The pied piper of shamblin’

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The attack on Boris Johnson’s character by his former boss Max Hastings which was published in the Guardian earlier this week has obviously hit a nerve amongst the Borisketeers. Max Hastings was the editor of the Telegraph when Boris Johnson wrote all those lies about bendy bananas. There is clearly little love lost between them. No one knows how the bananas feel about it, possibly because they don’t exist. Rather like Boris Johnson’s plan for exiting the EU. Hastings said of his former employee, “Johnson would not recognise truth, whether about his private or political life, if confronted by it in an identity parade.” Then for good measure he added that the only people who like Boris Johnson are those who do not know him. Ooooh burn.

In response, the Spectator Magazine, which Boris Johnson used to edit, has published a defence of Boris Johnson penned by Conrad Black. Yes, that Conrad Black, the former owner of the Telegraph and convicted fraudster. Because the best person to give a character reference for Boris Johnson is a former convict and convicted fraudster, who was pardoned by Donald Trump after Conrad wrote a book in praise of the president. The Spectator was once a respected publication. The voice of the intellectual Conservative, or for what passed as such. It’s rapidly turning itself into Hello magazine for Boris Johnson fans.

The truly amazing thing here is that Fraser Nelson, the sufferer from irritable vowel syndrome who is the current editor of the Spectator, thought that a character reference from Conrad Black was going to help. Or more likely, it was because he thought it would help Boris Johnson’s chances to attack those who criticise the leading contender for the Conservative leadership. It sends a useful signal. Attack the darling of the Tory right and you will not be safe, no matter who you are.

Boris Johnson’s public image is of the bumbling fool, the friendly buffoon, the cuddly teddy bear who tells funny stories. But it’s well known amongst those who know him that he has a vicious and foul temper. That’s why Max Hastings said that the only people who like Boris Johnson are those who don’t know him. In part his support amongst Conservative MPs was built upon threats about what would happen to them if they didn’t back him.

Maybe the only reason that they got Conrad to give a character reference was because Darth Vader was too busy. Next week in the Spectator, Kenneth Noye writes an impassioned plea for better customer service in banks, and berates road users for their lack of courtesy. Meanwhile Harold Shipman’s thoughts on how the NHS can improve care for elderly patients is being prepared for publication.

Conrad Black’s article in the Spectator is a pretty weak defence of Boris Johnson. It’s more of an attack on Max Hastings. It’s amusing to witness the British establishment knock lumps out of one another. It would be even more amusing if it wasn’t for the sad truth that the entire UK is perched on the edge of disaster while the patricians play pretend politics.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, attacks on Boris Johnson’s character, as entertaining as they are, are unlikely to prevent him from winning the support of the Conservative party membership. The reason that they like him is because of his character flaws. They’re not a bug, they’re a feature. They like the fact that he’s an unreconstructed posho with a sense of entitlement. They like the fact that he has the tact and diplomacy of an enraged elephant in a glassware shop. They like the mock bumbling shambolic nature of his presentation, because deep down the Conservatives dislike and distrust intellectuals. Because intellectuals think for themselves. They are less likely to bend the knee to the authority of the established order. Recently a Conservative canvasser admitted that if they looked through the window of a house they were considering canvassing, and saw books on the shelves, they knew the householder would not be a Tory.

Words are powerful things. They can protect and defend against charlatans and liars, but they can also cast spells that bewitch and betray. Boris Johnson’s greatest sin is is his sin against language. He uses words not to illuminate, but to distort and deflect. He didn’t tell us about his bus making hobby in order to inform us, but so that whenever someone Googles Boris and buses they’ll be confronted with articles about his confection of models from cardboard and not pieces about the lie about £350 million for the NHS that he had painted on the side of the leave campaign’s tour bus. As if by magic, the bus that’s a danger to his ambition vanishes.

Words are living things, they are creations of the soul of humanity. The druids, the priesthood of the ancient pagan Celts, believed that words were sacred. The Gaelic word for soul, anam, is descended from an ancient Celtic word that originally meant breath. So our pagan distant ancestors believed that it was sinful to write words down, because by writing a word down you deprived it of the breath that gave birth to it, and in doing so you risked destroying its soul. A word that was written without respect for truth was a murdered word, and murdered words contain the potential to become a lie that lasts forever, a dark magic incantation that builds a world of untruths.

Boris Johnson is a killer of words. He uses murdered words to pen articles which create a false universe constructed of lies and deceit. He casts his spell over the Tory party like the Pied Piper who is playing the fool, because he tells them the stories that they want to hear and they lose themselves in a dreamscape made of comforting lies and self-congratulatory laughter. They think that Boris Johnson is letting them in on the joke, when in fact they are the joke. He’s the Pied Piper of shamblin’ who is leading them to their destruction and he’s taking the union between Scotland and England with him. We won’t mourn for any of them.

27 comments on “The pied piper of shamblin’

  1. John Boyd says:

    “…Frazer Nelson, the sufferer from irritable vowel syndrome”

    I am sitting in Red Morningside laughing out loud.


  2. Thank you for explaining the bizarre story about making buses from crates. When I heard it I could not fathom what on earth was going on. It makes much less sense that he does it as a kind of recreation than that it was a deliberate ploy to divert Google from the lie on the side of the bus. Of course it is not what he does for fun, he doesn’t do it at all. He only said he does it to bury the bad publicity.

  3. […] Wee Ginger Dug The pied piper of shamblin’ The usual blog article begins after this message while the annual crowdfunder is […]

  4. Bob Lamont says:

    Now THAT is a CLASS piece of prose, very well done indeed.
    I’d already heard the National’s synopsis and particularly Laura Webster’s theory on how the bus thing was intentionally manipulated to negate his history over the 350M bus shpiel, but with more than a degree of scepticism checked it and found it true. Carried out the same search twice, one excluding what had preceded Johnson’s strange alleged obsession and completely dumbfounded by the results. How could an entire history be erased by a trusted search engine ?
    I flicked between the two versions on Google completely mesmerised by the contrast, alternate histories but only in the digital world of the internet.
    Please do try Google over selected Timescales, and see for yourself, I found it disturbing but…..

    • Elizabeth Cameron says:

      I searched ‘boris johnson bus’ on and the bus hobby was first, but there were also photos and links to the NHS bus as well.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        Hello? Have you considered why you might verify this precise enquiry by different methodology?
        The valid point (I thought) made by Laura Webster, was that for the majority public who might use the most popular search engine on the planet (Google), what she found is valid, as I discovered when repeating her found on repeating her enquiry/experiment.
        The greater question should be the who, why, and with what expectation is digital history being altered in less than 24 hours, and what – we can do to prevent it’s manipulation? nno ?
        I have no vested interest, but found it extremely curious and quite sinister thb…

  5. katherine hamilton says:

    The link of painted buses to Google headlines is scary. Boy is Johnson under someone’s control.

  6. grizebard says:

    A characteristically excellent (and funny) analysis of the putative frontrunner of what appears more and more to be a slow-mo rightwing soft coup.

    I wasn’t previously aware of the strange matter of the “bus obsession”, so due thanks to you (and Laura Marling) for a very plausible explanation.

    However, mark the recent warning of Lesley Riddoch: let’s not put all our eggs in the “Boris basket” and thereby lose track of Jeremy +unt. He may be somewhat more personable than Johnson, but he is scarcely less competent, is clearly antagonistic to the common weal (eg. the English NHS) and will be beholden to the very same bunch of rabid gammons.

    So let’s not be fooled into thinking that an unexpected win by +unt will somehow be a relief compared to the Tousled One. Both are uber-privileged, and both are highly dangerous to Scotland.

    • Tol says:

      Never fall for the mis-direction. The “British” state is better at it than any magic show. Boris is just the latest master of throwing dead cats” and YES is jumping at every one of them.

      After 3 yrs of this shite, YES appears to be totally incapable of breaking this habit of being sucked into Westminster’s gravitational pull. Its like they are addicted to and titillated by the schadenfreude. This is exactly what Westminster is after – it ensures Westminster is the centre and stops you focusing on the real issues.

      Sadly, if Scotland suffers the dystopian Brexit future I fear so much – YES will only have itself to blame for waisting these 3 years. Its ill-discipline and playing politics like children have left it massively unprepared.

  7. UndeadShuan says:

    “He didn’t tell us about his bus making hobby in order to inform us, but so that whenever someone Googles Boris and buses they’ll be confronted with articles about his confection of models from cardboard”

    That just shows how stupid boris is, if you search google images you still get the image of that bus or google boris bus 350m and you get the image of him in front of the bus and articles on that.

    He should have said I made 350 million bus models or I’ll sell the bus for £350 million.

    Whit a humpty.

  8. I want to know what substance Martin Kettle is sniffing when he wrote in the Grauniad that Jeremy Hunt is aware of the need to keep Scotland in the Union, and garnering our support for his form of Brexit, by hinting that he would co-opt Davidson on to his negotiating team.

    This piece of insane nonsense illustrates perfectly that Kettle and the Hacks Down There do not have a clue, nor could they be bothered to check, about the toxic brand that is Ruth the Mooth, Up Here.
    He is suggesting that we would all cheer if Davidson, serial election loser in Scotland was forced upon us by English Imperial diktat to represent our interests in Europe?
    What fucking arrogant nonsense; the threatening arrogant language of a Conqueror to a conquered nation.
    And the reality is that Davidson would readily join a team of Blue English Tories and strut her stuff in the glare of English hacks, and their grubby wee colonial cousins Up Here, without a thought to the fact that she is democratically a serial Loser in Scotland and has no mandate to speak for us, other than in her own Imperial Brit Nat head.
    Kettle also postulates that Corbyn would support a Yes Campaign if power sharing with the SNP and actively campaign for the Yes movement.
    Has the Kettle boiled dry?
    Have the Hacks and broadcasters completely lost it?
    Please, appoint Davidson to your team, Hunt, or Johnson.
    It will speed up the demise of your precious Union if this little self promoter is suddenly ‘speaking for Scotland’.
    Meanwhile, there is No Other Deal to be had…but Kettle doesn’t want to talk about that..

    • Just watched Kirsty Wark on Newsnight.

      7 minutes of NS, and 23 minutes of Better Together. The Shape of Things to come.

      NS interviewed at the start of the show.

      Check out Wark’s hostile technique, mouthing the same tired old Project Fear nonsense.

      Trade 4 times with r UK than the EU blah blah blah..

      Her contorted facial expressions throughout the interview do not require a Body Language expert to interpret for the plebs.

      She clearly does not like NS and, as was confirmed in the following 23 minutes of Newsnight Brit Nattery, she despises the thought of the country of her birth, into the privileged Middle Class Britdom into which she was born, which dominates the MSM Up Here admittedly, she detests the concept that Scotland will soon be an independent nation in Europe.

      Unbelievable. Davidson got 7 minutes as the ‘headline act’ at the end of this Brit Nat stitch up, and in contrast with scowling Kirsty during her Project Fear growl at NS, Wark’s facial expressions and love in with Ruth are there for us all to see.

      In between times we had Lord Jack McConnell, the Socialist, Stephen Kerr yer fat ruddy faced Blue Tory marginal, a feature from the Blue Tory Offices in Stirling, Andy McIvor ex Blue Tory, and a feature on Universities in Scotland, in St Andrew’s, where ‘only a third of students are Scottish’.

      Kirsty summarised this blatant propaganda nonsense with two sold their souls MSM/BBC voices.
      Darren McGarvey singing the praises of the failed BBC Jockland channel, and, good Socialist that he purports to be, doesn’t mind part privatising our NHS by paying for prescriptions because he can afford to, and Catriona Stewart of the Herald Britlland…

      An utter disgrace of a half our of Brit Nat Goebbels level propaganda from Kirsty the Brit and BBC Back In Your Box.

      It made the Jeremy Vine trash seem balanced and reasonable.

      Kirsty Wark clearly reminds us of the grip that the Scottish Branch of the English Iron Heel Oligarchy still has in Scotland.
      It will get worse.
      Be ashamed, ye Daughter of Scotland.

      • Anne Martin says:

        I loved it when Kirsty asked Nicola which of the two front runners would be the best PM for Scotland and Nicola replied that it was like asking her if she would rather be run over by a lorry or a bus! 😂😂

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Had read the piece earlier equally bemused Jack, the approach is completely absurd unless you are of the narrowly English persuasion. eg – The “centuries-long uneasy relationship between Britain and Ireland, and the increasingly confrontational modern one between Britain and Scotland” sets the scene.
      Substitute England for Britain, and add Scotland and Wales to Ireland, only then does it make sense to anybody who isn’t narrowly English or been living under a rock for several decades.
      The “anti-English revolt” ascribed to SNP reinforces that bizarre English desire to perceive a single party of radicals pursuing racial rejection, rather than face the reality they are seeking modern and equitable governance that Westminster has failed to provide throughout history.
      His casual swapping of Britain and England typifies the divide yet he seems oblivious to it. Even his rosy perception of this decidedly unequal Union is as blinkered as his grasp that the media darling’s Davidson is bereft of any standing in Scotland.
      And the sad reality is that this will be regarded as thoughtful and incisive in the Home Counties.

      • But his impression is reinforced by the way Wark set up her laughable 20th anniversary of the Scottish Parliament.
        Davidson get s to billing, a lot of smiley coo-ing and -aah-ing from Wark, doesn’t answer one question put to her, but even she avoids boasting that she has Johnson’s ear.
        Wark gave her the easiest of rides, while avoiding the obvious Brexit Elephants, Davidson’s Party came fourth Up Here in the EU elections, yet, she still gets star billing form her old BBC mate.
        It is as though they are deliberately attempting to incite civil unrest.
        It is little wonder English based journos, who have not the slightest intention about acquiring low level knowledge of politics in Jockland, are guided by trash like last night’s Wark Farce.
        I pray that Hunt wins, and appoints Davidson undemocratically to his Phantom EU Negotiating Team.
        Her pivotal role in crashing out of the EU without a Deal, can be added to the growing list of spectacular political failures over which this dubious little woman has presided.

        She just refuses to answer any question, and the Warks of this world, let her away with it.

        A Hunt Davidson ticket will be the final nail in their precious Union’s coffin.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        A mate had posted about the Wark set-piece this morning, and was equally indignant at the pitch of the piece, described as a Union propaganda stunt with blatant promotion of the Mooth.
        The Tories are under no illusions their Party is self-destructing, and the next GE will see them reduced to a rump for decades to come.
        Davidson may have a safer seat under Holyrood’s electoral system, but relies on the Westminster set for implied power. No amount of media spin, string pulling or favours alter the fact her implied authority is slipping away. What then? Pundit ? Probably, until BBCS is given a long overdue enema.
        All that’s left now is the next Tory nominated Twit, and the Indy2 starting gun, it’s all going to get rather messy…

        • My failing when I post, Bob, is that of assumed knowledge of those reading my rants.
          Wark interviews McConnell at length, and the pre arranged script is that everything was wonderful for the first ten years of the devolved Parliament, and then it all went a bit awry when the Nats took over.
          No mention of the billion quid this obsequious wee man handed back to the Clunking Fist because he could find nothing upon which to spend it in Scotland.

          You may recall the hastily buried scandal of McConnell being treated to wee holidays in Wark’s Majorca Villa?
          It is an insidious incestuous wee clique of Brit Nat Better Together Elite, most of whom are from the same Grammar School/Fee Paying School Uni educated and groomed and even ‘religious’ background.
          After twelve years on the HoL Gravy Train, and all the perks and nice little earners that this insult to democracy is, McConnell wants to scrap it, and, some mumbling about a second tier and federalism.
          What a pointless burden on out taxes this man is.
          We are insulted by this frightening imperial nonsense at every turn.
          The Scottish Branch of the Brit Iron Heel Oligarchy.
          Rise up, Scotland.
          Get off your knees and fight back.
          There is no time left now.
          We must act within weeks, not years.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          No problem Jack, your wordier version is largely what had been explained, a pro-Union anti-SNP set piece featuring “their own” at the taxpayer and licence holder’s expense.
          I recall well McConnell’s refund of 1.6bn, while Labour’s GCC fought against equal pay.
          Little wonder the once Labour stronghold has become reduced to the Leonard shit-show and a Westminster minibus.

          • ArtyHetty says:

            Yes indeed, I keep repeating myself but I recall like it was yesterday, listening to BBC radio, ( when I had a radio set) announcing with glee that Jack McConnell had sent BACK £1.5 BILLION to Westminster. I was washing the dishes, utterly broke, struggling to high heaven with two sons with autism, every day being told by the school and LABOUR council, (via Labour in charge at Holyrood) that there was ‘no money’ for learning support. Eh?

            From that day, I vowed never to vote Labour, ever ever again and never have done.

            Didn’t Labour say there was ‘nothing to spend it on in Scotland’. That in itself, is surely, surely, enough to make every single person in Scotland, absolutely have a very good idea of just how Scotland has been shafted for decades, in fact, for centuries.

            Britgov have stolen massively from Scotland, sent crumbs back, with contempt, and even removed money from Scotland’s communities, both rural and urban.

            Utterly utterly despicable.

            Wake up those who have not already done so, if you live in beautiful Scotland, because your country has a choice, to allow further decades of colonial rule, or to take matters, in fact powers, yep, POWERS, like any normal independent country, into your own hands, to join a family of nations at the EU table, and beyond, or, get on your knees, begging for scraps, tethered, at the mercy of your masters in London, and the so called UK.

            I know which I choose.

            • What a breathtaking post, Arty.
              We kick them out at a series of elections, but they still get nice wee earners from the BBC as ‘pundits’, or ‘film critics’.
              Tom Harris is a regular on the Beeb, doubtless getting paid big money out of my licence fee to be an expert on everything from movies, to autism.
              Kezia Dugdale is now coining it in, in a Think Tank on Big Bucks.
              I’m paying Dugadale’s wages apparently, a person on whom I wouldn’t piss if she were on fire.
              The cosy wee ‘village’ its privilege, and Brit Nat Gravy Train.
              Why the feck, no sorry, fuck , do we allow this corrupt Jobs for the Unionist Boys and Girls to continue ?
              Where is the money coming from to pay for Baroness Smith’s Stink Tank?

              Come the Revolution, and it is becoming clearer by the day that we shall need to ‘revolt’ , we must drive these Fifth Columnist out of Scotland by scrapping their ‘Think Tanks’, Quangos,and BBC licence fees.
              Rage against he moon, Arty.

        • ArtyHetty says:

          I reckon the Tories will come up Trumps, thy have little to fear, and everything to gain by infighting for media attention, ( I mean, distraction) & every dodgy regime clamouring to grab the booty that the Tories & their complicit pals in the other Britnat parties, are offering on a silver platter, pre Brexit.

          That includes Scotland, lock, stock and barrel. No pun intended, well, sort of.

    • grizebard says:

      Of the spectrum of opinions in the Grauniad in 2014, Kettle was by far the most rabidly pro-Union and anti-indy Labourite, so his current attitude to all matters Scottish is no surprise. In that he is very much in tune with the Gordosaur. They both bemoan the Tory willy-waggling contest for next PM and its threat to their precious Union, yet remain stubbornly blind to the root cause of the problem: the comprehensive failure of Unionists of all persuasions to fulfil any of the promises they cynically made to Scotland in order to persuade us to stay, and thus entrapped us into a developing nightmare of English Establishment exceptionalism.

  9. mikeinkwazi says:

    Reblogged this on mikeinkwazi and commented:
    A murderer of words

  10. Billy T says:

    Really we all should look at early 2000s through to now, the shit pile that is Brexit and the characters involved with ‘Atlantic Bridge’ for guidance. All is not what it seems!

Comments are closed.