The Brexit party and Jeremy and the C word

Ann Widdecombe, the comedy turn on Strictly Come Dancing and the Brexit Party, was interviewed on Sky News on Sunday morning. In the absence of any manifesto or policies from the Brexit Party, all we have to go on are the pronouncements of party worthies like Anne. And it didn’t make for inspiring listening.

Ann was very keen to tell us that perhaps one day science might produce an answer to the question of whether gay people can be turned straight. Science does actually have a position on so-called gay conversion therapy, and finds that it’s a form of psychological torture. That doesn’t stop Ann, who thinks that the solution for gay people who are unhappy because of their sexuality is for them to have the possibility to change into straight people, and not for homophobic bigots to stop making them unhappy. You know, bigots like Ann who when she was an MP voted against an equal age of consent, the Equality Act, same-sex adoption, civil partnerships, and in favour of a ban on the “promotion” of homosexuality in schools. By which was meant educational policies telling schoolkids in an age appropriate manner that gay people exist.

Why thank you for clearing that up Ann. It’s a bit like suggesting that society’s problem with racism could be solved if only scientists could invent a procedure to turn black people into white people instead of you know, teaching people that it’s wrong to be racist.

It’s just a pity that science will never find an answer to Ann Widdecombe. It is peculiar that she has such faith in science to bolster her own prejudices, but is lacking in such faith in the scientific method when it comes to climate change. Ann thinks that policies to mitigate or reduce the effects of climate change are pandering to doom mongering, and people who deny the reality of climate change get treated like victims of the Nazis. Poor thing. She’s the real victim here.

Ann’s comments illustrate the problem with Nigel Farage’s Brexit party. It is of course unlikely that when it does get around to adopting a manifesto and a set of policy positions that it will include a commitment to Ann’s “gay sex changes”, whatever they may be exactly. That’s not the point. The point is that Ann isn’t just a colourful and harmless eccentric. She is a deeply reactionary woman with some harmful and truly vile views. When she was Prisons Minister during the government of John Major in the mid 1990s, she vigorously defended the policy of forcing pregnant women prisoners who had gone into labour to give birth in chains. Now she has a platform as an elected politician again, and is using that platform to reopen questions about minorities.

It’s not true to say that Nigel Farage’s Brexit party has no policies other than leaving the EU immediately with or without a deal, its other policy is to have no policies because that way it can act as a blank canvas to the hopes and aspirations of everyone who happens to oppose membership of the EU. That means that it currently includes people like Ann who would be on the right wing of even a right wing party like the Conservatives, and it also includes people like Claire Fox, formerly of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who defines herself as a left-libertarian. (Although the writer and activist George Monbiot regards Claire’s politics as being a part of the pro-corporate libertarian right. )

The real reason that Nigel is so reluctant to adopt all the policy positions that would be necessary were the Brexit party to be a serious challenger for power in Westminster is that it would mean settling on a set of policies that all the disparate voices in his party could agree on. That’s vanishingly unlikely to happen. Libertarians like Claire Fox are never going to find much common ground with authoritarians like Ann Widdecombe on social or moral issues. So instead the Brexit party is structured in such a way that Nigel’s leadership can never be challenged. He’s learned from his Ukip days. This new party is going to be his creature, and his alone.

Yet if the Brexit party is to establish itself beyond its initial appeal to the anger of frustrated Brexiters, then it has to be more than a vehicle for Nigel Farage’s ego. A right wing apologist for big business, who’s funded by millionaires, and who espouses the politics of Thatcherism is going to have a difficult time maintaining his pose as a challenger of the elites to disaffected working class former Labour voters.

It is entirely plausible that the internal contradictions of the Brexit party mean that it will prove to be a short term political phenomenon, like Cleggmania in 2010. That’s why the real concern about the Brexit party isn’t the Brexit party itself. It’s the effect that it will have upon the Conservatives. It’s going to turn the Tories even further to the right, make them even more hardline on Brexit, and will make it even more likely that they’ll take the UK, and Scotland with it, out of the EU without a deal in order to placate the angry Farageists. Unfortunately Farageism is a creed that can never be satisfied, it can only be betrayed. The future of the UK is a dark and unwelcoming place. Scotland needs to escape.

Meanwhile, the Tory leadership candidates are vying with one another to prove their love for the precious union, which is Tory-speak for not allowing Scotland to have a say on its future. The latest addition to the oeuvre is Jeremy Hunt, who filmed a wee video in Edinburgh in which he went on about how Adam Smith could only be a genius because Scotland had united with England. Clearly, if Scotland had remained independent Adam would have sat in a cellar in Edinburgh with only some crayons and a colouring book for company. Funny how these Tory acolytes of Adam Smith always forget about his warnings about the dangers of unbridled capitalism.

Jeremy was keen to tell us, or rather he was keen to tell the 13 Scottish Tory MPs who actually have a vote in the leadership contest, that he wants a Brexit that works for everyone, for remainers as well as leavers. So just hush Scotland, Jeremy has our concerns at heart. Jeremy will get us a Brexit that works for us, like encasing your feet in a concrete block works for your aspirations to run a marathon.

Then he went and spoiled it all by saying that he wanted a Brexit that worked for Culloden as well as Canary Wharf, blithely ignorant of the role that Culloden has played in Scottish culture and history. He just wanted somewhere jockish that started with a C, so it could alliterate. We have a C word for you too Jeremy.

He could have gone with Cowdenbeath, Condorrat, Cumbernauld, Crieff, Carnoustie, Carnwath, Callanish, or Croy. But no, he picked the name of a place most noted for the defeat and slaughter of the Jacobites by a vengeful British army, which sparked off military occupation, massacres, ethnic cleansing, and the British state’s wholesale oppression of Scottish Gaelic language, culture, and identity. He picked a place that is symbolic of the crushing of Scotland by a British establishment bent on revenge. He picked a place that symbolises the death of Scotland’s hopes and dreams. And he couldn’t even pronounce it properly.

Way to go to prove that you’re in touch with Scottish sensibilities there, Jeremy, by mentioning Culloden while trying to make a case against independence. It sparks off such positive thoughts and feelings about the British state amongst Scottish people. Culloden, it’s our happy place.

Jeremy’s wee video did achieve something. It showed that as much thought went into its creation as the British government has given Scotland during the Brexit process. It showed Scotland that the very best we can hope for within this UK is to be governed by people who at best view us as a spot of colourful history, and who are woefully ignorant of the realities of Scotland. The best reason for independence is that it’s only then that Scotland can be governed by people who actually understand it.

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38 comments on “The Brexit party and Jeremy and the C word

  1. Bill Hume. says:

    Canary Wharf/Culloden….much the same… for me Jeremy.

  2. hoplite39 says:

    Bannockburn and Brixton sounds far better. Or what about London Bridge and Stirling Bridge. I like that too.

  3. Illy says:

    “A right wing apologist for big business, who’s funded by millionaires, and who espouses the politics of Thatcherism”

    He’s also a frequent speaker for “Alternatives for Deutshland”: your actual German Nazi party, and is president of their EU voting block.

    But hey, at least he’s not a failed Austrian artist, right?

    “Ann thinks that policies to mitigate or reduce the effects of climate change are pandering to doom mongering, and people who deny the reality of climate change”

    To be fair, there is an argument to be made that climate change isn’t our fault. The Earth regularly (on a geological timescale) goes through rapid temperature changes. And it was only in the 1500s that there was a mini-ice-age that we’re still coming out of.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t be preparing for the world to get a whole lot hotter, or investing in renewables because the oil is (eventually) going to run out, or discouraging cars in city centres because they release toxic fumes that we can’t avoid breathing in.

    Just that it might not be entirely our fault. But if we wanted, we probably do have the knowledge and capability to stop it from happening. Doubt we have the will though.

    As for Widdicomb’s idea that we might, oneday be able to change people’s sexuality: That is terrifying. That would put us a long, long way towards building the frigging *Dollhouse*!

    Luckily it’s well in the realm of Science Fiction at the moment. And there’s some evidence that, like FTL travel, it will stay there.

    • Aldo says:

      “To be fair, there is an argument to be made that climate change isn’t our fault. The Earth regularly (on a geological timescale) goes through rapid temperature changes. And it was only in the 1500s that there was a mini-ice-age that we’re still coming out of.”

      I can’t believe this sort of conversation is still happening outside of the right-wing deniosphere, but:

      1 – Climate change is absolutely our fault, there is no doubt about this whatsoever;

      2 – The global climate had been in a cooling trend for around 8000 years prior to the industrial revolution. We’ve prevented another ice age.

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug The Brexit party and Jeremy and the C word Ann Widdecombe, the comedy turn on Strictly Come Dancing and the Brexit Party, was […]

  5. Rank Bajin says:

    “…she vigorously defended the policy of forcing pregnant women prisoners who had gone into labour to give birth in chains.”

    She was also responsible for this disgraceful act of inhumanity.

  6. Andy Anderson says:

    It seems to me that it a major disaster that we are governed by numpties and what’s worse is that there is a queue of them wanting the job.

    Where is my parachute

  7. Rod MacKay says:

    Fine piece. One wee quibble, you have left out the “Ltd” after “Brexit Party.”
    Very important to remember that. It means it must strive to make a profit for its shareholders (whoever that might be)… a scam to line Niggle the Radge’s pockets.

  8. Del G says:

    So Ann would be happy to return to an earllier regime, one where Alan Turing (amongst many others) was blackmailed then forced into taking pills to chemically castrate him. And didn’t that work out well?

  9. Cubby says:

    Widdecombe – a very offensive woman. Would she be offended if I said to her perhaps science will find a cure for ugly people. Both in mind and appearance.

    • Jim says:

      A friend of mine used to say of people like her, ‘Ach she’ll die”.
      No malice, just the certainty and the finality of it. Quite satisfying.

  10. diabloandco says:

    I look in horror filled wonder at the selection of conservative contenders but Hunt wins the prize for supreme stupidity so far.

    I look forward to the next batch of botchers venturing northwards to impress ignorance upon their contracting conservative cohorts.

    Whatever happened to the Ruth No Referendums Davidson Party?

    It hasn’t emerged from the woodwork for some time and shown no support for any of the planks and plonkers.

  11. Iain says:

    Sajid Javid’s withholding of permission followed by Jeremy Hunt’s appeal to the workers of Culludden (sic) have me on the edge of my seat wondering what treats await from the likes of Matt Hancock, Dominic Raab and Andrea Leadsome. Can’t wait for their offerings.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      The problem with them all is complete disconnection from reality, even beyond the secure Westminster bubble, their lifestyle bears no resemblance to normality, the “let them eat cake” brigade…
      Currently selling their cred to the majority English electorate in a race for the poisoned chalice of PM, they are as clueless as most of their audience to Scottish affairs, history, sensitivities, or aspirations.
      Javid is in no position to withhold anything, yet, but the strategy is intended to appeal to the demographic already sold the (subsidy junkies, deep fried Mars bars, etc) “rebellious Scots” line.
      As for Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Hunt, we should bear in mind his succession to St Boris in inflicting insult on foreigners upholds a established tradition….

  12. Luigi says:

    I wonder who will be the next low-grade, Tory leadership no-hoper to say something really stupid. Not long to wait.

    I give them until lunchtime. 🙂

  13. Luigi says:

    If Boris is smart, he will keep a low profile stay quiet over the next two weeks, and let his competitors continue to spolit their chances. Self-elimination – they just can’t help themselves. If Boris stays shtum he is a shoe-in. If he opens his mouth, then anything can happen. Popcorn ready. 🙂

    • bringiton says:

      Boris is keeping quiet because he found out that lying in public can lead to some serious jail time.

      • Welsh Sion says:

        Johnson’s video came out later today. I have not seen it. I will not call him ‘Boris’.

        • Iain says:

          Exactly. He’s not my chum. He’s not some loveable rogue or celebrity we all know by his first name. He is Johnson, Mr Johnson or Boris Johnson.
          Calling him “Boris” plays up to his vanity, like calling President Trump “Donald”.

  14. Dave tewart says:

    Try reading some of the work done on the
    Dunning-Kruger effect.
    Sums up the 13 disciples perfectly.

  15. Macart says:

    Jeez! You go away for a few days… Playing catch up on threads this morning and you haven’t missed and hit the proverbial wossiname Paul.

    Did someone switch a light on down in Westminster? The amount of skittery thangs queuing up to take on May’s poison chalice is quite a sight to behold.

    And yes. Yes, Mr Hunt did drop an absolute clanger over his Culloden statement. How and ever, parliamentary Tory etc. = arrogant, ignorant and an empathy free void (probably with more than a smidge of ruthless on the side).

  16. John says:

    Culloden eh? Strange place to pick out of thin air. Maybe Jeremy C-word is being a bit cute and warning of what could happen if Scotland makes a stand against the British Empire. Never happened before has it?

  17. mogabee says:

    Hunt is the C-word of the highest order.

  18. mogabee says:

    Know the feeling Sam as I’ve been partaking of some English and Welsh hospitality and get back to all sorts of crazed goings on!

    • Macart says:

      Wish it had been a trip of that sort (sigh).

      But yeah! Couple of days away and just when you thought Westminster politics couldn’t become more of a farce than it is? Some Tories shout ‘hold my pint’.

  19. hoplite39 says:

    Someone’s missing a huge opportunity here. A ‘Tory Bastard for the EU” would win a ton of votes in England.

  20. I agree with Philip Hammond that when he looks around him, as he observed in his ‘interview’ with Emily Maitlis, of Kensington, that as he is a multi millionaire with homes in Sussex and London, he doesn’t see much poverty, and despite Maitlis referring to the UN Report, and Food Banks usage, this cold hearted bastard of a man churned out the usual ‘record number in employment’, reduced the debt, cut the deficit, and now was the time to turn the theory of a Free Market economy into practice going forward.’
    The best way out of poverty is slave wages zero hour contracts, no employment rights, and private Blue Cross Health insurance.
    One of Hammond’s finger in lucrative pies was working in the Private Health sphere.
    He is a heartless, cold elitist, who doesn’t appear to have a civic bone in his shrivelled Blue Tory Body.
    John Redwood was on, and crowned Donald Trump ‘the Leader of the Free World’. Somebody better tell the Germans, the French, the Swedes,the Italians, and the Dutch, that the US has invaded.
    Johnson and Farage have Trump’s backing.
    Goodbye to the English NHS, dairy and cattle farming, and Bernard Matthews can issue redundancy notices now. Here come the Yanks, Leaders of the Free World.
    Nicola, fire the starting gun now.
    One positive outcome of the Blue Tory Beauty Pageant:
    They are to a man and woman cold heartless bastards.
    I know, I shouldn’t mince my words.

  21. Historians' Council on Culloden says:

    Point taken – except that the biggest threat to Culloden battlefield in the past five years has been the Scottish Government who overturned the Highland Council’s denial of development permission to build a housing development on the protected area of the battlefield! We should deman our own ministers respect such places as well!

  22. douglasclark says:

    I kinda think, correct me if I am wrong, that my MSP has entered the ring. Nicola Sturgeon is pretty impressive.


    See below for lies, obfuscations and untruths.

    The SiU will be out in all their number, for one equals twenty, just because.


    That this newspaper allows that.

    Utterly ridiculous!

  23. Robert Graham says:

    For a good laugh turn on BBC news right now, Two adults , well presumably adults talking total pish , both in cookoo land so detached from reality that every utterance is of jaw dropping quality in its baffling stupidity .
    God save us from this lunatic country to the south , bloody waken up Scotland .

  24. armchairphilosophy374 says:

    Not only is this article hilarious, but it’s also incredibly informative and to-the-point. Do you think we could try conversion therapy on Ann Widdecombe?

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