I had intended to post a new blog piece yesterday (Thursday) but I had a very intensive ( and painful) physiotherapy session which left me wiped out. The physio said I’m an unusual case as I have recovered good movement but sensation and proprioception (awareness of where your limbs are in space) remain very poor. So she did a lot of work aimed at reawakening my numbed side with the aim of retraining my brain so that it remembers that the left hand side of the body exists. This involves subjecting my arm hand and leg to a lot of stretching, pulling and manipilation in order to generate strong nerve impulses which I can actually feel. Because of the damage caused by the stroke this means that my brain currently interprets these signals as pain, so the session hurt a lot and left me exhausted from the sensory overload the stroke damaged parts of my brain was subjected to.
On the way out I was definitely walking better and my shoulder is not as stiff and painful as it was. No pain no gain as they say. The physio is confident that I will continue to make improvement. She also suggested that I make an application for PIP as she thinks I am eligible for it. However I will have to make an appointment with the local Citizens Advice Bureau in order to make the application as I can’t hold a pen or fill in the form myself.
By the time I got home I was totally drained and exhausted, so no blog update – I went for a lie down. I’m still feeling pretty fatigued today, but I do feel better when I manage to get something written. So here we go.
Labour MP Dawn Butler has been suspended from the House of Commons for stating the obvious. After detailing several examples of Boris Johnson’s barefaced lies and citing a short video by the campaigner Peter Stefanovic which highlights – or rather lowlights – many more examples of the Prime Minister’s deceit, falsehoods, misleading statements and outright lies. You can see the video here
There’s even a website listing Johnson’s many lies, although only up to December 2019. https://boris-johnson-lies.com/ After that month’s election the site owner gave up, overwhelmed by the Conservative tsunami of falsehoods and “alternative facts”. There have been so many more since that at this point it would be easier to enumerate the truths – I’m sure there must be some – and assume that everything else uttered by a senior Conservative was a bare faced lie. Certainly Michael Gove lies as frequently and even more glibly than his boss.
So it’s not like pointing out that Boris Johnson is a liar is a controversial or contentious thing to say. The evidence that Boris Johnson is a liar is abundant and of long standing. It’s a matter of record that Johnson was sacked from the Telegraph for lying. It’s also a matter of record that he was sacked from David Cameron’s government for lying about an affair. His lies are well documented, numerous, well known, and habitual. Johnson’s old boss at the Telegraph newspaper Max Hastings, once described his former employee in damning terms saying, “There is room for debate about whether he is a scoundrel or mere rogue, but not much about his moral bankruptcy, rooted in a contempt for truth,” adding, “he cares for no interest save his own fame and gratification.”
Johnson has had several affairs, which means that he has no compunction about lying to his nearest and dearest just as he is prepared to lie to his boss and his colleagues. We even know that he was quite happy to tell a barefaced lie to the Queen in order to secure the prorogation of Parliament in an attempt to avoid scrutiny of his Brexit deal. If he’s going to lie to those people you can guarantee that he won’t have any problems lying to those he considers his social inferiors – which for an Eton boy is pretty much the entire population.
Yet when Dawn Butler called out the Prime Minister for their lies, their corruption, cronyism, their sleaze and their enabling of racists, suddenly it was her who was the bad guy. She was ordered by the deputy speaker to withdraw her remarks, and when she refused, pointing out quite correctly that it’s vital to hold liars to account otherwise they’ll just keep lying, she was instructed to leave the chamber. When you have a parliament in which it is a greater sin by far to call out a liar than it is to actually lie, you have a parliament which is unfit for purpose.
And that is precisely what we have in the UK, a Parliament that is unfit for purpose, incapable of performing the task of holding the executive branch of the government to account. In his excoriating account of Johnson’s character, published in The Guardian early in 2019 as Johnson was poised to secure the leadership of the Conservative party and become Prime Minister( link here) Hastings warned that Johnson’s “premiership will almost certainly reveal a contempt for rules, precedent, order and stability.”
That has proven to be the case, the problems compounded by the challenges of a pandemic which would have tested the capacities of even the most competent leadership to the limit. Johnson and his cronies instead used the pandemic as an opportunity to enrich their friends as they hummed and hawed, delayed, stalled and back tracked on public health, mixing vital messages that could have saved thousands of lives as often as Johnson mixes his metaphors. We have a British Government which lies without compunction, which tears up international agreements the moment they no longer suit, which is prepared to break international law and which treats the public and the devolved nations with arrogant contempt.
A Parliament hidebound by arcane rules and archaic conventions is utterly incapable of holding these charlatans, shysters and moral bankrupts to account. Dawn Butler’s expulsion proves that, as if we didn’t already know. The British Parliament is performative not practical. It exists primarily to give a veneer of democratic responsibility to a government which suffers no effective checks on its absolute power.
And that is why devolution is now in great danger. Brexit removed the last significant constraints upon the British government. The devolved governments represent the last bastion of power within the UK which is beyond the control of Downing Street. Just this week alone we have seen two assaults on the devolution settlement, the so-called UK Shared Prosperity Fund, the replacement for the EU social and structural funding which were disbursed to the devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Unlike the EU funding, which was controlled by the devolved governments, the new fund will be entirely controlled by Westminster, even though it is to be spent on devolved competencies. It represents another power grab by Downing Street at the expense of the devolution settlement. Remember that Vow that the Tories signed up to in 2014 in an effort to persuade Scotland to reject independence, the Vow that promised no changes to devolution without Holyrood’s consent? You won’t be surprised to learn that was a lie too.
Holyrood can’t protect Scotland from this British Government of liars, cheats, charlatans and racists. Scotland’s Westminster MPs can’t protect Scotland either. Dawn Foster made a noble stand against Johnson’s lies and deceits, a stand that was also made by the SNP’s Westminster leader just a couple of weeks ago. But to no effect. Westminster is not an institution which can cope with creatures as morally and ethically bankrupt as Johnson, Gove, and the rest of this shameless bunch of liars.
There are still those in Scotland who harbour fond hopes that the British system of government can be reformed, that power can be distributed away from the office of the Prime Minister and decentralised. It can’t. Despite the lies and the sleaze, despite the criminal incompetence, too many in the UK are still in thrall to the myth of British exceptionalism, even though these recent months have revealed that it’s a myth with lethal consequences.
Escaping this deceitful and ethically bankrupt Britain is not just essential in order to preserve Scottish self-government, it’s a moral imperative. When it’s considered a worse sin to call out a liar for his lies than it is to lie, it’s time to get out.
NEW MODERATION POLICY
In the wake of recent events I am determined that this site will not become a home for bigots and conspiracy theorists. They will not be welcome here. Moderation is the most stressful part of running a blog, but this site is going to continue to make the positive case for independence. With this in mind as of today a new moderation policy is in force.
Anyone who attempts to use this site to post hatred, bigotry, or conspiracy theories will be banned. If you attempt to insult and abuse anyone you will be banned. This site has a zero-toleration policy for homophobia, transphobia, racism, and misogyny. Failure to respect this will result in a ban.
If you intend to spend the next four years undermining the SNP, the Scottish Government and the pro-independence parties that the great majority of independence supporters voted for, you can do so somewhere else, because you’re not going to do it here. The reminder that has regularly appeared on this site is not a serving suggestion. It will be rigorously enforced. If you don’t like this rule – there is a small x at the top right of your screen. Click it, close this page and go elsewhere.
This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.
Scotland will have another independence referendum at some point in the next couple of years. Until then, this blog will continue to publish articles which – I hope – are amusing, entertaining, and which help to educate Scotland on the need for independence. However in order to do so I need to eat and pay my bills. Due to my reduced productivity and the limitations imposed on me by my health, this year I am asking for half the amount I’ve requested in previous fundraisers. I hope to raise £5000 which will go towards supporting myself for the next year.
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