Tories appeal to the past because they have nothing to offer the future

Over the past few days the news has been dominated by Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle in which one Conservative careerist fractionwit has been replaced by another careerist fractionwit, all of which has provided a very convenient distraction from the decision of this government of none of the talents to press ahead with clawing back the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit from the poorest families in the UK. This is a move which has been universally condemned by anti-poverty groups and which has been described as the biggest benefits cut in modern history. The loss of a significant chunk of their income risks pushing hundreds of thousands of struggling families over the edge. Contrary to the stereotypes so beloved of the right wing media and the poverty porn of Channel 5, these are not all feckless wastrels who refuse to work and squander all their benefits on fags, hash, and cheap booze. Almost 40% of households which claim universal credit are headed by working people struggling in low paid jobs.

Naturally that hasn’t prevented Scotland’s six Conservative MPs from refusing to speak out against the move. Not one of them saw fit to speak up in defence of the poorest and most vulnerable families in their constituencies. Scotland’s sole Labour MP spoke out against the cut. The cut was also opposed by Scotland’s Lib Dem MPs as well as all the SNP contingent and the two Alba MPs. Only the Conservatives have no problem with punishing the poor in order to avoid raising taxes on the rich. It would be nice to say this was surprising, but we all know it isn’t.

The Tories were far more occupied with their boss’s reshuffle. On Friday it was announced that Scottish Tory MP David Duguid had been sacked from his position as a junior minister in the Scotland office. This won’t make any meaningful difference as it’s not like anyone had ever noticed that David Duguid had been a junior minister in the first place.

Yesterday there was much scoffing at the news that the post of Culture Secretary had been given to Nadine Dorries, an MP whose claim to be in touch with the cultural Zeitgeist rests mainly upon the fact that she once ate an ostrich anus on I’m a Celebrity Get me Out of Here, in an episode which was most notable for proving that the definition of “celebrity” could be stretched considerably further than an ostrich’s anus. Naturally she didn’t bother to inform the House of Commons authorities or the Tory whip that she was buggering off from the job she was elected to do in order to appear on a reality show for a lucrative fee.

Nadine Dorries bears approximately the same relation to culture as a yeast infection. She once claimed that “lefties” had ruined comedy, because apparently the racist, sexist and homophobic jokes of Jim Davidson and Bernard Manning represent one of the high points of British culture. She once wrote a novel which the Telegraph reviewer described as the worst he’d read in ten years. She has approvingly retweeted the right wing extremist Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, AKA “Tommy Robinson”. An opponent of gay marriage, in 2012 she claimed that she’d never met a gay couple who wanted to get married. It is thought by many that the only reason Nadine Dorries was promoted was because Priti Patel thought that it was only fair that someone else got a shot at being the most loathsome cabinet minister.

Less than twenty four hours in office and the Tory press was crowing that Dorries was planning a war on “crackpot” BBC programming. So we can expect a revival of the Black and White Minstrel Show and wall to wall Great British reality competitions in which contestants vie to prove who is the most patriotic based on how many ostrich anuses they can eat from a Royal wedding commemorative plate.

As if this government hasn’t already done enough to demonstrate that satire isn’t only dead but has been split into its constituent particles and shot into a black hole where it has effectively disappeared from this universe forever, on Thursday evening the Johnson administration published a list of those hitherto elusive Brexit benefits. Starring on the list is a return to imperial measurements. British state schools have exclusively taught the metric system since 1974 and in some cases even earlier so very few people under the age of 60 prefer imperial over metric. You have to be well over fifty to remember the time that the UK used imperial measures. And that is exactly the point. Still, don’t worry too much about the conversion between metric and imperial. An empty supermarket fruit and veg shelf is exactly the same whether you weigh it in metric or imperial.

The system of imperial measurements is hopelessly illogical. You might as well bring back Roman numerals. Still, now you can measure your car’s fuel consumption in firkins per furlong.

Many wouldn’t put it past Nadine Dorries to want to bring back the Roman Games too. Maybe throwing gay people to ravenous lions is one of the ideas she’s got for Great British programming on the BBC. It’s certainly what she’d want to do with any news or current affairs reporter who dares to criticise the Conservative government. The BBC will be well aware of that and the fact that the licence fee the BBC depends on now relies on the goodwill of Nadine Dorries, expect even more self-censorship and Great British propaganda from the BBC than we have seen already.

The only reason this is being done is to pander to the racist elderly English nationalist gammons who voted for Brexit and who are now the core demographic being courted by the Tory party. It’s not even necessary. There are no EU regulations preventing goods being labelled in imperial measurements, just as long as the equivalent in metric is also listed on the packaging. It’s the substitution of meaningless symbolism for the very real advantages of EU membership that Brexit has stripped from us all. Now that the Tories have taken us back to the 1970s perhaps Lord Lucan will be offered a government position in the next reshuffle.

Those who make policy in the present by appealing to the past only do so because they have nothing to offer the future. Blue passports, imperial measurements, empty supermarket shelves, Carry On movies on your Great British telly, and no freedom of movement, the Tories have taken us back to the 60s. So-called Global Britain is a sad, pathetic and insecure place harking nostalgically for a lost golden age that never was. There is no future in the UK, the Tories have demonstrated that themselves.

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113 comments on “Tories appeal to the past because they have nothing to offer the future

  1. Malcolm H says:

    ‘Many wouldn’t put it past Nadine Dorries to want to bring back the Roman Games too.’

    I think the Hunger Games is more likely.

  2. Capella says:

    Back to the 50s I would say. The 60s were full of hope and good music. Hope from Harold Wilson’s “white hot technological revolution” with full employment to a soundtrack of the Beatles, the Stones and a host of Motown artistes.

    The 50s however, were dull, grey and dominated by post war rationing and the hard work of reconstruction and building the NHS and education systems we used to be proud of.
    There’s nothing left in Britain to be proud of. Margaret Thatcher privatised the public sector icons called British This and British That. All gone to City wide boys and foreign hedge funds.

    There’s nothing “British” left, apart from the thieving, lying “British” Government.

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Totally agree Capella. My dad who was a kid during the war, terrible times, said the 50’s were incredibly dull and full of patriotic cringe, with terrible music etc. The music of the 60’s was a huge welcome change for the better.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    I think I’ve still got a black and white Telly somewhere so I’ll look forward to watching *Love they neighbour* *George and Mildred* *On the buses* and all those great *Bringlish* iconic programmes that were never funny in the first place because they were End of the pier Blackpool Jellied eel Winkles and Cockles and Mussels English humour shoved down the throats of Scotland because we weren’t *allowed* to have anything of our own

    I’ll just need to look out one of those 15 amp plug things with the circular fittings and a Triang train set transformer to run the thing once I’ve put my three flying ducks back up on the wall beside my picture of thon Green oriental woman, or was she blue?

    A wummin goes intae a greengrocers and says “Can I have three pounds of potatoes please” and the greengrocer says “Oh it’s aw kilos noo missus” the woman says “OK I’ll take three pounds of kilos then” Boom boom!

    These were the jokes folks and part of how I earned my living, ah what the younger generation have missed, the lucky wee sods

  4. Welsh_Sion says:

    I’m surprised this story wasn’t referenced:

    UK Government plan to insist broadcasters including S4C and BBC Wales make ‘clearly British’ shows

    16 Sep 2021 2 minute Read

    The UK Government is planning to make it a legal requirement that public service broadcasters – which include S4C and BBC Wales – are legally required to produce “distinctly British” programmes.

    Media minister John Whittingdale told a Royal Television Society conference that he was planning to “talk to Ofcom about how to make the obligation of Britishness work”.

    Broadcast in the UK is state-regulated by Ofcom, which has the legal powers to fine a channel or withdraw its license to broadcast if it breaks Ofcom’s government-approved broadcasting code.

    “So in our upcoming White Paper, I intend to include proposals that will expand the remit of public service broadcasters, so that it includes a requirement for them to produce ‘distinctively British’ content,” John Whittingdale said in comments reported by i.


    • Capella says:

      But what can this possibly mean? What is “distinctively British content” other than any content produced in “Britain”?

    • Christopher Rosindale says:

      Soon after, Whittingdale was sacked from his job in the reshuffle….

    • grizebard says:

      Whether simply a distraction, or more insidious pressure being brought to bear by an increasingly-authoritarian regime, or deadly serious, it’s just another sign – if any were needed – that desperation is setting in with the English Government. But if UK broadcasters are made legally required, China-style, to propagate pro-British propaganda in the face of a clear 50% in Scotland against, then it’s also an official death sentence for the whole concept of public service broadcasting. (Which currently is already a dead man walking.)

      The upside of that, though, besides ever-increasing popular recognition in the meantime of what’s being perpetrated upon them with their own money, is that come the next referendum, every single broadcaster falling under that stricture will have to register as BritNat partisan, and thus all broadcasting content during purdah will have to be equally matched, right down to every utterance of the likes of Glenn Campbell, or alternatively all public affairs broadcasting put in the hands of a acceptably neutral non-UK third party for the duration.

  5. Dave tewart says:

    Have I missed the fact that EBBC in Scotland didn’t need to be mentioned as they arealready totally compliant.
    Match of the Day is englandland football.

  6. Capella says:

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, bless Phantom Power, they are a real asset.

      (Though I thought that Tilda Swinson was always pro-indy. And presumably because of it, the tabloids are now trying to conjure up a “situation” between her and Kelly Macdonald, who ought to know how these media parasites operate. An independent Scotland will have sufficient room for everyone, whatever their accent.)

  7. Dave R says:

    i thought the return to imperial measurements was a spoof.

    The deranged half-wit currently screwing up negotiations is apparently serious – straight from the Baldric book of really stupid ideas so stupid that even at his most cunning Baldric hadn’t thought of them.

    Straight from that into producing state propaganda on our tellies.

    I’m glad I’m getting old.

  8. Alex Clark says:

    The removal of the £20/week uplift to Universal Credit will hit many families hard. As you point out many recipients of UC are in employment and right now are facing huge rises in fuel costs as well as electricity and gas prices. Slowly but surely the costs of food are also going up and these people face the double whammy of a drop in income and rising costs of the essentials.

    At the same time, I read today that government ministers have admitted that £2.8 billion worth of PPE bought during the pandemic is worthless and will never be used because they are not fit for purpose and don’t meet the necessary standards. This is another disgrace.

    Where is the scrutiny of those running the government going to come from? It certainly isn’t from their mouthpiece the BBC or their friendly journalists in what passes for a newspaper these days.

    Truly Disgusted.

  9. Hamish100 says:

    I think the Scottish education system will insist on continuing using kg etc. Oldies like us dying off will be replaced by the metric knowledgeable youngsters.
    Just to annoy the Anglo brexiters is to put our roads signs in Km. Tories will worry they are in Gaelic as well !!!’ Lol Their mind numbing arrogance and ignorance will isolate further thinking persons from the nihilism of unionism Brexit prejudice.

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, that should be one of the first things we should do post-indy, go full metric like Canada (or indeed most anywhere else in the world). No more half-arsed monkeying around, just get it done properly.

      (And maybe even think longer-term about switching to the other side of the road, as Sweden did back in ’68, I seem to recall. Now that really would piss-off the fossils down south.)

      • Tam the Bam says:

        Grize…I’d rather you desist from using the phrase ‘get it done.’
        It has connotations and well you know it!
        I agree with the gist of your post however….just because I’ll always go into a pub and ask for a ‘pint’ wont disturb the metrication status quo.

  10. Capella says:

    Oops – France recalls its diplomats from Australia and the USA.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      I think it’s the stupidest thing done for manys a year, and I do know my SSBN from my SSN. The US and UK have been tightening ties with Australia for years, particularly the last few, and involving NATO in increasing co-operation.

      But France is part of NATO, having departed once in the 60s and reluctantly come back, most NATO members are members of the EU, the EU was sidelined, it’s hacked off, and I can’t see that not having an effect on NATO.

      The UK has only one reason to do it; to try to justify Brexit. But though the US works together with the UK on its carrier strike groups including supply ships, so does France, and other European members of the EU – like Denmark, Holland and Germany.

      From Australia’s point of view, SSNs are greatly preferable to AIPs, but by sidelining France so casually, they may have sidelined the whole of the EU and, ultimately, even the UK.

      So the way I read it, the only winners are Russia, North Korea – and, ultimately, China.

      We live in a world of utter political stupidity.

      • Liz Truss will sort it all out. Look what a great trade deal she got with the ‘Roos.
        The £2.8 billion of PPE bought by adulterer and French Covid kissing Hancock from his carpetbagger pals may be used as landfill in Beaufort’s Dyke to cushion any blasts from the munitions dumped there by England, as they build their Bridge Too Far from those two massive regions of population and industrial might, Portpatrick and Bangor.

        Some may recall my post mooting a return to L.s.d. and stones pounds and ounces.
        It was meant to be tongue in cheek; perhaps GCHQ, who clearly monitor Paul’s wonderful articles, passed my spoof on to ‘Number 10’?

        bridges, imperial measures, British YV are fed to a willing MSM to fill endless columns and air time with nonsense, while the NI hike, our penisoners, the poorest in Europe, are made even porer, and Michael Gove refers tto us Scots as ‘fettered foreigners, to great roars of laughter at the Cambridge Union in his mid twenties, thus setting out his stall as a future Fascist and brutal arch right wing hit man.

        Sally Magnusson fronted Distorting Scotland last night, frightening the life out of pensioners and frail and unwell Scots, aided and abetted by her hand picked ‘British’ crew.

        Don’t get ill, ‘cos there are no ambulances!

        They are a disgusting bunch of Fifth Columnists already; they don’t need a memo from their Handlers in London.

        How much will Tory supporting ‘business’ put up with,before they call for Johnson’s head?
        Brexit is a disaster.

        It’s massive failings must feature prominently during Indyref 2.

        There will be more nonsense seeping from .’Number 10′ for Glenn Campbell to front, in between joke footage of a blind person walking in to a lamp post.
        How we’ll laugh.

        BBC Scotland is rotten to the core.

        • Check out my ‘rage-ometer’ typos.

        • deelsdugs says:

          And how the British army will step in Jack…uurgh…The little bit I heard on radio shortbread (very rarely do I tune in) I interpreted the ‘ambulance delays’ as, many people in the south have had enough of Englandshire and moved north, or indeed even the onslaught of ‘post pandemic’ over-tourism in Scotland from all over has overstretched NHS Scotland, but dutifully manipulated by biased british broadcasting into Scotland’s fault.

  11. dakk says:

    They don’t seem to have given up on britin yet for some reason.

  12. Donald McKillop says:

    Please Paul, will you stop calling those two defectors as alba MPs as the electors of that constituency did not vote for them as alba candidates. The lower case is deliberate.

  13. Tam the Bam says:

    Just finished watching Braveheart (on the telly) for the umpteenth time.
    I know its laden with historical inaccuracies (to put it mildly) but you know what…it still fires me up.
    Guess I’m just an old romantic…lol

    • Dr Jim says:

      A good movie is a good movie, were all the war movies accurate? did John Wayne win the west?
      did Richard Todd fly all the British planes? did he drive all the tanks or take all the bridges in France or Belgium and did “England stand alone”? those were all fantasy movies not even close to the actual events but funnily enough nobody actually complained about them, they just complained bitterly about a movie that reflected the anguish of Scottish historical events, why? there was too much uncomfortable shifting of historical arses at the stark reality of their own behaviour shoved in their faces

      Did they dare to complain about Mel Gibsons American version of Braveheart “The Patriot” which reflected their behaviour and attitude towards America and those people? of course they didn’t because the Americans would’ve told them where to shove it, very probably in the style of John Wayne

    • scottish skier says:

      I watched this for the first time at the cinema in St. Andrews. I was the only Scot in a group of my English student mates that went to see it.

      Everyone loved it.

  14. Capella says:

    Just discovered why the spermarkets have run out of fizzy water. It’s Putin’s fault according to the British press. The price of gas has risen. Putin won’t pump more because he hasn’t enough underground storage to increase production. Also, Nord Stream 2 not agreed yet.

    High gas prices have caused two large fertiliser plants, US owned, to close down in England. A Norwegian plant has cut back. A by product of fertiliser production is carbon dioxide. Abbatoirs use it to stun animals before slaughter (which is worrying. It doesn’t stun, it asphyxiates). So meat supplies are running out. But fizzy drinks and beers contain CO2 so they are running out.

    The nuclear power industry and the NHS use CO2 as coolant so they are front of the queue.

    BTW I discovered some months ago that the UK government was storing gas in large underground caverns in NE England because they are running out of gas.

    Kwasi Kwarteng is rushing around trying to fix things but the government department is not telling the FT anything.
    Putin’s fault. (Don’t mention BREXIT)

    • scottish skier says:

      And meanwhile, some are suggesting we stop drilling for / producing gas from Scottish waters, and instead rely on e.g. Russia or Iran for supplies, these being countries which are very trustworthy, follow stringent environment regulations, and are working towards net zero production. Right?

      At the same time, England is firing up its coal plants to stick two fingers up at Greta. No, sorry, because there’s not enough gas to produce electricity to charge Telsas given the rather calm summer, meaning these are now coal powered cars. Using gas instead of coal, notably methane/LNG, could reduce emissions compared to coal by up to 80%. But hey, gas is bad, so stop drilling!

      [Holds head in hands]

      • Ross Anderson says:

        That sounded a bit confusing…

        There’s not been enough wind this summer, so coal has been brought back online to fill the gap in English power demand, in part because gas prices have rocketed. Natural gas has a much lower carbon footprint than coal because, in the simplest terms, while the latter is pure carbon, the former is mostly hydrogen.

        • Drew Anderson says:

          Natural gas isn’t “mostly hydrogen”; it’s mostly methane with small amounts of other alkanes (ethane, butane, propane etc..).

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I wouldn’t put much store by what the British Press say, they have been pivotal in conning the UK on multiple occasions with political diversions.
      The CO2 production aspect is a little bit more complicated, but nothing to do with Brexit ? Nothing to do with truck driver shortages ? Personnel vacancies ? Ahem.
      On the abattoir stun guns, one of us misunderstands, compressed CO2 is the propellant to my hazy recollection ?

  15. Capella says:

    Also, on the Telegraph front page, a “perfect storm” in the automotive industry means that 2nd hand cars are dearer than new models. W hy? Because you can’t get a new model. Why? Well microprocessor shortage. Why? Well the fallout from Covud and “OTHER UNIQUE EVENTS”.
    ( Don’t mention BREXIT. I did once but I think I got away with it)

  16. Capella says:

    Link to British front pages from the BBC.

    Newspaper headlines: Holiday bookings ‘surge’ and gas price rises –

  17. Being born in 1955 I started school in 1960, well before the uk joined the EU. One of the first things I was told was that, because the uk was “going metric” I would have to learn both imperial and metric (the emphasise back then was imperial so, even now, I’m still not comfortable with a lot of metric). So this was nothing to do with the EU, anymore than turning our monetary system metric was (it happened before we joined the EU). Bringing back imperial won’t help anyone, it will just confuse people more. If we wait long enough then all the old gits (i.e. me) will die off and imperial won’t be needed. What IS needed is to stop the country “going metric” and finish the bloody job! We’ve been “going metric” for far too long already, it’s time we arrived and were fully metric.

    • Legerwood says:

      I believe the metric system was officially adopted by the UK in the 1870s although it took another 100 years for it to be brought into use.

      As you say, nothing to do with the EU.

      • grizebard says:

        It was part of an international deal: despite France being in pole position (so to speak, if you’ll pardon the pun!), GB got the reference meridian in return for a promise to go metric. Yet another case of Perfidious Albion, alas.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I concur despite being a year older, but may I suggest this is as per the Boris NI bridge, a preposterous ruse, a deflection, a piece of nonsense to keep the riff-raff pre-occupied…

      It’s as the stooshie over voting photo-id, whilst everybody is encouraged to discuss the headline the real intended damage, total political control over electoral matters, sneaks past in the background with the public barely aware of it.

  18. AAD says:

    I admit I still ask for a lb of mince from the butcher. However, I don’t think it will matter to Universal Benefit recipients what you call it; they won’t be able to afford it in one of the richest countries in the world. I don’t have the vocabulary to describe that situation.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Will English athletes just run 100 yards, will they throw javelins in yards feet and inches, will the rest of the word turn up at events in *Britain* and declare that’s all fine and dandy ?
    Will all the tool manufacturers of the world retool all their equipment to make imperial measures of screws ? will it be welcome to Ikea but your furniture cannae be screwed thigether wae your imperial screwdriver ? mental cases the lot of them down there and the English people can’t complain because they were warned and they still voted for this shower of head cases to inflict this shit upon us
    If nothing else there’s another case for Scottish Independence right there

    My granny used to say “There’s a want wae these people” and she didnae mean us

    One *nation* of *four great nations* the *country* the *Union* with no borders except the borders of the four countries they keep talking about, they can’t even get their contradictory statements right

  20. Capella says:

    Could it be because the US uses pounds and ounces? So once the supermarket shelves fill up again with all our imports the weights will all be American and nobody under 60 will have a clue what they mean.
    But don’t worry, we’ll be joining Liberia, Myanmar and the USA by not using the metric system.

    • Welsh_Sion says:

      Could it be because the US uses pounds and ounces?


      But *their* pounds, fluid ounces, gallons etc. are different from ‘ours’, Capella!

      Going to be hellishly confusing – in what quantities are we going to be ordering our popcorn, now?

      • Golfnut says:

        They are devious enough to try and introduce measures that will require you to carry a calculator when your shopping so that you can try to work out how much less your getting for the hiked up prices which most won’t understand anyway because it’s lsd, though a dose of lsd with your weekly shop might stop you caring.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Brown is an absolute idiot in a world of idiots if he really thinks a man who kicks a ball and a woman who bats a ball, both who live in another country can be reasons to decide a nation’s future, it’s like saying if you don’t like what’s happening to you cheer up because look at how well two ball players are doing, when every single person on the planet knows that professional sports people do what they do for money and it’s only nationalist governments that stick flags on them for the use of by pretending they do it all for their *country*

      Nobody can eat a ball player no matter how successful they are

      It’s also the most patronising insulting tactic of the type of person that he pretends he’s not

    • grizebard says:

      It was bad enough when Broon recently insulted us by attempting to disinter J.K. Rowling’s “give the marriage a last chance” and re-cast it as “give the Union an open-ended new last chance to reform itself”. As if.

      But this deep thinker is casting at straws now if he thinks he can convince us by reference to a couple of sporting personalities who have absolutely no relevance whatever to our invidious situation.

      What is the matter with this man? Whether a failing exponent of outrageous mendacity or helplessly caught in the grip of a powerful delusion, he is steadily transforming himself into a figure of public ridicule.

      • grizebard says:

        In fact, I would be extremely interested to know what J.K. herself now thinks about how “the marriage” was served by the last chance we foolishly gave it, by some at least on her urging. If she was honest, she would surely be joining those appearing in a Phantom Power video to announce a change of opinion, however reluctantly. An interesting test of character awaits there.

        Before and since, many observers have made the parallel between the Union and an abusive marriage. My own Damascene moment came fairly early on and purely by happenstance; while reading an article in the Graun about independence, I caught the headline of an article on the opposite page about abusive personal relationships. Yet there are far too many who are evidently still trapped in the characteristic denial.

        And since the Union between Scotland and England is objectively abusive, what does that make Gordon Brown? He’s surely like an ancient family patriarch who’s desperately trying to keep his only daughter at constant risk merely to preserve his own precious public standing.

        • Welsh_Sion says:

          From before Indy Ref 1 – in fact, coincedentally, written 9 months before, grizebard. (Go figure.)

          A little dated in places … but …

          Some names need to be changed (and the fact that Jack Union has subsequently ‘voluntarily’ removed himself from the Europa Arms, without any help from Bea Russell), but the essence remains the same. (By the way, a lot of my readers have queried, ‘Who is Beattie?”. The answer of course is, BT = Betray us Together.)


          43. (of 60.)

          Angela Alba’s having a baby

          Angela Alba lives in a small town, not so far away and she’s having a baby. Of that, there’s no doubt. All the tests in her white paper checklist have proved positive, and now, nine months down the line, she knows she’s going to give birth to a new life form. It’s all so very exciting, and Angela’s feeling pretty excited too. It will be a momentous day in her life and she knows it will change her perspectives and her ways of thinking forever. She also knows that after so many years of domestic abuse, she will finally be very happy. Angela has made a vow to herself and her unborn baby that she will do everything in her power to love him (or her) with as much mother’s love as she can. The baby will want for nothing and Angela will ensure that it gets all that it needs in support to ensure that it stands proud on its own two feet and look the world straight in the eye.

          These last few years have been a trial for Angela. Her husband, Jack Union (Angela had at least kept her dignity and her maiden name on marrying – but little else) is an abusive, boorish, uncaring man. He has often left Angela in the lurch by going on various boozy fuelled trips with his mates, in particular Sam Washington. Many is the time that Angela has heard that they’ve been involved in fights at various pubs – the latest one being a fracas in the Baghdad Arms. It came as no surprise to Angela that both Jack and Sam were no longer welcome at the Baghdad Arms – they’ve been banned from so many other pubs in town. Even the patience of the landlady of the European pub, Bea Russell, was wearing a bit thin, and she was on the verge of issuing a final warning to Jack Union, before excluding him entirely from her hostelry.

          Invariably too, Jack Union is an aggressive, selfish man. He keeps most of the money that he earns from Angela in order to maintain his boozy, self-centred lifestyle. He rarely gives anything to her. Indeed, so uncaring is he towards his partner, that Jack Union is not averse to taking her money too, leaving Angela poor and upset at home. Far too often, Angela is also the victim of domestic violence at the hands of Jack Union.

          Angela has thought of leaving her abusive husband on many occasions. In 1979, she had attempted to break free of him, but through a cunning ruse and frightening her into thinking that she couldn’t live without him, Jack Union had ‘persuaded’ Angela to stay.

          Then, in 1997, after years of neglect, Jack bought Angela a new kitchen. Doubtless, he thought he was being very magnanimous towards his wife. But Angela saw things differently. Yes, the kitchen was a boon, it was a place of her own where she could do her own thing and think her own thoughts, but in reality it only served as a place where she continued cooking and slaving for her husband. She was not truly free of his influence even then, not independent, and invariably if Angela did something wrong in the kitchen – burning Jack’s toast, for example – Jack would bawl at her for being ‘too weak, too poor, too stupid.’ She couldn’t even get such basic things right, he’d shout. He would then storm out of the house and join Sam Washington in a local bar and get drunk, all the while decrying Angela.

          Angela is by now convinced that her relationship with Jack Union has broken down irretrievably. Their partnership is no longer one of two equals – if it ever was. She wants a divorce and she wants one quickly. But she’s also sensible enough to realise that she has to insist on her fair share of the assets of their marriage. She has consulted her good friend, Nicola, a specialist in family law, and she has advised Angela how best to go about it. Although she’s now pregnant, Angela can’t see that the baby will change anything or bring both her and Jack Union together. It’s gone too far for that, and indeed, knowing her husband’s behaviour, Angela’s aware that he didn’t want this baby.

          Jack Union is associating with Beattie, who has made a name for herself as ‘the village bike.’ She takes on all-comers, though it seems that Jack Union is her favourite ‘client.’ She’s a crabby, embittered woman (not unlike her sisters, Johann and Margaret) and is jealous of the fact that Angela Alba’s pregnant. Her own son, George London, has gone south and made a name for himself as a banker someplace in the City, where he has retained many of his mother’s egotistical characteristics. He has never given the town a second thought since as he has pursued his own selfish goals – but he has retained the affections of and for his mother, Beattie. This is only to be expected, but Beattie and her son still seem to be linked by an invisible umbilical chord, years after the latter’s birth.

          Beattie will have strong words with Jack Union about Angela’s forthcoming delivery. There are those in the little town who whisper darkly that Beattie and Jack are already conspiring to ensure that Angela abort the foetus before the end of her term or that they are trying to induce her to miscarry. There must be some truth in this, as both Jack Union and Beattie are often seen leaping out of the shadows, projecting fear onto poor Angela.

          But Angela is a resilient character. And aided and counselled by her good friend and lawyer, Nicola, who along with other members of the latter’s legal partnership of Jenkins, Canavan and Salmond LLP, is helping her maintain her dignity through it all. Angela Alba will stand tall, look the bullies in the eye, give birth in nine months time to a bonny, wee baby, divorce her husband and make a new life for herself and her offspring. The rest of the little town will be so happy for her – she will truly be an independent woman, and be free of the machinations of her soon to be ex-husband, Jack Union.

          Both he and Beattie will be run out of town.

          Parables for the New Politics

    • scottish skier says:

      What have a Canadian and an Englishman have to do with Scotland?

      Ok, thinking about some sort of relationship to our situation

      I believe I’m correct in understanding that Raducanu supports the (continuing) independence of her native Canada from the UK?

      Also the independence of her parent’s countries of China and Romania, and the latter’s continued membership of the EU?

      Based on that, the Raducanu factor should mean I support Scottish independence. If she backs indy for the country of her birth, so shall I!

  21. Statgeek says:

    Give them time and prices will be so high only the rich can afford holidays. Voter ID (suppression) will ensure that more Tories than not will qualify for ID automatically, and we’re on the way to “Taking Back Control”.

    That is, a Rich Tory land, where if the crap gets too heated, they can swan off to another country and can afford to.

    • grizebard says:

      Ach, it’s not just explicit suppression either. I heard for the first time the other day the term “weathering”, where people, under the continual pressure of a struggle to keep going, just give up on any higher-level social interactions. So we have implicit suppression as well. Which of course suits the Tories equally well.

      There’s a whole lot of people out there who have probably the most to gain from independence, but with whom we have as yet failed to engage. But comfy armchair dilettantes assailing them with radical political nostrums, as was tried last time, certainly isn’t the answer. Populism is a dangerous tiger to ride, and only ever favours the hard right, who are well-practiced at that game.

  22. scottish skier says:

    Latest on the coming winter of discontent.

    UK’s energy firms hold talks with business secretary amid fears gas price spike could lead to food and fuel shortages

    … there are also concerns some people will be unable to afford the high cost of heating their homes over winter….

    …The government has been urged by meat producers to protect the food supply chain after the gas price hike resulted in the industry suffering carbon dioxide shortages.

    Fertiliser plants in Teesside and Cheshire, which produce CO2 as a by-product [of production from natural gas], have halted production as a result of the sudden rise in wholesale gas prices.

    But, you know, ‘No new gas fields in the North Sea!’ right?

    Gas is used to make fertilizer, which we need to produce sufficient food to feed the world’s population. We literally eat oil and gas.


    • Bob Lamont says:

      Totally agree on the oil field issue being myopic, but they do not control it, London does.
      However, this particular propaganda is more even more contorted.

      Noted previously on the 2 plants “have halted production as a result of the sudden rise in wholesale gas prices” – Why would they, when can pass on the additional gas expenditure in the product price ? That’s what’s happening across all of Europe, we had around 3-6 months warning here, so this is no massive shock anywhere but the UK.
      The fertiliser plant closure story has that distinct Eau de Latrine aroma – Brexit related they could bury (as always), now the collateral to CO2 production is realised they need an excuse.
      Yet what bugged and puzzled me in equal measure over the BBC (official government?) article was it covered everything from gas imports to home wind and nuclear energy power production, the worldwide price of gas, by the time you waded through it all it’s a preposterous soup.

      My conclusion was this is much bigger than the price of gas, London has massively cocked up somewhere and is blowing smoke, lots of it…

      • scottish skier says:

        I imagine so. The price of gas is likely a compounding factor on top of supply and labour pressures across the board.

        In my work, we’ve had serious delays due to brexit related to the import of bulk chemicals, delaying pilot plant trials of new tech. On top of all the new paperwork, there are delays at the border and logistic problems. It’s taken months to source what would normally take weeks.

        Coming back to my handbrake cable…. this should have been same day from Dingbro. It’s a standard cable for common model in the UK. Parts like this for it are off the shelf that afternoon normally. Instead it took them 8 days to get one due brexit supply problems.

        That’s where we are with brexit. Every sector is in the crap. It’s why growth has completely stalled, and remains well below pre-pandemic levels. The UK isn’t recovering due to brexit.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          “The price of gas is likely a compounding factor…”, not really, that only affects the running costs incorporated in the final product price, it doesn’t merit a plant closure as the BBC article attributes. Most plants operate with forward budgets of 1-3 years with projections for increased price of utilities, almost always far below the headline unit price as a bulk consumer such as a fertiliser plant.

          Agreed on the final paragraph, but unless they’re setting up european utilities as blame for businesses folding to hide Brexit failure, it’s difficult to understand the purpose of this bogus gas, wind and nuclear energy pastiche they’ve circulated.

          Meant to comment on your handbrake cable earlier that I was a regular customer of Dingbro in Montrose decades ago, they could get parts in that afternoon if not in stock there, or within 24 hours from further afield, great guys and always on the ball. They must be pulling their hair out these days.

  23. scottish skier says:

    Here we go.

    EU citizens have been flooding out of the UK in their hundreds of thousands since brexit. Naff all to do with covid; it started the day of Leave vote.

    EU national numbers have been falling since 2017, with non-EU / non-British having remained largely constant. All across England there are less ‘furriners speaking funny’ on the streets, buses, HGV cabs, restaurant kitchens…

    This is where the labour shortage is coming from; key skilled workers are ‘getting out while they still can’. And the decline began 3 years before free movement ended, with the exit gates still packed, and the entry gates empty.

    Of course in true isolationist dictatorship style, the UK government have put tough restrictions on British citizens leaving the UK by ending free movement for these. When before brits could just get up and get out if they needed to; now that may prove impossible as they are at the mercy of other states accepting them as economic refugees.

  24. Tam the Bam says:

    Sniff…sniff….’sadly……I will not be dancing in the streets of Raith this evening.

  25. Welsh_Sion says:

    Rewarding incompetence as per …

    Gavin Williamson: Ex-education secretary ‘tipped for knighthood’ following departure from Cabinet

  26. Old Pete says:

    Regarding the Orange Order.
    As a Scots/Irish Catholic the best way for Scotland to shut down these vile, scumbag bigots is for Scotland to be an Independent Republic.
    This would remove the reason for an Orange Order in Scotland. If they do or don’t want to remain in an independent Scotland who cares they can just piss of to NI if they’ll take them, failing that deported to Enland who no doubt would welcome these sectarian loyalists scum with open arms

    • dakk says:

      Doubt they would be welcome.

      England could never bear to look itself in the mirror.

    • scottish skier says:

      Absolutely. It would pretty much end the marches overnight here, just as is the case in the republic were catholic and protestant alike fought together for the freedom of their country.

      The tricolour is a flag of ‘white’ peace and unity between ‘orange and green’.

      Irish unity marches in Glasgow fly peace flags. Quite the contrary the brutal imperial butcher’s apron.

      Presented as a gift in 1848 to Thomas Francis Meagher from a small group of French women sympathetic to the Irish cause,[3] it was intended to symbolise the inclusion and hoped-for union between Roman Catholics (symbolised by the green colour) and Protestants (symbolised by the orange colour). The significance of the colours outlined by Meagher was, “The white in the centre signifies a lasting truce between Orange and Green and I trust that beneath its folds the hands of Irish Protestants and Irish Catholics may be clasped in generous and heroic brotherhood”.

      Kinda sums me up. A mum of Irish (republic) protestant origin, a dad of catholic Scottish roots, and a French wife 😉

      • scottish skier says:

        Of course the British tactic of trying to stoke up division along religious lines continues today in Scotland and N. Ireland, just as was done in the republic under their rule. Divide and conquer.

        It’s why the talk is about ‘sectarianism’ as if it is some horrible division between Scots, when it’s not at all, but British hatred of the Scots and Irish for wanting indy.

  27. yesindyref2 says:

    OT – that French envoy Oz sub AUKUS thing. A good analysis here:

    but – still no mention of any effect on NATO. Only one I’ve seen so far is some former ambassador on BBC News. Have people totally lost the ability for fast analysis? Analysis doesn’t mean it WILL happen, but discusses that it MIGHT. Ho hum. I think it’s because the French are considered EU-loving foreigners by the rUK, so nobody in the rest of the Brexited-up UK cares.

    • bringiton says:

      There seems to be a bit of a pattern developing with BoJo and his pals involvement in cancelling contracts involving French companies.
      Valneva at Livingston and now this.
      They may not have been directly involved in cancelling the submarine contract but there is no doubt that without their connivance it probably wouldn’t have happened.
      What next?
      British expeditionary force being landed in France to overthrow the evil EU?

    • Capella says:

      Why is the UK involved? Is it just to sell nuclear powered submarines? Create JOBS? Diss the French?
      I can understand America dragging Australia into what John Pilger calls “The Coming War With China”. But why is the UK going along with this? Poodle being thrown a juicy Uboat shaped bone.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Worth a read of a late comment on that thread. It’s long, longer, longest, but very worth a read to get a view (in English!) from a p**sed off French person – leonardvankemmel. From my own knowledge I can endorse much of that in terms of history and perhaps a little understanding of the French psyche. Get a cup of tea or coffee, settle down.

  28. Capella says:

    LORD McConnell, on the front page of the Scottish Sunday Times, blames the SNP for sectarianism in Scotland. I didn’t know that the SNP was founded in 1690. It’s Nicola Sturgeon’s fault that gangs of Unionists parade through the streets of Glasgow singing racist songs.

    The BBC and MSM get more Orwellian by the day. Here’s their front pages in Scotland.

    Scotland’s papers: GPs and ambulance feel health service pressure –

    • Alex Clark says:

      The archived article, no mention of the scrapping of “The Offensive Behaviour at Football Act” or the role of James (sit down) Kelly who promised an alternative.

      SNP is blamed for ‘cancer of sectarianism’

      • Capella says:

        Thx Alex – it’s probably part of the Union Unit’s coordinated attacks.
        Everything bad is Nicola Sturgeon’s fault. She brewed up corona virus in her kitchen you know. Probably in her £600,000 coffee machine. She caused BREXIT too by showing off how European Scotland is.
        Looking forward to how she scuppers COP26 and provokes Greta Thunberg to denounce the UK for our failure to develop renewable energy and licencing new oil extraction..😨

      • scottish skier says:

        As per my above post, the flag of Ireland is literally a flag of peace and unity between the orange and the green. That symbol could not be more anti-sectarian. Anyone waving that symbol is calling for ‘brotherhood between catholic and protestant’.

        But the BBC won’t mention that. They’ll just talk about trouble around ‘Pro-republican marches (hinting at IRA connections)’ which are not pro-republican because a republic already exists. They are pro-unity, pro-peace anti-division. Also the trouble normally comes from Brits who oppose unity and counter the peace marches with violence.

        It was all this stuff that made me start supporting indy from a young age. My Irish gran wasn’t catholic, wasn’t sectarian, and wasn’t a terrorist. It was the brits that shot at her family not long after she was born and were racist to her when she volunteered for them in WW2 even tough she was protestant. What I was told on BBC news didn’t add up…

        Why did the BBC call the IRA terrorists, but the UDA etc ‘Loyalists’ when they were terrorists?

        I soon understood it was just all lies and that Britain was a very ugly racist imperial state that I wanted nothing to do with.

  29. Well done, Humza and Jason for refusing to appear on Old Watsonian Martin Geissler’s Sunday Morning Independence Basheroo today.
    You may recall Geissler looking forward to going for a pint come Johnson’s Freedom Day farce.
    Well, we are where we are because Dross The Millionaire Denist and Coal Scuttle demanded that the Business Community demanded that we ‘build back better’.
    Now we have thousands of cases a day, mostly selfish young idiots, and our hospitals are once more feeling the pressure.
    But worry not, the British army, fresh from Kabul,will sort it all out.

    Geissler’s wee show sums up the Brit Jocks.
    Hold the Golden colony fast for their Masters in London.

    Not for much longer.
    Again I urge, as I have repeatedly done, do not take part in BBC Scotland’s North Korea propaganda bulletins.

    I managed the opening 2 minutes today…and that was enough to confirm that come independence, we won’t miss this vile evil attack on our country, its people, our institutions, and freedoms.

    • Alex Clark says:

      I did exactly the same, one sentence from the Tory medical spokesman and the TV was turned off.

      • barpe says:

        Exactly the same here, too.
        It certainly was ‘propaganda extra’ from the BBC today.

      • CP says:

        I dipped in and out of the interview whilst pottering and heard enough to raise my blood pressure, but Geissler did try and draw the Tory guy out on vaccine passports and as a practising GP his response was absolutely dismal, claiming it was the way the bill was worded meant they couldn’t support it – no alternative suggestions obviously.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Why would they invite Jason Leitch?

      He is not in government and doesn’t speak for the ambulance service either. Why not invite the Chief Executive from the Scottish Ambulance Service or the Chief Executive of Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board?

      Would the BBC in London have asked Prof. Chris Whitty to explain why the army has been called in to help the ambulance service in England? Are right!

      • Capella says:

        Jason Leitch is a target of unionist hate, as is anyone who supports the FM in the fight against Covid e.g. Devi Sridhar and the previous Chief Medical Officer. Janey Godley was making Public Health videos when she was “outed” as a racist. Andy Murray, Martin Compston and any public figure who supports independence comes in for the same treatment.
        There is only one way out of this nightmare.

  30. Hamish100 says:

    But, but , but the army is helping in Engerland too.

    Marr- will we need to cancel the conference in Scotland? — things are at crisis, crisis. Remind me didn’t he get covid as some conference or another? Did he pass it on? Maybe govt ministers on holiday abroad as Afghanistan fell might have a role to play.

    BBC is the political news arm of the British state. It is not impartial.

  31. Dr Jim says:

    I am always amused when the media describe the *army* as riding to the rescue and solvers of problems

  32. Hamish100 says:

    I see the military are still using Scotland as a play thing as we write. On flight radar we have a drone at 22000ft near Ullapool which flew out of Lossiemouth. Navy ships around the Clyde and West coast. We are occupied and most don’t even know it. When HM Queen appears at copd the FM and the rest of the natives will have to do as we are told, where to go,etc. A few army personnel driving patient transfer vehicles is the pay off.

  33. scottish skier says:

    Notice how people on Orange walks don’t wear kilts, but instead wear bowler hats while swinging black umbrellas?

    That alone tells you their nationality, and it isn’t Scottish.

    No march celebrating Scottish culture / heritage could possibly be completely free of our national dress, famous as it is across the globe.

    It’s almost comical that the BBC tries to pretend these walks are Scottish. Nobody looking on or seeing pictures would ever reach that conclusion.

  34. Dr Jim says:

    “If the whole of Britain were given a vote on Scottish Independence I would vote YES to separation” says Jeremy Paxman, he then goes on to talk about not giving the *Jocks* any more excuses even though he himself is a *quarter Scottish*

    Patronising insulting name calling blood and soil British Nationalism all in a sentence from Paxman

    Another one who thinks Scots don’t understand language

    Perhaps if Scottish people constantly referred to all English people as *Jeremy’s* the penny might drop, I’m half English on my mothers side, so that makes all the difference and changes everything eh

    What undiluted morons these *Jeremy’s* are

    • grizebard says:

      It’s worth keeping in mind that there is an element of that in England now. Thinking that we’re ingrates whom they would be far better rid of. And thus less inclined than ever to concede anything to us if we decide not to go indy. Maybe even more contemptuous of us if we do funk it again.

      So it’s not just about us. Staying in the Union won’t offer us any kind of status quo.

      • Bob Lamont says:

        “It’s worth keeping in mind that there is an element of that in England now. Thinking that we’re ingrates whom they would be far better rid of”
        That’s certainly true of the blue rinse brigade, IIRC it was 80% favouring dumping NI and Scotland if it guaranteed Brexit, and it is THEY whom the Tory politicians fear most.
        The “subsidy sponger” wheeze was a propaganda success in England for the Tories, but now it has backfired.

        • grizebard says:

          I’m not sure though that the typical PSB (or “Scottish British”, as (Skier would put it) quite realises this yet. They still labour under the fond illusion that “we’re all in this together”, whereas they are just as unacceptable to the English of that mentality as we irredeemable seps. I’m not sure how we can best get that reality through to the deniers, though. This “Stockholm Syndrome” thing is hard to crack. Put up billboards with Paxmanesque quotes…?

  35. scottish skier says:

    In terms of harking back…

    There is a danger of that in the Yes movement too. By that I mean harking back to 2014 or beyond, to past leaders, strategies and formerly popular indy blogs, all of which were of their time and ultimately unsuccessful.

    It’s really what struck me about this article from other week.

    Alba conference was like the good old days in the SNP

    For me, the SNP on 2% in 1964 was not the good old days, and I cannot imagine how anyone could think that. Sure people could dream, fantasizing about all sorts of amazingly impractical policies while offering voters the moon on a stick because they had no hope of getting near government.

    I also don’t like to dwell on 2014 as the morning after the night before is not something I’d ever want to re-live.

    I prefer to focus on the now where Yes parties have finally won a majority of votes in a national election and have agreed a supermajority coalition through pragmatic cooperation and concession. A now where we are on the cusp on indy than harking back to the ‘good old days’ which were not good at all.

    • grizebard says:

      Well said.

      If it’s about anything, independence is about growing up, leaving behind the cozy fantasies and taking responsibility for what’s actually required. 1964 is political pre-history, but even 2014 maybe happened the way it did because too many people felt from the way the indy campaign was run that we still weren’t ready for that. Well, after these last few years. we (mostly) are now.

  36. Hamish100 says:

    1964 and all that . Harold Wilson- who I quite liked with his pipe to be like the common man….. move on another decade with Callaghan and the 40% fix with the lefts hero Anthony Benn as energy minister keeping quiet about the wealth lying under Scottish seas. He was very socialist taking it all for England.

    Yip forward to independence- this time— no mistake.

  37. Hamish100 says:

    I see the bbc and the Tory prof Pennington think Wales should listen to them re covid.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Dear God, they actually led with that 2005 E.Coli enquiry photo to give this relic credibility, London must have been desperate to call on SiU’s assistance (BBC is a given).
      Why Hugh Embalming Fluid should have any valid input is as Scots have come to recognise, an exercise in deflection, he/it only summoned from the crypt on occasions when a breakdown in Union support is imminent, which begs the question… Has PC popularity shot up in recently in the polls ?

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        Has PC popularity shot up in recently in the polls ?


        No, but support for independence has never been so high. Go figure.

      • grizebard says:

        There’s a lot of crypt-summoning going on these days. {grin}

        I’m looking forward though to all the reverse skeleton-closet opening that’s to come when the time is right…

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