The saltire piñata

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Another day, another step in the Conservatives’ destruction of the United Kingdom. They just can’t help themselves, can they. Jeremy Hunt has announced that he’s withdrawing all UK diplomatic support for the Scottish First Minister on her trips abroad to represent the Scottish Government and Scottish Parliament. “She can fly Ryanair with a hen party from Caldercruix and then fight her way onto a bus 120 miles from her destination,” said Jeremy, “That’ll teach her for being a vile separatist.” Well he didn’t really say that, if only because he doesn’t know where Caldercruix is and wouldn’t know how to pronounce it even if he did. But his sentiments were along an equally petty vein. The really scary thing here is that this is the guy who’s considered the better option.

The reason that the UK Foreign Secretary gave for his undiplomatic decision was that Nicola Sturgeon uses her foreign trips to promote the policies she was elected on, opposing Brexit and supporting Scottish independence. Now we know that politicians who are elected in the UK will only enjoy the support of the UK diplomatic corps if they happen to agree with the politics of whoever happens to be the Foreign Secretary at the time.

Perhaps if Jeremy Hunt possessed a modicum of historical awareness he might have realised that it was a very similar issue, that of consular representation, which brought about Unionsoppløsningen the dissolution of the Union between Norway and Sweden in 1905. Norway felt that it was not adequately represented by consular officials abroad who were appointed by the Swedish foreign minister. The issue became emblematic of the increasingly divergent political paths that Norway and Sweden were then taking, and the union between the two countries, which had existed since 1814, came to an end. Jeremy Hunt’s childish and petty decision will not be the hill that the UK dies on, but it’s one more illustration to Scotland of a UK that is not serving our needs.

According to a spokesapologist for the Tories, in future elected representatives of the devolved administrations will only get support from the Foreign Office if they “avoid supporting activities intended to campaign for policies contrary to [the UK] Government’s position”. So if at some point in a post-Brexit Britain, the British government decides that the NHS is very much on the table in a trade deal negotiation with the USA, then according to this ruling the Scottish government wouldn’t be allowed to speak against that during any official visits to America.

That’s the kind of thing that had it happened under the government of Recep Erdogan or Vladimir Putin would provoke British handwringing about the threat to democracy from authoritarian regimes. Yet here we are. Nicola Sturgeon won’t get support from the Foreign Office when she’s on an official visit abroad, that Foreign Office that is paid for out of Scottish taxes too, because she favours Scottish independence and opposes Brexit and those are policies that Jeremy doesn’t like.

This isn’t just petty on the part of the Foreign Secretary. It’s downright sinister. The Conservatives are a party which is prepared to refuse Scotland another independence referendum “under any circumstances”. The fact that there’s a democratic mandate for one doesn’t matter. They are a party which is prepared to suspend Parliament in order to ram through a no deal Brexit that doesn’t have majority support in the Commons. And now we learn that they are a party which is happy to rule out official support to democratically elected politicians whose policies they don’t like. The Conservatives are not just the party of English nationalism, of English exceptionalism, and of Brexit at all costs, they’re profoundly undemocratic and authoritarian. They represent precisely the kind of extreme right wing politics that they themselves warned Scotland could only avoid if it voted against independence.

What this is really about here, of course, is the Conservative leadership contest. The Scots are a convenient whipping boy. Scotland is about as popular amongst Conservative party members in England – where the vast majority of them reside – as explaining uncomfortable truths about their Brexit policy is with Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt. By showing them that he’s prepared to act the hard man with Scotland, Jeremy is hoping to curry a few more votes from the unreconstructed English nationalists who will be voting for the Tory leader in a short while. Scotland’s interests are being sacrificed so that an unprincipled careerist can make himself look good in the eyes a party that prioritises Brexit far above Scotland’s interests. That’s pooling and sharing for you.

Jeremy tells us that he’ll never allow the break up of the UK because although he’s English he also has Irish blood and Welsh blood, and he spent some time in Scotland when he was a wean. Posho Jezza hasn’t realised that insisting on telling people about your blood while waving about a can of Irn Bru for a photo op really isn’t a good look when you’re trying to make out that this nationalism lark is a bad idea.

Jezza son, I mean this kindly, but no one in Scotland gives a tuppenny where your great great great grandparents were from, and we care even less that you spent a few months during the school holidays with your da the admiral on a navy base in Scotland when you weren’t at your posh boarding school in Surrey. So just shuttit, gaunnie. Because you’re coming across as a dictatorial wee nyaff and that really doesn’t play at all well in Scotland. And you’re meant to be the sensible one in this leadership contest, god help us. It’s like saying that because my parents once took me to Whitley Bay when I was a wean, it gives me the right to tell England to forget about this Brexit nonsense.

It’s hard to decide which of the two Tory leadership candidates is worse. But then we don’t get a vote or a say and exist in this contest purely as a tartan piñata to be beaten with a stick in the hope of dislodging a few more votes from some anti-Scottish bigots. There’s a choice between a lying fantasist or a lying opportunist. You can have your liar either shambolic and brazen, or sleekit and boring. Both of them are equally peddling myths and false expectations about Brexit, and both of them are going to come crashing down just as soon as their false promises hit the hard reality of the EU.

When that happens, as it inevitably will, they’ll blame the Europeans for their failure, they’ll blame the Scots, they’ll blame remainers, they’ll blame everyone but themselves and the lies about English exceptionalism upon which Brexit was founded. All that faces Scotland within the UK is more of the Tories’ diplomacy of contempt and a future as a saltire piñata that they will beat with a stick in order to extract a few more votes from the golf clubs of Surrey.

18 comments on “The saltire piñata

  1. Alba woman says:

    Went to Morecambe and Liverpool as a child….what about that Jeremy?

    The NHS in England did not fare well while you ruled its roost…no folks lives and deaths on your conscience Jeremy?

  2. James Cheyne says:

    Well this is the start of the serious position we’re about to find ourselves in, we knew it was coming and we knew it would get bad.And there is worse to come. I was reading the national this morning regarding the asset stripping of Fort Kinnaird, we all know there won,t be much left of Scotland to be independent in or of, if we do not act soon,
    And yet we wait………
    For what. Nicola sturgeon has tried hinting to us as best as she can and more than once. That legally it is not in her complete control to make Scotland free of England.
    She has been telling us that it is the people of Scotland that are sovereign not Hollyrood or the Scottish government, if we want independence we have to organise ourselves to choose a government of our choice to govern us as was in the Claim of right,, the answer is in front of our noses, it needs organisation, how do we do this, who leads, who has the skills to bring us all together, we need a platform, marches are brilliant but the mainstream media seldom cover our voices, do we have to declare our sovereign group in some particular way that would be legal, and lawful how do we communicate this to everyone that WE the sovereign people of Scotland are taking control of our sovereignty legally without violence,
    We can choose our independence, not the Scottish government, not Hollyrood, not Labour, not the Greens, not SNP, not the Torres and certainly not Westminster or England,
    We are behaving like innocent children.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The saltire piñata The usual blog article begins after this message while the annual crowdfunder is […]

  4. Davy says:

    Boris appoints Ross Thomson as his Scottish guy to consult on Scotland (stilling laughing), then “Hunt” to get his Scottish ploy on-going, he decides to withdraw all UK diplomatic assistance from the democratically appointed First Minster of Scotland.

    Normally I would say this is a “tit for tat” situation , but knowing how both these tory numptys operate, it is actually a “TIT for TIT” situation.

    They will both do worse for Scotland in the near future, as they see us as an easy short term target in their campaign battle.

    But long term the pair of bastards will regret it.

    • Millsy says:

      Hunt has floated the idea of appointing Ruth the Truth as part of his brexit negotiating team if he wins .
      Now , how can Boris top that ? the mind boggles !

  5. Jan Cowan says:

    English cousins (born there of an English mother) plan to move to Edinburgh (birthplace of their father) thanks to the unhealthy political behaviour south of the border. They wondered whether they should join English Scots for Yes or the SNP. I suggested they move here as soon as possible, join both and vote for independence.

  6. Frank Lynch says:

    Robert Maxwell was watched by one of his employees as he pissed over the side of his building onto the little people below; Trump has said he could shoot someone on the streets of New York and it wouldn’t affect his vote. Both contenders in Tory leadership farce are treating Scotland symbolically in the same manner.

  7. Macart says:

    Hunt and Johnson… This is the level of self harming stupid that Westminster politics has sunk to. Much like the rest of their ilk right enough, but I think most reasoning human beings get the gist by this point. The nature of the Westminster political class in general, and the upper reaches of the Conservative and Labour parties in particular, aren’t an attractive sight and the same goes for the average punditariat on their fav meeja. Arrogance, ignorance and condescension are pretty much ‘must have’ attributes on the old C.V. so far as they are concerned. (Also a dynamite combo for some Karmic disaster)

    Marry those historic qualities to the calibre of today’s front bench teams?

    Well… It won’t be pretty.

  8. Bob Lamont says:

    Excellent synopsis and take on the current theatrics, it has become very much a circus for Blue-Rinse adults.
    Uncomfortable with the Unionsoppløsningen analogy, Scandinavian problems were dealt with pragmatically for the benefit of their general populations, this was the Nordic way.
    Sweden recognised the problem (amongst others) Norway had and their separation was civilised and relatively straightforward, wholly remarkable at a time of regal dominance, yet royalty adhered to the traditions of Nordic culture and traditions, something GB PLC would probably abhor in retrospect as socialism long before it became an ideological issue elsewhere.
    Agreed on the theatrics of appealing to the minority “Surrey set” to win the poisoned chalice, but whichever of these elitists win there is a brick wall headed their way, and it is a lot more local than Scotland.
    There is a real fury in all quarters (not just over Brexit) of the UK and a thirst for radical change which threatens the cosy status quo these particular elites have enjoyed. It WILL get ugly and rather quickly which is why Holyrood must act…
    Your final paragraph is reminiscent of Oz’s “Whingeing Poms”, equally true of the current shower as much as the rising Mr Mirage or ToryMk2 as I prefer..
    The “Unionsoppløsningen” solution was a pragmatic Nordic solution with which most Scots could identify. Such concepts do not nor can exist in Westminster but time is NO longer on THEIR side…

  9. JoMac says:

    Let’s not forget the LibDems either, here. I see a certain Ed Davey is vying for leadership. I well remember him sneering (which he does so well) into a TV camera in 2014 and saying “If Scotland votes YES, we won’t buy any energy from them”. So there. Dah-Dah-Di-Dah-Dah.

    It’s pathetic, childish, playground stuff, and they do it so well. Other countries learned that a very long time ago. It’s time the Scots got wise.

    Be aware that Davey will be as scathing about Scotland if he wins the leadership contest as the rest of his unionist buddies down south, and his party still has a fair old following, especially in the Highlands. He will be well aware of that and no doubt use it to good effect via the MSM and his network of local acolytes.

  10. Robert Graham says:

    While i agree with every word ,
    Proud Scots won’t be allowed to get a sniff of whats really going , unless they get off their colective arses and find out ,
    The unionist media are hardly going to show this English tory shambles in a bad light , or how petty and vindictive they actually are .
    Long gone are the Love bombs and the pleas to not leave their precious bloody union , the Veil has well and truly been removed , the pretence has vanished , so it’s time for the SNP to try different tactics , this country can only be governed with our consent so remind this English regime of that .

  11. Margaret Noakes says:

    Shutter ya wee nyaff. Good stuff from the wee ginge.x

  12. Rarely do I become so incensed these days by the antics of these hunts that I physically want to hurt one of them. But I cracked when I heard the chief hunt declaring that Nicola should confine herself to official UK government policy on foreign trips and never discuss matters that lie outside her devolved responsibilities. Really? We’ll see about that. Shit just got real.

  13. Craig P says:

    Jeremy Hunt – Blood & Bru. Very nice Paul.

    • Craig P says:

      And by this logic, as Boris Johnson has ‘American blood’, when he wins does that mean we will have to be politically united to the USA?

  14. Pogmothon says:

    Taxation without representation is tyranny. James Ottis declared in 1776. This still holds true today.
    So no support from the Clarks and office minnions no taxes paid. Slap the wee bamsticks in the pocket. That’s a language the tresury and foreign office understand.

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