. Theresa May still thinks that it’s possible for some version of her deal to pass through the Commons before May 22 and to avoid the poll, but then it’s also possible that she might make a public statement that this entire Brexit mess is entirely her own fault. However possible is not the same as probable. It is possible that the Scotland Secretary David Mundell is more effective as a spokesman for Scotland in the Conservative cabinet than a stuffed teddy bear wearing a tartan bow tie, but it’s not probable. It is possible that Ruth Davidson is a substantial and serious politician with well thought out policies which defend Scotland within the UK and is not just a one trick we-don’t-want-another-indyref pony in search of a photo opportunity, but it’s not probable.

Denial of the probable is this British government’s stock in trade. It’s the closest thing that they have to a strategy. We’ve now reached the point where British policy towards the EU consists of foot stamping and temper tantrums and the insistence that up is down, black is white, and David Mundell serves a useful purpose.

The Conservatives are handicapped in launching a campaign for the elections because of their insistence that the vote might not take place, that if it does then we’ll be leaving the EU within a couple of weeks anyway, and their utter inability to come up with some coherent policy that everyone in the party can agree with. Meanwhile Labour is keeping its head down and hoping that no one will notice that it’s trying to make out that a second referendum is an option while at the same time trying to prevent one from coming about.

The other parties have the advantage of a coherent message. It’s a pretty tragic state of affairs for mainstream British politics when David Coburn is more coherent than they are. David has resigned from Ukip and is now a supporter of Nigel Farage’s Nigel Farage Vote Nigel Farage As Seen on the BBC Party. Nigel has clearly been taking some lessons from Ruth Davidson. Nigel’s new Brexit party is doing unfortunately well in the polls, having eclipsed a Ukip which has now tacked very firmly to the far right. The two swivel eyed Brexit parties are now spending much of their energy slagging one another off, putting to very good use the reservoirs of hatred that they’ve built up over the years.

Effectively these EU elections are going to be seen as a dry run for a referendum. It will be a choice between parties which want the people to have a say, parties which want the most extreme Brexit possible, or a Labour party which doesn’t really know what it stands for and which is hoping that its confusion will be mistaken for moderation.

In Scotland, the choice is simple. You can either vote for parties which want Scotland to have a say on Brexit and on the future of Scotland, or you can vote for parties which are hell bent on making sure that Scotland remains as marginalised and sidelined as it has been during this entire sorry Brexit process. The Labour party in Scotland is led by a man who wants Brexit to happen, who doesn’t want Scotland to have a say, and who deludes himself that there’s such a thing as a good Brexit. The Tories only have one policy in Scotland, which essentially boils down to “Shut up and do what you’re told.” The Lib Dems want a second referendum because we were lied to in the first about what we’d get, but not a second Scottish referendum because the Lib Dems were amongst those doing the lying that time.

Even if you want Scotland out of the EU, you need to vote for the SNP or the Greens. Those are the only parties which promise the people of Scotland a choice and a say on their own futures, on the future of Scotland. Wanting Scotland out of the EU is a perfectly respectable position, however if Scotland is to leave the EU then that needs to be negotiated by a government which is answerable to the people of Scotland, which respects and listens to Scotland’s needs and concerns, and which above all has a mandate from the people of Scotland. Brexit was sold to us as being about sovereignty. From a Scottish perspective the overriding priority is first to establish the sovereignty of the people of Scotland, and not to surrender Scotland’s future to parties which don’t recognise it and who treat Scotland as a region, not a nation, not a country.

The deadline for registering to vote is 7 May. EU citizens can vote in these elections (although 16 and 17 year olds cannot). A recent study from the electoral commission found that as many as one third of 18 to 34 year olds are not registered to vote. This is the age group which is most likely to support remaining in the EU, and in Scotland the age group which is most likely to support independence. Speak to the 18 to 34 year olds amongst your friends and family, and encourage them to register to vote if they haven’t done so already. We need younger people to vote, otherwise older generations will write the future.

If you have moved house, or have changed your name, you need to register to vote again. If you are a UK citizen living in the UK, you can register to vote online. The link is here https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote In order to register you will need your National Insurance number. If you don’t know it, it will be on a payslip, a letter from the benefits agency, or a tax return.

You can also use this online service to register to vote if you are a UK citizen living abroad. If you are a UK citizen who lives in an EU state, you can choose to vote in the UK or in your country of residence. If you live in any other country, you can vote in the UK. If you live abroad and wish to vote in the UK’s European elections, you must have lived abroad for less than 15 years. You will also need your passport details to input into the site.

It is hugely important to ensure that you are registered to vote. Only two things are going to matter when the results are totted up – the number of people in the UK who voted for pro-EU parties over pro-Brexit parties, and the number of people in Scotland who voted for pro-indy parties over British parties. The first will give us an indication of the strength of feeling in the UK as a whole for a second vote on remaining in the EU, the second will give us an indication of the strength of feeling in Scotland for a second indyref. Scotland has the right to write its own future. It’s up to us to let our political masters know.

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15 comments on “Writing our own future

  1. Welsh Sion says:

    If you have moved house, or have changed your name, you need to register to vote again. If you are a UK citizen living in the UK, you can register to vote online. The link is here https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote In order to register you will need your National Insurance number. If you don’t know it, it will be on a payslip, a letter from the benefits agency, or a tax return.

    You can also use this online service to register to vote if you are a UK citizen living abroad. If you are a UK citizen who lives in an EU state, you can choose to vote in the UK or in your country of residence. If you live in any other country, you can vote in the UK. If you live abroad and wish to vote in the UK’s European elections, you must have lived abroad for less than 15 years. You will also need your passport details to input into the site.


    Yes, all true WGD.

    But there is a gaping, undemocratic black hole here, too. Those who live abroad in an EU country and have done so for up to 15 years can vote. Thos, like me, who have lived in England (for less than 15 years) can NOT vote for either National Party (Plaid Cymru/SNP) that I belong to in their respective countries. And yet, I am a UK subject/citizen living in the UK, paying UK taxes.

    • weegingerdug says:

      That’s not an issue for UK electoral law, or for the EU though. Take it up with Plaid and SNP who don’t put up candidates where you live.

      • Welsh Sion says:

        I appreciate your point about taking it up with the Parties. I’ve already taken it up with the Returning Officer for my previous (Welsh) constituency, and he will not register me there as he now considers me part of the ‘English electorate’ of England and therefore ineligible to vote in any Welsh election or referendum. Doubtless, I would get the same reply in Scotland, where the most I have ‘lived’ is a few days during SNP Conferences.

        It seems odd to me though that these exiles who live outwith the UK, but in a EU country can vote in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales, so long as they don’t fall foul of the 15 year rule.

        • weegingerdug says:

          UK citizens who live abroad can’t vote anywhere they choose in the UK though. They are only eligible to vote in the last constituency where they were registered to vote in the UK. When I lived in Spain, I had a vote in UK elections, but only in the West Ham constituency in London where I lived prior to moving to Spain.

  2. […] Wee Ginger Dug Writing our own future The big scientific news this week is that researchers in the USA have succeeded in […]

  3. The thing is, back here in Reality, the Corbyn Deal is not the Deal which the EU have brokered with May.
    If May melted into a greasy neurotic spot as the Red Tories pushed for ‘their’ Brexit Deal, the they peddled ‘some form of’, ‘a’ (pronounced ‘a’ as in ‘air’) , ‘Customs Deal’, as yet unspecified, but rejected FOM, and the ECJ, and May’s Handlers grudgingly gave in to the Mighty Reds, the EU would reject their revised offer out of hand.
    Then there’s the pesky Backstop and the GFA. The Red Tories are as much in the doo doo over Norn Irn as the Blue Tories.
    I look forward to Farage and Galloway, chain smoking drinker extraordinaire, and non smoking tee-totaller march arm and arm into the Polling Booth, followed quickly by the Devout Catholic Rees Mogg and his No Deal chum and staunch Prod Arlene.
    I doubt that there will be EU elections held here.
    I smell a UK GE on the horizon.
    May will return from walking in the Brecons after four days and nights in the Wilderness and resign.
    We need the young vote out for sure, Paul. But what a waste EU elections will be.

    • Clive Scott says:

      EU elections won’t be a waste if the young get off their arse, register, and then actually drag themselves to the polling station and outvote the oldies who cleave to Rule Britannia, the bloody royal family, nuclear weapons etc etc. This oldie is pissed off with the young who moan but won’t get out to vote and seize their future.

      • So we would have MEP’s until October, Clive?
        A bit of a pointless exercise in many eyes.
        If the only outcome is to test the strength of the Independence vote, is there much point.
        I’m 71 years old, and have never felt so ‘young’ in my life.
        I’ve had enough of attempting to play England’s Euro Game.
        Why are our 35 MPs playing along with the PV or UKGE farce?
        Eye on the prize.
        Independence, now, when England’s political class is in meltdown.
        Gorgeous George and Fag End Farage in the same tent?
        Arlene cuddling up to Jacob to preserve the Province as a UK colony?
        WE go now, while they hum and haw with each other.
        England is OUT of the EU.
        We are not.

    • bringiton says:

      I believe that the Democrats who control Congress and subsequently determine trade agreements have said that should the UK trash the GFA,then there will be no trade deal between the USA and the UK.
      Let’s hope that there is similar support from them for an independent Scotland.

  4. Katherine Perlo says:

    81 and an independence campaigner, I find your whole article marred by this slap in the face for people my age. Apparently the greatest threat to young people comes from that terrible force for evil, the elderly — not from the Tories, the billionaires, the British nationalists, the exploiters, the xenophobes or the far right of whatever age. Sure, the 2014 demographic was horrible — and do you think you’re going to turn it around by these insults? I’m a regular reader and normally agree with you on most everything, but please stop to think and drop the ageism. Try this: ‘If white people don’t vote, black people get to write your future’ … ‘If men don’t vote, women get to write your future’ … ‘If straight people don’t vote, gay people get to write your future’. Somehow the equivalent aimed at old people goes unrecognized for the prejudice that it is.

  5. The Gospel of John 18:13-27

    “Simon Peter and another disciple were following Jesus. Because this disciple was known to the high priest, he went with Jesus into the high priest’s courtyard, but Peter had to wait outside at the door. The other disciple, who was known to the high priest, came back, spoke to the girl on duty there and brought Peter in. “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter. He replied, “I am not.” … As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.” One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow.”

    How many times must ProudScotsBut deny that their country of birth or choice is a nation, free and self determining in its own right before the cock crows?
    Have a peaceful and loving week-end, Duggers.
    The storm clouds are gathering.

  6. Terry Callachan says:

    And now we have the police in Northern Ireland searching people in catholic areas because there will be commemorative gatherings this weekend to mark southern Ireland’s independence from England.
    It’s like turning the clock back fifty years, I’m certain that approval would have been required from Westminster ,from Theresa May herself for these searches to go ahead in a Catholic housing area, trouble was inevitable and they knew it but still went ahead, no such searches take place in the lead up to 12th July each year when the Protestant community marches through catholic housing estates singing “kill the catholic” songs or when they build thirty feet high bonfires and burn the Irish flag and effigies of prominent Irish politicians .
    This you can say has nothing to do with brexit but you would be wrong, it’s a way of garnering support from those who want the catholic community in Northern Ireland crushed ,there are MP,s in Westminster who will love this and demand severe punishments and soldiers on the streets to stamp out and celebrations of Irish independence and unity.
    Escalation is very likely
    Waiting for car bombs now
    Westminster is an evel and evil place right enough.
    Expect more orange order marches in Scotland if there is escalation of troubles in Northern Ireland.
    Expect Theresa May to get more support for her brexit plan if there is escalation of the troubles in Northern Ireland.
    So so sad
    People’s lives ruined
    Living in fear every day resumes

  7. Terry callachan says:

    Young people do not vote because they see all MP,s as being untrustworthy there is not a political party that has policies the young approve of, why is that ? Well it’s because all party,s have policies for the older generation they make policies that suit themselves let’s face it most MP,s are ancient.
    If you want young people to vote you have to make it easier for them to do so, having to register and provide documents then turn up at a local church or community hall to vote is just not a modern process.
    They need something that can be done through the communication system that they use for everything, their mobile phone.
    It’s easy to give them that.
    If you already have a British passport and a Scottish tax paying national insurance number you should be automatically registered to vote the government already has this verified information about people but it’s held partly by central govt and partly by local govt ,if they really wanted to do it they could work together to determine eligibility to vote and then notify people without people having to do anything at all.
    Voting could so easily be done online just like online banking and online renewal of passports etc secure systems already exist to take care of this but the British government know that if young people did vote the political scene would be changed dramatically so we constantly hear about how online voting would be too risky ,online banking is ok but online voting oh no too risky.
    Risky for who ?
    Risky for the Conservative party and the Labour Party that’s who.
    I think that before this happens and it will happen, a new political party will start up aiming to secure young people’s votes on policies that young people feel strongly about, it’s actually amazing how “old headed “ young people really are when it comes to policy, it is they who want less pollution better housing fairer wages and an end to austerity they really do think that their elders have commandeered all the wealth for themselves they see their parents having a house of their own and a job and pensions and holidays whilst they themselves are still living at home with their parents into their late twenties and thirties .

  8. OT, and by the Chief, we need a little light relief.

    ‘Beer drinking and nights in the pub ‘good for society’ – say top scientists
    I’m off out for a pint tonight aft6er a day in the back garden weeding, grass cutting, cleaning out the BBQ.
    After all, it’s ‘good for society’.
    I never think of myself.

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